Monthly Archives: October 2008

Happy Halloween!

pumpkin cheesecake

As I’m sure I’ll be out gallivanting tomorrow evening, I thought I’d do my Halloween post tonight. I honestly can’t get enough of Halloween. I’m going to dress up as a bat tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll get some good photos to show you all since I made my costume, well some of it at least. I swear I do other things besides bake.

Above is the pumpkin cheesecake I made this week. It was good but it didn’t blow me away. Perhaps it was that I kept wanting it to be pumpkin pie and not cheesecake. I still have yet to find vegan graham crackers anywhere so I used a store bought crust. I guess it could have been more like cheesecake and that would have been better as well. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, I just wanted it to be even better.

Shawn and I carved pumpkins tonight. Since we bought them so late, they were only $5 for three good sized pumpkins. It’s been quite awhile since either of us carved any. I decided to go for something cute and carved a sugar glider in my pumpkin. Shawn made a traditional jack-o-lantern with big eyes that I love.

“bon bon” and “little ricky”

VeganMoFo has definitely inspired me to step up my blogging and has been very rewarding (although not always easy). I’ve had a total of 13 posts this month, which while not nearly every day is at least double the most posts I’ve ever made in a month.
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Special breakfast

Okay so I grew up in Los Angeles and biscuits and gravy is not exactly a common meal out here in general, but this is one of my favorite breakfasts. Since it’s pretty much impossible to find without meat, I learned to make this for myself as a teenager. It’s so simple to put together and so delicious. A lot of the time I use mix for the biscuits but this time I made them from scratch. I’m not sure they turned out better necessarily, but they were still filling and delicious. The gravy is about as basic as it gets: soy milk, flour, salt & pepper. I couldn’t even tell you the measurements, because I just add until it seems right. I got a little distracted when I was making the gravy this time so it ended up a bit lumpy (oops!) but it still tasted just fine. I also added some tofurky sausage to the gravy which was a perfect addition.

Seven days in a row of posting for VeganMoFo. I’m pretty proud of myself. 🙂

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Yes on Prop 2!

I made these vanilla and coffee cupcakes for a bake for change bake sale. The money raised goes to support the Obama campaign and No on Prop 8. I added some flags for Yes on Prop 2 which were a lot of fun to make, even though some of my animal drawings were a bit funny. People seemed excited about them when I dropped them off. The bake sale took place this morning at the Hollywood farmer’s market. I hope all the cupcakes got eaten!

“no animals were harmed in the making of this cupcake”

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The best chocolate chip cookies ever?

I’m sure that many of you read and discussed that article from the NYTimes about how to make the best chocolate chip cookies ever. I had come across a bunch of posts about it awhile back, digested the information, and filed it in the back of my head. It seems that the standout point is refrigerating the cookie dough. The problem with that is, at least for me, is that if you want to make cookies, you want them right at that moment, not a couple of days later.

Honestly, I think chocolate chip cookies may be my favorite baked good. Chocolate chip cookies can vary so much though. It’s not just that they’re good or bad, but they can be chewy or crunchy or super sweet or a million other things.

So I made some cookies the other night, using the recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I baked one batch but still had quite a bit leftover and threw it in the fridge for later. I never got a chance to bake the rest until two days later. When I took the dough out of fridge I remembered that refrigerated dough was supposed to be the key to amazing cookies, but as I scooped it onto the cookie sheet I was skeptical. The dough seemed a bit dried out even though I had covered it. Despite my faith in vegan recipes, I thought maybe the benefits of these tips may only apply to non-vegan ingredients.

I was so wrong. This batch of cookies was without a doubt the best I’ve ever made. Personally I thought they were at least twice as good as the batch made from the same dough that wasn’t refrigerated. They spread out just perfectly to make them the perfect balance of chewiness and crunchiness. They had the quality of tasting a tiny bit like a sugar cookie with chocolate chips, which I love.

So yes…BEST COOKIES EVER.

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Dinner guests


chickpea cutlets with nutritional yeast/mushroom gravy
lemony garlic potatoes and brussel sprouts

Had my mom and her husband over for dinner a little while ago. This the first time I’ve had them over for a meal that I made and also the first time they’d been to Shawn and my apartment. I had wanted to make the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon for awhile and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

First off, I have to say I love using vital wheat gluten. It’s so much easier than spending the time taking however many cups of flour to break it down yourself. When I made these, I was only able to buy a small package at the market but as of this week they now sell it in the bulk section. Sounds like more seitan for dinner (and of course chickpea cutlets).

These were really delicious and unlike a lot of protein substitutes I’ve had. I would like to experiment using different ingredients using the same basic formula. The potatoes and brussel sprouts were also inspired from Veganomicon. While they were quite tasty, they were a bit undercooked, which I’m not sure if that was because my oven wasn’t hot enough or if I was rushing. No one complained though.


lemon poppyseed cupcakes with lemon curd filling

I also made these cupcakes for dessert. Even though I love frosting, I really enjoy making cupcakes without it whenever I can. These cupcakes from My Sweet Vegan turned out really well. They were sweet but not too sweet and I was really excited about the lemon curd filling. I didn’t have any small cookie cutters at the time to cut the holes in the tops so I just tried to cut them with a small knife. They’re not the neatest ever but I think cute nonetheless. I’m going to have to try to come up with some fun fillings for cupcakes.

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It’s not very often that I make genuinely pretty dinners. Especially because we love things like mashed potatoes and gravy, which while delicious, aren’t all that photogenic. At the store the other day I decided I needed to buy some squash since there was such a good selection and I’ve never really made anything with squash besides zucchini.

So I picked out some lovely delicata squash without any idea what I would do with it. I decided that even if I couldn’t find a recipe I liked it would serve as good decoration in the mean time. Luckily I found an exciting recipe on gothamist for chickpea stuffed delicata. The chickpeas are fried and mixed with a cranberry wine syrup. It was a really nice mix of flavors and textures sweet and savory. Of course, it looked pretty too which I was pleased about. Not to mention it was quite different from the usual meals we make and very quick to prepare.

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This weekend Shawn and I went out for Chinese food at Mao’s Kitchen. They have some really good vegan options, like a harvest soup that I adore. For some reason though, every time I eat there, I can’t seem to make up my mind on what I want to eat. I think part of the problem is that while checking out the menu, I cross the noodle section and always want chow mein noodles, but of course, they’re all made with egg. Once you get in the mood for something it’s hard to get your mind on something else.

Luckily, I came across some chow mein noodles at the store the next day and to my surprise they were vegan! Yay! So I whipped up some spicy chow mein with bok choy and mushrooms. So good!

I also got a ton of fun stuff at the store so I’ll be making some other exciting treats this week.

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