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Showing posts from October, 2008
The Lion Brand Crochet-Along




This year I decided to participate in the Lion Brand Crochet Along. This is something I've never done. Until recently, I've been crocheting from patterns and I think that means I've come along way in my hobby. When I first learned to crochet, I was 12 years old. We learned in Young Womens. It was part of a service project. Each of us bought our own yarn and hooks and made a Granny-Square Afgan to be donated to the local convalescent center. I remember that mine was red and beige. I really enjoyed crocheting and made several more afgans - all Granny Square.
I later picked up a book with other simple stitches and practiced those but whenever I attempted to follow a pattern I failed horribly. So for years I would just make up my own patterns - crocheting bags, hats and scarves. Using simple stitches - single crochet and double crochet.


So last year I bought this book: Crochet Me. And I finally attempted to make something with it. I chose a pattern t…
Cupcakes Galore!

I was very busy this weekend making cupcakes for my friends. Friday night we had a few over for Institute class and our Halloween planning meeting... So one girl requested the coconut and Lime Cupcakes. I was happy to oblige. I probably wouldn't normally have chosen those ones - but I'm glad I made them because they were really yummy... and easy to make and I like that the twisted lime was so easy to do and made them so cute.


Saturday night we had a Talent show at the church and I never do performing arts - I prefer painting and baking. In the past I have shown some of my paintings, but this time I brought 48 little cupcakes. I made the Chocolate Cherry Creme Cupcakes, Banana Split Cupcakes and Oreo Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. Another awesome book from Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Romero. I was going to also make the Blueberry Lemon Tall Cakes - but I decided at the last minute to use strawberries instead of blueberries. This way I jus…
HEAVENLY PEANUT DREAM (ICE CREAM)

Story:
I came across this one blog called VeganIceCream - some good recipes there but most of the recipes use soy creamer and since I live in a country where some of that stuff is hard to come by I came up with this recipe when I was being creative one day. It's now my most favorite thing to whip up for company :-) Enjoy it again and again!

Description:
No eggs and no dairy and it's so easy and delicious!

Ingredients:
4 cups coconut milk (not cream)
2 cups peanut butter
1/2 to 1 cup maple syrup (more or less to taste)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Directions:
Combine in a blender, or food processor fitted with metal blade, and blend until smooth. Then turn on your ice cream maker and pour in the peanutty mixture. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Move frozen - slushy mixture into a freezer safe container and freeze until firm or ready to serve.

Suggestions:
Excellent with some chocolate sauce drizzle…
MASHED POTATO MIRACLE

I actually found this one on Allrecipes.com. It has become one of my all time favorites. It's good for helping rotate the potato flakes in my food storage as well. My husband doesn't mind the cream cheese in them either. I've also tried it with flavored cream cheeses as well - like the garden herb variety or garlic-paprika variety. Delicious!

Just a side note, the leftovers aren't very good so be sure to use it all up - half the recipe if you must. This also does not freeze well.

Ingredients:
3 cups water
1 teaspoon [sea] salt
5 tablespoons butter [or margarine]
2- 3/4 cups potato flakes
1 onion, minced
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (I've done it with one 150g package and that was sufficient)
1- 1/2 cups milk
1 (6 ounce) can French fried onions

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).
2) In a medium saucepan bring water and salt to a boil over medium heat. Add butter or margarine and stir in potato flakes, onion and cream cheese. Stir…
PEANUT BUTTER SPICED COOKIES

Found this one at WW and although I have't tried it yet - I plan to next time I'm in the mood for PB cookies:

"These large, peanutty cookies not only taste wonderful, they also pack a fiber- and protein-punch thanks to our secret ingredient…canned chickpeas."

Ingredients
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, not drained*
1 cup Skippy Super Chunk Roasted Honey Nut Peanut Butter, or other brand
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg(s) [or egg substitute of choice]
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste

Instructions:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper (or coat with cooking spray); set aside.- *Pour chickpeas into a 1-cup measuring cup and pour in enough chickpea liquid just to cover the beans; puree chickpeas and their liquid in a blender or mini food processor.- In a large bowl with an electric mixe…
Review: Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins (page 46)
from VWAV - Isa Chandra Moskowitz

This was the 2nd most boring recipe I have tried in VWAV. For one thing they are not very sweet. They were really dense and the Lemon taste just wasn't there. I would probably use 1 tsp lemon extract in place of the vanilla extract - since they are supposed to be LEMON! And yes, they could use some more sweetening... and perhaps less oil.

Okay, but other than that - I'm impressed that every muffin recipe in this book that says makes 12 - is very accurate. And I like the Punk Points suggestion for this recipe - to freeze half of them in cupcake liners and then you just add 8-10 minutes on the baking time and then you always have fresh muffins - I may do this for the Pumpkin muffins recipe because seriously - those are the best muffins - in my opinion.

I'm so happy that Halloween & Thanksgiving are approaching because I'm going to make Pumpkin muffins for both those occassions :-) Me So Happy!
Etsy

I've been enjoying etsy for a few months now. Mostly just browsing stuff I'd like to buy. I have created a list of my favorite stores. I'm waiting for Cristin, my roomie from college to start her own store - b/c she makes the cutest stuff, seriously, I'm going to be her first buyer!
Well, I've been thinking about putting some of my stuff up there. So today I started my own etsy store. Bummer thing is the time you have to put into listing your items there. It only costs 20 cents to list an item and they list it for 4 months. Then they do take a percentage of the sell cost. No biggie though. I've gone ahead and listed one of my paintings. I tried to list another but for the life of me I cannot find the image I made of it - the photograph I mean, so I'll just have to get out the trusty camera and take another. Oh well... the other thing is they ask you to list the shipping cost and honestly I have no idea what it costs to ship stuff -- but I went ahead and …
Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions and Spiced Pita Crisps
from Veganomicon (Vcon) by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero




This was one of the first recipes I've tried from Vcon and I like it. This is a big book and I haven't really been sure what to try. We buy onions in bulk and often times I have to throw some out that go bad - so when I saw that this recipe uses almost 2 pounds of onions I thought I'd go for it. The only thing that was holding me back was the amount of olive oil called for in the recipe. It's 3/4 cup olive oil. That seems like a lot to me and I bet if I were still on weightwatchers then this recipe would be a big no-no. But since I'm pregnant I got to enjoy it. It says that it's also called Mujadarah or Enjedra in the Middle East and Terry says she could live off it. They describe it as "comfort food." How can something with so simple ingredients taste so good? Sometimes it's the simple foods that taste best.
So we…
Orange Sesame Tofu
from: eat, drink & be vegan by Dreena Burton


This was a pretty easy meal to put together. That's what I liked. It wasn't too time consuming and it was pretty good. However, it didn't taste all that much like orange. I think maybe some of the other ingredients over powered the orange juice. Maybe it's because I eyeballed the rest of the ingredients and didn't measure exactly - even so - this wasn't as good as I hoped it would be.

The problem is we've already tried another recipe called "Orange Chicken Style Tofu" from vegweb.com and we loved that. So when I said I was making Orange Tofu tonight and then it didn't look or taste like the other - I think Mark was disappointed and I was a little bit, too. But I said to Mark, this is baked and so probably lower in fat or whatever. And it was easy to put together but even so we prefer the other recipe over Dreena's.

Also, I haven't tried a lot of recipes in her book yet. I&…
Mashed Potatoes with Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy
from VWAV by Isa Chandra Moskowitz




Oh Yummy - delicious. We had this two nights because of all the leftover gravy. The first night I made the mashed potatoes with the sauteed garlic variation. Delicious. Then we served it along side some vegetarian filet patties with extra gravy on top. The second night - which is pictured - we made the mashed potatoes regular but stirred in some fried up tofu pieces and then topped it off with sauteed onions and mushrooms. Makes for nice presentation and tasted great, too. We also served it along side green beans and apple sauce. A very down home meal and we loved it.

Well, to be honest, I liked it a lot and Mark loved it. He was like "oh my gosh, this is so goooooood" He even pronounced "goooooood" just like that because that's how much he liked it.

So, this one is a keeper for us - we will do it again.
African Peanut Soup


This soup is so good - everybody loves it. Originally my husband claimed to hate peanut butter - but for some reason he loves it in this soup - it really makes the soup something special.
1 medium onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 can (400g) canned chopped tomatoes 2-1/2 cups water plus 1 veggie-bouillon cube ½ cup tomato sauce 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced, divided [if you can't find mint, just seep a bag of mint tea in the soup while it simmers and take it out before you serve] 1-1/2 teaspoons mild chili powder [if you don't have mild chili powder – you must adjust the seasoning to your taste - i use 1/2 tsp hot chili powder] 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or mild paprika powder 1 cup frozen chopped spinach 1/3 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter Hot pita bread
Combine the onions, garlic, and olive oil in a large stockpot and cook and stir over high heat for about…