Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Vegan Cupcakes

Another winner from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I was doubtful at first that pumpkin cupcakes would taste like cupcakes and not a muffin. Then the chocolate pumpkin mix made me wary. I should just assume VCTOW knows what they are doing, they normally do.

The cupcakes came out great! Moist and sweet. In fact I think I'll eat most of mine without much icing (although the cinnamon icing is a nice touch). Plus pumpkin cupcakes are so perfect for this fall season. I even made a non-chocolate version for my dog (don't worry just a small piece, I won't over sugar my best friend)

If you love cupcakes seriously think about checking out VCTOW cookbook.....Trick or Treat :)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing
1 cup canned pumpkin
1⁄3 cup oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Cinnamon Icing (recipe below)
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together pumpkin, oil, sugar, soy milk, and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Stir together with a fork— don’t use a handheld mixer, as it will make the batter gummy. Once well combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Fill liners two-thirds full. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let fully cool before icing.
1. Take a small plastic sandwich bag and cut out a tiny hole in one edge or fit a pastry bag with a small holed decorating tip. Fill the bag with icing and pipe it out Jackson Pollack-style onto the cupcakes. You may also opt to pipe it in zigzags, lines, or swirls. Let the icing set at room temperature or refrigerated.
Cinnamon Icing
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 tablespoon soy milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Place sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the margarine, soy milk, and vanilla and stir with a fork until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use. The mixture should look opaque and honey brown. If it’s glistening a lot or looks too liquid, add a little extra confectioners’ sugar.
Makes 12 cupcakes

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Busu, our whippet/jack russell terrier beauty

My husband and I have been looking for a dog for about 2 weeks. I would search the websites of all the nearby shelters for a suitable pick and take notes. Last week I found an adorable whippet mix at the Brooklyn Animal Care & Control. After trekking on the train to a remote area of Brooklyn we found out someone had already claimed the dog. I then got it in my head to search for any whippet mix in NYC area. 3 days later I found a whippet mix at Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Brooklyn. We walked 50 minutes to the shelter sort of thinking it wouldn't work out. We get there and ask to see the Whippet/Jack Russell terrier mix. The man brings her out and it's love at first sight.

She's the sweetest dog ever, she immediately runs up to us and starts kissing us and jumping to get our attention. We take her for a walk to test run her and it's like she's known us for months. One mother and child stop us to comment on how beautiful she is. She then starts playing and showing affection with the woman's kid. So cute. The shelter thinks she's about 1 year old. She already knows the command sit and is housebroken....we're convinced...we fill out the paperwork. We decide to name her Busu, which means kiss in Swahili. The owner calls 3 of our references and 45 minutes later Busu is ours :)

If anyone in the NYC area is looking for a dog I highly recommend Sean Casey Animal Rescue. The staff know all the dogs by name and can explain their personalities in detail. Plus they have a "behavior specialist" on staff to help with any animal behavior stuff. The adoption fee covers 1 vet visit and pet insurance for the first 30 days, plus they neuter the dog and put a microchip in them.

(Pictures: Busu's first bath, drying post bath, eating food)


Since I still have tons of apples from apple picking last week and I already made an apple pie, I decided to make applesauce this time.

8 apples
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown/turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Cut apples into pieces. Bring water and apple to boil. Simmer 10 minutes. Add rest of ingredients and boil for 1 to 3 minutes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vegan Apple Pie! A delicious way to use all those apples I got while apple picking

My apple pies are famous among close friends. I would make them anywhere I went from Tanzania to NY. So after I went apple picking last weekend I searched the web for a decent vegan apple pie recipe. Most recipes sucked, either they were trying to be too healthy (agave this, limited sugar that) or they were missing key ingredients like flour to make the sauce thick. So I just made up my own adapting 2 vegan recipes and 1 non-vegan one......and tada excellent apple pie! I give myself 5 stars ;)

Vegan apple pie
frozen vegan crust (2: top and bottom)
4-5 apples
2/3 cup turbinado/brown sugar
1.5 teaspoon of cinnamon
0.5 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/3 cup of vegan butter
1/4 cup of flour

Directions: Pre-heat the oven to 425*F, peel and cut the apples, add sugar, spices and melted/soft vegan butter. Stir. Add flour. Stir. Put in pie crust. Use other pie crust to cover the apples. Pinch the edges together using a fork. Cover the pie with aluminum foil and cook for 25 mins. Then uncover and cook for another 25 mins.

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's offically Fall let the Acorn Squash fest begin

My lovely husband introduced this recipe to me last fall and I fell in love. So easy to make, you just need patience while it cooks in the oven for 45-60 minutes. The maple syrup/vegan butter mix adds just the right amount of sweetness.

One good thing about colder weather is more baking :)

Baked Acorn Squash Recipe
1 Acorn Squash
2 tsp vegan butter
4 tsp maple syrup

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 375*F. Slice acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds and stringy bits (save seeds for toasting). Put 1 tsp vegan butter and 2 tsp maple syrup in each half. Put in an oven safe dish and cook for 45-60 mins or until soft/tender.

For roasted seeds: wash seeds, dry, add salt and spread on foil. Put the seeds in the oven and cook until desired texture.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A vegan birthday: Waffles and Candle Cafe

My birthday was this week. And I celebrated in a truly vegan fashion :)

Starting with vegan waffles for breakfast that my husband made me (recipe here).

Then dinner at the famous Candle Cafe (same
owners as Candle 79 - more expensive version) with my mommie dearest and husband.

I had the vegan lasagna, which I didn't like as much as I loved the V-spot's. I think it's because V-spot used a better substitute for the meat and less "cheese" for the ricotta part. At Candle cafe they used tofu and lots of "ricotta cheese"

My mom got their famous Paradise Casserole, consisting of layers of sweet potato, black beans and millet over steamed greens with country gravy. She loved it (and she's not vegan).

My husband ordered spinach linguine with cashew cream sauce. He said it was a little bland but good.

I had such expectations for their dessert since I am in love with the vegan cheesecake they sell to whole foods. However, for some reason they make their restaurant version completely different and it tastes bad. Well bad meaning to me it wasn't worth the calories so I had my husband finish it. The version they sell at whole foods is fluffy almost pudding like with no crust. The restaurant version is tougher/firmer and the crust tastes weird. Alas.

Candle Cafe
1307 3rd Ave (at East 75th st)
New York, NY 10021-3301
(212) 472-0970

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The V-spot = excellent vegan lasagna

After Unit Convention a friend and I met my husband at The V-spot, a 100% vegan restaurant in Brooklyn. I didn't take any pictures because I was starving and dove right into my food. Plus, once I tasted their awesome vegan lasagna I wasn't about to pause and take a pic :) Guess all that consultation and voting from the unit convention worked up my appetite.

My friend, who isn't a vegan also got the vegan lasagna and loved it. I always think the best seal of approval for vegan food is when a non-vegan likes it. My husband got the Hawaiian burger, a combo of veggie burger with tempeh bacon, sauteed green peppers and pineapple. He liked his burger but confessed our vegan lasagna tasted better.

Dessert was a 50/50 experience. Their red velvet cupcake sucked hardcore, I didn't even finish eating it. However, their dead by chocolate cake was excellent. All three of us ending up focusing our forks on the cake :)

The V-spot
156 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217