Category: Recipe Reviews

Sweet Something: Veganomicon Style

Lately I have been on an Isa Chandra¬†Moskowitz kick. I have made her pumpkin cake with pecan praline topping, vanilla pound cake, coconut lemon bundt cake, jelly doughnut cupcakes and have loved every one of them! Especially the pumpkin cake…sooooo good! I totally want to overload on exclamation points right now, but I won’t because that can be confused with screaming and anger, and this is a happy thing, like for serious happy tastes, happy textures, happy recipes, its all happy.

Moving on! Here are some truly “amazing” pics of these goodies.

Pumpkin Cake, taken to a baby gender reveal pumpkin themed party it was amazing, wouldn’t change a thing! Really classy stuff here:

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Jelly Filled Doughnut Cupcakes, I used my “new” mixmaster. My poor Kitchenaid is trying to dying, it needs a new gear thingy.
Mixmaster chromed up!

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These cupcakes were so yummy, I loved the hint of nutmeg. I used blueberry jam because I was out of raspberry jam. While the 2 I saved were tasty I want to try raspberry next time! I didn’t get a lot of pictures of these lovelies. My attempt at cooling them safely under a food tent meant to keep out flies, failed to keep out one of our kittens: Bruce. See the lovely smashed cupcakes? See the adorable little holes in the tent? I am now looking for a rigid plastic or metal cage thingy. For the sweets not the cats! ūüôā These cupcake doughnuts were perfectly raised, all the jam was inside or at the bottom, I hate that they mostly ended up in the compost. ūüė¶Cat Attack Cupcakes

Coconut¬†Lemon Bundt Cake, this beauty was a hit at my workplace! Everyone who tried it loved it! Some people were AFRAID to try it because they know I’m vegan. Then there were those who either didn’t like lemon or coconut, but the cake was still eaten up in 2 days, the only thing I would change about this cake is the amount of shredded coconut, I would half it next time purely on personal taste. I thought it made the cake chewy. Again, I’m sorry for the pics, I truly do plan to work on getting better with a camera and lighting!IMG_20141001_224514818This is my attempt at being artistic:

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It’s all very orangey, but in all fairness the cake did match my counter-top. Next time I will use an opaque cake plate, maybe that will help, also was trying to get the title of the recipe in the picture but managed to chop that off to…but still not nearly as bad as the other pics in my opinion!

So Yay Isa! Love her to pieces. I will be making many more awesome things from this amazing book soon!

I leave you with this cuteness…Peter all snugly wugly!

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Lentil Sloppy Joes

I made this and it was awesome! Sadly, my house was bunless and it was too hot to turn on the oven to make some, so whole wheat bread had to do.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

I followed a great recipe from Vegan Dad, the only things I changed was using a canned organic tomato sauce in a little agave and more apple cider vinegar instead of ketchup and using a red pepper instead of green. I remember like the sauce in Sloppy Joes as a kid, but hating how greasy it was, all the animal fat and protein was not yummy to me. Like many vegetarians, cows were the first animal I stopped eating. I have used Boca crumbles to make Sloppy Joes, but it wasn’t nearly as good as the two whole foods versions I have made. I have recently created my own version using 2 cups pinto beans, 2 cups shredded carrots, and 1 cup oatmeal and it is now our favorite in texture! I think next time I will use Lentils again instead of pinto beans, since the beans were so obvious, I think the taste and size of lentils allow them to hide more in this dish!

Am I the only one who loves the look of veggies in a cast iron skillet?

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Just gaze upon that bubbling yumminess! Nothing compares to creating a delicious and nutritious meal for the family! Go by Vegan Dad’s website and make this, also check out his other recipes there are tons of delicious looking foods there!

Lentil Sloppy Joes 2

 

Snickerdoodles!

Finally! I had planned to do this Snickerdoodle Cookie post weeks ago. I had a bit of a memory issue with my labtop, her memory was so full she couldn’t show the pictures I had saved! With the little help of an external hard drive I’m back and ready to post!

Snickerdoodles

I found this Snickerdoodle recipe search Pinterest for vegan cookies. I found my self on Vibrant Wanderings blog, looking at a simple recipe. This recipe is so quick to put together and seems to bake up perfectly every time…even with a temperature challenged oven like mine! Recently my oven was set on 200 degrees F, but my two oven thermometers showed 350 degrees F in the front and 400 degrees F in the back. Typically it is only 50 degrees too hot so this was shocking! I was trying to make granola at the time, so I was very upset that the temp had spiked so high. But I digress, back to these cookies!

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Before I knew what happened I had the first pan of cinnamon and sugar covered cook dough balls were in the oven.

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These cookies are so delicious. They are now one of Mendal’s favorite things I make. She told me that if I kept making them, she would have to keep me around. So I happily made 3 batches in 10 days! ūüôā

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The only thing I changed from Melissa’s recipe is that I used White Whole Wheat flour instead of regular Whole Wheat, this allowed the flavor of the cinnamon to be the star of the cookie!

You guys should most definitely go visit Vibrant Wanderings and make these Snickerdoodles!

Five Things Fri—Saturday

Ok, so this time my Five Things Friday post really is being posted on Saturday. My clock just hit 12:08 AM…This is what happens when I get so excited house hunting I forget to start my post writing! That’s right we are looking to buy a house. Something quaint and cottage with land and trees surrounding it, not street lights and neighbors separated by only a driveway.

Today the Five Things are Five things I have made this week.

1. Donuts.

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Yes! Finally! I found some donut (or doughnut) pans at HomeGoods and scooped them up at a fantastically low price of $3 each. I bought one regular donut pan and one twist long john pan…I have dreams of getting one more of both! For my first Vegan Baked Donut trial I used Chocolate Covered Katie’s “healthy” Kirspy Kreme Baked Doughnut recipe…I will be posting a more detailed post about these beauties soon!

2. Snack Time.

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I’m all about simple and quick snacks, and when they are healthful and yummy all the better! This came about when I was craving Ants on a Stick (Log? however you want to say it). You remember that snack from our childhood…or at least mine! Typically it involves smothering the channel of a celery stalk with peanut butter then topping with a neat row of raisins. This day, my celery was a little on the small side, very narrow…so I mixed raisins into my peanut butter and used it like a dip! I loved how easy (and less messy) this was and still tasted delicious. I have a feeling I will be making a tray with raisin and peanut butter dip at my next party! Uh, I wonder if I could add raisins to my peanuts the next time I make peanut butter!?!?! New idea…to me anyway! Yes, that is my copy of Whole Grain Vegan Baking sitting next to my snack. I was paging through it while chomping on celery, I can’t wait to start making the amazing foods in this book!

3. My Mom’s Yumzetti.

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This is my childhood. My mom hates cooking, so she loved all in one pot meals. Yumzetti in our house meant egg noodles, one can of tomato soup and one can of cream of mushroom soup and a punch of peas and a pound of hamburger cooked in the microwave then added to the finished dish. I loved this dish growing up. A few years ago I made it vegetarian by using Morning Star crumbles, this time I veganized and healthified (yes this is a word in my house) it! Instead of canned soups I made my own using cashews and portobella mushrooms and a can of tomato sauce and tomato paste and instead of “fake” meat I used steamed crumbled tempeh with a little soy sauce. It was yummy and totally filled the craving I had for my mom’s cooking. This recipe may make it onto the blog…but I didn’t really write things down so who knows!

4. Jewelry.

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I’m finally back at my bead table creating shiny, sparkly, pretty pieces of jewelry. I’m loving it! I made these earrings for myself, then loved them so much a made one more pair to sell…Coming to my etsy shop soon!

5. Mendal’s Knobs.

Drawer/Door Knobs that is. She is awesome, I know I have said that before. But really she is so creative and original! This woman has created some truly cool retro looking Star shaped knobs using ice/candy molds and epoxy and star sprinkles (yes edible sprinkles) I will hopefully remember to come back and post a picture…I can’t believe I didn’t snap one this evening when she unveiled them! She made these for her mom’s kitchen, which is yellow, green, blue and red…and her mom’s favorite shape is a Star. She is such a sweet daughter right?

So that is this weeks 5 things! There were other things made In The CatHouse this week…and maybe some will show up as a post before next weeks 5 things. I really need to start a few more themed posts to increase my blogging…maybe a Wednesday post? We shall see!

Five Things Fridays

Happy Friday! I am starting a new thing to help me post more regularly. I know other bloggers do 5 thing Fridays, and I just realized it’s a genius way to generate a post when struck by writer’s block or overwhelmed with a back log of items to post.

Today’s Five Things are Five New Recipes I love!

1. Vegan Hot Dogs I followed this recipe to a T from Julie of baked-in.com

2. Vegan Brownies I halved this recipe from Chinmayie of lovefoodeat.com

3. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies I tweaked this recipe from Kathy of lunchboxbunch.com

4. Vegan and Refined Sugar Free Blueberry Handpies I made up this recipe to be posted soon!

5. Vegan Chickenpea Salad Sandwiches I came up with this recipe also to be posted soon!

So these five things were all created to take on our annual family beach vacation. The family includes me, Mendal, Miranda (my sister mentioned somewhere on here before), and her boyfriend Patrick. Unfortunately, we can’t bring our kittens along, so the cats will rule the house for the next few days!

Let me start out by saying all five things are very good, delicious and made of awesomeness. But, for me, the Hot Dogs are the winners here. I think the Brownies won out according to Mendal and Miranda. And I’m not sure about Patrick’s vote since he hasn’t tried anything yet.

So I encourage you all to visit the blogs above, they are all beautifully created with equally beautiful and delicious food. And I hope you will come back next week for the Blueberry Handpies and Chickpea Salad Sandwich recipes!

Author’s Note: I actually did post this at 11:59pm on Friday the 26th…but for some reason wordpress things I’m in a different time zone where it is 3:59am on the 27th. . .If anyone knows how to change a time zone issue with wordpress I would greatly appreciate the tip!

 

 

Sweet Potato Burger and Whole Wheat Buns = Amazing!

Let me first say that I love bread. I especially love buns, they have a much larger crust to inside ratio then a slice of bread does, and I love that crusty slick browned part so very much. So, yes buns! Now, since going plant based, and focusing on whole foods I haven’t had white bread buns.

In my search for a good vegan recipe for making whole wheat buns I found Holy Cow! A Vegan Recipe Blog where¬†Vaishali gives us an easy to make¬†delicious Vegan Burger Bun recipe. Go here and make it! Note her recipe is not 100% whole wheat, there is 50% all purpose flour, I’m guessing this is to help give it a fluffy texture and it does! My ultimate goal is to only have whole grain flours, but since I can’t justify throwing away the other flours I already have, I plan to use them with whole grain flours until they are used up!

These are the buns Vaishali’s recipe gave me:

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Totally awesome! I did have to shorten the rising time for these buns. My kitchen hovered between 79 and 82 degrees F while I was making these beauties. So, while I followed the recipe exactly every other way, my rising times where cut in half. If you are in a hurry this is great, but from what I remember from basic bread making the rising time allows for flavors to build, the slower the rise the deeper the flavors, please correct me if I’m wrong! Even with the sped up rising times these buns were perfect! I will totally be making them again soon!

Now for the Sweet Potato Burgers. I read over a few recipes including this one from Hayley’s Thoughts¬†then went my own way!

Sweet Potato & Rosemary Burgers

2 small to medium sweet potatoes (mine where each about 6 inches long and 3 inches thick)

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed

2 teaspoons dried rosemary, I ground mine using a mortar and pestle

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage

and a dash of garlic powder

Panko crumbs

I “baked” the sweet potatoes in the microwave then peeled and mashed them using a potato masher (novel idea, I know!). Then worked the rinsed white beans into the mixture, then simply tossed in the spices I wanted to use. You can choose any mixture of spices and herbs, the sky is the limit here!

I then used an ice cream scoop and portioned out 6 burgers, flattened them out in a bowl with a layer of Panko crumbs, flipping the burger over to coat both sides. Then I fried them in olive oil until both sides were crispy.

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We ate these Sweet Potato Rosemary Burgers on the Whole Wheat Buns above with some Whipped Nayonaise, romaine lettuce, tomato, and pickles. Very tasty! However, I now know, I am not a fan of Whipped Nayonaise. Which is not a¬†surprise, since I also never liked Miracle Whip. Luckily Mendal and Miranda both liked it a lot so the jar won’t go to waste. Don’t worry my sandwiches won’t be dry, I do love mashed up¬†avocado¬†and hummus (flavored and plain) and stone ground mustard. I would also like to try Miso Mayo soon, since it is not a fake mayo (despite the name).

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Take a gander at this awesomeness! Seriously? How can a veggie burger be this pretty?


Sweet Potato Burger

WOW, I just realized that my first real post in a week ended up being a recipe review (the BUNS), an original recipe (the Burgers) and a product review (the Nayonaise)! Awesome!

Great Balls of Salad!

Ball Jars that is. Pint and a Half Ball Jars to be specific.

I love salads. I especially love Romaine based salads. I find it a very¬†versatile¬†lettuce, it has a great crunch and light flavor that allows it to go from an Asian flavored salad, to a Taco salad, to an Italian salad. I also love how easy it is to grow more of it’s leafy goodness. We have joined the bandwagon and started keeping our salad greens in jars. We found these awesome wide mouth pint and a half Ball jars¬†at Ace Hardware.¬†I love that they hold the perfect amount for a single serving salad, and have a slim profile that makes it easy to throw the jar into a work bag or lunch box.

Romaine in Jars inthecathouse

We buy Romaine hearts at Costco, 6 for under $5. Unfortunately, I don’t believe they are organic, I plan to try growing Romaine in our vegetable box this year. I cut each heart up, reserving a few outer flat leaves from each to use on sandwiches and wash the lettuce twice. Once in cold water and once in cold water with white vinegar added. I find the vinegar helps keep the lettuce (and a ton of other produce) from going bad too fast. I once had fresh raspberries, washed in water with vinegar, last for 8 days in the fridge with no mold forming, they were still firm and fresh tasting!

There are so many ways to make a salad. You can throw in nuts, beans, carrots, peppers, olives, fruits and croutons. . .of course if you are an omnivore you can add bacon, chicken, or cheese. . .but we don’t like those things in our house. Dressings can be kept simple like balsamic vinegar and olive oil, or can be fancy like Braswell’s all natural Valdelia Onion and Peppercorn Dressing, which I found at Marshall’s last week, yummy! The trick to dressings is moderation. Sometimes we forgo dressings altogether and use homemade salsa instead. I have plans to make more dressings from scratch.

Lately I have been eating a lot of salads with brown rice, tomatoes, beans (red and black), and corn. But, alas, I didn’t snap any pictures. . .

Since, I don’t have any pictures of salads to use in this post, here are a few delicious looking salads I have pinned and plan to try soon:

Vegan Salad-In-A-Jar makes a healthy and portable lunch

¬† Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen’s Vegan Salad-in-jar

Mango Black bean salad....not sure about the cucumbers...

FatFree Vegan Kitchen’s Layered Salad with Black Beans and Mango-Cucumber Salsa

Mexican Spinach Vegan Salad

Style & Grace’s Mexican Spinach Salad

Abundant Garden Salad w/ Sweet Ginger Tahini Dressing - http://www.youngandraw.com/abundant-garden-salad-w-sweet-ginger-tahini-dressing/ #raw #vegan #salad #dressing #recipe

Young and Raw’s Abundant Garden Salad with Sweet Ginger Tahini Dressing

I especially want to try Young and Raw’s Sweet Ginger Tahini Dressing. It sounds awesome.

For the readers out there: What do you like on your salad? What is your favorite dressing, do you make your own?