Saturday, September 19, 2009

Franks and Beans

This is one of those recipes that we used to have when I was growing up but then I just kind of forgot about it. A couple years ago, my dad was over helping with one of our endless home improvement projects and I needed to throw something together for lunch. This has become one of his favorites which is why we had it last month for his birthday as well as a couple weeks ago when we visited my brother's family at their new apartment.

Kay and Grandpa on his birthday

It is very versatile because we have found that most non-vegetarians will eat vegetarian hot dogs without batting an eye if you just don't say anything. The first time I tested this was 2 years ago at Kay's birthday party. No one had any idea. Then a few months later we had a family get-together. My niece is usually a very picky eater (maybe not always but at least when I try to feed her!) but it seemed crazy to get regular hot dogs for just her so my mom and I decided to give her the veggie hot dogs. I worried a little when she didn't want a bun, ketchup or mustard. She ate it completely plain though and didn't seem to mind at all. (I have to say, they've come a very long way since I first tried them 19 years ago. Those things were disgusting!)

Kay and her cousin playing Wii

Therefore this makes a really good meal when you have a mixture of people. It is also really easy. That first time I literally just threw things together!

Franks and Beans
1 cup onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon oil
15 oz can of vegetarian baked beans
15 oz can of kidney beans, rinsed
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons mustard
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
6 hot dogs, cut into bite-sized chunks

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Saute the onions over medium-low heat until browned. Add the remaining ingredients, stir and simmer for 15 minutes or until heated through and the flavors are blended. Stir every now and then so it doesn't stick.

Kay: I like mostly the hot dogs but my dad likes mostly the just the beans so it works out good.

Dana: This recipe can get unhealthy really fast depending on the ingredients you use. Make sure you check the salt content in all items and get salt free beans if you can.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I am so happy that school has started again and we are back to a more regular schedule. Kay started at a new school this year and it starts much earlier than her last one so that has been a bit of a shock to our systems. I think we are all finally starting to adjust though.

During the summer, I work in the office two days a week and my parents spend the day with Kay. On their second to last day, which also happened to be my dad's birthday, they took Kay and two friends bowling, out to lunch and to a ceramic painting store. Then for dinner we made one of my dad's favorite meals (upcoming post) with these cupcakes for dessert. They were a huge success. My parents liked them so much, my mom made them again a couple weeks later.

They are very peanut buttery. We may have even eaten them for breakfast. The recipe is out of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (fantastic book!). I reduced the sugar quite a bit, omitted the salt, and used rice milk just because we prefer that in baked goods. Normally I would have substituted part of the all-purpose flour with some spelt or white whole wheat but this time I left it alone (it was for a birthday after all!) We used natural, organic, crunchy peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

3/4 cups rice milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Mix the milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle (this creates non-dairy buttermilk).

In a large mixing bowl, cream the peanut butter, oil, sugar, molasses, vanilla, and flaxseeds until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full (we use an ice cream scoop). Bake 23-26 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling racks.

Top with ganache and chopped peanuts. Place in refrigerator to set the ganache.

Quick Melty Ganache

3 tablespoons soy milk
1/3 cups chocolate chips

Heat the soy milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just about to simmer. Remove from heat, add chocolate chips and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Kay: comments to come after school.

Mom (Dana): When I was typing this, I kept putting Peanut Butter Pancakes instead of Cupcakes which has given me a whole new idea!!