Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Frozen Coconut Cream Pie

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It's 798 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of chilled San Pellegrinos, it's sunny out and we're wearing sunglasses. Let's make some pie*!

Hit it. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : The Mexicali Beef-less Steak Dinner & Potlucking Stone Soup Style

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There is a lot going on here... 4 recipes in fact. Keep reading it will all make sense.
Growing up one of my very favorite stories was called Stone Soup. If you're not familiar, it's a very old European folk tale that goes something like this:

Two starving soldiers return home from a war and find themselves lost, with only a big soup pot and nothing to put in it. They finally find a town that looks prosperous, but is kinda sad. They go door to door begging for food, but because it's winter everyone is unwilling to share. So the soldiers go into the town square, fill the pot with water and toss in a large stone. They light the fire and then sit back and wait. Eventually one of the townspeople gets curious, wanders out, and asks what they're doing. The soldiers explain they are making 'Stone Soup' - a rare and delicious dish. They only wish they had a few carrots to help bring out the flavor. The townie is intrigued, and runs home to grab some carrots. On the way he stops by his friend's house and tells them about the soup. Curious, his friend wanders out to check it out. Then the soldiers say that the soup would be perfect with some potatoes. This townie offers them some potatoes. One by one the town comes out to check out the soup and then runs home to fetch a few turnips, onions, beans, some fennel, salt, and various other vegetables and seasonings. In the end they have this massive pot of delicious soup and a big party! Then they do the dance of joy!
While looking through Betty's Big Red, I often find myself wondering how to not just make something vegan, but how to make each dish something special. This recipe started out as Betty's Mexicali Round Steak, but with a little Stone Soup Strategy and a lot more vegetables, we made this into a Mexicali Feast!

When you read through the ingredients list, you'll notice it's a bit long, but this feast cooks quickly and will feed about 6-8. Just assign an ingredient to each of your friends when you invite them over, make sure you have a big enough soup pot and you have a party!

You ready to dance?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Spaghetti alla Carbonara

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So a funny thing happened the other day. We had been warned for years that a black cloud was rolling in that would shake the foundations of our relationship and destroy our marriage like a lighting bolt from above . I mean we even heard from some folks that the very nation we lived in would be sucked into the ocean this weekend. But a funny thing happened...

We woke up still married and in still love. We had plenty to eat and a roof over our heads. Kittens to pet and give treats. Life as we knew it did not end, or even change at all. There were no locusts at the door or frogs falling from the sky. The only thing of note that actually happened was that we woke up proud to be New Yorkers... and Italian.

To send internet thanks to two Italian gentlemen from the Empire State that did the right thing and played key roles in not legalizing bigotry*... We are posting this Italian classic Spaghetti Carbonara. Yeah, we're looking at you, Governor Andrew Cuomo and State Senator Mark Grisanti **.

Spaghetti Carbonara is one of those dishes that many of heard of, but no one really knows where it came from. I mean, there are some that claim it is a dish passed down from the Romans. But I feel like I can be honest with you... they say that about anything awesome in Italy. There are many who think it has something to do The Carbonari, a 19th century secret society that played a key role in unification of Italy. But really the first documentation of it was found around WWII. While the US occupied Italy, the troops sometimes traded their powdered eggs and bacon with the people. Many returning troops fell in love with Spaghetti. They brought their passion for this pasta with them and Spaghetti Carbonara hit menus everywhere.

OK la lezione di storia sopra! Mangiamo della pasta giĆ !

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

South American Corn & Quinoa Summer Stew

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Have I ever told you I can read minds*?

Right now, you're thinking a combination of 3 things:
  1. Summer Stew? I feel like I'm running through a sprinkler full of molten lava right now. Why would I eat stew?
  2. South American? That's pretty general. There are numerous cultures in South America. How authentic is this recipe?
  3. I read on Facebook someone broke into your house while you were home. WTF happened?
Let's begin with #1. This stew has lots of flavor, hearty vegetables, and very little fat or oil - so you can eat it at room temperature or even slightly chilled. Hence a delicious summer stew.

#2 : Yeah. Well, I was trying to find a chilled soup to make this week and kept stumbling across soups from South America that sounded delicious: like Canja de Galinha, which is a Portuguese/Brazilian soup made with chicken & lemon. Of course, ours would be vegan. We also had this package of Quinoa our buddy Pulin brought back from Peru that was begging for a special project. So I started collecting what I liked about all these soups and made this hybrid. I feel like I should be more humble here but I just can't. This soup is really lovely.

#3 : Yes. Someone broke into our home Monday afternoon while I was home. I locked him the bedroom and called the police. They came really quickly but the guy still got away through our bedroom window. Am I OK? Yeah. I mean there are some unpleasant dreams, but that's to be expected, right? We live in a really charming neighborhood with really nice people in it. I still want to love my home, so I'm focusing on that. I've also been thinking a lot about how scary it is to do bad things.

I mean, we've all done things we shouldn't have. Remember how fast your heart was beating and how badly you didn't want to get caught? I'm hoping that the sound of our bedroom door locking and me yelling that I was on the phone with the police was enough to scare this man into choosing other ways to spend a sunny afternoon.

Tomorrow I'll tell you more about what I did wrong in this situation, but let's get back to this freaking AMAZING stew! This stew is like the queen of all the other stews.

Long Live Summer Stew!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Cherry Cola BBQ Vegan Chicken Wings

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This recipe comes to us from a Betty Crocker Summertime email, not the book, but is still Betty gold. I admit the original recipe was vegan--but again, we meddled. I was humming this tune the whole time I was making this, and it reminded me of this episode of How I Met Your Mother when Barney made a "Get Psyched" Mix of classical hair metal that kicked ass. I started playing around with songs that were summery, campy, and sweet; just like this BBQ sauce, which is sweetened with cherry cola. This sauce is liquid bliss. It deserves it's own mix to get psyched too.

Now, most "Get Pysched" mixes include classic rock, GNR, Metallica, Lita Ford, power ballads, or 90s dance songs you hear at sporting events... but I think the "Get Pysched" genre can be much more than that. I also think that you have to really dig deep and look at your inner "uncool" self* to make one that'll move you to your bones. One that you might blush a little to admit makes you want to shake your ass like a fly girl. So that's why I made this list of songs that aren't on a lot of iPods out there, aren't "underground" or "hip", and I bet you've actually heard of. I think any of them would be a great inspiration or "starters" for a few different mixes**.
Are you pysched yet? Let's make some BBQ sauce!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Vegan Mocha Cream Pie

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Two posts in one day! GASP!

If you're furiously flipping through your copy of Betty's Big Red, I'll spare you the paper cuts. This started as French Silk pie, but a series of events fell into place and helped this pie come into it's own. First, I found chocolate vegan pie crusts that were marked half-off. They're made by Wholly Wholesome and are kinda wonderful. So pie crust switch - check. Then I started to make the cream filling, and it was so lovely and sweet. It felt like it needed a dark side... like how Wesley in Buffy was a pale shadow of the dreamboat Dark Wesley in Angel. So I went back to our Devil's Food Cake recipe and added a little coffee. Filling switch - check. We skipped the coconut whipped cream to keep it chocolate on chocolate. Pure super chocolate cocoa fantastical - check. We now we have a super easy and creamy and awesome pie that will make you swoon.

I hope you have someone around to fetch you those vapors...

Veni, Vidi, Vici! Just a few vegans hitting the town...

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I think we all remember the scene in Ghostbusters* when Dr. Peter Venkman announces his victory Julius-Ceasar-style with "We came, We saw, We kicked it's ass!" and the crowd went wild! Well, this weekend was kinda like that.

This weekend was all about conquering for The Shannons. I might be referring to the rather impressive brunch we had at V-Spot on Saturday before heading over to the Grand Army Greenmarket for some vegetables. Or maybe I'm talking about the epic game of the nerdtastic computer game Civilization Dan and I played off and on all weekend that involved not only conquering multiple barbarian cities but discovering a new world while enjoying falafels and cashew ice cream. I might be talking about those things... but I'm not.

I'm talking about having brunch at Foodswings in Brooklyn with Leinana Two Moons, the writer of one of my favorite blogs, Vegan Good Things, and her husband Anthony. I'm talking about Vegan Creamsicle shakes, chili dogs, punk fries, bacon ranch chickn sandwiches and The Infamous Vegan Heart Attack Burger! OK - I admit maybe Dan helped me take down the burger, but we're a team, so it still counts... right?

Afterwards, we finally got to check out the Vegan Pop-Up Shop at Pine Box Rock Shop. We probably should have planned it a bit better, because there were dreamy & kind treats everywhere and we were already pretty stuffed. I finally got to meet Barbara over at Gone Pie Bakery and chat about moving to the city and out of the city again, kitchen space, and about how you can loose an accent from Bensonhurst but you can't loose that intensity to your voice that makes people think you're super crazy. Que sera sera.You should check out the photos and links, because there was raw ice cream, truffles, soaps, hummus, jewelry... you name it. It was a compassionate shopper's dream mall.

All and all, a prefect weekend for The Shannon Brigade. Hopefully some of you will join us for the next Foodswings lunch on July 23rd. I have my eye on the personal pizza next... Oh, and if you're wondering where your pie recipe is for today, check back this afternoon. I think you'll like what you find.

* Best music video ever.

Friday, June 17, 2011

4 Reasons to Meet The Shannons for Lunch this Weekend!

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Breakfast Burrito with Home Fries
Vegan BBQ Chick Wing with Mac & Cheese
It's that time again! The Shannons are heading to Williamsburg for lunch and we'd love for you to join us! We're going to be at Foodswings in Brooklyn, NY  this Sunday June 19th at 1pm.

This time I plan to shamelessly take down The Vegan Heart Attack. So be prepared to see this force of nature take down a legend!

Afterwards we are heading over to Pine Box Rock Shop to check out their Vegan Pop-Up Store!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Chai Tea Cashew Ice Cream

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A while back, we welcomed our pizza stone to The Family Shannon. Today, I am very happy to announce another new arrival. Welcome, Ice Cream Maker! I hope you're ready for a busy summer... because we love ice cream.

Many people don't know this about me, but my uncle Wendall used to work for Baskin and Robbins. I'm not sure what his job title was, but basically he worked in marketing and invented ice cream flavors. All I really remember about him was that he was very kind, that he died when I was young (long before his wife), and wore ties with ice cream cones and sundaes on them. He also played some role in the original marketing of Tofutti, though I'm not really sure what. I'd like to think if he were still around today, he would read our blog and at least enjoy the creativity. I'd also like to think he would approve of what we did with the maiden run of our new ice cream maker.

Ever since we found Lula's Sweet Apothecary, we've been talking about making cashew ice cream. I think our first try at this clever frozen treat has been heavenly, as well as (kinda) healthy. It has all the warm flavor and spice of our almond Chai drink recipe, and compliments the flavor of the cashews rather than trying to hide it, sort of like a good friendship. It brings out the best in everyone.

We're dedicating this one to all our fallen homies who loved ice cream, but belonged to a generation that didn't get a chance to try the cashew version.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Caribbean Black Beans & Rice

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I have always been intrigued by papaya, but never actually bought one. I mean, they lounge around the grocery stores like odd alien rock stars that you can't really can't help but notice. It looks like a bewitching space fruit that an unlucky red-shirted Star Trek ensign would eat in careless curiosity. Yet, I've always wanted an excuse to get one, and thanks to Betty, here we are!

There are dozens of ways to make beans and rice in the Caribbean, and it's a become a classic dish. Now, some will say that rice isn't native to the Caribbean, and that it was brought over with Chinese workers once slavery was abolished, so it should be considered more of a Caribbean hybrid. I'm not Caribbean, and so it's not my place to say what should and shouldn't be included in this culture. But I can say that one of the things I find the most beautiful about Caribbean culture is that it combines African, Portuguese, Spanish and Native American Island cultures in a really beautiful way. Why draw a line and exclude Chinese imports? That's one of the beautiful things about food--you can travel the world and share your home at the same time through food. It's kinda magical really. I guess if you look at it like that you can see why those doomed Star Fleet Ensigns are always throwing caution to the wind.

I'm hoping this take on Betty's recipe does this classic dish justice. We added a lot, but I think the cilantro really brightens up the black beans and the jerk flavoring adds a unique warmth and spice. Not to mention this an excuse to experiment with papaya.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Rosewater Lemonade Sorbet

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Honestly more of a shaved ice but whatever - I adore it!
I can't decide if the toughest thing about this recipe is the waiting or the trying to get a photo before it melts in this heat*.

Betty's recipe is a classic lemonade sorbet (or shaved ice) but it's rose season in Brooklyn and their feathery little pink buds and enormous golden and crimson blooms are everywhere. It's hard not to be inspired to meddle. We also live down the street from some well-stocked Asian, Caribbean and Middle Eastern markets, so it was just a matter of time before we made some rosewater lemonade.

I have to admit that exploring the markets has been one of my favorite parts of moving to the city thus far, but we're about to enter into a new phase, folks. See, yesterday I got tickets on Living Social to The John Hughes film festival at the Symphony Space for $7 for 2 people per movie**. I'll give you all a moment to recovered from that collective excited gasp. Yes, I will be seeing Matthew Brodrick dance with Frauleins on the big screen and I plan to totally get my Molly Ringwald on this summer. More importantly, this will be happening:

Yes, this will be the summer that time forgot! Finally, I'm going to see some of my favorite movies on the big screen instead of at a slumber party and drink lots and lots of rosewater lemonade. I grew up drinking this summertime treat that uses a light floral flavor to dilute some of the tartness. But if that's not really your thing, you can always use Betty's lemonade recipe instead of the rosy one. I should tell you though, once you start making your own lemonade, you won't be able to go back to that corn syrupy stuff that is basically flat soda.

Consider yourself warned.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Restaurant Review: WildFlower

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For someone with just the tiiiiniest bit of ADD like myself, the concept of the pop-up restaurant seems like the best idea on the planet. You develop some exciting new recipes, cook them for people for a few days in a brand-new space, blow some minds, rock some worlds, and then move on to the next exciting new thing before you get bored (there may be one or two other steps involved in creating a pop-up restaurant that I left out). I kind of want everything I do to be a pop-up-whatever-it-is from now on. I might stop writing this review two paragraphs in. You’ll get the gist of it. I’ve got other projects to work on.

For serious chefs like Ayinde Powell, of course, a pop-up restaurant like WildFlower is a chance to experiment, to take risks, to try new things, and to give people a unique dining experience that they’ll never forget. Last week Annie likened it to being at an epic (sorry, but it’s appropriate here) concert, where the only people who will ever truly understand are the ones who shared that concert hall with you. Concert hall or, in my case, dormitory basement, where I saw At The Drive In open for the Get Up Kids at Conn College in like 1998. I had my concept of what punk rock could be completely altered, and my face rocked right the fuck off. I am excited to report that WildFlower—New York City’s very first vegan pop-up restaurant—resides squarely in that category.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer in The City

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Iced tea can save the world.
It's really hot in New York City right now. Pretty much the whole East Coast has been broiled into oblivion this week. A friend of mine in DC posted on Facebook that it was 89 degrees at 8 in the morning yesterday. GAH.

So yesterday, I decided that rather than try to wait this heat out, I was going to go with it like a car hitting black ice with no snow tires. Yes, I just went with the skid. That, my friends, is why we're tapping into the treasure chest of Betty's frozen treats I had scheduled for late July and August. There are two problems that go with frozen treats, though:
  1. You need freezer space and various other tools, contraptions and players to be named later.
  2. You have to be patient and just let things freeze.
So while we're waiting for our treats to become solid, I'm going to share with you some awesome things happening in the city this weekend and what we'll be eating. Shall we begin?

Sliders from the Vegan Street Food Inspired Tasting Menu Photo Credit :
Wildflower is happening this weekend and this weekend only! This is NYC's first vegan pop-up restaurant, and the latest project by green entrepreneur rock star and Chef Ayinde Howell of Not only has Ayinde created a remarkable and creative menu, but he's got a great team that includes some "helping hands" like Scott Winegard from the Brooklyn dinner club Nasturtium.

If you're like us, you probably have seen "pop-up" restaurants before on Top Chef and The Food Network and been completely bewitched. See, pop-ups don't just provide chefs an opportunity to showcase his/her talents, but they provide food lovers a chance to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience they can discuss with other food lovers in a style that has in the past been reserved for die-hard sports and music enthusiasts. I think we've all been there - when someone tells you about the time that the guy on this team pretended to be a the Statue of Liberty and faked out this other guy, or the time that Phish played this song at this place and someone did a thing*. Well, pop-ups by their nature bring that element of excitement to dining because they are only open a short time - like a weekend - and therefore can't help but create a shared event or moment. Am I getting too sentimental?

It's probably because I'm so excited that we finally get to go to one! Like I said before: Wildflower is the first vegan pop-up to hit NYC. Like any event, you have to get a ticket to attend and make your reservation, and you can do that by clicking here.

Photo Credit :
If you're still not sold - you should check out the menu. This is fine dining with that whimsical edge you can't help but fall in love with. We'll be there Sunday for the Mexican hot chocolate waffles and mimosas! Hope to see you there!

If you do miss it though, there are plenty of other things happening in the city this weekend - actually every weekend! The always lovely and clever Jasmin Singer, who you might remember from her completely wonderful guest blog post on here but more likely from her kick-ass activism and super cool podcast/blog Our Hen House, has gotten together with VegNewsTV to create this adorable and informative video about how to enjoy NYC on a budget!

I have to admit we've only done like half the things in this video thus far, but we're working our way through it slowly but surely. I can tell you this though - if you're visiting NYC, you want to do everything on this video! It features one of my all-time favorite vegan restaurants, Curly's Vegetarian Lunch, our new favorite summertime haunt Lula's Sweet Apothecary**, and the extremely cool Tenement museum. But I won't ruin the video for you. You should see it for yourself and take notes! We'll be back later with Rosewater Lemonade Sorbet.

* OK I should have consulted with my co-worker and die hard Phish head Mike before writing this so I'd have some proper nouns to replace 'thing' with. I don't know much about Phish except that fans can tell you what shirt the bassist was wearing when he played a song on a certain Sunday 10 years ago. Although I find it impressive, I remain 'Phish ignorant'.

** We're going to be posting photos from our adventures to both Curly's, Lula's, and other great NYC vegan hot spots on our Facebook Fan Page : Vegan Foods = Joy today. So check that out!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The 3 Alarm Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger

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There is a monster of a heat wave hitting NYC right now* which I have to admit is cramping our style a bit. There are all these great fruits and berries hanging out in our local farmer's markets and grocery stores that I want to bake into pies and various other treats but all my will to turn on that oven has been... well to be honest... punched in the face.

So it would seem ironic that we would post a burger that is "Hot" but these spicy burgers give you room to get creative and take less than 20 minutes to make. They also gave us a chance to combine a bunch of awesome vegan things we've finally been able to locate in our new home :
  • Gardein Beefless Burgers - If you haven't had these yet you need to try them! They have to be the best vegan burgers we've had in forever. Sorry Boca - but no one forced you to change your vegan burgers. We still love you Boca and plan on eating you regularly but really I think we are prepared to go on record that The Shannons love Gardein Beefless Burgers more than sunshine (especially right now).
  • Lightlife Smart Bacon - It's no secret we love a great fake bacon. We like to mix it up and use smokey tempeh sometimes but sometimes it's nice to have something really crispy and super smokey. That's when you want smart bacon.
  • Daiya Pepperjack Cheese - I don't think I need to tell you how awesome Daiya's vegan cheeses are but I feel like I should let you know as a friend that if you haven't tried the pepperjack yet... you're missing out.
  • Rick's Pick Hotties (spicy sriracha-habanero pickles) - We found these last weekend at the farmer's market and have fallen in love with them. I mean pickles made with sriracha. Here's some great news for you folks not in NYC - you can order them online!
About now, your elementary schooling has kicked in and you're saying "Um, that's only 2 alarms."

You are correct my learned friend. We decided to use sliced jalapenos for our 3rd alarm but really that is the beauty of this burger... you can add as many alarms as you want and make them whatever you want! Here are just a few suggestions for other alarms you might want to try :
  • Pepperoncinis
  • Spicy Kim-Chi
  • Any of the millions of Hot Sauces out there including the beloved Sriracha
  • Chipotle Peppers
  • Hot Salsa (obviously)
  • Wasabi
  • Smart Deli Pepperoni
  • Spicy Mustard
  • Jerk Sauce made with Red Scotch Bonnet Pepper
If you have any more suggestions - Please share! We'd love to hear about hour favorites.

So ask yourself... Are you ready see how many alarms you can handle?

* Seriously everyday the cats look at me and ask : "Mommy why did you bring us to this bad place? I'm melting." - with their little gestures of course - not vocally. I haven't been driven insane by the heat yet.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Adventures with Strawberries & Rhubarb

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Strawberry Rhubarb Spice Muffins
Once upon a time there was a girl* who had never eaten rhubarb. Over the years, several opportunities to bake with rhubarb presented themselves, but it never really appealed to her. Then one day she found herself in a position where she had to be open to new ideas... because Betty Crocker said so.
Last weekend, we had a perfect married weekend. When I say perfect, I mean super crazy mega-married weekend**. We got up early on Saturday, filled our travel mugs with coffee, and went to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. They're free 10am to noon every Saturday, and it's rose season. You don't have to love flowers to love this place, but if you do, it totally rocks. I strolled around for about an hour with my best friend and talked about the random things friends talk about when there are pretty things to look at. Then we walked over to the Grand Army Farmer's Market to load up on organic and locally grown everything.

The Situation.
Yes, that's where we got that gorgeous bread from yesterday's post. It's also where I found organic locally grown rhubarb and these huge irresistible baskets of organic strawberries from New Jersey. We bought too much because this was my first time baking with it, but I knew there were two recipes in Betty's Big Red that asked for this pretty pink celery looking stuff - so sometimes you just have to be brave and commit.

Now, like always, I did a little research before I committed to a big bag of rhubarb. You may already know these things about rhubarb, but in case you don't, I hope you find this helpful during your own rhubarb purchasing and baking missions:

  1. Rhubarb can be very tart, so Betty's recipes call for a lot of sugar to be added to offset that. I've tried to replace and decrease sugar where I can, but it was tough because Betty is pretty much always right. The earlier in the season you get the rhubarb, the sweeter it is and the less sugar you need. Since April appears to be prime Rhubarb Season in NY, we followed Betty directions for "older rhubarb" - hence the sugar.
  2. Rhubarb is a good source of Vitamin A. That's good for you.
  3. Strawberries can have a very subtle flavor that can be hard to capture in baking sometimes. Rhubarb compliments it so well, it really would be shame to not combine them. It not only makes your baked goods a bit healthier, but it makes the flavor more vivid too.
  4. Don't eat the leaves - I guess they're poison. I think this is a pretty important tip, even though most of the time when you go to buy it the leaves are removed. Poison is bad.
First thing we made was Strawberry-Rhubarb-Mint-Tea-Tarts and if you're wondering where the Tea Tart recipe is, well I should be honest and tell you, the crazy person in me wasn't satisfied with them. The crust was just a little too crumbly. We made a tiny tweak to a recipe we already love with our vegan chicken pot pie and used a different vegetable shortening, but apparently it made a big difference. I think this tart would have been perfect with the crust we used for the fresh berry & tea tart and so we're going to try that next. The other thing was that I wasn't sure how rhubarb cooked down. So my first 2 tarts were overflowing like Jane Mansfield in an evening gown***.

I just want to point out that if you ever find yourself getting a look like that from Sophia Loren - You must be doing something right.
It was a sad moment when I realized these little tarts, tasty as they were, weren't ready for the public. But the kitchen can be a funny place. Just when you want to give up and order a pizza, you remember there's a coffee cake recipe you still need to try. These muffins are our take on Betty's Rhubarb Coffeecake and are lovely little buddies to start the day with. They've also convinced me that I can take on rhubarb.

So enough chatter... to the rhubarb!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Egg-less Egg Salad

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Most of the year I enjoy soup for lunch. I actually look forward to it all morning. A nice bowl of soup with a slice of whatever whole wheat multi-seed bread I've stumbled across that weekend on the side is pretty much the highlight of my day. But it's too hot for soup. So today we're having a vegan classic : The Egg-less Egg Salad Sandwich!

We've had a lot of different Egg-less Egg Sandwiches over the years, some much better than others. It's an easy thing to mess up. But I think this salad has the right amount of kick from the creole seasoning and good flavor from the nutritional yeast and tahini. It makes a nice sandwich when you pair it with some whole wheat bread... they're like BFFS. Like I'm sure if they weren't food, they'd buy each other little broken heart lockets and talk about boys over soy mochas.

Here's a little song from Whole Wheat Bread to this Egg-less Egg Salad to enjoy while you make lunch!

Let's eat!

Friday, June 3, 2011

It's too hot in NYC to bake, so let's talk about what's cool.

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Earl Grey Iced Tea with Raspberries, Cherries and Fresh Basil - Sound Weird BUT So Good!

So we bought a bunch of stuff to bake a ton of pies* just in time for a heat wave to hit NYC and drive me out of the kitchen. For someone like me, who spends about 80% of her life trying to be the prefect temperature but feels weird abusing air conditioning this early in the summer, this has been tough for me because I love baking and cooking. I've been conflicted, but ultimately being vegan and making food is about fun for me. Cooking in the heat isn't fun. So this post is all about avoiding suffering this summer. Yes, there will be lots of pictures in this post, and lots of pies coming up soon.

I'm going to start with one of my favorite summer treats: Iced Tea! I know you're like, "iced tea isn't really a treat." But trust me... it can be! By using green tea or Earl Grey, you can add a new twist to this drink that's usually made with old-school black tea. You can toss in some frozen berries or sliced peaches, and experiment with fresh mint and basil leaves to add a sweet and fresh flavor your drink. We even got this cute little tray that makes fish-shaped ice cubes at IKEA for like a dollar to add a little fun. Before the summer is over though, we're investing in some spaceships. I love iced tea and couldn't make it through the day - let alone the summer - without it.

But we know what you really want... FROZEN TREATS!

The Mint Cookie & "Butterfinger" Vegan Shakes at Foodswings in Brooklyn - it's OK to GASP. We did.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Super Chocolate Vegan Hootenanny Continues! Episode IV : Vegan Mississippi Mud Pie Cake

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In my defense, it *is* called a mud pie... what'd you think it was going to look like?
Yesterday was apparently "Jerk Tuesday." I'd forgotten to mark my calendar, so you can imagine my surprise. It's like forgetting it's the Fourth of July and then spending the day surrounded by exploding things and patriotism--only instead of someone offering you a beer or inviting you to a BBQ, they're just a jerk.

Man, it was a long day. It was the kind of day that makes you understand why someone would start a Fight Club. But let's not focus on the those grumpy little black clouds... instead, let's talk chocolate.

To be more specific, let's talk about the ultimate chocolate dessert: vegan Mississippi Mud Pie Cake. Yeah, this little buddy lives up to the name and isn't the prettiest little baked good on the block. But this pie-cake has heart! This super rich and gooey yummy pie-cake is perfect with a scoop of vanilla soy or coconut ice cream and will help you forget - if only for a moment - why you hate your job or whoever it is that was being a rude jerkface monster.

You know what else was really helpful yesterday? This photo. I keep a copy of this photo on my desktop for tough days, and not for the reason you might think.

God Bless you Happy Wolverine & Stan Lee.
Yeah, this guy has been posted all over the internet and people have said some pretty mean things about him... but look at that smile in his face. This might be a photo of the best day of his life! No one can ever take this moment away from him. I want to be more like Happy Wolverine and focus on what makes me happy, and not those who want to steal my joy.

This is not a healthy recipe. This is not something that is designed to help you lose weight. It is just a compassionate version of chocolate awesome.