Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Pies

It’s been a while since I’ve cooked with rhubarb, but I saw some at the grocery store the other day and decided to cook something with it before it’s out of season. I’ve been busy with a new job (yay employment!) so it’s been sitting in my fridge for a few days. I bought some strawberries today and was excited to make a strawberry rhubarb pie (one of my favs!), but realized I didn’t have enough of either ingredient for a full-size pie. I was able to cobble a few recipes together to make these mini pies.

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Pies

Mini Pies 1

Ingredients

Crust (Note: This only made enough dough for bottom crusts so if you want a top crust or lattice you’ll need to make more)

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (more as necessary) coconut oil, cool enough to be solid
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cups ice water

Filling

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the oil to the bowl and cut it into the flour mixture (like you would butter). Work the oil in with your hands as needed until the mixture sticks together when you squeeze it. Add 1/3 cup water and knead the dough until you can form it into a large ball, adding more water as needed.
  3. Roll the dough out on a clean surface dusted with flour. You’ll want it pretty thin. Tear the dough into pieces and press into the muffin cups. Prick the bottoms with a fork and pop in the oven. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the dough is set and the edges are starting to brown. Remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 350° F.
  4. In a medium saucepan combine the water, tapioca starch, rhubarb, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture gets bubbly and gooey. Remove from the heat and mix in the strawberries.
  5. Scoop the strawberry rhubarb mixture into the mini pie crusts. Return to the oven and bake until the fruit mixture is bubbly and the edges of the crust are golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan a bit before digging in.

These would probably be great with some coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon/sugar.

Source: An amalgam of recipes from Food52, EatingWell, and Sun Diego Eats

Chickpea Fries

While I’ve started incorporating some animal products back into my diet, I still try to eat vegan most days. Vegan appetizer recipes are hard enough to find, but add in other dietary restrictions (nightshades, etc) and it’s even tougher. While they don’t taste like traditional potato french fries, these fries are pretty tasty; you can add additional flavor with seasonings and/or dipping sauces of your choice.

Chickpea Fries

Chickpea fries

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chickpea flour (learn how to make your own here)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F and line a sheet pan (or two) with aluminum foil and spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large pot combine the water, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then slowly add the chickpea flour, whisking as you go. Be careful not to let it boil or you’ll have hot batter flying at you (I’m speaking from experience, here).
  3. When the batter is a little thicker than pancake batter remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool a bit.
  4. Pour the batter onto a greased sheet pan and spread with a spatula until you’ve filled about half the pan.
  5. Chill the batter for at least an hour. When the batter has firmed up, cut into desired size and shape.
  6. Place the fries on the lined sheet pan(s) and sprinkle some seasoning on top (garlic powder is a tasty option).
  7. The baking time depends on the size of your fries and how crispy you want them, so keep that in mind as you go. I baked my fries for about 30 minutes, flipped ’em, sprayed them with more cooking spray, and baked them for an additional 25-30 minutes.
  8. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or enjoy them just as they are.

My fries turned out to be a bit on the dry side (though crispy), so I’ll probably cut back on the cooking time in the future.

You can certainly pan or deep fry these if you want, but I prefer baking them because it’s a bit healthier and a little less mess to clean up.

Source: Adapted from The Brazen Kitchen

Molasses Crinkles

We did some spring cleaning at my house yesterday, and I found a cute gingerbread man cookie cutter that I wanted to use. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough molasses to make gingerbread cookies, but a recipe on the previous page sounded tasty and used less molasses. Ironically, the recipe was submitted to the cookbook by my late great-aunt, who attended St. John Church and died a few years ago.

Molasses Crinkles

Molasses Krinkles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • egg replacer to equal one egg (I used flax eggs)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • granulated sugar to dip cookies in

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl cream the sugar and shortening. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Smoosh and roll into balls, and dip the tops in the granulated sugar.
  4. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 12 minutes, switching cookie sheets around halfway through.

Source: Adapted from Heartwarming Recipes, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church and School

Oatmeal Bread

I was planning to post a St. Patty’s Day recipe (green falafel!) but it didn’t turn out very well, so I decided to go with something I haven’t made in a while: bread. I’m heading down to Missouri to visit a good friend of mine next week (so excited!!) and will probably bring a loaf of this with me to snack on along the way.

Note: This bread is pretty sweet (especially the crust) so keep that in mind before you start the recipe.

Oatmeal Bread

Oatmeal Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal flour (I ground 1 cup oatmeal up in my coffee grinder)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • egg replacer, equal to one egg (I used flax eggs)
  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 1 tsp vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar. In another smaller bowl mix together the egg replacer, soy milk, and vinegar. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, being careful not to overmix.
  3. My dough was quite sticky at this point. You may have to put some oil on your hands to prevent the dough from sticking to them as you transfer it to a greased loaf pan. You can sprinkle some oats on top if you’d like. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a knife into the middle of the loaf. If it comes out clean you’re good to go. If the edges are done but the middle is not, line the edges with tin foil and continue to bake until the knife comes out clean.
  4. When the loaf is done, remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Eat while warm or move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Source: Adapted from How It All Vegan

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Cinnamon-Vanilla Icing

I’ve been on a “use-everything-up” kick recently, and noticed that we had a lonely can of pumpkin hanging out in our pantry. I’m a carb lover (especially in the winter – I should be hibernating!) so cookies seemed like the perfect use for that can of pumpkin. The first time I made these cookies (without the nuts) they were pretty flavorless, but seemed to become more flavorful after sitting in the cookie jar for a few days. I decided to up the spice level and add the nuts the second time around, and they turned out much better.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Cinnamon-Vanilla Icing

Pumpkin cookies 1

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Icing

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine the flours, oats, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  3. In another large bowl mix together the sugar, oil, applesauce, molasses, pumpkin, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three batches and then fold in the walnuts.
  4. Drop tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet and flatten with a fork. If you’re baking multiple sheets of cookies at one time, bake for eight minutes and then switch the baking sheets around in the oven. If you’re baking one sheet at a time bake for 16 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to racks to cool.
  5. Whisk the powdered sugar, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients accordingly. Once the cookies have cooled use a spoon to drizzle them with the icing.

 

Source: Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen

Veggie Chips

I’ve had some beets in the refrigerator for quite a while now, and wanted to try something besides simply roasting them in the oven (even though they’re delicious prepared that way). I found a ton of recipes for beet salads of all kinds, but wasn’t feeling especially inspired by any of them. I found a few recipes for beet chips, but they called for deep frying them and I didn’t want to deal with the mess, so I stuck with a recipe that baked them instead. These are very easy to make and customize with whatever spices or flavors you desire.

Beet and Sweet Potato Chips

Veggie Chips

Ingredients

  • 2-3 medium beets, scrubbed and thinly sliced
  • 1 – 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Other spices of your choosing (Thyme is good on sweet potatoes)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Place sliced vegetables in a bowl, and add enough olive oil to lightly coat them. Add the salt, pepper, and other spices and stir to make sure all the pieces are coated.
  3. Place the beet and sweet potato slices on baking sheets. Cooking time really depends on how thinly sliced the beets and sweet potatoes are – mine took quite a long time because they were sliced thicker. I’d shoot for 10- 15 minutes to start, then check them. If they seem pretty close to being done, flip them over and bake for another 10-15 minutes. You want these nice and crispy. When the chips are done let them cool on cooling racks.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramelized Nuts

Pumpkin is one of my favorite fall flavors, one that I occasionally like to use during other seasons. That’s one reason why I like canned pumpkin – it’s available year-round and it’s quicker and easier than using homemade pumpkin purée. I’d like to make my own pumpkin purée someday, but for now I’ll stick with the canned stuff.

This cake is chock full of pumpkin flavor, and the cream cheese frosting and caramelized nuts add a nice bit of sweetness and crunch.

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramelized Nuts

Pumpkin Cake 1

 

 

Pumpkin Cake 2

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp (9 ounces) pumpkin purée
  • cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • large eggs (room temperature), yolks and whites separated 

Frosting

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (AKA confectioner’s sugar)
  • pinch of cardamom

Caramelized Nuts

  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts (I used pecans and walnuts), crushed

Instructions

  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray, line the bottom with parchment paper, and spray the paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
  3. Use handheld or stand mixture to mix together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and salt. Add egg yolks one at a time.
  4. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk egg whites until they’re foamy and white in color. Fold into the batter.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick or knife. You can cover the edges with tin foil and cook longer if the middle is not quite done. Let the cake sit in the pan for 20 minutes after you take it out of the oven, then carefully remove it from the pan and place it on a surface that will make it easy to frost.
  7. Make the frosting: Use handheld or stand mixture to mix the butter and cream cheese together. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add the cardamom and mix until incorporated.
  8. Caramelize the nuts: In a small saucepan, caramelize 1 tbsp sugar, moving it around in the pan frequently so it doesn’t burn. Once it’s turned a nice golden brown, add 1 tbsp of butter and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens a bit. Add the nuts and stir to coat. Pour nuts onto parchment paper-lined plate to cool.
  9. Once the cake has fully cooled, frost to your liking, then sprinkle the caramelized nuts on top.

Source: Adapted from Food 52.