Monthly Archives: August 2008

Iron Cupcake Entry!!

So, I’m back from vacation. I took my older kids to Maine for a week, and brought along my gay boyfriend and my mother, in true hag fashion.

Ah, Iron Cupcake. I’ve been thinking about you.

My friend, the Milwaukee Cupcake Queen is hosting a challenge called Iron Cupcake: Earth and I decided to join in on the fun.

The theme for this month is chili peppers. I did quite a bit of searching online for different ideas because nothing was coming to mind that would be interesting and original enough for me. I figured everybody and their uncle would be doing some sort of chocolate and chili powder combination and that’s a little too easy for this gal. Hmm…what should I do? Then I saw it: Jalapeach preserves. A delicously sweet and spicy combination of peaches and jalapenos. Sound gross? I thought so too, but I tasted those preserves and boy are they good. I then thought of corn muffins and remembered how a certain ex-boyfriend of mine used to accompany me to the local Cracker Barrel for breakfast. When they would bring that basket of muffins and biscuits to the table, I would invariably grab for a crumbly corn treat and he would say “No! Don’t eat the muffins! Don’t EVER eat the muffins!” (That story works better if you picture it happening in slow motion, by the way.) I then wondered how a corn muffin would taste with chunks of peaches in it. Add to that a glaze of the Jalapeach preserves. Top it with a smooth cream cheese icing. Garnish it with a circle of jalapeño. I thought I was onto something, for sure. I’m calling them Jalapeach Crumble Muffins with Cream Cheese Icing. By the way, they are indeed vegan. Mmmm….

For the muffins:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or AP works just as good, I’ve tried both)

1 cup cornmeal

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup evaporated cane juice (or plain ol’ sugar)

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup plain soy milk

1 tsp cider vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/3 cup diced fresh peaches (not frozen! too much moisture!! argh!)

Preheat oven to 400 then spray your muffin tin with no-stick. This follows the standard recipe guidelines- let vinegar sit in soy milk for a few minutes to curdle. Mix wet stuff together, mix dry stuff together, mix wet into dry, then mix in peaches. Woot! Divide evenly amongst 12 tins then bake for 20 to 25 minutes depending how hot your oven gets or whatnot. Mine were done enough after just 20 minutes. Let them cool completely before you glaze and frost!!

For the preserves glaze, I simply put about 1/3 cup of the jalapeach into my saucepan and warmed it up on low until it was liquidy. Then I let it cool. Next I took my teaspoon and gently spooned a little onto the top of each muffin using the back of the spoon to spread it around. It smelled soooooo good you guys, I swear!

For the icing I borrowed my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and tweaked it just a hair. Here it is…

For the icing:

1/4 non-hydrogenated margarine, softened

1/4 cup vegan cream cheese, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp Jalapeach preserves

Cream margarine and cream cheese til light and fluffy then stir in powdered sugar and preserves and mix the crap outta that frosting! I omitted the vanilla from the original recipe and tossed in a spoonful of the Jalapeach because I’m crazy like that , I guess.

I then decided that I had to taste one in order for this to be complete. My assessment: delicious! I’m not just making that up either. I’m not a “call it yummy when it’s nasty” kind of girl. They were a little…different, don’t get me wrong. The jalapeno flavor was not at all overwhelming, which was fine with me. The frosting was fantastic and the sweet glaze went perfectly with the almost-savory muffin. The peaches were bursting with juicy flavor, also. All in all, I think I did a good job on this one.

So, if I win here are the killer prizes the Milwaukee Cupcake Queen will send me: an original piece of artwork by Cakespy, a sweet apron from Jessie Steele, the one and only awesome cupcake courier, and Taste of Home books. Nice! Oh, and here’s a shout out to our other corporate sponsors, Fiesta Products and Hello, Cupcake!

I had a recurring fantasy all week long that goes something like this: Dave Grohl is in town for the Harley celebration. He reads something about the challenge and offers to be a guest judge. He picks my treat as the winner and while my husband is at work decides to hand deliver the prizes to my front door wearing nothing but a leopard thong. Okay, the thong part is gross, I’ll admit it. Dudes who wear thongs are pretty gay, but still. If you know anything about me, you know that the Foo Fighters are my favorite band and I’m disgustingly in love with Davey. Our daughters are only 6 months apart in age and do you KNOW how close I came to naming her Violet? Anyways…

I hope I win. Until then, I’m going to sit here and dream of you-know-who while eating the remaining ten Jalapeach crumble muffins with cream cheese icing…


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Foodness, Part Deux

Woohoo! I love vegan food! Here are some more lame-ass pictures of the food I ate, only I don’t think it’s lame because I was eating it. Here’s some roasted cauliflower with sauce and pan-fried seitan.

If you’ve never had seitan, it’s made from the gluten of wheat flour or something like that. I can’t have it very often because quite honestly it runs like hell screaming through my intestinal tract. Usually when I make it, I follow the kickass recipe from Veganomicon, but I decided this time to follow the recipe on the back of the box of gluten. Bad idea. I won’t be doing it again. It came out all weird and sponge-like. Eerily juicy, which just didn’t seem right. The cauliflower I simply roasted in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper. the sauce on top of it is called faux choron sauce. It is a mayonnaise-based sauce, or in this case, veganaise-based. The recipe called for dry white wine and I used sweet thinking it would be no big deal but it really was a big deal. It was too sweet and therefore gross. I ended up tossing most of it out. Oh well!

Maple Glazed Root Vegetables with Sauteed Tempeh

Maple Glazed Root Vegetables with Sauteed Tempeh

This next lunch of mine was some serious good eats. (That’s my shout to Alton Brown, whom I adore.) Simple sauteed tempeh, hit with tamari and Bragg’s. That’s it. The veggie mix was parsnips, turnips, and carrots. It was supposed to have rutabagas but Jewel was out, so no rutabagas for Tara. I tossed them in pure maple syrup and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. Roasted for a while and tossed every 20 minutes made this another favorite of mine.

Szechuan String Beans with Seitan

Szechuan String Beans with Seitan

This next lunch was hotter than the hinges of…you know where. It had ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, toasted sesame oil, balsamic vinegar, tamari, mirin, shallots, scallions and a pinch of sugar to make everything sticky. I ended up sauteeing the seitan in some garlicky stir-fry sauce I had in my fridge, and then tossing it in with the green beans. Feeling hot hot hot!!! (And there’s my shout out to the New York Dolls, although every time I see that guy, I think Buster Poindexter. He TOTALLY ruined his image for me. Blah.)

Southwest Seasoned Potato Cakes

Southwest Seasoned Potato Cakes

Here we go with the potato cakes. These were just boiled then mashed potatoes mixed with a little soymilk, some cumin, chopped red peppers, frozen corn kernels and some other stuff to make them yummy. They were fried in the pan with corn oil, but you could use something else if you want. Who cares, really.

And in case you were wondering, I’m not sure why wordpress only lets me put captions on some pictures but not all. Sometimes they’re pretty gay. Also, the first three recipes I got from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson. That last one is from The Vegan Gourmet by two ladies who’s names I can’t remember, and like you’re going to run out and buy the damn book anyway, you lazy cur. Isn’t that why you peruse the internet for recipes? So you don’t HAVE to buy any actual books? I though so.

If you want actual measurements and stuff, email or comment me.  And remember: a moment on the lips, a lifetime rotting in your colon. Beef. It’s what’s for dinner if you’re an uneducated fool or an asshole who chooses to wear blinders through life.

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Foodness, Part One

I made a trip to my local grocery last week when I couldn’t make it to the farmer’s market and surprisingly, vegetables were not horribly overpriced. In fact, most of the veggies I wanted were on sale. I bought up a giant bagful, came home to peruse my cookbooks, and picked out a bunch of recipes that sounded awesome.  Today’s post will only be the half of it.

Toasted Sweet and Sara Marshmallow

Toasted Sweet and Sara Marshmallow

This vegan marshmallow was amazing. An online pal of mine suggested that I toast one of these and since I did it the first time, I have been toasting one per day ever since. Thanks Jenn!

I got a new cook book called “How it All Vegan.” Stupid play on words aside, it’s not bad. Although, they do talk about how eating bee pollen is good for you and that you should thank the bees when you do it. That’s a little odd to me but whatever. I actually had to look through all my cookbooks for an acceptable zucchini muffin recipe and all I found was their zucchini bread, so I made it into muffins. Like it’s real hard, right? The muffins were amazing. I used that delicious soy butter to shmear all over them.

Cookies and Cream, Vegan

Cookies and Cream, Vegan

I also got a bit of bad news this week so I decided that I needed chocolate desperately. I whipped out my “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World” book and made cupcakes out of some Oreo’s. I don’t like Oreo’s but I like cupcakes so these hit the spot in my tummy that was in need of sugary goodness.

Brandy Glazed Winter Squash With Apple Pecan Topping

Brandy Glazed Winter Squash With Apple Pecan Topping

And last but certainly not least, I made this amazing squash with apples and pecans. I ate it for days. It was so delicious, I didn’t even need to eat it with anything. This one is from “Vegan Planet,” so here’s the recipe:

One large winter squash (I used butternut) peeled, seeded, and cut into one inch cubes

One small yellow onion (I omitted this since I hate onion, but a sweet vidalia would probably go well)

1/3 cup brandy (for my straight edge friends, I think possibly apple or white grape juice would sub just as well)

3 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar or natural sweetener (I used a bit more)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp water

salt and pepper

1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash in oiled pan large enough to fit all of squash into one layer. Sprinkle onion over the top. Pour on the brandy. Add one Tbsp of olive oil, one Tbsp of brown sugar and the water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Seal with foil and bake for 40 minutes, turning once after 20. Uncover and remove from oven.

In a bowl combine pecans, apples, remaining olive oil, and remaining brown sugar. Sprinkle over squash. Place in oven and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Eat it.


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Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe Booty

Teese mozzarella, Parma! vegan parmesan cheese, Temptation vegan ice cream, vegan vanilla marshmallows

Teese mozzarella, Parma! vegan parmesan cheese, Temptation vegan ice cream, vegan vanilla marshmallows

Gotta love that booty.

For a long time I have been hearing about this thing called ‘Teese,’ a vegan mozzarella cheese from Chicago Soy Dairy. Mind you, the factory is only an hour away but if I want the stuff, I have to order it from someplace about 1000 miles away. Enter Cosmo’s Vegan shoppe based in Atlanta, Georia.

Obviously vegan, they pledge to only sell vegan products, made on dedicated vegan equipment. Good for them. So, not only did I get the Teese, I also got yummy vanilla marshmallows by Sweet and Sara, Temptation vegan ice cream in chocolate, and Parma!, a vegan parmesan cheese.

The parmesan cheese has only walnuts, nutritional yeast, salt, and love in the ingredients so the jury’s still out on that one. The marshmallows are absolutely awesome and I think next time I will order the coconut ones also. A friend has just informed me that I need to try them toasted so that’s my first order of business when Olivia gets up from her nap. Regarding the ice cream mix, I do appreciate not having to heat anything to boiling and then letting it cool completely before putting it in the Cuisinart, that’s for sure. However, all I had at the time to make the ice cream was almond milk which seems to have given a strange flavor, but I will order it again and this time throw in some peanut butter or something. They have a website on the bag where you can go to get recipes. Sounds good to me!! All that was left try was the Teese.

When you order it, Cosmo’s suggests that you purchase an ice pack or two to keep cold in transit, since it is a perishable, refrigerated item. I bought one. When my package arrived, the cheese was room temperature and the ice pack was completely melted. Chicago Soy Dairy, why can’t you just open a store for me to shop at? Why? Gah, anyway.

My best friend and I had just had a conversation about how badly we miss cheese pizza since going vegan a few months back. Now of course we have no intention of cheating, especially after we both watched Earthlings, we know we are doing the right thing. But as soon as he said it, ding!, a light went on in my brain that made me think of Teese, just because I keep seeing ads for it and stuff. I just happened to have frozen bread dough so I thawed it out. I had no pizza sauce so I had to bust out my jar of Newman’s tomato basil marinara sauce. I sliced the Teese, instead of pinching off little portions like I had seen others do, thinking it was just going to melt and get all oozey anyways. I topped it with a boatload of oregano and basil. While it was cooking, the kids said it smelled like a pizza parlor in our house.

And to the right is what it looked like coming out of the oven. The Teese was a little melted but still retained a weird skin on top. Robert and the kids loved it and thought it was fab. I was a little less impressed. I have seen pictures of other people’s Teese pizzas that looked phenomenal so I’m thinking mine got below the temp it was supposed to be kept at and that changed it somehow. It was still tasty, but I guess I was hoping to be wowed and I wasn’t. I have every intention of trying it again, though. I’m going to switch up the crust a bit, I think that had a lot to do with my not totally loving it.

Also, I came up with a fabulous idea for my Iron Cupcake entry while perusing the internet looking for different pepper jellies. I found one that sounded almost edible and instantly came up with a picture in my head of what I was going to make. Now I just have to wait for Mr. UPS to bring it to me. Oh, I wasn’t being sexist there, my UPS guy is really a guy.

Now, if only I could come up with something for Sugar Slam….


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Vegan Mac and Cheese

This recipe is adapted from Dreena Burton’s mac and cheese recipe using raw nuts as a base for the cream sauce. I know what you’re thinking. Gross. I thought that too, I promise. However, I decided I can’t really call something gross until I have actually had it on my tongue and been grossed out by it, so here goes.

I’m going to recommend that you use a bread crumb topping as it TOTALLY adds to the comfort food yumminess factor.

OH, and we all effing LOVED it. Aside from it needing a crapload of salt, it was creamy, dreamy goodness and I WILL be making it again. And it tastes nothing like cheese, so don’t kid yourself. But it was still a wonderful creamy sauce that I had been missing for some time now. Here’s the recipe with my adaptations. You may visit her website for the original.

10 ounces of whole wheat (or some other healthy-ish grain) dry elbow macaroni

1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw brazil nuts (I thought these were going to be expensive, but I found them at Trader Joe’s pretty reasonable, along with the cashews. They have a whole nut wall, it’s pretty amazing.)
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large clove garlic (I used 4 cloves of garlic. You can never have too much garlic!)
2 tsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp sea salt (Yeah…you may want to double this. Just sayin’…)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 cup water (Iused the pasta water from before I drained it. It helps to get the sauce to stick to the noodles. Ask Giada.)
1 1/2 cups plain non-dairy milk (I used rice milk, all my other non-dairy beverages are flavored with vanilla or chocolate.)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Breadcrumb Topping:
1 1/2 cups dry whole-grain breadcrumbs
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Get all ingredients ready to blend for sauce, then start cooking pasta. While pasta is cooking, blend all sauce ingredients in a blender. Begin blending the nuts and other ingredients with enough liquid to come just over the nuts mixture. Then, once it is smooth, add the rest of the liquid. Get it? This helps to make sure that your nuts are totally pureed. (Hehe Heh…your nuts are pureed. Ahem, anyway.) If you just put it all in together, you will get chunks of nuts and that’s not what we’re going for here. Think…creamy…smooth… You will still have itty bitty bits of nuts and that’s unavoidable, really.

Once pasta is almost tender, fully drain (don’t rinse). Pour noodles into 8×12 baking dish lightly sprayed with no-stick then pour sauce on top. Mix around a little if you want. (It will look like there is a lot of runny sauce – it will thicken up, fear not! trust the pasta!) Mix breadcrumb toppings in a small bowl, then sprinkle over top of casserole. Cover with foil and bake for 18 minutes. Then, remove foil cover and bake another 6 minutes or until topping is golden brown and crisped. Don’t overbake or sauce will get too thick. Remove from oven.

Serve! And don’t ask how much fat and all that crap is in there. If you’re vegan and you’ve been missing creamy sauces, just shut up and eat it. I like to put crushed red pepper on mine because I love things spicy. and not just a little heat, either. I want it to pretty much burn my face off as I’m eating it.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! Until next time…

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Another Bridal Shower

Can you believe it? someone actually found my website and called to order! I was shocked, too, honestly. I put up that website so my friends and family members could all get a good laugh out of my rudeness. I had no idea someone would actually take any of it serious.

Alas, along came Jan, searching the web for treats for her daughters bridal shower. She remembered having my goodies at a friends son’s christening in which the cupcakes were in the shape of a cross-I kid you not. Not individual cross-shaped cupcakes, nooooooo. She wanted them on a very large platter placed neatly to resemble her saviour’s crucifix. Hey, man, if you’re paying me, I’ll put them in the shape of an inverted pentagram. Whatever.

So Jan read my website thoroughly and called to discuss numbers and flavors. She says, “I read where you put that you only do full dozens and I want you to know, that’s okay. I understand.” It was nice to hear someone agree in the face of the naysayers telling me I should kiss as much ass as possible and just give people what they want. Nah, says I. Not gonna happen.

She ordered strawberry with strawberry cream cheese icing, white chocolate macadamia with orange cream cheese icing, chocolate with chocolate icing, cappuccino chip with coffee buttercream, lemon scented angel food cakes with lemon cream cheese icing, red velvet with plain cream cheese icing, and strawberry margarita. there was something for everyone, including the already-drunk-when-she-walked-in mother of the groom.

I was trying a new cappuccino chip recipe and there weren’t enough to taste so I hope they were good. I always encourage honest feedback from my customers, I hope they don’t just blow smoke up my ass. This recipe called for finely ground coffee in the actual batter which sounded a bit weird and possibly gritty to me, so who knows. She told me everything was fabulous and I really hope that it was. It sure looked good!!

So even though this is a mostly vegan food blog, not one of these recipes is vegan. This blog started out as me complaining about my kids, then went into my small-time baking projects, and THEN went vegan so I feel I must stay true somewhat to my roots and post pics of the stuff I do for others special events.

Oh, and if anyone has any advice on how to make strawberry cream cheese icing pipeable, hit me up. I’m dying over here. All I can ever manage is to put a blob on each cuppie and hope that it doesn’t drip too much. I had so much frosting go to waste because I didn’t know what else to do with the leftover. The very first time I made it, it was phenominal and I don’t know what I did that was different. Oh well!

Here’s the recipe for the angel food cupcakes. I get a lot of peeps asking about this one.

Angel Food cupcakes

½ cup cake flour

¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

5 large egg whites, at room temperature

¼ teaspoon salt

½ tsp vanilla

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar

1-2 tsp grated lemon zest (optional, for lemony angels)

Oven at 325.

Line muffin pan with foil liners. In a small bowl, combine the cake flour with the confectioners’ sugar. In a large bowl, combine the egg whites with the salt, vanilla and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the whites are firm and glossy. Sift the flour mixture over the egg whites in 2 additions, folding gently until incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, shifting the pan from front to back, until the cupcakes are springy and golden. Transfer the cupcakes to a rack to cool.

To make them just lightly lemon scented, add 1-2 teaspoons of grated lemon zest to the batter.

To make them a lot more lemony, add ¼ cup thawed frozen lemonade.

I like to be decadent since the cake itself has pretty much no fat. I make my favorite cream cheese icing and when you would normally put in a tablespoon or two of milk to soak up the dryness of the powdered sugar, I put in a tablespoon or two fresh squeezed lemon juice. It’s so tangy you think your lips are going to stay in that puckered butthole position for awhile, but they won’t, don’t worry.

Oh, and If you aren’t feeling decadent at all, just slice strawberries and put those on top, lame-o.



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Yo Gabba Gabba

So, usually, I write a pretty low key vegan cooking blog. Once in a while, I throw in stuff that’s not vegan just because it’s my blog and I’ll do what I damn well please. However, what I’m about to post is not at all about food. It’s about a favorite television show in my household. The show is called Yo Gabba Gabba.

My almost-two year old loves it and can’t get enough of it. Every night she yells “gabba gabba!!” to let us know what she wants us to put on the television. And since we have all the episodes recorded through our dvr, we put it on. Every night. All night. Bear in mind there are only about 20 episodes total. If there are more, I haven’t seen them. However, I have seen these same episodes over and over again and I have all the songs and jingles memorized. As much as I love this show, it can very easily be picked apart- and it will, shortly- in the same manner that I picked apart Halloween when we rented it last October.

I killed that movie for everyone who was in the room with me. I still love it, don’t get me wrong. I just felt the need to take it down a notch. Classic horror movie? Please. It stinks. Watch it someday from start to finish, and NOT because it happens to be on tv. Rent it and watch it all the way through. You’ll see what I mean. I guess for it’s time it was super groovy but by today’s standards it’s pretty lame. Back to Yo Gabba Gabba.

Where do I begin? How about the talking trees, one of which appears to be on some form of illegal drug? Oh, I know! Let’s start with the creepy artist guy, Mark, who I’m quite sure is the pedophile uncle of one of the show’s producers, and who must be out on parole and in need of a job to keep from going back to the bad place. Seriously, my toddler can draw better than this guy. That may be the point, I guess, to make little ones feel like they can draw better than ‘that weirdo on tv,’ who knows.

There’s a recurring segment through every episode in which small children are featured screaming, “My name is (insert obnoxious trendy hipster name like Xanthe or Lamese here)!!! I like to dance!!” I don’t take issue with the kids all wearing the same style of dress, in fact I wish I could buy those shirts somewhere for my little peanut, and even for myself. But, why are all the little girls wearing skirts? Sexist, patriarchal society, anyone?

Then there’s Biz Markie who has his own privileged spot called “Biz’s Beat of the Day.” Is it just me or does it seem like he is……special? You know, one of the short bus kids? He had one wicked famous and ridiculously annoying song about 20 years ago and now he’s featured regularly on a popular kids television program. Hey! Where are we going? And why am I in this handbasket?

Don’t even get me started on which sexual aids the main characters appear to be. Yeah, I just went there. Oh, and the “Cool Tricks” section? Most of the stuff those kids do is neither cool, nor trickery. Cup stacking? Hanging a spoon from your nose? Making your hands fart out Mary Had a Little Lamb? Okay, I’ll admit the Asian fella playing the theramin was cool, but that’s just because I watched a documentary like ten years ago called “Theramin” and I’ve been obsessed with this bizarre instrument ever since.

DJ Lance Rock. Yeah, you’re straight, okay, sorry about that. No, no, they’ll buy it. You look totally straight. Really. Orange tights are cool, I swear, no one will know. And that hat? Go on, girl. I mean, boy.

Plus, doing a little more research into the show, it turns out that the singer from the Aquabats is the voice of Plex! And the guy who did the hand farting thing is the voice of Muno!

They get major props for having famous and semi famous people on their show, so I won’t be a bitch about that. The celebs are usually featured in one of two segments called Dancy Dance Time and The Super Music Friends Show. I happen to dig Tony Hawk. He was on for Dancy Dance Time and he didn’t dance but he skated. Cool. Elijah Wood came on to teach kids how to do “The Puppet Master.” And I absolutely love the Shins and have been a huge fan for about 5 years now. Can you imagine when I found out they were going to be on The Super Music Friends Show? I almost peed in my chair. Good times!

Oh, and I actually saw the Aquabats live at the Metro a million years ago, so no, I won’t bitch about them either. Besides, their pool party song was awesome. In fact, most of the music featured on the show is pretty cool. One of my favorites is a ska song set to an animated segment where the cartoon boy and girl’s room is messy so the singer says “pick it up” over and over in true ska form. One of my other favorites is another ska song called “Banana” by the Aggrolites. I have never considered myself a fan of ska until now. I don’t know whether that’s really cool or just lame.

So, in closing, I just wanted to say that I do like the show, and so does my peanut but every once in a while I have to call some shit out into the open. I like that there is a lesson to be learned in every episode. I like that they speak clearly enough for Olivia to understand and mimic every word, as she does. And yes, sigh, I do love the music.

Oh, and I made some rice pudding with hemp milk and it was gross. The end.



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Iron Cupcake- Earth and Whoopie Pies

First up, a quick offering of gratitude to Natalie of Bakeanddestroy for giving me a shout out during her interview with Cakespy. That was super cool and not expected at all. We have kind of an odd history, so thank you my friend. Much love.

Also, these are the whoopie pies I made from Hannah Kaminsky’s book, My Sweet Vegan. I pulled the recipe from Julie Hasson‘s website but I have every intention of buying the book, I swear. I’m just jobless right now and what they call ‘broke as a joke.’ Rest assured, as soon as I am back on my feet, this book will be mine. (The recipe is on the bottom of this post.)

So these things were awesome. They went quickly and Carmen told me I could make them every day and she would be okay with that. I think I’ll make them when I’m done here. Mmm…

My mom used to make whoopie pies when I was a kid so these hold a special place in my heart, even though half the people I told about them were like “whoopie what?” So yeah, apparently no one had the baking maestro in their kitchen that I grew up with and that’s kind of sad. She was amazing with her baked goods. However, ask her to make dinner and it was usually some nasty concoction of what she called ‘American Chop Suey’ or something she referred to as Mexican pot pie, complete with Fritos as garnish. Very classy indeed. But boy could she bake the hell out of some pecan tartlettes! I miss my mommy. She bought a house in Alabama so I don’t get to see her that much, but when I do, it’s always the same thing, “Tara look, I bought this whole outfit at the GoodWill for four dollars! Including the shoes!” Oh, to be old and on a fixed income.

Next order of business, Iron Cupcake Earth. If you are interested in this, go there and sign up. If you win the monthly challenge you get all kinds of goodies like a Jessie Steele Apron(I have one, it is fabulous), a cupcake courier(I have one of these also and again, fabulous) and Taste of Home Books.

Our first challenge is chili peppers. I really want to try and think outside the box with this one because I know plenty of people out there will be pairing their chilis with chocolate since they tend to complement each other so well and the chili doesn’t usually overpower the chocolate too, too much. I’m thinking something a little different but I’m not putting here cuz, I wanna win, yo!

Also, if I recruit people, I could possibly win a t-shirt from artist Cakespy (I actually just went on Etsy and ordered the shirt they’re giving away, Jessie was holding one in my size just for little old me) and a super cute cupcake necklace from Etsy seller The Glass Chef. So go to the link and sign up and tell them you heard about it on my blog!

Oh, here’s a look at those whoopie pies up close. Aren’t you jealous? Read my notes after the recipe…

Preheat oven to 350°F
Two baking sheets lined with Silpats or parchment paper
Makes 8 to 10 sandwich cookies


1 cup plain soymilk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch process dark cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup margarine (such as Earth Balance)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp Vegan “sour cream”
1 tsp vanilla extract


2 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
3 tbsp plain soymilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Cookies: In a small bowl, whisk together the soymilk and vinegar and set aside, allowing the mixture time to curdle. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

2. Over in your stand mixer, cream together the margarine and both sugars, beating to ensure that the contents of the bowl are creamy and fully combined. Add the “sour cream” and mix again until smooth.

3. Returning to the now curdled soymilk, whisk in the vanilla. Beginning with the wet ingredients, alternately add them with the dry ingredients into your mixer. Scrape down the sides as necessary, and beat the mixture just enough to fully combine.

4. Use an ice cream scoop or measuring cup to drop 3 to 4 tablespoons of dough at a time onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave a good amount of space between each cookie, about 2 inches, allowing them room to spread a bit. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, until they crackle slightly on top. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely on the baking sheets where they should firm up a bit more.

5. Filling: To make the filling, begin with the mixer on low and beat together the confectioner’s sugar and shortening. Add the soymilk, and finally the vanilla. Once the sugar has become incorporated, turn the mixer up to high and whip for a good 2 to 3 minutes; this will incorporate more air, making for a lighter, fluffier filling.

6. Drop or pipe a healthy dollop of the crème mixture onto the flat side of one cooled cookie, and place a second cookie on top. Press down gently to bring the filling right out to the edge. Repeat this process with the remaining cookies and crème filling.

**First of all, this made more than 8 to 10 pies for me. I used my one ounce spring-loaded ice cream scooper to dollop the batter onto the pans. Maybe mine were smaller than hers? Who knows.

**Also, to make this easier on myself, I did these how I do cupcakes: mix wet ingredients, mix dry ingredients, mix them together, etc. It made things easier and they tasted and looked the same as i remembered.

**I did NOT use my stand mixer. Sometimes, that thing is just too much for me. I used my hand mixer, it worked perfectly, although the batter did get a bit thick, but whatever.

**The second time I made these, I subbed 1/3 cup canola oil for the margarine. They had the same taste and texture. I just don’t want them to be as dry the next day, you know? I’ll keep you posted. I mean, they were still tasty the next day when made them with the margarine, just crumbly as all get-out.

**I also added a little more shortening, sugar, and soy CREAMER instead of milk to make extra filling. I love the stuff and I can’t get enough of it in my pies!

**I can’t find dark Dutch process coca powder to save my life so i used the regular stuff.


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