Chocolate Chip & Pecan Cookies

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Of all the cookies, chocolate chip with pecan is my favorite. I really, really love them. When I was a kid, my dream job was working at The Cookie House, a store in the mall that’s still there today. I would order three dollars worth of cookies and eat them while I shopped. Come to think of it, my friends did most of the shopping. I think I just went for the cookies. Continue reading “Chocolate Chip & Pecan Cookies”

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Toasted Almond & Sea Salt Chocolate Bark

Toasted Almond and Sea Salt Vegan Chocolate BarkSince my first chocolate testing experience using cacao butter, I’ve created quite an extensive repertoire of delicious treats. I mean, what can’t you cover in chocolate? But of all my creations, the toasted almond and sea salt bark is my favorite. The salt adds another dimension by enhancing the sweetness, and toasting the almonds brings out their natural oils, which adds more flavor. The first time I made it, I didn’t add enough toasted almonds (in my opinion), and so I would break off the pieces without almonds and put them back in the container for Justin. Ha! So the next time I made this, I was sure to cover every inch of the bark in toasted almonds. This chocolate is smooth, rich, and nutrient dense. It rivals chocolate sold in lavish boutiques, because after all, the handful of ingredients used to make this are of the finest quality. No artificial or processed fillers here! Continue reading “Toasted Almond & Sea Salt Chocolate Bark”

Curried Split Pea Soup

This soup is a classic. It’s hardy, comforting, and healthy. It’s also pretty simple with ingredients you probably already have. Perhaps it’s the kind of soup you might pass up, but then you try it and you’re sold. I made it last night, so the thought of eating it for dinner again didn’t excite me too much. But I was warming it up on the stove for Oliver, tasted it, and you guessed it, ate it again. And I think it tasted even better today! Continue reading “Curried Split Pea Soup”

Rainbow (Unrainbow) Cookies

vegan rainbow cookies

Okay, so I don’t really know where to begin with this post because there is so much going on in this recipe. Besides the fact that I’ve wanted to create something like this since December 2013 (reasons why I will get to), this multifaceted dessert has layers (literally) of recipes, all of which I’ve intended to blog about before this deliciousness…is it a cookie? a bar? could it be made into a tart? Yes. Yes. And yes. Continue reading “Rainbow (Unrainbow) Cookies”

Garlic Fries

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Well folks, it’s back to reality after 10 weeks of summer vacation. This was the first summer since 1998 where I didn’t lifeguard on the beach, so having a summer completely free was very…blissful. And honestly a little crazy. So the idea of a little structure back in my life isn’t exactly the worst thing to happen to me. Although I will miss watching Investigation Discovery for hours on end in the middle of the day, because I am a wee bit obsessed with that channel.  This structured life welcomes alarms, schedules, and planned dinners most nights. Get back to me in four weeks from now and perhaps I won’t sound so enthusiastically.

Road trip with my Roscoe :)
Road trip with my Roscoe 🙂

I have been roasting potatoes since I’ve learned how to use an oven. Soo, there really is no excuse why I haven’t thought of adding garlic to this recipe, because now that I have, they are the most outstanding fries I’ve ever eaten. Ever. I spent a day last week making these a few different ways to bring you the most perfected recipe, and what I found is that less is more. I’ve said that before and it’s the truth. I took some tidbits from some of my favorite cookbooks and chefs, but what I found was that it was unnecessary and tedious – unless you enjoy spending an hour dipping potato wedges into a garlic/oil mixture which only amounts to half a potato.

Cyclones game with my friend, Jen.
Cyclones game with my friend, Jen.

During my first attempt, I blanched the potato wedges in boiling water for a few minutes and then plunged them into ice water to stop the cooking process. Once dry, I dipped each one into a paste of oil, garlic powder, and salt; however, it was so thick that it was difficult to coat each fry, thereby taking a good three minutes to spread the paste onto each one. They tasted great, but the process was far too lengthy. After a couple of attempts, each tweaked a little here a little there, I came up with not just the easiest of the methods, but the most delicious as well!

Luau party with my friend and co-teacher, Teeny :)
Luau party with my friend and co-teacher, Teeny 🙂

Ingredients:

  • about 2 potatoes (russet or Yukon gold)
  • about 1 cup garlic powder
  • about 1/2 cup oil (I used avocado oil because it is a high heat oil – its properties don’t change when baking.)
  • salt to taste
  • optional: one bulb of garlic, minced

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Wash each potato but do not peel.
  3. Cut each potato into 1/8 to 1/4 inch wedges – start by cutting each potato in half horizontally, and then create wedges out of each half.
  4. Lay each piece on a baking sheet so that there is no overlapping. Use a spoon or other utensil to drizzle the oil onto each wedge. Then generously apply the garlic powder to each piece, coating each wedge entirely. If you love garlic like I do, you cannot put too much on. You should notice that the oil and powder should begin to form a paste. (This is why I found my first attempt at dipping them into a paste irrelevant.) Sprinkle salt over each piece, and lastly, sprinkle a generous pinch of minced garlic over the potatoes. (Note: The reason the minced garlic is optional is because the garlic powder gives more than enough flavor, but if you’re like me and you like a little extra texture/crunch, go ahead and add it. Plus, if you’re making these for a crowd, it’s aesthetically pleasing!)
  5. Flip each wedge over and repeat the process.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes on each side. If you like them a little crunchy, put them under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, but do not forget about them! They can easily go from lightly browned to burnt in a matter of a minute.
  7. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Mine is my garlic aioli recipe.

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