Monday, May 12, 2008

Playing Catch-Up: Part 1

Good-For-You Salad

Here is the picture I promised of that Quinoa Salad I reviewed a few weeks ago. It was yummy!

My First Cupcakes from VCTOTW

A couple months ago we had a going away party for one of B's friends. I made cupcakes for the first time from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (henceforth: VCTOTW). I thought alcohol would be an appropiate theme in this case, and so I made the Chocolate Stout and the Rum Raisin cupcakes.

They were both good, but I would caution you to make sure you minimize your stirring on the Rum Raisin, mine came out a bit tough (but the stout cupcakes can definately take the stirring called for in the recipe).

More cupcakes to follow in upcoming posts!

Beans in my Brownies?!? - You Crazy!

This is the Blackbean Brownie I promised last week (yeah yeah yeah, so I'm a bit tardy). I used this recipe as a guide but, as usual, made some changes. I only used 1 banana, because I knew it would be too bananan-y otherwise, and added 1/2 cup of prune puree instead. I also doubled the amount of cocoa. Additionally, I added 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour because I thought the batter was too loose, and cut back the sugar to 1/2 cup since there is so much fruit sugar in the recipe already. I baked it in an 8 inch round pan and ended up almost doubling the time in the oven.

Verdict: This was about 1/14th of the "pie" and it was so rich I didn't even finish it. Also, I could taste the banana, which I was trying to avoid, and it tasted fruity in general (in a weird, out of place kind of way). Turns out doubling the chocolate was unnecessary, it was too much with double. It was okay with the chunky strawberry sauce (fresh strawberries, washed and stemmed, pulsed in the blender with a little sugar to desired consistency) to cut through the richness, but we didn't come close to finishing the leftovers. After day two of it I couldn't even rally a positive thought toward eating it any more even though I knew it was a dessert that is practically good for me! On the other hand, as long as you drain and rinse your beans you won't taste them at all. Maybe I'll tinker with it more in the future... but it's going to be awhile.

Teese and Appetizers for Dinner

When I read about Teese on the PPK blog I knew I had to try it. So I ordered 3 pounds (yes 3) from Chicago Soy Dairy. Silly me - I expected it to come in 1/2 or 1 pound packages. Nope - I got one 3 pound log - doesn't that look appetizing?

I decided first thing first - we need to test it in an (almost) stand alone way. So I made appetizers for dinner that night including :

Teesey Bread (hahah... what a nerd). Bread lighly buttered, sprinkled with garlic powder and salt and lightly toasted, then covered with teese and toasted again until melty.

B liked it - I think because it reminded him of the *delicious* processed cheese flavored food product he grew up with (although it's really not that bad - I promise). If you are used to the flavor of vegan cheese you will probably enjoy this. I appreciate that it melts, but I doubt I'll be eating it in this form again anytime soon. However, I look foward to having a melty thing to put on pizza and use in sauces.

Along with the Teesey Bread we had Roasted Green Beans (olive oil, salt, pepper, roasted at 450 until spotty brown and delicious, 10-15 minutes, it will depend on how big the beans are) and Italian Stuffed Mushrooms (finely chopped creminis, shallots, and garlic sauteed until browned, splash of white wine, italian seasoning, salt and pepper and finely chopped tomatoes mixed with enough panko bread crumbs to bind. Pile in to stemmed button mushrooms and bake at 350 about 20 minutes until toasty brown on top).

The Yummiest, Biggest Boysenberries You've Ever Seen - It's Okay - Go Ahead and be Jealous.

I discovered my neighbors have a huge boysenberry bush. These are my absolute favorite berry and this bush puts out massive ones. They made the mistake of telling me to come over when ever I want for more (I told them that they didn't really mean that...). We've gone through 3, quart bowls in the past week. I think I might turn purple...
(and clearly I'm having formatting issues...)

Obviously Uncomfortable Cats

They had a rough day, can you tell?

The Sweetest Baby ever (okay, except for the almost 2 year old part...)

This is my neice. BooBoo just learned how to say "mine." Super.

She is very fun though, I just love her!

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