Mom-certified: "You always make such a mess when you cook"
 
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Oyster Cracker Mix is probably second in line to be our official family recipe. It's deceptively simple and ridiculously addictive. You could earn serious vegan brownie points with this recipe for doing basically no work. I would highly recommend making this mix for a party or risk turning into this...

The horror!
Ingredients:
  • 2 9-ounce packages of oyster crackers
  • 1 packet of vegan dry ranch seasoning (if you can find it, otherwise I used Gimme Some Oven's recipe sans the buttermilk) + an extra tbsp of dill and lemon pepper
  • 3/4 cup oil
Instructions:
Combine oil and herbs first and then mix everything together.
This is a good time to showcase any fresh herbs that have been abandoned in the depths of your refrigerator. *cough*
 
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Boo! Look, I know it's a little early for halloweeny things. But if this guy can all-out decorate on September 11th, then I can make scarily easy ghost cookies for Friday the 13th (oooOOOOOoooo), even if it is the wrong month. Plus it's nearly impossible to mess these up, which is perfect for a Friday! Full disclosure, though, my little ghosts are prop cookies. I forgot how impossible it can be to find vegan almond bark in grocery stores at the last minute. I would recommend ordering some online or, if you're more ambitious than I am, making your own. Plan B was dipping them in a coconut milk/powdered sugar concoction. I'm finally cooking like my grandma: here's the recipe and all of the ways I didn't follow it.

Ingredients:
  • Nutter butters
  • Almond bark (watch out for whey!)
  • Teeny chocolate chips (or regular-sized chips if you don't mind startled ghosts)
  • Seriously, that's it.
Instructions:
Melt the almond bark and completely coat the nutter butters. Plop the teeny chocolate chips on for the eyes. Let your hoard of ghosts set on wax paper and serve (you know, in a month).
TGIF.
 
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I would like to present Grandma's Famous Rhubarb Crunch: Apple Edition. This was originally a rhubarb crunch but since I despise rhubarb, it got modified. I'm not sure why someone looking at what basically resembles dyed celery would think,  "I should put that in a dessert." Or anything, for that matter. Rhubarb wine anyone? Seriously, it exists. And it's the worst. Anyway, apple crunch is a perfect dessert for this time of year. Apples? Check. Cinnamon? Check. Pound of sugar? CHECK. Nom.

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups diced apples (or rhubarb, if you like maroon celery)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
Instructions:
Line a 9 x 13 cake pan with the diced apples. Heat white sugar, corn starch, and water on stove until thick and add vanilla. Then coat the apples with the mixture. Combine the remaining ingredients and sprinkle over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.
And so the sugar bombardment on our co-workers continues. They are either very lucky or very unfortunate this month.
 
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Who doesn't love caramel? Growing up, my mom made a vat of homemade caramel corn for just about every holiday gathering. This caramel corn is super easy and typically gets gobbled up at lightning speed. Speaking of speed, timing is key for this recipe to turn out properly. Let my blotchy (and slightly burnt) batch of caramel corn be a cautionary tale of what happens if you dawdle. Bake as I say, not as I bake. So just pay attention to what's happening on your stove and you'll have a bucket of properly coated caramelly goodness to show off!

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white syrup (corn syrup)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 6 quarts popped corn
Instructions:
Melt the butter and stir in the sugar, syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes (without scorching it like I did). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. QUICKLY pour caramel over the popcorn and mix until it's completely coated. Spread the popcorn out on 2 large baking sheets or cake pans and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
On a side note, I made popcorn the old fashioned way (on the stove) for the first time. I know that's not really earth shattering but I had no idea how to make popcorn without using an air popper or the microwave. Knowledge!
Jack was not impressed by my discovery.
 
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Eclairs, or Heavenly Cream Puffs, are a woefully overlooked dessert. Luckily for me, they made frequent appearances at my great grandma's cabin when I was a kid. As our one-year wedding anniversary approaches, the idea of celebrating with a giant eclair, rather than year-old frozen cake (which was delicious at the time, since Isa Chandra Moskowitz can do no wrong), is sounding better and better.
The tricky part about this recipe is the pastry. It should be fluffy and airy with room inside for the pudding filling. The cut-off for substituting eggs is typically 3, at which point it's better to just use a different recipe. This recipe calls for 4 eggs, but I wanted to try it as-is. As I expected, my pastries turned out a bit more biscuity than puffy.

Ingredients:
Pastry
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 egg-replacer eggs
Pudding: I used Hell Yeah It's Vegan's vanilla pudding recipe (seriously nom-worthy)

Frosting
  • 6 tbsp margarine
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • Optional: add 1/2 cup chocolate chips for chocolate frosting

Instructions:
Combine the butter and water in a pan and stir over heat until the butter melts. Add the flour all at once, stir hard for 1 minute, and then remove from heat. Add the egg-replacer, one egg's worth at a time, mixing after each. For smaller eclairs, form 6 dough balls on a pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 35-40 minutes. While the pastries are baking, prepare the pudding and frosting. For the frosting, combine the margarine and milk and boil for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and chocolate chips and mix until it reaches the right consistency.
Once the pastries are done and cooled off, slice them in half and spoon in pudding. Top them off with the chocolate frosting and enjoy!
I might take another stab at these at some point and futz with the recipe to get the texture closer to the original. But for now, no complaints from the taste tester!
 
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Well color me blue and call me the Cookie Monster. Apparently my subtheme for Vegan MoFo should've been COOOOOKIES. These butterscotch cookies remind me of my great grandma, a woman who drank beer into her 90s and insisted that professional wrestling was real. They didn't turn out anything like I remembered, though, which I blame in part on a faulty memory but mostly on not following directions. I just happened to have vegan butterscotch chips on hand thanks to an impulse buy months ago from Vegan Essentials. If nothing else, this recipe retroactively justified a random purchase, so I'll call that a win!

Cookie ingredients:
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 2 egg-replacer eggs
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp butterscotch chips
  • Optional: 1 cup chopped nuts
Frosting ingredients:
  • 6 tbsp margarine
  • 6 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup marshmallows (which I clearly skipped)

Instructions:
Mix the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes. For the frosting, boil margarine and milk for 30 seconds. Then add in the sugar, butterscotch chips, and marshmallows. Beat until fluffy.
The first batch turned out flat as a pancake. I asked my mom for advice since I remember them being more like fluffy domes. My mom's baking advice is sometimes....cryptic.
Since I don't read whatever code that is, we made the rest into a cookie-cake with the leftover peanut butter frosting from a few days ago. Life motto: peanut butter solves everything.
The second batch turned out a little better. I spaced the marshmallows, though, so we tried to improvise a frosting. It basically turned out like a sugar slushie which isn't worth trying to recreate. Just get the marshmallows. Even though this recipe didn't turn out anything like I wanted, we now have delicious butterscotch cookies that double as pancakes. Failed desserts make great breakfasts.
 
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It's Friday night and nobody in our household is feeling particularly ambitious. Cue lazy chocolate chip cookies!  They're beyond easy and tasty. If you're feeling extra lazy, just eat them in dough form. No eggs! Or judgment.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 flax eggs*
*3 tbsp water + 1 tbsp ground flax seeds = 1 flax egg

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 package chocolate chips
Instructions:
Mix the shortening, sugars, and flax eggs. Then add in remaining ingredients and fold in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
The baking crew kinda fell down on the job tonight. We'll be attempting something a bit more complicated tomorrow but until then, zzz.
 
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I have a love/hate relationship with fall. I love the changing leaves and the return of pumpkin-flavored everything. But I haaaaaate the 8 months of winter that follow. When I started writing about this recipe, it was perfect fall weather to whip up a warm spice cake. Thanks to Minnesota's inability to make up its mind, however, everything is back to being a sauna. Listening to the geese migrate south while simultaneously getting nommed on by mosquitoes isn't exactly how I envision fall.  Luckily, this spice cake makes the kitchen smell like a giant cinnamon candle, which makes me happy no matter what's happening outside.
    Like most of the recipes I'm posting, this is one of my grandma's famous recipes. It makes an awesome birthday cake, especially with peanut butter frosting...because everything should be slathered in peanut butter.
    Anyway, I can finally get some baking done tonight since the Mouth with Paws (a/k/a Jack) is out of the house on a play date.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup sour milk (1 tbsp vinegar + non-dairy milk)
  • 2 flax eggs*
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
    *1 tbsp flax + 3 tsbps water = 1 flax egg

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Instructions:
Mix the vinegar and milk in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Mix the remaining ingredients and then add the milk/vinegar combination. Pour into an 8 x 8 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean).

Like I mentioned, this cake really deserves peanut butter frosting. The typical frosting would normally include powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and peanut butter. If, however, you didn't check your cabinets before starting and don't have a speck of powdered sugar on hand, this lovely little recipe will do the trick with a few easy substitutions. I also threw in some vanilla and cinnamon. I maybe got a little overzealous on the quantity of frosting, though. Hmm, breakfast?
My husband's co-workers don't believe that it's possible to have a good vegan cake. Tomorrow they will eat their words...and cake.
 
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Ice box oatmeal cookies were one of my all-time favorites while growing up. They won't win any beauty pageants, but they are delicious. Somehow I forgot about them until compiling my Vegan MoFo list (?!). Never again. They're so good they'll blow out the power. Literally. Three times. The universe apparently wanted these consumed in dough form since our power went out each time I turned the oven on. To be fair, they rarely got past the dough form in our house anyway. Omnomnom.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups oats

  • 2 flax eggs*
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Optional: 1/2 cup nuts or coconut
Instructions:
Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture in half. Form each half into logs, roughly 1 inch thick, on wax or parchment paper. Wrap the logs up and chill for at least an hour (try not to eat all the cookie dough at this stage). Then cut the logs into thick slices and place them on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. After the cookies are cooled, stuff your face!
* 1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 tbsps warm water = 1 flax egg
As you can tell from the cookie stub on the right, we are not a patient family.

 
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If I had to pick a recipe to be THE official family recipe, this would be it. Pekie has been our go-to holiday and special event recipe for at least 3 generations. The smell of pekie wafting down the hallway was a pretty good (or more realistically, the only) reason to get out of bed on winter mornings cold enough to make you swear.
In my 27+ years, I haven't run into anyone who knows what pekie is. It's basically a breakfast pudding with a mound of cinnamon. Our version is Swedish in origin but I think there is a similar Norwegian dish floating around out there. Pekie is great by itself or served with toast, tempeh bacon, or sausage for dipping. I've been tweaking the recipe since becoming vegan and now vegan pekie is making its public and family debut for Vegan MoFo!
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch*
  • 2 cups milk (I used flaxseed milk but any unflavored, unsweetened milk should work)
  • Cinnamon (to taste and for decorating)
Instructions:
Start by mixing the sugar and flour in a bowl. In another bowl, mix 1 cup milk with the cornstarch. Warm the other cup of milk on the stove.  Once the milk is warm, add in the milk/cornstarch mixture and slowly mix in the sugar and flour. Whisk constantly on medium low heat to keep lumps from forming. If you start getting lumps, use a mixer for a bit instead of the whisk. Continue whisking until the mixture starts to thicken, which should happen about 5-8 minutes in. When it feels like you're stirring a thick pudding, remove it from the stove and stir in the cinnamon. Garnish with cinnamon and serve warm.
*Cornstarch seemed to work best as a binder. I couldn't get the first batch with flax eggs to thicken up properly.
Today I made pekie with the tempeh bacon recipe from Healthy Happy Life.

Vegan pekie passed the parental test! The kitchen aftermath, however, did not. Eh, worth it.

    About Me

    Hello and welcome! My name is Megan. I'm an ethical vegan and an admittedly less-than-tidy baker. As a North Dakota/Minnesota native, my goal is to make delicious vegan food that friends, relatives, and unsuspecting strangers will enjoy.

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