Thursday, January 29, 2009

i wake up every evening with a big smile on my face

Thursday classes are done... meaning its soo close to the weekend!! :)
its been a bit icy and snowy lately, so the roads have been a bit tricky to drive ..or just walk on, without moving around a bit. hopefully the sun today will melt it all and ill be able to walk normally without making sure i'm not about to slip on ice! :)

So yesterday I went to Acme to get some chocolate chips because I knew I wanted to bake. Usually I can find a store-brand semi-sweet that are vegan, which is always lovely, but if not then I go for the Ghiradelli, which is fine too, a bit pricier, but they taste great. Unfortunately, all of Acme's had milk in them and they didn't even have Ghiradelli! Ugh, Acme is not cool.
But I finally got my chocolate chips..not sure what brand they were, it was one i'd never seen before..but on the packing it said "Dairy & Gluten Free" so I was happy :)

Anyway! What I really wanted to bake was BIG chocolate chip cookies. I'm a huge fan of the regular sized homemade ones, but I wanted those that you buy from a store that are always so big and mushy and delicious. So since I didn't have too much of a reason for baking (i'll get to that later ;) ) so I decided to half the recipe from Joy of Vegan Baking (my favorite cookie recipe!!). The regular recipe said it made one dozen...but I halved it and made them pretty big and I got 6 of them out of it...doesn't make much sense, does it? ;)

delicious. absolutely delicious.
this was the first time I had baked cookies using Ener-G...and it worked magically, of course :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

share your knowledge

So I've honestly not posted in what..2 weeks, i believe? ridiculous! :(
But i've really not been making much that has involved more skilled baking/cooking than using a microwave. i know, it's shameful. but living on your own in a college apartment, you just don't want to cook fancy foods! convenience and cost is where its at.. which sums up what i've been eating, i mean aside from eating food from restaurants, I've been eating a lot of Amy's foods (the shepards pie is definitely one of my favorites!!) Dr. McDougall soups, Lightlean "turkey" sandwiches, etc.

however, my roomie made this DELICIOUS vegan sausage soup last week (using the tofurkey brand spicy sausage links) and it was soo amazing. i did not snap a pic or anything, but take my word for it ;)

We've also made another hungry girl recipe, her Sassy Salsa Soup. Which was awesome!! Who knew putting pumpkin in a mexican-ish soup would be so fabulous??
(I definitely recommend everyone to get this cookbook, even though majority of the recipes are not vegan, it's SO easy to veganize them!!)

Yesterday though, I made the Moroccan Lentil Soup from Happy Herbivore's blog. My mom made it for me while I was home for winter break and feeling a bit under the weather.. and i loved it so much! The curry powder and cumin in it really make the soup, and blending half of it in a blender and then adding it to the rest of the soup really makes the consistency SOO perfect!
I definitely recommend making this soup ASAP!

Deliciousness in a bowl..although when my mom made it, of course it was better ;)

Oh and I must talk about my most recent food obsession. Not so new, but for me, it's really hard to find a bar that I REALLY like.
I'm a huge fan of eating Nature Valley granola bars for breakfast and stuff..they're really delicious and most of the flavors are vegan..which is rare for granola bars that they sell in most supermarkets.

But I've seen the Gnu bars on SO many blogs and the 12 g of fiber with low calories REALLY made me excited to try these! And they're awesome! I've tried all the flavors, with the banana walnut bread or the chocolate brownie being my favorite, and the orange cranberry one not being one that i'd get all the time (something about orange flavored things just don't work for me!)

oh and the cinnamon raisin one of course is delicious too! :)

Oh, and ANOTHER awesome new food obsession - Trader Joe's Fruit Floes!
I'd take a picture, but the 4 bar box was gone in 2 days between my roomie and I! We tried the Carribean flavor, and with every bite we kept saying "oh my gosh these are sooo good"
we will definitely be stocking up and trying the different flavors on our next TJ's trip!

Well back to classes tomorrow, this is the first FULL week of classes..all 5 days..ugh! haha i'll make it though.
and hopefully it wont be two weeks till I blog again!! haha of course it won't! :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

i put myself in a picture of success

I made it back to philly yesterday and since then i've basically just been unpacking! You don't really realize how much you have until you pack and unpack it all :)

The second to last night that I was home I made another recipe from the lovely hungry girl cookbook (i might be obsessed..thats okay)

I made the Dan Good Chili, which was ALMOST had worcestire sauce in it, so i just left it out, and i'm not sure if it even made a difference. i doubt it! (I subbed in celery and left out corn too..soo the recipe is a bit different from her actual one in the book)

Dan Good Chili:
4 1/4 c canned tomato sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
3/4 c black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 c light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 c chopped onions
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 3/4 c chopped carrots
3/4 c chopped celery
1 1/2 T chili powder
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp ground cumin

Place tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chili powder, and cumin in a large pot. Stir over low heat. When mixture is heated, add the garlic and continute to cook for 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery and and continute cooking over low heat. Meanwhile, over medium heat, cook onions, and peppers for 3-5 minutes in a large pan with just 1/2 c water. They should still be a little crunchy. With a slotted spoon to drain water, add veggies to large pot. Add beans to the pot and mix well. Cook over low heat for 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so. Chili is done when carrots have lost their crunch!

Just a heads up, at first taste, I thought it was quite spicy. My mother thought it was too..of course the guys didn't..or didnt admit they did ;)
So I suppose if spice isn't your thing you should probably reduce the amount of chili powder, but I thought it was a really good spice after the first bite!

Oh yes! And I also made cornbread to go with the chili. I used Happy Herbivore's recipe for thanksgiving, but I wanted to try something different this time. I used one that I just randomly found on VegWeb..but it came out really good! So heres the recipe, i definitely suggest making it alongside the chili!

2 egg replacers (i used ener-g)
1 c soy milk
1/4 c oil
1 c flour
1 c cornmeal
1/4 c sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 8 inch baking pan with nonstick spray. In medium bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add "eggs", milk, and oil and beat until just smooth (do not over beat). Bake for 20-25 minutes.

So I don't start up with classes until these next few days are going to be quite relaxing, and i'm really looking forward to it. :)

Have a wonderful, relaxing Sunday!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

so why do you leave these stories unfinished..

So break is almost over already! I'll be going back this weekend.. It's gone by extremely fast, but I'm definitely ready to get back and get in the swing of things again. I can feel it's going to be a good semester. :)

I have been eyeing a lot of the recipes still from Hungry Girl, and her Butternut Squash fries seemed so simple and delicious, I had to try them.

Yes, they look a bit..overcooked on the ends..but they weren't, and I felt that they needed to cook a while to be I like my fries ;)
I've never worked with butternut squash before, so it was something new for me. I was definitely VERY pleased with them! Only problem was one squash didnt make that many fries..and i wanted more! I'll definitely be making these again and again..they're so simple and scrumtious..especially with ketchup of course.

"Bake-tastic Butternut Squash Fries" from fave.
1 medium butternut squash
enough salt to season
Preheat oven to 425 degress. Use a sharp knife to remove the ends of the squash, cut in half widthwise and then peel squash halves using a peeler. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut squash into french fry shapes. use a paper towel to pat pieces to absorb excess moisture. Put squash onto a cooking sheet and add a light mist of nonstick spray on pieces and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20 minutes, flip pieces over, bake for another 20 until they're crispy enough for you.

Yesterday I wanted to make a dessert that I hadn't made before..and something really delicious too, of course.
So I looked through my notebook of recipes that I've been meaning to make, and I decided on one that used to be on veg web..but got taken off for some reason. Anyway, it was by this baker called Chef Lindsay, i believe, and I remember she had a TON of awesome looking desserts..but i guess she deleted them all off of it? anyways, luckily I had copied this one down!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies.
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
2 c brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 c brewed coffee
3 tsp vanilla
3/4 c + 2 tablespoons of soy milk
1/3 c oil
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c softened margarine
2 c chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of oil

For brownies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. prepare a 9x9 pan. Sift 1 1/2 c flour, cocoa, 1 1/2 c brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, stir coffee, 2 tsp vanilla, 3/4 c milk, and 1/3 c oil. Stir wet into dry ingredients and mix well. pour into pan and bake for 25 minutes (mine took about 35 until the toothpick came out clean). let cool.
For cookie dough: Mix 1/2 c brown sugar, 1/4 c sugar, and margarine until light and fluffy. Add 2 tablespoons of soy milk and 1 tsp vanilla, blend well. Lightly pour in 1 cup of flour and mix, while folding in 1 cup of chocolate chips. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate while making glaze.
For glaze: In microwave, melt 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of oil. Stir until smooth, and spread over cookie dough and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

yes, they're amazing. Although, I will say that the brownie recipe was VERY cake-like. So if you want them to be truly BROWNIES, then I suggest using your favorite brownie recipe, and then continuing on with the rest of the recipe. But the cake like consistency was VERY delicious regardless.

for christmas I got a day-to-day calender of quotes from the Dalai Lama..and today's was really nice and i thought i'd share it. :)

"the fact that there is always a positive side to life is the one thing that gives me a lot of happiness. this world is not perfect. there are problems. but things like happiness and unhappiness are relative. realizing this gives you Hope."

hope your day is fabulous. :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

end of the line

I know it's already the 4th, but happy new year, 2009, and i hope the best for everyone. :) oh and btw... its my year anniversary of being vegan!! :)

For my new years, I had left salisbury and went to delaware to ring in the new year. It was a really good time and i'm glad that I did.
I know that 2008 had a lot of difficulties and changes for I'm hopeing that 2009 will bring new beginnings and a lot of happiness. Guess we'll see!

While I was in college park a few weeks ago, I had picked up some Millet to make something with. I've never had millet before, so I was kind of excited to try a new grain out. I chose the Mexican Millet from Veganomicon, and it turned out really well! Aside from me being the only one eating it though, I probably should've halved it.

My brother had mentioned last week that he had wanted the chex mix snack, puppy chow. well he's not even here right now but I decided to make it yesterday anyway. And with it being vegan, it was just as good as I remember it being.

Vegan Puppy Chow:
9 cups of chex cereal
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips. Add peanut butter and mix until smooth. Remove from heat and add cereal, and stir until coated. Pour the sugar into a large zip lock bag and add the cereal mix to it. Shake it around until it's all coated, and transfer to an air tight container. I put mine in the freezer afterwards, and then after it was hardened enough I'm keeping it in the fridge. :)

For Christmas, my roommate had gotten me the hungry girl cookbook, which I was super excited because I've been a fan of hungry girl for a bunch of years! (I get her daily emails that i get excited for everyday haha) Yes, a lot of her recipes are not vegan..but i found that a lot of them are easy to veganize. This morning for breakfast I made her best baked apples. So simple, and so delicious!

I halved the recipe for myself and it came out so good.

Bestest Baked Apples:
4 medium apples (i used granny smith)
1 can diet black cherry soda (i used diet dr pepper)
1 no calorie sweetener packet (i used sweet n low)
dash of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Core apples and put in casserole dish (I sliced mine too so i could eat them in a bowl). Pour the soda over the apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sweetener. Place dish in oven for 45 minutes until apples are tender. Serving warm is best!

i have another recipe from the cookbook that I'm going to be making this week..and i'm pretty excited!
Have a great sunday!!