Category Archives: Daily Musings

Back in Action & Ready to Go

Oh hello there, lovely people! How are you today?

After a longer than expected hiatus, I’m back and ready to blog it up. I’ve been so busy with work and college prep that I wasn’t sure I would be able to dedicate the amount of energy I wanted to my little part of the internet and to you, my lovely readers. I thank you all for your continued support and love. Thanks to Twitter, I’ve seen a few new faces popping up around Kabochavore, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Welcome!

I have lots of new projects in the works, including writing for One Green Planet (check it out here) and hopefully launching my own little bakery business on campus. I look forward to sharing my college journey with you, as well as continuing to improve the blogging that you have all come to know. New posts will include more delicious recipes, how-to posts on food and life, and anything that inspires me (and hopefully you, too). I’m pumped, and I hope you are, too!

Although I’m ready to start blogging regularly again, I do have one slight problem. I host Kabochavore.com through WordPress, which has a set amount of memory. Unfortunately, I have almost reached my max! Are there any bloggers or web geniuses out there that can give me some advice? I don’t know if I should switch to a new platform (such as self-hosting on Bluehost, Dream host, etc.) or just buy more memory here. What’s your take?

 

Now that you know what I’ve been up to, I’d love to hear from you. How’s your summer been? What foods are you currently making you salivate? Where do you draw your inspiration from? 

 

Love. Encouragement. Bliss.

Mandiee

15 Years

After 15 years of late night study sessions, giggles with friends, and insightful discussions with teachers, I am finally saying goodbye to my school and second home.

Class of 2012, it’s been amazing. Next stop, California!

Happy Graduation 2012 to me and my greatest supporter + friend, my mom.

I’ve been savoring every moment and simply living life. Once I get back from California for college orientation, you can bet I’ll be back here for a recap and a return to normal blogging. But for now, I could not be happier just loving everything around me.

Free At Last

Well, hello there! How are you on this beautiful Monday? It’s been much too long since we last chatted!

Now that senior testing week and AP exams are over, I’m finally free. I still have one month of school left before I graduate, but it is going to be pretty chill. Instead of going to classes like usual, I am doing an internship at my school’s early childhood center. I look forward to waking up each morning, knowing that I get to play with 16 loveable, sweet, energetic 4-and-5-year-olds all day long.

This weekend was devoted to recovering lost sleep (I’m still greatly in debt!), college shopping with my mom, and just enjoying the smile beauty of summer. Because of that, I haven’t been concocting anything too blog worthy lately. However, I would still like to share a few things I have been enjoying amidst studying.

Now that summer is here to stay, my salad cravings have been out of control. I enjoyed both of these salads (one with roasted asparagus, the other with roasted broccoli and carrots) right before AP exams.

There were the perfect light, fresh foods to keep me fueled through 6 (yes, SIX!) grueling hours of testing.

I was also lucky enough to enjoy big, succulent long-stem strawberries from my great uncle. For Christmas, he gave my grandmother a subscription to Harry and David’s fruit of the month club. Her and I look forward to sharing the box every month. It is honestly some of the freshest, juiciest fruit I’ve ever tasted!

We’ve had quite an abundance of strawberries in my house lately, so I decided to make showcase them in homemade scones.

I made these scones super healthy by using whole grain (gluten-free) flour, stevia instead of sugar, and even avocado instead of butter! These scones were definitely not the butter-and-sugar-laden bricks my great-grandmother used to enjoy with tea, but I’m sure she would have enjoyed them just the same.

 

What foods are you enjoying with the increase in temperature? Have you ever tried to health-ify one of your family’s recipes? 

 

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

 

Au Naturale

Some things are just better left au naturale.

Case in point: since making my college decision, my mom and I keep joking about the Californification process. I’m already apart of USC’s Class of 2016 Facebook page (900 members strong so far!), so I have an idea of the personality of my class. One thing I’ve noticed: at least 80% of the girls are blond. My mom half-teases me that I’ll join that number soon enough.

While I can’t say I’m not curious about what I’d look like as a blonde, I really do love my natural hair color and would hate to lose it. Who knows, maybe as  a brunette, I’ll stand out in the crowd (for better or for worse).

What I do know, however, is that I am happy with who I am. If I feel like changing my hair color (or anything else for that matter), it will be for fun, not because I feel like I have to in order to fit in.

blonde? brunette? who knows!

Just like with these vegan banana donuts, some things are better just left au naturale. You can dress them up with a simple glaze, dip them in chocolate, or just leave them as is. No matter what, they will still be the same wonderfully delicious donuts inside. And that’s what counts.

Vegan Banana Donuts 

Makes 6 donuts 

  • 1/2 cup + 2 TBS flour (can use All-Purpose Gluten-free)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 bananas, mashed (should yield a little more than 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup oil (coconut is lovely here, but canola will work)
  • 1 TBS Ener-G Egg Replacer + 4 TBS water, prepared according to directions on box
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Coat donut pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, combine mashed bannas, oil, prepared egg replacer, vanilla extract, and sugar with a fork until evenly incorporated.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  5. Evenly distribute batter among 6 donut cavities. (I recommend using a small ice cream scooper for this.)
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the donut comes out clean.
  7. Let donuts rest in pan for ~5 minutes before removing. Place on wire rack to cool.
Have you ever changed something about your appearance? What was it? And do you think I would look good blonde? Haha.
Have a lovely day!
Mandiee

Class of 2016

Hey there! How’s your weekend going? Today I’m hanging out with my family to celebrate Easter as well as writing a paper on the development of self-awareness. Ah, the glorious life of a student!

Speaking of being a student, the jig is up: I finally committed to a college. After months of being consumed with college applications and a nerve-wracking week (this past week, in fact) of waiting for the last few details to fall in play, I’m ready to officially announce my decision.

This fall, I will become not only be a business administration student at University of Southern California’s Marshall Business School, but also a proud member of the Trojan family. I am extremely grateful for this wonderful opportunity and could not be more excited about starting school in late August. There’s just something so overwhelmingly good about all of this; it just feels right.

Just look at those palm trees! Swoon.

California here I come, baby!

 

Where did you go to school? Did you end up living in the same area after college? 

If I have any Los Angeles or other So-Cal readers out there, please introduce yourself or send me an email at kabochavore [at] me [dot] com. I’d love to hook up with you and learn all about the area.

 

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

Caramelized Banana-Stuffed Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

My world has been completely flipped upside down in the past 48 hours. All I can say is that I’m more excited than ever to start my college life! I am still working out the details, but I can’t wait to share the good news with you all soon.

In celebration, I would like to share a recipe for Caramelized Banana-Stuffed Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting with you.

As usual, this recipe grew out of necessity. I scored a large bunch of slightly spotty bananas on sale for 19 cents, but didn’t know what to do with them. After making banana soft serve, roasting/sauteeing bananas is my favorite way to eat the sweet fruit, so I developed the idea into a full-fledged dessert.

Stuffing the bananas in the center of the cupcake definitely amps up the traditional vanilla cupcake and is a delicious suprise to bite into. Naturally peanut butter frosting completes the flavor profile. Peanut butter and bananas were just meant for each other! (Add a chocolate drizzle to the mix, and I guarantee your taste buds will thank you.)

Even though this recipe has a few steps (cupcakes, filling, frosting), it’s actually quite easy to make! I suppose if you were crunched on time, you could also make a boxed mix for the cupcakes and just use the filling + frosting to dress them up. However, with a cupcake recipe as easy as this, you’ll never need another boxed mix again!

So whether you’re celebrating a big announcement like me or just another beautiful day in the life of you, I hope these cupcakes will make your life just a little bit sweeter.

Caramelized Banana-Stuffed Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting 

(makes 6 cupcakes)

  • 1 recipe vanilla cupcakes (see below)
  • 1 recipe caramelized banana filling (see below)
  • 1 recipe peanut butter frosting (see below)
  • melted chocolate, for drizzling (optional)
  • chopped bananas, for garnish (optional)
  1. Prepare all recipes.
  2. Cut a circle out of each cooled cupcake. This should make a little cone-shaped well big enough for you to stuff Banana filling into.
  3. Place a dollop of banana filling into each well. It can come a little over the top of the well, but it should not be too much.
  4. Once banana filling has set a bit inside the cupcake, frost cupcakes with peanut butter frosting.
  5. Using a fork, drizzle each cupcake with melted chocolate, if desired. Garnish with chopped bananas.

 

Easy Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

(makes 6 cupcakes)

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 TBS flour
  • 1 TBS arrowroot (or cornstarch)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • dash cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 TBS oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2TBS NuNaturals Stevia Baking Blend or organic sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a small muffin tin with cupcake holders.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup, combine non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for a few minutes to curdle. (This creates vegan buttermilk.)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, arrowroot/cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. (*For best results, sift them together.)
  4. In another bowl, use a fork to combine oil, stevia baking blend/sugar, and vanilla extract. Add in almond milk mixture from step 2. Mix until no clumps remain.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix until well-combined.
  6. Evenly distribute batter between 6 muffin cups, filling them up about 2/3 way full. (I use an ice cream scooper or measuring cup for this.)
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a cooling rack.

**

Caramelized Banana Filling 

  • 1TBS earth balance or coconut oil
  • 2 ripe bananas, chopped
  • 1 TBS maple syrup, or more to taste
  • pinch of cinnamon and salt (optional)
  1. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add earth balance. Once hot, add bananas.
  3. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. The bananas should start to reduce and become saucy.
  4. Add in maple syrup. Cook for ~2 more minutes, caramelizing the bananas further with the sugar from the syrup.
  5. Remove from heat to cool + thicken a little bit.
**
Simple Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting 
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 TBS Earth Balance or coconut oil, at room temperature
  •  1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ~1-2 TBS non-dairy milk, to thin (if needed)
  1. In a large bowl or stand-mixer, beat peanut butter and earth balance until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  2. Slowly beat in confectioners’ sugar until frosting becomes thick. Add in a little non-dairy milk at a time, if needed, to thin the frosting to desired consistency.
Note: this recipe is naturally vegan, but it can also be gluten-free, fat-free, sugar-free, and relatively healthy depending on what ingredients you use. Email me at kabochavore [at] me [dot] com if you need ideas on how to do this. Cupcakes for all!

What are you celebrating today? Are you a pb + banana fan?

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

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