Category Archives: Holidays

Pumpkin Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast

French toast, as a homemade dish, used to intimidate me. I only made it a few times in my pre-vegan days, and the first vegan go at it was a freaking disaster; a tasty disaster, but a disaster no less. The bread could end up too soggy, you could have goo stuck all over the pan, which means that you won’t get that crispy outside and soft inside. But, I’ve experimented a few time since then and I think I finally have the hang of it!

Part of the solution is this waffle-maker/griddle that I found in my cabinet. On one side, the plates make thin, ornate waffles; on the other side are griddle plates for pressing sandwiches, making pancakes or in this case, making some seriously awesome french toast. I used it on its “waffle/low” setting, which was still pretty damn hot.

I had made a deluxe french toast like this once before, for Vegan Cuts Fall Harvest eBook, with a fig spread that was oh-so-delectable. You could shortcut the pumpkin spread by using premade pumpkin or apple butter, in this recipe. I did a shortcut myself, by using store-bought vegan cream cheese, but you could make a cashew cream for that instead!

So, if you need a Fall brunch item, you should definitely try this Pumpkin Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast out. Topped with crunchy, roasted hazelnuts and sweet maple syrup, it’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser for all of your guests! I think it would be super easy to turn this into a french toast casserole as well, to save prep time and feed a larger group.

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Filed under Holidays, Sweet Recipes

Peanut Butter Apple-Lanterns

Halloween is just around the corner, which means that themed parties are in full swing and fun food ideas are everywhere! This cute appetizer/dessert came to me after staring at some adorable crab apples for about a half hour trying to figure out just what the heck to do with them. Should I cut them up and use them in pies? Maybe I should poach them in wine… or what if I cut them into eyeballs? Nope, little apple-lanterns it is!

Of course I had to stuff them with peanut butter and raisins, although a vegan caramel filling would be great, as well. Now, you don’t have to carve the little faces into each one if you’re making a lot for a party, but it really does make them that much more awesome. You could also cut the face all of the way through to have a slightly oozy, creepy apple-lantern.

If you need another Halloween appetizer idea, check out my Stuffed Mushroom Eyeballs!

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Filed under Healthy Recipes, Holidays, Sweet Recipes

Summer Corn Salad with Basil Pesto Aioli

We are in the hottest month of Summer and here it has been humid as hell. The other day it was raining and I felt like I was back in Michigan, when my family would travel out there each August. I would stand outside during the thunderstorms, under the pouring rain, and it would still be almost 90F outside. With such greenery out there, it was a lot more enjoyable, where as here it’s just a light rain and tons of concrete.

Luckily the moisture has taken a break and today we had some nice breezes with the heat, so it wasn’t like walking into a sauna every time you went outside. This is the time of year when eating anything warm just sounds terrible – aside from grilled goodies, of course. Because of this, I have a nice, chilled salad recipe for you today! It’s perfect served as a side, maybe along with that Herbed Tofu Tomato Salad recipe from last week? Which, by the way, was a total hit! I’ve had at least five or six people make it and be very pleased with the outcome.

Anyway, this salad is made with sweet yellow and white corn, mostly for a little extra color, a creamy basil pesto aioli, fresh spinach and some red onion. Super easy to put together and is PACKED with flavor, especially after you chill the dish before serving it. If you want to make it a little healthier, add more spinach to the end product and omit some of the vegan mayo from the aioli, replacing it with plain yogurt.

Oh! I almost forgot, I have some incredibly exciting news! I’ll be a speaker at Vida Vegan Con 2015 in Austin! Eep! I’m super excited and feel very lucky to have been chosen out of the many people who applied to speak, and can’t wait until they announce the rest of the speakers closer to the end of the month. Who all is planning on going? If you’re on the fence, let me say that it was an awesome experience and you should take a look at my 1, 2, 3 part review of the 2013 conference. :)

Vida Vegan Con Speaker Badge

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Filed under Holidays, Savory Recipes

Strawberries & Cream Coffee Cake

What a weekend! It all started when I got out of work late Friday night and got to baking some vegan and vegan/gf cupcakes for a friend’s wedding. Stayed up late, afraid that I would fall asleep and lay my head into the mixing bowl at any moment. On Saturday it was rush-rush-rush all morning, icing cupcakes, getting last-minute shoes for the wedding while also getting ready for LA Vegan Beer Fest afterward. The ceremony was gorgeous and I am so happy for my two good friends and their special day.

Talk about a “fashionably late” entrance, I got to the LAVBF at 4pm after an hour-long drive from Orange County! But, I was still able to squeeze some tasty foods and chats with great people in the 2 remaining hours. Going to the fest has been a tradition for me, and this was my 4th one! I can’t wait for next years. :)

Sunday was more visiting with friends that were in from out-of-town, tasty vegan eats (like a vegan churro in swirled soft serve, SO GOOD) and a dinner at Shojin on Monday night (another fantastic meal). Now, it’s back to work shooting cookbooks, making food over at Whole Foods and blogging for y’all, of course!

I made this incredible coffee cake on Mother’s day for my family/boyfriend’s family and everyone loved it! I have a mixed berry version on the blog and a pumpkin pie version in my Great Vegan Pumpkin eBook, as well. I’d have to say, this one is a new favorite for me! My next version will be with Apple Pie Filling, me thinks.

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Filed under Holidays, Sweet Recipes