I was at home one night looking for a snack with no success. My Twitter feed was filled with pictures of Vegan Cuts snack boxes. I signed up for one a few weeks prior, but it hadn’t yet arrived. With the possibility the mail carrier didn’t ring my bell earlier that day, I decided to check my mail one more time. And there it was!
Simply 7 Lentil Chips
Surf Sweets fruity hearts
Merry Hempsters spearmint lip balm
PureFit Peanut Butter Toffee Crunch Bar
Dang! Coconut Chips
Budi Sunflower Star Chai Bar
Serengeti Tea Sticks
…and a couple of heart-shaped chocolates
So far, my favorite snack out of the box was the lentil chips (and the chocolate and candy, of course). Light and crispy with just a bit of salt!
I don’t normally seek out protein or fitness-type bars because so much nutrition packed into such a compact space often tastes a little off, but I enjoyed the peanut butter toffee and star chai bars. The flavors were more delicate than intense and kept me satiated for several hours.
I’m keeping the individually-wrapped tea sticks for on the go!
More info on the snack box subscription can be found here!
While this is predominately a dessert blog and I’ve been known to say things like, “Ew, salad. Kill it with fire!”, I actually try to eat healthfully most of the time. Especially in the winter when it’s dark and cold and deep fried food makes me want to fall asleep at 4pm. Between eating colorful fruits and vegetables during the winter months and sleeping enough, I can remain a productive member of society and not fall asleep on my laptop every day. Unless it involves spirulina or wheatgrass enemas, I’m up for trying healthy new things to add to my culinary repertoire.
Here’s what came in the package: a sprouting jar, metal screen for rinsing the sprouts, cotton drawstring bag that reads “Sprout”, instructions, and a 4oz tin of sprouting lentils.
Despite my lack of a green thumb, my lentils sprouted! I followed everything to a T and within a day, my lentils were already bursting from their shells! I began the process Sunday afternoon and harvested everything Tuesday evening. Employing the minimalist approach, I decided to put them in a salad with spring mix, apples, blackberries, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and cardamom ginger dressing. There were some recipes included within the kit and I found some curry lentil stir fry recipes online, so I might try one of those with the rest of the lentils.
So, my sprouting adventure was a success, even with my clumsiness in regard to sensitive food growing processes. The offer is available now on Vegan Cuts, where you can find more information about this kit.
I’ve been sick for five, going on six days this past week and I’ve enjoyed it too much. Unabashedly staying home writing, reading, watching too much TV, and crafting for five days straight, save for a few short trips around the block or to the grocery store, is pretty much my dream life. To eliminate the risk of becoming one with my blankets and couch and the fact that I feel mostly better today, I decided to descend upon reality and take more risks: sensory overload from the outside world, fresh air, and interaction with other humans. Needless to say, I survived, and the holiday season will be upon us soon in full force of overindulgence, reminiscent of those glorious five days when I was too sick to leave the house. Until then, simple pleasures will fuel the next couple weeks of an unseasonably warm December (in the Midwest, anyway). One of those pleasures is cake. Straight up chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, no frills.
This recipe is modified from my chocolate malt cake recipe. It’s plain chocolate cake, super fudgy, no unanticipated anomalies. You could add peppermint extract and Candy Cane Joe Joe’s to be festive, but save that for the end of the month and just eat chocolate cake.
Makes 2 layer 8 inch cake
2/3 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 cups almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2-3 tablespoons almond milk
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Line two 8 inch cake pans with parchment rounds and grease the sides with margarine or cooking spray. Set aside.
Pour the canola oil, sugar, almond milk, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar together in a stand mixer or large mixing bowl. Stir until just combined.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually sift into the wet ingredients, stirring after each addition. The batter should be thick and pourable.
Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake for 30-32 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool before attempting to remove the cakes.
In the meantime, make the frosting. Cream together the margarine and shortening in a stand mixer or with hand beaters. Gradually add the powdered sugar and cocoa, stirring as you go. Mix until completely incorporated, then add the almond milk. If the frosting is too soft or liquid, add more powdered sugar. Beat the frosting for 6-8 minutes. Add more powdered sugar or almond milk to adjust the flavor and consistency of the frosting if necessary.
Remove the cakes from the pans. Spread frosting atop one layer and place the second layer on top. Frost the sides and top of the double layer cake, piping on a border or adding chocolate and candy for decoration if you wish.
Champagne, chocolate, Grand Marnier, oh my!
I mulled wine for the first time last Thanksgiving using the recipe from Celebrate Vegan. This year I made some with a different array of spices: cardamom, rose, anise, cinnamon, cloves, and orange. I’m going to continue making it each year in the fall and winter months, switching the ingredients up every time.
Grand Marnier Petit Fours
A tale of chocolate, roses, and scorned love that ends in tempestuous prose, broken ceramic, and orange cognac by candlelight. Complete with a marzipan “wax” seal.
Champagne Mousse Petit Fours
Fluffy chocolate cakes topped with elegant chocolate clouds comprised of bubbly sparkling wine with melting in your mouth its only purpose in life.
This concludes Vegan MoFo 2012 on The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur. Back to regularly (but somewhat capriciously) scheduled programming of weekly posts!
Thank you so much for reading throughout October, and thanks to the MoFo team for organizing yet another wonderfully global vegan event!
This is Gnocchi. He likes to hang out in the kitchen with me when I cook. Last year during Vegan MoFo, he wrote a post over at Get Sconed!
He also likes to rub his chin all over my feet. Especially when I’m sitting and eating. I’ve been pretty busy lately and made salad at least four times in the past week…it’s Vegan MoFo, what’s wrong with me?
This is Drake. He just had his 7th birthday earlier this month. Aww.
This is the squirrel who lives in my windowsill. I thought he might leave when I took out the AC unit and brushed all his leaves out of there, but he’s back.
I guess he’s cute and all, but this window is right next to my bed, so hopefully no middle of the night squirrel face attacks are in the works.
New takes on the classic pairing!
White Raspberry Wine Bundt
This is a sweet vanilla cake filled with chardonnay, fresh raspberries, and white chocolate, topped with a white chocolate chardonnay glaze.
A cherry version was also in the works.
Rose Rosé Shortbread
Rosewater and rosé wine come together in a crisp shortbread perfect with herbal tea or lemonade.
I never ate havarti cheese before making the switch to veganism and wasn’t entirely sure what it was prior to a vegan version hitting the shelves. You could’ve told me a havarti was a car or brand of electronics (also topics I’m not well-versed in). But after reading rave reviews of Daiya’s new havarti wedge cheese for many months, I decided to give it a whirl when they were on sale for the first time ever at Whole Foods. The raving was correct, as this cheese was spicy, creamy, and intensely flavorful! It really tastes nothing like the distinguishable cheddar and mozzarella shreds, if you’re not a fan of those (I love ‘em all). I’ve eaten the havarti on crackers, toast, with apples, and in salad. So tasty!
Ian’s Pizza has vegan lasagna pizza, mac n cheese pizza, bbq pizza, burrito, cheeseburger, and many other crazy pizza selections. They’re right across the street from Whole Foods and hold vegan slice nights at least once a week, a tradition that’s been going strong since early this year. Whether meeting up with a group of Milwaukee vegan ladies or getting pizza to-go, Ian’s is one of my favorite vegan-friendly places in Milwaukee to dine in or get take out.
Vegan mac n cheese and Smokey the Bandit slices:
I also have a pizza eating reputation to uphold. It’s very serious business: