Oriental Cashew Cookies

You know it’s 10/10 when my mom takes seconds and asks for another batch. I love this cashew cookie recipe. There is a decent amount of prep work but after that the recipe is so easy. It has a different sweetness when compared to chocolate chip cookies and the coconut oil helps to accent the cashew flavour. Though the Lunar New Year has passed it reminds me of the sweets  during those occasions. Continue reading

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Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rosemary is one of the must pungent and aromatic herbs. It is said that rosemary in Latin (rosemarinus)  means “dew of the sea”. It’s no secret that my love for fresh herbs and gardening is growing, especially after seeing my host family’s beautiful herb garden in Monaco. They grew mint, sage, rosemary, basil, thyme, chives and a few others. I wish I could find a picture of it now but I may need to do some reorganizing of my files first. On a taco night dinner we had, host dad made a mojito for me using fresh mint from their garden and coconut water instead of alcohol. It was my favourite drink of the summer. Continue reading

Vegan Ice Cream Sandwich with Banana Soft Serve

I made these ice cream sandwiches about two weeks ago and put most of them away in the freezer because the weather was cold. Today is even more humid than yesterday therefore it calls for ice creams sandwiches. Who doesn’t like a cold little indulgence on such days?

While I was searching for a new vegan cookie recipe, I found Katie’s Copycat Chocolate Brownie Vitamuffin recipe. I highly recommend Katie’s recipe, it even incorporates pumpkin puree.
I cut back on a few tablespoons of sugar and I am pretty sure I added a bit too much salt, my first batch came out a tad unpalatable. My cookies were a little plain to taste, but it also was not worth throwing away.  Luckily I always keep chopped frozen bananas in case I need them in smoothies. The amount of bananas use in the recipe made more than enough for 6 ice cream sandwiches. Extras can be frozen in a plastic wrap-lined container.

They are super easy to make. Now I have no excuse to buy frozen treats from grocery stores. Continue reading

Blueberry Raisin Bran Muffin (Vegan)

Hello! I meant to post something since last week but I felt the need to slow down. Another university semester has finished and I am glad to be chilling out a bit more. The much needed catch-up on sleep and personal time has been so nice.

During the last week of exams I had an urgent need for muffins. I think this is the best  bran muffin I have baked so far. Although it is vegan, it is moist and has just the right about of sweetness. They are great for breakfast or an on-the-go snack. Extra muffins can be stored in the fridge or kept in the freezer.  

Vegan Blueberry and Raisin Bran Muffin
Adapted from Plant Fueled’s Whole Wheat, Low Fat, Vegan  Muffins and Vegan Thyme’s Vegan Bran Muffin. Yield: 1 dozen

1 cup wheat bran
3 tbsp grounded flax seeds
2 cups almond milk
2 medium bananas (~ 2/3 cup mashed)
**1 tbsp olive oil (see note below)

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda + 2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup dried raisins
3/4 cup fresh blueberries

1. Mix together bran, flax and almond milk. Let it sit and become a thick mixture.
2. Combine the flour, oats,sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and raisins.
3. Mash banana and add it to the bran mixture.
4. Combine dry and wet mixtures. Fold in blueberries.
5. Fill a lined muffin pan. Bake for 25-30 mins at 350 degrees F.

** I’ve tried the recipe with and without oil. Without oil it can be a bit dry, but I don’t mind at all. However, it might be a good idea to add the oil for more moistness.

This week I also went to visit a past high school teacher. I usually bring something each year for his birthday but with the end of the semester workload I wasn’t able to. I decided on cookies after seeing HowToCookThat’s Gangnam Stlyle Cookies. I thought they were the most adorable and funny things. What an idea! I love all of Ann’s tutorials and creations from HowToCookThat. I know that the buzz around Psy’s Gangnam Style song has diminished but I was hoping it would be fit because my teacher is learning Korean and enjoys K-Pop 🙂

I baked two batches of Chocolate Covered Katie’s Healthy Sugar Cookies recipe. I wanted to keep the food colouring as naturally sourced as possible. I mixed together icing sugar with vanilla extract and water. For the colours: strawberry juice for the pink (lips), fresh orange juice for yellow (skin) and cocoa powder +melted dark chocolate for brown (outline, hair and the shades). Handsome outlines. They turned out fairly well for first time decorating with icing. Half of the cookies were not so pretty because the icing bag was cut too large. Note to self, snip a smaller tip next time!  Hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather today!

Pumpkin in Your Tummy- 3 Ways

Today was National Dessert Day. I happily indulged in some homemade larabars that I prepared a few days ago. Extra fudgy mmm…It was also my birthday, happy birthday to me. How beautiful is this set of flowers. Thank you to my friends April and Jenn for this special surprise.

The upcoming week will be a busy week in terms of school, I pretty much spent the day on my butt and giving it my all to avoid distractions. Last weekend was an amazing few days spent in Waterloo with my friends Mavis and Jona. I count that as my blessed birthday present.

And exactly one week ago was Thanksgiving here in Canada, which means…pumpkin! There are 3 recipes I will be sharing.

The first one is this pumpkin loaf. I mentioned in the last post that I found this recipe at the farmers market. After making some changes to the recipe and baking it at home, I am very happy with how it came out. It was not too sweet and was very moist and dense. Continue reading

The Royal Visit in Toronto and Oatmeal Cookies

I am loving the weather and how nicely it is warming up. Yesterday was Victoria Day here in Canada and today… Prince Charles and Camilla visited Toronto! They also headed over to my university campus 🙂 . If I knew about his visit earlier I probably would have had my first peak of royalty too. It was so humid today and boy, does he look like he is feeling it.

I spent the afternoons of the past few days reading Food Inc. in the sun. Not many chapters in yet but so far so good. I will share more about it when I get close to finishing 🙂 Also, it is 2 weeks since discovering Tabata and I’m still loving it. It kicks my butt every time.

On Saturday I whipped up a batch of oatmeal cookies. I have wanted to try out a new oatmeal cookie recipe for a while and it was perfect to bring to work. I made some minor changes to the recipe from Sprinkling of Sugar. I used some olive oil to sub for the amount of the butter called for, used whole wheat flour instead of A.P flour, and used both brown sugar and granulated sugar.They are chewy and sweet, just like how oatmeal cookies should be. After tasting home baked treats, store bought cookies just don’t taste the same.

Easy Oatmeal Cookies
Yield: 15 cookies

-1/2 cup butter (or part olive oil)
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
-1 egg
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-3/4 cup whole wheat flour
-1 1/4 cup rolled oats
-1 to 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-pinch of salt
-raisins
-chocolate chips (optional)
-chopped nuts ( optional)

1. Mix together dry ingredients—baking soda, flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, raisins and chocolate chips.

2. Melt the butter slightly in the microwave (15-20 seconds) until it becomes soft, but not watery. Cream with the sugars; add in vanilla and egg.

3. Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix well. Stick in the freezer for a few minutes to help them shape easier.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and oil. Drop the batter using a tablespoon.

5. Bake at 350 degrees C for 10 minutes and cool.

I’m off to eat dinner, followed by a jog tonight!

Late Gingerbread Cookies

This is probably the first time ever  making gingerbread cookies from scratch. Gingerbread construction houses were done a couple of times in my childhood, but no one enjoyed it as much as I did 😦 sadly that tradition died and we never felt the need to make the houses again. Luckily I had 3 weeks of winter break this year! I finished 4 exams back-to-back. Why would the university do that?! I can still remember how drained tired I was, physically that is. For some reason, I always feel mentally awake, and if my body did not need sleep, I could go on without it. Continue reading