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Craving Sugar Cookies! ...and Vegan? 

So, it's that time of year that everybody is throwing their "Christmas Cookies" around..they're everywhere: tv shows, movies, blogs, instagram, facebook, you get the point! And of course, I want some!  But alas, all recipes are calling for butter, eggs, and milk..sigh...which doesn't work so well with my vegetarian preferring vegan lifestyle.  Luckily, there are many vegans out there who love yummy food, and so I found a few recipes and compared that with what's in the cupboards. (Two recipes that I relied on came from "Minimalist Baker" and "Loving it Vegan" ..thanks guys!)  And... Voila! Vegan sugar cookies!  It is possible, my friends, and here is my experience on how it turned out...

*Disclaimer: Please remember, I am not an expert chef/baker/cooker/kitchen person...just an impatient person trying to create some cookies, fast!


1/2 cup vegan butter (like Earth Balance) 
3/4 cup brown sugar 
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (from the can) 
1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1/4 tsp salt 
2 tsp soy milk (or any other dairy free milk)

Step 1. Add softened butter, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and soy milk.

Step 2. Mix well

Step 3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 4. Roll the cookie dough into small balls and place on a baking sheet. (This recipe should make about 12 cookies.)

Step 5. Flatten the cookie dough balls (I did it with the end of a glass) and then sprinkle some sugar on top of each.

Step 6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Step 7. Take out and enjoy!

So, overall, I think they are pretty tasty and definitely took care of my sugar cookie craving!  Some things I might try differently are adding some almond extract, cornstarch for binding, and trying applesauce instead of the pumpkin puree.  I would also like to try using regular cane sugar instead of the brown sugar which may make a difference in the taste and color.  Also, I would recommend using a mixer to make a very smooth dough.  I would like to take the time to flatten the dough and make some cute cookie cutter shapes as well as add some decorative and yummy vegan frosting in the future!  The cookies are quite fluffy and soft, so some flattening would not hurt.  But, overall, I like!  And, I look forward to trying again!


Blueberry Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Bread (And it's Vegan!) 

This is seriously now my very favorite sweet baked bread treat - and it's especially great now that blueberries are in season!! If you like banana bread, you will LOVE this recipe - I guarantee it! This unique recipe happened by adding some fun ingredients to regular banana bread, and making some vegan substitutes to the classic recipes. And this is really my favorite over any other classic banana breads I've tried! I usually make a couple loaves at a time, but here’s the recipe for just one in a standard 8.5” x 4.5” baking pan. 


1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour 

1 tsp baking soda 

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 

1/2 tsp salt 

1 tsp vanilla extract 

1 cup sugar 

2/3 cup applesauce 

1/2 cup vegetable oil 

3 bananas, very ripe, mashed 

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped 

1/2 cup fresh blueberries 

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 


Step 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Step 2. Put your very ripe bananas in a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork. 

Step 3. Sift your flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into the bowl. 

Step 4. Add the applesauce, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. 

Step 5. Mix (well by hand with a large mixing spoon is usually fine) 

Step 6. Add walnuts, chocolate chips, and blueberries. 

Step 7. Gently mix to even out the last added ingredients. 

Step 8. Lightly coat baking pan with vegetable oil (or lightly with non-stick spray) 

Step 9. Pour mixture into pan 

Step 10. Bake bread (uncovered) on middle rack for approximately 45 minutes 


Enjoy for breakfast, snack, or dessert! I have not met a person yet who did not like this!


Preacher Cookie Recipe - No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe (Vegan) 

So my all time favorite flavor combinations are chocolate and peanut butter and so these are some of my favorite sweet treats!  And, added bonus, I love these cookies because they add a quick burst of energy to my day - I guess the sugar and dark cocoa at first, and then the oats and peanut butter that sustains a bit longer.  So easy to make, although I do confess that finding just the right magical moment to remove the concoction from heat is key to having a cookie that will not just stay gooey for several days (although it's still chocolate and peanut butter, so it tastes good with a spoon too) ;).  And, also easy to do non-vegan with a few substitutions, but it's so easy to make vegan, and so yummy, so that's the choice for me! Ok, here's what I do...

-3 cups oats (rolled for a more chewy texture, but quick is great for a softer texture)
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/3 cup vegan spread (I love love Earth Balance!)
-1/2 cup almond milk
-pinch of salt
-2/3 cup peanut butter (I think creamy is the best, but crunchy can be used too!)
-1 tsp vanilla extract

I have seen a variety of suggestions on how to mix all the ingredients together, and I have tried a variety of methods, but here's the one I used this time and seemed to work well!

Step 1. Bring almond milk, vegan spread, and sugar to a boil and immediately remove from heat.

Step 2. Combine oats, peanut butter, and cocoa powder in large bowl.

Step 3. Pour the boiled mixture into the bowl with other ingredients and mix.

Step 4. Now with a spoon, lay out on wax paper and wait a good 30 minutes for your cookies to harden (although I love them still warm and soft!)

Step 5. Basically eat them any time, chocolate and peanut butter, can't go wrong! :)

Shiitake Mushroom Avocado Alfredo 

I absolutely LOVE alfredo, BUT I also love the idea of staying away from so much milk and cream in alfredo sauce.  My dreams have finally come true in the form of a VEGAN alfredo that actually tastes SO GOOD and is MUCH HEALTHIER!  I found a few different pasta and alfredo recipes online and then decided to experiment to find the combination of flavors that I thought was just right, and now, satisfied with the final product, I can share!  FYI, You have the option here to substitute your choice of milk or cheese if you prefer dairy. In any case, I hope you enjoy!


8 oz. fettuccine noodles

For sauté mushrooms:
8 oz. container shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
black pepper to taste

For sauce:
1 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
1 avocado mashed
1/2 tsp salt

For garnish:
1/2 cup grated parmesan (I used vegan parmesan)
1/4 cup fresh basil

Step 1. So the first thing you want to start is cooking the pasta.  Boil those fettuccine noodles! (Start Step 2 while noodles are boiling). When noodles are tender and ready, strain, and set aside back in the pot with just a tiny bit of olive oil mixed in to keep the noodles from sticking.

Step 2. Start sautéing the mushrooms.  To do this, first make sure your mushrooms are rinsed and stemmed. In asaute/frying pan set to low heat, add  your old, mushrooms, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add a 1/4 cup of chopped up pieces of the fresh basil.  Stir occasionally. Mushrooms can sauté on low for approximately 10-15 mins.

Step 3. Make the sauce. First, mash the avocado.  Add your choice of 1 cup milk to the mashed avocado and mix. You have the option of using a blender or food processor for a creamier texture. Place the smooth mixture in a sauce pan and stir in the salt.  Bring this to a boil and stir.  Then pour in with the sautéed mushrooms.

Step 4. Poor your shiitake mushroom avocado alfredo sauce into the pot of noodles and mix together. 

Step 5. Serve with bits of fresh basil (the basil really adds a lovely fresh taste!) and your choice of parmesan cheese. 

Enjoy! :)