21 September 2009

pumpkin chocolate chip squares

even though we are hitting record high temperature in southern california, i couldn't resist. fall baking is the best. these filled the house with the smell of sweet spice. recipe adapted from peacocks on my porch.
pumpkin chocolate chip squares
2 cups flour
1 T pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
12 oz. chocolate chip (i used the big kind)

preheat oven to 350 degrees. line bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda and salt. set aside. with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. beat in pumpkin (mixture may appear curdled). reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. fold in chocolate chips. spread batter evenly into prepared pan. bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. cool completely in pan. lift cake from pan (using foil as an aid). peel off foil and use a serrated knife to cut into 24 squares.

can't find pumpkin pie spice? use 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp each allspice and ground cloves.

this was a quick, easy and clean recipe - the foil makes clean-up so much easier! delicious, moist and perfect. xo.

17 August 2009

zucchini bread

have had an abundance of fresh zucchini around the apartment, thanks to some trips to the farmers market in santa monica {a must-do for those living in southern california}. zucchini bread is still a vegetable..

this left a sweet, sweet aroma in the apartment all day.

healthy twist on zucchini bread

2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2-3 medium zucchini)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat (or white, unbleached) flour
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon real salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup plain, fat-free yogurt
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

preheat oven to 350 degrees. spray a 9x5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray (or, i used 4 mini loaf pans).

spread shredded zucchini onto several layers of heavy duty paper towels. cover with additional paper towels, and press down firmly to remove excess liquid.

in a large bowl (or bosch!), whisk the flour, brown sugar, flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and nutmeg. in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, yogurt, oil and vanilla; stir in zucchini.

add zucchini mixture and walnuts to flour mixture, stir until well-combined. pour batter into prepared pan(s). bake 55-60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. cool in pan for 10 minutes on wire rack. remove from pan, cool some more or serve warm!

31 July 2009

no-bake cookies

had a major sugar craving this afternoon, but it was just too hot to bake, so i got an idea from this sweet girl and went with some no-bake-cookies. there are a lot of adaptations of this recipe, but i kept it simple on the ingredients and they were delicious. i changed mine up a little bit and used some of the ingredients i had on hand... 

click here for a more traditional recipe

no-bake cookies
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup rice milk
1/4 cup butter
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup crunchy almond butter
3 cups oats
1 teaspoon vanilla 

in a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter and cocoa. bring to a boil and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. remove from heat and stir in almond butter, oats and vanilla. drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. let cool until hardened.

27 July 2009

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

sunday nights usually call for me to break out the bosch and some form of chocolate. i was craving something grainy and sweet, and these hit the spot. adapted from the food network. 


  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


preheat oven to 350°F. coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

grind oats in a blender or food processor. transfer to a medium bowl and stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. add oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy. with the mixer running, add the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls, at least 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until firm around the edges and golden on top, about 15 minutes. cool the cookies for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

13 July 2009

mexican hot chocolate cupcakes

chocolatey. vegan. perfection.

these were fun to make, and a hit (with myself). the husband ate quite a few as well though. looking for more vegan recipes that are do-able and delicious. turns out, most of them are. this particular recipe came from this book. i made them mini, because everything is more fun bite-size.

mexican hot chocolate cupcakes


1 cup coconut milk

1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds 

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp corn flour

1/4 cup almond meal*

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract


1. preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan with cupcake liners

2. whisk together coconut milk and flaxseeds and allow to sit for 10 minutes

3. in another bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, corn flour, almond meal, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne.

4. whisk sugar, oil, vanilla, and almond extract into coconut milk mixture. gently add wet ingredients to dry. fill cupcake liners three-quarters of the way. bake for 22-25 minutes until a knife or toothpick inserted through the center of one comes out clean. transfer to a colling rack to cool completely.

5. sift a layer of confectioner's sugar onto the tops of the cooled cakes. then sift on cocoa, then lastly sift on a layer of cinnamon.

*I made my own almond meal, because i couldn't find any at the store. to learn how, click here.

30 June 2009

veggie chili

another vegetarian recipe, but i love it and couldn't help it. and i could eat it every night. you can try it with toast. or add a dollop of sour cream. but it is perfectly perfect on its own. my meat-eating husband gobbled it up as well.

1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
2 heads broccoli, washed and chopped (enough to make 2 cups)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 28-oz. can of crushed organic tomatoes
1 16-oz. can salsa (organic, natural...no sugar)
2 15-oz. cans organic black beans (or 3 1/2 cups cooked beans)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander

put oil in pot on medium heat. when hot, add onions, cumin and coriander. cook for 2 minutes or until onion gets soft. add broccoli and salt and cook for two minutes more, stirring frequently. add tomatoes, salsa, black beans, and stir. cook on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. the broccoli should cook through but not get overly soft. add additional salt to taste. serve with a modest sprinkling of part-skim organic mozzarella or soy cheese.

22 June 2009

grilled vegetable kebabs

my poor husband. i told him yesterday that i was cutting down his meat consumption. you should have seen his face drop. it's not that i'm not going to make it for him anymore, but for my own conscience, it has to be free-range, which equals more expensive. i'm also trying to get a little more simple with my cooking, limiting the amount of ingredients i use, trying to go as natural as possible. if you are a carnivore like my husband, you can easily add chicken or beef to this recipe, marinating in olive oil, lemon and orange juice (and zest). 

grilled vegetable kebabs
-local, seasonal, organic veggies
-olive oil
-sea salt
-wooden skewers (soaked in warm water for 30 minutes)

-dijon mustar
-balsamic vinegar
-olive oil

cut green, yellow and red peppers, zucchini, asparagus stalks, onions, tomatoes (or any seasonal vegetable) in thick slices. toss with a sprinkling of extra virgin olive oil and place on skewers. sprinkle with sea salt and spread on a grill, or in a 450 degree oven. cook until slightly golden - just a few minutes. squeeze a lemon over the veggies and serve a generous portion with a modest side of soba noodles, or my favorite, brown rice. for a light, mustard vinaigrette, combine dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and a little bit of olive oil. serve warm or cool.