Wednesday, June 27, 2012

vegan chewy granola bars.

I experienced something new yesterday. A new kind of voice-tiredness. After reading four picture books aloud to a group of 5-6 year olds, my voice hurt. Maybe it's the register required for reading four Rugrats books...maybe it's the effort exerted towards using different voices for different characters. Or maybe it's the way you have to turn your head when executing proper -hold up the book to the side so you can read and show the pictures at the same time- form. #campcounselorproblems

Speaking of camp, by the end of the day I'm terribly hungry. Someone needs a snack.
They're like those Chewy bars all the kids bring in, minus all those processed ingredients. CAN I GET A "OH, HELL YES."?! This recipe is excellent because it's way versatile. Also, there's a no-bake option. They're not too sweet, so add more sweetener if you wanna.

Let me lend a hand in a list of mix-in ideas.

  1. chocolate chips
  2. coconut
  3. almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts
  4. sprinkles (what.)
  5. every kind of dried fruit ever
  6. seeds of the sunflower, sesame, pumpkin variety
  7. cinnamon. duh.

Chewy Granola Bars (adapted from this recipe at Chocolate Covered Katie)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup rice krispies (you could probably leave these out and be fine. maybe add more oats)
  • 1/4 cup oat flour (make your own by whirling some oats in a food processor. i used wheat bran instead.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs veg oil or nut butter
  • 1/4 cup liquid sweetener (we're talking agave, honey, brown rice syrup)
  • 1-2 packets of stevia or 1-2 tbs brown sugar OR more liquid sweetener
  • 2 tbs applesauce

Whatever mix-ins you so desire

Mix your dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients and mix-ins. Press mixture (really well!) into a greased 8x8 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, then press again. Cool in fridge for at least ten minutes before cutting into bars.

No Bake: pop 'em the fridge until firm.

Happy song time. Remember this one? They played it at the end of the Disney Channel Original Movie, Model Behavior. Get it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

summer hair tutorial party.

NO BOYZ ALLOWED. But maybe you're just interested in what us ladyfolks are doing with our hairs this summer...

I'm a compulsive braider. This weekend I got a haircut and was told I was better at braiding than the stylist. SUPER GIRL COMPLIMENT WIN.

Here we go...

(you have to do it for me because mine never stays. please.)

That's it, kids. That's all I've got. Go on, get braiding!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

on any given day: episode three.

Crafternoon to the max.
I want this shirt.
Yesterday I had a Savers run post farmers market visit. I could have gotten all the things, but instead I just got some too hot to handle high waisted, salmon colored, spandex-y capris.

To make into shorts, of course. I was dying to attack some with bleachy goodness. All credit owed to this tutorial.

You're going to need some of this stuff. Except don't use a paint brush. Bleach disintegrated this paintbrush. I'm stupid. Use an eyedropper, squirt bottle, just not a paintbrush.
Step One: cut 'em. If you're cuffing them, I'd cut at least two inches longer than where you want them to hit your leg. 

Step Two: paint 'em. I did some zig-zag (who coined the term "zig-zag"?) designs. Don't worry about making it pretty, you guys. Mine looks like this because I was trying to finish before all of the bristles on the paintbrush disappeared.
Step Three: let 'em dry, rinse, and wash (probably by themselves.)

Step Four: wear 'em. You have no idea how scared I was to take a picture of myself. As you can see, I had to do the classic thumbs up pose in order to make me believe I wasn't taking myself too seriously. I can't handle selfies.

I told you this was a crafternoon. Next project, bracelets. You can grab some neon mason line at pretty much any hardware store. In Home Depot and Lowes, it's by the giant spools of rope and chains.

I made this one by using four pieces of string (two that you won't see). Alternate sides, making one basic hitch knot. To make it look more intricate, you can push the knots way close together, or you don't have to at all.

I used an Honestly WTF tutorial to make the closure. Otherwise you can just tie the ends together! Because mason line is made of nylon, knots come out really easily. That's where a lighter comes in. Hold it up to the knot and right when it starts to melt the cord, push the bottom of the lighter down on it so it melts onto itself. 

Also, definitely made homemade Larabars today. Letmetellyousomething before you accuse me of being way too crunchy. They're real, real good. This lady's got a ton of recipes for them.

Want to know a song??

Have the loveliest day, kittens.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

night baking.

Exciting things about this week:

  1. Camp quote: "I have a waist headache"
  2. The show, Girls on HBO. Watch it.
  3. Spinach from a CSA farm
  4. Finishing a friendship bracelet
  5. Moonrise Kingdom
  6. Being a lanyard master
  7. New Brandi Carlile music
  8. Steel cut oats 
  9. Pride this weekend!

On to cookies. I've never been to New York but I've seen and tasted my fair share of their classic black and white cookies throughout Chicagoland's many delicatessens. I think that's fairly credible. They're pretty special, mostly because of this picture.
Just look how cute we are! Memories...if you, David or Brian ever read this, I love you.

But really, they're fascinating. Because they're like...a cake cookie. A pancake? A flat cupcake. With icing. You picking up what I'm throwing down?
I'm totally going to start improving at photographing the baking process...and try to keep baking in the morning instead. Natural lighting! (Thanks, photographer sister).
This, my friends, is one of my favorite mugs. It's an honor.
I don't know the rules about sharing recipes from cookbooks and this one's pretty extensive. You know what? I totally support you buying Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I totally owe the beginning of my vegan baking obsession to it. The Post Punk Kitchen, you guys. Good people. 
I'm tired! Too tired to be witty. I'm going to bring black and white cookies into work tomorrow as a Friday treat!

Goodnight, lovelies.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

the weekenders.

First of all, remember The Weekenders? You should. They ate pizza in every episode.

This weekend Nicole came to visit...well, the Miniapple is her real home but right now she's homehome. Nicole is my dearest of dear friends. Would you like to know what we did this weekend in this lovely city we call home?

Step One: Breakfast at the Aster Cafe.
Step Two: New favorite store/where I'd like to spend the rest of my life, I Like You.

Step Three: Stone Arch Bridge Festival: giant pickle edition. It's fine.

Step Four: 'Nana bread competition. Everybody wins. I used this recipe from Joy The Baker and Mark used his mom's. Pretty much the same level of excellence.
Step Four: Obvious. Seward Cafe. All the oatmeal, all the coffee.

And a Happy Father's Day to you.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

dads and dance moms.

I have a confession to make, this is a secret. I'm not a clean toothbrusher, and I swear, if I could be MTV Made into anything, it would be just that. I want to be able to pop my head out of the bathroom, mid brush and toothbrush in hand, and talk to someone in another room without streams of toothpaste drool running down my face. Just like in the movies. Sometimes I try and it doesn't work out so well.

Anyway, Father's Day is Sunday and shipping baked goods is a good thing to do. This man is a fireman. This, most importantly, means that whenever anything (seriously, anything) is injured on my body, he receives a phone call. He usually gives some pretty basic medical advice that I absolutely swear by.
This is what I look like all the time
Also, he doesn't like chocolate. It's been a thing since forever. This is okay though because he appreciates, really appreciates, good fruity baked goods. How excited was he when I worked at Dairy Queen last summer (yes.) and he could get discounted extra banana, extra strawberry shakes all the time? Rhetorical question. The man likes ice cream.
So I made some lemon bars, which have, as a dessert, really grown on me. I used this recipe. Lemon bars aren't easy to photograph, because the color isn't too pretty. Also, I didn't have any confectioners sugar SAD.

This is a Father's Day package and Abby Lee Miller. Perfection.
What makes your dad special, kidlets?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

summer essentials.

Even though it looks like there's going to be some sort of natural disaster outside.

  1. Farmers Markets: Why yes, I'd love some absurdly fresh produce. If you happen to be in the Twin Cities, my favorites for groceries are the Midtown (small but abundant in quality and takes credit cards) and Minneapolis (huge.) farmers markets. The Mill City farmers market is pretty high class and has the best ever samples.
  2. Outdoor Music Festivals: I'm going to the Basilica Block Party and I'm excited
  3. Fruit: mostly berries and watermelon.
  4. Friendship bracelets: I'm a master. It's fine. But if you'd like some rad patterns and projects, I'll kindly direct you to the following places
  5. Waking up early anyway, mostly to go eat breakfast.
  6. Night walking
  7. Camping
  8. Colors that go well with tanned skin: we're talking clothing, nail polish, everything.
  9. Freckles that multiply
  10. The weirdest shoe tan: I'm working on that Chacos tan (safely, of course.)
  11. Bonfires with talented friends that play really good music.
  12. Art fairs every weekend
  13. Baking, of course.
I literally just pranced around in the pouring rain with my roommates. If that isn't summer, I'm not sure what is.

UPDATE. The day Tracy from shutterbean commented on my comment was A GOOD DAY.

Friday, June 8, 2012

vegan blueberry muffins.

You guys, I have to start work on Monday. That means I can't bake every single day (this is probably a good thing). I have to be a real person and supervise the children of the Twin Cities throughout their day camp adventures...

This morning I experienced a traumatic biscotti fail. The cause was unknown and still is. A Danie fail bake means she absolutely has to redeem herself.

Time to make muffins, kidlets. These are real good, mostly because of the homemade blueberry preserves that are swirled into the batter before it's baked. I was wary about replacing the eggs in this one because the existing, non-vegan recipe seemed to already have a lot of liquids. But I substituted with applesauce and the result was a beautiful, moist, and light muffin baby. 

Also, below you can see the mug my mama made and gave me while I was home. She made that mug. It's pretty great and extremely large.

Vegan Blueberry Muffins (adapted from this recipe on America's Test Kitchen)

2 cups fresh blueberries
1 1/8 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 tablespoons vegan butter or margarine, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup soy yogurt combined with 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line with liners. 

2. Bring one cup blueberries and one teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup. Let cool to room temperature.

3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl.

4. Whisk together sugar and applesauce, then slowly whisk in cooled butter and oil until combined. Whisk in yogurt mixture and vanilla.

5. Fold wet ingredients and remaining blueberries into dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix.

6. Fill muffin cups to the top and, using a chopstick or skewer, swirl in one teaspoon of cooled blueberry jam. Bake for 17-19 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes in pan before moving to a wire rack.

Also, I'm doing this thing where I attempt to get into good hip-hop music. Below is an example and also a lesson in what A Tribe Called Quest prefers to snack on. Fact: hip-hop music is really excellent to bake/cook to. You have no idea.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

pie time.

Yesterday, my friends, was pie day. After a morning of farmers markets, I was itching to make something super, super good...with butter. After a quick stop at the co-op and then the purchase of four (they're on sale) pints of blueberries, it was go time. I'm still in a state of deep, deep obsession with Joy the Baker so I used this recipe .

It took some time, but let me tell you. If you like pie, especially fruit pie, make your own crust. It's too satisfying. I wanted to share this pie with the universe yesterday, I wanted everyone to eat this pie. I cannot wait for next month when the farmers markets are just filled with fresh berries. Now, please go make pie.