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Thursday, March 29

Fat Free, Dairy Free Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Do you tinker with recipes as much as I do?  There's always something that needs adjusting, no?
This very moist, cake-y pumpkin bread recipe was no different.  The original had buckets of sugar and not enough spices, so I fixed it and here you go:-)


FAT FREE DAIRY FREE VEGAN PUMPKIN BREAD

350* Oven   -     60-75minutes    -    Makes 2 loaves
Lightly oil your bread pans and set aside.
Mix together:
2 C. canned pumpkin (from 15 oz can)
1 C. unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana 
2 C. brown or cane sugar (you can use less if you wish to cut down further)
1 C. Water
Ener-G Egg Replacer for 4 eggs (or 4 flax seed meal 'eggs', i.e. 1/3C flax meal w/ 1/2C water)

Mix together:
3 1/3 C. flour
1 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
1 t nutmeg 
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t cloves
1 t salt

Blend wet and dry well with a spatula and divide into the two oiled pans.   Sprinkle sugar or cinnamon/sugar mix on top. Bake in center of oven for about 75 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.  Let cool.  The taste is much better the second day.

Fat free means no nasty oil all over your hands and coating your precious blood vessels!  Next time I make this I think I will reduce the sugar by a full 1/2 C. and I'm sure no one will even notice.  Enjoy!


Saturday, March 10

Red, White & Blue FAT FREE Vegan Muffins You Must Try!

It's time for a recipe post, no?  For at least 12 years, every Tuesday, Great Harvest Bakery in Boulder, Colorado bakes the most insane bread you've ever indulged in.  I'm not saying it's healthy, but damn! is it worth the splurge.  When we were DIRT poor (grad school anyone?) and living in Boulder I would make sure I set aside $8 (gasp*#!@) every couple weeks just so I could walk over and grab a loaf.  Yes, it was worth the penny jar.  

R,W & B Bread is the perfect white bread with cherries and blueberries.  That's it.  
Total perfection.  Complete bliss in every starchy, carby bite.  
Heaven. 
I've known visitors to pack a loaf or three in their suitcase to take home.  

The jones was so bad this morning that I decided it was worth an attempt at vegan, no oil, customizing a favorite non-vegan blueberry muffin recipe.  Eureka!  It worked and the kids nearly finished off the batch straight out of the oven.

You're welcome.


Red, White and Blue Fat Free Vegan Muffins 
(fresh blueberries, dried sweetened tart cherries* or currants)

18 muffins - grease muffin tin first.  350* 20-25 min.

Prep:
Soak 1/3c. dried Sweetened Tart Cherries, chopped roughly, in 1/2C. of warm water (save the water!!) while you measure & mix the following:

Dry:  Mix well 
  • 2 1/2C White Flour OR 1 1/2C White + 1/2C Millet & 1/2C Tapioca Flours (OR try another GF blend?)
  • 3/4 C Cane Sugar (less if you wish, but try the recipe first and adjust on your second batch:-)
  • 4t Baking Powder (1T + 1t.)
  • 1/2t Salt
  • zest of one Orange or Lemon (optional)

Wet: Mix well
  • 1/3C mashed Banana with a splash of water added - fork mash it until very smooth {oil substitute}
  • Vegan Buttermilk - that is, 3/4C sweetened Non-dairy Milk w/ 1t. of Lemon Juice or Vinegar blended in
  • 1/4C blended Chia Seeds (blend in coffee grinder 20 seconds until powdered) whisked into your reserved Cherry water (set aside cherries)  {This is your extra nutritious egg substitute}
  • 1C fresh, rinsed Blueberries

Mix the dry and wet ingredients except for the berries/cherries. If the dough is really dry** add splashes of water until it’s gooey & shiny, but sticks well to a spoon.  It should not be runny,  nor too dry. Gently fold in blueberries and chopped cherries.  Drop by spoonful into greased tin filling each cup about 2/3s full.  You should easily get 18 muffins.  Bake and stick knife in center to test for doneness.
CHOW!  

Caveat - these are definitely better the second day when the flavors have blended.  I dare you to find a hiding spot where the fam won't find them.  They freeze very well.  Great in sack lunches when packed in a container to avoid the smoosh.

* I find dried, sweetened tart cherries at my natural grocery store in the bulk section (Natural Grocers Vitamin Cottage)

**(millet/tapioca flours and chia seeds will do this as they really soak up liquid)




Now, get on with your happy self.  EAT MORE PLANTS, PEEPS!
Be Green, Eat Green, Wear Green.  






Saturday, January 13

DIY Up Cycled Gift Bows


If you feel guilty like me about recycling calendars and magazines when they're out of date, there's a cure - convert them into dramatic bows to use for years to come! 
I'm sure there are multiple ways to make them, but this is what I know, so get some scissors, a stapler, a cereal box and a hot glue gun and let's go...

1.  Cut a small circle out of a cereal box about 2-3" diameter - no need for perfection, just a rough one will do.  CAVEAT: I am all about quick & dirty, but if you thrive on precision, knock yourself out with the compass and ruler:-)
2.  Choose a magazine or calendar page and cut strips about 1/2" wide the shortest length of your page.  Again, just free hand, no need for super straight cutting and measuring.  If a magazine, the finished strips will measure about 1/2" x 8".  Cut these in half so they are about 4" long.  If a calendar your strips might be longer and will make larger bows.



1/2" x 4" strips with photobomb deer - mountain living at it's best!

 3.  Take one short strip and curve the ends so one overlaps the other one, making a pointy piece.  If you paper isn't too thick (calendars are usually thicker than mags) you can hot glue the ends together, otherwise you may have to staple.  Try glue first, but if they pop open, staple them.  Make about 18 of these before you assemble the bow.  If your pointy piece is too long and the ends overlap too much, trim them down.





4. Here's where the artistic part kicks in.  Plan your layers out so you have a pleasing arrangement of colors/patterns.  Or wing it and revel in serendipity. 
Next, begin assembly:  Hot glue or staple the pointy pieces, one at a time, close together, around the edges of your circle like so:


Finished first layer
5.  Once you have the first layer attached, start placing the second layer, making these pointy pieces fit between the others.  In the example above you will have 7 pointy pieces on the second layer. I show a stapler here because the glue wouldn't hold this stiff, shiny calendar paper very well. If you have larger gaps between some of them, it won't make much difference once you fill in the other layers; trust me;-)


6.  Once you have all of the open spaces on the 2nd layer done, continue with layer three.  If your circle is pretty full, skip layer 3 and decide how you're going to finish the center*.  Or, if you have room for layer three, continue as before.  
*To finish the center you can make a single loop or try to fit 2-3 pieces in.  It's difficult to glue them in at this point, so you may only get 2 pieces to fit.  If using a loop and it looks too scrawny try cutting a wider strip and using that. Or, get crazy and make curls or shredded pieces that burst out like a firecracker!


finished 2nd layer
starting layer 3



Finished bow with a looped center. 



This is a large Vogue magazine bow with both a third row and a center loop.  Make some! Have fun!











Tuesday, May 23

Commemorative



I had the distinct honor of creating a commemorative item for a friend whom lost her mother a few years back.  I was given carte blanche to transform her Mamma's favorite tie-dyed shirt into something more her style.   While at first intimidating - cutting up memories!!! - it rapidly became my favorite commission ever.  Blessed.  Honored.  Flattered.

BEFORE
AFTER

Et VOILA!  A long scarf.  And just in time for Mothers Day. One of my goals was to use every inch of the shirt, especially the neckline and cuffs, which usually get discarded.  I am happy to announce I converted the neckline into a necklace and the cuffs morphed into the posies thereon.  Only a wee bag of scraps were left.  As close to Zero Waste if ever there was! 


Posy Neckline Necklace
      



Scraps




  

Friday, May 19

NEW NAME!

We have a fresh new name!  

Everything will now be under Flora Frock and Fauna.  A quick analysis of the name will explain why, but here's the skinny anyway.  Since we are a sustainable fashion line we wanted to completely encapsulate everything beautiful that this stands for in our name.  Therefore:


  • FLORA - sustainable fabrics mean they come from flora/plants: organic cotton, organic hemp and the like.


  • FROCK - but not just dresses!


  • FAUNA - being eco friendly means we love everything about Mother Earth, especially her animals.  What's good for Her is good for them is good for you is good for us.  Most of our items are vegan - no animal products used - but occasionally, as you know, we use up cycled woolens and cashmere. 

So, welcome to the new Flora Frock and Fauna!  May we wander far and dazzle always.

Monday, March 6

Best Bean Soup Ever

So, I have this crazy 2nd cousin named Zeke whom is famous in the family for many things among them that he's raced the legendary Gumball 3000 road rally through Europe and crewed a boat in The America's Cup during the early '80s.  Zeke's a character, you might say and beloved by all.  

He also happens to have created the world's best black bean soup recipe, at least in my book.
Have at it!  Warning - it makes a huge pot, so if you don't plan to eat if for a week or feed a crowd, cut in half:-)  It takes less than 1/2 hour to make - bonus!

Zeke's 20 Minute Black Bean Soup
5 - 15 oz cans Black Beans, drained (can substitute red or kidney beans for some)
5 C. Chicken or Veg. broth
2T. Olive Oil
2 Onions, minced
3-5 cloves Garlic, minced
1T. Cumin
3-5 - 16oz cans Hominy (white or yellow)
1/4 C. Worcestershire
1 1/2 t. Tabasco
1 1/2 t. Salt

OPTIONAL toppings/sides:
Cilantro and or/ Avocado, Sour Cream 
Tortillas, Tortilla Chips or Cornbread
  • Puree 1/2 of your beans and 1 can of Hominy in a blender.  
  • Sauté onion and garlic in the oil until clear.  Add everything but the serving items.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer a minimum of 10 minutes but no more than 30.  Quicky soup!
  • Serve with toppings of choice

END of WINTER SALE!!!

Everything except custom orders are ON SALE!!!  Get your cashmere scarves at a reduced price for next year - $5 off as marked.  

Links are all in our Etsy store to the right of your screen.  Thank you for a wonderful winter season.  Now, let's move on toward spring, shall we? 


Cotton scarves for vegans too:-)