Today my kitchen was working over time with cookies, cupcakes, and more.
What? You don’t start your baking spree at 1 in the morning?
Especially since I’m getting my mojo back, when inspiration comes a knocking, I just have to be ready to open the door… err, oven door in this case.
I had a little extra dough left from when I made carrot cake cookies a few days ago, so I decided to finish the batch. The first cookies were gobbled up before I could take a picture, but I did manage to post the recipe. The recipe and updated photo are here.
The oven was already on so I figured, why not make cupcakes? Apparently energy efficeny makes me want to bake cupcakes (with reusable cupcake liners no less). Who knew?
Luckily inspiration was close by. Literally. I could almost hear the ripe bananas calling my name from the refrigerator while my new jar of Artisana coconut butter (LOVE!) stared at me straight in the face from the kitchen table. Banana coconut cupcakes it was! (Note: I actually used full-fat coconut milk from the can. The coconut butter was simply inspiration. And besides, I think it’s too precious to be hidden in a cupcake recipe hehe.)
When I woke up in the morning, I quickly made myself a bowl of popped amaranth and got to work again.
I multitasked by making a batch of rich double dark chocolate cherry cookies and creamy banana coconut frosting for my cupcakes, all while munching on some veggies.
Now while all of this may seem like a lot of sweets (especially for a household consisting of 3 people, 1 of which doesn’t really eat sweets and gave up all sweeteners for Lent–> me), they were not all for my family. In fact only the carrot cake cookies stayed at home.
The rest were quickly packed up to go with my mom to her water arobics class. Every month she “graduates” the senior citizens and gives them a little treat. Since the ladies have been asking my mom when I would bake again, I was happy to surprise them for their little celebration.
I love love love baking for others! I enjoy the chance (and challenge!) to educate more people on veganism, but more than anything else, I love the joy that a homemade gift brings. It’s an added bonus that baking makes my house smell oh so lovely. I’ve always wished I could bottle the smell of freshly baked cookies or bread. There’s just nothing like it; baking is the ultimate air freshener!
However, bacon and eggs are not. Just ask me how I know.
One word: dinner. [But not for me, silly!] I arrived home refreshed from yoga to find that the lovely smell of coconut and chocolate had been obliterated by oven-baked bacon and a broiled fritta. And boy, had this new odor permeated the air!
Now I don’t have anything against meat-eaters (in fact most of the people I know and love are), but if you’ve ever walked into a diner, you know what odor I’m talking about. To top it all off, the bacon was the special applewood smoked kind. That means my house now smells like diner meets forest.
My first thought was to bake gingerbread. It worked before, so why not try it again? But first dinner was on my mind. There’s nothing like a little sauteed onion, garlic, bell pepper, and zucchini to wake up your senses.
To make it a meal, I used the veggies to prepare an easy version of vegan enchiladas. I originally meant to use black beans, but alas, I had neither the canned variety on hand nor the time to soak + boil my own. Pinto beans worked just as well, satisfying my enchilada craving and lessening the diner/forest odor all in one.
Quick + Easy Vegan Enchiladas for One
- 1/4 cup chopped onion (40 grams)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper (60 grams)
- 1/2 cup chopped zucchini (85 grams)
- ~1/3 or 1/2 cup pinto beans (57 grams)
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
- 1/8 tsp Herbamare, or salt&pepper, to taste
- 1-2 tortillas (I used Food For Life’s Sprouted Corn Tortillas)
- ~1/4 cup salsa
- Preheat oven to 350*F.
- Saute onion over medium high heat until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic, bell pepper, zucchini, beans, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and Herbamare. Cook until veggies are softened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Spread a thin layer of salsa on the bottom of a small baking dish. Spoon some of the veggie + bean mixture into the tortilla(s) and roll them, making sure not to fill them so much that the filling falls out. Place the rolled tortillas opening side down in the baking dish. Top with leftover filling and salsa to cover the tortilla(s) completely.
- Bake enchiladas for 15-20 minutes in the oven.
- Remove delicately from pan with a spatula. Serve as is or with nutritional yeast, humnut sauce (hummus + nutritional yeast + water to thin), or vegan cheese.
My delicious dinner managed to lessen the odor a bit, but my work is definitely not done! I’m hoping that the roasted kabocha will help a little and you can bet that I’ll be at it again tomorrow with more baking to equalize the rest. Chocolate coconut cake, anyone?
Questions: What is your favorite and least favorite smell? When do you feel most inspired and motivated to get things done?
My favorite smell is vanilla bean (pure vanilla, not the alcohol in vanilla extract), though there will always be a special place in my heart for freshly baked bread. When most people are sleeping, I’m wide awake. I get my second wind at night!
Have a lovely day!