7.09.2013

Vegan banana split cupcakes, perfect for summer heat

We are big banana split fans in this household.

However, the humid Ohio heat is not so much a fan of anything cold, especially ice cream. 

So what's a girl to do?

Turn her favorite icy treat into something a little more solid. Cupcake solid to be precise.

I took these to a family Fourth of July picnic and they were a hit. 

They require a little more effort than your run-of-the-mill cupcake, but I promise these babies are so worth it. They're literally your favorite childhood dessert all rolled into one wrapper. Um, yum.


Banana split cupcakes
(makes 24 cupcakes)
Cake Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 sticks vegan butter, softened (I know, I didn't say they were healthy!) 
3 large ripe bananas, peeled and pureed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup applesauce
1 cup vegan vanilla pudding (I used Dr. Oetker)
1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk yogurt
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Dash of salt
Cherries (to decorate)
Sprinkles (to decorate)

Frosting:
1 container of Healthy Top vegan whipped cream (this stuff is amazing)
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup strawberry syrup (I used Nature's Flavours)
1/2 cup pineapple (sundae) topping

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together vegan butter and sugar. Mix in applesauce, vegan yogurt and pureed bananas. Add vanilla extract, baking powder, soda and salt. Stir in flour and use a hand mixer to whip together. Spoon into muffin tin with cupcake wrappers and fill a little over half full. Bake for 22 minutes. 

In a medium bowl, blend together Healthy Top vegan whipped cream, vegan cream cheese and powdered sugar. Divide into thirds. Add cocoa powder to one third, strawberry syrup to another and the pineapple topping to the last. Whip them all separately and then place in the fridge until use. (You can add a few more TBS of powdered sugar to each if you need a little more stiffness to the icing). 

Once the cupcakes have baked and are cooled, poke a hole in the middle of the cupcake (I actually use a child's plastic medicine syringe, it works perfectly, but you can use your finger too). Add vanilla pudding to the center you've created (again, I used the child's syringe), filling to the top. Using a round tip and frosting bag, pipe the chocolate layer of frosting on. Top this with piped on strawberry frosting and then finish with the pineapple frosting. Top with cherries and sprinkles if you're feeling festive. 

You also might like:

7.03.2013

Why I slept on the living room floor last night

You'll have to pardon the tone of this blog post.

It's 5 a.m. and I'm sitting on my living room floor.

I wish I had some sordid tale to tell you all about how I ended up curled up on the floor with my favorite-ever Yankees blanket, but alas, I do not.

I have a teething, wakes-up-every-30-minutes-to-yell-at-me, can't-decide-if-he-wants-to-be-held-or-stretch-out-so-he-just-yells-at-me-more, six month old. He wanted nothing to do with his pack and play, our bed or his bed last night. So finally, in the wee hours of morning light I came out into the living room, made him a bottle and he fell asleep in his sister's bean bag chair after feeding himself.

That bean bag chair might have been the best $20 we've ever spent. In our lives.

And his dear sissy followed us out soon after. She's been dealing with a congested cough and after dying down for a few days it picked up again last night. So she took to our recliner chair, kicked the footrest out, curled up with her Minnie Mouse blanket and fell asleep watching Handy Manny on her iPad (or, as I call him when it's four in the morning and I'm exhausted, "Hanny Mandy.")

She was restless most of the night. At one point, she said her ear hurt. I'm thinking it could be an ear infection, although, at three years old, she's never had one, so who really knows. No fever, she's been acting fine (at 10 p.m. yesterday she was in the kitchen begging to help cut up some veggies from our CSA box). And then nighttime sets in, mommy's a crab ass, daddy has to get up in seven hours to workout, and all hell breaks loose.

Naturally.

I've come to a few revelations in the almost-morning light. Seriously, I know it's the summer, but how lazy is that sun out there? I was up before it and that just never happens. (Going to bed as it rises, sometimes, but awake BEFORE it, for shame!)

For starters, poison ivy is stupid. Seriously, I feel like I have the plague. I'm a girls' fastpitch pitching instructor and last week I had a run-in with some sort of poisonous plant (ivy, oak, sumac, it's all the same itchy mess). A few of the girls were throwing overhand and their balls rolled out this big open side area in the building. Since I figured it was more responsible of me to go down and retrieve the balls, I was out there two or three times. Now, I have an itchy blob of bumps all over my right thigh, right and left calves and one tiny strand of them on my arm.

And they itch. Like hell. Like the Dickens. Like, A LOT.

And I've also convinced myself that they're never going to go away. Ever. I'm going to be an itchy eyesore for the remainder of my days.

Also, made me rethink the whole Chicken Pox vaccine. I thought it sounded silly when my doctor told me that was one of the bijillion immunizations children receive these days. (We follow an alternative/delayed schedule, he helps us pick and choose which ones are right for our family). I was flabbergasted (that's the kind of word you use at 5 a.m.) when he strongly recommended that one for the kiddos. I remember thinking to myself "I had chicken pox and I didn't die from it. I remain unscathed, I hardly remember it. Sure, it was a little itchy, but ..."

SHUT UP. SHUT UP. SHUT UP.

I take everything I ever said about anything itchy back. In fact, I actually do think I am emotionally traumatized for life. Hell, this poison ivy deal has latched onto not just my body, but my psyche. And I think it's taking a little piece of my soul away every day.

Or maybe it's just making me cranky and over dramatic. Whatever.

And lastly, while I'm only on my first cup of coffee and this day isn't quite starting off the way I planned, I subconsciously have hope that it will get better. How do I know that if it's subconscious, you might ask?

My coffee cup.

We have an assortment of mugs and the color or style I choose usually dictates my mood. There's this really drag, rusty orange color that means I've already given up on even the notion that the day might be good. Then there's the olive-colored one. It's the one I have when I know the day ahead is going to be rough, but I want something familiar and cozy to help me through it. And there's the bright, robin egg blue one which means I, by some stroke of luck, have woken up chipper and ready to greet the day. The last option, the one I selected this morning with bloodshot eyes and a heavy head, is a cream-colored mug with paisley decorations with colors that marry all the other mugs. It's my "well, your day may not be what you want it to be, but let's see what's in store! Maybe it's good, maybe it's bad; but at least we're about to dive in!" mug.

So there's that.

Don't forget to enter for your chance to win a FREE movie for your next date night, girls night, guys night, whatever!

You also might like:

7.01.2013

Win your next movie night: an all organic, mosty vegetarian comedy!

Now that we've got two children, date nights have become few and far between. It's not that our friends and family aren't lining up at our door to watch our perfectly well-behaved, angelic children (because I mean, that's what they are, in case YOU wanted to come watch them), it's really that we don't have the energy to do it.

Don't worry, we're "taking time for ourselves" and all that jazz, we're not the kid-obsessed parents you might be fearing (I mean, duh, have you read my blog?), we're just usually really terrible at planning things and wait until the last minute, for well, everything. 

So "date night" to us, has turned into, put on our least-scrubby looking jeans, favorite tops, flip flops and throw something in the oven while watching whatever new movie has been released. 

Close to a year ago we gave up cable for good. We said peace out to our $120 cable bill and now we pay $16 a month for Hulu Plus and Netflix. So when I got an email asking if I'd heard of the independent comedy "The Happy Poet," I of course perused my Netflix instant queue. And sure enough, this little gem was on it. Imagine my surprise excitement when I was then asked by Cinema Libre Studio to not only do a fun little write-up for the movie, but to actually host a giveaway? 

I'm telling you folks, it's a win-win this vegan thing. So on our last movie night, my husband and I settled in and watched "The Happy Poet" while we made a homemade vegan squash lasagna with kohlrabi ricotta! (Recipe will be posted this week!) 

This is a clever, sweet little movie. It's directed, written and starring Paul Gordon and it's a tale about a man who wants to do something more than sell hot dogs out of a cart. He wants to offer organic food, vegan food  - namely an eggless egg sald - at the right cost. I was taken all the way back to my honeymoon in Portland where we ate from a bijillion different food trucks for the first time ever! 

It's not just about hot dogs though, folks, this movie has a lot of heart and packs some laughs. The cast is down-to-earth, believable and you find yourself rooting for them throughout the movie. I will say it's more suitable for date night with adult eyes only, as there are some references to marijuana (it didn't detract from the movie at all, I just didn't want anyone to be blindsided). 

Are you ready to win this awesome combo pack for your next date night? I'm giving a copy of "The Happy Poet" and an apron with the infamous eggless egg salad recipe on it provided by Cinema Libre to one super lucky reader. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post telling us what your favorite date night movie meal is. Do you like to stay at home and make up a romantic meal? Or do you prefer to go out? 

Easy, right? 

For additional entries to win, "like" Chubby Vegan Mom on Facebook and let me know on there what your date night go-to meal is! Share this contest with Facebook friends for another chance to win! And if that's not enough opportunity to win, follow Chubby Vegan Mom on Twitter and share this contest for another entry! Woot!

A winner will be chosen at random on Friday, July 12.

Congratulations Amber Neal! You are the winner of the deluxe movie back from Cinema Libre! You'll receive an email shortly with instructions on how to get your prize! Thanks to everyone that entered, stay tuned because we're always giving fun stuff away here!

As always, please make sure to include an email address if it's not already connected with your account! 

Take the legwork out of your next movie night!

You also might like: