Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lavender Lemonade

My friend, Ginger, asked me to share my recipe for this refreshing summertime beverage. Not being one to disappoint my friends, here ya go!


6 cups water
1/2 cup evaporated cane crystals
1/4 cup culinary lavender buds
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice from 5 or 6 large lemons
Lemon slices and lavender sprigs for garnish


Combine 2 cups water with lavender and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes.

Strain the lavender water into a serving pitcher, add the rest of the water and lemon juice and stir well. Refrigerate until chilled and garnish with lemon slices and lavender sprigs.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Golden Zucchini Bread

When we finished the last bit of chocolate chip banana bread, my husband and I were looking around for something to fill the void. Serendipity intervened when a neighbor stopped by with a gift of several perfect zucchinis from her garden. I knew then what I had to: Make zucchini bread! This golden loaf is not as sweet as the banana bread, but it's kind of a nice change of pace and indulges my passion for poppy seed and lemon.


1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. poppy seed
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup soy milk
1/3 cup maple syrup (*Thank you Christa!)
1/4 cup lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup green or yellow zucchini (or combination of both), grated plus 2 Tbs. for garnish


Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a loaf pan with cooking spray.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, until well combined. Whisk wet ingredients in a separate bowl and add to dry ingredients. Stir just enough to mix together, then add zucchini.

Transfer mixture to loaf pan, and distribute reserved zucchini over top. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. Allow bread to cool for 10 minutes, then turn loaf out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I have bunches and bunches of very ripe bananas, as I overestimated the number of smoothies my husband and I would be drinking over the weekend. Well, actually, he overestimated the number of smoothies he was going to be drinking, because his teeth hurt from his new braces. My philosophy has always been, when life hands you bananas, make banana bread. And this lusciously moist recipe with a hint of coconut and rich, dark chocolate chips is one of my all-time favorites.


1 cup turbinado sugar
½ cup Earth Balance buttery spread
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, Original flavor
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon coconut extract
3 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 4 tablespoons warm water
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan with a little Earth Balance spread or non-stick spray, and set aside.

In a large bowl cream together sugar and Earth Balance. Add mashed bananas, and mix again, just enough to incorporate them together. Add coconut milk, vanilla extract, coconut extract, and Ener-G egg replacer mixture, and blend together.

In a separate bowl mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and continue to mix together, scraping down sides of the bowl. When the ingredients are mixed together, fill the greased loaf pan, and place in oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until top is golden brown. The banana bread will get dark on top but will stay moist inside.

Let cool for 30 minutes, cut, and serve.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Berrylicious Coconut Crust Pie

This summer I've been blessed with an abundance of blackberries and blueberries. I love berries, I love pie, and I love coconut, so I wanted to find a way to combine them all. This pie will work with any berries you have on hand, or any combination of berries. I used both blackberries and blueberries, and the result was a dairy-free, gluten-free slice of heaven! You know I'll be serving this with a scoop of Purely Decadent Made with Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean ice cream!

Ingredients for the crust:

3/4 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup butter substitute (either Earth Balance or coconut butter will work, but not coconut oil)
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

5 cups fresh or frozen berries of choice
1/2 cup water, divided
3/4 cup sweetener of choice (I used evaporated cane crystals)
1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
handful of whole berries

Grind almonds in a food processor until they're finely chopped, then add in the remaining ingredients and pulse until well-mixed. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch pie pan. Place the pan into the oven and broil on low setting for 3-5 minutes, but only until lightly browned. You're just toasting, not cooking, and you'll want to keep a close eye on it, so the crust doesn't burn. Remove from oven and place in the refrigerator to cool while preparing the filling.

Mix arrowroot with warm water in a small bowl or glass, and set aside. Place berries, 1/4 cup water, lemon juice, and sweetener in a pot on medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer. Lower heat, and add arrowroot mixture. The berries should thicken rather quickly. Let simmer for a few more minutes, then add the remaining whole berries to give it a chunkier texture. Remove from heat, and cool in the refrigerator. When pie crust and berries are completely cooled, pour the berry mixture into the crust. Top with additional unsweetened shredded coconut, if desired.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Blogger Award!

I feel so flattered to have received this award from Janet at Thank you, Janet!

The rules of this award are to share it with 7 people and list 7 things about yourself. I would like to share this award with these wonderful bloggers:

1. Ara at


3. Ellen at

4. Ginger at

5. Dreena Burton at

6. Susan at

7. Janet at (Now she has at least two of these!)

Here are 7 things about myself:

1. I have a deep antipathy towards injustice.
2. I love to "massage" words, which makes me a pretty decent editor and a fairly skilled proofreader of other's people's work, not my own! Typos, misspellings, and improper punctuation all seem to jump out at me.
3. I love my volunteer work at the county animal shelter. I can't get enough of being around all those sweet, scared, and lonely dogs and cats.
4. I love the scent of vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, and clove.
5. If I could choose to come back with any talent or skill, I would choose to be a world-class tennis player. I love to hit tennis balls over a net.
6. My most burning desire is to own a small art gallery and vegan cafe.
7. If forced to choose between great food and great sex, I won't. I'll find some way to combine the two.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Lingering Over a Love of Lavender

I'm in love with lavender. Surrounded by it's color, immersed in its fragrance, and exploring its culinary versatility all make me feel as though I've been transported to the French region of Provence. I've been sipping lavender lemonade and eating lavender blueberry ice cream to refresh me from the 105° temperatures we experienced last week, enjoying the lovely lavender preserves we purchased on our recent trip to some of Oregon's lavender farms, and experimented with making lavender scrambled tofu, which was surprisingly delicious. Now that our summer heat has settled down to the more tolerable 90° range, this morning I decided to bake some lavender tea cookies from a recipe in Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's The Vegan Table. These sweet little lemony-lavender dainties are perfect with tea or lemonade.


1 1/2 cups Earth Balance buttery spread, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
2-3 Tbs finely chopped fresh lavender or 2 Tbs dried culinary lavender
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 1/2 cups all-purpose or whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt


In a medium-size bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add lavender and lemon zest. Stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and salt. When thoroughly mixed, add to the wet batter, and stir until well blended. You should have a thick cookie batter.

Divide dough into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and flatten to about 1 inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

When ready to prepare the cookeis, preheat oven to 325°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4" thickness. Cut into shpaes with a dry measuring cup, biscuit or cookie cutters. Place on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cookies begin to brown at the edges. Remove from oven, cool for a few minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on the size.