Dairy Free Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes for Easter

IMG_0682I love strawberries. And strawberry shortcake. And who doesn’t love cupcakes?! This recipe is adapted from one from Oishii Treats, I doctored it to make them a little lighter, and opted for a whipped cream (dairy free!!) topping rather than buttercream frosting.

IMG_0689I was lucky enough to be home for Easter, so I got to make these for my family! I forgot to bring my camera, however, so pardon the poor quality cell phone pictures!

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Ingredients:

Makes about 14 cupcakes

  • IMG_06771 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup earth balance buttery spread
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • IMG_06801 cup fresh, finely diced strawberries
  • 1 package of Soyatoo
  • 1/2 cup fresh, finely diced strawberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together to mix and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes).
  4. Add the vanilla extract to the butter mixture. IMG_0678Then add the eggs one at a time.
  5. Reduce speed to low and add in the milk and flour mixture in 2 batches, starting with the flour and alternating with the milk.
  6. Fold in the diced strawberries with a spatula.
  7. Fill your cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  10. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, prepare the whipped topping:
  11. Whip all of the Soyatoo in an electric mixture fitted with whisk attachment.
  12. IMG_0679Fold in in diced strawberries.
  13. Top your cupcakes with whip cream, and devour!!!! We ate all of ours in a day!

 

 

 

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Bangers and Colcannon for St. Patrick’s Day

DSC_1167I have wanted to try out making Irish Bangers since my trip to Ireland two summers ago, so when I found this recipe for Bangers and Colcannon with Guinness Onion Gravy from Closet Cooking just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, I was thrilled! This is comfort food at its best! I adapted the recipe just a bit to be dairy free.

Ingredients:

  • DSC_11611 pound potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 lb bacon cut into 1 inch slices
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp earth balance organic whipped buttery spread
  • 1/4 small head cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Irish bangers
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 bottle Guinness
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp earth balance organic whipped buttery spread
  • 1 tbsp vegan sour cream
  • almond milk to taste

Directions:

  1. DSC_1162Bring some water to boil, add the potatoes and simmer until fork tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile cook the bacon in a large pan over medium heat until it renders, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the butter to the bacon, season with salt and pepper DSC_1163and cook about a minute.
  4. Add the cabbage to the bacon, mix to coat and let cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the green onions to the cabbage, cook for 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  6. Heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat.
  7. Add the sausage and cook until golden brown, about 2-4 minutes per side, and set them aside.
  8. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  9. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  10. Sprinkle in the flour and let it cook for a few minutes.
  11. Add the Guinness, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar along with the sausage and simmer for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove the sausage and continue to simmer to reduce by half about 10 minutes.
  13. Meanwhile, mash the poatatoes, mix in the cabbage followed by the butter, sour cream and enough milk until you get your favourite mashed potatoes consistency.
  14. Serve and enjoy!

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Mini Turkey Meatloaves and Mashed Potatoes

 

DSC_0985Meatloaf has a bad reputation, but I happen to like it, a lot. It just has to be made well! I loved the idea of these miniature, single serving meatloaves from Sweet Potato Chronicles, and loved the result (with a few adjustments to the original recipe) just as much as the idea. These were moist, flavorful, and great as leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • DSC_09811 glug of olive oil
  • half an onion, diced fine
  • 1/3 cup celery, diced fine
  • 1/3 cup of carrots, diced fine
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce

Directions:

  1. DSC_0982Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2.  

    Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.

  3. Add your vegetables and the fennel seeds and allow them just start to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit.

     

  4. In a large mixing bowl, dump your meat, oats, ketchup, sauteed vegetables, and egg (whisk the egg first). You can use a fork or wooden spoon to blend all over your ingredients but the best tools will be your hands. Mix it all together thoroughly.
  5. If you’ve used your hands you’ll want to give them a really good cleaning before moving on.
  6. Now use a 1/3 cup measure to scoop up your mixture into your muffin tin.
  7. DSC_0984In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tbsp of ketchup and 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce. Use a small spoon to smear this glaze over the top of your mini meatloaves.
  8. Bake them in the oven for 40 minutes. The internal temperature for meatloaf should be 160 to 165 degrees.
  9. Serve with mashed potatoes and enjoy!

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt (Dairy Free!!)

ImageSo with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, today I attempted to make macarons for the first time ever. It was a huge disaster. Whenever I make something that doesn’t turn right, I feel so sad, like I have failed. I know macarons are extremely difficult to make, but I just couldn’t help it. Fortunately I’ve been sitting on this recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen for a while! These cookies are very very tasty and can definitely be a treat to make for your Valentine. There is nothing quite like the combination of sweet and salty goodness. My boyfriend, Matt, is allergic to dairy, so I made these dairy free so he could enjoy them as well. May you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day!

Ingredients:

  • Image11/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup earth balance, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain soy yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups carob chips 

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, mix the softened earth balance and peanut butter together until thoroughly blended.
  3. Add the sugars and beat until smooth.
  4. Next beat in the egg, honey, vanilla, and yogurt until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined.
  6. Gently stir in the carob chips.
  7. Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes-1 hour, or place in freezer for 20 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  9. Once ready to bake, roll dough into 1-inch balls and place onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  10. Bake for 9-12 minutes (depends on size of your cookie) or until cookies begin to turn a tiny golden brown and crisp up around the edges. Do not overbake!
  11. Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes and sprinkle cookies generously with sea salt.
  12. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
  13. Devour!!!

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Jambalaya

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Before this I had never had homemade Jambalaya from scratch, but I had to try out this recipe from The Messy Baker, with a few adaptations. It took a long time to prep and make, but was absolutely worth it!

Ingredients:

  • DSC_09003 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 4 andouille sausages, cut into bite-sized rounds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 14 oz of diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz of tomato paste
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp corriander
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • several dashes of hot sauce
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Directions:

  1. DSC_0901Place a large pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil.
  2. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly brown.
  3. Add sausage and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add onion, celery, green pepper, red pepper, and garlic. DSC_0902Saute for for 5-6 minutes until veggies become tender.
  5.  

    Sprinkle the flour over the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.

  6. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken stock.
  7. Add the cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and corriander.
  8. Stir in worcestershire and hot sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn back the heat to low.
  9. Cover the pot and let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10.  
    Pour over cooked rice and enjoy!

Ginger Beer Bundt Cake for My One Year Blogiversary!

Yesterday was my one year Blogiversary! I can’t believe it has already been a year, but I made this delicious cake to celebrate! I love ginger, and cake; also I don’t enjoy anything pumpkin flavored but this is a great alternative that still tastes of Fall spice! This recipe came from Spicy Icecream and is definitely worth trying!

Also this was the first time I used my new bundt pan that I had gotten for my birthday. With my old one the top always burned, but this cooked perfectly!!

Ingredients:

  •  3 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger (or to taste)
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 cup ginger beer

Ginger Beer Glaze

  •  ½ cup ginger beer, or ginger beer cordial
  •  Approximately 5 cups icing sugar, sifted for a thick glaze, I only used 4 because I like it runny and not as sweet
  •  1-2 teaspoons ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°F (350°F).
  2. Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out the excess.
  3. Sift together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger.
  4. Beat together the butter and sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla extract.
  5. Combine milk and ginger beer in a jug.
  6. Alternately add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing and spreading evenly. Gently tap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles.
  8. Bake for about 1 hour, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for 1 hour, then invert onto a rack and cool completely.
  9. To make the glaze, whisk icing sugar 1 cup at a time into the ginger beer until it reaches a consistency that will drizzle slowly and not run off the cake. Whisk in ground ginger to taste. Once the cake has cooled, place it on a wire rack over a baking pan and drizzle glaze on top. You might need to go over it a few times to get a nice thick glaze.
  10. Make sure to serve this with a cup of tea! They make a great pair!

Spicy Tri-tip Skewers with Garlic Rice Pilaf for My Mom’s Birthday

My mom and brother both had their birthdays this past week, and I was able to be home with them for both!  I asked my mom what she wanted for dinner, and she told me to surprise her.  I wanted to make her something she wouldn’t expect, and something she would never take the time to make for herself.

I had found this recipe for tri-tip skewers at Tasty Trials, and new it was perfect.  Especially because I don’t have a grill at my apartment anything like my moms!  I needed something to pair with them, so I modified this pilaf recipe from Pennies on a Platter.  Both were fantastic, these recipes are definitely keepers and I highly recommend them!  Oh, and not only was my mom surprised, she loved it! However, I couldn’t have done this without my boyfriend, and grill master, Matt!  Here he and my mom are!

Ingredients:

Marinade:
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 1/2 pound tri-tip, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
Dipping sauce:
1/2 cup red wine
6 tablespoons pineapple juice
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Skewers:
pineapple chunks
red onion pieces
6 inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water
Garlic Rice Pilaf:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
Directions:
For marinade:
Mix first 8 ingredients together. Pour into a zip-top bag and add tri-tip. Place in refrigerator and let marinate for at least 24 hours.
For skewers:
When ready to cook, thread skewers with one chunk of pineapple, one piece of red onion, a cube of tri-tip, then another piece of onion and another chunk of pineapple. Repeat until all the meat is used up.
Heat the grill to about 375 degrees and place skewers over direct heat.
Grill for a few minutes per side, to desired doneness. (Beware: They cook fast!)
For dipping sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat to a simmer and reduce for about 20 minutes, until thickened.
Serve skewers with dipping sauce on the side.
For Pilaf:

Preheat oven to 375˚F.

Melt butter in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat.  Sauté the garlic and rice for about 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown.  Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.

Once boiling, turn off the heat and pour the mixture into a casserole dish.  Cover and bake for 25 minutes.  Stir in the remaining chicken broth and bake, covered, for another 30 minutes.  Stir in a splash of lemon, cover, and bake a final 15 minutes.