Friday, June 25, 2010

Let the War Begin.

Enough riff raff about plants, lets get down to the real nitty gritty - cupcakes! This blog ain't called a cupcake chronicle for nuthin'! So a ton of people have notified me of the so called "Cupcake Wars" on the Food Network and I just watched my first episode a few nights ago. Add this show to my True Blood addiction because i am obsessed. Evan and I have decided to embark on an incredible journey, which includes taking on the challenges of each Cupcake Wars episode by adding our own personal creativity and vegan spin. I will document this adventure extensively and this damn blog will actually start living up to its name.

Creme-filled Chocolate Orange Cupcake

Our first cupcake was not our own creation, but rather the recipe of 23-year-old chef Chloe Coscarelli. Above is a Creme-filled Chocolate Orange Cupcake - An orange chocolate cake with orange buttercream filling topped off with chocolate ganache. Warning - the cake batter turns out real thick, just add more almond milk and orange juice in even amounts until you achieve perfect cupcake batter consistency. Vegans, this will take you back to the days of eating those chocolate oranges, which were oh so good.

But as they say in Coscarelli's article - "When it comes to cupcakes, don't mess with a vegan."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Garfield Park Conservatory

Yesterday I went to the Garfield Park Conservatory because who wouldn't want to look at beautiful flowers and plants from around the world for free? It's one of the largest conservatories in the nation and they have works by Dale Chihuly - awesome Willy Wonka like orange and yellow discs in a small pond with coi fish. I'm also pretty sure that the conservatory copied my method of choosing plants with hellishly cute names.

Exhibit A - "Lollipop"

"Giant Sea Grape"

"Pony Tail Tree"

"Polka Dot Plant"

and a conservatory wouldn't be a conservatory without some "holiday cheer"

I strongly recommend visiting the Garfield Park Conservatory because they put a great amount of effort towards community outreach. If you don't care about community outreach like I do, maybe the labyrinth will appeal to you - how couldn't it?!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Green Thumbin' it UP

I grew up sitting in my backyard garden popping grape tomatoes in my mouth like nobody's business. I've never been too involved in gardening, but it's always been a part of my life since my mom has a real knack for it. I decided to learn more about gardening by beautifying our balcony with a series of random flowers. I got most of my plants from Fertile Gardens on Diversey, where I based a majority of my decision making on the name of the flower. I got plants with names, such as "ice cream" and "confetti," so pretty much anything that made a cute reference.

I also planted an herb garden with lemon basil, cilantro, dill, and peppermint. I'm really looking forward to putting fresh herbs in some cold salads :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Time Eats

I haven't been eating too regularly since I've moved to Chicago mostly because I haven't instituted a routine quite yet. I was sick of not eating enough good food and decided to cook up a storm of summer eats yesterday. I decided to use the ginormous bag of flour I bought the other day to make two loaves of basic white bread. I used a recipe out of "The Neal Yard Bakery Wholefood Cookbook," which has a really cute layout with a vintagey disposition. I thought that the bread would work perfectly with a mock chicken salad, which I made with frozen then thawed tofu, veganaise with grapeseed oil, honey dijon mustard, bread and butter pickles, red onion, dill, salt, and pepper. I also made some garlic hummus to eat with the chicken salad and bread. I thought I would finish the meal off with a berry mousse, which was made with frozen blueberries, fresh raspberries, sugar, silken tofu, and vanilla extract. After test running these recipes of mine, I've discovered that they are the perfect food for a picnic. I need to do one of those soon.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pizza Party!

Evan and I made the most fabulous vegan pizza EVER. I made the crust from a recipe out of Vegan with a Vengeance, while Evan topped it with yummy tomato sauce, green peppers, onions, olives, baby portabellas, mozzarella and cheddar daiya cheese, and the best part - a mix of arugula and basil. HOLY MACROL.