Hi! I'm taking a little break and it might take me a few days to reply to comments and emails. I'll be back soon! :)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Half-Batch Raspberry-Coconut Scones

I spent most of my life being a raspberry hater. Then last year my taste buds did a 180 and I ate ALL the raspberries! Who knows what changed. All I know is that I went from gagging at the mere thought of their fuzziness to shoveling them into my mouth like one would in a raspberry-eating contest. With my pinkie up like a proper lady, of course.

My favorite way to eat them is fresh and naked. The raspberries, not me. I'm usually wearing some sort of pant when I eat them. Four bucks for a tiny thing of raspberries is a bit much, so whenever I see them on sale at 10 for $10 - get out of my way I'm going to buy all the raspberries! One of our local grocery stores had 10 packs for $10 last week and I thought I'd use some of my fruity loot to bake some scones. They are crispy on the outside and they have a tender crumb. They're sweet enough, but not very sweet. I liked the scones and ate too many, but I still think my favorite way to eat raspberries will always be fresh and naked. Mr. Wing-It, who is not a raspberry fan, actually liked these because the berries are soft and gooey and they lose their outer fuzziness in the oven.

Coconut-Raspberry Scones

This one is adapted from three different recipes: Alton Brown's Scones, these Simple Scones from AllRecipes, and these Raspberry Scones from CHOW.

Half-Batch Vegan Raspberry-Coconut Scones

Author: Wing It Vegan

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 6 Mini Scones


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 2 tbsp sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/8 tsp salt (1/4 tsp if you're using coconut oil)

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter OR 3 tbsp coconut oil

  • 2 tbsp chickpea flour

  • 4 tbsp coconut milk (the canned fatty stuff)

  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, washed and patted dry (see notes)

  • For the top:

  • 1/2 tbsp coconut milk

  • 1/2 tsp sugar

  • 1 or 2 tbsp dry shredded coconut


What To Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.

  3. Mash in the vegan butter using a large fork, or you can use a food processor to save time.

  4. In a small bowl combine the chickpea flour, coconut milk, and extracts. Mix until smooth.

  5. Pour the chickpea flour mixture on top of the flour mix and use the fork to stir/mash everything together. It should be a fairly dry dough, thought not crumbly. If you try to mix everything together but it isn't happening, add a tiny bit more coconut milk. Too much liquid will make these spread out too much in the oven and the scones will be a little too soft, so the dough should be fairly dry.

  6. Sprinkle a bit of flour over your work surface and place the scone dough on it.

  7. Flatten down the dough into a rectangle (about 8 by 6 inches) and evenly distribute the raspberries all over half of the rectangle. (see photo)

  8. Fold the other half of the dough over the raspberry-covered dough and press down gently. Gently shape the dough into a somewhat neat rectangle.

  9. Cut the dough into thirds and then cut each third diagonally. (see photos)

  10. Brush the tops of the scones with about 1/2 tablespoon of coconut milk and sprinkle the sugar and coconut all over the tops.

  11. Transfer the scones to the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until they are slightly browned on the tops and bottoms. My oven needs help with this because it only browns from the bottom, so I bake them at 375 for 10 minutes, rotate the baking sheet, and broil at 375 for about three extra minutes or until the tops look nice and toasty.

  12. Transfer the scones to a cooling rack and let them cool down a bit, unless you want a hot-as-lava raspberry stuck to the top of your mouth. I may speak from experience.

Notes:

If you want a lot of scone with a little bit of raspberry use half a cup of raspberries sliced in half.

If you want a little bit of scone with a lot of raspberry use 1/2 cup of whole raspberries.


Coconut-Raspberry Scones

Coconut-Raspberry Scones

Coconut-Raspberry Scones

Coconut-Raspberry Scones




If you subscribe to my Facebook page you may have already seen the following photo. It's the first batch of baby dumplings of the season! It's amazing how something so cute can be the result of such a horrible mating ritual. Have you ever witnessed ducks mating? If you haven't, you're lucky. Several males often gang up on one single female (or sometimes even on an injured male!) and it is not fun to witness that. It's traumatizing!

This seems like a good time to give you a relevant tip: never Google "duck penis". Just don't do it, man. Keep enjoying that blissful ignorance that I lost when curiosity got the best of me and made me look it up. Disturbing! My eyes! My eyes! What has been seen cannot be unseen! Purge my memory of this horrid sight! What? You weren't thinking about googling "duck penis"? You are now! Mwahahaha! But don't.

But anyway, baby dumplings!

Baby Dumplings

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Super Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

I've been trying to write this post since Monday but I have the blogging "mehs." I find that 90% of the time I love WordPress, but the other 10% when I miss Blogger, I miss it hard. Wishy washy? Me? Maybe a little. Do you like my new profile photo? I wasn't happy with the other one. It was too posey and not really me. This one is more like it! Or is there too much tongue? Puppy tongue!

Let's get right to the food then, shall we? Would you like a piece of peanut butter fudge?




This fudge is the BOMB! It's sweet but not too sweet, and it's super peanut buttery and dreamy. I've made it so many times I've lost count. All you need is peanut butter, coconut butter, and maple syrup. That's it. And no messing with candy thermometers! You just need to melt all the ingredients together, pour the mixture into whatever mold you're using, refrigerate and you're done! This amazing recipe is by Ashley of Blissful Basil and you can find it here.

The original recipe calls for maple syrup, but I usually make it with agave and use only one tablespoon. Because of this, I add an extra tablespoon of peanut butter to keep the fudge from getting too hard and dry in the fridge. I also add a teaspoon of vanilla, because I am a vanillaholic, and a pinch of salt because I make it with unsalted homemade peanut butter.

Sometimes this happens:

Super Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

Just a little bit of melted semi-sweet chocolate drizzled on top of some delicious homemade peanut butter fudge. Nothing to see here.

Let's wrap this up with a couple of birdies who don't mind getting all posey for the camera. Are they having a bit of a birdie dispute? This photo was taken through our bedroom window, and that haziness that you see there is the reflection of our blinds that got in the way. I think it looks nice though!

Hazy Sparrows

Monday, April 13, 2015

Half-Batch Blueberry Almond Cookies

Do you like half-batch recipes? Or would you rather bake a full batch or even a double batch of stuff? I like baking half batches because that means I can bake something else sooner. Besides, if I make a double batch of anything because I intend to freeze some for later - that's the batch that's going to be a disaster. Even if it's something I'm used to making frequently. Making a double batch means that I will forget to add the baking powder, or measure the oil twice, or set the oven to broil instead of to bake. True stories. All of them.

So, let's play it safe and make a half batch of cookies! Susan, you made me hungry for blueberries!

Half-Batch Blueberry Almond Cookies

These are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside with lots of chewy almond paste bits and juicy blueberries. I like to take it easy on the sugar for these because the almond paste adds its own sweetness to these cookies, but they are still sweet because they are cookies. They do have blueberries and nuts (from the almond paste) so they're practically a whole food, right? That is if you don't count the fat, the sugar, the white flour, and the fact that I could probably shove an entire batch in my mouth within minutes.

Your Honor, let the record show that I CAN actually bake things without using any chocolate.

Half-Batch Blueberry Almond Cookies

Half-Batch Blueberry Almond Cookies


Author: Wing It Vegan

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 10 cookies


Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp chickpea flour

  • 1 to 3 tbsp almond milk

  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/4 cup white sugar

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch, sifted

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 cup almond paste, chopped into tiny 1/4 inch bits

  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries


What To Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F / 175 C and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a small bowl whisk together the chickpea flour, a tablespoon of almond milk, almond extract, vegetable oil, and sugar until smooth and creamy.

  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Give it all a good stir.

  4. Throw in the almond paste bits and blueberries and toss them around to coat them with flour.

  5. Add the liquid ingredients and stir with a large spoon until your cookie dough looks smooth. If it looks dry and crumbly, add milk a teaspoon at a time. The dough needs to be fairly firm but it shouldn't be dry and crumbly.

  6. Scoop onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet, about an inch apart. My cookie scoop holds 1.5 tablespoons of cookie dough.

  7. Bake for nine or ten minutes, or just until the tops of the cookies don’t look wet anymore, then immediately rotate the cookie sheet to bake them evenly and bake for another two to three minutes. The middle rack of my oven browns their bottoms too much, so I bake mine on the next higher rack. Keep an eye on them after eight minutes because your oven may be faster than mine. Also, I need to broil mine during the last two minutes (still at 350) because my oven refuses to bake from the top.

  8. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool down a bit. Really, hot blueberry balls of lava are no fun!


Notes:

Mandatory Cookie Notes:

If you can, bake a test cookie first. That’s what I do when I’m trying out a new-to-me recipe to make sure I don’t end up with ruined cookies and wasted ingredients. Different people measure things differently, we may use different brands of baking ingredients, and we may live at different altitudes that might alter the cookies. So if possible, bake a test cookie and see how it does in the oven. If it doesn’t melt into a puddle of cookie, go ahead and bake the rest of the batch. If it melts it means you’re going to need to work a little bit more flour into the dough.

My oven doesn't like to bake from the top. I have to bake my cookies for seven or eight minutes and then switch to broil, still at 350, for the final two or three minutes. If your oven is an incompetent imbecile like mine, you might want to do the same. Keep an eye on them if you broil them though – Captain Obvious would like to point out that parchment paper is flammable.



That's it for the foods. Now let's check on the birds! Mr. Wing-It and I are both very witty when it comes to naming our backyard birds. For example, here is one of the downy woodpeckers that visit us every day. His name is Woody. Creative genius! All the other woodpeckers that visit us are also called Woody.

Woody the Downy Woodpecker

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Half-Batch Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Last week I shared my recipe for Her Ladyship's Cranberry-Orange Muffins. Today I'm sharing one for my kind of muffin. Raise your hand if you're a peanut butter lover! Yeah! I have to actively keep myself from blogging exclusively about peanut butter and chocolate, otherwise my recipe index would be pretty monotonous. I could totally do that. But then I'd have to change the name of my blog to Wing It Peanut Butter and Chocolate, or  Wing It PBC, or Wing It PeaBuCho. Peabucho! I like it. I'll think about it.

Can I interest you in a Peabucho Muffin?

Half-Batch Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

These are loaded with peanut butter, which makes them very dense and, well, peanut buttery. There is always the option to cut the peanut butter in half, which will render a lighter muffin that is still peanut buttery but at a more normal level. If you have a normal relationship with peanut butter, maybe the variation would be best for you. If your relationship with peanut butter is more intense, let's say if peanut butter is the "Mother" to your Norman Bates, then you may prefer the original version.

Mr. Wing-It says he likes his muffins stupid, so he prefers the dense ones too. Zing!


Half-Batch Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Recipe Type: Muffins

Cuisine: Vegan

Author: Wing It Vegan

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 6


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almond milk

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter*

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 3/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


What To Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 C), line a muffin tin with six paper liners and spray with cooking spray.

  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, vanilla extract, and sugar. Add the peanut butter and whisk or stir until smooth.

  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl sift in the flour, add the baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips and stir well.

  4. Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the dry and gently stir until just combined. Your batter should be thick, but you should still be able to pour it out of the bowl using a spoon for guidance. If your batter is not at least a little pourable add a bit extra milk.

  5. Fill each muffin well almost to the top. If you want, you can throw a few extra peanuts and chocolate chips on top for decoration.

  6. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out with just a few moist crumbs. I like to broil mine at 375 for two minutes to make the tops nice and toasty. So I bake mine for about 22 minutes and then broil for a couple extra minutes.

  7. Let them cool in the muffin tin for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Notes:

You can use only 1/4 cup of peanut butter if you want a fluffier muffin. 1/2 cup of peanut butter is for insane peanut butter lovers!

I like to throw in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips because I have no self control, but I realize that it may be too much for strange people who are not addicted to chocolate.



Did you choose the dense muffins or the fluffy variation? Either way, here's something else that's fluffy and sometimes a little bit dense. Lovey and Dovey! Here they are waiting for Food Dude to deliver their breakfast. Any time now. No hurry. We'll just be here looking hungry and miserable. Thanks.

Lovey and Dovey

Monday, April 6, 2015

Jamie Oliver's Best Cauliflower Cheese

More cheese, please! One can never have too much cheese, can one? Do you watch Jamie Oliver's Youtube channel? I love it! There are a lot of meatstuffs there, but many of the recipes can be easily veganized. Last year Sal at Alien on Toast (which just happens to be one of my favorite blogs of ALL TIME) veganized lots of Jamie Oliver's recipes for Vegan MoFo 2014. Awesome stuff!

Anyway, this one is Jamie Oliver's "Best Cauliflower Cheese". Video recipe here.

Jamie Oliver's Best Cauliflower Cheese

It's made with cauliflower AND broccoli - so I was sold on that one as soon as I saw it. Did I ever tell you about the time when I was cooking something and needed to ask Mr. Wing-It to get me the cauliflower from the freezer, but I couldn't remember the word "cauliflower" and asked him for the "white broccoli" instead? He knew exactly what I meant because he's used to translating my absent-minded gibberish.

Mmm, white broccoli. Let's food! *gibberish*

Jamie Oliver's Best Cauliflower Cheese

This dish is pretty easy to put together. First you get a garlic clove nice and toasty in some butter, then you add a bit of flour and some milk to make a sauce, blend in the broccoli, throw in some cheese, pour it all over your cauliflower florets, top with bread crumbs, crunchy almond slices and more cheese, bake and eat! Veganizing this was a no-brainer. Vegan butter, almond milk, and vegan cheese instead of the dairy stuff. I also doubled the cheese, because cheese.

I used frozen broccoli and cauliflower for mine, but I did leave them in the fridge to let them thaw out overnight. Otherwise that thing would have taken forever to bake into soft, creamy, yumminess. The only thing I would do different next time is that I would skip the almond slices. My tongue felt that the crunchiness of the almonds interrupted the perfect creaminess of the dish. And my tongue likes what it likes.

Jamie Oliver's Best Cauliflower Cheese

For the cheese I used some more of the GO Veggie! products that I told you about last week. For this one I used the GO Veggie! mozzarella shreds and I also added a couple of tablespoons of the parmesan-style topping to the sauce and all over the top of the dish. The mozzarella melts FAST! I knew this because I had melted some on pasta a few days ago and it only took a few seconds to get soft and gooey. I actually waited to top this dish with the mozzarella shreds until it was ready to come out of the oven, and then I baked it for an extra minute with the shreds on top. The mozzarella is mild and it most definitely melts! I need to melt it on a pizza next. Us vegans are obsessed with melting vegan cheeses, aren't we? I love the flavor of the parmesan-style topping. It's also very mild and it goes well with nearly everything. I've used it in soups, pasta, sprinkled it on pizza, stirred it into polenta. It's a very recipe-friendly flavor. When Mr. Wing-It and I are traveling we always carry some in our cooler. In fact, when we are traveling we also always carry GO Veggie! vegan cheddar slices in our cooler. Quick pastas and sandwiches are road-food staples for us.

Go Veggie ParmGo Veggie Parm

I haven't shared any duck photos in a while, so here's today's episode titled "The One Where Mr. Wing-It Tries to Dig a Hole."

Pesky Dumplings

The hole was accidentally filled with water because Mr. Wing-It was rinsing off some things with a hose nearby, and these little dumplings thought it would be a good idea to use it as a swimming pool. Ducks are a lot like cats! They have to inspect everything you're doing and also sit on it. Look at that pesky little dumpling in that bowl of muddy soup!

Pesky Dumplings

Disclosure: GO Veggie! sent us these products for free. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Walnut and Beet Pantry Burgers

I've been debating myself over these burgers for a while. Will other people like them or do I just like them? I'm gonna take a gamble and put them out there for all to see, but here are a few notes that I must disclose first.

These are not a meaty burger. They aren't the type of burgers that you serve your die-hard, meat-loving uncle Hank to try to lure him to the vegan side. In fact, uncle Hank might disown you if you trick him into eating these by telling him that they taste just like beef burgers. On the bright side, this may be an efficient way to cut ties with insufferable relatives.

You: Here, uncle Hank, have one of my vegan burgers. They taste just like meat!

Uncle Hank: *chomp, gag, spit* These taste like beets and walnuts! What have you done to me? Never speak to me again!

You: *smug smirk*

Bright side! Really though, these are definitely a veggie burger. They taste of health. They are soft because they don't have any wheat gluten or other heavy-duty binding ingredients, so they need to go in a soft burger bun or two slices of crust-free bread. No crusty ciabatta rolls for these things.

OK, I feel like I've disclosed all the important stuff now. Let's see'em.




Oh, but I do love them! They are so flavorful and, if you love walnuts like I do, these are the nuttiest burgers who ever nutted. These were inspired by the wonderful Quarter Pounder Beet Burgers from the PPK. They are pantry burgers because they are made with pantry staples and no fresh veg. Fresh ingredients are generally better, of course, but these are for those days when you have nothing left in the fridge and you don't feel like going grocery shopping because that would involve taking off your pj's and putting on pants, and today isn't a pants kind of day.

Walnut Beet and Black Bean Pantry Burgers

Walnut and Beet Pantry Burgers

Recipe Type: Entree

Cuisine: Vegan

Author: Wing It Vegan

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 2 burgers


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts

  • 1/4 cup canned sliced beets or mini beets

  • 1/2 cup canned black beans

  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp fennel

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme

  • ground black pepper to taste

  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke

  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard


What To Do:

  1. Grind the walnuts in a food processor, pulsing until they are finely ground. They should be ground but not floury, and keep an eye on them or they will turn into walnut butter!

  2. Transfer the ground nuts to a mixing bowl.

  3. Pulse the beets in the food processor until finely chopped. Just short little pulses to keep the beets from blending into a puree.

  4. Transfer the beets to the mixing bowl with the walnuts.

  5. Pulse the beans in the food processor until most of them are broken up. It's best to end up with a lot of whole beans and a few broken up ones than to end up with black bean paste, so just pulse it a few times until some of your beans are broken up.

  6. Transfer the beans to the mixing bowl.

  7. Throw in 1/4 tsp of salt, all the spices, mustard, and liquid smoke and mix everything well with a large fork. Your burger mix should be fairly dry, but it should stick together if you try to form a patty. If it's not sticking together at all, stir in a little squirt of vegan mayo. It shouldn't be a very moist burger mix though.

  8. Give your burger mix a taste and add more salt and black pepper if needed. I like these quite salty, so I go with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

  9. Preheat a non-stick griddle over medium heat and drizzle about two tablespoons of oil on it. These are best when they are crusty, so this is no time to skimp on oil!

  10. Shape the burger mix into two patties and cook covered for five or six minutes. They are going to cook for a while, so lower the heat a little if your stove is a notorious burger burner.

  11. Flip the burgers, drizzle a bit more oil if needed, and immediately slap a slice of vegan cheese on top of each patty. Cover and cook for three or four more minutes or until browned on the bottom. They should be slightly charred around the edges.

Notes:

The fennel and the liquid smoke are vital! Unless fennel makes you gag (you know who you are!) definitely keep it.

Walnut Beet and Black Bean Pantry Burgers

This brings us to the matter of the cheese. The cool folks at Galaxy Nutritional Foods sent me some of their vegan products to try. I don't accept products for review very often, but Mr. Wing-It and I are long time fans of their GO Veggie! cheese slices and I really wanted to try the rest of the GO Veggie! vegan line. Mr. Wing-It eats a GO Veggie! cheddar slice with his lunch every day, and whenever we're having burgers for dinner I melt a slice on each of our burgers too. I actually first blogged about the vegan slices way back in 2008 when I had just started this blog! Their vegan products come in purple packaging. The products that come in the blue and green packaging are not vegan. They are soy-free!

Go Veggie SlicesGo Veggie Slices

We both already knew we liked the cheddar and American style slices, and now we were able to try the GO Veggie! Pepper Jack slices that are nowhere to be found in our area. They are very tasty, and just like the cheddar and American slices, they melt like a dream when covered with a lid to create some steam inside your skillet/frying pan. Exhibit A:

Walnut Beet and Black Bean Pantry Burgers

We also tried the GO Veggie! Vegan Cream Cheese alternative. They are creamy and tangy and I'm kind of glad we can't get them in our area or I would be eating a whole tub a day. The Chive and Garlic cream cheese was my absolute favorite! I could eat the whole thing in one sitting. I didn't. But I could have. The Strawberry cream cheese has a strawberry-Greek-yogurt-cheesecake-thing going on. That one I could have eaten with a spoon! I didn't. But I could have. These do have soy in them.

Go Veggie Cream CheeseGo Veggie Cream Cheese

Go Veggie Cream Cheese

Go Veggie Cream Cheese

Yeah, that's not a bagel. It's a half of a burger bun with a hole cut in the middle. What can I say? I had envisioned this shot but I didn't feel like making bagels. Consider it a belated April Fools' Day prank!

We also tried the Mozzarella-style shreds and Parmesan, but I have bombarded you with enough pictures today so I will save them for next time.

Awkward disclaimer thing: GO Veggie! sent us these products to try free of charge. The opinions expressed here are my own. Mmkay?