Thursday, October 16, 2014

Crock Pot Apple Cake

Apple pie, apple butter, applesauce, Apple computer... anything apple is good in my book! Last month I pinned this recipe for Vegan Slow Cooker Apple Pie Cake and was eager to give it a try. I had never made a cake in the crock pot before, but it seemed easy enough! (I was right. SO EASY.)

I decided to make it for a Frock Swap party a few weeks ago and it was a big hit! No leftovers! Nick was pretty bummed that he didn't get to try any, so I decided to make it again (uhh, actually 3 times now...) and it's gone over pretty well each time. Trust me, you're gonna want to make this one too.

Here's what you need! (Recipe adapted from Vegan in the Freezer)
- 4 Granny Smith apples
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 cup vegan butter (we use Earth Balance)
- 1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
- Crock pot (I used a 5 qt. size)

The ingredients above are all vegan-friendly, however, you could easily substitute the sugar, butter, and cake mix for non-vegan versions.

Here's what you do!
- Peel and slice apples and place directly in the crock pot.
- In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar. Pour on top of the apples and stir to coat the apples evenly.

- Measure out your butter and melt it in the microwave.
- In a large bowl, combine dry cake mix and melted butter. Stir well. The mixture should have a crumbly, doughy consistency.
- Sprinkle half of the cake mix into the apples and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle the rest of the cake mix on top of the apples but do NOT mix in.

- Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
- Serve warm!

For added goodness, we've been eating this with some vanilla soy ice cream... DROOL. SO GOOD. Think you'll make it? Be sure to let us know if you do!

Sarah & Nick

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Breakfast Tofu Scramble

As many of you may or may not know, I happen to be dating and living with a woman that was, for the vast majority of her life, obsessed with eggs. I can't tell you how many times I've heard her say, "Eggs are my everything," or some variation of that. That being said, choosing to give up meat and dairy products to the best of our ability recently has put quite a damper on Sarah's egg intake. Therefore, the search for a delicious vegan option was on, and though it is still early in our hunt, this is by far the best Tofu Scrambled Egg recipe we've found so far!

Here's what you need:
- 1 block (16 oz.) firm or extra firm tofu
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (found in the baking aisle, comes in a shakeable container)
- 1/2 red or yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 bell pepper, diced
- Anything else you'd want to sauté into a breakfast scramble!

Here's what you do:
- Clean and dice your onion and bell pepper and any other veggies/toppings you'll be putting in the scramble.
- Drain and press your tofu (we wrap ours in papertowels and place a cast iron skillet on it). Then, cut it into about 1 inch cubes to be crumbled into your frying pan.
- Add crumbled tofu, peppers, onions, and 2 tbsp. oil in a large frying pan.
- Sauté until vegetables reach desired tenderness.
- Add remaining spices, yeast, and soy sauce.
- Cook on stove top for 5-10 more minutes, stirring often.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to add more garlic or onion powder, too. (I usually do!)

And that's it! Fairly quick and super easy, this is a fantastic, satisfying substitute to a morning helping of scrambled eggs and veggies! And of course, it is completely customizable. Add in anything you want! If you would have asked me 6 months ago how I felt about tofu, I'm absolutely certain I would have just walked away from you. Now? I love it, and I love discovering all the incredible, delicious meals I can make with it!

Sarah & Nick

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pumpkin Spice: Morning & Night

This isn't the first pumpkin spice recipe you've seen and I'm sure it won't be the last. Loving pumpkin spice anything has gotten so ginormously huge that's it's even jokeworthy at this point. But there's a reason that we're all obsessed with this fall staple... it's delicious.

Like many people, I'm a big fan of the ever-popular Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. I don't typically buy coffee, but once the PSL hits shops it's hard to say no. That all changed when I stumbled upon this article about what's really in a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, and while I was not surprised to learn that there are artificial flavors, preservatives, caramel color, etc. etc. etc., I was surprised to learn that even a PSL ordered with soy milk is not dairy-free. (P.S. There's no pumpkin in it either.)

So I decided it was time to make a homemade version of the pumpkin spice latte and figured, hey while we're at it, why don't we make a pumpkin spice cocktail too? Pumpkin Spice White Russian, anyone?!

First we're going to need to make our base for both drinks: pumpkin spice syrup! If you've ever tried mixing cinnamon or spices into a drink, you know that they usually just float on the top and make your drink gritty. Making a syrup will give you the flavors of the spices without the grit! This syrup can be kept in your fridge for a few weeks, so anytime you want to whip up a drink, it'll be a breeze!

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Here's what you need!
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. groung ginger
- 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 1 cup water

NOTE: Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice are basically what makes up pumpkin pie spice. If you have pumpkin pie spice on hand, feel free to use 1 tbsp. of that instead!

Here's what you do!
- Combine all ingredients in a medium pot.
- Simmer over medium heat, stirring until all sugar has dissolved (about 10 minutes or so).
- Turn of heat and let cool. Strain into a sealable jar and store in refrigerator. (We used a fine mesh strainer from Nick's brewing supplies to strain the syrup, but cheesecloth would work as well.)

Now that we have our syrup, let's make some drinks!

Morning: Pumpkin Spice Latte
Here's what you need! (1 1/2 oz = 1 shot)
- 1 1/2 oz. pumpkin spice syrup
- 4 oz. strong coffee
- 4-6 oz. milk (we used almond)

Here's what you do!
- Optional: If making a hot PSL, heat your milk in the microwave to make it frothy and warm so it doesn't cool your drink down immediately!
- Combine all ingredients in a mug and stir.

You can make your pumpkin spice latte cold or warm - both are delicious!

Night: Pumpkin Spice White Russian
Here's what you need! (Recipe adapted from A Beautiful Mess) (1 1/2 oz = 1 shot)
- 1 1/2 oz. pumpkin spice syrup
- 3 oz. vodka
- 2 oz. coffee liqueur
- 1 1/2 oz. cream (we used dairy-free)
- 3-4 ice cubes

Here's what you do!
- Combine all ingredients in a glass and stir.
- Serve cold!

Oh man, this White Russian is SO good. You definitely don't want to miss out on this recipe - share it with your friends! Or better yet, host a happy hour and make it for them instead!

Whether you're a morning or evening person, there's a wonderfully delicious pumpkin spice drink for everyone. We hope you enjoy!

Sarah & Nick

P.S. Like that painted mug or those pretty cloth napkins? You can find the tutorials here and here!