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cleaning (5) craft (26) DIY food (7) niftyman (4) nondairy (18) vegan (11)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Nondairy Creamy Avocado Soup

Here's another solution to the constant challenge of making a creamy yet nondairy soup: use avocados. I just happen to have half a dozen ripe avocados and everyone loves guacamole, but here's a nice way to change it up. I have to give credit to the avocado sack, which had a soup recipe. Unfortunately I threw away that messy net of a sack, so here's the version I made up through trial and error (i.e, bleh, this soup is too thin; ugh, too thick; ah, just right).

3 medium-sized avocados
32-oz box of reduced sodium chicken broth
12-oz can of corn
juice and zest of 1 lime or lemon
salt to taste
cilantro and lime wedges for garnish

Puree avocados and chicken broth in a small saucepan with yes, you guessed it, my best friend the handheld immersion blender.

The pressure to make use of these beauties weighs heavily.

OK, you caught me.
I'm just pretending
to puree here because
I forgot to take a
picture--the corn has
already gone in.

Bring to a boil. Season with salt--avocados usually require a lot of salt. Add corn, lime zest, and lime juice. Serve with chopped cilantro and lime wedges. You can also add shredded chicken for a heartier soup. Makes about four servings.

Phoebe looks pleased.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Peanut-Butter Banana Pupcakes: Cupcakes for Dogs

I wanted to make Luna cupcakes for her second birthday. Last year I made her meatballs, but meatballs aren't really that special these days, as I often make them for her to top her kibble. I used simple ingredients that Luna has eaten before. I'm not sure if dogs can have baking powder or baking soda, so I used beaten egg whites as the leavener. Basically, I substituted peanut butter for oil, banana for sugar, and oats for flour. As Ina Garten would say, How bad can that be?


4T peanut butter
2 egg yolks
1 ripe banana
1 egg white
1/2 c oats

frosting: 1 part Greek yogurt + 1 part peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate eggs--it's easiest to do this with cold eggs. Then let the white sit at room temperature for about half an hour before beating. Reserve 1 egg white for another use. (I usually add it to scrambled eggs.)

Beat egg whites in a standing mixer on low-medium speed until foamy. Turn up to medium-high speed until you get stiff peaks. This will take about 3 minutes.

Mash the bananas (I use a potato masher). Add peanut butter and egg yolks. Set wet ingredients aside.

Throw the oats into food processor. Process until oats resemble a course "flour."

Fold oat flour into wet ingredients. Fold beaten egg whites into batter.

Line a mini-muffin pan with paper cups. Use a small ice cream scoop to fill muffin cups with batter. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool in muffin tin for 15 minutes. Makes about 20 mini cupcakes.

I made a dozen for Luna. Then to make it more interesting for human consumption, I added 1/3c chocolate chips to the rest of the batter and ended up with 8 chocolate peanut-butter cupcakes. Caution: Chocolate is toxic to dogs, so make sure you don't mix up your cakes.

Luna (right) and her bffl Lacie (left),
hoping for more cupcakes

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Easy April Fool's Prank: How to Make Fake Poop

I'm sure I saw some mention of making poop out of toilet paper on Pinterest, but I failed to pin it, so I can't give credit to the mastermind who created this idea. I didn't see step-by-step instructions, but I just used common sense (that is, tear up the toilet paper roll). Here's an easy method for making fake poop:

I made this in less than ten minutes--so worth it for my husband's reaction: "Aaaaa! Why is there poop on the toilet?!" For a moment, he thought our dog did it. (But how did she balance herself on the toilet seat?) Then he thought our fifteen-year-old was in such a hurry that she didn't notice she left poop on the toilet. (Wha?)

OK, now go forth and prank someone.