Photo Credit: Google Image Search

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Garbage Can Pizza!

I buckled. I bought some Daiya cheese. I really REALLY wanted a pizza that was not loaded up with everything BUT cheese because honestly, even though I can tell myself I'm ok with the absence of cheese on a pizza, I really can't believe it. Pizza without cheese is just bread with tomato sauce and vegetables on it.

Isn't that called bruschetta?

Anyways, I bought the Daiya Mozzarella.

And it was good.

Matt and I decided on a whim to make a pizza using whatever we had in the kitchen (we've now done this twice since because of the success of this first Garbage Can Pizza), and we started by making our own dough. Also, we named it "Garbage Can Pizza" because most of the ingredients would end up in the garbage if not used for this pizza.

It was the end of the week...

I found this recipe for Vegan Pizza Dough on and then we loaded the dough up with a nice spreading of olive oil, followed by some old leftover pasta sauce and then broccoli, pineapple, jalapenos, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and some leftover gardein chicken cutlets. Then we sprinkled the Daiya mozz over the top and doused the pizza with some Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce and some Rooster sauce for heat.

This was delish. The dough was a little bland, but who cares when you have so much flavor up top.

Some people think my taste for pizza toppings is weird.

I tell them that they are weird.

So there...

In case you were wondering, my verdict on Daiya cheese so far is two thumbs up! It definitely is still NOT cheese, but they came darn close to tasting like Mozz. Also, the gardein chicken cutlets were delish as well and when you nestle it into a pizza, no one could tell the difference I'm sure...not even an avid meateater.

I still cannot afford to eat these meat/dairy impersonators on a regular basis, but when I do get the chance, I will lean towards the Daiya and Gardein brands FO SHO.

Here's the recipe for the dough from


2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
12 ounces beer


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet (12 x 18" or slightly smaller works well).

2. Combine all ingredients. Dough does not have to rise at all, but will be fairly wet and sticky.

3. Press into prepared cookie sheet If it seems too sticky to work with, sprinkle a little flour on it as you pat/press it into the pan.

4. Top with your favorite sauce and toppings. Bake 20-25 minutes or until dough is browning and crisp around edges.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Raspberry Chocolate Cookies

I generally do not like mixing anything remotely healthy with chocolate. The one exception being chocolate covered strawberries (and really, this is only because you can hardly taste the strawberry).

I like chocolate in it's pure perfection. Dark chocolate to be exact. I like it so pure that it's almost bitter.

So Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies did not excite me all that much. But I needed some sort of cookie dessert and I had the ingredients for this recipe.

I needed to get rid of a raspberry preserves jar that had been sitting in my refrigerator for about a year a few months, so this was my opportunity.

I got a little caught up in the excitement of watching my hands turn dark brown as I got all up in that dough, so I'm not exactly sure what happened, but the consistency of the dough was weird to me. As I flattened it out on the cooking sheet, they looked like sad pancakes.

And then they burned. See?

These were ok. Matt really liked them. I was not a huge fan, but as I mentioned earlier, I had my doubts about this flavor combo. If you love Raspberry and Chocolate, give it a go, just make sure the dough isn't too dry.

Here's the recipe for "Chewy Chocolate-Raspberry Cookies" from Veganomicon.


1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease cookie sheet.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the raspberry preserves, sugar, canola oil, vanilla, and almond extract.

In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the other ingredients. Add the dry to the wet in three batches, mixing well with a fork after each addition. When you get to the last batch, you may need to use your hands to work the batter into a soft and pliable dough.

Roll the dough into walnut-size balls and then flatten them with your hands into 2 1/2-inch diameter disks. Place on a cookie sheet (they need be only 1/2 inch apart because they don't spread out when baking). Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. You can also serve these cookies still warm over a scoop of icecream.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ay-Oh-Lee and Portobello Sandwich

I've been on a serious mushroom kick lately. I put them in EVERYTHING. Salads, soups, pastas, rice, you name it, I shroomed it. This obsession reached a fevered pitch a few weeks ago when I decided to buy bulk portobello mushroom caps.

2 containers to be exact.

If you haven't noticed this about me yet, I have eyes that are bigger than my stomach. I also get really nervous when food sits in my refrigerator for longer than 3 days. Put those two lovely character traits together and you get a wasteful person who throws out a lot of food.

But, I've been working on this.

Matt will eat things that have mold blatantly growing on them. He says it helps fight staph infections.

We'll leave that little tidbit alone for the time being...

Anyways, I had to move quickly with these mushroom caps, so I found a recipe in the "Clean Food" cookbook that utilized the mushroom caps as the star of a hearty sandwich. The only problem was that I had no idea what Aioli was.

Oh well, I decided to do it anyways.

One thing I love about this cookbook is that it allows for much variety depending on what you have in the kitchen and what you like. It even seems to allow for those moments where you realize that you've put in an entire jar of sundried tomatoes including their juices even though the recipe only called for 6 and sans juice.

Oh well.

These were delish.

And so hearty, but we served with some leftover frozen corn (dethawed of course...but barely).

And we had leftover aioli for days...which meant we could repeat this recipe again and again.

Oh yea, and I realized that aioli is just like...a mayo based sauce. Garlicky I presume. Not scary at all!

Here's the recipe for "Roasted Portobello Sandwich with Sun-dried Tomato Aioli" from Clean Food by Terry Walters.

- Portobello mushrooms (1-2 per serving)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp minced fresh herbs of choice (thyme, oregano, parsley, basil)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices of bread
- Roasted red peppers, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
- Avocado, thinly sliced
- Romaine or fresh spring mix lettuce
- Mustard (honey dijon)- optional

- 6 sun dried tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 1/2 cups grapeseed oil mayo (I used Nayonaise).
- 2 tbsp fresh italian herbs of choice
- pinch of sea salt

Preparing Aioli- soak dried tomatoes in hot water for 15 mins. or until soft. With food processor/blender running, drop in garlic. Process until minced. Squeeze excess water form tomatoes and add them along with mayo to the food processor. Scrape down side of the processor as needed and blend until smooth. Add herbs, salt and process lightly. Transfer to a container and refrigerate to allow flavors to blend. This aioli will last approx. 4-5 days in the fridge.

Roasting Portobellos- Preheat oven to 400F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Wipe mushrooms with a damp towl to clean. Discard stems and rub smooth side with olive oil. Place smooth side down on cookie sheet and sprinkle insides with italian herbs, pepper and pinch of salt. Roast for about 8-10mins. until soft. Remove and set aside.

Assembling- Slice bread and lightly toast. Spread aioli on toast and top with roasted portobello, roasted red peppers, avocado and lettuce. Spread mustard on second piece of toast and top sandwich. Serve warm.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Brussel Sprout and Cranberry Salad

I'm back from Texas. If any of you follow me on twitter, you know that I was quasi-scandalized by the most recent trip down South (ok, not really, I was just out of my element and had cashew nightmares...shudder), but I'm back and will not be flying anywhere until my honeymoon in a month!

Yea, I know, I still have to drive to Iowa and Wisconsin between now and then, but let's focus on the positives here, ok folks?

Hawaii...sandy beaches...not a cashew in sight...

Anyways, I had the sudden realization that I would be wearing a bathing suit in less than a month. This realization caused me to binge shop for a bathing suit on and then swear to eat salads between now and then.

I sent the bathing suit back. So you can only guess how my salad diet is going.

In all honesty though, I don't really believe in the traditional understanding of dieting. I haven't weighed myself in almost 5 years (yup, I even ask the nurses NOT to tell me what the scale says when I get my yearly checkups), and am generally pretty happy with the way I look. Sometimes I struggle, but most of the time I realize that I'm not willing to give up eating pizza and ice cream, so therefore, this is how my body is going to look. And I'm ok with that. I try to do some form of exercise almost every day, but if I miss a run or yoga class, I am pretty forgiving.

Some might call this lazy.

I don't :)

ANYWAYS, back to the salad. I decided to give Skinny Bitch another chance and thought that a salad was a relatively easy option that was hard to screw up. And the salad option they had in the book sounded AMAZING.

"Pomegranate and Brussel Sprout Salad." I love brussel sprouts and I love pomegranates...WINNING.

Unfortunately, the salad I ended up concocting had little resemblance to the one described in the recipe.

Here's what I did wrong:
-First off, couldn't find any pomegranates. I should have maybe decided to do something else when I realized a title character was going to be missing from the recipe. I used some dried cranberries instead.
-I forgot the tofu. But I'm ok with that because I think the intention of including the tofu was to trick your eyes into thinking you were eating feta. I don't like tricks or surprises.
-Didn't have roasted hazelnuts, used raw.
-Didn't have mirin, so used sherry again.

The colors, I tell you, the colors!

Despite all of the substitutions, this was DELICIOUS! The dressing especially was great. I loved the cranberries and can only imagine what pomegranate seeds would have done to the recipe, so I highly recommend this one.

Here's the recipe for "Brussel Sprout and Pomegranate Seed Salad" adapted from "Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook."


-3 cups brussel sprouts
-1 cup thinly sliced radicchio
-2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
-1/4 dried cranberries
-1/2 cup orange slices (I used clementines)
-1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
-1/4 balsamic vinegar
-1 tablespoon soy sauce
-2 teaspoons sherry
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Pepper, to taste


Steam the Brussel Sprouts 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft (this took me like 10 minutes for some reason). Place in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Cut them into quarters. In a large bowl, toss together the Brussel sprouts, radicchio, romaine, cranberries, orange slices, and hazelnuts.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, sherry, oil, garlic, and rosemary, for the dressing. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and pour in the dressing, cooking until the mixture begins to bubble. Add to the salad and toss. Season with pepper, to taste.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Satanic Seitan

So these past few weeks have been chaotic. I haven't been home on a weekend since...God knows when. Won't be home on a weekend until...August at earliest. Matt is unemployed, so he's been stepping in to do the cooking and what not, so I haven't felt inspired to blog. Nor have I had the time.


I'm hoping that things start to slow down soon, but who knows. No one tells you about how much busier your life gets when you are gainfully employed. Actually, I think they do...

Anyways, a few weeks ago I decided I needed to figure out what in the hell Seitan is. I'd heard of it, pretty sure I'd even eaten it before, but really didn't know what it was. So, I decided it was time to venture into imitation meat-ville.

Temporarily. At least.

So I found this recipe for Seitan from Scratch from "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker." As I began the process of basically removing all the nutritional value of wheat flour, I realized this was QUITE a labor intense process.

Making the stock was super easy (and I had TONS of homemade leftover vegetable stock which was awesome), and it smelled great. The annoying process was kneading the dough ball in water until the water was clear and not white. This took forever. I am still not convinced I got the water to run clear, but at least it was only sort of cloudy when I threw in the towel.

This recipe made a lot of seitan and it definitely LOOKED like meat.

Here's the recipe for the Seitan from Scratch from "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker."

•1 large carrot, cut into 2-inch chunks
•1 large yellow onion, quartered
•3 garlic cloves, crushed
•½ cup tamari or other soy sauce
•2 bay leaves
•2½ quarts plus 3 cups water, or more as needed
•6 cups whole wheat flour (about 2 pounds)
1. Combine the carrot, onion, garlic, tamari, and bay leaves in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add 2½ quarts of the water, cover, and turn the heat setting to High.

2. Place the flour in a large bowl and add the remaining 3 cups water. Stir well to combine, adding a little more water if the dough is too dry. Turn the dough out onto a flat surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough back in the bowl and add enough warm water to cover. Let it rest for 20 minutes.

3. Place the bowl holding the dough and water in the sink. Knead the dough in the bowl until the water turns white. Drain the liquid, then cover with fresh water and knead again until the water in the bowl turns white. Repeat the process, using fresh water each time, until the water is almost clear. The dough should now be a smooth ball of wheat gluten, or raw seitan.

4. Depending on how you plan to use it, leave the raw seitan whole or divide into 4 smaller pieces and add to the simmering stock. Change the heat setting to Low, cover, and cook for 4 to 6 hours.

5. Remove the cooked seitan from the cooker and transfer to a baking sheet to cool. If you are not using the seitan right away, it can be stored submerged in its stock in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container for up to 5 days or frozen for several weeks.

So once this was all said and done (sorry I don't have pictures, it was 10:45 3AM and I was exhausted), I let the seitan "rest" until the AM where I decided to make a Seitan Pot Roast also from "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker."

In the morning, I sliced up the Seitan "loaf" to make it look like cutlets.

Then I followed the recipe and put it all in the crockpot while I was at work.



I come home from work and the house smells AMAZING. Like, it smelled like legit pot roast.

Then I took a bite.


I mean, the initial flavor and texture was similar to pot roast but the chewy rubbery texture was just not ideal. AND to top it all off, I knew there was like ZERO nutrients in this dish. So, we decided to plop those cutlets on top of some macaroni noodles and call a spade a spade.

All in all, this was far too much work for a really not impressive outcome. If I were to ever make seitan again (or eat it for that matter), I would make sure there were some really REALLY bold flavors to compensate for the lack of a pleasing texture or flavor. Also, I would make sure there were tons of veggies involved to guarantee the health factor.

Sad face.

Here's the recipe for the Pot Roast from "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker."


1 sweet yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 pound baby carrots
1 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved or quartered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
The cooked seitan (around 2 cups is what is called for)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 cup water, or more as needed
3 tablespoons soy sauce


1. Arrange the onion, carrots, and potatoes
in the bottom of a lightly oiled slow cooker.

Season the vegetables to taste with salt and pepper
and add the stock, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of the

2. In a large bowl, combine the wheat gluten flour,
onion powder, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of thyme,
1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. (Since I had already made the seitan, I just added the seasoning to the liquid)

Add the water and soy sauce.

Mix well, adding a little more water
if the mixture is too dry, then knead
for 2 minutes until smooth.

Shape the gluten to fit inside your cooker
and place on top of the vegetables.

Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on
LOW for 4 hours, or until the seitan and
vegetables are cooked.

3. To serve, remove the vegetables and seitan
from the slow cooker.

Cut the seitan into slices and arrange
them on a serving platter. Surround with the
vegetables and spoon the cooking liquid over

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


What do chocolate chip cookie dough truffles, tropical cupcakes, halfway cookies, cake pops, cheesecake, fresh sticky buns and homemade basil Parmesan bagels have in common?

If you guessed “they’re all delicious” then you’d be right, but they’re also all products from your favorite Chicago food bloggers kitchens and will be on sale THIS Saturday at the second annual food blogger bake sale, a national effort to help end childhood hunger.

Who: Maris Callahan of In Good Taste is co-hosting the event with Erica & John Witte from The Poison Cup Wine & Art Boutique. More than twenty of Chicago’s favorite food bloggers are baking and volunteering at the sale, including: What’s Cookin’ Chicago, West of the Loop, EZ Bake Oven, Not a Crazy Vegan (YOUR'S TRULY!!), Blondie’s Cakes, Joy’s Misadventures, Engineer and an Oven, Chefdruck Musings, NBC Feast and The Pink Apron….and so many more!

What: Remember your childhood bake sales? This one will be even better! Stop by to sample baked goods from more than twenty of your favorite local food bloggers and take home some of their famous treats – from sweet to savory and gluten-free to vegan. We’ll also have a wine tasting and Erica and John Witte will be on hand to recommend the perfect wines to pair with your favorite desserts. All proceeds from the bake sale will be donated to Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale.

When: Saturday, May 14 from 12pm – 3pm (CST)

Where: The Poison Cup Wine & Art Boutique at 1128 W. Armitage Ave (between Clifton and Seminary). To get there, take the CTA brown line to the Armitage stop or the #73 bus.

Why: Food bloggers from across the country will unite to support the Share Our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger in America by holding bake sales in their states. Proceeds from the sale will support the 17 million children (almost one in four) who face hunger in America. More information on SOS can be found at


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Into the STRATA-sphere

So, here's the setting.

It's the night before Easter. Holy Saturday, if you will, and I have no one who is willing to let me cook for them the following day. It was one of those rare weekends where I spent no time with anyone except Matt and then was going to Matt's Mom's house for brunch.

And I never cook brunch...

And I wanted the opportunity to try...

So I decided I would cook for the church luncheon following Easter service...even though no one asked me to and no one even knew I was doing this.

I was so excited when I finally decided to do this because, seriously, I love brunch, but never EVER cook anything of the brunch-like nature. I generally tend towards eating brunch out on the town, so this opportunity was huge.

Unfortunately, the brunch-esque dishes I found myself looking at were less than inspiring. Scrambles? Eh. Pancakes? Not a fan of sweet brunch food.

But then I saw a strata recipe in Veganomicon.

Now, I won't go so far as to say I decided on this recipe because I had a flashback to the scene in "The Family Stone" where Sarah Jessica Parker's character gets her strata spilled all over herself...

Ok, yes I will. That's the only reason I decided to make this.

I had no idea what strata was. told me the following: A strata is a casserole made of layers of bread (usually dipped in milk or eggs to soften,) cheese, and vegetables.

This should be know, no eggs or cheese or milk.

So, return to the original scene. There I am, deciding at the last minute to make this dish that I frankly have no idea what it is, and then scurrying to the grocery store.

There just was far too much pressure. What from the last minute-ness and the illustrating my cooking skills to a whole group of people, it just was a recipe for disaster.

So I messed up, ALOT.

Here's what went terribly horribly wrong:
-I couldn't find cremini mushrooms so I think I just used button shrooms.
-Did not have enough spinach
-Did not have enough tofu, and the tofu I had was firm, and was not I'm not sure what the custard mixture was supposed to look like.
-Did not have lemon juice, so I think I substituted white vinegar
-I used spicy brown mustard that was quite pungent and definitely took over the flavors in the dish. I would half the amount if I used spicy brown mustard again, but mostly I would just advise using yellow mustard.

I almost started crying as this whole thing was baking. And it came out looking a little strange. So I had to try the corner to see if it tasted terrible or not. Hence the following picture:

Interestingly enough, this was a HIT at church! I almost didn't bring it, but people (specifically the vegetarians and the vegans around me) were RAVING!

Only goes to show you that even when you royally screw up a recipe, good things can come from it.

So, here it is, "Mushroom Spinach Strata" from Veganomicon.


6 slices stale or lightly toasted French bread, cut into 2-inch pieces
1½ cups thinly sliced shallots (5 or 6 shallots)
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly (about 3½ cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
10 ounces well-washed chopped spinach (about 8 cups)

For the custard:

1 pound soft tofu
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup vegetable broth or water
¼ teaspoon salt (if using water or sodium-free broth)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan with oil or a non-stick spray.

Saute the shallots in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 7 more minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.

Meanwhile, make the custard: place all the custard ingredients in a blender or food processor, crumbling the tofu as you add it. Puree until completely smooth and set aside until ready to use.

To the pan with the mushrooms and shallots, add the garlic, herbs, pepper, and salt. Saute for another minute, then add a handful of spinach. Let the spinach wilt, then continue adding by handfuls until all the spinach is in the pan and wilted.

Turn off the heat, move the vegetables to the side, and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Toss in the bread pieces and mix to distribute.

To assemble the strata, transfer the bread and vegetable mixture into the baking dish. Pour the tofu custard over everything, and use a spatula to press the custard into the vegetables. You want to get as much custard as you can into the vegetable mixture without actually stirring things up.

Place in the oven for 55 to 60 minutes. Remove, allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then slice and serve.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Waity Kate-y's Favorite Cake....y

Alright so this is sort of the second installment of the Royal Wedding Extravaganza that was held at mi casa last week. And to be honest, although this cake did not get the attention and acclamation it deserved the day of, I'm trying to make things right by dedicating an entire post to this cake.

The Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake.

Weeks before this event, I spent far too much time surfing the internet and trying to plan an "authentic" menu. Initially, I had decided that making a wedding cake was way too much effort and since there would be plenty of other sweets available, there just was no need.

But then Maris comes along.

And she has high aspirations. In life. And here I was googling "Kate Middleton's favorite cake." Page after page popped up saying that the Queen to Be was a huge fan of Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake.

Never heard of it.

And then I googled "Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake."

And I came upon "I Eat Trees" blog.

And the rest, my friends, is history.

To be fair, Maris made all of the cake...

And then I made the sauce...3 days later.

It was late, ok? And there was really no way we would have been able to eat anything this sweet at 4AM.

Especially with that sauce...

I had to give away 2/3 of this cake because it was SO sweet and SO delicious. If you ever need to win anyone over with a vegan dessert, this might be the go-to recipe.

I think that when I make this again, I will only make half of the sauce because this stuff was DRENCHED in sauce. I mean, I like ooey gooey cake as much as the next guy, but this was a little goopy. Once it had cooled and refrigerated for awhile, the sauce thickened up a little.

Here's the recipe from I Eat Trees:

Sticky Toffee Pudding
Date Mixture:

•2 cups chopped dates
•2 cups water

•3 cups all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•2 cups powdered sugar
•1/2 cup vegan butter substitute, at room temperature
•1/4 cup soymilk
•1 teaspoon white vinegar
Sticky Sauce:

•2 1/2 cups brown sugar
•1 cup vegan butter substitute
•1 cup vanilla soy creamer, or 1 cup plain soy creamer plus 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the date mixture, combine the dates and water in a small saucepan and simmer until the dates soften, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool; do not drain. When cool, process in a blender or food processor until smooth.

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and oil and flour a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In a separate large bowl, combine the sugar and vegan butter substitute and beat with a wooden spoon until fluffy. Beat in the soymilk and vinegar. Stir in the flour mixture and date mixture and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the cake is light brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

To make the sauce, combine the sugar, vegan butter substitute, and half of the soy creamer in a medium saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Whisk in the remaining soy creamer. If you are using plain creamer, stir in the vanilla extract.

To serve, poke many holes in the top of the cake using a fork and pour half of the sauce over the top, allowing it to soak into the cake. Cut the cake into 3-inch squares. Keep the remaining sauce hot and spoon over the warm cake. Store leftover suace and cake tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The REAL Royal Wedding (sans rant)

Ok, I know you've all been waiting for this. I've been tweeting about the Royal Wedding Viewing Party I was super excited about and look, it's almost a week later and I haven't posted pics or even a hint at what was cooked.

Granted, I ranted (like that rhyme?). And then I was traveling in Wisconsin all day yesterday.

So, really, this is my first opportunity.

So, I'll just get to it.

Maris from "In Good Taste" came over at about 6 on Thursday evening (I neglected to check my cellphone and when I finally did, saw that I had approximately 18 missed texts including one that threatened to give the pizza she was bringing away to a homeless man if I didn't respond). I was, of course, stressed about this party (i.e. gathering of 3 people), so wanted to start cooking RIGHT AWAY. Maris, being the calm and collected person that she is, wanted to relax...and drink wine...and watch Boy Meets World with Matt.

I went RIGHT to cooking.

I started off with the SCONES. I leafed through "Veganomicon" and found the recipe for Banana and Date Scones...which sounded quite British. So, I gave those a go. I also found a recipe for "Clotted Cream" (this might be THE most disgusting name for a food in the history of food) and whipped those bad boys up right quick (was that British?).

Here's a pic (using my NEW chip and chip bowl that I got from my shower!):

These were SO DELICIOUS. I am STILL eating them for breakfast and the banana/date combo was not only a winning flavor mixture, but also left the scones very moist and delicious.

Here's a link to the recipe, but the blogger was vegetarian and not a hard core vegan, so she used honey whereas the recipe called for brown rice syrup.

For the Clotted Cream, I mixed up 4 tablespoons of Tofutti Cream Cheese (which tastes like "mayonaise" according to Matt), 4 tablespoons Earth Balance and 2 tablespoons Confectioner's Sugar. This was delicious and made PLENTY as long as you don't like, douse the scones in the stuff.

So, then I wanted to make something savory. Now, I've never really been all that interested in British food...and actually had to ask one of my friends who lives in Leeds for helpful suggestions (thanks, Sarah!). I disregarded all of her suggestions (which were great), and decided to make Pasties. I've had these before, and they're basically like homemade hot pockets...or pot pies that fit in your hands.

I found this recipe for "Vegan Cornish Pasties" online and decided to give them a go.

These were...complicated.

I don't know if it was my fault (it was like 11:00PM which is about an hour past my bedtime and I had had a few glasses of wine...and Maris was distracting) or the recipe, but these were...awkward.

Exhibit A:

The dough just really did not work out. And I didn't even eat one until a few days after the event had past. I added a red pepper to the insides which I guess was nice, but really, I would NOT recommend making those. Granted, it might just be that my tastes do not match up with British food...

I pity the Brits if these pasties were an accurate representation of their cuisine.

I put ketchup on mine.

So, here we were with 2 of the 4 dishes completed. Maris had decided at the last minute to bring fish n' chips which turned out to be a Whole Foods version of Goldfish (ducks, actually) and sweet potato fries.

So all we had left was a tart Maris was supposed to make and the cake.

Oh the cake...

I'll post more about that tomorrow.

BUT, we were too tired (i.e. Maris didn't want to make the tart), so our menu was complete.

We fell asleep to the Lifetime Movie about Will and Kate, almost missed the ACTUAL wedding, and then I fell asleep promptly 30 seconds after Kate and Will kissed on the balcony.

Some party...

BUT, as I've said before, it's better to celebrate GOOD things than BAD, so I plan on doing the same for Prince Harry's wedding. Whenever that happens.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Royal Rant...I mean Wedding

So, I'm pissed.

First of all, the internet was blowing up last week with people complaining about how much media coverage was being geared towards the Royal Wedding. I get it, I mean, not everyone cares about wedding details and romance and that stuff, and that's perfectly fine. I had a WONDERFUL time watching and revelling in the beauty of that day and the promise that these two young people had at using their power in a responsible way. I was touched that they wrote their own prayer that mentioned justice and honor. It was as if my generation which seems to get pooped on in every other conversation was finally being represented by some people who could quite possibly win us back some credibility. This may be much MUCH more than anyone else read into the wedding, but I loved it.

Then last night happened.

I get a text message telling me to turn on my tv and in those few moments that it took me to find the remote and find a reputable news channel, I had this terrible feeling that something really REALLY bad had happened and reality as I knew it would be altered.

Then I saw the headline that Osama Bin Laden had been killed...

And then I saw that people were singing "We are the Champions" outside of the White House...

And then I saw tweets saying things like "I hope he burns in hell."

And I was disgusted. I was disgusted in many MANY different ways, but what upset me the most was that, I'm pretty sure people would not be celebrating this way if there had been a Peace Treaty signed between Palestine or Israel, or what if Bin Laden had turned himself in? I'm pretty sure the celebrations in the U.S. would have been markedly less noticeable...if they even would have happened at all.

*Photo Image Credit Google Search*

So I turned off the tv.

Which is what I'm sure many people did on Friday, I'm sure. And many of the reasons behind doing this were honorable - yes it was super wasteful and extravagant, yes they are just two people, they aren't even royalty for this country...and on and on. But I wonder if those same people who turned it off on Friday tuned in on Sunday night as the news broke of Bin Laden's death. As news anchor after news anchor informed me that I would "always remember were you were when you heard the news of Bin Laden's death," I found myself wondering why death and destruction is so much more enticing than hope and joy?

Who knows. But until I figure it out, I'm going back to not watching the news again.

Ok, rant over.

Once I'm a little calmer, I'll post the pictures and menu from the ROYAL WEDDING BONANZA I celebrated. I took the day off of work to watch, so I mean...I kind of went all out.

Alright, that's hopefully my last soapbox rant for a LONG time.