Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sweets in Chicago, a Glazed Donuts video & a Mini Foods Party!

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

As I mentioned last week, Chicago has quite the selection of savory options, especially of the comfort food persuasion, but they also have a plethora of options for the sweet tooth! One such option is Smash Cake, a bakery & party spot from the minds behind the Bleeding Heart Bakery. As always with pastry chef & owner Michelle Garcia involved, the decor is fun & eclectic, the pastries are all organic & the vegan options are plentiful. We decided to go with a Blueberry Tea Cake with a delicate & delicious crumble top, a deep chocolaty Brownie flecked with Walnuts, & a towering piece of Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter frosting, that was sadly a bit dried out. That being said, Smash Cake is a nice spot to hit if your in the adorable neighborhood is resides in!

Another fun option is iCream, home of ice cream made utilizing molecular gastronomy! First, you pick a base (soy for the vegans), then a flavor, a mix-in, & a topping. They take your combination, add it to a Kitchenaid Mixer, then next thing you know fog is billowing around the mixer as the liquid nitrogen kicks in & freezes your concoction. I went for Caramel ice cream, with Bananas as a mix-in, & Chocolate sauce. One issue I ran in to was they just threw the bananas on top, so when I asked them why it was called a "mix-in" but was thrown on top, they offered to mix it in for me, which resulted in weird gummy chunks of banana & all of my chocolate sauce mixing in & ruining my caramel ice cream! Oh well, next time I'll make sure they get it right!

A new option in Chicago comes from a company called Glazed Donuts, purveyors of unique cake donuts, available in locations throughout the city. Most of the flavors are vegan & their mailing list let's you know what's in store for you weekly, so you can get your donut fix when needed. Natalie from Bake & Destroy & I had the chance to try Mexican Hot Chocolate & the Juniper Spice Cornmeal Orange at Bite Cafe, where the donuts are made. We made a video of us giving the low down on them, so check it out!



Have I mentioned here that I love potlucks? Of course I have! While I was in Chicago, one of the coolest potlucks came together, a mini food party! It's just like it sounds, everyone makes miniature versions of food for everyone to share! The culinary skills of this potluck crew was impressive & we enjoyed Reubens, BLTs, Pizza, Twice Baked Potatoes, Corn Dogs, and two of the best things I've ever eaten, vegan Chicken & Waffles, & Mexican Pizzas, ala Taco Bell, all miniature, of course! On the sweet side was mini versions of Root Beer floats with Temptation ice cream, Strawberry Shortcake Trifles, Coconut Cream Pies, Wedding Cakes, Fruit Pies, Black and White Cookies, & S'mores Pies topped with Dandies Marshmallows & toasted with a torch! One would think smaller portions would reduce your food consumption, but I can safely say everything was so amazing, it was far too easy to justify "just one more" of just about everything!

One final sweet I ate in Chicago was something I have been dreaming of for years. During the holidays, my family always buys an assortment of chocolates from See's Candies. Everyone in my family knew the Scotchmallow, a thick layer of caramel, topped with honey marshmallow, & coated in semi-sweet chocolate was MINE or I would bite your fingers off. Obviously, that hasn't been the case for quite some time, but when I mentioned this to my friend Megan, she set out to veganize this treat. JACKPOT! Using her killer caramel recipe, & Dandies marshmallows turned in to a thicker marshmallow cream, she filled cups with semi-sweet chocolate & the layers of perfection, & churned out a seriously amazing replica! It took all my power not to hoard each & everyone one & it's safe to say I ate more than my fair share of these amazing morsels!

Chicago is a fabulous city for vegans & I can't wait to get back there! If you're considering checking it out, stop resisting & go check it out!

30 comments:

Natalie said...

I'm coming to see you next.

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

It's been way too long since we've been to Chicago-- it looks like so many more cool places are open now.

That mini food potluck is an awesome idea!

Bianca said...

Okay, that mini Mexican pizza is too cute for words! And so are you and Bake & Destroy lady!!! I love that blue zebra shirt...I'm really into zebra stripes right now. I keep buying things with zebra stripes...god, I want a vegan donut so bad right now.

sweetkaroline said...

Scotchmallow ... YUMMY

celine said...

why must you gals be so damn hot? the donuts aren't bad either.

JennShaggy said...

Awesome! I'll drunkenly stumble over during the festivities and eat some deliciousness. Where's the sale?

Amey said...

cute video!!
I've been wanting to do a mini-foods party, how funny!

also this post reminds me that I have been wanting to look up juniper berry recipes. I have GIGANTIC juniper plant... and if I could cook with those berries, I'd certainly have more appreciation for that plant!

xo!

herbstsonne said...

OMG!!! Those mini waffles are making me so hungry!

quarrygirl said...

omg i mini potluck sounds like the best thing ever! i am seriously jealous. dude, i need to visit chicago asap. last time i went, i wasn't aware of all this vegan goodness.

dude, we gotta hang out when you are here. what's the plan? should we rally the troops?

Utopian Kitchen said...

Can I ask what might seem like a rude question.....but really it's a compliment! You look pretty healthy, and I know the items you feature on the blog are treats, but you post quite often, so I'm wondering.....do you really eat all of those desserts and fried foods? Do you exercise?

You look great!

seitanismymotor said...

Can pictures send people into a sugar shock? Yes they can, yours just did. And I want doughnuts!!!

Ryan said...

Hey! I shot that video! Awesome times!

Kelly said...

The iCream place looks really cool! I'll have to check it out soon.

tasteslikeyum said...

Maybe I need to go to Chicago sometime. Then not only could I go eat delicious things, I could say I visited the home of original bake-and-destroyer. (People at work love the shirt, what can I say?)

I am lazy and ordered some Dandies; they can't get here fast enough!

Also: I'm going to be out of town the weekend of the vegan bakesales :( Maybe I could meet you Friday AM before departure to donate some goods to the cause or something.

Mandee said...

A mini foods pot luck is a brilliant idea! And I wanna try those donuts!

Animal-Friendly said...

Vegan scotchmallows?? Oh gosh....I'm one step away from licking my screen right now....

And those cupcakes sound great! I'm so glad we finally have some vegan donuts in Chicago- I've gotta check those out!

Adriana said...

Oh man! That itty bitty Mexi pizza is kyut! Great video too! Wheeeee!!!

Hannah said...

I love the concept behind iCream, at least! Hopefully they figure out how to treat bananas properly though, because that's just a shame.

East Village Vegan said...

Thanks for always sharing your exciting culinary travels. Sounds like a great time in Chicago. I visited last August, but didn't get to try as many places. However, I did try the PB shake at Chicago Diner was one of my favorites treats! Also, I'll make sure to look out for Glazed Donuts on my next trip:)

shellyfish said...

I would love to travel around the U.S. with you in search of such deliciousness...but shit I'd gain 10kgs!

Rose said...

Wow, you find so many delicious vegan treats! I wish Australia would catch up to the US :)

Rose

textual bulldog said...

Everything looks incredible. Vegan chicken and waffles is the best!

GingerMarie05 said...

wow wow wow, what great vegan options!! I am loving the sweets. Thank you for sharing.

Vegetation said...

DONUTS!!!! YUM!!! (Sorry, I felt the need to shout that).

I love the mini foods pot luck too! Mini food is too cute!

Cakespy said...

There is so much delicious and awesome in this post, I can hardly stand it. Hope we'll get to do a dessert date when I'm in SF next month. The Glazed Donuts in particular are speaking to me!!

Sandy Peterson said...

Hello mate, I want to thank you for this nice blog. Would you mind telling me some secrets for a succesful blog ? Which could attract some visitors than it normally does. Please come visit my site Adoption Agencies Directory when you got time.

veganfoodism said...

holy cute vegan girls, batman!! i want donuts!!

VeganSweetTooth said...

everything looks so yummy! I like having potlucks with themes. Cute

UPrinting said...

Oh my. Now I want to visit Chicago too! I thought Italy will be the best place to go for when it comes to food, but Chicago isn't so bad either. :)

bjorkedoff said...

holy shit,i didn't even know what a scotchmallow was before this post(probably eaten one if it's from see's,but still...)but now i need one.zomg.