Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches: Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Sandwiches


Awhile back I had received a review copy of Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches: Cool Recipes for Delicious Dairy-Free Ice Creams and Cookies, but only got around to reading it recently. The heat wave we had of late convinced me to haul my ice cream machine back out!


The authoress, Kris Holecheck Peters, wrote another of my favorite books, Vegan Desserts in Jars: Adorably Delicious Pies, Cakes, Puddings, and Much More. If you remember my review of it, I really love her style of recipes. And oh, why did I wait? The cookies are fab-u-lous, the ice creams are thick and creamy! And even if it is summer, the thought of warm spicy cinnamon and pumpkin ice cream was soooo good. I couldn’t keep the kids out of them!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Sandwiches


Snickerdoodle Cookies


  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ cup non-dairy margarine (such as Earth Balance Buttery stick), at room temperature
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut milk beverage (see notes below)
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375°, line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together 1½ cups of the sugar and margarine. Add the vanilla and coconut milk, and mix until well combined (I used a hand mixer). Add dry ingredients to the wet in batches and mix until smooth.

Note: I found I needed 5 Tablespoons milk for the dough. Use what it takes, until your dough just comes together.

Make balls with a 1 Tablespoon Scoop/Disher, put on a plate. Shake remaining granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Roll each ball in the sugar to coat, place 12 per cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are cracked on top and look done. Let cool, then transfer to a cooling rack. Once cool, store in a sealed, airtight container.

Makes about 34 cookies.


Pumpkin Coconut Ice Cream


  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full fat coconut milk
  • ¾ cup coconut milk beverage
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and both coconut milks, whisking. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking often. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg, whisk in. Lower heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes, whisking often. Take off heat, whisk in vanilla.

Transfer to a heat safe bowl, let chill in refrigerator (I let mine sit overnight). Whisk again, to combine. Pour into ice cream machine, follow machine’s directions for freezing (my machine takes 30 minutes). Transfer to a freezer safe container, freeze for at least 2 hours before making sandwiches.

Makes about 1 quart.

To Make The Sandwiches:

Pull out the ice cream and let soften for a few minutes. Scoop up a generous amount, about 1/3 cup and place on top of one cookie, set another cookie on top and press down gently. Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap or parchment paper, and freeze.

Let sit for a few minutes on the counter before serving.

Makes 16 sandwiches.

FTC Disclaimer: We received a review copy.

Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal & 2 Free Days For Oats Gone Wild


Thursday & Friday, June 12 & 13th, the Kindle version of Oats Gone Wild will be free for download on Amazon!


It is 75+ recipes for plant-based oatmeal, half which are stove top and half are baked oatmeal. Baked oatmeal is great for summer. Make a big batch and eat all week – and only heat up your kitchen once. The recipe below is one my favorites from the book, as it makes individual bowls. Easy serving!


Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal (Page 83)


  • 1½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbsp dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp finely sliced honey almonds (see below)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 4-ounce jars stage 2 baby bananas, preferably organic, or ¾ cup mashed ripe bananas
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage
  • ¼ cup raw almond butter
  • ¼ cup raw honey, raw agave or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt


Preheat oven to 375° and place 4 oven-safe dishes or ramekins on a baking sheet (or use a muffin tin if you have none). Light oil dishes.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the wet in a medium bowl, add to dry and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes, then divide between the dishes.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Serve warm or refrigerate for later. Reheat for a minute in the microwave.

Serves 4.

Go. Get Your Copy of Oats Gone Wild! And if you love it, remember it is in old-school paper as well. And share this post so everyone can enjoy a copy!

Book Review: 3 New Takes on Asian Cookery



The Everything Stir-Fry Cookbook: The Everything Series are solid cookbooks – minimalist, with no photos, but thick with recipes. I often use them for inspiration – to get my mind wandering. Stir-fry’s are easy, fast and fun for dinner.


The Everything Thai Cookbook: And…here is another one. Thai food is something I love but with Alistaire’s allergies, has become something I can’t have very often (just too high risk of peanuts and allergies in the food). With a guide, I can recreate dishes but use sunflowers and sesame instead. I worked for a Thai importer for a few years, and developed a real love of spicy meals ;-) And don’t forget, many Thai meals are naturally gluten-free as well!


Banh Mi: 75 Banh Mi Recipes for Authentic and Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches: Bahn Mi should be everywhere! That weirdly comforting blend of French and Vietnamese foods makes a sandwich unlike anything else. Here in the PNW, finding a good Vietnamese joint is easy, for the rest of the States? Probably not so much. Learn how to make these crunchy and delicious sandwiches, springrolls, Vietnamese Coffee and so much more as well.

FTC Disclaimer: We received advance copies.

Slow-Cooker Vegetable Chili


It has been a very busy month, with a lot of work for me to get through. Which has led me to using my slow cooker (Crock-Pot SCV401TR 4-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Red) more in the past few weeks than I think it has in its whole time of being in my house….


Flipping through The Healthy Slow Cooker: 135 Gluten-Free Recipes for Health and Wellness, I went through the Vegetarian Mains section and decided to try out Judith’s Vegetable Chili, on page 251. I doubled the beans and served it over spaghetti (kinda Cincinnati style…OK, maybe not). Your pasta can be gluten-free or regular. It would also be great over baked potatoes!


Slow-Cooker Vegetable Chili (As adapted from page 251)


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cracker black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 15 ounce cans pinto beans, drained
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups corn kernels (if frozen, thaw first)
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 Jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • Sour cream & grated cheese, if desired.


In a skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onions, celery and carrots, cook for about 7 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, peppercorns and cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, with juice, and bring to a boil.

Transfer to the stoneware crock. Stir in beans. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours.

Stir chili powder into lemon juice, then into chili. Add in corn, bell peppers and jalapeño and stir well. Cover and cook on High for 30 minutes, until peppers are tender.

Top chili with sour cream and chili, if desired. For a carb boost, serve over hot pasta (I cooked up a pound of gluten-free spaghetti).

With pasta it serves 6 to 8.


For more spice, leave in some, or all of the jalapeño seeds.

FTC Disclaimer: We received a review copy of the book.

Book Review: Rosehips on the Kitchen Table



Wether you choose to forage (which I love doing on trails and in town) or you find oddities at a local farmers market,Rosehips on the Kitchen Table is a wonderful and very pretty cookbook. While it is a British book, it covers nearly everything one can find in many parts of the Unites States.

I chose this tasty one pot pasta simply for the color and variety it offered. There is something that is so good when you combine pasta and potatoes. I made the portions bigger than the book called for, but that was the beauty of it – since it was only a guide, it was easily scaled up. Enough for dinner AND lunch the next day that way ;-)


Beans with New Potatoes, Pesto and Spaghetti (Adapted from page 91)


  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 pound spaghetti, broken in half
  • 1 batch prepared pesto (see below)
  • Half of a can black olives, sliced
  • Ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese


Top and tail the beans. Cut potatoes into bite size pieces.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add in green beans, cook for about 5 minutes, until just fork tender. Scoop out beans with a strainer, setting aside. Chop beans into bite size pieces, stash in a large mixing bowl, cover to keep warm.

Bring water back to a boil, add in potatoes, cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until also for tender. Scoop out with a strainer, add into bowl with beans.

Return water to a boil, add in spaghetti, cook as directed on package. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain spaghetti.

Add in pesto to hot pasta pot and half the reserved water, stir smooth. Toss with spaghetti, adding as much water as needed to coat (I used all of the water). Gently fold in green beans, potatoes and olives. Season to taste and serve with Parmesan cheese.


Pesto is simple enough to make. For most people. Fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil and a few other things. But lets take on two things: fresh basil is very, very expensive in the PNW out of season (and by “in season”, well that only occurs in June-August at Farmers Markets!). To make fresh basil, the basil would be around $4. Yes, $4. Ouch. That is not affordable. And then the nuts. I have never been a fan of pine nuts, and while one can use most any nut in pesto, once you start talking allergies, then you had best start making your own!

Dried basil gets sneered at, yet it has a lot of potential. If you have bulk bins of spices nearby, the dried basil, even in organic, will only cost you 50 to 75 cents. Dried herbs are often treated as second class citizens, yet there is potential to them if they are cooked with properly. Oil allows the flavor to release. As well, this pesto is nowhere as oily as commercial pesto is. It can be as smooth as you wish, or leave some texture in, which coats the pasta in a wonderful green way.

Dried Basil & Sunflower Pesto


  • ½ cup dried basil (will fill a 4 ounce spice jar tightly)
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil


Add basil, sunflower seeds, garlic and Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Process until seeds are ground finely, scrape sides.

With processor on low, slowly pour in olive oil, scraping sides as needed, until blended.

Let rest for at least 30 minutes before using, for basil to hydrate.

Store in refrigerator tightly sealed.

Makes about ¾ cup pesto.

FTC Disclaimer: We received a review copy.

Starting From Scratch: Quick and Simple Pasta Sauce



Starting From Scratch: What You Should Know about Food and Cooking is a food manifesto that helps young readers relate to what they eat, inspiring both budding chefs and budding food lovers in the process. Beginning with an exploration of taste and how it works, author and food activist Sarah Elton explains how ingredients have been on the move for centuries, resulting in the unique fusion of flavors we love today. She breaks down the science of food and cooking into bite-sized and easily digestible pieces of information that cover the chemistry of heat versus cold, fat versus acid, and salt versus sweet. Both practical and philosophical in its approach, Starting from Scratch demystifies food and cooking by boiling it down to the basics. Young chefs learn to make sense of recipes, measure and substitute ingredients, and stock a pantry, and discover that food is more than just a prepackaged meal. Using simple and universal examples, Starting from Scratch inspires children to eat better, try new flavors, and understand what’s on their plate. Even reluctant chefs will gain an improved sense of where food comes from and be able to join in on a conversation that continues from snack time to dinnertime.

After reading through the book, and sharing it with Walker (who has become my helper in the kitchen), we decided to try the Quick and Simple Pasta Sauce recipe, and adapt it to our taste. Fun, easy and yes, it tasted great! Even at 3 or 4 years old, children can be in the kitchen learning from us.


Quick and Simple Pasta Sauce (As adapted from page 90)



  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 28-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes (used unsalted with basil)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • Pinch sugar, to taste
  • Fine sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste



Finely chop the onion and garlic. Heat a large saucepan over medium, add oil, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes (with any liquid) to the pan. Add Italian seasoning, vinegar, capers and pinch of salt. Break up tomatoes with a potato masher. Cook over medium-low, on a low simmer, for 20 or so minutes, stirring often. Season to taste with sugar (to cut the bite of the acid in tomatoes), salt and pepper, to taste.

Dresses 16 ounces of cooked spaghetti.

FTC Disclosure: We received a review copy.

Banana Bread Cobbler via Comfort Food Made Easy


Love gorgeous full color photos? One for every recipe? Comfort food with a gourmet twist? While Southern Living Comfort Food Made Easy: Hearty homestyle dishes for busy cooks may be meat-centric, I still found plenty of recipes to tempt me.


I’ll admit when I saw Banana Bread Cobbler, I paused. And had to make it. It was so different sounding. So that Alistaire could enjoy it with us, I swapped in LouAna Coconut Oil for the butter called, used unsweetened coconut milk beverage instead of dairy milk, but most of all, swapped roasted sunflower seeds for the pecans. Yes, it would have been better I am sure with pecans! I truly hope that someday he can enjoy a pecan!


Banana Bread Cobbler (As adapted from pages 260-261)


  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or dairy milk)
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted (or butter)
  • 4 medium ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1 batch streusel topping

Streusel Topping:

  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup self-rising flour
  • ½ cup coconut oil, room temperature (or softened butter)
  • 1 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup toasted sunflower seeds, finely chopped (or chopped pecans)


Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk together flour, sugar and milk. Whisk in melted coconut oil. Lightly oil a 8×8″ glass baking dish (recipe called for a 11×7″, which I don’t have), spread batter in it, top with banana slices. Top with struesel evenly. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

To make streusel topping:

Stir together brown sugar and flour, add in coconut oil, work in with fingers until mixture is crumbly. Stir in oats and sunflower seeds.

FTC Disclosure: We received a review copy of the book and ingredients used in the recipe.

Toasted Cherry Oatmeal & Oats Gone Wild Is In Print


To celebrate Oats Gone Wild coming out in print version, I have a delicious bulk oatmeal recipe for everyone to enjoy – full of filling oats, wheat germ and sunflower seeds.


For me, there is nothing like a bowl of warm oats for breakfast!


Toasted Cherry Oatmeal



Heat oven to 350°. Spread oats and sunflower seeds on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring twice, until oats are golden and smelling toasty. Let sit on counter until cool.

Meanwhile, mix the milk powder, wheat germ, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl, working the brown sugar in, until finely mixed. Add in the oat mixture. Store tightly sealed. (Store cherries separately)

Makes 4 cups dry mix, 8 servings prepared.


To prepare:

Bring 2¼ cups water to boil in a medium saucepan, add in 1 cup dry mix, return to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low, cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add in ¼ cup of the cherries, let sit for 2 to 3 minutes, divide between 2 bowls and serve.

FTC Disclaimer: We received product used in this recipe.

Oats Gone Wild


My first full-length at-home cookbook is out now! Oats Gone Wild has 75+ plant-based recipes, featuring a mix of stove-top and baked oatmeal. With an interactive front index, it is easy to click through to the recipe you want to try. It is in digital format, for $4.99, via Amazon (as always, Kindle books do not need a Kindle to read! You can use their many free apps for phones and tablets, or read on computers).


In Oats Gone Wild, I used Gluten Free Rolled Oats in most of the recipes. We go through a lot of oats to put it lightly! We often buy 25 pound bags from Bob’s Red Mill. Sadly, oats have gotten a lot of bad press/hate in recent years due to the misconception that they are off-limits to gluten-free diets. If one buys the right brand, they can still have them. Bob’s Red Mill is the company to buy from IMO. Dare post an e-book of recipes (Oatmeal On The Go: 11 Gluten-free, Vegan & Plant-based-diet Recipes) with “gluten-free” in the title and you will get someone leaving you a 1-star review claiming the author doesn’t know anything. You can’t make everyone happy… while the majority of the cookbook is GF friendly, I didn’t need any more hate. Oats prepared right can be tasty, healthy for you and even downright delicious!

In celebration of my book being done, I went and tried something new, Bob’s Red Mill Organic Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats – from yes, Bob’s Red Mill. They are not gluten-free though, so beware of that. Our local Costco has them in stock as well. I have often shied from steel-cut oats due to the long cooking time. Just not my thing. But these cook in the same amount of time as old-fashion rolled oats. So we tried out a new recipe for baked oat cups.


Baked Steel Cut Apple & Sunflower Oatmeal Cups



Add oats to a mixing bowl, cover with water and let rest for 4 to 5 hours, covered. Drain off water.

Preheat oven to 375°, liberally spray or oil a non-stick 12 count muffin tin.

Whisk Ener-G powder and warm water together, let rest for 5 minutes.

Stir oats, cranberries, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, half the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in the bowl.

Whisk the Ener-G mix, coconut milk and Sunbutter together till smooth, pour over oats and stir well. Divide between the prepared muffin tin (it will fill the cups up).

Take the remaining cinnamon and toss with the apple, divide evenly over the top of the cups.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden and set. Let cool a bit before serving, or for breakfast in advance, pop out and stash tightly covered in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave for about a minute, serve with additional maple syrup over the top.

Makes 12 muffins, with 2 muffins for a serving.

PS: Thank you SO much for helping support me while I wrote the book. Kind words mean so much! This book is my 4th full-length cookbook and I hope to do so many more!

Betty Goes Vegan: Carrot Cupcakes



Mommy’s Little Helper just loooves his IKEA kitchen and Melissa & Doug Chef Role Play Costume Set. Which is funny as we got it more for Walker, and instead Alistaire is over playing with it often! The IKEA kitchen is just way cute! So while he played happily, I read over a copy of that I found showcased in my local library.


How did I miss their book? The Green Plaid book is a vegan/PBD answer to my childhood bible, the Red Plaid cookbook. Yes, they do use a lot of faux-meat in the main course recipes but I can overlook that. There is a lot to love. Heck, I even bought some Gardein faux-chicken so I could live it up ;-)


And as usual, I picked a sweet treat to try first. I did adapt it. Instead of olive oil, I used sunflower. For cupcakes it has a milder flavor. I also used sunflower seeds instead of walnuts. That way Alistaire could have one to enjoy. Gluten-cheats he can handle once in a while, it just makes his eczema bad. Nuts…well, let’s not go there!

The end result was a very moist cupcake. Not exactly good for you, but really good!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes (As adapted from page 360)


  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp Ener-G Foods Egg Replacer
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 cups finely shredded carrots
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds


Preheat oven to 350º, line 18 muffin spots with premium liners (Wilton or Reynolds, with foil interior).

Grind sunflower seeds in a mini food chopper, set aside. When grating the carrots, use the fine side on your box grater. This way the carrots melt into the cakes.

Add sugars and oil to a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth with a hand mixer, add in dry Ener-g egg replacer and vanilla, beat in.

Add in flour through salt, beat smooth (batter will be thick). Add carrots and sunflower seeds, stir in by hand, really working it in.

Scoop out ¼ cup balls of batter, drop into liners. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center (mine took 30). Let rest for 10 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack. Once fully cool, frost as desired.

Makes 18 cupcakes.


The recipe for the cream cheese frosting was vegan. I didn’t make it vegan. Truthfully I have yet to find a faux cream cheese I like – and that Alistaire can eat. So for me I’d rather just use the real thing. So if you want vegan…by all means swap in vegan cream cheese and Earth Balance Buttery stick.

Cream Cheese Frosting (As adapted from page 393)


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar


Let the cream cheese and butter come to room temperature. Add to a large mixing bowl, beat smooth with a hand mixer. Work in milk and vanilla.

Beat in on low 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time. Once worked in, beat until smooth on medium.

Makes enough to thickly frost 18 cupcakes. Refrigerate frosted cupcakes, once frosting is set, store in a container or plastic bag.

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