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 MoFo: Chocolate Chip Cookies October 9, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 9:13 pm
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The other day Mike was craving chocolate chip cookies.

Okay, actually Mike craves chocolate chip cookies everyday and I actually wanted to make some that were healthier than normal.

Okay…I wanted chocolate chip cookies.  Is that okay with you?  I admit it, ever since Emma was born my chocolate cravings haven’t completely gone away…opps.

I decided to make these yummy cookies that are from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

These cookies are made with most notably White Whole Wheat Flour and Canola Oil, which gave the cookies a very soft texture, which I love, and a slight nuttiness which I also loved.  Mike throughly enjoyed the cookies and actually took them to work with him and ate them.  They also fulfilled my chocolate chip cookie craving.  Every time I would walk pass the plate of cookies I couldn’t help myself and I would have to grab one.  They were fantastic, especially for an omnivore like me.

Next cookie on the list is the Oh La Las aka Vegan Oreos.  I know Mike can’t wait because he loves him some Oreos 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Honey Nut Brownies March 23, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 8:38 am
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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Suzy of Suzy Homemaker.  She picked Dorie’s Honey Nut Brownies which are located on page 102 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Because wordpress was down when I got home from work yesterday, I was unable to actually post this on time…pooper.

The best thing about these brownies was that I was able to use up a good portion of a giant jar of Sourwood Honey that has been hanging out in my pantry for about a year.  The brownie batter actually came together pretty easy.  Instead of using a double boiler and melting the butter and the chocolate together, I melted the butter in the microwave and then stirred the chocolate in.  It did the job just as well, no separation and no burning 🙂

I used walnuts in the batter for the nuts.  I actually didn’t have enough walnut pieces, but I just happened to have some ground up walnuts from a previous cookie recipe so I just added those.  Then I decided that the batter was  a little to light for me and needed more chocolate so I poured in about 1/2 of bittersweet chocolate chips.

I like really THICK fudgy brownies and I knew that these weren’t going to be too fudgy just because of the long baking time and the fact that a knife inserted in the center is suppose to come out clean.  I baked these in a 8 x 8 square baking pan for 70 minutes on 325°F, that was about the time the knife came out clean.  I let them cool, and then sliced them up.

A couple of the members of Tuesdays With Dorie said they thought the brownies were overly sweet, but I didn’t think that at all.  Which got me wondering if they were actually using bittersweet chocolate (like the recipe calls for) or milk chocolate.  If you used milk chocolate, I could see how the brownies might be overly sweet.  For me the brownies had the right amount of sweetness,  the ground walnuts gave the brownies a nice texture which contrasted with the cake consistency of the brownie, and finally the chocolate chips gave it that extra chocolate flavor.

I actually would make these again for two reasons: 1) To use up some more of that Sourwood Honey and 2) The brownies were very good for a cake type brownie.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Chewy, Chunky Blondies July 27, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 1:00 am
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie is brought to you by…

Nicole of Cookies on Friday.  She picked Dorie’s Chewy, Chunk Blondies which are located on page 109 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

I actually baked these little rectangles of awesomeness a few months back.  We liked them so much that I ended up making two batches.  I was extremely surprised how much Mike liked these since they had sweetened shredded coconut and nuts in them.  It is the crazy coconut mess again, texture verses taste.  Well taste won on this one and Mike couldn’t get enough of these.  At the time I had a bag of butterscotch chips that I needed to get rid of and only a partial bag of chocolate chips.  So I did what anyone would do that loves butterscotch and just substituted mostly butterscotch chips for the chocolate….nom nom nom 🙂

I think I might have baked these a little too long, but they still tasting great 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Chockablock Cookies April 27, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 1:13 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet.  She chose Dorie’s Chockablock Cookies which are located on page 86 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I guess you could consider this cookie a throw all cookie…as in you throw a bunch of random yummy stuff in the batter (dried fruit, coconut, oats, chocolate, nuts, etc.) and bake it up 🙂

I have to hurry up and write this entry because I need to leave for work in 30 minutes.  I baked up these little monsters in the oven this afternoon, and the last batch just made its way out of the oven.  For the filling I ended up using golden raisins, coconut, oats, chocolate chips, and hazelnuts.

Why hazelnuts?

They were sitting in my freezer and I needed to use them.

Before baking, the molasses flavor was very prominent in the batter, but after they came out of them oven I couldn’t even taste the molasses.  All I could taste was the wonderful combination of hazelnuts and chocolate.  These giant cookies reminded me of a high ended oatmeal raisin cookie with the added yumminess of hazelnuts and chocolate.  I am sure Mike will grab one of these off the counter when he gets home and not even realize that they have coconut in them 🙂

Thank you for picking these this week Mary.  They were quick and easy to make and they were yummy 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies February 16, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 9:05 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Kait of Kait’s Plate.  She chose Dorie’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies which is located on page 68 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Who doesn’t love a chocolate chip cookie?

Okay, who doesn’t love one with walnuts?

And finally, who doesn’t love eating straight cookie dough?

Answer:  Everyone loves it or at least I do 🙂 (more…)


Vegan Muffins on 3 occasions and Vegan Adventure #28 July 21, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Muffins,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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Lately, I have taken to making a weekly trip to Ellwood’s Coffee.  Each time I go I always get an Americano and muffin.  If you have read my blog before you know that I like to experiment with Vegan cooking/baking even though I am not vegan.  I find it extremely fascinating.  Ellwood’s Coffee carries a line of Vegan baked goods that they make in the Ellwood Thompsons Bakery, which is across the street.  Ellwood’s Coffee also makes vegan paninis and wraps.  Currently, I have only tried their muffins, but I am going to slowly branch out and try some of their other Vegan options. (more…)