December 28, 2016

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I was late to get on the Pinterest train. I've only been pinning for two years, and only started because I was pregnant with Parker and needed somewhere to organize my Christmas baking and mobile making needs. I thought I'd share some of my favourite food-related pins (Pins?) with you and let you know how they turned out. My issue with Pinterest is that I never know if the BEST RECIPE EVER and TOTALLY FOOLPROOF thing are actually realistic claims. I find that, typically, nothing ever lives up to the hype.

(P.S. I hate link-heavy posts, but it's unavoidable here. Sorry.)

Really good rum balls: These are amazing. I made them last Christmas for the first time and they're not only super easy, but just looking at the ingredients (rum, icing sugar, chocolate, and almonds) you know they're going to taste good. I'm not a big rum drinker but I don't mind eating it one bit. The only downside to these little treasures is that they never look as pretty as the picture. They don't even really look that appetizing, actually, but that just means there's more for the adventurous and unsuperficial. I made some for Christmas this year but obviously didn't have any.

Starbucks pumpkin scones: I've talked about these here before but they're worth mentioning again.When I gave up dairy I had to give up Starbucks' pumpkin scones and that was really soul crushing so I found a recipe I could make myself and now they're a go-to. I just use coconut or almond milk in place of cream and Earth Balance instead of butter. I also roll my dough into a circle and cut it like a pizza because it looks less like chicken strips that way.

Banana bread cinnamon buns: Minimalist Baker is one of my favourites (I got the cookbook for Christmas!) and these cinnamon buns are one of the big reasons why. I've made other kinds from the website, but these are far superior. I like to make them when we have company over that I'm trying to impress. Then I impress our company with how cinnamon buns I can eat.

The chocolate cake to end all other chocolate cakes: It's actually a one bowl vegan chocolate cake also from Minimalist Baker, but I can safely safe that it's the only chocolate cake recipe you need. It's easy, delicious, and the cake itself isn't overly sweet. What the cake lacks in sugar content the icing more than makes up for. This cake is the reason I gained weight when Parker was two months old. It's also the cake I'll be making for myself as a reward for pushing a second human out of my body. This cake is my push present, and I plan on eating a piece of it as I get stitched up in the hospital. I have also used the icing for other recipes, and find it goes really on bean cake.

Bean cake: I like to make this when I want chocolate cake but feel guilty about eating chocolate cake. I always use coconut sugar in it and made it for Parker's first birthday. No one ever knows it's made from beans and I like that it's allergy friendly (unless the allergy is eggs because there's basically a whole chicken in there). The only thing I don't like about it is that it's hard to make cupcakes out of. Because there's no flour, it can tend to fall apart when coming out of the pan. In a regular cake pan this isn't too bad, but I've still yet to make a cupcake batch that hasn't had a 50% failure rate. And by "failure" I mean structurally. I end up having to eat a lot of cupcake bottoms out of the muffin tin. Someday I'll get it right.

Avocado frosting: In an effort to make better life choices I thought this would be a nice substitution for regular icing. It's not. If you put a bit of instant coffee granules in it you get some nice kick, but it reminds me more of pudding than frosting, and it does not keep well. This is for immediate consumption only, otherwise the next day you'll be wondering why on earth you decided to make chocolate guacamole.

Vegan hazelnut cheesecake: It looks like the link I have pinned doesn't actually work anymore, but this recipe looks the most similar (if not exactly the same). I made this for our anniversary this year because I'd been wanting to try a nut-based cheesecake for a while, but needed a special occasion to justify it. I've made a tofu cheesecake before and never again. All I could taste was the soy. This cheesecake was pretty good, but I may have over-roasted the hazelnuts or something or maybe shouldn't have soaked the cashews in the fridge instead of on the counter overnight. It just wasn't quite right. I put the leftovers in the freezer, but every time I had a piece my stomach would get a bit upset. It was mediocre. I'll try another vegan cheesecake again but will go a different route.

Chocolate chip cookie dough blizzard: Yes. The "ice cream" is just frozen bananas (i.e. healthy) and the cookie dough bites are super easy to make. You get a little messy rolling them, but it's totally worth it. I like to leave the extras in the freezer to eat later on.

Slow cooker broccoli, spinach, and potato soup: I want to love this soup, but I just find it so uninspiring. I've made it a couple times but just can't get excited about it. It also makes the house smell like farts when I get home from work.

Vegan cheese sauce: I like how easy this cheese sauce is, but I'm kind of over beans being in everything. Last time I made this I didn't do as good a job as I thought cleaning out my food processor so when made "frozen yogurt" in it everything tasted like beans. I was three months pregnant at the time and it's really stuck with me. Bean aversion.

Cashew Alfredo sauce: If beans are overdone in cheese sauces, nuts definitely are, too, but I can forgive them in this one. I like that this recipe is so easy, so fast, doesn't involve beans, and if you put it over spaghetti squash you feel like a vegan healthfood princess. Or something. I like to blend up steamed broccoli or peppers in it to thicken the sauce a bit and give it some more substance. It's been a while since I last made this and I think I need to make it again soon. This is another one of those things I like to feed people I'm trying to impress because it seems harder than it is.

I've also tried to learn proper furniture painting techniques, gotten many knitting patterns, and laughed about the "must-have" first time parent lists. I just can't stop clicking on them.

Have I just blown your mind with all my food-related insight? You're welcome.


  1. I love it when other people test recipes so I don't have to...I'm interested especially in making that bean cake. Every. single. time. I have tried to make a cake/brownies/etc with beans, it's DEFINITELY noticeable.

    I would also love to use more cashews in things like alfredo sauce/cheesecakes/etc but cashews are basically only for millionaires in Sitka.

  2. I've tried bean brownies. I can always taste the beans, but would be willing to give that one bowl vegan cake a go.
    LOL to the person who may make avocado frosting in advance.

  3. That's why I never look to Pinterest for recipes. Going to AllRecipes or other sites with hundreds or thousands of votes on recipes has always proved positive for me.

    But mostly I just don't look for new recipes and just make what I know. Haha!

  4. I have made some truly awful things from Pinterest. I should do a post like this, because this is awesome. I'm intrigued by those banana bread cinnamon rolls.


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