Monday, November 23, 2009

Cake Day 2009

Cake Day. A friend of mine wanted to bake and eat a lot of cake. Naturally, she invited friends over to bake, frost, and sprinkle all day/night.

There was one vegan cake among the 20 or so which decorated the table, counters, and even china cabinet. It was delicious; chocolate with peanut butter smeared on top and topped with raisins lined in a pattern that resembled a collared shirt.
The array of frosting colors and cake creativity could have made Ebenezer Scrooge himself crack a smile and grab a fork.
If you're feeling blue, don't just make a cake, make a cake day.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Product Review: Daiya Vegan Cheese

Ladies and gentlemen,
Buckle your seat belts.
I've got some ground shattering, car tipping, roller coaster dropping news!

We've all been there. Perusing the dairy aisle, looking for the infamous faux cheese products. The same players every time ... Vegan Gourmet, Rice Slices (pepper jack is pretty decent), Tofutti Slices, Almond, Soy, Sheese blandness ... and to top it off half of them have casein in them, so really what's the point? I know many vegans who don't even mess with faux cheese because its a lose lose situation.
Well, like I said, Buckle your seat belts because this is gonna rock your world!
It's a vegan cheese that is good! It melts! It tastes like cheese! It looks like cheese! It acts like cheese! It even talks like cheese ...

Daiya baby, Daiya. Its the best I've come across. And the cherry on top, it doesn't contain not only dairy, but no soy or gluten or rice or nuts! S-s-s-say wwhhaat? So what is in Daiya cheese alternative some may ask.... lets take a gander ...

Purified water, tapioca and/or arrowroot flours, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and/or non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, coconut oil pea protein, salt, inactive yeast, vegetable glycerin, natural flavors (derived from plants), xanthan gum, sunflower lecithin, vegan enzymes (no animal rennet or animal enzymes), vegan bacterial cultures, citric acid (for flavor), annatto.

I mean, that's not bad. But it's wonderful. Currently they are working on a retail launch strategy but haven't made the debut yet and are only selling to food services ... however, Wholefoods at Callowhill uses it to make delicious vegan cheesy dishes (such as cheesy broccoli and cauliflower and quesadillas) but ALSO sells it for 8.99/lb. in the prepared foods department! It comes shredded and I've been eating it by the handfulls. The roommates don't think its that great, but they also frequent di bruno bros ... so ... we can't compare apples and oranges now can we?

Last night I had a beautiful red pepper quesadilla, and for lunch today ... Mac N' Daiya!

If you're in the area and get a craving for cheesy nacho's you know what to do.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Buckeyes are a Beautiful thing

Buckeyes. When I mentioned these treats in front of my roommate he looked at me quizzically and repeated .."buckeyes?". Yes. B-u-c-k-e-y-e-s. Georgia, my loving and wonderfully gifted chef/baker mother, use to make these every year around the holidays. Since I can remember, buckeyes = warm house, cold weather, and endless sledding. Well, living in philly Im definitely not going to get my sledding fix, but the buckeyes are hear to serve at least some of my seasonal craving. I just adapted my moms recipe to a vegan recipe. Extremely easy to do; earth balance in place of butter and vegan chocolate in place of chocolate morsels. Wham, Bam thank you mam.

Perusing the web, I found that not all buckeye recipes are the same and they vary across the board. I'm not saying their's aren't great ... but I've already eaten three of these and I think Im going to skip dinner and go for more! They are dangerously good! I think my recipe might just be better.... the secret ingredient ... rice krispies. Who knew?

Georgia's Buckeyes (yields about 2 dozen)
-1 18 oz. jar chunky peanut butter
-1 stick earth balance
-3 cups powder sugar
-2 1/2 cups rice krispies
-10 oz vegan chocolate morsels

Combine all ingredients together except the chocolate until well blended. Make into balls and set aside. In a double boiler melt the chocolate. Dip the balls in the chocolate and set on wax paper. Cool and store in fridge. EJNOY!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

This recipe has been in my book since 2004. I got it from a woman I was babysitting for whose son was allergic to eggs. While babysitting she asked me to make treats for his soccer game that night. As I was paging through books and eyeing what they had in the cupboard, this one checked out. Pumpkin ... check. Flour .... check. Sugar ... check. It is an insanely easy recipe and the result is awesome!! I immediately copied it down and when I got home jotted it in my "cooking, cooking, baking, baking" book, I suggest you do the same.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
- 2 cups sugar
-1 cup earth balance
-1 (15 1/2 ounce) pumpkin
-2 tsp. vanilla
-4 cups flour
-2 tsp baking soda
-2 tsp ground cinnamon
-12 ounces vegan or carob chips

Preheat oven to 375.
Cream the sugar, e.b., pumpkin and vanilla. Mix until light and well combined.
Mix the flour, baking soda, and ground cinnamon. Stir the flour mix into the creamed mixture. Mix until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Now, you can make cookies or bars. This is the time to decide. It you want to go for the cookies (it yields A LOT) drop by teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes. Cool on rack. If you're going to opt for the bars - pour batter (which is going to be pretty stiff) into 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for about 25 minutes.