International Quilt Festival Quilt Scene Magazine – Elephant Cat Toy Pattern!

My family is definitely made up of cat lovers with seven cats between three households. I like to make handmade gifts, so last year I decided to make some little catnip toys as stocking stuffers for the holidays. I made a few different designs, a fish, a mouse, a turtle, and an elephant. After much convincing, I got Zoe to briefly pose with one. The cats really do love playing with these, but they are not as fond of a chunky DSLR aimed in their direction!

Elephant Cat Toy

The little elephants turned out so cute that I decided to submit the pattern to the annual International Quilt Festival Quilt Scene magazine and…it was accepted! The magazine was recently released and is available for purchase on Interweave. The pattern can be found on Page 70.

Elephant Cat Toy

These little elephants are really easy to make and are a perfect gift for anyone with a cat. They only require basic sewing skills, so it’s an easy project even if you’re new to sewing. They’re a great way to use up scraps, and only require minimal materials.

Elephant Cat Toy

The magazine has lots of other cute projects including a Hexagon mini-quilt by Malka Dubrawsky, a knitting needle case by Rosemarie Deboer, a quilted table topper by Erin Daniels, and lots more. This is the first pattern that I’ve had published, and I’m looking forward to developing and submitting more ideas in the future!

And, on another note, I’ll be taking part in the Virtual Vegan Potluck again which is coming up on November 16th. The deadline to sign up as a participant is tomorrow, November 9th. It’s always a lot of fun to see what everyone posts, and it brings the vegan blogging community together. If you want to join in, sign up now!

Vegan Shoofly Pie

My girlfriend, Laura, grew up in Central Pennsylvania, and she has PA Dutch roots going back to the 1600’s. Her favorite pie is Shoofly pie which is a traditional PA Dutch recipe featuring molasses. I had never had shoofly pie before, but wanted to try making a vegan shoofly pie like the ones she had growing up. There are different variations on the shoofly pie including wet bottom and dry bottom. Laura said this pie is very similar to the ones she grew up with and that it falls somewhere between a wet bottom and a dry bottom shoofly pie.

Shoofly Pie

Having never had shoofly pie before, it tasted similar to gingerbread minus the ginger since the molasses bottom and crumb topping merge and create a cake-y layer in the middle. Although pies are usually best warm, I actually liked this pie better after it sat in the fridge for a day or two. The molasses firm up and I like the texture after the layers have settled a bit. This makes it a perfect recipe to make a day ahead of time for Thanksgiving or Christmas! The molasses give it a flavor that just seems to fit with the fall/winter months when gingerbread, gingersnaps and other recipes with molasses are popular.

Shoofly Pie

Before we get to the recipe, I also wanted to share a list of upcoming craft shows where I will be selling my handmade fused glass including pendants, earrings, bracelets, pins, and ornaments. My brother, Don Morrison, will also be at these shows with me selling his fused glass and metal jewelry and glass dishes. It would be great to see you at a show! If you don’t live in the area, check out the jewelry I have posted on my Etsy Shop – The Creative Kat. I have many more pendants, earrings, and bracelets than I can list on Etsy, so if there’s something in particular that you’re looking for or you want to see other colors or designs, let me know!

K.Morrison.Flyer

And now, back to the Shoofly pie!

Ingredients:

Pie Crust – make a full batch – you won’t need all of it, but half a batch wasn’t quite enough
1 1/4 cups flour
3 Tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup boiling water
3/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer Powder + 2 Tbsp warm water

Directions:

  • Prepare the pie crust following this recipe. Place the dough in the refrigerator for an hour before assembling the pie.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°.
  • Roll out the pie crust on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Place it in the pie plate, remove the excess dough, and crimp the edges. Set aside.
  • Break the vegan butter into small chunks. Prepare the crumb topping by combining the flour, brown sugar, and butter. You can use a stand mixer or mix it by hand using a pastry cutter. Mix it until it starts to stick together and look crumbly. Over-mixing will turn it into dough, so keep an eye on it.
  • Whisk together the Ener-G Egg Replacer powder and warm water and set aside. Bring the water and baking soda to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the molasses and egg replacer mixture.
  • Pour the molasses filling into the crust. Then sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the filling. Most of the crumb will sink into the molasses filling, but some will stay dry on top. This is what creates the layers of molasses, cake-y middle, and crumb top.
  • Bake the pie for 45-55 minutes. Let it cool and serve warm or cold based on your preference. Enjoy!

Craft Show Photos and Nectarine Citrus Bean Salad Recipe!

I have a really yummy recipe to share with you, but first… last weekend my brother and I did our first craft fair together, and I wanted to share some photos! It went well and we both sold some of our pendants, earrings, and bracelets.

Table Display

On Saturday, we’ll be at the Hightstown Hometown Harvest Fair, and we have many more shows booked for November and December.

Kathryn's PendantsI will definitely be busy this fall making pendants, bracelets, and earrings, but it’s a great creative outlet, so I’m happy to be busy!

Kathryn's Earrings

Most of the items we had for sale were fused glass jewelry, but my brother also makes copper clay earrings, fused glass dishes, and enameled jewelry which are all really pretty!

Don's Jewelry

You can see how he makes the copper jewelry here. I haven’t tried making those myself, but it looks like a fun process that I would love to try sometime.

Don's Pendants

As I mentioned in my last post, if you can’t make it out to one of the shows, but are still interested in purchasing jewelry, I do list items on my Etsy shop under the username The Creative Kat. I will continue to add more jewelry, but can’t possibly list everything on Etsy (I make a lot of pendants!). However, if there’s something specific you’re looking for, or even general colors or styles that you’d like to see listed, I would be happy to make pendants in those styles/colors and add those listings for you.

Kathryn's Bracelets

And now, on to the recipe! I made this a little while back while nectarines were in season. If you can still find ripe nectarines near you, this is a really yummy and unique take on a bean salad! The addition of nectarine and citrus provides an unexpected, but really flavorful and slightly sweet addition to the typical bean salad. This would be a perfect dish to bring to a pot luck or to make when having friends or family over!

Bean Salad

Bean Salad Ingredients:

3 stalks of celery
1 yellow pepper
1 nectarine
1/4 cup cilantro
1 can kidney beans
1 can chickpeas
1/4 cup corn (fresh cut off the cob or frozen)

Dressing Ingredients:

2 limes
1 lemon
1 Tbsp spicy mustard
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp agave

Directions:

  • Chop the celery, yellow pepper, nectarine, and cilantro and place them in a mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the kidney beans and chickpeas and add them to the bowl along with the corn. Stir until everything is evenly distributed.
  • Juice the limes and lemon and pour the juice into a separate bowl. Add the mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper, and agave. Whisk up all the dressing ingredients until well combined.
  • Pour the dressing over the other ingredients in the mixing bowl. Toss so everything is coated. Serve cold and enjoy!

 

Handmade Fused Glass Pendants – New Etsy Shop!

I mentioned in my last post that I’m going to start selling my jewelry at craft shows, and today is my first one! I’m really excited to be starting this adventure at the TCNJ Community Fest in Ewing NJ! My brother, Don Morrison, and I will be there selling handmade glass jewelry including pendants, earrings, and bracelets.

I’m also hoping to sell hand dyed textiles, scarves in particular, but I don’t have them ready for this show. If you happen to be in the area, you should stop by. There are supposed to be quite a few vendors there! My brother and I will also be attending the Hometown Harvest Fair in Hightstown, NJ on October 12 and other craft fairs throughout the fall.

If you can’t make it out to a craft fair, I’ve started listing some of my pendants in my Etsy shop. It’s the creative side of The Vegan Kat…The Creative Kat! I have many more pendants than I’m able to list on Etsy, so if you like what you see, but are looking for a certain color or design, let me know. I can post other pendants or earrings based on what you’re interested in.

All of these pendants are handmade fused glass. They’re created by cutting out shapes in glass, choosing color combinations, arranging a design, and building up multiple layers of glass. Then the glass gets fused in a kiln and becomes a pendant!

Photo By: Don Morrison

Photo By: Don Morrison

I love playing with color and design, so it’s a really fun way to make little pieces of art to share with people! I hope you can stop by a craft fair sometime, or that you’ll check out my Etsy page and share if you like the pendants!

Homemade Apple Sauce

Fall is my favorite season! It’s shaping up to be pretty busy this year. I started working a part time job, I’m gearing up to start selling jewelry and hand dyed textiles at craft shows, and I’m going back to school to get a certificate in social media and marketing. These are all exciting and good developments, but it’s left me a bit behind in my posting. However, with the arrival of pumpkin and apple season, I had to post a new recipe!

One way to enjoy your apples is to make homemade applesauce. It’s so much better than applesauce you buy in the store, and it’s actually very easy and quick to make. I used some of this applesauce as the middle filling layer in a cake and it worked really well. I veganized the apple sauce recipe by The Great Cake Company that they use in their Caramel Apple Cake. The applesauce is sweet but also tart so it cut through some of the sweetness of the icing and cake. It’s also yummy all by itself!

If you’re in the mood for some other apple recipes, take a look at my recipes for Jewish Apple Cake, Rum Raisin Baked Apples, or make an Apple Pie! If you’re looking for a pumpkin recipe, check out my recipe for Pumpkin Bread with Oatmeal Crumble Topping. It’s seriously yummy stuff. And, if you’re carving a pumpkin, try making Toasted Pumpkin Seeds! Hope you’re enjoying fall as much as I am!

Applesauce

Ingredients:

3 Pink Lady apples
3 Granny Smith apples
4 1/4 cups of apple cider (separated)
2 Tbsp rum
3 Tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter
2 Tbsp agave
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan, bring 3 1/2 cups of apple cider to a boil. Allow it to simmer until it reduces to about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup. This will probably take about 40-45 minutes. If you want to skip this step, you can purchase boiled apple cider from King Arthur Flour.
  • Peel and core the apples, and roughly chop them.
  • Add the apples, boiled apple cider, apple cider, rum, vegan butter, agave, brown sugar, and cinnamon to a large saucepan. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • After cooking the sauce will be soft enough to mash easily. Use a pastry cutter or potato masher to mash the sauce. Store in the fridge and enjoy!

Panzanella Bread Salad

It’s so hard to find good tomatoes these days. I’m not sure why that is. I remember summer tomatoes when I was a kid that were amazing. They were full of flavor and we would eat them on their own with a little sprinkle of salt. Of course, my parents grew tomatoes in their back yard so that’s probably why they were so good…they were perfectly fresh and ripened on the vine. The tomatoes that you find at the store or even at farm markets often don’t taste like much and don’t really compare to the ones I remember.

However, a little while back I did find some at Whole Foods that were grown at a local farm, and they were the best I’ve had in a long time. If you have some end of summer tomatoes and are looking for a good recipe, this is a classic dish that really showcases the tomatoes. It was also a good way to use up some of my basil. I grew it from seed and it’s finally growing well after staying kind of scrawny all summer. It’s in a sunnier spot now which it seems to enjoy. With bread, fresh basil, and tomatoes, it’s hard for this recipe to go wrong!

Panzanella

Ingredients:

1 small baguette (or about 2 rolls or half a loaf) of good crusty day old bread
olive oil
salt
pepper
garlic powder
2 tomatoes
1 cucumber
1/4 red onion
handful of fresh basil
3 cloves of garlic
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Cut the bread into large cubes. If the bread it still soft (mine was even after a couple days), preheat the oven to 400°. Place the bread cubes on a baking pan. Drizzle a little olive oil over top and sprinkle on salt, black pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Bake the bread cubes for 5-10 minutes until they dry out a little bit. If your bread is still soft and you skip this step, the bread will be really soggy once it soaks up juices in the salad.
  • Chop the tomatoes, peel and chop the cucumber, and thinly slice the red onion and basil. Place all the veggies in a large mixing bowl.
  • Once the bread is finished toasting, add it to the bowl and mix it up.
  • Drizzle on a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle on some salt and pepper to taste. Stir so everything gets evenly coated and serve right away. This salad is best eaten the same day it’s made because the bread will get soggy in the fridge overnight.

Vegan Sausage and Peppers

I like to make food from scratch as much as possible, but with a recent move I didn’t have much time to cook (or blog, sorry guys!). Things are finally settling down, and I’m getting organized in my new kitchen. Sometimes when life is hectic you just need a quick dinner that’s still yummy and satisfying. This one fits the bill!

Sausage and PeppersIn this recipe, I used Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage vegan sausages. Field Roast also has Italian and Mexican Chipotle vegan sausages which you could try as well, but the Smoked Apple Sage ones are my favorite. Of course you could also make your own vegan sausages if you have a recipe you like and plenty of time to spare! This is a quick and easy vegan version of an old classic.

Ingredients:

4 Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage vegan sausages
1 green pepper
1/4 red onion
4 – 5 cloves of garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper
small handful of fresh basil
4 – 5 rolls

Directions:

  • Slice the sausages into bite size pieces. Chop the pepper and thinly slice the red onion.
  • Saute the sausages, pepper, and onion until the edges of the sausage are golden and a little crispy and the onions are translucent.
  • Press or mince the garlic and add it to the pan to saute.
  • Thinly slice the basil. Add the basil, salt, and pepper to taste. Saute for another minute for the basil to wilt slightly, then remove from heat.
  • Slice the rolls and fill them with the sausage and pepper mixture. Top with mustard, ketchup, or your favorite topping and enjoy!
  • Vegan Caramel Candies and Caramel Sauce

    Sorry for not posting much over the last two weeks! I was away in Portland and California for a week and a half and am currently in the midst of a move. I’m taking a break from schlepping boxes downstairs to share a new post with you. This was a recipe I made a while back and never got around to sharing. One thing that seems hard to find is caramel that’s vegan. I decided to try making some myself. It turned out really well and definitely satisfied my caramel craving!

    Vegan Caramel

    Making caramel seems intimidating at first because you need to use a candy thermometer and monitor the temperature of the caramel. Once you understand how it works and the texture that each temperature produces, it’s really not so hard to make!  Whether you end up with a syrup, a caramel, or a hard candy is dependent on how much water evaporates out of the mixture, in other words, how concentrated the sugar is. The temperature will rise as the water slowly evaporates. Here’s a handy guide on the Exploratorium’s Science of Cooking page.

    I found this recipe on Group Recipes, but it originally came from The Glad Cow Cookbook. With this recipe, you can make firm caramel candies or a caramel sauce to drizzle on vegan ice cream. I made both out of one batch and they were equally delicious! And I should mention, it’s always a good idea to be extra careful when making caramel. You definitely don’t want to spill the hot sugar on yourself!

    CaramelWrapped

    Ingredients:

    1 cup vegan butter
    2 cups sugar
    2 cups soy milk
    1 cup light corn syrup
    1 tsp vanilla

    Directions:

    • Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.
    • Place the vegan butter, sugar, soy milk, and light corn syrup in a large pot and cook over medium heat stirring often. The mixture should come to a boil.
    • Monitor the temperature of the mixture using a candy thermometer.
    • If you would like to make caramel sauce, heat the mixture until it reaches 230°. Stir in the vanilla, then carefully pour it into a jar and store it in the fridge. You can warm it by running the jar under hot water before serving.
    • If you would like to make caramel candies, heat the mixture until it reaches 245°. Stir in the vanilla and pour the mixture into the parchment lined baking dish. Allow the mixture to fully cool, then use kitchen scissors or a knife to cut the candies into small squares. Wrap each individual piece in a square of parchment paper and twist the ends to seal. Store the candies in the fridge.

    Note: You can make some caramel sauce and some candies from the same batch. Once the mixture reaches 230° pour out the amount of caramel sauce you would like, adding the vanilla to the sauce and placing it in the jar. Continue to heat the remaining caramel until it reaches 245°, then follow the steps for making the candies.

    Corn and Cilantro Pancakes

    Want to eat pancakes for dinner? Why not make them savory pancakes? I adapted this recipe from one I found on Eating Well for Corn and Basil Pancakes. The original recipe contained milk and eggs so I veganized it and swapped out cilantro for most of the basil. I’m pretty sure these would be amazing with just basil, but I had a lot of cilantro on hand.

    Corn and Cilantro Pancakes

    I also doubled the amount of batter per corn and cilantro because it didn’t look like there would be enough batter to hold everything together otherwise. They turned out really yummy! I served these with the cucumber dill salad from my last post and vegan crab cakes from Sophie’s Kitchen. These savory pancakes are perfect to make on a summer night with fresh corn!

    Corn and Cilantro Pancakes

    Ingredients:

    1 cup flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    2 Tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer powder mixed with 8 Tbsp warm water
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    1 cup soy milk
    2 cups corn
    1/2 cup fresh cilantro (+basil), chopped

    Directions:

    • Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and ground black pepper together in a mixing bowl.
    • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the warm water and Ener-G Egg Replacer powder. Add this to the dry ingredients along with the olive oil and soy milk. Whisk it all together until combined, but don’t overmix.
    • Stir in the corn, cilantro, and basil.

    Corn and Cilantro Pancake Batter

    • Heat a skillet over medium heat, and drizzle in a little olive oil. Using a measuring cup, scoop about 1/4 – 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook the pancakes until they start to bubble and the edge start to dry, then flip and allow the pancake to get golden brown.

    CookingPancakes

    • Sprinkle some chopped cilantro on top, serve right away and enjoy!

     

    Cucumber Dill Salad

    Cucumbers have always been one of my favorite vegetables. My mom tells me that one of my first words was “More”. She would give me slices of cucumbers and peppers, and I would say “More!” I guess I was meant to be vegan! I’ve always loved veggies. This recipe definitely showcases cucumbers, which is probably why I like it so much.

    Cucumber Dill Salad

    When I used to work at a farm market, we made a cucumber salad very similar to this one. It’s a simple and fresh salad that goes perfectly with summery barbecues. If you’ve never had a similar cucumber salad, just imagine fresh pickles. The vinegar, dill, and sugar give the cucumbers a sweet and sour pickle taste while keeping the crunchiness of the fresh cucumbers. I found some pickling cucumbers at a local farmers market that looked really good, so I decided to use those, but you can use regular cucumbers as well.

    Ingredients:

    3 cucumbers
    1/2 small white or yellow onion
    3/4 cup vinegar
    1/3 cup water
    2/3 cup sugar
    2 tsp dried dill

    Directions:

    • In a mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and dill. Whisk until well combined.
    • Thinly slice the cucumbers. You can peel them first if you prefer, but I usually leave the peels on. Thinly slice the onion. Place the onion and cucumbers in the mixing bowl. Toss to coat with the liquid.
    • Let the cucumber salad sit for at least an hour or two and preferably overnight. The cucumbers will soften up a little and the flavors will seep in more if it sits overnight.