Sunday, January 30, 2011

Breakfast for Dessert!


I don't know why people get all riled up about breakfast for dinner when you can have it for dessert with my new English Breakfast Cupcake! I just bought a huge pack of English Breakfast tea from Trader Joes and thought I would experiment with some new ideas I have for cupcakes. A perfect blend of black tea and hints of citrus topped with a super fluffy icing made this experiment a success.

Lucky for you Chicagoans! My English Breakfast Cupcakes, along with some other unique creations - a Strawberry Patch Cake, Reeses cupcakes (nut free!), Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheeze Frosting, and Key Lime Pie! - will be on sale at Chicago's Vegan MeetUp at Veggie Bite this Saturday 1:00.

Show your support for local vegan businesses and my beginning baking business!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jim Henson is the Grandaddy of Hip

The only good thing about winter in Chicago is the boatload of free days at all of the museums. One of these being my favorite - the Museum of Science & Industry. I was fortunate enough to catch the Jim Henson exhibit, which featured some puppets from sesame street and the muppets and tons of his awesome sketches. Overall it was one of the happiest exhibits I've ever been to in a museum, and I learned that Jim Henson is seriously the grandaddy of hip.

This picture was my favorite part of the exhibit. It's little Jim Henson sitting in his front lawn in Mississippi performing as a snake charmer to a garden hose. He seriously looks like the best neighborhood friend anyone could ever have. I'm pretty sure he raised hell and every mother on the block thought he was a weirdo.

Here are some of my favorite sketches. It said not to take pictures, but you know I don't listen to that shit.



Friday, January 21, 2011

SCIENCE!





Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Apple Enchiladas

Tuesday was dinner over at the Great Northern. Aaron and I kicked into extreme cooking duo mode and created a mountain of black bean burgers and sweet potato fries. We cut the sweet potatoes into wedges, covered them in olive oil, salt, and curry powder, and then set the fire alarm off 20 times. While Aaron made the black bean burgers, I whipped up dessert - apple enchiladas - an unpatriotic twist on the apple pie!

The recipe came from "Hot Damn & Hell Yeah" and here's the recipe off the top of my head:

Sauce:
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
scant 1/2 c. earth balance
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix and bring to a boil. Let simmer for a few minutes to thicken.

Filling:
4 granny smith apples peeled, cored, and sliced
1/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
a few dashes nutmeg

Put filling in 6 flour tortilla shells. Put in little casserole dish, pour sauce over it, preheat oven to 350, bake for 20 minutes.

This thing seriously kicks apple pie in the booty.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

the grocery store is such a happy place






Sunday, January 16, 2011

P-p-p-p-potluck!

it..was..an..itty bitty teeny weeny lil' lil' ravioli!
i just made up that song.

This past saturday was one of Kenny's infamous monthly vegan potlucks. I've been living in Chicago since May and I was finally able to make it out to this one! The theme was "healthy" and let's face it folks, asking me to cook healthy is like asking the beach boys not to be hip. it just don't happen!

One perk about work is that we get to take home all of the CSA veggies that people don't get around to picking up. Thanks, rich Wicker Park dudes, for getting me local and organic produce for free! I got a ginormous butternut squash, which has been hogging the fridge for a couple weeks, so I thought I would use it to make Butternut Squash Ravioli! This turned out to be a big hit! Here's my recipe:

Dough:
If you find wonton wrappers, use those. Whole Foods was out. WTF.

2 3/4 c. flour
couple dashes of salt
a few dashes ground sage
2 egg replacers
2/3 c. water

mix dry ingredients, create a well and pour water in. STIR!
let this sit while you make the filling

Filling:
1 c. steamed butternut squash
minced fresh sage
1/2 c. mozzarella daiya
Tofu ricotti-
1/4 block extra firm tofu
1/2 t. each of dried parsley, oregano, basil, and thyme
about 1 1/2 t. salt
1 T. olive oil
sauteed garlic

Whirl all that ricotta shit in a food processor. Mash the butternut squash, add the tofu ricotta mix, daiya cheese, and fresh sage.

Roll out your dough hella thin, slap some filling in there, sandwich it together with a little water acting as glue, then press the edges down with a fork.

Boil water with some salt and olive oil to prevent sticking. Boil ravioli for 7-10 minutes.

Top it all off with some daiya and fresh sage.

Last step - go get 'em, tiger.


We made mini sweet potato pies at work today, which automatically made me have sweet potatoes on the brain all damn day. I was flipping through "The Dirty South Cookbook" and remember seeing a recipe for Sweet Potato Pudding. Thanks again to free CSA stuff, I had a boatload of sweet potatoes to use. My sweet lord. As cigarettes and alcohol have a warning to pregnant women and to destroying your lungs, this recipe should have been mandated by law to have a warning to those with low sugar tolerances. Hot damn was it sweet and hell yeah was it good!


CHIA UPDATE


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Uke

Aloha! I just bought a ukulele so I can say things like that!

video

DON'T JUDGE ME.

Groupon wouldn't let me buy ukulele lessons to Old Town School of Folk Music, so I'm going to teach myself! I bought my beautiful ukulele at Andy's Music on Belmont for real cheap! This place is so freakin' awesome! It looks like a tiny store from the outside, but once you enter, you'll discover that it's a labyrinth filled with instruments from all over the world. It's almost like you're going through your grandma's attic...if your grandma is a hoarder...and also if she is some crazy international music guru...i want that grandma.

Here is a video of me doing scales. I know it's not that impressive, but i bought this baby 2 days ago! My goal is to learn this song by the end of the month. It's only 4 chords repeated! I can do it! And my ultimate goal is this.

Monday, January 3, 2011

LOOK AT THAT FUCKING DONUT.


GO AHEAD. LOOK AT IT.

YEP. IT'S A FUCKING HUGE DONUT.

Giant silicon bakeware was pretty much the only thing that I asked for this Christmas. Last Christmas I got the giant cupcake, this Christmas I got the ginormous donut. I definitely prefer the giant donut despite my partialness to cupcakes. I used the yellow cake recipe in "Hot Damn & Hell Yeah," which has a great compilation of dirty south food - sounds like my kind of fucking cookbook. I made up a quick chocolate frosting, threw it in the microwave, and smothered it all over the stupid place. Then Gwen, Sean, and I ate it and replaced "jump on it" with "big donut."

Fuck you, Dunkin'.


I also attempted to make a tempeh rueben tonight...once you've had a radical rueben from the Chicago Diner you can't ever really top it. Since I'm a girl who only has a yellow schwinn to my name in the dead of winter, I have to alter recipes when I don't have the necessary ingredients. That meant ditch the caraway and sauerkraut and add more stuff that I actually had in the fridge. I marinated the tempeh in a mixture of olive oil, water, soy sauce, minced garlic, yellow mustard, cumin, and salt. I cooked this at 350 for about 40 minutes, put it on some toasted whole wheat bread with avocado, red onion, and a thousand island dressing i made. I love thousand island dressing. Seriously, the amount of thousand island dressing that I would be willing to eat is probably offensive.


I also planted my Chia herb garden today, which includes chives, sweet basil, and dill. Chia gave me 6 herbs and 3 pots so I had to choose only 3...WHAT THE HELL, CHIA.