Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

Happy Halloween!  How can you resist a buttery, sweet sugar cookie on a dreary fall day?

This is my favourite "go-to" sugar cookie recipe. The ingredients are simple and the recipe is very straightforward.   It has never failed me and it is a DREAM to roll out.  The dough is soft and pliable -- wonderful to work with!  And believe me, I've baked enough treats.  I have even made some changes and the cookies are delicious.    

This recipe has been in my recipe collection for a few years now.  It was great to see my friend Lara post the same recipe on her blog The Wandering Fork a few weeks ago.  

I like to roll thin cookies for a sweet and crispy cookie.  Rolling the dough out thick (1/4" to 1/2")  will yield a nice soft cookie. I have made these lovely sugar cookies for Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, birthdays, parties, etc.  It's a great addition to any event. Sugar cookies also make wonderful gifts.  I have packaged them in cute cookie tins and they were much appreciated!     

Note:  This recipe makes a lot of cookies.  I usually cut the recipe in half.  This time, I made the full recipe with the intent of sharing.  So far, I have baked about 5 dozen thin cookies with only half the dough!  

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies 
Makes 5 dozen, 2-inch cookies, rolled 1/4-1/2" thick

1 1/2 cups butter, softened  (I used 1/2 cup softened butter & 1 cup soft non-hydrogenated canola margarine)
2 cups white sugar (I decreased to 1 3/4 cup sugar)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used 2 tsp)
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes for thick cookies, 4-6 minutes for thin cookies in preheated oven.  Cool completely.

- Adapted from  The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Pin It

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls and Asian Stir Fry Basics

Growing up in a Chinese household, stir fry dishes are a part of our normal rotation for dinner.  Because it is made so often, it becomes second nature for an Asian person to throw slices of meat or tofu, cut veggies and some seasonings together to make a luscious topping over rice.

Everyone and every family has a different way of making stir fry dishes.  It is mainly a method or guideline that I should archive for my kiddies.  I purposely make my Asian dishes on the bland side.  My children like mild flavours.   If I can get them to eat broccoli, carrots, zucchini, sugar snap peas, meat, tofu and other veggies for dinner, I have won the mommy lottery!  The other day, Nessa begged me to buy asparagus!  You can always add more salt, pepper, hot sauce or other seasonings to your own plate. Besides, it is easier to correct bland dishes than salty ones.

This is a basic guideline. The ingredients are approximate.  You decide if you like more/less of your favourite veggies and meat.  It can be fun to try one new vegetable at a time.  Asparagus, Chinese greens (bok choy), zucchini, sliced mushrooms, bean sprouts can also be added too.  It really is a forgiving recipe.  If you need more sauce, add more liquid.  Sauce too thin?  Add more thickener.  

This is what I (usually) do.  The post looks really long and wordy, but this dish really cooks up fast with whatever ingredients you have on hand.  I'm just writing everything down now so my kiddies can use this as a reference in the future.  Feel free to make changes and taste as you go!  

Heat a large pot or wok on medium high (Sorry about the dirty wok! I was cooking veggies earlier). Add about 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or canola oil to thinly cover the bottom of the pot. I use extra virgin olive oil.  It smokes up when it gets too hot, so I don't heat my pan to that point.  Throw in a crushed clove of garlic to infuse the oil. I'm lazy and just smash it with my palm against the counter top or cutting board.  Feel free to chop it up if you like.  Add 1 or 2 slices of ginger to the oil.  

Tip#1:  I slice all my ginger and freeze them on a lined cookie sheet.  Once frozen, transfer them to a zipped sandwich baggie and store it in the freezer for future use.  It drove me nuts to see my ginger root go moldy in the fridge.  Frozen sliced ginger is perfect for stir fries!  

Add your sliced meat to the hot pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on high heat, covered.  Do not disturb the meat.  Uncover and flip the meat over and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  The meat will release from the pan if it is cooked. Transfer the cooked meat to a clean bowl and save for later.

If I have time, I marinate my meat with a bit of salt, pepper, a drizzle of soy sauce, 1/2 tsp cornstarch, mix it up and then drizzle 1/2-1 tsp oil to seal the marinade.  Most of the time, I skip this step and thinly slice up my chicken breast into slivers and dump it in the pan.  Again, it is completely up to you!

Tip#2:  Organize your veggies in the order of the longest cooking time to the shortest.  For example, carrots and celery take longer to cook than red peppers, bean sprouts and sugar snap peas.  Consider the veggies that can be cooked soft and cannot be easily overcooked, like carrots and celery.  Broccoli is tricky to cook.  My kiddies like cooked broccoli but they look horrible when overcooked (yellow) and not bright green.  The veggies that can be cooked in shorter times can be added last.

Now that the meat is cooked, it is time for the vegetables.

Add about 1 Tbsp oil (more or less) to thinly coat the bottom of a hot pan.  Add 1 smashed garlic clove and 1-2 slices of ginger.  I re-use the smashed garlic clove and slices of ginger from the sauteed meat.

Saute about 1 cup of sliced carrots for 2 minutes on medium-high heat.  Toss around from time to time for even cooking.   Add about 1 cup of sliced celery and cook for 2 minutes covered.

Next, I use about 4 cups, or 2 heads of chopped broccoli. You don't have to put that much broccoli in. Half the amount or another veggie is good too.  My children adore broccoli, so I go with it.  Toss it around in the oil and pour about 3/4 cups of chicken broth.  
If I don't have chicken broth on hand, I use water and add a 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon cube for flavour.  Water, vegetable broth or beef broth would be OK too.

Cover and simmer for 7-8 minutes.  The children like broccoli on the softer side.  Use less time if you like crunchier vegetables.  Add the rest of the quick cooking veggies, like snow peas and peppers and cook for another 2 minutes.

Transfer the meat back to the veggies and heat it all up til the sauce on the bottom boils.  Make a cornstarch slurry of 1-2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water.  Make sure there are no lumps and add it to the sauce to thicken it.  Mix well. If it is too thick or you would like more sauce, add a bit of broth or water to thin it out.  Make more cornstarch slurry if you need it thicker. 

Now is the fun time to season your stir-fry!  This is the part where you can change the flavours of this dish.  You can make it teriyaki, Chinese-style, black bean & garlic, spicy or sweet and sour.  It is really up to you.

Basic seasoning guideline:  
  • salt, in 1/4 tsp increments
  • 2-4 Tbsp bottled sauce
  • drizzle of light soy sauce (gasp!  I never measure... approximately 1 tsp?)
  • drizzle of dark soy sauce for colour if needed
  • pepper, if desired
  • hot chili sauce, if desired
There are so many Asian sauces in the grocery stores these days.  It can be overwhelming.  Each sauce has its own purpose.  Here is a quick run-down of the ones that are in my pantry.   I cook pretty bland and my local grocery store is quite limited.  There are so many different brands you can try and go from there.

Oyster Sauce:  I use Lee Kum Kee's Premium Oyster Sauce.  It is a family favourite.  You can also get a vegetarian version, called "Stir-fry sauce".  This stuff is very strong, so add 1 Tbsp at a time.  Up to 2 Tbsp max, since there is a strong oyster flavour.  

Regular or Light soy sauce. "Light" does not mean "reduced sodium" or reduced calorie.  It refers to its lighter colour.  When recipes call for "soy sauce", this is the one you use.  It is also saltier than the dark soy sauce. 

Dark Soy Sauce. It is darker in colour, not as salty, thicker and is aged longer. I use dark soy sauce to make sauces look dark brown.  I have also used dark soy sauce to enhance/darken the colour of beef or turkey gravy.

Black Bean and Garlic Sauce:  A pungent blend of fermented salted black beans and pureed garlic.  I add about 1-2 heaping tablespoons to my stir-fries to get a Garlic and Black Bean Chicken Stir-fry.  It is strong stuff, so add to taste.  

Teriyaki Sauce:  You can buy it bottled but I prefer to make it myself.  Traditional teriyaki sauce is a combination of soy sauce, mirin (sweetened rice wine) and sake.  Mirin is hard to come by in my little town, so I improvised with dry white wine and extra sugar. I use my own sauce that I cook and blend.  I will share my recipe in another blog post.  There are some great teriyaki sauce recipes online.  

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls and the Basic Asian Stir-fry

1-2 cloves garlic, smashed or minced
1-2 slices ginger
2 Tbsp vegetable oil, canola oil or extra virgin olive oil, approximately enough to cover bottom of pan

1 lb thinly sliced meat (chicken, beef, pork), tofu, prawns, scallops
3/4 cup chicken broth, water or vegetable broth, plus up to 1/2 cup more if more sauce is desired
*optional meat marinade:   Add a pinch of salt, pepper, a drizzle of soy sauce and approx. 1/2 tsp cornstarch to the meat.  Mix well and then drizzle 1/2-1 tsp oil to seal the marinade 

1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
2-4 cups broccoli, cut in bite sized pieces (1-2 heads of broccoli)
1 red pepper, sliced
1/2 cup sugar snap or snow peas

1/4 tsp kosher salt, add more in 1/4 tsp increments
2-4 Tbsp homemade or bottled Teriyaki sauce* (I will post my homemade teriyaki sauce recipe in a later post)
1-2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water; mix well, no lumps
1 tsp light soy sauce, optional
1 tsp dark soy sauce, if darker brown sauce is desired
hot chili sauce, optional

Heat approximately 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (canola, extra virgin olive oil, etc) in a large pot or wok to medium-high.  Do not let pan overheat. Add 1-2 cloves crushed/minced garlic and 1-2 slices fresh/frozen ginger.  

Add sliced chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes on high heat, covered.  Uncover and flip the meat over and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  The chicken will release from the pan if it is cooked. Transfer to a clean bowl. 

Heat another 1 Tbsp oil to the wok and add garlic and ginger (from the meat) to the hot oil.  Add sliced carrots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Add sliced celery and cook for 2 minutes, covered.  Add cut broccoli and mix it with the carrots and celery.  Pour 3/4 cup chicken broth (water or vegetable broth) to the vegetables.  Cover and simmer for 7-8 minutes for tender crisp vegetables.  Add remaining vegetables and cook another 2 minutes.  

Return the cooked chicken back to the cooked vegetables and bring the liquid to boil.  Thicken the sauce with cornstarch slurry and mix well to ensure the sauce thickens nicely.  If the sauce is too thick, add up to 1/2 cup broth.  Season with salt, pepper, light and dark soy sauce (optional) and teriyaki* sauce to taste.  Serve over rice or noodles.

*Other sauce variations:
  • Basic Chinese-style:  1-2 Tbsp Oyster sauce
  • Black Bean & Garlic: 1-2 Tbsp Black Bean & Garlic Sauce

[Edited to add - April 12, 2013 ] I am so pleased to announce that this recipe is featured in SayItCanada's "Food & Drink" Section. is a rich lifestyle resource for communities across Canada.  
Pin It

Monday, October 29, 2012

Muffin Tin Monday - October 29, 2012

I haven't made a Muffin Tin Lunch in several weeks!  We have been so crazy busy with family activities, birthday parties and just life in general.  

This weekend, we cancelled all social plans.  Hubby, Baby and I came down with the stomach flu.  It was not pleasant to eat and then RUN to the washroom!  Anyways, we just stayed at home and I was able to make a nice indoor picnic lunch for the kiddies. Luckily, the older ones were spared and we were only sick for 24 hrs or so.  Whew!  

Today's lunch:  microwave popcorn (in glass bowl method), Asian chicken quesadillas, chopped leftover dinner ham, dill pickles, olives, grape tomatoes and crunchy green grapes. 

The kiddies were so excited to see the pickles and olives. They devoured them first!  Then the grapes and grape tomatoes.  The ham and chicken quesadillas next.  Popcorn was the last to go.  So lovely to see the siblings enjoy a meal together on their own. 

For more great lunch ideas, visit Muffin Tin Mom!  Have a wonderful day!

Pin It

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mini Apple Pies (Gluten-free, vegan or Not)

Happy 5th Birthday to my dear sweet Nessa!  She is my gorgeous middle child with a huge heart of gold.  Being the middle child has been a gift for her.  She gets to wear two hats in the family:  the kid sister who adores her older brother and the doting big sister who helps "mother" her baby sister.   

Last weekend, she had her birthday party and we celebrated with Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes.  Today is the actual day of her birthday and quite frankly, I am a little tired of baking cakes and cupcakes.  I had been baking cakes and cupcakes for Baby's birthday (last month), Hubby's birthday (2 weeks ago) and Nessa's birthday (last weekend).  I think we are starting to get tired of birthday cake(s)!  

For a change, I'll make PIE.  Pie is special.  I bake pies for special occasions and holidays. Why not birthdays?  I'm sure there are people who will attest that a home made pie from scratch is made with 100% love. Love is the secret ingredient in my cooking and baking.  

Since it is Nessa's birthday, it is her turn to bring something for her Snack Day.  I thought that mini apple pies would be great for sharing at school! 

This recipe can be easily changed to gluten-free and vegan... or not.  At least there is this option for those with dietary or ethical considerations.  

Yes, they are a little more work than making one big pie.  I'll be honest.  They were downright tedious.  I did not like rolling out pie dough and cutting out 24 little circles of dough for my mini-cupcake pan. Maybe it's because I was running out of steam by the end of the day.  But for my Nessa, she is worth it. How often do you turn 5?  The smile on her face when she shares her little pies with her friends will make it all worthwhile.  

Mini Apple Pies
makes 24 mini cupcake sized pies

1 your favourite double crust piegluten-free or store bought

2 apples, cored, finely chopped (about 1/4-inch pieces)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Preheat oven to 425F.  Roll out pastry on floured work surface and cut out round 
circles with a large round cookie cutter or glass cup.  Gather up the scraps and reroll the rounds. 

Press each crust round into ungreased mini or regular muffin tin.  

In a large bowl, mix sugar, 1/4 cup flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Stir in apples until well mixed.  Spoon into pastry-lined muffin cups.  Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over filling.  Top with pastry.  Brush with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.  

- Adapted from Betty Crocker's Mini Apple Pies

Happy 5th Birthday, my dear sweet Nessa!  We are so happy to have you in our family.


Pin It

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Italian Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Crabapple Mustard Glaze

Pork tenderloin is one of my favourite dishes to make.  The meat is mild, tender and cooks up very fast in the oven.  Hubby and the children really enjoy it.  This is one of my quick and easy recipes that can be comparable to a restaurant meal.

Super easy recipe!  I trimmed all the connective tissue and fat from the meat, massaged the pork tenderloins with olive oil, rubbed the herbs and seasonings into the meat and threw it in the oven for 30-40 minutes.  I use the same ingredients for roast beef too, but somehow it tastes completely different. 

This recipe was inspired by Pioneer Woman's Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Preserves.  She uses the French Herbs de Provence.  I can't get that here in my little rural BC town, so I improvised.  Being a mother of three little monkeys, I'm getting really good at it!  

Instead of French herbs, I used Italian seasoning (I think it is a blend of oregano, basil, rosemary and thyme).  I got it in the bulk section of my grocery store.  Instead of salt and pepper, I sprinkled Montreal Steak Spice since it has salt, pepper, garlic and other spices.  For fun, I also sprinkled some Old Bay seasoning.  I saw it at my local supermarket and bought it out of curiosity.  

This is a forgiving recipe and I don't measure my ingredients.  I just sprinkle the ingredients on top until it "looks good".  For my children's sake (when they read this entry in a few years), I should put approximate amounts!

The glaze is my creation. I used homemade crabapple jelly but any preserves will do. I will try apricot next. The crabapple jelly is very sweet, so I only used 1/4 cup.  I thought it would be a variation of the popular pork/apple combination.  I kept tasting it and adding ingredients until it was yummy.  I added a bit of thyme, a bit of balsamic vinegar and a few small squirts of mustard.  Boiled it up and thickened it with a slurry of cornstarch and water.  In the end, it tasted a lot like Asian sweet & sour plum sauce!  The children, especially my 3 year old, loved the pork and glaze. 

Italian Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Crabapple Mustard Glaze

2 Pork Tenderloins
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (can use more or less)
1 tsp Montreal Steak Spice
2-4 Tbsp Italian herb seasoning
sprinkle Old Bay seasoning (optional)

1/4-1/2 cup preserves (I used 1/4 cup crabapple jelly. Will try apricot next)
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp thyme
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp mustard (yellow or Dijon)
1/4 cup water + 1 Tbsp cornstarch 

Preheat oven to 425F.  Trim the outer fat and connective tissue from the pork tenderloins..  Drizzle and massage pork tenderloins with extra virgin olive oil.  Season with Montreal Steak Spice and then rub with Italian seasoning.

Place the pork on a rack or pan and roast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes (I needed 30-40 min) or until no longer pink.  Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.

While the pork is resting, combine preserves, water, thyme, mustard  and vinegar in a small pan and bring to a simmer.  To thicken, make cornstarch slurry (water and cornstarch) and mix it in the simmering sauce.

Slice pork and spoon the glaze over the meat.  

- Adapted from Pioneer Woman's Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Preserves

Everyone enjoyed this dinner.  I am in awe that 3 year old LOVED this!  

Pin It

Friday, October 19, 2012

Basic Gluten-Free Quinoa Flake Fruit Crisp (Gluten-free, Egg-free, Dairy-free)

OK, going gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and egg-free has been interesting for my health.  My skin has improved but I feel like I've lost a bit of energy since I cut out my main protein sources:  eggs and dairy.  With this diet change, I haven't lost weight!  I guess eating rice cakes in place of cheese and eggs has stalled my weight loss for this carb-sensitive gal.  For those who know me, I may look tiny, but I'm really good at hiding my saggy poochie mommy tummy.

I'm still trying to perfect my gluten-free vegan cupcakes but in the meantime, I wanted to throw something quick and yummy in the oven.  From this summer's bounty, I managed to freeze a bunch of rhubarb and summer berries.  

I turned to my Strawberry Rhubarb crisp recipe for inspiration.  I made it gluten-free and vegan (no animal products; dairy-free and egg-free).  I added chia seeds to the filling.  I used quinoa flakes instead of rolled oats.  I was able to find quinoa flakes in the bulk section of my local grocery store.  

This is a very flexible recipe!  Feel free to make changes depending on your palate, diet, or whatever ingredients you have on hand.  You can make it sweeter, use whole wheat flour, rolled oats and real butter.  This is a great starting point.  

For my 6 cups of fruit, I used 1 diced gala apple, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup frozen raspberries and 3 cups frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained.  Frozen rhubarb releases water too quickly for pies and crisps, thus making the filling watery and runny.  To counter this, thaw and drain the excess liquid from frozen rhubarb but do not squeeze it dry. 

Basic Gluten-Free Quinoa Flake Fruit Crisp

1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch or tapioca starch (I used 1 tbsp chia seeds + 2 Tbsp tapioca starch)
6 cups mixed fruit and berries (I used 1 diced gala apple, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup frozen raspberries and 3 cups frozen rhubarb, thawed & drained)
1/4 tsp cinnamon

2/3 cup quinoa flakes (or gluten-free oats)
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup gluten-free baking mix* (or all-purpose/whole wheat flour, if tolerated)
2 Tbsp vegan margarine, melted (I used Earth Balance buttery spread)
dash of cinnamon

Mix first 4 ingredients for the fruit filling.  Pour and spread evenly in a 2.5qt/L dish.

Mix topping ingredients, spread evenly over the fruit base.

Bake at 350F for 45-55 minutes until bubbly.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

-  Adapted from  SparkRecipes: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

*Gluten-Free Baking Mix

Combine and whisk together:  
3/4 cup super fine white rice flour 
1/4 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch (use Asian tapioca to avoid an “off” taste to the tapioca)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

Makes about 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour mix

The tart raspberries and rhubarb made the crisp sooo addictive!  If you find this too tart, a little drizzle of maple syrup can sweeten things up if needed.  
Pin It

Monday, October 8, 2012

Muffin Tin Monday - October 8, 2012

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!  We had a quiet weekend and will be having a nice turkey dinner tonight with family.  Since we will be feasting tonight, the kiddies had a light lunch.  I love making lunches in 12-cup muffin pan on the weekends.   It makes a fun, simple lunch.  I love watching the children gather around the floor for a little picnic.  

Today's lunch:  sugar snap peas, red pepper sticks, sliced fresh pears, herb & garlic Triscuit crackers, apple slices (I used a melon baller to scoop out the core), leftover frozen pizza and diced cheese sticks.  

The kiddies are so cute at this age!  There are some days where I look at them and I can't believe they are mine.  They are growing up way too fast!   I'm so happy to capture these simple moments.  

I have so much to be thankful for.  For more great lunch ideas, visit Muffin Tin Mom!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  

Pin It

Friday, October 5, 2012

Gluten Free Classic Vegan Pumpkin Pie (Dairy-free, Soy-free, Egg-free)

Today is the start of Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.  It is very much like the American counterpart, but we have it earlier in the year.  I haven't put much thought in our dinner this weekend yet, but I thought that I would get a start on dessert!

Lately, I have been having some health issues and bad acne.  To change things up, I decided to go soy, dairy, egg, chocolate (gasp!), and gluten-free for 6 weeks.  I'm happy to say that I've gotten used to my regime and am embracing the other delicious foods I can enjoy!

I decided to tackle the classic Thanksgiving favourite:  pumpkin pie.  First the crust had to be gluten and butter free.  Thanks to all the wonderful resources on the net, I lucked out with a delicious gluten-free crust  made with a blend of rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, sweet rice flour and xanthan gum.  In the world of gluten-free baking, this is a very standard mix of ingredients.  There is a science behind gluten-free baking where all the qualities of each different flour/starch combine to mimic wheat.  It was PERFECT on the first try!  The crust was flaky, crispy and it held the pumpkin filling beautifully.  

Next, the pumpkin pie filling had to be butter, milk and egg free.  I found an amazing one that all the kiddies loved and asked for breakfast the next day!  Again, the hard part is to find substitutes to replace the binding of eggs (use of cornstarch) and the creaminess of milk (use of coconut or almond milk).  The filling was very easy to whip up.  

I also take into consideration that this will not be exactly like the "regular ones", but still a very delicious dessert.  It will be one that everyone would like to try out of curiosity and then be pleasantly surprised at how yummy it is.  

Classic Vegan Pumpkin Pie

1 - 8-inch or 9-inch unbaked pie crust (wheat, gluten-free or storebought)
2 cups pureed pumpkin (or one 15-oz can)
1 cup plain nondairy milk (soy, almond, coconut)* 
3/4 cup sugar (I used 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup white)
2 1/2 – 3 Tbsp cornstarch (I used 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch and 1 Tbsp cornstarch)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (or freshly grated nutmeg, just estimate!)
vegan whipped topping, if desired**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine pumpkin, non-dairy milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and spices in a large bowl, and mix very well with an electric mixer (alternatively, you can combine these ingredients in a blender). Pour into unbaked pastry shell, and bake for about 60 minutes. The pie will still be jiggly when you take it out of the oven, but it will firm up as it cools. Cool completely on a cooling rack, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving. Serve chilled and top with vegan whipped topping if desired.
* To be nut-free, I used Coconut Dream coconut beverage as it does not have a strong coconut flavour.  The original recipe states that almond milk will also produce great results.  Canned coconut milk will yield a rich and creamy pie but the flavor of the coconut will come through. Rice milk is not recommended as it is too thin for the nice creamy consistency.  

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Pin It

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bento Lunch Wednesday - October 3, 2012

It's nice when Hubby and I work on projects together.  It makes the job so much quicker and more enjoyable.  The past week, McDreamy and I shared the task of making the kiddies' lunches.  He made the sandwiches and I packed the sides.  

Today's lunch for Nessa:  roast beef and cheese sandwiches topped with cut-out processed cheese, diced fresh pears, red peppers and some mini chocolate oatmeal cookies.  

I hope she eats her sandwich and cheese.  I know that she will not have any problem with the fruit and cookies!  

For more great bento lunch ideas, check out Bento Lunch. Have a wonderful day!

Pin It

Monday, October 1, 2012

Muffin Tin Monday - October 1, 2012

I can't believe it is October already!  The month of September flew by so fast with school, ice skating lessons, birthday parties, etc... Last week, we all got sick  from our first official cold bug of the season.  It was nice to stay home this weekend and recover.

Yesterday's lunch was fun:  sugar snap peas, red peppers, blueberries on toothpicks, imitation crab meat, sliced prune plums, wedges of Laughing Cow cheese and stoned wheat thin crackers.  The children enjoyed spreading the soft cheese on their crackers.  

It was a pretty light fare. Since they just got over their colds, I'm happy that they were eating again!  

For more great lunch ideas, visit Muffin Tin Mom!  Happy Monday!


Pin It