Cupcakes for Grown-Ups

Today I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting.  I didn’t take pics of any of them, except for one of the “special” cupcakes…just for adults….c’mon dirty hippies–you know the kind I’m talking about!  Usually this is done in brownie form, but making cupcakes takes it all to a new level.  Quick note: Grind your legal herb up very finely, put it in some Earth Balance on the stove, and let it cook together (simmery is ok) for a while, then set it aside to cool a bit and finish incorporating the flavors.  Of my whole batch of cupcakes, only two were the special kind, so I poured all the muffin cups for those, then added the butter/legal herb mixture to the remaining batter, added about a tablespoon of flour, and mixed, and poured.  To mark the two different ones I put decoration on the frosting.  When they were done they were quickly whisked away to grown-up land hiding spaces for sometime in the near future consumption.  Note that some people will let the legal herb and butter mixture cook a bit longer and sit to infuse a but longer so that they can strain the leaves out.  I didn’t bother with that step.  Each of my two cupcakes has maybe 1/2 gram of the legal herb in it and it was so finely powdered to start with that I just tossed it all in.

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Snowy Tuesday, Cozy Kitchen, Food.

I only ended up doing two recipes last week from Appetite For Reduction, but that’s ok.  I’m aiming for two, but will try for three.  It’s a snowy, gray day and it made me want to spend good part of the morning puttering around in the kitchen.  I didn’t cook any recipes from Veganomicon, though (the challenge cookbook this week).  Maybe tomorrow.  Today I made a light & quick Spinach Artichoke Roasted Red Pepper Dip and Cranberry Pomegranate Bread.  The lighting is atrocious for these pictures, but there’s not much light today…just gray, gray, gray.  Between that and my general photographic incompetence, these pictures were doomed.  In the photos the walls in my kitchen look like a cross between mustard, green, and vomit brown.

The dip was good, creamy like the fuller fat versions and with a depth of taste.  I think I would have liked more spinach in it, so if you make this and want to, double the spinach to 16 oz and add another quarter cup of Tofutti cream cheese. The recipe and nutritional information is below.

Spinach Artichoke Roasted Red Pepper Dip

8 oz chopped baby spinach
1/4 cup Tofutti cream cheese
1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
14 oz can artichoke hearts
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup unsweetened soymilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients in a bowl. With clean hands mix the ingredients together until completely mixed. Pour into pan (I used a bread pan because I didn’t have anything else near that size, area-wise) and cook for 20 minutes.

Nutritional Information
Serving 1/4 recipe

89 calories
3 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat)
6 grams carbs (3 grams fiber)
4 grams of protein

The Cranberry Pomegranate Bread was too sweet for my liking. Next time I’ll cut the sugar in half. I’m not posting my recipe for this one because it just wasn’t all that great. Way too sweet. Still, pictures are nice.

Winter in the background.  I love winter.

What I really wanted to make today was chocolate cupcakes.  Tomorrow, perhaps.

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AFR- Creamy Mushroom Fettuccine

I plodded along in the kitchen making this one.  I wasn’t in the mood to cook or eat, but I’m already thinking I might have to go from three recipes a week to two, so either way I had to do at least one more.  I am going let myself go down to two recipes a week for the cookbook challenge when I am super busy or just plain unmotivated.  Three a week is a bit much for me with everything I have going on.  But the goal is still three.

I made my own mushroom soup for this recipe by using the ingredients list off a box of Imagine Creamy Portobello Soup (found it online) and added plenty of sage.  I used celery salt since it called for celery and salt and I didn’t have celery.  So, this is how the soup went down: 16 oz water into pot (I don’t measure sometimes, and this was one of those times, so these are estimates), 1 cup plain unsweetened soymilk, about a fourth cup of canola oil, 1 chopped yellow onion, 8 oz baby bellas (chopped, of course), onion powder, garlic powder, and sage.  Cooked for a while, then made it creamy with the immersion blender.  Very very simple, but it was delicious.

I made the Creamy Mushroom Fettuccine recipe exactly as written except for two minor things.  Fettuccine noodles make me crazy–they stick together, get gummy, and have a terrible mouth feel (for me).  Actually, I have to be in the mood for pasta to want it at all and when I do I prefer spaghetti noodles, elbow macaroni, or ziti.  Ohh, lasagna noodles.  Ok, I’m getting off track.  So I used whole wheat spaghetti noodles.  I realized at the last minute that I was out of garlic, so I subbed garlic powder.  I never do that, honestly, but it was that or run out to the store and that just wasn’t going to happen.

The mushroom sauce for this recipe is to DIE for.  I could have eaten it by itself.  Awesome recipe that I will definitely make again.  It was surprisingly fast and didn’t use many dishes.  I clean up as I go when I cook and this was a nice simple pick up.

I don’t get much natural light in the places where I take my photos, so this is dark.  Bear with me, I’m learning.

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Soy Cappuccino

I wanted to cook another recipe from AFR today, but I was just too busy.  Instead, I bring you this:

Look at all that lovely froth!  I use Soy Dream soymilk.  I find that it froths beautifully (unlike Silk which hardly froths at all).  I use an appliance called a “Froth au Lait” which is awesome. It makes tons of frothy foamy goodness.  It’s a really loud little machine, but worth it.  I make my espresso using a Bialetti Moka stovetop espresso pot.  Starbucks decaf espresso beans.  I love a lot of foam in my cappuccino and a really dry cappuccino, so about half of what is in that cup is foam.  The rest is equally espresso and soymilk.

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The Cookbook Challenge, Week 1– Appetite For Reduction

So, I’ve been wanting to start a vegan food blog for so long, but just never took enough decent pictures for it to be worth it.  I’m working on taking better pictures.  I use an Olympus point and shoot, so that makes it a bit more of a challenge.  I need to decorate in here, so to speak, and I’ll get to that at some point.  About me–I’m a grad student in Massachusetts.  I love to cook and I love to eat.  I also love books and film and yoga so I’ll probably post about that kind of stuff some, too.

On the PPK we are doing a 12 week cookbook challenge.  Each week people choose three recipes from the cookbook chosen for that week.  If someone doesn’t have a particular cookbook, another cookbook can be substituted.  Without further ado–

This is the Chickpea Picatta from Appetite For Reduction.  I was excited to try the recipe, but also wary because I hate capers.  I wanted to stay true to the recipe, but I had to reduce the capers by a little more than half, and I chopped them into even smaller pieces.  I’m glad I did because it was just right.  I loved this dish and couldn’t shove it into my gob fast enough.  The other three servings (the recipe makes four and usually I’d not much bother to look at that, but in the spirit of reduction, I went with a pretty exact single serving) are in my fridge and it’s taking everything I’ve got to not go eat it all right now.  If you haven’t made this, you should go do it right now.  The recipe is on the PPK blog.

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