Monthly Archives: May 2008

Cinco de Mayo!

Well, that was yesterday, but still.

My best friend came over to see if i wanted to go out and get a drink. I said, “Why go out when I’ve got a perfectly good Margarita right here!” In cupcake form, of course. The recipe is from-where else- Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Someday soon i might read a different cupcake book, but don’t bet the farm that it’s going to be THAT soon.

So the recipe called for a quarter cup of lime juice with another 3 tablespoons for the frosting, but i only had one lime so i had to make it work. I grated off all the peel i could, then juiced the holy hell out of that poor little lime. I got barely a quarter cup. I used most of it, and the zest, in the cupcake batter, then added whatever was left to the frosting. Can i just tell you how lime-like these things tasted? And that was with barely half of the lime juice that i should have used so imagine how puckered my face would have looked biting into one made from the full amount!!

The recipe also called for two tablespoons of tequila. In all fairness, she does state to let them rest for a couple of hours so that the flavors may develop. I anxiously waited…about an hour and a half. I could wait no longer. At least one of those cupcakes needed to get in my belly. Now. They were delicious, as i already said and with enough lime to cure the rickets of any Brit, but i couldn’t really taste the booze. Maybe i didn’t let them sit long enough? Who knows. I hate tequila anyway. I think it tastes…brown. So I guess I’m glad my cupcakes didn’t taste brown. If i were any more of a boozehound, though, i might have been disappointed at the lack of tequila flavor, but as it is, I’m okay with it.

I also made cholent from Veganomicon. I guess it’s a traditional Jewish meal, veganized. Or as my visiting friend called it, Jew Stew. “Is it made from real Jews?” She says. (Not offensive at all, right?) apparently she’d heard of it before. Very funny. The only things i did different to the recipe were A) i did not add caraway seeds. They were too expensive at Jewel. I’m in the process of getting all my herbs and spices online and in bulk but until then, you’re not going to see these little guys in my food and B)I did not deglaze with wine, i used veggie broth. I have used wine in my cooking before and my kids think it makes stuff taste funny. Since they will be eating two-thirds of what i make, i must comply with their wishes. I guess that’s good, though, right?

We all loved it. It really was delicious, even without the seeds. I added some leftover tvp i had in the freezer from when i bought it for Carmen and she was supposed to learn how to stir-fry. Turns out she’s a lazy vegetarian. “I don’t wanna do all that work,” she said. Yeah, me either. But i did.

Well , i sort of did. This stew is not that difficult to make. I’m a huge fan of being able to throw things in a pot, let ‘em simmer and then get to eating an hour later or so. It needed salt, but that’s because i don’t put it in anything i make. All my food is bland and i get to hear about it daily. Whatevs.

See you tomorrow for some more news on baking and eating!

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Adventures in Vegan Cooking! And other stuff!

So much to post about today and i think i will start with this hilarious cross-stitch i got from a gal named City in New Zealand. Yes, that’s me in the picture. Ain’t i cute? Her site is on my blogroll where it says ‘city the nz cupcake queen.’ I think it should also say “city the nz cross-stitch queen’ cuz this thing is awesome. I have already pissed off my husband by not just owning it, but proudly displaying it in my kitchen where his uber-religious family members can see it. His brother-who is in a locally popular screaming hardcore band- says to me, “What kind of crowd are you running with these days? Geez…” I reply with “the usual. But it’s funny right? Cuz I’m a suburban housefrau but i worship satan. Come on, that’s funny, dammit!” Well, i think so.

City also features knuckle tattoo cross-stitches that read ‘cupcake’ and star wars.’ Cupcakes rule! Star wars, well, i guess thats an acquired taste but anyway. She sells her stuff on Etsy, which is where i picked mine up. you can go here to look at her shit.

Next, as i have said in my previous post, i am going mostly vegan. Why not all the way? Because I have to taste frostings and stuff, made with butter and a tiny bit of cream, to make sure they don’t taste like poo before someone pays money to eat them. When my hubby is home, he is usually my guinea pig but since he works nights, and a lot of my baking gets done at night, what do i do? I call myself vegetarian with a serious bend towards the darker side.

I went to our local health food store and holy mother of god are they expensive. But i want to support local business so i do it anyway. Plus, the place is owned by two of the coolest broads ever, and quite militant about eating vegan. Usually that turns me the hell away from vegans (and another reason why i hesitate to call myself that) but she says it with a smile and that just makes it all better.

I stocked up on some of the stuff i need to get a good start (oh, how i wish the whole foods wasn’t an hour away, sniff) but i have to go back for other stuff. My pal Kristen wants me to experiment with gluten-free crap so i’m going to buy about four different kinds of flour, probably to the tune of about $30. That’s okay though. When i open Joliet’s first cupcake shop/bulk spice store, i want to know what the hell i’m doing, you know?

Forgot to mention- this was my lunch for the past few days. I roasted some asparagus by rolling it in about a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper and throwing it in the over at 400 for 15 minutes. When those tips turn black, you’re done. then i did about the same thing to the cauliflower, only i added garlic and oregano. It took about half an hour. Again, when some of the tips turned black, i took it out. i let it cool and then tossed it into the food processor until it was a coarse meal. Frigging awesome! Heaven (if i believed in it) on a platter!!! This is actually quite economical, too. All you need is a head of cauliflower and a bundle of asparagus. Next, i made some delicious pan fried tempeh to go with it. Just slice into strips, put it in a pan with veggie broth, cook until the broth goes away and it starts to get more browned, then put in some tamari(or soy sauce, whatever, really) and liquid smoke. i ate this for lunch for four days!

A super healthy meal and completely cruelty free. Unless you count the smell that’s all up in my house and my husband saying stuff like “making me smell that crap is mean.” He doesn’t count though, right? I’m only supposed to be nice to animals? ok, cool.

So my next experiment was with Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. the babes who wrote this book have an amazing blog that you can view here. I made the chocolate ones and i didn’t even bother making frosting. Seriously- they did not last that long in my house. they were loved by all. I think i may use this recipe for all my chocolate cupcakes in the future. the were the most moist, most flavorful, and garnered me the most compliments, which is really what i’m after.

As you can see i used my silicon baking cups for these. When I’m baking for my family, why waste paper? They are a pain in the arse to clean up, so spray a little no-stick in there to help you out. Although they will still be hard to clean. So whats worse? Wasting paper or wasting water? I have no idea anymore. Sigh…

I also made these fabulous vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting, vegan of course. you know, it’s times like this when i think that vanilla might be the new chocolate.

Yes, i did use a bunch of different liners for these, i know. I had a few of each different ones left over. A couple from easter, a couple from valentines day. What’s a girl to do? Who cares, just use the damn things. All people really want is what’s on the inside.

I brought these to my usual sunday night hang out when i don’t have to go bring jerkoffs food at the restaurant i work at. I wait anxiously until the baby is in bed and the teenagers are out of the shower and ready for bed. Then i get the hell outta there for some much needed adult time. The gang and i usually hang out at Britt’s house and watch Family Guy reruns.( ps- i hate the everloving crap outta that show but because i want out of my house so bad, i watch it, pretend to get it, then fake laugh.) Anyways, my friends wolfed these suckers down like they were never going to eat again. When i said, “They’re vegan!” only one person knew what that meant. Wow. Why do i hang out with these people again? They don’t even like chocolate. I know! I think it’s mostly for geographical convenience. Just kidding.

<—-Anyways, buy this book, you will NOT regret it. I’m still working on my Veganomicon, picking out recipes, buying ingredients. Oh hey, no one told me this, but seitan is apparently made from the very stuff that makes my insides feel like a mosh pit. Gluten! Argh! (ha! i went all pirate on ya!) I do indeed still eat the cupcakes that i make with flour, yes. I will pay for it all night with frequent trips to bathroom and a can of Febreze air effects close by, but sometimes, it’s worth it.

YOU try being a vegan with a wheat intolerance! It blows big time! Luckily, i love love love tempeh. Still trying to figure out baking tofu, also. Wish me luck! More to come kids, enjoy!!

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Daring Bakers Challenge

Has it been a month already? Sure has! For the month of April we all got to make the deliciously delectable cheesecake- in lollipop form! I’m not going to bother posting the recipe because it was rather long and tedious. Suffice it to say that i did NOT add the flour to mine and they still turned out marvelously!

I’m guessing the reason to add flour was to hold them together a little better but regardless, I’ve never heard of adding flour to cheesecake filling, and i was not about to try it out. You know what? They stayed together, spitefully, I’m sure. Although, to really irritate me, they did get Mark removed from Top Chef, and we were supposed to have many curly-haired brats together. Mean cheesecake pops.

starting upOh yeah, i also decided to give mine more of a cheesecakey look, so after dipping them in semi-sweet chocolate, i rolled them in some old, dust on the box, leftover graham cracker crumbs. According to my husband, you could not even taste the graham, so perhaps next time, i will crush them myself so they are chunkier and not a fine powder.

I did have to bake mine for a lot longer than expected. I also halved(is that even a word?) my recipe because i have no need for that many little cheesecakes in my house when i’m trying to lose 30 pounds. Although, going vegan two days ago means i’m not really allowed to eat them anyways. That’s another post for another day.

I then decided to wrap them up and send them to work with my husband to go whoring for business. I figured, they are tasty little buggers, and they would make a nice little party favor or whatever. Plus, they’re fairly easy to make, and cheap! What’s not to like? I just punched a hole in my business card (which i hate, by the way. i have seen WAY cuter business cards. that’s what i get for being cheap, though. screw you vista print!) and attached it to the loop of string around the stick. Cute!

Thus ending my post on April’s Daring Baker’s Challenge. Was it really all that challenging? Nope. Would I do it a gain? You bet your sweet aspercreme, I will. What a great idea to bring to a party! Well, minus the business card thing. That would be way tacky.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Suck it! I don’t really care! Happy baking all!

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