Sprinkle Party Cake

Sprinkle Cake (2)

This cake is adapted from one of Molly Yeh’s recipes and her ingenious idea to use marzipan for cake “stickers”,  which lets you transform a regular cake into a Ninjago party cake! I found that the rainbow sprinkles from Whole Foods worked perfectly, without the colors bleeding.

Sprinkle Cake (1)

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks Earth Balance butter (1 cup)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 Ener-G eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup plain almond milk
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • 1 (7-ounce) tube marzipan
  • Food coloring
  • Powdered sugar
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer at medium speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy.
  3. Add the Ener-G eggs, followed by the canola oil, vanilla, and almond extract, beating for an additional 2 minutes or so.
  4. Alternate adding the flour mixture and almond milk, beating at low speed after each addition. Gently fold in the sprinkles.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among 2 (9-inch) cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Once cool, frost with the vanilla frosting of choice, whether homemade or store-bought.
  7. To prepare the “sticker”, separate out a portion of marzipan and tint with food coloring for the Ninjago mask of choice. We used blue! Knead until the color is incorporated. Dust a work surface with a little powdered sugar and roll out the marzipan. Cut out the shape of an upside-down kidney bean as the mask and place on the cake.
  8. Tint an additional portion of marzipan yellow. Cut out thin slits for eyebrows and two small circles for eyes and place over the mask.

Sprinkle Cake (4)

Zucchini Yachts

We’ve made simple boat recipes before, but today we got even fancier with zucchini yachts!

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow summer squash, chopped
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh from the halves to form two shallow shells; save the flesh for another use.
  2. In a bowl, combine the yellow squash, mango, red onion, cilantro, and olive oil, tossing to combine.
  3. Spoon the mango mixture into the zucchini shells, and sail these to the dinner table!

Summer Guacamole

Guacamole is the perfect nosh any time of year, but this chunky version is best in the summer, when you can choose the ripest farm-fresh tomato and herbs!

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocado
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
  1. Peel and pit the avocados and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash to desired consistency.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine.

Grilled Summer Vegetables

IMG_5016

These veggies are super simple to grill up, even if you’re a grilling novice!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 yellow summer squash, sliced
  • 3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  1. To start, wrap all the vegetables in aluminum foil to form packets. Grill for 7 minutes, or to desired tenderness.
  2. Arrange the vegetables on a platter and drizzle with the dressing just before serving.

IMG_5014

Fourth of July Salad

Fourth Salad

Help your toddler learn the colors of the American flag this Fourth of July with this super-simple salad. It’s perfect for an Independence Day picnic or barbecue.

To start, add 1 pint raspberries, 1 pint blueberries, and 1 (5-ounce) container vanilla non-dairy yogurt to a bowl. I loved showing Veronika the three colors in separate piles first.

Fourth Salad (1)

Stir together for a red-white-and-blue combo that’s sure to be patriotic and delicious!

Fourth Salad (2)

Corn on the Cob with Herbed Butter

It wouldn’t be summer without fresh ears of corn on the cob to shuck! We love fresh corn simply boiled and then spread with this flavor-packed vegan butter. For a slight variation, use vegan feta crumbles (such as Follow Your Heart) instead of the Parmesan.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears corn on the cob
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons vegan Parmesan sprinkles
  • 2 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the corn and boil for about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the butter, Parmesan sprinkles, parsley, oregano, and garlic powder in a bowl. Blend with a fork until well combined.

Why stop at corn? This butter spread is so good we love it on just about everything. Try it spread inside a warm pita pocket or served over orzo as a “pasta sauce”.

Herbed Butter alt

Rainbow Pizza

This vibrant rainbow pizza, care of Veronika’s latest edition of High 5 magazine, is the perfect recipe to celebrate Pride Month. All of the ingredients below have no quantity, since the amount will depend on individual preference or the size of your pizza crust! Feel free to swap out the veggies below for your kids’ favorite in each color.

Ingredients:

  • 2 individual prepared pizza crusts
  • Pizza sauce
  • Shredded non-dairy mozzarella cheese
  • Red bell pepper, chopped
  • Orange tomatoes, halved
  • Frozen corn, thawed
  • Broccoli florets, steamed and chopped
  • Snap peas, steamed and chopped
  • Red onion, diced
  • Kalamata olives, sliced
  1. To prepare the pizzas, spread the desired amount of pizza sauce to evenly cover each crust. Sprinkle with the desired amount of mozzarella.
  2. Arrange the veggies in rows, starting with the red pepper on the top of the pizza, followed by the tomatoes, corn, broccoli, snap peas, onion, and olives.
  3. Bake at 425 degrees F for 8 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve.

Carrot Pineapple Salad

Carrot Pineapple Salad

This salad is a fun spin on regular carrot-raisin salad. Thanks to the addition of blueberries, it turns a bright bluish-purple!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups canned crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup freeze-dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Stir all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Note: If you have young toddlers, you can steam the carrots first so they are tender instead of crunchy.

Green Salad with Vegan Caesar Dressing

Silken tofu is the perfect substitute for mayonnaise as the base of this creamy, rich dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16-ounce) package silken tofu
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups torn green leaf lettuce
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) package seasoned croutons
  • Shredded vegan Parmesan, for serving
  1. Combine the tofu, garlic, Dijon, and lemon juice in a blender; process until smooth and creamy.
  2. Combine the lettuce, tomato, and croutons in a large bowl. Pour about 1/2 cup dressing over the salad; reserve the remaining dressing for another use.
  3. Divide into serving bowls and sprinkle each serving with the Parmesan, if desired.

Blueberry Granita

This fresh fruit sorbet is the perfect treat on a summer day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup lemonade
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a freezer-safe container and freeze.
  2. Every two hours or so, scrape with a fork, then return to the freezer. Ours was the perfect consistency after about 8 hours.