Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Almond Joy Cookies

I made these cookies twice last week! They are so good. Before going vegan almond joy candy bars were my favorite. These cookies are chewy and delicious and fill my chocolate, coconut and almond cravings perfectly. Here is what you need:

2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup vegetable shortening 
1/2 cup Earth Balance or your favorite non-dairy butter substitute
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup of sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
3tsp egg replacer powder mixed with 6 TBS water
1 cup chocolate chips 
1/2 cup of almonds, chopped
1/2 cup almonds whole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Str together the flour, cocoa powder, coconut, salt and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside.

In another bowl beat together Earth Balance, shortening, sugar, vanilla and egg replacer powder mixture. 

Add in the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and chopped almonds.

Form cookies on the sheet and one whole almond on top of each cookie. Bake 7 minutes, remove from heat and cool. Enjoy

Makes about 20 cookies

Friday, September 13, 2013

Mac n Cheese

I have my nieces this weekend and we are doing a vegan cooking school. Two years ago, the week before I went vegan, we did a cooking camp at my house and we made mac n cheese with ham in it. The girls were in heaven and it was my last hooray so to speak. I felt awful that whole week. I had already committed to changing the way I eat before they came, but the menus were planned and the shopping done. This year we decided to have cooking school again this time it's vegan cooking school! We don't have a whole week this time since school is in, but we do have a whole weekend. We took extra caution to plan meals my 3 year old niece would eat since she does not like veggies and will be eating the older girls cooking while her parents are out of town. It was of course decided that we needed to make mac n cheese again. I would say it was a hit. Everyone ate seconds and Ava ( the 3 year old) asked for and ate most of her third plate. This is definitely a kid friendly dish and super easy to make. Mom's please don't shake your head at me I also fed them a huge salad and everyone but Ava ate the salad.
Here is what you need:

1 1/2 lbs macaroni noodles
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast flakes
1 cup water
1 cup oil
3 oz tofu ( not silken tofu)
1 Tbs. garlic powder
1 Tbs. paprika
2 tsp. salt
1 dollop of mustard

Boil water in a large pot and cook pasta according to directions on box. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients ( minus the macaroni) in the blender and process until smooth. I use my Blendtec  and the sauce button. Pour "cheese" sauce over the cooked pasta. Bake until the top of the pasta is slightly browned and crispy, about 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 18, 2013


This is the only cornbread recipe that I have ever made that came out right. I found the recipe on and adapted it slightly to fit what I had on hand. This is literally the best cornbread I think I have ever had! Here is what you need:

3 tsp Ener G egg replacer powder
6 Tbs water
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup soymilk
1/4 cup oil                                                  
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with Pam. Mix together the Ener G powder and the water until frothy. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined. Pour into pan and bake for 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Homemade Ranch Dressing

1 cup of tofu sour cream
1/2 cup grapeseed oil veganise
2 Tbs dill weed

Mix together and enjoy

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Potato Pancakes

A few weeks ago I had Potato Pancakes at Ethos Vegan Kitchen and while they were good they tasted a bit sweet. Ever since that day I have been thinking about what I would have done differently. Now don't get me wrong the potato pancakes at Ethos are delicious, but they are more pancakes with potatoes in them than cakes made of potatoes. I set out to make the perfect potato pancake. I even invited my mom over for breakfast so that I would have the non veg perspective on these. The recipe made 10 and we ate each and every one of them! They turned out really well, here is what you need:
2 cups shredded potatoes
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tbs Freeze dried chives or 3 Tbs fresh chives, chopped
1 1/2 tsp Ener G egg replacer powder
2 Tbs water
3 oz shredded vegan cheese
Olive oil ( for cooking)
In a larger bowl mix the egg replacer powder and water together until frothy. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet and add the potato mixture in the shape of patties. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve with homemade ranch dressing.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Chickpea Salad

This year for my birthday my mom gave me one of her mixing bowls I have been coveting for 25 plus years. She has had the bowl as long as I can remember and as a young girl I always dreamed it would be mine. I always thought it was special when she would let me use it growing up and knowing my love for the bowls she gifted them to me.
July was also a special month for me because I hit my 2 year vegaversary. I went to lunch yesterday at Ethos in Winter Park to celebrate. While the food was good- I kept thinking: my food is just as good! 
One thing is for sure the longer you cook veg the better it gets! This is a take on "tuna salad" from the Happy Herbivore cookbook. I didn't have some of the ingredients they called for so I rolled up my sleeves and put on my thinking cap. Here is what you need:

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
1/2 small onion , finely diced
1/4 cup chopped olives ( green or black)
1 tsp smoked salt
Pepper to taste
Veganise ( the amount needed depends on how wet you want your salad)

In a mixing bowl mash the chickpeas with a fork. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix. Serve immediately or chill first if desired. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Veggie Pot Pie

Before going vegan I would eat chicken pot pie at least once a month; it was one of my favorite foods. It hit me this week that I could totally make it without the chicken- so I did! I'm not sure why it took me almost two years to figure it out, but I will say I won't let that happen again . Here is what you need: 
2 pre-made crusts ( be careful to check for animal products when buying I didn't see any in the Publix brand. 
1/2 bag of frozen peas and carrots
1 onion, diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup of tofu 
1/8 cup of non-dairy milk
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 Tbs diced garlic 
1-2 potatoes, diced and cooked ( can used can potatoes in a hurry)
1-2 veggie bouillon 

In a blender puree the tofu and non-dairy milk. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and pre-bake your bottom crust ( about 10-12 minutes)

Sautée your onion, mushrooms  and garlic in the olive oil, once onions are translucent add in the frozen veggies, tofu mixture, bouillon cubes and potatoes. Cook for a minute or two to heat through. Pour into pre-baked crust and cover with remaining crust. Poke a couple of vents into the top crust and bake until golden brown (10-12 minutes). Enjoy!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cookie Butter Oatmeal

I like to read VegNews as soon as it arrives I am tearing through it... maybe it's because I feel even more isolated now that I've moved. It's weird for me to be home and vegan. My dad is trying not to tell me I'm crazy too much I'm sure but it's way more obvious I'm different daily living with him. The differences weren't as apparent while I was living alone, but back to the oatmeal. Living with dad we eat a lot of oatmeal. While reading through the latest VegNews I saw an article about vegan teens I found it inspiring as most of them admitted that their friends are not vegan. A few of them were asked what their favorite foods are and I was slightly surprised to see oatmeal listed. I was also excited for a new way to make oatmeal. While reading her ingredients I was perplexed as I had no idea what cookie butter was, my mom and I had a discussion about it and instead of turning to my good friend Mr. Internet we assumed it was a typo. Let me assure you it is NOT a typo. Cookie butter is amazing. We drove to Gainesville for my birthday last week and while wondering around Trader Joes I was surprised and delighted to see cookie butter sitting on the shelf. The only mistake I made was not buying more than one jar. Back to the oatmeal - here us what you need:

1 cup oatmeal
2 cups chai tea( next time I won't sweeten it)
2tsp cookie butter
1 handful of dried cranberries
1/4 cup walnuts

Now if you have the magazine you will see some slight variations ( I used what I had and didn't add the peanut butter), but trust me on this and use 1 tsp less cookie butter and replace it with peanut butter if you like.

Brew the tea and then cook the oatmeal in the tea. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and enjoy!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pear Crisp

A super easy but delicious dessert. I was at Vive La Verde this week picking up some produce and the owner gave me 4 pears on my way out the store. He was a little perplexed when I told him I like my pears crunchy, but thought that they were perfect for baking (he is a raw vegan). Perfect for baking they were. I just peeled and sliced them and placed them in the bottom of a loaf pan. Poured a small amount of brown sugar over them. For the topping I used:
 2 tablespoons of Earth Balance Spread
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of Oats
I melted the spread in the microwave and then placed all the ingredients in a bowl to mix it together and poured it on top of the pears. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

One Pot Pasta

This is a super easy and delicious one pot meal. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love a meal all in the same pot cause I hate to do dishes. Here is what you need.
1 pkg of fresh mushrooms sliced
1 can of diced tomatoes with basil and garlic with liquid
2 tsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion
2 pkg of asparagus
3  cloves of garlic, diced
I box of Fettuccini noodles
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth ( or 4 1/2 cups of water and two veggie bullion cubes)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
5 oz fresh spinach
1/8 cup of fresh basil cut into strips
Put all ingredients into the pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, place a lid on it and cook 10 minutes. Stirring every few minutes. I served with crescent rolls and pear crisp.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

This was always my favorite holiday growing up. We never had a lot of money and for some reason my mom only bought corned beef brisket once a year. It was my favorite of all meats. I am still not sure why I loved it so much, but my obsession got so bad that I used to order it whenever I was somewhere that offered it on the menu.  It became a compulsion to try the corned beef no matter where I was. My best friend used to pick on me because it didn’t matter if it came in a sandwich, a hash or as a main course I would order it wherever we went.

Last year for St. Patrick’s Day I had my first stumble. I was about six months into being Vegan and so far I had done really well and not cheated at all. I went to Brunch with a friend from college at Biscotti’s in Avondale. I took one look at the Brunch menu and my heart sunk. There it was corned beef hash with eggs and toast. My go to menu item. I frantically started searching the menu for something else to order, the only problem was that once I saw the hash I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I did see fresh fruit on the menu, but not another item that would be vegan. Thinking I had made it six months and deserved a treat I made the decision to order the hash. To this day I am not sure if it was the eggs or the corned beef, but I got sick! Needless to say I was not ready to cheat again for quite a while.
Arriving at church today and seeing a sea of green I realized that my favorite holiday had snuck up on me this year. I of course was NOT wearing green but worst of all I didn’t have a meal planned for dinner. After returning home from church I started looking online for recipe ideas. I came across a recipe for vegan corned beef on The Peaceful Kitchen and had most of the ingredients, so I decided to modify it a bit and give it a try. The flavor was really good, but it didn’t hold together quite as nice as I would like, so I stirred some into my cooked cabbage instead of eating it on the side. I had potatoes earlier, so I didn’t see the need to have them again, but did cook some green beans to go along with my cabbage and vegan corned beef. I am excited that there is enough left over “corned beef” to make hash in the morning. I should have time too since I start my new job tomorrow, but not until 9:30 am. Here is what you need for the corned beef:

1 15 ounce can Kidney Beans
1 cup cooked brown rice
½ cup walnuts
½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 Tablespoons of coconut flour (I put coconut into my wheat grinder, not a great idea, it got a little sticky)
1 teaspoon ground caraway seed (I threw this into the wheat grinder to try to force out the coconut, it worked but not well)
1 teaspoon of Spike brand seasoning
½ teaspoon of mustard powder

½ Tablespoon of Onion Powder

¼ teaspoon of ground cloves

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

½ Tablespoon molasses

1 Tablespoon of Bragg’s liquid amino acids

2 Tablespoons olive oil

In a food processor pulse the walnuts until broken down. Add in the rest of the ingredients and run until well combined. Form mixture into a load and place on a well-oiled cookie sheet, oil the sides and top of the loaf and bake for 40 minutes in a 350° oven. Take out and slice thinly and bake another 10 minutes. Mine kind of crumbled, so I am not sure if I needed more liquid. If you want you could add up to a half a cup of vegetable broth for a moister loaf.

Friday, March 15, 2013


I was out having dinner with friends tonight and the topic of veganism came up, not surprising. We were talking about making cheese and then i saw a post on twitter about Rejuvelac. I decided that it was as good a time to post this recipe as any, since it is a starter ingredient for making your own cheese.
To make your own Rejuvelac all you need is 1 cup of whole grains, a glass jar and filtered water. I used 1/3 cup brown rice, 1/3 cup rye berries and 1/3 cup of wheat berries. Put grains in a jar and cover with water, put a paper towel over the mouth of the jar and tie off with a rubber band. Let soak 8-12 hours before draining. Add a small amount of water and keep in a warm place out of sunlight until tails form (about 2-3 days) rinsing the grains twice a day.

Divide sprouts into two jars and cover with 3 cups of filtered water in each jar. Cover with paper towels and rubber bands and leave in a warm place out of sunlight for another 2-3 days. It will look kind of cloudy and white and smell tart like lemon juice when done. Strain liquid into clean glass jars and store up to 4 weeks in the fridge.

I'll be posting a cheese recipe in a few days. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Let them eat spinach

Soup that is! The weather turned cool again today, which surprised me since it is the middle of March in Florida. Typically this time of year the weather is warm to downright hot! Since that is not the case, I thought I would take what may be my last chance to eat soup while the weather is still cool. Soup always reminds me of my childhood, where we only had soup whenever the weather was cool, and never in the summer. My mother used to say that she didn’t want to eat something hot while the weather is warm. Maybe it was growing up in the South, where when the weather is hot it is scorching, but more likely it was the fact that we didn’t have central heat and air. This soup is quick, easy but most important delicious. Here is what you need:

1 can of Great Northern Beans
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
1 onion, diced
2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
3 cups of Vegetable Broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
8 oz Spinach
Start with a large soup pot and add in the oil, garlic and onion. Cook about 5 minutes before adding in the potatoes. Continue cooking until potatoes are soft but not mushy add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Change is a good thing!

As most of you know there has been a lot of change to my life recently, and to help with what can be a somewhat stressful situation, I have adopted a new motto. Change is a good thing!

I have realized that change gives you the opportunity to reach for your dreams. It is always hard when something ends that was a major part of your life, the trick is to take it as an experience and learn from it. To have it be a part of what shapes you and not the only thing that defines you. To each story there is both the dark night and the silver lining. I would like to encourage you, and myself to look for the glitter; trust me you will be happy you did. After all what girl doesn't like a little glitter? Or in my case a lot of glitter!

I am excited at the opportunity I have been given to try something new, but I would be lying if I were to tell you that it isn’t scary. Scary can be good though. Think about the first rollercoaster you ever went on. For me, the line was super long. I think it may have taken 30-45 minutes to reach the part where you are put in the seat. Next comes the lap bar, and I remember being amazed that something so small was all that would be holding me in. Once the ride starts, slow and creeping at first gradually gaining speed until you reach the top and then you are slung back into your seat with so much force you begin to wonder if the lap bar is even necessary. You feel so pasted to the seat you aren’t sure you could move even if you wanted to. There may be some dips and turns, but before you know it you are crawling again and there is the realization that the ride is almost over. For me I couldn’t wait to get back in the line and start it all over again. Thinking back on this experience, and realizing how trying something new turned out so well makes me question: why the heck I waited so long to get started?

The answer is simple, complacency. I got complacent. I wasn’t happy, but I convinced myself that I was happy enough. What does that even mean? Why is it that I let fear rule my life? I know it might sound crazy to say that I am grateful I lost my job. But the last few weeks have really given me a chance to get to know myself again, and to make a commitment to chase my dreams. I started this blog to share my journey into a plant based diet and I didn’t even realize that at the same time I was expressing my love of writing. I have not been overly regular in blogging, or formatting my writing for that matter, but I want to make that commitment to be more dedicated to the blog and to my writing. I hope you will join me and remember that all that glitters may not be gold, but it can still be pretty.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dark Chocolate Balsamic Candied Walnut, Pear and Watercress Salad

Today was amazing. I got a totally genius idea. Dark chocolate balsamic candied walnuts! I only have one word for you - Amazing. They are pretty simple to make, although I will admit that cleanup is not a breeze, you will probably wanna let the pan soak a while before washing.  Here is what you need to make the candied walnuts:
2 Tbs Florida Crystals Organic Cane Sugar
1 cup of raw walnuts
In a warmed saute pan add in the vinegar and the sugar. Cook until bubbly one to two minutes, add in the walnuts and coat with mixture. Cook about 2 more minutes before removing them from pan. Let cool on waxed paper.

For the Salad:
2-3 cups Watercress
1 red pear, sliced
1 cup of Candied Walnuts ( see above)
2 oz of Daiya Jalapeno Garlic Havarti Style Wedge, cut into small cubes

Layer ingredients in order from top to bottom. I served this without a salad dressing as it is sweet from the candied nuts. Enjoy!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fried Green Tomatoes

This was something I would eat before going veg, and I am thrilled to have a recipe to share. It was so good. I started my second part time job today. At 1 pm my work day was over and I was at home thinking about the blog. A few events have come up in the last few hours to keep me from posting, but I am determined. The breading didn't quite stay on as much as I would have liked, but these were seriously yummy. Here is what you need:

1 green tomato, sliced
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 c. Vegan Parm or Parmazano
1 1/2 c. soymilk
2 tsp of The Vegg
Oil for frying

Mix The Vegg and soymilk in a blender for 15 seconds. This becomes the egg mixture for battering, pour into a shallow bowl. In a seperate bowl pour the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and Parm, stir well. Place each slice of tomato in the eggless mixture and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Coat evenly and place in hot oil. Cook about 5 minutes each side. Place on a papertowel lined dish to drain and cool. Serve with Dill Veganise.

Dill Veganise:
1/2 tsp dried dill
1 Tbs Veganise
Mix together, Enjoy!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Strawberry Orange Juice

I am a Florida girl after all. This beautiful recipe is super simple. I put 1 cup of water and a half a pound of strawberries in the Blendtec and hit the whole juice button. For the Orange juice part I like a citrus juicer. I cut about 8 oranges in half and juiced them, then poured the two together. I realize this isn't a difficult recipe, but trust me it is AMAZING and you will feel great when you drink on it. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Very Veggie Quiche

So a while back I was reading a cookbook, yes I actually do that, and I saw a recipe for quiche that called for white beans, and the light bulb went on. I love tofu quiches, but thought why not try half and half. Not the milk cream product, but half tofu and half beans as the base for the quiche. My first quiche that I posted was super tasty, but kinda crumbly and did not stand up like this one did. Don't forget if you are single or don't have the ability to eat a whole quiche, they freeze really well. In fact, i froze this one! Of course that was after eating half of it in one sitting. I figured a little moderation was in order. If freezing, defrost on counter for 30-45 minutes. Heat skillet with a bit of oil and cook in the skillet 5 minutes each side. The quiche has 4 sides, yes I mean stand it up on each of the sides, don't just cook it front and back. Here is what you need:

1 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 12.3 oz pkg Mori-Nu Silken Tofu, drained
3.5 oz Daiya Havarti style wedge, I used the Jalapeno Garlic ( or any other dairy free cheese)
1 Tbs Olive Oil
fresh veggies ( you can use whatever you have on hand) I used:
Spinach, Onions, Carrots, Mushrooms, Broccoli stalks, and Orange Pepper
1 clove garlic
1 pre-made vegan pie crust, I like the whole wheat variety.

Place the first three ingredients in the blender and pulse until smooth. Add oil and garlic to a skillet, once warmed, add in the veggies and saute until tender. Mix in the blender mixture to the veggies, stir well to combine. Pour into the prepared pie crust and bake 30-45 minutes at 400 degrees. Let cool before serving to allow time to thicken.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Cherry Berry Juice

Today I was feeling Juicy, and loving the simple things in life. I took
a handful of frozen strawberries
about a 1/4 cup frozen cherries
a cup of frozen blueberries
a cup of water
Add all ingredients to  a  Blendtec and hit the whole juice button. I love making juices in the blender because the cleanup is a breeze and you don't miss out on any of the fiber that you may loose using a juicer. If using fresh fruit and a high speed blender you will want to add a handful of ice for a cold juice. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy Mint Chocolate Day!

I made ice cream, well sort of, it came out more like milkshake consistency, very thin milkshake consistency. Needless to say the recipe still needs some tweaking. Stay tuned, I will get this right and when I do I will post it! In the mean time enjoy a pick of my mistake.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

My friend Casey and I had our monthly craft night with her 4 year old son Hogan. Since it was close to Valentines we couldn't help but make a these awesome chocolate peanut butter hearts. They were super easy and as you can see kid approved.

Here is what you need:
Vegan Chocolate Chips
Vegetable Shortening

All natural peanut butter
I know what you are thinking and that is it. I didn't give amounts cause that all depends on how many you want to make. Start out with a bag of chips, a jar of peanut butter and 1 tbs of shortening and go from there. I buy my chips at Costco, cause they rock! but the bag is much bigger, so it is impossible to know how much I used since I didn't measure. Pour off the oil on the peanut butter and let it sit for a day out side of the refrigerator, pour off any excess oil that may be in the peanut butter after letting it rest for a day. Melt half of the chocolate chips with half of the shortening, this just makes the chocolate easier to spread, and pour into muffin papers or a pliable mold. I used a silicone cupcake mold to make mine. Place papers or mold on a baking sheet prior to starting. Pour enough chocolate in each of the papers or mold you are using to cover the bottom. Place in freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from freezer and add the peanut butter layer. Place back in freezer about 10 more minutes before pouring the next chocolate layer, this will give your peanut butter a chance to set up. Melt the rest of the chips with the last of the shortening and pour over the tops. Return tray to freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Enjoy. Store left overs in refrigerator. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Spinach Lasagne

Man this was GOOD! It should come with a warning label it was that good! Here's what you need.

Your favorite spaghetti sauce, I put lots of veggies in mine, so they aren't listed in the ingredients
1/2 box of lasagne noodles raw!
1 bag Daiya shreds mozzarella style
1 cube of firm tofu
3 Tbs lemon juice
2 tsp Granulated garlic powder
2 tsp Dried basil
4-6 oz spinach

In a bowl drain tofu and crush with fork. You want the consistency of cottage cheese. Add in lemon juice, basil and garlic powder stir together. Put a little sauce in the bottom of a baking pan. Add noodles. Place all the spinach on top and add sauce. The next layer is the tofu layer. Add more noodle and sauce layers as desired top with the entire bag of shreds. I make a 9x13 pan. Bake in 350 degree oven 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

January Food Swap

I received a lovely box this month from Jenn and Otis. It was full of sweets and other little surprises! I was drawn a picture and made a pennant that says Vegan! Thanks guys it was awesome.

What's that I hear you say. You want to join in for February? Click here to sign up. It is almost as much shopping for the box to send off as it is getting one!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Coconut Cupcakes

Happy New Year. I had a few friends over last night to ring in the new year in style, I made us some snacks, there was roasted red pepper and olive hummus, with veggies; guacamole and tortilla chips; Lemonade to drink, we had some sparkling grape juice at midnight; lemon cherry cheesecake and the oh so fabulous, you are going to want to rush right out to the store to buy the ingredients if you don't already have them coconut cupcakes. Seriously they should come with a warning label that says CRACK! Because they are seriously addictive. I looked at a few recipes and decided to wing it based on what I had on hand. Mainly because after 3 trips to the grocery store, I didn't want to make another.  This morning my best friend and I ate cupcakes and honeydew for breakfast, what a great way to start a new year, good food and even better friends. Here is what you need for the cupcakes:

1 3/4 cup flour (I like unbleached all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup Sugar ( I use Florida Crystals and I think they are sweeter, so you might want a little extra sugar if using a different brand)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of coconut milk ( I used So Delicious Unsweetened coconut milk)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup cupcake pan with papers. Whisk together the coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar. Add in the rest of ingredients and mix to combine. Do not over mix. Divide the mixture evenly between the papers and bake for about 18 minutes or until they smell heavenly and a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

For the frosting. You need a little more effort. I had made candies for my family for Christmas presents this year. My grandmother used to be the one to do this, but she passed away a few years ago and this year I thought it would be a fun way to bring a little piece of her to the holidays. I didn't have any of her recipes and I wanted the candy to be a little healthier. The only problem was that more than one of the things I wanted to make took Sweetened Condensed Milk, which is not vegan and impossible to find. So I looked up a recipe. It seemed easy enough, only it didn't tell me that it would take 2 hours to make it. After making my caramels and using all of my sweetened condensed milk I almost gave up on our traditional coconut balls, as they too take sweetened condensed milk. But I did a little more web surfing and found this page. The directions were painless and it only took about 5 minutes. I will be using this recipe again, every time I want sweetened condensed milk and don't care if its a bit coconutty. So for the icing you need:

Sweetened condensed milk (use the recipe tagged above)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup powdered sugar

 Start by putting the powdered sugar, coconut and pecans in a bowl. While stirring it the mixture add in the sweetened condensed milk until it reaches a frosting like texture, if you use all your milk and don't have enough a little coconut milk can be used to thin it further, if making the coconut balls, you want the mixture thick though really thick stiff enough to hold shape when covered in chocolate.

I let the frosting sit at room temperature, while the cupcakes are baking and cooling. Once the cupcakes are cooled. Frost them. I also rolled the frosted cupcakes in very fine unsweetened coconut to make them prettier. Enjoy.