Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

October 24, 2012

As a lover of cheese, I used to think eating vegan was something akin to punishment, but a friend of mine couldn’t eat dairy for six months because her baby was allergic.  She made vegan shortbread cookies that were so delicious that it opened my mind.  Then, I got a Sunset magazine with a recipe from famed vegan baker Chloe Coscarelli for Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes.  I made them as an experiment, not quite believing that they could taste good (especially because vinegar is an ingredient), but they were delicious!  When I make these again, I will probably just make regular frosting because I’m not vegan and I think shortening is more unhealthy than butter, but the shortening frosting did taste pretty good.

I won’t copy the recipe here because you can get it from Chloe Coscarelli’s website, but I will include a picture of one of my cupcakes!

Looks pretty good, right?

Irish Soda Bread

August 12, 2012

There’s no need to wait for St. Patrick’s Day to make this.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp bakind soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Add to the above and rub with fingers until a coarse meal forms.

  • 3 tbsp butter cubed

Make a well in the above and add to the above.  Gently mix.

  • 1 cup buttermilk.

Mix into the above.

  • 2/3 cup raisins.

With floured hands, form dough ball (it will be sticky).  Flatten slightly in a 8″ cake pan.  Sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar and cut an X on top.  Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes.

Corn Cherry Scones

August 12, 2012

This recipe is from the Cheeseboard cookbook and they taste just like the ones they make at the Cheeseboard!  The cornmeal gives these a great texture and the dried cherries are the perfect mix of tart and sweet.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal

Cut into the above at low speed (about 4 minutes) until pea sized.

  • 1 cup cold butter

Mix into the above.

  • 3/4 cup dried cherries

Make a well in the above and add.  Let stand 5 minutes.

  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Shape dough into 2 1/4″ balls.  Place 2″ apart.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar (optional).  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Sour Cream Coffeecake

August 6, 2012


Warning: NOT healthy … but very tasty 🙂


  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups sugar (maybe even less)

Mix into the above:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Sift and add to the above.  Do not overmix.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Mix, separate from above,

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts (a little less would be okay too)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Pour 1/2 of the batter in a bundt pan.  The batter is thick.  Don’t worry!  Then sprinkle 1/2 the pecan sugar mixture on top.  Pour the rest of the batter on top and then sprinkle the rest of the pecan mixture.  Bake at 350 for about 1 hour.

If you don’t have a bundt pan, you can also use a 8×8 pan.  I started with the pecan mixture, then batter, mixture, and batter.  I don’t think it matters either way, but if I do it again, I’ll probably do it how I described above because the top got a little more crispy than I like.

Spiced Lemon Quinoa

August 6, 2012


This is a slight variation on a recipe from Sunset magazine.  It is so tasty and easy to make.  It also doesn’t have a lot of salt (it actually tastes pretty good with none), so you can feed to it your baby led weaning baby.  Yum, yum.

Simmer in 4 cups of water until just tender about 25 minutes.  Drain and pat dry.

  • 4 tbsp yellow split peas

Heat over medium heat.

  • 3 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil

Add to the above.  Cover and cook until they pop – about 1 minute.

  • 2 tsp black or brown mustard seeds

Add to the above.  Stir until sizzling – about 1 minute.

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds

Stir into the above.  Cook until peas start to turn light golden – about 3 minutes.  Put aside in bowl.

  • 2 serrano chiles, minced
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 t salt

Cook in pan until wilted – about 3 minutes.

  • 10 oz fresh spinach

Mix together.

  • 2 cups quinoa cooked (Bring 2 cups quinoa and 4 cups water to a boil.  Cook until water is absorbed about 15 minutes.  Cover for 5 minutes.  Fluff with fork)
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • wilted spinach
  • split pea mixture

Add more lemon juice and/or salt to taste.

Almond Cake

July 26, 2012

This isn’t as much an after dinner cake as it is a breakfast cake, like coffeecake.

At a low speed with a paddle attachment, mix until broken up.

  • 6 oz almond paste (If you live near Berkeley, Berkeley Bowl sells this fresh.  It’s great.)

Add to above and gradually increase speed to medium until sugar breaks up paste and there are no lumps.

  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar

Add to the above and mix until creamy, about 1 minute.

  • 1/4 cup butter

Add to the above.  Mix at medium until combined.  Don’t overmix.

  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsps flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs

Bake at 350 in 8″ round baking pan for 30-35 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

July 26, 2012

(adapted from Jeffrey Steingarten’s recipe in the Man Who Ate Everything)


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar (You can use 3/4 cup brown and 3/4 cup white, but more brown sugar makes the cookie chewier.)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar

Add the following to the above.

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (If you want to use all butter, cream two sticks above.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg

Combine the following and mix into above.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Stir into the above.

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips

Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes.