Molasses Cookies

Molasses cookies are my absolute favorite Christmas cookie. They are slightly spicy from the ground ginger, warm from the cinnamon and cloves and they are SOFT. They are super easy to make and they are very fast. You could easily make these in about 20 or 30 minutes start to finish. 

These molasses cookies are also great for kids since they are so soft. I actually brought these in for my daughter’s birthday treat at her preschool because the teacher told me that they all just lick the icing off of cupcakes anyway – ha! The kids LOVED them! 

I also like to use blackstrap molasses which has lots of vitamins and nutrients from the sugar cane plant that are lost in the process of making sugar. Actually when my daughter was anemic, I used to give her a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses every morning to boost her iron. 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup melted butter 

1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

1 egg

1 cup brown sugar 

2 1/4 cup flour

2 tsp baking soda 

1/2 tsp kosher salt 

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger 

1 tsp cloves 

3-5 tablespoons granulated sugar 

(Use all organic ingredients if possible!)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. 

2. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, egg, and blackstrap molasses. 


3. Add in flour, baking soda, and spices. Mix well. You’ll end up with a really smooth brown dough. 



4. Put your granulated sugar in a separate bowl so you can roll the cookies in it before baking. 


5. Form small (about 1 or 1.5 inch) balls and roll them in the sugar before putting them on the cookie sheet. 


6. Bake for 8 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool completely before moving the cookies. They come out looking like this. 

These are what Santa will be getting this year!! Hope he likes them! 

Thanksgiving donations 

Recently at church, we were able to take  brown grocery bags with a grocery shopping list on it to collect thanksgiving donations for a local shelter. Basically, it is the ultimate way of showing LOVE via FOOD. So many times in my life it’s been easier to just write a check or toss a $20 towards a charity or fundraiser, but this ministry was one I wanted to be personally involved in. I went to my favorite grocery store with my list in hand and set out only for the items on it. I already did my grocery shop for my family for the week, so this trip was truly dedicated only to my Thanksgiving donation bag. It was such a good feeling picking out food for those in my community who can’t afford it this holiday season. I bought stuffing mix, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, a pie crust, pumpkin pie filling, evaporated milk, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce, and cornbread mix for my Thanksgiving donation bag. I know how much it means to me to sit around the table and enjoy these things with my family, so I love being able to pay it forward and allows some others in my community to do the same with their loved ones. 
I’m not the best Christian in the world. We only make it to church once or twice a month. But honestly this opportunity to help others and show them love and compassion by providing them with food really spoke to me and made my heart feel full. The Operation Turkey coordinator at my church told me that we donated over 900 lbs of food and $745 towards buying turkeys for people in our community. That, my friends, is love. Via food. 

Do any of you have charities that you support that really speak to your heart over the holiday season?  Pleas Share them with me! It’s so important to give back and teach our kids to do the same. Xoxo

Vegan brownies

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My best friend Maggi has been dairy and egg free for 7 months because she is breastfeeding her son who has severe allergies to both. So while we are not religious vegans, I have been creating a lot of vegan treats for her. These vegan brownies are delicious and so easy and fast to make. They are perfect if you have a last minute invitation and you want to bring something yummy. You basically just need to preheat the oven, spend a couple minutes mixing the ingredients and 20 minutes to bake. Voila – you’re done and have delicious vegan brownies! I also have chosen to make them a little bit healthier with extra virgin olive oil instead of canola or GMO laden vegetable oil. Don’t worry, no one will ever know! 

Give these vegan brownies a try for your vegan and non vegan friends alike and I promise that no one will complain! Let me know how they turn out for you. 
Dry ingredients:


1 1/3 cup organic flour 

1 cup organic sugar 

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp baking powder 
Wet ingredients:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 

1/2 cup water 

1 tsp vanilla extract 
Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 9 pan with cooking spray. 

2. Put all your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk it to combine. 

3. Add your wet ingredients and whisk everything together. 


4. Press your batter down with a spatula to flatten. 


5.Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting. 

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Vegan Pumpkin Bread Recipe – Happy fall, y’all!! This recipe is great for those who are avoiding eggs and dairy, but still want to participate in the PUMPKIN-ness of fall!! It is a favorite in our house, and I also love to give this bread as a gift as it holds up really nicely and freezes well.  I sent some in Lyla’s backpack for her preschool teachers, and mailed one to my cousin who is a freshman at Virginia Tech.

The reason I developed this recipe is for my friend Maggi who is breastfeeding, but her son has a severe dairy and egg allergy.  The pumpkin bread recipe that I have made for years had 4 eggs in it, so I wanted to see what happened if I tried flax eggs instead.  You honestly can’t taste a difference.  Maggi also loves chocolate, so that’s the reason for the optional chocolate chips add in!  Just look for the Vegan label on the chocolate chips.  Try this vegan pumpkin bread recipe and let me know what you think!


Vegan Pumpkin Bread
This Vegan Pumpkin Bread recipe is a perfect fall staple for those breastfeeding moms who are avoiding eggs and dairy.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 1/2 cups organic all purpose flour
  2. 3 cups organic raw granulated sugar (or coconut palm sugar)
  3. 2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  5. 1 tsp cinnamon
  6. 1 tsp nutmeg
  7. 4 tablespoons flax meal, 1/2 cup water
  8. 2/3 cup water
  9. 1 cup organic canola oil
  10. 1 15 oz can organic pumpkin
  11. 1 cup vegan or dairy free chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix flax meal and water in a bowl and set aside for at least 5 minutes. These flax eggs are a perfect substitute for eggs.
  2. 2. Mix all dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) in your mixer.
  3. 3. Add wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. 4. If using, add chocolate chips last and mix for 15 seconds.
  5. 5. Pour evenly into 3 bread pans greased with cooking spray.
  6. 6. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool before serving.
Notes
  1. Freezes well! Perfect for those avoiding eggs and dairy.
Love Via Food http://loveviafood.com/
Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups organic all purpose flour

3 cups organic raw granulated sugar (or coconut palm sugar)

2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

4 tablespoons flax meal, 1/2 cup water

2/3 cup water

1 cup organic canola oil

1 15 oz can organic pumpkin

1 cup vegan or dairy free chocolate chips (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix flax meal and water in a bowl and set aside for at least 5 minutes.  These flax eggs are a perfect substitute for eggs.

flax egg
 
2. Mix all dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) in your mixer.


3. Add wet ingredients and mix until combined.


4. If using, add chocolate chips last and mix for 15 seconds. I love this kind when avoiding dairy!

5. Pour evenly into 3 bread pans greased with cooking spray.


6. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool before serving. Freezes well!

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