Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I swear I'll review recipes again someday.

Wow, have I been failing miserably on the whole vegan thing. I blame it on my birthday coming up and me eating everything in sight in preparation for my impending monthly visitor. Just what you guys want to read about on a food blog, women's biology! But I digress....

(Drawing courtesy of

I love smoothies and make them often. So yesterday I made one with Stonyfield Organic O'Soy vanilla yogurt, Almond Breeze unsweetened almond milk and frozen raspberries. It doesn't taste quite the same as my usual smoothies, but I didn't really expect it to. And I really loved the intense almond flavor you get from the milk substitute. My lovely friend Kris Anne is the one who turned me onto almond milk as a suitable substitute. I've been having the physical symptoms of soy intolerance so I'm trying to avoid it all costs even though I'm really bad at it. I eat soy yogurt, use soy sauce on my sushi and still eat tofu from time to time. It does rotten things to me but it TASTES SO GOOD. Oh well.

(Photo courtesy of

So I thought maybe I would list some of my favorite recipes here and ones I want to try to get me motivated when I go to the grocery store today. Enjoy!:

You can get the whole Uncheese cookbook on Google Books and this recipe for Meunster Cheez is right up my alley.

I made waffles the other night and they were amazing. I add a dash of cinnamon and some vanilla to this recipe, other than that, it is perfection!

About a week ago I made my first batch of dinner rolls from scratch and would love to have a vegan version. This one looks just like the non-vegan ones I made.

Thinking about making this dessert for my birthday. Looks totally amazing.

We used to buy Sponge Candy at Fleet Farm all the time, I want to make my own sometime soon.

Peanut Noodle Vegetable Soup. Need I say more?

I realize these are almost all unhealthy things, but I like knowing I can make my favorite junk food vegan, it makes the transition that much easier.

(Photo courtesy of Comic Book Resources)

And have you guys seen The Vegan Stoner? It's a great website for easy vegan dishes for anyone, stoner or not. And the illustrations are just beyond adorable.

So now I have some questions for all you vegans and non-vegans who eat vegan out there.....

Can you give me a recipe for an awesome nacho "cheese" sauce and dip? I don't really care about the cost, I just want a good recipe.

That's all for now. See you again soon my loves.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hi all!

So I haven't been around in a few days (or more than a week) but I'm still here, baking and cooking!

As anyone who is a vegetarian or vegan knows, it can be a hard road full of screw-ups and indecision at times. I'm not perfect but I know living a cruelty-free lifestyle is what works best for me. This blog will be going into a overhaul as I begin to transition into veganism. I'm not saying it will be perfect and I'm not saying I won't flub up a few times but I think it's about time. I won't preach to anyone because that is not what I'm here for.

I've seen quite a few videos showing horrifying acts of animal cruelty but this one* that was found through Mercy for Animals website today was really what tipped me off. I asked myself, why this video? I don't know. I always cry and feel awful when I see these videos but the sheer cruel violence it takes in a human being to do this is just heart breaking. To me, if you can do this to an animal, who says you wouldn't do it to a human?

There is a lot of privilege that comes along with being vegetarian and vegan. I don't have a lot of money but I have enough to buy vegan foods. I live in an area rife with vegan options unlike a lot who don't even have easy access to fresh fruit and vegetables. This is a HUGE problem in our society. This is something I would love to change and hopefully get involved with in my time living in Chicago. Steven Casey's Food Desert Action is something that is being done in impoverished areas of Chicago and it made my day reading that.

So I got off on a tangent there but I think you know where I'm going with this. As with everything, there are always politics involved. There will be resistance and acceptance on varying levels. All you can do is what's right for you and hopefully what you believe is right for society. Take care and you will be seeing me again very soon!

PS - I have a recipe featured in C.L.A.P (Creative Ladies Are Powerful) that will be coming out soon! I should be getting my hot little hands on a copy next weekend and then I will try to scan my recipe for you all. It is a vegan marble cake with vegan chocolate buttercream frosting that I believe I've perfected. ; ) And if Holly (who blogs here) is reading this at all, maybe she can tell you how you can also get a copy? That would be awesome.

Here is a description of the organization for all who are interested in becoming a contributor,reader,general lover, etc.: C.L.A.P. (Creative Ladies Are Powerful) is a progressive quarterly zine that celebrates women in all their various forms of creative living. You can check them out at their website and add like them on Facebook!

* Obviously the video is very graphic, so take caution. I could only get 45 seconds in before I had to shut it off.

If you want to leave a terrible review of E6 Cattle Company based out of Hart, Texas please go here and here. And you can call them and let them know what you think at 806-647-3744. I've heard barely anyone has been able to get through but keep trying, I know I will be this afternoon.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

All Vegan Desserts For a Good Cause!

I made 5 different kinds of vegan sweets today for the Vegan Bakesale for Japan tomorrow at Logan Hardware on Fullerton/Western in Chicago. Stop on down and buy some delicious food for a great cause! (PS - It is supposed to be like 80 degrees outside tomorrow.)

Some of these made the grade. The others either went in the garbage (I hated doing it) or my roommates and I will eat the castoffs. Here is my run down and grades for each one:

Gingerbread Flax Muffins from the Post Punk Kitchen (F):

These were disappointing. I am usually totally happy with PPK's recipes but these were too ginger-y and mine sunk in the middle. It is hard sometimes to predict what vegan cupcakes/muffins will do and I prefer to have a more dense cupcake or muffin than this one. These are the ones I threw away. I hate to waste product and money, but these were pretty inedible. Total failure.

Lemon Blackberry Muffins from My Sweet Vegan (B): Okay, so I only used this recipe as the base but it is pretty much the same thing but with blackberries and some lemon zest added in. I thought the ones that were cooked through were good but the ones that were a tad more full (my fault) were really gooey in the middle. Not good. So I had to get rid of a few but the done ones were pretty darn good. Nice and soft but not too doughy. I would definitely make these again with hopefully better baking results.

Vegan Chewy Chocolate Raspberry Cookies from Fabulous Foods (B): These are not included in the vegan bake sale goods but they are very delicious. They are dense, chocolate-y with a hint of raspberry aroma and flavor. These are good enough for me to eat but not great enough to share with potential buyers. I will say that I would recommend making these because they are a. easy and b. totally yummy.

The Best Pumpkin Muffins from Vegan with a Vengeance (A):

These came out FABULOUS. They did not sink in the middle and browned without becoming dry and overcooked. I sprinkled some slivered almonds on top and they toasted up nicely which added a nice flavor to the warmth of the pumpkin and spices. These made a perfect dozen and will be for sale tomorrow!

And the piece de resistance... Raspberry Jam Swirl Crumbcake from Post Punk Kitchen (A+):

I'm glad I made two of these because I have a feeling that they will go fast. It is tender and sweet but not too sweet for breakfast! This was incredibly easy to make and has one of my favorite qualities: the ability to be easily customizable! Use whatever jam you want, add whatever toppings you want (toasted nuts would be righteous) and the world is your (vegan) oyster. And I will say that PPK definitely won my heart again with this dish (not that I had any doubt really.)

So enjoy and if you make any of these, let me know what you think! And if you are in Chicago, come on by to the bake sale!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Full Breakfast! 3 Items Reviewed!

Wow, totally missing in action ONCE AGAIN. I find it hard to focus sometimes even when it comes to food which I realize sounds insane. I have been cooking and baking a lot but I've been trying to keep myself busy. When you are looking for work, it is important to keep busy otherwise you will go totally batty. So anyhow, this is one of the best recipes from the last 2 weeks or so.

(Photo courtesy of Post Punk Kitchen)

So, of course I love sweet things for dinner as much as I like them any other time of the day. I try not to make this a habit but sometimes a girl needs a buttery, crispy waffle oozing with warm maple syrup to finish off her day. Usually I go the waffle route because I like any reason to use my grandma's old iron. My friend Ethan pointed me in the direction of these sinfully decadent Vegan Carrot Cake Pancakes. These were made non-vegan with the addition of a Maple Cream Cheese Sauce but I thought it was necessary to go full tilt with the whole carrot cake idea. And to make this a full breakfast, I made my own vegan version of this Sausage and Potato Hash.

My notes and substitutions:


-- Instead of maple syrup as the sweetener, I just used granulated sugar.
-- Allspice isn't something I typically use, so I just added a dash more cinnamon to the mix.

Maple Cream Cheese Sauce

-- All I can say is make sure the cream cheese is FULLY at room temperature. I'm usually super anal about that but I let it slide this time and the sauce was lumpy. It was still good but would be more presentable for guests at room temp.

Sausage and Potato Hash

(Photo courtesy of Never Enough Thyme)

-- Instead of meat (of course), I used Lightlife Gimme Lean Sausage. This is my favorite sausage substitute and use it for meatballs, hash and put it on my pizza among other things.
-- I cut this recipe in half since it was only for two people but I could have easily demolished this all! It was so good and easy customizable.
-- If you are like me and love a good dark crust on your potatoes, crank up the heat. Once the heat is cranked, place a dish on top of the hash and weigh it down with a full tea kettle or a couple of cans to really get a crispy crust. Make sure to stir a few times and replace the weights again until it is to your desired crispiness. I believe this is essential to this meal, but if you are into limp potatoes, more power to you my loves.

Breakfast for dinner is like a pile of a thousand puppies playing. Basically what I'm trying to say it's awesome. Once I made the pancakes, I put them on a pan in a very low but warm oven (200 F) to maintain their heat but not continue to cook. And because it just makes me happy, I decided to toast some almonds to sprinkle on top. The pancakes had a really nice carrot cake flavor without being too sweet (unless you add the sauce, which just made them AMAZING). The salty crispiness of the hash and sweet warmth of the pancakes and sauce made this a perfect balanced meal. Well maybe not healthily balanced but certainly made my soul sing.

I give all the recipes:

5/5 Spoons!

I might not review another recipe for a little while again, but trust me I have notes and will be back. Take care all!