Mother’s Day Weekend in Pictures

On Mother’s Day, we took our annual trip to IKEA and Trader Joe’s. I did good, and only spent about $100. We got ideas for our kitchen island, and really liked the layout of this walk-in pantry they had on the showroom floor. Of course, I had a list of things to get from IKEA, and had instant buyer’s remorse when I got home and didn’t get everything (curtains, photo ledge, white picture frames).

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At Trader Joe’s I got the most delicious falafel wrap. After I ate it, I realized it was 680 calories…oops!

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I also got tofu spring rolls.IMAG6821

And chile spiced mango. I wasn’t sure if I liked them at first, but the bag only lasted two days, so I guess they were pretty good.

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I got this huge palm for $10.50 at IKEA, and I decided to try with another orchid ($9.99). The flowers are looking great, but I’ve already lost one dark green petal. I wasn’t sure about buying plants from a furniture store, but they were both cheap.

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I also got this beautiful lily as a Mother’s Day gift.

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And this faucet (which was really more for my husband).

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I did a little bit of de-wallpapering because this is where we’re planning to put the pantry. That’s a doorway from the kitchen into the living room, and we’d like to put up a piece of drywall to block it off. We’re not in any rush, but my job was to take down the wall paper, so now I can say I did my part!
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Did you do anything special for Mother’s Day? Or have any home renovations going on?

Recipe: Incredibly Easy Homemade Cannoli

Vegan Cannoli

When I was growing up, every Saturday after dance class we’d pick up a pizza for dinner from an Italian restaurant near my house. Every once in a while we’d get cannolis because they had *the* best homemade cannolis. I’m super snobby about cannolis (and tirimisu) and I promise these will not disappoint. I was always intimidated by cannolis because I was afraid that the shell wouldn’t hold together without eggs. I also wasn’t going to buy special tubes to form them. I put off trying to make them for the longest time and now I realize how silly that was because these are incredibly simple! Recipe is at the bottom of the post.

The ingredients are fairly straight forward. I used EnerG egg replacer, but Bob’s Red Mill would probably work too. I didn’t use my usual flax/chia eggs since I didn’t want to see them in the shell.

The other shortcut I took, which turned out really well, was baking them. I didn’t want to go through the hassle of frying them. The only tricky part of the whole recipe is forming them as SOON as the edges of the cookies start to brown. Don’t overcook or take too long or they won’t bend neatly.

Cannoli shells baking

If you don’t form them fast enough, don’t worry because you’ll  end up with tasty sugar cookies. I made 6 at a time on one baking sheet, but it might be easier, at least to start, to do 3 or 4 at a time, and then baking the next batch, that way you can roll them before they start to set.

Cannoli shell

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can basically use 1 medium bowl and a cookie sheet. I used a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup to mix the shell batter and the filling. There are no complicated ingredients, and clean up is a breeze.

Cannoli shellsCannoli shell fail

Another note, I’m the worst baked goods decorator EVER, but it’s easy to make these look pretty. I piped the filling in using a pastry bag, but don’t worry about making them look nice at that point. Decorate with mini chocolate chips and powdered sugar/cinnamon, and they’ll get eaten so fast no one will notice if they’re not perfect.

Fill cannoli shellShell filled with creamVegan Cannoli

Vegan Baked Cannoli
Author: 
Recipe type: vegan, dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This recipe looks a lot more complicated than it actually is. The only tricky part is working quickly when the shells come out of the oven. Other than that, are very impressive looking, and delightfully wonderful dessert.
Ingredients
Cannoli Shells
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 faux eggs (I used EnerG egg replacer)
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used organic canola, but you can use coconut or something else)
  • 1 tbsp non-dairy margarine, melted (I prefer Earth Balance)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup flour
Filling
  • ½ cup vegan ricotta (I use Tofutti brand)
  • ⅓ cup vegan cream cheese (again, I like Tofutti)
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar (plus more if desired)
Optional for Garnish
  • Chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cinnamon
Instructions
Shells
  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  2. Lightly spray a baking sheet with baking spray.
  3. Whisk together the sugar, and faux eggs.
  4. Add in oil, non-dairy margaine, and vanilla.
  5. Whisk in flour, until smooth.
  6. Using a tablespoon, spoon batter onto greased baking sheet. Each cookie should be a heaping tablespoon-2 tablespoons. This should make about 6 cannoli shells.
  7. The cookies should be fairly thin and will need room between each to spread out a little more.
  8. Bake 7 to 8 minutes, and be very careful not to over cook.
  9. As soon as the cookies are out of the oven, one at a time, roll into a tube shape and place on a dish, seam side down. They do not have to be perfect, but you will need to work quickly or they will not bend.
Filling
  1. Whisk together the ricotta and cream cheese until fairly smooth.
  2. Add in orange extract.
  3. Whisk in confectioner's sugar. Start with half a cup, and then add in ¼ of a cup at a time.
  4. The more sugar you add, the stiffer the filling will be. If you use less, it will be creamier. Add sugar til it's the consistency desired.
To Assemble
  1. Spoon or pipe the filling into the cannoli shells. You can use a pastry bag, or a ziplock bag with a corner snipped off. This doesn't have to be pretty.
  2. Garnish with mini chocolate chips, powdered sugar, and cinnamon.

Vegan CannoliVegan Cannoli

Review: Montagne Jeunesse Face Masks

montagneJeunesseI’ve been searching for the past 9 months, since we bought our house, for a skin care routine that will help all the breakouts I’ve been getting from our hard water. I’ve tried a million (slight exaggeration) different things, all with varying degrees of effectiveness. Montagne Jeunesse sent me a few of these face masks to try, and I’ve really been enjoying them. I planned on asking my husband to do one with me one night, and they actually have a men’s one, so he had no excuse!  The main reason I really love these face masks is because of how well they work. It’s like they reset my skin. I like to do them on Sunday night in order to relax and get ready for the upcoming week. They have different types, and they all make my skin really smooth, and lessen redness.

What I love about these:

  • They work. They make your skin incredibly smooth.
  • The cost and availability. You can find them in your local grocery store, and they only cost a few dollars. I use 1/2 a package once a week, which means I spend $3-4 a month.
  • A lot of product. I get two uses out of one package, so this makes it even cheaper.
  • They don’t use animal testing, and most of them are vegan. (Some have milk derivatives or honey.)

What I would change:

I love *most* of the ingredients, but I wish they should take out the fragrance and artificial colors. I know most beauty products have both of these, but I try to avoid them if possible.

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These were the two my husband and I did the other night.faceMaskIf you’d like to try Montagne Jeunesse skincare, they are running a giveaway on their Facebook page over here.

I’d also love to pick up a few products to do a giveaway here if there is any interest! Let me know in the comments!