Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pretzel Kisses

This is one of my two darling nieces.  She likes to try new recipes. Especially ones that result in sweet treats to share.  She got the idea for these pretzel kisses online and made them with my sister-in-law.  I was lucky enough to be there and to sample the delicious mix of salty and sweet!  
 Place the kisses on the pretzels and bake in a 170 degree F oven until soft.  I think it takes about 4-6 minutes.  It may depend on your oven.  
When they come out of the oven press an M & M into the center of each kiss.
 She did some with the chocolate kisses, and some with the pepperminty ones.  
So cute and simple!  A bag of these would make a great little gift.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cousin's Recital

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I decided that last year and I still feel the same about it this year.  I love the food, first of all.  I also love spending time with family and the annual cousin's party on the day after Thanksgiving.  The party planning always starts with deciding on a theme.  There must be a theme!  This year we decided to have a recital by cousins and for cousins.  I could not have been more proud of and entertained by each performance.  There were a variety of acts.  Below is a fencing demonstration by Warren:
Andrew sang some songs he wrote.  Impressive!
Here, Melita is drawing Hobbit hair onto Lois and Lilly's feet in preparation for their piano and cello performance of a song from Lord of the Rings.  
There were several power point presentations.  Gather 'round the laptop everyone!  Sadly, our plan to use a projector didn't work out. 
A more supportive group cannot be found!
Other acts included coffee tasting (or "cupping" as we learned it is called), a presentation on tree rings, a spoken word piece, stand-up comedy, and more.  It was so fun!  We might just have to do it again next year!  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Vegan Jelly-Doughnut Cupcakes

Here's another recipe from the Veganomicon cookbook.  These cupcakes are delicious!  I used peach jam, blackberry jam, and chocolate chips.  Yum!


- 1 cup soy milk (I used almond)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup jam or preserves
- 2 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
Pour the milk, vinegar and cornstarch into a cup and set aside.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the soy milk, vinegar and cornstarch into a measuring cup and set aside. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cupcake liners. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Create a well in the center if the flour to pour your wet ingredients into. Stir the soy milk mixture with a fork to dissolve the cornstarch, then pour into the flour mixture. Add the oil, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full with batter. Place a heaping teaspoonful of jam on the center of each cupcake. You don’t need to press down in the jam or do anything else; the baking will take care of all of that and it will sink in. Bake for 21 to 23 minutes. You can’t really do a toothpick test here because of the jelly filling, but the cupcakes should be done by this point. The tops should be firm. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on wire racks. Once cooled, set them someplace cool and dry. and eave uncovered. It it’s winter, leave them in your coldest room. If it’s summer, leave them somewhere air-conditioned, if possible. If it’s not possible, don’t sweat it–just don’t leave them anywhere very warm. Let them sit overnight and preferably up to 24 hours. This will make the tops dry and a little bit crispy and more donutlike. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar (using a sifter if you have one).  Serve with coffee.  -Veganomicon

I made them right in the pan since I was out of cupcake liners.  Next time I will use the liners because the jam causes the cupcakes to stick to the pan.  Still tasted great though! 
Happy Thanksgiving!  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Vegan Squash Cake with Streusel

My friend brought me this Yugoslavian finger fruit, and it was the first time I'd ever seen one.  It's probably the coolest looking squash I've ever seen.
 I decided to bake it and make a cake from my Veganomicon cookbook.  To bake it, I just cut it in half, scooped out the seeds,
 placed the halves facedown on a pan, (the pan is dirty because I had just finished roasting vegetables on it), and baked it at 350 degrees F for around 30 minutes.  Then I turned them face up and baked them for another 30 minutes or so until they were soft.  
 After they had cooled, I scooped out the flesh and it was just enough for the cake recipe I used.  
 Ingredients for streusel:
*1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
*3 Tbsp brown sugar
*1/4 tsp cinnamon
*1/4 tsp allspice
*1 Tbsp canola oil
*1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (I didn't have any nuts, but it was still delicious)
In a small bowl mix the dry ingredients together and then drizzle the oil over, stirring together with fingers to resemble coarse crumbs.  Then add in the chopped nuts.  

Ingredients for cake:
*1 (15-oz) can pureed pumpkin (I used my baked squash)
*3/4 cup soy milk (I used oat milk)
*3/4 cup canola oil
*1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
*3 Tbsp light molasses (I used dark)
*2 tsp vanilla extract
*2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat, of course)
*1 Tbsp baking powder
*1 tsp salt
*1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
*3/4 tsp nutmeg
*3/4 tsp ginger
*1/2 tsp allspice
*1/8 tsp cloves
I combined all of the wet ingredients and then dumped all of the dry into the same bowl and stirred it all together with my trusty wooden spoon.  None of this stirring in of half the flour and then stirring in the other half business.  Poor into a greased pan and sprinkle the streusel on top.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes.  

This cake was SO good!!  When I ate it for breakfast I called it "coffee cake."  When I ate it for dessert I called it "cake," and when I ate it in between meals I called it "snack cake."  It is a cake that can be eaten all day long!  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Crocheted Pom Pom Hat

I made a hat!  I used the thickest wool yarn on my shelf and the biggest hook in my satchel.  It was simple and quick to make.  First, I made a big rectangle, and then sewed the sides and top together.  Easy!  Then I made a couple of pom poms and stitched them on the corners.  
 It is incredibly warm and cozy!  
Hope your Wednesday was great!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fruit & Veggie Roast

Root vegetables abound at the Ballard Farmer's Market these days.  Perfect for roasting!  I also included some bosc pears for the first time, and they were a delicious sweet addition to the vegetables.  
 Just the simple chop, olive oil, salt, pepper, and bake at 425 degrees F for 40-50 minutes, stirring at least once half way through the baking time.  
 A big bowl of this for dinner satisfies me!  Those purple potatoes were amazing, I must say.  So creamy with the slightest hint of sweetness.  
Happy roasting!  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Back to Leavenworth

Last weekend I went back up to Leavenworth with Daniel and my parents.  Of course, we brought along the dogs as well.  The fall colors were so beautiful!  
 Most of our time was spent inside the cabin cozying up on couches and watching movies, taking naps, eating snacks, and watching the rain fall outside.  However, we did manage to go on one trek up the logging road.  My dad extracted a sliver of wood from Daniel's finger that he got climbing around the gate on the way up the road.  
 Enjoying the view from the lower viewpoint spot.  This was the longest hike Daniel has done since his stroke, and he did great!  I see more hikes together in our future...
 He is the sweetest fall-decorated dog ever:
These last few photos were taken by my dad:
I'm not sure when I'll be at the cabin next.  I feel the need to schedule a trip there soon.  That fresh, mountain air is in my brain.