Arachnophobia trigger alert! If you freak out at the mere sight of a spider, real or chocolate, turn around and run for the hills! This post is crawling with chocolate spiders and there's a short animated film about a man with a spider crawling all over him. Are you ready? Let's go!
It's a spider infestation! They're eating my cookies! What a fun and super simple treat for Halloween, isn't it? All you have to do is bake a batch of your favorite chocolate chip cookies, place some chippers on top of the cookies before you bake them, draw some chocolate spidey legs on them after you bake them, and you're good to go! I'd love to lie to you and tell you that this was my brilliant idea, but that would make me a lame little sausage, wouldn't it? The brilliant mind behind these creepy crawly cookies is actually Beth at Hungry Happenings. The cookie recipe itself isn't vegan, but you can pipe chocolate spider legs on top of any cookie, right? If you don't have a favorite vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe yet, I can highly recommend Dreena Burton's Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are awesome! Unfortunately this time I didn't use Dreena's recipe and tried a gluten-free recipe I'd never made before. The cookies themselves weren't very good, but that's a Wing-It, Don't Fling It story for another day.
See the chocolate spiders that are crawling around the cookies? They are the same type of spider that I made five years ago during my very first Halloweegan. Good times!
OK, let's break it down now:
Here is how to make Spider Infested Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Here is Dreena Burton's recipe for vegan Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies (not pictured here).
Here is the pattern and instructions for the chocolate spiders that are crawling around the cookies.
Thank you for sharing this awesome idea, Beth! Now let's wrap things up with Simon's Cat's latest video! I must warn you again about the spider crawling all over Simon. Even though it is an animation you might still find it unsettling. That's it for me this Halloweegan - at least I made something this year! Happy Halloween to everyone who is celebrating!
Ouch! Guess how I injured my neck a couple of days ago? Go ahead, take your best guess. Nope. I injured it while I was sleeping. Last Tuesday I woke up with a stiff painful neck and it left me immobilized for the whole day. Yesterday and today have been better, but Tuesday was a doozie! My neck hurt so much that I had to skip my workout, so yesterday when my neck was feeling a little better (but still too painful to exercise) I thought it would be a great idea to make something called Chubby Hubby Truffles. Swapping a workout for Chubby Hubby Truffles - awesome!
Yep. They're as good as they look! Even tastier than then look, actually. This recipe comes via Brown Eyed Baker, and it's another one of those recipes that are super easy to veganize. The truffles are made with peanut butter, pretzels, sugar, and a little bit of butter which is easily replaced with Earth Balance or which ever vegan butter you love the most. The truffles are dipped in melted semisweet chocolate and then drizzled with melted peanut butter and sprinkled with pretzel pieces. Beautiful, delicious, and very easy to make!
They actually aren't as gooey and soft as the look here, but I am not very good at being patient around chocolate and peanut-buttery treats, so I didn't let them set in the fridge long enough for them to really firm up. The next picture, even though it's a little fuzzy, shows what they look like after they have been properly chilled.
All wheated out for the week, I used Glutino Gluten-Free Pretzel Twists which worked like a charm. I was a little worried that the peanut butter would soften the gluten-free crunchy pretzel pieces overnight, but the truffles were just as crunchy on the second day. On the third day... ha! There was no third day! They didn't make it that long! After I ate the last truffle, I actually scraped the wax paper with a spatula and ate the peanut butter drippings and straggler pretzel bits. Hey, at least I didn't lick it clean which was my first instinct! Thanks for sharing the recipe, Michelle!
Nutritional Info for Glutino Pretzel Twists
Let's see if you can spot what today's cute creature is missing...
Can you forgive me for not being in a Halloweegan mood this year? I'm just not feeling it at all. Will you forgive me if I tell you that I created a Halloweegan page that is neatly organized with pictures and links to all my previous themed posts? Maybe?
Something else I'm not feeling is recipe-creating. Meh. I'm just going to continue my MoFo theme of doing mostly recipes from other blogs for a while. A question for my fellow vegans: do you read any non-vegan blogs or do you only stick to blogs with recipes that don't require any "veganizing" on your end? I read all sorts of blogs, and I enjoy trying to think of ways to make a non-vegan recipe work for me. Sometimes there's not much to change at all (swapping Earth Balance for butter), but sometimes no matter how much we want to veganize something - we just can't do much about a recipe that calls for eight eggs! Luckily for us, this Cheesy Spaghetti Squash and Broccoli Casserole is one of those awesome recipes that can be easily veganized. Use vegan butter, milk, and cheese and that's it! Bada bing bada boom!
Isn't it a beauty? This is just my kind of dinner! Creamy, filling, tasty, and belly-warming. This batch that you see here is actually my elebentieth. I only found this recipe last week and I have already made it several times. This batch is actually made with that cheesy cauliflower sauce that I mentioned a few weeks ago instead of a store-bought vegan cheese. On top of that, I season the cauliflower sauce with the flavors of my favorite coconut milk cheddar (paprika and liquid smoke) to taste. A full recipe for the cheesy cauliflower sauce is enough for half of this yummy casserole, so if you're going to make a full recipe you'll need to double the sauce. Also, because the sauce is very... saucy... you can skip the milk when you're making the casserole. I love how Heidi has a sort of disclaimer before the recipe telling us that even though it's called spaghetti squash casserole, it will not taste like pasta. It reminded me of my not-scones disclaimer! Can you handle the deliciousness of the soft spaghetti squash and broccoli bits smothered in that creamy sauce? Mmmmm mmm.
Sometimes I throw some breadcrumbs on top, sometimes I don't. I always sprinkle a little bit of black truffle sea salt on top my already-baked mini casseroles because I'm fancy like that. And I always make mini casseroles instead of a big one because I'm dainty like that. The whole recipe will make eight mini casseroles, in case you were wondering. Want a bite?
So good! Thank you for sharing the recipe, Heidi! I will leave you with Mr. Dovey McCutiePants who was just sitting there chillaxing and watching the sunset. Being all cute and snorgable. And pooping on the bird seed, presumably. Now please excuse me while I run off to meticulously pick up all that expensive black truffle salt that I sprinkled around the casseroles as a photo prop.
Those are supposed to be spider web cupcake toppers. Not my best moment. I was trying to make these white chocolate toppers but using this vegan royal icing recipe instead. As you can see, the royal icing worked out wonderfully as far as drawing the webs goes, but the bottoms never fully dried which made it impossible to remove them from the wax paper without breaking them or smooshing them into a blob of sticky goo! I was able to salvage 1/4 of a spider web:
The cupcakes are the basic chocolate cupcakes from VCTOTW, which I made gluten-free because I'm all wheated out for the week. I used Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour mix instead of all purpose flour, and I threw in a couple extra tablespoons of tapioca starch in there for good measure. I also added an extra little splash of oil to the mix for extra moisture. The ganache? Also a recipe from VCTOTW. The cupcakes themselves were awesome if you ignore the fact that I completely fudged up the toppers! Next time I'll stick to vegan white chocolate for the spider webs as instructed in the original recipe.
Today's cuteness might be too much for some of you to handle! You've been warned! If you already hang out with me on Facebook you might have already seen this furry piano virtuosa that I shared the other day. If not - you're welcome. The "call and response" towards the end is my favorite part - it reminds me of the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind! Enjoy - and happy weekend! :)
After a whole month of blogging about food, today I want to share something different and non-edible.
Unless you are a termite. Then I wish you bon appétit!
A few weeks ago I found this little treasure at a resale shop for $19:
Uh huh. Not my style either. It's a very sturdy table though, and it's made of real wood instead one of those thin woodesque materials that don't fool anybody. When I saw it I knew I had to have it, and even though I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to redo it, I know that I was definitely going to redo it. Nothing wrong with patriotism but I don't want it on my table top.
Stripping the paint from the top revealed a beautiful chunk of wood that deserved to be showed off! I also stripped the paint from the drawer and stained it, along with the top, with a nice "jacobean" brown stain. Just a couple of thin coats of stain to let the wood shine. I really dislike sanding or stripping legs and thin little surfaces, so instead of sanding and staining the legs I went ahead and painted them bright red, right on top of the original matte white pain. Drum roll, please!
Ta-da! Isn't she dashing? Yes, her drawer is a little crooked but I think that just makes her spunkier. I'm pretty sure that an actual human being with human hands made this table from scratch - she doesn't come from an assembly line, I don't think. Unfortunately, the little drawer knobs that came with the table were glued on there and I wasn't able to remove them and use the purdy metal ones that I had in mind. But I still think she's pretty fabulous!
Now you will need to use your imagination to picture what the next consignment shop table looked like before I changed it, because I completely forgot to take a "before" photo. It's easy to imagine though, because it was 100% white. The body was white, the top was white, the drawers were white, and the little knobs were white. All I did to this one was stain the top with a couple of coats of jacobean stain and painted the knobs a dark bronzey color.
Dainty little thing! It looks like it has nine drawers, but it actually has three. So there you have it. That's what I have been up to lately. Now I have an old 70's style TV stand that I need to work on and hopefully transform it into something a little less ugly. Wish me luck!
You didn't think I would forget to end this post with a cute animal shot, did you? This guy is cute and menacing. Maybe a little bit psycho. But I'd still snorgle him!