Saturday, June 30, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals

This  month I participated in this really cool group called Foodie Pen Pals. The way it works is you sign up and at the beginning of the month you are assigned someone else from the group. You get in touch with that person to check if they have any food allergies or dislikes then (while not spending more than $15) you put together a little package of goodies and send it off. Someone else will do the same for you and when you get your package you take a photo and blog about what was in there.

This month Rana from got my name and sent me this awesome package full of vegan goodies. Here's what was in there:

1. A lovely note explaining what was in the package
2. Rana's favourite granola which looks so yummy.
3. Gogi Berry Tea from David's Tea (I haven't even opened this yet but you can smell the yumminess through the package!)
4. Agave sticks - how cool are these? They remind me of those flavoured honey sticks you could get as a kid. Rana suggests using them toog  stir into the tea.
5. Vegan chocolate that tastes like milk chocolate - I can not wait to try this!! I miss milk chocolate sometimes so this looks like a real treat.
6. A tea infuser to use with the tea Rana sent

How awesome is this?? A big thanks to Rana.

If you want to participate check out the The Lean Green Bean blog for more info.

And if you want to see the package I sent this month head over to to check it out.

The Lean Green Bean

Monday, June 18, 2012

Secret Recipe Club - Vegan Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

Another month and and another Secret Recipe Club post. (Each month members are assigned another person's blog which they must look through, choose and make a recipe and then blog about it).

This month I was lucky enough to be assigned the awesome Wifes with Knifes blog written by Cathy. Cathy actual sells homemade granola, trail mix and roasted nuts at a local farmer's market (What an awesome job!) and she has a ton of really great recipes on her blog. The photo's are lovely and the recipes look just scrumptious. I had a hard time choosing the recipe I would use this month - These granola cookies really stood out along with this banana cake and snickerdoodle bread (See a lot to choose from). In the end though I had a pint of blueberries in the fridge and thought that this blueberry buttermilk cake would be tasty.

I made a few subsitiutions to make the cake vegan and it seriously turned out so good. I think this might be one of the best cakes I have made when starting with a non vegan recipe. The texture was perfect very much like a coffee cake - so all you vegans out there take note - use this as a base recipe and add whatever fruit or flavour you like to change it up. Thanks Cathy for the great addition to my kitchen.

Oh and I don't think I have mentioned it yet but P and I are pregnant! The baby is due in mid August and here is a photo of my belly.

Vegan Blueberry Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Wifes with Knifes

1 cup non-dairy milk
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 Tbsp water
1/2 cup vegan margarine, room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon zest
7/8 cup sugar (or 3/4 plus 2 Tbsp)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp sugar for topping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9 inch square cake pan.

Make "buttermilk" by mixing non-dairy milk with the apple cider vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.

Cream margarine with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flaxseed mixture and vanilla and beat until combined.

Meanwhile toss the blueberries with 1/4 cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Then fold in the blueberries.

Spread batter into pan (the batter will be very thick). Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. Let cool at least 15 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Homemade Vegan Cookie and Cake Mixes in a Jar

We have been on a homemade present kick lately so when it was time to celebrate one of our good friend's birthday P and I made these super cool "vegan treats in a jar".

These are great gift ideas and are really simple to make. It also helps that P is a graphic designer so he was able to make these awesome labels but they would be just as cute with a little hand written instruction card.

To make the gifts just choose your favourite cake or cookie recipe that doesn't have a huge list of wet ingredients. We choose vegan chocolate cake, vegan chocolate chip cookies and vegan brownies for the mixes. Then in a glass jar layer all the dry ingredients that the recipe calls for. On an instruction card include the wet ingredients and measurements the person will need to make the mix and the method and cooking instructions for each recipe. Then package it up all nice and pretty and give away to some lucky people.