Thursday, December 31, 2009
Aww, two unsuspecting guys chowing down, little did they know that the treat they were devouring was vegan! tehehe
What is cuter than a perfectly frosted and decorated little cupcake? They are such a happy dessert.
I was bored earlier, partly due to the fact that I was being ignored by my boyfriend, as he and his friends played Xbox... and you know what that means: I started baking! This is both a dangerous and rewarding habit. Dangerous because I have one nasty sweet tooth, and rewarding because I love feeding people! I've had no complaints, someone always devours everything, and I'll take these to the New Years Party tonight, along with the brownie bites.
I used this basic vegan vanilla cupcake recipe from: http://www.epicurious.com
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F and line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Whisk the soy milk and vinegar a measuring cup and set aside a few minutes to get good and curdled.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine.
In a separate large bowl, beat together the soy milk mixture, oil, sugar and vanilla. Stir the dry ingredients and mix until no large lumps remain.
Fill cupcake liners two-thirds full and bake for 20-22 minutes till done. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.
For the icing:
* 3/4 cup powdered sugar
* 3/4 cup margarine
* 1/4 cup vanilla soy milk
Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, blend until creamy, but not too thick. You want it to be more like icing, not a thick frosting. The consistency of the frosting may vary. Add more sugar, margarine or soy milk as needed.
Divide the icing into two bowls. Using a toothpick, add desired food coloring color to each bowl, and mix. I chose pink for one, and purple.
After the cupcakes have completely cooled, dip each cupcake in the icing, letting the excess drip off. Quickly coat with sprinkles before the icing sets.
I also made a chocolate frosting for about a dozen of the cupcakes, knowing we have many chocolate lovers out there.
Vegan Chocolate Frosting:
# 1/2 cup vegan margarine
# 2 cups vegan powdered sugar*
# 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
# 2 tablespoons vegan soymilk
# 1/3 cup cocoa powder (or more)
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I needed something easy and portable that I can take to my friend's New Years Eve Party tomorrow night, and who doesn't love brownies? I thought cutting them into (big) bite sized squares and sprinkling them with powdered sugar would be the perfect thing to bring to a party.
The problem I always have with vegan brownies is the lack of moisture. For some reason mine used to always turn out dry and a little crumbly. But not with peanut butter and maple syrup! They came out beautifully moist and fudgey...I only know this because I may have sampled one, or two. Shh!
* 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
* 1 ½ cups white sugar
* ½ cup plus 1 T. pure unsweetened cocoa powder
* ¾ t. baking powder
* ¾ t. salt
* ½ cup maple syrup
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* ¾ cup canola or vegetable oil
* ½ t. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 9” square cake pan and set aside.
Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In a seperate small bowl, blend together the maple syrup, peanut butter, canola oil and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. I took the brownies out a little early, because I prefer gooey fudgey brownies, even the toothpick I poked it with didn't come out clean. But trust me, once they completely cool they firm up a lot, so don't over bake them!! No one wants a dry crusty brownie. Let the brownies cool completely on a wire cooling rack before turning out on a cutting board. Slice brownies into 1" squares, dust with powdered sugar.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I don't know about you, but I feel like all I've done the past few days is drink wine, hang with family, and eat, eat, eat. I feel the need to eat a little lighter today, or at least make an effort to keep the pastries to a minimum. Nope no pastries today, I need a good couple weeks of healthy eating to get me back on track.
This salad was thrown together with whatever I could find in the fridge, and I must say, the result was not too shabby!
1/2 head romaine lettuce
2 tbs light raspberry vinaigrette (or whatever you have on hand)
1-2 tbs dried cranberries (depending on your taste)
1/2 large/medium carrot, chopped
MorningStar Farms "Chik'N Strips" (1 portion)
Cook the chick'n strips until slightly brown and heated thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.
Rinse and dry the lettuce, chop, and place in a mixing bowl. Add to the lettuce the cranberries, chopped carrot, and the vinaigrette. Toss and serve with the chick'n.
Variations could be to add croutons and slivered almonds, but today I wanted to keep it light.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Ok, bear with me, I just had to write it, scream it, shriek it somewhere...I got the loans I needed to attend Le Cordon Bleu's Patisserie Program! I spoke with the advisers already, letting them know that I'm vegan (and that I hope to specialize in adapting regular recipe and specializing in vegan pastries). They assured me that a student will never be forced to taste a dish, and that in fact, the chef will not always taste everything you make; 2 dozen students at times, that's a lot of food to sample!
I start January 4th, and I'm so excited. Now, about being in debt indefinitely....and finding a job near Pasadena...
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Dinner tonight was a veggie wrap from whole foods, deeeelicious. I can't get sick of veggie wraps, so healthy and convenient, although I really should start making them at home, to save money.
I love the sandwich bar at WF. Create whatever sandwich or wrap you like, and they will package it to go or serve it "for here" on a plate (they have seating). I chose: hummus, soy cheese, olive spread, tons of veggies, and avocado. The guy making my wrap was very friendly, didn't even charge me for the avocado or the hummus, nice!
I first heard about BabyCakes Bakery (in New York City) a while back, before I became vegan. I would sometimes see tabloids with celebrities picking up pastries there (like Natalie Portman). Not that I read tabloid magazines...Never! *cough cough*
So I was really excited when I found out they will soon be opening a Babycakes Bakery in Los Angeles. This is the kind of place that I would love to work at or maybe even open someday.
Here is the link to their website:
The prices are pretty expensive, but I suppose it's worth it for vegan convenience desserts, when you don't feel like baking yourself. I'll definitely have to visit (and of course post pictures!) once they are open and decide if it's worth the money!
Monday, December 21, 2009
I officially have a new favorite lunch spot, Cafe Muse, located in North Hollywood. My mom and I had lunch here this afternoon after meeting with advisers at Le Cordon Bleu. Culinary school is very expensive! Being under 24 is actually hurting me while trying to apply for financial aid and grants, seeing as they still look at your parents income (which is actually a bad thing seeing as my dad actually makes very good money, there are 9 of us kids though!). How can they look at my parents income, even if I'm not receiving any of it?! Anyway, getting off track here, back to Cafe Muse.
The cafe is great because they have food that even non-vegans will enjoy, like real cheese quesedillas or pizza, tuna melts, etc. Which is great, and hopefully I wont have to bribe my boyfriend to come here with me in the future.
I had the BBQ soy chicken wrap (with sundried tomatoes and spinach) with a side of sweet potato fries ($9, not bad, the wrap was huge). My mom had a soy "steak" quesedilla with soy cheese. I'm sure their cheese has casein in it, so I didn't get anything containing cheese myself. The only soy cheese I know of that doesn't contain casein is Toffuti and Deiya (sp?).
Great lattes as well, we love us some coffee!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
even non vegan lizzy is enjoying her first miso soup
My little sister and I had the yummiest dinner this evening at California Vegan, a little vegan diner in Los Angeles. I liked the cozy and laid back atmosphere.The customer service was excellent, on the phone calling for directions as well as person. Quick and friendly service, excellent food at very reasonable prices (from $5-$11). I definitely recommend this spot if you're in the LA area.
We shared the dinner portion of Orange soy Chicken; which came with rice (although we subbed fries) salad, miso soup, and a veggie spring roll). And for dessert? A GIANT vegan whole wheat pancake, complete with maple syrup and vegan butter. We couldn't get over how delicious it was, fellow diners were probably annoyed by our exclamations and moans, haha.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
What conjures up more cozy and comforting memories than the warm smell of cinnamon? Nothing! One whiff and I can almost hear the crackling of logs coming from a fireplace, can smell an old dusty book in my lap, and feel the fuzzy fur of a cuddly cat, or two.
I usually am cooking or baking for just myself, as I'm the only vegan in my family/friends. I experimented a little and found measurements for single serving pancakes (or waffles! waffle makers are so much fun, they are the best toy for a foodie ever). I don't want to have tons of leftover pancakes, pancakes are so much better when they are fresh!
¼ Cup of Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon of sugar
½ teaspoon of baking powder
Dash of salt
¼ cup of soy (or almond, rice) milk
pinch of cinnamon
small spoonful raisins
1 tbs finely chopped apple (peeled)
Mix the ingredients, and then drop the batter onto a hot and oiled griddle. Flip the pancakes when the top is bubbly. Cook two more minutes, depending on their size.
Serve with maple syrup and if you're feeling naughty, some vegan butter (I like smart balance) and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Dear Vegan Brownies,
you are very delicious and satisfying, and I don't want you to think that my ending our relationship had anything to do with fault on your part. On the contrary, I'm the one to blame for over indulging in your chewy fudgy and nutty goodness. Maybe at some point in the future we can be friends, see each other from time to time, but for now I just don't think that will be possible, I just cant control myself with you, you're so goddamn irresistible that I devour every last one of you.
I found this brownie recipe from allrecipes.com (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegan-brownies/Detail.aspx)
I decided to add a little maple syrup and walnuts, it really helps bind them together, and makes them really gooey and yummy. I had to find a picture online of brownies, because these were devoured so quickly, I was unable to take a picture!
* 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
* 2 cups white sugar
* 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2/3 cup water
* 1/3 c. maple syrup
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 1/2 c. walnuts
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended. Spread evenly in a 9x13 inch baking pan.
3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is no longer shiny. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.
Nutritional Information open nutritional information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 284 | Total Fat: 14.3g | Cholesterol: 0mg