Petite Vanilla Scones

I’ve found the vegan baking version of caviar. Know what it is? The seeds from the vanilla bean. Pure, sweet bliss it is. It doesn’t hurt that vanilla is one of my all-time favorite flavors anyways – and those little teensy seeds are the reason why. Ok ok, chocolate comes in a very close second. Right now though it’s all about the vanilla.

All hail the vanilla bean. *bows down before the bean of light*

So I made vanilla scones. Not just plain vanilla scones, but vanilla BEAN scones. Just so you know, you’re going to want to rush out to the store and buy a buttload of vanilla beans just so you can make these over and over again. Then afterwards, while your waiting for the glaze to harden, pour yourself a sweet, crisp glass of wine. If you don’t drink wine then pour yourself a tall glass of whatever makes you feel cool and groovy. I did and I’m a happy girl.

Bake. Eat. Enjoy.

Petite Vanilla Scones

adapted from The Pioneer Woman

For the scones:

3 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

5 tsp baking powder

1/2 pound of Earth Balance – chilled (very important)

1/4 cup vanilla soy yogurt (I prefer WholeSoy)

3/4 cups vanilla soy creamer (or regular if you can’t find vanilla)

1 1/2 whole vanilla beans (2 if you’re using regular soy creamer)

For the Glaze:

3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup soy milk

1 whole vanilla bean

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the scone:

Split the vanilla beans down the middle lengthwise and scrape the vanilla “caviar” inside.Stir into the soy creamer and set aside for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and baking powder.

Cut in the cold Earth Balance either with a pastry cutter or two knives. Continue until it resembles a crumb.

Pour the vanilla cream into the dry ingredients and mix together gently with a fork until it comes together.

Take the dough and turn it onto a floured surface. Use your hands to mix the dough together – it will be very soft. If it’s too moist, add flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 to 3/4”  thick. Use your hands to help form the dough if necessary.

Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the dough into a symmetrical rectangle then cut the rectangle into 12 symmetrical rectangles. Then cut those squares/rectangles in half diagonally so they become two triangles. Unless you’re like me and make triangles of every different size possible because you’re too lazy to measure them out – see below.

Transfer the triangles to a parchment lines cookie sheet and bake for about 18 minutes. You want to take them out just before they turn golden. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack.

For the glaze:

Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the “caviar”. Stir into the milk. Let the milk sit for 10 minutes.

Whisk in the powdered sugar until there are no lumps and the glaze is a good consistency. Whisk in the vanilla extract.

One by one, dunk the top of each cooled scone into the glaze. Transfer to a wire rack. Let the scones set for at least a half an hour before eating (you want the glaze to be hard on the baked good.

By the way, this is Bob. Bob is my kitchen buddy. Everyone should have a kitchen buddy – they’re neat.

I just realized how badly my windowsill needs to be clean. Zoinks.

Long time no see!

Well hello there purdy people!

Things have been crazy for me lately – but in a completely cool and groovy way. This has been my life as of late:

Not sure if I mentioned it, but I’m currently attending culinary school for Baking and Pastry. I am really doing something I’ve thought about for a very long time. It’s a lot of hard work but I’m learning so much!

So now that I’ve finally learned to balance some things out, expect new, fandangled recipes and tips. I want to share what I learn! See you all later this week!

Je suis désolé

My apologies for not posting anything. It seems the video card on my computer has decided to crash on me. So now the only access I have to a computer is at work and then whatever I can take care of on my phone. I promise I will be back up and running soon!

Until then…happy eating!

Cornmeal Pancakes

What do you do at 2pm on a Friday afternoon? Make pancakes? Sure! Why not. It was either that or clean the house. As you can see, the pancakes won (cooking trumps vacuuming).

I decided to make pancakes after my failed attempt at Black & White cookies last night (no worries, I think I know what went wrong and I’ll have that up as soon as I can). I know the dough is supposed to be cake-like, but not flat and floppy. Not that these little circles of brown, sweet goodness are floppy. No, they hold their own perfectly.


These pancakes have a warm, earthy taste to them. Not overly sweet, the way pancakes can be sometimes. It gets its sweetness from the molasses – which is, well – awesome.

Make them for breakfast, make them for dinner. Just make them. They’re yummy.

Cornmeal Pancakes

adapted from epicurious.com

inspired by joy the baker

1 1/4 cup soymilk

1 1/3 tsp cream of tartar plus 2 tablespoons of soymilk

Egg replacement the equivalent of 1 egg

1 tbs dark molasses

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted and slightly cooled

1 cup flour

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

In a small bowl, whisk together the cream of tartar and 2 tbs of soymilk. Add to 1 1/4 cups soymilk – whisk together and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

In another small bowl whisk together egg replacment, soymilk mixture, vanilla and melted Earth Balance.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stir to combine.

Add the cornmeal and stir until mixed (I use a whisk to get out the large lumps).

Drop 2 tbs of batter onto a hot, greased griddle or skillet.

Serve with syrup or your favorite pancake topping and enjoy!


Cinnamon-Sugar Biscotti

I’m feeling sorry for myself at the moment. Two reasons: I’ve been sick for over a week and I was turned down for a job I applied for. As far as being sick, I guess I couldn’t help it. What started as an annoying cold, turned into a viral infection and conjunctivitis of my right eye (yay!). Being sick is such a waste of time for me. There are so many more things I would rather be doing that wandering around the house aimlessly waiting to get better. Hopefully now that my doctor has me doped up on medication (and drinking lots of tea and soup), I won’t be sick for much longer.

As far as the job I applied for – well I was really, really hoping I got it. I applied to be a assistant baker/counter person at a new vegan bakery that was opening not too far from me. I was hoping this would be my escape from the doldrums of office work, but I guess not. To make myself feel better I bake. I get a lot of my ideas from sites such as epicurious.com. The baking is far from vegan so it’s my chance to make it so. I realized I didn’t have a lot of ingredients on hand to make anything major, so I typed in “cinnamon” to see what would pop up. Cinnamon muffins, cinnamon streusal, cinnamon biscotti. Hmm? Biscotti? Yes please.

So I made biscotti and it made me feel better. It pairs with tea perfectly as well. You really can’t go wrong with cinnamon and sugar. 🙂

Cinnamon-Sugar Biscotti

Recipe adapted from epicurious.com and joythebaker.com


For Biscotti

2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

little less than 1/8 tsp of salt

1 cup sugar

6 tbs of Earth Balance – room temperature

2 1/2 tsp of egg replacer

6 tbs water

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

For Topping

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Set oven at 325 degrees. Take a large baking sheet and line it with parchment paper or a silpat and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In another small bowl, whisk together the egg replacer and water until frothy.

Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy – about 3 minutes or so. Beat in egg replacer then beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture all at once. The dough should be somewhere between moist and kind of stiff.

Divide the dough in two. Shape each half into a log (i like to flatten mine just a bit) and place each log onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar (don’t use all of it though – you’ll need it for later). Put into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet for even baking and then bake again for 25 minutes until it’s golden and somewhat firm to the touch (don’t be concerned if it’s not too firm, it will firm up when cooled).

Remove from the oven but do not shut the oven off. Let the biscotti logs cool on the baking sheet until you’re able to handle it without burning yourself. With a serrated knife, cut the logs into 1/2 inch wide slices. Place the slices cut side down on the baking sheet and sprinkle with more of the cinnamon sugar. Bake until a pale gold – about 10-15 minutes.

Let cool – pieces may seem soft when coming out of the oven at first.


Sacred tattoo, changing life…

I took this photo during a tattooing ritual at a friends house over the weekend. It’s also known as a “BTW” (Body Transformation Weekend). People gather in a sacred space and transfer energy to those that are getting tattooed. Many are for very specific reasons, such as a change they wish to happen in their life, moving forward. Some are dedications to loved ones lost.

This particular weekend was quite meaningful to me because three of my very close friends were getting tattooed all for various reasons. It helped me realize what it is I want to do with my life, with the creative energy I have inside that’s basically busting out at the seams. Yesterday, I officially applied to college. I’ll be going for Studio Art. I’m super nervous because it’s been a good 14 years since I’ve been in school, but I know this is the right decision.

Change can be wonderful 🙂

Mmmm…chili…

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I wish I had a picture to go along with this recipe – but I don’t. Honestly, this chili was so good that it was completely eaten almost immediately. I really should have saved some. Riz was completely in love with this dish. It’s one of those perfect cold evening foods.  Methinks this will be a new staple in the house.

Veggie Chili

1 cup of TVP granules
1 cup of water
3 tbs tamari
3 cloves of garlic – minced
1 small onion – chopped
2 tbs oil
2 – 14oz cans of stewed tomatoes
1 bottle of beer (alcoholic or non)
1-14oz can of tomato puree
1/2 cup water
3 tbs chili powder
1 1/2 tbs dried oregano
1 tbs dijon mustard
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 – 15 oz can pinto beans
1 – 15 oz can black beans
1 – 15 oz can red kidney beans
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 large zucchini – chopped

In a small saucepan, boil water – then add tvp and tamari. Take off of heat. Mix together to be sure the tamari is incorporated into the tvp. Set aside.

In a large pot, cook garlic and onion for about 30 seconds or so. Stir in stewed tomatoes, beer, water, tomato puree, chili powder, oregano, mustard, cumin, black pepper and salt. Stir together. Then stir in the beans. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the corn and zucchini. Return to boiling – reduce heat. Cover and simmer for about 10 more minutes or until the veggies are tender. Add the tvp to chili. Serve over brown rice or with a dollop of dairy free sour cream.

Since I hate not having a picture in the post, I’ll post a picture of an Autumn staple. I found these mini pumpkins at the farmers market. I wanted to buy them all!
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