Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream Pizzelle Sandwiches

This is the perfect summer treat. Peanut butter banana ice cream served in pizzelle tacos or cups. Although this treat is a little equipment heavy, it is so worth it.

Pizzelles are a light Italian cookie. I’ve tried a vegan and a non vegan recipe. My recommendation is to first try the Stonewall Kitchen mix. I’m not a big fan of mixes, but this will help ease you into Pizzelle making. The next batch try this non vegan recipe. If you’re feeling a little brave, move on to the vegan recipe. Traditional pizzelle batter is thicker, but this vegan recipe is thin, so the cookies will not be as sturdy.

To bake pizzelles, preheat iron for about 10 minutes. Place one spoonful of pizzelle batter in center of iron. Close iron all the way down, until steam comes up and release. Allow to bake for 30 seconds.

Carefully transfer baked pizzelle with fork. To shape, either place around cannoli roller or place in small bowl. Allow to set until hardened.

The ice cream portion requires a Yonanas, but I read someone had success using a blender. The first time I made Yonanas the cream was a little bitter, but this time I perfected the technique. Make sure you freeze really ripe bananas, like black ripe. Just continue to add peeled bananas in your freezer, until you have enough to make a batch.

Once you are ready to make the ice cream, set bananas out for 10 minutes. Then pulse them through the machine. Once all bananas are transformed into ice cream, stir in peanut butter. Place ice cream in pizzelle tacos/cups and garnish with chocolate chips and strawberries. These are super light, but they remind me of Ben & Jerry's decadent Banana Peanut Butter Greek Frozen Yogurt.

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream


  • 5 very ripe peeled frozen bananas
  • 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter, or to taste

  • Chocolate Chips
  • Sliced Strawberries


Place bananas in Yonanas. Once all bananas are churned, mix in peanut butter.

Spoon in pizzelle tacos/cups and garnish with chocolate chips/strawberries.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon blueberry muffins are the perfect treat. They are sweet and indulgent, but they also feel a little healthier with fresh blueberries.

These muffins have one of my favorite ingredients, coconut milk. This gives the muffins a moist and creamy texture.

This recipe makes more than your normal batch of muffins because I didn't want any leftover coconut milk. If you want to make a dozen muffins, this recipe can easily be divided.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins Adapted from Chloe's Vegan Desserts

Makes about 26 muffins


  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1   1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1    16 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp lemon extract

  • 2 cups of blueberries (about 2 pints)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper wrappers.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients from top column - flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine all liquid ingredients from second column - coconut milk, oil, lemon juice, zest and extract.

Pour liquid ingredients into dry and whisk until combined. Fold in blueberries.

Divide batter evenly among muffin tin. 

Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Basil Tofu Pizza

My family has been making this pizza for several years. I think it all started when I found a pizza dough recipe. I don't know where I found the recipe, but I have it saved on my handy dandy TextEdit filed titled "Online Recipe Winners." I created this back on August 18, 2009. The recipe is attributed to Joy of Cooking. I'm afraid I don't know who the original blogger was that posted it, but it's a super simple dough recipe that can be ready in about an hour and a half.

We make this sans cheese, with Isa Moskowitz's Basil-Tofu Ricotta. The first time I made this, I really thought it tasted like cheese.

What's great is for my family, it makes enough for two meals. One pizza yields about 6 large slices.

I use a preheated pizza stone to make pizza, but I'm sure you could sub a regular baking sheet.

What kind of toppings do you like on your pizza?

Basil Tofu Pizza Adapted from Joy of Cooking and Vegan with a Vengeance

Makes 2 pizzas


Pizza Dough

  • 2   1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1   1/3 cup warm water

  • 3   1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Basil Tofu

  • 1 pound pressed firm tofu 

  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 clove of grated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried basil leaves, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

  • 2 tsp olive oil


  • 1 jar of tomato sauce - try your favorite pasta sauce


Pizza Dough

Combine yeast and warm water in large bowl. Let sit for five minutes.

Add flour, salt and oil. Stir to combine. Knead for five minutes.

Place dough in floured bowl and allow to rise for one hour.

Basil Tofu

Mush pressed tofu with your hand until it resembles fine crumbles. Add in ingredients from second column (lemon juice, garlic, salt, basil leaves, nutritional yeast) with your hands. Once combined, drizzle in olive oil and stir to coat.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees 30 minutes before baking time. Place pizza stone in oven. 

Divide risen dough in half. Roll into circle on a floured surface. Once desired size, transfer dough to preheated pizza stone. Top with half of one jar of pizza sauce. Top with half of basil tofu.

Bake 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Note: If making extra pizza next day, place dough in refrigerator. Pull out of fridge two hours before making pizza.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Strawberry Hand Pies

My mom has been inspiring lots of different recipe ideas. She even came up with a new blog name, more on that later . . . maybe. While she was at the store, she got me some fresh berries to bake with. I toyed with lots of different ideas - pies, cupcakes, cakes, muffins - the list goes on and on. I settled on a hand pie - everything you love in a pie, in a portable form.

These are pretty simple. First whip up the strawberry filling. Once done, place in the freezer, just so berries are more stable during prepping and baking.

While the strawberries are chilling, make the pie dough. Don't be scared of this dough. All you need are your hands and patience. Once the flour and butter/shortening combine into small pellets, add ice cold water and vinegar mixture and mix until a workable dough forms. The dough is now ready to be rolled and shaped with no need for additional chilling.

I initially decided on a half moon design for pies, but then switched to mini circular pies - my mom's idea :)

Once pies are assembled, bake until golden brown. These sweet treats are great straight from the oven or at room temperature.

Strawberry Hand Pies Adapted from Vegan Pie in the Sky

Makes 12 pies


Strawberry Filling
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Juice of one lemon

Pie Dough

  • 2   1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 3 tbsp sugar

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery stick, cold
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance shortening, cold

  • 6 tbsp ice cold water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


Strawberry Filling

Combine all ingredients (strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and lemon juice) in small bowl. Place in freezer while preparing pie dough.

Pie Dough

Fill measuring cup with 2 cups of ice and fill with water. Set aside.

Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Add sugar and combine. Cut butter and shortening into tablespoons and place in bowl with flour. Use your fingers to combine butter/shortening with flour, it should take 3 - 5 minutes. Butter/shortening and flour are combined when the two resemble small pellets and no large chunks of butter remain. When you press the mixture in your hand it should hold together.

Pour 4 tablespoons of ice cold water in small bowl. Add apple cider vinegar. Pour mixture by tablespoons into flour mixture. Mix with hands after each addition. Once dough holds together it is ready. Add extra cold water if dough does not hold.

Split dough in two. While rolling first piece of dough, place other half in refrigerator.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll dough on floured surface. Cut out 3" diameter circles. With one circle, use your fingers to moisten edge of dough. Put about one tablespoon of fruit filling in center. Top with other dough circle, closing the two circles with moistened fingers. To ensure two circles combine, press edges with fork. Cut slits in top of pie.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Crusty Italian Bread

If you've been following the blog from its inception, you will know I love making bread. So far I've shared a Cinnamon Raisin Bread, a Maple Whole Wheat Bread and a French Bread. This past Christmas I got an Italian Loaf Pan. I really wasn't sure how to use it. The directions said use a solid, sturdy dough. The dough from the French Bread is really sticky so I didn't think it would be a good tester loaf. So I started exploring and I found this great recipe from Cook Like Your Grandmother. It wasn't easy to find either, it was tucked away on the 10th page of Google results.

This bread is a little time intensive, but I've found if you decrease the rising times it still works out beautifully. I would recommend rising 1 hour for the first rise, 20 minutes for the second rise. This is a serious reduction of the original rising time. If you have the time, do the full 2 hours and 40 minutes of rising, but if you don't, don't be afraid to decrease the time.

After the first rise, take the entire ball of dough and roll it into a long loaf then cut it in half with a dough cutter and line on your Italian Loaf Pan. According to the original recipe, you can also bake the loaves on a pizza stone or on the back of a baking sheet, so don't worry if you don't have an Italian loaf pan, although it helps make a crusty bread.

The bread goes great with anything. Traditionally we have it with spaghetti on nights before long runs, but we've also had it with pasta and peas and most recently as a sandwich with Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages sauteed with peppers and onions. It's also great paired with a soup.

For more detailed instructions, check out Cook Like Your Grandmother's post. The author, Drew Kime, provides step-by-step instructions. 

Crusty Italian Bread Adapted from Cook Like Your Grandmother


  • 2     1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water   

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

  •  1 tbsp olive oil


Combine yeast and 1/4 cup warm water in small bowl. Let sit 3 minutes or until small bubbles form and yeast dissolves.

Pour 1 cup warm water in large bowl. Add dissolved yeast. Combine.

Add flour, sugar and salt. Mix until combined.

Once combined, add olive oil.

Knead for five minutes. Transfer dough to oiled bowl. Let rise one hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll dough in long loaf. Cut in half. Place on Italian loaf pan. Let rise 20 minutes.

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 400 degrees. Bake an additional 15 minutes. Cover loaves with aluminum foil. Continue to bake an additional 10 minutes.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Lemon Frosted Coconut Carrot Cupcakes

As promised, here are the cupcakes my family had to celebrate Easter.

I had requests for coconut, lemon and carrot. I was worried about picking one flavor and ignoring the other flavor suggestions.

So after brainstorming ideas, it came to me. A carrot cupcake loaded with coconut and topped with a light lemon frosting with an extra sprinkle of coconut. 

The cupcakes were super moist and the frosting was the perfect addition. You can also make this in cake form with or without frosting.

Lemon Frosted Coconut Carrot Cupcakes Adapted from The New Me and Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Makes 16 cupcakes or one 9 x 9" square pan



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 

  • 3 cups shredded carrots

  • 3/4 cup canola oil

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 1    1/2 cups shredded coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Combine dry ingredients from first column. Stir in carrots. Pour in canola oil and mix. Batter will be thick. Pour in orange juice. Batter will slowly thin a bit. Fold in shredded coconut.

Grease muffin tin or 9 x 9" square pan. Pour batter into greased dish. If making cupcakes, bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If making cake, bake for 45 - 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.



  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Shortening
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Stick

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons

  • Zest of 2 lemons


Blend shortening and butter until combined with hand mixer. Add powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments alternating with lemon juice. Beat three minutes or until fluffy. Fold in lemon zest.

Frost cupcakes with frosting and sprinkle with coconut.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sugar Coated Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

I'm longing for road trips. Trips to DC, the North Carolina mountains, the coast, somewhere. With the bright sun on the dashboard and either the quiet companionship of a good book or some cheerful tunes.

Perhaps my favorite things about road trips though are lunch breaks, with a good peanut butter sandwich, apple slices and water.

Some of my fondest memories of trips involve pit stops either at awkward middle of nowhere fast food places or rest stops. I can't forget the time my family inadvertently tried to get on Quantico Marine Corps base three different times - we were just looking for a gas station! There's also the time we met a cat coming home from the Outer Banks. We astutely named her Plymouth after the town the rest stop was in.

So back to the peanut butter sandwiches. What could be better than to have them on cinnamon raisin bread? If you're going on vacay, and don't want to have to eat out every day or go to a grocery store, baking a loaf of the bread the day before will at least help for the lunches.

This loaf is gorgeous with its cinnamon swirl, specks of raisins and sugar coated topping. 

Sugar Coated Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread Adapted from Peter Reinhart (Check out all his fabulous books here)


  • 1   3/4 cups bread flour (recommended KAF)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 5/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 5/8 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance shortening
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/8 cup water 

  • 3/4 cup raisins

Cinnamon Swirl/Topping

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon  

For greasing loaf


In a large bowl, combine ingredients from first column - flour, sugar, salt, yeast and cinnamon. 

Once combined, add applesauce, shortening, almond milk and water

Knead dough for 10 minutes. In the last 2 minutes, incorporate raisins.

Transfer dough to oiled bowl and let rise for 2 hours.

Prepare cinnamon swirl topping by mixing sugar and cinnamon in small bowl.

Roll dough into a rectangle, about 10 x 12 inches. Sprinkle with half of cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll up tightly, pinch ends and transfer to greased 9 x 5 loaf pan, seam side down.

Let rise an additional 2 hours. (Loaf will not rise above pan)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake loaf for 20 minutes. Rotate pan 180 degrees and bake an additional 20 minutes or until the center of the loaf reaches 190 degrees.

Immediately brush loaf with butter and sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar over loaf. (Tip: Do this over a pan to catch extra butter/cinnamon sugar.)