Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A. Reads To Auntie Jackie

I've been able to spend the last few days with family in Michigan. My 1.5yo niece is a chatterbox and reader. When you put those two together, you get this....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Russian Tea Cookies

My family also calls these snowball cookies, probably because they look like little snowballs and we always had them at Christmastime. But I guess the official name for the cookies are Russian tea cookies. My Aunt Marilyn gave me my Grandma's handwritten recipe while I was home for the holidays; it was like receiving a little heirloom.

Russian Tea Cookies:

1 C. butter or margarine
1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 1/2 C. flour
1 t. vanilla
3/4 C. chopped walnuts or pecans

Blend the ingredients together well. Form into 1" balls and bake at 350 degrees for 13-14 minutes. Remove from the oven and roll the cookies in powdered sugar. Let cool completely and roll in powdered sugar again.

***This can be vegan if made with the margarine or EarthBalance (I used EarthBalance in my last batch; tasted great!)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Black Bean and Couscous Salad

I got an e-mail from with a list of Tangy Bean Salads so I had to try one. The one that I had the most ingredients for was the Black Bean and Couscous Salad, except I didn't have the couscous, cilantro or red pepper and I was almost out of olive oil. I substituted quinoa and vegetable broth (to make it vegetarian) and it worked well. Tangy indeed!

Black Bean and Couscous Salad:


1 C. uncooked couscous
1 1/4 C. chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 t. red wine vinegar
1/2 t. ground cumin
8 green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1 C. frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained
salt and pepper to taste


Bring chicken broth to a boil in a 2-quart or larger sauce pan and stir in the couscous. Cover the pot and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar and cumin. Add green onions, red pepper, cilantro, corn and beans and toss to coat. Fluff the couscous well, breaking up any chunks. Add to the bowl with the vegetables and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Find the recipe here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Vegan Carrot Cake

I've had carrot cake on the brain lately so I searched for a vegan carrot cake recipe and found this one. And it's delicious. The recipe doesn't give a pan size, only says that it serves 8. I made cupcakes and it made 14 regular-sized cupcakes.

Vegan Carrot Cake

3 C. shredded carrots
1 1/4 C. sugar
2 C. flour
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 C. orange juice
3/4 C. canola oil
1 C. raisins
1 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Do not use a hand mixer for this recipe, use a ladle
or spoon. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Then mix in the Carrots and the Oil to the dry ingredients. Add the orange juice and mix it all together. Fold in the nuts and raisins. Grease pan with cooking spray or oil. Put the batter into cake pan.
Bake for 45 minutes or until knife/toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. Let cool completely.

***FOR CUPCAKES: I baked them for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

***Vegan cream cheese frosting recipe coming....

***I found this recipe here.

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Orange and Cumin

I think I found this recipe as part of Bon Appetit's Top 10 Vegetarian Recipes of 2010. And boy, were they right! It is delicious!

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Orange and Cumin

2 oranges (juiced) (or 8 ounces orange juice)
2 T. olive oil
2 C. chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, pressed
4 t. chili powder
4 t. ground cumin
2 t. ground cinnamon
3 15.5-oz cans seasoned black beans, drained
2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes in juice
Hot pepper sauce
Sour cream or plain yogurt
Chopped fresh cilantro

Grate enough orange peel to measure 1 1/2 teaspoons. Juice oranges. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté 5 minutes. Mix in garlic and spices. Add beans, tomatoes, and half of orange juice (1/2 cup). Simmer over medium heat until heated through and flavors blend, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Mix in orange peel and remaining orange juice (1/2 cup). Season to taste with hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Ladle chili into bowls. Top with sour cream and cilantro. Pass extra hot sauce alongside.