So I haven’t posted much in the last week; I’ve been dealing with some personal issues. However, today is Halloween and the last day of Vegan MOFO so I know I have to post something.
First, I have officially been vegan for a full month now. It’s been amazing! I’m so happy I made the switch. I’ve found my digestion issues have disappeared and much to my surprise my face cleared up. I never believed that kind of thing would happen, but it did.
Second, blogging for the month was a challenge. Blogging and doing the whole webpage thing is harder than I thought. I’m going to take a quick break from the blog and then get it looking better and keep posting fun vegan things in the future. I’ll be back next year!
So now on to the Halloween fun. I made pumpkin pie brownies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. It’s a fun recipe and it didn’t require much creativity from me, which is sometimes a good thing.
Today’s theme is kid-style food/meals. One of the foods that screams childhood to me is the classic PB&J. I still love a good PB&J. Today it takes a dessert form.
I used Isa’s Recipe for Peanut Butter Blondies available here: http://www.isachandra.com/2010/09/peanut-butter-blondies/
Once I put them in the pan I warmed 1/2 a cup of strawberry jam up in the microwave for 30 seconds and then spread it over the blondies before baking.
So, I’m going to spend the first paragraph (or 2 of this post talking about my best friend. Mya is my bestie, she’s been in my life for 4 years and she has made everything so much brighter. We love to hang out, go hiking, and check out the local breweries together. Mya is super loving and super adorable.
Mya is 5 and she’ll be 6 in January. She’s an Airedale terrier and a rescue. My mom was fostering her and I fell in love with her silly attitude,so I adopted her. She’s not a picky eater. Mya will eat just about anything if you let her. She loves stealing tomatoes off the bush in the summer. Instead of getting too fancy and creating my own dog treats for her to inhale, I followed a recipe.
I made the minty fresh dog treats out of Vegan Food Gifts. Mya loves them and so does my Mom’s dog, Pinot. I over-floured the counter a bit when making them, but i don’t think the dogs care.
Today’s theme is fancy food. I’ve been struggling with fall allergies recently and cooking fancy food has not been my priority. However, I did go to a local coffee shop that has the best “fancy coffee” in town, Camino.
I love coffee; I usually drink it black and I like it strong. Even though I love coffee for coffee, sometimes a drink loaded with flavored syrup, sugar, and almond milk is a treat worth having. Camino is nice because they clearly mark their vegan flavor syrups, they have interesting drinks, and sometimes they have vegan sandwiches or goodies.
I got one of their seasonal drinks, iced apple pie. It was apple cider, ginger ale, and some pie spice, garnished with a cinnamon stick. Not too bad for a fancy (non-coffee) treat.
Today we are supposed to cook with a grain that is new to us. Instead of a grain, I’m using Ramen, which is made with grains. A while ago, my mom bought me a large package of Ramen at Costco. I never went through the ramen phase in college and I was left clueless about cooking with ramen.
I love a good peanut sauce, so it seemed like my best option for working with unknown noodles.
2 Blocks Ramen, cooked according to package directions.
- 2 Teaspoons Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1/2 Onion Choppped
- 1 Small Bell Pepper Chopped
- 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 2 Teaspoons Fresh Ginger Minced
- 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
- 1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Siracha
- 2 Tablespoons Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Cup Frozen Mixed Veggies
Heat a small sauce pan on medium high heat. Saute onion and pepper in oil until onions are slightly browned. Add garlic and ginger, saute another minute or so. Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, siracha, and pepper flakes. Stir until combined. Add in veggies and heat until veggies are warm.
Today’s prompt is to cook something with 5 ingredients or less. I decided to cook 40 Clove Chickpeas and Broccoli from Appetite for Reduction. I’ve written about the cookbook before, it’s a favorite.
The 40 clove dish isn’t the most flavorful, but it is one of my most cooked meals. It’s so easy, you throw the stuff in a pan and cook it. What could get easier than that? The meal came in handy while I was a student because I could write papers while it cooked. It comes in handy when I’m not a student so I can clean, or play with my dog, or just relax for a bit.
And since I didn’t have any lemons to zest the meal actually comes in with 5 ingredients (not counting:pepper and oil/cooking spray).
It’s chocolate cupcake day! This is a holiday I can totally get behind. I decided to celebrate with chocolate earl grey cupcakes. I first had this flavor combination at Black Mountain Chocolate. I wasn’t feeling my best one day when my mom and I strolled in. I looked at their drink menu and saw that they had a drink of earl grey steeped in their signature dark drinking chocolate. I had to try it (made with almond milk, of course). It was so good and it’s a flavor combination I’ve been looking for an excuse to work with ever since.
I used the Chloestess cupcakes from Chloe’s Kitchen instead of coffee or water I used cold Earl Grey tea.
Earl Grey Icing
- 1/2 Stick Vegetable Shortening
- 1 1/2 Cups Icing Sugar (maybe a bit more for texture)
- 4 Tablespoons Strong Brewed Earl Grey (may need more)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Mix everything with a hand mixer until you get the right texture for icing.
- 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
- 1/3 Cup Almond Milk
- 3 Tablespoons Margarine
Boil milk and add chocolate chips and margarine. Stir until everything melts and there are no chunks of chocolate. Place into fridge or freezer for an hour. The mixture should still be a liquid.
Assemble Cupcakes: Once cupcakes are out of the oven and have cooled completely poke a small hole in each one with your finger. Attach a large star or round tip to an icing bag and pipe earl grey icing into each cupcake. Wipe any extra icing off the top.
Dip the tops of the cupcakes in ganache and spin a bit so the tops of the cupcakes are covered. Chill in refrigerator until ganache sets. Enjoy!