Super Easy Pumpkin Brownies

Halloween weekend is finally here! These past two months have been so stressful and although I still have quite a few things to do before the end of the year, this weekend I have a quick breather. Perfect timing for one of my favorite holidays!

I have two halloween gatherings to go to today and was asked to bring something to one of them. Easiest thing would be a six pack of beer, but I am not drinking until after the NYC marathon next weekend. Luckily there’s a super easy, tasty, quick recipe that is perfect for this season: two-ingredient pumpkin brownies! It is a bit of a cheat since all you need is brownie mix and a can of pumpkin, but it’s so easy and tasty. To make it even more halloween-appropriate, I added some candy corn on top and mixed in some cinnamon, but worry not, this recipe works out really well with just the two base ingredients.

Recipe:

Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature according to the brownie mix. Combine the dry brownie mix with a 15 oz can of pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix!). Bake for approx. 5 minutes longer than the brownie mix calls for, let cool and eat to your content!

Happy halloween everyone!!

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Tahini Chocolate Bundt Cake

Before I even start… wow. This cake – so moist, so decadent. Not too sweet, not too heavy. SO YUMMY!

Ok, now that I got this out of the way, let’s  begin. Originally, I was going to make some roasted veggies with an avocado tahini dressing for dinner last night. However, after eating something that didn’t quite agree with me for lunch, I had to rethink my dinner strategy (which ended up being ordering delivery… Yes, I am ashamed. Just a little). I had already bought most of the ingredients and had this jar of tahini sitting around. I also knew I had to bring breakfast to my Thursday morning meeting, so I started googling things I could bake with tahini. And that’s when I stumbled across this fantastic recipe. I tweaked it a bit to make it dairy free (and also based on what else I had in my pantry), but I have no regrets. In fact, I will be baking this cake again this weekend for a friend’s birthday!

 

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups of light brown sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 medium eggs (see here for vegan flax seed eggs)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, topped off with a little less than 1 cup of coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup of tahini
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 package vanilla sugar (can substitute with another tsp vanilla extract)

Tahini Coating:

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 package vanilla sugar (can substitute with 1 tsp vanilla extract)

 

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a large bundt pan with some of the coconut oil and lightly dust with a small amount of cocoa powder. Prepare the vegan buttermilk by combining the apple cider vinegar with coconut milk and let sit for approximately 5 minutes.

Mix the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and vanilla sugar in a large bowl. Combine well, avoiding any clumps. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, vegan buttermilk, coffee, coconut oil, tahini and vanilla extract. Mix well. Make a well in the dry mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until smooth. Pour into bundt pan and bake for about 45 minutes (or until a knife comes out clean).

Once the cake is baked, take it out of the oven and leave it in the pan for at least 10 minutes before cooling it on a cooling rack (without the pan). Wait at least half an hour before glazing the cake. Mix the tahini coating ingredients and slowly pour over the cooled cake.

I served the cake the next day and it tasted AMAZING. However, I am sure it will taste just as good (actually, probably even better) fresh out of the oven. It’s a pretty big cake and can easily feed 15 people!

Slow Cooker Rum Apple Butter

Wow, I think I’m on a slow cooker role! Last week the Slow Cooker Lime Pulled Pork, now this apple butter recipe… But it’s so easy and versatile!

I was invited to a bunch of pot-luck style things this weekend – a housewarming, a picnic, and then I hosted my own Eurovision Party (to which though nobody showed up… But that’s a different story!) – so I had to come up with something I could bring to all of these events. And thus the idea of making apple butter was born (fyi, I plan to make a crepe cake with apple butter layers soon. No idea how it’s going to turn out, but we shall see).

The only ~difficult~ part of this recipe was peeling and cutting all the apples. Everything else was just wait and stir!

 

Ingredients:

  • ~4.5 lbs apples (I used granny smith and… another kind that I don’t remember)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 packs of vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum

Recipe:

  1. Peel and cut the apples into cubes
  2. Mix with sugar, cinnamon, clove, salt and vanilla sugar in slow cooker
  3. Cover and cook for approx. 6 hours on high, stirring every hour or so
  4. Uncover the slow cooker, add the rum, stir, and cook for another hour uncovered while high
  5. Turn slow cooker off, let cool down some and store in refrigerator

I put my apple butter in little mason jars that are an AMAZING gift! The rum cooks off but adds to the flavor. So far, I’ve eaten the apple butter with bananas and toast, but I’m sure it would work great in a smoothie, oatmeal… you name it!


Hope you enjoy it and let me know how you used it 🙂

Crock Pot Bread Pudding

Happy Hump Day from a rainy and cold New York!

Last weekend, I had a bunch of friends over to celebrate my lease renewal (without a rent hike!!) and made it into a potluck brunch. I needed something quick to make cause I didn’t have much time to prepare it the night before. I wanted something sweet and if possible something I could make in my slow cooker. I ended up finding a a great recipe for bread pudding but it included soooo much dairy. Being the adventurous person I am, I changed it a little bit and even had the chance to try out my Christmas present from my grandma: a brand new spice box! So here’s my dairy-free bread pudding recipe:

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 baguette, day old, cubed
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 2 cups cashew milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup earth balance, melted

Use some of the earth balance to grease your slow cooker. Add the baguette, raisins and chocolate. In a large bowl, mix the milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, salt, and earth balance. Pour over the bread and let it sit for a few minutes. Toss the bread.

Set your slow cooker to low and cook for approximately 2.5 hours. Serve fresh (but it also tastes great a few days old)!

Coconut Mango Panna Cotta

Happy Sunday everyone!

Last Friday, my boyfriend and I were invited to a dinner party and we were in charge of the dessert. At first we wanted to try to make a mango chia pudding, but then we changed our mind. We stuck with the mango-theme, but tried something new: a coconut mango panna cotta, all dairy-free and, if desired, vegan!


As a heads up, this recipe does need to sit for a few hours, so we prepared it the night before. But gosh was it tasty (and it goes very well with rum, just by the way)! Plus, it’s so quick and easy to make!!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium, ripe mangoes, cut into pieces
  • 1 13.5 oz can of coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 package of either gelatin or agar (if vegetarian/vegan, use agar)
  • extra mango and/or coconut flakes

Combine the mango, coconut milk, maple syrup and coconut oil in a blender and mix for about a minute. Pour into a pan and bring to a simmer (be careful not to let it burn!). Add the gelatin/agar and whisk for 2-3 minutes. Take it off the stove and pour it into 6-10 small containers (or, as a hack, grease a muffin pan beforehand and pour the mixture into those muffin holes). Let sit for a couple of hours (we let it sit over night) and take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving (if you used the muffin pan trick, take out even earlier. Use a knife to separate the panna cotta from the pan, flip, and tap on top to release).

If you want to serve it with some decorations, fresh mango and/or coconut flakes work well! That being said, the panna cotta is tasty enough and you don’t really need to add anything.

Cinnamon-Rum Chocolate Mousse

Oh Valentine’s Day… the day of flowers, love, and chocolate!

I decided to try and make a creamy, dairy-free mousse last night and experienced with various recipes. A friend of mine recently visited Martinique and brought me back a bottle of amazing dark rum. I’m trying to cut down on my drinking (aka really only drink a beer or two on the weekends), but I can still cook with it, right? 

I forgot to take pictures because I was so busy making the rest of the dinner (I cheated last night and made a hollandaise sauce), but I loved the dessert so much that I wanted to share it!
Ingredients (serves 2-6, depending on portion size):

  • 8 ounces dairy-free dark chocolate chunks  
  • 1 small can coconut cream
  • 1 15-oz can of coconut milk
  • 2-3 tbsp dark rum (or more if you like!)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Recipe:

Melt the chocolate but don’t let it cook (I used two pans – one with water over a flame, the other inside the water bath). Slowly combine it with the coconut milk and half of the coconut cream. Add the rum and mix until slightly fluffy. Put in fridge and chill overnight. The next morning, mix the cinnamon and remaining coconut cream until it slightly resembles whipped cream. Distribute the chocolate mixture into the serving dishes and top off with the cinnamon coconut cream. Store in fridge until ready to serve!

Super quick coconut banana chia pudding

Hello hello! I just received this awesome book as a secretsanta gift and while I was paging through it, I stumbled across a recipe for a banana chia pudding. I always have bananas laying around and I was looking for something to make for breakfast tomorrow, so I decided to try my own version of the recipe! It’s quick, simple, and, as far as I can tell, super tasty!


Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 package vanilla sugar (if none available, use 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract)

Mix everything except for the banana in a blender until smooth. Pour the chia seeds into a mason jar and add the liquid. Stir, let sit for 5 minutes, stir again, and refrigerate over night. And there you have it – chia pudding!