Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

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.”

Read Full Post »

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!


Read Full Post »

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


Read Full Post »

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


Read Full Post »

So for the holiday, dad requested gingerbread cupcakes in the voting. Well, Jo hates ginger and mom wanted red velvet cake..ergo, making a mini-batch for everyone – I’m a pleaser, what can I say? 🙂 I’ve been wanting to make these for a while, so I opted to have them count as the gingerbread request for Pops! These are the gingerbread oatmeal raisin cookies from Heather at The Liberal Vegan. I did make some alterations, since I don’t like raisins, but what a delicious recipe!! I also halved the recipe, which made about 24 mini (two-bite sized) cookies. Oh, and Mocha enjoyed them too… while they were cooling, I caught her up on the table (which she NEVER does, EVER) working her way through a hearty handful of cookies!


1/4 C canola oil
1/3 C turbinado sugar
1/4 C hemp milk
1.5 TBSP molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 C white whole wheat flour
1/4 C oat flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp all-spice
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 C (1/4 C normal oats, 1/2 C spelt flakes) *note: the spelt flakes turned out delicious, for those that need a 100% gluten-free option in place of oats
1/2 C cranberries


1. Combine oil, milk, sugar, vanilla, molasses and whisk until well blended. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt and whisk ingredients together well for a few minutes. Add dry ingredients to wet in batches and stir using a spoon until it’s blended. Fold in oats and cranberries.
2. Roll into a round or square-shaped log, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in fridge overnight. Or immediately do drop cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. (I cut mine into squares after chilling overnight.) Roll into balls about the size of a walnut and place a few inches apart on a baking sheet. Flatten the balls into disks and then bake for about 10 minutes. Remove and let stand for a few minutes. Transfer to a plate or cooling rack to finish cooling and enjoy!


Happy Baking!

Read Full Post »

Cranberry sauce is usually a standard at most holiday meals. Jo and I were never huge fans – probably because all were exposed to was out of a can…ick 😡 , so we never had that as part of the menu for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. This year, however, we decided to give it a go at Thanksgiving…for reasons unknown. It was definitely a success! It tasted great smothered over the green beans and mixed in with the cornbread dressing. cranberry sauceSo here is our first foray into the world of cranberry sauce. It did make quite more than was necessary for 6 people, but we managed just fine. It makes about 3 Cups.


3.5 C cranberries (one 12-oz bag)
3/4 C dried cherries
1/2 C finely chopped shallots
zest and juice (about 1/2 C) of 1 orange
2 tsp grated ginger, peeled *optional
3/4 C packed light brown sugar

cranberry sauce1


1. Combine the cranberries, cherries,cranberry sauce2 shallots, zest and juice, ginger, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan; cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop.
2. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries release their juices, about 15 minutes. If sauce becomes too thick, add a little water until the desired consistency is reached. Transfer to a bowl to cool.


Happy Cooking!

Read Full Post »

Thanksgiving ExtraVEGANza!!

img_3168Well, Jo and I had such a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Lots of food, lots of laughs….lots of wine and margaritas! 🙂 Most of the recipes are already posted, but some new ones (like a delicious cranberry sauce and pecan pie) will be posted closer to the upcoming festivities this month! But just to give you guys an idea of a Tex-Mex Thanksgiving…here’s a deliciously vegan ‘pictography’ of our recent vegan adventure traversing omni-land! Enjoy!

The night before, we take it easy.. Put the beans to soak, make the cornbread, and beignet dough with a little pool to take the edge off…


We started the morning with beignets and fruit…

t-morning beignetsThen proceeded to take over the kitchen in a mad cooking frenzy…


We even enlisted the help of Jess! And doesn’t she look wonderful in that orange shirt?!?! 😉


Look at all the delicious veg…mmm…. Would you say, I had a plethora?

img_2838green beans and walnuts

pico de gallo

A Tex-Mex feast wouldn’t be complete without tortillas…sara rolling tortillas

..don’t mess with a woman when she’s rolling out tortillas 🙂 Time to open some wine, perhaps…?

sara with rolling pin


…and finally dig into some pie!img_2923

And nothing like a little evening game of billiards during the A&M-Texas game to relax after a day of cooking… Ah, happy holidays!


Read Full Post »

Mmm… stuffing. It wouldn’t be a holiday meal without some delicious cornbread stuffing, that you just can’t get enough of.


one batch of Texas Cornbread, broken up in a large bowl (you can make it the night before and let it dry out overnight)

2 medium poblano chiles (or 1/4 tsp cayenne)

4 TBS Earth Balance Buttery Sticks

2 small onions

2 medium celery ribs

4 medium carrots

2 TBS minced garlic

1 TBS dried oregano

1 TBS dried sage

1 TBS salt

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 C veggie broth


1. Roast chiles over a gas flame, or under the broiler until skin is charred. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 15 minutes. Peel, core, seed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

2. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with Earth Balance. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. In a large skillet, melt the Earth Balance over medium-high heat. Saute onions, celery, carrots and garlic until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in oregano, sage, salt, pepper and roasted chiles.

4. Add to bowl with cornbread, along with the veggie broth. Stir everything together, and transfer to baking dish.

5. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir and bake an additional 15-20 minutes.


Read Full Post »

Holiday De-stress Tea

With the holidays comes stress…at least for some of us. Stress can weaken our immune system, and being around family who you don’t see all the time – especially those with children – can bring germs you’re not used to fighting. Ergo, your body becomes an ideal battleground for a cold and flu attack! So de-stress and boost your immune system this holiday with a cup of tea, black or green are both good, but I like the herbal blend below for serious de-stressing and immune boosting. Even just the act of taking 5 minutes out of your day to sit quietly with a cup of tea can do wonders for the stress level!elderberry-tea

DeStressing tea:

1 tsp chamomile loose-leaf tea (or 1 tea bag)
1 tsp elder berries (loose or 1 tea bag)
pinch of ginger
slice of lemon *optional for an extra vitamin C boost
8 oz freshly drawn and boiled water

Steep the chamomile, elder berries (in a tea sac if using loose), and pinch of ginger in the 8 oz freshly boiled water 5-8 minutes. Remove tea leaves/bags, and toss in slice of lemon. You can also sweeten with some nectar if you like.

*Note: The elder berries will give the tea a reddish/purplish hue.

Happy Teatime!

Read Full Post »

Giving Thanks, Tex-Mex Style

Here’s a representation of a typical Turk family Thanksgiving. This was our 2006 T-day menu! For the last 3 years, the Thanksgivings have been totally vegan, and for about 4 or so years before that they were vegetarian. So hopefully this will give you guys some help, or at least some inspiration, on what to serve or bring to the meal if it’s your first or 50th vegan Thanksgiving! In addition to this menu, Jo and I have/will be posting some other dishes that would be delicious and perhaps we’ll even include them in our own future holiday meals..but here’s what we’ve had in the past. It is a bit on the Tex-Mex side of themes, but not every holiday has to be traditional right?!


Cinnamon rolls
Fresh fruit and juice

Thanksgiving Meal – usually a late lunch/early dinner:

Basic greens salad with a little lemon, olive oil, and herb dressing
Black Bean Tamales with Pico de gallo
Mashed Potatoes
Sautéed Mixed Veggies (Broccoli, peas, spinach, red bell pepper, carrots, etc)
Blue Texas Cornbread Dressing
Mashed potato house rolls
Chianti Classico


Pecan Pie
Blueberry Tart
German Riesling

Some of these recipes are already posted, others are coming, and we get the tamales from Texas Tamale Company. For some people (maybe just South Texans like us), tamales are a big part of the Christmas holiday, but we decided to have them for our Thanksgivings as well since we were no longer participating in the cruelty of having a turkey. I don’t have photos because we weren’t blogging and taking pics of food back then..but I’ll be sure to take tons this year!!

Other years we’ve made a red chile enchilada-like sauce (but a bit thicker, like a chili with some diced tomatoes added in) for the tamales, used yellow cornmeal for the dressing, etc..but one thing that remains constant is the mashed potatoes! We always have mashed potatoes – and we make about a ton of them! Other ideas that we’ve posted up to this point that I think would be yummy at a T-day meal: Jo’s Cranberry-Almond Green Beans, New Potato and Green Bean Salad, Potato Gratin, Roasted Thyme Potatoes, and if you’re going for a Tex-Mex theme offer the Tomatillo Salsa in addition to Pico!

Happy Cooking!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: