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! :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

XGFX.org, Spanish Tortilla, and Second Chances

What's with all this frequent blogging, eh? I'll go back to being a lazy blogger soon, but first I want to share fantastical link with you. In case you've been living under a rock, yesterday was the grand opening of xgfx.org, which is an all vegan and gluten-free website created by three beautiful ladies!

A few of my favorite things about xgfx.org:

100 recipe links you should know about.
Gluten-free product reviews.
A gluten-free flour guide.
The community driven recipe section...
... where you can find a recipe for vegan chocolate-hazelnut butter!

And since we're talking about the recipes, check out my humble contribution to the database: Spanish Tortilla.

Spanish Tortilla
I originally made this Spanish Tortilla (potato omelet)
for my guest post @ Go Dairy Free last month. Thank you again, Alisa!

Now go check out xgfx.org! It's an awesome site! And speaking of awesome, VegNews has apologized and promised to never use meaty pictures again. That's all most of us wanted. I'm a fan of second chances!

second chanz kitteh furgibs you

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cookbook Love: My Sweet Vegan (Includes a recipe for Self-Frosting Peanut Butter Cupcakes!)

This working/travelling and blogging business... was it my idea? Oy with the lack of time and willpower already! The truth is that my limited me-time has been completely hogged by Ally McBeal, so blame my non-blogging on Ms. Flockhart and her weird dancing-baby. Blame it on Ally's Nick and Nora pajamas, or blame it on "The Biscuit's" whistling nose. Blame it on Netflix for adding all five seasons of the show to their streaming catalog. Anyway, bygones.

Back in August, I won an awesome giveaway courtesy of the one and only Ms. Alisa Fleming, queen of Go Dairy Free and Alisa Cooks. One of the cookbooks that I won was My Sweet Vegan by the sweetest vegan of them all, Hannah Kaminsky. Even though I didn't have a chance to try as many recipes as I intended before Mr. Wing-It and I hit the road, I still managed to make and photograph quite a few of Hannah's recipes. Between all the gorgeous full color pictures, the enticing and easy-to-follow recipes, and Hannah's beautiful personality that shines through her writing, I'm not at all surprised that this is such a popular and massively loved cookbook. One of my favorite things about My Sweet Vegan? It even has a recipe for a tasty little doggy cake!

Canine Cake- My Sweet Vegan
Ooooh cupcake!

My mother in law's pup was the lucky recipient of the (evidently mesmerizing) Canine Cake. I teased him with it for a few minutes, because everything tastes even better after a good tease, and when he finally snatched it up he ran away with it and ate it before I could take a picture of him enjoying his treat. It must have been the best cake ever! Because Piggly Wiggly (that's his witness protection name) is so small, I made four chihuahua-sized cakies instead of making one muffin sized cake. He's such a tiny little pup!

Moving on to the human food. I made the Coffee Break Shortbread using Pero instead of coffee. It took about twice as much Pero than coffee because it's not nearly as strong as the real deal. I love shortbread, so I knew I would love this recipe as soon as I spotted it! They are crispy and flavorful, and there's no way you could just eat one... or two... or three... or elebenty...

Coffee Break Shortbread - My Sweet Vegan
I went with square cookies. Mr. Monk would approve.

The Pfoof... pfeef... fleffler... Pfeffernusse (phew!) were wonderfully spicy cookies that were awesome even though I managed to flatten them too much (you're not supposed to flatten them at all. Attention to detail *FAIL*)

Pfeffernusse- My Sweet Vegan
They're so lovely!

These perfect-for-the-holidays spicy cookies are coated with powdered sugar, but whenever I make something that needs a good coating or sprinkling of powdered sugar, I have to leave a few naked ones because Mr. Wing-It never fails to choke on the stuff. True story! :P

Pfeffernusse- My Sweet Vegan
*nom... cough cough*

Scones. I could eat scones every day and never get sick of them. I could eat Hannah's Chocolate-Glazed Peanut Butter Scones every day and never get sick of them! Crumbly peanutty goodness drizzled with soft gooey chocolate, anyone?

Peanut Butter Scones with Chocolate Drizzle- My Sweet Vegan

Oh yeah, they're good. I can't recommend these enough. Scones are supposed to be fairly dry by nature, so enjoy these little gems with some coffee or fauxfee or tea or whatever floats your boat.

Peanut Butter Scones with Chocolate Drizzle- My Sweet Vegan
I wish we were home so I could bake another batch!

Mmm, doughnuts. Hannah's Golden Glazed Doughnuts are the bomb! If you're brave enough to be around hot oil, then follow the recipe and fry them, but if you're a clumsy little oaf like me then you can definitely bake them. I baked mine at 425 degrees F for 11 minutes, in case you were wondering. They were delicious, and I did not miss the fried-factor at all. Fluffy, soft, sweet, sticky, I feel like writing them a naughty love song...

Glazed Doughnuts- My Sweet Vegan
Homer approves!

As soon as I saw the recipe for Root Beer Float Cupcakes I knew I had to make them! I'm not a fan of root beer, but Mr. Wing-It is, so these were his special treat and he devoured them while he emitted *om nom nom nom* noises. I still loved them though. They were very mild because I didn't have any root beer extract.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes- My Sweet Vegan
I made the happy little cupcake toppers using vegan white chocolate
and a silicone chocolate mold courtesy of the BFF. No, you can't have her.

And now for the closing act, my favorite recipe, the cupcakes that will forever be on my list of mostest favoritest, the laziest self-frosting cupcakes ever... I give you... *dun dun duuuunnn*

Self-Frosting Peanut Butter Cupcakes- My Sweet Vegan

Self-Frosting Peanut Butter Cupcakes! Oh my yum! So easy! So divine! So chocolaty! So peanutty! The cupcakes are soft and tender, and the chocolate frosting is hiding in there so nobody will see it coming. You frost them *before* you bake them. Brilliant! I'm pretty sure I messed up the recipe when I halved these because it made extra frosting, which turned out to be an *EPIC WIN*

Self-Frosting Peanut Butter Cupcakes- My Sweet Vegan
I vow to always screw up this recipe and make extra frosting.

Self-Frosting Peanut Butter Cupcakes from My Sweet Vegan (reproduced with permission from the author ~ Hannah Rocks!)

Peanut Butter Cupcakes:

2/3 cup plain soymilk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup plain soymilk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and line one dozen muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In your stand mixer, combine the soymilk and vinegar, and let sit for a few minutes before whisking vigorously until frothy. Mix in both sugars. Grind the flax seeds into a powder with a spice grinder, and whiz them together with the water. Stir the flax seed mixture, peanut butter, applesauce, and vanilla into your mixer, and beat until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly stir these dry ingredients into the batter. Mix until there are no more lumps, but be careful not to mix more than necessary.

In a separate bowl combine all of the ingredients for the frosting, and blend until completely smooth. Set aside.

Divide your batter equally between the prepared muffin tins. Drop a dollop of frosting into each cup of raw batter, and swirl it around with a toothpick, covering the entire top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. When testing for doneness, be sure to find a spot that is free from frosting, as it may cause the toothpick to appear wet, even if the cupcakes are ready. Let the cupcakes cool inside the tins for at least 10 to 15 minutes. You can either let them cool the rest of the way atop a wire rack, or serve them immediately for a warm delight.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Do you have a copy of My Sweet Vegan? What's your favorite recipe? I tried to make the Orangettes, but trying to peel the oranges so neatly almost made me lose the will to live. But they look so good! Have you made them? Should I suck it up and power through the tedious orange-peeling?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The VegNews Mess Through LOLCats (and other cuties)

At first I was like:

funny pictures - Speechless with flabbergastedness!

And then I was like:

funny pictures of cats with captions

And then they were like:


But they were also like:


So then I was like:

funny pictures of cats with captions

And then they were like:


When they should have been like:


When they do apologize, some people will be like:


And some people will be like:

second chanz kitteh furgibs you

Until then, this situation is like:

Sad kitteh  is sad

(all images via icanhascheezburger.com)