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Vanilla Cupcakes

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I’m so predictable. It’s Friday and I’m giving you a dessert recipe. I think its because I secretly hope that you will make these on Friday and eat the entire thing over the weekend so I will feel better about having nothing but these for lunch two days in a row.

I actually made these for the 5-year-old that I nanny for. When I asked her what she wanted to bring to school for her birthday, the conversation went like this:

Her: VANILLA CUPCAKES!!

Me: Vanilla cupcakes? Are you sure?

Her: Yes!!

Me: Well…do you want me to throw strawberries in? I can make pink strawberry cupcakes!

Her: No. I want vanilla.

Me: Do you want me to add some sprinkles?

Her: No! Just vanilla

Me: Pink Vanilla?

Her: JUST VANILLA!!

Me: fine…

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I was so underwhelmed. Vanilla cupcakes are never my go to recipe. Ever. I think because all the really bad store-bought cakes and cupcakes that are always brought to parties and events are plain, ol’ stale vanilla. I’ve been scarred.

So I grudgingly made these with some serious trepidation. When they came out amazing, I was really, really surprised. Of course, I flat out ignored her request for all vanilla and paired them with the strawberry frosting from this recipe, which is hands down my favorite. She loved them.

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Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
from Food.com
makes 12

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350 F and line a muffin tin with liners.

Stir the non-dairy milk and the apple cider vinegar together and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the milk/apple cider mixture, oil, sugar and vanilla together. Add the flour mixture and beat until no large lumps remain. (if you taste the batter after it’s all combined, it tastes just like a box cupcake mix!)

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 20 to 22 minutes until done.

I had to make 3 dozens of these puppies. Of course, after I made the first batch of vegan ones, I remembered that one of the 5 year-olds classmates is allergic to nuts, which means no almond milk. I had to scrub everything really well and make 3 new batches with regular milk. Thankfully, I only made 1 dozen of the vegan version before I remembered this.

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The cupcakes pictured are frosted with this Coconut Frosting, which I had left over, and some chocolate frosting from a left over cake that was made. All the strawberry frosting went onto the non-vegan cupcakes so I decided to use what I had instead of making a whole new batch. The vanilla cupcakes went beautifully with all of them but my favorite was definitely the strawberry.

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Now, go make these and report back with how many you ate so I can feel better about how many I had. Kthanks

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*Note: my photoeditor is completely useless now so, again, pardon the photos. I’m never home when its sunny  out anymore and I have nothing to help me out with my poorly lit apartment =/ *

Alright, so let’s do this review things, shall we?

No Spend November:

I’m actually not having as much difficulty with this as a imagined I would. I think I helped myself out by budgeting everything super well, taking cash out and dividing it into envelopes. And avoiding Target like the plague. I will admit though, that I’ve had a few temptations. My friend, Lisa, introduced me to this god-awful-but-I-can’t-stop-watching-it Youtube channel by a girl named Bethany, aka, MacBarbie07. She reviews beauty products and clothes and it makes you sort of want to try everything. What’s this? Taylor Swift has a new perfume? Dry shampoo works great after the gym? That matte powder with the giant brush looks so fun…I want to try that lip balm…AHH!

My current solution is to look up what she reviews on Amazon and put it on my wish list. That way, I can come back to it at the beginning of December and ask myself, Do I really need three new lip balms? The answer should be a very firm no. Though…that big fluffy brush did look super fun…

My other tempation has been spur of the moment food treats, like coffee. I went to vote around 11/11:30 on Tuesday and it was super Fall-y out- the sun was shining, the wind was blowing, it was cold out, I was rocking my favorite Fall coat, I had just done my patriotic duty and voted for President and I thought, I should totally treat myself to Starbucks now. It was hard to resist. But, I knew that I wanted to go to the movies this weekend and I didn’t have a lot of fun money left so I was able to pass.

I think the biggest help in all this was that small amount I put aside for fun. So far, I have been able to go out to eat  a few times and I have a movie outing planned. I am still able do stuff and plan stuff and I’m not stuck inside my super cold apartment and that’s a huge help.

Two Week Cleanse:

This is A LOT harder. Yesterday was day 3 which was the all liquids day. I had smoothies throughout the day and pureed cauliflower apple soup for dinner. I was craving bread so hardcore, though! I shot Leanne over at Healthful Pursuit a comment and she said I may be missing complex carbs and to have a baked sweet potato today. You can bet your ass I went to the grocery store immediately after work and bought a few. I also bought some butternut squash, roasted it when I got home and pureed it into my soup. It was a huge help! It gave new life to a soup I have been living off of, it smelled so good when it was in the oven and it made me feel like I was really eating food. This weekend I have my mom’s birthday at home so we’ll see how I do when tempted with cake.

Another thing that helped me through yesterday when all I wanted was warm, yummy carbs was making this Almond Butter. A success in the kitchen always makes me feel really good! I’ve tried making nut butters before and they just never come out right. Turns out I was missing a key ingredient- patience!

Around 10 minutes

Vanilla Flax Almond Butter
from Healthful Pursuits

  • 2.5 cups of raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 170F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicon baking mat.
  2. Spread the almonds out onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, stirring once half way through.
  3. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  4. Place roasted almonds, ground flax and vanilla extract into the bowl of your food processor and process until drippy, scraping the bowl as needed.  This could take anywhere between 10- 30 minutes depending on  your food processor.

Around 15 minutes. It stayed at this stage for a while and I was getting really frustrated

So, my almond butter isn’t quite “drippy” but I got it spreadable! I did this while my butternut squash roasted so I was STARVING and I just wanted dinner so after 30ish minutes, I called it quits. I was super excited with the results though!

We have a break through around 25 minutes! Yeah! It’s starting to come together!

I halved Leanne’s recipe but kept the vanilla the same. I can’t eat sweets during this cleanse so the vanilla made it taste more dessert-y. I think with the 2.5 cups of almond, it made about 1 cup to 1.5 cups of almond butter, which is plenty for me!

aaand we have almond butter! So excited

I can’t wait to have this with an apple for lunch! It’s the closet thing to dessert I’m going to get for another week and a half! oi.

 

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