Monday, January 28, 2008

Extra Clean!

Miso is an odd cat, no? The second he hears the water running in the bathtub he comes running into the bathroom. He waits until most of the water is out before he gets in and lays down. In this picture he hopped in with Ramsey after she pulled the plug. He then checked her over to make sure she was extra clean. Cat breath is a good smell on Ramsey.
I have nothing new to say about baked donuts but if you had a new pan wouldn't you post another picture? I know it will come as a shock considering my last post, but I think I liked the not chocolate donut best. Shocking!
Avocado & Pinto Bean Enchiladas with Cornmeal-Crusted Plantains from edbv. I left the mushrooms out of the enchiladas and these were excellent. I almost think I could take the mushrooms in this if they were chopped up. This wasn't to spicy and believe it or not RAMSEY ate it. Ramsey really liked the plantains, also. They were mildly sweet and a great side dish for a spicy meal.
I have a new favorite dessert. Mini Icebox "Cheese" Cake from My Sweet Vegan. This little cheesecake is made was made in a 6" pan and served 4-6. I'm pretty sure if I put my mind to it I could have ate 1/2 by myself. This was quick and easy to throw together and was amazing.

This cake isn't baked, instead it is frozen. It was creamy and not to sweet. The crust was to die for. While this would be great for a dinner party, I don't think it would do very well at a potluck. This mini cake does not like to be out of the cold very long.
Isn't it so shiny and big? I hated our old toaster oven. Joe hated our old toaster oven more then me. We have been looking on and off for a new one but never found anything that Joe would settle for. On Bryanna's most recent post she talked about this little brick oven toaster. I turned around and showed Joe.

Well, you can obviously see what happened. This was the maiden voyage of the pizza stone. I was lazy and using some Trader Joe's pizza dough. On top was some caramelized onion, roasted bell peppers and artichoke hearts.
The pizza turned out super, fantastic, crisp, chewy, just wonderful!!!
New toaster oven test number 2. Peanut Butter Cookies from JVB. I was able to fit 9 cookies on the little toaster cookie sheet. The baked up perfectly. This was also my first shot at the cookie recipe. This peanut butter cookie recipe is a total winner. It's been awhile since I've had a good peanut butter cookie. Joe already wants more, peanut butter is his favorite.

As a side note, we have fallen in love with the Peanut Butter Zigzag ice cream from Purely Decadent. They would make an awesome little ice cream sandwich in between these cookies.
I wanted some nachos with chili and came up with this. The chili is from a can but the "cheese" sauce I made up after looking over a bunch of other recipes. It was good. Here's the recipe if you're interested.

Put all of this in the blender.
2 cups water
1/2t paprika
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2t garlic salt
1/2 cup flour
1/4t chili powder
2T margarine
about 1/4 cup salsa (or more)
sprinkle of garlic powder
generous pinch of cayenne
Blend everything until it's smooth. Then pour into a sauce pan and heat stirring constantly until thickened.
Thick and Hearty Split Pea Soup from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen. I made this soup in my pressure cooker for dinner tonight. It didn't even involve using my brain as Susan has already provided PC directions. This soup was very good and I enjoyed all of the vegetables.

In the future I will add a touch more water then is called for, but that's no big deal. I like my pea soup a touch thinner, even if it's "hearty". I also needed to add a lot of salt to my bowl. Again that's personal preference. I liked the addition of liquid smoke and the other seasonings were spot on. I'd make this again.

That's it for this week. I feel my new little toaster oven has one more test to be run through. Expect a pie next week. The apples are already waiting for me to get crackin'.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chocolate, chocolate everywhere....

I may be having a slight love affair with chocolate right now. Not that there isn't always a minor lust factor there. Ever since I had that peppermint Ritter Sport bar at Christmas I've been dying for more. I finally couldn't take it anymore and attempted my own.

They cut the craving but weren't as good. I'm not sure if I'd rather order a case of Ritter or work on the recipe. Which option do you think would have me eating more chocolate?
Is it hot in here? No, that's just me using 2 tablespoons of chili powder instead of 2 TEASPOONS. Honestly, these Potato and Kale Enchiladas with Roasted Chilie Sauce was still excellent. This recipe is from Vcon and slightly labor intensive. The book says 1 hour but it took me much longer. That's even with me not rolling enchiladas. I took the easy way out and made the casserole version. Raise your hand if you're surprised at my laziness.

This really is a great recipe. Even with the extra spice we loved it. Even Isaac ate it, spice and all.
I've had a crush on those donut pans for awhile now but never got desperate enough to order one. Over the weekend I came across one in a kitchen shop and couldn't resist. It was even on sale!

I can't lie and say I didn't want a chocolate donut but there are so many good things said about Lolo's recipe, from VeganYumYum, that I had to start there. These were very tasty. I know that sprinkles don't really have much flavor but donuts just seem better with them. I don't get it.
We made tacos with the Last-Minute Chili and Taco Filling from Vive le Vegan! and it was pretty good. Joe liked eating better just as chili and I liked mine better on tortilla chips. There is still some left in the fridge that is screaming NACHOS to me. Isaac ate his but didn't really have much to say about it.
What the hell does a vegan eat anyway? Well, Coconut Tofu with Curry Dipping Sauce. I was in love with this meal. I only had red curry paste, which I like better, but other then that substitute I left the recipe alone. This was amazing. Crunchy, spicy, creamy, sweet..... Just wonderful. Isaac and Joe both liked this, Isaac most of all. Ramsey ate the crust off but not the tofu. I don't really understand her.
And from The Joy of Vegan Baking we have Hearty Spiced Cocoa Muffins. The immediate and extended family all loved these muffins. I'm more of a fruit muffin person but I thought they were pretty good. I probably won't make them again unless someone requests them. If you like sweet muffins try this recipe out.

Stepping onto soapbox. In my opinion, insanely sweet breakfast muffins are kind of silly. This may seem contrary to my sweet toothed nature but hear me out. I figure the step between a chocolate muffin and chocolate cupcake is minuscule. Might as well have the cupcake. + frosting
I also made the Pumpkin Waffles from VWAV. For the life of me I could not get them to stop sticking to the waffle iron. Finally we gave up and ate all the mangled waffles. The pumpkin flavor was awesome. The smallest to the tallest sang this meals praises. I'll try making these again but I have to find some way to get them to stop sticking.
Have a good week!

Chore Wars

I plan on posting about food this evening. For now I wanted to invite everyone to keep up with our Chore War.

Three-Day Invite Code

Saturday, January 19, 2008

How many five year olds can you take in a fight?


Free Louisiana Dating

Super Charge Me

I was curious about the nutritional info on the super charge me cookies and found a website to do the math for me. It honestly makes no difference to me but I was curious. Below is the outcome.

This is with me using AP white flour, cranberries, 1/4 cup sliced almonds, and 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Nutrition Facts

12 Servings

Amount Per Serving 1 cookie

Calories 163.4

Total Fat 6.2 g

Saturated Fat 1.2 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g

Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g

Cholesterol 0.0 mg

Sodium 70.9 mg

Potassium 88.9 mg

Total Carbohydrate 25.2 g

Dietary Fiber 2.4 g

Sugars 12.2 g

Protein 3.0 g

Vitamin A 7.1 %

Vitamin B-12 0.0 %

Vitamin B-6 9.2 %

Vitamin C 0.0 %

Vitamin D 0.0 %

Vitamin E 5.5 %

Calcium 5.5 %

Copper 4.7 %

Folate 9.1 %

Iron 12.1 %

Magnesium 5.9 %

Manganese 41.2 %

Niacin 9.0 %

Pantothenic Acid 1.3 %

Phosphorus 5.4 %

Riboflavin 7.2 %

Selenium 8.8 %

Thiamin 12.5 %

Zinc 6.3 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Really not to bad for a very tasty cookie.

Edit: I just noticed that I forgot the 3 tablespoons of nut butter. Doh!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I love pie crust

I love pie crust. It has to be really bad for me to shun it. Today I made this Coconut Custard Pie from My Sweet Vegan. I just polished of my piece about 5 minutes ago. This pie has the best crust. It is flaky and tender. Perfect.

The pie filling was good, too. A full coconut flavor and slightly more held together then your average custard. I didn't time Isaac but I think he finished his piece in under 90 seconds.
For dinner tonight I made Veggies and Dumplings from Vegan Family Favorites. I think that this is the first time I've ever had a dumpling. So, I can't vouch for the authenticity of the dumpling part. This recipe was very easy to prepare and very tasty. What looks like gravy is just vegetable broth, a small amount of nooch, and some of the vegetables blended up. Every thing thickened up really well.

This is a great cool weather dish and the kids liked it a lot. There are frozen green beans, frozen peas, celery, carrots, and potato. I'll make this again.
We've been on a bit of a pesto kick lately but I haven't been straying from The Vegan Family Cookbook version. I decided to try something new and made Lemony Cashew-Basil Pesto on Pasta from edbv. YUM. I liked this recipe better. Joe liked it but said it was just different from the other.

I like the nuttiness from the cashews and the tart lemon. Ramsey turns her nose up at the other pesto but had 2 bowls of this one. I think I'll be choosing this one as my main go-to pesto.
Basic Fried Rice from Authentic Chinese Cuisine. This was ok. I don't think I'll choose it over my traditional fried rice recipe. But I grew up eating my mom's fried rice and I make it just like her. If you've never made your own fried rice then I'm sure this would be great but I'm so used to my own. My recipe is better.
YUCK! Crispy "Pork" with sweet-and-sour sauce from the same book as above. The sauce and vegetables were fine but the "pork" was so awful that I had to spit mine out on my plate before I'd gag. Joe hated it, also. If I make this again I'll use fried tofu. The "pork" was Deep-Fried Seitan Chunks. Not only were they labor intensive, I also have a big bag of more in my freezer. They were really terrible.

Also shown is Stir-Fried Chinese Broccoli. This broccoli was amazing. I ate what the kids had left on their plates. It really is a wonderful recipe. I want more broccoli just thinking about it.
I'd seen a lot of people post about the Coconut sorbet at Trader Joe's and finally got around to trying it. I can see what all the talk is about. It's so creamy and full of coconut flavor. So many coconut treats fall flat on the coconut delivery. If I were making this myself, I would make it a touch less sweet but it's still very good.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Ramy- Does Tera eat vegetables?
me- Yes, but she eats meat also.
Ramy- Why Tera not vegtarin?
me- Some people choose to eat meat..... Athena's a vegetarian.
Ramy- Athena's my friend. Tera's my friend, why she not vegtarin?

The conversation went on to list every single person we know and if they eat meat or not.

We are currently reading Herb The Vegetarian Dragon. I don't think she understands vegan. I'll have to get that message across.

Ugh. She is in bed and I'm waiting for her to fall asleep. She is, of course, trying not to fall asleep and the conversation has been struck up again.

Is Miso a vegtarin?
Is Hello Kitty a vegtarin?
Is Julliett a vegtarin?
Is George (the neighbors cat) a vegtarin?

If anyone knows the answers to any of those feel free to answer. You'll sate Ramsey's curiosity.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dr.Kracker for FREE

I was digging through old posts on several of my favorite blogs and came across some posts about free Dr.Kracker samples. I'm sorry that I can't give credit to the blog. I searched back and came across three with the same post topic and can't remember which one I saw first.

Anyway, I sent my request for a free sample to with my name and address. Not even a week later I receive a package in the mail. I couldn't think of what it would be. The box was to small for the books I'm waiting on.

I opened it up and found three 7 ounce boxes of Dr.Kracker flatbreads. I'm to lazy to take my own picture (hey, I'm sick right now) but the flavors I got are Seedlander, Seeded Spelt, and Klassic 3 seed. So far, we've only opened Klassic 3 seed. They are very tasty.

So, go and get your free krackers!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

6 Years Old

I delayed this post on purpose, believe it or not. I wanted to include Isaac's birthday celebration.

First I'll start with the food. I received a copy of Cozy Inside and this Maple Corn Fritters recipe jumped out at me. Everyone here loves pancakes and will eat about any variation. These are made with a mixture of cornmeal and flour. They also have corn kernels mixed in.

Ramsey ate half of her fritter before stating that she didn't like it. That could mean anything from being full to wanting to go and play. So, we'll ignore her opinion. Everyone else thought that these were very tasty. This recipe will be nice to add into our pancake recipe roulette.
I've made this Chickpea Ratatouille before. I may even have blogged about it before. I'm not willing to go back and look. Lazy? Yes.

Vive le Vegan is still my favorite of Dreena Burtons cookbook trinity. And this take of ratatouille is yet another reason why. This recipe is so awesome and there are so many good things included. Did I mention that the kids will eat it? I'm always amazed to see them forking it down.
Sunday night dinner. We don't usually have an extra special meal on Sunday night but we had company. You're looking at real mashed potatoes with gravy from a packet. I didn't really care for the gravy but Joe said it was good.

Then there is the Diner Loaf by Julie Hasson from Everyday Dish. The loaf didn't keep it's shape very well, but I did slice it before waiting the recommended amount of time. It tasted alright to me. I'm not going to say wonderful but I think that has more to do with my ambivalence to "meat" loaf. I not a giant fan of soy crumbles either and this recipe includes some. Everyone else at dinner enjoyed this.
And on to the birthday pictures!
Isaac, the six year old, decided that he wanted to go bowling. It was his choice, so off we went. The few times that we've gone in the past they have always had bumpers for the kids. Today we saw another kid using this metal contraption and scored one for ourselves.
The kids loved it. I'm pretty sure the adults did to because it really quickened the kids turns. The few times we went bowling before took F O R E V E R because the ball went down the lane so slow. The kids usually got bored halfway through the game, too.
Ramsey stole my turns so I didn't get to try my hand. I really don't care.
In the evening we had family over for dinner. We had veggie burgers, fries, vegan onion dip with chips and carrots. None of that is really picture worthy. I did make the Brooklyn Deli Macaroni Salad from Vcon. I forgot to take a picture of that. It was very tasty. Even the omni's complimented it. Judy, mother in law, also fell in love with Veganaise.

And here is Isaac's volcano cake. Yes, I know it should be a bit more of a triangle.
I also didn't fill it up with enough "lava". It should have had the red flowing over not just a lot of smoke. If you blew away the "smoke" you could see the red bubbles.
Of course after we cut into the cake the red started flowing over. Oh well, live and learn. The "dirt" on the bottom is, of course, crushed Joe Joe's oreos. Joe had the task of getting all the white centers out. Ha.

The cake is from The Joy of Vegan Baking along with the frosting. It took 3 batches of frosting! The omni's had no complaints over the cake.
Isaac had a very nice birthday and got some lovely gifts. I can't believe that he's six! He eve got a phone call from his friend Bella. It was super funny listening to them talk to each other.
I had to throw in a picture of Miso in the dryer. He thought that it was a nice warm place to lay. He's a very sweet little cat.

I've got a cold and plan to go lay on the couch now.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Supercharge me!

I have no pictures and didn't even think to take one until after I had polished off the last cookie. That's how good Dreena Burton's SuperCharge Me cookies are.

I had a major craving for a cookie but we have been eating sweets nonstop since right before Christmas. It's not like I ever really abstain from sweets, so for me to say we ate to many is really saying something. I cracked anyway and decided to make cookies. When I was looking through my books I came across SuperCharge Me and decided that might be slightly healthier then many of the other recipes.

These cookies are so amazing. I'm not a batter eater for baked goods but I nearly licked the bowl clean for these. I knew if the dough was that good that the cookies would be amazing. I chose to use cranberries instead of raisins and I added the optional chocolate chips, of course. After trying the first cookie I realized that I would have been perfectly happy without the chocolate.

There is no sugar in these cookies, it's all maple syrup. I used cashew butter as my nut butter of choice. There is a full 1/3 cup of flax meal. I didn't use spelt flour because I don't have it, but they turned out fine. Next time I'll use whole wheat pastry instead of unbleached white flour.

This is a slightly disjointed post but I had to share.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year

I did promise a Brak shirt. I was being lazy and decided to make a stencil first. As you can see it didn't come out that super. The stencil was fine, it was the stupid fabric spray that I used for the first time. Note to self....Test on something else first next time.
Because of the poor stencil results I decided to break out my screen printing stuff. Slightly more work but superior results. Isaac liked both shirts but Zorack won out. I'm not sure if it's because of the quality or because Zorack is his favorite.
Here is my Christmas gift. I got a hand hammered carbon steel wok. I was still seasoning it in this picture. Isn't it pretty?
For Christmas dinner I made lasagna, garlic bread, salad and most importantly Tiramisu ice cream. When I came across the recipe on have cake, will travel! I knew I would have to test it out. It did not disappoint. I added a bit of grated chocolate and loved the extra chocolate boost. This would be a great part of an ice cream cake.
I promised to come back with a review on the seitan that I made last week. It was pretty good. Pretty good turned to awesome when I made a reuben. I didn't even have rye bread but it was still awesome. I made my 1,000 island dressing out of 1/2 cup vegan vegannaise, 3 tablespoons of ketchup, and 3 tablespoons of sweet relish. Sauerkraut is a permanent fixture in our fridge. I'll make this again.
For New Years Eve I made Brooklyn Brownie Cupcakes from VCTOFW. I made them the day before so that I wouldn't have a lot of work on the day of. I used the recommended frosting included with the recipe. These really do taste just like a fluffy brownie. Some of the ingredients, bourbon and black cherry preserves, made no sense to me. All you can taste is chocolate, no fruit taste at all. I can't figure out why they're needed. No matter what these are great.
For our New Years dinner I made one of my favorites, Taco Salad. My recipe doesn't have exact amounts but I'll share what's in it. Lettuce, tomato, carrots, kidney beans, soy crumbles, tortilla chips and 1,000 island dressing. The kidney beans are my favorite part. On the side is some Spanish rice. The kids weren't to impressed with the salad but Isaac liked it the next day rolled up in a tortilla.
My lovely booze dessert. The bourbon cupcakes were ready to be served when I remembered that I had some tiramisu ice cream left. Ice cream filled with Kahlua and rum. These two went together very well. I'm wishing I had more right now.
Hot Damn Tamale Pie from Please Don't Feed The Bears. This picture doesn't look like much as it was hard to keep in a slice shape. But don't let that fool you. This recipe was super tasty. Isaac loved it and even asked for seconds. Ramsey liked the corn crust. That's about all I can hope for from her. Next time I'll try to keep the cornmeal a little more moist so it's easier to spread. Other then that, this was perfect.
This was in one of my Christmas gifts. Bleh. Bad chocolate. Chalky and waxy. I was disappointed.
This is the greatest thing I have had in a long time. Leek and Bean Cassoulet with Biscuits from Vcon. I'm a carb freak and the biscuits are what enticed me. I figured the other part would just be a means to an end. A somewhat healthy meal that let me eat biscuits. Was I wrong! This was amazing. The vegetables were so good. I had never cooked a leek before but they are really good. The broth turned into this amazing gravy. Everything was perfect.
This cassoulet even looks pretty. This will be great to serve to company. I'm completely full but I want to eat more right now. I can't wait for lunch tomorrow.

I also got a Ritter Sport peppermint bar for Christmas. This is the greatest mint chocolate bar I've ever had. I've warned Joe that I'll kill him if he steals it. I'm going to have to order a bunch more, it's that good.