Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite sweet thing, and I like them soft and chewy, so that’s what these are. No chunks or raisins invading my cookies. I’ve also added some of my favorite variations below.
Checkerboard – mix dark and white chocolate chips
Peppermint twist – put 1 cup of chocolate chips in a bag or container. Add 1 capful of peppermint extract (about 1/2 tsp). Shake it up and let it sit before adding to the batter.
Almond supreme – substitute 1 teaspoon almond extract instead of vanilla.
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil / coconut oil
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 c applesauce
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons almond/soy milk
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package (about 1/2 cup) instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Cream sugar into oil/shortening. Add milk and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Blend in applesauce. Then add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chips.
- Drop by teaspoon onto greased baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes for chewy cookies or 10-13 minutes for crispy cookies. For extra soft cookies, take them out even if they don’t quite look done – they’ll keep cooking a bit outside the oven. Place on a cooling rack.
- Make a lot because they’ll go fast.
Chocolate cake that is not too rich, light and fluffy, tasty as heck, and vegan. Bonus – no raw eggs, so you can eat the batter! It’s part of the experience.
This is the best chocolate cake in existence. Even before I started baking vegan I used to use this recipe.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup water OR instant coffee
- Vegetable oil pan spray
- Preheat over to 175º c. Lightly grease one 9X5 inch cake pan. Vegetable oil pan spray works well.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the oil, vanilla, vinegar, applesauce, and water / coffee. Mix together until smooth.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes for cake or 22-25 minutes for cupcakes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Vanilla cake without the eggs is a challenge – but we can do it! Make the funfetti version, what are you, a grown-up?
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond/soy milk
- Vegetable oil pan spray
- Preheat over to 175º c. Lightly grease muffin tins. Vegetable oil pan spray works well.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the oil, vanilla, applesauce, and almond milk. Mix together until smooth.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes for cake or 15-20 minutes for cupcakes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Vegan pancakes that fluff up properly are hard to come by – so I’ve adapted a classic pancake recipe with the vegan substitutes I’ve found work best.
Makes 6 medium-sized pancakes
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (OR spelt)
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon white sugar (OR brown/coconut sugar)
- 1 1/4 cups almond/soy milk
- 1/4 cup applesauce OR 1 tbsp ground flax seeds dissolved in 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil), room temperature
- 3/4 cup frozen (or fresh) blueberries
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the almond milk, applesauce and 1 tablespoon coconut oil; add blueberries and mix until blended, lumps are okay. Don’t overmix!
- Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Grease the pan with 1/2 tsp coconut oil. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides.
The Vampires in The Vampire Diaries aren’t just ridiculously sexy undead creatures who drink blood. They’re faster and stronger than the average human being, and they have super hearing. And yes, they burn in the sun (or, most of them, anyway.) But what is it about these particular vamps that makes them so…compelling?
People in my life can not believe I watch TVD. And they’re right. There’s a lot of pretty gruesome violence that goes on in the show. As a highly sensitive person, I’ve always steered clear of strong images and especially violence, because it affected me too strongly. A single image from a movie could give me nightmares for weeks. So how on earth can I manage The Vampire Diaries? And why do I love it so much?
I’ll keep the answer to how I can tolerate all the violence for a later post. For now, let’s talk about my favorite theme in The Vampire Diaries: Heightened senses. Everything is magnified. Vampires experience everything to the extreme – and I relate to this on a deep level.
1. Senses are heightened.
2. Senses operating at super-speed.
Sometimes we can really be uncomfortable in our own skin.
3. Anger becomes rage.
There are good things and bad things about being a highly sensitive person. It’s usually not a cake-walk, and we don’t exactly get the benefits of super-strength and speed.
Beautiful things are more beautiful.
You live more intensely. Love more powerfully.
Anger becomes rage.
When you’re sad, you’re in despair.
Grief, loss…can cripple you.
4. It sucks.
Sometimes just the fact that we feel can really suck.
5. We don’t do anything half-speed, and that includes falling in love.
6. Don’t underestimate the allure of darkness.
It’s so much easier to fall into the darkness, to give in to the part of you that wants to be numb and shut down.
7. Sometimes the trivial things are not so trivial at all.
Like getting out of bed.
(Note to TVD fans: yes, I realize nobody in this particular quote is a vampire. You know what I’m trying to say.)
8. One minute I think I’m fine, the next minute I feel like I’m dying.
Life can feel like a roller coaster, constantly flitting between extremes. We want to be okay so badly, but things can change so fast, and something as simple as the temperature in the room rising a few degrees can make us want to jump out of our skin.
9. So sick of crying.
And it’s not always from sadness or anger, sometimes I’m crying from allergies, or tiredness, or because someone is talking to me and that’s making me anxious even though inside I feel fine.
10. We. Feel. Everything.
Oh, man. What I wouldn’t give to be able to flip my humanity switch some days.
11. Sometimes hope really is the only thing that keeps me going.
12. There are times when it seems like all you feel is pain.
13. Fear of regressing.
Always standing on the edge of the pit you just climbed out of. The pain being with you all the time. The fear that one day you’re not going to want to fight anymore. Yep. Been there, Stefan.
14. It’s completely normal.
TVD also offers answers and affirmations. First: Your emotions are heightened. I promise you it’s completely normal.
15. Keep fighting and remember you’re not alone.
16. Accept yourself exactly the way you are.
17. Once you can hurt, you can love.
And sometimes we have to ask, what is the point? What do we gain from all of the pain we feel? What’s the point? And here’s Lexi with an answer: Love. That’s the point.
18. You tell yourself that you’re strong enough.
And what do we do? How do we get through a day when everything is extreme, regular city noise can be deafening and a faint winter sun can blind us?
You tell yourself that you’re strong enough.
And you make friends who are there to remind you in case you ever doubt it.
19. Don’t sit back and wait for the good parts to happen. But forgive yourself for trying to be happy during the bad parts.
20. But at the end of the day, we would never trade places with someone else.
I love this show. I love both of its spin-offs. I hope it lives at least as long as its oldest characters.
Proud to be featured in this beautiful publication.
In the beginning, God created heaven and earth. And God said, “Let there be love!” And there appeared before him a vast spread of playing cards. And God said to the archangel Azrael, “What is this?” And Azrael replied, “Your greatness, this is the game of Memory.” And God said to the angel, “How do we play?” And the angel explained the rules of Memory. And God turned over the first card and saw Adam. And he turned over another card and saw Eve, and they were a match. And God was pleased.
Then God said to Azrael, “How many cards are there?” and the angel replied, “As many people as ever will live on Earth.” And God said, “How many is that?” And the angel told him “It is Aleph Null.” And God said, “That is a large number.” And the archangel Azrael said, “Infinity is not a number.” And…
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