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May adventures

Oh dear oh dear it seems that I have almost let an entire month go by without posting at least something on my beloved Cute and Delicious. It’s not for lack of cooking or crafting or baking or photos either. I’ve been a busy girl on all fronts. Some of these things really do deserve to be shared, so I’m going to try and give you all a visual taste of a few things I’ve been up to in the past few weeks. Shall we get started?

For the first time in forever, I was able to go to the famed Pasadena flea market. We walked around for hours and there still wasn’t enough time to see everything. I had forgotten how many beautiful trinkets and quality vintage items they have. I snagged up a few little things, like the owls you see above and a lovely red polka dot dress.

There are just so many things though, it’s nice to just see some of the awesome old stuff people collect. Like all these cameras.

We also saw the cutest dog ever. She was a rescue puppy with only one eye. So sweet, her owner just handed her over to Shawn and she was just like a little stuffed animal. Extra fluffy and calm. I’m kind of obsessed with animals that are missing limbs or eyes. Ok I’m weird. Anyway, just a reminder, there are some amazing animals out there that need homes just waiting to be adopted.

For Mother’s day my mom wanted a cherry pie. So I pitted a lot of fresh cherries. 6 cups of cherries actually.

I’ve never been into cherry pie to be honest. I realized, after making this pie, that it is only because I have not had a quality cherry pie.

It was so good, we couldn’t wait for it to cool completely and ate it when it was still a bit saucy. Oh man I dream of this pie. Sweet sweet cherries and a flaky, crispy crust. Yum.

I also stitched up this little hedgehog from a pattern from Sublime Stitching. He’s so adorable but I can’t quite decide what to do with him yet. Any ideas?

I’ve also been testing tiramisu recipes. I never realized how many different ways there are to make tiramisu, let alone a vegan one. It’s been quite a delicious adventure.

There has been so much more, but perhaps that will be for another post. You can also see a few of the things I’ve tagged along on to over at little vegan planet.

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More muffins!

Yep, more muffins, coming right your way. I now go to the market and fantasize about what I can create in these little baked bites of joy. Today I went with an uncomplicated recipe…orange muffins. These muffins are deliciously fragrant and perfect for any time of day. The brown sugar glaze gives just a hint of sweetness but these would also be great with some Earth Balance and marmalade.

Orange muffins

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup orange juice
1/3 cup apple sauce
½ cup sugar
zest of one orange

Brown Sugar Glaze

½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp water

Preheat oven to 375° and grease muffin tin or fill with muffin liners.

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine orange juice, apple sauce, sugar and orange zest fully. Pour the wet into the flour and stir gently. Mix until barely combined allowing for a few lumps.

Scoop into the prepared muffin pan filling each cup about 3/4 full. Cook for about 20 minutes. The tops should spring back when touched.

While the muffins are cooking, mix the brown sugar, vanilla and water in a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is fully dissolved.

Allow muffins to cool slightly and remove from pan. Dip the tops of the muffins in the glaze and allow to soak for a second. Let dry for a second and enjoy warm.

Now wasn’t that easy? Are you starting to enjoy muffins as much as I am? No? Ok, well I could go for some suggestions. I’ve got a few more up my sleeve, but what’s your favorite muffin? Think about it and get back to me…I’ll be here makin’ muffins in the kitchen.

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Potlucks

Up until last year, when I was fortunately invited to meet up with some Los Angeles vegan bloggers, I had never been to a potluck besides some family holiday affairs. Recently though, it seems like every weekend I’m trying to make something to bring to an event. The most amazing part is that most of these have been vegan potlucks which is extra awesome because you get to try a bunch of treats made by other vegans.

There is always the dilemma of what to bring. Ideally one should bring actual food to a potluck so that everyone can eat. It’s no fun to show up when there is only various flavors of chips and dip. A few weeks ago I attended the BBQ/potluck after Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer, a bike race up the ten steepest hills in Los Angeles. I did not race up any of the hills, instead I biked a macaroni and chreese with broccoli casserole in my basket across town. I managed to arrive right on time, coming right around a corner to meet Shawn just as him and the other racers finished. Everyone was super hungry and most everything was devoured including veggie hot dogs, homemade seitan, vegan corn dogs and pasta salad.

Just the next day I got to attend another BBQ at a friends house. When I asked what to bring, I got the go ahead to bring dessert and was quite excited because there are few things I like more than baking cupcakes. I decided to try out a new recipe for spiced tea cupcakes. Since I wasn’t sure how many people would be there I went ahead and made mini versions. The spiced tea cakes were sweet and simple, a subtle black tea flavor with a bit of a kick. Even though it was an omni BBQ, our hosts made us an awesome vegetarian chili with extra beer, veggie dogs and grilled corn (with earth balance!). There was also homemade sangria to be enjoyed. Delicious!

We were also lucky enough to visit the new home of Sunny of Vegan Beauty Review and her husband along with some other vegan friends. We chowed down on vegan mushroom pate made by George from Sante la Brea and fried faux shrimps from Garden Wok brought by Lex and Kristen of Vegan LA. Vegyogini from Hugger Food made some tasty vegan cadbury cream eggs and Foodeater from To Live and Eat in LA brought a ton of adorable, colorful mochis (which I gobbled up quite a few of). I made cupcakes (again!) this time going for a simple strawberry shortcake cupcake. You can’t see the surprise filling of fresh strawberries hiding under the extra fluffy frosting. Unfortunately I was so full of other food I didn’t even get to try one of these, but Shawn assures me they were delicious and in fact still hold the place of his favorite cupcakes.

On a non-food related note, something I’ve been meaning to show off for a bit is the wall scratcher I made for my cats. When I first got Meeme and Mochi I was enthralled by all the modern looking cat furniture that was nothing like the carpet covered trees I’ve always seen. On the other hand, I was not excited at all about the prices. I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own version of a wall scratcher. I ordered a piece of lovely orange carpet and obtained a leftover piece of wood shelving from a construction site, glued it together with some industrial adhesive and voila! While my custom piece cost less than $25 all together, the much smaller version it was based on cost double that. Most importantly though, Meeme and Mochi love streching out and scatching it so I have deemed it a complete success.

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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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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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Halloween Treats!

These little ghosts might not be scary but they’re so tasty. I tested out a new recipe for cappuccino and espresso cupcakes. I happened to make these before I made dinner so I had to test out the batter…which was possibly the best ever. Seriously.

Shawn and I also decorated the sugar cookies I made last night. I think I got a little carried away but it was so much fun!

I really can’t believe how good these cupcakes are. They’re not like your typical vegan cupcake either. I’ll post a recipe when I’ve got it worked out. The espresso cupcakes turned out cakey and the cappuccino cupcakes are crispy. I’d like them to be a little more alike. I just topped them off with some regular vanilla buttercream frosting but think something a little more exciting would bring these guys to a whole new level of cupcake. You might think I’m kidding. I’m not.

All these treats are for a Halloween movie marathon we’re having. Oh and we’ll be making pizza of course. Can’t wait!

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Donuts


I’ve been so busy lately with a ton of things, I really want to put some of that energy into baking. Last night I made donuts! Damn they were so good. It was my first time frying anything like that, so as the oil heated up, a few may have been over done. They still tasted delicious. I definitely want to try out some other glazes. Maple perhaps?

Anyway, there are a ton of things I want to make so here’s a list to keep myself on track:

cinnamon rolls
peanut butter cups
marshmallows!
molten chocolate babycakes

I did make some coconut lime mini bundts that didn’t really make it out of the pan, despite being well greased. They tasted pretty good anyway, even though I’m really not the biggest coconut fan.

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