Monday musings: Handmade soap and good, clean fun

Photo of handcrafted soapImage credit: Formulary 55

Even though yesterday was Easter, it felt more like Christmas on Emmet Street! I got a new toy for the soap lab: a soap planer and beveler from CDA Soap Works. I tried it as soon as I opened the box and I absolutely love it. It creates nice flat sides and beveled edges that will give my soaps a polished finish. It’s going to be very useful as I prep for my first maker event this year: Mom & Pop Shoppe sponsored by Crafty Mart. Mark your calendars to come to Musica in Akron and see me on April 25th! 

Handmade soap

There are so many creative soap makers we are inspired by, check out some of our favorite finds on Pinterest! (Are we pinning buddies there? We should be.)

Good, clean fun

Are you a fan of Instagram? Me, too! You can find us there @emmetstreet. Follow Emmet Street Creations and you’ll be treated to outtakes from the soap lab and other (mis)adventures. Here’s a few:

Previous musings from Emmet Street you might have missed

National Grilled Cheese Day is April 12! Check out this love letter to tomato soup and grilled cheese (one of my favorite comfort foods). Looking for a sweet toasted bread treat? Why not try these vegan french toast recipes? You’ll be glad you did.

Vegan French toast, deux façons!

vegan banana french toast

You don’t need a crystal ball to predict that you won’t be seeing a lot of recipes for baked goods or sweet treats on the Emmet Street Creations blog. Neither Christine nor I have a big taste for the stuff. And, speaking for myself, I really don’t have the patience to measure a bunch of ingredients (and, as Alton Brown will tell you, baking is science–recipes must be followed exactly, or the outcome of your effort will be less than stellar).

But every once in a while I have a hankering for something sweet for breakfast. I like French toast, but I’m trying to keep things healthy, so I’ve stopped making it.

Then I found a recipe for vegan french toast. So, I started experimenting. So far, I’ve tried a banana version and a pumpkin version. The results were a-maz-ing! (I even taste tested it without maple syrup on top and found none was needed. But, I was feeling indulgent that day and maple syrup is delicious, so I used a small amount.)

I have visions of apple, mango/coconut, and peach versions working well, too. I’ll let you know if I have successful results for those. In the meantime, if you’ve tried any variations that you found tasty please share with us in the comments!

So without further adieu, let me share the less-than-scientific process I used to create these breakfast treats.

vegan banana french toast ingredients

Vegan banana French toast

Makes 2 servings

1 really ripe banana

3/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk *see recipe notes at the end of the post

4 slices sprouted wheat bread *see recipe notes at the end of the post

ground cinnamon

chopped nuts, such as almonds, walnuts or pecans (optional)

maple syrup (optional)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mash banana in a wide bowl or pie pan with a fork until smooth. Stir in milk until blended. Place bread in mixture (one piece at a time) and coat both sides. Place on nonstick baking sheet and sprinkle ground cinnamon on top of bread. Place pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden, turning once halfway during the cooking time.

When the toast is done, top with nuts and maple syrup, if desired.

vegan pumpkin french toast ingredients

Vegan pumpkin French toast

Makes 2 servings

1/2 c. pure pumpkin

3/4 c. unsweetend vanilla almond milk *see recipe notes at the end of the post

1 T. maple syrup

4 slices sprouted wheat bread *see recipe notes at the end of the post

ground cinnamon

chopped nuts, such as almonds, walnuts or pecans (optional)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix pumpkin, milk and 1 T. maple syrup in a wide bowl or pie pan until blended. Place bread in mixture (one piece at a time) and coat both sides. Place on nonstick baking sheet and sprinkle ground cinnamon on top of bread. Place pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden, turning once halfway during the cooking time. 

When the toast is done, top with nuts and maple syrup, if desired.

vegan pumpkin french toast

Recipe notes: 

Any non-dairy milk would probably work with this recipe. I prefer almond milk, so I stuck with it for this recipe.

Any bread of your choice would work for this recipe, just make sure it’s hearty–the dipping mixture is really thick and I don’t think plain ol’ sliced white bread would stand a chance.