Thursday, April 28, 2011

Back from computer limbo.

I'm actually still kind of in it, since the machine I'm working on now is just a temporary one on loan from the guy who has my Dell. A number of things happened in the span of a few weeks: First, my big fancy computer had a small fire and quite dramatically gave up the ghost. I was sitting right here, plugged in my cell phone to charge (this was in the Samsung Behold II days; that phone eats chargers and I was once again relegated to using the USB cord), and I suddenly smelled electrical burning and then *poof*, my computer just blinked off. I set up my old Dell, which isn't big and fancy, but it works (albeit a tad loudly), and gave the dead one to a friend to look at. Sure enough, burned a hole right through the motherboard and took out the memory and processor with it.

Then the Dell woke up one morning with a bad case of Blue Screen of Death.

So, while Matt is trying to recover what I had on it (namely brand new downloads of the Dessa and Adele albums), I will post all the foodie things I've been up to while suffering computer withdrawals.

Filed under "Totally Awesome," I'm testing for Alicia Simpson. Today I finally got some stuff and made her zucchini fritters. No, you can't have the recipe, but you can have a picture.

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Last Easter Sunday was the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. I posted a gazillion pictures on Facebook, but here are a few of the things I brought:


Hannah Kaminsky's Root Beer Float cupcakes from My Sweet Vegan, Isa's Lemon Gem Cupcakes (made to look like little aquariums), and my own orange creamsicle cupcakes.


I think the aquarium ones went a little slower despite the cheap price due to 1. Hello? Blue food. And 2. I had to bring everything in a crazy old lady cart and when said cart fell off the bus, these guys got the worst of it. Note for future bake sales: bring extra frosting for spackling. Anyway, they had Fruit Pebbles in the bottom, so it looked like aquarium gravel! Super cute.

I was asked if I would give up the recipe for the orange cupcakes. Here you go:

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes
Makes 12-14

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup orange juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 stick vegan margarine
1 cup sugar
1 tsp orange extract
1 1/2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract (Trader Joe's has this)

Muffin pan, cupcake liners. 350° oven. You know the drill.

Sift together in a medium bowl all the dry ingredients. In a mixer, beat the margarine and sugar until soft and creamy and not melty. Quickly add the OJ, vinegar, and extracts. Beat until blended. Add dry mixture, and mix until moistened but don't overmix. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. If you go over (I did), either eat it raw or make additional ones in another pan. Be sure to fill any empty spaces in your muffin pan with water so your cuppers bake evenly.

Cool in pan for ten minutes, move to rack to cool completely. Frost with your favorite vegan buttercream frosting, but make it extra vanilla-y. Lazy vegans: Pillsbury Buttercream Frosting may be vegan. I am waiting for them to return my email about where the mono- and diglycerides are sourced. In the meantime, just whip up some Earth Balance with powdered sugar and vanilla. Frost. Decorate with candy orange slices and popsicle sticks.

Christmas 2009, my job clearanced out a bunch of crappy little appliances to 90% off, and I scored an omelet maker for $1. This thing makes bitchen vegan omelets. You can use the recipe in Vegan Brunch, or just experiment like I did with lite silken tofu, cornstarch, besan flour, kala namak (black salt) turmeric, and whatever else you like. I have found that my perfect omelet has fresh spinach blended in, mushrooms, green onions, and Daiya cheddar.

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Here's one with some sweet potato frites (that got a the oven).

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This is something I threw together because I love Ethiopian food, and had all this stuff in the house. Also, everything came from the corner store a block away! Those "vegan-meal-from-convenience-store-ingredients" challenges would be unfair if I participated. Anyway, It's a bag of yellow split peas (soaked, drained, rinsed)slow cooked all day on low with about six cups of water. Then add onion, green pepper, lots of grated fresh ginger, salt, cumin, turmeric, crushed dried red pepper, chopped carrots, a small chopped up head of cabbage, two minced cloves of garlic, and a bay leaf. Slow cook another hour or so, or until you can't stand it anymore and have to eat. No rules, no measuring. Just put in the stuff you like.

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Now, filed under "Stunt Food," but not nearly as awful for you as say, a Luther or a Cherpumple...Lasagna Cupcakes!

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Now, if you've made it through all that, I just want to remind everyone to subscribe to Midwest Vegan Radio on iTunes. Like it on Facebook. Bring it up on your pages, blogs, and in awkward silences in work meetings. Become a mentor, or, if you're a new vegan, find out more about getting a mentor!

Okay, kids. Hoping that isn't all for a while. I'm still testing, baking, and got a lot of irons in my vegan fire right now. I've also got a Big Birthday coming up, a possible trip...and all the while, trying to drop some weight. Look forward to some lowfat recipes!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's that time again!

Twin Cities: Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale
317 West 48th Street (48th & Grand)
Easter Sunday, April 24, 1pm-5pm or until everything's gone, so GET THERE EARLY!

I'm making at least two kinds of cupcakes. I hear there will be vegan Cadbury eggs. As always, there will be lots of yummies, friendly faces, and no tables full of dead pig or baskets full of chicken periods dyed festive colors. Where would you rather spend Easter? I think Jesus would be much more down with a cruelty free holiday, don't you think?


Oh, and another thing. I bought these at Marshall's because I thought, "Whoa, no pan needed? I have a cookie sheet that could hold way more than 12 cupcakes!" No no no no no. Maybe three cupcakes came out looking normal. The rest either got HUGE, or baked around another cupcake. It's hard to describe. Just know this: When making cupcakes, use a muffin pan. That is all.