Springtime means cute little creatures come out to play. Instead of filling the Easter baskets entirely with candy, although there was a great deal of that as well, a few little critters snuck in. Plans were made to make a bunny cake and some mini-mango cheesecakes but each endeavor was vetoed as everyone had had their fill of sweets for quite a long time.
These little fluff balls were made fairly quickly and assembled even faster thanks to my trusted hot glue gun. In the end, these are even better than chocolate critters as they last much longer than the time it would take you to eat the candy. Not to mention they’re adorable. I also made some little origami bunnies and furry bunny ears. Oh I think I would be happy making all things bunny forever.
Another very exciting thing is that I finally shelled out the money to buy myself a stainless steel bento box. Okay, it wasn’t that much money, but I’d been holding out. I try to bring my lunch to work with me most of the time, but throwing a sandwich or leftovers in some tupperware just isn’t that inspiring. Having an adorable metal bento box to put my food in, on the other hand, makes me want to fill it with delcious meals. It’s rare that I make a meal thinking about having it for lunch the next day but I was excited to fill my new little lunch box with rice, toasted seaweed and teriyaki baked un-chicken. It tasted great and was that much better since I knew there wasn’t any chemicals leaching into my food from a plastic container. Yay!
Up until last year, when I was fortunately invited to meet up with some Los Angeles vegan bloggers, I had never been to a potluck besides some family holiday affairs. Recently though, it seems like every weekend I’m trying to make something to bring to an event. The most amazing part is that most of these have been vegan potlucks which is extra awesome because you get to try a bunch of treats made by other vegans.
There is always the dilemma of what to bring. Ideally one should bring actual food to a potluck so that everyone can eat. It’s no fun to show up when there is only various flavors of chips and dip. A few weeks ago I attended the BBQ/potluck after Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer, a bike race up the ten steepest hills in Los Angeles. I did not race up any of the hills, instead I biked a macaroni and chreese with broccoli casserole in my basket across town. I managed to arrive right on time, coming right around a corner to meet Shawn just as him and the other racers finished. Everyone was super hungry and most everything was devoured including veggie hot dogs, homemade seitan, vegan corn dogs and pasta salad.
Just the next day I got to attend another BBQ at a friends house. When I asked what to bring, I got the go ahead to bring dessert and was quite excited because there are few things I like more than baking cupcakes. I decided to try out a new recipe for spiced tea cupcakes. Since I wasn’t sure how many people would be there I went ahead and made mini versions. The spiced tea cakes were sweet and simple, a subtle black tea flavor with a bit of a kick. Even though it was an omni BBQ, our hosts made us an awesome vegetarian chili with extra beer, veggie dogs and grilled corn (with earth balance!). There was also homemade sangria to be enjoyed. Delicious!
We were also lucky enough to visit the new home of Sunny of Vegan Beauty Review and her husband along with some other vegan friends. We chowed down on vegan mushroom pate made by George from Sante la Brea and fried faux shrimps from Garden Wok brought by Lex and Kristen of Vegan LA. Vegyogini from Hugger Food made some tasty vegan cadbury cream eggs and Foodeater from To Live and Eat in LA brought a ton of adorable, colorful mochis (which I gobbled up quite a few of). I made cupcakes (again!) this time going for a simple strawberry shortcake cupcake. You can’t see the surprise filling of fresh strawberries hiding under the extra fluffy frosting. Unfortunately I was so full of other food I didn’t even get to try one of these, but Shawn assures me they were delicious and in fact still hold the place of his favorite cupcakes.
On a non-food related note, something I’ve been meaning to show off for a bit is the wall scratcher I made for my cats. When I first got Meeme and Mochi I was enthralled by all the modern looking cat furniture that was nothing like the carpet covered trees I’ve always seen. On the other hand, I was not excited at all about the prices. I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own version of a wall scratcher. I ordered a piece of lovely orange carpet and obtained a leftover piece of wood shelving from a construction site, glued it together with some industrial adhesive and voila! While my custom piece cost less than $25 all together, the much smaller version it was based on cost double that. Most importantly though, Meeme and Mochi love streching out and scatching it so I have deemed it a complete success.
Today I’m bringing you all a completely food free post (eek!) but I’m just too terribly excited about my new lamp to wait. I had been wanting to put another light in one corner of our living room that was a bit dark. I often lay in read in this corner but the nearest light is one that shines directly into your eyes and is more distracting than helpful. Because of the layout of the furniture in the area, it seemed to me that the only option was to hang something from the ceiling.
I had been casually browsing for ideas of something to make for awhile when I found an option in a copy of ReadyMade that seemed like it would bring enough additional light while also being simple to make. My initial attempt did not come out as planned and I almost caved and hung some Ikea china balls that were hidden away. I did a little research to solve my problems and used just a mix of glue and water instead of fabric stiffener to hold the form.
I love this lamp! The warm tone of the yarn I used brings a warmth to the light in the area as well as diffusing it from feeling like a raw lightbulb. I’d like to make a few more in other sizes and textures to add in the area.
Coming in the future, I have a few kittie creations to share…
I know it’s a new year (first post of 2009 in fact) but I still have a few things left to share from 2008. For the holidays I tried to create as many gifts as possible instead of buying them. I made a handful of stuffed animals, knit projects and of course holiday cookies. While I started all of these ambitious tasks well in advance, there’s only so early that you can bake cookies without delivering them stale to their recipients. I had decided on snowflake sugar cookies and had even acquired some edible glitter to decorate them. Unfortunately, this cookie baking session was doomed from the start. I burnt whole batches and had other mishaps including dropping an entire sheet on the floor while burning my hand. In the end, the beautiful glittered and iced cookies I had imagined did not come into fruition. I’m pretty sure the end product still tasted good though, even if it wasn’t as pretty as I would have liked.
Immediately following the new year was Shawn’s birthday. To celebrate he got the dessert of his choice, which ended up being peanut butter cup cupcakes. I think my favorite thing about these guys is getting to say “cup cup.” Ha! As you can see, they’re chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter filling/frosting and peanut butter cups on top. They turned out super good. I think next time I will have to try a different way of frosting them so that they can have an entire peanut butter cup on top (and not look ridiculous). Also, I’d love to make the peanut butter frosting a bit more fluffy. It’s a great consistency for the filling but a little dense on top.
The pizza turned out a touch crispier than the usual pizzas. It was so easy and relatively quick I definitely foresee more homemade crusts in the future.