Vegan, Sugar-free Applesauce Cake

I know what you’re thinking.  Okay, I don’t, but something you might be thinking is that the combination of vegan and sugar-free automatically means tasteless and dry.  Sometimes, that is the case, but this is not one of those times.

If you’ve been reading my blog consistently you know I’m trying to eliminate refined sugar from my diet completely.  So far, it’s been successful and pretty easy.  This bread is great because I think that substituting honey for white sugar actually adds to the flavor and helps to make it more moist and scrumptious.  I got the recipes from Allrecipes.com but adapted it a little to be sugar free.  Also I didn’t add the raisins or walnuts because I hate both those things, but feel free to ignore my choices and add them if you choose.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup margarine (the recipe calls for butter but we had margarine left over from something else and I actually find that margarine works just as well as butter in terms of baking.  Also, using margarine makes the bread vegan, which is cool if you’re a vegan or if your friends are.)

3/4 cup honey (Okay, some vegans say honey isn’t vegan because it’s produced by bees, so you could use maple syrup instead if you want to.  Trees don’t have feelings.)

1 cup chilled, sugar-free applesauce

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp allspice (this is an addition of mine, the spicier the better!)

1/4 tsp ground cloves

And that’s it.

First, preheat your oven to 350.  Then cream the honey and the margarine.

Add the applesauce and mix it in.  Then add the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients and blend.  The mixture won’t be quite as gloopy as your average bread, and you can add a little more applesauce if you want it to be thinner.  It actually turns out pretty thick and fluffy.  Grease and flour a bread pan and then bake the bread for about 40 minutes, or until you can stick a toothpick in it and it comes out clean.  That’s it!  My blog is being weird, so I can’t post any more pictures, but you get it. T his cake makes an excellent breakfast.   Buen provecho!

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Famous Prince Pumpkin Bread

Thanksgiving is here!  Well, technically in my part of the world it’s almost over, and no one cares about it but me.  But, I made pumpkin bread anyway.

This recipe is actually one that my friend Keri shared with us last year.  It is the perfect pumpkin bread recipe but this is the first time I’ve ever made it.  It’s about the 300th time I’ve eaten it, though.  My friend Lindsey always makes it and then I enjoy the fruits of her labor, usually while watching a terrible reality show on TV.  Here is the official recipe:

2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups puree (Here is where you choose to be great or to just be average.  You can use the pumpkin puree available in the store or you can take it a step further and make your own puree by following Lindsey’s recipe seen here. )
4 eggs, beaten

First mix the sugars, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt together in a big bowl.  Add oil, then eggs one at a time.  Then add the puree.  Mix it in your mixer (or with your hands, ya know, whatever’s around) and then pour it into two, greased (or buttered) bread pans.  Oh, yeah.  Did I mention this makes two giant loaves?  Well, it does.

I didn’t have a bread pan so I put it in a 9×9 casserole dish.  Worked like a charm.

Also, butter.

such a butterface.

Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes.  It might take longer than that, mine took more like 70 minutes.  Just use a toothpick and stick it right in the middle of the loaf.  If it comes out clean, the bread is done, if not just throw it back in the oven for a little while longer.  Mine came out not as dark as usual because I used some weird Chilean squash instead of pumpkin but the result is basically the same and it is delicious.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bacon arugula sandwich with parmesan crisps and garlic-basil mayo

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  “Oh great! Another bacon themed post on a food blog.  Just what we need!”  Well, you’re right.  It is great and it is just what we need.

Although the title is a mouthful (and a delicious one at that) the sandwich only takes about fifteen minutes to make and looks and tastes gourmet and fantastic.  Ingredients are as follows

For the mayo:

2 (big-ish) tbls of mayo

1 tsp chopped basil (dried basil actually works fine)

2 tsp minced garlic (or 1 tsp garlic powder if you can’t handle the raw garlic.  Few can.)

For the sammich:

2 slices toasted sourdough bread (I actually don’t have access to sourdough in Chile, but I know it would be great)

3-10,000 slices of cooked bacon (all depends on how much you love bacon.  I used three.)

A handful (is that a legitimate measurement?) of baby arugula

4 tbls grated parmesan cheese

Alright so I made the mayo first and set it aside.  It’s very simple.  You mix the mayo, basil and garlic (or garlic powder) in a small bowl and put it in the refrigerator.

Next, start cooking the bacon because it takes a little while.  On a medium heat cook them for about ten minutes, flipping occasionally.  You don’t want the bacon too crispy because it won’t stay on the sandwich.

uh oh. bacon.

When the bacon is done frying remove the bacon to another plate, preferably with a paper towel on it so some of the grease can be absorbed and LEAVE THE BACON GREASE IN THE PAN BECAUSE WE GONNA COOK WITH IT.

That’s right, folks.  We’re cooking with (bacon) grease.

This is where the parmesan comes in.  Leaving the heat on medium, drop your 4 tbls of parmesan cheese into the grease and flatten it out.  (Now is a good time to put your bread in the toaster, by the way, if you want everything to work out.)  Let the parmesan sizzle in the grease for about three minutes then carefully flip it over for another minute or so.  Remove it from the grease onto the plate with the bacon.  Now wash off your arugula and you have all your ingredients ready!

Pile it on however you like.  Mine turned out like this:

pretty good.

This is a great and easy sandwich to make and impress people with your sandwich-making prowess.  Buen provecho!