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! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crunk It Up! (and our awesome hotel kitchen)

Let's get crunky! I am one of the very lucky recipe testers for Bianca of the Vegan Crunk blog. Bianca is working on a Southern/Soul Food cookbook, which as soon as it is published it will be a gigantor hit full of awesome country classics! I will now proceed to make you wish you were one of her testers too. *Evil grin*

Why don't we start with some Twice Baked Taters?

Bianca's Twice Baked Taters

Oh yea. They're the best baked potatoes I have ever had. They're the kind of food that makes you want to eat until you find yourself beached and comatose on the couch.

Don't stuff yourself too much though, leave some room for Bianca's Old-Fashioned Coconut Pie!

Bianca's Old-Fashioned Coconut Pie

Bianca's Granny veganized her own pie recipe for Bianca's cookbook, and now Granny Crunk only makes the vegan version! Coolest Granny ever! I made two little pies instead of a big one because, well, I'm into small foods. Does anybody want a tiny slice of coconutty goodness?

Bianca's Old-Fashioned Coconut Pie

And since we're talking about sweet treats, let's move on to the Choco-Choco Praline Pecan Cookies! Any recipe that starts with "choco-choco" has my attention!

Bianca's Choco-Choco Praline Pecan Cookies

The best part about these cookies are those delicious pecans, they are prepared in a way that will make you want to enter a never-ending pecan eating contest! I'm not really a pecan person, but the ingredients here really make these one of the most delicious sweet treats I have ever had. See how they entice you with their shiny coating?

Bianca's Choco-Choco Praline Pecan Cookies

Quick! Hand me something green before I go into a sugar coma! Bianca's Cheezy Broccoli Rice Casserole should do the trick!

Bianca's Cheezy Broccoli Rice Casserole

Creamy, wholesome, comforting, belly-warming, and delicious! And just when you think I'm going to keep throwing the savory stuff at you, here comes the Old-Fashioned Strawberry Pie!

Bianca's Old-Fashioned Strawberry Pie

This is another one of Bianca's Granny's pies! Atrocious picture, awesome pie.

Here's another atrocious picture. You might have already seen this one when I blogged about it on my old blog, but here it goes anyway.

Bianca's Sweet Potato Bread

It's a Sweet Potato Bread that because of my tiny foods obsession I made into muffins. And apparently I couldn't resist taking a big bite off the muffin top before I took the picture. Don't judge! They were irresistible! As were these Cinnamon Pecan Waffles that I also blogged about before...

Bianca's Cinnamon Pecan Waffles

Best. Waffles. Ever. The whole house smells like cinnamon heaven while these are baking. Who needs air freshener when you can make waffles instead? They are multi-purpose waffles! :D

And yet one more picture that you might have seen before, Bianca's Country Potato Soup of awesomeness...

Bianca's Country Potato Soup

*Drool* No more teasing you with recipes that you cannot have until the book is published. I can though. *Evil grin* Check out Bianca's blog for more awesome vegan goodies! :)

**UPDATE: I blogged about more crunky goodness here**

A few of you were impressed with some of the things I cook and bake while we are travelling, and while I do have to manage with only a microwave and a single burner most times, there are times when we stay in extended-stay type hotels that have pretty decent in-room kitchens. So you see, it's not that impressive when our hotel room has a kitchen like this:

An oven! A dishwasher! A full-size sink! This is the best hotel kitchen ever! There is also a full-size fridge and some pots, pans, dishes, utensils, etc.

Not all extended stay hotel kitchens are like this though, most of them don't have dishwashers or ovens, but even the ones with just a two burner stove-top, tiny work space and a decent sized fridge are a nice break from regular hotels. Plus many extended stay hotels have lower rates than the regular ones because they only offer housekeeping services once a week. Score! :)

Speaking of *SCORES*, have you heard that Ellen DeGeneres listed Sweet Freedom on her "Books Ellen Reads" page? It sure seems like we will be watching Ricki cook up some delicious treats on The Ellen Show soon! If you haven't seen it yet, check out Ricki's EL-LENd Me a Hand video and enjoy some fancy Ellenesque dancing and an awesome recipe for vegan coconut macaroons. The video is hilarious! Head on over to Ricki's EL-LENd Me a Hand headquarters for more info about the campaign. That's it from me, see you next week for another coin purse W.I.P Wednesday! :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

E.A.T World: Greece! What you mean he don't eat not meat?!

Welcome to Greece! The first thing that most people probably associate with Greece is the Parthenon, or maybe Mount Olympus, or ancient Greek Mythology, or that it's the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Unless you're me. Then you think about this...

I can very much relate to the main character, Toula. We both grew up with in-your-face families and without much wiggle room to develop our own personalities, which is probably the main reason why we are both a little deficient in the self-confidence and self-esteem departments. One of my favorite scenes of the movie takes place when Toula announces that her fiancé is a vegetarian...

That scene always makes me laugh! Here is something else that just happens to be vegetarian: Fasolatha!

E.A.T World: Greece, Fassolatha

Fasolatha (though I have seen it spelled fasolada and fasoulada) is a white bean and vegetable soup made with lots of olive oil. Lots of it! It was very tasty but extremely filling, if I make Fasolatha again I probably won't use as much oil. I used this recipe and this recipe as my guides. It's not something I'm anxious to try again very soon, I think the idea of olive oil exorbitance sounded better in theory, but it was too heavy for my poor tummy.

Don't worry! My Greek adventures didn't end there! Raise your hand if you want some cookies!

E.A.T World: Greece, Koulourakia

These pretty ladies are called Koulourakia and they are beyond exquisite! The combination of anise seeds and orange zest should be the next "P.B and chocolate". Sorry Reese's, you had a good run.

This is the recipe that I went with, but I used Earth Balance instead of butter, flax eggs, and orange zest instead of lemon zest. These beauties will grace our Christmas cookie trays forevermore! :)

E.A.T World: Greece, Koulourakia
Extreme close-up!

More Greek goodness ahead! Marion, a super sweet reader from Greece, offered to send me some of her favorite recipes. How could I pass on an inside scoop?! The first recipe is called Riganada, which consists of toasted bread brushed with olive oil and topped with tomato, oregano, and cheese. Yes, please!

E.A.T World: Greece, Riganada

You're supposed to toast the bread in the oven, or a toaster if you must. Our hotel didn't have a toaster, let alone an oven, but we did have a single burner and a frying pan, so I "grilled" my bread instead. Marion said that the cheese should be feta or another soft, white variety, so I used Tofutti slices and they worked just fine. This is something that I will be eating quite frequently, because it was very easy to make and so so delicious! Toasted bread + olive oil + tomato + oregano + cheesy topping = *drool*

Miss Marion sent me another recipe that was also very easy to make and very tasty. Cinnamon toast, anyone?

E.A.T World: Greece, Cinnamon Toast
Sorry about the poor hotel lighting

It's like a sweet cinnamony treat! So simple too, it's just toast with margarine (Earth Balance) and a good sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on top. Awesome!

Thank you again, Marion! :)

I would love to receive more suggestions for my upcoming E.A.T World posts, so if you are reading this and you think that I should most definitely try one of your favorite recipes from wherever you might be from, please do send me an email or leave me a comment to let me know! Even if your recipes aren't vegetarian or vegan, I can always play with them to make them fit my dietary choices. :)

There will be another "G" post in a couple of weeks. The recipes will come via Mihl's blog... of course! I'm so proud of myself for not abandoning my blog while we travel! *happy*

One more thing before I sign off - have you heard that Ricki is campaigning to get on The Ellen Degeneres Show? How awesome would it be to help a fellow food blogger get on the best daytime show ever?! It's no secret that I want to be Ricki's groupie, so I have already contacted The Ellen Degeneres show asking them to please have Ricki as a guest. If you want to help too, all you have to do is either tweet Ellen at @TheEllenShow or send her an email asking her to invite Ricki Heller to her show. If Ricki does get invited, every commenter who participates in this campaign will win a FREE copy of the ebook version of Sweet Freedom, which is exactly the same as the paper copy! Woo hoo!! Ricki's cookbook rocks! I already have a copy of Sweet Freedom and I have already raved about it here, but if you're missing out, then hop on over to Ricki's blog to participate.

Elsie, one of Ricki's girls has also joined the campaign!
(Picture via Diet, Dessert and Dogs)

Get up, have a little fun today... Get up, give a little love away!♫ :)