Tuesday, February 3, 2009

January Birthday Celebrations & Teese Trials.

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

While my planned birthday dinner at ubuntu in Napa was less than spectacular & resulted in a mad dash to Millennium to escape ubuntu's sub par offer of soup & salad as the only vegan option, there were luckily other plans to celebrate my birth. My husband Ryan is also a January baby, as is Megan from The Sisters Vegan, so we decided to plan a joint birthday party. Ideas swirled around & the result was a PIZZA PARTY, a la the coveted childhood celebration, often at some horrible place like Chuck E. Cheese's. Further discussion revealed we were all avid Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans, so we threw them in to the mix as well. Unfortunately, Megan fell ill a few days before the party & couldn't attend, but we did our best to do her proud!

Pizza stone at the ready, I made a few "Isa Pizzas" from Vegan with a Vengeance, as well as various combinations from Potato Pesto to mixed Veggies, topped with Mozzarella style Teese, the perfect vegan cheese for pizza making. Friends were kind enough to bring pizzas to share, such as an incredible Barbeque Chicken pizza, one with homemade Seitan Pepperoni & creamy Cashew Cheese, & a Mexican Pizza in a cornmeal crust. The pizzas were stacked high & as each one came out of the oven, people declared they couldn't fathom another piece, yet they still disappeared.

Dessert was quite the adventure, as I decided to try my hand at making an ice cream cake! I've sang the praises of Double Rainbow Soy Cream in the past & here I go again! I used two of their flavors as bases to create my fillings for the cake. Cinnamon Caramel was mixed with homemade Graham Crackers & spiced Apples to create Apple Pie ice cream & Vanilla Bean was transformed with Chocolate ribbons, Sweet & Sara marshmallows, & more homemade Graham Crackers for S'mores ice cream. They were downright delicious & I laid the two ice creams side by side to create a filling for the 10 x 15 layers of vanilla cake topped in vanilla frosting. I had to keep the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle theme going beyond the pizza, so I tried my hand at piping Michaelango, my favorite turtle, on top with his common exclamation, "Cowabunga!". As you can see, I'm no artist, but it could certainly could have been worse!

On Ryan's actual birth date, we had a quiet night, opting for dinner at Minako Organic Japanese, a local restaurant with an extensive vegan menu. While they surprised us with a fruit jelly dessert, complete with a candle in the agar cubes, we both knew we had another treat waiting for us back home. After the delicious cheesecake we had in NYC, I decided to try my hand at this decadent dessert for the first time & make a mini Peanut Butter Cheesecake. A crust made with homemade Graham Crackers housed layers of peanut butter & plain filling cheesecake filling, chocolate ganache, & peanut butter frosting. Ryan loved it & I will definitely be making cheesecake again, as it yielded many ideas for the future!

As I mentioned, mozzarella style Teese Vegan Cheese makes for a killer pizza topping. When I heard they had released other flavors, I found myself anxious to try them & luckily was able to do so. In the world of vegan cheese, these are a stand out & even as someone who tries not to consume mass quantities of processed food, Teese is something I find myself indulging in from time to time.

Those looking for the fancy wine & cheese experience, look elsewhere, but for American cheesy goodness, Cheddar style Teese is on point. Our first impression was "whoa, Kraft Singles", so we decided to make grilled cheese sandwiches in our sandwich press, or shall we say Grilled Teese Sandwiches?! In the past week, this has been a great snack or last minute meal when we're on the go. Who can resist a melty pocket of cheesiness?

Nacho Teese made a perfect topping for chips, of course! Similar to the cheddar style, but with a hint of jalapenos, it easily melted in a saucepan over medium heat, then was poured over layers of chips & salsa, then topped with olives for our birthday celebration. A giant platter was gobbled up quickly, with no complaints from attendees. Ryan continued to melt Nacho Teese for dipping chips days later & even found it tasty on taquitos!

In other news, in March, Ryan & I will be off on another foodie adventure in Europe! While we couldn't help but make a return to Berlin, one of our favorite cities, this time we'll also see Copenhagen & Vienna, plus my dear friend Marijke & I will be checking out Stockholm. Suggestions on places to see, go, or EAT are always welcome!

56 comments:

seitanismymotor said...

What a cake! Glad to hear your birthday was a success.
Another trip to Europe? When?

shelby said...

Europe!?! Lucky!!!

That cake looks so decadent and amazing, mmm it's breakfast but I want some!

I'll have to try teese, I'm not a fan of vegan cheeses but that sammich looks too good to pass up!

celine said...

dude, I'm envious: I won't get to go to Europe this year.
you totally rocked that cake. and made me have a huge craving for Teese. must order some asap.

VeggieGirl said...

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!! :-)

jumbleberryjam said...

Happiest of birthdays!! And happy news - cheddar teese. Yum. Can't wait for the European food reviews!

Jenny said...

looks like a wonderful birthday :) lucky you going on a trip to europe, if you come to iceland let me know!

allularpunk said...

happy belated birthday! all of those pizzas have me ready to make one asap. i have some mozzarella teese in my fridge just waiting for the day i'm ready for (more) pizza. have you tried the cheddar style in quesadillas? i had that for lunch a couple days last week and it was awesome combined with refried beans and salsa! on to your desserts...love the ninja turtle cake! i was a complete tmnt nerd back in the day. and your cheesecake looks just amazing... what an awesome way to celebrate the birthdays!

Ricki said...

Happy birthday to both of you! Sounds like a fabulous party--and that food! Your cake came out great. And I love the look of that PB cheesecake!

julie hasson said...

Yummy!! I have yet to try the cheddar Teese, but it sure looks good on that sandwich.

A European vacation sounds like so much fun! So I guess this means you're putting off Portland for a little while, huh? Damn!

Amey said...

okay, first of all, what's up with ubuntu just having soup and salad for vegans? that really puts a damper on my enthusiasm to go check it out. Thank goodness for Millenium!

I LOVE the cake! ha ha. I used to babysit some little boys who were REALLY into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I remember one of them asking me, all dreamy-like, "Amey, and you a *teenager*??!" Ha!

And wow, how fun that you are going back to Europe again! When's the trip? I've been to Copenhagen a couple of times, it's a really really neat place.

Kiersten said...

both the ice cream cake and cheesecake sound heavenly!

Vegyogini said...

Happy belated birthday! What fun ways to celebrate. :)

I haven't been to Berlin and Vienna in close to 11 years, but I loved both. Vienna has the most beautiful trees...I hope they're full of leaves when you're there.

Melody Polakow said...

Wow! That cheesecake looks perfect.

I can't wait to read about your European adventure..

I still have not tried Teese.

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

Happy Belated Birthday...and you are so awesome! The pizzas look great (and the nachos) and the desserts look even better!

Bianca said...

Happy birthday ya'll! I LOVE the idea of a vegan pizza party! I think I'm going to propose that for my birthday next year.

And that ninja turtle cake is so cute! I was a huge fan too. I credit April with my decision to go into journalism.

Sal said...

I love the turtle cake, awesome. The cheesecake looks sooo good too. And now I want pizza.

i like applejuice said...

I am so so so glad you introduced me to Teese. BALL PARK NACHOS ARE BACK IN MY LIFE.

...barbara... said...

i want teese...and ninja turtle ice cream cake...and europe and more teese...i shall stop there for the list would go on and on...

everything looks rockin...happy belated birthday...

VeganBattleBot said...

That TMNT cake is bad ass. Also, those Isa Pizzas look super good and I'm all over it.

In other news, is it sad that when you mention 'Ubuntu' I immediately think about the Linux operating system of the same name?

herbstsonne said...

Michaelangelo is AWESOME!! :D Well done!

Also nachos yes plzkthx. :3

Chelsea said...

What a great birthday idea! You're so cute in your Ninja Turtles shirt and matching cake! My best friend was obsessed with them when we were kids and still has figures around her house :) .

quarrygirl said...

OMG! i was so into the ninja turtles when i was a kid. i mean, i had a really unhealthy obsession with michelangelo...which explains my love for pizza. it looked like you had a great time, and the cake is awesome.

i just got some cheddar cheese and was wondering what to do with it. after reading your post, grilled teese it is! i wonder if i could make some nachos with it as well...

thanks for the great photos and inspiration. you and your friends have way too much fun. :)

River said...

I love the theme! The cake is too cool! You look so purdy with your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt! :)

YAY for Europe!! I am not one bit jealous. OK, maybe just ONE bit!

Becca said...

This is making me sooooooooooooooooooooooo hungry! Such a great birthday party idea!

Vegan_Noodle said...

First of all... so jealous of your Europe trip! Have a blast! I loved Vienna, but wasn't vegan when I was there so I'm afraid I can't help you out on restaurants.

And oh my, what an awesome birthday cake! Sweet piping skills for sure. Michelangelo was my favorite too :-) Happy birthday to both you and Ryan!

madcapcupcake said...

That ice cream cake, that cheesecake...mmmmMMMMmmmm...and the pizza, and the grilled cheese...everything looks so delicious - way to make an awesome birthday spread!! Have a blast in Europe - can't wait to hear all about the great eats!

dj hot grits said...

in vienna make sure to check out Bio Bar. its a great all-veg spot in a square next to a holocaust memorial museum, and also right by a great little record store.

based on your post, i decided to melt some of the nacho teese last night, and while it melted well and tasted all right, the smell it gave off while being cooked was rather unsatisfactory. it filled my house and lingered for quite some time.

JennShaggy said...

Haha I didn't even include the story where I got to eat at the child's price at a Mongolian restaurant. They waitress looked at my Dad's friend and said "She 12 and under? Child price?" And I just shook my head yes. It was awesome.

Cakespy said...

Best birthday ever!!!!!!!!! Turtle power! I love the updated take on a classic childhood memory type of birthday party. :-)

Barna said...

A tip or two for my old city (Vienna):

My favorite is Rupp's -- a vegetarian pub, with lots of vegan options. They have many of the classic central European dishes veganized, even schnitzel.

If you have the means to take a daytrip, be sure to trek out to Gasthaus Schillinger which is the full old-school Austrian gasthaus experience, except completely vegan (!).

Erin said...

Thank you for inviting me over! All the food was amazing, obviously. Oh, and just so you know, I had the TMNT theme stuck in my head earlier today.

jodye said...

Your pizzas look sooo good. I just bought some Teese and have been debating over which way to use it. You just made the decision for me!

Karen Roberts said...

Oh I am dying to try Teese! I keep hearing so much about it, but have never seen it in stores. Hmm...will have to try a little harder!

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Happy belated birthday! Yay for Europe!!!

Lovliebutterfly said...

You're killing me with all those scruptious food! That cake, that grilled sandwich, and what a pizza! That's more than I can take in a single post! I just had dinner and dying for dessert now that I've seen that cake! Yum!

Penny said...

those melty pockets look scrumptious. gotta wipe my brow now.

The Voracious Vegan said...

The nachos! The cakes! The grilled cheese sandwich! The PIZZA!!!! I am now soooo hungry thanks to your delicious blog!

Anni said...

Great to hear you're coming to Europe! Stockholm is just an overnight ferry-ride away from Helsinki, so we visit there pretty often. I'd be happy to e-mail you about our favorite places if you want, just leave me a comment or send a message (to anni at tofufortwo dot net)!

shellyfish said...

If you guys decide to visit France, let me know!

Hourrah for January birthdays, and I am sooooo jealous of your Teese. I don't miss cheese all that often, but seeing those nachos made my heart skip a beat, seriously.

And I am loving that cake!

Hannah said...

So. Jealous. Of everything.

But seriously, have a great time on your vacation! Eat lots of tasty vegan food and take tons of pictures to share when you get back! :)

Happy belated birthday!

Bethany said...

yum! I can't believe how awesome all that food looks.

I want to run out and get some pizza (because I'm too lazy to make crust). bbq pizza. yum!

I've made an ice cream cake before. it was a lot easier than I thought and totally worth it. yours looks awesome (plus so cute w/ a ninja turtle on it). I really miss soy cream. they don't carry it up here anymore.

I may have to change my bday cake order to a cheeZecake. But my husband would kill me because he has to make it. I'm already forcing him to make some million step cupcakes because I'm too lazy to make them myself.

I'm so envious of your trip to europe! I hope you get to eat lots of great food.

Bethany said...

oh, and happy bday!!!

dreaminitvegan said...

Your cheesecake looks like it came from a bakery. Chocolate and peanut butter, yum!

Alanna said...

That ice cream cake sounds divine! Love the rendition of Michaelangelo too... don't worry, no cake wreck there!

Nessy said...

Hah! I love that cake! Awesome. Great post, as always. ^_^

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