abracapocus

i have a serious brain disease. please bring me a cat.

Get organized with reusable, waterproof labels

Every once in a while, a company contacts me about reviewing a product. When the Kidecals folks wrote me offering to send me some of their products for free, it took me a while to get back to them because I wasn’t sure at first that I could use them for anything.

Kidecals are reusable labels you can stick on water bottles, food containers, clothing, walls, etc. Their main product is a pack of personalized labels in all different sizes that you can stick to your kids stuff as they carry it off to school, soccer practice, whatever other places kids go. The idea is to get your kid’s name on all their belongings so they don’t go astray. But I don’t have kids and I don’t go anywhere requiring labels.

What I could use though is a little organization in the kitchen. As someone that likes to cook and bake, it’s overflowing with ingredients, many poorly labeled. And the fridge ends up full of unidentifiable leftovers. Okay, now I’ve got a starting point. So I picked out a couple of label sheets and ordered them.

The first sheet is Kidecals set of pantry labels. You can customize what each label says to meet your unlabeled pantry item needs.

kidecals pantry labels

Most of Kidecals labels are printed, but they also have chalkboard labels that you can write on, clean off and use again. These are perfect for labeling containers of leftovers in the fridge.

kidecals chalkbaord labels

At the bakery, we labeled things with masking tape and a Sharpie. And I carried this habit home. It works, but it’s not pretty.

labeled mason jar

And here it is with my new label. Much prettier on the shelf!

kidecals mason jar label

The chalkboard labels are definitely limited by my horrendous handwriting. Protip: put the label on the container, then write on it otherwise you’ll probably smear it like I did. No big deal though, you can clean it and rewrite it.

kidecals chalkboard labels

The labels are supposed to stay on containers on the top rack of the dishwasher. And they’re supposed to be removable. To test this, I left the label on a a leftover bucket and sent it through the dishwasher. The label definitely stayed on the container through the wash. I tried to peel the label off while it was still warm from the dishwasher and it was sticking. So you probably have to let the dishes cool completely before trying to take labels off. Or just take them off before washing. It’ll stick to something else.

All in all I think these are pretty cool. Being cheap, I’d probably stick to my masking tape/Sharpie labeling method for my purposes, but if I had to keep track of a bunch of kid’s stuff, the Kidecals label packs would be super useful.

Pumpkin Walnut Muffins for World Vegan Day

Happy World Vegan Day!

To celebrate, I’m going to share another recipe from Dough, vegan Pumpkin Walnut Muffins. This was one of our most popular muffins at the bakery and while we made it year round, it’s particularly suited to this season.  And bonus, these muffins don’t require any weird ingredients. It’s all stuff you can get at any grocery store.

vegan pumpkin walnut muffins

Pumpkin Walnut Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose & half whole wheat pastry flour)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup canned pumpkin (just pumpkin, not pie filling)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 cup chopped walnuts plus one walnut half for top of each muffin

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tin with 12 liners.

2. Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a mixing bowl. In a another bowl, whisk together pumpkin, milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just mixed. Stir in chopped walnuts.

3. Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 with batter or if you have one with #12 scoop. Put a walnut half on the top of each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

vegan pumpkin walnut muffin closeup

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

When I saw that Califia Farms had a vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte almond milk coffee blend I got pretty excited. Sure, there are plenty of recipes online for making one at home. But a jug of it already made is, well, already made. Then you don’t have to think about partial cans of pumpkin, etc.

Soon enough, it was spotted in Atlanta and Kevin picked me up a jug because he’s cool like that. So I broke into it pretty quickly. It’s pumpkiny, spicy and not too sweet unlike most of the other holiday drinks out there. But where’s the coffee? I can’t taste it at all. I had a glass before dinner a few times and never felt the caffeine either.

califia farms pumpkin spice latte

Not enough coffee, hmm? The next thing I tried to do was pour it into my coffee like a creamer. That wasn’t good. I’ve used their regular almond milks as creamer just fine, but this wasn’t fatty or creamy enough.

coffee in mug

 

So I finished off the rest just as a drink, usually before bed as an after dinner snack. Sadly, I didn’t like it enough to get any more. Oh well, next new vegan product, please!

P.S. Why yes, that is a Jeannette Zeis vegan mug that I’ve had forever. I think it was a second but around here it’s my first.

Quick, versatile tofu recipe

People seem to spend a lot of time fretting over how to flavor their tofu. Yes, there are a billion different marinade recipes out there and preparation methods. But sometimes simple is best. Especially when you’re lazy.

This is my goto seasoned tofu recipe. It’s generic enough that it can go in almost any cuisine. But flavorful enough that you’ll find yourself popping cubes in your mouth before the rest of the meal is done.

Quick Tofu Recipe

Ingredients

tamari, chili garlic paste, sesame oil

1 lb. firm or extra firm tofu, pressed
2 tablespoons Tamari, Bragg’s or Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2-1 teaspoon chili garlic paste
oil for frying or baking pan prep

Directions

First cube your pressed tofu.

cubed tofu

Put it in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except the oil for the pan. Stir it around until it is coated.

bowl of tofu

There are three different ways I finish it off, depending on my needs. You can fry it up in a pan until browned. You can bake it in the oven at 375F on a sheet sprayed with oil for about 20 minutes, flipping them at about 10 minutes in. Or, instead of cubing the tofu you can cut it in sticks or slabs and put it in a George Foreman grill, use a grill pan or even grill it outside. My first preference is to bake it. And my second choice is to pan fry, especially when my oven is broken like it was for a while.

browned tofu

We eat this tofu on salads, in burritos, and dropped into any other dish that feels like it wants some tofu in it. Since there’s no marinating required, it comes together quickly. The hardest part is remembering to press the tofu. We have a Tofu Xpress so I usually just keep a block of tofu in it in the fridge so it’s ready to go. It seems expensive for what it is, but sometimes it is worth it to pay for convenience.

Giveaway: free Tofutti products!

UPDATE: winners have been chosen & contacted. Thanks for playing!

For many of us, Tofutti was one of our first experiences with vegan cheese and ice cream products. Cream cheese, sour cream, cheese slices – their products helped many of us transition to being vegan.

Tofutti cream cheese was also an essential ingredient in many items at the bakery. Banana whoopie pies, the glaze on the cinnamon rolls, our pimento cheese, red velvet cake…so many things! When our distributor decided to stop carrying the 30 lb. food service block of Tofutti, we were frantic trying to figure out how to avoid buying the retail packs. I wrote Tofutti and they very kindly sent a bunch of coupons and other goodies to us to help us out.

vegan banana whoopie pies

Since they were so generous, I want to in turn share these with you. Just leave a comment below, make sure whatever method you use to comment includes an email address where I can contact you, and I’ll randomly pick three winners that will each receive two Tofutti product coupons. The coupons are for up to $3.99 off, which means most items will be free. Oh, and there’s NO EXPIRATION DATE. Deadline for entry is Friday, October 3rd at noon Eastern time. Sorry, U.S. residents only!

So enter below and start dreaming about some of these goodies:

tofutti vegan blintzes tofutti vegan cream cheese tofutti vegan ice cream drumsticks

Disclaimer: Yes, they gave me the free product coupons but they have no idea I’m doing this giveaway. I just enjoy their products and appreciate their company.

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