Friday, December 4, 2009

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies!

I've been gone from this blog a while. But here I am and here is what is going on with me in the vegan/food department:

First, I got the news yesterday that my Vegan Pomegranate Chocolate Chip Cookie that I entered into the LiveMom Cookie Bake-Off was the winning cookie! I won a massage with Sara Ballard LMT and a $25 gift certificate to HEB. I really like the way the pomegranates pop when you bite into one. They are so pretty--like little jewels!The Pomegranate Chocolate Chip cookie recipe is at the end of this post. It was inspired by this cookie and a trip to Whole Foods where I saw some pomegranates. And I thought, why not put them in a cookie!

Here are some other cookies I have made over the last two days. I guess I'm on a cookie kick this week. Little gingersnaps cut into little pumpkins and leaves and circles. They are just the way I like them --hard and crisp and gingery. The recipe was actually called Moravian Wafers and came from a Dec. 2008 Cooking Light Magazine.
Below are Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies from Post Punk Kitchen. They go really well with Bourbon.
I joined a vegan dinnershare which is amazing in so many ways. 3 days a week we get dinner delivered to our door which means I don't have to do anything for dinner, not even think about it at all. And one day a week I cook for our family plus the 3 others. It is an all day affair making enough food to feed 16 people and my kitchen is a mess afterwards, but my kitchen is always a mess and I love cooking for other people. And I just love cooking, so it is really fun.

I just finished reading Julie and Julia. I know I'm kind of late since it has been out a while and now there is a movie and everything (which I haven't seen). But I don't get much of a chance to read or don't make the time or whatever. I really enjoyed it and was inspired by it and it was one of the reasons I wanted to start blogging again.

I made these Chocolate Caramel Crackers the other day. So yummy. I will be making more.
Here are some links to other things I have been wanting to make--possibly as Christmas gifts for people.
Candied orange slices
nut brittle
vanilla extract

Vegan Pomegranate Chocolate Chip Cookie

1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup oats
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips (I like the dark chocolate ones)
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
about 1/4 tsp zest of an orange (one clementine is just the right amount)
5 TBS almond butter
2 TBS vegetable oil
5 TBS soymilk (or other non-dairy milk)
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with Pam or use a silpat.
Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the oats, chocolate chips, pomegranate seeds and orange zest.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, soymilk, vanilla and almond butter until smooth. Add the brown sugar and mix until well combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well with a big spoon or spatula. At the end I get my hands in there to do the mixing.
The dough is pretty sticky, so it helps to put it in the freezer for about 5 minutes before putting it onto the cookie sheet.
Scoop out between 1 and 2 TBS dough per cookie and roll into a ball and place on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with your hand onto the cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and leave on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Then remove cookies to cooling rack to continue cooling.

Makes between 2 and 3 dozen depending on how big you make them.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Sweet Father's Day

Over the weekend we went to visit my parents and I took my Dad some chocolate chip cookies. I always use the Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe. I usually substitute Ener-G Egg Replacer for the eggs. But I was out so I used flax seed 'eggs' instead. I could tell a slight difference, so I prefer the Ener-G Egg replacer, but they were still delicious.
On Sunday we were back at home and celebrated Father's Day for my husband. I made him a German Chocolate Cake. The recipes were from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The basic Chocolate Cupcake recipe--which I doubled and put into two 9 inch cake pans. I made the Coconut Pecan Fudge Frosting and put it between the layers and on top. I doubled the frosting recipe also, but really didn't need to. I guess I could have iced the whole cake, but I didn't want it to be overly sweet. I have the rest in the freezer waiting to be used.

We also grilled some veggies and tofu and served them over rice. My husband actually did the grilling. I know, making him cook his own Father's Day dinner. But he enjoyed it!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

German Apple Cake

Making this cake originated the way a lot of my meals/cooking adventures do. I have one ingredient that I want/need to use and I look through my cookbooks for something to make with it that also includes items I already have on hand. So I had some apples that were not going to last much longer. I thumbed through The Joy of Vegan Baking and found this recipe for German Apple Cake. I did not have any margarine, but luckily there was a variation that suggested cutting the margarine and adding more applesauce to make this low-fat. Bonus! I turned out beautifully. I keep pointing at it and asking my husband, "Did you see the German Apple Cake I made?" The taste is very simple and fresh--barely sweet. It was really good with my coffee this morning.Now to tell you about two exciting give-aways going on:
1. Musings From the Fishbowl is giving away a copy of Sweet Freedom by Ricki Heller (Diet, Dessert, and Dogs). If I was lucky enough to win a copy, I could join in on Sweet Freedom Saturdays.
2. Wing It Vegan came back from a blog break just to give away a Lexen Healthy Chef. This thing is a food dehydrator, rice cooker, steamer, and yogurt maker! Sounds amazing to me. I would love to win one!

Fresh from the garden

It is really hot here, but my garden is managing to produce some tomatoes and green beans. My mom came in town and brought a bunch of basil and other herbs from her garden. Rosemary, oregano, parsley. I used the basil and parsley to make some pesto. Added some green beans and yellow pear and cherry tomatoes. And a delicious meal was made.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Simple, cheap eats

Here are two recent meals I have made that were cheap and easy to make. First up is Vegan Mom's Scrambled Tofu that Vegan Dad mentioned the other day on his blog. I make tofu scramble pretty often, but I never use a recipe so I just throw in whatever I have--veggies, spices, nutritional yeast. It always turns out just fine, but when I saw Vegan Mom's recipe, I thought it would be refreshing to just make a basic scramble--nothing extra thrown in. And it was really nice! I liked the addition of mustard and because I had some directions to follow I actually cooked the tofu long enough to make it a nice dry consistency. I'm sure the lack of veggies in it also kept the tofu from staying to wet also. I really liked it and I'm sure I'll be making it again. My mom even took a bite and liked it! She is not a tofu fan. I'm working on her! :) hi mom.

Next up is Fideo. I've passed by those little yellow boxes of noodles for many years not quite knowing what to do with them. I discovered this recipe at Vegan Explosion and found it to be pretty good for such a simple and very inexpensive meal. At 33 cents a box you can't go wrong, plus my 3 year old liked it. Vegan Explosion has a lot of great looking recipes that I would like to try. Horchata, flour tortillas, Avocado pie.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Quinoa Corn Chowder

The other day, as I was looking through my cookbook shelf, I found a loose recipe that I just had to make. It was a page torn out of a Jan/Feb 2008 Vegetarian Times Magazine. The recipe was Quinoa Corn Chowder. I, of course, didn't have all of the necessary ingredients so it became a variation. I didn't even have an onion, which really would have made this better. But it was still good. The quinoa gives the chowder a nice texture. Feel free to add an onion, take something away, etc. Here is my version:

Quinoa Corn Chowder

1 large red-skinned potato, cut into small dice
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into small dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
4 cups fresh or frozen (defrosted) corn kernels
1 1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1-2 TBSP lime juice

Add 4 cups of water to a soup pot and bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa and red bell pepper and boil uncovered over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
In a food processor, process 3 cups of the corn kernels with 1 cup of water to make a coarse puree.
After the 10 minutes of cooking time, stir the corn puree and the remaining 1 cup of corn kernels into the quinoa/potatoes. Add the salt and pepper.
Continue cooking about 2-3 more minutes or until quinoa/potatoes are tender.
Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice.

The original recipe called for a lot of things that I did not have and that would probably make this an even better soup: cilantro, green olives, scallions, leek or onion. The red bell pepper and sweet potato were my additions.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Enchilada Casserole

Enchilada Casserole
12 corn tortillas
1 can refried beans
1 recipe awesome nacho dip (without the rotel)
1 onion
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 cup corn
3/4 TBSP season salt
1 14.5 oz can enchilada sauce

I made homemade corn tortillas using masa mix and water and my new tortilla press. They were small and thicker than store-bought tortillas. I think store-bought would work, especially with some overlapping, but the thickness of the home-made worked really well to hold up to all the layers.

Make the Awesome Nacho Dip and set aside.

Chop the onion, zucchini and squash into small dice. Saute the onion in a little oil until translucent. Add the zucchini, squash, corn (run under hot water first to thaw a bit if using frozen), and season salt. Saute for about 4-5 minutes.

Start layering:
(I used a small round casserole dish, an 8X8 square pan would work also)
4 corn tortillas on the bottom, 1/2 the can of refried beans, 1/2 of the Awesome Nacho dip, 1/2 of the veggies, 4 more tortillas, 1/2 can enchilada sauce, second half of beans, nacho dip, and veggies. 4 more tortillas and the rest of the enchilada sauce.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Let cool and then top with shredded lettuce and tomatoes.

We took a little family vacation last week to San Antonio and had a good time. Luckily, the hotel/resort we stayed in had a full kitchen which helped us save money and allowed us to cook up some meals in our room. Nothing special, just some pancakes one morning, some chili dogs another day. I don't know why I'm so surprised that San Antonio doesn't have very many vegan choices in restaurants. I wanted to thank AtXvegan from Eat'n Veg'n Vegan Food and Recipes for her suggestion to go to Green in San Antonio. Even though I was not blown away by the food at Green, it was nice to go somewhere all vegetarian. We tried the Chicken Fried Wheat Meat, the Popcorn Tofu Po-Boy, and the Green Burger (home-made veggie burger). All were okay, but I would probably order something different if I went back. There were parts of each that I really liked--the gravy on the wheat meat was tasty and the buns of both sandwiches. I also really liked the vegan chipolte ranch dressing that came with my side salad. The good thing is there are lots of other choices on the menu, so if I go back again, maybe I will find something I really like!

Funny story (or maybe not so funny): We were walking down the Riverwalk and all the restaurants have their menus outside along the sidewalk so you can see if you want to eat there. So I was looking at one at a tex-mex place just to see what they had.
The host guy asked, "Are you looking for something in particular?"
I said, "Vegetarian options."
He said, "We don't have any."
I couldn't believe he wasn't even willing to try to find something vegetarian on the menu. I wasn't even asking for vegan--I didn't want to blow his mind. Oh well, I thought it was pretty funny.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cranberry Nut Bread and Suggestions needed

This may possibly be the first thing I've made from The Joy of Vegan Baking. It is the Cranberry Nut Bread. It made a really big loaf and was great for breakfast or snack. Just good all around. I used candied orange in it and it has orange juice and orange and lemon zest, so it was very orange-y. And then the cranberries and Nuts of course--Yum!

On another note, we are going on a little trip this week to San Antonio. Does anyone have any suggestions for Vegan/Vegetarian places to eat while we are there? I actually lived in San Antonio for about 6 months in the late 90's, but I can only remember two places that I used to eat (A Mexican food place off Broadway and Twin Sister's Cafe). Hopefully there are more than that.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lentil Soup that turned into Potato Soup

I do this a lot. I look through my many cookbooks, just trying to find something to make for dinner that does not require a trip to the grocery store. So the other night I just knew I had a bag of lentils around somewhere so I started making Tomato-Lentil Soup with Brown Rice from LinkThe Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen. I started sauteing the carrots, leeks, and garlic and then realized after searching everywhere that I had no lentils. The good thing was, I hadn't gotten too far and what I had done was pretty much a good start to any soup. I did have some potatoes, so I found this recipe for Hearty Winter Potato Soup in How It All Vegan. It turned out great. Potato Soup is always a winner.

Monday, May 25, 2009

What was I thinking?

I really missed blogging! I've been making some yummy food that I just felt the need to share with others. So it was either this or make ALL of my Facebook updates about food.
So let's jump right into it....
I made this delicious quiche for a potluck this weekend. It is a polenta base and a vegetable-tofu quiche on top. It is from the Millenium Cookbook. My husband always hates it when I make something I've never tried before for a potluck. I know, it is risky. But when I told him it was a Millenium recipe he was okay with it. And it turned out well. I took it to the potluck about an hour after it was done baking. So it had plenty of time to cool. But really, this dish was even better the next day after it had been in the fridge all night. I need to make Polenta more often and do more with it.This noodle dish is a favorite of mine. Many years ago my friend gave out little cookbooks she put together of her favorite recipes for Christmas. This is a variation of one of them. The official recipe is Sesame Asparagus Noodles (not sure where she got the recipe). Here I just used the sauce and put it over soba noodles and some frozen mixed veggies (you could use whatever fresh veggies you have also). Very quick and easy to put together.

Sesame Noodles

1 package Soba Noodles
1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen mixed veggies
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons vegetable stock (or water)
2 Tablespoons dry sherry
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chile oil*
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds.

Boil the Soba noodles and veggies together for 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool it off. Place into serving bowl.
Mix the sauce together: sesame oil to garlic. Pour sauce over noodles and veggies. Toss together adding the toasted sesame seeds.

*I used 1/4 teaspoon of the chile oil and it wasn't too spicy for my 3 year old.

For Memorial Day we couldn't resist cooking out on the grill. We weren't feeling overly inspired so we just did Boca Burgers and corn. My husband was in charge and did a fine job with the burgers. He forgot about the corn though and it burned. I made a little side dish with the veggies I gathered from our garden yesterday. Green Beans, Tomatoes (cherry and yellow pear) and a little Ichiban Eggplant. This dish I actually did in the oven, not on the grill. I roasted them all together with a mixture of vegetable broth, lemon juice, and olive oil. Well, it was supposed to be vegetable broth, but it ended up just being water since I forgot to add the veggie broth paste. I don't think it mattered too much. Almonds and salt and pepper were added about half way through the roasting time, actually the tomatoes too. I'm excited to get even more veggies from our small garden.

Monday, May 4, 2009

short and sweet

I just wanted to jump in to say that I am taking a break from my blog for a while. That is probably obvious since I haven't posted in so long. I'm trying to get my pet sitting business going strong after a break. And my husband is starting his own business. So hopefully, once I get into a groove with all that I can start posting again. I'm definitely still cooking!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Easy Comfort Food

I made this simple Carrot, Spinach and Rice Stew last night for dinner. It is from the New York Times food blog, Bitten. There is a lot of great inspiration over there. I made it to the Farmer's Market yesterday and got a bag of assorted greens: beet greens, arugala, etc. So I used that instead of the spinach. I also used a suggestion from one of the comments which was to add chickpeas. So good. Cooked to the point that the rice was kind of mushy, which I think is what made it such a comfort food for me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

So far I'm having a really nice Earth Day! I took my boys to Whole Foods where they were having some booths and activities out in front of the store. Olen was shy and didn't feel like participating in the activities, but we shopped a little, got some snacks and played on the playground. I hadn't been to Whole Foods in forever--it just isn't on my way anywhere and is too expensive to do my regular grocery shopping at. But it certainly is a nice treat every once in a while.
Some of the treats we got were freeze dried fruits (Just Fruit Salad), Plantain Chips, cranberries (I'm thinking of making some granola bars with these), and dried green beans(which got a yuck from Olen). Also got some hummus and pita chips, smart dogs, and Earth Balance.

Later this afternoon we have plans to go to the farmers market which sounds like a perfect Earth Day activity to me. Can't wait to get some veggies!

Earlier in the week we did some grilling. Seitan Ribz, potatoes and swiss chard. The swiss chard I cooked inside and the potatoes were similar to the Crash Hot Potatoes. I boiled them until fork tender and then cut them into big chunks and put them onto the grill in a grill pan to get crispy. Very nice sides to go with the Ribz which are a favorite around here.

Also baked some tofu the other day. It is a recipe from the Vegetarian Times Vegetarian Entertaining cookbook. The recipe is Tofu Teriyaki Bites. I made these last week to go in a cold Sesame Noodle dish. This week they never even made them onto a plate. I just kept walking by the stovetop where they were sitting on the baking sheet and eating them off. I had specifically made them to pack in my son's lunch because he liked them the week before with the noodles. Of course he didn't eat them this time.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I give in

I could only take it for so long! HappyVeganFace keeps making these Crash Hot Potatoes and taunting everyone with the yumminess. And then Shellyfish had to go and mention them too. So I just had to make them. And they were every bit as good as they say. I know, they are just potatoes, but the smashing then baking really makes for a nice surface area to get all crunchy and yummy. I really enjoyed them. My smashing got a little out of hand because I didn't quite boil them long enough so the middle wouldn't smash very easily so I kind of just smashed all the skin off. But really they turned out wonderfully and the skins were all crispy and delicious. Check out the others who have made them for better pictures.

Another recipe out there tempting me was Jennshaggy's Vegan Mozzarella. Mine didn't quite turn out like hers though. I think I may have gotten impatient and not let the mixture come up to a boil, maybe just a simmer. So the agar did not set properly and the result was very soft. Or it could have been that I substituted Mimicreme for Silk Soy Creamer. Not sure if they are similar or not. It wasn't a complete loss though. I was able to use some as a ricotta cheese type substitute in Lasagna Rolls. These had the cheese, spinach, zucchini, onion, garlic and parmesan cheese substitute rolled up in lasagna noodles. Then covered with tomato sauce (which was just a can of diced tomatoes with basil added and smashed a little more with a fork) and a little more parm substitute and baked.

I just made it up as I went along and it turned out pretty well.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Grilled Vegetable sandwiches on Foccacia

The weekend consisted of visitors and Easter fun. I'm starting to realize that when we have people in town, I don't cook much. We ate out and we cooked on the grill a lot. Easy stuff like veggie dogs and tofu and veggies. It was a beautiful weekend for it. I intended on making Alisa's Cinnamon Rolls, but somehow never got around to it. I hope to soon.
On Monday I made Quinoa Salad again. This time I added an avocado and measured the lime juice (1 TBS). I'll update the recipe on the original post.

Yesterday I had my best friend Gina over for a delicious meal. The best part was that it was completely spontaneous, we both used up veggies that were about to go bad in our fridges, and I didn't have to go to the grocery store to make it. (I was putting off grocery shopping until today).

So she brought over corn and we roasted it on the grill. I made some homemade Foccacia bread from The Vegan Gourmet. I love foccacia, but have maybe made it only once before. I cannot even express how delicious this bread was! I grilled the veggies I had on hand: sweet potato, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, onion.
We each had two pieces of foccacia with a little Veganaise on them, some fresh basil leaves from the garden and the grilled veggies. Oh so good!Olen and Jeff enjoying the meal

And now for some Work In Progress Wednesday:
A baby blanket I am crocheting for a friend of mine that is having a baby soon. I got the idea from Joelle's Giant Granny Square blanket over at The Purl Bee. It is the perfect project for leftover yarn. I'm using all cotton yarn. And it is just a big granny square, what could be easier than that? It is turning out so cute, I'm not going to want to give it away.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Quinoa, tofu and let's pretend it is Wednesday

I made a very tasty Quinoa salad the other night. It was a combination of two different Quinoa recipes. One from Veganomicon and one from Vegan Planet. Here is a recipe. I didn't do much measuring. I'll make it again and update the recipe. I'll also have to take a picture. The one I took came out badly. (even worse then the tofu picture below).

Quinoa Salad

1 cup Quinoa, rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 mango, peeled and diced small
small handful garlic chives, minced
small handful cilantro, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
splash of lime juice (I used bottled, fresh might be 1/2 to 1 lime)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa in the vegetable broth. I used a rice cooker, but however you want to make it.
Put cooked quinoa into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Serve at room temp or cold.

To go with the salad I made some baked tofu. It was a loose version of a recipe from The Voluptuous Vegan. I didn't have all the ingredients, so I just went with what I had. If you have this cookbook, you have to make the Chocolate Coconut Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting. I used to make it whenever I made a cake for special occasions.

These veggies here are what went into the Masaman Curry I made. My friend Jam owns Thai Fresh and makes the best Thai food and teaches thai cooking classes. I took one a couple of years ago and learned to make about 4 dishes. This is a really easy one. I definitely cannot make it as well as she can, but it works.
I didn't get my W.I.P. in yesterday, so I'm doing it today. I just finished these little cuties tonight to put in Easter baskets for my little boys. I filled them with rice. So cute I can't stand it! This was the stitch-a-long project for March. Better late then never.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Breakfast for dinner

I love having breakfast for dinner. Last night we had Biscuits and Sausage Gravy with Tofu Scramble.
I got the biscuit recipe from Jewish Vegan and they were the best vegan bicuits I have ever made! Usually mine come out all hard and dense and flat. Not the case with these! Check out her recipe and blog post for pictures. Hers look way better than mine. Her main tip for making them fluffy was folding the dough over before rolling it out. Next time I'll probably roll them out even less and make bigger fluffier biscuits. The sausage gravy I kind of made up. I browned some of the leftover Italian sausage from the Sicilian Bread Pie and added flour and soy milk to make the gravy. For some reason the gravy came out tasting kind of sweet. Not sure if it was the fennel in the sausage or what. I also used whole wheat pastry flour because I had just used up the last of my unbleached white flour in the biscuits. So who knows. It was okay. My Tofu Scramble was just kind of thrown together with some squash and zucchini, nutritional yeast and tumeric. Nothing special. But all together it was breakfast!

Speaking of Breakfast....This month's Vegan Culinary Experience (online magazine) is called What's for Breakfast. I haven't got a chance to check it out yet, but I look forward to looking at all the recipes. Alisa of One Frugal Foodie turned me on to the Vegan Culinary Experience and I thank her for that. I also thank her for the Cinnamon Roll recipe she currently has up on her blog. I have big plans to make these for Easter morning breakfast.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sicilian Bread Pie

Have I mentioned how much I love all of Bryanna Clark Grogan's recipes? Well, I do. For Italian food, Nonna's Italian Kitchen is the best vegan cookbook out there. Okay, I guess I haven't actually tried all the vegan Italian cookbooks out there, but this one has everything!

Sunday night I made Sicilian Bread Pie. It was filled with a broccoli and vegetarian Italian sausage filling. The 'crust' is pizza dough. Here is a picture of the inside before I put the top crust on. It is steamed broccoli and crumbled spicy Italian sausage (a recipe from the book). This sausage is really great. It is tvp and tofu based with lots of great spices like fennel and garlic and crushed red pepper. I usually make a double batch so that I have plenty for all kinds of things. Like pizza or adding to pasta sauce. Back to the pie...I then topped the filling with halved yellow pear tomatoes and a generous sprinkling of Cashew sprinkle (soy parm substitute) from the cookbook. On went the top crust and into the oven. It took a while from start to finish, but it is so tasty and now I have leftover sausage to use. The pie is good hot or cold and goes well with some marinara sauce to dip it in.

Speaking of pizza dough, I think I've finally found the perfect thin crust pizza dough recipe. I was browsing the New York Times food blog, Bitten, and came across this post and recipe. It made a beautiful thin and crackery crust. Just what I've been looking for. Now I just need to find a vegan soy cheese I like. I used Follow your Heart on this one, but not a big fan. I need to order some Teese and try it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Perfectly Simple

A big pot of beans is so simple and filling. But top it off with some sauteed greens, some Tahini Miso Sauce and a tortilla on the side and it is perfect!

Yesterday I made a 2 lb bag of pinto beans. That's a lot of beans. I sauteed up some spinach with garlic and red pepper flakes and made some more Tahini Miso Sauce from Vegan Gourmet. Yum!

I love buying kitchen stuff from the restraunt supply store. Not too long ago I got these condiment bottles which are perfect for holding sauces and dressings. It also came in handy yesterday for putting the Chocolate Ganache onto the cupcakes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

cupcakes and stuff

First off, I would like to wish my wonderful Brother-in-law a Happy Birthday!!!! I am so happy he and my sister found each other those many years ago. He is a great brother-in-law and a terrific Uncle to my boys. These cupcakes are for him. Now hopefully they will make it to his house before we eat them all.
They are Chocolate cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting inside and Chocolate Ganache on top. And you gotta have sprinkles for a birthday celebration. All the recipes were from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

I made car shaped 'cupcakes' earlier in the week for no reason at all. Just really wanted to use my car pan. I made Vegan Cream Cheese Icing for these and we just put icing and sprinkles on as we ate them.
I bought some tempeh my last grocery trip planning on making Tempeh Meatballs to go on top of pasta and tomato sauce. However, as I started simmering the tempeh in the soy sauce/water mixture I realized I did not have any tomato sauce. I thought about making some, but I was just not feeling that dedicated to being in the kitchen a long time. So, I searched around on the Internet for something to make with my tempeh and found the Tempeh Wingz from Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk. These are something I've always intended on trying, just never go around to it and forgot about it. Plus, my husband does not like tempeh, so I don't buy it very often. Well, he used to not like tempeh. After trying these he said if it tasted like this more often, he would eat it. I had to make a few slight changes to the recipe, but nothing major. As I said, I was already simmering the tempeh in a water/soy sauce mixture so that was different. And I didn't have any Panko, so I crushed up some Matzo crackers instead. And finally, I didn't have any agave nectar for the sauce, so I just used some leftover barbeque sauce I had. It was all very good. Like I said, even my tempeh hating husband liked them.

And finally, a little Work In Progress for you:
These are some Rock Babies that I made for a friend of my son's that just turned 3 years old. They have been in a weekly playgroup together since before they were 2. His mom blogs over at Savvy Source and has all kinds of great ideas for activities to do with your preschooler. There is a tutorial for the rock babies on Resurrection Fern.
I had planned on joining the stitch-a-long this month, but didn't quite get around to it. I got the patterns drawn onto the fabric, but I still need to stitch them and sew them into little softies. I still plan on doing it by Easter as gifts for my boys, so I'm sure they will turn up on my next W.I.P. Wednesday.