Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chocolate Beer Waffles with Sweet Cashew Cream and Chocolate Drizzle.

Do you want a seriously awesome and super easy way to have chocolate and beer at breakfast? Make these waffles! Now!  I really don't use Vegan Brunch enough. Or any of my cookbooks for that matter, but this one has some really tasty recipes in it!

My friend Abbe and I made plans to hang out last night and of course one of the first things we had to figure out was what to cook and so Chocolate Beer Waffles it was! Breakfast for dinner! Yes! My waffle maker is an old Belgian Waffle Maker that makes one huge waffle. I really want to get a regular old waffle maker so I can make tons of waffles and freeze them. Toaster waffles anyone?!
 I'm not a big fan of maple syrup and couldn't imagine how it would taste good on chocolate beer waffles so I started wondering what we were going to put on them. Naked waffles is never an option. Luckily in the book it suggests making Sweet Cashew Cream and Chocolate Drizzle. Both of those recipes call for almond milk but all I had was vanilla coconut milk so we went with that. The coconut milk flavor didn't come through in the chocolate but it certainly did in the cashew cream, which was fantastic! After adding some cinnamon to the cream, it tasted like my favorite cereal, Cascadian Farm Organic Cinnamon Crunch.

I present to you Chocolate Beer Waffles with Sweet Cashew Cream and Chocolate Drizzle!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Doing The PPK 100!

)Photo from )

Sure, it came out on January 6 and its now mid-February but hey, who's keeping track? When this super awesome list of 100 best vegan things/foods/places/recipes/anything in 2011 came out, I read it, I thought to myself on quite a few of the items "ooohhh I want to cook/eat/buy/whatever that!" Then a thread got started in the Kitchen where peeps are starting to keep track of all the ones they can check off their lists as they go along in 2012. I wanna play too guys!!!! I actually did post about my intentions in the thread and am going to come up with some way to keep myself organized on this venture. Other than printing the list and scribbling things off as I go along, then probably losing it and then forgetting all about it.

Yeah yeah, I've started cookbook challenges and Mofo a million times over and not followed through, but this time it's different! There is no set goal, no time limit(okay, well before Dec 31 so I can be ready for next year's Top 100 list, but whateves) and no pressure! I am just going to check things off (and blog about them) as I complete them intentionally, or not, from now until the rest of the year. 

There are a few things on the list I have technically done, but I'm not sure if I've done them in 2012 or event recently enough in 2011 to remember enough worth blogging about. I will not go in order, and I probably wont do more than a few a month, but it will be fun to try out some new things!

So there it is folks, just another little plot to get myself blogging and cooking more. I'm going to go print out all the recipes/links/products that I can definitely achieve and go from there!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Heartbeat at My Feet: A Furry, Four-Legged Love Story

It's Valentine's Day, might as well write a mushy ass post... 

Whether you know me in real life, from the ppk or just from the blogosphere, it's no secret that I love my little vegan dog more than anything or anyone in this world. Every day is an adventure with her and the unconditional love she gives is like no love another person can give. Here is our story....

Almost 2 years ago I was volunteering at a no-kill shelter and a girl I worked with found this adorable little Chihuahua mutt with a sick ass underbite roaming around a park in Quincy. She brought the dog home and was never able to find her parents so she kept her. Then it came time for her to leave for college and she obviously couldn't bring the dog with her and unfortunately(for her, not for me) she couldn't leave the dog at home with her family because she didn't get along that great with the other dog in the house. I heard her story and immediately offered to either adopt her or if the boyfriend I had (and was living with) at the time wouldn't let me, I could bring her to the shelter with no fear of her being put down. The girl brought the dog to the office so I could meet her. It was love at first sight, she had to be mine. I sent a picture of her to Jeremy and asked if we could keep her. Based on the few shitty picture texts I sent him, he said yes immediately. The thing was, we were living with his dad and already had 2 other dogs. We decided to tell him a little white lie, that we were temporarily short term fostering her until the shelter had room for her. The very next day we took her to get a name tag, food and toys, as soon as his dad saw it he knew we had no intentions of giving her up. Luckily for us, he was cool with it. She became our daughter that day and even though we aren't together anymore (we are still best friends) she is still our daughter and we both love her as unconditionally as she loves us. We have no idea exactly what mutt blend she is, except for the obvious Chihuahua in her or how old she is but it doesn't matter. The love and joy she has brought to both of us actually has me tearing up a little right now. (I know right, I actually have emotions?!) Even though she doesn't see him everyday anymore (I got custody in the split), as soon as I say, "Where's Daddy?" or "go get Daddy" her ears perk up, she starts wagging her tail and runs to the door to wait for him.

She is such an amazing little creature... She gives hugs on command, stands up and walks for treats, gives kisses even when you don't ask for them, sleeps in the crook of my arm under the covers every night with me and eats her vegetables with a wagging tail. In fact, I have never met a dog that loves vegetables, especially green ones more than her! Kale, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, beets and dried pineapple rings are her favorite things. I feed her Natural Balance Vegan Formula supplemented with VegeDog products and make batches of homemade wet food for her with rice, beans, steamed and/or pureed veggies. Half of the time she eats better than I do!

She is even learning Spanish! One of my best friend's, Jorge, is her "tio" (Spanish for uncle) and just as she knows "daddy" when I say "Donde esta tio?" she gets so excited! Seeing her reaction when her tio or dad walk into my apartment is priceless every single time. If it's been too long since she has seen either of them she will even let out a few little cries of happiness. It melts my icy black heart.

In the spirit of the "holiday" I hate the most, I decided to give my little baby some Vday love and make her pink pupcakes! But, before I get to the recipe, check out a few of the thousands (literally) of photos I have of her...

Hiding in a tree

Mother Daughter love

Gizmo and Gramps

Going for a ride!

Gizmo and Daddy

Gizmo and my nephew. I swear we did not coordinate their outfits!
Happy Easter

Tired rainy day

Gizmo loves her car seat!

Her favorite pitbull

We did the MSPCA walk

Gizmo and her Daddy

One morning I woke up to her laying like this on my arm. 

Okay now that I have relived some amazing memories going through these photos and killed you with the adorableness that is Gizmo, let's move onto the pupcakes shall we?

Pink Vegan Beet Pupcakes

2 cups oat flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking pwder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup of canned sliced beets with the beet water
1/2 cup veggie broth
Pink food dye. I didnt measure, but not a lot. 
3 tblspns oil. I use olive. 

  • Preheat to 350 and lightly spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray

  • Puree the beets with the liquid, then mix with veg broth oil. 

  • Mix wet and dry ingredients with whisk until combined. 
  • Pour 1 tblspn of batter into mini muffin reservoirs. Bake about 10-12 minutes until toothpick comes out dry. 

Makes about 36 mini muffins.  

This recipe is something I randomly came up with tonight. Gizmo loved them as is but I think next time I will play around with them a little more by leaving out the food dye, adding parsley and carob chips. Or maybe making a carob frosting? Who knows! The possibilities are endless!

American Flatbread and Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels!

Have you guys tried either of these yet? Holy shit, they rocked my tube socks right off!!

A good friend of mine came over the other night for a night of drinking wine and catching up, we were in the mood for some vegan noms and even though I live right on the line(literally) of several awesome vegan friendly Boston neighborhoods. But sadly none of them deliver to my apartment. And even though I love to cook and my friend, Morris, is an extremely talented cook and pastry chef, we did not want to cook. We decided to take a walk to our local Star Market in search of quick and delicious vegan food to eat.

Our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomachs because we bought a bunch of stuff but the feast we had was fantastic! I have never tried, or seen, this pizza we bought so as soon as I saw the words "vegan cheese" on it, it had to be mine. American Flatbread is a company based out of Vermont and while they only make one vegan pizza, it's a pretty mean one! They use lots of organic ingredients and Daiya! The pizza was a perfect combo of sauce (not a lot which is how I like it), spices and cheese. This pizza brought me back to my omni childhood. My parents both worked at Papa Gino's when my siblings and I were kids so we ate more than our fair share of pizza. Even into my teens and 20s when mom and dad no longer worked there, we still claimed it to be our favorite. As a vegan, I have had tons and tons of vegan pizza and they are all super delicious but none ever reminded me of Papa Gino's. I never really realized I was subconsciously seeking that certain taste until this pizza. It was like a flood of tasty memories pouring into my mouth. I think it was the herb combination used in the sauce and on top of the Daiya. Of course I don't know what herbs it was because on their website it lists parsley and other herbs, I guess I will just have to keep buying it. But then again, at around $10 a pop, I might just ask the fam what the herbs are and try and recreate it on my own.

Moving onto pretzels...

Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels are like whoa. They only have 2 vegan flavors but my market only carries the Apple Cinnamon. It is literally a pretzel stuffed with apple pie filling. Do I really need to say anymore? I don't think so! They also carry Chocolate Crumb, I really need to get my paws on some of those bad boys.

Sorry for the craptastic (and lack of cooked product) photos, the lighting in my kitchen sucks big balls.

We also bought some vegan buffalo wings but I forget the brand, they were sort of freezer burnt anyways.

Monday, February 13, 2012

This shit is Bananas!


Yeah, I just did that. I'm sorry.

Anyways I made some Banana Walnut muffins yesterday with a super easy recipe. I've made lots of muffins in my life and while these definitely aren't the best ones I've ever made they do the trick. They were a little more dense and  than I am used to but that's an easy fix for next time. The recipe calls for 1 cup sugar but when bananas are ripening from green/yellow to yellow black they are converting from starch to sugar so they naturally get sweeter, I think cutting the sugar down to 3/4 of a cup or even just over a half a cup will do the trick. As far as the denseness, I'm pretty sure I over mixed them. I was drinking beer and rocking out to loud punk music while I was mixing them so that's all my fault. Nevertheless, they are still pretty tasty and I am sure they are going to be fantastic cut in half, slathered in Earth Balance and toasted on a griddle. Mmmmmmm.

Basic Banana Muffins

3 super ripe bananas
1/4 cup oil 
1 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar (again, i think 1 cup is too sweet but you might not, so play with it)
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts

  • Preheat to 350
  • Mash the bananas in a large bowl til they are soft. Add oil, sugar and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  • In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. 
  • Combine with banana mixture gently until just combined. 
  • Grease or line muffin tins. Fill 2/3 full and bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when you stick it in. 
  • Let cool 5 minutes in tins and remove. Cool to room temperature and eat.