Saturday, December 22, 2012
Has everyone been following along with the fantastic vegan cookie swap party going on this month over on Keepin' It Kind? All the recipes have been amazing, and I am very excited to be participating today with these fun Cream Cheese Sprinkle Sugar Cookies.
You can take a look at all the recipes in the cookie swap here, and a huge thank you to Kristy for sharing my recipe today!
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
It's not the holidays in my mind until these Spritz cookies come out of the oven. My Mom and I got together for our traditional Swedish baking fest, and my main goal of the day was to successfully veganize these family favorite cookies.
These cookies are so simple to make, and work best if you have a cookie press. You could make these into any shape, but over the years we have perfected these little circle wreaths and find they come out the best.
adapted from love like a vegan
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C sugar
1 C vegan butter
1/2 C plain soy yogurt
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
variation - use almond extract instead of vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 F.
With an electric mixer, cream together the sugar and butter. Add the soy yogurt and vanilla, and mix well. Sift in the flour and salt and mix until a dough forms.
Put your dough into a cookie press and form cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Watch carefully so they don't start to burn.
These cookies came out just right! They're perfectly buttery, crunchy cookies with a little touch of vanilla. From my little corner of the internet to yours, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!
Thanks for stopping by!
Friday, December 14, 2012
I'm so happy to welcome back Heather of Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes today with an amazing holiday treat guest post! I am also sharing my recipe for Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies over on SMBP today, but make sure you check out Heather's beautiful creation below before clicking over to see those. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Heather!
Monday, December 10, 2012
I recently returned home from a trip to Paris. My husband and I decided to go for a fun sight-seeing vacation as well as to celebrate our first anniversary. We fit a ton of museums, historical sights, wandering and shopping into one week and we had a great time. I was nervous about finding things to eat in a city that in famous for loving it's meat and cheese, but with some planning ahead of time things were actually easier than I thought. Check out my restaurant stops below as well as some general tips if you are planning a trip to Paris!
La Cucina di Terresa. It offers vegetarian cooking classes with Terresa in her quaint Paris apartment. We met her at the Sunday organic market and picked out ingredients for our lunch, and some extra things like homemade dairy-free chocolates. Terresa was a great tour guide and pointed out some sights to us as we walked back to her home. It was great to have a local to show us around and give insider tips on shopping. We created some tasty dishes in her kitchen: a farinata (chickpea flatbread), a Swiss chard pasta with a lemon walnut sauce, and a traditional French dessert made from almond milk with pomegranate called . Terresa was happy to make our menu fully vegan for me. We tried some local natural wines too. I was feeling a bit jet lagged and Terresa sent me home with leftovers and herbal tea at the end of the class- so nice! It was a pleasant way to spend a day in Paris.
|Farinata made in our Paris Cooking Class|
Le Potager du Marais. It is a small place, but was not at all crowded when we got there around 7pm. They have an impressive menu with some vegan versions of french food and some other interesting creations. We ordered the soup of the day which was Green Pea and vegetable, a French Onion soup, and then a Quinoa Burger with gratin potatoes and a dish called "Pink Lentil Balls". We enjoyed the soups a lot - the portions were way bigger than we expected. The main dishes were good too, but just not quite to our taste. I think from reading some reviews online that the dishes here are a little hit or miss. We did split the chocolate mousse for dessert and this was excellent. I would say it's a good vegan option in Paris but maybe not a "must go".
|Chocolate mousse at Le Potager du Marais.|
Le Bio d' Adam et Eve, near the Les Halles station. Let me tell you, when we got to this place I was SO happy because they actually had vegan labels on their selections! The food was very tasty too, and is all organic. Wonderful place!
The top right is another meal we had from Veggie, a place we found on the fly while realizing we were hungry after visiting the Musee d'Orsay. It's a small shop and deli type restaurant and while they didn't have menus the waiter told us 3 specials for lunch that day and assured me of which was vegan. We weren't really sure what we were getting but ended up with a stir fry and vegetable type dish with salad, and a tasty baked vegetable dish that had potatoes, carrot and squash and was served with rice. Definitely a solid stop if you're near the area.
Bottom left - the fresh french bread that we enjoyed almost every day. There are a lot of choices in the bread shops (boulangeries) but I felt pretty safe with the Pain Traditional.
Bottom right - selection of tofu and other mock meats inside a natural grocery store called Naturalia.
Pictured above is the fabulous lunch we had at Les Cinq Saveurs d'Anada which is located near the Pantheon. They have mostly vegan options, but do serve some fish and other things. If I remember right the menu was marked with what was vegan. This place is amazing! I tried fresh carrot apple juice and a salad plate, and my husband got a tofu plate with rice, quinoa, and salad. Everything was really delicious, especially the tofu. It was so nice to have a fresh and healthy meal. This place would be on my "must go" list for sure!Gentle Gourmet Cafe. This is a fairly new vegan restaurant in Paris (It used to be a B+B) and we had a great dinner here on our last night. Pictured above is a pumpkin leek soup (with a hot chocolate in the background), a Mediterranean salad with chickpeas, a potato gratin type of dish with salad, and the most amazing dessert crepe of all time. We seriously almost licked that plate clean. I got my wish of trying a crepe in France, and it was even filled with soy milk ice cream! Yum. Definitely make a stop here!
|View from the top of the Arc de Triomphe at night, Pyramid at the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Seine, Stained glass inside Sainte-Chapelle.|
Some General Tips
1. You can't really just pop in to any place and expect to find something vegan-friendly on the menu or be able to modify something like is common in the US. Most places we passed just walking around I would have had a hard time finding something to eat. I did a lot of research ahead of time on Happy Cow and other sites and made a list of restaurants that had vegan options. My husband got a map app for his phone and we put in all the sites we wanted to see as well as my list of restaurants. That way if we were out sight seeing and wanted to find food nearby, we could just look it up and see what was close. This was seriously a life saver!
2. We rented a small studio apartment through Flipkey, and this turned out to be a great advantage too. In addition to feeling like you are living more like a native, we had a small kitchen and were able to eat some easy meals at home. We would get fresh bread and bring it home for a snack almost every day. I stocked up on snacks like trail mix and fruit, and would bring something along when sight seeing.
3. Neither of us speak any French, and I was a little worried about getting by. Almost everywhere we went like restaurants and shops we had zero problem. We asked people nicely if they spoke English and most either said "of course" or that they would try their best. I think being friendly and not expecting things goes a long way. Most of the menus in restaurants had English translations too!
I hope that this post will help anyone planning a Paris trip, and maybe inspire a few people to think about going! I think traveling and experiencing new places is worth it, and I'm happy that with careful planning it's easy to find some great vegan food there as well.
Thanks for stopping by!
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
I know this post is a little late, but we just got home from our trip to Paris (post on that coming soon!) and I still wanted to share what I had for Thanksgiving this year. Hope you don't mind!
|Someone's ready to eat!|
As the only vegan at a Thanksgiving dinner for six people, I figured I might be bringing a lot of my own food. However, my family rocks and they all brought things to share that I could eat as well. My Mom made a delicious salad with roasted squash, carrots, and pears to start things off. My sister made some tasty mashed potatoes with earth balance and almond milk.
We also had asparagus, rolls, and homemade cranberry sauce. I volunteered to make stuffing, baked beans, and dessert. Clearly there was already too much food planned, but that didn't stop anyone.
The stuffing I made was adapted from this recipe, and was delicious! This was my first attempt at homemade stuffing, and It was totally worth it. I also whipped up some quick vegan gravy to top my potatoes and stuffing.
Even though baked beans aren't really a traditional Thanksgiving dish in my family, I decided it might be a fun addition. I made some sweet and spicy baked beans in the crockpot, and they had a really good flavor.
For dessert I used my recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, but just poured the batter into my mini bundt pan. It worked great and we really enjoyed our pumpkin bunts! (Sorry I don't have a picture - I think we ate them too fast.)
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!