Monday, March 30, 2009

theres not a lot to give if you're giving in..

So one of the nights that I was home my brother and I as a duo made dinner for the two of us.
I will say though, even though he does make meat dishes, he does have quite a good mindset for cooking! He seems to always think of interesting types of meals and such..

Onto that, he decided to make homemade spaghetti from scratch, which seemed like an interesting idea that I hadn't really thought to do.. I mean spaghetti is just so simple to pull from the box and boil in a pot!

He had used only about a half of a cup of flour, 1/4 cup of water, and about a tablespoon of salt. Then formed a dough with it and rolled it out, and cut it into spaghetti-like strips. Make sure to roll them out quite well though..they did seem a bit thick!

The sauce that we made was just a can of crushed tomatoes, mixed into it was sauteed green peppers and onions with garlic and a bunch of italian seasonings such as basil, oregano, parsley, etc.
It tasted quite delicious and really fresh tasting as opposed to a sauce from the jar! It was so simple as well :)

I had some pinenuts in the cabinet from when I made the macaroni casserole from previously in the well as my brother had gotten fresh basil, so I found a simple recipe for pesto and blended that up..

I belive I just used olive oil, pine nuts, basil, and garlic. It was a bit garlic-y..maybe use less of that..but it was really good!

all together now!!

The pesto was put on a toasted piece of french bread, alongside the homemade spaghetti with the sauce. Quite delicious!

Oh, I had attempted this past week to make a new recipe that I found for "extra fudgy" vegan brownies...
fudgy they were!
I had mixed in some peanut butter into the recipe to make it extra decadent.. however the brownies were TOO fudgy and couldn't even be picked up :(
I will say though..digging into the pan with a spoon could have been a good option..but I didn't think that seemed respectable enough when trying to let other people try them... ;)
hopefully going back to my "safe" brownie recipe this week will make them much better.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

and we'll send up our shooting stars and comets..

So I'm back in Philly at school, and going back to class and work yesterday was just unreal! It really didn't even feel like I had nearly a week and a half away from here at all!
Oh well.. on the bright side, only 38 days (including weekends!!) left until the last day of class.. but hey, who's counting? ;)
this just means the closer to being in london i will i'm pretty pumped.

While I was home though I did get a chance to make a few more things! so that was super.

My parents had left on vacation for a majority of the time that I was home, leaving my two siblings and I to fend for ourselves while they baked in the beautiful Dominican Republic sun... i'm not bitter, i promise :)

So I cooked a tad bit..
One night I found a really simple recipe for homemade falafel, and decided it was something to try. The only time i've made falafel before was using a box mix from Fantastic Foods where you just added oil, i believe. Which were awesome though, so I'm definitely not complaining.. but I felt better about making it from complete scratch this time.

The recipe made quite a bit, and I managed to fit three of them in a pretty big sized pita filled with lettuce, tomato, and hummus :) delicious!

1 can of chickpeas
1 small onion, finely minced (okay so mine wasn't exactly minced persuay..still came out good!! haha)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T chopped parsley
3/4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp tumeric
dash of red pepper
2 T flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and then put them in a bowl and mash with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Form into ping-pong sized balls and put onto an ungreased baking sheet, and flatten down a bit with a fork. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through and they'll be done when they're golden brown. You could also try frying these up, but I figured baking was better ;)

For dessert the night before this, on the last night my whole family was home, I decided to make a Hot Fudge Cake. I stumbled upon this recipe while searching for a hot fudge recipe..craving a hot fudge sundae one night..haha but this cake just seemed too good! And made me think of those non-vegan but delicious looking lava cakes that i serve to people everynight at applebee's...

Hot Fudge Cake:
1 1/2 c flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/8 c sugar
9 T cocoa powder, divided
3/4 c soy milk
3 T vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 c hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and 3 T of cocoa. Stir in soy milk, oil, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Spread in ungreased 9x13 glass baking pan. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and 6 T of cocoa. Sprinkle over the batter, and pour the hot water over it all, but do not mix. Bake for 45-50 minutes and serve warm!

I originally found this recipe from, but it says its truly from Taste Of Home, but just with soy milk as opposed to regular.
I did in fact half this recipe though, and I made it in a 8x8 pan..which kind of made it look like brownies, but this was definitely delicious.
And the fudge sauce stayed delicious and gooey for days after as well :)

Back to the grind of work though now, but hopefully now that spring break is OVER spring weather will finally start to appear! one can only hope ;)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

we've gotta live the best we know how to

So I'm home for spring break in maryland..
and even though its not exactly a spring break destination... with the rain and cold weather.. it's still nice to be home and relax. :)

Before I left though I made a recipe I think I found on vegweb a while ago, it seemed quite simple and quick to make so I thought my friends at work would really like it.

All it was, was to melt a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (shoprite brands is vegan! yay) and mix it with a tsp of peppermint extract..
and then dip Ritz crackers in the mixture, put in the fridge to harden them up..
and they're quite tasty! kind of like a thin-mint..kind of sweet and salty..
but very simple and delicious.

I brought my cat Ziggy home for spring break with me, and I was a bit nervous about having to keep him in my room for an entire week since I have a dog at home and I didn't know how they'd react to eachother. After having Ziggy keep me up all night the first night, we decided to see if they would be able to roam around the house together.
Luckily, it hasn't been too bad.
Ziggy likes to pretend he's tough, but when hes on the same ground level as my dog, he runs away scared.. but they're fine and they don't actually fight, so luckily that's been taken care of :)

Yesterday I made dinner and dessert for my family, and I decided on the Mariachi Macaroni from (which I just recently stumbled upon and LOVE!)
The casserole was awesome! Since I don't have nutritional yeast..and most macaroni dishes usually call for it..I was excited to see that this one didn't. And yet, the sauce still tasted absolutely amazing and creamy and wonderful. :)

Maybe not too photogenic..but definitely delicious!

For dessert I wanted to make something delicious, but not too filling since I knew the macaroni would be a bit heavy. Theres another dessert that I definitely have my eye on to make sometime this week while i'm home though!
But I made Peanut Butter Coffeecake, which some could call it banana peanut butter coffee cake as well, since i could definitely taste the banana...which made it even better. :)

I believe it is originally from :)

For the topping:
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/2 c flour
1/4 c peanut butter
3 tablespoons of margarine

For the cake:
2 1/4 c flour
1 c brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c soy milk (i used almond breeze..yum!)
1/2 c peanut butter
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 c margarine

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
To make the topping, mix the flour and sugar together. Then with a fork, mix in the peanut butter and margarine to make a crumbly texture and set aside.
For the cake, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt. Then add the milk, banana, peanut butter, and margarine. Beat this until smooth, approximately 3 minutes. Pour mixture into the baking dish and top with the crumble topping. Bake for 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

If I were to make it again, I might add more banana..just because I LOVE the combo of banana and peanut butter and having the banana even more pungent would be delish. or maybe chocolate chips as well ;) but thats just me.

I'm sure I'll be baking up some more deliciousness while being home, and I hope if anyone else is on spring break, that yours is much sunnier and warmer for you! :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

and you're finally free to twist and turn like a skeleton key

Okay so i'm sad to say i don't have any new, fun, interesting food.
spring break is next week so our grocery trip wasn't even that exciting..just the basics till we get back and will splurge at whole foods and tj's!
no worries though, when i'm home..i'm sure i'll be cooking up tons! :)


i do have quite exciting news regarding myself!!

First up.. as its quite apparent, I had gotten my first tattoo this past October of the vegan society symbol sunflower on my foot..and i love it. and it was painful and i'm a huge pansy. BUT i've been thinking ever since how badly I wanted another one..
and so the roomie and I both got what we wanted this past saturday!!

it's on my right ankle..right above the ankle bone..and i absolutely LOVE it! it's still in the healing process right not exactly looking its best..but once its nice out I can't wait to show it off!!

now i will admit, there is one more that I want.. but i think i'm going to hold off until summer ;) i guess it is true...they are addicting.. even with someone like me who is scared to death of getting her doctor shots!

okay exciting news number two...
I received my acceptance letter from my school and then got through two phone interviews and got accepted into American Intercontinental University in London!! for the Summer 09 semester!!

i'm SO SO SO excited. The semester is from June 5th until July 11th. Which I think it just long enough to really live there and experience it, without feeling like it's tooo long. it should be an amazing time...
although i've heard it's a bit difficult for a vegan diet.. but i'm not too i'm sure i'll be okay! :)
If anyone has been to London or has any recommendations or tips or anything, definitely let me know!!

Oh! And in other exciting very UPCOMING news.. i'm going to be seeing Chelsea Handler tomorrow night at the Tower Theatre!!
I'm obsessed with the show Chelsea Lately, and I think she's going to be hilarious. I hope she brings along chuey!

Have a wonderful weekend!!
I promise I'll post about delicious food next time ;)