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.



Vegan Banana Toffee Pudding Pie with Rad Whip September 23, 2013

Filed under: Baking,Pie,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 2:02 pm
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I have been making a lot of Vegan meals and desserts this past week. I just haven’t had the time to post about it.

I am going to start off with the sweet stuff first because who doesn’t want to eat dessert before dinner 🙂

I decided to make the Banana Toffee Pudding Pie (Banoffee Pie) topped with Rad Whip. These recipes can be found in Vegan Pie In The Sky on pages 114 and 199, respectively. This pie just intrigued me by the picture because it looked so good. Then came the “unicorn tear magic” of the Rad Whip.

For the recipe of the pie, the pre-baked crust was really straight forward using non-hydrogenated shortening as the fat. Which turned out a nice flakey crust with no weird aftertaste, which sometimes accompanies a crust made with Vegan Butter. The filling was also very easy. You cook down coconut milk and brown sugar until a dark caramel like consistency and then you add your thickening agent let thicken, and then your flavorings. You then layer your bananas and the toffee pudding, let cool, and top with Rad Whip.

Now the Rad Whip can be the tricky part. I didn’t have any problems until I had to whip it up the final time. I guess the “unicorn tear magic” wasn’t working for me that day, but let me start at the beginning of my Rad Whip adventure. First thing first, I would like to thank my husband for the AMAZING Vitamix blender he got me. This thing is crazy, to grind up the soaked cashews with coconut milk it only took 30-60 seconds and it wasn’t gritty at all. Yay, for not having to wait 5 minutes. Everything went very smoothly (pun intended). I streamed in the Almond Milk/Agar mixture, added flavorings, placed it COLD metal bowl in freezer and waited 30 minutes. When I took it out of the freezer it reminded me of a very firm set Jello or rubber. I knew it was going to take a bit for the first whipping, so I wasn’t too worried. It did come together but it didn’t beat up as much as I thought it would, but into the fridge it went to sit overnight. The next day I brought it out for the final whip. I started to whip it up and just noticed it wasn’t coming together, it started to look almost grainy but it wasn’t at all. I whipped it as much as a could, placed it in the fridge, and did some research.

I guess others have had problems with it not whipping up correctly. The advice was to check date on Agar powder, which I was good on because it was brand new. Next advice was maybe it wasn’t cold enough and to put back in fridge and try again, if that doesn’t work stream in another tablespoon of coconut oil and that should bring it together and help it whip up. I tried one more time to whip it up and it still looked almost like it was separating. I decided that I needed to re-emulsify the mixture, so in it went into the blender and it came together and emulsified again. Yay, no more grainy looking Rad Whip. Since the mixture wasn’t cold anymore, I placed it in the fridge for 2 hours to rest. I finally took it out to whip up and it worked for the most part. I decided to top the pie and be done with it.

The tasting has to have been the best part. I cut out a piece, sat down, and thoroughly enjoyed this pie. Mike also sat down and had a piece with me and also liked it. The next morning Emma gets up and asks for a piece of pie and proceeds to poke at it in the fridge. I didn’t think pie was a good idea for breakfast for her….for me it was a fantastic idea but I wasn’t about to eat pie in front of her. We eat our sweets when the girls are asleep 🙂

After Emma finished her breakfast, and then right before lunch she got a piece of pie. She proceeded to eat the Rad Whip off the top and say, “yum, yum.” She left half of the filling and crust and when I proceeded to finish her pie she asked for a few bites and the requested more. Which I couldn’t allow and just made her lunch. She proceeded to forget about the pie until the next day, which I didn’t cave in. It was the third day and last slice of pie is when I caved, and made Mike share his last piece of pie with Emma 🙂



Banana Bread September 11, 2013

Filed under: Baking,Breakfast,Quick Breads,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 8:00 pm
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My daughter LOVES bananas for some reason she has trouble saying banana which I imagine most two year olds would. I finally figured out her name for bananas awhile back and it just strikes me as funny. She calls it a me me. I always try to say banana so that she will eventually try to use the word, but sometimes I slip up and say me me.

Every once in awhile she decides that bananas aren’t a snack she wants and then I forget we have them. Recently, I have probably made banana bread every other week. I actually had the idea to take a picture of the bread from the other week. Which probably doesn’t matter because it looks like I will be making banana bread again in a couple of days. Funny thing about the bread, the first day I make it she will be all about eating the banana bread and then the next day wants nothing to do with it. I guess that is the life of a two year old.


I use the Lowfat Banana Bread recipe in Veganomicon and then I add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of walnuts to the recipe depending on how nutty I want to be that day. To make the bread pretty, I sprinkled sparkling/decorating sugar on top, sugar in the raw would work perfectly fine too.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Cocoa-Nana Bread January 26, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Quick Breads,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 12:37 pm
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This is weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Steph of Obsessed with Baking.  She chose Dorie’s Cocoa-Nana Bread which is located on page 46 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Two of the most perfect things in the world baked together in a breakfast treat.  Who doesn’t love a banana muffin in the morning, and who on God’s green earth doesn’t love a chocolate-chocolate chip muffin?

There is just something perfect about bananas and chocolate, and together it is one of the most perfect combinations.  YUMMY 🙂

This weeks challenge I actually made a couple of weeks ago because  I had some bananas that were perfectly ripe and everything.  I ended up making 1 small loaf and 6 giant muffins.  By the time I got around to taking the pictures, all the muffins were gone, and Mike walks in the room and asks what happened to them.

Uh, well we both have been eating them for breakfast.

Mike – “Those were really good and I was actually eating them.”

Me – “Wow, you didn’t leave any in your desk.” – which he does often

Mike – “No, but I would always forget they were banana until I started eating on.”

Me – “Me too”

Mike – “Can I take the loaf to work?”

Me – “I guess, but I need to take a picture first.”

I run to get my camera, slice up the loaf all pretty, and take some pictures before we go to bed.

As you can see, we both enjoyed the Cocoa-Nana Bread.  I particularly enjoyed it when it was warm, so I would usually pop it in the microwave for a few seconds.  It always caught me of guard when it tasted like bananas because I was never expecting it, bu t it was YUMMY!!!


Tuesdays With Dorie: Classic Banana Bundt Cake August 4, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Cake,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 1:58 pm

100_2273This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was brought to you by Mary of The Food Librarian.  She chose Dorie’s Classic Banana Bundt Cake which is located on page 190 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I LOVE banana bread.  If you knew me back in college you more than likely saw me eating homemade banana-walnut bread with butter spread on one side and Duncan Hines Homestyle Vanilla Frosting on the other side 🙂

Yes, I am that weird and it tasted SOOOOO GOOD!!!

So, I was a little excited about this weeks recipe and it being a pretty straight forward and easy recipe added to the excitement.  In the same day, I also made the Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie for a dinner party, which is the recipe for the end of the month.  I guess you could say I was busy baking a bunch of crap yesterday.  Well, not crap, but you know.  I also made Jell-O Shots using my friend Animals super secret recipe 🙂

The flavor of the cake reminded me exactly of my banana bread sans walnuts  but the bundt cake was actually a lot moister.  I would definetly make this recipe again, very tastey.


Vegan Adventure #27: Banana Rabanada (Brazilian French Toast) July 22, 2009

Filed under: Breakfast,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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This post has been postponed for long enough 🙂

When I found out that Isa was coming out with Vegan Brunch, I was VERY excited.  I couldn’t wait until it came in the mail, and when it finally did the first thing I made was the Banana Rabanada.  It was very simple to make and it tasted fantastic.  The only thing that I might add to the recipe is 2 tbsp of sugar to the batter or when you eat the French toast just dump maple syrup on top of it.  Either way, it just needed a little bit more sweetness to it.  Perhaps my bananas could have been a little bit more ripe 🙂

Also, when sprinkling cocoa powder and cinnamon on the French Toast be very careful to dust the toast and not dump it on one side like I did.  There is nothing like a strong blow on the toast to dislodge the excess cocoa powder and cinnamon, and in turn blow it all over the counter.

100_2150Banana Rabanada (Brazilian French Toast)

Source: Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

2 very ripe bananas

1 1/2 cups almond milk (or your favorite nondairy milk)

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 stale baguette, sliced diagonally in 1-inch pieces

Cooking Spray

Slice strawberries and bananas for garnish

Blend bananas, milk, cornstarch, and vanilla in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Spread out baguette sliced in a single layer on a baking pan.  Pour banana mixture onto the bread and flip sliced to coat.  Let sit for 10 minutes, then flip over and let soak for 10 minutes more.

Preheat a large, nonstick skillet (cast iron preferred) over medium heat.  Spray with cooking spray and cook about half of the soaked bread for 5 to 7 minutes on one side and about 3 minutes on the other.  When ready, the toast should be golden to medium brown and flecked with darker spots.  Keep warm on a plate covered with tinfoil while you cook the second batch.

If not serving immediately, cover the toast with tinfoil and place in a 200°F oven for up to an hour.

When ready to serve, mix together cocoa powder and cinnamon and use a small sifter to sprinkle generoudly over each serving.  Serve Rabanada with vegan butter and maple syrup, and topped with fresh fruit.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Banana Creme Pie April 7, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Pie,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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tuesdayswithdorieThis weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Amy of Sing for Your Supper.  She chose Dorie’s Banana Creme Pie which is located on pages 342-343 of Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I was very happy that this recipe was chosen because I have been eating bananas like crazy lately. Consequently, I have actually been craving banana creme pie and haven’t had one in awhile. (more…)