Friday, October 26, 2012

Dessert: Frosted Pumpkin Cookies

The Clever Housewife started following me on twitter, and her pumpkin donuts recipe intrigued me. We conversed, and she directed me to these pumpkin cookies. You already know how I love all things pumpkin. The cookies were already vegan, and I "veganized" the frosting, which turned out well. These are quite easy.


1 cup all vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups pumpkin (about 1 15 oz can)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbs vegan butter
4 tsp almond milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
  1. Mix first 7 ingredients until smooth. 
  2. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. 

For frosting: 
  1. Dissolve first three ingredients in saucepan. 
  2. Cool, then stir in powdered sugar and vanilla.
  3.  Frost cookies while the cookies are still hot.

Other details:
  • The original recipe called for 1 cup butterscotch chips, but I left them out. It also called for milk (assumed dairy) and butter (assumed dairy) in the frosting.
  •  Makes about 3 dozen. (I got about 44 out, but I just used a large spoon.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


We were making a meal that required biscuits, so I looked up a biscuits recipe and these are really good. I did not get the browning right because I didn't have grapeseed oil. I got them from Chez Bettay.


2 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup - plus 2 tablespoons coconut oil or Earth Balance
3/4 cup soy milk or soy milk creamer, Plain (or almond milk)
1 teaspoon organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil , reserved for brushing biscuits before baking


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Sifted flour into the Cuisinart Food Processor fitted with the Knife Blade.
3. Add oil/earth balance and salt and pulse a few times until the flour resembles small pea sized particles... NO NOT OVER MIX!
4. Make the mock buttermilk by adding the vinegar to the milk.
5.  Drizzle the "mock buttermilk" through the feed tube and pulse till the mixture starts to form a ball... STOP don't over process. The ingredients should NOT be totally combined.
6. Scoop the dough contents out onto a floured surface, and dust with more flour.
7. Gently gather the dough together and gently press out to a 3/4 inch high circle.
8. With a 2 inch stainless round cutter (or a shaped cookie cutter), cut out as many biscuits as possible.
9. Arrange the cut biscuits on a cookie sheet with space between each edges touching.
10.  Brush the tops of all the biscuits with grapeseed oil to ensure browning.
11. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 – 13 minutes or until gently golden brown.

Other Notes:

  • Makes 10 biscuits (more or less)
  • 153 Calories/biscuit, 19 carbs, 7g fat, 3g protein, 1g fiber
  • Original Recipe

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dessert: Peanut Butter Fudge

During my 30 Day Vegan Challenge, I wanted to make some desserts. The timing happened to be when the kids returned to school and I like to make desserts for the kids lunches. I googled "vegan desserts" and found this one at It required items I mostly already had in the house. (We had run out of peanut butter, which is a staple, so I ran quick to the store to rectify the lack of PB in the house.) This is a quick and easy recipe, and oh-so-yummy!

1 cup (vegan) margarine
3.5 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa
1 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky, depending on how you wish your fudge to come out)
1 tsp vanilla


  1. Over medium-low heat, melt margarine in a saucepan, then stir in the sugar.
  2. Turn heat to low, add cocoa and combine.
  3. Add peanut butter and vanilla, combine well. You can either fully combine or leave some peanut butter streaks if you like the look and appreciate having "bites" of peanut butter.
  4. Spread into a baking dish to whatever thickness you prefer for your fudge. This is quite rich, so we went with a fairly thin (< 1/2") layer, but you could make it thicker (up to 1"). Refrigerate until firm.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Side dish: Hummus

We first started making our own hummus in July 2011. Making hummus fresh at home is really the way to do it! We often make roasted red bell pepper flavor and cilantro flavor. This last time, we made roasted red bell pepper flavor and regular. We got our recipe that we've been making for over a year from Pamela Salzmann. Goes great with Falafel!
Soaked and semi-shelled chickpeas

Regular hummus and roasted red bell pepper hummus

3 cups cooked chickpeas, (if canned, drained and rinsed), liquid reserved*
3 garlic cloves
½ cup sesame tahini
4-5 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 Tablespoons chickpea liquid
1 teaspoon plus a pinch sea salt
  1. If you use dry chickpeas, cover in water and soak overnight. Add water as the chickpeas absorb it to keep them completely covered. After soaking, save soaking water. (You can use for boiling, but we always use fresh.) Transfer to a large pot and boil for an hour until you can squish the chickpeas between your fingers. Strain the chickpeas and allow to cool. When the chickpeas are cool, separate shells by shaking the peas in the strainer and pulling out loosened husks. Allow to cool completely before using.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the hummus is smooth.  Taste for seasoning and texture.
  3. For very smooth and creamy, let the food processor run for a few minutes.  Eat it immediately at room temperature, or refrigerate it. The hummus will thicken after it has been refrigerated.
For roasted red bell pepper hummus:
  1. Add 1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika, a few dashes cayenne pepper and 1 large roasted, peeled and seeded sweet red bell pepper to Traditional Hummus ingredients in food processor.  Reduce lemon juice to 1 Tablespoon and sea salt to ¾ teaspoon.  Blend until thoroughly combined.  Taste to adjust seasonings.
For cilantro hummus:
  1. Add 24 sprigs of cilantro and a few dashes of cayenne pepper to Traditional Hummus ingredients in food processor.  You can use either lemon juice or lime juice.  Blend until thoroughly combined.  Feel free to use more cilantro.

Other Notes:
  • We always use dry chickpeas. For whatever reason, we always soak much more than we need. We have tried freezing our soaked and shelled chickpeas when we ended up with too many. I'll try to remember to update this post to let you know if using the frozen chickpeas works just fine.
  • Shelling soaked chickpeas is not for the OCD. I can spend the entire afternoon shelling the chickpeas. Ryan has to pull me away from the task. 
  • Keeps a couple weeks in a sealed container in the fridge.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Breakfast: Pumpkin Scones with Plain or Spiced Glaze

Turns out, I had 2 pumpkin scone recipes on my "To Make" list. So, the day after last week's Pumpkin Scone recipe, I made this one. The original is at Cate's World Kitchen.  The original wasn't outright vegan. I used all vegan ingredients and these turned out great! They are slightly easier to make than last week's recipe. The result is more true to scone-like. You have 2 choices of glazes on this one. These area slightly better with just a plain glaze (or go easy on the spiced one.)


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 Tablespoons cold Nucoa (vegan butter), cut into 1/2″ cubes
1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp canned pumpkin
sugar glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons almond milk
spice glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons almond milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. To make the scones, preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  2. Using a fork or wire whisk, stir together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like tiny pebbles or coarse sand.
  4. Gently stir the pumpkin into the dry ingredients until barely combined, being careful not to over-mix. The mixture should still look a little dry and crumbly. Divide the dough in half and gently form each half into a 6 round circle a little under an inch thick. Working on a floured surface, cut each circle into 6 wedges and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for about 13-15 minutes, or until the scones are beginning to turn golden brown.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely before glazing. When you’re ready to glaze, set the rack over a sheet pan.
  7. To make the sugar glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Use a fork or whisk to drizzle over the scones.
  8. To make the spice glaze, combine the spices and powdered sugar, then stir in the milk and mix until smooth. Drizzle over the other glaze, and let harden before serving.
Other Details:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dessert: Geeky Hostess's Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Frosting

I'm a sucker for pumpkin. Last year, this blog posted many of my favorite pumpkin recipes. This one from Geeky Hostess was fun. 

1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup pumpkin ale
2 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pumpkin Spice-Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, cold
5 TBS unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsps vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsps pumpkin spice (more or less as desired)



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Spoon batter into cupcake liners until 2/3 full.
  4. Bake cupcakes for 19-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. \Cool completely.
  6. Frost and decorate!

Pumpkin Spice-Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Add in 1/3 of the powdered sugar at a time, mixing until smooth.
  3. Add in pumpkin spice, mixing until fully blended.
  4. This recipe will give you stiff frosting that is easily piped onto a cupcake. Cut a hole in the bottom corner of a plastic bag, and fill with the frosting. Frost cupcakes then top with a quick shake of pumpkin spice.

Other Notes:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Soup: Leeky Tomato Soup

Anything with leeks we call "Leeky [descriptor]" because we find it funny. This soup we often serve with the Honey and Cheese Panini (as you can see in the photo for the grilled cheese sandwich). To us, this is the quintessence of comfort food. The original recipe came from French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David. It has a French name, which we cannot find as we seem to have misplaced our copy of the cookbook. Ryan has the recipe memorized, so that is how we reproduced it here.

2 Tablespoons butter
olive oil
sea salt, a pinch of
2 leeks, finely sliced
2 medium tomatoes, quartered
2 medium potatoes, roughly chopped
3 2/3 cups water or stock
cream (optional)
flat leaf parsley, finely chopped


  1. Melt butter with a bit of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and cook with the sea salt until soft and translucent, but not colored. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft and releasing juices. Add the potatoes and water or stock.
  2. Simmer until potatoes are cooked, about 20 minutes. 
  3. Blend everything until smooth using a blender or stick blender. 
  4. Bring the soup back to a simmer, and add the dash of cream if you so desire. Taste for seasoning.
  5. Garnish with the parsley and serve.

Other Notes:

  • Serves 4.
  • To make vegan, skip the cream, use vegan butter sticks, use water or vegetable stock.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Side dish or Entree: Pumpkin Creme Rotini

This is officially called Pumpkin "Mac 'n Cheese" with Swiss Chard and Pine nuts, except it doesn't use macaroni noodles, nor dairy cheese, and is not particularly pumpkin tasting. But it was really good. Kids both liked it, and I could have eaten much more than I should. I came across this recipe on Vegan Fling. I thought I knew where I originally found it from, but I must be mistaken because I can't trace that same path. Oh, well. I'm glad I found it. I did modify it.

1 lb penne or spiral pasta
1 Tbsp vegan butter
3/4 C unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1/4 tsp garlic powder
6 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 C canned pumpkin puree
salt and pepper to taste
3-5 leaves swiss chard, chopped
1/2 C pine nuts
optional: red pepper flakes for some spice


  1. Cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Melt the vegan butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the milk, arrowroot, and garlic powder and then add this into the pan.
  4. Add the nutritional yeast and salt & pepper. Continue to whisk until the sauce has thickened.
  5. Add in the canned pumpkin and whisk until heated.
  6. Toast the pine nuts in the oven for 5-10 minutes at about 250ºF until slightly browned.
  7. Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce, and add in the chopped swiss chard. Stir until combined and let sit for a few minutes to let the chard wilt a little.
  8. Serve topped with the toasted pine nuts.

Other Details:

  • Says feeds 4-6, but I got 8 servings out of it.
  • Original Recipe
  • It's about 320 Calories/serving for 8 servings, with 71 g carbs, 6 g fat, 17 g protein, and 6 g fiber.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Breakfast: Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Glaze

Today (Friday, Oct 5), I came across a vegan pumpkin scone recipe on Cupcakes and Kale. So, for dessert, I made them. These are a little more moist than scones should be, and I'd like them to be a bit more pumpkin-y, but they are good. The dozen certainly didn't last.
1 cup organic all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cup cold (vegan) margarine (I used nucoa)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree 
2 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
5 tbsp brown sugar

6 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp molasses
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
pinch cloves
1 tbsp non-dairy milk 


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  In a large bowl sift together all of the dry ingredients.  Using a pastry cutter (or 2 forks) cut the cold margarine into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.  
  2. In another bowl, mix the pumpkin, milk & sugar.  Add this to the flour bowl and mix to combine.  The dough will be fairly.  (If it really doesn't come together you can add some water or more milk a teaspoon at a time.) 
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 3 equal balls.  Flatten each one into a round disk that's about 6 inches across and 1/2 inch thick.  Using a sharp knife, cut each disk into quarters and place them on a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet.  
  4. Bake for 15-16 minutes.  
  5. Remove from the oven, allow the scones to cool and then drizzle them with spiced glaze.


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and drizzle onto the scones either with a spoon, or from a plastic bag with the tip cut off. 
  2. You can thicken the glaze with more powdered sugar, and thin it using more milk. Add very little (1 tsp) at a time and stir thoroughly.

Other Details:
Makes 1 dozen scones.
Original Recipe

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dessert: Pumpkin Cheesecake

This dessert was made several years ago over the holidays (for New Year's Eve, if I recall correctly.) I liked it. I didn't like it enough to plan to make it again. However, it was another one of those special desserts that makes it to the blog due to effort. I got the recipe from Cook's Illustrated. 

Frustratingly, I cannot access the recipe anymore, but due to the restrictive levels of the Cook's Illustrated website, I'd probably get a cease and desist. If you are a Cook's Illustrated subscriber, search for Pumpkin-Bourbon Cheesecake with Graham-Pecan Crust to get the recipe for this yummy pumpkin cheesecake.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Side: Sweet Onions

We've been making these for several years now. They make a great topping for your grilled meat (brats, burgers, steak) or veggies (baked potatoes).
1/2 - 1 white or yellow onion
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 Tbsp butter
white wine or beer


  1. Chop and slice the onion into half rings.
  2. Put olive oil into a saute pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Cook onions until soft. Throw in a couple pats of butter. Cook until caramelized.
  4. Deglaze the pan with some wine (or beer if you don't have a white wine.)
  5. Serve as a topping.