Tag Archives: Vanilla extract


15 Dec

Finals = cookies.

These are the two recipes that got me through last week’s finals insanity.

Nikki’s Healthy Cookies and Aunt Angie’s Soft Peanut Butter Cookies.

In the first one, I didn’t really follow the recipe.

3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm – so it isn’t solid (or alternately, olive oil)
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 – 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped

I didn’t have ripe bananas, so I used unripe ones. And I didn’t have almond meal, so I left it out. And I used unsweetened coco powder instead of chocolate chips. And I put in too much baking powder, so I tried to compensate with salt, and the cookies were way too salty.

Since I had run out of both honey and maple syrup the day before, I ransacked my pantry to find something I could use to sweeten this seemingly hopeless batter.

At last I found some strawberry jelly in the fridge. And then I knew –pinch-pot cookies!

The dough was very moldable, so I made them into little bowls, filled them with jelly, and sprinkled the tops with coconut.

I cooked these guys at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Perfecto!

On Tuesday of finals week, I took a study break to see Andrew Bird in concert. It was the best decision I made all week. The concert was beyond words. I seriously believe that Bird is one of the modern musical prodigies.

Fast forward to the night before my French final. There’s me, trying to memorize irregular verb stems and the difference between “C’est” and “Il est”. I’m in no sane state.

“Cookies will calm me down,” I think to myself. So I go over to my sister’s blog and find the cookies she made for me when I left for Thanksgiving. It’s a recipe that she adapted from OhSheGlows, which is a fantastic food blog that I love reading.

Auntie Angie’s Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup peanut butter (see note)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

I followed the recipe to a tee (in contrast to Julia, who has a series of posts labeled “Hot Mess Baking”) and the cookies came out PERFECTLY.

Baked for 11 minutes at 350F.

However, I would use less honey next time. They came out a little too sweet for my liking.


Vanilla Quinoa Pudding

15 Dec

Goodbye fall semester, Hellooooo winter “break”.

“Break” is in quotation marks because I’m not actually going home during break. Instead, I’m staying in DC and working at the same place that I worked over the summer. I feel like when I stay in DC and come home only for a few days at the holidays, it makes them even more special.

I cooked a lot and blogged very little during my finals week. So now I have a ton of pictures and recipes that I want to talk about.

On November 16th, Yahoo! had Shine had an article about the benefits of quinoa. Inside, there was a recipe for Vanilla Quinoa Pudding. I made it for breakfast the next morning.

Vanilla Quinoa Pudding

3 cups of oat milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup maple syrup

pinch of salt

1 cup quinoa

Rinse quinoa.

Mix milk, vanilla, maple syrup, and salt in a saucepan and set on simmer. Add quinoa and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Once thickened, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Serve warm or refrigerate.

*So I made some mistakes, as per the usual. I made a half recipe of this, and accidentally added 1/6 of a cup instead of 1/8 of a cup of maple syrup. It was way too sweet. Also, my quinoa never bursted like it was supposed to, so it was too crunchy.

But I’d make this again. The oat milk and maple syrup mixture made a caramel sauce that I could use on other things.

Raisins and coconut to top it all off.

This article is also a really great resource for vegan sources of iron. I’m off to buy myself some spirulina!


27 Nov

New York, NY and Washington, D.C.

The two powerhouse cities of the East Coast. The Capital of the World. Our Nation’s Capital. The Big Apple. The District. NYC. DC.


Now technically, I don’t live in New York City. I live on the other side of the Hudson River and about 20 miles upstate, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling at home in the city. New York taught me how to watch people and navigate a public transportation system when things went wrong. New York introduced me to the deliciousness that is street-vendor food. New York showed me that the important things in life are worth sitting on the sidewalk for hours in freezing cold January, or in blazing hot July. New York let me experience the last sliver of family bonding time before I went off to school. New York is responsible for far more sunburn than I wish to recall. New York is the closest identifiable landmark I have to tell people where I grew up.

DC is my newest home. I came here a year and a half ago as a scared freshman, not knowing what to expect. I never thought I’d fall in love so quickly with a city. I took to it immediately, taking advantage of the opportunities that weren’t afforded to me in suburbia. Suddenly, a world of culture and nightlife opened up to me and I knew I’d never be as happy if I lost it. When freshman year ended, I got a summer job and permission from my parents to stay.

So now, as I cruise down I-95 in a bus full of people I don’t know, I’d like to give thanks for the two best homes in the world. I couldn’t be luckier.


And on that note, I’d like to finish up my Thanksgiving 2010 posts.

For breakfast, I had a cherry strawberry smoothie and peanut butter pancakes.

It’s going to be hard to give you all a recipe for the pancakes. I kind of just threw some things together in a bowl and put it on a pan.

But I think it went something like this:

1/4 cup peanut flour

1/4 whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp arrowroot powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt


vanilla extract

Mix, cook, drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup.

It certainly wasn’t the most attractive meal. The bottoms of the pancakes burned and fell apart. But they tasted good, and that’s all that mattered to me this morning.


I purposely brought a rolling duffle bag home this week and didn’t fill it all the way. I wanted to make sure I left room for sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, tofurkey casserole, 3/4 of a pumpkin pie, and these cookies that Julia made for me.

Now if only this bus would hurry up and get to DC so I get home and eat!

Brownie Brunch

23 Nov

Last Saturday, I went over to Hallie’s apartment.

We were planning to head over to the vegan potluck at an Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Maryland, but when we looked up directions we found out that it was an hour away. So instead of going, Hallie, Kelli (one of Hallie’s other littles), and I decided to make ourselves some vegan breakfast food.

The first thing we made were black bean brownies.

This recipe is adapted from Happy Herbivore.

15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed

2 whole ripe bananas

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup raw sugar

1/4 cup instant oats (use 1/2 cup if you want brownies to be less fudgey)


Preheat the over to 350F. Grease an 8×8 pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and stir in oats. Pour the batter into the the pan. Bake about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

So this is about the time that we realized that the potluck was so far away. I know brownies don’t really fit with the whole breakfast theme, but here they are.

Next we looked up some breakfast recipes. We finally settled on mini crustless vegetable quiche.

This recipe is adapted from Fat Free Vegan.

olive oil

3 cloves of garlic

1/4 red bell pepper

1/2 cup mushroom

2/3 cup chopped eggplant

1 cup broccoli



1 package of firm silken tofu, drained of water

1/4 cup plain milk substitute

4 tsp nutritional yeast


1 tbsp arrowroot

1 tsp tahini

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp salt



Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray 12 muffin cups well with non-stick spray.

Saute the first 7 ingredients in a non-stick frying pan.

Place the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until completely smooth and silky. Add the tofu mixture to the vegetables and stir to combine.

Spoon equally into the 12 muffin cups.

Put the muffin pan into the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350F. Bake until the tops are golden and a knife inserted into the middle of a quiche comes out clean– about 25-35 minutes depending on you oven and muffin cups. We used a metal pan, so the cooking time was about 25 minutes. It takes longer if you use a silicon pan.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

A really nice thing about this recipe is that you can substitute your favorite vegetables into the batter. I’m obsessed with broccoli and eggplant, so I added those into the original recipe.

We had some extra batter left over, so we tried to make tofu scramble while we waited.

It was a bit runny (we think it was the silken tofu), but it was still pretty good. We ate it over toast.

And finally, we got to eat the brownies. We ate them with So Delicious Coconut Milk ice cream. They were still warm and fudgey. So excellent.

Harry Potter and the Bowl of Oatmeal

19 Nov

Almond butter and jelly oatmeal.

I think fruit preserves are absolutely delicious. I have the strawberry flavor from Polaner. It’s only sweetened with fruit juice. I literally take spoonfuls of it and eat it plain.

I had sushi for lunch and it looked amazing. But I didn’t want to awkwardly take pictures of my food in class, so you’ll just have to imagine.


I’m so excited for HARRY POTTER 7 tonight. Alex and I are going with a bunch of our friends to belatedly celebrate our birthdays.

Only 5 more hours!

I’ll be listening to this in the meantime.


I should find a tree all covered in mangos…

18 Nov

Juicy mangos, fat and well-fed.

(Snaps to the first person to guess the name of the musical I’m referencing. I’ll give you a hint –I was in it in middle school and I crimped my hair for opening night.)

How To Cut a Mango

1. Lay the mango on a cutting board. Take a sharp knife and cut the ends off. This will let you see the way the pit is facing.

You can kind of see it on this one. The pit is facing horizontally.

2. Peel your mango.

3. Next, lay the mango on one of its cut, flat sides. Take your knife and, starting at the top near the pit, cut downward. The trick is to follow the curvature of the pit.

4. Finally, cut the mango into small pieces (or leave them like slabs and eat them with your hands).

So I’ve been severely lacking in the blog posts lately. I’m going to try to get back on it but I only like to post when I have something interesting to write about. I don’t want to make this thing just a list of what I eat at every meal.

However, I did make an amazing chocolate avocado mousse last week. I promise I’ll post the recipe and pictures within the week.

1 week until Thanksgiving –get excited!!

Also, huge shout-out to the Food section of the Washington Post for their vegan Thanksgiving recipes in today’s issue (scroll to the bottom of that linked article)! I’m planning on seeing a few of those on my dinner table next weekend.

Oats in A Jar

3 Nov

Today was Oats in a Jar day a.k.a my favorite breakfast day of the month.

The idea is to wait until you’re almost done with your jar of peanut butter/almond butter and use it instead of a bowl to make your oatmeal. That way, you get all of the residual butter that sits on the bottom, making for an amazing breakfast.

The reason why this day is so rare is because I basically only eat almond butter with my oatmeal in the morning. It takes me about two months to go through a jar, so I get really psyched when I see myself nearing the end.

*Pro Tip* Never make OIAJ if your butter jar is made of plastic. I did this at work over the summer and it turned into a molten plastic puddle. It was pretty disappointing.

Recipe for this morning:

1/3 cup instant oats

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1 tablespoon chia seeds/buckwheat/hemp seeds

1 handful raisins



vanilla extract

almond extract

rice milk

1 frozen banana

Combine the first eight ingredients into the almond butter jar.

While you’re waiting for the rice milk to boil, start cutting up pieces of a frozen banana.

When the milk comes to a boil, pour it into the jar with the oats. Stir. Add the banana slices and enjoy.