Molasses & Pear Gingerbread

This moist gingerbread cake is perfectly spiced and reminiscent of the holidays. Infused with molasses, nutmeg, and ginger with just the right of amount of sweetness and topped with sliced pears and candied ginger pieces, it's super easy to make and is sure to be loved by all.

Produce On Parade - Molasses & Pear Gingerbread - This moist gingerbread cake is perfectly spiced and reminiscent of the holidays. Infused with molasses, nutmeg, and ginger with just the right of amount of sweetness and topped with sliced pears and candied ginger pieces, it's super easy to make and is sure to be loved by all.
The great majority of Americans could reduce their protein intake...the best change would be to lower the daily intake of all proteins, but especially animal-derived proteins.
— Valter Longo, University of Southern California gerontology professor and director of the school’s Longevity Institute
Produce On Parade - Molasses & Pear Gingerbread - This moist gingerbread cake is perfectly spiced and reminiscent of the holidays. Infused with molasses, nutmeg, and ginger with just the right of amount of sweetness and topped with sliced pears and candied ginger pieces, it's super easy to make and is sure to be loved by all.

I subscribe to the belief that every dessert be of the chocolate variety. If a dessert does not contain chocolate in any of its various, beautiful forms then it shall be categorized as a non-dessert (in my eyes at least). Okay, that might be a bit extreme. I'll just settle with the very biased and unjust assumption that I probably won't enjoy it much. I don't like fruit conspiring with my sweets (save a delicious berry crisp). Flavors other than chocolate? Hard pass. Except coffee, but that's another matter entirely and reserved solely for ice cream and tiramisu. 

What I am trying to say is...if you're the type of person who agrees that apple pie, raisin oatmeal cookies, and jam donuts are sorry excuses for a proper dessert (I mean my god, we could be having chocolate silk pie!), then we are one in the same. It's with such like-mindedness that I tell you, as a self-professed, unusually particular sweet-toothed foodie, that this gingerbread cake makes a most exceptional sweet treat. I know, I know... there is no chocolate involved. Such a fact has not been overlooked. However, it does not negate the fact that this cake is so good I want to make it weekly and eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert; to which I fully and proudly admit that I have, yes, in fact done all four this week. And now I'm out of this cake, because I ate it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert... I must make more. 

Produce On Parade - Molasses & Pear Gingerbread - This moist gingerbread cake is perfectly spiced and reminiscent of the holidays. Infused with molasses, nutmeg, and ginger with just the right of amount of sweetness and topped with sliced pears and candied ginger pieces, it's super easy to make and is sure to be loved by all.
Produce On Parade - Molasses & Pear Gingerbread - This moist gingerbread cake is perfectly spiced and reminiscent of the holidays. Infused with molasses, nutmeg, and ginger with just the right of amount of sweetness and topped with sliced pears and candied ginger pieces, it's super easy to make and is sure to be loved by all.

All that should really be pretty sufficient evidence to convince you that you definitely want to make this cake. Not that I'm trying to force you to make it or anything. It's just so scrummy and perfectly timed for the holidays and I just don't want you to miss out okay?! But, if you need more convincing, I can do that too. To start, it's super easy and incredibly hands off. And what a beauty too, I mean just look at it. It's also foolproof and vegan of course and it involves fruit, so, that equates to it being healthy right? Right. Also, GINGER. Enough said.

Produce On Parade - Molasses & Pear Gingerbread - This moist gingerbread cake is perfectly spiced and reminiscent of the holidays. Infused with molasses, nutmeg, and ginger with just the right of amount of sweetness and topped with sliced pears and candied ginger pieces, it's super easy to make and is sure to be loved by all.
Produce On Parade - Molasses & Pear Gingerbread - This moist gingerbread cake is perfectly spiced and reminiscent of the holidays. Infused with molasses, nutmeg, and ginger with just the right of amount of sweetness and topped with sliced pears and candied ginger pieces, it's super easy to make and is sure to be loved by all.

Molasses & Pear Gingerbread

Recipe by Kathleen Henry @ Produce On Parade

This moist gingerbread cake is perfectly spiced and reminiscent of the holidays. Infused with molasses, nutmeg, and ginger with just the right of amount of sweetness and topped with sliced pears and candied ginger pieces, it's super easy to make and is sure to be loved by all.

Yield: 8-10 slices

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick) vegan butter
  • ½ cup vegan sugar
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup vegan sour cream
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 2 pears, cored and sliced into ¼ inch slices
  • ¼ cup crystallized ginger, minced

Cooking Directions

  1. Melt the butter, sugar, agave nectar, and molasses in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until the butter has melted and the sugar mostly dissolved. Remove from heat.
  2. While the butter melts, whisk together the flour through the nutmeg in large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir the butter and sugar mixture into the flour mixture until almost combined, then stir in the sour cream and aquafaba until just combined.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a 9 inch springform pan with a nonstick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the pan, leveling it out with a little shake and the back of a spatula.
  5. Slice the pears and arrange them in a pinwheel configuration on top of the batter. Place in the oven and bake for about 40-50 minutes, until the middle is set and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  6. Leave in the pan and place on a wire cooling rack to cool, for at least 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top with the minced ginger. Slice into 8-10 pieces and serve. Store in an airtight container.
Produce On Parade - Molasses & Pear Gingerbread - This moist gingerbread cake is perfectly spiced and reminiscent of the holidays. Infused with molasses, nutmeg, and ginger with just the right of amount of sweetness and topped with sliced pears and candied ginger pieces, it's super easy to make and is sure to be loved by all.
Produce On Parade - Molasses & Pear Gingerbread - This moist gingerbread cake is perfectly spiced and reminiscent of the holidays. Infused with molasses, nutmeg, and ginger with just the right of amount of sweetness and topped with sliced pears and candied ginger pieces, it's super easy to make and is sure to be loved by all.

Information of the Day

Because I know you'll need a retort for the eye-roll inducing, "But I just know you aren't getting enough protein in your vheg-en diet thing!" during the holiday season; here you go: The Washington Post says that too much protein could lead to an early death. Yikes! Not all that great after all, eh? "U.S. and Italian researchers tracked thousands of adults during nearly two decades and found that those who ate a diet high in animal proteins during middle age were four times more likely to die of cancer than contemporaries with low-protein diets — a risk factor, if accurate, comparable to smoking. They also were several times more likely to die of diabetes, researchers said."

Christmas In The Thimble Home

Heh heh. Like my new do? I'm sorry, I just couldn't restrain myself from the tomfoolery... katiesanta

I'm never really sure what the acceptable time frame is to put up the Christmas tree...but people seem to get really grouchy about such stuff. I, personally, love seeing all the Christmas stuff in the stores before Halloween. All the longer to be excited! Right? I'm being serious.

Growing up on vast plot of our very own Alaskan land, we have a plethora of wonderful Christmas tree candidates to choose from. Only the very best make the cut. My older brother and I have always been particularly picky about our family Christmas trees. It must be at least 12 feet tall, have no gaps in the branches, be the correct girth and of course, be absolutely perfect in general. However, as fun as it getting the tree, I always do feel a bit remorseful when chopping it down. Though, I've never really expressed this. We've always had a real Christmas tree from the property. One year, my dad merely suggested getting a fake tree and...let's just say the topic was never brought up again.

Getting the family Alaskan Christmas tree went a little something like this...

...the entire family dons the proper winter apparel (dogs included, Bob must have his blue winter bandana on) and either trudges or snowmachines (not snowmobiles...I do not live in The States) through the woods to find the tree. Sometimes we scout it out by foot earlier in the week. If we go by snowmachine, us little ones ride in the sled. Little ones being pretty much everyone but my dad, who obviously has to drive the snowmachine (it's machine in Alaska, not mobile). Once we find the tree we take a hand saw, or a chainsaw if we my dad is feeling extra-non-Christmasy and cut it down, tie it to the sled and bring it home. 

But now...

...I've been struggling with what to do for Todd and my little thimble of a home. Currently we have nothing. Sure, I strung Christmas lights around a few of the trees outside the house, have a felted mistletoe from West Elm hanging from the ceiling, I wrapped up all the gifts I've bought so far, and of course I am listening to my Christmas music non-stop, but it doesn't feel like enough. When we walk down the street, and I see the neighbors with their beautiful, festive trees up and all decorated and glowing, my Christmas spirit feels insufficient, at best. It's like my Christmas-O-Meter is hanging down around low-to-empty. Waaah!

Todd told me this weekend we could find ourselves a tree, but I don't want to chop one down. It makes me too sad! I know, go ahead and laugh, but it really does! And the idea of having a fake tree, oh god, is almost more upsetting than having to chop down a real one. My friend told me that in Oregon, her family would buy their Christmas tree like you would if you were to plant it. They would keep it in a bucket which would be covered with fabric and then after Christmas was over, they would plant it outside! Of course, I thought this was perfect. I will have to look into it and see if we have something similar up here in Alaska. 

However, while fiddling around on BlogLovin' (because where else would I be farting around at right now? I told you I am obsessed) I found this photo.

Source: Planete Deco

What a great idea! Why hadn't I thought of it before? Our tiny thimble home doesn't allow for much of anything, really. It's awfully tiny. Our coffee pot is in the entryway/laundry room/storage room/coatroom/dressing room. And our living room is a tiny loft. The entire house can be partitioned in two if the fridge door is opened at a 90 degree angle. Yes. It's that kind of small. But it's home. For now. See part it for yourself, here.

Spruce branch clippings in glass vases will give the smell of Christmas and even the thimble home can accommodate them! They can even go in all the rooms to seriously infuse that pinetree smell. And the best part is, an entire tree doesn't have to go! 

"What about mah DECK-O-RAY-SHUNS!?" you may questionably shout. Never fear! Just clip larger branches to accommodate them. Ah yes. 

Place on a table or in a corner and the presents can go below! It's not an actual Christmas tree, but it's something at least, and I think it might just have to do this year. We might get some lights to go around the frame of a window for some twinkle, too. Who says you have to be traditional? If you have a small space or just want more Christmas spirit infused into your home (more, we want more!), I hope this has inspired you!

Hurry for the Holidays!

Wishing you and yours a kind and peaceful start to the Holidays.

Cheers!

Whole Food Vegan Veggie Loaf

I used to really like meatloaf. My Dad had the best recipe. As I really ponder it, I'm not sure if he had an actual tangible recipe that he followed or if it was just mostly in his head. Whatever it was, I thought it was pretty good. However, now when I think about...meatloaf in general is pretty darn gross. Sorry. Eww, okay, must stop thinking about it. I'm happy to say that I've found a much better alternative to ground animal bits transformed into a "loaf". My recipe for a Whole Food Vegan Veggie Loaf! The best part (besides no need for killed animals) is that there's no tofu, no textured vegetable protein or even vegan grain-meat. It's made from real, whole foods like lentils, oats, and a few other magical ingredients. I know, it sounds like crazy, hippie food and you're thinking it's no where near as good as real meat loaf, but I promise you that it's just as good. I wouldn't lie to you! Santa Claus is coming to town soon!  I'm good for goodness sake.

So skip the meatloaf (or meat in general!) and surprise your friends and family with a peaceful feast that includes this Whole Food Vegan Veggie Loaf! 

veggieloafI've been thinking that this will be a great alternative to turkey, pig or cow for the Holidays. I can't wait to share it with everyone! 

Whole Food Vegan Veggie Loaf 

Adapted slightly from the renowned Plant-Powered Kitchen

Serves 6

  • --Veggie Loaf--
  • 1/2 cup dry red lentils
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup dry steel-cut oats
  • 2 cups water, boiling
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup dry old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. flaxseed, ground
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • --Topping--
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder (optional)
  • sprinkling of dried oregano

In a large saucepan, combine the lentils, vegetable broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to medium and cover. Allow to cook for about 30 minutes. After this time the lentils should be cooked. 

lentilloaf (1 of 9)Add in the steel-cut oats and water, stirring well. Bring back to a boil, then cover, turn to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover after the 10 minutes, stir well and cook uncovered until the water is gone and the steel-cut oats are mostly cooked.

While the oats are cooking, combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well. Preheat the oven to 375 F and line a bread pan with parchment paper, then coat with a nonstick cooking spray. 

When the oats are finished cooking and resemble a dryish cooked oatmeal, remove the bay leaf and add in all the remaining ingredients, except for the topping. Stir well to combine. 

lentilloaf (2 of 9)Transfer the mixture into the bread pan, spreading it out evenly. Brush on the topping, sprinkle with oregano and cover gently with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 F for about 25-30 minutes then remove the foil and continue to bake for another 7-10 minutes. 

lentilloaf (3 of 9)Once done, remove from oven and allow to rest on a cooling rack, in-pan for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

lentilloaf (4 of 9)

Serve as you would meatloaf and enjoy a peaceful feast! 

lentilloaf (7 of 9) lentilloaf (8 of 9)Blaring Michael Bublé – Holly Jolly Christmas ...alone...in my office tech area...

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