Monday, February 16, 2015

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Rose Petal Frosting


The cupcake beast baker from within resurfaced days ago making these gossamers for Relationship Status Awareness Day. The inspiration came from a cake recipe found on the internet as "The BEST chocolate cake ever...that happens to be vegan" - and it's easy to understand why. If you disagree, then you're probably just a brownie eater or hate desserts. Roses and strawberries turned into the frosting; just add champagne and boom you're Cassanova. 

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes (no really, these are the best!)
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm wter
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Strawberry Rose Petal Buttercream frosting
1 cup vegan buttery spread (aka Earth Balance stuff)
3 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 strawberries
2 tsp dried rose petals
Extra strawbs for decor

For the cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Get cupcake pan ready - grease tins or papers.
Mix all dry ingredients together.
Mix wet ingredients together and combine with dry until well incorporated.
Pour into cupcake holders. Bake for 14 minutes.
Cool for at least two hours before frosting.

Frosting
Beat vegan butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, roses and strawberries and beat for two minutes.
Frost your cupcakes and be merry.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Tiropita

Every Christmas my friend, Laura, throws and Ugly Christmas Sweater party. There is no reason why the food shouldn't get crazy festive too, especially when it comes to cheese wrapped in pastry. Tiropita, or cheese pie, does not get augmented in the household I belong to, save for the time my little brother made cheddar cheese tiropita, and then ate it all.

It was perfect timing that I received a Greek love package from good old PA filled with Uniquely Greek feta spreads plus a T-shirt! I sampled these gems in Whole Foods when I lived in Philly so naturally I was super excited to have a supply of my own. I love supporting Greek products and this is one that I was lucky to taste again as their products haven't hit the Northwest market yet. The Fire Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach were used to make the red and green Christmas colors in this pita. Uniquely Greek, a sister-brother owned company, has some cool stuff - I'm excited to try the Spicy Buffalo and Kalamata Olive spreads next! If you can't find these spreads in your hood, order online.

Christmas Tiropita

1 package of phyllo, defrosted
1 red bell pepper, diced
6 eggs
1 1/2 cup cheese ( I used a combination of jack, mozzarella and manchego)
1 1/2 cup feta cheese
1 cup ricotta or cottage cheese
1/2 cup pepperoncini, chopped*
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 container Uniquely Greek Roasted Red Pepper Feta Spread
1 container Uniquely Greek Spinach Feta Spread
Extra virgin olive oil
*If you want a very green layer, throw some spinach in!


  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a skillet, saute the red bell pepper until blistered. Let it cool and melt your butter and start preparing your baking vessel with bottom layers of phyllo. Layer about 10 leaves, sprinkling butter in between each sheet 
  • In a large bowl, add the Roasted Red Pepper feta spread, 1/2 cup feta, 2 eggs, 1/2 shredded cheese and sauteed peppers. Spread the mix on the phyllo. Add a layer of phyllo on top.
  • Wash the red bowl out and use it to make the white layer: mix 1/2 cup feta, 2 eggs 1/2 shredded cheese and ricotta. Spread on top of the last phyllo layer. Wash bowl out and make green layer with the remaining ingredients. Layer the rest of the phyllo, but melted butter sprinkled in-between each layer. Score the top and bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy with spiked nog!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Greek Chili


The slow cooker is totally my husband's thing. He likes to throw bags of vegetables and cartons of broth in the vessel, turn it on slow and watch it go. I always feared the leftovers of slow cooking, lasting for days with a taste that won't go away. I've turned over a new leaf this Fall and started cooking chickpeas in the slow cooker, why didn't I start this sooner? The chickpeas always come out perfectly, without the hassle of mama bird hoovering tactics. So, I've always got a ton of chickpeas on hand, why not throw some more back into the slow cooker?

Do you know one of those people that always brags about their chili recipe? Does he swear by that test on Facebook that confirmed he really should have been a fireman? Does she bring chili to every social gathering, talking it up beforehand? I don't know anyone like that, either, but I've got something to talk about with him or her if I do.

Greek Chili
1 red onion, diced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 can or 16 oz of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can or 16 oz of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans of 32 oz of diced tomatoes (if you can't find the Greek kind, the Italian version will do)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 teaspoons dried Greek oregano
3 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons honey

For the top
Feta
Kalamata olives
Pomegranate arils
Fresh Greek oregano

Put all chili ingredients into the slow cooker on low for about 6 hours. Top with feta, kalamatas, poms and fresh oregano.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pumpkin Soy Hummus

Oh, hummus! It's perfect for every season and occasion.

Having recently survived ACL knee surgery and off my feet for a few weeks, I longed for the days when I could do simple stuff on my own, like make my own hummus and wear normal shoes. Once I got my legs somewhat back, I reached for my trusty food processor.

Can we talk about pumpkin? The level of pumpkin-ness has reached a whole new level of pumpkin this year. And I love it like I love Facebook, other people's selfies and Christmas music. I love perusing the pumpkin selection at Trader Joe's, scoffing at the sorry days when it was just a lonely can representin' for this time of year. I talked myself out of carving up my sugar pumpkin for Halloween, only to roast it with olive oil and salt a few days later. Just beautiful. And too beautiful to blend up for hummus, this time. However, the seeds were salvaged and roasted for hummus decor.

Chickpeas, I'm giving you a Plays Well With Others T-shirt for whirling so well with pumpkin and soy. You made a delicious, rich, festive dip that I'm ready to groove to all season long.

P.S. This is the hummus that gives you an excuse to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Crack open that can for hummus, finish it with cookies. You're welcome.

Pumpkin Soy Hummus

2 cups chickpeas of 1 16 oz can
1/3 cup pumpkin, pureed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons walnut oil (olive if you don't have it)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon or less sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
Roasted pumpkin seeds (Roasted mine in sesame oil and gochugaro) for decor

Blend everything but the chickpeas ad pumpkin in a food processor for about 20 seconds until all incorporated. Toss in chickpeas and pumpkin and blend until smooth, or to your desired consistency.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Plum and Poppy Seed Muffins (Gluten Free!)


Plum explosion happened in the hood triggering a public meeting (ahem, me and my two neighbors) about what to do with all these purple beauties. Some signed up to get their jam on, other harvested more to form large piles, I infused vodka by night and made muffins by day.

Poppy seeds are the best, and they worked fabulously (say it out loud in your best Lynne Rossetto Kasper voice!) with the plums. I added almond flour to give a little of that almond-poppy seed memory. So good. 

Gluten free has been the theme of my summer (I think my allergies are getting better?) and Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose flour has been my trusted homeboy throughout this wheat-free journey. You could probably just add regular AP flour and these muffins would still turn out a-ok. 

BUT, I still have tons more plums. What to do with them? 



Plum and Poppy Seed Muffins

8 plums, pitted and chopped up
1/3 cup unrefined sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flour
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups GF all purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix liquids and sugar together until well blended. Mix flours, baking powder, and salt together. Combine liquids with dry until just combined, then add diced plums. Pour into muffins cups and bake for about 18 minutes.