Blackberry, Peanut Butter, and Banana Breakfast Cake!

Wild blackberries: if you live in Western Washington you need to stop reading this, go outside, and pick some because they are everywhere and they are deliciously ripe. So ripe that there’s no sour/bitter left in them – I didn’t even know blackberries did that! I promised my mom that I would be making her breakfast sometime before I went back to college, and since then I’ve been trying to figure out a way to do that without waking up at 5am. This cake is that: it’s a reasonably healthy (via just having a little sugar, using whole wheat flour, and having a lot more fruit than your average cake), super delicious breakfast. And despite what my mom will tell you, it was totally worth having the oven on when it was 75 Fahrenheit outside.

This batter is thicker, richer, and more delicious than any of the nonvegan things I can remember cooking up before I was vegan – the combination of the peanut butter and coconut milk, I think, is a winner. The final taste comes out just faintly peanut butter-y, and it really works well with the blackberries (I had been sort of nervous, when I was making up the recipe. Molly told me she had enjoyed something that combined blueberries and peanut butter, a while back, and I decided to give this a shot).  I’d eat it in the morning, with coffee; after lunch, with (non dairy) milk; or after dinner with tea. It’s good.

FAQs about this picture: why is the coconut milk in a glass mug? Where is the lemon juice that’s called for in the recipe?

Ingredients:

½ cup sugar
1 cup 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

½ cup earth balance
3 tbsp unsweetened peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
½ cup milk, or coconut milk
1 mashed banana
½ a lemon’s juice (or 1/8 cup bottled)
1 tbsp water

1 heaping cup blackberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine and mix thoroughly the dry ingredients
  3. Add the wet ingredients (I highly recommend you mash the banana before you add it to the bowl), and mix thoroughly
  4. Add the blackberries. Now, most recipes would say something like “gently fold the blackberries in” – if you can manage to fold your blackberries in without damaging them in any way, I will take off my hat to you. I tried “gently folding” and my blackberries sort of disintegrated into the individual, uh, bits. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.
  5. Grease an 8×8 baking dish and pour the batter in.
  6. Bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean (if you use a different size dish, make sure to adjust the cooking time!)

Careful to let it cool, after it comes out of the oven. I didn’t wait, and burnt my tongue a little bit (but that’s okay because it was yummy).

Chocolate Ginger Cake and the Poor Choices of a Jet Lagged Brain

This past week my family and I were in northern California.  We spent a few days each in San Francisco, Carmel, Monterey, Yosemite, and Palo Alto.  However rather than where we went, I think what we ate is what is going to stick in my memory.  Elk, bacon that tasted like ribs, Prohibition era whiskey and raspberry coffee cake (this last one is all one dish…because people who do not use the Oxford comma are dumb and also a butt) were all fantastic.

Still, there is a downside to travelling westward.  My body has no idea when I’m supposed to be asleep.  Because of that I woke up at 6:00 this morning…which makes absolutely no sense as that’s 3:00am back in California.  Believe me, I tried explaining this to my internal clock, but it gave a very convincing argument: “No”.

Instead I went for a run, did several important computer related things, cleaned my room, poked around the internet for a bit, aaand then had lunch… as it was noon. Continue reading

Happy phone

I have a smartphone.  It’s a Samsung Galaxy S™ II, Epic™ 4G Touch, in the color Vortex Black (no but really, I think their naming schemes are almost too concise…).  I use it a lot for GPS navigation, which it’s actually pretty good at.  If I get everything set up before I’m driving (and therefore not using my phone because that’s dangerous) it’ll even tell me which way is fastest based on traffic.

I had this problem with Google Navigation (the GPS app), though: it sort of pissed me off.  Hearing it demand that I “turn left onto South 18th Street” was all good and well, until I was at, say, a complicated intersection where there were two or three different possible lefts I could make.  In that situation it felt as if my phone was as anxious (or more anxious) to get where I was going than I was, and making this stressful demand on me so it wouldn’t be late to meet my friend’s phones. Continue reading

Egg Pasta? Last night’s dinner!

So I have a confession to make. I use Flipboard. I feel like this is something that I ought to be embarrassed about. Here’s the story: I downloaded the app when it first came out and was super cool and fancy and on Android and stuff. And as I was flipping through stuff, I found this article. Its been love with Flipboard ever since. I didn’t have green garlic on hand so I made this up instead.

Ingredients (serves two, though it could be easily doubled or more):

1/4 pound spaghetti

One massive stalk of green onion (see how big it was below), or stalks of mass-market grocery store green onions; chopped

Two eggs

2 + 1 tbsp Olive oil

Five cloves garlic, coarsely chopped (cloves into two or three chunks each)

And cue the peanut gallery: but wait, Ashok, aren’t you a vegan? You can’t eat eggs! Well, yes, that’s what you’d think. But like most things, my food ethics don’t fit on a t-shirt – I just call myself vegan because it’s the most accurate, simple descriptor. If and when available, I happily (joyously, even) consume locally grown, ethical animal products. Otherwise, I obstain from animal products. Continue reading