So for the past few weeks, a very kindly gentleman I know has apparently been testing out various tofus and fake-meats so that he could cook me dinner one night. And last night (with a tie rod unfortunately to blame), he finally decided to put the knowledge he acquired to work.
(Sidenote: All names have been changed so as to maintain the anonymity of those being written about (however, the pictures have not). Thusly, the aforementioned gentleman asked that I refer to him as either Rick Friction, Reynaldo Fernandez, or Rick Rudely when I talk about him in my blog, but because it's MY BLOG AND NO ONE IS THE BOSS OF ME (but mostly because I think my nickname's funny), I am of course going to refer to him as none of the above and introduce him instead as
Suelo... Con Suelo...
A tip of the hat to you my suave bearded friend...)
In this pic, Suelo is stabbing his pasta with a wooden spoon for reasons unknown:
Anyways, last night Suelo spent several hours slaving over the stove to cook us dinner while we chatted, drank, wrestled with his dog, and conversed about poop.
The first course of dinner was a seriously awesome bruschetta--a sunflower-seedesque bread layered in a series of freshly roasted red pepper, thinly sliced tofu (subbing for fresh mozzarella), tomato, and a single leaf of basil, brushed with olive oil and drizzled in a tangy but throaty balsamic vinegar. This shit was GOOD. Like the kind of good where you say, I couldn't possibly eat another slice, but then you shove a bunch more in your mouth 'cause you really can't bear to imagine it making its way into someone else's stomach.
Second course: a minted asparagus and cannelini salad. Although Suelo was not overjoyed by this salad, I enjoyed it quite a bit myself, primarily because of the mint. Which is precisely why Suelo disliked it. TO EACH THEIR OWN. Nonetheless: Steamed asparagus tossed with cannelini beans, chunks of raw tofu, and the sassy bite of radishes, all drizzled in a startling lemony-mint dressing is the type of salad I can definitely get behind. The combination was cool with a bit of a radishy kick and would make for a fantastic summer treat.
The final course: an insanely huge pot of super delicious pasta, a recipe Suelo has apparently perfected over the years and recently veganized for himself and yours truly, with an ingredient list huger than any I'd ever seen before. Mushrooms and boca crumbles and fried tofu chunks and spinach and noodles and roasted red peppers and (sweet christ) I can't even remember half of it but also sugar peas and Daiya cheese and onions and garlic and zucchini and broccoli and cauliflower and jalapenos and some other penos in a rich tomatoey broth so good it was worthy of being eaten off of god's butthole.
So yes: Suelo can cook. And he can cook vegan. And I think that rocks. So: thanks again, Suelo.
(Suelo can also kick my ass at a plethora of games. But that's a whole 'nother story.)
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Yesterday my friend Duvi and I
baked vegan carrot cake cupcakes for the celebration of the birth of this fine gentleman (who is looking very pleased in this pic, quite possibly because he's SURROUNDED BY SOME OF THE FINEST, MOST DELICIOUS WOMEN IN CLEVELAND--just sayin'):
We grated and spooned...
and baked and frosted...
And sweat our asses off with our efforts.
And the end result was these little beauties:
Which were taken to a very drunken karaoke night. The cupcakes impressed many, especially when folks found out they were vegan. The birthday boy had at least three, and one of his friends very sheepishly but voraciously also came back for thirds.
Eaters of the cupcakes:
In total, 11 were consumed and the twelfth actually knocked my friend Duvi over in her chair, SPLITTING THE BACK OF THE CHAIR IN TWO.
Them's some fucking POWERFUL cupcakes is what I'm saying.
Try them. Just buckle yourself in first.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 t. baking soda
- 1/4 t. baking powder
- 1/4 t. pinch of salt
- 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 t. ground ginger
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 1/3 c. vegetable oil
- 1/3 c. soy yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 c. finely grated carrots
- 1/4 c. of chopped walnuts
- 1/4 c. raisins
Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners (preferably the kickass ones you found at Heinen that have piratey skulls & crossbones all over them).
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together sugar, vegetable oil, yogurt, and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices) and mix until smooth. Fold in carrots , walnuts, and raisins.
Spray the cupcake liners with nonstick baking spray. Fill the liners two-thirds full (don’t overfill! See photos above). Bake for 26 to 28 minutes (for full size) or 20 minutes (for mini), until a toothpick inserted through the center of one comes out clean.
Once fully cooled, top generously with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/4 c. margarine, softened
- 1/4 c. vegan cream cheese, softened
- 2 c. confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Cream together margarine and cream cheese until just combined. Use a handheld mixer to whip while adding the confectioners sugar in 1/2 cup batches. Mix until smooth and creamy, then mix in vanilla. Keep tightly covered and refrigerated until ready to use.
(Recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule, reposted at Simply Sifted)