Gone Pie Bakery Review

Coconut Brownies-gluten-free & vegan (2)

What a beautiful overcast day. Somedays it is nice to have a gloomy day with cool weather. Am I preparing for fall, you might ask? Perhaps, but there is this sense of peace and quiet solitude especially when one is by the lake.


We are really blessed to have great friends who have opened their homes to us when we make our trek from Lansing to Holland. It is a good 1.5 hour drive one way and sometimes our rehearsals go until 10pm, so it is not an ideal drive getting back home.

Yes. The time is here when the Holland Chorale comes back in session. Ryan has been in meetings, auditions, and hearings for the new year and I could already sense the excitement! I had my audition, singing one of Dvorak's pieces from his song cycle called the Biblical Songs. I also had to try out and be placed for a small chamber choir that Ryan directs. It was all pretty fun because as you know, I have not done tons of singing this summer. It has been a pretty busy one. I do have a voice lesson tonight so I am looking forward to that!

Anyway, while we are in Holland we get to stay with friends from the choir and usually we get to stay with a couple that live very near Lake Michigan. Last night we went for a boat ride after dinner. I had had a walk prior to dinner so it was nice and relaxing to putt putt around the lake. Nothing to rough though!


There was some nice wildlife on our way back from our ride too!


Being here has allowed me to relax in the way I should even though I have PLENTY on my mind. I have been working on a to-do list and I have been getting things off my list too! One of smaller things is having my nails done. This morning my friend's granddaughter was nice enough to paint mine just in time for the opening MSU game on Friday. How fun is that? Thanks Ellie!

So how about this review? I was able to sample some delicious and wonderful goodies by my friend at Gone Pie Bakery. We have met several times and even when she came to visit her family in Michigan. Gone Pie Bakery has been in business in the New York area for over 25 years specializing in vegan and gluten-free baking.

What started as a storefront business quickly evolved to an on-line / wholesale business catering to those with specialized diets. I know for a fact as well that many businesses around the area carry her products too! Gone Pie has also shared recipes on her blog and really keeps her readers updated on seasonal goodies that are being baked in her kitchen.

Vegan & Gluten-free Ginger Cookies

What did I get to try? Oh my goodness, where do I start? I think I should start with the Ginger Cookies. These are probably the most delicious ginger cookies I have eaten. They melt in your mouth and have a really fresh and natural ginger flavor that no other ginger cookie has been able to deliver. It is soft and very moist and perfect with a cup of  tea.

Vegan & Gluten-free Ginger Cookies 1

The beauty of this is that the ingredients are shared with the buyer. How great is it to know what you are ordering especially when you know everything is nautral! The best! YUM! Here is a sample of the ingredients:gluten-free flour blend (organic brown rice flour, tapioca flour, potato flour, gafarva four, sorghum flour, organic coconut flour, organic buckwheat flour, organic quinoa flour, organic amaranth flour), organic vegan sugar, organic apple sauce, organic coconut oil, Gone Pie vegan organic crystallized ginger, organic brown rice syrup, organic lemon, organic coconut milk, organic vanilla, spices, n/a baking powder, baking soda, sea salt.

Coconut Brownies-gluten-free & vegan

My next favorite were the Vegan and Gluten-free Coconut Brownies. Yes...let's take a moment to digest this. Imagine the smell and the flavor....ok. Do you have a sense?

This has got to be the moist decadent and moist brownie I have ever eaten. It took me a while to finish the pan because I cherished each bite. There was not a single dry crumble. It is amazing to be able to eat something so delicious and natural that tastes so good but does not leave you wanting or craving more. This I think is a sign of natural baking not lacking in flavor! Here are those ingredients: organic brown sugar, gluten-free flour blend (sorghum flour, organic rice flour, garfava flour, potato flour, tapioca flour, organic buckwheat flour, organic coconut flour), dates, organic coconut milk, gluten-free chocolate chips, chocolate liquor, organic coconut, canola oil, organic tahini, organic unsweetened/non-dairy cocoa powder, organic coconut oil, n/a baking powder, spices.

If you are a coconut lover, these should definitely be your pick, even though the shop has other brownies options to choose from.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

My last and most favorite of the three goodies I received were the Vegan Peanut Butter Cups. I used to eat the occasional Reese's peanut butter cups but I was always left with a lingering sore throat because of all the refined sugar and processed chocolate.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups 1

I took my sweet time eating these beauties because not only were they ginormous but they were decadent and satisfying. If I could only make them multiply! Here are the simple ingredients for this gourmet treat: vegan bittersweet chocolate, organic peanut butter, organic agave nectar, organic coconut flour, organic coconut oil

Do you know what is the plus about these treats? You can order them on-line and choose from a slew of other goodies that Gone Pie Bakery offers.

Please consider trying these reviewed products or even ordering some of the seasonal items under Special Treats a pan of their vegan Fruit Bars. Have I tantalized you enough?

Thanks Barbara for having a great business and wonderful products!


Yankee Oatmeal-Molasses Bread and Peeled Snacks Winner


The weekend is gone and another week is here! I realized I have not posted since last Wednesday and wondered why. Oh yes, I have been busy and almost really not cooking, except for super simple quick meals so that things can get done around the house.

We had a garage sale this weekend with 2 other families. We had a successful Friday and we woke up feeling we would have a really great Saturday, but instead, it turned out to be a dud of a Saturday. It was really strange because growing up I thought Saturdays were always more popular. There were several factors that could have played into the low attendance but overall we decided we would not really think about it. Life goes on. We were thankful for ANY money that got made selling our junk, you know what I mean?

We were so tired those 2 evenings we ended up just eating out. We decided to go out for a movie on Friday so we finally watched The Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Anyone see that? It was REALLY great, even the little baby girl liked it because I am sure she could hear all the action packed noise. There was lots of movement!

After the movie we headed to PF Changs and ordered delicious meal. Ryan opted for a now favorite of his, Ma Po Tofu with extra vegetables. Was this my husband asking for a vegetarian meal???? I was so sure he was pulling my leg. Really...but he really was not. I on the other hand had no intention of eating ANY tofu. *shudder* I really cannot wait to get back to eating tofu when this aversion hopefully disappears when the baby arrives. I had beef, because I needed my protein, so I ordered beef and broccoli with brown rice.

I REALLY forget to ask this restaurant to hold their sodium. The next morning I woke up with swollen feet. Here I take very care not to eat too much salt at home and then this restaurant lays it on thick. Note to self: communicate with the kitchen next time! Either way, it was a lovely dinner and we decided to head home.

Saturday evening, Ryan picked us up Chipotle. If it is one food category or food group I have REALLY craved since being pregnant is Chipotle. I can have it all the time, especially with a mountain of guacamole. YUM! I had a delicious veggie bowl with black beans, rice, corn salsa, pico, lettuce, guacamole and lettuce. I was so stuffed by the end but so happy especially since I did not have to cook!


Hopefully this week I will have some nice recipes to share but in the meantime I want to share a bread recipe I made a few weeks back.

Before I get to that I want to thank everyone who entered the Peeled Snacks Giveaway! Make sure to head to your nearest Costco you midwesterners, or to your local Starbucks to try these goodies if you did not win.

Gail from Vegiegail won the giveaway! Please contact me with your info! Thanks!

Back to the bread recipe........


Who knew molasses and oatmeal mixed? Oh yes, I did. My mom would add molasses to our cooked oatmeal when we were kids so we could get the healthy vitamins in unsulphurized molasses. It is a great source of iron and calcium.


When I saw this recipe, I was intrigued, especially since I do not make bread often. I should because it really is quick and easy. Once this bread was baked, which created the best smell in the house, we were super excited! We ate it for breakfast with our omelettes in the mornings or we toasted it and added some delicious Earth Balance to it. It really was a hearty bread and I would make it again.

Just remember.....add the salt that it suggests in the recipe. I forgot it! Otherwise it was a perfect bread recipe. Enjoy!


Yankee Oatmeal-Molasses Bread

makes one 9x5-inch loaf

adapted from Epicurious

1/2 cup packed old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup boiling water

1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 envelope dry yeast
6 tablespoons dark unsulfured molasses (original calls for light)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) Earth Balance margarine, room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups whole wheat white flour
2 1/2 cups (about) unbleached all purpose flour

1 tablespoon melted Earth Balance margarine mixed with 1 teaspoon dark unsulfured molasses
1 tablespoon old-fashioned oats

Place 1/2 cup oats in large bowl of electric mixer fitted with dough hook; pour 3/4 cup boiling water over. Let stand 30 minutes (water will be absorbed and oatmeal will be very soft).

Pour 1 cup warm water into 2-cup glass measuring cup. Sprinkle yeast over; stir to blend. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 10 minutes. Mix molasses, 2 tablespoons EB margarine and salt into oat mixture in bowl. Mix in yeast mixture. Add enough flour, 1 cup at a time, to form medium-soft dough, mixing at medium speed until well blended, about 3 minutes. Turn out dough onto floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if dough is too sticky, about 5 minutes. Form dough into ball. Butter large bowl; add dough, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Butter 9x5-inch loaf pan. Punch down dough; turn out into floured surface and knead 3 minutes. Form into 8-inch-long loaf. Transfer to prepared pan. Cover with plastic, then towel; let rise in warm draft-free area until dough has risen about 1/2 inch above rim of pan, about 45 minutes.

Bake bread 10 minutes; reduce temperature to 350°F. Bake 25 minutes longer. Brush top of bread with glaze; sprinkle 1 tablespoon oats over. Bake until bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer to rack; cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn out bread onto rack; cool completely. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Wrap tightly in foil and freeze. If desired, reheat wrapped bread in 350°F oven about 15 minutes.


Mango Spelt Pancakes with Mango-Strawberry Salsa / Peeled Snacks Review and Giveaway


Wow, how much can I get on today's title? I simply had to get both of them in today since they work together.

I wish I have been able to share with you more breakfast posts since they are the MOST important meal of the day for me and it should be for everyone! I usually get my fill of protein with black beans, egg scrambles and more. I was very much into tofu scrambles but I have not been able to stomach tofu so eggs have made it back into my life. I feel like they have given me the protein I have needed in the past few months.

But this most is not about eggs. It is about pancakes. Yummy delicious pancakes with mango all over the board. I mentioned last night that I bought 12 huge mangos for 3 bucks yesterday and I peeled them and cleaned them and let them refrigerate overnight. Not quite convinced how many cups to freeze. All I knew is that mangos were going to be part of my breakfast.

peeled snacks

Several weeks ago, I was sent some snacks from Peeled Snacks. If you are not familiar with them, you probably have seen their products at Starbucks and some grocery stores. Well now their snacks are available at Costco in the Midwest. Their dried fruit snack company has NO added sugar, oil, or preservatives. They sent me a new snack called the Farmer's Market Trio which consists of dried apples, cherries and raisins. YUM. I also received some yummy dried mango and apricots. So do you see where I am going with this?


This morning though, I made some yummy pancakes inspired by Angela's recipe from Oh She Glows. My husband is not really a fan of whole grain pancakes and is all about the buttermilk pancakes, but he told me this morning that he would give them a try.

I added some dried mango in the pancake mix and then made a fresh mango and strawberry salsa to go on top of the pancakes.  They were delicious and Ryan even liked them. He told me I was getting closer to making better pancakes. I don't know what that means but I like them and they were hearty.
ENTER:Before I post the recipe, I want to let you know that Peeled Snacks wants to give ONE reader from the US, a chance to win an Organic Fruit Picks Variety Pack. Go check out the goodies you would get.

Here are the ways to enter: (Leave a comment for each)

1. Which Peeled Snack are you interested in trying?
2. Become a fan of Peeled Snacks on Facebook
3. Follow Peeled Snacks on Twitter
4. Become a fan of Opera Singer in the Kitchen on Facebook

That is it! Only US residents are allowed to enter but please feel free to comment on this post on the recipe as well! Giveaway ends Sunday, August 28th at midnight, EST.


Mango Spelt Pancakes

adapted from Oh She Glows recipe

serves 2 (8 pancakes)

1 cup spelt flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch sea salt
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Navitas Naturals maca powder (optional)
1 Tablespoon Navitas Naturals lucuma powder (optional)
1- 1.4 ounce pack Peeled Snacks dried mango, chopped
1/2 c So Delicious original coconut milk (or milk of your choice)

Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. 

Heat a non-stick skillet on medium while mixing the batter.

Add the milk to dry ingredients and stir well. Add the dried mango to the mix. Spray the skillet with non stick oil and spoon the batter onto the skillet on med-low temperature. Flip pancakes when bubbles pop and cook other side.

Mango Salsa

1 cup fresh mango, diced
1/2 cup strawberries, diced
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
5 mint leaves, chopped
splash of orange juice

Dice the fruit and place in a small bowl. Add the maple syrup, juice, and mint leaves and mix well. Place fruit on top of pancakes.



Hazelnut Plum Crumb Tart and Nuts Online Review


I feel this month is quickly fading away but I am not complaining because it means fall will be here soon! It was particularly cool yesterday, enough for it to FEEL like fall and for me to want pumpkin cinnamon rolls and a pumpkin latte. YUM! Anyone with me on that?

On a sad note though, yesterday I found out some news about a friend's daughter's baby. She had planned to have her baby naturally but ended up having complications and was not able to get her baby immediately to breastfeed. Turns out, a week and a half later, that the baby has cystic fibrosis. I have been praying for this family ever since I heard there were complications but this brought it to a new level.

I had some time to not think about it because we had a tour of the hospital where I will be delivering. We arrived 1 minute late only to arrive JUST in time before the tour started. We were totally suprised that there were at least 10-12 couples there! Wow. Lots of people having babies indeed. :-) It was a very thorough one hour tour and I was happy to have taken it because I can be less anxious. The tour also reminded me how much I so do not like hospitals. Even though I work for one, mine does not feel like a hospital at all but I might be biased.

Time to start making lists of everything I want while at the hospital. 8 weeks left folks and I am starting to get a little more jittery.

We thought we had a good lunch yesterday so that dinner could hold off until we got home from the tour but BOY was I a nervous wreck. My blood sugar level dropped and I was shakey. Even though Ryan admitted he was really hungry as well, we were wondering what had happened especially since I popped in a few nuts and dried fruits as a snack.

Anxious. It seemed to be a reoccurring thought and feeling yesterday. You know how I found out? Ha, the Lord spoke to me in my devotional through Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." I was like "Me? Anxious? Nah....then I realized that my friend's news about their baby made me be worried and anxious and perhaps the hospital tour and everything coming so close already brought me these feelings. I thank God for reassuring me.

Nuts online

On to some goodies! I recently was sent some delicious goodies from Nuts Online, and I have to say I really like their service and the qaulity of their products. I received a pound of unshelled hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and dried Ranier cherries. I made scones using the cherries (which I have not posted) and a raw filling for a tart using the macadamia nuts. (anothe recipe not yet posted)

What I did use and I want to share with you is the recipe I made using the hazelnuts. It has been a LONG time since I have had to shell my own nuts but this was fun. I cracked the whole pound of hazelnuts, and then toasted them at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes and then removed them from oven and let them cool. I wanted to blanch them so that the outer layer of the hazelnut will be removed. It was a fun process but the company also sells blanched hazelnuts and shelled hazelnuts as well.


Anyway, I ran across Smitten Kitchen's recipe for her Hazelnut Plum Crumb Tart and KNEW immediately I had to make it. Plums are delicious on their own but since I have been feeling a little nostalgic on everything French, I knew this tart would be fun to make.

I veganized the version of the recipe taking out the dairy products and eggs and replaced them with So Delicious coconut milk and creamer and flax seed meal.The tart crust was made with Earth Balance margarine instead of butter. All in all the tart came out SO WELL! We ate our slices last night as we watched Julie and Julia! How great is that?

Make this tart because you will not be sorry. It is so gourmet and fresh, your dinner party or family will love it!


Hazelnut Plum Crumb Tart

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

serves 6 to 8 slices

Crust and crumbs3/4 cup Earth Balance margarine (1 1/2 sticks), chilled, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup hazelnuts, shelled and blanched
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated or
vegan sugar
1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 pound ripe but firm plums (about 4 standard black ones and 4 red plums)
1 tablespoon (8 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (6 tablespoons) granulated or vegan sugar
2 flax "eggs" (2 Tbsp flax seed meal + 6 Tbsp water)
1/3 cup So Delicious hazelnut creamer
1/4 cup So Delicious coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Grated nutmeg, optional

Preheat you oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan; set aside. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet. Bake until fragrant, about 10 to 15 minutes, then let cool enough to remove the skins.  (That is if you are using raw hazelnuts with skins. Do not toast if using already blanched hazelnuts)Place nuts in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until medium fine, about 30 pulses.

In the same food processor, add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; mix until just combined. Add butter, and process until crumbs begin to stick together, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the mix and set aside. This will be your topping.

Tart preparation

The rest of the mix needs to be pressed into the bottom of the prepared pan and about 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the pan to form crust; Use a heavy measuring cup to help press the crumbs neatly down and up the side, forming a nice inner corner.Transfer crust to the oven; bake until it appears to be set, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes (the fridge will expedite this for you).

Slice plums in half, and remove pits. Slice larger plums into eighths and arrange in cooled crust. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon flour and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. In a small bowl, prepare the flax "eggs" and set aside for 3 minutes in order for it to thicken. Add in the coconut milk and creamer, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a few gratings of fresh nutmeg. Pour liquid over fruit; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Tart preparation-1

Transfer tart to the oven; bake until tart has set and is slightly golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Let rest at least 25 minutes before cutting if serving warm. You can serve this warm or at room temperature but we much preferred it fully chilled.

This has been added to Slighty Indulgent Tuesdays!


Egyptian Potato Salad and 31 weeks!


It is incredible how time flies! I look down at my tummy and feel the amazing movements and then think about the short amount of time I have left to see my little girl! It makes me thank God daily for creation and his gift of life because IT IS a gift!

Even though this week starts my 32nd week of pregnancy, I wanted to show you a picture after I did an hour of Zumba at 31 weeks.

31 weeks

I work at lower impact when my lower tummy starts bothering me but otherwise I feel perfectly fine. I say this now but 3 days back the lovely Braxton-Hicks contractions started. I only knew because I was telling a friend how different the baby's movements have been only for her to tell me these were those so-called contractions! There is one thing having your mid-wife describe how the feeling is going to be like and another is actually experiencing them!

Let me just say I am getting a little more tired these last few days. I took extra naps this weekend and it helped! I know I sound funny because my mother has to remind me that I am not super woman and it won't be as possible to do everything I normally do on a daily basis ALL the time.

Can you tell that I am having a difficult time pacing myself? I should not have a hard time lounging around reading or watching movies, but when you know there is always something to work on, it is hard!

Sorry about not posting anything this weekend. I mostly unplugged for the weekend and focused on organizing and cleaning or resting. Something I did fail to share with you is that Ryan set up the crib 2 weekends ago! It is nice to have it up despite the fact that perhaps the baby won't be in it at the beginning.

crib completed

I have been working on a theme for half the bedroom. The other half is Ryan's office. Despite knowing we have limited space we decided that the office was going to be half nursery too. Talk about being flexible! There is enough room for the crib and changing table and closet space to put baby stuff so we are all good.

 I recently changed from a green / yellow motif for the crib and wall decor to pink and brown. I have never been a person to like pink or to wear it often, but somehow, as I have been receiving baby clothing and articles in pink, I was inspired.  I am doing a Parisian theme with cherry blossoms! I cannot wait to have it all up. It is true. I am growing a little impatient to see our little one, but I will cherish the time we have now.

So is this a food blog or a mommy blog, you might ask? Well, I cannot help it but it is a little of both but it is a journal of my life so how about it?

Menu planning has been a blast this month. I have kept on course pretty much up until the days I did not feel like cooking and Ryan was able to put together pasta and salad for us or we could go out to eat. We have 9 days left in this month and I feel like there are plenty of food options for the month, whether I cook or Ryan cooks.

We had Mediterranean night one evening and I prepared hummus, pepper salad, roasted potatoes with some pita. Originally I had been making some fresh chickpeas but they accidentally burned so I had to use canned. ARGH! Ryan told me "I can eat this every night, we don't even need meat!" Now that is what I like to hear, because the meal was so easy to prepare!

I used a different recipe for the roasted potatoes. Even though I like my recipe, I came across Carol's recipe from Vegan Splendor. Vegan Egyptian Potato Salad??? YUM! I read her list of ingredients and the cilantro and capers popped out of the recipe. wow! I could not wait to make them.

I used white potatoes instead of red potatoes and after they had roasted in the oven for the designated time, the potatoes were the perfect crispiness. Ryan really really liked them as did I. You let the potatoes cool and then add the dressing to them. I did not use as much oil because all my other dishes had olive oil already.

You have to make these! Add some hummus, a salad, and done! You have a great meatless meal.


Egyptian Potato Salad

adapated from Vegan Splendor's recipe

serves 4
8 white or yellow potatoes, peeled and cut in 2-inch cubes
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon capers
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon slices for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel potatoes and dice into 2-inch cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and add the cumin, granulated garlic, minced garlic, shallots, and salt and pepper. Toss potatoes to equally distribute the oil and seasonings.

Bake in 450 degree oven for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together.

Place cooled potatoes in large bowl. Toss with dressing. Add chopped cilantro and toss well. Adjust seasonings. Chill for at least one hour prior to serving or eat immediately!



The Purple Carrot Truck ---Food Network National Contest


Hi folks! I come with a totally neat post today! You might not know it from all my posts but I have grown to be a supporter of local businesses especially since moving to Michigan almost 3 years ago. It has been in the past month that I have grown sad to see the businesses that do not survive due, in part, to a more general popularity with mainstream businesses.


This is not the case with the following business, The Purple Carrot Truck. The beautiful, wonderful and unique detail about this food truck is that it is a "farm to truck mobile dining destination that specializes in locally grown fare."  Did you know that they are the FIRST food to farm truck in Michigan? Not only that but the fact that they use local fare is so attractive. You know what you are getting as opposed to the mystery items one might be getting elsewhere. (wink..wink)


Each week, The Purple Carrot Truck makes rounds and stops at different locations around Lansing and East Lansing and serve lunch from 11:30am to 2:30pm. They are in areas where work folks or any folk can stop by and grab something delicious.  Sometimes they also hold evening events, like a Tapas menus for special events.


This week they are featuring the following menu:

Ten Hen's Roasted Garlic w/giving tree heirloom chip, truffle oil $4

Howell Melon-Cucumber Bisque w/harrissa, mint bubbles $4

Michigan Summer Caesar
diemer's romaine, tirrell farm tomme, dwg cherry tomato confit vinaigrette, house croutons $6.
Hi-5 Potato Salad
nightengale potatoes, titus farm eggs, yogurt, house herbs $6


Spartan Country Chicken Salad
rasch peaches, mike's mustard, basil, dwg bibb $7

Pure Michigan Beef Panini
piedmontese skirt steak, MI chanterelles, dolce vita chevre, house mustard aioli $8
Nightengale Eggplant "Meat"ball Hoagie
andy t's tomato-raisin chutney, foodshedfarmer micro greens $7

AtWater Bock Braised Pork
vanilla porter, ballaton cherries, cabbage slaw $7

Cake Pops $1
Carrot Cake
Chocolate-Peanut Butter
Thin Mint

Can you guess what I ordered yeseterday?? The Eggplant "Meatball" Hoagie with Chutney! AMAZING! And their Hi-5 Potato Salad. (YUM!)

Eggplant "meatball" Hoagie

And the cake pops are so delicious! Even the husband approves of them with several thumbs up! This is their Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Pop.
cake pops

My favorite time to stop are on Saturdays when they offer the brunch menu! Here are a few things I have ordered in the past.

Tofu Benny (which is like eggs benedict, but made with tofu and their vegan sauce in a sandwich. SO GOOD)


Rhubarb Scone


I LOVE the fact they offer a VEGAN / VEGETARIAN option because it gives variety. I have even heard locals say that those are usually their favorite too! :D

Now I know I have readers from everywhere and even from Michigan, so if you EVER get a chance to get to The Purple Food Truck, you must. Check them out on Facebook and on Twitter!

Can you do me a favor?

This food truck is now in the Top 2 our of 10 food trucks. They still need our votes and one can vote daily up to TEN times and all for THIS particular truck. Visit Food Network's website and vote by simply entering your email address! Choose the state of Michigan and then locate the truck and click on Lansing and VOTE!

The food truck receiving the MOST votes will be named America's Favorite!  You can vote until September 12th so do not hesitate to support fresh, local and the best!

Vote daily until Septemeber 12th or text FT147 to 66789. You can send ten texts to the number as well! Thanks!


Secret Recipe Club--Part 2--Triple Chocolate Cookies


May I start with a bit of pregnancy woes? I actually have been feeling pretty good lately except for really uncomfortable back pain after a night's rest. Not even my body pillow has been a comfort. I take that back I HAVE been using it again the last 2 nights with better results.

Yesterday was pretty rough though because I feel like my tummy is feeling more uncomfortable even when I sit. I thought I started my day eating well yesterday with a yummy bowl of homemade spiced applesauce but that was only the beginning of the most uncomfortable day of nausea, indigestion (acid reflux), and some vomiting.... sorry but it just did not let up.

I thought perhaps I needed protein which I was planning to eat after I ate my fruit, but it was really required or else I was going to get sick. I ate my scramble and even after that I did not feel well. I wondered it is had to do with the fact I forgot to take my pre-natal vitamin last night before going to bed but that did not seem to be the issue.

Lunch time came around and I knew I had to eat something but I could only muster drinking a smoothie. THAT was not nice on my tummy either. I got sick an hour later.

It was later in the evening I realized I was not feeling my baby girl move higher up in my tummy as I have been the last few months. I always wondered what it felt like to feel the baby shift and I believe that is what she had been doing. I now can feel the movement of the baby in my lower abdomen, which feels real strange.

Can anyone attest to how I was feeling and whether it is connected with the baby shifting?

Either way, today is another day and I am not feeling the same way I was yesterday, so thank GOD I can eat a little better and a little more today.

Today's post features a second part to the Secret Recipe Club. Unfortunately there was one blogger that backed out at the last minute and left an orphaned blogger without being featured! I would feel pretty crummy if someone just felt like no longer cooking something from my site AT the LAST minute. Either way, I was one of many that volunteered to cook something from Connor's Cooking blog.

It was hard to choose something, but I totally knew I wanted to make something sweet. I chose to make a cookie recipe with three types of chocolate. Am I speaking anyone's language?


I veganized the recipe using flax seed meal for the egg and coconut oil instead of the vegetable oil. It smelled really great as they baked and they proved to be nice and tasty too! It took a total of 10 minutes to prepare and 12 minutes to bake a batch! How can you NOT like this cookie recipe?

Thanks Connor for posting a yummy cookie recipe!


Triple Chocolate Cookies

adapted from Connor's Cooking as seen on a Food Network recipe

Yields: 2 dozen

1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup raw cane sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 egg or 1 flax seed egg (1 Tbsp flax seed meal + 3 Tbsp warm water)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whole wheat white flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
2/3 cup dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup chopped pecans, optional

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, mash together the margarine, coconut oil and sugars with a fork until well combined. Prepare the flax seed "egg" and set aside for 3 minutes (or just add the egg) and then add to the margarine mixe until creamy. Mix in the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the dark chocolate and pecans and mix well. Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool.

 I only had dark chocolate chips in my cupboard, but the recipe calls for
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips

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