Patterned Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Roll (gluten free & vegan)

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aka Four Thieves Gone cake

Patterned cake rolls are fun any time of year, but are especially welcome at the holiday table. This one is filled with creamy chocolate peanut butter frosting.  Gluten-free and vegan.  

gluten free vegan cake roll patterned cake roll chocolate peanut butter cake roll avett cake how to patterned cake roll four thieves gone cake

A few weeks ago, I found myself at a rare but happy juncture: all my short-term projects were complete, and I didn’t have to start any new ones just yet. I knew exactly what I wanted to unexpected bounty of time: I wanted to tackle the patterned cake roll. A task that requires focus and precision, careful planning, strict attention.  All qualities that I’m no good at.

My faults are many, but there are some that stand out among others. I’m spacey. My mind wanders and rambles. I get overwhelmed and lost in details of planning. I’d like to say that I’m constantly working to liberate myself of these shortcomings, but that would be a lie. Life is messy for everyone, and sometimes I’m so busy that I forget that I want to be better.

gluten free vegan cake roll patterned cake roll chocolate peanut butter cake roll avett cake how to patterned cake roll four thieves gone cake

The classic method of self-improvement is practice. If you’re a slow runner, you do sprints. If you’re a clumsy dancer, you stretch and repeat steps until you find grace. When you’re unfocused, you practice precision.  And since I love to bake, I chose to practice precision through cake.

To make a pattered roll cake, you must first select your pattern. You can choose anything you like, hearts or Christmas trees or cats. I picked the album cover of one of my most beloved records of all time, Four Thieves Gone, by The Avett Brothers. They’ve been my favorite band for over a decade, and have affected my life in an ineffable way. But I’m getting distracted. Let’s talk about cake some more.

gluten free vegan cake roll patterned cake roll chocolate peanut butter cake roll avett cake how to patterned cake roll four thieves gone cake

Once you’ve picked out & prepared the pattern (details in and below the recipe), it’s time to start piping. You whip up a stiff batter and scoop it into plastic zip-seal bag. Cut an infinitesimal corner off the bag. Don’t use a frosting tip — even that will be too large. Make a few practice doodles and then start piping over the prepared pattern. Take your time, catching as many lines and curves as you can. Take breaks when you get tired, don’t rush. You can even make the pattern one day and then bake the following day. Once the pattern is complete, freeze it to prevent warping. Then whip up the cake batter and carefully pour it over the frozen pattern.

Once the cake is baked and cooled, you can frost it. Even though I’m not a big frosting girl, I feel in love with the gooey middle of this cake. It’s creamy and dark, with none of the grittiness that is present in buttercream. Gently roll up the cake.

To serve, pour a big glass of milk and cut the cake with a serrated knife. Share it with someone who loves you, flaws and all.

gluten free vegan cake roll patterned cake roll chocolate peanut butter cake roll avett cake how to patterned cake roll four thieves gone cake

Pattern printout is below the recipe. You will need to print out three pattern pieces. I’ve also included patterns from other albums, as well as instructions on how to make your own pattern

Patterned Chocolate Peanut Butter Roll Cake

I always use Bob's cup-to-cup GF flour and I love it. (not sponsored) If you are familiar with my blog, you know that I'm a stickler for sifting gluten-free flour. Sift while you measure, not before or after. It always yields better results, so don't skip it. For this recipe, I recommend sifting three times. This will avoid a gummy cake texture.

This recipe calls for bananas. Traditionally, bananas used in baking are the over-ripe, super soft kind. For this recipe, you want to do the opposite. Use bananas that are firm and still have a light green tinge.

You will need a10.5 x 15" jelly roll pan

Ingredients

    batter for the pattern outline (dark)
  • 1/4 cup aquafaba*
  • 1/4 cup of vegan butter, like Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • batter to fill in the pattern outline (white)
  • Copy outline batter, subbing 1/2 cup flour for the 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • for the cake
  • 2 flax eggs**
  • 1 cup of mashed banana, from firm bananas (about 2 of them)
  • 2 tbsp vanilla or spiced rum
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups very well sifted gluten free flour
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • creamy frosting
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut milkfat***
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

    for the pattern
  1. Mix the batters for the pattern outline and pattern filling. Scoop both into little zip-seal bags and cut an infinitesimal bit of the corner off the bag. It's essential that your cut is super tiny so that you can get as much detail out of the pattern as possible..
  2. Place a strip of parchment over your pattern printout and loosely affix with tape.It also helps to place it on a piece of cardboard for stability (like from a cut-up cereal box). Carefully pipe out the pattern outline with the darker batter. Place the parchment strip in the freezer until the batter hardens.
  3. Repeat with the other two pattern strips.
  4. Once the outline is hardened, pipe the fill-in pattern batter over the top, and then allow to freeze again. Leave in freezer until baking time
  5. for the cake
  6. Preheat oven to 350
  7. Combine the flax eggs, the bananas, the vanilla, the cinnamon, the salt, and the sugar, until well blended and smooth.
  8. Add the almond milk and blend again.
  9. Add the flour and the baking powder and blend again till smooth. Do not over blend
  10. Remove the pattern pieces from the freezer and line them, batter side up, in the jelly roll pan. Add plain parchment to line the rest of the pan. Tip: rubbing the pan with coconut oil will help the pieces stick and stay flat
  11. Carefully pour the batter into the pan
  12. Bake at 350 for 20-22 min.
  13. Remove from oven and immediately flip out onto a flat surface. (pattern side is facing up) Peel away the parchment. Once it cools some, move it to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.
  14. For the icing
  15. Combine coconut milkfat, peanut butter, and salt till smooth. Add the almond milk.
  16. Add the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder in a little bit at a time. Combine till smooth.
  17. to assemble
  18. Lay a piece of parchment or wax paper down on your work surface. Carefully turn the cake back over (so that the pattern is face down) onto the paper.
  19. Spread the icing all over. Tip- if the edges are super crusty, slice them off for easier rolling.
  20. Using the paper to help you lift the corners, gently begin to roll the cake up. Make sure that you start rolling at the blank, non-patterned end.
  21. Once it's rolled up, you can either serve it right away or wait for it to chill. If you wait for it to chill, the roll will hold better.
  22. Serve with love.

Notes

* aquafaba is the leftover liquid from canned chickpeas. If you are not a vegan, you may use an egg white, should it be more convenient.

**One flax egg = 3 tbsp water+1tbsp flax meal

***coconut milkfat is the creamy solid from a can of coconut milk. Chill the can for a few hours, allowing the fat to separate from the water. Scoop the fat cleanly off the top.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/vegan-gluten-free-roll-cake-patterned-chocolate-peanut-butter-roll-cake/

sources

pattern printouts 

I made the pattern printout in Photoshop. If you don’t want to use the Four Thieves Gone pattern or any of the other albums listed above, you can create your own pattern. Here’s how:

  1. Create a new file in Photoshop. (File – New) It should be 1050 pixels wide and 325 high. This will make it the width to fit in a jelly roll pan
  2. Pick an image that you want to turn into a pattern and open it in Photoshop. If can be square or rectangular. Crop or scale it down to 325 pixels high. You can also desturate it if you wish. clover3
  3. Click control+A followed by control+C to select the photo
  4. Paste your photo into your blank canvas as many times as it will fit. clover4
  5. Then flip the image so that it’s backwards. This ensures that it will be forwards on the cake (image…image rotation…horizontal flip) clover5

And then print it out and you’re ready to go! 🙂

 

Flourless Three Ingredient Chocolate Cake

a soy-free solution to the two ingredient Nutella cake 

Flourless Three Ingredient Chocolate Cake

I’m sure you’ve all seen this two ingredient Nutella cake. Or maybe you haven’t because you were in a Nutella induced sugar coma or something. No judgement, no judgement. But that cake has only two ingredients, and this has three.

Why Annie, why? Why did you add the third ingredient, making it slightly more complicated? Well, sadly, I am allergic to Nutella. Whaaaat? 

Yep. It’s true.

I’ve always had pretty bad seasonal/environmental allergies, but I never realized I had food allergies as well. In the past 1 or 2 years, the food allergies got significantly worse, making their presence well known. I drank a cup of soy milk and my eyes swelled shut. I’d have a bowl of my favorite cereal and would immediately start sneezing. I ate a pizza (a really, really good pizza from Milton’s in Raleigh) and spent the entire next day in a darkened living room, plowing through tissue boxes. Luckily, they offer wheat-free pizzas now, but I don’t live in NC anymore, so it doesn’t matter.

But if you’re ever in Raleigh, dude, go to Milton’s. And if you don’t have wheat allergies, order the eggplant topping on your pizza, it’s amazing. 

Flourless Three Ingredient Chocolate Cake

Days that were previously brushed off as a high pollen count began to cause suspicion. I always thought food allergies caused intestinal reactions, which is why I never connected two and two. I never imagined they would cause respiratory problems. A few months ago, I ate some tortilla chips from a restaurant that used soy oil. The next day was miserable (for me and everyone around me, who couldn’t concentrate because of all the sneezing and noseblowing).

i don’t know if i’m allergic to gluten. i only know i’m definitely allergic to wheat. and soy. 

I can have a tteeeeny bit of soy, about the amount that’s in a single Hershey’s kiss. So, not a lot. And Nutella as a ton of soy in it. 😫  Actually, many chocolate products have soy in them. I used Toll House 53% cacao dark chocolate morsels (this is not sponsored), which have no soy. Enjoy Life is also soy free, but I have no clue whether or not it would work here.
Flourless Three Ingredient Chocolate Cake

This came out fantastic! Chocolaty, sweet, and delicate on the tongue. We’re having an early Christmas with Jason’s family this weekend, since we’re gonna see my mom on actual Christmas. I’m totally bringing this over. And if they need to know why a slice or two missing, I’ll just tell ’em I had to make sure it tasted good. You know, takin’ one for the team. 😇

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • optional garnishes
  • -candied fruit
  • -rosemary
  • -or just a light dusting of powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a springform pan with parchment paper
  2. Place the syrup and the chocolate chips in a double boiler and melt together to form a fudge sauce.
  3. Turn of the heat, but keep the sauce over the heat source so that it remains warm and fluid
  4. Beat the eggs on high for several minutes. If you have a high power mixer, it will take about 5-6 minutes, but I have a hand mixer and it took me closer to 8-9 minutes.
  5. Gradually (very, very gradually) pour the fudge sauce into the egg mix, folding it in with your spatula.
  6. When an even color and consistency is reached, pour the batter into the pan.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.
  8. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

I used toll house 53% cacao dark chocolate morsels. They are they only soy free chocolate chip that is widely available, other than Enjoy Life. They didn't pay me to say that, it's just what I most often use.

http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/flourless-three-ingredient-chocolate-cake/

adapted from Kirbie’s Cravings 

Flourless Three Ingredient Chocolate Cake

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies (v, gf)

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies vegan sugar cookies gluten free sugar cookiesIt’s been so long since I’ve made sugar cookies. I’m not talking about since last Christmas or the Christmas before that.  The last time I made sugar cookies, I was in college and took a historic costume class, and I was giving a presentation on Marie Antoinette’s personal style. I made cookies in the shape of the Dauphine’s  hair to hand out during my talk.  I don’t know why I chose her hair, but then again, I don’t know why I chose to be a history major. I don’t know why it’s been so long since I’ve made sugar cookies!

Luckily, these sugar cookies really make up for that lapse. How good were they? Baked at 2 pm and gone by 6. I brought them to dinner at Jason’s parents’ house, even though the supply was already pretty decimated by the time we got there (not my doing, btw).

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies vegan sugar cookies gluten free sugar cookies

Anyways, everyone ate them up. Even my brother in law, who told me that he “wouldn’t have tried them before hand if he’d known they were gluten free and vegan, and that he couldn’t even tell.” That reminded me of this Onion article, so I tried to avoid eye contact when he said that. Please read the article, it’s hilarious.

I think the best part about them was when my little nephew’s face lit up after having a bite. Making people happy with food is a pretty wonderful feeling, don’t you think?

Speaking of making people happy, my mom was peering over my shoulder the whole time I was making these, and may have mentioned one or two or three times that she doesn’t like the new blog name. I thought that I might as well explain it to y’all.

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies vegan sugar cookies gluten free sugar cookies

It comes from a case of intentionally misunderstood lyrics. As in “we know they’re singing this, but it sounds like they’re singing this, and it’s funnier this way.” Lonely Starbucks Lovers.

The opening lines to the Avett Brothers song Laundry Room are “don’t push me out.” If you don’t know them, Google the live version, not the studio version, please.  Avett fans know that the boys absolutely adore cats,  which is why don’t push meow is an amusing alternate lyric. Sometimes we all need an amusing alternate version to life,  so I thought this was a pretty good blog name. *shrugs

Of course, you don’t need an alternate version to anything when you have a sugar cookie in your hand. These are nutty and a tiny bit under-sweet. I made them under-sweet on purpose because I don’t like a super sweet cookie and then super sweet frosting on top…and I knew I wanted the frosting to be really sweet. The sticky finger kind of sweet, the sugar coma on a Sunday morning syrup kind of sweet. This frosting tastes exactly like the kind of goo that comes on cinnamon rolls.    Which is kind of making me wish they weren’t all gone. Oh well, guess I’ll just have to make more of them. Darn.

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies vegan sugar cookies gluten free sugar cookies

 

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies (v, gf)

Ingredients

  • 9-11 roasted chestnuts
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 2 flax eggs (6 tbsp almond milk + 2 tbsp flax meal)
  • 1 cup of Bob's Red Mill GF flour in the blue bag, not the red bag
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • for the frosting
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • food coloring, if desired

Instructions

  1. Grind the chestnuts and pecans to a flour. You should end up with 1 cup of nut flour.I find a get a finer meal if I add in a little bit of the GF flour towards the end of the grinding process.
  2. Combine the nut flour, the GF flour, the cinnamon, the salt, and the baking powder.
  3. Combine the flax eggs, the coconut oil, the vanilla, and the sugar.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones.
  5. You don't HAVE to chill the dough, but I always find it helpful. in the rolling and cutting process. I made the dough at night and didn't roll & bake until the next afternoon.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400.
  7. Roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment, to about 1/6th - 1/8th of an inch thick. Cut out the cookies -- you should end up with out 36-40.
  8. Bake for 6 minutes.
  9. for the frosting
  10. Combine all ingredients and spread or paint over the cookies. Frosting will harden.
  11. Enjoy with family and friends.
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/cinnamon-roll-sugar-cookies-v-gf/

adapted from Ethel’s Sugar Cookies in the classic Betty Crocker Cooky Book

this is not sponsored content, I just like Bob’s 1 to 1 mix.

 

Parsnip n’ Pears Mac n’ Cheese

Parsnip n' Pears Mac n' Cheese

I am so very excited to share this with you, because it contains two of my favorite foods: cheese and roasted veggies. Even those who have known me even for a short while know I am obsessed with cheese in most of its forms; and the bulk of my dinners usually consist of roasted veggies. So this dinner is very, very me.

I picked up these parsnips late one night after work. The grocery store was nice and quiet, and I could carefully browse the produce without being in anyone’s way. These were just calling to me, under the soft hiss of the auto-misting. And since I am a cheddar lover (understatement), I knew just to pick up next.

The roasted parsnips turn into a full-bodied nutty cream, wonderful enough to spoon all on its own, and I kind of wished I’d purchased more of them so I could eat them plain. Next time.

Parsnip n' Pears Mac n' Cheese

I also wish I’d gotten more pears! I didn’t get too many because they can be hit or miss. You can get a great pear, and then you have the dry, hard ones . Those are so disappointing, don’t you think? But every single one was perfect. You broil them to get the juices going, and they get nice and soft and sweet. If you let them sit for a bit before serving, they get even softer and sweeter. They are a perfect complement to the ample creaminess of the parsnips and cheese. A few toasty onions get tossed on top simply for spirit’s sake. I’m used to eating mac-n-cheese with hot sauce on top, which I did not think would go well here at all. So onions.

Incidentally, if you have any leftovers (and I did, because there are only two of us and this has a generous yield), blend up the cheese sauce with some kale and spread it on toast. Crunch crunch.

Parsnip n' Pears Mac n' Cheese

 

 

Parsnip n’ Pears Mac n’ Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 large parsnips
  • 8 oz sharp white cheddar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 scant tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • a dash of pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 2 -3 Bartlett pears
  • a little bit of brown sugar
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4-6 servings of pasta (I used gf, it works just fine)
  • a small handful of nuts or seeds, for crunch

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450
  2. Peel the parsnips and slice them into coins. Lay them on a parchment-covered baking sheet and brush lightly with 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. Roast for 20-22 minutes, until nice and golden.
  4. Place the parsnips in a pot and use an immersion blender to purree them. They will be super lumpy.
  5. Place the pot over low heat and add the liquids (the milk and the water), one cup at a time, continuing to blend as you go. The mixture will become smoother.
  6. Add the cheese in. Just break it up into chucks and toss in. No shredding involved, the blender will do that for you 🙂
  7. Keep on blending until the cheese is fully melted and incorporated
  8. Add the thyme, celery seed, and pepper
  9. Bring the heat to medium, stirring continually, until mixture is hot.
  10. Allow to cool a bit and then add the salt to taste.
  11. Turn on the broiler. Slice up the pears and sprinkle brown sugar on both sides. Broil them for 2-3 minutes on one side, and 1 minute on the other side. Remove from heat.
  12. Prepare the pasta according to package directions
  13. Slice up the onion. Put the remaining olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat and allow to warm till shimmering.
  14. Add the onions and let them sit for a little bit, and then start stirring gently. Keep cooking for about 5-8 minutes, until nice and toasty looking but still crisp. Remove from heat and place on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
  15. Spoon the sauce over the pasta, and add the onions and pears over top of that. Add a sprinkle of nuts or seeds over the top, for a bit of crunch. Enjoy.
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/parsnip-n-pears-mac-n-cheese/

 

Splendid Cranberry Marscarpone Cornbread Custard

Splendid Cranberry Marscarpone Cornbread Custard

Hey! How was everyone’s week? Mine was super busy, but I don’t mind busy. I did miss y’all, but looking at what everyone else was cookin’ up helped.

There was Amanda’s oatmeal raisin cookies, which looked so soft and chewy and caramelly.

The snacks that people made were the kind of things that you want to ruin your dinner for. Spicy-sweet roasted chickpeas. Fried olives. I will have a handful of each, please.

Karen made  beautiful buttermilk mashed potatoes in a slow-cooker. I have no idea how she made mashed potatoes look so stunning (it’s a lump of potato….it’s not usually a pretty thing), but I am a wee bit envious of her photography skills.

And can someone stop the bus, because I need to have one of these Fluffernutter Cookie Bars. It has been far too long since I’ve had a flutternutter…but if you’re gonna put in in cookie form, I’m not going to bother. Skip the sandwich, go right for the cookie.

Then there were these crispy, veggie-stuffed, buttermilk/breadcrumb wrapped, toasty ravioli. Um, would it be rude if I skipped the fork and just picked it up with my hands? Because a fork would just get in the way of me eating as many as possible. Also, I really want to thank Nicole because she’s been so welcoming. Thank you!

Splendid Cranberry Marscarpone Cornbread Custard

Anyways, I’m mentioning all this because I would like to start a section about things I love from around the blogosphere. I have no idea what to call it. Cookies with Friends? Or maybe Can I Have Some of That? Licking the Spoon? Lick the Bowl? Coffee Cups? Right now I’m leaning towards Cookies and Coffee with Friends.

Ok, ’nuff about that. Do you want to hear about this cornbread custard? It is so good. And it’s so much easier that it looks, cause it starts with a cornbread mix – Bob’s GF, to be specific. (not sponsored content. I just like it) I was so pleased with the texture, it came out exactly as I wanted. It’s a spoon-or-fork deal when warm, and when it’s cold, you can pick it up with your hands. The custard itself is not too sweet,  but when you bite into a cranberry, you get a big mouthful of nectar. A drizzle of honey over top goes well.

This is just brunch perfection. It’s funny I should say that because I think the last time I actually ate brunch was 6 or so years ago. (eww….she doesn’t eat brunch? that girl is weird) But if I were to throw a brunch party, this would be on the menu. Damn. Now I’m craving mimoas. This would best friends with a mimosa. Can’t you just see the little cranberries partying away with some bubbly? Note to self: Try some of Lori’s cranberry mimosas.

Splendid Cranberry Marscarpone Cornbread Custard

This recipe doesn’t use the entire package of cornbread mix, which is wonderful because that means you can use if for other tasty things. I whipped up another little treat after I was done with this, and I hope to share it next week. Thank you so much for stopping by, say love!

Splendid Cranberry Marscarpone Cornbread Custard

Ingredients

    cranberry sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • custard
  • 1 1/2 cups of Bob's Red Mill gf cornbread mix (or a similar cornbread mix)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 8 oz room temperature marscarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups room-temperature milk
  • for serving
  • warmed honey, if desired

Instructions

  1. Place the cranberries in a small skillet with the brown sugar and the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Place the egg whites in a very clean, very dry bowl. Add the cream of tartar. Beat the eggs on high for several minutes, until firm peaks just start to form. Set aside.
  3. Beat together the marcarpone and the egg yolks for 2-3 min, until fluffy and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat again, until well combined.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350.
  5. Add the milk to the marscarpone mix. When you beat it in, it might appear a little curdled. That's fine.
  6. Add the cornbread mix to the wet ingreadients. Beat on medium for a few mintues unitl a smooth, creamy, even texture is reached.
  7. Gently fold the egg whites into the other ingredients.
  8. Line a 9.5 inch springform pan with parchment. Lightly grease the parchment the and the sides of the pan. Pour in the batter.
  9. Swirl the cranberry mix over the batter.
  10. Bake at 350 for 38-40 minutes, until the center bounces back at light touch.
  11. Allow to cool before removing from the pan.
  12. Just before serving, drizzle some warm honey over the top. Enjoy!
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/splendid-cranberry-marscarpone-cornbread-custard/

adapted a little bit from here, with some help from here

Splendid Cranberry Marscarpone Cornbread Custard

Hidden Rainbow Vegan Chili

hidden rainbow vegan chili Lately Jason has been asking me to “blog him up some chili.” When you ask like that, babe, how can I say no? eye roll.  Making people happy with food is one of my weak spots and he knows it.

What he doesn’t know (what he didn’t know as he gobbled it up and asked for seconds) is how many good things are in this chili.  Little grape tomatoes, and big earthy carrots, acorn squash, corn, tomatillos and avocado and jalapeno; purple potatoes. You practically have the entire spectrum here. Sorry blue.

hidden rainbow vegan chili My mom used to say that the more color you have on your plate, the healthier it is. I’m sure this rule is too simple to be totally true, but it’s also too simple to be false. It just plain common sense. Which means that this chili is full of stuff you want to put in your body.

The base is tomatillos, so you get that amazing green chili/salsa verde flavor. Talk about craveable. I like chili that I can chew, so I cut my carrots in big chunks. It probably makes the cooking time just a little longer, but when it comes to chili, you kind of want a longer cooking time (still under an hour). It gives all the flavors time to melt into one another and get snug. Deep. Rich. Spicy.

I might of had a few corn chips on the side. It’s a chili rule, right? You have chili, you must have chips. And I don’t feel bad about it, one little bit.  I’m not one to justify I-had-something-healthy-so-I-can-have-something-naughty. I had the corn chips because I plain old felt like it. Because, like I said, I like to make people happy with food. And one of those people is me. hidden rainbow vegan chili

Hidden Rainbow Vegan Chili

Ingredients

  • 10 small purple potatoes (about 11 oz worth of potatoes), cubed
  • 2 cups of cubed acorn squash
  • 3-4 large carrots, chopped (big chunks, not neat little die)
  • 1 1/4 lbs tomatillos
  • 2 large jalapenos, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium large onion, diced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, grated on a microplane
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups unsalted vegetable broth (I like Kitchen Basics)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • Topping
  • 2 ears of corn, shucked
  • olive oil
  • salt and chili powder
  • 2 avocados
  • small bunch of cilantro
  • 1 pt grape tomatoes
  • for serving
  • scoop corn chips

Instructions

  1. Blend up the tomatillos and half of the onion.
  2. Pour the oil in a large saucepan and place over medium heat.
  3. Once the oil is shimmering, stir in the garlic.
  4. Once the garlic becomes fragrant (less than a minute), stir in the rest of the onion, the squash, the carrots, and the tomatillo puree. Cover the pot.
  5. After ten minutes, stir in the potatoes. Cover once again.
  6. After ten more minutes, stir in the black beans, red beans, jalapenos, and vegetable broth. Cover once again and allow to cook for 35-38 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pot from heat and add salt to taste.
  7. Turn on the broiler
  8. Slather the corn with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and chili powder.
  9. Put the corn under the broiler and cook for 5 minutes. Turn and cook for 4 minutes, and then turn again and cook for 4 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  10. Once the corn is cool enough to handle, slice off the kernels.
  11. Chop up the avocados and grape tomatoes.
  12. Divide the chili among the serving bowls and sprinkle with the corn, grape tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro.
  13. Serve with love and a big pile of corn chips.
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/hidden-rainbow-vegan-chili/

Sweet and Salty Buckeyes

sweet and salty crunchy buckeyes

My husband is an Ohio native. We were living in North Carolina when we met, and I thought we would live there pretty much forever, but then life happened and we moved here.  He’s been here since January, and I came up in July.

It’s been an adjustment. I miss my favorite running trails, particularly because I feel that flat terrains are harder on the body.  And, um….there’s a lot of flat terrain here.

But I have gotten to do a bunch of fun Ohio things, like stuffing myself with fresh heartland produce, and going to a game at THE Ohio State University. We haven’t gone apple picking yet, but I hope to soon. And we’re going to a bonfire at his cousin’s farm, which I’m really looking forward to because I love love his folks.

sweet and salty crunchy buckeyes

But there’s still a lot of Ohio stuff I haven’t done — like survive the winter here yet, har har — and make buckeyes. So I had to make some buckeyes! But I’m not a real Buckeye, so I couldn’t make the traditional creamy centered powdered sugar kind. They are made with cereal, which gives them a very slight crunch.  And the peanut butter is a little salty, so they have that whole salty sweet thing goin’ on with you can love, no matter where you’re from.

sweet and salty crunchy buckeyes
I’m going to finish this Brutus eventually

I thought that my husband was a sturdy son of Ohio, through and through. Like, on one of our first dates, I put the accent on the wrong syllable in  “Tressel” and got a big long lecture. So I thought was prepared for the madness, but I was OH so wrong.  I still have a lot of learning to do, about history and traditions and what you can and can’t say during the week before Thanksgiving. So I gotta ask, what are y’all’s favorite Ohio traditions?

 

Crunchy Buckeyes

Yield: 28-30 buckeyes

Serving Size: 1 buckeye

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz box of corn chex
  • 1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips
  • special equipment
  • toothpicks (duh)

Instructions

  1. Use your food processor to reduce the Chex to a fine, sandy dust. Work in batches to end up with a better result. You should end up with about two cups of pulverized cereal.
  2. Add the salt to the Chex sand. I placed it in an airtight container and shook it up.
  3. Melt the peanut butter and coconut oil together in a double boiler set over medium heat. (I don't have a real double boiler, but an oven-safe bowl set over the pot worked really well). Stir constantly. It's melted enough when the peanut butter-coconut oil mixture drizzles in a thin, smooth stream off your spatula. If it plops, it's not melted enough.
  4. Without removing the peanut butter from the heat, mix in the Chex sand.
  5. Stir the peanut butter and sand until you get a crumbly mixture. Remove from heat.
  6. Using your hands, continue to mix the powder and the pb until it comes together more, something resembling a dry cookie dough. Although it looks and feels very clumpy now, it will get smooth once you start to roll the balls.
  7. Roll up the mix into balls just a little smaller than a tablespoon. Stick the toothpicks into the balls as you go -- it will help the toothpick stay inside the ball during dipping. You should end up with 28-30 balls, depending on the size.
  8. Place the balls in the freezer for about 5-8 minutes.
  9. Melt the chocolate (a double boiler works great once again!)
  10. Dip the balls in the chocolate. A swirling action ensures a good coating. You may need to return the chocolate to the heat once or twice.
  11. Allow the chocolate to harden. Or don't. Jason! They're not ready yet.

Notes

If the balls don't seem to be forming at first, let the mixture sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes or so. It will firm up some, making it easier to work with.

Even though they keep their shape well at room temp (thanks, coconut oil!), it's best to store these in the fridge.

http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/sweet-and-salty-crunchy-buckeyes/

Apple Glazed Apple Donuts

Apple Glazed Apple Donuts gluten free vegan apple donuts

It’s apple time!

I’m sure you’ve been seeing lots of apple donut recipes lately. There’ s a reason for that, you know. Apple donuts are classic. One of the things defines a classic (recipe, song, outfit, story et al) is that you can spin it many different ways and yet it remains timeless.

These are made with oat flour and fresh apple sauce and dates. I’m in love with the apple glaze here — sweet and sticky, a perfect compliment to the gentle walnut crunch.

I’m including the apple sauce recipe, not because I think you’re a moron who doesn’t know how to make apple sauce. I know you can make sauce. But everyone’s ideal apple sauce is different – I normally like mine spicy and chunky, eaten cold with  yogurt – so I’m just sharing what works best for this particular donut

Apple Glazed Apple Donuts

Ingredients

  • apple sauce
  • 3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, & sliced
  • donuts
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 dates
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • glaze and topping
  • 2 1/2 tbsp applesauce
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • small handful of chopped walnuts

Instructions

    for the apple sauce
  1. Place the apples in a small saucepan with about an inch of water. Cover and cook over medium heat 16-18 minutes. Stir the sauce and turn off the heat. Allow to sit, covered, for about 18 more minutes. Remove from burner and puree till smooth. Allow to sauce too cool before continuing. The sauce can be made a few days beforehand, if you like.
  2. for the dohnuts
  3. Grind the oats to a smooth and silky flour and set aside
  4. Place the dates in a small bowl, and cover with 1/3 cup water. Microwave 3-4 minutes. Do not drain the remaining water. Puree to a paste. Set aside.
  5. Combine the oat flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.
  6. Combine the apple sauce, almond milk, vanilla, and date paste.
  7. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  8. Preheat oven to 425.
  9. Divide the batter evenly in a 6-ring donut pan.
  10. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  11. for the glaze
  12. Combine the apple sauce, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Lay the top of the donut down in the glaze to coat it. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Enjoy
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/apple-glazed-apple-donuts/