Posts Tagged ‘Festivus’

A great classic breakfast for a holiday morning, or an average weekend morning! Top with your favorite jams, nectars, or butters (I think an apple or pumpkin butter would be top-notch for a holiday feast). This recipe makes about six 2″ mini biscuits, or 3-4 larger biscuits. Perfect if your baking for one or two, if you’re baking for more.. you can easily double the recipe without issue.


1 C All-Purpose Flour (I used King Arthur Organic) – you could also use a 50/50 blend of AP and Cake Flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

3 TBSP Earth Balance Vegan Butter, super cold

3/4 C Coconut Milk + a splash of apple cider vinegar (I didn’t measure, but probably close to 1/8-1/4 tsp)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Splash in the apple cider vinegar with the Coconut Milk, set aside.

2. Whisk (or blend with a fork) together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With two knives (or pastry cutter), cut in the EBVB.

3. Add the vanilla extract to the “buttermilk.” Add milk mixture to flour/butter mixture. Stir until just combined. Slowly slowly, gently gently here. Once combined, turn out onto lightly floured surface and pat into a round until about 3/4-inch thick. Cut with biscuit cutters, or if you want to get whimsical.. any shaped cutter of choice.

4. Place biscuits on parchment lined baking sheet or pizza stone. Bake 16-18 min. If they aren’t brown enough to your liking.. you can turn on the broiler for a few. Serve with jams, agave nectar, Earth Balance, fruit, veg.. whatever! I topped mine with some festive Cranberry Habanero jam (found at the Feast of Artisans Farmer’s Market, handmade by the lovely Jackie’s Gourmet).

Buttermilk Biscuits

Happy Baking!

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Basic Buttermilk PancakesAfter taking picture after picture of pancakes in various flavor permutations, i realized I didn’t have a basic buttermilk recipe on here! *GASP* So here it is.. a great morning breakfast, weekend brunch, or if you’re like me, a cozy dinner. 🙂 The other pancake recipes on the Primate are fluffier and more dense.. whereas these are little thinner and more moist. I like both styles.. some days I have a preference one way or the other. I’ll let you decide..

basic buttermilk pancakes


2 C All-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 TBSP raw sugar (sucanat, turbinado, etc)
1/4 C canola or safflower oil
1/4 C hemp, almond or coconut milk
2-2.5 C hemp, almond or coconut milk + 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 TBSP Earth Balance Vegan Butter + more for greasing the skillet
2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Proceed with mixing while the skillet gets good and hot.

2. In a measuring cup, mix 1/4 tsp ACV + 2.5 C vegan milk. Set aside to “buttermilk-ify.”

3. Melt 4 TBSP EBVB, set aside.
4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. [sidenote: If you want to add things like cinnamon or other spices.. now would be the time].
5. Add 1/4 C oil and 1/4 C milk to dry ingredients. [It’ll be kinda lumpy until you add more moisture].
6. Add 2 tsp vanilla extract and 2 C of the “buttermilk”.. determining if you need the last 1/2 C or not based on the consistency of your batter. The thicker the batter, the thicker/denser the pancake will be. The thinner the batter, the more slender the pancake will be. Again, this is a personal choice. You could even add up to 3 C milk for *really* thin pancakes.. I have never found the need.
7. Stir until just mixed ~ don’t overmix the batter.. a few lumps are okay.
8. Pour about 1/4 -1/3 C batter per pancake.. Once the cake starts popping bubbles or the sides are congealing.. it’s time to flip! Mine don’t take very long since they’re thinner. I barely have time to walk away from the stove. Probably about 2-3 min per side (depending on thickness).
9. Top with favorite jam, syrup, or powdered sugar. Enjoy!
basic buttermilk pancakes
Add-ins: fresh blueberries; spices like cinnamon, clove, or nutmeg; alternative extracts like almond or coffee.. so many variations can be created using this base recipe!
Happy Cooking!

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chocolate almond babka slices

“Cinnamon takes a back seat to no babka. People love cinnamon. It should be on tables at restaurants along with salt and pepper. Anytime anyone says, “Oh this is so good, what’s in it?” The answer invariably comes back, “Cinnamon.” “Cinnamon.” Again and again. Lesser babka?? I think not.” – Jerry Seinfeld

Just like the Black & White cookie – this babka brings “two races of flavor living together side by side in harmony.” Enter the Elaine-loving chocolate babka, and the Jerry-touting greatness  of the “lesser” cinnamon babka in this explosion of dual-babka heaven! Don’t “go in with a lesser babka” – serve an empirically superior combination of cinnamon and chocolate. A perfect babka for dinner parties, breakfast, or lazy afternoons on the couch at teatime.. 🙂



2 tbsp  instant yeast
3/4th cup lukewarm almond milk
6 tbsp Earth Balance
6 tbsp  sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 TBS plain coconut milk yogurt
3 ½ cup  all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups coarsely grated chocolate chips
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/4th cup Earth Balance
1.  Whisk the yeast into lukewarm almond milk and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, or the bowl of a KitchenAid, cream together the sugar and Earth Balance until smooth.  Add the yogurt to the bowl in a couple of additions, mixing constantly for 30 seconds between each addition.  Add the vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.

3.  Add 3 C of the flour and salt and continue to mix until it all comes together.

4.  Now mix in the almond milk + yeast mixture and let it mix until it forms a soft dough.  Add in some or all of the remaining 1/2 C flour as needed for a soft, but not not sticky dough.

5.  Turn out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for another 2-3 minutes. You will have a soft, supple, but not sticky dough.chocolate almond babka

6.  Let this rise for about 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight, making sure to remove it from the fridge two hours before baking.

7.  For the filling: butter and cinnamon together in a bowl.

8.  Once the dough has risen, roll it out into a sheet with a thickness of 1/8th to 1/4thinch. Make sure to keep it dusted well with flour at all times, or else it might stick.

9.  Spread the cinnamon mixture over it, and then spread out the chocolate.

10.  Roll the sheet of dough and then pinch the seams to seal it. Roll it to a length of about 24 inches. Place onto cookie sheet.  Cut the log down the middle lengthwise, making sure to keep the top end attached. Twist over each other to get the braided look.

11.  Let the dough proof for another 1-2 hours.chocolate almond babka

12.  Preheat the oven to 350F and bake for 20-25 minutes.

chocolate almond babka

Happy Baking!

On this day in History: Chocolate Duo Almond Bark

“Look to the cookie, Elaine..look to the cookie.”

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Ok, so it’s not technically two chocolates in one bark…but here’s a recipe that can be used for both white chocolate and “milk” chocolate almond bark! Dad requested almond bark as a gift for his neighbors – and initially I thought he was wanting Almond Brittle but simply not realizing they were two different things, then realizing he actually knew what he was talking about 😉 hehee…love ya Dad!


6-8 oz Almonds or Walnuts; whole
10-12 ounces White or Dark chocolate chips (whatever size your bag is – my white chips were 10.5 and my dark chips were 12)


Spread nuts in a single layer in shallow pan. Place in cold oven; toast at 350°F 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted. Let cool. Melt white chocolate in top of a double boiler over very low heat. Remove from stove, and stir in almonds. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto waxed paper. Refrigerate until cool and hardened. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Keeps up to 2 weeks.

Happy Candy making!


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This cake is perfect if you’re in love with Almonds and Cherries! And who isn’t?!?!?! The glaze gives you just enough sweetness, and the cake is gluten-free to boot! 😀 If you want to be über decadent, serve this à la mode with a scoop of Cherry Amaretto Coconut Bliss…mmmm…. This recipe makes one 10 C bundt.


For the cake:
4 TBSP flax + 10 TBSP warm water
2 1/2 C buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 C chopped fresh cherries
1 C slivered almonds
2/3 C coconut milk
1 TBSP Amaretto liquor
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla extract
16 TBSP (2 sticks) Earth Balance vegan butter, plus more for greasing
1 C granulated sugar
2/3 C brown sugar

For the glaze:
1/2 C granulated sugar
3 TBSP So Delicious Coconut Milk beverage
1 TBSP Amaretto
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 10-C bundt pan, set aside. To make the cake: in a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In another small bowl, combine the milk, the almond and vanilla extracts, and the Amaretto; set aside. In a small cup, mix together the flaxseed and warm water; set aside. In another cup, mix together the milk and vinegar, and set aside in the fridge to keep cold.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the Earth Balance vegan butter on medium speed with the sugars until creamy and smooth, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flax mixture.
3. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the cherries and almonds into the batter.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the center of the cake springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the granulated sugar and water and cook until the sugar dissolves, then boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the amaretto and let cool for 1 minute.
6. Tap the bundt pan gently on a work surface to loosen the cake. Set the rack over a cooling rack, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool completely before serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Happy Baking!


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Puppy Chow

No…this isn’t the horrible kibble that you shouldn’t be feeding your dog, it’s the delicious treat you used to eat as a kid – or in my case, on bus rides to out-of-town High School football games with the dance team! Oh, how this stuff takes me back! This is great to hand out to friends for holiday snack-gifts, and it also travels well on a plane for those long lines and uncomfortable plane rides during the Festivus holiday festivities


1/2 C Peanut Butter
1/4 C Earth Balance Vegan Butter
1 C Chocolate Chips
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
9 C Crispix or Oaty Bites cereal (basically a whole box)
1.5 C Powdered Sugar


1. Combine peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips in a large bowl and microwave until melted, stirring every 30 seconds.

2. Once it all comes together. Add vanilla and stir well.
3. Place the cereal in a very large bowl.
4. Pour the peanut butter-chocolate mixture over the cereal and toss evenly, making sure all the cereal gets a good covering.

5. Coat with powdered sugar, sprinkling evenly over the cereal and tossing as you sprinkle to cover each piece well. Store in small plastic baggies or glass storage container, give out as gifts or nosh all on your own – Just keep this Puppy Chow away from the pooch 🙂

Happy Cooking!

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This dish would make a great breakfast casserole to accompany some fresh fruit on those busy holiday mornings (think of it as a freeing version of hash browns). It would also make a wonderful, new side to those lovely vegan holiday entrees – such as black bean tamales! I can’t stress enough how wonderful and comforting shredded potatoes can be, and that’s exactly the feelings you want to inspire during the holidays…am I right?! 😉 So try this out if you’re looking for something different to accompany your holiday feast.. This will serve about 4-6 (depending on how in love your guests are with potatoes, and how many other accompaniments you have).


2 TBSP canola or olive oil
3 medium gold potatoes, shredded
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 C veggie broth


1. Pour oil in the bottom of an 8X8 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Shred potatoes into a bowl. Dice onion, mince garlic, and add to potatoes. Stir to combine. Add in spices, stir to combine. Pour into baking dish, and spread evenly.

3. Pour in 1/4 C broth, cover with foil, and bake in 350°F oven for 45 minutes.
4. Turn heat up to 400°F. Uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes to brown the top of the casserole. Enjoy!

Happy Baking!

On This Day In History: Giving Thanks, Tex-Mex Style


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Potato House Rolls

potato rolls1Potato bread? Dinner rolls? …hmm – you no longer have to decide between the two, why not have both?! It’s no secret I love mashed potatoes in my breads, I mean who doesn’t love potato bread? Seriously, I want to know – you may want to consider seeking professional help. This recipe is based on the one in Isa and Terry’s Veganomicon, with minor changes. I did let the dough rest overnight, just to make things easier on me, and they turned out fine (I made them for Christmas day last year – but they are also great for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday). So if you have the time to make them the night before because you won’t have the time on the actual day you need them…they’ll be perfectly fine! This typically makes about 24 rolls, but I didn’t have a muffin tin, so I turned them into one giant pull-apart loaf!


1.5 C warm water
1 C hemp or oat milk
2 TBSP EB vegan butter
1 (1/4 oz) packet yeast
5-5.5 C AP flour (I used a blend of AP and oat..maybe 50/50, whatever’s on hand)
2 TBSP brown sugar
2.25 tsp salt
1.25 C moist mashed potatoes
olive oil for brushing rolls with


1. Combine 1 C of the warm water with the hemp milk in a medium-sized saucepan, then drop in the vegan butter. Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted and the hemp milk mixture has scalded. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to lukewarm.
2. In a measuring cup, mix together remaining 1/2 C of the warm water and the yeast. Set aside for a few minutes until the yeast is foamy.potato rolls2
3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Using your hands, mix the mashed potatoes into the flour to form a crumbly mixture, as if you were making a pastry dough. Stir in the yeast mixture and the hemp milk mixture to form a soft dough, if the dough is very sticky, add a little flour, a few TBSP at a time, until a firm, potato rolls3smooth dough forms.
4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead until elastic (about 8-10 minutes, 5-8 for freaks like me and Jo). Return the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and let rise for 2 hours (or overnight in the fridge), until doubled. When pressed with a finger, the dough should spring back slowly.
5. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, grease two 12-cup muffin tin (or line a baking sheet with parchment). Punch down the dough, knead briefly on a floured board, and roll into two thick 14-16-inch ropes. Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to slice the ropes into 72 1-2 inch walnut sized balls (if using the 12-cup muffin tin) or 24 balls (if using the baking sheet).potato rolls4
6. If using the muffin tin, place 3 balls into a muffin cup and brush with glaze. If not, place the 24 balls about 1.5-inches apart (close enough to where they’ll grow into each other) and brush with olive oil. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 25-35 minutes, until rolls have doubled in bulk. *Because I made them in a giant loaf, and therefore already touching, I didn’t let them rest the full time..maybe only about 5-10 minutes.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes (if making the giant loaf, it’ll take about 35-40 minutes), until the tops are shiny and browned. When the rolls are cool enough to touch, transfer from the pans to wire racks to cool completely..or indulge immediately.

potato house rolls

Happy Baking!

On This Day In History: Marinated Chickpea Salad

marinated chickpea salad6


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The Holiday Spoils…

Now that I’m back in KC, and can get on the internet with my computer (as opposed to just Jo’s where the Festivus photos were not, don’t ask)..I can finally post all the lovely dishes and presents from Festivus and New Years! In this post, I want to share all the spoils of the holiday season! We’ll take it all the way back to Festivus morning!

Aren’t these some awesome vegan shoes!!Novacas Lola

Not to mention these…

Novacas Morgan

Charmone Cezanne

Jo got an awesome Swiss Army watch…. (oh, forgive our state of undress, it was 5AM after all, hence the need for hot cocoa)

jo's watch

…and I totally cashed in with this most excellent Kitchen Aid 6qt Professional 600 series mixer!!!

Sara with Kitchen Aid mixer

Now for the good stuff….the food!

festivus 08 feast

Moving on to New Year’s Eve! Here’s a couple of the spread…


I know it’s belated, but Happy 2009 Everyone!

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festivus morning cocoachristmas tree 08Happy Festivus Everyone!! Hope ya’ll are having a wonderful day thus far! Jo and I got up just before 5 this morning, started in with the delicious cinnamon rolls and the making of hashbrowns and hot cocoa…so delicious! Here’s our Festivus breakfast: cinnamon rolls, hashbrowns, and fruit with some juice and cocoa…

For the hashbrowns, festivus hashbrownsI simply grated about 3 medium sized potatoes, heated a small amount of olive oil over medium heat..then sprinkled with some sea salt and let them cook, covered for about 20 minutes. I gave them a stir (or if you have the skill-set, you can flip the whole thing in one blow), let them go again until the bottom was browned and served them up with the cinnamon rolls!

festivus 08 breakfast

Now that we’ve arisen from our post-present and breakfast nap, it’s time to begin on lunch! Many more delicious recipes and photos to come shortly!

Happy Holidays!

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