Tuesday, June 17, 2014


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The Best Blueberry Muffins Ever!

These muffins are the best I've ever had or made- vegan or otherwise! Dairy free, gluten free, with no refined sugars, and the best part is the bottoms don't come out dry like most muffins, these are cakey and moist beneath the muffin top. Because, let's face it: we all wish every part of the muffin was as satisfying as the top!
I started with a recipe from the Sweet Vegan cookbook, with a couple of substitutions:

The Best Blueberry Muffins (makes 8-10 standard-size)
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour (cheap at Trader Joes!)
  • 3/4 cup cane syrup* 
  •  1/2 tsp cinnamon (it gives the flavor that extra something)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • 3 tsp Ener-G egg replacer, whisked w/ 4 tbsp warm water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with liners or, in a pinch, torn pieces of parchment paper.
2. Mix flour, cane syrup, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
3. Add the coconut oil, soy milk, egg replacer (pre-whisked) and vanilla and mix until well combined.
4. Fold in the blueberries.
5. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into the liners. Bake 17-20 min, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. I could see clear moisture on the toothpick but no batter, and mine were done perfectly.

Enjoy immediately with your spread of choice and coffee!

*the original recipe called for 3/4 cup evaporated cane juice, which is a solid sugar, whereas I used the liquid cane syrup because that's what the store had, but I think this sub worked great and wonder if this contributed to the delightful texture on the bottom. If you try the other way let me know!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Banana Pancakes from a Mix

I was feeling a lazy breakfast coming on, so in the store I looked at all the pancake mixes 'til I found a vegan one. Arrowhead Mills' Organic Buckwheat Pancake and Waffle Mix looked like the best choice.

I used an egg substitute (Ener-G egg replacer) and they turned out great! Happy Weekend to you.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Fun: Kid Snippets

Step 1: Record kids having conversations about everyday situations.

Step 2: Have adults act it out in high-quality video with the kids' original voices dubbed in.

Sound meh? It's not. It's like, the bestest thing ever:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Carob Celebration Cake w/ Peanut Butter "Buttercream" Frosting

As promised:


I made this for our end-of-the-school-year staff party at work.
For taste it earned an A+.
The composition... well, maybe a C-.
Still, this recipe makes the honor roll for being delicious and soundly vegan!

Our oven is terrible and I partially blame it for the way this cake stuck to the pan. The other reason is I think I used the wrong kind of pan. I didn't have a round cake pan but wanted a round cake, so I used a Springform pan. I have only used these to make cheesecake, and I think they are not meant for regular cakes. Someone enlighten me on pan ettiquette, please.

Meanwhile, the taste proved that I am getting better at substitutions. I started with this recipe for the frosting and this recipe for the cake itself, then tried to make them healthier. These are the modified recipes I came up with:

No-Chocolate Carob Cake (Vegan, Gluten Free): 

1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour
1 cup turbinado sugar
2/3 cup carob powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp distilled white or apple cider vinegar
1 cup carob chips


Vegan Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup vegan margarine or coconut oil
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons vanilla almond milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together flour, sugar, carob powder, baking soda, and salt with a fork, making sure it is really blended together.
Add the water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar, and mix together very well. Gently stir in the carob chips. Pour into a cake pan. A real one. Do as I say, not as I pan'd.

Bake for 30 minutes (until a knife or toothpick comes out clean) and let cool completely, on a rack if possible. I think. With my bad oven/choice of pan, it took more like an hour and got stuck to the Springform bottom. Which was kind of good, because otherwise it was so moist it might have fallen apart when I unlocked the spring. But oh! The flavor itself was sooooo good.

Meanwhile, the frosting. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. You can adjust the consistency by adding more powdered sugar if it’s too thin, and adding more milk if it’s too thick. Mine was too thick, in retrospect, but it tasted out of this world!

Lastly, if you wanna get fancy, use this cool star and banner printable I found on good ol' Pinterest. I used jewelry wire, tape, and tacky glue to hold up the stars, and decorated them with yellow sugar (because glitter on your cake would be the worst!!!) and drew the word "Summer" on the banner to mark the party occasion. Fancy, easy. Enjoy!

See more photos on my Instagram: @veganlifeisgood

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The season's change is a conduit. Also: CAKE!

Oh hey, it's been awhile.
For those of you who don't know me personally, I make my living as a teacher. Currently a middle school teacher. My year goes something like this:

I'm used to this week of June being a breeze. A crazy breeze of parties, awards, and yearbook signing. And then, the rest of the world thinks, comes the sweet relief of summer!
Except this is never true.
Last year I went straight home from the last day of school to a pile of moving boxes, which I used to play Tetris in two different houses for a week before re-setting my alarm to teach summer school. This year I am in a crazy limbo-land of freakishness where I could end up with an awesome job switch or no job at all and no place to be, but I am sort of loving it. It's a heady combo, this feeling, a combination of that jumping-off-the-edge-of-a-cliff-into-the-unknown sensation, combined with a lot of hard work to get my portfolio together that has honestly felt like its own reward. I've been busy, and happy.

My destiny is at hand. Cool.

But I haven't been blogging. Or Instagramming. And that is starting to feel too weird, so I'm putting them back into the forefront of my summer priorities. Where am I going with all this? To a place where I can say this confidently to you now: stay tuned for cake. Vegan cake. Photos of cake. Blogging of cake.

There will be cake.

Cake is coming.

I promise. Unless I mess it up. Then there will be S'morbet, until I figure out the cake.
Photo cred: Allie Brosh