Veganly Delicious

Julie-Juliaing one cookbook at a time.

Menu #1 (We’re About To Begin!)

I was. this close to be making the Plantain tamales. This close (imagine two fingers close together). And while I am all about changing my tastebuds and everything… I’ve never had a tamale, and I’ve never had a plantain. So that was two new things I’ve never had and I was like…

Eh no.
(A big reason why this was a big contender is that this weekend is a long weekend. Why not?).

So the Menu this week is going to be a doozy.

Breakfast:
Almond Granola with Pumpkin Seed Milk.

Lunch:
Gingered Brussels Sprouts with  Oven Hash Browns & Black Bean Sausage
with storebought applesauce. 

Dinner
Black-bean Quesadillas with roasted Tomatillo Salsa.
with frozen grapes. 

Snack
BBQ Popcorn

Total Low Cal Vegan Calories:
1208

Dude. I am going to love this book. 1208 Calories for everything i’m going to make is a whopping 1208 calories. And the only reason why I’ve got it to 1208 is because I added the popcorn. (I have to see what a serving size of grapes are and the applesauce that I’ve purchased, but that still gives me a good 200 calories to play with).

Tomorrow is shopping day and then I shall commence cooking, commentating and capturing.

I don’t know if I mentioned this… maybe I did, I’ve written a lot. I’m not a “cook every day” kind of girl. I’m a cook once  and then have left-overs all the time kind of girl. I am lazy

1 Comment »

My First Impressions of “Quick & Easy Low Cal Vegan Comfort Food”

Forever now for this project to be called “Low Cal Comfort Food.” Y’all know that I’m vegan. Ergo: I’m not eating anything not vegan. And If I have to type out all of that each and every single time, I’d get bored and forget what I had planned to say. So. yes. Low Cal Comfort Food. By Alicia C. Simpson, unless there is a non-vegan Low Cal Comfort Food out there somewhere on the interwebs.

 

The book itself. 

It’s a paperback book, and it’s not too book, and it’s not heavy. It’s really lightweight. If you were to open it to any page it stays on that page. (I haven’t yet tested it in my cookbook holder, but I think it would stay flat in it. (It is very weird how many cookbooks do not do this in my cookbook holder).

The Cover Says
“Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food: 150 down-home recipes packed with flavor, not calories; every recipe has fewer than 350 calories per serving!”

No where in this book does this claim that it is a diet book.

The authors who praised this book are

  • Robin Robertson
  • Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
  • Joni Marie Newman
  • Celine Steen
  • Kathy Hester

This is always key for me. I figure that if authors that I like (and have cooked and never really had a fail recipe), read and reviewed the book and they enjoyed the book, the book has to be somewhat good.

 

The first 35 pages talk about Low Calorie not low flavour (which a lot of people seem to put hand in hand). What comfort food is (to sum it up: it’s all about taste, and memories). How to lose weight (basically, move, move, move!) and then the most important part I think in this low-cal book:

Learning the Language.
This little section breaks down how you can pretty much eat what you want (and lose weight), as long as you know your serving sizes (and as someone whose been trying to lose weight for years – I couldn’t even begin to tell you what a serving size is, when it is presented in a book. if something is 6 servings, I can always make it stretch to pretty much more than that… except cookies. I never get the full 2 dozen.).

But she breaks it all down, nutrient density, fiber, calcium, b12, so on and so forth.

And my other favourite part

A Guide to your Vegan Pantry. 

I mean, a girl’s gotta know what to have, right?!  (Honestly, I feel that this is key to any cookbook. It tells you what your bulk ingredients are going to be, and what you’ll need to have equipment wise, though truthfully, I’ll admit popcorn popper wasn’t listed.

Alicia also includes several sample meal plans (for each caloric range). There’s a little errata (cookbook mistake, something didn’t get included), in the 1800 calorie section, but it’s minute. I’m not going to be following this.

The cookbook font is somewhat small (but still easy to read, you don’t have to squint or anything like that, but if you are used to fonts found in 500 Vegan Recipes or Viva Vegan it’s a touch small). But a major bonus factor, is that at first blush. Every recipe is on its own page. And if it’s a  long recipe, for the most part it doesn’t require you to flip the page and keep going, the recipe is on the next facing page. Which is awesome. (Do you know how much I wish all cookbooks did this?)

If it’s a three step recipe. (like This meal will go well with this, that and this) ALL three components are together. awesome!

There are 8 pages of plates. (oops. that’s my inner librarian popping out. There are 8 full pages of coloured photos).

There is a lot of blank space to write notes.

Full confession time: In cookbooks, I write notes. My actual librarian and my inner librarian freaked out when I first did it, I was screaming no! I love my books to be pristine. But then, sticky notes fall out all the time. And if I remember if I hate it, or it needs more salt or something I’d like to indicate that in the book (or a key note – ie: I rarely ever cook with alcohol unless it has a chance to be burned off, and I can’t do coffee at all. So now I write “chicory” for coffee, and substitutes for liquor. Some recipes, I do it for so I can indicate that i LOVE it and it needs to be made again, or something like that.

But it’s in pencil. I mean. seriously, I’m not that much of a rebel.

 

I’m not too much of a fan of the cursive font. But all in all the first impressive, layout and readability of this book is high up there. 🙂

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

What I Do, To Prepare.

Well. This should show you how dedicated I am to this project:

I”m actually going to be starting on Sept. 1st.  And why is this so significant? Doctor Who starts at 9pm, right smack middle of my cooking time. Yeup. The things I do for culinary adventures, I tell ya.

But what I am doing to prepare for the project is just go through the recipes. Prepare myself to what to expect, what things I need. (e.g.: I am going to be making mini pot-pies. I’ll need ramekins. She calls for a culinary torch. I am not going to buy one of those. Despite my love of all things kitchen gadgety – I do not trust myself with fire. Fire Bad, Tree Pretty (and a Cookie, if you know where that is from).

We’ll ignore the fact that I got a popcorn popper just so I can make the popcorn recipes. It was on sale for 8 bucks, you’d buy one too. 
I am also making my Bulk grocery list. That is to say, the list of ingredients that I need to have in my pantry for the next few months. This is two-fold. 1: So I don’t forget to buy it when I’m making … well whatever, and 2: to keep my weekly shops much more inexpensive.

So it’s really simple:

A Quick Read
Lists
And preparations.

2 Comments »

A Girl and her Cookbook

The official Start of the Project.

 

While I did a lot of cooking through cookbooks. (Which I will write reviews for later on). And actually did a Julie/Julia project on Facebook; here we are with a blog and being all official. More pictures, more detail, more everything. Honestly, It’s like everything you wish an Amazon Review would have, (what cooking times are, what the recipe needed to “add’ – some recipes need it, while some don’t and so on

I have a lot of cookbooks. (my very first one, for what it’s worth was Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook 12th Edition. I made tomato soup and zucchini bread and I never looked back). But now my collection is all vegan baby! While it would have been easy to do a standard and a staple in Vegan World. (Doing anything with Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Everything in her cookbooks come out great as well as very easy and uncomplicated). But the thing is – every one does her books. (Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m going to do them eventually), but why not do ones that haven’t been doing before.

This was really difficult because I wanted to lose weight. (I spent the entire summer eating cookies, pies and ice cream. As well as not being able to work out). And what ends up being published?

 

Honestly. I mean. It was like fate saying “Hello, Liv – do this book”
(and I can not tell a lie – it gave me an excuse to buy a new cookbook. I mean Hello.

  • low calorie comfort food book. That still uses oil, and stuff. Yeah!
  • A new cookbook. (win, always)
  • It works out with what I want to do (lose weight, show you can have good food without having to sacrifice taste and flavour..

 

Who am I lying. I got to get a new cookbook.

How this will work, I’ll document on the following:

 

  • How it reads. (the cookbook in general – the “what you needs, etc”)
  • Serving sizes are accurate. (Sometimes they lie).
  • Cooking times. (If it is not listed, I’ll mention how long it takes or if it is listed – if it’s accurate)
  • Taste (duh).

I will be taking a lot of pictures. I’ll probably have to open a flickr account or something. Apparently there’s a photo limit here on wordpress. 🙂

This week is planned with going through the book and seeing what bulk foods I need to buy. (spices, etc etc). Then plan my menus. (The book does give you meal plans, but still..).

A note:
I may not cook every thing from the book. I live in a tiny apartment with a tiny fridge ergo a tiny freezer. So if stuff needs to be frozen (see: Popsicles) I might nix it. We’ll see.

Also- I am weird. I cook a storm during the weekends, and eat left-overs for the rest of the week. I can’t do what most people do: cook every day. I barely have the energy to do what I need to do during the week. So actually,this is something else I can comment on: does it make good leftovers etc.

 

See you Sept. 1st!
(I might be late. Doctor Who does premier that day after all! :D)

2 Comments »

Why I’m Vegan

Or – How I went from loving chicken to eating no-cluck cutlets.

 

Ah. The big question. Why am I vegan? (There are a lot of people that I know who wonder this all the time). Why on Earth did I become vegan. Was it political? (No). Was it ethical? (No – well not at first). Religious reasons? (No – well not at first). What would move an eater of meat, a drinker of milk, someone loved. loved cheese to give it all up.

 

Well the short answer is two-fold

  • I discovered a really good blog via my friend (Oh She Glows). and I loved all her recipes, and I liked what she was saying about having a plant-based diet, so I decided to do it for a few months.
  • eating animal products/byproducts was making me really ill. So I gave it up

I grew up in a pure omnivore family. Mom was a hard-core vegetarian (She’s a pesco vegetarian i.e.: she eats cheese, and fish. Or she used to. I’m not sure anymore). And Dad ate meat. So depending on who made the main meal, determined what I ate. (Mostly then – it was vegetarian). However I had this epic love affair with milk. Epic. (And I hate using that word). My father needed to buy 8lbs bags because I would have a litre of milk on my own… per day.

And let’s not even begin how I was a very bad girl and had a love affair with milk with Cheese.

When I was in University however my statistics professor ranted on and on about how evil milk was. (ergo, I wasn’t a big fan of him. Forget the fact that I can barely do 2+2, and I was in  statistics class. The man was debasing milk!). But he gave us a challenge to give up milk for a month and see how we felt.

So I did. Then went right back to drinking Milk.

Then I moved to Korea. This is where the birth of me becoming pesco pollo (No red meat, but everything else was fair game). I couldn’t eat Korean food, (well food for them). and I couldn’t drink milk and cheese wasn’t really good over there. And I discovered cooking with vegetables and I really didn’t miss it very much. (The milk). When I came back after my year term , I never went back.

Oh. and Living with two vegans kind of helped things along.

(My milk of choice now is Silk So Delicious Almond Milk – Unsweetened). While I still ate yoghurts and cheese, I was all about the Almond milk now. (I do miss good yoghurt).

Where I live now (Alberta) is the home of Canadian Beef. It’s like Canadian Texas. So naturally this is when I decided to give up most meat up. This corresponds with discovering Angela’s blog Oh She Glows. I was mesmerized that I could have delicious, gorgeous, yummy food that didn’t come from a box, wasn’t used with a (lot) of processed foods, and there wasn’t any typical baking ‘necessities”

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Butter

to have a great meal. To have a great baked good.

So for four months I made meals from this blog (and I was losing weight. The weight loss was due to working out really hard – but as weight loss is 80% kitchen, yeah, it went hand in hand). But living in a dorm and having very little time, I went back to meat. But it didn’t agree with me. Almost a year and a half of not eating chicken (very often) barely eating fish, to going back to it, didn’t agree with me.. At. All. (Not having an oven or other vegan appliance necessities made it hard.

And, just the more I read the more I felt that no longer eating animals, and their byproducts was for me. So May 1st 2012 (the day I moved in and went grocery shopping), I went from vegetarian to vegan. Yes, sometimes I lapse. (Not eating chicken, but the ‘byproduct’ part – always check your labels). but I feel better. My stomach feel better, and I feel healthier.

Just to clear things up:

  • I don’t eat mounds and mounds of processed food – or rather, I eat about the same amount of processed food as people who eat meat do.
  • Technically I’m vegan for health reasons (My body can’t handle animal). But this doesn’t mean I’m not human. I love cookies. I love pies. I love saucy sauces, and delicious comfort food.  A lot of people seem to think just because one eats plants and etc, it means you give up .. well… really good food. Not so with me!
  • Just bringing it up now: Yes I eat soy in all forms. (Miso, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, soymilk, sour cream, cream cheese, creamer). The soy products I buy are from the organic health food store. I cycle form soy, beans, and seitan/gluten.

  • Oh. I like wheat. I like wheat-meat. (seitan/gluten). Yes I know that it can cause belly, and issues and whatever, but that’s okay with me.
  • Never fear. I do get my calcium. (spinach, kale, tofu) my b-12 (nutritional yeast + supplement) and biotin (supplement). I don’t take a general one a day (I always try in January but I barely remember to take the stuff I need to. And lets not even get started on if I get my protein or not.

While I didn’t start being vegan do the typical reasons, I do believe them now. But whatever your reasons the way you eat is your reasons, as I have mine. 🙂 Mine is just veganly delicious. 🙂

Leave a comment »

Who Am I, What Is This, What Does It All Mean?

Oi. I hate the very start of blogging. You have to get all ‘intro’ stuff done. 🙂

Who Am I?

I’ll refrain from all the cheesy jokes that can pop up. I’m Liv. And I’m vegan. And I love to cook. (and I love reading, cross stitching, Doctor Who and a myriad of other British television, and a plethora of other things). I’ve got a great sense of humour (I love lame  jokes) and.. well other stuff will pop up I guess.

What Is This?

This is my blog. (that was so easy!). But it’s not just a blog – it’s a cooking blog. That is going to focus on  Vegan Cooking from Vegan Cookbooks (and blogs). While I love to cook, I am not super adventurous, so while I do sometimes come up with great cooking ideas, if you are expecting recipes – sorry 😦  However, expect lots of foodie pictures, and breakdowns of cookbooks (e.g.:  if serving sizes = what it suggests, if cooking time is what it expects, if there is a lot of modifications). SO it’s not just a Julie/Julia project (where I cook through the cookbook), but more of a research project. (Also, it accomplishes a few things)

  • Justifying the cost of me getting more cookbooks
  • Using the cookbooks, rather than reading them like books
  • Getting REALLY good yummy num-nums

What does This mean?

Well hopefully, it shows you that vegan food can be delicious. That you can have a great meal without needing to add animal byproducts, and vegan food isn’t all about packaged foods and all that other stuff. And that it can be easy (for the most part – or at least, the hard work is worth it.

If after reading this blog and you decide that veganism is for you – yay! If not, but you are tempted into trying for more Meat Free Meals yay! If I entertain you. Yay. If none of this is impressing, well thank you for reading this, and.. I guess i’ll see you..later? 🙂

Leave a comment »

A Bevy of Mini Reviews of What I Cooked From This Summer

There is a general theme to most of these books: They all feature dessert. Oh yeah. Hee. But don’t worry Mom, I did eat real food too. 🙂 The Every Day Vegan: By Dreena BurtonThese were part a set of graduation gifts that I got, (specifically when I decided to turn vegan), and this was the first one I decided to cook from that wasn’t a blog or anything. Why? Because it was really simple, and there was a nutrtional guide, also because Dreena’s Canadian and I had just moved and so I knew that everything that she had asked in her recipes I would be able to find.

Dreena Burton

The Every Day Vegan – my very first cooked through, cookbook.

The recipes in this book wasn’t complicated at all. I mean, I know how to cook. Betty Crocker and I go way back and all. But what I mean is the language was pretty straight forward. No tricky words like “chiffonade” (chiffon-whu?) * And everything came out really well, and tasted great. I cooked through about… maybe 2/3rds of this book. Truthfully I don’t even remember why I stopped. Oh wait, yes, I know, it was getting too hot, and I didn’t want hot “oven-y” food anymore. The best things from this book was the Carrot Pineapple Muffins, and the Mushroom-Pecan Burgers with Mushroom Gravy. (Coincidentally, that was the first time I ever made gravy on my own. and it was delicious. It will totally be made again). Dreena introduced me to a lot of things (e.g.: Worcestershire sauce is not vegan. It isn’t and that made me so sad, it’s full of anchovies!) Tamari. (I had thought that soy sauce was soy sauce, was soy sauce, nope! Not the case. (Tamari tastes a lot better in my opinion, and you can get it wheat free and everything too), and just other little things that I now picked up. The one “drawback” (and it could be major if you are a newbie in the kitchen” is that a lot of Dreena’s recipes are under-seasoned. Now when you think about when she wrote this book (a lot of her cookbooks was when she was pregnant and had little ones underfoot) it kind of makes sense. It didn’t bug me but if it says “too taste.”, add a bit more than you think. (Ditto with the salt measurements – not crazy like, just maybe by a 1/2 tsp more). But that’s the best thing about vegan foods, you can always taste before you cook/bake/fry, whatever.  I give this book a Veganly Delicious Seal of Approval (I should totally make a seal!) and rate this a Take Out From the Library should you be all savvy in the kitchen but want whole based plant foods and great recipes, and a Buy! if you are just stepping into the world of veganism. And then make the muffins. Really. Your tummy will thank you kindly. Vegan on the Cheap & Quick Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson I think Robin is the Betty Crocker of the Vegan World. I say this because Betty is awesome. Robin is awesome. Betty has a bazillion cookbooks. Robin has a bazillion cookbooks. (No, really, she has a bazillion cookbooks, I think the next author who comes even close to her is Bryanna Clark Grogan). Betty keeps it simple. Robin can keep it simple. Betty was awesome in my pregan (pre-vegan) days, and Robin is awesome in my vegan days. Ironically enough, I poo-poed her book. (I did this with most vegan books back in the day. Silly me) because I’d just look at the title, go “eh” and reach for Betty. All of a sudden, I eat plant based and my really good friend recommended her to me and then, wham! (I had had a lot of her books – again: graduation gift, but there was a flood… it was ugly. most of my Robins didn’t survive). But thank goodness for libraries. The ones I cooked from the most this summer was Vegan on the Cheap and Quick-Fix Vegan. And this was a start to my Library Test: While I’d just love to buy every single new cookbook out there. (really, I’m slightly addicted). It’s not Robin Robertson feasible. It really isn’t. Luckily my library has a whackado of vegan cookbooks. So I take them out and administer the test. I have to like  double cost of the book in recipes. So if the book cost 30 bucks – I need to like  60 recipes and so forth. And then I cook them and if they taste good, I buy the book. (I have this thing about owning stuff. I know I could just continue to take it out, but I wouldn’t be able to write my adjustments and stuff. Plus as many people can attest to – I am a messy chef. It wouldn’t be pretty for the library books). From this book I made.. 2 things? Wait. Really? (goes to look at notes). No. I knew that wasn’t right. Heee. Okay I made – Better Than Mom’s Breakfast Sausage. (great. amazing. awesome). (As I’ve never met Robin’s mom, I wouldn’t know if this was true or not, but I liked it. I missed Morning Star’s breakfast patties, but this didn’t have that clomy clomp after flavour). – Big Stick Pepperoni. Even in my pregan days I never ate pork. (Religious reasons). But I do remember when I was little, and not knowing that Pepperoni came from cute little piggies, having some and thinking it was the most deliciously salty thing I’ve ever had (I have this love affair with salt). But then I found out, and then I never had it, even though it was awesome. And then I found this book, and made this recipe, and it was pretty pepperoni-ish to me. For these two recipes alone, I would buy this book. (actually I’m going to, these are in my January “To Buy” list). – Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese. This was… Okay. The cheese sauce was tofu based. Which made me go, eh? And then there was stuff! in it like… peas. and tomatoes. But then you just… make it and and then you add a bit more salt and pepper to it,and all of a sudden it’s like a bowlful of yum. (and my heck is it ever filling!). (I only made three things? Seriously?). (there is a LOT of good advice – how to keep grocery bills low, other than the whole “shop in season). I totally give this book a Take It Out From the Library rating. The next book from the Robin Robertson Arsenal was Quick Fix vegan. (And again I only really made a few things, but they were a delicious and awesomely made few things.  And wonder of wonders – even with the slowest cook in the world (that would be me, by the way, a lot of these recipes were done in thirty minutes. Now I remember why On the Cheap didn’t get a lot of cook time it was mostly this book that got the loving (when I was feeling in the mood to cook). (Please note the words: to cook). I made …. more than Robin Robertsonthree things in this book, I am pretty sure. 1: Pizza Dough. Now. This might get me beat up. One of my close friends (Okay, I lie – all of my close friends) can not believe that I don’t like pizza). And I can’t, I can’t even tolerate the smell of it. Order something from a big chain and I’ll be … well it’s not pretty. However, I never had issues with making pizza on my own. Essentially all it is is bread, cheese and sauce. But I never made pizza dough, so I did it and it was so easy. (Bless my Food Processor).  (this was 98% why I made Big Stick Pepperoni). 2: Chocolate-Chiplote Chili. As much as I don’t like Pizza, I LOVE Chili. I also had (then it drowned then my really good friend found a copy and gave it to me) Robin’s Chili Book. EIGHTY RECIPES OF CHILI. (Yes. I’m going to do a Julie/Julia of that). So I love Chili. But my chili is generally basic, I’ve never made chili, other than how I’ve ALWAYS made it. So this was a great taste test for me to do, and it was good. (really, really saucy), but good! 3: Samosa Pie. (this is not the official name. It’s probably something really professional like Indian Samosa Something). It’s basically samosa. in a casserole form. And it’s delicious. (I love Indian food. I love Samosa. this was totally a given). 4: Cauliflower Chick-Pea Coconut Curry. The number one reason why my vindaloo curry powder is almost done was because of 3 & 4. And so utterly, amazingly worth it. I could eat this for breakfast. (I actually did eat this for breakfast….) 5: Vegetable Fritters. These… not so good. (I blame me, not the recipe). They could have been seasoned a bit more, but while some tasted really great, some…tasted not so hot. I need to learn how to griddle properly. This I’m buying. (Like. a shock,right?) Actually because of these two books, is why I pre-ordered her slow cooker cookbook. Robin though is one of those people you do need to add spices and taste. She’s an Underseason-er. (Which I have to appreciate. It’s so much easier to add to your tastes than to remove. Once it’s in there it’s in there). Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan Pie in the Sky & Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. I think these two are like Betty Crocker too. But maybe more so. Julia Child of the Vegan World? (a Lot would really say so). Maybe if Betty had twin sisters, Bonnie and Bessie…. Anyway. These guys are it. I think everyone makes something from one of their books at least once. (and if you haven’t. do so. what are you waiting for, chopity, chop chop). While I made things from Isa’s solo book Vegan with a Vengeance (Scrambled Tofu. Do use black salt, it will change your tofu’s life). and the ‘bible” Veganomicon (Cornbread). I was baking up a storm all summer. The only think I made from Pie in the Sky was Basil Peach Pie. (I always have pie for my birthday. I don’t do cake. And seriously, while you read that and go. Basil? In pie? The hell? do it. It makes the entire pie just pop. I used regular ole basil, but if I had had some designer Lemon Basil? Oh my heck. ). And I made the Buttery Double Crust. SO I made the  entire pie. And was my belly, happy. (I wasn’t – in a pie making mood. I don’t do cheesecakes. Never had, never really will. And I just wanted peach pie). Vegan Cupcakes take Over the World…Okay like I said – I don’t really do cake. That includes cupcakes too. I don’t know why. Like I like muffins and everything just fine, I loved muffins. (love). but I never really rode the cupcake train ever in life. Frosting and all. But my friends and I were having an impromptu “welcome back home!” for my friend who went to Sweden. (without me. I’ve still not forgiven her),  and so we made the following. (and only Isa and Terry could make me become a Fan: We made:

  • Pineapple Rightside Up Cupcakes. Oh heck yeah.
  • S’Smores Cupcakes. (hmmm)
  • and…and…

wait? Only 2? (Why does it feel like I’ve always made more? But the stars of my cooking summer has been this:

I think I probably ate my weight in these.
No complaints though.

Cookies. I could write an ode on a cookie. Cookie Monster and me we had a lot of things in common growing up. Cookies! I don’t even really care about the chocolate chip cookie (actually, I could take it or leave it), but just cookies. Hmmm. What I made from here, feels like the entire book. (but 100 percent certain more than two).

  1. Vegan Graham Crackers. (Yes. It’s true. if you don’t eat honey – I don’t for the most part) they ain’t vegan. But these are so fran-tastically good, it doesn’t matter because why on earth would you buy the store bought stuff? I think my friends and I just ate the raw dough, we had scant little to bake.
  2. Cowboy & Cowgirl Cookies. Never had these before in life. Ever. (I have also discovered I was deprived). These are delicious. (cowboy = chocolate and coconut and pecans, cowgirl  = cranberries, white chocolate, spices and walnuts). Cowgirls are my favourite out the two. Only because cinnamon and cloves make me happy. And had I had vegan white chocolate chips? Hoo baby.
  3. Pretzel Apple Cookies. Just… just go make these. (salt and sweet, crunchy, chewy, moist, big, yum).
  4. Shortbread (My one flop. to be fair, I didn’t really follow the instructions: When things said “use a standmixer”. use the freaking stand mixer).
  5. Carrot Raisin Chewies. (I will never need to make carrot cake again. These are like portable carrot cakes).
  6. Peppermint Brownies. (ahhhhhh. I am also a brownie girl. And these were awesome).

(Oh. and a note: while for the most part oil is oil, I used to swap canola, grapeseed and olive all the time. Julie Hasson suggests that Canola should only be used for baking – Olive for cooking. Canola leaves your baked good more light, fluffy and yummy. I agree). Wow. That’s it too? Oh. wait. that’s right. Because I mostly did this all summer.

 

Vegan Desserts & Vegan a la Mode by Hannah Kaminsky. 

 

This is the one thing I feared when I became vegan.

 

No more ice cream, ever ever never. It would have to be sorbets (not a problem, really) and other stuff. And vegan ice cream is expensive. (there’s this coconut one that everyone thinks its to die for, and it’s eight. dollars. for a tiny little tub. Eight. I am not kidding you here. I didn’t even splurge for my birthday. I’m not spending eight dollars on ice cream, I don’t care how good it is. So you could imagine my surprise when there was someone who was giving an entire. book. dedicated. to. ice cream. (And yes, I know there are others – but these were so much different. A lot of the other cookbooks really is just “add flavour, and blend to your milk base). while Hannah comes up with these really amazing, complicated sounding but really easy flavours. It was just so incredibly good.

 

Out of Vegan Desserts I made Zesty Rhurbab Cake (This was for my birthday. When you have a whackado of rhubarb – you make everything that needs rhubarb!) and I made roasted apricot ice cream with almond praline ripple. (Hannah loves her swirls and ripples!) Both were the bestest things I ever did. (The Cake was really good. I think next time i would totally make these into cupcakes).

 

Vegan a la Mode was really good. I mean honestly, it’s never just “basic” stuff. (I think her most basic thing is the naked vanilla yoghurt and french vanilla ice cream – which were made). but my hands down favourite dessert from that book was Strawberry Lemon Curd Ice Cream. Oh my gosh, if I could marry food, that would have been my husband right there, while I had a torrid affair with Spring Blush (a Orange, Rhubarb,  and Strawberry blend. yum). I also made French Vanilla again (note: if you think adding vanilla flavoured milks and stuff will like enhance the vanilla of the ice cream.. I’d say no. I used vanilla soy milk and it just was really… you had this horrid kickback of fake. It was horrible. I was really glad it was the second time I had this ice cream so I knew how it was supposed to taste like). I also made paradise plum, and I can’t wait to try it w/different kinds of plums! (The purple-r the better!)

The only flop I made was the Shirley Temple Sorbet. I don’t know what happened but it was a great concept… but I’m still cleaning out my fridge from this one.

There’s my summer in a nutshell.

Leave a comment »