Archive of ‘baking’ category

Recent Eats: Sweets Edition!

Lavender Cupcakes #vegan

Testing out Lavender Cupcakes for a first day of spring birthday tomorrow.

Lavender Cupcakes

If it’s your birthday I’ll pretty much make anything you want. My sister requested Lavender Cupcakes. She envisioned them being lavender in color as well as flavor. I just stuck with the lavender flavor. I’ll use food coloring sometimes but would rather just stick with non dyed foods especially if a recipe would need A LOT of dye, which, this would have. They definitely tasted like lavender and were very pretty to look at. I’m not sure if I would make them again. A little too herb-y for a sweet treat I think. 

Reno and I created a cookie recipe today: Oatmeal Chocolate Covered Pretzel. They aren't bad! Need to tweak a few minor measurements. #vegan

Reno’s Cookie

My daughter is very into learning how to bake. She wants to own a bakery when she is “a teenager”. :)  So we’ve been experimenting with our own recipes every once in a while. Our latest, which needs more testing, is and Oatmeal Chocolate Covered Pretzel Cookie. We were big fans of these! 

#vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin

When your banana’s start to go you make Banana Bread/Muffins. We always add chocolate chips to ours. I have some bananas that are perfect for muffin making on my counter right now!

Pi Day Mini Key Lime Pies for a Pi Day potluck later today. Fingers crossed that they firm up by then! #vegan

Mini Key Lime Pies

This was a Pinterest recipe that I pinned awhile ago. I’m one of those pinners who pin but never do anything with those pins in real life. 

 

Easter Meal

Gluten Free-Vegan Carrot Cake is frosted! Just have to add Reno's handmade decorations :) #vegan #gluten free

Carrot Cake

This past weekend we celebrated Easter. For me, as a non religious person, it’s just another food holiday, which are my favorite! I love making new and special meals to share with family. After a backyard Plastic Easter Egg Hunt for the kids I got to work in the kitchen preparing 2 dishes to bring to my Mother In Laws house. 

First up was a Gluten Free/Soy Free/Nut Free-Vegan Carrot Cake. We have some allergies in our family (!) and as the only vegan in the family I wanted to make sure we had a dessert that everyone could eat. I’ve never made a full size Gluten Free cake before so I was a little nervous at how it would come out. As is my nature I tend to not test new recipes out before hand for holidays or events. Its a terrible habit but one that I’ve been able to get away with and managed to get away with again…phew! The cake was a huge success! It was full of hand shredded carrots and a ton of spices. The spiciness of the cake was everyone’s favorite part of it. It was loaded with cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. 

To decorate the cake I made a peachy pink vegan buttercream that I spread out as smooth as possible and piped some little decorations around the edge of the cake. I found some unsweetened coconut in my baking cabinet and sprinkled that on top. 

Our gluten free-vegan carrot cake with Reno's decorations! #vegan

Just before serving the cake my daughter and I added some handmade decorations that she made for the cake earlier in the day to make it more festive. It was adorable. I highly recommend letting your kids help decorate a cake with some of their drawings taped to long wooden skewers. 

My husbands Aunt declared that this cake will be her new birthday cake. She loved it that much and I will be happy to make it for her again. 

Easter Dinner: Seitan and Mushroom Roulade, asparagus and roasted veg #vegan

Seitan and Mushroom Roulade

For the vegetarian main entree I made a Seitan and Mushroom Roulade. I only had half a plan for this part of the meal. I know I was going to saute onions, seitan, carrots, mushrooms, garlic and spices and then deglaze the pan with tamari and red wine and then do something with filo dough. First I was going to make individual “cigars”. Then I was going to make individual wrapped pockets. In the end I didn’t have time for anything “individual” and a roulade was just to thing to speed things up! I saved some of the seitan simmering broth and we used that as a jus sauce. It was a nice a festive main entree. 

On my plate next to the roulade were Thyme Infused Spring Vegetables and Asian Sauteed Asparagus, both made by my mother. I didn’t eat a lot because I was saving room for the cake! Which we served with Trader Joe’s Soy Vanilla Ice Cream. It was the perfect Holiday Meal. 

Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake www.good-good-things.com

I am so excited to share this cake with you today!

It was my husband birthday, this past weekend, and we decided to have friends over instead of doing a restaurant meal. Its so hard to talk to everyone when sitting at a long table. This was much better. Everyone was able to chat and move around the house. The kids were there and other friends were able to bring their little one. It was all good.

I made all the food, which was a lot of work, but worth it.

We started with Somer’s Kick Ace Extra Sharp Raw Vegan Holiday Cheddar Cheese Ball. For a party full of omnivores this Cheese Ball disappeared! Also out for appetizers was a hummus plate with olives and pretzels and a bowl of mixed nuts. Simple. 

For dinner I made a Tomato and Roasted Eggplant Stew with Chickpeas from Veganomicon and Balsamic Roasted Tofu with Kale and Sun Dried Tomatoes by Melomeals.

I didn’t have time to take pictures of any of the food because I was too busy taking pictures of the cake I made. I’m so very proud of it. 

peanut butter frosting www.good-good-things.com

 

I made all 4- 9″ chocolate cake layers the day before the party. The morning of the party I whipped up a ton of peanut butter buttercream. I though for sure I was going to have a lot of buttercream left over for another dessert but no. Not a drop was left and I’m not someone who loads on a ton of frosting. A few hours before the party I made a quick and thick chocolate ganache and poured it over the chilled cake. Chilling the cake helped the ganache harden while dripping so it didn’t pool on the bottom of the cake. I really wanted most of the ganache still on the top of the cake with some drips down the side. I’m really pleased with how the drips turned out! 

The cake was almost 7 inches high and I swear it weighed more then my 3 year old son. I had to take a shelf out of our fridge to store it in there. 

chocolate peanut butter cup cake www.good-good-things.com

It was all worth it though. It was delicious and everyone was happy to eat it. In fact we are still eating it! With 15 people over we still had half a cake left. A really thin slice of this cake is more then enough. It could easily feed 25 people, I think. 

Thanksgiving Desserts!

::Dusting off the cobwebs here::

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love ALL THE FOODS and ALL THE DESSERTS! I overeat like I’m at an all you can eat vegan buffet brunch. I’m in tremendous pain afterwards. Its both worth it and not worth it but I put in the extra time at the YMCA the day before and after.

This year both of my families (mine and my husbands) were celebrating together at my mother-in-laws house. It was a tight squeeze…my sister and I sat at the kids table..it was fun. I made most of the desserts this year. I went in the opposite direction of what is usually made by my husbands grandmother.

Instead of an apple pie I made a Tart Tatin from Terry Hope Romero’s book Vegan Eats World. It was my first time making this so I was nervous. It starts with an olive oil crust that is pressed into a tart pan and then frozen before baking. Thank goodness it was a pressed crust. I was not in the mood to wrestle with a rolled out crust! The apples were peeled, quartered, and cooked down in a vegan butter and sugar sauce that turned into a caramel that was later hit with some booze at the end. The tart was a complete success. It is definitely going to be my go to apple “pie” dessert. I topped my slice off with some So Delicious CocoWhip. That stuff was delicious!

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Instead of a pumpkin pie I made Pumpkin Donuts! I decided to go Donut over Pie for the kids. They wouldn’t have eaten either so this gave them something else to choose from. I’ve had a donut pan for years now and have never used it. I think I alway’s assumed donuts would be too labor intensive but cake donuts are as easy as cupcakes. They were really moist and delicious. I topped them with a chocolate ganache and sprinkles. I’m currently baking another batch of them for a Thanksgiving Potluck at my friends house.

marshmallow lollypops www.good-good-things.com

The last dessert I made with my 7 year old daughter. We had chocolate ganache left over from the donuts so we dipped Sweet and Sara Marshmallows, which we stuck a lollypop stick into them first, into the chocolate and then dipped them into either coconut or sprinkles. These were super cute and everyone had fun eating them! A dessert for all ages. 

Hope your Thanksgiving was full of awesome people, food and desserts! 

 

Dinosaur Birthday Cake

Dinosaur Birthday CakeSomehow my youngest just turned 3 years old the the other day.  Everything about his birthday had to involve dinosaurs. From the decorations, the presents, his clothes and even his cake. He is ridiculously and adorably obsessed. He really wanted his party to take place at the local Dinosaur Park, yes there really is one, but we will do that trip on a later date. His party took place on our deck for about 10 minutes and then due to torrential rain we moved it into our basement.

He went back and forth on what type of cake he wanted. First it was just vanilla. Then chocolate. Then both and at last a dinosaur cake. I went with “both and dinosaur cake. I made a basic 2 layer chocolate cake using a recipe from the cookbook: Have Your Cake and Vegan Too by Kris Holechek from the nomnomnom blog. The frosting I threw together myself. Just the usual Earth Balance, powdered sugar, vanilla..etc..frosting. After frosting the cake I plopped on his favorite dinosaur and made a quick banner to make it a touch more festive.

vegan chocolate cakeThe cake itself was amazing. So moist and incredibly delicious. I took a risk by making a recipe I never made before and it paid off. A week later some non vegan guests were still raving about this cake! This is my new go to chocolate cake recipe and it should be yours as well.

Most importantly the birthday boy was so happy with it. There was a dinosaur on it! So thrilling to a 3 year old!  My birthday is coming up next and I will be making my own cake. This one! Maybe with a dinosaur on it.

 

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