Friday, September 28, 2007

Feelin' the Love.

Please head over to my new blog at, where you'll find this post & more!

First of all, thank you SO much for the wonderful response to the candy corn. I've been thrilled with all the positive feedback, my daily hits are at an all time high, & having some of my favorite chefs & bloggers stop by to comment feels is wonderful! It makes the process worthwhile & I hope many of you will have the opportunity to make & enjoy them.

On a whim, some candy corn was sent to various locations & the recipients were kind enough to take lovely photographs & write a bit about them on their blogs. Check out the posts from Celine (her fun photo is seen above), Kittee, & Hannah. Oh & while you're at it, pre-order Hannah's book, My Sweet Vegan; I've already ordered my copy!

Another reason I'm feelin' the love is I was named as a "Rockin' Girl Blogger" at epicurean escapism. Be sure to check out all the gorgeous pastries that come out of her kitchen! If you're not inspired, you're not paying attention!

I opened the photos of my Flickr friends the other day & imagine my shock when I saw a familiar logo, but in tattoo form! The awesome Milvia is a gorgeous vegan gal from Ferrara, Italy. She makes beautiful baked goods, some of which are sold in cafes, she also posts great bento photos, & has the cutest kitties. I am so flattered she liked my logo enough to get it inked on her & the muffin eyes are a cute addition! Check out her Flickr & her blog for tasty recipes, if you read Italian.

I had an amazing day yesterday! I was working on a magazine shoot at a private event location with a rustic barn, a train, a lake, & best of all, apple trees! There was so much fruit, it covered the ground & we all were picking apples & eating them on the spot. I've never had the chance to do that before, so I was in heaven! At the end of the day, we were welcomed to take home as much as we could carry & I didn't hesitate. I climbed the beautiful trees & with branches brushing my face, I picked apples in four varieties, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, & my favorite, Fuji! This Saturday is another installation of the Vegan Brunch Cartel, so an apple treat, most likely a crumble, will be made & consumed. Viva Gluttony! (More photos of the gorgeous apples are HERE.)

This weekend, Ryan & I will be celebrating 2 years of marriage. Sunday night we'll be attending the Aphrodisiac Dinner at the amazing Millennium Restaurant; 5 courses of love foods, yum yum! I'm so lucky to have "the Mooks" in my life, he's so supportive & it's wonderful to be married to your best friend. Here's a photo of us from last weekend at a club, I found it at random on a photographer's webpage!

As a gift, Ryan bought me tickets to see Morrissey, TWICE! The shows were both fabulous & I swooned when I reached out & was able to touch Moz. (Yes, I am that sad.) We also brought home a guitar pick from each night, which will be framed with the poster from the show. I wasn't able to take photos, but the photo you see here is right before the Monday night concert with a postcard I hold dear.

I saw Morrissey in London a few years ago & that exact postcard was handed to me before the show. I had been contemplating a return to vegetarianism at that point (I'd lapsed after 5 years of being veg; so foolish) & the postcard yielded an epiphany & I went right back to being a vegetarian. I keep the postcard on my refrigerator as a constant reminder of where I came from, where I should be, & of course, the eye candy doesn't hurt! haha.

OKAY, but what about the FOOD??
Recently I've made Pineapple Curry, a Sourdough sandwich loaf, Fat Free Vegan's "Corned Beef" & Cabbage with the Seitan o' Greatness, Sourdough Pancakes with a side of fruit salad, my 1st bento box lunch, & attended the 1st annual Mac & Cheese off with a Smoky Mac & Sheese recipe, that tasted better before I baked it! doh. Last night, I made banana muffins on a whim & today I've got bread rising for 2 loaves & will be making an Apple & Cabbage Slaw shortly. Phew, it's been busy in this kitchen!

Don't worry, I'll have some sweet recipes for you soon, including one that Celine tested awhile ago & I haven't had the chance to organize & post yet! Until then, Ciào!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Homemade Vegan Candy Corn = a Happy Halloween!

Please head over to my new blog at, where you'll find this recipe & more!

October is right around the corner & thoughts have already turned to Halloween! While most are getting creative with costumes, many vegans are figuring out what candies they can eat! Packaged candy corn at your local store typically is packed with animal products like gelatin, egg whites, & beeswax, so members of the PPK were lamenting the lack of the sugary little confection in their lives. Well, lament no more!

The Epicurious Editor's Blog had a recipe for Homemade Candy Corn & I jumped at the chance to try a vegan version. With some easy substitutions, it worked! This recipe is not for the faint at heart, while the dough is easy to make, the production process is time consuming & tedious! I recommend having a candy corn party with friends, so you can all assemble & enjoy these goodies together! I suppose you could also eat them uncolored, but how unfestive is that?! hehe.

Candy Corn

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup (preferably organic, avoid high fructose corn syrup!)
5 tablespoons Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup powdered soy milk
a pinch of sea salt
Red & yellow food coloring

In a large saucepan, bring the sugar, corn syrup, Earth Balance, & vanilla to a boil over high heat.

Reduce the heat to medium & boil the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 5 minutes, remove from heat.

Sift the powdered sugar, powdered soy milk, & salt into medium bowl.

Add the powdered sugar mixture to pan & stir to combine.

Let the mixture stand until slightly warm to touch, about 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces.

Consider putting on rubber gloves, so you don't stain your hands. Add several drops of yellow food coloring to one piece of dough & knead food coloring into the dough until smooth and color is even. Repeat using red & yellow food coloring (for orange) with the second piece & leave the last piece white, but knead it until smooth. This isn't an easy task & could take up to 15 minutes!

Roll each piece into ropes of equal length (don't roll too thin or the dough will break) and push the three ropes together to form a long rectangle.

Using sharp knife, cut the ropes into triangles. Some will be white tipped & some will be yellow tipped.

Shape the candy corn as desired! You can even make Mellowcreme Pumpkins!

This yielded 110 candy corn, all larger than the store bought ones you're used to! You could easily half this recipe & have a ton to share with others. I made mine somewhat large, as they're easier to work with, but you could make smaller ones & have a TON!

My Notes:
They taste great, although slightly less sugary than the pre-packaged versions. I find that's the case with most artisan versions of standard junk food, but you'll still enjoy these very much & they'll quell your candy corn craving! I wouldn't add more sugar, as the dough will get too firm to work with. In fact, the dough is pretty firm in the first place & you may find your fingers hurting from kneading. When adding the food coloring, I found it best to keep folding the dough in to itself, then flattening it with my palm. Also, I didn't have gloves, so I kept a layer of plastic wrap over my dough as I was kneading it, which worked fine with minimal staining. The ropes of dough are VERY long, they took up the length of my dining table, so you can consider working in sections. I also used a rolling pin to slightly flatten the tops of the 3 connected ropes, it makes cutting easier & slightly pushes the ropes together. Finally, please be conscious of the corn syrup you use! The widely available Karo is packed with nasty High Fructose Corn Syrup, something you DON'T need in your system. I bought an organic corn syrup, which was pricey, but I found it to be worthwhile.

PLEASE let me know if you take the time to make & enjoy these! I'd love to hear what others think of them. Oh & Happy (very early) Halloween! hehe.

Monday, September 17, 2007

In My Kitchen / Recipe Roundup & MeMeMeMeMe!

Please head over to my new blog at, where you'll find this post & more!

I've been cooking like crazy in the kitchen lately, yet I've haven't been taking the time to blog about it! I had a stockpile of photos I'd taken & I finally got around to editing them tonight, so let's go on a photo tour of my culinary adventures, shall we?

Vegan with a Vengeance is an awesome cookbook, but I never took the time to make dishes from it; until now! You don't need to be a vegan to enjoy this cookbook, there's so many awesome dishes using things you already have in your kitchen, plus other recipes to make you branch out from your old standards.

The Black Bean & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers were SO good, I could eat them every day. In fact, I bought more peppers to make them again this week. The original recipe has mushrooms, but since that's not my veggie of choice, I omitted them & it's still amazing! I had extra filling left over & it was a tasty lunch the next day!

Another night, I made the Revolutionary Spanish Omelet with Saffron for dinner. I am lucky enough to have saffron threads from Iran, given to me by a friend's mother. I never had a use for them besides sprinkled in Persian tea, so I was excited to find this recipe! This dish was surprisingly mild & may have been best with the Red Pepper Almond Sauce it suggested, but we still enjoyed it!

Another delicious dish from VWaV is the Maple-Mustard Glazed Potatoes & String Beans! The ingredients & process are simple, but the flavor is undeniably tasty. I served it over red quinoa & it was perfection on a plate!

I don't know what took me so long to get in to this cookbook, but I'm now even more excited for Isa's next book, Veganomicon!

Of course, I have to make dessert! I had some very ripe bananas, so I made ice cream with them & WOW, it was excellent! Here's the recipe, do yourself a favor & MAKE THIS!

Banana Ice Cream
3 very ripe or overripe bananas
1 1/2 cups soy milk (I used very vanilla.)
1/3 cup sugar
a splash of vanilla
In a food processor or blender, puree all your ingredients together.
Put the mixture in the refrigerator until it's cold.
Once cold, add the mixture to your ice cream maker & follow the manufacturers instructions.
woo, you're in HEAVEN now! No need to thank me.

Another fun thing I've been doing is making bread. I was lucky enough to have a member of the PPK send me a sourdough starter that dates back to the Oregon Trail! As soon as it arrived, I got the starter going again & made two loaves of bread. One was consumed with a dinner of Lachesis' Seitan o' Greatness & mixed veggies simmered in tangy BBQ sauce & the other was made in to Sunday late-morning French Toast, which was perfect after a late night of dancing!

Mooks LOVED Orange Glazed Chick*n, but since that's not an option anymore, I made Orange Sesame Tofu, a dish Love Like a Vegan adapted from a Martha recipe. It's safe to say the old favorite won't be missed anymore & the tofu version is here to stay! We served it up with fluffy quinoa, a favorite around here & the sauce was so delicious, we'll putting it on everything in sight soon enough.

I love to cook for others, so when a friend wanted to get together for dinner, I suggested she come here! I used the opportunity to make the Seitan Ribz everyone loves from Fat Free Vegan, but opted for zesty Buffalo Wing Sauce. I served the Buffalo Seitan Ribz with a Corn & Cucumber Salad & homemade Biscuits. Of course, Buffalo wings need Blue Cheese dressing; enter Blue SHEESE!

I was lucky enough to find out Sheese, a hard to come by cheese alternative, was being carried at a local grocery store. It's not an inexpensive product, so I read online reviews before heading out & opted for the oft enjoyed Blue Sheese. The opening of the package revealed the typical blue cheese smell, so with high hopes I took a bite & while the texture initially was a bit lacking, the taste is great, so I don't mind! In addition to the dressing, I've been enjoying blue sheese with apple slices & put them both on a salad today with balsamic vinaigrette; wonderful! I also picked up Strong Cheddar, but have yet to open it.

Blue Sheese Dressing
1/2 cup Vegannaise
1/4 cup Blue Sheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon Soy Milk
1 tablespoon Vinegar
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/8 teaspoon Onion Salt
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/8 teaspoon Dry Mustard

I found the dressing to be a bit on the sweet side, so I would omit the sugar in the future. Also, I used Dijon Mustard, instead of Dry Mustard & Onion Powder instead of Onion Salt since it's what I had on hand. Many recipes I found utilized mayonnaise & sour cream, but since I didn't have both, I was able to find a recipe without the sour cream & went with that. It was good & my husband who eats blue cheese dressing often really enjoyed it!

While I try to keep the subject here to food, I was tagged for multiple memes & thought I'd give it a whirl. Hopefully, the name meme Amey, Lori & Amanda tagged me for will also work for the "8 Things" meme Natalie & Gigi tagged me for ages ago!

M is for Married (to Mook!). I've been with my husband Ryan (also known as Mook) for 9 years, but our 2 year wedding anniversary is upcoming (October 1st). When he met me I was a 17 year old with a shaved head & a bad attitude. We've grown so much together, he's my biggest fan & best friend. Seriously, any man who can deal with me is a champ!

E is for Explorer. I LOVE to travel. I have a serious case of wanderlust & try to take a trip every few months even if it's just to NYC or LA. Some of my favorite cities are London, Tokyo, New York, & Paris. I'd really like to go back to Berlin to explore more, but I also want to check out the cities in Spain, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, China, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, & more more more!

L is for Late Bird. My motto is, "Always late, but worth the wait!". If you want me somewhere at 5pm, tell me to be there at 4:30pm. It's annoying & frustrating, but I can't seem to get anywhere on time, no matter how early I start getting ready! I like to blame it on having a due date of Thanksgiving & my mother going to the hospital to have me removed from her on January 5th. I was BORN late, people!

I is for Inked. I have 7 tattoos, most of which are large pieces. My whole back is pretty much covered & the rest of my work is on my arms. I have everything from flowers to anchors to cupcakes pushed in to my skin & my plan is to have a floral half sleeve & a half sleeve of various things.

S is for Silly. I love to be silly with the Mooks or my friends! It's not odd for me to make funny noises, dance around the house, make faces at people, go to clubs & imitate people's bad dancing, jump on the bed, whatever strikes me, really!

S is for Sweet Tooth. Obviously, I like to bake, but even before I knew my way around a kitchen, I knew my way around a sugary treat! I have been known to consume more sugar than a human ever should- the 1st time I went to a Krispy Kreme, I bought a dozen, then sat down & had 8 of them before I felt the sugar buzz & stopped. These days I don't have that tolerance, but I'm still not opposed to having dessert first!

E is for Emotional. I've always been a very emotional person, a roller coaster, if you will. I can scream or punch you in the face one minute, then start bawling the next! It's really inconvenient, to be honest, but most days I'm glad I get to go through life aware & feeling everything I do, I think it's what makes me a compassionate person.

R is for uhhh.. Rock & Roll? Music is a big part of my life & always has been. Even in my days as a competitive dancer & dance teacher, I was picking rock songs when everyone else picked dance music. I found punk rock at age 13 and it really shaped my world & made me in to the person I am today. These days I've calmed down a bit & spend more time in the kitchen than at shows, but there's still a rock & roll soundtrack to my life & that will never change!

By the way, you can now connect to The Urban Housewife at!! No need to update your links, but for future reference, it's an easy way to get here!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Labor Day Potluck, In my Kitchen, & NYC!

Please head over to my new blog at, where you'll find this post & more!

Gathering with friends is always something I enjoy & I used Labor Day Weekend as an excuse to have a potluck! An awesome range of friends attended & I was excited many members of the "vegan brunch cartel" were able to make it. The culinary prowess was at an all time high & the food was insanely delicious! As planned, we all ate far too much, yet there was still a ton of food on the table! Luckily, I had my empty Earth Balance containers ready & sent people home with leftovers, as there was no way we could consume what was left!

For the bash, I whipped up Vanilla Cupcakes from my own recipe & topped them with both Lemon Cream Cheese frosting & Mocha Mousse frosting. No one guessed they were vegan, so I believe I'm finally happy with my vanilla cupcake recipe & will be sharing it here in the near future!
By request, another round of Lolo's Donuts were made, this time in Maple & classic Pink Glaze with Sprinkles. I'm done making these for awhile, I adore them, but there's so many other treats I've been meaning to make!

In the savory department, I made tamales, thanks to Dr. Stonielove! I have a constant craving for tamales, but had never made them myself, but her recent recipe gave me the courage to do so! One batch contained black beans, soyrizo, & jalapeños, the other was filled with corn, red & yellow bell peppers, & chilies. I was VERY happy with these & snuck some in to the freezer to enjoy later. We also made Tempeh kabobs to grill along side all the veggie dogs & burgers people brought!

As a joke, I decided to use vegan gelatin to craft a giant cupcake. Sadly, it's not the most stable product out there, so it started to melt pretty quickly. I shoved it in to the freezer, only to find it solid & much shorter than when I initially assembled it when I went to retrieve it. Use your imagination & we'll say it started out glorious & mind blowing, okay?!

Other attendees brought delicious dishes like Bruschetta, the Get Sconed version of New Farm Mac and Cheez, Curried "Chicken" salad in Endive wraps, Hummus with pita & cucumber, Spinach-Artichoke dip, & as you can see, an amazing display of Fruit Kabobs! (This is what happens when a caterer attends your potluck!)

I had a fabulous time & I can't wait for the next excuse to gather around a diverse setting of food with various people! I think I may have a potluck obsession & I'm perfectly OK with that!

In other news, I've been going crazy in the kitchen lately! I've been so inspired by all the blogs I've been reading, as well as the PPK, all I've wanted to do is try new recipes (& make sorbet, of course)!

Recent recipes have included Celine's L & H Seitan O'Greatness, which was used to make Lolo's Crispy Sweet and Sour Seitan. I'm also a tester for Joni's new cookbook about burgers, so I made her Ortega Burgers on homemade whole wheat french bread with oven fries. A desire for something besides Tofutti in the morning yielded Bryanna's Lemon Curd & let me tell you, it is FABULOUS! My crumpets will forever be covered with this insanely addictive spread!

On the sorbet front, I made a wonderful Strawberry Sorbet that we gobbled up quickly! Yesterday in a 12 hour span I managed to make Watermelon Sorbet, Yellow Peach Sorbet, & Bartlett Pear Sorbet! The plan is to have some in the freezer to be consumed when the mood strikes, but it seems to disappear pretty quickly around here! I'm happy to see others have caught the sorbet bug as well, like Amey at Vegan Eats & Treats!

In travel news, I'll be headed back to one of my favorite places, NEW YORK CITY! woo.
While I've been there many times, I'm always looking for restaurant & activity recommendations, especially of the vegan persuasion. I'm not a greasy spoon diner type (I can make a veggie burger at home), but I love a range of tasty foods, especially healthier vegetable heavy items or ethnic fare, so bring it on! I'll be in town for 2 weeks in late October / early November, so there's plenty of meals & fun to be had!
Hey NYC, let's have a Halloween themed Potluck!