I had a gal date with my friend Rachel this past weekend. We’ve known each other online for numerous years and we only live about 30 minutes away from each other, but can you believe this is only the 2nd time we’ve met in real life?! Crazy!
Rachel is going to be taking over the Imaginary Outfits column on D&tG and I’m excited to bring some local Bay Area talent to the blog. Since we live so close to each other, Rachel suggested the idea of ‘gal dates.’ Every few weeks, we’re going to meet up and do something fun!
With blogging, email and social media, a huge amount of my interaction with other people is done online. It’s a nice change of pace to meet up with a friend face-to-face. This past weekend, I visited her after work at Mira Mira and we took some outfit pictures in the neighborhood.
Sometimes a girl just wants a cute, old-fashioned red velvet cupcake. And this chick delivered… with a healthier, gluten-free, vegan twist of course!
This recipe really came about as I was looking through old film photos. A few years back, I made a big batch of rich, cream cheese-covered red velvet cupcakes to share with my family and friends. I carry such wonderful memories of that day, but couldn’t quite remember feeling my best after eating those cupcakes. I figured I’d try making new memories by revamping the old recipe with a new one. They’re mighty yummy if I do say so myself!
Let me elaborate on a few perhaps strange or unfamiliar ingredients I use:
Chia eggs are so versatile in vegan cooking to replace regular eggs and are simply made by soaking chia seeds in a small amount of water so they can create a gel.
Mesquite flour is a gluten-free flour ground down from the bean pods of the Mesquite tree. This flour lends a sweet, nutty, almost cocoa-like flavor to these cupcakes that is to die for. Feel free to sub this out with more buckwheat flour, teff flour or brown rice flour if you’re unable to find it.
Finally, I use arrowroot starchto help the coconut cream icing thicken up a bit more to create a lovely top to my cupcakes. I prefer this to corn starch because most of the corn used is genetically modified and should generally steered clear of. If you don’t have/can’t find arrowroot starch, feel free to leave it out or sub with corn starch.
VEGAN RED VELVET CUPCAKES
Makes 1 dozen
– 2 tbs. chia seeds
– ⅓ c. water
– 1 c. mesquite flour
– 1 c. buckwheat flour
– ½ c. almond meal
– ⅔ c. coconut sugar
– 2 tbs. cocoa powder
– 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
– ¾ tsp. sea salt
– ¾ c. melted coconut oil
– 1 c. almond (or other plant-based) milk
– 1 tbs. vanilla extract
– 8-10 drops natural red food coloring (ie: India Tree on amazon.com) or beet juice
– 1 can coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 8 hours
– 3 tbs. maple syrup
– 2 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1 tbs. arrowroot starch
For the cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, combine the chia seeds and water and let sit for 5-10 minutes to create a “chia egg.” Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients: the mesquite flour, buckwheat flour, almond meal, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and sea salt.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients: the “chia egg,” melted coconut oil, almond milk, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well incorporated.
4. Line a cupcake tin with 12 liners, then spoon your batter in. Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely on a rack before icing.
For the icing:
1. Open your can of chilled coconut milk, being careful not to shake it.
2. Scoop off the top layer of coconut cream and place into a medium-sized bowl or KitchenAid mixer (save the coconut water in the bottom of the can for another recipe!).
3. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract and arrowroot starch to your bowl, then use an electric mixer on a low speed to begin the whipping process.
4. Gradually increase the speed of your mixer until your icing becomes fluffy and all the ingredients are incorporated.
5. Transfer your bowl to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set up, then ice your cupcakes and enjoy!
The icing can be made the day before the cupcakes and the remainder stays in the fridge for 2-3 days.
You all know I’m a sucker for floral patterns and lace dresses. Anything with a frill and a collar has my name on it. And so I fell hard for REDValentino’s Spring/Summer 2014 Collection. It’s so vibrant and cheery and I just really like brightly colored patterned things. A lot.
This week JORD is giving away one wooden watch of your choice. I have the Ely watch (pictured above). The face of the watch is small, which is perfect for my tiny wrists (too many watches look humongous on me!).
The watches are all unisex and they also have watches with larger faces, like Sully, Fieldcrest and 94A. Since the watch is wooden, it fits a bit looser, like a bracelet, which I really like.
– Leave a comment on this post (1st entry!)
– Follow JORD on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram & leave a separate comment for each social media site, saying which you followed (up to 3 bonus entries)
– Follow Drifter & the Gypsy on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram & leave a separate comment for each social media site, saying which you followed (up to 3 bonus entries)
– Tweet about the giveaway @drifterandgypsy and/or @woodwatches_com and leave a separate comment w/ link to the Twitter status (up to 2 bonus entries)
Please note: For bonus entries, simply leave an extra comment stating which platform you are following. For instance, if you followed Drifter & the Gypsy on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, AND followed JORD on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you would get 6 bonus entries in addition to your first general entry, making it a grand total of 7 entries.
**Open to all readers, international included, so anyone can enter!**
A winner will be randomly drawn via random.org next Friday, June 20th at 10 am PDT.
UPDATE: Winner is comment #91: Georgia. I will be in touch with you shortly via email as to how to claim your prize!
I’d love to say that this DIY was inspired by nature, but that would be a fib – it’s a complete fluke that the peonies the Texan (boyfriend) bought me look identical to these tissue paper pom poms! So I’ll call them “pom pom peonies.” Anyhow, inspired by nature or not, this is a quick and easy DIY which can really add some fun to your bedroom, or perhaps for a party or wedding… and here’s how you can make your own.
– Eight sheets of tissue paper in the color of your choice
– Ribbon or invisible thread
1. Lay out eight sheets of tissue paper flat on a table and fold them like an accordion along the shortest edge, all the way from one end to the other.
2. Fold in the center and tightly tie a piece of string around the middle point.
3. Tie a piece of ribbon or invisible string to the string in the center, so that you have something from which to hang your pom pom.
4. Cut each end of the paper to create a petal-like shape. The overall size of your pom pom depends on how much you cut away, so you can have a mix of large and small pom poms if you’d like.
5. Open up the tissue paper into a ring and then gently start to separate each piece of tissue paper. (I found it easiest to pull apart four pieces of tissue paper on one side, and then turn over to pull apart the other four pieces on the other side).
It doesn’t really matter if you tear any of the paper, it will be hidden amongst all of the folds anyway!
Hang your pom poms wherever you like and arrange them so that it looks like they are cascading from the ceiling. And there you are – who needs peonies when you have tissue paper pom poms to brighten up your room?!
I did it: I succumbed to the Birkenstock trend. The last time I owned a pair, I was in 7th grade. I gave them away a few years ago and I really wish I hadn’t because clothing trends always make circles and I could be wearing them now instead of having to go out and buy a new pair of Birks. But that’s life.
Somehow the first day of June came and went and then the first week of June came and went and I totally forgot to do a ‘Looking back’ roundup!
So… the month of May. Let’s start with the weather because everyone talks about the weather first. The weather was really crazy in May. We had a heat wave, then unseasonably cool weather, then another heat wave followed by unseasonably cool weather. My closet was in shambles torn between winter and summer clothes! And now it’s pretty hot and it seems like the hot weather is here to stay. Not complaining, I love summer!
Photobombed by the cutest little photobomber (beep beep!)
… Other than that, I didn’t really do much besides blog and school (I’m a huge bore). I had school finals and final projects and other final submissions, but now I’m done with it all and I finished my second year at SCAD! Woop woop! 3 more years to go.
How did YOUR May look? What plans do you have coming up in June?
Already June is looking pretttyyy mighty busy. Some seriously fun stuff coming my way (and yours too because I blog about it all!). Don’t forget you can follow along the daily fun with me @drifterandthegypsy on Instagram!