Isa Does It, VCIYCJ and Vegan with a Vengeance recipes

I’ve made a few more recipes by Isa Chandra M. over the past month but have been a bit slack with posting, so here they are all in one go.

Peanut Butter Criss Crosses from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  I won’t ever eat peanut butter on bread or toast but in biscuits I love it:

The Curried Peanut Sauce Bowl.  Yummm:


After trying the roast veg soba bowl at the Corner Hotel back in March, I had to make it at home.  This time I followed the Isa Does It instructions to the letter and I was rewarded with the same delicious meal.  I used both the lentils in the actual recipe but the next day I went for marinated tofu instead.  I’ve also made this with more veggies added in:


Isa’s Vegan With a Vengeance is a great book but admittedly, not one I have used all that much.  Not because there’s something wrong with it, more because I tend to stick with the latest cookbook purchases.  You know, shiny new toys and stuff.  Last week I decided to break out VWaV and I made the Ginger Macadamia Coconut Carrot Cake.  Deeeelicious!


Some weeks ago I made the Marbled Banana Bread from Isa Does It.  Clearly, my family need more practise with the marbling bit:




As I’ve cleaned up my eating (again) I won’t be doing much baking and I will be adapting recipes I use to be lower in fat, or making substitutions outright.  I like that I can still use Isa’s recipes as a base and end up with something that is still super tasty!

Lemon Blueberry Cake from Isa Does It plus some Isa+Terry PB cookies

We had some company over last week so I decided to make a cake and some biscuits.  The Lemon Blueberry Cake from Isa Does It was the logical choice because the photo looks so scrumptious. Of course, once I started mixing things together I discovered I had no applesauce.  I’m guessing this is why the cake turned out a little too dry but taste wise it was great.  Lovely and lemony!  I didn’t bother with the lemon glaze drizzle because there was enough sugar as it was:

lemon blueberry cake1

Arthur has been nagging me forever to make the Peanut Butter Crisscrosses from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  I was in a peanut butter kind of baking mood so I was happy to oblige.  These certainly satisfy a peanut butter cookie craving:

pb criss crosses

As a bit of an indulgence (I consider using white flour and sugars an indulgence!) these were great.  The problem with the biscuits was stopping at one… dozen.

cake and biscuits

It’s officially autumn! Which means baked treats and decoratey things

Yay! It’s the first day of autumn here.  My favourite time of year, where our grapevine starts sporting those beautiful autumn colours.  When our grapevine gets too long I just trim it all back but, genius of all genius, I’ve realised I can make wreaths from the vines.  I feel proud that in this area I am quite literally millennia behind the times.

I’ve always wanted to decorate my house with seasonal crafts, mostly nature crafts.  The problem is I lack the creativity gene.  My sewing is as basic as you can get.  I lack patience too when I’m learning a new skill because I want to know it all NOW.  I want the autumn colours NOW but everything is still green.  And it makes me hop around all annoyed like and thinking chlorophyll is totally overrated.

DeeW was feeling a little bummed out because Arthur was off at a birthday party, so we made some gingerbread in autumn shapes.  I used the gingerbread cut-outs recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I love my leaf cutter shapes but some of them are rather small and better suited to things like dough craft or cutting out pastry shapes for a pie:

making gingerbread

I have other larger cutters so now we have acorns, apples, teddy bears and a squirrel from an Ikea set.  No icing, there’s enough sugar as it is:

gingerbread autumn shapes

So many north American blogs I read feature autumn and woodland crafts.  People decorate their homes inside and out with autumnal displays and I sit there reading the blogs all happy like.  I love it and wish things were the same here.  Because autumn ROCKS and I love acorns, though I lack patience to do something lovely like this.  I don’t know about you guys but I just wanna wear this as a sash when I walk down to the shops:

The park near us has some oak trees so DeeW and I went and looked for acorns on the ground, along with other treasures.  Argh, flash!

autumn treasures

I googled for autumn nature crafts and was all stunned at the cute stuff one can make with leaves and acorns.  Remember folks, MILLENNIA behind the times here at ziggurat Veganopoulous.  Look at this sweet little fairy tea set!  I used air drying clay for the saucers, handles and spouts, then used a hot glue gun to stick all the bits together… badly, as the coffee pot will attest:

acorn fairy tea set

I have some more autumn crafts coming up (I hope).  Check back and see how someone totally useless at crafts and sewing fares. And I foresee some apple pies in my near future with pastry leaf cutouts!  And lots of crafty disasters.



Spiced Sweet Potato Blondies: second attempt ROCKS

So the other day I made the Spiced Sweet Potato Blondies from ‘Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar’, which is Arthur’s favourite cookbook.  I wonder why… Anyway, as I mentioned in that blog post, they turned out way too sweet for me, though my using different sugars may have contributed to that.  I have just started baking with coconut sugar and need to read up on it a little more.

Yesterday I made the recipe again, however this time I halved the amount of sugar and used only coconut sugar.  I also made the blondies gluten free by using Ricki Heller’s all purpose gluten free flour mix (as in, you make this mix up yourself based on Ricki’s recipe).  This time I added in some white choc chips.

These were really very good.  To quote Arthur, “these get a 100% satisfaction rating, even 110%”.  I am so pleased because now I have another treat I can bake,with ingredients like sweet potato and flours like millet and chickpea. I used the exact same amounts of flavourings (vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg) listed in the recipe though I slightly increased the baking powder. They did seem a little drier the next day and more cake like but still very good 🙂


Spiced Sweet Potato Blondies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

(subtitled ‘Where Veganopoulous steals from the children’)

Tomorrow we’re going to a small event with a few other families, where the invitation says to bring a plate to share.  I immediately thought of a fruit platter but someone beat me to it.  So my mind wandered to the roast sweet potatoes I’d just pureed and was getting ready to freeze.  I’m going to start using sweet potato more in my baked treats, but that’s a blog post for another day.

Anyway, I remembered a sweet potato recipe from Isa Chandra M”s and Terry Hope R’s ‘Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar’, specifically, the Spiced Sweet Potato Blondies.  I had all the ingredients available except chocolate chips, though these are listed as optional.  I also omitted the pecans (or walnuts) as I avoid using nuts when taking food somewhere involving children, unless I’ve been told nobody present has an allergy and that nuts are okay.  Instead of the nuts and optional choc chips, I added sultanas.

This recipe was super simple to make.  I did change the sugars– I used a combination of coconut sugar and raw sugar.  My cooking time took quite a while longer but I would blame my oven, not the recipe:


The taste is great and I love the coconut sugar.  But when I cut off the edges to eat them myself, the blondies were just waaay too sweet.  Sweet enough for me to decide not to serve them to kids.  Perhaps changing the sugars is to blame but next time I make these, I’m going to halve the sugar, maybe more.  They do taste good though and I would be happy to make a far less sweet version again to serve to kids (I’d make a gluten free version as well).  I’d probably play around with cutting the oil down as well.