Sunday Sundae with Vegan Chocolate Sauce.

Sundae

After church today I had the hugest craving for a sundae. This is something I don’t typically crave, but maybe it is from the countless ice cream cones my kids have been eating during this hot spell and perhaps I have been inwardly wanting one too, but refusing to cave. Either way, I went all out this afternoon. I had a freezer full of brownies, so I added a scoop of coconut milk ice cream, fresh cut up strawberries, toasted cashews, and homemade vegan chocolate sauce…Thankfully there is spin class tomorrow to burn off whatever calories were just consumed, but then again, who is really counting? I’m not.

Simple Sundae

Coconut Ice cream, chopped cashews, homemade chocolate sauce, chopped strawberries.

Vegan Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients:
1 cup water
3/4 cup coconut sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

How To Play:
Bring the water to a boil and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the cocoa and salt and simmer. Stir for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

Enjoy.

Chocolate Almond Brownies

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We have been having an extremely hot summer this year, and I have been baking these brownies and putting them in the freezer, as a cool treat to eat. They are super easy to bake and to eat. The kids love running to the freezer to grab these. They also taste good along with a scoop of ice-cream (coconut ice milk), and why not add a bit of chocolate syrup and fresh raspberries. The ways to spruce these up are endless, but they taste equally well as they are.

Chocolate Almond Brownies

Inspired by: Oh She Glows

Ingredients:

4 teaspoons ground flaxseed

1 cup whole raw almonds

¾ cup plus 2 TBSP whole wheat pastry flour

2 TBSP arrowroot powder

½ cup cocoa

½ TSP kosher salt

¼ TSP baking soda

½ cup plus ¼ cup chocolate chips

¼ cup plus 2 TBSP coconut oil

1 cup coconut sugar

¼ cup almond milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

½ cup chopped walnuts

How to Play:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a 9 inch square cake pan and line it with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way. In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed and 3 TBSP water and set aside.

In a blender, or food processor, grind the almonds into a meal/flour. Sift out any large pieces. In a large bowl, whisk together the ground almonds, whole wheat pastry flour, arrowroot, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. In a medium saucepan, melt ½ cup of the chocolate chips and the coconut oil over low heat. When two-thirds of the chocolate chips have melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir until smooth. Stir in the flaxseed mixture, sugar, almond milk, and vanilla until combined. Pour the chocolate mixture over the ground almond mixture and stir well until there’s no flour on the bottom of the bowl. Fold in the walnuts, if desired, and the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread batter out evenly. Bake for 28-34 minutes (I typically bake for 25 minutes….then put them in the fridge or freezer). Let the brownies cool in the pan for 1-1 ½ hours. Do not remove brownies until fully cooled, or they could crumble.

Enjoy.

Candy Bars.

Candy bars

CANDY BARS

These candy bars are incredibly DANGEROUS. Healthier than let’s say a Twix or a Mr. Big candy bar, but none the less a nice cheat treat to have when craving something sweet, but in small portions! If you are kind of like me and tend to run to chocolate when feeling stressed, happy, tired, or awake, you might want to hide these in the freezer so they don’t get devoured in under a day! This recipe has been inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow from her book ‘It’s All Good.’

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups raw cashews

1 ½ cups dates, pitted and chopped

½ cup almond butter

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup coconut flour

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ tsp almond extract

1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips ( I used 2 dark chocolate Lindt bars once and also tried it with one organic dark chocolate coconut and a dark chocolate bar with mint melted together. Both varieties equally fantastic.)

1 ½ tbsp coconut oil

How To Play:

Grind the cashews to a very fine meal in a food processor. Add the dates, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut flour, shredded coconut, and almond extract and pulse until you have a sticky ball of dough.

Line a small sheet pan with parchment paper and press the cashew mixture out onto the paper, making a rectangle 1 inch deep. It helps to put a drop of oil on your hands before doing this. Refrigerate mixture 6-8 hours until firm. (I put it in the freezer for a couple of hours.)

Melt coconut oil and chocolate chips (or bars) together using a double boiler. Once mixture has melted, pour over cold cashew mixture. Return the bar to the fridge(or freezer) and let cool until the chocolate coating is set, at least 1 hour.

Using the parchment, lift the bar out of the sheet pan and cut it into rectangles or use cookie cutters to make fun shapes for kids. Serve at once.

Enjoy!

Fancy Tangerine Coconut Smoothie

Shake

We are a shake family. I drink a shake for breakfast every morning; the kids have a shake after school to quench that limitless appetite, and periodically Sean will make a shake for himself, too. Tonight Sean and Nola joined brain like forces and created their chef-d’oeuvre. A little bit of this and a little bit of that and voila, their masterpiece! It tastes a bit like Booster Juice’s Orangesicle, mixed with a bit of Orange Julius, but it’s not, welcome the Fancy Tangerine Coconut Smoothie.

Fancy Tangerine Coconut Smoothie

By Sean and Nola

Ingredients:
5 Tangerines, peeled (or mandarins)
½ cup Coconut Ice Milk
½ cup pure orange juice
16 ice cubes

How To Play:
Mix in a blender and share with a friend.

 

Enjoy!

Easy as pie, apple pie that is.

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So, because I had extra pastry from the turkey pot pie, I thought,’Hmm, I’ve got a few green apples kicking around in my fruit bowl, I am going to waste not want not.’ When I told the kids I was baking an apple pie, the were unfazed. They could care less. See, they just didn’t know that I used to be the apple pie baking queen when I was 19 years old. I was whipping up pies like a crazy person. After the pie came out of the oven, 1 peeked her head in the kitchen and asked, “What’s that smell?” I just nodded like I knew what was about to go down. How did the three kiddies like it? Let’s just say, it lasted only for tea time. It is quite a simple, old, and tasty recipe. Be prepared for no leftovers with this one.

Apple Pie

Inspired by: Grandma Kettle’s Pies and Cookies

Ingredients:
6-7 apples
3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
2 tsps cinnamon (could use more if you like)
2 tablespoons butter

How To Play:
Peel, core and cut the apples into small slices.
Combine the apples, sugar and flour
Put into the uncooked pie crust
Place a few small pieces of butter on the apples.
Cover with a second crust
Crimp the edges of the pie
Bake at mid-level of a preheated oven
Cook at 450 for 20 minutes, then at 425 for 25 minutes, or until the pie is brown.

Use Pie Pastry Recipe.

 

Enjoy.

Swaying in Fall.

The lights are low. The candles are soft. The music is immediate. Fall is tapping on the windows of our home and yes, I welcome it with a warm embrace. This is the moment the oven is on for the most of the day roasting vegetables, pumpkins, and feta cheese garlic spread. The experimentation of recipes has begun. A fantastic dessert to be shared from Oh She Glows may just be the thing you are looking for this week. It is chocolate perfection, not too sweet, and great to be shared with a fantastic tea, friends, and Dean Martin, of course.

Chilled Chocolate Espresso Torte with Toasted Hazelnut Crust

From Oh She Glows

Makes 1 (9-inch / 23-cm) torte; serves 8–14

For the crust:
¾ cup hazelnuts
¼ cup coconut oil
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
¼ tsp. fine-grain sea salt
1 ½ cups, divided, gluten-free if necessary

For the filling:
1 ½ cups, soaked for at least 4 hours
¾  cup  pure maple syrup
½  cup coconut oil
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, melted (I used chopped dark chocolate)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract  
½ tsp. fine-grain sea salt
1 tbsp. espresso powder (optional)
shaved dark chocolate, for garnish (optional)
coconut flakes, for garnish (optional)

How To Play:
1. Make the Crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish with coconut oil.
2. In a food processor, blend ½ cup of the rolled oats on high until you have a rough flour, place a small bowl and set aside. Without cleaning the machine, process the hazelnuts into a fine crumb with the texture of sand. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, salt, and oat flour and process again until the dough comes together. Finally, add the remaining 1 cup of rolled oats and pulse until the oats are chopped, but still have some texture to them. The dough should stick together slightly when pressed between your fingers. If it doesn’t, try adding a bit more maple syrup or processing a bit longer.
3. With your fingers, crumble the dough evenly over the base of the pie dish. Starting from the middle, press the mixture firmly and evenly into the dish, moving outward and upward along the side of the pie dish. The harder you press the crumbs into the dish, the better the crust will hold together. Poke a few fork holes into the bottom to let steam escape.
4. Bake the crust, uncovered, for 10 to 13 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a rack for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Make the filling: Drain and rinse the cashews. In a high-speed blender, combine the soaked cashews, maple syrup, oil, cocoa powder, melted chocolate, vanilla, salt, and espresso powder (if using) and blend on high until the filling is completely smooth. It can take a few minutes of blending to get it smooth, depending on your blender. If the blender needs more liquid to get it going, add a tablespoon (15 mL) of almond milk (or a bit more) to help it along.
6. Pour the filling into the prepared crust, smoothing out the top evenly. Garnish with shaved chocolate and/or coconut flakes, if desired.
7. Place the pie dish on an even surface in the freezer, uncovered. Freeze for a couple of hours, and then cover the dish with foil and freeze overnight, or for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours, until the pie sets.
8. Remove the pie from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes before slicing. This pie is meant to be served frozen.

I can not take credit for this photo, for we ate it before the camera could take a photo!

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Photo Credit: Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows.

Goldilocks and the Three Cakes.

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There has always been something about Goldilocks and me. I had to write a mock fairy tale when I was in 8th grade, so I decided to use Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but with a twist. I put a little bit of my quirky clumsiness into the character of Goldi and called the story, ‘Accident Prone Goldilocks and the Three Bears.’ It was a hit. I loved it. I so loved it that I was rather disappointed when my teacher never returned it back to me. I do have an old VHS taping of it, me with my boy haircut, a mixed up American drawl, white Nike shorts with black Nike shoes; did I ever mention I used to be a huge Nike fan? Perhaps it was more of an Air Jordan fan, because it was the nineties and I sported an Air Jordan Jersey, like no other(this all said with absolute mockery). Well, a trillion years later, Goldilocks is still a part of my life in a strange way. I am sure I have mentioned this in previous posts, but it is TRADITION, and I am all about TRADITIONS, that I get a Goldilocks cake for my birthday. Goldilocks is a great Filipino bakery downtown Vancouver, in which my grandma would order cakes from and now I, too, order cakes from, however they have to be transported to me, because I don’t live in the city. Thankfully my sister, Joelle, will be picking THEM up for me, because a birthday party is just not a birthday party without a cake (or cakes) from Goldilocks! Thanks sister Joelle! Thanks Goldilocks!

A Piece of Humble Walnut Brownie…

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I am baking these right now as I listen to the Great Gatsby soundtrack. I have been very consistent with my 30 Day Challenge, however, today I really wanted to bake these and then freeze them. I have a pocket of time to do so. It seems as though there is never a pocket of time in which I can do much of anything these last few weeks. However, these brownies are really good and I am grateful to have stumbled across them when in a time of great confusion. I meant to post this a long time ago, but I just found it. Here is an old entry from a couple of months ago.

I run, I work out, and I eat well. I have an unfortunate tendency to pride myself on healthy lifestyle. I like to read, watch, and inform. It kind of has been a passion of mine since I was quite young. I remember in first grade, our teacher read us a book about a dragon who smoked. The book had an extensive list of all the chemicals that are in cigarettes. I ran with this. Every person I knew who smoked, I felt the utmost urgency to tell them all about what they were inhaling into their lungs. They didn’t seem to care. Anyhow, it has come to no surprise to my husband, that I have been fighting a cold for the last couple of weeks. I have had Laryngitis, a sinus infection, pink eye in both my eyes, and now what seems to be strep throat. Humble pie, no, but I will take a piece of Humble Gluten Free Walnut Brownie. I made this to comfort my bruised ego and my prideful blow. Judge not lest you be judged, so here I am with sincere apology. No more Judgey McJudgerson!

Gluten Free, Vegan, and Oil Free Walnut Chip Brownies

Inspired by Oh She Glows

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or finely grated apple
• 8 pitted medjool dates
• 1 medium ripe banana
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup brown teff flour
• 1/2 cup almond meal 
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp kosher salt
• 1/3 cup chopped walnuts 
• 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips 

How To Play:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper so it overlaps on two sides. Lightly grease the parchment and sides of the pan with oil.
2. In the food processor, process the applesauce, dates, banana, maple syrup, and vanilla until almost smooth.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the teff flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the nuts and chips. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
5. Spoon batter into prepared pan and gently smooth out with a wet spatula. Batter will be very sticky! This is normal.
6. Bake for about 25-27 mins at 350F or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let brownies cool completely for at least 1 hour before slicing as they are VERY delicate and fall apart. It is suggested to cool and then freeze the brownies until firm, so you can slice them easier without them falling apart. Keep in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

 

Enjoy.

Mars Bars Squares

It is seemingly wrong to think these tasty little treats were floating through my mind as I was running tonight. Why on earth, after desiring to get back into the routine of things, since routine has been anything but present, did these fantastic, unrealistically good and party favored squares invade my concentration? Seriously, three word:. Mars-Bars-Squares. I am not making these any time soon, because they are just too dangerous. However, I am going to share this recipe and as I type, I will pretend I am baking them and that is all I can do this evening. Pretend.

Mars Bars Squares

From : Company’s Coming

Ingredients:
4 Mars Candy Bars
½ cup Butter
3 cups Special K Cereal
1 ½ cups semi sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup Butter

How To Play:
Heat and stir candy bar pieces and first amount of butter in a large saucepan on low until smooth. Remove from heat.
Add cereal. Stir until coated. Press evenly in greased 9×9 inch pan.
Heat chips and second amount of butter in small saucepan on lowest heat, stirring often, until chips are melted. Spread evenly over cereal mixture in pan. Chill. Cuts into 36 squares or 4 really large ones…

Enjoy.

Wheat-free Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Ever catch yourself saying something over and over again? I am not so much meaning profanity when things aren’t going accordingly to plan or plans, but I have said at least 4 times in the last couple of days to 1, “Well, that’s just how the cookie crumbles.” Where on earth did this quote emerge from within the many random facets of my subconscious?

There is never a dull, a quite for too long moment in motherhood. I know. I understand. Three little ones never stopping for air just causes me to become beside myself. There are moments when I no longer recognize me. Am I laughing at a Disney show with Vin Diesel? Wait Vin Diesel is in a Disney movie-when did this happen?

Despite the crazy stresses of life, finances, lack of groceries, clothes with holes, stained carpets, chipped glasses, broken drawers, and not enough spoons for everyone, this is just the how the cookie is crumbling these days. When I feel stressed, I bake. When I bake, I eat. Let’s just say there has been a lot of baking and eating and observing the unrealistic amount of crumbs on the table.

The perfect storm, could it be coming to its final end? I am not sure. It still remains poking its ugly face here and there, but yesterday important discoveries have began to wash up from the shores. Are there causalities of innocence being taken down by a recess oppressor?  I keep praying for more understanding. More revelation. More assurance as this storm remains steadfast against the windows of our house, I diligently try to remain focus. I am looking through this storm for the face of truth which sets free.

Wheat Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Inspired by Post Punk Kitchen)

Ingredients:
1 ¾ cups almond flour
½  teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cups coconut sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 Tablespoon flax meal
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips

 How To Play:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flax meal and almond milk. Add sugar and stir, add oil and vanilla and whisk vigorously until all ingredients are emulsified (about a minute).Mix wet ingredients into dry, fold in chocolate chips. Drop batter by the tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheet, leaving and 1 1/2 inches of space in-between cookies. Bake for 10 -12 minutes.

wheat free cookie

Enjoy.