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! :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloweegan Roundup!

The last day of Vegan MoFo is here! This has been a fun MoFo. I didn't think I was going to actually last all month when I first started, but here I am! Those of you who participated and blogged every single day including weekends - you are machines! You are awesome, impressive, blogging machines! I am feeling a bit under the weather today so this post is just going to be a recap of a few of my Halloweegan favorites of all time. It seems like I do one of these every year! Let's start with the savory!

Jack-O'-Lantern Bell Peppers. These were one of the original Halloweegan dinners of 2008. That was a special year because it was my first year blogging, it was my first year participating in Vegan MoFo, and it was the first Halloweegan! This often imitated guy could probably be the official Halloweegan mascot:

Meatless Meatloaf Scramble with Mashed Potato Ghosts. These were easy free-form ghosts shaped with a spoon!

Meatless Meatloaf Scramble

A Mashed Potato Ghosts extravaganza! Because one can't have too many mashed potato ghosts. Right?

Mashed Potato Ghosts

Nope. One cannot have too many of these guys. This Spooky Dinner post with a gingerbread man shaped meatless meatloaf and mashed potato ghosts comes with a step by step video!

Spooky Dinner

My favorite savory Halloweegan food of all time is the Man-Eating Burger! This post also comes with a step by step video!

Man-Eating Burger

Let's have some dessert! Also one of my favorite Halloweegan treats of all time are these Leggy Whoopy Spiders! It also comes with a step by step video that shows how to make those pesky little chocolate legs.

Whoopie Spiders

These simple Cats and Bats Sandwich Cookies were so tasty! Shortbread has always been my favorite type of cookie! Meow!

Sandwich Cookies

More sandwich cookies! These Spiced Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies are easy to make and so tasty! I forgot all about them until I was looking up previous Halloweegan posts today - I think I'm going to need to make a batch later.

Pumpkin Strawberry Ghosts

These Strawberries and Cream Ghosties are as simple as it gets! Don't ask me what I was thinking with that neon green background there...

Strawberry Ghosts

A couple of weeks ago I made these Coconut Whipped Cream Ghosts along with a handy step by step video. You can also make them with buttercream!

Coconut Whipped Cream Ghosts

That's it! I hope you've enjoyed this round up, and I hope you have a lovely and fun (and safe!) Halloween, if you're celebrating! See you next week! :)

Creepy Curly stalks his next victim
Creepy Curly stalks his next victim

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Snoop around my kitchen!

Our kitchen is pretty boring. There is no natural light in there and it can be a bit dungeony. So why did I take so many pictures of our boring kitchen to show you? I don't know! During this Vegan MoFo, we've been invited to snoop around a few bloggers' kitchens (Kittee, Mandee, Amey, Andrea, Jojo) and now it's my turn to let you snoop around mine! Way too many pictures - I'll keep the text on the light side.

I have a few little crafty signs and this clock that I made a couple of years ago scattered around...

Crafty Signs

That's not a Kitchenaid, it's a Hamilton Beach. I don't like leaving the mixer out there on the counter uncovered, so I use a clear glass pie dish as a perfect little lid!

Pie Dish Cover

Above the mixer there is a cabinet with glass doors where I keep my favorite dishes...

Glass Doors

Colors and whites are separated, just like laundry! :)

Whites and Colors

The opposite corner has more crafty signs, and it's where the bread maker lives...

Breadmaking Corner

Bottles of oil in the red thingie and a Cats Rock sign...

Crafty Signs

I love coffee mugs! This cabinet holds mugs, coffee, and tea (and coffee substitutes) exclusively...

Mugs and Cups

I love my herbs and spices...

Herbs and Spices

We have a "wall of cupboards" that holds baking supplies, pans, dishes, small appliances...

Wall of Cupboards

Wall of Cupboards

This blackboard magnet on the refrigerator helps me remember things...

Chalkboard Magnet

This isn't technically in the kitchen, but this is an open floor plan, which means it's practically in the kitchen...

Hello, Piggy! 

This also might as well be in the in the kitchen - it's a buffet with a hutch that used to look like this...

Makeover Before

But I gave it a big makeover and now it looks like this...

Makeover After

I love it now! So fresh and cute! That is my little "Witchita" on the top shelf. I keep most of my cookbooks there, as well as my cookie cutters and candy-making supplies in the drawers...

Colorful Colors
A girl can't have too many piggies.

Cookie Cutters

That's it! Do you guys like furniture makeovers? I have a couple more that are not kitchen related. Would you be interested in something like that? Let me know - your wish is my command! :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Magic Truffles, or How to Turn a Kitchen Failure into a Kitchen Success

Last few days of MoFo! A lot of us are still standing! We rock, people. We rock.

Do you ever wonder why I love every recipe that I blog about? That's because if I don't love it - I don't blog it. I don't like telling you about something that didn't work out, because many times things don't work out because of a user error, or sometimes different people with different taste buds like different things. I simply don't like to criticize recipes because I know how much work goes into creating them. However when we're talking about my own recipes, I will gladly tell you if something absolutely sucked! Last Saturday I made two individual pumpkin tarts. They were inedible.

It doesn't really look that bad, right? Wrong! It was horrid. It looks frozen here because after I tasted a bite of one of the tarts and gagged, I decided to toss the other one in the freezer as I did not want to see it anymore. Mr. Wing-It claimed to like it and he ate the one that I had already tasted. Mkay. I think he was just trying to be nice.

I do not like throwing away food, and I think I thought of Wing It Vegan's new slogan thanks to these horrendous tarts: there aren't many kitchen disasters that cannot be turned into either a sweet truffle or a savory croquette! Here's what happened to the extra tart: (please excuse the poorly taken windowless-kitchen pictures)

Pumpkin Tart Truffles, During

I threw the whole thing into the food processor and blended it into a smooth-ish cream!

Pumpkin Tart Truffles, During

At this point, it looked like vomit. Then I added some melted dark chocolate and processed some more...

Pumpkin Tart Truffles, During

Tasted it, added even more chocolate, a splash of vanilla and almond extracts, and processed some more until I was satisfied...

Pumpkin Tart Truffles, During

Satisfied! Then I shaped it into balls after it had firmed up in the fridge for a few minutes, rolled them in ground chocolate chips and...

Pumpkin Tart Truffles, After
That's Bob in the background. Hi Bob!

Et voilà, magic truffles! I wasn't about to throw away a whole little tart made with expensive ingredients like walnuts, cashews, almonds, and maple syrup. Throwing away food causes me pain! So there you have it. If next month you (if you live in the US) happen to ruin your Thanksgiving pie or whatever you might be making for dessert - add some melted chocolate and turn the disaster into delicious balls! And then don't tell anyone about your kitchen misfortunes and pretend that you always intended to make fancy truffles! Mwahahaha!

Now I shall leave you with a gratuitous picture of Curly grooming his butt feathers. *curtsies*

Curly Grooming His Butt Feathers
A fluffy tail like this doesn't just happen.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Man-Eating Burgers!

Run! Run!!! RUN!!! The Man-Eating Burgers are here! They will spare no one! Look at what happened to this poor guy!

Man-Eating Burger

Some of you might remember the original Dead Man Burger from Halloweegan 2010, but this time the guy has green goo oozing out of him. Tasty! The green goo is of course that tasty Coconut Milk Cheddar that I am so smitten with, but this time I blended a couple of handfuls of spinach with the coconut milk before I started working on the cheddar. I added a bit more of all the seasonings that the recipe calls for because I didn't want it to taste like spinach - it doesn't!

The patty is of course the same Beet Burger recipe I've been going on and on about since I first made it. I shaped the patty inside a greased gingerbread man shaped cookie cutter, just like I did last week for my Spooky Dinner. Check out the Spooky Dinner post for a video with more details.

This is probably my favorite Halloweegan food of all time! It's fun and fairly easy to make. I made a step by step video that shows how to assemble the burger. If you need help making the gingerbread man shaped patty check out my Spooky Dinner post and video.

I forgot to squirt some messy ketchup around the "teeth". Oh well. I get very discombobulated when I am cooking and making a video at the same time. Walk and chew gum at the same time? Me? Not without biting my tongue and stepping on my own feet!

Man-Eating Burger

Man-Eating Burger

The end of Vegan MoFo is almost here! Only a few more days of insanity! Are you going to any fun Halloween parties this weekend?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Coconut-Kissed Almond Date Truffles

What do you do when you are craving something sweet but you have eaten way too many peanut butter squares? You make Anja's Coconut-Kissed Almond Date Truffles, of course!

These are so sweet and tasty and easy to pop in your mouth one after the other! Anja is right, there is no need for additional flavorings because they are naturally delicious as they are - just almonds, dates, and coconut. Simply perfect! They come together in minutes, so if you're not doing anything right now I suggest you go whip up some precious truffles! :)

Coconut-Kissed Almond Date Truffles

Speaking of dates...

Deodorant check!
Curly does a  quick deodorant-check before a hot date with a silly goose.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cauliflower Cheeze and Peanut Butter Squares

Vegan MoFo has been a great vehicle to try new recipes from blogs I had never read before, but today's recipe is something I have eaten nearly a million times already, and it is from a blog that I have loved since 2008 when Wing-It was born.

Mandee's Cauliflower Cheese

It's Mandee's Cauliflower Cheeze! I've blogged about this one before, and have made it SO many times since that day! This beauty makes it to my belly at least every couple of weeks, sometimes once a week, and sometimes even twice a week. It's easy to make, it's delicious, and it's healthful. Triple WIN! Because I have made it so many times, I have made several variations of this dish: half cauliflower and half broccoli, half cauliflower and half artichoke hearts, all broccoli, half cauliflower and half Brussels sprouts, all cashews and no macadamias, nutritional yeast, Daiya... the possibilities are endless! I usually make it with frozen cauliflower that I cook in the microwave for a couple of minutes until it's not frozen solid anymore. I bake it at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until the cauliflower feels soft when I insert a fork in it. As with all other casserol-y things, I broil it for a minute when it's done.

Mandee's Cauliflower Cheese

You wanna take a peek inside?

Mandee's Cauliflower Cheese

So deliciously creamy and satisfying! Today's streaming recommendation would have been Gavin and Stacey, because every time I make Mandee's Cauliflower Cheeze it reminds me of the episode when Pam was pretending to be a vegetarian (for the silliest reason) and Gwen makes a chili con carne for everyone else, but Pam gets stuck with a cauliflower cheese - without the cheese because Gwen didn't know if Pam ate dairy, so it was just "cauliflower with a bit of onion." The horror! Pam really wanted that chili and she asked her husband to "smuggle" her some meat! Anyway, Netflix used to have Gavin and Stacey available to watch instantly but they don't anymore. BOOO!

Peanut Butter Squares

For dessert today we have some sweet Peanut Butter Squares that Mandee's friend found on the interwebz. Chocolate and peanut butter? Yes! Gimme! They are like a deconstructed peanut butter cup! Mandee said that they were super sweet, so I figured I would only use half the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. They weren't impossibly sweet, but they also didn't firm up much without the extra sugar. Doh! My bad. The chocolate was very hard and the peanut butter pretty soft, which made it impossible to cut them into squares without squashing and flattening the peanut butter. I flipped the whole thing upside down (chocolate-side down) and cut them that way instead. It worked!

Today's Duck-of-the-Day picture...

Piggly Wiggly, Squirmy Wormy, Cap'n Sweet Face, Spooky

Hey! You're not a duck! This is my mother in law's pup who we shall call Piggly Wiggly to respect his witness protection program rules. This is his Bond, James Bond face. Wiggly, Piggly Wiggly.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip

This is what I was supposed to blog about yesterday, but procrastination took over me and I made a microwave hot chocolate instead. This stuff is probably Mr. Wing-It's worst nightmare - Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip! Fortunately for me I love a good artichoke dip, and you know what happens when you're the only one who likes something: more for you!

This is Dreena's Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip of deliciousness. It is indeed creamy, but also chunky enough to taste the little artichoke bits in there. It's a cashew based dip that can easily be made soy-free with a non-soy milk (I used almond.) It's super quick and easy to make. Bada bing, bada boom... and you're done! I halved the recipe and baked it in a medium sized ramekin, and I over baked it a little on purpose. Why? Because this is how I eat my artichoke dip...

Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip

Like a casserole. With a fork. Straight from the bowl. Proper gluttony.

Picture of the day: What do you think is going on here?

Howling Goose

I think the goose on the right is poorly belting out "I Will Always Love You" and the other one is totally embarrassed and trying to make sure their friends aren't aren't around to hear. "And iiiieiiiiieiiii will always love you..."