Tuesday, December 30, 2008

yeah you make me merry, make me very very happy

So my holiday was very nice and relaxing, and also included a trip to new york to see some of my family up there, so that was nice as well.
It's been quite nice having plenty of time to sleep in, relax, and catch up with people..so it's been a really nice break so far! and to think i still have about two weeks left! :)

For Christmas eve dinner I wanted something festive, and I saw on a few people's blogs the Sweet N Salty Stuffing, with the recipe on Yeah That Vegan Shit's blog.. soo I decided to make it.

My mom and dad both had a chance to try it as well, and they seemed to enjoy it. However..I was not a fan. I love craisins so I thought I would love it, but for some reason the seasonings were throwing me off..and honestly I don't think I really liked stuffing to begin with..I just thought it would be a good idea. Meh, oh well. I thought it looked quite pretty though! :)

For dessert however, I also made another recipe from her blog which was the crunchy chocolate pie or something of that sort...and this..was awesome!

The pie filling was a recipe that I had made before from vegweb that I had used a while back..but I thought it was an awesome idea to make chocolate covered pretzels to throw on top!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie:
1 package of firm silken tofu
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c peanut butter
bit of soy milk to get to desired texture
a vegan graham pie crust

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Add the tofu and chocolate to a blender and blend until smooth. Add peanut butter with about 1/2 c of soy milk to start. Blend until smooth and add more soy milk if needed, should be a mousse-ish texture. Add to pie crust, and use garnish with chocolate covered pretzels or just chocolate chips. :)

For Christmas I got a lot of really nice stuff... but vegan-y wise I got a gift basket filled with tons of vegan goodies!

It included a box of peanut butter crunch cliff bars, chocolate covered cherries and peanut butter truffles from Pangea, vegan macaroni and cheese, vegan rice krispy treats, a giant peanut butter chocolate cookie... can you tell i LOVE peanut butter and chocolate yet? ;)

I have yet to make the mac & cheese yet, but when I do..there'll definitely be a review! I also got Fondant and lots of little cut outs for it..so i'm super excited to make adorable cupcakes soon!

Hope everyones new year is wonderful, see you in 2009!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

if my senses fail, stay with me till they go...

So I'm home for winter break, thus the fall semester has officially been OVER! pretty sweet, and the grades weren't too bad either ;)

soo yesterday was the first day since being home that i really got a chance to make something. I wanted to make lots of delicious baked goods..since I feel like that's definitely needed for the holiday-times.
I decided on cookies and fudge!

as requested, I made the chocolate chocolate chip cookies from the ppk, which I had previously made about a year ago. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was my first vegan cookie recipe. awwww. :)

The recipe calls for using flax seed and soy milk as the egg replacement, but I had just recently gotten Ener-g egg replacer (so much quicker than getting out the blender and blending flax seed all the time!) so I switched it up a bit. I really don't think it made a bit of difference, they were still just as tasty as I remember them being the first time I made them.

I also decided upon a snickerdoodle recipe, since I don't believe I've had a home made snicker doodle, but a cinnamon sugar cookie sounds pretty good.

These came out pretty well. I was a bit nervous because they didnt seem to be done when I took them out, but the recipe said they'd look that way. Anyways though they tasted delish.

I found this recipe on a lot of blogs, so I'm not too sure where it originated from..hmm..

Vegan Snickerdoodles:
1 c margarine
1 1/2 c white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 T soy milk mixed with 2 T cornstarch
3 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cornstarch

2 T cinnamon
4 T sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and soy milk mix and beat well. In a smaller bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder, and cornstarch together. Stir into wet ingredients and mix well. In a very small bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar. Begin rolling cookie dough into small balls and roll them in cinnamon mixture until completely coated, and place on ungreased baking sheet. Press down on each cookie to make "fork marks". Bake for 12-14 minutes, cookies will still look soft when taken out! Let them cool for 10 minutes on the pans, and then on a wire rack until cooled completely.

I attempted to make Peanut Butter Fudge from bjorkedoff.blogspot.com, but...that did not work well for me. I assume that I did not let it boil long enough perhaps? Either way..it never set right in the fridge and was still quite gooey after it was supposed to be done. That went into the trash..no pic :( i'll have to try that one again sometime..

However.. I did make chocolate fudge that came out really good!

With half of them, I added my wonderful find that I got from MOM's in college park this weekend!

These are great! Although I do find that they have a bit of a different consistency of a regular marshmellow, of course, but they are soo delicious and i love them. haha I really wanted to get the peanut butter smores they have, but unfortunately this was all the store had. I'm excited to use them in other recipes!!
I also picked up some agar-agar flakes...so i'm excited to make something with those too! :)

I hope everyone has a relaxing and wonderful Christmas! And if you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing day regardless.. :D

Thursday, December 11, 2008

they won't see us waving from such great heights

So I don't have anything interesting that i've made to share..
basically we've been eating out or making boca burgers and veggies for lunch ;)
but we leave for a month soon so that's why...otherwise i'd be making some delicious food. anyways.

I do have a vegan food review from 7-11!
yes..that's right, 7-11 the convenience store that sells plenty of non vegan calorie filled doughnuts and packaged snacks.
don't be fooled. because 5 of the locations in Philadelphia offer many vegan choices from the brand Moshe who makes different vegan sandwiches, etc. in the city.
And lucky for me, one of those 5 locations is right up the street from my apartment!

I went in and saw the assortment of the different things to try..

there was a vegan chicken salad sandwich, seitan steak sandwich, un turkey sandwich, hummus sandwich, lentils and spinach burrito, vegetarian fajita burrito, vegetarian spring wrappers, these asian noodle things, and manyyy many others :) they all looked delicious and i really had a hard time deciding for my first time!

emily got the seitan steak sandwich and I got the vegetarian spring wrappers. We also bought salsa and were super excited to try these Guacamole chips..only to get home and I realized they were not vegan. :( BUT thats okay. the spring rolls made up for it. :)

Anyway, mine were AWESOME! the sauce that it came with complemented them perfectly and was really delicious. Emily's sandwich was also quite tasty, but it tasted pretty much just like a chicken salad sandwich would taste, I would think. So maybe next time i'll try the chicken and see if it's much different from the "Steak". It was also really cool that they had the ingredients and nutritional information posted on each item as well!
Anyway! this was just really convenient and awesome to see that 7-11's in the city are offering these options for vegans, and for people who might not know it's not really meat!

one final down, 3 to go next week! good luck to everyone else taking their finals :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

talk and talk and talk it out

okay so we all know the scenario..
it's late at night, theres not much food in the house, but you really want something sweet and super quick and easy.
this was the dilemma last night for my roomie and i..after having late night food in the first place, we both really wanted something deliciously sweet afterwards, but didn't want to wait for a while with complicated ingredients or a long time in the oven. thus, I can to the decision to make something using my favorite combo..chocolate and peanut butter, of course.
i present to you these:

haha yes, probably the simplest idea ever, but yet was perfect and so tasty! The coconut on top makes it look like snow and winter-y, how cute :)

Anyway if you come to a problem late at night when you just want something tastyyy quickly, i definitely recommend making up some of these.

Mix 1 cup of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of coconut, 4 tablespoons of agave nectar, 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in a bowl. Mix around, but it'll be pretty sticky. Roll them into balls and in a plate of 1/4 c cocoa powder and more coconut. Put the balls in the fridge for about 15 minutes and they should be fine to eat then, but we learned they're much harder and more "ball-like" the next day.. we just didn't want to wait until then ;)

Woohoo for last day of classes too!!!!! :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

and thats one for the show

So I'm back in philly from home for thanksgiving break, I would've updated sooner with what I made, but I left my camera cord and such in my apartment. I had quite a lovely thanksgiving, and I hope everyone else did too. :)

Oh, And I used that Hain's vegetarian gravy packet, and it actually tasted awesome! It went really quickly at the dphie thanksgiving dinner and I doubt anyone knew it was vegetarian! I wish I had bought more for my thanksgiving at home..

Since I had seen Happy Herbivore's e-cookbook for the pudge free holidays, I was so excited to make a lot from there for thanksgiving! First up was I made the cornbread from it.

I absolutely love cornbread, so I was really excited to try this. It called for unsweetened applesauce, in which that became a problem when seeing that the applesauce in the house was Homestyle sweenetened..even with chunks and brown sugar! Well, I made due and used it anyway. I did not reduce the sugar in the recipe, which I should have.. since these tasted very sweet for cornbread, even more so of a dessert -ish type of food. However, I love sweet foods, soo I absolutely loved it this way! The apple chunks in it from the applesauce made them even more delicious!

For my main dish, while my family ate away at the turkey, I made the Maple-Glazed Vegetables from her ecookbook.

I did enjoy this a lot. I think it may have been better if I used perhaps a different asortment of vegetables or added tofu or tempeh to it. But otherwise, the sauce was really good and I'd definitely use that again.

I was really excited to make dessert. I honestly don't think i had ever eaten pumpkin pie before, but I felt as though it was something thats supposed to be at thanksgiving (not sure why since I don't remember my mother ever having it there..) buttttt I made the Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, in hopes that the chocolate would make it more delicious.

But sadly, I think i've come to conclusion that I just don't like pumpkin pie. at all. I think I really just want to like it, more so than I actually do. Oh well..other people ate it so I guess that's good.

Also for dessert I made an apple cobbler type thing.

I used a recipe from ppk and it came out really good!

Apple Crisp:
4 lbs of granny smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 T cornstarch
1/2 c water
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nut meg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 c quick cooking oats
1 c flour
1 c light brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c oil
3 tablespoons of soy milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Place apples in 9x13 baking pan. Add first two sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice and mix well with apples. Pour cornstarch mixture over all. For topping, mix oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Add oil, milk, and vanilla and mix well. Crumble over apples and bake for 45 minutes.

This recipe was really super simple, and made a whole pan full, so I'll definitely be using it again. paired up with my chocolate peanut butter soy ice cream..it was awesome! :)
well off to unpack my suitcase and huge bag of clothes that are all over my bed..not a fan of unpacking!