Tag Archives: vegan

Tiramisu cuppies, garlic soup, Trader Joe’s and Veggie Bite!!

I’m not gonna lie…I’ve never like tiramisu very much. It’s just not chocolaty enough for me. In fact, the only chocolate in there is a lame dusting of cocoa powder on top. Blah. The first time I had it was when my mother and I went to eat at a restaurant in Colorado while visiting my brother about 13 years ago. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was sorely disappointed, let’s just put that out there.

Last week, my best friend Robert went to a wedding in California. I told him that when he got back, I would make him the tiramisu cupcakes(p119) from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. So, these are for you, gayhole.

You are making the basic vanilla cupcakes(p33) but doing things to the cupcake afterward to make it all tiramisu-y.

1 cup soy milk

1 tsp cider vinegar

1 1/4 c ap flour

2 Tbsp cornstarch

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 c canola oil

3/4 sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

Put the soy milk aside with the cider vinegar to curdle, making it our version of buttermilk. This should only take about 5 minutes. Next, mix wet ingredients into it. Mix dry stuff separately, then mix it all together until there are no large lumps. As always, and you’ve heard it a million times, DO NOT overmix. Please.

Fill your lined muffin tins about 3/4 full or until you’ve used all the batter to make 12 cuppies. Bake for 20 minutes, maybe 22 if your oven is a jerk. Let cool.

I did not let mine cool completely, instead, I only let them cool for about 15 minutes. Then I cut out a cone shape with a paring knife. One of the only good uses for a paring knife, I believe. (How often do you use that thing? I mean, come on.)

Next, I made the cream cheese frosting(p158).

1/4 earth balance (or any non-hydrogenated vegan margarine)

1/4 vegan cream cheese, i used toffutti

2 c powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Cream margie and toffutti until fluffy, add vanilla, add powdered sugar. Bam! This didn’t taste very cream cheese-y to me, but it was still the shiz, so I’m keeping it.

I then mixed 1/3 cup Starbuck’s coffee liqueur with 1/3 cup water and 3 tsps of instant coffee mixed and microwaved. I wanted it strong, yo!! (You can use any coffee liqueur, really.) And for my straight edge friends, obviously if you omit this, add more of the extra strong coffee, probably espresso powder instead of coffee would be better. And if you have an espresso machine…well, you rule. Use that instead. And marry me, please.

You put about 2 Tbsp of this into the cavity of each cupcake, make sure it’s nice and soggy. Believe me, you want to taste the coffeeness. Pipe in your cream cheese frosting, and the replace the cone once you have dipped it into that coffee ooze. Use your sifter to dust a mixture of 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp cocoa powder over the tops of these.

These were amazing. I am totally hurting my shoulder patting myself on the back right now, but they were THAT good.

I also went to a place called Veggie Bite today and had the most amazing chocolate shake. My friend lives right by the one on 111th (which I had no idea of) in Chicago so I told her i would be visiting her more often. Even she, the veal and pate loving omnivore said, and I quote, “I am really impressed with how good this shake is right now.” Then she proceeded to argue with me- right in the joint- as to why cow’s milk is totally normal and good for you and okay to drink. Sigh. And she’s in law school, ya’ll. Don’t ya just love lawyers? They can rationalize anything.

And Trader Joe’s- what’s that all about?? I went there like ten years ago and forgot it even existed for while but I went back today. I wanted to take a picture of my receipt because, seriously, everything I bought was like two dollars. Seriously. I will be shopping there from now on. I think it’s totally worth the 25 minutes drive.

Oh, and I made this kickass garlic and white bean soup from Vegan With a Vengeance(p67). I served it with crusty wheat artisan (vegan) bread. It had just enough fennel to NOT be overpowering, because I totally hate that black licorice crap flavor, and I got to put my immersion blender to work. That poor thing has been collecting dust for far too long. Even my omni hubby loved this hearty and filling soup! But really, who wouldn’t like two whole bulbs of garlic roasted then squeezed and blended into soup? Especially these crazy eye-talians I find myself suddenly related to!

Until next time…vengeance is mine!! Oh, and so is the falafel.

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Vcon or die!

Not really, but you know what I mean.

First things first, congratulations to my 8th grader who graduated this past Monday. Woot! I made these cupcakes. They and the frosting were vegan but of course the Ghirardelli caramel squares, mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, mini M&Ms, and fruit by the foot were not.

Back to Vcon. I love this book. I decided to go back and read some of the reviews on Amazon for Veganomicon and I gotta tell ya, most of them are spot on. Great recipes, easy to read, FUN to read, etc. Of course there were a couple who didn’t care for it, one lady saying all the recipes she tried turned out terrible (to which I personally would say, “news flash! you suck at cooking!”) and one guy who said everything was too complicated and the recipes weren’t healthy, calling most vegans chubby. Really? Are you sure? And here I figured a diet of fruits, vegetables, and grains would be good for you. What on earth was I thinking? Douchebag.

Oh, one other person pointed out some misprints and typos and I did actually find a couple of my own, but we can’t all be perfect. And honestly, if you don’t know your way around a kitchen enough to figure out what might be missing, you should probably just stick to eating at IHOP.

Today’s dinner consisted of the ‘braised seitan with sun dried tomatoes and kale’ (p182) recipe. I scrapped the sietan since I have a gluten sensitivity (more on that later) and instead, used my favorite alterna-protein, tempeh. It was pretty easy to make. I happen to really like the one pot dishes, being that I am a lazy piece of crap. Hey man, until my dishwasher gets put in and hooked up, I’m not doing any more dishes than I frigging well have to.

I also made the ‘polenta with broccoli’ (p114) recipe but instead of broccoli, I used a bag of frozen mixed ‘california vegetables’ and i used my

muffin tin (no shortage of those around here!) to mold them into individual servings. I then broiled them to reheat them.

Oh, and I also made the ‘parsnip chips’ (p183) recipe. Yum! They were great! I’ve never had a parsnip before so I was leary (sp?) at first, but they smelled wonderful, so I came around, of course.

So, this gluten sensitivity…it started when I was pregnant. It didn’t stop after I gave birth. Now, when I have one or two cupcakes, it’s not THAT bad, because let’s face it- one cup of flour divided by twelve does not make for too horrible a tummy ache. However, seitan…I’m just asking for trouble. Bathroom trouble, that is. So no more sietan for me. Too bad, because there’s a shirt I want with an inverted pentagram that says ‘praise seitan.’ Oh well.

Speaking of shirts, I did some t-shirt shopping recently. I have decided to give my money to people who will use it for greater good. I already know that Target does this, as they constantly pat their own backs about it. This one to your left I bought for my husband because when he saw that I bought it for my daughter, he gave it such a…longing look. It was only $12.99 and it is AWESOME, isn’t it? Who doesn’t love Rock Band? It even has a bunch of hands throwing up the devil horns! You gotta love that stuff. I know I do. Plus, Target now has a whole line of organic cotton stuff. Yips all around.

Lately, I’m really into Herbivore clothing. I bought two shirts from them along with a lot of buttons and stickers. I’m not huge fan of American Apparel shirts, which is what they use, but I do like that the reason they aren’t using anything else is because America is too fat. “Most T-shirt manufacturers are increasing the size of their sizes to fit an ever expanding public. Our manufacturer is sticking to the sizing styles from the 70’s and 80’s. So if you’re used to jumbo Fruit of the Loom or Hanes T-shirts, know that ours are a bit smaller.”And that’s a direct quote from the website.

Next, I will buy something from the Peta website, even though sometimes I think they can be a bit scary in their tactics. Do what you gotta do, I always say. I kinda like the really gross one that says ‘would you like fries with that?‘ but they only make it in dude style and I need boob room. I’m definitely getting their little green V for vegan pin. Just because.

Before I stopped shopping at Wal-mart (see ‘Wal-mart:The High Cost of Low Price) I bought a couple of shirts that were allegedly organic transitional cotton. I’m trying-against Stacy and Clinton’s wishes- to have an entire lot of shirts that say stuff on them. You know, environmental stuff. Vegan stuff. Ecological stuff. And etcetera. I don’t have a ‘real job’ or any reason to go get what my friend Natalie calls ‘big girl clothes,’ but when I do, I can always give these to my kids who will probably be blessed with the same giant boobs I have been ‘blessed’ with.

Until next time, with a vengeance!

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Dear Summer…

I effing hate you. You give me perma-frizz for like four months. You make my face look greasy enough to fry eggs on, if i still ate eggs. I hate sweating and being around humidity. I hate being in the sun and that whole “gotta get a tan” subculture. I also hate shorts and you will NEVER see me in them. Oh yeah, and i hate ‘belly’ shirts, too. First, I’ve had three kids so every shirt i own is a ‘belly’ shirt. Second, you would be hard pressed to find one square inch of my torso that does NOT have some sort of freckle or mole on it. This just occurred in the last few years. Even my own mother, who came to visit and happened to be around while i was getting dressed and only had my bra on, said, “Wow! When did THAT happen? You weren’t ALWAYS covered in moles, right?” My mother. She is soooo going to Shady Pines when she gets older.

Also, I am as pale as the day is long. Like, see-through, I’m so damn pale. I like being pale, to tell you the truth. While everyone around me looks orange and unnaturally leatheresque, I am keeping my youth tightly in my grasp. I get people all the time who say things like, “YOU have teenagers? What, did you start when you were like 12?” To which I would love to reply “Actually, 11. And they have three different daddies, one of which is my brother. Oh, and I’m from Alabammer ‘riginally.” But, I digress. Not everyone can possess my sparkling social graces.

The only good part of summer is the fact that I can eat ice cream ten times a day, and no one (except my scale) looks at me funny. My fiend-oops, friend- at Bake and Destroy! got herself the ice cream attachment for her brand new Kitchen-Aid mixer. Well, I’m not one to be left behind trendwise, so I hopped on that bandwagon faster than you can say “Just TRY to keep up with the Slaters, I dare ya!” However, my old ass Kitchen-Aid was too small for that attachment so I bought the next best thing(I hope), the Cuisinart ice cream maker.

This recipe is actually from the magazine Vegetarian Times, which my daughter insists I subscribe to, or else. It’s a good mag, I like it. This is called ‘super chocolate vegan gelato.’ It is the best vegan gelato recipe ever. I mean that. Here it is-

2 cups plain soy creamer, divided (I used Silk. I love that stuff. One container is exactly two cups. Plus, i found no reason to have this recipe ‘divided’ so i didn’t do that.)

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 Tbsp cocoa powder

3 Tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup mini vegan choc. chips (the recipe actually said 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped. Who has time for that?)

2 tsp vanilla

Combine soy milk, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt over medium heat. Simmer until slightly thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and vanilla until melted and combined. Cover and chill 4 hours or overnight. Mine looked a lot like pudding. Prepare according to ice cream maker’s directions. Hooray! I can do THAT.

Oh, and at the end of mixing, which took about 25 minutes, i tossed in a teaspoon of Starbuck’s coffee liqueur. Not because I’m a boozer or anything, but because I was too lazy to mix up some instant, but also because i have a giant bottle of this stuff so I’m always looking for places to use it.

Holy CRAP was this shizzle delicious!! It was creamy, rich, chocolatey, fudgey and just plain ol’ heavenly. You could barely taste the coffee, which was fine, really. It just sort of gave it that little something extra. Also, next time, i think i will stick the mix in the blender before i heat it up because i did notice tiny clumps of cocoa powder here or there. Nothing serious, just here or there.

I insist that you try it. The Cuisinart was only $60 and I know they have them used on Amazon for like $30.

Also, i went to visit my friend Jackie today who just had a baby girl (named Natalie!) May 9th and ended up staying for less than one hour because Olivia is so scared to death of other kids, she wouldn’t stop tantruming and banshee howling every time Jackie’s little boy Trevor came within ten feet of her. Yes, I have one of THOSE children. Brat.

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Affordable Veganism

First off, my husband has been hard at work making this giant Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba. I wish I could get him to put that much of himself into dishes or laundry, but oh well. A giant robot is the next best thing, right? On to the food…

I’m going to warn you up front that this is a loooooong winded blog but I think you’ll find the info interesting if you stick around to read it all.

I have been working on a feature for this blog titled- you guessed it- affordable veganism. My point is to simply let others know that you do NOT have to spend two hundred dollars a week at your local health food store in order to make this lifestyle choice.

Your first purchase as a vegan will undoubtedly be about four or five cookbooks, like mine was. I have some that I can suggest, but I would also like to suggest others that I do not have, but have researched and my sources tell me they are fabulous. Vegan Planet is awesome and has recipes for stuff like tofu sour cream and little things that you don’t want to have to spend all your money on. Veganomicon is kind of like the bible in that I reference it about 9 times a day and I am always quoting it. It has a few casseroles and one pot dishes that you can switch up a bit to suit your tastes, and they aren’t horribly expensive to make. Eat, Drink and Be Vegan is good, but some of the recipes can get a little pricey or weird. Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World is great for sweet treats but you’re going to have to buy things like non-hydrogentated shortening and vegan margarine to make the frostings. The good news is, you only need a quarter cup of each so they will last you a while, but sticker shock may keep you away from them. Don’t let it. Oh, and Smart Balance makes a vegan margarine that is sold at your local chain. Good times!!!

Ah, unfrosted poptarts. The lazy vegan’s best friend for about a month until you get sick of the same three flavors.They are always on sale at my Jewel for like five dollars for three boxes.

My Jewel also carries it’s own line of organic crap so yay me. This soy milk pictured was $2.50 per half gallon. It sounds like a lot when cow’s milk is three bucks for a whole gallon but whatever. It’s cheaper than Silk. Also, this oatmeal (vegan) pictured is two for three dollars right now, so stock up.

I would go on Amazon.com for your cook books. While normally I would suggest giving your money to the authors of these books, we are doing this on a budget, right? And the point is to not exploit, harm, or kill any living being because of the food we eat so we’re not going to worry too much about lining the authors pockets at this point. Although, I guess technically they are living beings as well, but let’s not go there right now. However, if you can afford it, go right ahead. You only make it possible for them to write more wonderful cook books in the future so it is definitely good karma, or feng shui, or whatever.

In the front of most of these books is a “pantry” section where they tell you what you should always keep on hand. Some of the staples include coconut milk, canned pumpkin, etc as well as things you’ll REALLY need like canned tomatoes, beans, pasta, etc. I’m here to tell you scrap the coconut milk and canned pumpkin for now.

One of the cheapest, easiest things I make at least four nights a week is simply this- pasta, veggies, and beans. If tofu was on sale that week, i toss it in there, too. Of course, make sure your pasta is vegan, some of them use eggs. Go to your produce section and buy whatever is on sale this week- zucchini, yellow squash, spinach, escarole, tomatoes, eggplant (although, this can be a little tricky to cook with if you aren’t experienced in cooking), broccoli, carrots, green beans, etc. You can even be super cheap and go to the freezer section and buy frozen. It doesn’t really matter. This also works when certain things are not in season.

Next, go to your canned goods aisle and buy canned, chopped tomatoes. They come in all flavors now including olive oil with oregano, basil, garlic, and/or parsley, so half the work is done for you. Then you scootch down a few feet and pick out cannellini beans or garbanzos or navies and presto. Dinner is done for a couple days. This makes a huge pot of goodies. This picture above is of some spices and herbs that my Jewel carries for a dollar a bottle. They taste just as good as McCormick only without the price that makes you feel like your being violated in some way. Only thing is, it’s back by the dog food. I know, right?? And this giant bottle of pre-chopped garlic was like five bucks when i bought it a few months back. When I’m cooking for other people, I use the real peel and chop stuff, but when it’s just us…there you go. Anthony Bourdain says if you are too cheap and lazy to buy and chop your own garlic then you don’t deserve to eat it, but I disagree. I still love him, though.

Last week at my local Jewel, this hummus was buy one get one free. I bought a box of wheat thins (also on sale AND vegan) and baby carrots and my snack time was taken care of. This seasoned tofu was BOGO, too. The Italian stuff I’m using for tonight’s pasta dish. The Asian stuff went for yesterdays lunch with broccoli and carrots and white rice.

It’s all about looking through your paper and finding what’s on sale and making it work for you. Pre-sliced apples were buy one get one free also. I would never buy those things otherwise.

Each one of the canned goods I have pictured was right around a dollar. I am somewhat health conscious so I make sure my kids and I all get our veggies in, as well as our fruits, and mass amounts of protein in bean form, usually.

I do recommend picking out one or two of the meals from one of your books so that you can keep your family NOT bored with your food. I could eat the pasta stuff all year long with all the different combos of veggies and beans and it wouldn’t bother me. My kids, however, are a little more fickle. They get that from their dad.

This stuff is leek and bean cassolet with biscuits from Veganomicon. Next we have matzo ball soup from Vegan With a Vengeance. Tasty, but a pain in the ass to make. Then we have cholent, also from Veganomicon. My kids loved this stuff!!!

Next week, I’m going to make something a little more pricey. It has sun dried tomatoes, brussel sprouts, and some other stuff. Oh, and seitan, which i made myself last week and ate with my pasta but discovered that having a gluten intolerance means that eating

something made from gluten is a bad idea. Duh. Eating the pasta is bad enough but that only gives me minimal amounts of pain and torture. So, I’m going to use tempeh from now on.

And here’s one last picture of my little peanut. You know, doctors do everything they can in the emergency room to save lives so that they can say just that- “We did everything we could possibly do.” I don’t have much of a chance to make a difference in the world so I’m going to do it in a way so that I can say to my children some day, “I did everything I could possibly do.”

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

These were the best cookies ever. Really. I got them from Vegan With a Vengeance but I tweaked them a little.

The recipe called for raisins and walnuts. Well, no thanks to the nuts and I was fresh out of raisins so chocolate chips it was!

I used the optional ground flax seed because she says somewhere in that book that they add chewiness and I’ll be damned if I’m eating crispy cookies. I don’t like them.

I actually split the batch in half, added my vegan chocolate chips to half, then added regular Hershey’s semi-sweet to other batch. Mainly because I’m too cheap to share my super expensive vegan chips with the rest of my family. Carmen can’t seem to keep herself vegan so she’s just half-assing it right now, and that’s fine. I know how teenagers can be. Fickle, irresponsible, cranky. I’ve been there so I’m not going to force her into something she’s not quite into wholeheartedly.

oh, sidebar-I’m trying like hell to volunteer at Warped Tour for the Action For Animals booth. It would be super if they would call me but he said he thought they were full at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheater. Oh well, I will have to find something else to volunteer for, I guess. There’s plenty of horrible crap going on that I can be a butthole about and protest, right?

Oh, here’s a couple more pictures of my cookies in action…

This was the mix and the can of pumpkin. I used my spring loaded 1 ounce ice cream scoop to make all my cookies the same size. I love it, it’s so handy for all kinds of crap.

I got 48 scrumptious cookies out of this recipe. I guess I’ll post it here, and if the ladies get mad at me, I’ll just take it down. But really, if you make the cookies, then buy the book because of it, who wins? Everyone!

Here it is, you will need:

2 cups AP flour (i used unbleached)

1 1/3 cups rolled oats

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 2/3 cups sugar

2/3 cup canola oil

2 Tbsp dark molasses

1 cup canned pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie mix

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds (optional)

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped     ** i passed on these. not a HUGE fan of nuts in my cookies.

1/2 cup raisins  **i was out of raisins so instead i used 1/2 cup vegan choc. chips, and 1/2 cup reg. choc. chips

This follows the basic premise of any baking job- you mix the dry stuff together, then the wet stuff, then you fold to combine, then you add the raisins/walnuts/chocolate chips, what have you.

What I did was I divided the batter into two portions and added the different chocolate chips to each batter. I used my scooper to get my cookies a nice uniform shape and size. I sort of mushed them down before putting them in the oven. I have five rack spots in my oven so one of the cookie sheets sat on the very middle rack, and one sat on the rack directly under it. I baked them for 8 minutes, took them out, turned the pans around and switched them from top to bottom and bottom to top and then turned my timer back on for 9 minutes. I took them out and let them cool completely.

I tried one warm, and one completely cooled and what a difference!! Wait til they cool. You will NOT be disappointed. Yum!!

Enjoy! And Viva La Vengeance!!

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The Mostly Vegan Gourmet!

Well, I finally got all my vegan cookbooks and then discovered there was one more i needed- Vegan With a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. However, i must tell you a secret…I’m trying to just veganize the recipes i make now so my kids don’t get all freaked out by the weird stuff I will soon be making.

Today’s lunch consisted of something we make at the restaurant where i work. It’s simply called “escarole with sausage” but my super-Italian boss just calls it “shcarole” pronounced like you’re rolling the R just a tad. I don’t know, it sounds funny to me, so i just say to people, “Oh, you’d like the escarole with sausage? Sounds delicious!” (And he’s kind of a stroke so who cares how he says stuff.)

Anyway, I simply boiled rigatoni pasta noodles for the correct amount of time- no more than that though because I freaking HATE slimy, soggy, mushy pasta- then while that was happening, i sauteed the sliced soy/veggie italian sausage with some olive oil, chopped garlic, crushed red pepper, and salt. When it was mostly done, i threw in the green stuff and let it wilt down quite a bit while tossing it here or there. I kept adding touches of oil because i love the stuff.

Here’s my confession- I’m pretty sure the sausage wasn’t totally vegan. Oh, and my other confession- I’m not sure I care all that much. See, here’s my problem…

I was vegan a long time ago, and I only lasted about 8-9 months. (I already posted why previously so if you wanna know why, go back and read about it.) And i was “that guy.” You know the one. You sit down in a restaurant and you order a BLT and I’m the one who starts in with how pigs are kept in factory farms and tortured and blah blah blah. (Only it’s NOT blah blah blah, but still, not the time or the place.) I harassed everyone i went out to eat with. I was a complete pain in the ass at restaurants and had to make a point of my politics to every single human i came into contact with.

I’m a different person now. I made the veggie transition over a couple of days last month and it worked out well so far. I’m very hesitant to refer to myself as vegan though and here’s why- I’ve met soooo many vegans who are now just the way that i was then. Assholes. “What are you doing using Burt’s Bees? Don’t you know that’s stealing?!” (I love the stuff!) I don’t want to be an asshole. I try desperately to use soy milk in my coffee every time and most of the time i do, but if I’m somewhere where there happens to be no soy milk and the only thing available is that powdered crap with trace amounts of casein…I’m using it. Sorry.

I will do what i can when i can to eat as little animal products as possible but I’m not going be a militant jerkoff about it. I’m not going to lecture people or tell them they’re going to hell. (Is there such a place?) I’m not going to starve myself. Don’t get me wrong, I will never eat meat again, but we plan on going to Italy for our anniversary (apparently he has family there. who knew?) and while I could eat pasta marinara the whole damn time, I’m not going to. I’m going to taste the regional cheeses. I am, after all, a food lover. It’s just something I’ll have to deal with when it happens.

So, I’m only going to refer to myself as mostly vegan. And lazy. And cheap.

The “Lazy, Cheap, Mostly Vegan Gourmet.” It has a ring to it. Enjoy.

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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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