Vegan Mofo Day 6 – I’m Drowning

Ugh. Guess who got called into work Thursday? Me. Who stayed an hour late Friday? Me. Who’s staying 3-4 hours late today? Me. Who’s trying to run a food blog for once but HAS NO TIME?! MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME.

I never intended for this blog to be like a third-rate Laziest Vegans, but that’s apparently where we’re at. 

I bought these awesome ciabatta hot dug buns on clearance and have been using them to make garlic bread. Garlic bread is something I never really had the urge to make vegan and I’m not sure why. It’s so. . . easy. Like, you take your normal garlic bread stuff and basically.  . replace butter with Earth Balance and replace the parmesan with nooch. I didn’t have any parsley on hand, but it was still amazing!

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Mmm.

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I also have been stress-eating these “Soy Creamy” ice cream sammies from Trader Joe‘s. It’s hard to beat ice cream at this price and the only flaw is that they’re not Neapolitan. Double yum.  

In this shot and all following, please ignore the messiness of the apartment. Have I mentioned how busy I am? image

Also from Trader Joe’s: crescent rolls. I usually just buy Pilsbury’s or store-brand, but I forgot until I was at Trader Joe’s. D’oh! I used some leftover Tofurkey dogs and made crescent dogs. Yum. Lazy and yum.image

Classy “bite out of it” shot. It’s like the cross-cut but lazier and less hygienic. 

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One perk to coming in on my day off is that my boss decided to give me a $5 Starbucks gift card as a “thank you.” I used it to buy my yearly green tea frap and it was, of course, delicious. Oddly enough, it’s no longer listed on the menu. But if you ask, they’ll still make it. 

Please ignore the non-vegan frapp in the background. It’s a figment of your imagination. (I’m one of those vegan “traitors” and have an omnivorous partner. Sorry if that offends you.) The purse, however, is a $15 “all man-made materials” bag. No leather to be found! 

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And finally from Trader Joe’s: hummus cups. Basically the cheaper version of what I’ve been supplying demand for at 7-11. It’s also a bit more authentic in that it’s served with pita chips, not pretzel crisps. Delicious. Great served with re-constituted peach tea. Or lemonade. Or lemonade slurpees. . . Except they stopped those this week. Sad-face. 

This post has been incredibly disjointed. Thanks for sticking around and waiting out a proper post! Someday soon, I hope. Someday soon. I have some big projects in the works (but I won’t discuss those until they’re finalized). Until next time!

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Vegan Mofo Day 3 – I Need Some Real Posts, Dude

Today wasn’t the cooking/baking day that I had hoped for, but instead a day of getting the car fixed. I also caught up on sleep, which was nice. However, I might lose my “Sunday” tomorrow due to being called in. Can’t I just cook and sleep? Please? No?

My guy and I went out to eat and I realized that I’m. . . I’m not used to food blogging any more. It’s just no longer an instinct. I had this amazing Coconut Bliss  bar that was on sale but forgot to take a picture until the last bite. The guy took the picture for me and couldn’t stop laughing because it was, and I quote, “the stupidest picture I have ever taken.” Sorry. I assure you, it was delicious! Like many vegans, I’m getting sick of the coconut takeover. Coconut ice cream in a complimentary flavor is just divine, though. I can’t help but compare this ice cream bar to Magnum or Haagen Daaz: the rich ice cream bar of the vegan world.

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My beautiful picture to capture the moment.

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The food food was from the Qdoba nearest our house, which is conveniently in the Whole Foods parking lot. Do I enjoy being able to have a filling dinner and a dessert? In one trip? Yes, yes I do.

I usually go for the Mexican Gumbo, but a veggie gumbo doesn’t come with guacamole, even if you go cheese-less. The burrito comes with guacamole, says so right on the menu!, but I still almost got charged extra! Guh. I went for a “naked” burrito with the tortilla on the side, and we split chips and pico. It really hit the spot in a way only. . . Qdoba. . . . will? I almost forgot about Chipotle, which Reno technically has now. You know what Reno does not have? Sofritas. Multiple locations. Basically, the Chipotle has fewer options for me and is over-crowded. I’d much rather have the option of tortilla soup and a smaller crowd, given the choice.

Plus, did I mention the shared-parking-lot thing? Yeah, that’s freaking sweet too.

I really want to update you on jam and/or pie! And bread or pizza! These are projects I am really looking forward to, but I can’t get any reasonable time off work. Please don’t give up on me yet!

Vegan Mofo Day 2 – Vegan Break Food

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The struggle to like tempeh is real. I can’t get my mind around it. . .maybe it’s the visible mold, or maybe the somewhat crunchy texture, but I just can’t get on board. Zayne made me this awesome Tempeh Helper from Appetite for Reduction and while the seasonings and sauce were what I can only classify as “amazeballs,” I couldn’t get past the tempeh at all. I think next time I’ll make it with TVP. Sorry, Indonesia. I tried.

I decided to kid myself and save it for leftovers. This pictured container is currently rotting away in my work fridge because. . .ew.

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Luckily I work behind a grocery store! Enter vegan fast food. I do not endorse any of this, health wise. Taste wise, it was amazing. Like vegan McDonald’s. The sauce I am PRETTY SURE is vegan. I hope. It was on sale and. . . Yum.

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I topped the sammich with mayo and buffalo sauce, then mixed the ketchup with mayo for the sauce. Holy mayo, Batman. I know, I know. I’m a fat white American. Everything you heard is true.

It was amazing, of course. I’d eat this way every day if I could.

I like to keep a somewhat steady flow of snacks in my work locker. Typical suspects include ramen, canned chili, peach tea packets, and quarts upon quarts of vanilla soy milk.

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This is what it looks like now. No chili, little soy milk, coconut water packets, and buffalo sauce. But you get the idea. I hate to be without snacks!

I have the next couple days off and plan on doing some serious baking. Things will get better, I promise. And hello to my new followers! I’ll be checking out your blogs later!

Vegan Mofo 2014 – Day 1

I was going to do an awesome daily theme kind of thing this year, except I made a pretty big mistake: I forgot about MoFo. I forgot to sign up for the official blogroll, again. I literally realized today that MoFo started. . . . Today.

So that was a mess-up.

So I’m going to do it like last year: blog 20+ days this month and cook my ass off. I have a camera as of a few weeks ago, so this will be a nice little kick-start to my blog.

Yeah, I’m upset that I forgot. Again. But I’m going to make it worth it. I’m going to do my best.

For today, enjoy some Instagrams of food that I’ve taken since having a camera again:


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Some odd plum-like fruit from my parents’ house. . . I think I’ll make jam!

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The tree the strangeness came from.

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Arabian Lentil Rice Soup from Appetite for Reduction with Olive Oil Bread from Isa Does It. I used green lentils instead of red since not only is that what I have, but it’s what I have too much of.

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These stupid hummus cups that I eat like every day now. Damn you, 7-11!

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And finally, more from Appetite for Reduction. . . basic chickpea and quinoa salad. Yeah, It was okay. I’m not much of a salad girl, if we can be honest.  Especially. . . oil free salad? With no croutons? Meh. Too healthy for me. 

That’s all for now! I’ve got some stuff in the works and hope to make this MoFo better than before!

An Explanation of an Absence. . .

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that my smart phone decided to stop working. I got a camera for my birthday but something seems to be corrupt in the SD card. Every time I try to read it on my laptop, everything freezes and crashes. I eventually gave up on taking pictures, until I can get the situation fixed.

I really miss blogging here! I know I have basically no followers, but I don’t care. I love cooking and I love writing. Now I can cook and I can write, but writing about cooking feels odd without photographs. 

I’ll at least get things up and running before VeganMoFo. I don’t like to think of myself as a VeganMoFo blogger, or a NaNoWriMo novelist, but these events exist for a reason. They’re a great recharge opportunity if you fell into a situation like this. 

On that note, both of these are when I will hopefully be in grad school next semester. Isn’t that just lovely? 

Sweetie. . . Tuesday – OH’s B-Day!!

My twice-weekly posting plan is. . . failing so far. I’ve been caught up in other goals: fitness goals. So that’s not too bad, right?

It’s not the best of excuses, given that I do most of my posting during down time between work and studying. You know, while. . . already on the computer.

Here’s a few more sheepish ellipses: . . . – . . . – . . .

Anyway, I realized today that I needed to post. I had planned to post this on Friday, but I thought it would be best to actually post rather than preserve a theme.

My camera was dead during the actual baking process (recurring theme), so you can instead enjoy the beautiful shots of my cake in transport. Yes, my car is messy. Yes, I made sure everything was sanitary and stable. The cake is actually in a large bit of Tupperware – I removed the lid for the pictures, but it’ safe from car messiness. Just consider it “art.”

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No?

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I am quite obviously not a professional cake decorator. I’m learning! This was my first time making a serious attempt to decorate a layer cake, or a cake other than a cupcake. I don’t think I’ve ever written in icing before.and my writing is atrocious enough with a pen. Let’s give me a bag of butter-cream!

For the blue icing, I actually cheated. I used one of those little icing packs with the change-able plastic tips. It was “accidentally vegan” and gave me a steadier hand to work with. PLUS, I didn’t have to work on a fourth recipe. Recipe number four for something that hardly imparts flavor? Nah.

I baked this cake and ganache from the Post Punk Kitchen. I was going to fill cake with chocolate mousse, but I bought too soft of tofu. Apparently, there is a huge difference between silken soft and silken extra-firm. The difference is melted milkshake vs mousse. I ended up throwing in some powdered sugar and even cornstarch, but it wouldn’t set. I threw in peanut butter – nothing. I finally took spoonfuls of this mess and beat it with powdered sugar for a peanut-butter-chocolate glaze.

Overall, it’s not perfect, but I’m very satisfied with the results! I haven’t had samples of the whole cake, but I did have little tastes of each component: all but the decorator’s icing are either good (filling) or GREAT (Isa’s stuff).  I can’t wait to show it off to Mr. Obnoxious Hand!

Sweetie Fridays – Chocolate Chip Cookies, Version 235723

Sweetie Fridays - Chocolate Chip Cookies, Version 235723

I really need a new baking sheet, huh? Preferably with a big roll of wax paper to preserve it. Anyway. . .

I’m on a mission to find the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe. A mission to find this recipe and share it with my five-odd readers. There hasn’t been a mission this intense since Monica tried to track down the cookies once baked by Phoebe’s late grandmother.

Unlike Monica, however, I know the perfect starting point: the back of the bag. Now, when I say back of the bag, I really mean, “back of a bag I haven’t purchased since God knows when.” Nestle Tollhouse (nesle tolus, not nesli tolhaus) has been my go-to since I first started baking cookies solo, and they’re a great control recipe.

Wanting a) to have my own recipe for blogging and fattening purposes and b) to have a cookie more suited to my own personal tastes, I’ve been experimenting. Going vegan has led me to make two obvious changes: switching out the butter and eggs. The butter was easy – Earth Balance sticks are a godsend.

For my first couple batches, I played it safe and baked the recipe as is, with Earth Balance buttery sticks, two “flax eggs,” and subbing half my flour for whole wheat pastry. This has been great, but again: not my own.

My next experimentation was majorly healthy. . .izing. . .  it. I used all whole wheat pastry flour and cut the sugars down to 1/2 cup each. These were alright – very cake-y and very health food-y. They tasted too much like what people would expect to taste when you tell them you’re giving them a vegan dessert.

Yesterday, my omnivore boyfriend requested chocolate chip cookies. This time, I decided to make them anti-health food (no flax, only white flour), so he wouldn’t be too angry when I turned around and took the crisp right out of the cookies.

He loves crisp and I love chew. It’s enough to tear a couple apart!

What I ended up doing. . . I subbed half the baking soda with baking powder, and was very pleased at the texture. Chewy and really held a round shape once baked. I think I found my new control!