Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I made these puppies for Christmas today. Vegan cinnamon buns!

I prepped everything yesterday, let them rise in the fridge overnight, then just popped them in the oven this morning. Yummmmm.

Recipe on VeganYumYum.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

shameless cross promotion

My tumblr. Not cooking related, just where I post crap I find online.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Why do all my quickie posts have to do with Oreos?

My first cake as the office monthly birthday cake person. Not amazing, but I think it's cute for an amateur. It's chocolate with cookies and cream filling.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A tale of two turkeys, or why I am the worst vegan ever.

Warning for vegans: raw turkey photos :( Totally not vegan friendly.

So I made 2 turkeys today. I made a real turkey and a tofurkey.

"But you are vegan" you say. "Why make a turkey?" I don't have an answer that covers every inch of the moral ground I stand on, so my easy answer is, well, it was free and I saw it as a challenge. But yeah, I'm not a good vegan at all.

I received a 14 pound turkey at work monday morning and it was frozen solid. It slowly thawed up until Thursday morning. In the days leading up to cooking day, I was going over different recipes and how to cook it. I mean, I've made chicken and pot roasts and stuff but a whole turkey was completely new to me. So come thanksgiving morning, I had an idea of what to do.

I woke up at about 8:30 am and tell husbinator to gut the turkey. Being a good husbinator, he does so. I think I would have been too grossed out. He later tells me about the blood that was in there and yeah, I would've freaked out.

So I step into the kitchen and there is my turkey.

I will admit, it made me sad. Poor turkey. I couldn't look at the neck hole because I kept thinking about how it used to have a head. It got easier as I got used to handling it, but there was sadness over the turkey. However, like the title says, I am the worst vegan ever, so eventually I was OK.

Sophie, however, was ecstatic. I think she thought the turkey was chicken. She loves chicken.

So Step one. Rub oil and salt and pepper all over the turkey. This required turning the turkey over which again, grossed me out. I then chopped up some onion, celery and garlic for the inside of the turkey. Then it was oven time.

It was going pretty well. At this point, I make some time to be superwife and I make my husband some eggs and bacon.

I always overcook eggs for some reason.

I was supposed to baste the turkey every 45 minutes with it's own juices, so I did that. About the 2nd basting, I thought, "what am I supposed to do with all those extra leftover veggies?"I doublecheck my recipe and they were supposed to go into the pan when I first put it into the oven.

Damn it.

So the next basting, in they went.

It looks like a real grown up turkey, right? So the next basting, it was time for a special step.

I wrapped the sucker in bacon.

Oh did I forget to mention I was making a bacon wrapped turkey recipe? Silly me. I must have forgotten that detail.

Back into the oven it went for an extra 30 minutes. In the mean time, it was finally time for turkey #2, aka the tofurkey.

Tofurkey's have a much less dramatic presentation than real turkeys. A lot of people ask me what they look like. Well, mystery solved! Here is a tofurkey in the packaging:

Kind of like a football without the pointy ends or something. They're good though. They also come with stuffing on the inside that we don't have to worry about, and that's kind of nice.

So to add flavor to a tofurkey, you need a baste. The box has 2 recipes on the box, but I use a combination of the two. My baste contains orange juice, soy sauce, garlic, olive oil and a bit of ginger.

It's yummy. Here is my tofurkey basted:

I know. It doesn't take your breath away. But for a veggie, it is totally yummy.

So into the oven it went. Tofurkeys get baked covered at 350 for 1 hr and 15 minutes. Then it gets basted again and cooks for an extra 10 minutes uncovered.

So how did the turkeys come out?

Bacon covered turkey:

And my tofurkey dinner:

Happy Thanksgiving!

(btw, if you want to see the recipe for the bacon turkey, click here)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Daiya cheese vegan lasagna and vegan cheesy pasta

Warning: This blog is not safe for people who don't like delicious food that may look like vomit.

Yes, I know. You are tired of hearing about the magic of Daiya vegan cheese. Unless you are vegan yourself, in that case you might be singing Daiya's praises along with me.

So my latest attempt, on Jess' suggestion was lasagna. Usually lasagna has beef and ricotta cheese and stuff (mmmm ricotta, I miss you.) No vegan ricotta out there that I know of, and I'm not really interested in an almond tofu mixture, so I improvised. I used the following:

1/2 lb of italian Daiya, divided
1 package of tofutti Sour Supreme or another vegan sour cream
1 package of tofutti Better than Cream Cheese
1 cup of frozen spinach, prepared
1/4 c margarine

1 jar tomato sauce (i used a basil marinara)
no bake lasagna noodles

Save 1/2 of the Daiya and mix the rest of the ingredients. I used my stand mixer for this, until it was all creamed together.

I then layered the sauce, noodles, mix, and the rest of the daiya. Bake according to your pasta's instructions.

Um. It was interesting results.

I probably should have had more layers. Was it pretty? No. Not really. That dinner was just a bowl of delicious cheese mixture with intermittent noodle pieces throughout.

The cheese was really goooooood though. SO I decided to try again, just with cooked noodles. So next time around, I made the mix, I cooked a pound of noodles (I think they were fuscilli noodles) and I mixed the drained noodles, cheese and tomato sauce. I topped it off with sprinkled daiya and baked at 350 for 30 minutes.

The results:

Hot vegan cheesy pasta deliciousness.

So that's it for this blog. Hopefully my melted over lasagna didn't make you vomit.

Stay tuned for upcoming special features:A Vegan Thanksgiving and Eating through Las Vegas with special guests, Jess and Adam! They're not vegan so there should be meaty food porn as well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Freezing tofu, and making orange peel (style) tofu


Did you cringe? If you did, I am not surprised. I love it though. I hear people say it's flavorless and spongy, and that's true, that is part of the charm. You can use it I all kinds of stuff, and it just takes on the flavors whatever you cook it in.

One of my favorite dishes is Orange Peel Tofu from Pick Up Stix, a takeout chinese place. I was craving some the other day but I no longer live superclose to one and didn't feel like driving out of my way to get it, so I figured I could just make it.

Well you can't make Orange (style) tofu without tofu. Duh. Lucky for me, I keep tofu in the freezer for just such an occasion.

Oh yeah, I should tell you, tofu changes color when you freeze it It magically changes back when you thaw it. Appetizing, right? Yeah, I know. You can let it thaw in the fridge or do what I do and run it under hot water in the sink until it comes out of the packaging. Put your partially frozen tofu in a pot of simmering water or broth. I just chuck a boullion cube in the water. The nice thing about frozen tofu is that it absorbs more as it cooks than unfrozen.

After it's thawed and simmering away, you can cut it into cubes.

See? It's normal colored again.

While that's going on, you should make some rice. Because you are super busy (or lazy), use a rice cooker.

After some simmering in broth a while, your tofu can stop swimming. Heat up a skillet with some olive oil and sautee the suckers.

Yummy right? Now you can add some sauce. I used this recipe for Orange Style Tofu, mostly because I'm lazy and it was the easiest looking one I could find. It was pretty tasty though. I also threw in some water chestnuts because that's what they do at Pick Up Stix.

Wanna see?

I gotta say, I like it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Roasting pumpkins and pumpkin bread

Halloween week has been so busy! Aside from having to make some accessories for my Halloween costume (I was a Merlotte's Waitress a la True Blood), I had some baking to do. A coworker of mine has her birthday on Halloween (as well as my lovely non-local friend Kikiface , for whom I would totally make a cake if she comes down in December) I did my usual cake balls with orange candy and halloween themed sprinkles and wrappers. Sadly I did not photograph it though. I did make my awesome pumpkin bread though.

Now, I've made this a few times with canned pumpkin and I just don't like it as much that way. Occasionally I will find a hard crunchy bit in my bread and I can only blame the pumpkin for that, since it never happens when I roast my own pumpkins. So that's what I do, even though it turns my bread into a 2 day process. It's worth it, I think.

Roasting pumpkins is really easy. So the first thing you do is buy some sugar pumpkins, I think they also call them pie pumpkins. They're the smaller ones, like 6ish inches in diameter. All you do is slice them in half, remove the seeds, strings, and stem, (I usually dig a spoon under it and pop it off), cover in foil in a pan and bake for an hour or so at 375. Once that's done, let them cool, then scoop the flesh and mash it with a potato masher. Finally, put the mashy stuff into a colander lined in coffee filters or cheesecloth, let it drain in the fridge overnight. I usually put a clean plate with something heavy on top to help it drain more liquid. After all that is done, you have some fresh pumpkin puree that is way better than canned.

So I used my lovely pumpkin puree to make my favorite pumpkin bread recipe. I don't make it often enough, because of the obvious lack of pumpkins year round, but I am always super happy when I do.


It's so spicy and yummy and cinnamony and good. If you can catch some pumpkins before they go out of style, you should definitely try it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


You may have noticed the lack of updates with pictures of food. There is a reason for that. My food muse is hibernating. I mean, obviously I've been eating but I haven't added anything new to the rotation. This is very sad for me. I was doing so well, then I fell into a hot dog/ stir fry / casserole / pasta slump.

So to you my dear readers, a request. Comment with a recipe/dish suggestion. Please keep in mind, I do not eat meat so even though I know baby back ribs and steaks are delicious, it will not be very helpful to me (although I know husbinator would approve.)

In the meantime, to hold you over, here is a picture of a cake I made for a co workers birthday. Devils food, with chocolate-chocolate chip frosting (choc frosting with tiny chocolate chips in it), drizzled in chocolate. Not vegan, but I heard it was delicious. Not bad for a store bought mix and frosting.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yay Daiya cheese, Boo Morningstar Farms.

This blog outlines a happy and a sad.


It doesn't take much to make me happy. It's the little things sometimes. Coffee? Happy. Mexican candy? Happy. Yesterday's happy came in the form of a yummy grilled cheese sandwich and a mug of tomato soup. Reason # 358 I love Daiya cheese. It reunites me with the true love of my life, grilled cheese sandwiches. Not to mentions it's gotten very popular in the vegan world, so it is now available at the Mother's Market near my house (walking distance actually) AND it's affordable! YAY! I didn't take pictures, but it was a simple meal. I didn't even make the soup it was a can of Campbells.


I recently learned that Morningstar Farms, maker of a wide range of veggie and vegan options, has decided to put egg and milk in many of their formerly vegan products. Not I already preferred the Boca brand for my veggie patties, but where this really affects me is their veggie crumbles aka veggie ground beef. It was good for tacos, sloppy joes, cheeseburger casserole, stuffed peppers, etc. I just bought a bag last week before I heard about the change, so when I was told about this, I checked my bag and yup, milk and eggs. So now I have a $5 bag of unusable veggie beef in my freezer (I didn't keep the receipt). They didn't even put "all new recipe!" on their ingredients or anything like that. The rats. Luckily there's other brand I can buy, but I preferred this brand.

So I guess it's a trade off. Hello grilled cheese. Goodbye Morningstar Farms.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The amazing burrito story, or a boring day with me. With lots of pictures.

In this case, amazing = boring. Amazing also means picture heavy.

My lovely friend Jess recently posted a blog about an average day in her life in West Virginia. I find things like this interesting. Perhaps that is why I watch so much TLC. I like to see how others live, even if they are crazy stage moms or little people or whatever. Anyway, I decided last Saturday would be picture blog day. If you have been paying attention to my other blogs, you know what Saturday is: grocery day. My favorite day of the week, believe it or not. I like shopping, even if it is for food. I like knowing the house is stocked. It makes me feel spoiled. Maybe that's why I also like paying bills. I do not like HAVING bills, but I like paying them, knowing that I don't have to worry about it for a whole other month. I'd pay all my bills in one day if I could.

Anyway, for everyone in Southern California, please bear with me. I have friends in WV and Canada and stuff, so I took lots of pictures of things we've seen 1000x for their benefit :) Yes, I love them THAT much.

Saturday starts off like any other Saturday. I wake up around 9 ish. I look at my phone. I try my damndest to stay awake.

It never works. Bonus points if you can name everything on my husbands nightstand. And by nightstand, I mean the crate Sophie sleeps in.

Time to get out of bed. Rupert does not approve.

Sophie is enthusiastic about the day.

I step into my messy living room and already want to dive into bed again.

One of these days, I will have matching couches. And an entertainment center.

I can't jump back into bed though. It's grocery day. I have a list and everything!

That's my menu up there at the top. The TJ's are the stuff I get at Trader Joes.

So off husbinator and I go into the real world. It's a cool Autumn day in Southern California.

And my chariot awaits.

Yes, that is my toaster. Every reputable nerd has one. It hasn't been washed in about a year.

First stop: Big Lots!

I buy my coffee here because the brand I like is only $5 here. It's like $8 in the grocery store. Screw that, yo. I live cheap stuff. While browsing the shelves, I did see a box of 100 calorie dog treats. I regret not taking a picture. WHY? I did not realize so many dogs were on Jenny Craig. What's next, low carb wet food?

We do have a detour on our trip. Husbinator is brewing beer with my awesome cousin, and today was bottling day. So off we go to Oshea's for some bottles.

Neat little place. Lots of equipment and kits and stuff. Too bad beer brewing takes up so much space.

Mission accomplished.

At this point, we are hungry. Husbinator, being the awesome man he is, obliges my whim for some yummy vegan food. So we head for the Irvine Spectrum.

And head for Veggie Grill for some amazing vegan noms.

I cannot express how much I love their food. Carnivores even like it (well, ok, they tolerate it, but much better than other veggie stuff). I chose a Southwestern Chick'n Sandwich with Sweet Potato fries and a root beer. Heaven on a plate.

That little cup? Vegan chipotle ranch dip. I could drink it by the gallon.

Properly stuffed, we continued on our way to grocery shop. It was a light grocery day, only 2 stores.

First was Albertsons. Albertsons is boring. I forgot to take pictures, it was so boring. You didn't miss much though.

Next was Trader Joes.

Can I point out the stupid BMW that parked crooked? I swear, people with money do not know how to park. It's like when I go to South Coast Plaza and the parking lot is pure chaos. Why bother painting lines?

Anyway, if you don't live near a Trader Joes, I feel sad for you. Where do you get your veggie chicken, your soycutash, your kettle corn, your awesome salsa, your potstickers, your curry, or your beer bread mix? And no tiki themes and cartoon characters? That's just sad.

Note to Adam Culver: I don't know if you can tell, but there's Superman sign in the back corner that says "Not even kryptonite can foil our plans to bring you the tastiest produce." I thought it was silly.

At this point I feel like a weirdo for taking a picture in a Trader Joes. Time to go home.

I get home and remember "oh yeah, my kitchen is a mess too."

Told you I am a disaster in domestication.

So what's a girl to do? I start beans for dinner. Burritos tonight, with avocado cucumber lime salad.

Say hello, beans.

Like my big pot? It was my mom's I wonder if we will all get lead poisoning one day.

And while the beans are cooking, I clean my kitchen.

Yay! Btw, underneath that white towel on the counter, there is half a loaf of beer bread that's supposed to be croutons by now. I think it's too far gone now, so it shall reside in my trash bag soon :( Point is, that's not a random white towel, it was there for a purpose damn it.

Rupert and London celebrate the clean kitchen with a kiss.

Did I mention London has a mohawk?

Clean kitchen. Beans simmering. Dinner is a few hours away. What to do now?

Easy choice.

Make a soy iced latte with the coffee I bought at Big Lots.

Settle down with the kids.

And play a video game.

Time goes by. OK, a couple hours go by. The moment we have all been waiting for is here: dinner time!

My beans are ready! Rejoice. Way better than canned.

Time to make my cucumber lime avocado salad. It's exactly what it sounds like. Lettuce, avocado chunks and cucumber with lime squeezed on it. At this moment, I have a big sad. Out of THREE avocados, only 1 is good :( The others have big black gross stuff in them.

This is my only avocado. Out of THREE stupid avocados.

Not very fabulous at ALL.

So, plan B. Use avocados for burritos. Make salad a boring salad with vegan dressing. Not as amazing, but whatever. Shred some carrots, slice some cukes, and we are back on.

FINALLY! Dinner! Wanna see?

Yay! A lovely beans, rice, (daiya) cheddar, avocado, and sour cream burrito with a side salad.

And that my friends is my amazing aka boring burrito story. Or another boring day in my life. In my opinion, boring is very very good most of the time.