Natalie

About Natalie

Welcome to Are You Kitchen Me?! Where I write about food, healthy lifestyles, and post my favorite recipes!

Classic Sugar Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m back for my first recipe of 2018 and have been struck by Cupid- I’m in LOVE with Classic Sugar Cookies!

Classic Sugar Cookies (vegan) | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Heya howdy hi hello! Been a while, huh? I took December and January off of blogging and writing recipes and did a heck of a lot of reflecting and learning. It had originally been my (admittedly last-minute) intention to take some time off during December and “come back strong” in January with concrete goals and renewed energy. But as I thought about it…

I realized I was aiming to start the year with renewed mental strength, just as I had in years past with dieting and disordered eating behavior.

Fearing that I was going to fall into an addiction transfer trap and not wanting to set myself up for failure and disappointment, I decided not to push it. Deliberately and decidedly, I started this year off with no goals for this blog. John and I did set some personal goals like “set boundaries to protect my mental health” and “clean the litter box more frequently” but we worked hard to set objectives that were meaningful and achievable.

Classic Sugar Cookies (vegan) | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Classic Sugar Cookies (vegan) | AreYouKitchenMe.com

That said, one “unofficial” goal I have for writing this year is to feature less healthy and green recipes and incorporate more decadent and delightful noms. I still love vegetables and eating wholesome, balanced meals makes me feel great. But you know what fills me with nostalgia and joy?

Cookies.

Classic Sugar Cookies (vegan) | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I can take zero credit for the original recipe for these classic sugar cookies. My mom has been baking them every single Christmas for as long as I can remember. She has a printed recipe titled “Beth Stiver’s Sugar Cookies” (I have no idea who Beth Stivers is but I feel like I owe her a tray of cookies for all of the wonderful memories of my youth) but could probably bake them blindfolded.

Classic Sugar Cookies (vegan) | AreYouKitchenMe.com

One week in January, John asked me “Can we have sugar cookies besides just at Christmas?” and I was perplexed. It had genuinely never occurred to me to bake these outside of the holiday season. They were a treat after all, right? But how silly!

Why should cookies be limited to one time of year??

So cookies again it was! I’ve experimented with a few variations of veganizing the classic sugar cookies of my childhood and finally landed on a version I’m satisfied with. You’d never know they’re vegan- slightly crispy, soft in the center, and smothered in fluffy buttercream frosting.

Classic Sugar Cookies (vegan) | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Classic Sugar Cookies (vegan) | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I may not have concrete plans for writing in 2018, but I do have a lot of plans for eating cookies. Cheers to that.

Classic Sugar Cookies

Yield: 3-4 dozen cookies

Classic Sugar Cookie cutouts with a light and fluffy buttercream frosting! Perfect for your favorite holiday or, even better, any day of the year!

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) room-temp non-dairy butter, I use Earth Balance
  • 2 Tbs. aquafaba (liquid drained from a can of chickpeas)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. almond extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Frosting
  • ½ cup (1 stick) room-temp non-dairy butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-4 Tbs. non-dairy milk

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream sugar and butter.
  2. Add aquafaba and extracts and beat to combine.
  3. Sift dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and slowly add into the wet until combined, scraping the sides.
  4. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, preferably overnight.
  5. Heat oven to 375F. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to soften for about 30-60 minutes on the counter.
  6. Divide dough in half, generously flour work surface and rolling pin, and roll 3/16 inches thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. *I like to freeze my cut out cookies for at least 15 minutes at this step to help them keep their shape in the oven but it is totally optional.
  7. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for 7-8 minutes or until golden. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  8. To make the frosting, beat the ingredients together with a hand mixer adding milk a little at a time, until smooth and spreadable. I decorated these cookies with finely crushed freeze-dried strawberries but feel free to use sprinkles or whatever floats your boat!
http://www.areyoukitchenme.com/classic-sugar-cookies/

Classic Sugar Cookies (vegan) | AreYouKitchenMe.com

What I Ate Wednesday

A quick recap of a day of eats! What I Ate Wednesday in a jiffy!

Happy Humpday friends! I got distracted and took a little nap on the couch so this is going to be a short and sweet update! Shall we?

What I Ate Wednesday | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

Breakfast: Half a banana before the gym then a pumpkin smoothie with allll the spinach.

What I Ate Wednesday | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

Snack: Opal apple- they’re back in season!

What I Ate Wednesday | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

Lunch: Thanksgiving leftovers. Some of my Harvest Kale Salad (with added roasted delicata squash), my spin on Gena’s lentil loaf, mushroom gravy, and this sweet potato casserole recipe, veganized. Oh, and Whole Foods cranberry sauce. (P.S. anyone else SO sick of Thanksgiving leftover?!)

What I Ate Wednesday | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

Snack: Trader Joe’s crispy green pea snacks while I made dinner. Not pictured cup of herbal tea.

What I Ate Wednesday | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

Dinner: Trader Joe’s cauliflower crust pizza. Frozen crust (it was just ok), tomato sauce, Follow Your Heart shredded mozzarella, spinach, artichokes, chopped garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, and some homemade vegan “parm”.

What I Ate Wednesday | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

Snack: Half of a Healthaid holiday kombucha. Found this rare flavor at Whole Foods Easton!

What I Ate Wednesday | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

Dessert: An extra crispy pumpkin pie bite with Whole Foods’ coconut whipper topping. This stuff is LEGIT!

And that’s all y’all! Have a fan-freaking-tastic week!

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup

As the temperature plummets, the need for warm and soulful comfort food rises! Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup is rich, filling, and comes together in less than 30 minutes- a winter wonder!

One Sunday, after tragically overcooking a batch of black eyed peas in my pressure cooker, I had an epiphany. Ok, maybe epiphany is an exaggeration, but let’s just say I had an idea…

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through my years of cooking is that there really are no failures. Take my pumpkin-pie-turned-charcoal-briquettes from last week. They looked absolutely horrendous and the crust was totally ruined but even then, the inside filling was caramelized and delightful. See that? Silver lining.

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

The same happened with my mushy, falling-apart, nearly-disintegrated black eyed peas. I had planned to freeze them for salads and stews but their lack of structural integrity rendered that plan inoperative. What does one do with six cups of soggy bean mush…? Soup, of course.

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

I leaned into some Caribbean flavors for this soup with allspice, thyme, and coconut milk. I think a few chunks of pineapple or some exotic dried fruit would take this soup to a truly tropical level. And if you can take the heat, a drizzle of Sriracha is divine.

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

Learning to cook has taught me to fail. Again and again and again you fail. Your cookies fall apart and your sauce separates and your cake falls flat and your greens turn out tough and inedible. But you learn. The phrase “no use crying over spilt milk” has become somewhat of a motto in my kitchen. Less and less these days do I find myself a crying mess on the kitchen floor after the pancakes I wanted for breakfast looked more like piles of burnt scrambled oatmeal. Instead, I just eat oatmeal.

I guess this is a lesson in resilience. Things don’t always go the way we planned, but at the end of the day you can have a pot of soggy mush or bowl of delicious soup. Up to you.

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

As the temperature plummets, the need for warm and soulful comfort food rises! Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup is rich, filling, and comes together in less than 30 minutes- a winter wonder!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 bay leaf?
  • 2-4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cans blacks eyed peas (or 4 cups cooked- or overcooked!)
  • ½ lb. kale, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (I prefer full fat)

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium stockpot over medium-high heat and add oil. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in mushrooms and sauté another 8-10 minutes, until most of their liquid has cooked out. Add garlic, allspice, thyme and cayenne for an additional 2 minutes.
  2. Add the black eye peas and stock and bring to a low boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add kale and coconut milk and return to a simmer. Stir until kale has wilted, about 2 minutes.
http://www.areyoukitchenme.com/creamy-black-eyed-pea-soup/

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

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