Pumpkin Pie (with Maple Vanilla Sauce and Maple Spiced Pumpkin Seeds)

I want to apologize for my long absence. Not only have we been having some web server problems, but the shortened days have made it very difficult for me to take pictures, since my sub-par camera means I need the sunlight. Rest assured, I have been eating well, and on the occasion of my birthday, decided it was time to get back in gear.

I made several dishes for a potluck Thanksgiving dinner I attended, including a pumpkin pie with assorted goodies. Having decided that coconut milk would be just right, I was going to improvise my own recipe when someone posted one from The Savvy Vegetarian that was just like what I had in mind, so I went ahead and used that one. Then I roasted the pumpkin seeds (sweetly this time) with the idea that they might make a good topping. The next day, having chilled the pie sufficiently, I considered how nice a whipped topping would be, so I used the leftover tofu and coconut milk to attempt one, but while it would have likely been perfect out of a whip-it (and was quite delicious), it was too thin on its own. I thickened it a bit with some tapioca before deciding to just call it a sauce. It worked wonderfully on the pie as well as on the apple crisp I’d also made.

Yay for experimentation! Click through for the many recipes.

Pumpkin Pie (with Maple Vanilla Sauce and  Maple Spiced Pumpkin Seeds)

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Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Beware these cookies: they can be dangerous! Chewy, and delicious, and so rich, it’s hard to eat more than one or two at a time, but as soon as you’re able, you’ll want more. Another gem from Isa at The Post Punk Kitchen, the original calls for too much sugar (as do many of her recipes, but it’s a minor flaw that is easily corrected), but other than that, these cookies are pretty much perfect.

I have no doubt one of the keys in these in particular being so yummy is the really good Dutch process cocoa that my roomie acquired at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport during a layover. While I’m sure you could get yummy results with regular cocoa, it would throw off the acid balance and who knows what might happen.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Maple Praline Pecan Ice Cream

Over Labor Day weekend, my roommate and I hosted a barbecue, and since everyone knows I can’t host an event without some sort of schtick, I rented a tank of liquid nitrogen to make ice cream, and thus was born the Ice Cream Barbecue. Many of my friends are familiar with this method of freezing because of a long-running annual event that features the stuff, but I was unable to attend this year due to a theater gig, so this was my alternative. By the time the tank was gone, a total of 24 flavors had been made, and half of them were vegan! Which was, of course, awesome.

One of the flavors I made after the crowds were gone was this maple praline pecan. I found the praline recipe as part of another ice cream recipe and just winged it for the base. Don’t be fooled by how embarrassingly easy it is! Even cow’s milk folks loved this stuff and many assumed it was dairy even knowing I’d made it.

Maple Praline Pecan Ice Cream

In addition to the recipe, I’ve also included a (very) brief run-down of various ways to freeze ice cream.

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Peach Cobbler

Last weekend, my friend John gave me some peaches out of the bushel or so he’d picked from a friend’s trees. The were quite delicious, but too many to eat before they turned (especially with more peaches coming in my farm share). Being a traditional Southern gal, my thoughts immediately went to peach cobbler. Okay, that’s a lie, but I do sometimes out a jaunty twang in my voice.

I’d made a delicious (backyard) blackberry cobbler a couple of weeks prior with a recipe I found online, so I modified it a bit for the peaches. It turned out delicious. I’ve made many many pies in my time, but I’ve also become quite a fan of cobblers (and crisps) for their fruity yumminess with much less effort. Watching the batter rise up through the fruit is a lot of fun, too. The result is a very light cake-like concoction spread through with peachy yumminess.

Peach Cobbler

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

As we take over the world, one cupcake at a time…

Even though I’d recently acquired Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, I didn’t have it handy when I started baking so the body of these is standard “Wacky Cake”. By the time they were in the oven, I was able to ponder my frosting option and chose Peanut Buttercream, but I’d made a double batch of cupcakes and only a single of frosting so I didn’t have enough to pipe. I added the streaks of chocolate syrup and the peanuts for visual interest, since the frosting was a fairly bland color, and I also like when a garnish reflects what’s inside.

The cupcakes were delicious, and the peanut butter and chocolate definitely worked well together (to nobody’s surprise). Next time, I’ll do a lot more frosting and use it to fill the cakes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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