When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Day 13, 14, and the start of 15 September 15, 2014

Day 13

Just an FYI I REALLY like Morning Star Grillers Vegan Burgers. I just find the flavor on them to be exactly when I am looking for when I want a burger.  I have been topping them with Vegan Mayo and Sautéed Garlic Mushrooms. Now I just need to find a good Vegan white cheese and I will be good.  I also find that I prefer Trader Joe’s Soy Yogurt over other name brands because it doesn’t have a very strong soy taste like other do.  I am not really a fan of the soy flavor. I am cool with it in coffee drinks or a latte but as a yogurt or in baked goods, I just use a different non-dairy milk (rice or almond).

So, my husband left for a conference on day 13 and I had to just wing something for dinner. I had been eyeing the Nachos in Isa Does It, but then I forgot to buy chips. I decided to make the girls some baked French Fries with their dinner and decided I was going to make myself some chili cheese fries.  I have already bought a can of Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Chili, and I checked the ingredients and it was free and clear of any animal ingredients.


100_4025I got out Isa Does It and proceeded to make the Queso Blanco, which is featured on a good number of pages.  I had every thing on hand, which is surprising because I usually don’t have jalapeños.  But it is the end of summer and our pepper plants are still producing like mad, so I have A LOT of jalapeños.  I was very surprised how quick every thing came together. I didn’t have time to soak my cashews, but I did notice in the ABCs to soaking that if you had a high powered blended that you didn’t need to soak.


I put everything together and was surprised just how good the Queso Blanco is.  I don’t think I need to ever have nacho cheese sauce again because I have the perfect substitute. It isn’t even a substitute it is too good.  Now I need to find some chips and I will be in dipping heaven.  Maureen also enjoyed my chili cheese fries because she crawled into my lap while I was eating it and I proceeded to feed her the beans out of the chili.

Day 14

Very uneventful.

But I did make Puffy Pancakes again for the girls. I almost killed myself when I forgot to add the sugar, so I had to dump it back into the bowl, add the sugar and mix, and then put it back in the pancake pen.  All the while, Emma was asking when the pancakes were going to be ready.

Day 15

Is going great.

I made the Blueberry Bran Muffins (Isa Does It) again and then I also made the Banana-Nut Muffins (Isa Does It).  I had a few bananas about to go bad and I figured the muffins were the next best thing. Everyone loves banana bread, so I knew they would like these.  While in the middle of making them I discovered that I was out of pecans, so I made Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins.  I just used 1 cup walnuts and 1/2 chocolate chips.  I was indulging while I was writing my blog posts and I am finally getting my first cup of coffee for the day.

Some miracle happened and both girls are asleep. It is more than likely because I was woken up at 5:30 am to Emma crying that she needed changed because she peed her diaper.  After changing her, and reading her the story she requested I crawled back in bed only to be woken up an hour later to her asking if she can sleep with me.  Why not, daddy isn’t here and the two dogs don’t hog too much of the bed.  Then I had to wake Maureen up early because Emma goes to “school” on Mondays.  So, Mommy is sitting at the kitchen table, drinking coffee, and enjoying her Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins.



Days 11 and 12 VEGAN!!!

Day 11

I went ALL out for dinner.

I made Chickpea Cutlets with Sweet Vidalia Onion Sauce (Veganomicon), Caulipots (Appetite for Reduction), and Green Beans with Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions.  For dessert we had…




Boom, mind exploded.

I have made the Chickpea Cutlets before and remembered really liking them.  I decided to do the Sweet Onion Sauce with them because I always have onions on hand.  For the sauce I did think it wasn’t saucy enough so I added Vegetable Stock to it for more liquid and then I thickened it up with a slurry of flour and vegetable stock. When I was making dinner I was trying to have everything ready when Mike got home, so I actually made the sauce all the way thru (except for thickening it) and had the cutlets formed and ready to sauté up.  I also made the Caulipots (Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes) a bit early because I knew they would stay warm.


I also made small plates up for each of the girls, Maureen (1 years old) tried every thing on her plate and seemed to enjoy it. Emma was passed out on the couch because she had a big day with her Grandma. But Emma did wake up to have some Green Pie, and declared that she loved the pie and it was the best pie ever. Mike actually liked everything, and ate it all.  He also suggested that I make the Caulipots for Christmas because he really liked those.

Day 12 

I made the Blueberry Maple Bran Muffins (Isa Does It) for breakfast and the whole family gobbled them up.  I did omit the maple extract because I couldn’t find any.  So I guess I should say, I made Blueberry Bran Muffins.  Both girls loved them and I really couldn’t get enough of them. Someone should have probably slapped my hand a few times when I went over and grabbed another one to eat.  Emma actually had two muffins and Maureen threw a mini fit until we have her bits of her own muffin.  She the proceeded to eat the rest of one of Emma’s muffins.


Eating vegan has been going very well, but as you will see from my posts it has been pie and baking. So it hasn’t been very healthy, but it has been yummy.  I am still keeping up with my 5k training so I haven’t been worrying about it and I haven’t gained weight either.


Days 8-10 Vegan September 11, 2014

Filed under: Breakfast,Dinner,Vegan,Vegan MoFo — pastrybrush @ 3:23 pm
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Not too much has happened in the past few days.  I have made a few items and I am making a good amount of stuff tonight for dinner (Day 11), but I will post about that when it is complete.

Day 8

I made the Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna from Veganomicon and I add the Almasan on top.  It was very good and the husband actually like it.

Do you know how hard it is for me to get him to eat tofu?


I tricked him once in the form of a chocolate pie.  He really liked the pie, but he wasn’t too happy with me when I told him there was tofu in it after the fact.  HAHAHAHAHAHA (evil laugh).

The Almasan was AWESOME!!! I could totally imagine putting that on top of popcorn.

With regard to the lasagna I used a little less spinach because I was having some issues fitting everything into the baking dish.  I thought I was going to have a drip mess in the oven so I baked it on a sheet pan, but surprisingly it didn’t drip at all.  I was EXTREMELY surprised because that lasagna was essentially over the top of the rim of the baking dish.  I did add sautéed onions to the marinara sauce along with some fresh basil.  I think next time I am going to sauté the spinach up with some garlic and season it with salt and pepper.  I would also give that same treatment to the mushrooms (which I had 20 oz instead of 16oz).  Essentially giving everything layers of flavor so that it isn’t too bland.

Oh yeah, and I love garlic so you can never have too much.

Day 9

IMG_4796You know how you have those days where you just NEED some carbs.  You don’t just want it, you NEED it.  Well that was me on Day 9.  I knew that Mike (the husband) wasn’t going to eat Coconut French Toast (Isa Does It).  It has nothing to do with flavor, he is fine with that. He doesn’t like the texture of coconut.  Since the Coconut French Toast is dipped in batter and then unsweetened shredded coconut, I knew it was a no go for him.  I made half the recipe because I knew I couldn’t eat 6 pieces of bread.  I used my leftover Whole Wheat French Bread that I made last week, and it turned out fantastic.  At first I was skeptical because I always put sugar in my French Toast batter and this one doesn’t have any. I decided to go with it just to see what happens.  The French Toast was rich from cooking it in coconut oil, so I didn’t need to put the usual vegan butter on top.  I just drizzled it with a little bit of maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar and the sweetness was perfect.  I threw some frozen berries on the plate for some color.

I some how was able to do this with the girls playing in the other room.  But the peace didn’t last long when I heard Emma say, “Uh-oh” and then come into the kitchen looking for a cloth.  I walked into the living room and she had dropped her drink on the floor and it busted open.  So I had to clean that out of the carpet. Funny thing was my 1 year old came over to the carpet after I had cleaned it and tried to lick the floor like one of the dogs.

Crazy children :)

Day 10

Not too much has happened. My knees have been bothering me, and that is just because I am not a runner and I am training for a 5k.  I made it to the gym and I have gradually knocked off a minute from my average mile time in a week.  But trust me it isn’t close to being fast at all, progress is progress so I will take it. I haven’t been keeping up with the 21 day fix workouts this time around, but I have been sticking to my diet (lifestyle eating change).

I started making the Grasshopper Pie in Vegan Pie In The Sky so that we could have it for dessert on day 11 (today).  I am very excited for this pie, and I also thank my husband everyday that he bought me a Vitamix because it really helps with making pies and sauces with nuts (cashews).

Eating Vegan has been going very well, and I am surprised by the variety that I have been able to include in my diet.  My omnivore diet was not as varied.  I decided to step on the scale and just see if anything has happened because it has been hard for me to loose a couple of pounds lately.  I usually gain muscle and don’t lose weight at all or it is just slow going.  I always see results with regard to measurements just not on the scale.  So yeah, I lost 2 lbs in a week just changing to a Vegan diet.


Puffy Pillow Pancakes September 7, 2014

Filed under: Breakfast,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 10:12 pm
Tags: ,

Saturday morning I made the Puffy Pillow Pancakes from Isa Does It. Everyone in the family LOVED them, and Emma requested Mickey and Minnie ones.  Thank heaven that we have a pancake pen.  It always comes in handy and I find I make less of a mess when I use one to shape pancakes.



Days 4 and 5 Vegan Style

Filed under: Vegan — pastrybrush @ 10:04 pm

IMG_4740Day 4

Went very well with regard to sticking to eating Vegan, now working out was another story.

I had the obligatory Soy Peach Yogurt in the morning, no raspberries since my 3 year old trying to open the package and busted frozen raspberries everywhere.  That comes with the territory with having a 3 year old and 1 year old.  I was able to make and then freeze the Black Bean and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers from Vegan with a Vengeance.  I decided not to boil the peppers like the receipt says since I knew I was going to freeze. Freezing the peppers will change their structure so I didn’t want them breaking down too much.  I also didn’t do the final bake since it would be easier to cool them down and put them in the freezer if everything wasn’t too hot.

Later in the morning, I started making the Pita Bread for the Falafel Burgers that we had for dinner. I also started to brainstorm what to do with the Cauliflower that I bought.  The final idea was next week to make Caulipots (Cauliflower and Mashed Potatoes) to go with the Chickpea Cutlets with Sweet Vidalia Onion Sauce and Green Beans.

I did end up running some errands to get a couple more items that I need for meals I am planning. I also made a stop at the liquor store because I am going to be making the Grasshopper Pie from Vegan Pie in the Sky.  I have also been on the look out for Silken Tofu which I came across once but its use by date was September 11, and I knew I wouldn’t use it by then. So I am just waiting for them to restock it at the store.

Day 5

I am going strong. I have been keeping up with my 5k training because I know how important that is if I am going to beat my horrible time from last year and be ready by race day (Thanksgiving morning).

This mornings breakfast was the usual yogurt and coffee. Lunch was a vegan chicken sandwich in a homemade pita with Vegan Mayo, lettuce and tomato. Dinner was a Bistro Beet Burger in a homemade pita with some chips and a smoothie.  I finally found a smoothie recipe to use up the rest of the beets that I had left over from the Bistro Beet Burger. I did substitute a few ingredients to add a bit more fruit to, but follow the link to the original recipe.

Beet Smoothie

Source: Vitamix

1 cup water

1 cup raw beets, skin on, scrubbed, and cut into pieces

1 medium carrot, skin on, scrubbed, and cut into pieces

1 1/2 tsp lime zest

1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

1/2 banana

1/2 cup ice cubed

Blend according to the manufactures directions for your blender.


Day 3 Vegan: Battling the Devil’s Candy September 3, 2014

Filed under: Vegan — pastrybrush @ 11:57 pm

This morning I get up, get my workout in and I am vegging on the couch with a cup of coffee, when a familiar smell accosts me. It is emanating from the kitchen. I already knew Mike was cooking the girls breakfast which I couldn’t touch because it wasn’t vegan. But I wasn’t expecting him to try to temp me with what I have nicknamed the Devil’s Candy…


Oh Come On!!!!

I would like to say that I did win the battle today and I feel better for it.

I ended up having a soy strawberry yogurt with frozen raspberries for breakfast with my coffee. Lunch consisted of a little pile of Chicky Tuna Salad topped with slice avocado and tomato. Before work I had a vegan chicken patty wrapped in lettuce with Vegan Mayo. For dinner I had some left over Lentil-a-Roni and 2 small plums.

While herding my girls during the day, I finished prepping the Falafel Burgers (Isa Does It) and decided to bake them instead of pan fry. The first time I made the burger earlier in the year, the first few I tried to cook were a pain in the butt. They kept falling apart and absorbed WAY too much oil. I solved the falling apart dilemma last time by adding approximate 1/4 cup flour to the mix. This time I added a bit more water to the recipe and added the 1/4 cup flour. Then I took a sheet pan and lined it with a Silpat (parchment paper is fine), brush olive oil on the Silpat, formed the burgers, placed burgers on sheet pan and brushed the tops with olive oil. I wasn’t sure on temperature so I started the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 mins. When they came out I wanted a bit more color so I increased the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and decided to go for another 20 minutes. They turned out nicely browned and not dried out. I let them cool and then placed them in the freezer for future consumption.

Goal for Thursday morning is to make Pita Bread and have the burgers for dinner :)

FYI My husband did request the Falafel Burgers because he liked them the first time I made them.


Day 2 Vegan MoFo Challenge September 2, 2014

Filed under: Vegan — pastrybrush @ 9:30 pm

IMG_4737Yesterday went very well. I was actually very surprised at how well. By making only vegan choices it was actually really easy to eat a bit healthier because most of the unhealthy things at work were not vegan. Not saying that there isn’t vegan food that is unhealthy because I will totally be indulging myself later in the month with baking and sweets.

Because, really, who doesn’t love a vegan cupcake. I am also going to try my hand at making my favorite type of yeast donut vegan, Boston Cream Pie.

Today also went well. I had peach soy yogurt with frozen raspberries this morning for breakfast. Lunch was Chicky Tuna Salad on homemade Wheat French Bread with sliced avocado and tomato. Dinner was Lentil-a-Roni (Isa Does It) with a small side salad. The whole family actually ate the pasta even though they were not obligated to.

I am actually pretty surprised how well every thing is going. I am not feeling deprived of food and I have not been as tired. This morning I was awake earlier than normal and could have gotten my workout in, but I decided to take it easy. However, I will be waking up in the morning to get my workout in and then after work I will hit up the gym and do my 5k training.

I just need to keep up the momentum and stay positive.



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