Thursday, November 24, 2011

White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte


I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving filled with food, family, friends, and fun!

There's not much time left for pumpkin recipes, so I had to get in one last thing.

If you have any leftover canned pumpkin puree from your pies (or pumpkin coconut tapioca!) this is the perfect use for it.


Plus you'll need the caffeine for all your Black Friday shopping!  (Or if you're working, like me, then you'll really need caffeine).

White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • 1/4 C. white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C. heavy cream
  • 1 C. milk (any kind is fine)
  • 2 t. pumpkin puree
  • 1/8 t. cinnamon
  • pinch cloves
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 - 2 shots espresso (or very strong coffee)

In a microwave-safe measuring cup, heat white chocolate chips with heavy cream until melted (heat in 20-second intervals, stirring after each, until syrup forms).

In the meantime, heat milk in a medium saucepan with pumpkin and spices over medium-low to medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, and whisk in white chocolate mixture.  Remove from heat, and add vanilla.  Whisk until frothy.

Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve (there may be some pumpkin particles or lumps of white chocolate you want to strain out) and add espresso.  Serve immediately, with extra cinnamon on top if desired.  Makes two 6-oz. lattes, or one 12-oz latte (amounts are approximate).

Original Recipe

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pumpkin Coconut Tapioca


Are you sick of pumpkin yet?

Hope not.  (After this one, I still have another pumpkin recipe up my sleeve!)

My friend Natalie tried the original recipe for this pudding and loved it.  And she knows how much I enjoy coconut, so she was kind enough to share the link.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Vittles didn't like this (he's not a fan of the texture of tapioca), but he was getting quite a kick out of my attempts to photograph it.


I admit, it doesn't look all that appetizing.

But if you enjoy pumpkin and coconut, I'm pretty confident you will love this pudding.

If you are unsure of the spice, feel free to leave the cinnamon out (the original recipe did not have it).  I just thought it added a little something... reminds me of rice pudding!

Pumpkin Coconut Tapioca

  • 1 1/2 C. milk
  • 1/3 C. + 1 T. sugar
  • 1/3 C. small pearl tapioca (also called tapioca seeds - not quick-cook)
  • 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 C. canned organic pumpkin
  • 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon

Bring the milk and sugar to a simmer over medium heat. Add the tapioca and stir continuously for the first 5 minutes to prevent clumping. (Turn down heat if mixture starts to boil over).

Continue cooking, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the tapioca pearls are almost completely translucent and the mixture is very thick, 10-15 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and turn down the heat to low. Continue cooking until the tapioca pearls are completely translucent.

When the tapioca is done, stir in the canned pumpkin, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Chill until firm.

Recipe Adapted from Marc Matsumoto, as seen on PBS.org

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies


The only vegans I actually know are my step-brother & his girlfriend, but nonetheless I have been determined to find a good recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookies.

These days you never know when you might need to make some vegan treats.

This recipe is from a really fun blog called Post Punk Kitchen, which professes to be 'the best place in the world for vegan baking & cooking.'  And judging by the long list of glowing comments, I thought this recipe could be just what I was looking for.

Now since I'm not vegan myself, and I haven't eaten a heck of a lot of vegan cookies in my day, I feel that I'm not really qualified to say these are 'The Best.'

But I will say this much ... I find it hard to believe that a cookie without butter and eggs could ever taste any better than one of these.


I made vegan cookies over the summer and they were (to put it mildly) god-awful.

My sister-in-law seemed to enjoy them for some odd reason... but Mr. Vittles and I found them almost inedible.  Sort of like moistened chalkdust studded with chocolate chips.

These, however, do not taste like they're missing butter and eggs.  They do come out a little flat (at least mine did) but they are soft & scrumptious.

And when you take a bite, it's not like "Oh these are good... for being vegan."

You just think "These are good."

They even passed the husband test.  To Mr. Vittles, words like organic and vegan mean 'alien.'  Especially when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, because he is very particular about them.

Yesterday he ran a Tough Mudder (basically, a 12-mile obstacle course), which he has been training for over the past few months.




And this morning he ate these chocolate chip cookies at breakfast.

That says a lot about a) how good these cookies are, and b) how strange my hubby is.

Not that I've never eaten cookies at breakfast myself, but I feel that's not really 'recovery' food.  Guess he's feeling pretty good?

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 C. brown sugar
  • 1/4 C. white sugar
  • 2/3 C. canola oil
  • 1/4 C.  unsweetened coconut milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
  • 1 T. tapioca flour
  • 2 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3/4 C. vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two large light metal baking sheets.

Mix together sugars, oil, milk and tapioca flour in bowl of a mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on medium for about 4 minutes, until mixture resembles smooth caramel. (It's important that you don’t get lazy about that step - mix for the full time.)  Stir in the vanilla.

Add 1 cup of the flour, the baking soda, and salt, and mix until well incorporated.  Mix in the rest of the flour. Fold in the chocolate chips.  If dough is stiff, use your hands to work them in.

For three-inch cookies, roll the dough into about ping pong ball size balls. Flatten them out in your hands to about 2 1/2 inches. They will spread just a bit. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes – no more than 9 – until they are just a little browned around the edges.  Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

For 24 two-inch cookies, roll dough into walnut sized balls and flatten to about 1 1/2 inches and bake for only six minutes.

You can also use a cookie scoop to place on sheet, then flatten slightly with your fingers.  If the dough starts to separate & get oily, beat in a little more flour until consistency improves.  Also, if the dough is too sticky when you first finish mixing, you can add a little more flour, mixing after each addition, until consistency gets stiffer.

Makes two dozen two inch cookies or about 16 three inch cookies.

Recipe from Post Punk Kitchen
Note: Wording Changed Slightly, Ingredients Unchanged

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins


When I was a kid, you would never catch sweet potatoes (in any form) on my plate.

My mom always loved them, though, so I dunno ... maybe it eventually rubbed off on me?  But one day I decided they were pretty good, and the attraction has only grown from there.

As an adult, I just love them.

Mr. Vittles... not so much.

So I typically only get to have sweet potatoes when I'm out at restaurants.

But when my mother-in-law recently gave us some of her incredible pumpkin muffins, I got an idea.

Mr. Vittles rarely gets excited about food, however his mom's pumpkin muffins are one of his favorites.  (She also makes the recipe in the form of bread, which is a Thanksgiving staple in the family!)

So I was thinking... what if I made sweet potato muffins? They would probably taste similar to the pumpkin, and maybe Mr. V would finally understand my love for sweet potatoes.

Well... you know what they say about best laid plans.

The hubbster would only try one little bite and said "It's ok.  For having sweet potatoes in it."


I had to laugh.  To me, they tasted almost the same as his mom's.  "You can't even taste the sweet potato!" I protested.  But he insisted that he could tell.

Ugh.

I'm calling shenanigans.

It's all in his mind.

These are freakin' delicious.

But you let me know what you think.

Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins

  • 1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1 1/4 C. sugar
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. ground allspice
  • 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • 1/8 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 t. ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C. oil
  • 1/4 C. milk
  • 1 C. cooked sweet potato puree
  • 1 T. molasses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with paper liners.  Set aside.

In large bowl, mix dry ingredients (flour through cloves).  In a separate medium bowl, whisk eggs with oil, milk, sweet potato, and molasses.  Make a well in the center of dry ingredients, and pour in wet.  Mix only until dry ingredients are moistened - do not overmix.

Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way full with batter (you may end up with a little leftover).  Bake 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean.  Cool 2-3 minutes in pan, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.  Keeps up to one week in an airtight container.

Note: These are also awesome cut in half and browned in a toaster oven :) Yum!

Original Recipe
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