Happy 25!

So if you hadn’t guessed already. My (not-so) little surprise is a stand mixer! I’m ecstatic! I finally decided it was time to just fork over the money for it and get the one I really wanted. It’s a great addition to the kitchen and I know it will be great to make larger batches of things which I hope will be in my future.

My first baking experiment was my own birthday cake. A lot of people thought it was against the rules for me to make my own cake but I couldn’t think of anywhere that I could get a better cake. We broke in the mixer with mashed potatoes but this was the first dessert to get made.

I also treated myself to some new cake pans and a cake stand. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve made a cake, let alone a double layer one, so it was definitely a learning experience. With cupcakes, if one turns out funny there are still 11 good ones. With a cake you just have one chance. Mainly I learned the correct proportions of frosting and such that I’ll need for the next cake I make.
The plan was a double layer vanilla cake with vanilla frosting in the middle and a chocolate ganache icing. I used to have a really good recipe for vanilla cake but apparently lost it so had to do a bit of improvising. Ultimately everything turned out really well but did cause me a bit of distress in the making.
I made quite a chocolate mess covering it but I new it would taste great even if it wasn’t the prettiest cake ever. Still need a couple more decorating tools, but mainly practice. It really did turn out delicious though. Shawn says it tasted like a giant gourmet hostess cake. Yum!

In the end it was almost all gobbled up by the end of the night with only one lonely piece left. I had a great birthday, absolutely the best yet!

More autumn flavors

I made some pumpkin bread last week that was absolutely delicious. Super moist with some subtle spice. This is only half the loaf since it all got eaten so quickly. Pumpkin is seriously awesome. I’m going to have to come up with some more pumpkin dishes before the end of November. There is still time yet!Wonderful news though….I’m getting a big baking treat tomorrow! A special present to myself. I’m sure a lot of people out there could guess what it is. So excited. 🙂

Happy Halloween!

pumpkin cheesecake

As I’m sure I’ll be out gallivanting tomorrow evening, I thought I’d do my Halloween post tonight. I honestly can’t get enough of Halloween. I’m going to dress up as a bat tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll get some good photos to show you all since I made my costume, well some of it at least. I swear I do other things besides bake.

Above is the pumpkin cheesecake I made this week. It was good but it didn’t blow me away. Perhaps it was that I kept wanting it to be pumpkin pie and not cheesecake. I still have yet to find vegan graham crackers anywhere so I used a store bought crust. I guess it could have been more like cheesecake and that would have been better as well. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, I just wanted it to be even better.

Shawn and I carved pumpkins tonight. Since we bought them so late, they were only $5 for three good sized pumpkins. It’s been quite awhile since either of us carved any. I decided to go for something cute and carved a sugar glider in my pumpkin. Shawn made a traditional jack-o-lantern with big eyes that I love.

“bon bon” and “little ricky”

VeganMoFo has definitely inspired me to step up my blogging and has been very rewarding (although not always easy). I’ve had a total of 13 posts this month, which while not nearly every day is at least double the most posts I’ve ever made in a month.

Special breakfast

Okay so I grew up in Los Angeles and biscuits and gravy is not exactly a common meal out here in general, but this is one of my favorite breakfasts. Since it’s pretty much impossible to find without meat, I learned to make this for myself as a teenager. It’s so simple to put together and so delicious. A lot of the time I use mix for the biscuits but this time I made them from scratch. I’m not sure they turned out better necessarily, but they were still filling and delicious. The gravy is about as basic as it gets: soy milk, flour, salt & pepper. I couldn’t even tell you the measurements, because I just add until it seems right. I got a little distracted when I was making the gravy this time so it ended up a bit lumpy (oops!) but it still tasted just fine. I also added some tofurky sausage to the gravy which was a perfect addition.
Seven days in a row of posting for VeganMoFo. I’m pretty proud of myself. 🙂

Yes on Prop 2!

I made these vanilla and coffee cupcakes for a bake for change bake sale. The money raised goes to support the Obama campaign and No on Prop 8. I added some flags for Yes on Prop 2 which were a lot of fun to make, even though some of my animal drawings were a bit funny. People seemed excited about them when I dropped them off. The bake sale took place this morning at the Hollywood farmer’s market. I hope all the cupcakes got eaten!

“no animals were harmed in the making of this cupcake”