Pumpkin Sage Scones with Spicy Cherry Jam

Pumpkin Sage Scones with Spicy Cherry Jam- Baker Bettie

That time of year is here again. That obnoxious time, that I secretly love, where anything and everything is pumpkin spice flavored. And I hear both sides of the coin all the time. There are the people that are totally into it. All out pumpkin eeeeeverything. And they tweet and instagram and facebook it all. “First pumpkin spice latte of the season ya’ll!” You know the kind. Maybe you are the kind. I’m not judging. But then there are those that mock that side. They’re all, “Why is everything pumpkin flavored? Pumpkin sucks!” And you guys are right. Pumpkin completely on it’s own isn’t really all that exciting flavor wise. But pumpkin hating peeps, here is the deal: It really isn’t about the actual pumpkin flavor. It’s about the spice! The cinnamon, the nutmeg, the allspice, the ginger. All of those things that go into pumpkin pie spice is what we associate with the flavor of pumpkin. And I secretly love it because those spices scream that Fall is coming and things are about to get a whole lot more cozy.

Pumpkin Sage Scones with Spicy Cherry Jam- Baker Bettie

After writing all that, I feel like I just became an advocate for pumpkin season. That really wasn’t my intention. But since we’re going that way, pumpkin is actually pretty awesome especially as a substitution in baking. Similar to mashed banana, pumpkin can often be used as a substitution for eggs or oil in baked goods. For instance, a scone recipe typically calls for one egg. But since I am making pumpkin scones, I don’t even need a replacement for the egg. The pumpkin will do the trick in binding the scones together. And pumpkin works similarly in this pumpkin pecan bread, these pumpkin cinnamon rolls, and pumpkin chocolate coffee cake.

Pumpkin Sage Scones with Spicy Cherry Jam- Baker Bettie

Probably the most important thing to keep in mind when adapting or writing recipes for alternative baking methods is what the purpose of each ingredient is that you are substituting. In a traditional scone recipe there are typically three components that need to be adapted for a vegan version.

The Egg: Because of the amount of other leaveners in a scone recipe (baking powder and baking soda), the egg is mostly used for binding the scone together and for a bit of moisture. The pumpkin in this recipe replaces both. Other options could be banana, non-dairy yogurt, chia egg, or flax egg.

The Fat: Often cold butter is the fat in a scone recipe, though shortening is seen at times. The fat gives richness to the scone but also serves as an important part of the rising process. The fat needs to be cold so that when it heats up in the oven the water will start to evaporate and the steam helps the scone to rise. This cold solid fat is easily replaced with vegan butter, or vegetable shortening. I prefer the flavor, or lack there of, and texture that vegetable shortening brings to the party.

The Milk or Buttermilk: Plain milk or cream in a recipe mostly serves the purpose of moisture and richness and can be easily replaced with non-dairy milk. Buttermilk, on the other hand, is acidic and brings some tang into the batter and usually serves an additional purpose of activating the baking soda. (Because as we know, if you’ve read my science of baking soda and baking powder article, baking soda needs something acidic to balance it’s alkalinity in order to serve the purpose of leavening the batter.) So non-dairy milk on it’s own will not be a good substitute. We need to add some acidity, and vinegar (or lemon juice) will do the trick.

Pumpkin Sage Scones with Spicy Cherry Jam- Baker BettieAnd now, I leave you to gawk at the scones. The lovely orange colored, and beautifully earthy flavored, scones. Not to toot my own horn, but the idea of the spicy cherry jam to pair with these was a pretty damn good idea. In fact the jam all on it’s own is a pretty amazing idea. Toot, toot.

Welcome to Fall. Welcome to pumpkin spice season. Here we go!

Pumpkin Sage Scones with Spicy Cherry Jam- Baker Bettie

Pumpkin Sage Scones (vegan)

Yield: 12-14 scones

Pumpkin Sage Scones (vegan)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 TBSP vinegar
  • 4 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh sage leaves, chiffonade (thin strips)
  • 10 TBSP cold vegetable shortening (or vegan butter), cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

Instructions

  1. Combine the non-dairy milk and the vinegar together and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and sage.
  3. Add the shortening and use a pastry blender or a fork to cut it into the dry ingredients until it is the consistency of peas.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add in the pumpkin puree and non-dairy milk/vinegar mixture.
  5. Stir together just until combined. Knead the dough over itself in the bowl about 4 times.
  6. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  8. Flour a clean work surface and pat out the dough to 3/4" thick. You can cut out with a circular cutter, or cut into squares or triangles.
  9. Place in a greased cake pan or cookie sheet and bake for 16-18 minutes. Do not open the door to check on them for at least the first 8 minutes or you will release the steam and they will not rise as high.
  10. Serve with spicy cherry jam.
http://bakerbettie.com/pumpkin-sage-scones-spicy-cherry-jam/

Spicy Cherry Quick Jam

Ingredients

  • 1 lb frozen tart cherries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir occasionally while the sugar is melting and the cherries are thawing.
  3. Once the cherries become soft begin to mash them down with a spoon or a potato masher.
  4. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture begins to thicken.
  5. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
http://bakerbettie.com/pumpkin-sage-scones-spicy-cherry-jam/

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (wheat free, vegan)

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (gluten free, vegan)- Baker BettieI’m currently in full veg out mode. Lounging in bed way longer than anyone should ever stay in bed, watching Orange is the New Black, sipping my mug of coffee, and occasionally reaching over to pet my purring kitty. I need this today. My body is saying, “Thank you. Quit abusing me please!” I have a week off of school (though I am still working most nights) and I plan to use it to recuperate from my sleep deprivation and to bake as much and as leisurely as possible.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (gluten free, vegan)- Baker Bettie

I’ve been playing with oat flour a lot lately. I’m pretty into it. It gives baked goods a really lovely rustic texture and the perfect amount of chew. It is also a great flour to use in vegan baking because oat flour has a much higher protein content than wheat flour which is helpful since we are nixing the eggs. I also love it in gluten free baking because the end result never feels like an alternative recipe. Oats are a familiar flavor and texture for people and I think they feel less intimidating than some other alternative flours.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (gluten free, vegan)- Baker Bettie

Making your own oat flour is so easy! All you have to do is put rolled oats (certified gluten free of course if you are gluten intolerant!) in a blender or food processor and pulse until it is the consistency of flour. The time for this will vary depending on the strength of your kitchen appliance. Then, I always sift the flour. I don’t have a great blender so there is always a good deal of oat crumb that is too big to go through the sifter. So I add all of the bigger crumb back into the blender for one more whirl through, sift again, and store it all in an airtight container. Of course you can always buy oat flour in the store. It’s a little pricier than making it yourself but a little more convenient if you don’t want to pull out your blender.

I really want you guys to try this recipe. Even if you aren’t vegan or gluten free. I promise it does not taste like an alternative to a traditional cookie. It is an amazingly simple and delicious dessert that just so happens to be vegan and gluten free. And while you’re at it, you should check out these brownies and banana bread that I made with oat flour too. They just so happen to be vegan and gluten free as well and that bread has been blowing up like crazy on pinterest. Oat flour. Get into it.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (gluten free, vegan)- Baker Bettie

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (wheat free, vegan)

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (wheat free, vegan)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup your favorite vanilla yogurt (I used SoDelicious Non Dairy Coconut Milk yogurt)
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups oat flour (make sure they are certified gluten free if you have a gluten intolerance)
  • 8 oz dark chocolate chips or chunks

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, peanut butter, and brown sugar and mix until well combined.
  3. Add the baking soda, and oat flour and and mix until combined (the batter will be thick)
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips or chunks.
  5. Using clean hands, pat the mixture into a 10" cast iron skillet or baking dish (mixture will be thick).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
http://bakerbettie.com/chocolate-chip-peanut-butter-skillet-cookie-wheat-free-vegan/
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Rosemary Lemon Cinnamon Rolls

Rosemary Lemon Cinnamon Rolls- Baker BettieI absolutely needed to get in the kitchen today and be creative. I haven’t had a free moment to do that in so long. Sure I have cooked and thrown things together here and there, but it has been so long since I’ve had time to really create. To let the creative juices flow and to really take my time with ingredients and the process of baking. It felt amazing. It felt like home.

Rosemary Lemon Cinnamon Rolls- Baker BettieAt the first hint of Fall I always get the itch for cinnamon rolls. But it isn’t quite cool enough yet to really get into Fall baking so I decided to do a cinnamon roll that was a bit brighter in flavor. I love lemon and cinnamon, and rosemary and cinnamon, and rosemary and lemon, so why not make this a menage a trois situation?

I just realized that I did cinnamon rolls during last years MoFo. Chili and cinnamon rolls anyone? If you aren’t familiar, get acquainted. All of the world should know of this. I’ll keep doing my part to educate. Consider it my community service.

Rosemary Lemon Cinnamon Rolls- Baker Bettie

Rosemary Lemon Cinnamon Rolls (vegan)

Rosemary Lemon Cinnamon Rolls (vegan)

Ingredients

    for the dough
  • 1/4-ounce package yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup warm non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 melted vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 flax egg or chia egg
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • for the filling
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP cinnamon
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 TBSP finely chopped rosemary
  • for the icing
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of stand mixer mix milk, sugar, melted shortening, salt and flax or chia egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth.
  3. Add yeast mixture.
  4. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes or use the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer.
  5. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle.
  8. Spread melted vegan butter over dough. Mix sugar,cinnamon, rosemary, and lemon zest together and sprinkle over buttered dough.
  9. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal.
  10. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.
  11. Coat the bottom of baking pan with vegan butter.
  12. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes.
  13. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.
  14. Meanwhile, mix lemon juice, zest, powdered sugar, and rosemary until the glaze reaches desired consistency.
  15. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.
http://bakerbettie.com/rosemary-lemon-cinnamon-rolls/

Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies: Only 6 Ingredients

Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies with Only 6 Ingredients & Vegan Baking Science- Baker BettieI’m going to try something new here at Baker Bettie. I have been wanting to make some baking tutorial videos for a while, so I decided on a whim to just go ahead and try it. I wanted to go a little bit more in depth about the science of vegan baking and vegan substitutions and making a video seemed like a good place to start. Bare with me for my first try. The video is a bit long and that whole thing about the camera eating up energy is so true. Next time I’ll be a bit more animated! But I hope you enjoy it and that you learn a little something about vegan baking.

Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies with Only 6 Ingredients & Vegan Baking Science- Baker BettieI’m going to go ahead and quickly review here how simple this recipe is but check out the video below for more information! It is an adaptation from my 5 Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies.

The traditional recipe starts with creaming a sugar with a solid fat. In the original recipe the solid fat is butter. But for a vegan option you can use any vegan solid fat. This could be vegetable shortening that is vegan, vegan margarine, or vegan butter substitute such as Earth Balance. You could also use a nut butter if you want that flavor in your cookie.

The next step is to add something to help bind the cookie together and also leaven it a bit. In the original recipe this is an egg. You want 1 eggs equivalent of an egg replacement. Ener-G egg replacer is always a good option but I hardly ever have that on hand. Alternatively, you can mix 1 tsp of corn starch or arrowroot powder with 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 3 TBSP of water. This is essentially a homemade egg replacement. Chia egg or flax egg would also be a great option. Use what you have available.

The recipe comes together quickly with adding in flour and the chocolate chips. Enjoy life is a specifically vegan brand of chocolate chips, however quite a bit of dark chocolate is also vegan.

It is as simple as that. 6 Ingredients and you have delicious vegan chocolate chip cookies! This base dough could also be used to make tons of various flavors. Just add in whatever extracts, spices or mixins you want and play with the variations!

Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies with Only 6 Ingredients & Vegan Baking Science- Baker Bettie

I go more in depth in the baking science on the video so please feel free to watch and let me know what you think!

Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies: Only 6 Ingredients

Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies: Only 6 Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (earth balance, vegan margarine, vegetable shortening, nut butter)
  • 1 cup vegan sugar (dark brown muscovado sugar or whatever sugar you prefer)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 TBSP water
  • 1 cup + 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips or chunks

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Cream together the vegan butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  3. Whisk together the cornstarch, baking powder, and water until smooth. Mix into the creamed batter.
  4. Stir in the flour then the chocolate chips until combined.
  5. Bake at 375ºF until just lightly browned on the edges and middle still looks undercooked. About 8-10 minutes.
http://bakerbettie.com/easy-vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies-6-ingredients/

Bourbon Blackberry Mint Lemonade

Bourbon Blackberry Mint Lemonade - Baker BettieI feel I need to apologize to the Vegan MoFoers. I had a plan. Really, I did. A plan to post quite a bit during the month of September all about vegan baking science. And it’s only the 5th day of the month but the plan is already shot to hell. When you’re only home on average 6 hours a day, plans easily go awry. So I’m sorry. I’m going to keep trying my best. And I have a week off from school coming up so I will make up for my absence then!

And I know this isn’t baking, but I had to share with you this lovely little cocktail I made over the holiday weekend.

fresh-blackberry-lemonade My husband and I were wandering around the Italian Market this weekend and these beautiful blackberries jumped out at me. My husband had been asking me to make some homemade lemonade and so we agreed on blackberry lemonade with fresh mint.

You know how I know I’ve found my calling? Because when I see my culinary vision (even something as simple as lemonade) through from idea, to creation process, to finished product, to sharing and enjoying, I feel so much joy. I feel such a connection with my creations, almost like a proud mother (not that I really know what that feels like). And I get sentimental when I look back at the pictures of things I’ve created that are already long gone.

Bourbon Blackberry Mint Lemonade - Baker BettieI was telling my husband that I often feel like I can make a recipe better just by putting a little love and care into whatever I’ve making. I often won’t even change anything about my recipe, but will simply take a lot of care with the ingredients and process and I swear, you can taste the difference than if I hurry through. Just another one of the many important life lessons I have learned through cooking and baking. To put my whole self into whatever I’m doing. Nothing is insignificant. If anything, there is something to learn and gain for myself my taking great care with my work.

Bourbon Blackberry Mint Lemonade - Baker BettieAnd it isn’t difficult to put a lot of love into something so beautiful and tasty, especially if it involves bourbon. I’ll be back soon with some vegan baking science. Proms.

xoxo

Bourbon Blackberry Mint Lemonade

Bourbon Blackberry Mint Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 5-7 large lemons or 8-10 small lemons (enough for 1 cup juice)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • handful of fresh mint leaves

Instructions

  1. Remove the zest of one of the lemons and set aside.
  2. Juice the rest of the lemons.
  3. Heat sugar, water, and lemon zest in a large pot over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice and remove from the heat.
  4. Blend blackberries and mint leaves in a blender and add to the warm sugar lemon mixture. Allow to cool.
  5. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into bottles to store in the refrigerator.
  6. Serve chilled lemonade over ice with a shot (or two) of bourbon.
http://bakerbettie.com/bourbon-blackberry-lemonade/

Best Vegan Recipes and Vegan MoFo 2013!

vegan mofo

Welcome Vegan MoFoers and non-Vegan MoFoers alike! This year I wanted to kick off my participation in Vegan Month of Food with a little bit about why I play around with vegan baking and cooking as well as a recap of some of my best vegan recipe creations.

I get asked by a lot of people why I create vegan baked goods if I am not vegan, so here are my reasons…

1.) It makes me a better baker. I become more knowledgeable about ingredients, how to manipulate them, and how to make baked goods in a new way.

2.) It makes me more creative. I love to create simple vegan recipes that don’t require a lot of unfamiliar ingredients to people who may not eat this way. This makes me so much more creative with how to utilize familiar ingredients but still stick to a recipe with no animal products.

3.) It makes my baked goods more accessible to more people. Food is about sharing and I love to share what I create. I hate it when someone can’t eat something I made so I often make delicious vegan and gluten free food if I’m going to be sharing it with a group of people so that everyone can partake.

This year I will mostly be blogging about basic vegan baking and the science behind it. I will be making basic baked goods and show you how to adapt them to create many variations. There will probably be a few other things here and there, but I am excited! For those of you who are not vegan I truly hope you stick around. I promise the recipes will be enjoyable and can be easily adapted for the ingredients you keep on hand!

So to kick things off, here are a few of my most popular and my favorite vegan creations. I’ll be back this week with lots of new stuff!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread- Baker BettieThis bread has been blowing up on pinterest as of late and I can totally understand why. It is incredibly simple to make with only familiar ingredients like: peanut butter, oatmeal, banana, brown sugar, and cinnamon. This has not only been one of my favorite vegan creations, but really one of my all time favorite recipe creations. And if you use gluten free oatmeal it is also gluten free!

Cinnamon Salted Caramel Brownies

Cinnamon Salted Caramel Brownies- Baker BettieI made these during MoFo last year and they turned out so delicious. You basically make a vegan caramel sauce and then use it as part of the base for the brownie recipe. Now that I’m staring at this picture again, I probably NEED to make these again soon.

Creamy Cauliflower and Basil “Alfredo”

Vegan Alfredo: Creamy Cauliflower and Basil "Alfredo"- Baker BettieAnd baking isn’t all that I do even though that is mostly what the blog is filled with. I love to cook and experiment with savory food too. This dish turned out pretty damn amazing. It was so flavorful and creamy it was really hard to believe that wasn’t filled with butter and cream. Oh, the magic of cauliflower!

Key Lime Cashew Cream Pie

Raw Vegan Key Lime Pie- Baker BettieThis little number was one of my first attempts at a raw dessert and man was I proud! I couldn’t believe how well it turned out and my husband even loved it. That is a HUGE success! Incredibly creamy and tangy and so much easier to make than a baked key lime pie.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Brownie Bites

IMG_3230I was inspired to make these after having so much luck with that banana bread. Again, they have very few ingredients and only ingredients that people commonly have on hand. The oatmeal gives such a wonderful chewy texture to these and they are just a liiiitle addicting. I think I ate maybe a dozen of them in one day. Don’t judge me.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

img_5177Strawberry Rhubarb pie reminds me of my childhood. My grandmother made it all the time and it was a family favorite. This one is grain free and vegan and the crust tastes almost like a brown sugar shortbread. Topped with some coconut milk whipped cream and it is one hell of a dessert or breakfast. I think pie for breakfast should be a thing more often.

I will be back tomorrow with something delicious. I hope everyone is having a relaxing and safe holiday weekend!

Sweet and Smoky Roasted Chickpeas

Sweet and Savory Roasted Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans- Baker BettieToday marks a new beginning. I don’t even know exactly what it is the beginning of yet. It is just a start of a whole lot of possibilities. I am excited, and energized, and terrified. But everything that is life changing is scary. It wouldn’t feel worth it if it wasn’t.

Sweet and Savory Roasted Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans- Baker BettieCulinary school is going to be challenging. I know that for sure. But I know I am going to have a blast and learn more than I can even imagine. And I am determined not to neglect the blog and all of you amazing readers. You all energize me and this place is my sanctuary. I can come here and write and share and feel at home wherever I am. So I promise not to disappear. Just hang in there with me!

Sweet and Savory Roasted Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans- Baker Bettie

This week is going to be filled with lots of 17-18 hr days so I wanted to prep this weekend for a successful week. And for me, food is a huge part of that. I need quick and delicious things available to keep me awake and to keep my hunger crankiness at bay. So I made a huge batch of these crispy roasted chickpeas yesterday and they are going to be a huge lifesaver this week for a quick snack in between classes and work. Here we go!

Sweet and Smoky Roasted Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans

Sweet and Smoky Roasted Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans

Ingredients

  • 2- 15oz cans chickpeas
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas very well. Let the chickpeas drain in the colander for about 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF
  3. Lay out a clean kitchen towel or several layers of paper towels and pour the chickpeas over top. Gently dry the chickpeas in the towels until they are very dry. (this is important to get them crispy)
  4. In a large bowl, combine the oil, paprika, sugar, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  5. Add the chickpeas to the bowl and toss until evenly coated.
  6. Pour the chickpeas in an even layer onto a sheet pan with sides.
  7. Bake at 400ºF for 35-45 minutes stirring every 10 minutes until crispy.
http://bakerbettie.com/sweet-and-smoky-roasted-chickpeas/

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free, vegan options)

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free option, vegan option)Anger is an emotion I have chosen to reject. I have come to realize that even though anger is almost always directed at someone or a group of people, the only person it ever truly effects is the person with which the anger lies.

Rejecting anger is a skill. One that I readily admit I have still not fully mastered. In fact, it may not be completely possible to do so. But I do know for sure that my life is much simpler, more fulfilled, and so much more happier by the conscious effort to reject anger.

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free option, vegan option)One of the biggest steps in rejecting anger is the realization that it is masking an underlying emotion. Am I hurt? Am I sad? Do I disagree on a moral level? Or am I just simply not able to relate and understand the point of view? In all cases, anger is the easy way out. It initially feels easier to be angry because the emotion is projected toward someone else. But in reality, I am only left a weaker and unhappy person if I do not choose to push through the anger.

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free option, vegan option)Of course there are situations when it seems impossible or maybe even irrational to reject anger. And perhaps in some instances anger is initially a very necessary emotion. But there comes a point when it is much more productive to let the other emotions and beliefs stand on their own. To get out of the way of yourself and the anger and to just deal. It is a conscious choice. We are much more in control of our emotions than we believe. And a good comforting dessert always helps…

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free option, vegan option)This crisp is nothing but comforting. The crumble to fruit ratio is absolutely perfect. That is if you like a ton of crunchy topping and you should. If for some strange reason you don’t like a ridiculous amount of crisp topping, you can half the topping recipe. I just don’t want to hear about it. Fingers in my ears, “la la la la la.”

Rhubarb always makes me think of my grandma Chris. She always had loads of it growing in her garden and she made the most fabulous pies with it. It took me a few tries to finally warm up to rhubarb, but once I did it became my favorite kind of pie. You just can’t beat the tartness. If you hate rhubarb (and I know there are a lot of people out there), you could replace it with raspberries for a similar tartness. If you have never tried rhubarb, try it! Now is the time.

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free option, vegan option)

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free, vegan options)

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free, vegan options)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh rhubarb, diced
  • 2 ripe peaches, sliced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 stick (6 TBSP) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Toss sliced peaches and rhubarb into a cast iron skillet or a 9X9 baking dish
  3. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans in a large mixing bowl
  4. Cut the butter into the crumble mixture using your fingers or a fork until the mixture is the texture of small pebbles
  5. Pour topping evenly over the peach-rhubarb mixture
  6. Bake at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and the topping is browned
  7. Serve hot with ice cream

Notes

For a vegan option: Simply replace the cold butter with a cold vegan butter option such as Earth Balance.

For a gluten free option: Use certified gluten free oats, and replace the 1 cup of flour with 1/2 cup of cornstarch.

http://bakerbettie.com/peach-rhubarb-skillet-crisp-gluten-free-vegan-options/

Caprese Chopped Salad with Charred Peaches

Caprese Chopped Salad with Charred PeachesFinishing my bachelor’s degree was probably the most difficult thing I have worked for in my life. I worked long hours, often more than one job, while always taking more than a full course load. I can’t say that college was a happy time. There were certain aspects that were happy. I met some of the most amazing people and had some of the most amazing professors that I learned more than I could have ever imagined from. But overall, I was not a happy person. I don’t even think I fully understood that I wasn’t happy at the time. And I definitely didn’t realize it was because I was only half passionate about what I was doing. I was passionate about the therapy aspect, because I truly love helping people. But my passion for the music aspect of my degree was forced. It didn’t come from my soul.

Caprese Chopped Salad with Charred Peaches

Now, here I am about to start school again. I am filled with such a mix of emotions. Part of me is anxious. It is bringing up a lot of feelings from my college experience. But deep down, I am ultimately excited. Because I know this time it will be different. I am not naive. I know that culinary school is going to be really hard work. But cooking comes from my soul. It sparks my creativity that I never thought I had. I start in a few weeks. I am beyond excited.

Caprese Chopped Salad with Charred PeachesMy biggest fear is that I’m not going to have enough time to keep up with the blog. I’m going to do everything I can to not let that happen. This place is one of my biggest supports. I come here to find and share inspiration and I just can’t lose that. But there may be an adjustment period so hang in there with me! There has already been an adjustment with managing my time since starting my new job. Side note, I got a job! I’m hosting at this pretty amazing restaurant in the city. It feels good to be around people who are passionate about great food and service. I’m loving it so far. And I’m feeling inspired. Inspired by summer flavors like this salad. Caprese is one of my favorite things and the charred peaches add another depth of flavor. I ate this as my lunch but it would be such a pretty appetizer too!

Caprese Chopped Salad with Charred Peaches

Caprese Chopped Salad with Charred Peaches

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe peach
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 small shallot
  • 6 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 6 large basil leaves
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and lightly oil or butter the skillet.
  2. Cut the peach into slices and place in the skillet for a few minutes until slightly charred on one side. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Quarter the tomatoes and put in a medium size mixing bowl.
  4. Finely dice the shallot and add to the tomatoes.
  5. Chop the mozzarella into pieces about the size of the tomatoes and add to the bowl.
  6. Finely chop the basil and add to the rest of the salad and mix to combine.
  7. Add the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with charred peaches on top.
  9. Makes 2 lunch size portions or 6 appetizer portions.
http://bakerbettie.com/caprese-chopped-salad-with-charred-peaches/

 

 

Peaches and Cream (raw, vegan)

Peaches and Cream (raw, vegan)

My job before moving to Philly consisted of me being in the community all day long. I barely ever saw my desk or my co-workers because I was out and about in the community interacting with people I didn’t know. Talking to staff at local resources, advocating for my clients, talking to landlords, potential employers, etc, etc, etc. I was pretty comfortable with this even from day one. I can talk to people I don’t know if the attention isn’t on me. The topic of conversation was always about my client and that takes all the pressure off me.

Peaches and Cream (raw, vegan)But since moving to Philly my anxiety has been in full force. The pressure is on for me to advocate for myself, to find a job for myself, to meet people, to ask people for advice on where to go and what to see… I hate it. I go to the grocery store and I can’t find anything because it isn’t set up like any grocery store in Kansas and so I have to ask someone where the heck I can find rice flour. I go to run errands and I have to ask our doorman where I can print something or where you can buy beer in this town where nobody sells beer! Hate it. It is irrational. Being anxious about things that should be so simple.

Peaches and Cream (raw, vegan)I know I’ll gain my confidence back and the anxiety will get under control. It will just take me establishing my place in the city. I think that is why blogging and social media are so appealing sometimes. It’s a way of putting yourself out there in a sort of anonymous way. Yeah sure, you see what I look like and I give you little peeks into my life, but you can’t see me exactly at the moment I’m writing this and, more importantly, I’m not having to make eye contact with you. (don’t take that the wrong way, I’m sure you are all lovely and have pretty eyes!) But I know this can be a slippery slope. I don’t want to hide behind my computer all the time, so I’m working on forcing myself to work through the anxiety and have real life awkward social interactions with new people. I’m even planning on meeting up with a few blogging friends soon. Ladies, you know who you are, be prepared for the first 30 minutes of us meeting to be filled with quick talking, awkward fidgeting, anxiety filled interactions.

But food is always my savior. Perhaps it’s why I’m so passionate about it. It is always a common ground. Pretty much everyone I’ve ever met either likes to make good food, likes to eat good food, or is passionate about both. And instead of overanalyzing how conversations with people I don’t know can go, I need to just be simple about it and take it for what it is. It’s a simple interaction. I don’t have to over complicate it in my head and work up my anxiety. It can be just as simple as this dessert.

Peaches and Cream (raw, vegan)I was walking around the grocery store the other day trying too think of something sweet to make.  I had several elaborate, overly complicated ideas and then I laid my eyes on these gorgeous peaches.  I knew exactly what I wanted to make right then and there.  And it was definitely not elaborate. Sometimes I forget how beautiful real food can be without a lot of embellishment.  Like these juicy ripe peaches.  They are so delicious and sweet on their own.  But I wanted a little something to go with them.  So I made a cashew cream. Perfect. Simple. Fresh.

Peaches and Cream (raw, vegan)

Peaches and Cream (raw, vegan)

Peaches and Cream (raw, vegan)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour if you do not have a high powered blender such as a Vitamix
  • 1/2 cup raw nut milk, or other milk of your choosing if you are not concerned with this being raw
  • 2 TBSP pure maple syrup, can substitute honey or agave
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-6 peaches, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans, or other nut of choice

Instructions

  1. Combine cashews, nut milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a blender and blend until a smooth cream. You may have to scrape down the sides occasionally.
  2. Divide the peaches evenly between 4 dishes.
  3. Top with cashew cream, and sprinkle with pecans.
http://bakerbettie.com/peaches-and-cream-raw-vegan/


 

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