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Posts Tagged ‘Vegan’

Okay, I want to start by apologizing for totally neglecting my blog for the last week.  I have been craft obsessed this holiday season and totally immersed myself in creating all kinds of holiday fun.  But I am back in the blogging saddle and ready to update everyone on the happenings in my world.

First we’ll back track a bit to Thanksgiving.  My family and I traveled to Boise and had Thanksgiving with our relatives.  I spent several days before the trip preparing road snacks and gathering plenty of vegan friendly menu items for our holiday meal.  Pretty much everything that had been made by my relatives had butter in it so I improvised for my Thanksgiving meal.  I had a lovely lentil soup with mashed potatoes, pumpkin biscuits and cranberry sauce.  My family were even willing to try a few vegan items.  They loved the pumpkin biscuits and chocolate cupcakes (I neglected to tell them there was silken tofu in the cupcake recipe, tee hee).  Everyone accept my cousin Becky were a bit leery of the green smoothies though.

When I got home from Thanksgiving I fell headlong into preparations for a small craft fair that I was doing with some friends.  I made several teddy bears and sock monkeys and printed up some original art work on greeting cards.  The show went well and I sold a few items.  I also bought a few items so it all balanced out.  : )

Now I am in the home stretch for Christmas.  For me that means baking up a storm.  This year will be a bit different from the Christmases of years past.  While I have gone vegan most of my friends and family are not and quite a bit of my gift giving revolves around home-baked goodness.  So while I am not depriving them of homemade caramels from my grandmother’s recipe I am veganizing all of my cookie, zucchini bread and truffle recipes.    I am excited to experiment a bit with the caramel recipe and see if I can successfully veganize it.

That is all for now.  How are the holidays going for everyone else?

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Wow!  Time really flew this last week.  I fully intended to post a follow up to Appliance Excitement much sooner, but I got caught in playing with my new friend and trying a bunch of raw food recipes.  The great thing about all that experimenting is that I have a new found love for raw desserts.

The little blender-that-could has served me well for the past several years.  Especially when it came to what is now being refered to as the Great Pumpkin Incident of ’09.  My new little friend, however, has the kind of chopping and blending power that I have only dreamed of.  I put that power to good use this weekend by making a melange of raw desserts including, chocolate pudding (chocomole), cashew whipped cream and cranberry kremecakes. 

My new friend.

The chocomole is going to be the focus today along with the cashew whipped cream.  Both of these taste wonderful on their own but together they are an unstoppable force of tastiness.

Chocomole (a.k.a. Raw Chocolate Pudding)

Chocomole
1 Avocado (pitted and peeled)
4 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup Agave Nectar
1-4 dates (optional but excellent for a little additional sweetness)
1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup water
 
Place avocado, cocoa powder, agave nectar, dates (if using) and 1/4 cup of the water into your food processor.  Pulse until thick and smooth.  Continue to pulse while slowly adding the rest of the water and until the consistency is pudding-esque.    The texture is everything with this recipe.  The first time I made this I didn’t blend it as well as I should have.  While it still tasted rich a dark chocolatey, the bits of avocado and date threw me a bit.  So remember to blend thoroughly.
 
Cashew  Whipped Cream (pictured above as the topping for the Chocomole)

1-1/3 cup Raw Cashews (soaked 2 hours)
1/2 cup Water
3 tablespoon Agave Nectar 
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Blend all ingredients in your blender until smooth and fluffy.  If making  in a food processor, start by blending all ingredients, minus 1/4 cup water.  Stop often to scrape the bowl.  Once it is quite smooth, drizzle in the last 1/4 cup water and blend till fluffy.  This is so good that is could be dessert all by itself!

If you are looking for more dessert inspiration you should stop by Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog.  Not only does she have great recipes for all things chocolate, but she is also doing a charity drive called Operation Chocolate Covered Kindness.  Just by checking out her blog you will be helping her earn money that will go to those in need.  While your are there  be sure to enter the her Big, Fat Chocolate Covered Giveaway.

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I have definitely been keeping busy the last few days and I fully intend to fill everyone in on several tasty creations that I have come across.  Tonight however, I took a bit of a break from the usual to hang out with some friends for a potluck style dinner.

It was a wonderful night.  The conversation was plentiful and entertaining, the atmosphere cozy and welcoming, but the real magic happened when I had my first bite of the main dish.  It was a warm, creamy heaping fork full of Mac n’ Yeese. 

I found a bit of heavenly bliss in every mouthful of this cheese replacement dish that I have been dreaming of for the last 4 weeks. And while I am tempted to horde the recipe and keep it all to myself, it just wouldn’t be right not to share this divine bit of vegan food paradise.  So here it is, the recipe for Heidi’s Mac n’ Yeese.

Heidi’s Mac n’ Yeese

  • 1/2 Cup Margarine
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 3 1/2 Cup Boiling Water
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 Pinch of Turmeric
  • 1 Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • about 1 Tbsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. Mustard

Making It

  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, add salt to taste, and add macaroni.
  2. Melt the margarine over low heat.  Beat in flour with a wire whisk.  Continue to beat over medium heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
  3. Whip in boiling water.  Add salt, garlic powder, turmeric, cayenne, pepper flakes, soy sauce and mustard to the liquid.
  4. Let the sauce cook until it thickens and bubbles.  When that happens, beat in nutritional yeast.  If the sauce is too thick, add more water.
  5. When the macaroni is cooked, drain and add the sauce.  Serve immediately.

If you want to get the story behind this fabulous recipe and what inspired it check out Heidi’s blog at http://rootielicious.com.  You can also see some of her amazing jewelry there as well.

That is all for tonight but stay tuned.  In the next 2 days you will get to hear all about an amazing tofu scramble, fauxtess cupcakes and an adventure with pumpkin roasting.

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Apple season continues here in Washington state and the harvest is bountiful.  I spent the evening cooking up another big batch of applesauce to help get me through the winter.  I love how the smell of the apples cooking makes the whole house feel like fall.

Having all this applesauce around also means that I get to have one of my favorite breakfasts, Quick Apple Crumble.  It is the perfect pick me up on cold fall or winter mornings.  Just put some of you applesauce in a bowl and warm it up in the microwave then top it off with your favorite granola.  I like to use homemade maple coconut pecan granola. 

Quick Apple Crumble

The flavor is mildly sweet and infinitely satisfying.  It’s like getting to have dessert for breakfast!

Making that batch of applesauce means that I finally got to take pictures for An Apple A Day.  So if you want to see some more apple love, just take a gander at that post and enjoy the bounty of fall.

 

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I love Halloween and I love baking.  Do you what happens when those two loves become one?  Bloody Eyeball Cupcakes are created!

Halloween 2009 007

and Bloody Feet…..

Halloween 2009 011

And don’t forget the occasional Bloody Finger.

Halloween 2009 003

Oh yes, it looked like Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory in my kitchen this morning. 

As gross as these guys look they taste fantastic.  The cupcakes are made with the recipe from the chocolate cake recipe on Cake Maker to the Stars  recipe page.  The frosting is Vanilla Un-Buttercream and the “blood” is strawberry puree that has been sweetened with agave nectar and thickened with cornstarch.  I had a ton of fun making and decorating these spooktacular nibbles.

Vanilla Un-Buttercream Frosting

2 cups Powdered Sugar

1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread

1/4 cup Vegetable Shortening

1/2 Tbsp. Vanilla

1-2 Tbsp. Water

All ingredients should be room temperature.  Blend together the buttery spread and shortening until completely combined.  Blend powdered sugar into the buttery spread/shortening mixture.  Once the powered sugar is completely incorporated, add in the vanilla.  Continue to blend the frosting together while slowly adding water 1/2 tablespoon at a time until it has reach the perfect fluffy consistency.

 

 

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Quick Update

This is just a quick little appetizer of a post.  I am pleased to announce that my camera is finally functioning properly.  Yippee!  That means I get to start adding some visual stimulation to my blog.

That first posts that will be getting some photographic love will be Comfort Food Vegan Style and Short But Chocolatey Sweet.  And be sure to keep an eye out for the post later today that will have its own yummy pics along with some additions to An Apple A Day.

I hope everyone is enjoying some pre-Halloween fun this week!  Have a great Thursday.

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In my quest to find new entrees, and off set my somewhat compulsive baking of sweets, I decided to try my hand at making falafel.  While I would love to say that I slaved over a hot stove preparing homemade falafel, such is not the case.  Instead I did the unthinkable.  I used….pre-made falafel mix.  *Gasp*  I know it’s a bit of a short cut but I had this vegan falafel mix in the pantry and it hadn’t expired yet, so I gave it a try. 

The falafel tasted really good.  It had good spice, good texture and really well the tsiziki that was made from scratch.  Granted, next time I make falafel I am going to try making it from scratch.  I have heard that homemade falafel beats the mixes hands down.  Isn’t that always the case though?

In non-food related food, I think I may have some pictures up on the blog by this weekend.  I am currently in the process of trying resurrect my camera from the dead.  With some luck and a new SD card I will be able to break up some of my long-winded posts with something pretty to look at.

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