Thursday, June 19, 2008

What's Been Goin' On...

This is a photo of Liv begging with all her might. When she heard we were baking a birthday cake for grandma, she made me get down Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, and flipped through until she came to page 65, and said, "This is the one. Make this one." I've never seen her do this before. I was convinced, and would have attempted it if I'd been prepared. I couldn't find the agar I used back in 2006, was out of silken tofu, and am unfamiliar with castor sugar. So get this creamy picture out of your mind! It's not what I baked.

I came up with this 'Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Frosting' from Joy of Vegan Baking. I've found that one of those giant tupperwares upside down transports a cake from my spring form pan perfectly. The red lid is beneath the plate.
I like this cookbook because it uses ingredients I have on hand and I haven't found a dud. It was a dense & delicious cake, and the frosting could have used more soy milk (my bad). Olivia never mentioned the creamy cupcake again. We'll tackle that another day.

My mom LOVES roosters, so I felt lucky to spot this cookie jar from the street at a garage sale. $10. Sold.

I filled it up with the crowd pleasing 'Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies' from Vive le Vegan!

I went over the critical 11 minute cooking time, and even a little crisp, these cookies are great.

If I'd had an Endangered Species bar, I would have made our favorite cookie, 'Chocolate Mint Melties' from eat, drink, and be vegan.

We think these cookies are the best.

See Jolie checking out the best of a Farmer's Market run? Tomato, Swiss Chard, and Kale plants for our garden. I also picked up some vegetables from The Peaceful Belly, but overall, I can't help but be disappointed about the lack of variety at the market. Next time I'm doing a head count, cuz I think there's as many meat vendors as veggie vendors. Is that wrong? I'm for local selling, buying, eating, etc. & I know meat speaks volumes of my location, but still...

Speaking of veggies... This is the 'Super Spring Salad' from the May issue of Meatout Mondays. It's a recipe from the wonderful blog, Live It Up Vegan!

As much as I love this kind of food, my family does not. Their idea of trying the salad was plucking out the big chunks of fresh corn cut off the cob. I don't overly try to convince them and enjoy it myself over the course of a couple days. Loved it! Thanks, Gaia!

Lately, this has been occupying the girls while I cook or do the dishes. They love it.

Write the shape of a letter using white glue. Stick beans (or noodles, or whatever) along the shape.
They are now on "J" and I plan to string up the alphabet.

This idea came from Kids Craft Weekly, which is a great resource for fuss-free themed ideas.

The kids also love to get in on the kitchen action using rolling pin and cutters. Abi had fun making 'Whole Wheat Sesame Crackers' from May All Be Fed by John Robbins.

Originally I was drawn to his 'Chapatis' recipe on the opposite page to accompany the dish below, which was my second (hand) Smoked Paprika experience, which is much less harmful than it sounds! :)

The crackers scooped up this 'Chana Dal'

2 c (uncooked) split baby garbanzos (chana dal)
6 c water
3 cloves red garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
sea salt to taste

Saute the garlic in oil until fragrant, add the rest and simmer until tender. Puree to desired consistency (I reserved some). Feeling brave, I threw on tomatoes after learning that tomatoes are OK if they're still on the vine, cherry, or from your own garden!! Buy organic.

I broke my Smoked Paprika seal on this awesome 'Smoked Paprika Hummus' recipe that the urban vegan sent after reading my desperate plea below.

This was delicious! I used Triscuits to scoop, and when those were gone, I grabbed a spoon. Thank you for this yummy recipe, Dynise!!

We've been bicycling everywhere! I pull the girls in a trailer and it feels great on many levels. More later.....


VeggieGirl said...

My oh my, you've been quite busy, Vicki!! But that's a great thing :0) And hooray for bicycling!!

trina said...

I love the crafty idea! That will be so cute. Going to check out that website.

Vegan Knitting said...

That letter idea is great! Keeps them busy for a WHILE so you can cook!

madeinalaska said...

you are the best mom and daughter ever!

Love-n the picture of Liv w/ the glasses!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Too cute... when I saw the first photo, I thought to myself, where did she get a bigger version of VCTOTW? Then I realized it just looks that way because little Olivia was holding it!

Looks like yall have been keep busy and eating well so far this summer! Thanks for the update :-)

leigh ann said...

hi vicki! i'm a friend of art's from way back when..been reading your blog from time to time for awhile and really enjoy it. castor sugar is the same as "superfine" sugar. you can also put granulated sugar in the food processor for a bit and get the same result. your daughter's cupcake choice looks pretty tasty!

Caroline said...

what cuties!
i too have discovered smoked paprika recently but have only used it one thing so far - a kidney bean salad with walnut sauce. the smokiness from the paprika took that dish to the next level. i would love to know the hummus recipe! can you or she share the recipe with us?

LK said...

Chocolate Mint Melties sound good, especially with quality chocolate like Endangered Species. My favorite chocolate so far, though, is Equal Exchange Mint Chocolate!

And, your bean dips look so flavorful and good! Thanks for the recipe!

kindkitchen said...

What a great idea to keep your girls occupied why you cook. Macaroni art actually sounds pretty fun!

Dreena has the best cookie recipes, I swear. I just gave some nicely packaged "Super Charge Me" cookies to my bf's mom and she loved them.

Hummus looks fab :)

Urban Vegan said...

You guys have the perfect life. Your girls are going to be master chefs/bakers by the time they reach their teens. I think it's great how they love the kitchen so much. Love their art work, too. Who says you can't play with your food?

I'm so glad you liked the hummus!

Vivacious Vegan said...

You probably picked a winner with that cake (I too agree with how great Joy of Vegan Baking is). I tried those Boston Cream Cupcakes before and to be honest, I wasn't really fond of them

I'm loving the smoked paprika hummus. Makes me want some right now!

Sam said...

Busy, busy! I agree (and so does my entire circle of family and friends) that the chocolate mint melties are the BEST cookies in the world.

DJ said...

Wow - you've been super busy! I have the same issue with my kids - they don't like salad per se, though they will happily munch on big chunky crudités, go figure! - and I love the crafty letter idea!