Halloween Treats!

These little ghosts might not be scary but they’re so tasty. I tested out a new recipe for cappuccino and espresso cupcakes. I happened to make these before I made dinner so I had to test out the batter…which was possibly the best ever. Seriously.

Shawn and I also decorated the sugar cookies I made last night. I think I got a little carried away but it was so much fun!

I really can’t believe how good these cupcakes are. They’re not like your typical vegan cupcake either. I’ll post a recipe when I’ve got it worked out. The espresso cupcakes turned out cakey and the cappuccino cupcakes are crispy. I’d like them to be a little more alike. I just topped them off with some regular vanilla buttercream frosting but think something a little more exciting would bring these guys to a whole new level of cupcake. You might think I’m kidding. I’m not.

All these treats are for a Halloween movie marathon we’re having. Oh and we’ll be making pizza of course. Can’t wait!

Happy Veganniversary

Today is the three year anniversary of me going vegan! Yay!

Even if it’s not so exciting for everyone else I’m going to tell everyone my going vegan story.

I decided to become vegetarian at age 13 to “save the animals.” Honestly at that point meat did not interest me at all and I had a really difficult time knowing I was eating something that had been alive. My mother insisted I continue to eat fish but other than my parents were pretty much uninvolved in what I ate. This meant that as a vegetarian I did not have a very diverse diet. For most of my teenage years I ate mostly cereal, grilled cheese sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, pasta and Dr. Pepper. Oh yes, lots and lots of carbs. Although I had tried more ethnic foods than a lot of people, they weren’t a regular staple. Except for sushi. Which I have to admit I was obsessed with (and still am in its vegan forms). I finally stopped eating fish when I was 17.

As I got older I started learning more about cooking and about veganism. I made some simple switches to soy milk and earth balance but thought that going completely vegan would be too hard for me. My biggest problem was my sweet tooth. I just hadn’t had many good vegan desserts and I couldn’t imagine living without them. Though for the most part I ate vegan and cooked vegan I still didn’t think I could do it. At the same time, having learned more about factory farming, I was having a lot of guilt whenever I ate things that weren’t vegan.

When I was 21 I went backpacking in Europe for a month and a half. The entire trip my diet consisted almost entirely of bread and cheese. It felt horrible. The day after I got home I decided that I had to go vegan. I made a resolution that if I were going to do it, it had to be for at least a year. That year came and went and I could never imagine myself going back.

Being vegan has changed my life immensely for the better. I cook all the time, and bake even more. For me this is so rewarding. I feel like having this connection with my food makes me appreciate it even more. Going out to eat at restaurant with vegan food is exciting, it’s not just something that you have to do. Despite having staple foods that I eat a lot, my diet is so much more diverse than it has ever been. I’ve also leaned so much about all the things that I eat. I feel better eating the food without the guilt of another animal’s suffering or the gross things in non-vegan food. I’m also extremely fortunate to have a vegan boyfriend so we get to make treats together, which makes things that much more fun.

Anyway, I’ll get back to more fun photo posts soon. I have been bad at updating lately, and have a little backlog of pictures to post. Eep!

The infamous vegan crepes…

alix in the kitchen

Months ago Shawn and I decided to have a pseudo-French night. This of course consisted mainly of drinking wine and eating crepes. We got to finally test out our crepe pan and tools.

spreading the batter

flipping the crepe

The process definitely took some practice, and I have infinite respect for those that are able to effortlessly flip crepes twice the size of ours.

Crepes are one of those treats that I actually crave, and though I usually tend towards sweet crepes (my favorite toppings are just lemon and sugar) we went for savory mushroom and mozzarella crepes.

For the most part, the recipes I found at the time focused more on a dessert type crepe so these turned out a bit sweet, but still, so freaking good. They were crunchy on the outside but still soft throughout. And yes, chopping with an extra large cleaver makes them taste better.

Anyway these photos have been lost in the ephemera for the past three or four months, from before we did some modifications to our kitchen, including a new oven. Finally they are here for your viewing pleasure!

pizza and cupcakes

I would say that the two most commonly baked foods in this apartment are pizza and cupcakes. We eat a lot of pizza. We eat enough pizza to have two pizza stones and an individual pizza oven. The recipes are pretty standard though.

I tried to make a pizza that was a bit different than usual even with the same ingredients. I don’t usually cook with onions unless a recipe calls for it, but this time I decided to go all out and cover the pizza with caramelized onions. I also roasted some garlic and sauteed the tofu in a mix of rosemary, nutritional yeast and soy sauce.

Sometimes I experiment and things don’t turn out so well. This was not one of those times. This pizza was so delicious.

So of course I tried out some cookies and cream cupcakes. Something easy that I had been craving and wanted to test out. The thing with cupcakes is that there is always a bit too much batter and icing left over. Not enough to make another batch….just enough, I discovered, to make a mini cake. Just a bit bigger than a cupcake, but perfect dessert size. I think I’ll be making more of these.

Also, I’m going to try my best to post as much vegan goodness as I can for the month of October and veganmofo. Should be a lot of good fall treats to make. I’m excited!

handmade coffee table

Well I’ve been making a lot of tasty treats but I haven’t had a lot of other fun projects to show off. It’s been busy over here though. In honor of the fact that I’ll be moving this weekend and this sweet coffee table that I made will be going into storage, I though it deserved it’s own post, even though this isn’t the best photo. I made this following (loosely) instructions from Readymade magazine, which I love. I found the reel to reel in the garage of the house I used to live in and it came along before the place was demolished. I’d like to get a glass top for this piece but that will have to wait for my next residence. Anyway I bought myself a drill to make this and I’m not sure how I lived without one before. Back to packing for me!