Boozy Baking

Happy Halloween everyone!! This recipe isn’t super festive, but the colors are a bit Halloweeny, so that counts, right?

This was my first time experimenting with alcohol and baking, and I really liked the effect! Don’t worry – you’d have to eat about a million of these before you get any sort of a buzz ;) But I love drinking orange juice with amaretto, so I thought it would make a nice flavor for a cake. The orange definitely lightened up the heaviness of the pound cake.

Orange Amaretto Pound Cake Cupcakes
with Chocolate Amaretto Ganache

Makes one dozen.

Ingredients
for the pound cake
2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 C sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
dash salt
1/3 C amaretto
zest of one orange
for the ganache
3/4 C semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C heavy cream
2 Tbsp amaretto

Instructions
1.
Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In a smaller bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt.
4. Pour wet into dry and combine. Stir in amaretto and orange zest.
5. Fill cupcake tins 3/4 full (these puff up a lot!) and bake 22-25 min.
6. When cupcakes are completely cool, begin ganache by pouring chocolate chips and amaretto into a bowl.
7. Over medium heat, simmer cream. As soon as it reaches a boil, turn off the heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Stir until smooth.
8. Dip the tops of the cupcakes in the ganache. Garnish with orange peel.

They were so pretty when the ganache was fresh and shiny! Not quite as pretty when it dried dull, but they still tasted great. The chocolate works really nicely with the orange and amaretto.

My Favorite Grocery Store

Trader Joe’s, hands down. At least for awesome vegetarian options. They don’t always have everything I want for baking, but they never let me down for dinner.

A little while ago I picked up a package of TJ’s Soy Chorizo to try. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do with it, and then I found this amazing website, Cooking with Trader Joe’s. I’ve seen Trader Joe’s cookbooks before, but as a vegetarian I found most of the recipes useless to me. But a website, where you can search for recipes with specific TJ’s products? This is the greatest thing on the internet, my friends. Besides this gif I made of myself morphing into Beyonce for my computational photography class.

This recipe is super easy. Like, 10 min prep time, 15 min cook time, eat leftovers for days easy. And it calls for no spices. What?! WHAT?! I know. Because the soyrizo is just that delicious enough on its own.

Soyrizo Chili
Vegan. Serves 3-4. Adapted from Cook TJ.

Ingredients
half package Trader Joe’s soy chorizo
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can corn, drained
14oz canned diced tomatoes
1/4 red onion, diced
~1/3 C carrots, diced
olive oil

Instructions
1.
In a medium saucepan, saute onions and carrots in olive oil until softened.
2. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 min.
4. Serve hot, topped with cheese, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, etc.

Look at how chunky that chili is! Just how I like it. I wish I had thought ahead and bought Frito’s to make Frito Pie!

I Eat Vegetables

I promise, I do.

I realized I refer to this as a vegetarian food blog, but instead of posting creative vegetarian recipes I just post desserts! Which is especially silly since I eat an awful lot of creative vegetarian food. So I’m going to focus more on posting recipes for *real* food, not just desserts. Although I won’t ever lose my sweet tooth, I promise :) Exciting recipes forthcoming!

I got to run around Seattle a couple of weeks ago for a job interview, which was pretty fun. There wasn’t a ton of things to do as a tourist besides drink lots and lots of yummy coffee, but I did stop by Pike Place Market where they have the first Starbucks, lots of smelly fish, and tons of produce stands.

So that’s kind of my inspiration for this dish – it’s really all about the vegetable. That and the fact that I happened to stop by the Asian market and picked these up! You can serve it as a side, or I like to eat tons of it as a snack.

Spicy Garlic Bok Choy
Feel free to double or even triple the recipe, depending on how many people you’re serving.

Ingredients
3 baby bok choy, halved
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp teriyaki sauce
1 tsp sriracha
1 large clove garlic, minced
chili flakes to taste

Instructions
1.
Steam bok choy in the microwave, about two minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together all sauces and spices. Add the bok choy and coat thoroughly. Serve warm.

Easy right? And delicious.

Pumpkin Season!!

I’m so behind on my blogging! I’ve been crazy busy with school, dance, job interviews, blah blah blah that I haven’t had time to write up any of my new recipes! But it’s quickly becoming fall, meaning I’m quickly becoming more and more obsessed with the very best part of this season: pumpkin.

Like my collection? I like pumpkin everything. Pumpkin pie, Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie Pop-Tarts, pumpkin spice Eggo waffles, and of course… pumpkin.

Everything tastes good with a little pumpkin in it. Especially desserts. Which brings me to this new recipe…

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 18 cupcakes.

Ingredients
for the cupcakes
2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
dash salt
6 Tbsp butter, room temperature
1/3 C sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 C milk
2 eggs
1 1/4 C pumpkin puree
for the frosting
8 oz light cream cheese
2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
3 Tbsp maple syrup
2-4 C powdered sugar

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, powder, soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars. Mix in vanilla, milk, and eggs. Slowly add pumpkin and mix until smooth.
4. Gradually add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture until a batter is formed.
5. Fill pans about 2/3 full and bake for 22-28 minutes until a knife comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
6. For the frosting, with an electric mixer combine cream cheese, butter, and maple syrup. Slowly sift in powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.

These cupcakes were light and fluffy, just the way cupcakes should be. They lasted about a day in my house before my friends had eaten them all.

So I know what you’re thinking… Pumpkin comes in a huge can, but these cupcakes didn’t sure nearly that much! So what do you do? Well, you could just make tons of cupcakes, which would certainly be fine, or you could make the easiest and most delicious brownies known to mankind.

Pumpkin Brownies

Ingredients
one box of your favorite brownie mix
15oz pumpkin (I used half the 29oz can)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
chocolate chips, walnuts – optional

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 pan.
2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until a batter forms. Do NOT use the ingredients called for on the brownie box (eggs, oil, etc).
3. Bake 25-30 min until a knife comes out clean. Let cool, cut, and eat!

Enjoy the rest of pumpkin season!