Monday, November 24, 2014

Twelve Vegan Mixes for Toy Ovens

Decorating a Children's Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting
Do you know a little kid who has a toy oven, or is getting one for Christmas this year? This is a great gift that can be made by a parent, friend, older sibling, aunt, or grandparent. I think the best way to present the gift is in a gift-box or basket with a few "extras" like little bowls to mix in, measuring spoons, and colored sugar for decorating.  Useful ingredients, such as a little squeeze bottle of oil, and 1/2 cup lunchbox-type packages of Applesauce would also be great additions to the gift basket.

There are 12 (Twelve!) recipes below : )

The Original Easy-Bake Brand Oven was created by an inventor here in Cincinnati! 

I grew up playing with an Easy-Bake Brand oven - I loved it! But, Mom was too smart to buy the replacement mixes, instead she'd mix up a big batch of commercial mix and let us bake till we dropped. But, a lot of it was wasted that way, because little kids don't have a long attention span. And, it lacked some of the charm of mixing up our own tiny mixes. Oh, and it had raw egg in it.

My Daughter's Easy-Bake Brand Oven
As I got older, I discovered the Children's Mixes in the Make-A-Mix Cookbook. I remember making a huge box of them for my Niece for a present when she was little - many years later, she later told me that she never did manage to use all of them! But, they weren't Vegan, and they did have Shortening in them.

This year, for my daughter's birthday I got her an Easy-Bake Brand Oven from the thrift store. They're phasing out the model that uses light-bulbs, and the brand new model is about $50! I got the slightly older model with a light bulb - in pristine condition with all the pans and accessories - for .29 cents!

All I had to do was make the mixes. Of course, I didn't want to buy them at the store - where an assortment of 2 minuscule cake mixes and 2 microscopic frosting mixes costs about $5! Two tiny cakes for $5! And, they're not Vegan, and they probably have who-knows-what kind of preservatives & chemicals. Many internet reviews say that they don't even taste good.

I was in for a bit of a shock when I found out that the pans that came with my daughter's model were significantly smaller than those that I grew up with and that my Niece used.  So even if I wanted to use my old recipes with their shortening, they were too big for my pans.

So, I devised my own new recipes. Super-Easy. Vegan. Allergy-friendly. You control the ingredients.

These are designed to work with my daughter's Easy Bake Brand model, but they should be adaptable to other brands of toy ovens with the same size pans. 

If you want to make these as gifts, I recommend individually packaging each mix in a separate Zippered Plastic Snack Bag, or in its own little lidded cup from the Dollar Store (the little cups come in multi packs in the baby section) for a cute, gift-y presentation. Put the instructions for each mix on its own little package.

Mixes:


The Cakes & Cookies All Use 3 Tablespoons per mix of 
 stuffedveggies Vegan Cake & Cookie Mix

The Frosting & Fudge Mix recipe is below

Cakes:


My daughter and I did several experiments to get these right - I discovered that if the cakes are made without oil, they "work" but are a little less-tender than you might prefer. My daughter didn't notice the difference. With oil and water together (as in the recipes below), they're more tender & more like a traditional cake. So, you make the call.

For the cakes, oil the pans before filling them. Bake according to oven directions with proper adult supervision and/or assistance For our model we preheat the oven for 15 minutes. I bake these for 15 minutes each. 

For Each cake you will need a total of 3 Tablespoons Dry Ingredients and 1 1/2 Tablespoons Liquid. If you choose to omit oil, simply use 1 1/2 Tablespoons water for each mix.

Children's Vanilla Cake Mix
Chocolate & Vanilla Cakes before Frosting

Stir Together, fill Pan & Bake:
3 Tablespoons stuffedveggies Vegan Cake & Cookie Mix
To Make
1/2 Tablespoon Light Flavored Oil (I use Sunflower)
1 Tablespoon Water with a dash Vanilla added.*

*experiment with other flavoring extracts besides vanilla, if you like.


Children's Chocolate Cake Mix
Stir Together, fill Pan & Bake:
2 1/2 Tablespoons stuffedveggies Vegan Cake & Cookie Mix
1/2 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
To Make:
1/2 Tablespoon Light Flavored Oil (I use Sunflower)
1 Tablespoon Water.



Children's Lemon (or other flavor) Cake Mix

Stir Together, fill Pan & Bake:
3 Tablespoons stuffedveggies Vegan Cake & Cookie Mix
To Make:
1/2 Tablespoon Light Flavored Oil (I use Sunflower)
1/2 Tablespoon Water
1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice*

*If you desire, you can use a pinch of a dry drink mix, like unsweetened Kool-Aid, to the dry mix, then use water in place of the Lemon Juice. This allows you to make other flavors, like Strawberry, easily. But, if you're a no-chemical sort of household, the Lemon juice works quite well.

Cookies:

For each cookie, you will need 3 Tablespoons Mix & add-ins for the dry ingredients.
Wet ingredients for each cookie will be 1/2 Tablespoon Oil & 1/2 Tablespoon Applesauce.

Oven Should be preheated for 15 minutes before baking. Each cookie bakes 15 minutes.
I like to line the pan with a circle of parchment paper for easy removal (make sure it only covers the bottom of the pan, and does not extend over the edges for safety sake), but if you have no parchment paper, you can oil the pan instead, and that will work.
To make each cookie, mix the ingredients together well (hands work best) and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly in the pan (so that it is no higher than the top of the pan) to bake.

Just for the record - for any college kids out there without a toy oven, but with a sweet tooth - you can pop these unbaked "cookies" in the microwave for 1 minute or less on a microwave-safe plate (any longer & they'll burn), and have a quick, microwave treat. No, they're not quite as perfect as baked, but they're pretty good! : )

Sugar Cookies:
Sugar Cookie made in Toy Oven by my Daughter
3 Tablespoons  stuffedveggies Vegan Cake & Cookie Mix
To make:
Mix in
1/2 Tablespoon light flavored Oil (I use Sunflower)
1/2 Tablespoon Applesauce
Form in ball & flatten into pan
Sprinkle with Colored Sugar before baking. (or, cool & frost after baking)









Chocolate Chip Cookie Made in Toy Oven by my Daughter
Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 Tablespoons stuffedveggies Vegan Cake & Cookie Mix
6 to 8 chocolate chips
To make
Mix in
1/2 Tablespoon light flavored Oil (I use Sunflower)
1/2 Tablespoon Applesauce






Snickerdoodle made in Toy Oven by my Daughter
Snickerdoodles
3 Tablespoons  stuffedveggies Vegan Cake & Cookie Mix
To make:
Mix in
1/2 Tablespoon light flavored Oil (I use Sunflower)
1/2 Tablespoon Applesauce
Roll dough in Cinnamon-Sugar before baking.








Frostings & Fudges:

Children's Frosting & Fudge Mix
Mix with Electric Mixer
Children's Frosting (no heating required)
1 1/2 Cups Confectioner's Sugar (Also known as Powdered Sugar or XXXX Sugar)
2 Tablespoons Earth Balance
Dash Salt
Store in airtight container in refrigerator
Since ingredients are not measured by weight, you might find occasionally that you need to add a few more drops of liquid than the recipe says when mixing.
As with the fudge, microwaving the frosting briefly will make it creamier & more spreadable, but is not strictly necessary. You can judge whether your little one is ready to handle a potentially hot frosting or not.

The electric mixer I use to make mixes like these
 Vanilla Frosting 
1/4 Cup Children's Frosting & Fudge Mix (above)
1/2 teaspoon liquid (a combination of a little vanilla extract & non-dairy milk)
Mix well with fork.

Chocolate Frosting
3 1/2 Tablespoons Children's Frosting & Fudge Mix (above)
1/2 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon Non-dairy Milk
Mix well with fork

Peanut Butter Frosting



1/4 Cup Children's Frosting & Fudge Mix (above)
1/2 teaspoon liquid (a combination of a little vanilla extract & non-dairy milk)
1/2 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
Tiny Pinch Salt. Mix well with fork.

When I was a kid, I was always greatly disappointed that our Easy-Bake box said there was a fudge mix, but that it had long since been used by the older kids in the house. My Mom reassured me that the stuff hadn't tasted that good, anyway. This is for some little kid out there in the same boat. This one DOES taste good!

 Chocolate Fudge

Make Chocolate Frosting

Microwave Chocolate Frosting for 10 seconds, until easy to stir, with adult supervision. Stir, Allow to cool before eating.
Children's Fudge

Vanilla Fudge
Make Vanilla Frosting
Microwave Vanilla Frosting for 10 seconds, until easy to stir, with adult supervision. Stir. Allow to cool before eating.

Peanut Butter Fudge
1/4 Cup Children's Frosting & Fudge Mix (above)
1/2 teaspoon liquid (a combination of a little vanilla extract & non-dairy milk)
1/2 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
Tiny Pinch Salt. Mix well with fork.
Microwave for 10-15 seconds, until easy to stir, with adult supervision. Stir. Allow to cool before eating.


This is being shared on
Motivation Monday
Inspire Me Monday
Clever Chicks
Making Your Home Sing Monday
The Art of Homemaking Mondays
What'd You Do This Weekend?
Anti-Procrastination Tuesday 
Mom's Library
Virtual Vegan Potluck
Penny Pinching Party
Weekend Wind Down 
Simple Saturdays 
Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural
Summer Family Fun
Ultimate Cookies & Goodies Give Away










Monday, November 17, 2014

Vegan Holiday Brunch Ideas

Holiday Dinners - whether it's Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's Day, all have a certain similarity. Families work hard to prepare them, and they're time-consuming to cook. The family spends lots of time together before the big meal is served. Families are either up early to go to Church, or sleep late - either way, by late morning, there are hungry tummies, but dinner is hours away. And, the last thing anyone wants is hunger-inspired grumpiness on a big Holiday!

So, Holiday Brunch to the rescue!

Most of my Brunch dishes come from mixes you make yourself, and can be easily whipped up without a lot of hassle. But, for even greater convenience, and less holiday stress, most of the Pancakes, French Toast, and Waffles below can be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer, and simply toasted in a toaster oven on the big day. Similarly, the Muffins can be thawed and warmed up for serving. The Vegan Sausages can be prepared ahead and stored in the freezer to be microwaved as needed.

If you're looking for Vegan Holiday Dinner ideas, be sure to check out these Holiday Posts:

Thanksgiving
Fifteen Vegan Thanksgiving Menu Ideas
 
Hanukkah
Happy Hanukkah!

New Year's Day
A Dozen Vegan New Year Holiday Dishes

And, keep an eye out for an upcoming Christmas Dinner post! : )


Here are some ideas for what you can serve:

Pumpkin Spice Waffles



Apple Cinnamon Muffins





Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
(I have not tried freezing these - I always prepare them fresh)

Blueberry Pancakes




French Toast



Grilled Banana Pancakes 
(I have not tried freezing these - I always prepare them fresh)



Vegan Cranberry Streusel Muffins
(I have not tried freezing these - I always prepare them fresh)



Vegan Pumpkin Mini Muffins



Vegan Sausage Patties 
These are surprisingly popular with Omnivores, because they have a great flavor, a spiciness reminiscent of sausage, but don't pretend to be meat. They're great for sandwiches made on Naan with Dijon mustard, Lettuce, Tomato, and Onion.




Scrambled Tofu






Breakfast Burritos 
While Burritos may not be your traditional Holiday Brunch fare, some folks just love a savory breakfast, and this fits the bill.




Simply Fruit Salad


This is being shared on:
Menu Plan Monday
Motivation Monday
Clever Chicks
What'd You Do This Weekend
The Art of Homemaking Mondays
Try a New Recipe Tuesday
What's For Dinner? 
Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck 
From the Farm Blog Hop
Real Food Fridays 
Best Recipes of 2014: Easy Healthy Breakfasts

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Waffles (Vegan, Whole Wheat, Oil Free)

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Waffles
These waffles are just perfect! They offer the "best of both worlds" in more than one category.

They're Whole Wheat, Vegan, Oil Free and have a nice bit of virtuous Orange Vegetables. Yet, they taste like dessert. I'm pretty sure I could serve these for company and they would think they had eaten something unhealthy.

They're fancy enough to serve for a fancy Holiday Brunch or Breakfast. But, they can be prepared in advance, stored in the freezer, and popped in the toaster on a busy morning. Or, they can even be prepared in advance and frozen for toasting on the day of that Holiday Brunch!

I thought about calling them "Pumpkin Pie Waffles," but settled on "Pumpkin Spice Waffles." If you serve them at your house, you can call them whichever you like.

Best of all, these are easy to whip up from your own, homemade mix : )

Pumpkin Spice Waffles
Stir Together:**
1 Cup stuffedveggies Pancake & Waffle Mix
2 Tablespoons Tapioca Starch (Cornstarch or Arrowroot Powder substitute well)*
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar (or your favorite sugar or sweetener)
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
Then stir in:

1/2 Cup Solid Pack Pumpkin from a Can (not Pumpkin Pie Mix)
1 cup water (more or less, to make a good waffle or pancake batter texture)

Prepare according to the directions for your Waffle Iron.

Here are a few tips that work with my Waffle Iron:
I brush the Iron with a little oil from a pastry brush before each waffle is made. A non-stick spray should also work.
I use a 1/4 cup batter per waffle.
I spread the batter around in the form with the back of a spoon before I close the Iron.
I wait until the light has gone off AND the steaming has almost completely stopped before I open the Iron to remove the waffle.



*The Tapioca Starch helps provide a nice crispy edge to the waffle without the addition of oil to the recipe.

**Variation:  All the dry ingredients can be mixed & packaged together for your convenience, or for an item in a  "Christmas Morning Gift Basket" (be sure to include the solid pack pumpkin to be added)- along with other treats like syrup & specialty coffees or teas.

Freezer directions: These are VERY freezer friendly! I let them cool on a wire rack, and put them in a plastic freezer container with a sheet of waxed paper between each one. When I want Waffles for breakfast, I simply remove the desired number from the box, and heat them in the Toaster Oven. They actually are better after toasting than they are fresh out of the Iron!

This is being shared at
The Art of Homemaking Mondays
What'd You Do This Weekend?
In & Out of the Kitchen 
Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural 
Penny Pinching Party 
Virtual Vegan Potluck




Monday, November 3, 2014

MYO: Pumpkin Pie Spice

Often, everyday spices like Cinnamon and Ginger are inexpensive, and can even be found at Aldi's or at a Dollar Store. But a blend, like Pumpkin Pie Spice, can be horribly overpriced - running as much as 6 or 8 dollars for a tiny jar.

If you want to make your own to save money, or simply because you were in the middle of cooking when you realized you were out of it, and don't want to run to the store, here's the recipe I've been using for the last 20 years or so. It makes just the right amount to fill my little jar. If you want a smaller batch, use the same proportions, except use teaspoons whenever
 it says "Tablespoon."

Of course, all spices here are the ground, dry sort.

Pumpkin Pie Spice


2 ½ Tablespoons Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Ginger
1 Tablespoon Nutmeg
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...