Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Hot Apple Cider

Hot apple cider makes me really feel like it's the holidays. The blend of spice and apples always brings back lots of holiday memories. Every year around the holidays there is a garden where they light up all the trees and bushes, near where I grew up. Each year we would make our way out there, even though they've had the same lights for years, but tradition is tradition. In this lighted up garden there is a house where the landscape keeper stayed, and each year they serve hot apple cider. This is one of the memories I get when I drink hot apple cider. So even though I may not be able to make it back home every year for the holidays, I know when I sip on apple cider, those Christmas memories come right back.

4 cups 100% apple juice
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp whole cloves
a dash of allspice

Place all ingredients into it a sauce pan, and put burner on a medium heat. Let it heat up for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and serve. This can also be made in a crock pot as well.

 I love this recipe because it's so quick and only has a couple of ingredients.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Tree Brownies

Here is a great way to turn a traditional dessert into a festive decadent Christmas tree. The holiday season is a great time to spend with friends and family making memories. I love this recipe because you can make memories with your loved one by making these Christmas Tree Brownies and decorate them together, while listening to classic Christmas music, or watching a classing Christmas movie. 

1/2 cup vegan butter, melted
3/4 or 1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
6 Tbsp water
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup powdered sugar
dash of vanilla extract
2-3 tsp soy milk (or other milk alternative you're wanting to use)
1-2 drops of food coloring if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Line a round 8 inch pan with parchment paper, or grease it. In a large bowl stir together the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. In a separate tiny bowl, mix together the ground flaxseed and water, then add it to the large bowl. Beat in the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Frosting: Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, soy milk, and food coloring, and stir until smooth. 

Once the brownies are completely cooled off, cut them like a pizza, into 8 equal sizes. Drizzle the frosting over them like garland on a tree. You can add any decorations to the trees that you want. I used Red Hots and colored sprinkles as well. For the stem of the tree you can use candy canes.

Eat and enjoy the holiday season and the time you get to enjoy with friends and family. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Grilled Garlic Green Beans

The perfect side dish to your holiday dinner, or any dinner really. Plus the bright green from the green beans gives it that extra burst of color to your meal. This is a super easy recipe, and can be made on a grill pan or just a regular frying pan.

12 oz of fresh green beans
5-7 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

Steam green beans for 3-5 minutes. On a grill add about 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and place steamed green beans on grill. Grill for about 5 minutes, then add minced garlic, and continue to grill for another 5 minutes. Place the green beans on serving plate and add salt to taste.

Benefits of Green Beans
Green beans are a diuretic, they help to invigorate the heart, and also help to reduce blood glucose levels.

Benefits of Garlic
It's a great natural antibiotic, helps to lower cholesterol, increases blood fluidity, it is anti-carcinogenic, helps to combat hypertension, and inhibits the formation of malignant tumors.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Fluffiest Mashed Potatoes Ever

The Fluffiest Mashed Potatoes Ever
Mashed potatoes are a staple to any holiday meal, so it's important to make sure we are serving the best potatoes. This recipe will help give you tips on how to make some of the fluffiest mashed potatoes you have ever had. Come on we have all had those potatoes that were too mushy, gooey or stringy, and we never want to experience those again. Some potatoes are over mixed and turn out too gooey, so this recipe makes sure they don't turn out that way.  I hope you enjoy the video and recipe.

2 1/2 lbs potatoes (use half Idaho potatoes and half Yukon potatoes)
1/2 cup unsweetened milk alternative (soy, rice, whatever type you want)
1/2 cup melted vegan butter (Earth Balance, Smart Balance)
1-2 tsp of salt
1 tsp rosemary (optional)
2 Tbsp minced and sautéed garlic (optional)

Cut and peel potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Placed potatoes in a steamer pot once the water is boiling. Leave the potatoes in the steamer for about 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice to make sure they are being steamed evenly. Once they are finished steaming place them in a bowl and mix them either with a Kitchen Aid or a hand mixer. The trick to fluffy mashed potatoes is not to mix them too much, so make sure you're only mixing them as little as possible, while still making sure they're nice and creamy. In a separate bowl mix the rest of the ingredients, then pour it over the mashed potatoes and stir until it is mixed well. 
You can make these potatoes a day before. All you need to do is heat them up before you are wanting to serve them. Just heat the oven to 350 degrees and let them warm up for about 20-25 minutes. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Turkey Taco Loaf

Christmas Turkey Taco Loaf
This is the perfect vegetarian dish for the holidays, when you don't feel like spending much time in the kitchen. During the holidays I love spending time with family and friends, which means I need to cut down my time in the kitchen. That's why I love this recipe, plus you can make it the day before and just heat it up minutes before your dinner. The idea for the recipe actually came from my mom, because she typically makes this for our holidays meals. So you too can make it a family tradition. 

This part is it the most simple, as long as your health food store has these in stock. I use the Worthington turkey log, but you can also make my other turkey recipe and slice it up for this recipe as well. 

Stuffing Recipe:
1 package bread crumbs
5 Tbsp vegan butter
1/2 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 Tbsp McKay's Chick'n Seasoning
1 tsp sage
1/2 tsp thyme

Gravy Recipe: 
1/3 cup vegan butter
1/3 cup flour
1 Tbsp McKay's beef seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup water
1 cup soy milk

Benefits of Garlic
It's a great natural antibiotic, helps to lower cholesterol, increases blood fluidity, it is anti-carcinogenic, helps to combat hypertension, and inhibits the formation of malignant tumors. 

Benefits of Onion
Loosens bronchial mucus, prevents arteriosclerosis, and also helps prevents cancer.

This is the Worthington veggie turkey loaf that can be used in the recipe. You can always use whatever veggie turkey you want to slice up for this recipe. 

Enjoy the holidays! 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Bloopers 3: Mistakes Happen

Apparently I make a lot of mistakes when making the cooking videos, which is why I'm able to share them with you all. Let's be serious, the bloopers are just more fun to watch. Just make sure you keep watching the other videos, and I promise I'll keep making mistakes. Deal? Deal.