Wednesday, July 30, 2008

you make me love you

So I got back from new york on sunday, and it was a nice time..seeing family and such. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to see any vegan restaurants or food stores while I was there, but that's time haha.

I did get my cousin's fiancee The Joy Of Vegan Baking for her bridal shower though.. I really hope she actually uses it! She's a dietician and really health conscience (not sure why she isnt at least vegetarian so I'm sure she'll appreciate it..hopefully. I was looking through the book and I was like man I really NEED this book..haha the recipes in it look soo good. I will definitely be ordering it soon.

While in new york, I picked up the book Twilight by Stephenie Meyer..

I have heard SO much about that series..and I didn't know what the fuss was all about. But I've got about 30 pages left of it, and I must's really good! Definitely hard to put down I really like it. I'm excited to read the rest of the series..and the movie is supposed to come out in that should be really good too!

So my sister's birthday was yesterday.. as if I needed an excuse to make a cake. I looked around online.. and I was trying to narrow down the types. I found online the recipe for the Vanilla Golden Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World (no I still do not own this book..unfortunately..i need it!) and I figured I could just double the recipe to make a cake. And then figuring that who doesn't love funfetti cake? Soo it was born. I also used the Buttercream Frosting from the VCTOTW book as well.

I found the recipe online in actually numerous places, So I'll post it in case someone else for some odd reason doesnt own the book either. I plan on getting it soon soon soon.

Golden Vanilla Cupcakes: (Ingredients are doubled for the cake version)
2 cups soy milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups flour
4 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 + 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup non hydrogenated margarine
3/4 + 3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles (for funfetti version!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan or 2 circle pans (thats what i used..). Whisk the soy milk and vinegar together in small bowl and set aside a few minutes. In a large bowl, beat together soy milk mix, margarine, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and soda, and salt and mix until no large lumps are left. Add the sprinkles and mix in. Put into pan(s) and bake for about 22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Vegan Buttercream Frosting:(i doubled this for the cake but it came out WAY too much it'd be best to stick to the original amount)
1/2 cup non hydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup non hydrogenated margarine
3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup soy milk

Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add sugar and beat another 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and soy milk and beat for 5-7 minutes until fluffy and icing consistency.

Add more sprinkles to the top and you'll have a beautiful rainbow funfetti cake!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

you were the best thing summer gave me..

So i'm leaving tomorrow for new york to visit family and such until sunday.. so that should be fun..not to mention the nice 5 days off from work. woot.
i'm excited to perhaps find some vegan restaurant or a good grocery store with vegan stuff..we'll be on long island so i'm sure there'll be something around there!

Last week for dinner one night I made the sweet and sour meatballs I found in a vegan starter kit book we snagged from Warped Tour. They were the first recipe in the magazine that I saw that I wanted to make, and I'm really glad I did! They came out really good..the sauce was delicious and I lovve the gimmelean so it was a great combo.

Vegan Sweet-and-Sour "Meatballs"
1 lb. ground beef substitute (I used Lightlife Gimme Lean in the sausage one..tasted awesome!)
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 slices white bread (i used wheat..whatever!)
2 egg replacers (i used flax)
salt and pepper to taste
oil, for frying
6 oz. chili sauce
5 oz. red currant jelly (this was a bit tough to find, but luckily i did!)

Combine all ingredients except the oil, chili sauce, and jelly in a bowl and stir until well mixed. Heat the oil in a skillet, using enough to coat bottom of the pan. Form "beef" mixture into 1-inch balls and fry in the oil until browned. Meanwhile, place the chili sauce and jelly in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat and stir until smooth. When the mock meatballs are finished cooking, add them to the sauce and stir to coat well. Simmer over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

I served them with brown rice and used the extra sauce over it. Was quite scrumptious!

So tonight I'm going to see Dark Knight..i've heard a lot of good things about it so i'm pretty excited. 2 and a half hours long though.. wow! haha it should be really good though!

Oh, and also thanks SO much from Shelby for this fab award!

That's really awesome and honestly I give every single blog that I comment on it, because they're all so great and keep me inspired! :) So woohoo!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

why did i ever let you go mamma mia, now i really know

Yes I saw Mamma Mia tonight in theatres..and it was awesome! I definitely recommend anyone to go see it! I have yet to see it on broadway, but the movie version was really really good. And the whole movie I knew the main girl looked familiar..but I realized who she was at the end! The really dumb, ditzy girl from Mean Girls. haha I must say, it was really weird/refreshing to see her play the character in Mamma Mia, such a different role from her old one!..and much better!

Soo I wanted to make chocolate chip cookies again yesterday but I wanted to try a different recipe..even though the other one I made a couple weeks ago came out really good (just wanted to test the waters, i suppose) So I made a recipe I found on a website called Thin Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies. All excited and such, I made them. And yes, they came out really awesome! So then I compared the recipe with the previous cookie recipe I made..and yeah basically the exact same recipe. haha I was so bummed! Butttt....this one is a bit easier and just as good! Instead of 2 egg replacers that were in the other recipe, this one was just 2 T of applesauce..which made it a bit easier (no blending of flax seeds and such..) So that was a relief..and from now on I'll use the applesauce. :)

And what's better than a perfect chocolate chip cookie?

Mint fudge ice cream in the middle OF COURSE!
it was quite scrumptious!

I promise that I don't just make desserts..although thats how it seems lately! it is my favorite to make though.. haha next post will be real food. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

you don't even like boys

Yesterday i went to Warped Tour in Virginia Beach.. soo much fun! We've been going each year for the past 4 it's always a summer "tradition" I suppose you could say. I saw a bunch of really great bands! Let's see.. Jack's Mannequin, Cobra Starship(my favorite! i got to their stage an hour early so I could be super close!), Story of the Year, Gym Class Heroes, and Katy Perry were the ones I really enjoyed. I really like Katy Perry a lot! I remember when I first heard her song "I kissed a girl" on the radio I thought it was kind of stupid, but yet it got stuck in my head and I listened to the rest of her CD, and it's sort of like a guilty pleasure. haha but she's so darn cute that you pretty much have to like her! :)

Soo it was ton of fun. And stopping by the Action for Animals table is always neat too..lots of vegan recipes and stickers and PEOPLE! I really feel like people who pick up the papers from the table that day really do learn that's always good. :)

Oh! and the fudgy wudgy brownies did end up being baked! We froze some of the blueberries from picking, so I just used those in the recipe. They came out really good! My whole family was a bit skeptical of the blueberry and chocolate combo.. but yet my whole family really liked them soo I guess it shows that blueberries are quite scrumptious with chocolate. :)

I did take another..better picture of them but when i was making room on my camera for warped tour, I accidentally deleted it. :( but trust me, they're really good! the tangy-ness of the blueberries really worked well with the chocolate.

And I have to give a really good product review..because it totally deserves it.
The So Delicious Mint Marble Fudge.

I am a huge ice cream fan. I always was before I became vegan..coldstone was like heaven for me. I don't have an icecream maker, so I've purchased a few brands and flavors of vegan ice cream from the store. I've tried Temptation brand's cookie dough, which was pretty good..I've tried lots of flavors from Soy Delicious..and they're all good..but i feel that they all were just kind of icy consistency..I mean a little creamy, but definitely not like what I missed from Coldstone or other ice creams. But this flavor was PERFECT. It was soo creamy and so delicious and I'm really glad it comes in such a big container. So there you have ice cream that has the perfect creamy consistency. yum!

Friday, July 11, 2008

i can't imagine all the people that you know, and the places that you go..

So lots of exciting news has come my way!
I'll save the cutest and best for last :)

Well I found a place to live for this upcoming school year! Woohoo...And not to mention.. it's on Main Street in Manayunk above one of the shops! Yesss.. perfect location. I'm so super excited. I haven't actually seen it yet haha, but my roommate was in philly and saw it and told me and took pictures and such..and from the pics it looks nice! But I told her just to go ahead and sign the papers, I mean, we only have a month left until we have to move so time is getting short! But I'm so excited to move in!! :)

Onwards.. to a food portion of the entry..
The other night I made the Barbecue Baked Tofu from Veganomicon(surprise surprise, i know haha.) I figured Cody would really like it, since he says he prefers tofu over tempeh..which is weird..i feel that tempeh has more of a "meaty" texture than tofu does but whatever. Unfortunately, he got through 1 1/2 pieces and then said that the consistency was a bit much for him. But hey, he liked the sauce! The rest of the fam seemed to like it a bit i hope. I enjoyed it though! The sauce was so awesome for it! I used the barbecue sauce from the cookbook, and it was delicious. Very tomato-ey, but very very good.

Okay, so On July 10th at 9:53 PM Amberlynn Markah Elzey was born! Yes, my best friend Amanda finally had her baby! And she is the most beautiful, precious baby I have ever seen. Seriously, she is just gorgeous!
Here's a pic of me and my best friend with her beautiful baby.

Quiet! Babys sleeping! :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

When summer is over we will dream of spring..

Well I had plans of making the fudgy wudgy blueberry brownies.. but after looking in the fridge this morning, I noticed that all of the "grabbing a few" blueberries has really added up. Oh well, I like them on their own anyway. :)

However, I did make the Blueberry Corn Pancakes from Veganomicon the other day. What a good idea,Bianca. They came out really well, but I think I've decided that fruit in my foods probably isn't my favorite combo. But the cornmeal pancake part of it was really delicious!

We also had two bananas that were really really ripe, and I'm not a fan of eating really ripe I figured banana bread was in the making. I was going to add blueberries to it, just because we had them, but stuck with just banana. I used the Lower Fat Banana Bread recipe from Veganomicon(yes, i really need a new cookbook because all my recipes are coming from there lately haha but its okay because they're great). The bread itself came out really good, but it was much less sweet than another banana bread that I had made before. It tasted really awesome with peanut butter on top though.. my two favorites = banana & peanut butter.

Well off to enjoy my day. I'm attempting to find stuff to decorate my new room when I move back to Philly next month.. but I have to many ideas that it's getting a bit hard to really narrow down which ones I want to do! I love decorating though, so it's fun. :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

this is my mind, it goes over and over the same old lines..

So my 4th of July was good..aside from the fact that the only fireworks I saw were between trees while in a car. We went to the Shorebirds baseball stadium to see them, when it started to pour and storm..and it was pretty bad. So we waited a while but it didn't really show signs of clearing up, so we eventually left..and got completely soaked on the run to the car. But it's okay, I had a really good day anyway. :)

So I've been searching tons for a really good chocolate chip cookie recipe. The previous attempts have not sufficed for me at all. They've come out to where they don't spread, so really they're cookie "balls". And they've come out just not tasting the way a good chocolate chip cookie is supposed to taste. I found posted online a recipe from the book The Joy of Vegan Baking. And no, I do not have this book..though I've looked at it many times pondering on whether to get it or not. But I said 'if these cookies come out the way I really want them to, I'm definitely getting this book!' So looks like I'll be ordering it! :) These cookies not only spread and actually looked like cookies, but they tasted awesome! I feel like the day after, they taste even better.. but nothing beats a cookie still warm from the oven.

And since i found the recipe posted on places online, I'm going to post it.. because I really think it's a recipe a vegan neeeeeds to have. And then go buy the book :)

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Have a nonstick baking sheet ready. Have two egg replacers made and ready. (I used 2 T of flax seed and 6 T of water in a blender.) In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup of softened margarine (I used smart balance), 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Add the egg replacer mix and stir well. In another bowl, mix together 2 + 1/4 cup of all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp salt. Gradually beat the dry mix into the wet ingredients until well combined. Stir in 2 cups chocolate chips. Bake on a cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes.

Mine didn't really get "golden brown" but I like mine chewy so I was really happy with how they turned out.

Yesterday we went blueberry picking..

So the blueberry recipes will begin soon! I'm thinking pancakes.. and perhaps fudgy wudgy blueberry brownies from Vcon? I think so!