Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mmmmmmm, Cakey!


I really think it may be my favorite thing to make. It's just so EASY and yet, with some easily souped-up frosting, so GODDAMN GOOD. And it's a giving-type food: I rarely bake one except when I'm baking it FOR someone. And I like that. It's kind of a love-food.

But honestly, baking 3 cakes in one day SHOULD BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS WHENEVER POSSIBLE. I seriously felt angry with cake when I'd gotten through the first two and realized I still had one more to bake. And then I felt pitiful and weepy. And then angry again.

It was an emotional kitchen day.

Anyways, I've been holding off on posting any of the cake recipes I used mainly because I hadn't actually TRIED a slice of each of the cakes I baked.

But yesterday, I finally nibbled on some vanilla, so I can now legitimately offer up some successful recipes to you.

Recipes for the chocolate cakes can actually be found HERE. I used that basic chocolate cake recipe (which is a good one) but filled up a (well-greased) 9x13 pan instead of two cake pans. The oreo one actually ended up a little bit overbaked and dry, unfortunately, so just keep your eye on that oven-timer and poke away with some forks. I think I may have actually gotten away with baking it 5 or 10 minutes less than the original recipe calls for.

The vanilla cake I snagged from the Vegan Chef. This one I actually ended up baking 5 or 10 minutes MORE than the recipe called for, mostly because it didn't even look or feel at all stable when the 30 minutes went by. But it was rich buttery vanilla-ish for sure, and I'd definitely use the recipe again. The only change I really made to it was to sub in more vanilla for the almond extract, mostly because I didn't have any at home.


                          from The Vegan Chef

  • 1-1/3 c. unbleached cane sugar

  • 1/2 c. non-hydrogenated vegan margarine

  • 3 c. unbleached flour

  • 1 T. baking powder

  • 3/4 t. salt

  • 2 c. soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice

  • 1 T. vanilla

  • 1 t. almond extract (or 1 extra t. vanilla)


Lightly oil a 9x13-inch pan and set aside.

Place the sugar and margarine in a large mixing bowl, and cream together until light and fluffy using an electric mixer.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, alternating with the soy milk, and continuing to beat the mixture well between each addition.

Add the vanilla and almond extract and beat the mixture an additional 2 minutes at medium speed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Yield: One 9x13-inch cake

(Recipe from The Vegan Chef)

So there's the cakes.

As for the FROSTINGS, the buttercream is from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and can be found HERE. The only difference between the buttercream and the oreo-buttercream is--obviously--oreos. So you can choose whether to add them in or keep them out.

The frosting on my double-chocolate cake was the Rich Chocolate Ganache recipe, also from Vegan Cupcakes. And I've gotta say, although I'm a big endorser of super sickeningly spun-sugary sweet whipped mounds of gloriously tooth-achy fluffy frosting, my favorite of the bunch actually ended up being the ganache. There's just something about the maple-iness of it (and I didn't even use the good maple syrup, or good chocolate for that matter). And the consistency. And how it was just so ooey gooey rich. *Drooling again* So I definitely recommend. One batch of it can easily frost a 9x13 cake and should probably be plenty for a layered 9" circular cake as well.


                                      from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

  • 1/4 c. soy milk

  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

  • 2 T. pure maple syrup


Bring the soy milk to a gentle boil in a small sauce pan. Immediately remove from heat and add the chocolate and maple syrup. Use a rubber heatproof spatula to mix the chocolate until it is fully melted and smooth. Set aside at room temperature till ready to use.

(Recipe originally from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, posted at Funky Jiva)

So there you go. Your wish is my command, Eat a Vegan!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chocolate Caramel Anti-Blue-Balls Crack(ers)

                          from Smitten Kitchen

Jeebus! What with the threat of folks getting cracker blue balls, I figured I'd better post the recipe as quick as possible.

I promise: Your balls will love them, and will surely stay their natural color now.

They are reminiscent of Skor bars. Kind of sort of. And they're easy simple peasy to make. And kind of fun.

But yes, they ARE addicting. So ONLY MAKE THEM WHEN YOU HAVE LOTS OF PEOPLE AROUND TO HELP YOU EAT THEM, OKAY? If you don't heed my warning and gain 50 lbs from gorging on them with your non-blue balls, you only have yourself to blame.


  • 40 Saltine crackers or crackers of your choice (or 4 to 6 sheets matzo)

  • 1 c. vegan margarine, cut into a few large pieces

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar

  • A big pinch of sea salt

  • 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

  • 1-1/2 c. semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate)

  • 1 c. toasted chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or a nut of your choice (optional)

  • Extra sea salt for sprinkling (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350-F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit.

Line the bottom of the baking sheet with crackers. It'll be easy as pie: like 8 rows of 5 or something like that.

In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the matzo or crackers. You'll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.

Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. You can reduce the heat if you see this happening.

Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel. An offset spatula works great here. If you're using them, sprinkle the chocolate with toasted chopped nuts and/or sea salt. (The sea salt is great on matzo. On Saltines, it's really not necessary.)

Once completely cool -- I sometimes speed this process up in the fridge, impatient as should be expected in the face of caramel crack(ers) -- break it into pieces and store it in a container. It should keep for a week but I've never seen it last that long.

(Recipe originally from Smitten Kitchen)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Surprise Surprise!

So we threw a surprise party for my mom this past Saturday. We managed to get a hold of some of my mom's work friends. We invited her best friend. My brother came home from Chicago with a bunch of friends and surprised her. And my other sibs came as well.

My mum's the one with the crown on
and the completely flashed-out face

And surprise her we did. We'd been planning it for a couple months, so we really were sure that SOMEone would slip up during that time, especially given the amount of folks who knew what was going on. And as 7-o'clock creeped up on us and none of her friends had yet appeared at my door, we started to get nervous. But then: blam. Shortly before she showed up with my brother, a bunch of folks poured in just in time.

And she hadn't a clue.

It was wonderful.

The weather was warm but--thankfully--had cooled off for the most part by the time the party started, so we were able to lounge about in my living room and also sit out on the roof. And it was a lovely moment, bringing three cakes lit up with candles out onto the dark roof and singing happy birthday to my mom under the city stars.

In preparation, I spent most of last Friday baking and cooking. By the end of the day and the last cake I had to bake, I was tired and feeling angry towards cake and wanting to just cry for having to make the last cake and hating it for needing to exist. It was a long day.

Even more annoying was the fact that 6 or 7 folks rsvped to say they were coming and then didn't come. Which would've been fine except for the fact that it caused me to make WAY more food than necessary. Which was a waste of my time. And which, in turn, resulted in me sending home like 8 plates of bakery with my sibs and mom.

Ultimately though, I was pleased with the goodies and the response they received from party guests.

My menu:

The biggest crowd-pleaser was (strangely enough) the pizza. You ever notice how it always seems to be the least expected and easiest food? =P

Anyways, stay tuned for some more recipes this week.

And hurrah for the urge to post!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You've Probably Noticed (Since I *AM* That Much of a Celebrite--*snort*)

...but I haven't been posting too much lately.

And it's mostly cuz--*looking around to make sure the blog police aren't nearby*--I'm kind of getting sick of blogging.

And also: It's been kind of enjoyable actually being able to eat without all the pictures involved.

And: I've been digging eating repeats--as in, recipes that I've made before and like. Whereas normally I'd be all "You must try out new recipes instead so you have something to blog about, bitch-who-talks-to-herself."

Hopefully it all shall pass.

But I just wanted to give you a head's up as to why it's so quiet over here lately.

It's cuz of that.

And because I'm transfixed by the edible nips pics. (Check out the entries so far in the sidebar--you folks are AMAZING. Hee.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Check Out Our First Contest Entry!

So cute, I kinda wanna tweak its nipples... Just a little bit.

      from Wanting Kneading

To enter some boobs of your own, check out the Nippular Cookbook Contest Guidelines HERE.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

You Wanna See SQUIRRELY?? You Got It!

I don't think I've mentioned this here before, but I have some crazy-ass squirrels living in my yard. Not just your AVERAGE crazy-ass squirrels, but ones that have done the following on various occasions:
  • Awoken me in the morning by scrambling up the screen door that leads onto my roof and just hanging there while my cats freaked the hell out.

  • Tried getting into my house. Now, before I get lectures about leaving the door open onto my roof, lemme just tell you: BOTH CATS WERE OUT ON THE ROOF when this happened. Which is the only time I leave the door cracked--so they can come in and out as they please. Anyways: I'm washing dishes. Cats are out on the roof. I hear a noise. I come into the living room. There's a squirrel peering in the door at me. Cats are snoozing on the roof. Cats suddenly wake up. Crazy chase ensues.

  • Regularly climbed onto the roof WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE THAT MY CATS ARE UP THERE.

  • Jumped in my lap. THAT one takes the cake, and you can read about it HERE.

Point being: The squirrels really are crazy-ass crazy.

And now that it's warming up again (or WAS warming up, before the current inch of snow on the ground outside my window), they're back to their old shenanigans, tormenting my cats as much as possible.


(I mean, seriously: he looks like he's contemplating
how he can spring himself from this position with SUCH
force that he will explode through my front-room window)

One of them also enjoys sitting in the neighbor's roof and staring at my cat for hours:

Nippular Cookbook Contest

So since you folks were ALL OVER flashing your nips just to get a cookbook, I'm thinking Tudor Rose's contest idea seems most apropos...


If you'd like to win a cookbook, here's what you gotta do:

Make a set of nips/boobies out of food, post a picture on your blog with a link to this contest entry, and then post a link to your submission in this post's comments.

The best set of nips will win three cookbooks of choice.

The second best set wins one cookbook of choice.

(I'll send out a list of cookbooks once winners have been selected.)

You have until April 27 to craft your very best set of edible nips.

Winners will be selected shortly thereafter.



(This pic really isn't contest-related, but it IS nip-
related, and I figured we could use SOME kind of pic
to liven things up!)

Cinnabuns & Road-Trips

No. I did not make this gloriously amazing cinnamon bun myself.

Look at it sitting there all coyly, tormenting me about the fact that I'd have to drive all the way back to Pittsburgh to get another one of its kind.

And I think I would. It was that good. *wistful sigh*

Anywho, my friend P and I road-tripped to Pitt this past Friday to go see N/A and one of his bands play at a gallery opening. Since it's about 2-1/2 hours one way, we decided to make a day of it and hit up Ikea while we were out there and then grab dinner.

I, of course, got a few kitchen-usefuls at Ikea, mainly a new dish drainer in the hopes of freeing up some more counter space (since it's feeble at best).

I grabbed this two-tiered baby, and so far it's a blessing in disguise--not only is it kind of diner-cute, but it also opened up much more space for cutting and all sorts of things, such as, perhaps, doing it? Anyways:

I also have been wanting to get a spice rack for a while--right now all my spices are lined up on a built-in shelf in my entry-way hallway after a mishap in which my whole spice rack tore out of the wall while my landlord was over and sent spices everywhere on my kitchen floor. They didn't have anything that was cheap enough to suffice (and that didn't require buying THEIR stupid spice-jars in order to fit), but then I saw this little baby:

It's now hanging right over my stove with my "most frequently used spices."

I only wish I had thought to get more than one, 'cause they are really kind of wicked cool, given that you could also decorate them if you wanted since they're clear.

But ah well.

Anyways: back to the cinnamon bun.

After Ikea, we decided to grab dinner at The Quiet Storm Coffeehouse and Restaurant, a place P had randomly stumbled across on-line:

(These aren't my pics, btw. 'Cause I'm a dumbass and didn't think to take any.)

And holy crap! What a great place. If you're ever in Pitt, I highly recommend checking it out. It's super vegan-friendly, and it's retro-cute as all get-out. (It's got what appears to be an old-school soda-bar right in the middle of it):

(If you click on the pic, you can
see the soda-counter in the middle)

And the food was SO good. P and I both got their "meatloaf" dinner:

Meaty, crunchy loaf of lentils blended with sage, garlic & sunflower seeds. Topped with our killer onion gravy and served with any veg du jour (in our case, peas and carrots) & smashed red taters.

I don't think P was quiet so bowled over by the loaf as I was (which was all the better for me, since she gave me her leftovers), but goddamn was it tasty. Especially topped with their fantastic gravy which really IS killer.

I also got a glass of their ginger lemonade which I also HIGHLY recommend. And, despite being STUFFED from the mountains of potatoes and loaf, I got a cinnamon bun to go, which I gorged on the next morning, layer by gloriously sticky layer.

All in all, one of the better dining experiences I've had in a long while.

Afterwards, we headed over to the Zombo Art Gallery to see N/A play for the opening of Tim Kerr's art show.

The night was full of improvisational jazz, vibrant art, cigarettes, cheap beer, and hipsters...

We rode it out until about 11 and then headed off for the long ride home.

Ah, Pittsburgh. I will return.

If for no other reason than to again squeeze your sticky buns.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Pasta with Olives, Artichokes, and Dried Tomatoes

                          from The Accidental Vegan

New favorite food combo of lustiness:

Sundried tomatoes & kalamata olives.

They both are strange and perfumey and an acquired taste, and for that reason, they mingle like a fucking sexy hot tango.

And I don't even really LIKE sundried tomatoes in other situations. Truly.

Anyways, the recipe is from The Accidental Vegan and doesn't appear to be posted on-line.

But really, it's simple enough that a) I really didn't think I'd like it nearly as much as I did (which was enough so that I'm cooking it for my mom again tomorrow), and b) you kind of can do all the ingredients to taste really.

Kalamata olives, diced
Sundried tomatoes (maybe a dozen or so), rehydrated in boiling water and drained
Olive oil
Almonds, ground or chopped
Fresh basil, chopped
Garlic, minced
Can of quartered artichokes, drained and chopped
White wine or veggie broth (maybe 1/4 c. or so)
Fettucine or other pasta of choice

Anyone who's ever cooked pasta can probably figure out where to go from here, but essentially: Heat olive oil, add garlic for a minute or two, add the rest of the ingredients (minus the fettucine) and simmer for a little bit. Add in pasta, mix, and serve.

(Actual recipe from The Accidental Vegan)

So f-ing yum. Despite the fact that the pic above makes it look boring and albino.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

White Bean Alfredo Sauce

Ok. So I'm a big fan of alfredo sauce. Actually, I'm a big fan of pasta in general, and alfredo has always been one of my favorite sauces. So I'm always trying out new alfredo sauces. (Click HERE for others.) The VwaV Fettucine Alfreda is one of my favorites still, but with the admission that it doesn't really taste like ALFREDO per se, despite the fact that it's fricking so good.

So when I noticed this white bean alfredo sauce a few weeks ago, I was skeptical (that's ALL the ingredients?!?) and yet interested. I scrounged it up this past weekend, and I've gotta confess: it really tastes surprisingly like alfredo sauce, even with the very minimal amount of ingredients.

And it takes so little time to make that it seems conceivable that it could cause a tear in the space-time continuum just for existing.

The nice part too is you can funk it up whatever way you'd like: add whatever spices and top it with delicious grilled veggies (like red peppers and portabellas, for example).

The ONLYONLYONLY down-side to the recipe is that you have to eat it fast: like most pureed bean-based dishes, once it starts to cool, it coagulates. So if you're trying to be all romantical with your significant other or something so that you can get some long overdue action, you will DEFINITELY get laid as long as you somehow get them to EAT IT QUICKLY (that's what she said).

Oh, and it would behoove you to food process the SHIT out of those beans, because the smooth consistency is key to the recipe's success. Plus you don't want the aforementioned significant other putting their mouth all over your sexy places with beans stuck in their teeth.

Moodkiller if I've ever seen one.

  • 1/4 c. vegan margarine

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 c. cooked white beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 to 1-1/2 c. unsweetened soy milk (I used sweetened and it works fine too)

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Parsley (optional)


In a sautee pan over low heat, melt the margarine. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the margarine mixture to a blender or food processor, add the white beans and 1 cup of soy milk. Blend until completely smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add the remaining soy milk until you reach the desired consistency.

Pour the sauce back into the pan over low heat, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Add fresh herbs, such as parsley, if desired. Cook until the sauce is warm.

Makes enough sauce for like 4 to 6 servings maybe?

(Recipe from Vegcooking Blog)

Oh *I* See How It is Now...

You guys are all "Check out my nips! Check out my nips! Give me free cookbooks! Check out my nips!" until you actually have to think of contest ideas, and then suddenly you turn into a bunch of Quaker nuns!



For Those of You Who Actually Showed Me Your Nips (Rachey!), I Salute You

New question, however: What kind of contest shall we have?

Please leave comments over the weekend, and I'll try to settle on something on Monday.

Also: More nippular outting is encouraged!


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I've Been Waiting All Weekend to Brag, and Hadn't Yet Found Time to, But...

Check it out!

I bought a whole box's worth of vegan/veg cookbooks this weekend for only $20.

All hail craigslist!

I plan to use most of them as door-prizes at Cleveland Veganz events, but perhaps if you beg me, if you bat those sweet sweet lashes of yours and show a little nip, perhaps I'd consider having a wee contest on this blog to get rid of a few as well.



Do it.