Monday, February 28, 2011

Special Edition : Fat Tuesday Fried Pickles & The Homemade Vegan Mardi Gras

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Please consider this an instant Shannons Classic.
Some people don't think of Virginia as being part of "The South". I think most of those people have either never been here, or if they have, haven't been too far outside of DC. I lived in Georgia for something like 3 years, and when I moved to Norfolk I thought I'd have to give up good Southern vegan food. I mean when I lived in Atlanta, Soul Veg was on my way home from work, and was a common haunt. But one of my first weekends in Virginia, I went to lunch with a few of the PETA campaigners and had my very first basket of fried pickles and some pretty sweet VA fried chickette (which was vegan at the time). This was a big food moment in my life.

Now, I've lived in NYC, and grew up knowing what a good pickle is. I love pickles. All kinds of pickles are my friends, but fried pickles are something special. The shared love of fried pickles is one of those first memories Dan and I ever had. So making these was more than just fun for us... it was like a tiny little second honeymoon in our kitchen. We went to New Orleans for our Honeymoon, and we're two Northern kids who love Southern food. I could bore you all day telling you how special this was for us, but we're working with a deadline here. Tomorrow is the infamous Fat Tuesday. People all over the world will be doing this and this. We're super married, so we're going to have our own little Homemade Vegan Mardi Gras, and start it all off with these babies. The other day we posted Vegan Shrimp Gumbo and listed some of our favorite Cajun and Creole recipes so you can have your own too. But in case you missed 'em - here they are:
OK - Enough of this chatter... let's git 'er done*&**. If this is your first time having fried pickles, you're in for a real treat... I hope you're ready to make a new favorite food memory!

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Vegan Whole Wheat Banana & Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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So I know what you're thinking right now. You're wondering why we don't own these. To be honest - I wonder that all the time. I mean we just got married a little over a year ago. You'd think we would have registered for them but we didn't. You'd think we would have bought them for each other for Christmas - like some poorly written sitcom where we end up with 2 sets of Star Wars pancake molds and the canned laughter rolls. Well, we wanted to makes sure to get this recipe posted for the weekend and there just never seemed a right time to swing by the mall to get them. To be honest, we generally don't go to malls a lot so maybe there were several opportunities and we just weren't paying attention or really sure what they looked like.

It's hard to say but with all the snow being dumped across America, we felt it was our patriotic duty to post this recipe before the weekend. This way all you snowed in vegans can make your own fancy brunches at home this Sunday in your warm PJs and slippers. If you're looking for tips to staying warm. I recommend what Dan has named The Burrito Approach. This is where you pull the thickest comforter from your bed and wrap it around you - actually more like a giant crepe so your legs and face show and go about your day. I use this quite often and have never gotten frostbitten or slipped into a hypothermia induced coma. Consider it tested and approved.

If you find yourself looking for more Breakfast ideas to go with these delicious and super easy pancakes like say a fancy sweet butter or maybe a vegan Denver Omelet ... Click Here. Hope we can help.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Winter Vegetable Stew

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The first thing I said when I took a bite of this stew was "OH! These beans melt in your mouth like butter!"

Yeah I really said that. Sometimes I say weird things but that doesn't mean it wasn't completely true. This stew might be ugly. I mean might is being kind. This is some ugly soup. But just like our Inner Beauty Patty Melt, this soup has a great personality that makes up for it. It has so much rich, unique and a kinda diverse flavor. Oh and of course it has parsnips! I think this might be our first Betty recipe with parsnips. It's always fun to kinda mix it up a little but with those vegetables and going with seasonal produce is a great way to keep it fresh - literally.

I know right now we're all ready for summer but before we pull out the ice cream makers and plug in those AC units - we should take a second and remember in a lot of places right now - It is freezing! This stew is perfect with some sourdough bread and a mug of almond chai and of course to share with friends because this recipe makes a lot... like lunch for a week a lot.

This stew is also extremely easy to make. So we had time to update our Nerdery Page and start putting The Meet The Shannons Family Album together. Over the past year we've been getting a lot of photos from readers who have made a Meet The Shannons recipe. So we're putting together an album that will live on our Family Tree Page. We're launching on March 1st - So if you have a photo that you haven't sent in yet please email it soon with your name and tell use what you made to

So here's your to do list :
1. Send in Photos
2. Explore Your Inner Nerd
3. Eat a lot of stew!
OK - Go! Chop - Chop!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : The Old School Twice Baked Potatoes

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In college, we used to eat brunch every Sunday (or basically whenever) at this kinda rundown diner. The short cut there was this random road through the woods but it was kinda off the highway so all the logging trucks could stop by there on their way to and from the Olympic Mountains. They were pretty famous for their Potato Boats. What is a Potato Boat you ask? Well my friends, Potato Boats are huge twice baked potatoes with various "works".  I mean they are obviously not organic - I mean these guys were like Cadillacs. OK - maybe they are more like the size of a shoe but that's still pretty big. They were the perfect hangover cure and pretty much one of my favorite food memories from my years in Olympia, WA

Everyone loved Potato Boats. Who wouldn't love Potato Boats?

When we hit this recipe, I keep thinking about those long lost boats and how much we all love twice baked potatoes now matter how big or small they are. This recipe is the Betty Classic but who knows maybe if you guys like it - I'll recreate some of those old boats. Let me know what you think.

Before we start doing some double baking - I wanted to show a little love for Girlie Girl Army and 2 Girlie Girls in particular. Kathryn Hostettler recently interviewed us for her The Best Vegan Thing I Ever Ate series on GGA and I have to admit we were beyond flattered but also we loved her fun and original questions. Especially coming up with our guest list for our dream dinner party (we went the time-space continuum not a liability route). And of course Chloe Jo Davis who has always been very supportive of our little project!

OK - Let's make some boats!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Easy Vegan Shrimp Gumbo

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I have always loved Creole and Cajun food. I have spent huge portions of my life dreaming up ways to veganize old school Louisiana favorites like Beighnets, Po'Boys, Hush Puppies, Hoppin' John, Red Beans and Rice and Jambalaya. Hell - we even deep fried a Tofurky. So I guess I don't need to rave about how excited I was to make Betty's Shrimp Gumbo. Here's the thing...

Have you ever been making something and you get to a step in the recipe that makes you pause. Everything in you says - This recipe is perfect the way it is. If I do this - will it really be better? That moment when your heart says it's time to stop but you can't help but continue. There were 2 moments in this recipe where I wish I had the ability to turn back time :
  • I wish I had used May Wah's ridiculously yet awesomely named Shrimp Balls instead of their Large Vegan Prawns. The Shrimp Balls are just firmer and have more flavor. ( Is anyone else laughing right now?)
  • I wish I had added 1/2 Cup of vegetable broth or tomato sauce or even some diced tomatoes rather than the tomato paste. Yes Gumbo can be tomato-y and more people apparently like it tomato-y than spicy and roux-y. It lost a lot of kick when I added the tomato paste and became more of a sweeter tomato sauce than the spicy chowder with rice dish I personally love. But if you're not sure what you like or maybe are not the kind of person who orders the 5 pepper dishes at Thai restaurants - a medium salsa type - I suggest adding the tomato paste a little at a time till you like the flavor and thickness. 
Enough chatter - Let's start making this dish that is still so good it will make you smack your mama*... I mean Betty always brings it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Whole Wheat Cheesy Pesto Biscuits (Crackers)

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So last night it occurred to me that I might be watching too much Star Trek when on the drive home from dinner I started a sentence by saying "Well during The Klingon Civil Wars...".

Yeah I did that but in my defense I also baked these adorable vegan Cheesy Pesto Biscuits/Crackers for Dan to eat with the soup he brings to work for lunch. This recipe makes around 20 of these little fellows, are pretty easy and are tasty enough to make even my most ridiculous tangents seem charming... Hopefully.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : The Vegan Meat Lover's Pizza Casserole

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We made ours into personal mini-casseroles.
It's St.Valentine's Day! A day when we're all suppose to show a little love. Everywhere you look - there is chocolate, candy and sugary invaders. Not that that's a bad thing but my Dan isn't really that into "sweets" so really any super powered chocolate heaven explosion would be more for me than for him and I think we've all dated that person. You know the one. The one who (perhaps innocently) enjoys your giving nature in a relationship a little too much and somewhere along the way the relationship becomes a one man or woman show. I think we should all agree this year that we shouldn't be those people or date them. Like a Valentine's Day Resolution. I mean Dan already took a week off work making me food and keeping you all updated with our culinary adventures. He took care of me when I was sick and even watched a lot of Star Trek. I mean a lot. Even after all that... there are still rumors of a present. GASP! I'm not sure what I did to deserve him. Maybe it is Karma from all those years of being vegan. Who knows? Let's not question it too much.

After Dan's crazy week in the kitchen I think he deserves a vegan vamped up version of Betty's Cheesy Pizza Casserole. Don't you? A clever combination of baked rigatoni, pizza flavors and mock meat... I know what my man likes.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Devil's Food Cupcakes with Assorted Frostings

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Valentine’s Day is all about one thing: effort. Despite all the television ads telling you to “show her she’s worth it” or whatever by buying her some expensive piece of jewelry (and seriously, who does this? Who spends a couple grand on a necklace? Jay-Z?), in the end, showing someone you truly care them is all about elbow grease. “Baby, I give enough of a shit about you to have re-created every Han/Leia romance scene from all three movies as individual paper mache dioramas. I even plucked the cats for realistic Ewok fur for the closing tableau of Jedi, and melted down all the doorknobs in our apartment to make a clockwork music box to pluck out the Ewok victory song. There’s no way to turn it off, though. I love you!” If you spend that much time on something that’s just going to get thrown away the next time you move… then it really must be love.

Luckily the Valentine’s Day cupcake recipes we have for you below will really fit the bill. They are delicious; but they’re also a bit of work. Now, you don’t HAVE to make four different kinds of frosting like we did—it’ll take a lot less effort if you just make one. But where’s the fun in that?

Annie’s vision for this post was basically a set of various mini-cupcake flavors done up like a chocolate box. You’ll see how each of the cupcakes looks kind of similar, so you don’t really know what the flavor is going to be when you bite into it—just like a good box of vegan chocolates. Part of the fun is in the surprise. Romance, or any interpersonal relationship really, can be like that as well—essentially we all look pretty much the same on the outside, but you’ve got to take a risk and really bite into someone to find out their real flavor. And who knows? You might find that they end up being your new favorite thing on earth. I know that’s how I felt when I took a metaphorical bite out of the extremely attractive young woman who sat next to me at a desk in PETA’s campaigns department about seven years ago. She was like the one random peanut butter cup they throw into a box of chocolates, except it doesn’t look like a peanut butter cup, and you bite into it and you’re like “YES! Peanut butter cup!” Or in this case, “YES! Ideal life partner!” I guess what I’m trying to say here is that sometimes, life is like a box of… wait a minute GODDAMMIT. Disregard.

On to the recipes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Italian Chicken-Lentil Soup

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As some of you may have noticed, Annie hasn’t been around this week. She's not feeling well, so you’re all stuck with me, like when Mom goes out of town for the weekend and Dad’s in charge. Yes, we can stay up late and watch the Three Stooges marathon—but we can’t order pizza every night, because we have to do this blog thing. I hope you understand.

Since she can’t do much other than sit on the couch and feel lousy, Annie has spent most of this week watching the first three seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation on DVD. I don’t think Gene Roddenberry himself ever watched this much Star Trek in one stretch. As the nerdier among you may already know, in Star Trek, the Federation takes pride in the fact that they “no longer enslave animals for food purposes”—they use their food replicators to create “something as fresh and tasty as meat” that doesn’t actually come from animals. So if you follow that thought to it's logical conclusion... obviously what I’m trying to say here is that Annie and I are from the future. There’s no time to explain. Come with us if you want to live!

But in all seriousness, or as close to it as I can muster, I think a slow cooker is about the closest we have to a Trek-esque food replicator in this day and age. Yeah, you still have to do all that primitive prep work, and you still have to wait a few hours like some twenty-first century savage—but once that’s all done, you just open the pot, and bam—food. And if you follow this recipe, you’ll have something as fresh and tasty as meat, without having to enslave animals for food purposes. Make it so!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : California Black Bean Burgers, Oven-Fried Potato Wedges, and Chocolate Milkshake

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Damn, do I love a good burger. It never fails: Annie and I will go to a new nice restaurant somewhere, with all this new, fancy food on the menu that we’ve never tried, and invariably I’ll be drawn to the veggie burger. They could serve, like, mock pegasus in a gummyberry reduction sauce, and I’d still be all “Well, the burger looks pretty good…”

I fully recognize that this is entirely a result of by adolescent brain having been warped by McDonald’s ads. And yet, I’m still willing to go with it. I mean, it’s not like I’m ACTUALLY going to McDonald’s—in fact, I spend a good chunk of my day thinking of ways to make trouble for them. I’m just scratching the part of my brain that enjoys basking in pretend Americana. Take a good burger, pair it up some French fries (seriously, Chiquita, you’re cute and all, but we all know that fries are the world’s most perfect food), add a chocolate milkshake, and poof: you’re 8 years old all over again, sitting in a booth with your mom and dad and 1.5 siblings, having just finished up your paper route and planning to ride your bike out to the cornfield after dinner for a game of twilight stickball, your grandfather’s catchers’ mitt dangling from your handlebars, your talking dog running loyally behind you in the street. Or something like that.

Now, I’m gonna be real with you about this recipe. It falls precisely in the category of “what meat-eaters think vegans want to eat.” The consistency of the burgers is pretty mushy—we made a couple of tweaks to Betty’s recipe to firm them up a bit, and I think we got them pretty good, but they’re still on the soft side. The flavor is really nice though, and with some fresh veggies on top, this makes for a pretty nice sandwich—if a bit messy.

The Betty Crocker Project : Southwestern Sausages with Spicy Corn

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I really just don’t like real-time strategy games; they’re way too hectic for me. “Oh no! His axemen are attacking my fort! Better go click on these archers and send them over. Oh wait crap, those are the cavalry. Are cavalry strong against axemen? I forget. Oh crap they’re not, they’re getting slaughtered. Better send them into the fort to heal. Ack, I had the archers selected; now they’re not firing on the axemen anymore. What happened to those cavalry? Oh great, they’re dead.” No thanks.

The thing is, I THINK that I like RTS games. Or maybe I just want to like them. I don’t know. But despite years of playing these games and not really enjoying any of them (Command & Conquer, Warcraft, Starcraft, Age of Empires, etc etc etc) every time some flashy new one comes out I think “Ooh, that game looks good!”

This weekend, there was a King Arthur game on sale for like 75% off on Steam. I LOVE King Arthur. Had this old bound illustrated storybook when I was a kid and everything. “I’ll have to try this game out,” I thought to myself. “Oh, look though, it’s an RTS. But it’s such a good deal… I’ll just try it.” Two hours later, I had a pile of dead cavalry and was thoroughly annoyed with myself for yet again falling into the trap of forgetting my own personal preferences.

I do the opposite of this with fresh salsa. Annie always gets it at Trader Joes, and I always think to myself “Hmm, I don’t know, I don’t really like fresh salsa.” And then we get home at eat it, and I’m always like “Oh damn, this is really good! Note to self for next time: you like fresh salsa.” And then the next time we’re at Trader Joes, and Annie puts it in the cart, I go “Hmm, I don’t know…” And the circle is complete.

Today we’re going to hopefully hammer this message into my feeble little brain once and for all, by making our own fresh salsa. It’ll be the perfect condiment for our sausages, prepared with Betty’s delicious Southwestern Rub. Future self, if you’re reading this post, please listen to me: you really like fresh salsa. And you don’t like real-time strategy games. Really.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Special Edition: Vegans on Valentine's Day

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Happy. Healthy. Life.'s Kathy Patalsky's LOVE-ly Chocolate Pom Raspberry Pudding!
Only one week left till Valentine's day. If you're like me, you had your presents and plans worked out about a month ago. You've also prepared yourself for those plans not working out and have plans B and C in place. But I've learned that many of you out there actually aren't like me, and are still searching for that perfect something to make sure their partners feel loved, or maybe just to show a little "self-love" this year. That's why we asked some of the coolest vegans we know to share their romantic plans! Hopefully it might help you find the inspiration you're looking for. So without further ado... here are some Vegans on Valentine's Day!

The Laziest Vegans in the World's John McDevitt and his Post Punk Kitchen & Cookbook Rockstar partner Isa Moskowitz have been pretty busy lately making Omaha, Nebraska into a vegan Mecca. So this year, their plans include kicking back and catching up on their favorite cooking shows, especially Chopped. For dinner, John's going to make Tofu Balls and Pasta, which is an old Moskowitz family recipe. According to John, any vegan can make these Tofu Balls, even a lazy one! We're excited to try them out. After all that excitement, they'll listen to some music and play some board games. To quote John : "We live large like senior citizens!" Sounds like they're living the dream to us!

Photo Credit : Robin Robertson
I think we all must have at least one of Robin Robertson's numerous cookbooks. I know personally we love her Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook. That woman knows her way around a mushroom! On her blog Vegan Planet, she's planning to do a "Hearts Afire" Valentine Menu--all heart-shaped spicy food. She's including: a Jalapeno-Studded Comfort Loaf made in a heart-shaped pan and topped with chipotle ketchup; heart-shaped spicy roasted vegetables; a heart-beet salad (with a spicy dressing); and for dessert, a special "Hearts Afire" Chocolate Cheesecake with Hot Red Pepper Jelly! She's also doing a special giveaway of her book, Vegan Fire and Spice on Tuesday Feb. 8th! Um- YAY! (PS- we love chipotle ketchup!)

Sara Sohn from the famous vegan marshmallow company Sweet & Sara is still debating what to do; but it if they dine out, it'll be Candle 79. In case you've never been, we agree with Sara that the food is perfection. This year, their V-Day dessert will be chocolate fondue using Sweet & Sara mallows. Should they stay in, the plan is totally simple but super delicious: chocolate dipped strawberries and a hand packed pint of Lula’s vegan ice cream with Soyatoo whip. They've been busy over at Sweet & Sara sending and giving out a bunch of Heart Mallows as gifts... Still looking for a gift? Plenty of ideas here!

Some of you know Kathy Patalsky from her blog Happy. Healthy. Life. or maybe you know her from her epic food porn site Finding Vegan. Either way we all know that when Kathy's involved, so is hardcore awesome vegan food. This year, Kathy will be making one of her favorite Valentine's Day dessert recipes: her LOVE-ly Chocolate Pom Raspberry Pudding! For dinner, Kathy and her husband have pre-V-Day weekend plans to dine at Dirt Candy in NYC. For chocolates, she's going to swing by Cocoa V and pick out a few amazing vegan truffles!

The always clever author of The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life Melisser Elliot is treating herself to a trip to the gorgeous city of Milan, Italy! Yes, this single gal is planning to getaway to partake in sights, read books in cafes, and eat granita! Her trip actually starts today. She plans on wandering across Italy and meeting up with vegan friends along the way. (Yes, we are dying of jealousy back here in cloudy old Virginia.) If you're looking for some cruelty-free beauty tips for your big night out, be sure and check out Cruelty-Free Face! She has tips ranging from products to check out to how to have long lasting lips... valuable information for a holiday that can involve a lot of kissing.

Photo Credit :
Over on the West Coast, has the inside track to everything vegan! Making us even more excited about the impeding move to LA, she tipped us off to a few restaurants offering vegan meals for Valentine's Day, and she's going to spend the romantic evening at our favorite one of all, Madeleine Bistro. They're offering an extravagant 7-course tasting menu, which will include pan roasted seitan, vegan fondue, and an array of chocolate desserts for $125 per person. Click here to see the menu. We've experienced Madeleine Bistro tasting menus before, and have never been disappointed! I highly suggest that everyone check this out.

Photo Credit : Sarah Posey
Not to brag, but when it comes to potlucks around here - PETA's Vegan College Cookbook author Marta Holmberg and I bring it! This girl can cook some mean Mexican food, and has the creative spark that makes a great cook. This year, Marta and her fiance' and PETA co-worker Scott Brewer are taking it easy. They're saving money for their wedding and moving to Los Angeles. So this year, they're skipping presents and just treating themselves to a romantic vegan dinner of Gardein Chicken Marsala and Tiramisu at La Bella's in Ghent.
In a town full of vegans like Norfolk, this has to be one of the best date night spots in the city... who knows, maybe we'll see them there!

Vegan Good Things author Leinana Two Moons is always a great source of adorable veganess! This year she's decided to cook her honey a V-Day menu at home. They usually go to Blossom for date nights, but this year she's mixing it up--though she is still planing a stop by Cocoa V for some of their chocolates! (Please note this the 2nd mention of these chocolates. I really must try them next time I'm in the city!)
Leinana was sweet enough to share her special menu with us :
  • Two-Hearts Salad (artichoke hearts & hearts of palm in salad with vinaigrette)
  • Pasta with Asparagus in Lemon Cream Sauce - recipe from Melisser Elliot of Urban Housewife (asparagus, because it's supposed to be an aphrodisiac!)
  • And for dessert, a raw strawberry cheesecake, because strawberries are also supposed to be good for the lovin'!
Besides the fact that it sounds like my dream salad, we think this menu sounds just lovely!

Photo Credit : Veg St. Louis
Allison Burgess, president of Match Vegan Meats, is finding herself torn between two pretty delicious date night plans. Her husband is not vegan (yet), but has fallen in love with a wonderful MATCH chicken enchilada dish at one of their favorite restaurants, Schlafley Bottleworks, in St.Louis. He's also falling for Match's new Beef Wellington with a Sherry Demi-Glace sauce that will be launching this spring. So either way - go out, stay home - they'll be celebrating vegan style! Apparently they have a lot of vegan opions on the menu of Schlafley Boottleworks. In the photo is their Hummus Appetizer plate featured on Veg St. Louis.

Stay tuned folks to hear more about what we have planned...

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Vegan New England "Clam" Chowder made with Oyster Mushrooms & Artichoke Hearts

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I recently discovered that my relationship with our cat Percy has developed to a point where he loves and trusts me enough to let me play air guitar on his tummy Bill & Ted style. I've been calling it Cat Guitar and it's awesome. You know what else is awesome? Vegan Clam Chowder!

We reused the classic vegan trick of using oyster mushrooms for clams - like we did when we veganized Betty's Linguine with Clams  in White Sauce & Rosemary Garlic Bread. But even though the "clams" are wonderful - the real star of this recipe is the artichokes and potatoes. The slight "fishy" flavor is really nice and reminds me of what I remember when I think of this wintery favorite. I must stress - that you will want some crackers or bread to get every last drop of this chowder. Yes - This is a clean your bowl situation.

Really - I could eat this chowder and play Cat Guitar all day... not at the same time. That seems dangerous.

If you don't have a cat to to strum - I recommend watching the long lost Galaxy Quest mockumentary "GalaxyQuest: 20th Anniversary The Journey Continues"... because it's also awesome!

Let's make some Chowda!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Cheesy Potato Skins

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Apparently the original owner of the Washington Redskins was a huge racist. I know SHOCKING.

Betty’s recipe for potato skins, which I’ll tell you how to make in a hot minute, is pretty much the perfect accompaniment to a football game [Ed. note: or Puppy Bowl]. And, lo! There just so happens to be a game this weekend. A big one, in fact. What fortuitous timing. But before we get to the food, allow me to digress onto one of my favorite rant topics, also pertaining to skins and football.

Here where Annie and I live in Virginia, the local team of note is the Washington Redskins. Yep, you read that right. That’s actually the name of the team. Can you honestly believe, in this day and age, that they still call the team “Washington” even though they actually play their home games in Landover, MARYLAND!?!? The mind reels! It’s also super racist.

Seriously, universe: there is a professional sports team named after a racial slur used against Native Americans as part of an ugly historical relationship that also includes, you know, genocide… and no one really seems to notice? Or care? What the hell is going on here? How is this OK? I swear, every time I hear an announcer say “…and the Redskins take the field against the Eagles today” my brain just goes “OMG YOU GUYS DID YOU HEAR WHAT HE JUST SAID? THAT’S SO RACIST!” But the rest of the world just seems to be like “boy, the Skins sure do suck this year.” Which, I mean, they do. But you what else sucks? Racial slurs.

There is not a single viable argument in defense of the team’s name. None. There isn’t even like a bullshit defense that everyone sorta knows doesn’t hold water, but agrees to just go with anyway because it’s easier than facing the truth (what I like to call the “Carnivore Defense”). Pretty much every Redskins fan I know will admit that yeah, the team’s name is racist. The closest thing to a “defense” I’ve encountered is “Yeah, I know, but what else are they gonna call them?” Excellent question. How about this: ANYTHING ELSE. In fact, to help out, I’m going to make a list of 15 other things that the Washington Redskins could be called other than the Washington Redskins, without stopping to think or brainstorm. I’m just going to type 15 things in a row. Go.
1. The Washington Drainage Authority
2. The Washington Bobcats
3. The Washington Polecats
4. The Washington Anythingcats
5. The Washington Washingtonians
6. The Washington Senators
7. The Washington Grays
8. The Washington Not The Redskins (I guess that doesn’t work)
9. The Washington Football Team
10. The Landover, Maryland Football Team
11. Annie Shannon
12. The Washington Hogs
13. The Washington Gridlock
14. The Washington Corruption
15. I Hate the Redskins (also doesn’t work)
See? At least one or two of those are totally usable. Ergo, there is no excuse. So help me out here. Annie and I are activists—that’s what we do. When we don’t like something, we do something. So let’s all do something together today. Please go this site and send a message to the Redskins management, asking them to change the team’s name to something less racist. Normally I would say “send a polite message,” but honestly, I’m not sure you really need to be polite to racists.

Oh right, potato skins. These tasty treats are a delicious snack that’ll satisfy any Super Bowl appetite, and go great with a goddammit I hate the fucking Redskins. Sorry, Annie, I tried.

Click Read More to get this great recipe... 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Easy Asian Beefless Noodle Bowl

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Today is Groundhog Day*, tomorrow is Chinese New Year and Valentine's day is right around the corner... so we're dealing with a lot right now. We decided to multitask and try to tie it all together. Did we succeed? Well... Today's recipe is super easy and is one of those special dishes that reheats well so you can enjoy it again and again. Which brings us to today's Vegan Valentine's Day suggestion :

Pack your sweetheart a special vegan lunch! Valentine's Day this year is on a Monday and that might make it a little hard to make this it an all-day love-fest. But you can make this dish in less than 20 minutes the night before or maybe that morning, pack it up , toss in something from The Pantheon of Baked Treats and a mini love letter and send a little love with your loved one that day... or even show a little love for yourself! I know I'll be saving some for myself. I adore noodles. I especially adore Asian noodle dishes. So really this is kinda a treat for me too.

So let's make some noodles!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : The Vegan Chicken Pot Pies

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There is a funny thing that happens on the first day of February. The Valentine's Day clock starts ticking... from the first day, you have literally 2 weeks (14 days) to come up with a wonderful way to show your nearest and dearest how much you love them. Now I'm not just talking about buying presents, because sometimes it's the little things that matter. And if you're like me, it's really the thought that counts more than anything.

Exhibit A: The Chicken-Free Pot Pie. This is one of the first dinners I made for Dan when we first moved into together, and it's remained one of his favorites. [Ed. note: my absolute favorite] Whenever I make this dinner, it takes us back to when we were still pretty new to this whole "being more than friends" thing, and had that new love rush*. Ever combine a little romantic nostalgia with a solid "love of your life" situation? It's pretty great. I recommend it. This recipe is our Chicken Pot Pie, with a take on Betty's Pie Crust Recipe that is the result of some experimenting, but I think this final recipe turned out kinda lovely.

But if you're not sold on baking your sweetheart a pot pie for Valentine's Day, we're going to try to post some suggestions between now and then to help you bring the shock and awe this year. This brings us to...

Exhibit B: Why send a dozen roses when you can send a dozen vegan cinnamon rolls? Over at Cinnaholic Vegan Bakery they're having a pretty sweet deal on shipping right now (no pun intended). If you buy a box of rolls for your loved one and choose an optional card for $5, they will match that $5 and a total of $10 goes to PETA. Click here for more info!

Click Read More to make the pot pies that convinced Dan to keep me... [Ed. note: there was never any doubt of that]