Cranberry coconut bran muffins with fresh ginger.

Bran muffins are super hit or miss. These are the hit-type. I've pulsed fresh cranberries, grated some ginger and threw in some unsweetened coconut so as to make these muffins good things. Throw in some more ginger, nuts or carob chips, whatever's your bag.

Yields 16

Ingredients I
1 1/2 cups bran
1 3/4 cups almond milk

Ingredients II
1/2 cup oil
2 tbsp molasses

Ingredients III
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Ingredients IV
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
3-inch chunk of ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 cup fresh, raw cranberries, pulsed

Preheat oven to 375F.

Combine Ingredients I in a bowl and let sit for 10+ minutes. This is to soften the bran. Add Ingredients II into this bowl. In a seperate bowl, combine Ingredients III. Lastly, stir in Ingredients IV. Your batter ought to look like this:

Using a 1/4-cup ice cream scoop, fill your liners. They'll be about 3/4 full, but will rise above quite a bit when baking.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean from the centre.

Split open and spread on some nut butter, fruit preserve, vegan butter, or enjoy on their own.

Lemon Linzer cookies.


Saturday night, I did what any other asshole would do. I wrote letters to my correspondences, blared my latest mixtape, and watched Bake With Anna Olsen.  I tuned into a stellar cookie episode. Lemon Linzer cookies were a part of my childhood. Yeah, so were eggs, and mullets. Those days are now behind me, though I often mullet over. I spent a good while veganizing this recipe and am happy to report they turned out stellar. Plus, what better way to utilize my lovely new CuisinArt mixer? 

Believe it or not, the Rudimentary Peni & Suicidal Tendencies stickers
did NOT come with the mixer. We live in a harsh world.

A word on sugar, powdered and otherwise. I refer to for cruelty-free brands. VivaLaVegan also has this super helpful bit of info!

Ingredients I

3/4 cup white flour
1 1/4 cups almond flour (almond meal)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup vegan butter, cubed and chilled -- I used Earth Balance

Ingredients II
2 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp cold water
1 1/2 tsp egg replacer -- I used Ener-G
Zest of 1 lemon
Almond extract

Ingredients III
~1 cup filling -- I have half a cup each of lemon curd and blueberry pie filling
Powdered sugar for dusting.

In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients in Ingredients I. Add in your butter. Beat with an electric mixer or your mixer. The mixture will be dry and crumbly.

In a small bowl, combine all of Ingredients II. Lightly whisk until well-combined. Pour into your large bowl and mix until just combined.

Your dough will be soft and quite pliable.
Too pliable. So, we ought to chill it.

Remove from bowl and form into a disc shape on cling wrap.

Chill the dough for at least one hour in the fridge. Once that hour is up, preheat your oven to 350F. Line two light-coloured baking sheets with parchment paper.

Halve your dough. Dust some flour on your surface and on your rolling pin. Roll out your chilled dough to be about 1/4 inch // 6.35mm  thick. Using a cookie/biscuit cutter, cut out 12. Repeat with your other half. Using a smaller cookie cutter, cut out the centres. I used circles, and scored these little darlins from the Dollar store in town. You'll now have 12 bottoms and 12 tops. I had some extra dough left, so I made 1-inch scalloped circles to make a few mini-sandwiched cookies.

Bake your full cookies for 5-6 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Bake your holey cookies for 4-5 minutes, same deal. Cookies with hard edges or holes will brown faster, eff why eye.

Once baked, keep them on the cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Dust powdered sugar on the holey cookies - make sure they're fully cooled er you're in trouble.

Take the flat side of the full-cookies and spread a light layer of your filling on it with a small offset spatula or butterknife, about 1/8 inch away from the edges. Add an extra dollop to the centre. Press your cookie toppers on.

Spicy black bean broccoli & eggplant with tempura tofu.

Today, I ventured out into the -50C/-58F frozen shitshow that is Winnipeg. I had to pick up some staples from the oriental market and figured a jean jacket would be the perfect parka alternative. Long story short, it was a wee bit brisk, so I decided making a spicy stir-fry would warm up the entrails.

I picked up another jar of black bean paste (douchi). My go-to brand is Asian Family, and a jar is about $2. A good black bean paste will contain very few ingredients, the primary ingredient being fermented black soy beans. There will also be some soy sauce. sugar and vinegar in some brands, but the fermented beans best be first on the ingredients listing. The flavour is sharp and pungent. Buying black bean sauce will yield a totally different taste, due to the massive amounts of sugar, vinegar and sodium added in there.
Lee Kum Kee is my favourite brand of chili oil. The chili flakes settle to the bottom, and the soybean and sesame oil creep up top, and it is orange. as. fuck. It has a fairly high smoking point which is stellar for pan frying. This jar set me back another $2 and ought to last me an awful long while.

For the Vegetables
3 Indian eggplant, cut into eighths 
1 small crown broccoli, florets will yield about 3/4 cup
1 small can water chestnuts
2 shallots, sliced lengthwise
Toasted cashews, chopped
1 tsp chili oil + 1/2 tsp of the settled chili
2 tsp black bean paste

In a wok, add in your oil and begin pan frying your vegetables on medium-high heat. Once your vegetables are about ready, add in your black bean paste. Throw in your cashews and set aside.

For the Tofu
2 cups club soda
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
Spicy salt, optional
Extra firm tofu
Canola oil for frying

Cut your tofu into slabs (about 1cm thick), then into squares, finally into triangles. Mix up your tempura batter. It ought to have the consistency of a crepe batter or slightly thicker. The thinner the batter, the more it'll spread out in the pan. Oil up that pan, about 1cm of oil will do. Shallow fry your tofu until golden brown.

For the Udon Noodles
Stir fry the noodles in an oil of your choice. For two packages, I used 1/2 tsp chili oil + 1/2 tsp coconut oil. Once ready, the noodles will be good and crispy.