i’m in veggie heaven

I keep trying to come up with the words to describe how totally in love with Veggie Heaven I am, but I think it’s fairly clear from the photos how utterly amazing this restaurant is. It’s a little spot in New Jersey we go to whenever we’re in the area (which is not all that often). We visited this year the day after Christmas and the whole place was packed. I’m sure you can imagine why; vegan sushi. We’re not talking about your average cucumber rolls and tofu tempura. They have spicy “tuna” rolls, seitan eels rolls and a bunch of fancy combos like the Dynamite Roll. Every dish is just spot on for flavor and while there are tons of vegan offerings here in Los Angeles, there really is just nothing that satisfies my sushi cravings like Veggie Heaven.

pizza love

This past Saturday was Shawn’s birthday. To celebrate, we ate lots and lots of pizza (and made ice cream sundaes, but that’s for later). We had pizza with cashew cheese, with teese, with follow your heart and pizza with daiya. There was buffalo chicken pizza with ranch dressing, pear and truffle oil pizza, pepperoni pizza, avocado pizza and many variations in between. Though there were many kinds, we kept each pizza simple by using only a few topping on each one. I think there were also about 3 pizza ideas that never made it to the table, but we’ll just have to make those next time.

So much pizza. So much delicious pizza.

What’s your favorite kind of pizza?

Thanksgiving 2011

I can’t believe our tiny Thanksgiving break is almost over. It flew by in what seemed like a matter of seconds. I suppose that’s what happens when you have lots to do over a few days. We started off our celebrations at Madeleine Bistro for a four course Thanksgiving feast. We’ve been to Madeleine’s for the past few years but this meal topped them all. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a delicious Thanksgiving meal in my life. Everything was exquisite. Next year we plan to have Thanksgiving at our house and I hope we can make something even just a fraction of how good this meal was.

We spent the rest of the weekend with friends and family relaxing and eating lots. I did very little cooking considering. I made this wonderful green bean casserole and an apple pie. Yesterday Shawn was in a short film so I had the day to myself. I spent it watching British period dramas, knitting and sewing. It was pretty nice to not have to worry about work and projects for a whole day.

When I was a kid, after every school break I would make a list of all the cool things I did in my time off filled with movies I’d watched or things I’d made. This year if I made a list, the two biggest things would be finishing the binding on our wedding quilt (which took FOREVER) and hanging up some clothes that have been sitting in our bedroom for about a month. Pretty simple, but a major relief to have finished at the same time.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. What would you put on your list?

Bat cupcakes

While technically speaking I’m no longer in the cupcake business, I had a special request for some bat cupcakes and I just could not turn it down. Especially with Halloween coming up, I couldn’t miss an opportunity to try out some bat decorations.

I spent a long time practicing drawing bats in frosting and but every one felt like something was missing. I was about to give up and go another route when I realized what it was. Eyes! They needed eyes. I grabbed some sprinkles and very carefully placed two tiny beady eyes on each bat.

They manage to still be a little cute without being cartoonish. These would be perfect for a Halloween party or just for some who liked bats. Just imagine a dozen of these little guys at a party.

I’m debating making cupcakes for our Halloween gathering this weekend, as I make cupcakes every year. Maybe I’ll make ones with pumpkins on top. What’s your favorite way to decorate cupcakes?

Lentil Loaf Sandwich

Hello! I’m back with more lentil loaf. This second recipe is even more flavorful than the last lentil loaf recipe. It doesn’t have the chewiness, but instead has a grainier texture. We ate this loaf in sandwiches, which worked out great as they were tasty and filling; perfect for a picnic lunch.

So without further ado, here is the recipe:

Vegan Lentil Loaf – take two

  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 2 cups whole wheat couscous
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 375°

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl mashing the lentils as you go. Make sure you mix everything really well.

Put into a lightly oiled loaf pan and brush the top with ketchup.

Cook for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.