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 22, 2013

Cookbook Love: Cookin' Crunk!

Hi, y'all! We interrupt this blog hiatus to bring you some cookbook love! This crunk post should be read in your best Memphis accent for maximum enjoyment. I have been working on this Cookin' Crunk post since January, but travelling has a way of slowing things down, and you know how I love writing epic, never-ending cookbook posts. I haven't actually been able to bake anything for a while, or cook anything that requires more than the most basic kitchen tools, so writing this post and looking at the pictures I took before we left is making me miss my kitchen. You  might have seen some of these pictures already if you've been hanging out with me for a few years, because I used to be one of Bianca's few lucky recipe testers for her cookbook. Bianca put together a stellar cookbook full of easy-to-follow recipes that will rock anybody's socks off! Cookin' Crunk truly is a treasure and I will recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy delicious Southern cookin' - vegan or not!

Let's get to it!

(A side note for the Skeptical Squirrels: this cookbook was a Christmas gift from Mr. Wing-It, and I am not being compensated in any way for writing this post. Mmkay?)

Cookin' Crunk

Let's go ahead and start with the "Sweet Endings." Bianca's Choco-Chocolate Praline Cookies are dangerously delicious and one of my favorite cookies ever. I'm talking scarf-down-a-whole-batch-in-a-day delicious! The sweet, maple-coated pecans really make these cookies special - throw in some gooey chocolate chips and you're in trouble!

Choco-Chocolate Chip Praline Cookies

I'm not a big fan of my birthday, but I am a big fan of birthday cupcakes. Bianca's Yella' Cake with Fudgy Frosting was a perfect recipe to sweeten up my birthday last February. As you can see, instead of making a big cake I made cute little cupcakes. Turmeric gives the cake a lovely yellow color without us having to reach for the artificial yellow #5, and the chocolate frosting is so amazing I could eat it all straight out of the bowl!

Yella' Cake with Fudgy Frosting

The Fresh Strawberry Pie is so good, even if the last time that I made it (to take this picture) strawberries weren't in season and they were rather pale. I always enjoy mine with a little scoop of vanilla coconut-milk ice cream - a perfect combo!

Fresh Strawberry Pie
I made minis. It's what I do.

I'm not a huge fan of blackberries, or more precisely blackberry seeds, but the Whole Wheat Blackberry Cobbler was lovely in spite of my hatred of berry seeds. As you can see, I baked mine in individual ramekins and the blackberries got very excited in the oven, enough to decorate the edges of the bowls with pretty little specks! Look how juicy my fresh blackberries were!

Blackberry Cobbler
Oh, look, more ice cream :)

Let's slurp up some of the juice so you can see the cute little blackberries...

Blackberry Cobbler

You can thank Bianca's Granny for the Old-Fashioned Coconut Pie, because she veganized her old non-vegan recipe for Bianca and it's absolutely amazing! Creamy, coconutty heaven...

Old-Fashioned Coconut Pie
You're not having a déjà vu. This is one of my old tester photos.

The Cinnamon-Pecan Waffles are... they... I... I can't even handle how good they are! It's insane! They are just incredible. They are nutty, cinnamony, squares of awesomeness. The batter smells so good when it hits the hot waffle-maker and the scent takes over the whole house. Add some maple syrup on top and your soul will belong to these waffles forever. Yep, these are my favorite waffles.

Cinnamon-Pecan Waffles
Another oldie from my tester days.

Should we have some savory treats now? How 'bout some Creole Steamed Sausages? I am not the most skillful vegan sausage-maker, but even I managed to make these and they were glorious! Spicy and flavorful, just like I like my fauxsages. As you can see here, I used red kidney beans (those dark spots are bean bits) instead of the white beans that I was supposed to use. That's what I get for going grocery shopping without a shopping list.

Creole Steamed Sausages

The Southern Tofu Chicken Biscuits are so incredibly tasty that I took a bad picture because I was in such a hurry to eat mine. This stuff is beer-battered, people! Beer battered! This was my tofu splurge of the month (in case you don't know, soy doesn't agree with me if I eat it too often) and it was so worth the wait! Beer battered!

Southern Tofu Chicken Biscuits
Beer. Battered! 

The Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits are fluffy and perfect. I like to eat mine with a little Earth Balance and a cup of hot lemony tea. I can't say I've tried them with Southern gravy yet...

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits

Is this post getting too long? I'll try to speed things up! The Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese is wonderfully creamy and delicious indeed!

Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese

The Cheesy Twice Baked Taters with Leeks and Dill are insanely tasty - forget the main dish, just give me extra taters!

Cheesy Twice-Baked Taters with Leeks and Dill
With Daiya on top

Oh, look. Here they are again with chives and... maybe Galaxy Rice Vegan Cheddar? Can't remember!

Cheesy Twice-Baked Taters with Leeks and Dill

Bianca's Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce is the only barbecue sauce recipe I will ever need. If Cookin' Crunk had only one recipe in the whole book, and it was this barbecue sauce recipe - the book would have still been worth every penny! Store-bought barbecue sauce is for suckers! :D

Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce

The Fried Squash is fabulous! So easy and crispy and tasty!

Fried Squash

A bowl of Bianca's classic Country Potato Soup will knock the winter-grumpies out of anyone! (pair it with a fluffy biscuit and you're in soup heaven!)

Country Potato Soup
I can't remember what I sprinkled on top of my soup there. Fried onion bits? Glow worms?

The Cheesy Broccoli-Rice Casserole is a wholesome, belly-warming dish that I could eat every day. It looks a bit messy here, but the messiness just adds to the homemade, wholesome experience!

Cheesy Broccoli-Rice Casserole

And I've saved another one of my favorites for last - Whole Wheat Beer Bread! So quick and easy to make! This bread is one of those things that I need to half or even quarter the recipe or I'll eat the whole loaf in a day. Good luck to Mr. Wing-It trying to grab a slice before I hide it all in my belly.

Whole Wheat Beer Bread

Phew! That was a long one! Check out Bianca's blog, Vegan Crunk, for more vegan awesomeness. Bianca has been blogging regularly since 2007, so her blog is bursting at the seams with recipes, restaurant reviews, and all sorts of vegan greatness. Plus she's so cute and witty and funny, and all her annual Happy Solstice posts with all  her furry companions opening their gifts are adorable and hilarious. Bianca for president!

One more thing before I go MIA again for a while. If you follow Wing It Vegan on Facebook, you might have noticed an update from me where I shared the awesome news that Cindy has started a blog!! I knew she'd come to the dark side eventually! Cindy's family is in the process of adopting a beautiful little girl from Ukraine. I am quite fascinated by international adoption stories, even more so when the story involves an "older" child who is embraced by an adoring family. Cindy is sharing their adoption experience with us from almost the beginning, so I'm pretty sure by the time their little Maria arrives home, we're all going to be shedding a tear of joy... or ten. Check out Cindy's blog The Other 1%, where she blogs about her "vegan, homeschooling, soon-to-be-adoptive family."

OK, stick a fork in me - I'm done! See you around! :)