Ten Questions

Hello my dears! I’ve been thinking about you a lot. Brainstorming in fact, which in it’s own way has stopped me from actually writing.

I have some questions for you.

Here’s the story. I’ve had this blog for quite some time now. And I love it. I hope you like it too. When it started, it was an exercise entirely just for myself. Since then it’s grown into much more, something that I’m very proud of. It’s so terribly exciting for me that people actually read it. I’ve met and talked to so many awesome people from all over.

Ultimately I’m trying to keep making Cute & Delicious more awesome.

Here’s where you come in. I want to know what you think.

I just have a couple questions, and if you wouldn’t mind answering, I would be very grateful. You can let me know your thoughts in the comments or email me at veganbakesale at gmail dot com. 

Ok, here are the questions. If you don’t feel like answering them, but would like to give me feedback anyway I would love that too! And yeah I’m a dork so I made them multiple choice.

1.  Do you prefer reading about:

a.  vegan food

b. crafts

c. both

d. other stuff (like what?)

2. What would you like to see more of?

a. recipes

b. tutorials

c. finished projects/dishes

d. photos

e. lifestyle stuff

f. something else (what?)

3. Would you rather see:

a. shorter posts, more frequently

b. big long juicy posts, less often

4. Ok, what do you think about photos?

a. they’re the most important part

b. like a balance of photos and writing/recipes/tutorials

c. don’t really care about the photos, iphone pictures would be fine

5. How personal do you think cute & delicious is?

a. I feel like I know you from reading it

b. I feel like it’s pretty superficial

c. I don’t really think about it

d. I’m not even really sure who writes this blog

6. Do you think it should be more personal?

a. I want to know more everyday life stuff

b. please just keep it to the food and crafts

c. it’s fine how it is now

7. Ideally how many posts a week do you like to read from a blog?

a. once a week is good, i’m a busy person

b. a few times a week please

c. every day. i need entertainment

d. as many times as possible. i spend a lot of time on the computer

e. i don’t care as long as the posts are good

8. Do you follow me on twitter?

9. How do you read this blog?

a. in a reader/rss feed

b. i just visit from time to time

c. i click when you post something on twitter

d. i’ve never been here before!

e. i’ve come here from another blog

10. Is there anything else you would like to tell me? Do it!

Ok, for those of you who think this is uber boring, I apologize! There will be more posts coming this weekend, I promise.

Any one of you who were kind enough to help me out, I can’t tell you how thankful I am. I’m thankful that you’re just here anyway.

p.s. make sure you use a legit email address if you want something back


Miss Alix

My favorite ghost cake

Vegan Ghost Cake from Shawn Bannon on Vimeo.

I had posted this video previously but it wasn’t anywhere near Halloween so I thought it deserved to be brought back for another go around. The little ghosts are made from Dandies vegan marshmallows and frosting. I think it’s possibly the cutest cake I’ve ever made. Enjoy the video. Weee!

Halloween Candy

These days one of the main selling points of Halloween is candy. As if costumes and ghosts weren’t awesome enough, people thought you should coerce children in to celebrating by giving them treats. This has now turned into a sugar free for all consisting of thousands of bags of individually wrapped bite sized candies, because god forbid anyone actually make anything for their neighbors. Everyone knows the razor blade in the apple thing never really happened.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for trick or treating. In fact, as an adult, I still kind of wish I could go. But then I realize the majority of those candies aren’t vegan so there isn’t really a point. I wonder what vegans with children do. Do you take your kids trick or treating and take away the candy afterward or skip the event all together?

Luckily more and more vegan candies are coming onto the market so we aren’t just stuck with licorice and suckers. Go Max Vegan candies are new on the scene and replicate some of the more popular non-vegan brands.  The Buccaneer, reminiscent of a Three Musketeers,  has creeped in as my favorite of the four. I highly recommend throwing a few in the fridge as they are even more tasty cold. The Twilight is my next choice, though I was a particular fan of Milky Ways as a non-vegan. There some flavor in the caramel that doesn’t quite win me over. It’s still really nice to have a vegan candy that’s not just a pure chocolate bar.

It’s easy to make some vegan candies yourself. I’ve successfully made peanut butter cups and peppermint patties that were even better than the mass produced ones. I’m still dying to make Your Vegan Mom’s crunchy version of peanut butter cups. Can someone please figure out how to make a vegan Junior Mints? That would be awesome.

Yeasted breads

I haven’t been sleeping very well lately. I know it is because I’m jet-lagged but the past week has been a little strange. It has contributed to a wonderful development in my home though. When you wake up at 3 am and your fridge is empty, it makes perfect sense that you should bake some bread. Right? I thought so. In the past week I’ve been experimenting with some yeasted breads. I can’t help but still get a thrill when they rise up like magic.

Perhaps the most delicious and filling was the rosemary focaccia. I used the recipe in The Joy of Vegan Baking pretty much exactly as it was written. This loaf was dense and yet fluffy, moist and salty and completely packed with rosemary flavor. The one time I’ve made focaccia before it was not nearly this thick and wonderful. I want to eat a million sandwiches off of this stuff. The crust has a light oiled flavor and the olives compliment the whole thing quite nicely.

Another project was a basic french loaf. This was the simplest of the batch but still satisfying. It was plain but great for toast. The crust was fairly crunchy as I tested out the technique of throwing water in the oven to steam it. I was impressed for it being such a basic loaf that it really was so good. This was also the quickest to prepare, easy to turn to in a pinch.

When I was researching tips to make my french loaf, I discovered that everyone in the bread making world seemed to be crazy about this No-Knead recipe from the NY Times. Of course I had to try it as well, despite it having a rising time of 20 hours total. Everything I read, promised me a light interior with a beautiful crunchy crust. I was not let down. I must admit that I definitely messed up this recipe. At hour 12 or so I could see that my dough was definitely too wet. Being that it had been rising for so long I just decided to go ahead with it anyway and hope for the best. Though I know that something was off, just by looking at the dough, it still tasted amazing. It was insanely good and very easy to assemble, despite my mis-measuring somewhere. If you have the foresight to put this together a day in advance, it is well worth the wait.

Roman Holiday

A crazy thing happened in Rome. Shawn and I had spent the day walking and riding bikes around the city and were completely exhausted. We were contemplating our last meal but could only decide that we wanted to try the soy gelato from Blue Ice. We got our scoops and were enjoying them in front of Trevi fountain, which was packed with tourists, when I noticed two familiar faces: Lex and Kristen of Vegan-LA. I have to be honest, Shawn and I run into people we know in some unexpected places, but in another country and other vegans? Crazy, right? Turns out they’ve been traveling through Europe for the past 6 months working on vegan-europe.com

We hung out and chatted for a bit and they mentioned they were going to try a new vegan restaurant/bar. Since we were starving, we of course wanted to go check it out with them. Only problem was that it was about 5k away and we were dead tired from walking. Luckily they had a car and offered to drive us. Of course, it was a Smart car. Have you ever seen a Smart car? They’re TINY! If you’ve ever seen one in the US, they’re even smaller in Europe. In any case, we all piled in, despite it only being a two-seater and headed out of the city center to try out Rewild.

Rewild is a casual, completely vegan restaurant in Rome with beers on tap and a selection of icy mixed drinks. While the menu was in Italian, our waiter (who I’m pretty sure was the owner) was very helpful and translated anything we didn’t understand. Shawn and I started with some bruschetta made with tomato and vegan sausage. This spread was great and the bread was nice and crusty too. A great starter, especially since we were so hungry.

I ordered a panini with seitan and garlic mushrooms. The seitan was sliced super thin and the mushrooms were cooked just right, not too firm or squishy. It was very satisfying and the kind of thing I could see myself ordering regularly. My only complaint was that bun was very full and not exactly pressed like a panini. It still tasted great though.

Shawn also got a panini; his with the basic lettuce, mustard, vegan mayo and…beets? Don’t get me wrong, it tasted really good, probably even more tasty that the panini I ordered but the beets were definitely a surprise. It was actually fairly refreshing to have the cool sweet beets in the middle of what would have otherwise been a fairly conventional sandwich. Given the choice, I’d still go with tomato though.

Last but certainly not least, we split a vegan jam filled crepe. I love crepes, I really do. Any opportunity I have to eat them makes me ecstatic, especially when they are good like this one. I was very pleased. It’s not easy to make a  perfect crepe, but this one was spot on. Light and just a tiny bit crunchy with just the right amount of jam inside. Delicious!

Following our amazing meal, we all piled back in the smart car and made an impromptu tour of a few of Rome’s sites. We climbed out in front of the Vatican as if we were exiting a clown car. It was great fun! I’m so grateful that Lex and Kristen showed us this really cool restaurant and carted us around with them for the rest of the evening.

If you want to see more photos from our trip you can check out Shawn’s  shots over at studiodrome. Coming up I’ll try my hand at some Italian inspired meals. Ciao!