Here and There, Pt. 3

Here and There, Pt. 3

No food today, just a few bits and pieces from the last few weeks that I thought I would share! This past weekend we took a mini trip to Iowa for a few minor league baseball games and checked out the Iowa State Fair. I though other state fairs were large, but this one takes the cake. There were more food vendors than you could shake a veggie corndog stick at and even a cow carved out of butter! I was suprised by the vast selection they had for food. From salad on a stick to the meatiest fried foods you could want, there was a little bit of everything. I spotted a pineapple whip stand that I didn’t get a chance to try, but I think I’ll need to try my hand at making it at home soon. Plus, I got to meet this little guy up above and we decided we should get a goat, it’s better than mowing the lawn, right?

Here and There, Pt. 3

Whenever we are in the capitol city of a state we make it a point to visit the capitol building. It seems very field trip-ish, but really, it’s an awesome way to learn about the state and see a pretty awesome building at the same time. I didn’t take a picture, but the library at the Iowa state capitol building is gorgeous. I want to live there and sit on the spiral staircases all day long! Other highlights from the trip included eating at this pizza place (Chinese food+pizza=pretty dang awesome) and discovering a lovely diner in rural Iowa on the way home.

Here and There, Pt. 3

Wedding stuff! So admittedly, I haven’t done a lot of actual wedding planning. I have a few spreadsheets going, which have kept my crazy brain at bay, and done a ton of research, so at this point I’m compiling and taking a step back to evaluate different options for the big stuff. I binged on wedding magazines for a week or so, then had to just stop before I got into overload. Hopefully I will be going dress shopping with my momma soon, which will probably make everything seem so REAL. Also, this book has been an awesome resource for thinking outside the box and saving money on wedding plans.  If you are planning a wedding, I highly recommend it! Having two best friends who are planning weddings at the same time doesn’t hurt either!

Other things, currently I’m reading My Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz and love it. As a former French student (as in, I took French in high school but can’t remember anything except how to order a ham sandwich now), I love the inside view into French living. I saw David speak at Blog Her this year and reading his book just further affirms that I love his tone of writing. Next up to read is Think Like A Freak by the same guys who wrote Freakanomics, because these books oddly draw me in and appeal to the economics side in me.

I’ll leave you with this picture from my recent trip to Florida. I sent this picture to my best friends and titled it ‘I’m never coming home’, aren’t beach vacations the best?! Alas, real life and an impatient kitty at home awaits.

Here and There, Pt. 3

 

Later this week is oatmeal cookie time! I’m still working on the recipe, but think a little salty and a little sweet, with a lot of oat-y goodness.

Watermelon Sangria Popsicles

Watermelon Sangria Popsicles

I couldn’t let the summer slip away without one last popsicle recipe (I have another breakfast popsicle in the works, so no worries).  I know it seems like every summer is like this, but I really felt like the summer went by in the blink of an eye. Between upcoming weddings, trips, and busy weekends, I felt like I took full advantage of summer, including eating as many popsicles as possible. I also wanted to buy one last watermelon before summer was over, resulting in a massive overload of juicy watermelon, so I knew the surplus would be perfect for boozy popsicles. Eating these reminded me of a wine slushie, which, if you haven’t had one, get yourself over to Christina’s recipe and make yourself a batch now!

Watermelon Sangria Popsicles

I had an open bottle of hard cider from a trip over the summer, so it seemed like the logical step to use it for these watermelon sangria pops. I liked that the cider gave the bubbles a good sangria needs, but also the booziness sangria has as well. Also, it was a bonus when the popsicles separated in the freezer and created a bubbly top with the watermelon bottom! I had a specialty cider on hand for these, but feel free to use your favorite brand, my favorites include Crispin, Woodchuck, and Strongbow.  Also, I chose to blend everything together for these popsicles, but if you want to keep the grapes whole/halves, feel free.

Watermelon Sangria Popsicles

 

Can we agree that popsicles still need to happen into the fall and winter? Pops for all seasons!

Watermelon Sangria Popsicles

 

Watermelon Sangria Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 3 cups watermelon, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups hard cider
  • 1 1/2 cups green grapes
  • 1/2 banana (optional, but I had one and it added a touch of creaminess)

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours.
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Maple Syrup Caramel Corn (without the corn syrup!)

Maple Syrup Caramel Corn (without corn syrup!) {vegan}

This caramel corn took three tries and all of my patience this past weekend. Although I’m not one to crave caramel corn frequently, after taking a trip to the Wisconsin State Fair I was craving a a crunchy and sweet popcorn combo, which lead me to caramel corn.  I am just now getting into the popping popcorn on the stove game ( I know, I’m way behind!), so it’s been Continue reading

Vegan Baking Basics: Egg Replacements

I’m back with more vegan baking basics! It’s been a while since I’ve done a post and I’ve gotten a few questions about egg replacers. While it seems easy enough to replace eggs with powdered substitutes like Ener-G, I wanted to highlight the more whole foods replacers I’ve been using lately. I also wanted to feature replacements that would be accessible to everyone  (Ener-G can be hard to find/expensive/a pain to order).  Along with the replacements, I’ll go into a little bit about the type of baked goods the replacements do best in and how. This will be a bit shorter than the other baking basics posts, but I hope it’s helpful!

Vegan Baking Basics: Egg Replacements

 

Bananas

Bananas were the first egg replacement I had ever heard of, going way back to my high school days. Occasionally, my mom would bake brownies with banana instead of eggs and the result was always surprisingly moist, rich, and perfect.  Bananas are my go-to in a pinch egg replacer because I normally have a few on hand, either ripe or frozen and they are easy enough to incorporate into heavy batters.  I’ve found that bananas do best in baked goods when they are going to be masked by another, stronger flavor, like chocolate. The best baked goods are brownies, pancakes, very chocolately cookies, and quick breads.  If you are looking for a crisp, crunchy cookie, bananas are not your girl. The extra moisture lent by the fruit does well in something that needs to stay moist (like brownies), but not in something that you want to stay crispy and crunchy.  I haven’t tried bananas much in cakes or cupcakes, simply because I’m afraid they would weigh down the batter and not allow a proper rise, but it’s on my list of to-do’s.  The upside of using bananas is that they lend a bit of sweetness to the baked good, so added sugar can be reduced a bit within the recipe.

To use: The ratio should be 1/2-1 banana, mashed per egg, if the batter looks a little thick after adding the banana, slightly increase the liquid (non dairy milk, water, etc.).

Vegan Baking Basics: Egg Replacements

 

Flax Egg (Ground Flax seed +water)

When I first started transitioning into vegan baking I kept seeing recipes call for a ‘flax egg’, um what the heck is that? I had never heard of ground flax seed, let alone made an egg out of it! As I started to read more and more about vegan baking, I found out flax eggs are a wonderful way to replace eggs, in the right recipe. I honestly don’t use flax eggs all that often in delicate baking, such as cakes, but love to use it when making breads, granola bars, and hearty cookies or muffins. Flax eggs can’t really be hidden in a thin batter all that well, but in a thick batter they do wonderfully. Again, brownies, cookies (chocolate chip, fudge, oatmeal, etc.), and quick breads are perfect for flex eggs. A lot of times when I use flax eggs in baking, they go undetected, so no one needs to know it’s packed with all those good nutrients!

To use: Mix 1 tablespoon ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl (this is equal to 1 egg). Let mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, or until it gels together. 

Vegan Baking Basics: Egg Replacements

 

Baking Soda+Apple Cider Vinegar

Finally, my last and final vegan egg replacer is a combination of baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I know, this combination sounds like a weird science experiment ready to explode, and you would be partially correct! The mixture of vinegar and baking soda creates a foamy reaction, which happens to be perfect for more delicate vegan baking.  I use this replacer in cakes (like the lemon wedding shower cake I made last month), delicate cookies, and when I need to make an egg replacer much less detectable in a baked good.  The only caveat to using this mixture as a replacer is that the liquid in many recipes does need to be increased slightly. Since you aren’t using egg yolks and whites, the small addition of a teaspoon of vinegar sometimes isn’t enough to get the batter to the correct consistency. I’ve found that using this vinegar and soda combination works perfectly for taking a favorite non vegan recipe and making it vegan.

To use: In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoons baking soda with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to 1 egg. Add into recipe after mixture has bubbled slightly. I haven’t tried this with any other vinegar other than apple cider, so I can’t recommend white vinegar.

 

What is your favorite egg replacment? Tell me! I’m always curious to hear what people use!

Grilled Summer Vegetables with Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette {+ a bit of news!}

Grilled Summer Vegetables with Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette

It’s been a bit, right? I completely meant to/planned to post this new favorite recipe earlier this week (at first I thought I would get it up over the weekend, not so much), but other things happened, more about that later! After vacationing up North a few weeks ago, I ate and drank my way through most of Door County.  The past few years our rounds have included always visiting one of my favorite places Continue reading

Vegan Pirate’s Booty Ice Cream

Pirate's Booty Ice Cream // The Frosted Vegan

Here is another case of  ‘saw a food and now I can’t get it out of my mind until I make’ it syndrome.  On Facebook, I follow one of my favorite ice cream restaurants, Wilson’s.  This particular place is in Northern Wisconsin, so luckily (unluckily?) for me, I don’t have access to all their flavors all the time.  Most of the flavors Continue reading

Here and There, Pt. 2

It’s been a bit since I’ve shared  random pictures and recent happenings, plus you want to see that final bridal shower cake, right?! That’s what I thought.

Here and There, Pt. 2

Hooray! Here it is! Remember back in this post when I talked about making a cake for my BFFs shower? I did it! I mean, I’ve made cakes before, but it was usually for someone’s birthday or something, not a momentous occasion like a wedding shower. I was nervous that I would end up a stressed out mess 4 hours before, trying to piece together a cake with wilty frosting that was completely crooked, but it went better than expected! Probably one of the best things that I did to make sure I wasn’t stressed was baking the layers and making the filling the day before (actually I made the frosting the day before too).  This reduced down on the steps that I had to complete the day of and gave me a better cushion for if something were to go wrong. Everyone loved and it and ended up having enough to bring home, so I get to keep savoring it for a few more days! Also, I kind of love doing cakes now.  I find that frosting the cake and putting everything together is sort of therapy, so if you need a cake and I need frosting therapy, let’s be friends.

Here and There, Pt. 2 Here and There, Pt. 2 Here and There, Pt. 2 sail

Moving on to my recent trip back to Door County (Northern Wisconsin)!  If you remember, I went with  a group of food bloggers back in April, but the weather was still pretty chilly and just starting to warm up.  This time around, the weather was perfect and we couldn’t have asked for more quintessential Wisconsin summer weather (think 70s all week!).  While we didn’t get to do our usual kayaking activity, we did eat a lot of awesome food and see our usual Door County haunts.  The upper left picture is the Cave Point, a scenic area I visited with the ladies in April, then returned to with my parents when we went a few weeks ago. It was crazy to think that the last time I was there there were HUGE chunks of ice and the water was much colder.

My other favorite new place we visited was Jorns’ Sugar Bush. We had seen the signs advertising the maple syrup being sold there for years, but never made the stop to actually try them out. When you first drive up to the place it’s kind of a ‘Are we in he right place?’ moment. It’s essentially just a very small store selling all sizes of maple syrup, but the best part is that they bottle all the syrup right there in the building! The actual retail space was only big enough for about 4-5 people to comfortably move around, but the lady working the shop made for a much more interesting visit, providing snippets about how long they had been making syrup and how the business came to be. P.S. Did you know you can freeze syrup until you need to use it? Me either!

Among other things I made this vegan ricotta pasta and this super cool cucumber/watermelon dinner and they are both things you should just go ahead and make ASAP. I’m trying to implement meal planning and it resulted in better lunches/dinners, so let’s hope I keep sticking to it!

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That’s all for now, I’ll be back with a recipe later in the week! xoxo