Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats Take II

Since I had the day off from work, I decided to remake my Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats with a few minor adjustments. The result? Success! I was right yesterday, the recipe needed a reduction in the amount of pumpkin puree. Now I can share the recipe with you! I know most rice crispy treat recipes have similar ratios of cereal to marshmallow, so I can’t take all the credit for this one. Feel free to add more spices if you wish. I kept it simple with just cinnamon but I bet cloves, nutmeg, and ginger would be nice additions too.

Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats

2 tablespoons vegan butter or coconut oil
10 ounces vegan marshmallows (I used Sweet & Sara brand)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 cups rice crispy cereal

1. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan and set aside.
2. In a large, deep pan, melt the butter or coconut oil over medium heat.
3. Add in the marshmallows and stir often until almost completely melted.
4. Once the marshmallows are nearly melted, stir in the pumpkin puree and cinnamon. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir well to incorporate the pumpkin.
5. Remove from heat and add in the cereal, two cups at a time. Stir well after each addition. Once all the cereal has been added, transfer the mixture to prepared pan. Press down firmly with damp hands or a small square of parchment paper. The treats will be thick.
6. Allow the mixture to cool before cutting into squares.

Enjoy!

More Cheesiness!

When the newest issue of VegNews magazine arrived in my mailbox, I was delighted. The issue focuses on artisan vegan cheeses that are easy to make at home. Since I spend a lot of time in my kitchen it seemed like the perfect opportunity to expand my skills.

The recipes are from Miyoko Schinner’s book, Artisan Vegan Cheese. I can honestly say that every single recipe sounds amazing and I had a difficult time choosing which one to make first. A co-worker of mine eased the decision making by sharing a sample of the Philadelphia-Style Cream Cheese she had made at home. I immediately swiped my finger through the spread, went home after work, and gathered the ingredients to make my own batch. That means it’s good stuff. Really good stuff.

I snazzed my batch up a bit by adding minced garlic, fresh parsley, and several pinches of oregano, thyme, tarragon, and basil. It is tangy, creamy, thick, smooth, herby, and garlicky. I love it. My lunch today consisted of toast and generous smears of this wondrous creation.

The recipe does require some patience since the cheese has to sit at room temperature for 1-2 days. But, it is worth it!! You can find the book version of the recipe here, and the version I used in the October 2012 issue of VegNews. They vary slightly but both produce equally yummy results.

Double Chocolate Crispy Treats!

Since it is the weekend, I thought it might be nice to share a yummy recipe for Double Chocolate Crispy Treats! I created these after Tim brought home two bags of Dandies from Portland’s VegFest at the end of September. If you are looking for a switch-up from traditional rice crispy treats, you should make this recipe! They are gluten-free, vegan, chocolatey, and super simple. While these don’t look like they were made with cocoa crispy cereal from the photograph, I can assure you, they are definitely double chocolate!

Double Chocolate Crispy Treats

2 Tablespoons coconut oil, softened
1 10-ounce package vegan marshmallows, such as Dandies
5 cups cocoa crispy cereal (I used Nature’s Path Koala Krisp)
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Lightly grease a 9″ x 12″ baking pan and set aside.
2. In a large pot, melt coconut oil over medium heat.
3. Increase heat to medium-high and add in marshmallows. Stir constantly with a heat-proof spatula until mixture is melted and smooth.
4. Pour in cereal, 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.
5. Stir in chocolate chips. Working quickly, try to evenly distribute them throughout the mixture.
6. Dump the mixture into prepared pan. Press down firmly with a bench scraper or a piece of parchment paper. You want to make the mixture an even thickness. Keep the top smooth. You won’t use the entire pan unless you like very thin treats. I kept mine just over 1″ thick.
7. Allow treats to cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into squares.

Makes 9 large treats

Enjoy!

Annnnnnnd… It’s July (already?)!

Happy Summer!

Here is what I’ve been up to lately:

Summer weather arrived late in Portland this year (big surprise!) and despite my general dislike of rising temperatures, I am actually quite pleased with the sunshine lately. After all, warm weather fuels the growth of local berry crops! In the last few weeks Tim and I have picked close to 25 pounds of deliciously sweet, deep red, Oregon strawberries. Yesterday I turned some of those berries into jam. The photo above shows two pints of strawberry-orange jam. My list of future jams includes: raspberry, blueberry, peach, marionberry, fig-ginger, cherry, and kiwi. I am also quite excited to make dill pickles!!

Sandwiches are a quick and simple meal in the summertime. A few days ago I made panini sandwiches filled with chickpea spread, golden beets, green apples, olive tapenade, and sprouts. I found the recipe in the latest issue of Vegetarian Times. The combination might seem odd, but trust me, this sandwich was very satisfying!

Eating vegan ice cream is a great way to stay cool when the sun threatens to melt your shorts. Tim and I met up with friends today and enjoyed treats from Back to Eden Bakery. I had half of a Neapolitan cupcake and several generous bites of Tim’s banana split sundae (topped with peanut butter Newman O’s, Dandies, and house-made strawberry sauce).

A few weeks ago Tim and I went on an evening hike to Dog Mountain in Washington state. The hike is mighty steep but the views are very rewarding at the summit. Plus, we were greeted with tons of wildflowers along the trail and a gorgeous sunset. I am looking forward to August when the trails are lined with wild huckleberries (for making more jam, of course)!

I bought a doughnut pan recently and cannot stop making doughnuts! Eventually I will take the leap and try raised doughnuts but not until I have perfected the cake doughnut!

And finally, tomorrow I will be volunteering at Portland’s 2nd Annual Vegan Iron Chef competition. The event will be streamed live so you can tune in and watch the excitement from your lounge chair in the sunshine! Nifty, eh?

I hope everybody is enjoying summer (because my favorite season is coming up next!).

Northward to Seattle

Last weekend Tim and I visited our good friends in Seattle. We were treated to plenty of Mighty O Donuts, gorgeous weather, dinner at an amazing vegan restaurant, mini golf, homemade pizza and pancakes, and boxing battles on Nintendo Wii. That is a lot of fun to pack into one weekend!! Here are some photos of our adventures:

Thanks, Kim and Dave!

Stay tuned for tomorrow because I am posting a recipe for a fantastic sammie. You don’t want to miss it – promise!