Hi! I'm taking a little break and it might take me a few days to reply to comments and emails. I'll be back soon! :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Who?

It's the day after Thanksgiving, which means it's officially Christmas time! Is anybody doing the crazy shopping thing today? I'm staying away from all the insanity, thankyouverymuch.

OK, let's talk Thanksgiving food first to get that out of the way. It was just the two of us for dinner (don't feel bad, that's how we like it), so I didn't have to cook a massive amount of food. Here's all our food on the stove top, patiently waiting to be eaten. Mr. Wing-it was not-so-patiently waiting to eat while I took the pictures.

Thanksgiving 2008

Top row, left to right: yam slices, baked red potatoes with rice cheese, and whole wheat stuffing. No Thanksgiving mashed potatoes because we're rebellious.

Bottom row: individual meatless meatloaves and green been/cauliflower/shiitake mushroom stir-fry.

Here's a close-up of the little meatless meatloaves, I was so proud of them!

Mini meatloaves - Thanksgiving 2008

For dessert we had, Mini Pumpkin Pudding Pies with buttercream frosting. The filling is a pumpkin and coconut milk pudding. I can work on the recipe if anybody is interested but this one was a big wing-it job. By the way, that fork isn't dirty, it's just the reflection of the crust! :)

Mini Pumpkin Pies - Thanksgiving 2008

Enough with Thanksgiving! I'm ready for Christmas and Christmas themed food, like these little Lamington(ish) Christmas Gifts. They are chocolate cake squares dipped in coconut milk and rolled in shredded coconut (coconut milk holds the coconut in place). Yes, I do like coconut a lot.

Lamington Christmas Gifts

The ribbons are thin strips of a Panda Raspberry Bar. I assumed the whole bar was going to be red, but it's only red on the outside and brown on the inside. Boo! Next time I will make them with strawberry fruit leather strips instead.

Anyway, I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a lovely holiday. I'm off to read about all your festive dinners!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

D'oh!-Nuts - Giant Shredded Veggie Pancake and Two Awards!

First things first! Thank you so much for all your lovely comments on my previous post! I'm glad I'm not quite as boring as I thought.

Food time! I noticed that I've lost a few pounds lately, so I'm trying to gain them back. The thing is that I'm a hard-gainer, and I have to eat like a quarterback to gain or even maintain weight. Or maybe I could just eat like Homer Simpson, hence my D'oh!-Nuts!

Coconut and cream filled doughnuts

Glazed. Chocolate and sprinkles. Chocolate and almonds

Aren't they purdy?

I used this recipe from allrecipes.com, but without the egg and with whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose flour. And I baked them instead of frying them, which made them more like a sweet bread than doughnuts, but they were yummy nonetheless.

Last night we had what I so unwittingly chose to call a Giant Shredded Veggie Pancake. (Thank you, Denny, for pointing out that this looks a lot like a rosti.) Doh!

Here he is on my skillet. I had already cooked one side and flipped him over.

Giant Shredded Veggie Pancake

Here he is on my plate with some green beans and cauliflower.

Giant Shredded Veggie Pancake

This was kind of an "everything but the kitchen sink" dish, so I don't have a recipe. Here's roughly what I did:

I shredded 3 medium sized potatoes in my food processor and transferred them to a mixing bowl. Then I shredded a large carrot and some celery and added it to the potatoes. Then I sauteed some chopped onion with some chopped frozen spinach while the potatoes released their potatoey juices. Then I transferred the potatoes to a large strainer and squeezed the liquid out, transferred them back to the mixing bowl, added the onions and spinach, about two cups of ground beef-style crumbles, and some salt and spices. Next time I will use sausage style crumbles instead of ground beef style.

I firmly pressed the whole thing onto a well oiled and preheated non-stick round frying pan, and cooked it, covered, over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes jiggling it from time to time. Finally, I slid it onto a plate and flipped it over the (re-oiled) frying pan, and cooked uncovered for about 10 more minutes.

See how well lit my pictures are, and how I'm not complaining about not having any natural light for dinner time today? I must be on Santa's good list because I got my Christmas present early and it was a photography lighting set, complete with two different light tents, fancy lights, tripods, and six backdrops. Isn't Mr. Wing-it the best Santa ever? *SWOON*

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged by three different bloggers: Jeni Treehugger, Vegalicious, and Veganview. So now I have to share seven random facts about myself.

**Warning: Very boring facts about a very boring person ahead**

I included pictures in hopes that you won't fall asleep whilst reading this.

1- I used to hate food and everything food-related until I was 24 years old. My obsession with food started in 2003 when I went vegan. Before that, I don't think I ever took a food photo at all. Funny how now 90% of my thoughts seem to revolve around food. This was my very first homemade cream pie back in 2003. It was a vegan strawberry cream pie, and I was so proud of it!

My First Pie Ever (2003)

2- We have a fish buddy called George. Before you panic and tell me that it's cruel to buy fish from a pet store, George was passed on to us from someone who couldn't take care of him anymore. George is a senior fish. Isn't he fabulous?


3- I am quite obsessed with vegan beauty products, especially eye treatments. These are some of my favorite products.

Vegan Personal Care

4- My coffee mugs must be fun and/or cute. It's the law. Pictured below are my Monk mug, my Colorado Bear Hugs mug, my I Love Lucy mug, and my brand new Snowman mug. Yes, the age stated on my profile is correct. I am indeed an adult. Why do you ask? I still would like to have a "Luke's" mug (Gilmore Girls) and a "Friends" mug. (Update: got it, and got it!)


5- Speaking of Friends and Gilmore Girls, I like watching reruns of my favorite shows when I'm having a rough day. Reruns never change, so I can sit down and watch an old show and know exactly what's going to happen without any weird surprises. Oh, come on! Like you don't have any funny quirks! :)


6- And speaking of Gilmore Girls again, it was thanks to Rory Gilmore that I decided to brush up on classic literature. This has been my classic-lit book list for 2008, in the order that I've read them from top to bottom. My least favorite has been Madame Bovary at the very top, and my all time favorites are Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. 

Books 2008

7- I am painfully shy. I am very quiet around unfamiliar people, which often makes me come across as either rude or ignorant. Because I am so quiet, I am very observant and I love taking pictures of whatever draws my attention. Like this dewy Autumn leaf I found while playing with our feline visitor.

Dewy Leaf

Well, that's it. Fascinating stuff, eh? Now I have to tag seven blogs to do the same thing:

Vegan at home
A place for us
Show me vegan
Seitan is my motor
Te amo vegano
The happy vegan
Cupcake kitteh
Alice in veganland
Happy Herbivore
Diet dessert and dogs

Don't feel like you have to participate if you don't feel like it. Please, play only if you're into the tagging thing. I tagged more than seven blogs just because I'm a rebel and I wanted to tag everyone from my blogroll. Most of you have already been tagged, but if I left you out it's not because I don't like you or because I think you smell, it's just that my blogroll is huge. So if you're in my blogroll consider yourself tagged!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Some Coconut Cream Frosting Pageantry

Oh, the coconut milk frosting! I've developed a rabid addiction to it and I like it! Today I made a small batch of chocolate cupcakes, all with different variations of coconut cream frosting. To tell you all about each flavor, let's give it up for the stars of Miss Coconut Frosting Pageant.  Ladies, please enter the stage...

Thank you, ladies. First on the catwalk (cakewalk?) is Miss Coconut-Peanut Butter wearing a lovely chocolate-sprinkles outfit. Miss Coconut-Peanut Butter is made with one part peanut butter, two parts firm coconut cream, maple syrup, and vanilla. Thank you Miss Coconut-Peanut Butter.

Next, behind and to the left of Miss Coconut-Peanut Butter, is Miss Chocolate-Coconut in a crunchy crushed-macadamia nut gown. Miss Coconut-Chocolate is made with firm coconut cream, cocoa powder, and maple syrup. Thank you Miss Coconut-Chocolate.

Here comes Miss Coconut Crushed-Candy, standing next to Miss Coconut-Chocolate, wearing... wait a minute, is she wearing anything? *Gasp!* It looks like her crushed hard candy ensemble is melting and revealing her naked frosting! Quick, switch cameras, let's get a close up on Miss Coconut-Pomegranate Candy!

It looks like Miss Coconut-Pomegranate Candy forgot to bring her long-wear makeup and it's melting all over, making her look like she had an unfortunate shaving accident! Cue the next contestant!

Ah, Miss Coconut-Mocha is last but not least. Miss Coconut-Mocha is made with firm coconut cream, cocoa powder, finely ground instant coffee, and powdered sugar. It looks like she's wearing the same chocolate-sprinkles outfit as Miss Coconut-Peanut Butter. That has to be devastating, ladies and gentlemen. These cupcakes train and prepare their whole lives for this event, and to wear the same frosting as one of the front-runners is nothing short of a tragedy.

It's time to crown our next Coconut Frosting Queen! The winner is... Miss Coconut-Mocha! Her one of a kind flavor outweighed her not-so-unique gown. Congratulations Miss Coconut-Mocha, you are the new Coconut Frosting Queen! *chomp*

Wow, that's a lot of silly for just one post. Sorry.

Because I used a lot of fatty coconut milk, I balanced out the fatty dessert with Happy Herbivore's fat-free chocolate cupcakes from her Pudge Free Holidays e-cookbook. Also from Lindsay's e-cookbook:

Happy Herbivore's Meatballs

These are the best meatless meatballs. Seriously. Mr. Wing-it said I have a girl-crush on Happy Herbivore, and I didn't deny it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Coconut Milk Love

Isn't it weird being without MoFo? After all the hectic posting and reading and commenting, I don't know what to do with myself anymore. All my food seems so boring without any mashed potato ghosts and one-eyed monsters. At least Christmas is coming and there will be another chance to make themed food!

APLACEFORUS has given me an "Excellent" award! I don't think I had ever won an award for anything before. I feel like I should wear a fancy gown and write an acceptance speech, but I don't own a fancy gown and I'm wearing my slippers. It means a lot be recognized by our fellow bloggers! Thank you so much! :)

I also won a free copy of the Happy Herbivore's Pudge-Free Holidays e-cookbook! The book is packed full of mouth-watering recipes for a delicious fat-free holiday season. One of Lindsay's holiday recipes is the Southern Cornbread, which was the first recipe I tried. It was fabulous! We had it with chili, and the little bit that we managed not to eat with dinner made for a nice evening snack later.

Happy Herbivore's Cornbread

Now on to the Coconut Milk Love. I made some coconut whipped cream and took some pictures of it looking shamelessly enticing atop of various foods. There are a couple of different ways to make coconut whipped cream, it depends on what you intend to do with it.

For a soft, runny cream that doesn't need to hold its shape, open a can (14oz or 214ml) of cold full-fat coconut milk and mix it with 1 or 2 tablespoons of cold maple syrup or agave, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Use an electric mixer on the highest setting and mix until smooth and creamy. It helps to chill the bowl and beaters before you start. One tablespoon of maple syrup was enough for me, someone with a sweeter tooth might want to taste it and keep adding syrup until it tastes sweet enough. Keep it refrigerated until you're ready to use it.

For a firm cream, let a can of full-fat coconut milk chill in your fridge overnight, but do not shake it at any time. Open the can and scoop out all the fat that separated itself from the liquid into a chilled mixing bowl. Add 1/2 tsp of vanilla and sifted powdered sugar to taste, and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Using only the coconut fat and powdered sugar instead of syrup, makes this cream stiffer than the previous version. Keep it refrigerated!

Here's the coconut whipped cream (soft and runny) on a slice of apple upside-down cake...

Apple Cake With Coconut Whippy Cream

Here she is on my waffles... evil temptress!

Waffles With Coconut Whippy Cream

Thanks to Ruby Red Vegan I found out that coconut cream on hot cocoa is probably what they serve in Heaven's waiting room. Not that I'll ever get to taste that one. Here's a big blob of cream...

Hot Cocoa With Coconut Whippy Cream

And here it slightly melted into the hot chocolate. Every sip was heavenly coconuty chocolate bliss...

Hot Cocoa With Coconut Whippy Cream

I only used a little bit of cream for the cake, waffles, and cocoa, so I used the rest to make ice-cream. It was melting rapidly thanks to my hot under-cabinet light...

Chocolate-Coconut Ice Cream

Are my American readers proudly wearing your "I Voted" sticker today? Go democracy!