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!

 

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!

Goat Cheese Brownies

I have no excuse for how long it’s been, I have just been lazy!! But school is starting back up in just two days and I’m shaking off the laziness!  Some gooey chocolatey treats should help…

This recipe is from Une Gamine dans la cuisine, and it is fabulous.  These brownies have a regular chocolate brownie layer, a goat cheese layer, and then a melty frosting layer.  TO DIE FOR.  This one has a lot of steps, but do not fear!  They are worth it.

Ingredients:

For the brownie layer:

  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

For the cheese layer:

  • 6 oz goat cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg

 

For the frosting:

  • 4 oz of goat cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (that’s 4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar (have at least one more cup on hand, just in case the frosting is too thin)
  • 2 Tablespoons of honey
  • 1 Tablespoon of milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, butter the foil and set the pan aside.
  3. Prepare the brownie layer: Fill a saucepan with about 1-inch of water and bring to just a simmer. Place the chopped chocolate and 3 Tablespoons of butter into a heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan (be sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water).
  4. Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth. As soon as it’s smooth, remove the bowl from the heat and set it aside to cool.
  5. Cheese layer: In a medium-size bowl, beat the cheese and 2 Tablespoons of butter on medium speed for about 1 minute (just to combine).
  6. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and beat on medium speed until fluffy.
  7. Add 1/4 cup of flour, honey, and 1 egg. Beat well (about 2-4 minutes). Set the bowl aside.
  8. Back to the brownie layer: Beat the 2 eggs on medium speed till foamy.
  9. Add 1 1/4 cups of sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  10. Add the cooled, melted chocolate. Beat till combined.
  11. Using a large spatula, stir in 1 cup of flour, baking Powder, salt.
  12. Spread half of the chocolate batter into prepared pan.
  13. Spread the cheese filling over the chocolate batter.
  14. Using large spoon-filled dollops, drop the remaining chocolate batter over the cheese filling.
  15. Drag a thin metal spatula through both the cheese and chocolate mixtures. Try not to overdo it, a few swirls here and there will go a long way.
  16. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the center is set.
  17. Remove the pan from the oven and onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
  18. For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the softened goat cheese and butter together on medium-low speed till creamy.
  19. Add the confectioners’ sugar in 1/2 cup increments, beating well after each addition.
  20. Add the honey and milk. Beat on medium-high speed until creamy.
  21. Spread over the cooled brownies and cut into squares.

 

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.

 

 

Spicy Peanut Noodles and Broccoli

 

Some Asian inspired recipes sometimes don’t taste so great, and certainly don’t taste authentic, but with a little doctoring I was very impressed with this recipe I found from Will Cook For Friends.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. linguini
  • 2 large heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP canola oil
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • Salt

For the sauce:

  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4-1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP molasses
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large pot bring water to a boil and salt heavily. Cook noodles until al-dente, drain, and set aside.
  2. In a wok or pan over medium-high heat, add 1 TBSP oil and let heat until glistening.
  3. Add broccoli florets and give the pan a shake or a stir. Let cook 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and ginger, then pour in soy sauce and stir until mostly evaporated.
  5. Remove broccoli from pan while still bright green and slightly crisp. Set aside.
  6. For the sauce: In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, add the peanut butter and 1/4 cup of the hot water, stirring to combine.
  7. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, then add the remaining 1/4 cup water to thin the sauce to desired consistency.
  8. Toss noodles and broccoli in the sauce.
  9. Serve!