Monthly Archives: March 2012

OXO Digital Scale Giveaway Winner

Hey everyone! Thanks so much for your well wishes on my last post. I cannot tell you how much better they made me feel. I am so thankful to be apart of this positive community of compassionate bloggers and readers!

Fortunately, I have two pieces of good news to share today. First off, here is the giveaway winner for the OXO digital scale:

Congrats Manda! I hope you will enjoy many baking adventures with it in the future. Just send me an email at kabochavore [at] me [dot] com with your mailing address so I can send it off to you as soon as possible.

[Side note: I noticed that many of you had trouble “liking” my facebook page. For some reason, facebook didn’t publicly publish it! I’ll try to work out the kinks and have it up and running soon. Thanks for your patience!]

Second, after the night of rejections, I received my last acceptance letter in the mail yesterday. My grandmother brought in the mail with a huge smile on her face and handed me the heavy envelope. All I could think was, “Please, let this not be a rejection. If it is, this is a cruel way to go about it.” Fortunately, I was accepted, and actually shed a tear of happiness. Since all of my scholarship information has yet to be announced, I’m not 100% sure where I’m going to go. However, as it stands, it looks like this is the school for me. California here I come, baby!

 

Any SoCal bloggers out there? I’d love to connect with you!

See you later with a recipe post & Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

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Not Exactly The Best Day Ever

I’ll be honest: Yesterday wasn’t exactly a good day. It started with an early wake up time to get a shot that made me feel dizzy for a good part of the day, and it ended with several college rejections. Let me tell you, rejection is not fun. BUT it is an opportunity to grow. However, part of that growth means letting go. It’s completely natural (and healthy!) to feel lost. In fact, it’s best to honor your emotions.

Yes, I was disappointed. Yes, I shed a few many tears. And yes, I wanted to curl up in a little ball, stuff my face with roasted kabocha and banana soft serve, and convince myself that it was all a bad dream.

So I took a nap. While I tried to fall asleep, I repeated my mantra over and over until my mind finally relaxed.

 

You are beautiful. 

You are strong. 

You are intelligent. 

You are worth it. 

 

They’re such simple words but oh so powerful. When I woke up, I felt much, much better, but it just didn’t feel right to post about such delicious cupcakes peanut butter banana cupcakes.

However, I do want to spread a little cheer to one lucky giveaway winner, which will be announced later today. Thank you all for sticking with me through this.

Do you have a mantra that you use? What do you do when you’re feeling down?

 

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

The Waiting Game [What I Ate Wednesday]

~~~Have you entered my giveaway? It ends Thursday night. Click here to enter!~~~

I woke up this morning with a gasp. It’s Tuesday, I thought (though it’s really What I Ate Wednesday now). Suddenly I felt a wave of excitement and nervousness pass over me. My head felt like it had been spun around a million times as my heart was about to beat right out of my chest.

Only two days, I whispered. Two more days until this rocky road of waiting will be over. Two more days until I find out if I have been admitted to my dream school…If my 15 years of hard work at school has paid off…

With my stomach in knots, I focused on what doing what I knew I could rather than what I couldn’t (aka change the decision). For breakfast, I grabbed a few apple nutmeg muffins and some fresh fruit to munch on.

I then proceeded to park myself in front of my new book, The Help, while I snuggled under a heap of warm blankets. I was so engrossed by the dynamic story that my worry faded away. My stomach, however, brought me back to reality when it growled. Luckily, lunch was already waiting for me in the fridge: a chilled chickpea, broccoli, and fig salad.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned by eating plant-based, it’s that greens make me feel absolutely amazing. So in my never-ending quest to sneak greens in my diet whenever possible, I served the salad over a large bed of crisp romaine lettuce.

I also added some more salad toppers to my serving-bowl-for-one salad. I like my salads large and in charge!

Since I’m still home for spring break, I spent the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen. Baking is my go-to relaxation because it brings out my creativity. I was definitely thankful for some time away from thinking about college!

…and my family was more than thankful for the caramelized banana-stuffed peanut butter cupcakes I made. I’m glad my baking works both ways!

Once the cupcakes were finished, I jetted off to hot vinyasa yoga, as is my daily routine. Even though I was hot from class, the chill in the wind outside cooled me off pretty quickly. (Seriously, what’s up with this weather?) Naturally I was craving something conforting for dinner.

Enter vegan butternut squash mac and cheese made with brown rice spirals. I almost debated eating the sauce straight up as soup. It was so good, I wanted to swim in it. Maybe next time.

For now, though, I was happy to bring back the pasta of my childhood, served up with crispy kale & marinara sauce and roasted asparagus. It was delish to say the least.

And since I just can’t get enough of The Help, after dinner I settled down on the couch to read more. While I was reading, I also enjoyed a crunchy apple (with cinnamon!) and sipped on hot ginger snap tea.

A new-to-me dark chocolate (THE BEST!) was also involved. Fearless Chocolates, I’m speechless (and officially hooked!).

How do you deal with nerves/excitement? What’s your favorite book? 

Reminder: my giveaway is open until Thursday night. Please click here to enter. 

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Scones

Hey there, beautiful people! How was your weekend? I hope you enjoyed some yummy treats!

I had a pretty relaxing but busy weekend. My favorite part was definitely hanging out with my mom! I often don’t get to see her very much—she works a lot—so quality time is always a treat.

I also babysat a 10-year-old girl. We always have a great time together! This time we took to the kitchen and made chocolate-covered pretzels with carmel twists. (More info to come; I have lots of photos to sort through since she was my little photography helper.)

It was so much fun! I also brought raspberry white chocolate chip scones for her family to enjoy. Bringing a treat with me is definitely becoming a tradition. I’ve already brought donuts and cookies, so this time I wanted to try something a little bit different.

Well, these were exactly what I was looking for. I often forget about scones since they’re not the usual cookie-brownie-cupcake-donut thing, but they’re always a crowd pleaser regardless. My family is especially in love with them because of our British roots.

Since these scones are vegan and refined-sugar free, they’re not exactly traditional, but I think my British great-grandmother would be proud anyway. On the scone spectrum, these are more doughy and moist rather than hard and dry. Perfect for serving with afternoon tea!

However, I admit I’m a little bit early with the berry inspiration; the warm weather is upon us but the fresh raspberry crop is not. Fortunately, you can easily use frozen raspberries (which is what I did) to enjoy these berry-filled treats all year round.

As my official taste-tester, my uncle, would say, “These should go on the ‘If you own a bakery someday’ list.” Maybe I should start considering this possibility more seriously? Who knows!

Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Scones 

Makes about 11-12 scones

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup  agave
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • For the glaze: 1/2 cup white chocolate chips + 1/2 tsp coconut oil (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper/silicon baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add in oil, agave, and vanilla extract. Mix until a thick, dry batter starts to form.
  4. Stir in hot water until wetter batter comes together.
  5. Gently stir in white chocolate chips and raspberries. Mix until evenly distributed.
  6. Use an ice-cream scoop with a spring (or just a measuring cup) to drop ~1/3 cup of the batter on the cookie sheet. Lightly brush the tops of the scones with a little extra oil, if desired.
  7. Bake for 14-16 minutes, flipping the cookie sheet half-way through.
  8. Remove scones from the oven and let stand on cookie sheet for at least 10-15 minutes to set.
  9. Drizzle with white chocolate chip glaze. To make: melt 1/2 cup white chocolate chips in the microwave or on a double boiler. Stir in coconut oil, if using. Use a fork to drizzle over scones.

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Notes: this recipe is completely adaptable. For the flour, you can make it gluten-free by using Bob’s Red Mill AP gluten-free flour, or simply make the scones a little more nutritious with whole wheat pastry or spelt flour. For the oil, use canola oil or another light oil (like safflower), or add an extra depth of flavor with coconut oil. For the agave, you can also try honey or maple syrup (though it will change the flavor). And, finally, you can use commercial or vegan white chocolate chips (which you can order online). The vegan white chocolate chips are hard to find, so just make sure to check the ingredients of the ones you use if remaining completely dairy-free is a concern.

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What nationality is your family? What are your favorite traditional ethnic desserts? 

 

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

 

Skinny Mints (The Vegan Cousin of Girl Scout Thin Mints)

I had an epiphany in the kitchen today. Those deliciously chocolate mint Girl Scout Cookies are called Thin Mints, as opposed to Fat Mints, for a reason.

However, I think I took the word thin to a whole new level. These babies were downright skinny! I’d like to think of them as the vegan cousin of Girl Scout Thin Mints.

While I’m sure my grandmother will enjoy my slim creation (she likes her cookies with a crunch!), I would prefer a little more substance. Back to the kitchen I go!

 

Have a lovely day!

WIAW #18: Cake For Breakfast Edition

Hey hey hey! How’s your Wednesday going? Have you entered by giveaway yet? (Click here to do so!)

Today is pretty chill around here after an exciting Monday. Yesterday I spent most of the day working on a new recipe, vegan + gluten-free cookie dough cake with creamy chocolate avocado frosting. Because of that, my eats were pretty out of the ordinary, so today’s What I Ate Wednesday is going to be a little…different.

I stayed up pretty late Monday night reading a new book, The Help, and exploring every nook and cranny of one of my colleges’ websites. I’m pretty convinced it’s perfect; if I don’t get accepted anywhere else, I know I’d be happy going there. ❤

Anyway, because of my late night, I woke up pretty late yesterday. I’m definitely taking full advantage of spring break by listening to my body’s natural queues. However, sometimes that means not eating right after waking up. SInce I wasn’t very hungry, I proceeded to bake a celebration cake. I certainly had enough cake to qualify as a meal, though. I had to try it to make sure the photos were worth snapping.

(Oh, and they were. They most certainly were.)

I think that since this cake involves whole grains (buckwheat + oats), healthy fats (coconut + avocado), veggies (pumpkin), fruit (banana + avocado), and a good amount of protein, it qualifies as a meal. So that means I can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Am I right?

I continued my dessert-y day by eating a chocolate protein smoothie (pumped up with spinach!) and a steamed veggie salad for “lunch.” I wasn’t very hungry after all the cake taste-testing, but I did have a serious hankering for some sort of protein and greens. Problem solved.

I snacked on some fruit, nuts, and a little more cake before going to yoga… you know, just to make sure it was okay. (And yes, it most definitely was.) After yoga, though, I couldn’t imagine eating anything more sweet. Savory for dinner it was!

Stir-fried veggies (kale, red cabbage, asparagus, red bell peppers, purple sweet potatoes) were really the only thing that sounded good, but I decided to add a block of tofu to pump it up.

However, despite my efforts, my hunger randomly appeared with a vengeance. Many snacks followed, as well as some more cake. What can I say, I’m in love with this cake (and it’s so healthy, it’s crazy!).

What kinds of delicious food are you enjoying today? And what’s the best dessert you’ve had lately?

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

Why I Love Vegan Baking

Reason #129284710382 Why I Love Vegan Baking: you can always eat the batter.

…Not that that ever stopped me before, but at least now I can eat as much cookie dough as I want without worrying about getting scary infections. Vegan baking is like God’s gift to baker’s… except for the fact that it gives me an excuse to eat all the dough before the oven has even finished preheating. Anyone else?

Anyway, today’s baking venture is particularly special because it’s for an exciting celebration. After many months of hard work and grueling waiting, yesterday I finally received acceptance to one of my favorite colleges. I am extremely grateful and actually wish I could hug all of the admissions staff in thanks.

On second thought, maybe baking would be more appropriate. But since I can’t ship this cake all the way to Minnesota, it looks like my family and I will have to enjoy it. I think we’ll manage…

In addition to receiving acceptance to that college, yesterday I also was invited to be apart of a prestigious business/internship program at another college and offered a scholarship at yet another. It was a good day.

But don’t worry, this isn’t going to turn into “The Mandiee Show.” I want you to share in the excitement, too, so I am giving away a fun new kitchen gadget to one of my readers. Thanks to Oxo, one of you will receive an awesome new Good Grips 5lb. Food Scale with Pull-Out Display.

I’ve been playing around with this scale lately and have enjoyed how easy it is to use. I’ve had other food scales in the past, but this is definitely one of my favorites. It’s sleek, accurate, and easy to use. It has all the buttons I need (kg/lb) and none that I don’t. The pull-out display also makes reading measurements a breeze when I use a big bowl and would not otherwise be able to see the display.

So the Good Grips Food Scale is pretty awesome, but you are probably wondering why you would need a food scale in the first place. (“Can’t I just use measuring cups?”) While that is true, food scales are extremely useful because they provide accuracy in baking (and are also good for those looking to lose/gain weight). I cannot tell you how important accuracy is in vegan + gluten-free baking. I always measure all my ingredients in grams for the best results.

So as I enjoy my gluten-free + vegan chocolate chip cookie dough cake, here’s how to win a Oxo Good Grips Food Scale of your own.

Manatory Entry:

  1. leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite celebration dessert is OR how you chose your college

For additional entries do one (or all!) of these, and leave a comment here telling me what you did:

  • Like Oxo on Facebook (click here)
  • Like Kabochavore on Facebook (click here)
  • Follow me on Twitter (@Kabochavore) & tweet about this giveaway
  • Subscribe to my posts (see the top left side bar)
  • Link back to this giveaway on your blog

Note: giveaway open until Thursday, March 29 @ 11:59PM. Have a lovely day!

Mandiee