Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pasta in Fresh Basil Green Sauce

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Avocado "cream" sauce is not a new concept to vegan cuisine. I bet somewhere hidden in a deep cave waiting out the millenniums are paintings of vegan stick men eating avocado cream sauce. I've seen Green Sauce used to substitute Alfredo sauce or in potato salad but I kinda like to think of Green Sauce as being it's own thing. It's an cruelty-free living institution... at least in my mind. Sharing this recipe with you all is kinda a big deal for me to be honest. It would be like The Colonel (or whatever robot they have at YUM! brands now) posting the secret list of 11 herbs and spices they have squirreled away in Louisville. But yesterday I had a friend tell me he's been vegan for 20 years because of my help and if sharing these things helps people go or stay vegan - I can do that. I love animals.

I can't remember the first time I had what I call Green Sauce but I do remember in like the 90s* having it at a restaurant once where it was called 'Faux Moray 'and thinking "Green Sauce is freaking amazing stuff. What can't Green Sauce do?" I mean in a world where everything just seems to be harder than it should be, here is this totally vegan sauce that is super easy to make and is so delicious it'll make you do this when you eat it.

This video was such a hit at Ol' Fort Shannon. We make this noise sometimes while we eat and then giggle like kids. Kittens are cute.

We tossed some Torfurky Italian sausage in the oil to give it a bit more flavor and because it's delicious.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

These are the Mini Chocolate-Covered Coconut Doughnuts you're looking for.

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We roasted our coconut but I think they would be just as good with raw coconut.

Please forgive me boring you with my 'I survived the NYC Earthquake of 2011' story, but I think that I might have learned something about myself that day. And don't worry, this isn't a story about surviving a traumatic event as much as a story that gives me a chance to laugh at myself.

There I was, typing away on the sofa. Our beloved Agatha was under the sofa, amateur kitten spelunking. Never heard of it? Oh, that's where your little buddy crawls around upside down on the lining of sofa - tearing it to shreds and growling at dust bunnies. It looks fun. Never tried it myself. Then I started to feel like there were 30 cats under the sofa. The screen on my laptop seemed to be swaying. My mind tried to figure out why I felt seasick, and then it hit me. I hadn't eaten breakfast or lunch... hadn't even finished my coffee that day. So like a good New Yorker, I began neurotically googling symptoms for low blood sugar, because I had this tiny fear I was going to pass out. I mean, what would happen if I passed out? Would the cats sit on me to keep me warm like they do when I'm sick... or take this opportunity to go after the catnip stash? Then I spotted a tweet about an Earthquake near DC. Yay! We're saved! Back to work!

Now the moral of this little tale is this, my friends - eat breakfast*! We just got a new mini doughnut pan and we've already started to tackle the doughnut section of our cookbook. Everyone should get one of these mini pans. They're like adorable little doll house donut pans. These doughnuts are faster to make than you think. With a little planning, you might be able to make these before work one day.

Now remember, these are mini cake doughnuts so they're heavier than raised doughnuts - if you want something like that, we have a Vegan Beignets recipe that makes me swoon. But let's not get off-topic. These are the doughnuts you were looking for.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : The Impossibly Easy Vegan Macaroni & Cheese Pie

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*Read the comment section for updates concerning this recipe*

Not that long ago there was this flood of Mac & Cheese recipes that hit the internet. There was impressive pizzas, ambitious deep fried nuggety things and I seem to remember one that was on a stick. I'm willing to admit that last one might have been a dream I had once. It was marvelous because it seemed like around the world there were all these amateur food scientists working away in kitchen laboratories with boiling posts of pasta and vats of faux cheese*. All striving to recreate the ultimate American classic. Muahahahaa.

Ironically Betty has a bunch of recipes from circa 1970 that did that in a remarkable way. I mean of course she did. What doesn't that lady do? Now you might remember like a year and some change ago we took a stab** at  veganizing Betty's Cheeseburger Pie. It was one of the very first recipes where we really closed our eyes and just fell into Betty's arms like some fraking co-workers on a team building retreat. This recipe is a take on that little gem that is actually pretty amazing. I'm pretty sure that for some of you loyal lurkers, public followers and vegan Betty-heads, this was the kind of recipe you were looking forward to when we decided to take on the challenge of veganizing Betty's Big Red. So I hope you guys give this a recipe a chance. I think next time we make this I might add some Bac-os*** and broccoli florets because this recipe is really good but I think with a little extra is could be super awesomepants. I'm not sure if awesomepants are better than awesomesauce. Sometimes I just type things and make myself laugh.

Are you ready to be awesomepants? (ones you can dance in and make romance in - again sometimes I just type)

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Anti-Kobayashi Maru Contest

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No not this Maru... Silly.
So the other night I was tweeting with John McDevitt from The Laziest Vegans in the World & Vegan Omaha about Star Trek... and it got me thinking about the Star Trek reboot and how James T. Kirk found a way to beat the infamous Kobayashi Maru.

Now if you're cool enough to not know what that is... it's a test given at Starfleet Academy to all potential captains. It's the basic 'No Win Situation'* featuring Klingons, their Neutral Zone and a doomed civilian vessel. Nobody likes a no-win situation--so it got me thinking about how to create a Everybody Wins Contest!

It also seems like a great time to do it because we have to celebrate our Facebook page hitting 7,000 followers (GASP) and our new Meet The Shannons T-shirts! It's like Blogger Law. So we're putting together a gift pack that will include 1 Meet The Shannon T-Shirt of your choice, 1 Free Method Product (yes the cruelty-free & environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies) and a bunch of other cool stuff. Now if you're wondering if our gift packs are awesome... check out this blog post by The Radioactive Vegan one of our past winners**.

Also check out the beautiful Bianca Phillips (YES from Vegan Crunk) with her winnings from our VegNews contest!

And the lovely Italia Millan, an activist all-star from Detroit, in her winnings from our Herbivore Clothing Company Contest!

So yeah, this mystery prize pack is going to be worth winning especially when you hear how easy it is to win. All you have to do is post a link to an adorable cat or kitten video in the comment section below and NEXT Wednesday Aug. 24th at 9pm EST Dan and I will randomly choose ONE winner and ONE runner-up to win a special 2nd place prize! YES! 2 Winners!

I like to think that we're all going to be winners though, because after this over there will be a list here of some pretty cute internets here that we all can enjoy. It's actually kinda ridiculous how excited I am for this.

Remember in order to win - you have to be a follower of Meet The Shannons - So we have your contact info. To become a follower - Just click on the "Follow" box in the right hand column. So start your search engines and let's get all crazy cute!

* Now if you're a half-full type, you might actually think of this as being the ultimate 'thinking outside the box' situation.

** This prize won't be exactly the same as that one... but it hopefully will be equally awesome if not better!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Diablo Beef-less Lentil Chili Mac

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Every food blogger has been there. You make this kick ass casserole-ish dish, a dish that you have a responsibility to share with the world and it's pretty much as photogenic as the monster in Cloverfield. It can be hard to see in photos what makes this casseroley dish special and different than all the other casseroley dishes in the universe of the casseroles and casserole wanna-bes. See if you're the kind of eater that loved our 3 Alarm Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger then you will love this casserole. It's all "beefy" and "cheesy" while sparing those poor cows. It also has that "smokey" and "salty" bacon flavor that makes hipsters and the hipsteresque crave it like Gollum and that evil ring without harming any little piggies. And then on top of all that - it's also spicy. The Chipotle peppers make a nice, deep, rich, smokey, warm spicy that will make you glad you made some Limeade to go with it. You remembered the Limeade right?

 OK - Devil Casseroley Dish, prepare to be made and not in a Goodfellas way...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lemon Pepper Farro with Vegetables

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People ask us all the time what we eat when we're not enjoying Tuscan Lemon Cakes and Betty's Bacon Cheeseburger Hash... well, we go back to our roots. After you post something like S'more Pocket Pies, it only seems right that the next post should feature one of those healthy one pot wonders we all love. Just an easy, fast, guilt-free and delicious dish that you can have warm or chilled for lunch or dinner. These are the classic dishes that vegans have been eating since the days before tofu could be found at your local grocery store and maybe that's why we take them for granted. This dish in particular has one of my favorite grains in it : Farro.

Now in Italy, the term Farro is used to describe a few different grains like spelt and emmer and has been around forever or at least since the first food writer started talking about what they had for dinner last night. So it's a little hard to say really if what we are eating today is the same "farro" that was feed to The Roman Legion and talked up in The Bible but it is undeniable this grain is probably one of the most nutritious things you can eat.  Supposedly farro has twice the fiber and protein than more common wheat and is a great source of iron and antioxidants.

Yeah, it's pretty much the elusive rock star of grains and here's a recipe that will give you an excuse to eat lots and lots of it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Masala Spiced Donut Bites

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There is a time and place for every sad story. Since it's Monday, I won't break your heart with the story of how we missed yet another BBQ this weekend because of a kitchen emergency, or give you nightmares telling you about the corn fritter from Hell that did this to me... only on the top of my foot. I hadn't realized that corn fritters could become molten lava, but they can. I also won't bore you to death talking about how the ceiling in one of our rooms caved in from the rain. What a big huge annoying yawn. Yeah. Instead I'm going to tell you about an odd little donut miracle that we stumbled across while flipping through The Betty Site.

If you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you know since we moved to NYC we've been eating a lot of curry. To quote my handsome husband: "I am now more curry than man." I mean Thai, Indian, Chinese, Jamaican... you name a curry, and we've enjoyed it. So you can imagine what happened in The Shannon Homestead when I stumbled across donut "holes"/bites made in mini muffin pans and spiced with light, sweet & warm curry spice! I'm pretty sure something like this happened.

But that wasn't the only awesome thing to happen recently. Here are but a few!
There was more but I feel like I've kept you from the donut bites long enough...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Vegan S'more Pocket Pies

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S'More Pocket Pies with Chocolate Chip Crust
It's National S'mores Day and you're here for the eats. So I won't keep you...

But I will add one thing : In my head I've been calling these Brooklyn Style S'mores... there's not a ton of campfires around here. 

In a world full of uncertainty - there are a few things you can count on :

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#1 : You're looking for other droids.

#2 : Nobody parties like a nerd.
You can get these fabulous glasses at ThinkGeek.

#3 : Kitties gotta Kitten.

#4 : If you've had 3 hours of sleep, the theme song from the opening credits of Star Trek - Enterprise will seem so inspirational and touching that it will bring tears to your eyes.

#5 : It's National S'mores day! Expect a recipe for S'more Pies later TODAY!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Mini Tempeh Potstickers with Tamari & Sesame Dipping Sauce

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The original Betty potstickers used pork and had a different filling; our version is kinder to the little oinkers. Cute little intelligent pigs who want nothing more than to just chill out in some grass or mud if it's hot out--or maybe swim around in The Bahamas. I mean I don't actually speak for pigs or anything - they unfortunately don't have elected representation at the moment - but I'm pretty confident when I say I'm sure they would rather be doing pretty much anything than being potstickers.

You might also start looking through this recipe and think "Wow, that's a lot of steps. What can I skip over to make this go faster?" Sorry to have to be the one to break this to you, but you have to follow all the steps. There are no shortcuts to Mordor, or potstickers. I'm not trying to be mean, but all the steps are pretty key. It should make you feel better to know they actually go very quickly. But that thought might lead you to another : "Hmmm. It is a lot of steps... is this worth it?" To that question I only have one thing to say to that lazy negative voice that would deny you tempeh postickers. "Hell yes! Now go boil some water."

I should warn you though, this recipe makes a lot. It would be perfect for a party or potluck - especially since you serve them at room temperature or chilled and aren't terribly expensive for how cool they are. So basically this recipe makes a ton (not literally) of cheap but delicious vegan food. Yeah. It's that good.

Are you ready to wok?

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Dark Chocolate Apricot Cookies

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So the other night Dan and I were talking about progressive American presidents. There's one president in particular who in our opinion was the best one this country has ever had: Franklin D. Roosevelt. He's the guy who faced a crumbling economic system, housing and unemployment disasters, and a world war. He also created numerous programs that not only built and improved many of the roads and bridges we still drive on, parks we visit, and railroads that bring us food, but also created groundbreaking programs to support the elderly and the poor. He also gave great speeches. I mean, real make-your-heart-beat-faster, proud-to-be-American things that bring tears to your eyes and make a lump rise in your throat. This is part of one of our favorites:
We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.
Now, because we are who we are, this conversation gradually slipped into something beyond a political conversation. See, Dan does a great FDR voice. I mean really spot on. If you not familiar with what that sounds, like click the link for the quote above*. Now, just for fun, imagine that voice saying your favorite movie quote. Here are two that have been Shannon-tested and are pretty much a new level of hilarious/inspiring when FDRed :
  • Right now they gotta do what's right for them, 'cause it's their time. Their time, up there. Down here it's our time. It's our time down here. That's all over the second we ride up Troy's bucket.
  • Ray, when someone asks you if you are a god, you say "Yes"!
It's Friday night, and if you're looking for something to make this evening a little special, why not try speaking like FDR all night? I think you might be surprised how encouraged and patriotic those around you will become. Let's practice:
  • We will have a pitcher of (insert the name of your favorite beer here) and the largest soy cheese pizza you have or we will have nothing. A side of fries would be welcome as well.
Oh and we made these cookies and they're freaking amazing! They combine a buttery cookie, sweet fruit and dark chocolate. Dare I say it? They are awesome! (Did you read that in the FDR voice? You want to make cookies now right? See - it's like magic.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pasta con Fiori di Zucca Ripieni Vegetariani (Italian Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Pasta)

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I grew up eating these bright yellow blossoms* Italian-style - filled like a ravioli and deep fried with a healthy (as in huge) helping of pasta. Ours is vegan, of course, so we replaced the traditional ricotta with a Lemon & Garlic Pesto-ish Tofu filling. I really think the bright, savory flavors really compliment the fresh blossoms, but you can also use the Kalamata Olive Pesto recipe, or the Vegan Ricotta recipe we used in our Manicotti recipe last December. We ate ours with Whole Wheat Spaghetti tossed in a Summer Sauce, some red wine, and a helping of True Blood - Season 4. (Was that a gasp I heard around the internet from all you True Blood DVD watchers?)

Yeah, my anniversary present this year was HBO & Showtime. Dan knows the way to my heart is paved with vampires, mobsters, vigilante serial killers, the sordid back story behind one of the more corrupt Italian legacies in history, and of course fantasy clan wars. Isn't it kind of marvelous when you meet that person that just gets you?

And what could be more romantic than feeding the one you love this classic Italian delicacy? Besides Vampires - obviously.

A Scene from A Marriage - Part I

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Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Scene 1 : A New York Subway Stop. 2 Shannons wait for the train home. 

Shannon A : I think I really want to see the new Transformers movie.

Shannon B : You got all excited about the first one and fell asleep. You didn't even see the second one. You don't even know how the first one ends.

Shannon A : I know but this one has robots...

Shannon B : (cutting off Shannon A) They all have robots. They're transforming robots. That's the movie.

Shannon A : Yes! I want to see the robots transform and then shoot other robots. While those robots transform and drive around. You know you want to see it too. You're just mad that I feel asleep and you had to watch the first one but this time it will be different. There are robots ON THE MOON!

Shannon B : Naa -

Shannon A : (interrupting Shannon B) ON THE MOON!

Shannon B : Noa -

Shannon A : ON. THE. MOON. Robots. Moon.

Shannon B : (Marge Simpson grumble here)
End Scene. 

Note : There is so much hope in this post. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Lemon Pesto Crescent Rolls

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This one could have been rolled better, but you can't see the filling in the prettier ones.
So I keep writing and rewriting this post. I have so much to share! In one I vented about my soul-crushing disappointment in the Democrats; and when I say vent, I mean lost my freaking mind. There was another one about my frustration with my job and about how freaking hot it's been lately. I considered instead taking a more positive route and typing your face off* about how I was flattered by our nomination for a VegNews Veggie Award this year that I got kinda choked up. Especially considering the fact we're up against some really awesome blogs that have been around forever and have huge followings... well, it's pretty amazing! Like a vegan food blog miracle! Thank you Baby Pizza! If you haven't voted for us - please do!

We've also been tweaking things on here a bit here and there. I finally found a reliable email subscription service. So you can get Meet The Shannons sent right to your inbox now! The subscription box is in the right hand column. It's OK to get really excited about that.

But really, that's not why you're here. Let's talk Pesto Crescent Rolls instead. The buttery, flaky, garlicy crescent rolls that I had for breakfast with a cup of coffee and some Nyan Cat to wake me up. Yeah, I know Nyan Cat is so April 2011 but I have to ask... Aren't we all just a little April 2011?**

I will share that I plan to eat these all day with my salad or soup for lunch. I personally love a good lemony pesto. I mean, do you remember when we made those vegan Red Lobster Garlic Cheezy Biscuits? These rolls aren't as easy as those little buddies, but they're just as good. And in the end, that's what really matters. I included one of Betty's "Cheats" in case you want a short cut.

Let's roll!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Attack of The Ridiculously Awful Wedding Album! Warning : Never has whismy made you so sad...

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Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

I have to apologize for the delay posting this. If you haven't noticed we've had some technical problems lately with photos. So without further ado : The so-awful-it's-awesome director's cut wedding album that features the worst pics from our shenanigan-packed photo shoot. Although I'm worried that since this post is so late, your imagination has created ridiculous situations that put these to shame. If you want to be able to see the looks on our friend's faces - which are kinda amazing - click here.

I started to caption the photos but really they speak for themselves. If you are looking for a less-traumatizing write-up of our cruelty-free wedding, you can check out the write up in Offbeat Bride. Special congratulations goes out to Shaun and Aliza-Marie Johnston who had their own completely vegan wedding this past weekend! Good luck you crazy kids!

ALSO - We've been added to VegNew's 2011 Veggie Award Nominations! A huge thank you goes out to everyone who voted or is going to vote for us and wrote us in and all the above! I'm not going to lie... it's been a tough summer for me, and just being nominated is really great. But it would mean a lot to me if you guys voted for us too! So if you haven't voted yet for Meet The Shannons, please do!