Monday, August 2, 2010

Bakefest 2010

I am starting to feel the pressure of going back to work.  I told Mr. B the other day that I am now like a real person because I only have one week of vacation left before the first duty day.

"So you weren't a real person before?" he asked.

Always the comedian.

This weekend I was going to get a lot of stuff done. Shopping, cooking, and movie watching.  When I announced to Little B that we would be taking a trip to Manhattan, her face fell like a leaf.  I had a lot to do, 99% of which could be considered torture to a 5-year-old.  I called my friend who agreed to let her come over to play with her girls.  Little B was ecstatic, crowned me "The Best Mama I've Ever Had," brushed her teeth without me asking, picked out an outfit that actually matched and was waiting at the door to the garage before I could get my right contact in. 

As an extra-special treat, my friend, Jen the Dietician, came with me on my not-so-fun errands.  We'd been trying to plan a girls' night out since my birthday in March, then her birthday in May. Who knew it would be Harry Potter's birthday before it actually happened?  Such is the life of mothers of young children.   

Our Girls Gone Wild Saturday consisted of...please skip the next paragraph if you are a prude...

...Hobby Lobby, Hastings, and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Then we decided to stop for a drink at Starbucks and then hit the primary target of our day out - the Health Food Co-op.

 I know, I know - we really know how to tear it up. No rumors, please.   

I was in search of a few items that have been cropping up in recipes that elude me at the local grocery stores.  I use the 's' very loosely - there are TWO.  

Agar powder: I think the dude helping me find it told me at least 5 times how to pronounce it. I would try to type it phonetically, but I still can't say it right. Apparently, it is seaweed gelatin. I can read your mind - YUM. Am I right? Am I right?

Arrowroot powder: an alternative thickener; it may make baked goods crispy as well - I tried it in a banana streusel muffin without much luck.  I was hesitant - maybe arrowroot powder needs a firmer hand.  

Stevia: I bought some powder and a little dropper so I can mix my own. I felt a bit like those people who make experimental drugs in their basement behind a faux cinder wall.  I think if I mentioned Stevia to the next 5 Kansans I meet at least 4 of them would think I was in the drug market.  

Sucanat: I was interested in buying this so I could make my own chocolate chips. I've been calling it "suck-on-that" ever since I first read it in a recipe. Aren't I so charming?

Braggs - at first I thought liquid aminos meant some wierd, natural body building supplement.  My brain immediately went to amino acids.  Well, whatever it means, it's commonly used as a replacement for soy sauce or tamari. This is for a cheese spread recipe that is in my current line-up.  It's made from cashews and nutritional yeast (who refused to pose for the blog photo).  

Many of my new ingredients didn't make it in to any weekend dishes.  I was in more of a baking mood this weekend and finally turned my oven on. (GAH!)  Despite our recent estrangement, we did a Strawberry Flax Cake, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, and Banana Streusel Muffins.  Many of the cookies, which Little B loved, went into snack baggies to be frozen for school lunches, which start in two weeks.  (Again, GAH!) 

In this realm, I found a book I'd been hunting for called The Vegan Lunch Box. This mom was also faced with the dilemna of packing her child's lunch for school. When she asked him what he wanted, he said "sushi." And thus, the blog was born...then the book. I'm hoping to get lots of those recipe/lunch attempts blogged...we shall see! I don't know about sushi, but there will definitely be Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

They are vegan, but don't be afraid!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1/2 c. canola oil
1/3 c. agave nectar
1/3 c. almond milk
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 1/3 flour (I used 1 c. all-purpose, 1 1/3 whole wheat)
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
2 c. oats
1 c. raisins

Preheat oven to 350*
Combine oil, agave nectar, milk, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Sift the flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon into the wet ingredients and mix. Stir in oats and raisins. 

Bake for 10 minutes on a greased cookie sheet or silpat baking mat to prevent sticking. Cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container. 

I used a silicone scoop to gather the dough and my fingers to press the cookies down a little flatter.

        A couple of cookies in hand and a large cup of coffee now -  Little B is waiting to play Princess and the Frog on the Wii.  What can I say?  Duty calls.  


  1. This going right into our recipe book. Looks Good!

  2. I'm so intrigued by all the new ingredients. I thought I was taking a walk on the natural side by making my own granola with wheat germ, oat bran, etc. I have actually seen about half of the items you mentioned. usually I'd then holler over to the owner of the health food store "Thelma, what is this for?" and she's tell me. I would act interested and then would put it back on the shelf. Kudos to you. Maybe i'll get the gumption and try some of these recipes you've listed.

  3. I looove your all natural ingredients! I have a vegan/dairy free blog I eat vegan diet because of health reasons its all fairly new to me still. I also cook with all natural ingredients. Check me out if you get a chance.