Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Holidays, NYC and lots of dessert

homemade cinnamon bun

It is the last day of 2008! Had to squeeze in one last delicious post before the new year. I'm excited for all the projects and plans coming up. I know it's going to be an awesome year.

Before moving forward, I'm going to have to look back for a moment as the past weeks have been terribly busy and I haven't had a chance to show off some of the treats we've been indulging in. I made the above cinnamon bun from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I've been dying to make these, but was a bit scared off by the prep time. Since I have had a couple of days off, I finally had a chance to indulge myself. It was extra inspired by smelling the Cinnabon in the airport the day prior. Despite the fact that those things are quite possibly one of the most disgusting creations ever, the sure do smell good.

I ended up over cooking my buns a bit, but I think this may have had a bit to do with using new cookie sheets. They still tasted awesome, and were even better reheated the next morning with coffee.

peppermint cookies and cream cupcake

For my family Christmas party, I opted to bring cupcakes rather than anything to actually eat for dinner. It worked out rather well as a bunch of my cousins happened to make vegan vegetable dishes. I made peppermint cookies and cream cupcakes. The cupcakes themselves came out amazing, perfectly moist and chocolaty. I still can't decide if I liked the peppermint in the icing though, it was good, but perhaps too much. Maybe not though.

cookies and cream cake

Shawn and I went back East to spend time with his family for the holidays. It was super exciting for me to show up and see snow on the ground.

I feel very lucky to have so many vegan restaurants in Los Angeles to go to, but it's nothing like going to NYC. There's just a different style of vegan/vegetarian restaurant there. The other thing that gets me super excited is getting to have some Vegan Treats. Pretty much every vegan restaurant in the area serves their desserts and there is honestly nothing like them. Over the summer, Shawn and I made a pilgrimage to their storefront in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where I was even more blown away by their selection of French pastries.

On one of our days in the city, we had lunch at Curly's. I had a toastie with tomato, which is basically a vegan grilled cheese with red pesto and of course tomato. It was one of the most satisfying lunches. Simple and tasty and exactly what I wanted. Shawn had the Suno melt. I've had vegan tuna melts before, but have never been impressed. I only had a bite, but this was super good. Of course, we had to get some dessert, and I insisted on a cookies and cream cake, freshly delivered from Vegan Treats the previous day. The cake was moist and the frosting light and fluffy. Honestly, exactly how cake should taste, sweet and rewarding.

peanut butter cheesecake

The night before we left for home we went out to dinner at Caravan of Dreams. We split nachos and muchroom ravioli with an almond cream sauce. The nachos were really good and basic. Tasty but nothing special. The ravioli on the other hand was super good. It was nice to have something different and something unlike anything we usually eat. It was light and subtly flavored. Oddly enough it was served with slices of avocado, which actually complimented the dish really well. My only complaint about the place was that it was very expensive. Not the kind of place that would be worth eating on a regular basis, but ok for a special occasion. On the other hand, it's the kind of food that makes you feel good after you eat it.

cookies and cream brownie

For dessert we walked down to Atlas Cafe for some more Vegan Treats. Shawn got a slice of peanut butter cheesecake and I had a brownie with cookies and cream frosting. I can't express how much I really love Vegan Treats and wish that it was also on the West coast. Everything was so good. We saved a bit of our treats and ordered sandwiches which we saved for the plane the next day.

At some point we also made a quick stop at Moo Shoes and Babycakes. I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me, but after some more sampling, I'm really not a fan of Babycakes. Their desserts just don't quite fulfill my sweet tooth. I can't really pinpoint what it is about them that I don't care for. The best way I can describe it is that I always feel a level of excitement when I enjoy a really good vegan dessert. Babycakes just doesn't give me that thrill. I also am not a fan of their prices at all. Some cupcakes cost nearly $5 and that seems outrageous to me.

So that's about it for 2008. Many exciting things to come in the future. I hope everyone had lovely holidays and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vegan Blogger Potluck

This past Saturday Shawn and I were invited to a Los Angeles vegan blogger potluck organized by Your Vegan Mom and Hugger Food. Although I'd been to a number of the blogs present, I hadn't met any of the bloggers in real life. It made me quite nervous to make food for a bunch of strangers, let alone a group of vegans who write about food on the internet!

I decided to make mini-paninis filled with portobellos, spinach and white bean spread. I sauteed the portobellos in wine and olive oil with a sprig of fresh rosemary for about half an hour till they were soft.

The white bean spread was a bit of an experiment. I looked over some recipes but didn't really bother to follow any of them. I also didn't bother to write down what I actually did but here's the basic idea.

1 can white beans, drained
4 large cloves of roasted garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until fairly smooth.

To assemble the paninis:

Cut a baguette style loaf of french bread into 1/2 inch slices. Spread one half of each panini with vegenaise and the other with the white bean spread. Put the sauteed mushrooms and spinach on one half of the bread and then the other half on top. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and follow the directions for your panini maker. You could also toast these and I'm sure they would come out quite well.

The potluck was really quite fun. Everyone was super nice and it was great to hear the scoop about different vegan places around town. More importantly, the food was great. It's not often that you get to go to a party and just enjoy all the food.

Before I ate anything, I got to enjoy some lovely pear and ginger cocktails crafted by Your Vegan Mom. They were a touch sweet but definitely not sugary, which I believe is ideal for a fruit based cocktail. Yum!

Foodeater of To Live and Eat in LA brought some Thai appetizers made fresh. Some of the descriptions of these were quite comical, but everyone seemed to love them. I had some of one of the rice rolls filled with banana and beans which was delicious.

I made a small sampling plate of some of the dippable fare. Here you can see the potato-parsnip latkes with applesauce from Hugger Food, pate with toast from Liz at Yo Soy, vegan Doritos with spinach dip from Quarrygirl and baked ravioli with marinara from Lex at Vegan-LA.

Jenn from Veganize It, Don't Criticize It made a brisket that was really rather good as well. She of course also brought some of her notorious twinkies filled with jelly.

Kevin from the The Vegan Collection brought cinnamon rolls. I've been dying to make some for a couple of weeks now, but haven't had the time so I was quite pleased to have these. There were even more delicious desserts, such as Quarrygirl's chocolate chip cheesecake and Hugger Food's twice spiced ginger cookies.

I really had such a great time going this event and cannot wait till there is another. It was so nice to meet everyone and munch on all the treats.

It's going to be a busy couple of weeks with the holidays coming up so this may be the last post for awhile (hopefully not the last of the year). I have a number of projects in the works but they'll have to wait to be revealed as they will ruin some gift surprises. Till then...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sick Day

We make a lot of pizza here. Generally speaking, we buy dough from Trader Joe's as it's delicious and easy to work with. While Shawn is a veteran pizza maker, I've never made dough myself. A new test for my mixer and it's dough hook!

Making the dough was super easy even though I was impatient to let it rise. It ended up being just a touch larger than our pizza stone so I had a little extra to play with. Just enough for one breadstick. I seasoned it with basil, nutritional yeast and garlic powder and put it in with the pizza.

The pizza turned out a touch crispier than the usual pizzas. It was so easy and relatively quick I definitely foresee more homemade crusts in the future.

I also finished the never ending hat project today. A few months ago I got some great organic cotton yarn to make a hat for Shawn. See, he only wears orange hats. I set out to make a hat with a simple cable stitch. It turned out to be too big. So I tried to make a simpler double knit hat that would be more like one he already had. Without a pattern though, this was a much more difficult task than I anticipated. The version you see above is the fifth incarnation of the hat. Finally it turned out right!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving and more

This Thanksgiving was all about stuffing. Shawn and I made probably about 20 servings worth of stuffing which has lasted us for days. We both spent the whole day in the kitchen with our various projects. Despite the potato peel disaster of 2008 everything turned out really well.

Instead of Tofurky, I made a version of the Seitan Roulade from Vegan Yum Yum. I filled it with apple cranberry stuffing (more stuffing!) that made it taste even better a day later. The fruit flavors seeped into the seitan after being refrigerated. Although it probably would have been prettier cut into smaller pieces, it was kind of fun to eat "caterpillars" for Thanksgiving.

Shawn made a monster batch of mashed potatoes that further tested the abilities of the new mixer. Of course they turned out smooth and delicious. I also made my first apple pie. I made the crust from scratch, which was slightly terrifying. Unfortunately I decided to bake it in our small oven (yes we have two) and ended up with a slightly burnt top crust. It still tasted really good, the filling was the perfect consistency and sweetness, and the bottom crust was not bad at all, but it wasn't quite photo material. I can't wait to try another.

I also got a new cupcake courier, and a good deal on it no less. I love this thing. I previously had a smaller carrier that carried 24 cupcakes but was always irritated that half the holders were too shallow and the other half were too deep. The new one holds 36 cupcakes securely for travel. It's great. So here it is on it's first delivery filled with red velvet, pumpkin spice and vanilla/chocolate cupcakes (from the top).

Hope everyone else had a great turkey-free Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2008

peanut butter cups

photo by studiodrome

While I've mastered many vegan goodies, there are a lot of candies that I miss. It wasn't until I made these peanut butter cups and a batch of peppermint patties did I remember what I'd been missing. It had been over three years since I had either and man were they delicious. I would say for sure that the peanut butter cups were even better than the non-vegan kind. With dark chocolate and rich flavored peanut butter that melted in your mouth. Absolutely amazing. They were extremely easy and fun to make as well. I particularly enjoyed painting the insides of the mini-cupcake cups with chocolate. I had to wait patiently for the picture, as it was taken on film but turned out as good as the treats themselves. Can't wait to make more.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy 25!

So if you hadn't guessed already. My (not-so) little surprise is a stand mixer! I'm ecstatic! I finally decided it was time to just fork over the money for it and get the one I really wanted. It's a great addition to the kitchen and I know it will be great to make larger batches of things which I hope will be in my future.

My first baking experiment was my own birthday cake. A lot of people thought it was against the rules for me to make my own cake but I couldn't think of anywhere that I could get a better cake. We broke in the mixer with mashed potatoes but this was the first dessert to get made.

I also treated myself to some new cake pans and a cake stand. It's been quite awhile since I've made a cake, let alone a double layer one, so it was definitely a learning experience. With cupcakes, if one turns out funny there are still 11 good ones. With a cake you just have one chance. Mainly I learned the correct proportions of frosting and such that I'll need for the next cake I make.

The plan was a double layer vanilla cake with vanilla frosting in the middle and a chocolate ganache icing. I used to have a really good recipe for vanilla cake but apparently lost it so had to do a bit of improvising. Ultimately everything turned out really well but did cause me a bit of distress in the making.

I made quite a chocolate mess covering it but I new it would taste great even if it wasn't the prettiest cake ever. Still need a couple more decorating tools, but mainly practice. It really did turn out delicious though. Shawn says it tasted like a giant gourmet hostess cake. Yum!

In the end it was almost all gobbled up by the end of the night with only one lonely piece left. I had a great birthday, absolutely the best yet!

Monday, November 17, 2008

More autumn flavors

I made some pumpkin bread last week that was absolutely delicious. Super moist with some subtle spice. This is only half the loaf since it all got eaten so quickly. Pumpkin is seriously awesome. I'm going to have to come up with some more pumpkin dishes before the end of November. There is still time yet!

Wonderful news though....I'm getting a big baking treat tomorrow! A special present to myself. I'm sure a lot of people out there could guess what it is. So excited. :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I don't know why but I've been craving brownies like crazy lately. I thought I'd try something a little different and make these brownies using my mini cupcake tray. The concept was great, but didn't turn out exactly as planned. Things went wrong at first when I found that my applesauce had gone bad. I also tried using ground flaxseed as egg replacer for the first time which worked amazingly well. I mixed all the wet ingredients in the food processor which made the whole thing fairly easy.

In the end, the recipe came out light and moist on the bottom and crunchy on top. The rose quite a bit more than I expected so they took a bit of trial and error to get them out of the pan intact. They were so cute though, like little brownie mushrooms, which made them even more fun to eat. I wish they were a bit more chocolatey though. I'll just have to make some more!

I also made some messy red vevlet cupcakes, which helped curb my chocolate craving. They're all gone already! This batch proved to me how important oven temperature is. My oven is just slightly cooler than the dial, and now that I've taken that into account my cupcakes are coming out better than ever. Yum!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!

pumpkin cheesecake

As I'm sure I'll be out gallivanting tomorrow evening, I thought I'd do my Halloween post tonight. I honestly can't get enough of Halloween. I'm going to dress up as a bat tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get some good photos to show you all since I made my costume, well some of it at least. I swear I do other things besides bake.

Above is the pumpkin cheesecake I made this week. It was good but it didn't blow me away. Perhaps it was that I kept wanting it to be pumpkin pie and not cheesecake. I still have yet to find vegan graham crackers anywhere so I used a store bought crust. I guess it could have been more like cheesecake and that would have been better as well. Don't get me wrong, it was good, I just wanted it to be even better.

Shawn and I carved pumpkins tonight. Since we bought them so late, they were only $5 for three good sized pumpkins. It's been quite awhile since either of us carved any. I decided to go for something cute and carved a sugar glider in my pumpkin. Shawn made a traditional jack-o-lantern with big eyes that I love.

"bon bon" and "little ricky"

VeganMoFo has definitely inspired me to step up my blogging and has been very rewarding (although not always easy). I've had a total of 13 posts this month, which while not nearly every day is at least double the most posts I've ever made in a month.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Special breakfast

Okay so I grew up in Los Angeles and biscuits and gravy is not exactly a common meal out here in general, but this is one of my favorite breakfasts. Since it's pretty much impossible to find without meat, I learned to make this for myself as a teenager. It's so simple to put together and so delicious. A lot of the time I use mix for the biscuits but this time I made them from scratch. I'm not sure they turned out better necessarily, but they were still filling and delicious. The gravy is about as basic as it gets: soy milk, flour, salt & pepper. I couldn't even tell you the measurements, because I just add until it seems right. I got a little distracted when I was making the gravy this time so it ended up a bit lumpy (oops!) but it still tasted just fine. I also added some tofurky sausage to the gravy which was a perfect addition.

Seven days in a row of posting for VeganMoFo. I'm pretty proud of myself. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Yes on Prop 2!

I made these vanilla and coffee cupcakes for a bake for change bake sale. The money raised goes to support the Obama campaign and No on Prop 8. I added some flags for Yes on Prop 2 which were a lot of fun to make, even though some of my animal drawings were a bit funny. People seemed excited about them when I dropped them off. The bake sale took place this morning at the Hollywood farmer's market. I hope all the cupcakes got eaten!

"no animals were harmed in the making of this cupcake"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The best chocolate chip cookies ever?

I'm sure that many of you read and discussed that article from the NYTimes about how to make the best chocolate chip cookies ever. I had come across a bunch of posts about it awhile back, digested the information, and filed it in the back of my head. It seems that the standout point is refrigerating the cookie dough. The problem with that is, at least for me, is that if you want to make cookies, you want them right at that moment, not a couple of days later.

Honestly, I think chocolate chip cookies may be my favorite baked good. Chocolate chip cookies can vary so much though. It's not just that they're good or bad, but they can be chewy or crunchy or super sweet or a million other things.

So I made some cookies the other night, using the recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I baked one batch but still had quite a bit leftover and threw it in the fridge for later. I never got a chance to bake the rest until two days later. When I took the dough out of fridge I remembered that refrigerated dough was supposed to be the key to amazing cookies, but as I scooped it onto the cookie sheet I was skeptical. The dough seemed a bit dried out even though I had covered it. Despite my faith in vegan recipes, I thought maybe the benefits of these tips may only apply to non-vegan ingredients.

I was so wrong. This batch of cookies was without a doubt the best I've ever made. Personally I thought they were at least twice as good as the batch made from the same dough that wasn't refrigerated. They spread out just perfectly to make them the perfect balance of chewiness and crunchiness. They had the quality of tasting a tiny bit like a sugar cookie with chocolate chips, which I love.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Dinner guests

chickpea cutlets with nutritional yeast/mushroom gravy
lemony garlic potatoes and brussel sprouts

Had my mom and her husband over for dinner a little while ago. This the first time I've had them over for a meal that I made and also the first time they'd been to Shawn and my apartment. I had wanted to make the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon for awhile and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

First off, I have to say I love using vital wheat gluten. It's so much easier than spending the time taking however many cups of flour to break it down yourself. When I made these, I was only able to buy a small package at the market but as of this week they now sell it in the bulk section. Sounds like more seitan for dinner (and of course chickpea cutlets).

These were really delicious and unlike a lot of protein substitutes I've had. I would like to experiment using different ingredients using the same basic formula. The potatoes and brussel sprouts were also inspired from Veganomicon. While they were quite tasty, they were a bit undercooked, which I'm not sure if that was because my oven wasn't hot enough or if I was rushing. No one complained though.

lemon poppyseed cupcakes with lemon curd filling

I also made these cupcakes for dessert. Even though I love frosting, I really enjoy making cupcakes without it whenever I can. These cupcakes from My Sweet Vegan turned out really well. They were sweet but not too sweet and I was really excited about the lemon curd filling. I didn't have any small cookie cutters at the time to cut the holes in the tops so I just tried to cut them with a small knife. They're not the neatest ever but I think cute nonetheless. I'm going to have to try to come up with some fun fillings for cupcakes.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's not very often that I make genuinely pretty dinners. Especially because we love things like mashed potatoes and gravy, which while delicious, aren't all that photogenic. At the store the other day I decided I needed to buy some squash since there was such a good selection and I've never really made anything with squash besides zucchini.

So I picked out some lovely delicata squash without any idea what I would do with it. I decided that even if I couldn't find a recipe I liked it would serve as good decoration in the mean time. Luckily I found an exciting recipe on gothamist for chickpea stuffed delicata. The chickpeas are fried and mixed with a cranberry wine syrup. It was a really nice mix of flavors and textures sweet and savory. Of course, it looked pretty too which I was pleased about. Not to mention it was quite different from the usual meals we make and very quick to prepare.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This weekend Shawn and I went out for Chinese food at Mao's Kitchen. They have some really good vegan options, like a harvest soup that I adore. For some reason though, every time I eat there, I can't seem to make up my mind on what I want to eat. I think part of the problem is that while checking out the menu, I cross the noodle section and always want chow mein noodles, but of course, they're all made with egg. Once you get in the mood for something it's hard to get your mind on something else.

Luckily, I came across some chow mein noodles at the store the next day and to my surprise they were vegan! Yay! So I whipped up some spicy chow mein with bok choy and mushrooms. So good!

I also got a ton of fun stuff at the store so I'll be making some other exciting treats this week.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Here is a black raspberry and blueberry crumble I made. The important thing with this is that the crumble on top is really great and could be used with any fruit. It is great with peaches or apples or berries. I'm not usually into blueberries but I love how they look with the black raspberries and the flavors are very complimentary. Here is the recipe...

Crumble top
3/4 cups all purpose-flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup non-dairy butter

(sorry my measurements are a bit, well, sketchy)
1 bag frozen black raspberries
1 bag frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp arrowroot powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Defrost the fruit in a saucepan (or microwave) and pour into pie pan. Stir in sugar and arrowroot powder until it is dissolved in the fruit juices. Set aside.

Pour dry ingredients into a bowl and combine. Cut non-dairy butter into chunks and add to bowl. Use your hands to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until they form crumbly balls. Sprinkle on top of berries.

Bake for 40 minutes or until crumbles are golden brown.

Another option with this is to leave out the arrowroot powder all together, depending on the fruit, or substitute regular flour.

I'm supposed to be posting more this month but man it's quite a bit harder than I thought. Mainly because I spend all day in front of a computer at work and don't really want anything to do with my laptop when I get home. I would much rather be baking. Anyway I'm trying to get back on track.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Halloween Treats!

These little ghosts might not be scary but they're so tasty. I tested out a new recipe for cappuccino and espresso cupcakes. I happened to make these before I made dinner so I had to test out the batter...which was possibly the best ever. Seriously.

Shawn and I also decorated the sugar cookies I made last night. I think I got a little carried away but it was so much fun!

I really can't believe how good these cupcakes are. They're not like your typical vegan cupcake either. I'll post a recipe when I've got it worked out. The espresso cupcakes turned out cakey and the cappuccino cupcakes are crispy. I'd like them to be a little more alike. I just topped them off with some regular vanilla buttercream frosting but think something a little more exciting would bring these guys to a whole new level of cupcake. You might think I'm kidding. I'm not.

All these treats are for a Halloween movie marathon we're having. Oh and we'll be making pizza of course. Can't wait!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Veganniversary

vegan ice cream from Scoops to celebrate
oreo and vanilla coffee

Today is the three year anniversary of me going vegan! Yay!

Even if it's not so exciting for everyone else I'm going to tell everyone my going vegan story.

I decided to become vegetarian at age 13 to "save the animals." Honestly at that point meat did not interest me at all and I had a really difficult time knowing I was eating something that had been alive. My mother insisted I continue to eat fish but other than my parents were pretty much uninvolved in what I ate. This meant that as a vegetarian I did not have a very diverse diet. For most of my teenage years I ate mostly cereal, grilled cheese sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, pasta and Dr. Pepper. Oh yes, lots and lots of carbs. Although I had tried more ethnic foods than a lot of people, they weren't a regular staple. Except for sushi. Which I have to admit I was obsessed with (and still am in its vegan forms). I stopped eating fish when I was 17 when my favorite sushi restaurant changed ownership.

As I got older I started learning more about cooking and about veganism. I made some simple switches to soy milk and earth balance but thought that going completely vegan would be too hard for me. My biggest problem was my sweet tooth. I just hadn't had many good vegan desserts and I couldn't imagine living without them. Though for the most part I ate vegan and cooked vegan I still didn't think I could do it. At the same time, having learned more about factory farming, I was having a lot of guilt whenever I ate things that weren't vegan.

When I was 21 I went backpacking in Europe for a month and a half. The entire trip my diet consisted almost entirely of bread and cheese. It felt horrible. The day after I got home I decided that I had to go vegan. I made a resolution that if I were going to do it, it had to be for at least a year. That year came and went and I could never imagine myself going back.

Being vegan has changed my life immensely for the better. I cook all the time, and bake even more. For me this is so rewarding. I feel like having this connection with my food makes me appreciate it even more. Going out to eat at restaurant with vegan food is exciting, it's not just something that you have to do. Despite having staple foods that I eat a lot, my diet is so much more diverse than it has ever been. I've also leaned so much about all the things that I eat. I feel better eating the food without the guilt of another animal's suffering or the gross things in non-vegan food. I'm also extremely fortunate to have a vegan boyfriend so we get to make treats together, which makes things that much more fun.

Anyway, I'll get back to more fun photo posts soon. I have been bad at updating lately, and have a little backlog of pictures to post. Eep!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The infamous vegan crepes...

alix in the kitchen

Months ago Shawn and I decided to have a pseudo-French night. This of course consisted mainly of drinking wine and eating crepes. We got to finally test out our crepe pan and tools.

spreading the batter

flipping the crepe

The process definitely took some practice, and I have infinite respect for those that are able to effortlessly flip crepes twice the size of ours.

Crepes are one of those treats that I actually crave, and though I usually tend towards sweet crepes (my favorite toppings are just lemon and sugar) we went for savory mushroom and mozzarella crepes.

For the most part, the recipes I found at the time focused more on a dessert type crepe so these turned out a bit sweet, but still, so freaking good. They were crunchy on the outside but still soft throughout. And yes, chopping with an extra large cleaver makes them taste better.

Anyway these photos have been lost in the ephemera for the past three or four months, from before we did some modifications to our kitchen, including a new oven. Finally they are here for your viewing pleasure!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I feel like I'm constantly trying to used leftovers or open food. I opened a jar of applesauce for something or other and wanted to try and used the rest of it before it could go bad. I also had an extra premade pie crust. I was thinking to myself there should be such a thing as an applesauce pie, because that's what I wanted to make. Sure enough there is.

I altered some recipes I found to make a vegan version. My boyfriend loved this pie. The flavors were really good but it was bit too "buttery" for me. Here's the recipe...

Vegan Applesauce Pie

1 Pastry crust
3 tsp egg replacer mixed with 4 Tbps warm water
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
2 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup Earth Balance softened/melted
1 c unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together sugar, flour and nutmeg.
Combine egg replacer with warm water and beat till frothy.
Mix egg replacer with applesauce and Earth Balance and blend until smooth.
Combine all ingredients and mix together so that there aren't any lumps.
Pour into prepared pastry crust.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving. This pie holds together even better when it is refrigerated.

pizza and cupcakes

I would say that the two most commonly baked foods in this apartment are pizza and cupcakes. We eat a lot of pizza. We eat enough pizza to have two pizza stones and an individual pizza oven. The recipes are pretty standard though.

I tried to make a pizza that was a bit different than usual even with the same ingredients. I don't usually cook with onions unless a recipe calls for it, but this time I decided to go all out and cover the pizza with caramelized onions. I also roasted some garlic and sauteed the tofu in a mix of rosemary, nutritional yeast and soy sauce.

Sometimes I experiment and things don't turn out so well. This was not one of those times. This pizza was so delicious.

So of course I tried out some cookies and cream cupcakes. Something easy that I had been craving and wanted to test out. The thing with cupcakes is that there is always a bit too much batter and icing left over. Not enough to make another batch....just enough, I discovered, to make a mini cake. Just a bit bigger than a cupcake, but perfect dessert size. I think I'll be making more of these.

Also, I'm going to try my best to post as much vegan goodness as I can for the month of October and veganmofo. Should be a lot of good fall treats to make. I'm excited!