Future Treats.

I’ve been trying out some new recipes, flavors and ideas lately. I don’t have a recipe for you today, but I wanted to share some stuff I’ve been cooking and working on. These are the treats of the future.

 Gluten Free Lemon-Olive Oil-Rosemary Cookies

The inspiration for these cookies came from a recipe I do for a Lemon-Olive Oil-Rosemary Cake w/ Strawberry Glaze…which is nothing even close to being gluten free. I’ve been experimenting more these days with gluten free baking. I’m not allergic or sensitive to gluten (yay! I love glutens) but I like to incorporate as many different cooking and baking styles as I can. And you know, it turns out there are A LOT of people who cannot eat gluten. There was a cookie recipe posted on Manifest Vegan that I used as a baseline for helping me to formulate this recipe. I was really happy with these cookies. I made a big batch and passed a lot of them out and the reviews were very positive. At the same time, I’m not quite sure if I’m ready to share yet. I used a lemon-fused olive oil, handpicked lemons and fresh rosemary from around the neighborhood.

Maple Bacon Cookies

Oh man. Who knows why I had the desire to put fake bacon into cookies….But, it worked. I think I put just a touch too many bits in. They didn’t ruin the cookie or put it into the “savory” category, but they were just a touch too close to savory. Either that or they needed more chocolate. Great basic chocolate chip cookie recipe though, with a bit of sugar removed and a touch of maple syrup added. Will definitely perfect the measurements on these and share them. I gather these will be a hit with some and gross to others, so when the recipe is up, you’ll have to try them at your own risk. And beware, I’m also working on a potato chip cookie inspired by Smitten Kitchen.

Meyer Lemon Muffins w/ Red Wine, Slow Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Filling

The title is a mouthful. And so are the muffins. These were inspired by the magnificent Irvin of Eat The Love. I used his recipe for the strawberries and did a pretty basic lemon muffin, just with meyer lemon juice and zest. I think I overbaked these just a bit, but my testers seemed to like them. Another recipe requiring a few tweaks before I present a final version, but I think it’s pretty solid overall.

Sugar Free Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

Second attempt at ice cream! My testers liked this ice cream, but I need to add more balsamic next time. I also think that I’d like to do a combo of chopped strawberries and pureed strawberries rather than the bigger chunks.

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Locali Loves Vol. 1

For those of you who don’t know, there’s a wondrous little shop named Locali on the corner of Franklin & Canyon. They sell all kinds of delicious treats, but the sandwiches, oh the sandwiches! Well, the sandwiches are the best. I should know because I’ve eaten them all. Every sandwich on the menu can be made vegan and they are always made to order. I love Locali. I want the world to know.

The Reuben (vegan) $10.50 full/$5.50 half

This sandwich is the best vegan reuben in the LA area….and there are a lot of them. I don’t know, vegan reubens are sort of a “thing”. I get it, it was one of my favorite sandwiches pre-vegan/vegetarian. Anyhow, this one is the best, hands down. I think it’s made truest to the traditional version. It’s got these convincing “pastrami” type slices on it, melted Daiya, great sauerkraut and Russian dressing on rye. The one pictured above came on regular rye, the first one I ate was on marble rye, they were both amazing.

Locali

5825 Franklin Ave.

Los Angeles, Ca 90028

(323) 466-1360

 

Sweet Strawberry Cornbread Muffins.

I have a really good memory. I believe that once things are encoded into the brain, they are never forgotten. I think people just lose or don’t have the ability to recall. I’ll be going about my day and then remember, in vivid detail, a dream I had as a child. It’s strange because the memory has been stored for so long, it sort of surprises you when it just comes into your mind. My first memory of my life is from when I was 2. I remember being suspended in a baby floatie in my cousin’s above ground pool on Staten Island. I don’t really remember the experience, like what was talked about, or the way the water felt, but I remember the images. My bathing suit, my red baby floatie tube etc. I also have a few other memories from that age. Oh dear, I’m blathering about memory. What I’m getting to, is that part of how I exercise my memory is that I write things down and repeat things. Like ideas for food! I have so many ideas for recipes, alterations, veganizations  and the like, that I need to write them down or they won’t get made for 6 months….when I sporadically recall what I had wanted to make. But really, I come to this magical internet place to talk about food, not brains (memory=brainzzz!). Okay, sometimes brains, but food mostly. Now to the foodz.

Does everybody love cornbread? I think so. There are traditional, savory cornbread fans and there are sweet cornbread fans (think Marie Callender’s) and then there are people like me, who love and appreciate both. I was looking at some of my ideas and today the idea of Sweet Strawberry Cornbread jumped out at me. This is just a basic sweet cornbread with strawberries and corn added in and topped with a little all natural strawberry cane sugar. This was the first time I’ve experimented with this particular combo and I am happy to report I was super pleased with the results. I hope you will be too.

 Sweet Strawberry Cornbread Muffins

Ingredients:

1 c cornmeal

1 c unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ c raw turbinado sugar

1 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp egg replacer

1 1/2 tbsp water

1 c coconut milk (not the kind from the can, the So Delicious kind! ps. I like unsweetened)

1/3 c corn oil

½ c strawberries, chopped into small pieces

¼ c corn

*strawberry infused cane sugar, for sprinkling on top, optional*

Method:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a muffin tin with liners.

Mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder thoroughly. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined, do not over mix. Add the strawberry pieces and corn and give one or two stirs, as few as possible. Fill the liners about ¾ way full and bake for 18-20 min. A toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins should come out clean.

Looks like there are no berries or corn in this one, but I promise it's because I ate those pieces out. 😉

* I wanted to include a little note on organics. I don’t write the word organic before all of my ingredients, well, because it’s too much writing. But just know, my basic policy is that if I can get the ingredient organic I do and if I can’t, I will buy conventional or not use that ingredient. That being said, I will only use organic corn and strawberries. Conventional corn is heavily genetically modified and conventional strawberries are heavily laden with pesticides and other poisons. It’s best to always go organic for those particular foods. For more info on which foods are important to always buy organic and which foods are okay to buy conventional, check out The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen.

Black Forest Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.

A week or so ago, I spied a recipe for gluten free black forest chocolate crinkle cookies. I love incorporating gluten foods, but since I have no sensitivity or allergy to gluten, I generally like to make things with wheat-based flours. Plus organic, wheat based flours are typically much more affordable than their gluten free counter-parts. Enter chocolate crinkle cookies filled with gluten and cherry goodness. You may be thinking….cherries are so not in season. Well, you’re right and that’s why we’re using dried cherries in this recipe. 😉

Black Forest Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

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Adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Ingredients:

For Rolling Cookies:

1 c powdered sugar

1/3 c unbleached granulated cane sugar

For the cookie dough:

¾ c unbleached cane sugar

1/3 c canola oil

2 tbsp light corn syrup (ew! But seriously, Wholesome Sweeteners makes a minimally processed, organic light corn syrup, which will work fine in these cookies. It’s not the same as high fructose corn syrup and you can use the rest to make candy or more cookies)

2 tsp kirsch (cherry brandy) I used Aqua Perfecta Kirsch eau de vie by St. George Spirits

1 vanilla bean, scraped

1/3 c non-dairy milk, with 1 tsp removed (I know it’s sorta weird, but just dip your tsp into the cup & gently remove—this is to even out the liquid ingredients)

1 tbsp ground flax

½ c chocolate chips, melted

1 ¼ c plus 2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tbsp black cocoa (I like King Arthur brand.)

¾ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

¼ c plus 2 tbsp dried cherries

Method: Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with silpats. Place the powdered sugar on a dinner plate and place the granulated sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Bust out your mixing bowl and combine the sugar, oil, corn syrup, kirsch, vanilla bean seeds, non-dairy milk, flax seeds & melted chocolate. Mix until smooth. Stir in the flour, black cocoa, baking powder and salt. Fold in the dried cherries. Mix until you have a moist, thick dough. Place the dough in the fridge and chill 15-20 min.

Remove dough from the fridge and scoop a tbsp worth of dough. Roll into a ball and coat in granulated sugar and then generously coat in the powdered sugar.

Place the balls about 2” apart to account for spreading. Bake about 14-16 minutes until the cookies looked puffed and cracks have formed on the top. I baked one batch for 14 minutes and another batch for 16 minutes. Both batches were good, but I preferred the cookies that had a little longer to cook. Either way, let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 additional minutes. Gently remove the cookies with a spatula and transfer them to a cooling rack.

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Part of Christmas Cookie Platter 2017–this recipe is well tested and holds up 🙂

Orange Spiked Triple Chocolate Cookies.

Recently I got the idea into my mind that I wanted to combine orange and chocolate. It’s a pretty classic combination, but I’ve only ever combined the flavors together once, in a chocolate-blood orange pudding (which was super good btw). At first, I wanted to do cupcakes. After contemplating my decision further, I decided that I really don’t make enough cookies. I mean, they’re sort of easier to make than cake or cupcakes and then it happened. I made cookies.

Double Chocolate Cookies w/ Orange & Grand Marnier

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Adapted from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur

Ingredients:

½ c non-dairy milk

2/3 c canola oil

½ c chocolate chips, melted

1 tsp orange extract

1 tsp Grand Marnier

2 tsp orange zest

1 vanilla bean, scraped

1 ½ c unbleached cane sugar

2 tbsp arrowroot

2 c unbleached all-purpose flour

2/3 c dutch processed cocoa

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

½ c chocolate chips

sea salt, for sprinkling on top, optional

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with silpats.

Combine melted chocolate and 1/3 c of the non-dairy milk in medium to large mixing bowl. Then add the remaining non-dairy milk, oil, orange extract, Grand Marnier, orange zest, vanilla bean, sugar and arrowroot. Mix in flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Fold in the chocolate chips.

You can make the cookies whatever size you want, as long as you adjust baking time. I made standard size cookies, about heaping tbsp full of dough flattened out a bit. Bake about 10 min until edges of cookies are very firm and centers look chewy. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack. Sprinkle the tops with a touch of sea salt for added flavor.

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Raspberry-Dandelion Ice Cream.

I just wanted the world to know….it’s official; I am now making homemade ice cream.

Raspberry-Dandelion Ice Cream.

Honey-Cinnamon Cupcakes with Rose.

I’ve happened upon some time today and I thought I would come here to share the recipe for these cupcakes. I’ve never been much on Valentine’s Day, but I have found myself making treats suitable for that holiday. These Honey-Cinnamon Cupcakes with Rose fall into that category I think.

I know I’ve talked briefly about honey on this blog before, but for anyone who may not know, I eat honey. It is the only non-vegan food that I eat. I understand that to very strict vegans, I’m not considered vegan on days when I eat things with honey…which isn’t too often, but still, ya know, I’m beegan on those days. Totally fine by me. I only purchase ethically sourced honey and try my best to find the source of honey if eating it in a packaged item (graham crackes etc) or if it’s in a dish at a restaurant. I’m perfectly fine that it is bee throw up. Buying local, humane honey is one of the best ways to support local beekeepers, many of whom are very dedicated, ethical people who are trying to help keep the bee population thriving. Without precious bees, our world would be in serious trouble. A lot of these beekeepers will also humanely remove hives of pollinating bees from homes with infestations or hive problems. The bees are relocated to a person’s home or place where they can pollinate to their heart’s delight. Okay, enough on bees for now, but I felt I should post my disclaimer before I went straight into the recipe.

Honey-Cinnamon Cupcakes with Rose

Ingredients:

2/3 c non-dairy milk

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

2/3 c honey, local and humane please!

1/3 c canola oil

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4-1/2 tsp rosewater

1 1/3 c unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

Method:

Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and preheat oven to 325°F. Mix non-dairy milk with apple cider vinegar. Set aside and allow a few minutes to curdle. Next mix in the honey, vanilla, oil, and rosewater. Sift in the flour, baking soda and baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Disperse batter evenly among the liners. About halfway to 2/3 of the way full. I like to use a 1/4 measuring cup and a small rubber spatula to distribute the batter. Bake about 20 minutes–use a toothpick to check to see if the cupcakes are done. Make sure cupcakes are completely cool before you frost.

Rosewater-Vanilla Frosting

Ingredients:

1/4 c Earth Balance

1/4 c non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening

1 3/4 c powdered sugar

1 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp rosewater

1-2 tbsp coconut milk creamer

dried or fresh mini-rose petal for garnish

Method:

Use a hand mixer or your electric stand mixer to cream the Earthy B and shortening together. Add your powdered sugar in batches, letting it incorporate after each addition. Add flour, vanilla and rosewater. Then add one tbsp creamer, test consistency, then add the additional tbsp if desired. Add more creamer if you want a thinner consistency.