heat

Vegan Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes!

 

Brooklyn vs Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes - adapted from vegan cupcakes take over the world, by isa chandra moskowitz and terry hope romero - I highly recommend this book if you a) are vegan b) love to cook or c) just love good food!!! yields 12 cupcakes

filling

  • 1/2c soy/almond milk
  • 1/2t agar powder or 1½t agar flakes
  • 4t arrowroot powder
  • 6oz silken tofu
  • 1/3c sugar
  • dash salt
  • 1½t vanilla

ganache

  • 1/4c soy/almond milk
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2T maple syrup

cupcake

  • 1c soy/almond milk
  • 1t apple cider vinegar
  • 1¼c all purpose flour
  • 2T cornstarch
  • 3/4t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/2c non-hydrogenated vegan butter (Earth Balance is great)
  • 3/4c sugar
  • 2¼t vanilla

  1. for the filling, pour 1/3c soy milk into a small saucepan (keep the remaining soy in the measuring cup, you’ll need it in a minute) over medium heat and add agar, stirring constantly
  2. bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 4 more minutes, until the agar is completely dissolved
  3. whisk arrowroot powder into rest of soy milk, and add to agar mixture, constantly stirring
  4. allow to cook for 2 more minutes, until it resembles a thick pudding, then remove from heat and chill for an hour
  5. crumble tofu into blender, add the sugar, salt, and cooked arrowroot mixture and blend until creamy
  6. add vanilla and blend again
  7. scrape mixture into a container and cover, then let chill for another hour
  8. for the ganache, bring soy milk to a gentle boil in a small sauce pan
  9. immediately remove from heat and add chocolate and maple syrup
  10. stir mixture until it is fully melted and smooth, then set aside til ready to use
  11. for the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350º and line muffin pan with cupcake liners
  12. whisk soy milk and vinegar together and set aside a few minutes to curdle
  13. sift flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and ensure combined
  14. cream vegan butter and sugar for 2 minutes until light and fluffy, then beat in vanilla
  15. alternate beating in soy milk/apple cider mixture and dry ingredients
  16. bake for 22 minutes, then remove and allow to completely cool
  17. make a hole in the center of each cupcake, then press the sides and bottom of hole to make it larger
  18. fill a pastry bag with a large nozzle, then place filling into bag
  19. press tip into cupcake and fill each center with as much filling as possible
  20. spread the tops of the cupcakes with ganache
  21. chill for one hour and FINALLY enjoy!

Book Review: Guide to the Names of God

In the heat of  the summer, a great read is  always "hot!" Guide to the Names of God is the newest publication of Dr. Dianne Haneke. It is a reference book with over three hundred of the names of God in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek. Each entry includes the meaning of the name, the first place the name is found in the scriptures as well as to whom God first revealed Himself with that particular attribute. The book is unique  in its organization. Dr. Haneke's research covers both Old and New Testament and the the results  are  divided  into the following sections:

  • Hebrew names of God
  • Over-arching attributes of God
  • Provisional Names & Titles of God
  • Redemptive Names & Titles of God
  • Other Titles of God the Father
  • Other Titles of God the Son
  • Other Titles of God the Holy Spirit

This organization gives the reader the opportunity to develop an in-depth knowledge of  one facet of God's personality at a time. As the reader becomes familiar with the story included in the entry, God's attributes move from the abstract to the concrete. Dr. Haneke also provides an Application section where the reader can personalize this attribute for his/her life.

The author provides additional scriptures for the reader to continue to study other locations and instances where that particular attribute was evident as well as lexical studies for further research.

Again, I must speak of the book's organization. Each section begins with its own Table of Contents, making it simple for the reader to locate exactly what he/she is looking for. For example, as I perused the section, Names of God the Holy Spirit, I was able to choose to learn about the Spirit of Grace, Spirit of Judgement or the Spirit of Knowledge, three of eighteen names of the Holy Spirit.

Although this book is categorized as a reference book, it doubles as a devotional, a book that is comforting to the soul. It can just as easily find its home in a library for scholarly studies as well as on  a nightstand as the last reminder of who God is at the end of day. Guide to the Names of God is an appropriate book for a large demographic; young and old, longtime student of the Bible or someone just wondering about who God is.

To order your own copy, go to:

http://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore

Refreshing Strawberry Lemonade

This recipe is a fun twist to traditional lemonade and makes it a true thirst-quencher and summertime favorite. Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated organic lemon peel
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
  • 1 pint fresh organic strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 cups cold sparkling water
  • Ice
  • Whole organic strawberries and sliced lemons for garnish

Method

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.

Add the lemon peel, lemon juice, stir, and remove from the heat.

Let cool completely, then strain into a clean pitcher.

Puree the strawberries in a blender and add to the pitcher with the lemon juice.

Stir well to combine and refrigerate until well chilled.

Add the sparkling water and stir well.

Pour over glasses filled with ice and serve, garnished with mint, lemon slices and strawberries.

Now, grab a good book, snuggle up in a nice cushy chair and enjoy.

Tasty Mac and Cheese

Some say that macaroni and cheese is the ultimate in comfort food. While I agree, this old-time favorite makes a special appearance  just a few times during the year in my household.  As well,  holiday meals are simply incomplete without this cheesy indulgence.  Just a few years ago, I remember making a special trip to the grocery store on Christmas morning because this all important dish was not included on the menu -- the family was in uproar!!

Try it out and you may never go back to the 'box'!

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups organic whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ - ¾ cup Sautéed Onion & Garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Cheddar (about 6 ounces)
  • ½ cup Asiago Cheese
  • Tex-Joy or season salt

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain well.
  • Sauté onion and garlic in the remaining 5 tablespoons butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the flour, and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let the flour brown.
  • Using a whisk, add the milk in a steady stream and cook, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, 4 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Add the salt, pepper, Tex-Joy or Season salt, and 2 cups of the cheese, and stir well.
  • Add the noodles and Asiago cheese and stir well.
  • Pour into the prepared dish.
  • Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese evenly over the macaroni and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

It's a New Season Ladies!

The weather is changing, the leaves are falling and we are on the look out for the boot sale at DSW. Yup it's that time again...fall...a new season! But isn't it a good thing that it does change. Can you imagine bearing the summer weather all year long? No way! Just when we think we can't take the 100 degree heat anymore, we get a break and its fall again. Not too hot or too cold, but just right. I like to think that is how it works with us. Many times we go through some really tough seasons as single women, but just when you think you can't take it anymore or you’re ready to give up, God gives you a little break...a change in seasons. Not too hot or too cold, but just right. I’m going through a season right now and I can’t quite see the end of the tunnel yet, but with the changing to this fall season, it gives me hope that I will soon get my break and I will get refreshed and will recover so I can embrace the next heat wave with wisdom and confidence. Each season helps you for the next, so don't always think it's a bad thing, think of it as a way to prepare yourself for what might come in the future.

So this Thanksgiving, remember to be grateful for the ever changing seasons in our lives and be encouraged to know that it’s only going to make you a stronger woman for your children, family and friends. God always knows when it's time for a little change.