Link Love

I have a terrible habit…

I open a ZILLION tabs on my computer.

And I try to limit it to one window… using Google Chrome so I can still see all of the tabs. But then, Stephen comes along & doesn’t want to mess with my messy tabby window & opens a new window. I can blame him, right? : ) And then I open a zillion more tabs. I’m not going to lie to you… I have 6 windows open & multiple tabs in each.

Now here’s the thing… almost all of the tabs are RECIPES I WANT TO TRY.

So this post is all about Recipe Link Love so I can close some of those tabs!!

Some of these recipes are old… from searches of foodgawker for “tofu” or “lemon.”

Some of these recipes are new… from blogs I stalk all the time or something I stumbled on.

Either way, I want to try them all!!!

“Mini Artisan Bread Rolls” from While He Was Out

Which would taste warm & yummy dipped in this…

“Potato Leek Soup” from Scandi Foodie

Which would be an excellent first course to this…

“Spicy Sausage with Red Beans & Rice” from This Can’t be Vegan

Which would taste wonderful with a side of…

“Sweet Corn Cake” from Healthy Happy Life

Which could be desert all by itself or followed by some decadence with…

“Brioche” from Have Cake, Will Travel

Now, here’s my other terrible habit…

I’ll probably only try like 1 out of 6 of these recipes.

And the tabs will stay open until I have a sudden “clean up” mood OR my laptop spontaneously restarts itself OR the browser freezes and I have to “force quit.”

Cheers to bad habits!!

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Irish Cream & Cupcakes

This post comes days late!!! Sorry I missed the Saint Patrick’s Day fun. But hey, you can still celebrate.

This vegan Irish Cream is out. of. this. world. I think I like it even better than the dairy version. Ha, and I only made it because I’d been dying to make Vegan Irish Cream Cupcakes. Without chocolate.

They, like the Irish Cream itself, turned out incredible. My dad raved about them. He said “these cupcakes are the best ever.” And when mom told him to stop eating them, he said “I can’t! They’re the best cupcakes in the world, ever.” LOL. He also asked if they were vegan and I said yes, and he said wow! Hahaha. It is a good memory. I didn’t even get mad when he threw away my quinoa stew this morning because I’d left it out through the night (I like the flavors to develop out of the fridge).

Then, later tonight my mom AND Emily were going wild about them. I mean, I thought my lemon coconut cake was good but apparently these are heavenly. And they’re gone. Or their might be one left. But that’s saying something since there were only 4 people eating them and they’ve been around just over 24 hours. Don’t judge… I’m not sure anyone could eat just one.

Vegan Irish Cream

  • 1 Can Thai Coconut Milk
  • 2 1/2 Cups Regular Unsweetened Coconut Milk (So Delicious)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Instant Espresso
  • 2 Tbsp Chocolate Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Tsp Almond Extract
  • 3/4 to 1 Cup Irish Whiskey (or to taste, I like mine weak)
  • Pinch of Salt

Cook all of the coconut milk & sugar over medium heat until lightly boiling. Let simmer until thickened. About 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the pot. You don’t want to cook your coconut milk down too much or it will be more like sweetened condensed coconut milk then thick coconut milk. You just want it slightly thickened.

Once the coconut milk has thickened, remove from heat and let cool.

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Adjust whiskey to preference.

Then, Make Cupcakes!!!

Irish Cream Cupcakes

Makes Approximately 12 Cupcakes.

Cupcakes:

  • 1 Cup + 2 TBSP Vegan Irish Cream
  • 1 Tsp Vinegar
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Veg Oil
  • 1 Egg (I used EnerG Egg Replacer)
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1 2/3 Cup Cake Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder

Glaze:

  • 1/4 Cup Irish Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar

Frosting:

  • 1/4 Cup Vegan Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Shortening
  • 1 Tbsp Instant Espresso + 1 Tbsp Water
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Drop Almond Extract
  • Approx. 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 – 4 Tbsp Irish Cream

Prepare muffin tin(s) with 12 cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 350F.

To make cupcakes, combine Irish Cream & Vinegar and let sit for a minute until the cream begins to look slightly “curdled.”

Add oil, EnerG Egg (or flax egg), sugar & vanilla. Combine thoroughly with wooden spoon or whisk.

Add cake flour, salt & baking powder. Combine thoroughly until there are no flour chunks & batter is smooth. I’m too lazy to sift my flour and it’s never helped me anyway.

Pour batter into cupcake liners about 3/4 full.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. Mine took 24 minutes but all ovens are different. Done when the tops of the cupcakes spring back to the touch.

To make the glaze, combine Irish cream & sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let boil gently until glaze has thickened to coat wooden spoon. Let cool slightly.

While Cupcakes & Glaze are still warm (not hot), poke the tops of cupcakes with a fork. I poke them about 5 times each, but whatever suits you. Dip tops of cupcakes into saucepan to coat. Be careful, this can get messy. Try not to get the glaze on the cupcake wrapper.

To make frosting, beat the butter & shortening together until smooth & fluffy. Alternate between adding powdered sugar & wet ingredients (espresso, irish cream, vanilla, almond) until icing is creamy but thick. Feel free to use REAL espresso. I used the instant because not only was it much quicker but also because every time I try to use our espresso maker is leaks everywhere. I figured out the trick once but I must say… I don’t, for the life of me, remember what the heck it was.

To frost, (if you don’t have a piping bag) cut a small hole in the corner of a ziplock bag and insert a frosting tip if you have one. If you don’t, you can use the hole as your tip. Fold top of the bag over a glass and fill with icing. Lock ziplock bag and begin frosting desired amount.

Or you can always just use the old fashioned way and smear the frosting on top with a knife. That’s my usual go-to.

Check out the one cupcake below where the frosting looks like it’s about to droop off the edge. Yeah, it’s not… that’s just my natural frosting skills exemplified for all to see. It looks like it’s melting. Haha.

These cupcakes really are delicious! Enjoy!

Pico De Gallo Slaw

Just over a week ago I received very exciting news!!! The exclamation points let you know how exciting :)

I received an acceptance letter from American University’s School of International Service. Starting in the fall I will be a graduate student working toward an M.A. in Global Environmental Policy!

I finally have some direction and that feels incredible. One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books sums it up, “But absolute freedom can be as paralyzing as confinement when you don’t know what you want” (Around the Bloc by Stephanie Elizondo Griest). I finally know what I want!

Interestingly, American was the only school to which I applied (Penn State was the only school to which I applied for undergrad). Thank the universe I was accepted (to both).

I visited campus the day I was accepted (I didn’t get my acceptance email until that evening) and have already started looking at apartments, short-term study abroad opportunities, thinking about part-time jobs (Whole Foods?), and internships in the city. Each class is only once a week, and the average graduate student course load is 9 credits (3 classes) so I may only be on campus 2 days a week.

Anyway, onto the food! I eat tacos at least once a week, if not more. I love them. Usually they’re filled with black beans, some combination of veggies, and some kind of salsa, and/or guacamole. Last night, Stephen made some amazing tofu tacos and the tofu actually turned out perfect! Almost restaurant style!! Oh dear, they were so good I’m drooling just thinking about them.

And I learned a new trick after some internet searching… thank you, Vegan Yum Yum. The tofu should be DRY FRIED. It leeches out more moisture so the tofu becomes more spongy & chewy while simultaneously giving it a crisper outer texture. After dry frying the tofu, he added Olive Oil, Jalapeño, Onion, and Bell Pepper & sautéed it all together with some Chili Powder, Cumin & Salt. I fried the tortillas a bit to make them warm & pliable. Then we added the slaw I had made around lunch & topped it off with some green leaf lettuce. Oh, and we never forget the Tapatío. They were seriously delicious. I will probably never get around to posting a taco recipe because not only are tacos easy to make, I am FAR more interested in eating them IMMEDIATELY than I am in setting up a picture of my favorite food while it begs to be consumed. Maybe, one day.

Pico De Gallo Slaw

  • 1 Cup Green Cabbage, Shredded
  • 2 Medium Sized Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1/4 of a Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 Large Clove of Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Jalapeño, Minced
  • Juice of One Lime (or to taste)
  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin (or to taste)
  • Dash of Chipotle Powder, for smokiness
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Tsp Brown Sugar, Agave, or Honey
  • Cilantro (optional)

The addition of the cabbage actually came about because I didn’t have cilantro and diced tomato, onion & garlic just wasn’t going to cut it. The Mexican restaurant in Kutztown, La Cocina Mexicana, always serves their salsa with shredded cabbage and it’s dynamite. Thus, this slaw was born. Both the jalapeño & chipotle add a bit of spice to adjust to your preference.

In a medium/large bowl combine cabbage, tomatoes, onion, jalapeño and garlic. Toss together. Squeeze in lime juice. Add cumin & chipotle. Toss & taste. You may decide not to add sweetener or salt. I liked a little of both. Definitely be careful with the sweetener though. I accidentally added a touch too much the first time I made it.

If you have cilantro, absolutely add it. Let the slaw marinade in the refrigerator while you make the rest of your tacos. The flavor will enhance as it sits.

The slaw is fresh, bright, and adds a bit of crunch to your taco. It’s really wonderful and you could dress it up however you like.