Just after Easter, I bought a huge bag of Sweet & Sara toasted coconut marshmallows. Since then, I’ve been eating one or two occasionally. From the minute I saw them, I knew I wanted to make rice crispy treats with them. I haven’t had them in years. Until now. I finally bought some brown rice crisp cereal (Whole Foods brand is vegan).
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 heaping cups toasted coconut marshmallows
4 cups brown rice cereal
Melt coconut oil and marshmallows in a medium pot. The marshmallow melt kind of funny – definitely not like non-vegan ‘mallows. Once the oil and ‘mallows are mixed together, add cereal. Press into 8×8 greased pan. Let cool and enjoy.
Lately, I’ve been craving salads like crazy (I imagine his has something to do with all the junk food and comfort food I’ve been eating since late summer). So, inspired by a photo I saw on Pinterest, I made a week’s worth of salads in mason jars.
They’re so easy to make and I love having something to grab on my way out the door in the morning. It makes a great time-saver if you make them ahead of time.
The concept is simple: put your dressing on bottom and top with your salad toppings and then, your greens. When you want to eat it, just dump it into a bowl and enjoy. I have a bowl that folds flat that is perfect for carrying to work (from The Pampered Chef!).
The salads keep for a solid 5 days without getting soggy.
The top jar is (bottom to top):
Salsa, avocado, black beans, and spinach.
The next photo is:
(Front) Orange dressing, mandarin orange slices, sunflower seeds, and spinach.
(Back) spicy tahini dressing, cucumber, radish, sunflower seeds, spinach.
Avocado, creamy mustard vinaigrette, cucumber, cranberries, sunflower seeds, spinach.
I started this blog way back in August in hopes that I would actively update it with my various projects, adventures, and ramblings. But after one half-hearted entry about a trip to San Diego, I pooped out. I blog for a living, so sometimes it's understandably hard for me to come home and blog some more.
But a news story this week lit a fire under my blog writing butt.
I am thankful for one of the most amazing people I have ever known – my grandmother. From her, I get my snark, my (dry, and sometimes seemingly non-existant) sense of humour, my passion for animals, my love of baking, and even my occasional outbursts of cynicism.
I learned the basics of swimming in her pool, she helped foster my love of reading and my creativity, she taught me how to make koulourakia (my favourite cookie!), and, for the last 27 years, she has inspired me to be a stronger, better person.
She lost her battle with cancer on Sunday, and I am going to miss her so, so much.
Vegan Bloggers Unite is looking for vegan bloggers to submit posts this week. Click the link above for more information.
I’m terribly sorry for not being able to keep up with Vegan MoFo this year. It really is my favourite time of year. Unfortunately, due to an illness in the family, I will be taking a break from blogging.
I am happy to say that I am testing recipes for Joni Marie Newman’s (of Just the Food) next cookbook, and I do hope to post photos of the awesome food I’ll be testing and eating.
I will leave you with a picture of my killer halloween costume:
And the gorgeous cake I just finished for a friend’s wedding:
Every year, our pepper plants are more prolific than we expect, and every year, we plant way too many of them. My absolute favourite way to use up excess peppers is in pepper jelly. I especially love to put it on top of a bagel & Better Than Cream Cheese. I also love to just dip crackers into it. Or spread it on crackers… whichever.
This recipe makes a lot. 12 half pint jars. Actually, I think I got 12 4oz jars and 7 half pint (8oz) jars. You’re going to want to make at least this much. Trust me.
The beautiful thing about jelly is that if you don’t have the means to water bath your jars. You can still do it. Once you’ve put the hot jelly into the warm, sanitized jars, make sure your lids are on tight, and flip them upside down. Let them stay that way 24 hours. They seal almost every time.
2C chopped green bell pepper
2/3C chopped jalapeno
4 chopped habenero peppers
3C apple cider vinegar
2 boxes Sure Jell pectin (yes, it’s Kraft brand, and they’re terrible for any number of reasons, but, it’s all I can find locally. If you choose not to use it, you’re going to need 3.5 oz dry pectin)
Pulse your peppers in a food processor until finely minced (just leave them chopped if you’d rather have big chunks of peppers in your jelly, or do half and half, it’s up to you)
Combine peppers, sugar, and vinegar in a large pot. Bring to a rolling boil (It took me a good 15 minutes, but, I’m at a high elevation. I’m willing to bet, if you live near sea-level, it’ll only take 5-10 minutes)
Stir in pectin.
Add to jars, leaving about a 1/2 inch head room.
If you’re using a water bath, process for 13 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes in bath before removing. Let sit 24 hours before storing.
So, after pickling all those peaches last week, you’ve still got a tree full of peaches. What do you do?
Make pie, of course!
This filling is great for pies, or, if you’re feeling too lazy to make a pie crust, make a crumble.
1 quart is perfect for 1 pie or crumble/crisp
You’ll need (per quart):
3/4C brown sugar
1/4C lemon juice
2T tapioca pearls (not quick-cooking, because you’re canning it for later use, regular is just fine)
shake of salt
Combine ingredients. Pour into prepared quart jars. Process 15 minutes.
Happy weekend, foodies!
This weekend’s challenge is a “Chopped” challenge. In our baskets this weekend, we have:
The challenge is a brunch challenge, so we have to make brunch with these four ingredients. I was totally worried at first. I’ve never cooked with popcorn before. And I certainly never would have thought to put these flavours together.
I decided to go with one of my favourite brunch/breakfast/snack items – muffins. I can’t get enough muffins. Especially if they’ve got a crumb topping.
I give you – Apricot Filled Butternut Squash Muffins with Caramel Corn Crumb Topping.
Roast a small squash (you’re only going to need a cup of mashed squash). Once it’s roasted, spoon out the inside and smash it up. Set aside.
For the caramel corn:
3 quarts popcorn (pop 1/3 C kernels in 1T coconut oil)
1/2C coconut oil (measured solid)
1C brown sugar
1/4C dark corn syrup
1/4tsp baking soda
melt coconut oil in sauce pan. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once it’s at a boil, let it boil 5 minutes without stirring. Take off heat, add baking soda and vanilla.
Pour over popcorn, mix well. Spread popcorn over a baking pan. Bake at 250* for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the muffins:
1/2C your favourite vegan shortening
1/2C non-dairy milk
1C mashed butternut squash
a 2 inch sprig of rosemary
3tsp baking powder
3T apricot preserves
Take leaves off rosemary stems and smash them up really well in a mortar. Add to squash.
Cream the shortening and sugar. Add non-dairy milk. Add squash/rosemary mixture.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to sugar/squash mixture.
Fill greased large muffin pan halfway. Add 1/2 tsp apricot preserves to each muffin. Top with remaining dough.
Bake at 375* for 30 minutes. Top with chopped caramel corn, and bake another 5 minutes to melt the caramel onto the muffins.
Makes 6 giant muffins, or 12 regular sized muffins.