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! :)


  1. Oh wow, that is such awesome news for Ricki I love her book!

    I am also super looking forward to Bianca's book. I haven't made too many of her things because...I don't think she posts many, they are mostly going in her book, but I love her breakfast casserole. Big yum.

    I love your tiny foods obsession.

  2. Yes, that IS a pretty impressive hotel kitchen, but it does not diminish at all your genius for cooking in hotel kitchens! I'd be lost w/o my regular utensils, appliances, etc. And all those recipes from Bianca's book look fantastic--I just love twice baked potatoes! Not to mention sweet potato anything, strawberry pie, coconut pie (cool, cool Granny)--yum-mers!

    And thanks for the shout-out re: the Ellen page--and for including the video here! I definitely had fun doing it, anyway. ;)

  3. Becks~not a rabbitApril 21, 2010 at 7:28 AM

    Yuuuuummmmm! I'd like one of everything please :)

    Your hotel kitchen is bigger than my home kitchen! And a dishwasher? My dishwasher is me! No fair!

    I have to stop looking at the food pictures - my diet is actually going well right now and the pictures are making me drool and want to bake! But Bianca's recipes look fab.

    24 more days until 'dress day', then it's twice baked potatoes and cookie time for me! *can't wait*

    And thanks for posting Ricki's video here. LOL! So funny- I hope her 'EL-LENd a hand' campaign is a success :)

  4. the kitchen in your hotel is impressive, indeed! it rocks, and so do all the tester yummies you're cooking up from Bianca! dan and i need to make the twice baked taters 'n coconut pie. and i'd LOVE a nice of coconutty goodness, River. mmmmmmmmmm! the strawberry pie is perfect as well as the chocolaty pecan cookies - and her potato soup is one of dan's absolute favs. so much awesomeness in one post - i love it all!!! i've still got my fingers crossed for Ricki! yay!

  5. Oh no! Bianca usually tortures me with pictures of her gorgeous cookbook food and now you start doing the same? This is too much. I think I'd love to try out every single recipe.

  6. The food looks fabulous. And the kitchen is impressive. We have stayed in the hotel with just the microwave and fridge and then the ones with the single burners. I like this hotel. Awesome!

  7. Sorry it's taken me a few days to reply again, it's been a rough week!

    Gina - Ricki's book is awesome! Ellen really needs to invite her to her show. I don't think I have made Bianca's breakfast casserole before. It sounds like it would be a good "breakfast for dinner" meal too! :)

    Ricki - Thank you! Soon we will go back to regular hotels, so my kitchen days are numbered! Your video is downright perfect, Ellen needs to call you soon!! :D

    Wabbit - We need to get you a dishwasher! We can make room somewhere... on top of the table? Next to the bed as a dishwasher/night table? No? Twice baked potatoes, brownies and cookies should so be part of your "D" day menu! :)

    Jessy - Do make the potatoes and the coconut pie! They are so yummy! The coconut pie is just ridiculous, I could eat the whole thing in just one sitting! :)

    Mihl - I know! I feel like I'm part of some super secret, exclusive recipe-testing club! It's nice not to be tortured! :P

    Krys - Isn't it the best hotel kitchen ever? This one was a Towneplace Suites that we got at an awesome rate. The ones to watch are Towneplace Suites, Mainstay Suites, Suburban Hotels, and then the Studio Plus and Extended Stay America ones but I'm not too crazy about those. Picky! :D

  8. Yum yum yum everything looks fantastic, especially the strawberry pie, it is perfect for spring. :)

  9. Dude! That hotel kitchen is way more equipped than my kitchen! If you must travel so much, at least you've got good digs for cooking up all that amazing goodness!

    And woot for Ricki! I've planned on blogging the video this week, too - all the help we can give her the better!

  10. Thank you for the sweet comments, guys! Sorry I've been slow with my replies, it's been a rough couple of weeks but I hope to get back into a normal blogging rhythm soon.

  11. I really, really want a slice of that coconut pie, it looks like pure coconutty-deliciousness! And a few cookies too, mmm pecans!

    It's really amazing what you manage to make in hotel kitchens, I feel bad for wanting a bigger kitchen myself!

    I just did another E.A.T World post too :D

  12. You have a stunning command of hotel kitchens. Your cookbook should be called, "The Art of Hotel Room Cookery." I believe it would be one-of-kind and create it's own niche market! Can I be a tester? (Naturally, testers would have to stay in hotels.) :)

  13. Lately all our hotel meals have come out of a box and all I have to do is add water. Could I still write the Hotel Room Cookery book? :D

    Dinner today consisted of quinoa noodles (box) and marinara sauce (jar). Very fancy, don't you think? :P


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