Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Merry Halloween!


Merry Halloween! I had such a great time this month just getting excited for today. Here are links to my favorite blog recipes that I made this month. People are so creative out there!

Whew! This is my favorite season for food. I’m just happy that October flavors can blend right into November’s.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Femininity: Olive Oil

Image courtesy of

Olive oil is unbelievably good for the skin. Its moisturizing effects are healthy, long lasting and good for all skin types. You can cleanse with it, shave with it and yes, even eat it. Consuming the healthy fats in olive oil can help regulate cell metabolism and turnover, leaving your skin new and fresh.

I use olive oil every night around my eyes. It softens that sensitive skin and can smooth out wrinkles. I don’t have any wrinkles as of yet. That could be age, but it could also very well be the olive oil! I put a small amount on one side of a cotton ball and use that to remove my eye makeup. There will be leftover olive oil around my eyes which is a good thing! I’ll then wash my face with a gentle face wash, spreading with it the leftover oil and it’s moisturizing magic. Then I’ll rinse, dry and marvel at my clean and glowing face.

I am fascinated by the Oil Cleansing Method and think that the upcoming Winter season will be the perfect time to try it. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sparkling Apple Cider Cookies

Warm apple cider is delicious, but these have the added element of nostalgia. Remember being a kid and drinking sparkling apple cider while all the grown ups drank champagne?

Most of the recipes I make are scaled down to fit in my Tiny Home. I have no place to store 2 dozen cookies so this recipe makes 1 dozen.

Sparkling Apple Cider Cookies
Cookie ingredients:
3/4 c. all purpose flour
2 Tbls. cornstarch
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbls. canola oil or melted Earth Balance
3 Tbls. nondairy milk
1/2 c. sugar
1 packet of Alpine Spiced Apple Cider drink mix
1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. nondairy milk
1/4 tsp. champagne extract

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In a separate bowl whisk together oil, milk, sugar, drink mix and vanilla.
3. Add the oil mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until completely combined.
4. Drop cookies by the tablespoon onto a lightly greased baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes until slightly golden on top. Let them cool on a cookie rack for at least 15 minutes.
5. While the cookies cool, make the glaze. Combine all of the glaze ingredients and mix with a fork until completely incorporated. The glaze should be slightly wetter than royal icing.
6. With a fork, drizzle the glaze over the cookies. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Handmade Candy Corn

Surrounded by Rumpledoodles. The Heffalump’s favorite cookie.

It’s been so many years since I’ve had candy corn and this Halloween season I was feeling it. These are soft, buttery and vanilla-ey. Everything candy corn should be.

Femininity: Autumn Skin Care

Here are all the magical soaps, lotions and potions keeping me beautiful this Autumn.

Lush: Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub

A gentle exfoliate and soap for the body. My husband says it smells like a new shoe but I think it smells fresh and almost oceany.

Lush: Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner

A conditioner for the body. It smells beautiful. Rosey and sweet. You apply it in the shower after washing and let it sit for a minute or so to soak in. Then rinse it off and pat dry. It’s moisturizing powers are astonishing and it never feels greasy. 

Shea Moisture: Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Healing Lotion

This lotion is made with a ton of different oils and smells like gently spiced oranges and milk (and I guess the advertised Frankincense and Myrrh.) It’s so moisturizing that I only need a tiny bit per area. It has a very heavy feel on application but lightens up almost immediately. Maybe if I treat my skin like baby skin it will eventually become baby soft.

Lush: Silky Underwear Dusting Powder

A moisturizing dusting powder. This is an especially good product to apply before working out. And of course it smells wonderful.

Lush: Imogen Rose Perfume

A rosey perfume that smells more woodsy than sweet. It’s sophisticated and gorgeous.

All these combined make me smell like a Disney princess looks. Can you tell I love Lush?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Roasted Potato and Onion Farinata.

Potato and Onion Farinata is one my favorite things to make. It’s comforting, easy and versatile. I normally make Potato and Onion Farinatas by slow frying the potatoes and onion, but I decided to try roasting them for this one. Roasting vegetables gives them a very Autumny flavor and that’s what I was feeling. I even took it one step further and sprinkled crushed sage on top. We have our weekly family dinner tonight so I made this for us few vegans to share. Really just my mom and me. Hope she likes it!

Roasted Potato and Onion Farinata

* One yukon gold potato, peeled, halved and sliced in 1/4″ slices
* Half a medium sized onion, halved and sliced in 1/4″ slices
* 2 Tbls. olive oil
* 1/2 c. chickpea flour
* 1 c. cold water
* 3/4 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare the batter. Whisk chickpea flour, water, salt and 1 Tbls. of olive oil in a medium sized bowl until very few lumps (or no lumps) remain. Put the batter in the fridge until ready to use. It’s important to do this first because the longer the batter sits, the better the texture will be after baking.

2. In an 8″ cast iron skillet toss the onions and potatoes in the remaining 1 Tbls. of olive oil. Roast the vegetables for 15 minutes, give them a stir and roast for another 15 minutes. They should be starting to brown and soft. 
3. Remove the vegetables from the oven and transfer them to a bowl. Crank the oven temperature to 500 degrees and place the emptied cast iron skillet back in the oven to preheat.
4. When the oven is preheated, take the batter out of the fridge and stir in the vegetables. Remove the skillet from the oven and pour in the batter/vegetable mix being Very Careful. (The pan is hot and the batter will probably splatter.) Bake for 15-18 minutes. The top should be browning and not jiggly.
5. Let the farinata sit for at least 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. To remove it from the pan loosen the edges with a knife and place a plate or cutting board on top of the skillet. Flip the skillet upside down over the plate. The farinata should pop right out.
6. Allow the farinata to sit at room temperature or in the fridge for at least 2-4 hours. Right out of the oven it will be wet and a bit mushy. I make mine in the morning or early afternoon if I intend to eat it at night. The longer it sits, the better.
7. This is best eaten at room temperature.  When ready to serve, sprinkle the top with crushed sage and cut it into slices. Like a pizza.

FYI – Sprinkled with a little kala namak, Potato and Onion Farinatas are very reminiscent of Tortilla de Papas. A wonderful revelation if you ask me.

And since I’m going to a family dinner, you know I had to make some Muddy Buddies to share:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Whole Wheat Beet Bread

Twice a month my husband works on a local farm for a few hours. As payment he receives a csa box full of the farm’s organic vegetables. It’s wonderful. Texas produce is wonderful. It’s not as varied as California produce, but it does changes with the seasons. However, there are certain foods we will receive for what feels like forever. For instance, beets. I actually don’t love beets, but we always have so many of them. However, lets be real. Free local organic produce is a blessing. Especially the plethora of not so loved beets. How? They get pureed, frozen and transformed into delicious baked goods. Like this bread:

Bonus shot of the pre-baked dough. So pink!

Whenever we get beets I boil them until soft and puree them in the food processor. Then I scoop the puree into a muffin tin and freeze. When they’re frozen I pop the pureed beet ice muffins out of the tin and add them to the beet bag. During beet season I always have a bag in the freezer dedicated to beet puree.

I’ve found that you can add pretty much any pureed vegetable to your daily (weekly/yearly) bread dough without messing too much with the flavor or texture. Any changes are usually subtle and pleasant. In the winter time this happens to any greens we can’t eat fast enough. Swiss chard bread and kale bread are completely normal!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dinner and a Movie: Monsters, Inc.

Every holiday turns me silly. I insist on many things from my family, one being themed ‘Dinner and a Movie’ nights. As Halloween is around the corner, Monsters, Inc. seemed like a fun choice. I made a very green and vegetable filled pizza.

Kinda looks like a cyclops!

And cookies for dessert.

Not the best picture, but what are ya gonna do?