Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stop and smell the dandelions

Here's one of our backyard buddies teaching us a very important life lesson: sometimes you just have to stop and smell the dandelions!

This squirrel comes with a convenient tail-handle! Call now - operators are standing by!

Update: Want more squirrels?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Easiest Cake For Chocoholics

This has to be the easiest chocolate cake recipe I have ever come across. I've modified the recipe in many different ways and it always comes out perfect. I've tried using all whole wheat pastry flour, far less sugar, sometimes I replace half of the sugar with brown rice syrup, and sometimes I swap half of the oil for apple sauce. Whatever I do to it, it always works out! The texture and flavor may vary slightly but it's always delicious. It's a magic cake! 

You can also use this recipe to make cupcakes!

Vegan Chocolate Cake (Adapted from Super Moist Chocolate Cake,

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sifted cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cold water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray an 8 by 8 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

2. In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt

3. In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, vanilla extract, and water. Gently fold until all ingredients are incorporated. It's very important to try not to overmix the batter or it will be tough and chewy!

4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Frozen Pineapple Treat

Today was frozen-fruit treat day again! This time we had a pineapple/banana sorbet thing that was definitely worth the brain freeze. I found the brilliantly simple recipe at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.

Susan's "ridiculously easy" recipe calls for a can of pineapple chunks packed in juice and nothing else, although you can also replace half of the pineapple with a different frozen fruit. I chose to make a half pineapple and half banana sorbet and it was delicious. Head over to Fat Free Vegan Kitchen to get the recipe!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Brown Bread and Coffee... and Jane Eyre

I read Jane Eyre a few months ago, and it was such a compelling book that I had to start pacing myself towards the final chapters because I didn't want the story to end.

Charlotte Brontë has given me a new comfort food: brown bread and coffee! Jane Eyre is given a serving of brown bread and coffee on her first day at Lowood, toward the end of chapter seven. My brown bread probably isn't very similar to Jane's at all. It's made with whole wheat flour, oat bran and flax seed, and I generally make buns instead of loaves because they are more manageable. A comforting snack of brown bread and coffee is a perfect remedy for one of those moody days when everything seems to be going wrong. Thanks, Charlotte!

Jane Eyre's Brown Bread

2 ½ tsp active dry yeast
¼ cup turbinado sugar
½ cup warm water (about 110 degrees if you have a thermometer)

3 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup oat bran
½ cup ground flax seeds
½ tsp salt (you might want to use more salt, this is plenty for me)

¾ cup warm soy milk (also about 110 degrees F)
¾ to 1 cup of warm water (also about 110 degrees F)
¼ cup melted Earth Balance

1- In a small mixing bowl stir together the yeast, sugar, and warm water let them sit for 5 minutes.
2- In a large mixing bowl mix the flour, oat bran, flax seeds, and salt.
3- Add the yeast mixture, milk, water and oil. Knead for a few minutes until a smooth dough forms.
4- Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise some place warm for 45 minutes.
5- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
6- Take bits of dough and form them into buns. I always make mine slightly smaller than a tennis ball. Arrange the buns on the prepared baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
7- Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until golden brown.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Frozen Fruit Frenzy

When I was growing up, my mother used to make fruit smoothies every day, every summer. The smoothies were delicious, but I always felt so miserably stuffed after just one glass. Now I know why they were so filling - it was the milk! My smoothies these days consist of only fruit and water. They are light and refreshing instead of heavy and super filling. I always slice and freeze my spotty, overripe bananas - frozen bananas make smoother smoothies!

Strawberries + Bananas = Smoothie purity!

Frozen fruit makes a great "ice cream" treat too! I use one part overripe sliced frozen banana and one part frozen strawberries or raspberries, throw them in the blender with a splash of soy coffee creamer and liquefy on the highest setting until the fruit becomes creamy. If you make this, you will probably need to scrape down the sides of the blender several times to get the fruit properly blended. Add more creamer as/if needed and a little liquid sweetener such as agave nectar if it's not sweet enough for you.

Who eats ice cream on a flat plate? Apparently, I do! Weirdo.

My first post - cornbread and chili!

Here goes my first blog post!

I've been obsessed with cornbread and chili lately. Maybe it's because I find myself longing for Autumn and some nice cool weather. My favorite corbread recipe is the Grandma's Cornbread Made Vegan recipe from I have adjusted the amounts of sugar and salt to my personal preference and I usually bake this as mini loaves instead of one big square cornbread.

I always make mini loaves or muffins instead of one big bread

Vegan Cornbread (Adapted from VegWeb)

1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup soy milk
1/3 cup of vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray an 8 by 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. You can also use a mini loaf pan or a muffin pan.
2. In a small bowl or cup, mix the water and Ener-G Egg Replacer until smooth and lump-free.
3. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Pour the milk, oil, and the egg replacer on top of the dry ingredients and gently fold with a large spoon until all the ingredients are just combined.
5. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cornbread comes out clean.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Contact Me

If you leave me a comment on a blog post, I will reply as soon as possible. If you would like to contact me privately, you can reach me at wingitvegan (at) gmail (dot) com.

Do you want to ask for permission to share one of my pictures on your blog/website? As long as you link back to the original post here, share away! Thanks!

The "bah, humbug" three:

1) I am not currently accepting products/cookbooks for review. 
2) I am not currently writing or publishing guest posts. Too lazy to write extra content on another blog and too possessive of my blog to let someone else write on it.
3) I am not currently sharing company news or promotions on my blog.

Bah, humbug!


I love getting crafty and creating quirky things that nobody else has! My most recent crafty obsession is sewing, but before that I was into flat wood carving and cold porcelain, though those two obsessions were short lived.

We are traveling right now and I don't have any pictures of my flat wood carving or cold porcelain work, except for my little Witchita:


Witchita and her little black Kitty!

She's far from perfect but I love her! Doesn't it look like she's playing Guitar Hero with her broom?

My sewing skills are in development, but if you still want to see how I clumsy my way through a sewing project check out these crafty blog posts:

Catnip Toys - I made these for our local shelter (step by step pictures)

Super Easy Puppy-Warmer (or Human -Warmer) - My mother in law's pup is always cold, so I made him a little bed-warmer (step by step pictures)

Cutsie Felt Coin Purses

More Coin Purses And a Reusable Shopping Tote - This tote was inspired by Gilmore Girls, one of my favorite TV shows of all time.

Wing It, Don't Fling It Challenge!

Are you in the mood for a food challenge? A lot of us food bloggers tend to show only (or mostly) our kitchen victories, while keeping the cooking disasters to ourselves. No more! Recently I have shown you a couple of failed recipes that were recycled into something delicious (these Chocolate Pumpkin Tart Truffles and these Brownie Truffles) and I will continue to share my failures-turned-successes regularly! If you are a food blogger, I invite you to join me, if you dare, and share your own rescued kitchen-wrecks with your readers!

The "Wing It, Don't Fling It!" challenge also applies to leftovers. I really dislike leftovers, unless we're talking about something fabulous like Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. On the other hand, it kills me to throw away perfectly good food! What to do? Recycle! Check out my recycled Cream of Fajita Soup, and this Spanish Tortilla made with repurposed leftover stir-fry veggies. It's fun and frugal! :)

Please feel free to display a "Wing It, Don't Fling It!" sign (see below) on your "food makover" posts if you want to participate! I would love to feature your recycled creations here on my blog, so I will assume that if you're participating and linking back to this challenge, then you're OK with me sharing a link back to you with a featured picture from your post. I'd be delighted if you would join me!

A few simple guidelines:

* You don't have to be vegan to participate, but your "Wing It, Don't Fling It" food must be! This means no meat of any kind including fish and other seafood, no eggs or egg-derived products, dairy or dairy products, and no honey. But you can use anything else! Grains, beans, veggies, fruits, dairy-free products like faux cheeses, etc.

* Please remember to add a link back to this page somewhere on your post, so if other people want to participate they can read all about it, and feel free to use one of the logos below.

* There are no deadlines or limits, and you can play as often as you want!

* You are welcome to leave a comment on this page linking back to your Wing It, Don't Fling It posts!

* Have fun! Play with your food! :)

The Wing It, Don't Fling It Logos: 

Here are the logos I promised you, along with the handy html codes. You can choose between light or dark colored backgrounds, and you can even ask me to make you a custom one to match your blog's special background color. Many thanks to Becks for the recycling wings idea!

For light colored backgrounds:

The code:

<a href=""><img height="220" src="" width="274" /></a>

Smaller version for light colored backgrounds:

The code:

<a href=""><img src="" height="145" width="180" /></a>

For dark colored backgrounds:

The code:

<a href=""><img height="220" src="" width="274" /></a>

Smaller version for dark colored backgrounds:

The code:

<a href=""><img src="" height="145" width="180" /></a>

Yellowstone National Park Pictures


Yellowstone National Park 2005 - Buffalo jam
Buffalo Jam

Yellowstone National Park 2005 - Lunch time!
Snack Attack! :)

Yellowstone National Park 2005 - Sleepy mother and baby buffalo

Yellowstone National Park 2005 - Snack attack!

Yellowstone National Park 2005 - Itchy buffalo... or tree hugger?
Itchy Buffalo... or Tree Hugger?

Yellowstone National Park 2006 - Headbutters!

Yellowstone National Park 2005 - Mother and baby moose
Mother and Baby Moose

Yellowstone National Park 2005 - Elk nap time

Yellowstone National Park 2005 - Baby bear elebenty miles away from the camera
Blurry Baby Bear

Yellowstone National Park 2005 - Mother bear
Blurry Mother Bear

Yellowstone National Park 2005 - Yellowstone Canyon
Yellowstone Canyon


Yellowstone National Park 2006 - Chewing elk

Yellowstone National Park 2006 - Buffalo herd by the water

Yellowstone National Park 2006 - Taking advantage of some nice shade

Yellowstone National Park 2006 - Eagle fishing up some lunch
Fishing up some lunch

Yellowstone National Park 2006 - Plants growing from a rock

Yellowstone National Park 2006 - Gibbon Falls? I can't remember!


Yellowstone National Park 2007 - Sleepy Elk

Yellowstone National Park 2007 - Dark Buffalo
Dark Buffalo!

Yellowstone National Park 2007 - Yellowstone River

Yellowstone National Park 2007 - Freaky Steamy Face!
Can you see the creepy face?


Yellowstone National Park 2010 - Raven

Yellowstone National Park 2010 - Raven

Yellowstone National Park 2010 - Raven

Yellowstone National Park 2010 - Overexposed Raven

Yellowstone National Park 2010 - Crane

Yellowstone National Park 2010 - Tiny Beaver
Blurry Beaver!

Yellowstone National Park 2010 - Peeking Buffalo

Yellowstone National Park 2010

Yellowstone National Park 2010

The Big Seagull Post

Seagulls are some of the coolest birds... if you can keep them from pooping on your head, of course! Mr. Wing-It likes feeding them and I like photographing them, so that works out perfectly. These are a few of the seagull pictures that I have taken through the years.

Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan:

Seagulls from around the US - Mackinaw City, Michigan

Seagulls from around the US - Mackinaw City, Michigan

Seagulls from around the US - Mackinaw City, Michigan

Seagulls from around the US - Mackinaw City, Michigan

Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010

Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010
This picture needs a background sound effect: screeching tires

Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010

Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010

Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010
No problem, ociffer. I am not drunk, I can line a straight walk...

Sunrise Seagull - Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010
One is the loneliest number...

Mackinaw City/St. Ignace, Michigan 2010
Sunrise on Lake Huron

Duluth, Minnesota:

Seagulls from around the US - Duluth, Minnesota
It's a Seagullsaurus!

Seagulls from around the US - Duluth

Salt Lake City, Utah:

Seagulls from around the US - Salt Lake City, Utah
Environmentally conscious seagull picks up the trash

Seagulls from around the US - Salt Lake City, Utah

Houston, Texas:

Seagulls from around the US - Houston, Texas
Hey, 'sup?

Somewhere in Washington:

Seagulls from around the US - Somewhere in Washington
Yes, we did. Please don't alert the FBI! :)