Feb 23

coffee cake cupcakes

Sometimes I feel like a recipe and I are meant to be.  I felt that way about Butter Pecan Cupcakes. I had a true love connection with Chocolate Covered Potato Chips. I am certain that Baked Salt and Vinegar Potato Wedges are my culinary soul mates. And now here I am again, falling head over heels for The Shiksa in the Kitchen’s Coffee Cake Cupcakes. I first saw these beauties back in the fall and they’ve been on my mind ever since. It only took a couple of tweaks to make the recipe vegan, and now I am left with a breakfast-for-dessert and dessert-for-breakfast that will forever hold a place in my heart (and belly).

Coffee Cake Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from The Shiksa in the Kitchen
Makes 12 cupcakes
Printable recipe

Cupcake ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups vegan refined sugar
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread or another vegan butter substitute, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Streusel ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon melted Earth Balance or vegan butter substitute

Glaze ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups vegan confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon melted Earth Balance or vegan butter substitute

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a cupcake tin or line with baking cups.

In a small bowl, stir together the streusel ingredients until combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder and sea salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the Earth Balance and the refined sugar on low-medium speed until fluffy.

Add in the applesauce, almond milk and vanilla extract.

Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until fully combined.

Stir the distilled white vinegar into the batter.

Spoon the batter into the cupcake tin until it is half full, then sprinkle on some of the streusel mixture. Repeat once more, adding more batter and another layer of streusel on top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly.

While the cupcakes cool, make the glaze by whisking all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Spoon or drizzle the glaze over top of the cupcakes.

I hope you all enjoy this last weekend of February. I hope to eat a couple of these cupcakes and get in at least one nap with some kits.

That is, if they’ll have me.

Feb 18

coconut dragon bowl

This Coconut Dragon Bowl is inspired by the Dragon Bowl Z served at 14 Carrots on 14th street in NYC. I kept the veggies and raisins from the menu, but I replaced their combo of red wine vinegar, soy sauce and roasted pepper drizzle with just one ingredient: coconut oil.

The great thing about this recipe is that it can be easily altered to fit anyone’s taste. Feel free to use these ingredients that are listed or toss in some extras.

PS – Court Kitty would not shut up until I let you guys know that he received a new box today, gifted from a nice man from a mysterious land called Fresh Direct.

He said you’re all invited over to watch him sit, sleep and roll around in his new box for the next six hours, in exchange for some chin rubs and face-on-face snuggles.

Coconut Dragon Bowl
Makes two big bowls

Printable recipe


  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  • sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and chop up your vegetables. Toss the chopped veggies in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, heat the remaining two tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet and add the brown rice. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the golden raisins, sun-dried tomatoes and scallions. Stir in the roasted vegetables

and pour the mixture over a bed of romaine lettuce.

This bowl leaves me feeling full and energized. It’s also great as leftovers, so make twice as much as you need and save half to pour over lettuce for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner.

Feb 08

red velvet cupcakes

Although Moose and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day, I can’t turn my back on a day that’s designated for sweets and snuggles. And while I know there is no shortage of red velvet cupcake recipes out there, especially around this time of year, I thought it would be a good time to take my Red Velvet Cake recipe (the second recipe I ever posted, oh so long ago) and adapt it to fit into cute little cupcake cups.

Plus, Sebastian loves Valentine’s Day. He loves love more than any cat I’ve ever met.

Harrison’s favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. He also loves love, but he loves food just as much.

Court Kitty’s favorite holidays are any days that don’t involve fireworks.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
Printable recipe

Cake ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegan refined sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil
  • 1 cup vanilla almond or soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • red food coloring (be sure to use food coloring without cochineal/carmine)

Frosting ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups vegan confectioners’ sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, refined sugar, cocoa powder, sea salt and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, stir together the grape seed oil, milk, vanilla extract and red food coloring. You want the mixture to be a bright red color. Don’t make it too dark, the red will turn darker as the cake bakes.

Stir the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients, then stir in the distilled white vinegar.

Pour the batter into cupcake liners

and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly.

While the cupcakes cool, whip up the frosting by placing all ingredients in a large bowl and mixing on low-medium speed until fully combined.

Frost the cupcakes

and enjoy with your Valentine

but NOT with your kitty!

Feb 02

maple sweet potato pecan burgers

It’s Super Bowl time, my friends! I’m crazy excited because this is the first season that I’ve cared about NFL football.

I’m not rooting for either team, I’m just hoping for a very close game with lots of passing plays, several chances for me to yell, “SACK!” and a winner that is determined on a last-second play, preferably in double overtime. Is that too much to ask?

I’m also excited for the very best part of the Super Bowl…Puppy Bowl!

Photo via Animal Planet

Awww so cute! Gimme a wittle puppy wuppy face to snuggle wuggle, please!

I’m planning to stuff my face with these burgers throughout the human game, the doggie game and the Kitty Halftime Show.

These burgers are sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. There’s a hint of cayenne and the nuttiness from the pecans and quinoa helps to make these burgers savory and delicious.


They definitely don’t taste like dessert burgers. (Although, note to self: make dessert burgers). Pretty please do me a favor and make the sweet onion topping to go with the burgers. These babies are good on their own, but the caramelized onion topping takes it to a whole new level of yum. Oh and p.s., the burgers have kale in them, which means that if you eat just one of these burgers, the nutrients from the kale will cancel out any calories ingested from beer or desserts. That’s just how science works.

Maple Sweet Potato Pecan Burgers
Makes 4 burgers
Printable recipe


  • 2 cups peeled, cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus a sprinkle for the onion topping)
  • 1 sweet onion
  • sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 buns of your choice

If your pecans aren’t already dry roasted, you can roast them easily by spreading them out on a baking sheet and baking for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.

To make the burgers, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since sweet potatoes come in all shapes and sizes, I opted to include a measurement of the potatoes already cooked and mashed rather than a total number of sweet potatoes to use. I ended up using three potatoes for this recipe. I microwaved them until soft, then removed the skin and mashed them with a fork in a large bowl.

While your potatoes are cooking, bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan.

Turn the heat down to a low simmer and cover the saucepan, allowing the quinoa to cook for 8-10 minutes. Check the quinoa every couple of minutes since stove temperatures vary. It may cook faster or slower than expected. You’ll know it’s done when the water is almost gone from the pan and the quinoa appears to be nearly transparent instead of its original whitish color.

Remove the quinoa from the stove and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes.

In a separate saucepan, or in a microwave, melt 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread and then stir in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and the cayenne pepper.

Stir the maple syrup sauce in with the mashed sweet potatoes, then stir in the the cooked quinoa, pecans, kale and sea salt.

Form the mixture into four patties and place on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil or another cooking spray. Bake for 45 minutes, turning once at the halfway point.

When the burgers have around 15 minutes left to cook, make the onion topping by roughly chopping the sweet onion and melting the remaining 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion to the melted Earth Balance, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, and cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to low and pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Allow the onions to cook for 3 more minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so.

Remove the onion mixture from the heat and spoon over the tops of the burgers once they have finished baking.