Saturday, December 29, 2007

Garden Ranch Pita

This pita sandwich is one of my go-to recipes for when I almost feel like having a salad, but not quite. I love it because it's scrumptious, healthy, and completely simple. I also like it because it's a great substrate for my homemade Vegan Ranch Dressing (VRD). Yum!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

O' Chocolate Cupcakes

Well, so much for being on a roll re: frequent posting!

Like many of you, I've been visiting family and friends for the holidays, which has caused my posts to slow down a bit. However, although I haven't been posting much lately, it actually feels like I've been cooking more than ever...

Golden Vanilla Cupcakes

Pictured here are the other cupcakes that I made for my aunt's b-day. And, just like the chocolate cupcakes in the previous post, these are also from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (of course!).

So, I chose these particular cupcakes because I wanted to make something that non-chocolate lovers could enjoy, as well as something that wouldn't visually compete with the O' Chocolate Cupcakes too much.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bubble Tea

Yessss! At long last, the hellish, bi-annual, mental-marathon that makes me question my affinity for law school has come to close. That's right, exams are o-v-e-r, which means that I finally (legitimately) have time to whip up something fun...
Thus, pictured above is one of my all-time favorite drinks - bubble tea. Now, before I get any further, I intend to address the thought that's inevitably running through your head right now (if you've never had bubble tea before, that is).

"What the hell is floating in the bottom of that glass?!"

First, don't be frightened. It's only tapioca balls. And second, they're really delicious, especially when covered with a scrumptious brown-sugary glaze, as they are here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Black Beans + Rice w/ Sweet Potato Cubes

Fortunately or not, I did not grow up eating sweet potatoes. Sure, I may have unknowingly consumed one at some point in time, but I honestly have no recollection of doing so. Thus, I have no preconceived notions about them, or how they're "supposed" to be prepared.

On one hand, that's a bit of a bad thing, if only because it prevents me from commiserating with people who obsess about their love/hate relationships with those sweet potato-marshmallow conglomerations that are often served on Thanksgiving.

On the other hand, it's a really good thing, because it means that I tend to work with sweet potatoes in exactly the same manner as I do with plain ol' white potatoes. And since I LOVE potatoes in general, it's nice to have zero boundaries when it comes to cooking with all varieties of spuds.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Olive Lover's Pizza

Since I've been on a bit of a roll regarding frequent posts lately, I figured I'd try to keep up with my newly acquired habit and post a quick one tonight.

And just so you know, the fact that I'm posting this at nearly 1am has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that my Estates and Trusts final is tomorrow. I mean, it's not like I've been staying up until nearly 5am to study for several days straight. Nope, not me...

Anyway, if pressed, I'd probably have to name pizza as my ultimate comfort food. And I, like almost everyone else, practically lived off of crappy "pizza" in college. (Don't blame me, it's not like there're a lot of pizza-making options when you live in a dorm.)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Vegan Ranch Dressing

Oddly, one of the things that I've missed most during my journey toward veganism is Ranch Dressing. Ever since I was little, I've been a huge salad fan, but until about 5 years ago, it didn't even occur to me that other (healthier) salad dressings existed.

Since then, I've enjoyed creating all kinds of delectable vinaigrettes and olive oil dressings, but I still haven't been able to completely kick my Ranch-craving.

Gardner's Pie

I have a confession to make: Although I've been bookmarking and printing scrumptious looking recipes from my fellow bloggers for what seems like ages now, I haven't made nearly as many as I'd like.

Honestly, I think it has something to do with my ever-expanding cookbook collection, which is literally growing by the day. Part of me feels kind of guilty for spending so much of my non-disposable, non-existent income on the books, which I think I'm trying to alleviate by actually utilizing them.

Um, there's nothing wrong with that, right?

Well, nothing except for the fact that I've also stockpiled a ridiculous number of recipes from all of you bloggers as well. So, instead of contributing to the destruction of yet another paper tree, I decided to prepare a recipe from the oodles that I've already collected.

Accordingly, I want to say "thanks" to dr. stonie for her terrific Gardner's Pie recipe! My only changes were to add an extra clove of garlic, plus some spinach and edamame, as I was short on green beans. And although my picture might not be as pretty or delicate-looking as hers is, my "pie" sure tasted great!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Starry Vegan Blueberry Pie

Well, I was shopping at Whole Foods a month ago, and they were sampling an amazing looking blueberry pie. Usually I'm not a big dessert lover, but that pie was totally calling my name. So, I tried a small (and scrumptious) sample, and as soon as it hit my mouth, my hand instinctively reached for a pie to place in my cart. However, upon reading the ingredients - and looking at the $15 price tag - I balked. Thus, instead of eating something so disappointingly unhealthy, I decided to make a pie of my own...

Although I will admit that the crust isn't homemade, everything is still vegan. I created the starry scheme myself, which was actually really fun. Also, I used fresh blueberries, and very little sugar. (Next time, I'll definitely sprinkle some sugar on top of the pie crust - that might have been what was missing.) Although it didn't turn out as delicious as I'd hoped, my beau certainly enjoyed it. And that's all that counts, right?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (Garlic + Olive Oil)

Thanks to the crazy ice storm that slammed into the Midwest this past weekend, CH and I were stuck in our apartment for two solid days. We attempted to venture out for dinner on Friday night, but after ice skating to the car and hearing sirens incessantly blaring, we decided driving probably wasn't the best idea.

So, we returned to the warmth of our apartment, snuggled up on the couch, and got ready for a serious "Sopranos" marathon. And even though we've both seen almost every episode twice, we decided to start at the very beginning, instead of skipping ahead to the season we haven't seen yet (ie: Season 6). How's that for self-control?

Anyway, between vicariously visiting the Bada Bing and accompanying Tony Soprano on a hit or two, CH and I realized that an insane amount of food is consumed on that show! Honestly, it's almost impossible to watch the "Sopranos" without becoming ravenously hungry, no matter how recently you just ate. In fact, I'm getting hungry now just thinking about it...

Lemon + Chive Garlic Bread

This is the quick, but delicious, garlic bread that I made to go with the "Sopranos"- themed Italian dinner that CH and I created.

And although I don't like to follow a particular recipe for this kind of stuff, I got some inspiration from Heidi Swanson (my new veg crush!) from 101 Cookbooks. The ingredients involved some Earth Balance vegan butter, a few cloves of minced garlic, some chives (which are currently growing in my Chia-Herb pot), and a bit of lemon zest. It was mmm-mmm good!
vegan garlic bread

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Well, what can I say about the great "Veganomicon" that hasn't already been said? Calling it a fantastic cookbook is clearly an understatement, so I guess I'll just have to let this picture speak for itself.

Above, you'll find a shot of my very first V-con recipe. It's the Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes, which are really quite delicious! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find coriander seed (as opposed to ground coriander) when I made them, so I had to settle for the ground up stuff that I had on hand. Regardless of that minor setback, these turned out so well that I definitely can't complain.

So, when you don't have time to make samosas - and who does, by the way? - feel free to give these potatoes a whirl. I promise, you won't regret it.

And as for the recipe, I have so much faith in the good taste of my fellow bloggers, I won't even bother to post it. I'm sure page 60 is already tabbed in your copy of V-con anyway...
twice-baked potatoes

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

I bake things when I'm stressed, that's just the way it goes. For some reason, the scientific, uber-exactness that's typically involved with baking helps calm my nerves.

The truth is, it actually gives me something different to focus on - somewhere else to direct my energy - as opposed to focusing on whatever happens to be bothering me at the moment.

Peanut Butter Cookies

As promised in my accompanying post, I'm going to keep this short and sweet.

Below is an excellent vegan peanut butter cookie recipe. My only tip is to make sure that you actually sift the flour, as called for in the recipe. Unfortunately, I underestimated the sifter's importance (and didn't have one) so I attempted to "sift" the flour by using a mesh wire strainer.