Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cookin' with Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Dandies Vegan Marshmallows!

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

Cooking with friends is always fun, so when myself & small group of friends received an email asking if we'd like to cook together, I jumped at the chance. Of course, there was another reason to jump at the chance, the email came from a friend who you may also know, one Isa Chandra Moskowitz of the upcoming Vegan Brunch & a host of other vegan cookbooks.


After a last minute change of plans, the dinner ended up being moved to my house & the emails started flying, brainstorming for menu items. A mention of Matzoh Ball Soup & the proximity to Passover generated a menu & a trip to Rainbow Grocery was in order! We all know I love Rainbow, I think I created another Rainbow lover in Isa, as we easily spent plenty of time perusing the aisles, oohing & aahing over beautiful produce, gorgeous mushrooms, & a million types of dried berries. My stowaway & typical shopping partner Strummer also joined us & Isa also took a great photo of her when she was too happy to stay in her bag!

With oodles of ingredients in tow, we made the trek back to my house & the meal preparation began. Red Bell Peppers were roasted & peeled, then added to hummus flecked with Kalamata Olives & served up with Pita Chips. We roasted Root Vegetables & served them over Arugula with tangy Inca Berries mixed in. The Trumpet Mushrooms we spied earlier were brought home & sauteed to be served with grilled Red Endive with Balsamic Vinegar & Walnuts. Jordan & I had our first lesson in Matzoh with both a Cauliflower Leek Kugel & Matzoh Ball Soup being made.

With so many projects being tackled for dinner, we wanted to keep dessert low-key. A package of Dandies Vegan Marshmallows, the new confections from Chicago Soy Dairy, at our fingertips, we dreamt up "Jewish S'mores"! These tasty treats consisted of pieces of Matzoh dipped in Chocolate, topped with Dandies, drizzled with more dark Chocolate, then finished with coarse flakes of Sea Salt! Simple & amazingly delicious! Needless to say, it was a wonderful meal that came together easily considering how last minute everything was. Read about Isa's account of the night at the PPK blog!

As I mentioned, I managed to get my hands on some Dandies Vegan Marshmallows! I'm sure you've heard the hype about these little guys & believe it, they're downright delicious! Marshmallows were a major love of mine before going vegan, so when I tried these air-puffed little gems, I was thrilled with find they're incredibly similar to the marshmallows I remember! It took all my strength not to keep popping them in my mouth & once I roasted them, OH MY, I was a goner.

The first thing I tackled when the Dandies arrived was a small batch of classic Rice Krispies Treats. I used the basic recipe from Kellogg's, veganized, with bulk brown rice cereal from my co-op. They turned out exactly like I remembered them being; gooey, sweet, & delicious! I can imagine these being turned in to so many treats, butterscotch chip filled, chocolate ganache topped, or even a crust for a crazy layered confection! I ended up having to hide the 2nd bag from myself, so I would have enough to make another dessert for the right occasion!

My grandfather recently celebrated a birthday & as usual, I was the designated dessert maker! Remembering his love for Rocky Road, I decided to use the last of the Dandies & make a big batch of Rocky Road Brownies. I doubled my basic recipe & the end result was uber rich, fudgy brownies filled with Chocolate Chips, toasted Walnuts, & Marshmallows! I made sure to put small pieces of Dandies on top, only to find they puffed up high & made awesome gooey bubbles! To serve them, we decided to top them with Vanilla Bean ice cream & drizzle them with Chocolate sauce for an insanely decadent dessert! Seriously, I thought I was going to have to be rolled home & Ryan found his belly aching after he went back for seconds. Over all, Dandies rock my world & I hope all of you can get your hands on them soon!

Well, I'll off to Chicago! I should be back next week & ready to go with a report on vegan dining in Los Angeles. As usual, if you have places you think I should check out or want to meet up, get in touch! While I'm away, check out Veggie Thing, the new place for major vegan food porn by Citysearch! I'm a "Dictator" there along with many awesome friends & bloggers!

45 comments:

shelby said...

HOLY YUM!!! Everything looks too good for words =P

Anonymous said...

Vanilla Dandies Vegan Marshmallows Ingredients:

Corn Syrup, Vegan Beet Sugar, Corn Starch, Corn Dextrose, Water, Carrageenan, Soy Protein, Natural Vanilla Flavor

VeganSweetTooth said...

Rocky Road Brownie looks amazing! I gotta get my hands on some dandies!

happyherbivore.com said...

wish.i.was.there. yuuuuuuuummmmm

Danica (VeganMamaDotCom) said...

Can you be my new Mama? I will come live with you and you will make me awesome vegan fewds.

Hmm...I will probably need to bring my hub and kids.

vegan.in.brighton said...

Woah, I'm so excited I'm getting some dandies for my birthday!

madcapcupcake said...

I am ALL over that brownie. I would have been if I was within reach, anyway :)

Have a great trip!

Bianca said...

What a fun night! I'd love a chance to cook with Isa, although I'd have to let her take the lead as I'd be too intimidated by her awesome culinary skills.

The marshmallows sound fantastic. I love all the Teese flavors from Chicago Soy Dairy, so I'm sure I'd love these!

Amey said...

melisser!
believe it or not, I still haven't used my dandies. I am thinking either rice krispy treat and/or rocky road ice cream. All that food looks so great

I hope you have great travels, but I"m sorry you won't be at the picnic this weekend - I'll miss you!

:)

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

I love the way you made heart rice krispy treats, so cute!

Kiersten said...

Everything sounds great, but those rocky road brownies...yum!!!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Your cooking with friends night sounds like so much fun! Have a great trip.

Macie said...

Holy moly what a delicious post.

dreaminitvegan said...

What a delicious feast you made and go to eat! My son misses marshmellows so much. I have to get some of those dandies asap!

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

You and Isa in the kitchen together? That sounds like a vegan dream come true for anyone who gets to eat the creations...and it all looks so good!

That rice krispy heart makes me feel all nostalgic.

allularpunk said...

lucky you, getting to cook with isa! it all looks delicious :)

tahinitoo said...

I have no shame in admitting that I am a Dandies addict. I tried hiding them, putting them in a tupperware with an impossible to open lid, and even considered giving away a bag on my blog... But, I was selfish and ate them one by one by one without guilt! I need more and Food Fight is out of stock!

All your food fun with Isa looks yummy! Please send me a brownie.

And, I would love to add you and Sugar Beat Sweets as friends on Facebook. I am heading over there now!

Animal-Friendly said...

Everything looks amazing! I nee some Dandies Marshmallows!

Have fun in Chicago! Can't wait to hear about it when you get back!

PS- just to let you know in case you'll be here that long, the Chicago Green Festival is going on at Navy Pier this Saturday and Sunday

Hannah said...

Oh my god, all of those desserts are calling my name... I seriously need more Dandies! That tiny bag was gone in a flash.

halfeaten said...

DANDIES! Jealous!

Can't wait for the LA post. Hope you have a blast in Chicago!

coulditbeseitan said...

dang girl daaaaaang

jodye said...

Great idea with the brownies! I made deconstructed s'mores with Dandies this weekend. I think anything with Dandies is bound to be amazing

julie hasson said...

Just gorgeous! Your Passover feast looks fantastic, of course.

My brother shops at Rainbow and is always telling me how great it is. Now I think I've got to check it out for myself.

Jeni Treehugger said...

This all looks so so good - I'm loving the look of those Rocky Road brownies (funny name).
Looks like you had loads of fun and LOADS of awesome food too.

jessy said...

hooray for dandies ‘n awesomeness, a rock’n trip to rainbow grocery, and cooking vegan yumminess with Isa! i love it all! have fun in chicago!

JennShaggy said...

You know I'm no "wet noodle" in the kitchen muahahahahaha.

Sorry. It's early ;)

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Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

Sounds fun! I love getting together with friends to cook up a storm :-)

shellyfish said...

I hate that I can't get dandies here! Bastards! I need to get me a righteous vegan posse.

kissing cupcakes said...

the rice krispie treats = adorable and nom. vegan marshmallows sound amazing!

Vegyogini said...

How lucky you are to get to shop and cook with Isa! The whole feast looks delicious.

I've also been experimenting with my Dandies. Thank goodness they're only available to me via Internet! ;)

Vegyogini said...

P.S. I really wish you'd been there for the birthday party, too!

luckytastebuds said...

hi there! I just found your fabulous blog and I'm totally going to use the Veggie Thing website! I'm not vegan or vegetarian...strictly speaking, but I think i COULD be one if i tried. Nothing like a few awesome vegan restaurants to try when I'm feeling like the world of food is getting to be too "narrow" in scope. :) Thank you!!!

OH and the rocky road brownie looks ridiculous!!ahhhhh

Mihl said...

I'd give a finger to cook with Isa and you...but which vegan wants to eat a finger? Can I give a carrot?

Bethany said...

I really want to try those marshmallows. I only have heard great things about them.

Kris said...

That dinner sounds phenominal and rocky road brownies? Your grandfather is one lucky man!

aTxVegn said...

A meal cooked by you and Isa surely must have been delicious beyond words. I hope to see Dandies soon. I think my first three recipes with them would be the same as yours!

Vegetation said...

Mmmmm beautiful food! And I'm way jealous of your vegan marshmallows!!

kim g. said...

I want all that food! I had a dream that I got a bag of dandies - gotta love it when food even takes over while you sleep. Your brownies look so incredibly amazing! I have to try one! And I'm very jealous that you're headed to Chicago. It's my home town, and I'm going through a homesick patch right now. Have fun and enjoy it for me!

Lauren said...

yumm vegan rice krispy treats!
i'm super jealous :)

jambot said...

I just got some dandies myself. I would love to make the rocky road brownies for my gentleman friend. Can you post or email me a recipe?

Comfortably Lovely said...

thanks for the heads up on the Vegan Brunch book! can't wait!!

Daisypicker5 said...

Wow everything looks delicious!!! My brother's birthday was actually in may and I baked him a red velvet cake using this recipe http://www.howcast.com/videos/139827-How-To-Make-Red-Velvet-Cake and he ate the WHOLE THING.

UPrinting said...

I hope someday I could also experience cooking with my friends. We all like to eat, but I don't really know if we all like to cook though.
All those food look so yummy... oh my.

Rumela said...

My father is a huge fan of dandies and I always try to bake one for him whenever we see my parents. He has yet to be fully blown away by any of the recipes i've tried. Simplicity is key, and yours looks perfect! Can't wait to try it. thank you for shearing your post.