Merry Christmas!

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With apologies for the radio silence this week (as I’m sure you understand, many obligations have overtaken my time, and I couldn’t manage to keep up with my blogging plans), I’m just popping by to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas (if you celebrate) and a happy Wednesday (if you don’t). We’ve had a wonderful day and hope you have, too.
requisite goofy shot

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baked :: Vegan Cranberry-Orange Bread

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If you’re looking for a way to use up cranberries left over from Thanksgiving, I can’t recommend this quick bread highly enough. I made a loaf for company on Thanksgiving morning and it was gone in a flash. I still had enough cranberries in the fridge to make another loaf this morning.

This is my adaptation of a recipe from Veganomicon, which was most likely adapted from an old Fannie Farmer recipe. I used to make muffins quite similar to this, and this recipe could easily be made as muffins (with a much shorter baking time at a higher temp – 18-20 minutes at 400; I always dusted mine with powdered sugar once they were cool). I replaced the soy milk from the Veganomicon recipe with more orange juice, primarily because we had a guest with a nut allergy who also stays away from soy products (often made on equipment also used for nuts). I don’t eat soy either, except occasionally in tempeh form. Ordinarily I substitute almond milk for soy in all recipes, but this time I didn’t because of the nut allergy. I liked the extra orange-y flavor of using more oj instead, so I am going to make it this way from now on.

Vegan Cranberry-Orange Bread
3/4 C orange juice
1/4 C canola oil
1 C sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2 C all-purpose flour
1 1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground allspice
1 T grated orange zest
1 1/2 C fresh cranberries

Preheat the oven to 325. Lightly grease a 9×5″ loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the orange juice, canola oil, sugar, and vanilla.

Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and allspice. Mix until smooth – batter will be quite thick.

Fold in orange zest and cranberries, and pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Let bread cool in loaf pan for about 15 minutes. Release onto cooling rack, turn right side up, let cool a bit more, then slice and eat.

(The original recipe calls for 1/2 C chopped walnuts, which I omitted because of the nut allergy. My kids also don’t care for nuts, but on today’s batch I added a few to one half of the loaf after I had poured the batter in.)

This is such an easy and delicious recipe – the only hard part is waiting for it to bake and cool!

[from the archives] – homemade :: Oreo Cookie Butter Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Hey! Happy NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month)! Let’s see if I can make it the whole month again, posting every day. Here goes!

It’s Saturday, which means it’s Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffin morning here. I somehow left out the molasses this time, so the flavor wasn’t as deep and the color wasn’t as dark, but they were still pretty darn tasty (as evidenced by the fact that 15 minutes after they came out of the oven there are hardly any left). As I baked this morning, I began pondering my Thanksgiving menu for this year, specifically the desserts. That got me thinking about this simple ice cream pie I came up with last year.

Here is that post, from the archives:

Oreo Cookie Butter Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Cookie Butter Oreo Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie, originally uploaded by earthchick.

It’s no secret that I love Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter. I’m also a big fan of ice cream pies, regardless of time of year.

As I was waking up earlier this week, an ice cream pie idea slid into my brain from out of nowhere. I don’t think I was dreaming about desserts, but who knows? All I know is that the liminal early morning mind is a wondrous thing. As I lay in bed pondering the pie idea, I realized it was probably a good one. It at least merited a taste-test.

I love pumpkin and chocolate together, and the idea of Cookie Butter and pumpkin ice cream seemed a natural, so why not try them all together?

Oreo Cookie Butter Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Despite the fact that the photos aren’t great, the recipe is a winner, at least as far as my taste buds are concerned. Obviously, my taste buds are favorably inclined towards ridiculously sweet things.

This is also a ridiculously easy recipe – and not too late to throw together for Thanksgiving dinner!

Oreo Cookie Butter Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie – serves 8

1 Oreo cookie crust

3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter
3/4 cup Edy’s Pumpkin Ice Cream, softened

1/2 cup Cool Whip

1/4 cup chopped pecans

(all amounts are “ish” – I just eyeball it to make sure I don’t have the pie overflowing with goodness, which, while yummy, can make a mess of your freezer)

1 – Cover the pie crust with Cookie Butter (you can go up the side if you want; I didn’t).

2 – Spread softened ice cream over the cookie butter.

3 – Spread Cool Whip over ice cream.

4 – Sprinkle pecans over top.

5 – Cover and put in freezer, at least 3 hours or until firm.

6 – Let sit out 5-10 minutes to soften before slicing.

It couldn’t be easier. If you don’t love traditional pumpkin pie, or if you’re just looking for something a little different this year, pumpkin ice cream pie could be your answer. If you try it, let me know what you think!

It would be very simple to veganize this recipe by subbing a non-dairy pumpkin ice cream (I’m not aware of any particular brands that offer that, but surely with the current trend of pumpkin-everything, someone out there does) and a vegan whipped cream.