March 30, 2008

Ali's Messy Rice

I made this rice, with the help of Carrie :o), the other week for a dinner party we had with some friends. It turned out quite yummy! The combination of veggies, rice and spices was a feast for the eyes and the stomach. My friend Hannah even used it as a filling for some spring roll-ish creations (sorry! no picture of those, but you can imagine!).

I love that my friends are always so excited to make dinners together-vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters alike! We all combine our skills and make food that is delicious and even more so because we can share it together. I plan to do a bunch more dinners with friends for Spring Term...which starts TOMORROW!! AH!

I have a pretty full course load this term, so I will be very busy to say the least. I have some AMAZING opportunities though. For one of my classes, I will be planning a journalism public relations conference up in Portland for the UO School of Journalism and Communication. Another class is FLUX, which is the journalism school's annual magazine, which just so happens to be honored with national awards in college journalism every year. We are changing the face of the magazine, and with that came the Business Staff on which I am Marketing Assistant. It's a pretty big deal because FLUX has never had any public relations work, so we have a big responsibility to sell this magazine like never before! We want all of UO to know about it as well as many people as possible. So, definitely check out the website, which will be updated for the new 2008 issue soon! On top of those classes I have a Mass Media Ethics class and Advanced Public Relations Writing...all journalism classes this term! I am also taking 6 hours a week of yoga, which will be so invigorating and rejuvenating after all the school!! In addition to all this, my group, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, for the student-run Allen Hall Public Relations, holds its annual event this term...The Mike Bellotti Silent Auction and Golf Classic. The events should be amazing and plus, they are to raise money for an amazing cause!

OKAY! So, back to Ali's Messy Rice!

2 cups brown basmati rice
1 1/2 cups lentils, steamed
3/4 cup mushrooms (I used button and portabella)
Half an onion
1/2 cup snap peas, halfed
3/4 cup cauliflower
1 cup carrots, cut in small pieces
a couple handfuls of spinach
2 tsp (or to taste) of the following:
Hungarian Paprika
1 tsp Salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Cook rice until tender. Set aside, but keep warm.
Saute the onion and mushrooms in a small amount of olive oil.
Steam the lentils and the other vegetables besides the spinach.
Once everything is all cooked, combine into one large skillet excluding the rice. Add the spices and flip with a spatula to evenly distribute the spices. Add the spinach and allow to wilt a bit, about 3 minutes.
Serve over a bed of the brown basmati rice, and enjoy!

Check back to see my spring break adventures with Tilly and Tofu, the dogs!

March 27, 2008

Carrot Cake Cupcakes!

I absolutely love carrot cake. It is by far my favorite of all cakes. The moist, heartyness of the cake pairs perfectly with the cream cheese frosting. I wanted to make carrot cake for Easter, but because I made the cookies I thought I'd hold off a couple of days. Carrie and I have eaten almost all the cupcakes. They are just so delicious.

The grating of the carrots furthered the evidence that I NEED a food processor. The blender is just not making the cut. I added a bit of cinnamon to the frosting for an added spice. I definitely want to try making this in the cake form, but the cupcakes were definitely a success.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking's Carrot Cake

3 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups finely grated peeled carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cupcake tins or use paper cupcake liners.

In a food processor or blender, whip together the ground flaxseed and water until it's thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the oil and blend until combined. Transfer them mixture to a large bowl, and add the carrots and walnuts. Stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Add the wet mixture to this dry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined, but do not overmix.

Fill the muffin tins evenly with the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. Slide a knife around the edges of the cupcakes

Once cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting
From The Joy of Vegan Baking

8 ounces non-dairy cream cheese, cold (Tofutti brand is good, but make sure to chose the non-hydrogenated variety!)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Tilly and Me on top of Spencer's Butte!

March 23, 2008

Spring Awakening!!

To ring in Spring and all its lovelyness, I made sugar cookies and decorated them! Carrie bought the cookie cutters back a couple of weeks ago, and after days of not putting them to use, I finally did on Sunday. And it was Easter to boot!

I was especially excited because I think my puppy, Tilly, looks like a bunny. Her skin is pink and visible through her sweet white fur, so I love to call her my pink bunny. Tilly got her very own pink bunny cookie! She loooooved it! She will be 5 months in a couple weeks.

I used the sugar cookie and buttercream frosting recipes from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I added about 5 frozen strawberries to the buttercream to make it pink, and it also gave it an amazingly yummy strawberry taste! I compensated for the juicyness of the berries by adding a bit more powered sugar.

I had so much fun decorating the cookies! I even made initial cookies for a certain someone... Check back in a couple days for carrot cake cupcakes! Yummm! I love Spring!!!

March 18, 2008

Oh! March Madness!

I have neglected my blog for far to long, and for that I am sorry! I have been so busy with school and life. But this week marks the end of winter term and the start of Spring Break, so check back because I will hopefully be posting up a storm...Until then, love and light.

March 9, 2008

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!

After I got my wisdom teeth out, I realized how lucky I am to have Carrie, my best friend/roommate, and J, a sweet and vivacious love. Carrie drove me to and from the appointment, bought me extra gauze and brought me flowers and a lovely card. J came over the first night, made me soup and kissed my swollen mouth, made me fruit salad and yogurt the second day, drove me to classes and gave me good company.

With all the love surrounding me, I couldn't help but want to give it back...And I thought what better way than cookies!! Especially vegan cookies, which in my opinion are 150 million times better than not. Of course I couldn't sample them before I delivered them to my fabulous friends, but I was assured that they were DELICIOUS. I am happy to report, I am all recovered, and I tried one last nite...They really were DELICIOUS!

Love and light.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
From The Joy of Vegan Baking

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
Equivalent of 1 egg (I used flax seeds - 1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds with 3 Tbsp water mixed in blender or food processor)
1 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup natural peanut butter, smooth or crunchy (I used creamy)
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated, non-dairy butter (Earth Balance Whipped)
3 Tbsp non-dairy milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup non-dairy semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the over to 375 degrees. Line 3 cookie sheets with wax paper or use 3 non-stick cookie/baking sheets.
In a small bowl, combine the first three ingredients. Set aside. Grind the flaxseed and water in a blender/food processor until thick and creamy (looks almost like gelatin).
In a larger bowl combine all other ingredients except the chocolate chips. Beat at a medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended (I did it by hand...Good for those muscles!). Add the flaxseed/water mixture. Beat just until blended. Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips, and mix just until blended.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets. Flatten slightly in a crisscross pattern with the tines of a fork.
Back for 10-12 minutes, or until set and just beginning to brown. Do not overbake. Remove from oven, and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 3-5 minutes before removing to let cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

March 5, 2008

Diary of a Vegan Dinner Party.

First of all, I would like to thank all the lovelies who wished me well after having my wisdom teeth removed on Monday. It's so nice to know people all over the world are connected through amazing vegan food! It literally fills my heart with jubilance. I am happy to report that I am recovering quickly! I haven't taken any vicadin since yesterday around 4, and I am feeling just fine, a bit sore, but nothing I can't handle! I even made some yummy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies last night, which will be appearing in the next couple of days.

On another note, I am presenting my blog to my class on Monday March 10th. I am really excited and a bit nervous. I have put a lot of work into my blog, but it doesn't really feel like work because I love doing it so much. I just hope I have enough time in my presentation to express all that I want to say about my blog and the community of bloggers that I have met.

Last Friday night before J's show (he's in a hip-hop/jammish band, and he sings), my lovely girlfriends and I finally got it together (after weeks of not) to have a dinner party. It was so nice to see all the girls and my friend Camina brought her vegan friend from home (California), Kalela. We had so much fun! All the food was vegan, even the amazing desserts from Sweet Life. I don't have pictures, but Carrie made a gigantic salad with avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers, hummus, carrots and baked tofu that was so delicious, Lin made stuffed mushrooms that were itsy bitsy bite sized treats, and Sammi brought a bowl of green grapes and strawberries that we munched on during our pre-dinner champagne toast!

I made the Creamiest Vegan Mac n' Cheez EVER from Yeah, That "Vegan" Shit. I added some spinach before baking for some added color and nutrients. Everyone loved it including moi! :o)

Camina and Kalela made a yam and apple bake that was fabulous with spicy cinnamon sprinkled on top. The tenderness of the apples and the yams were perfection.

And Lydia outdid us all and brought a selection of desserts that we managed to devour in ohhhhh 7 minutes. Of particular liking was a slice of Banana Cream Cake. Sooooo delicious, definitely the group fav along with the Cheesecake of course. All in all it was an AMAZING dinner.

Afterward we thought it would help with our digestion to take some shots of tequila before heading off to the concert. Ehhhh, I don't know if they really helped with digestion, but they definitely helped with my hangover the next morning. I LOVE my friends!!!

March 3, 2008

Comfort Wednesdays!

This term Wednesday's have been fabulous! I start the day with yoga then usually come home and take Tilly on a long walk. Then I loaf around for a bit, do some homework, write on my blog, etc. At about 5:20, Carrie and I head off to campus to grab dinner before our class at the Craft Center. I cannot disclose too much information concerning our class because the product of the class is my Mom's late birthday present, but I assure you that once I'm done I'll post some pics. The ladies in our class are all so wonderful and treat Carrie and I like we are their daughters. So before heading to class we stop at Holy Cow to grab a bit to eat. Sometimes the amazing salad bar that I already blogged about, other times Pad Thai, but last week it was Rice and Dal. Soooo yummy and comforting with a bit of chutney on the side! I love Wednesdays!

Note: This Wednesday it could all change as I had my wisdom teeth taken out this morning, so I don't know how much eating I will be doing, but at least I'll be crafting at the Craft Center!

February 28, 2008

Well since everyone else is doin' it...

I have noticed lots of my fellow vegan bloggers filling out surveys, so I thought I'd have my go at one...This ones from Food Snobbery is my Hobbery.

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Organic unsweetened soy milk from Trader Joe's. I only use soy milk in cooking and in smoothies, so the taste is never overwhelmingly present.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Spicy Tempeh Nori Rolls from Veganimicon
Eggplant Moussaka

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Earth Balance

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Berry Pie

5. Favorite pickled item?
Baby Dill Pickles.

6. How do you organize your recipes?
I don't....

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
All three depending on what's being disposed.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)?
Whole Grain Bread

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
Apple Pies and Pancakes at Gramma Julie's

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
Purely Decadent Cookie Avalanche

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Food Processor....Now all I need to do it get one!

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
Too many to choose!! Turmeric, paprika, sage, basil, nutmeg.

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
Williams Sonoma Vegetarian Cookbook. A gift from my ex-boyfriend's sweet mother.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Apricot - #1. Blueberry - #2.

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Usually a pasta dish.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
Not a huge fan of seitan, but please don't make me choose between tofu or tempeh!

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Empty wine bottles.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Flaxseeds, sprouted grain bread, Gardenburgers.

20. What's on your grocery list?
Tempeh, veggies, bread, juice, frozen berries.

21. Favorite grocery store?
Sundance Natural Foods or Market of Choice.

22. Name a recipe you'd love to veganize, but haven't yet.
I guess a quesadilla...? Not really into vegan chesse though.

23. Food blog you read the most. Or maybe the top 3?
Chocolate Covered Vegan
Get Sconed!
FatFree Vegan Kitchen

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
I have a MAJOR sweet tooth. I don't want to talk about it....

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Fresh fruit.

26. Favorite things to do.
Run/work out. Yoga. Play with my puppy, Tilly. Read blogs/write on my blog. Go to concerts. Be with my friends. Travel. Talk to my mama.

27. Goals for the future.
Create more of my own recipes. Become a yoga teacher. Open a vegan bakery with a dog bakery attached. Become a vegan.

I love this painting. And I got to see it when I was in Paris visiting my amazing Aunt Alison, Uncle Gilles and cousins, Shannon and Alyssa! I thought I'd share it with you in hopes that it will inspire you to create and share your light with others.

February 24, 2008

Nothing's Better than Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

So I got pretty ambitious (or at least by my standards) and decided to take a stab at making homemade whole wheat bread this past week. I almost started making it on Monday night at around 10 p.m., when luckily I realized that it is about a 7 hour process. Tuesday was bread making day!

I used the recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking. My favorite part was definitely kneading the dough. I got to use the muscles I have built over the past few weeks from yoga :o)

One of the loaves turned out a little misshapen due to an impromptu visit to Market of Choice in a mad rush to buy another loaf pan. And the other loaf, which was actually perfectly shaped, turned out a little on the dry side. I think it was because I used my friend Lin's loaf pan that is ceramic. Needless to say, both loaves were super delicious, and even more so because they came from my own hard work! I enjoyed bread with Earth Balance, blueberry jam and with a hot bowl of Amy's No Chicken Noodle Soup.

On another note....Tilly's growing bigger everyday (very, very slowly, but surely!). The weather in Eugene last week was splendid. Flowers abloom. People abound. Tilly especially loves lavender.

February 22, 2008

Pasta with Cheezy Sauce...mmmmm!

I have been interested in making a vegan version of macaroni and cheese, and finally, last week I made one! I used the Cheezy Sauce recipe from Veganomicon, and shared the results with Carrie and my new roommate, Tara. We all absolutely lovvvvvvvvedddddd this recipe! The spices and nutritional yeast provided the perfect taste combination for a substitute to real cheese. Since the recipe turned out so well I plan to try making the Macaroni and Cheeze recipe from FatFree Vegan Kitchen in the coming weeks...I'll keep you posted. But until enjoy this recipe and definitely try it out and share it with some friends!

Cheezy Sauce
From Veganomicon

2 cups vegetable broth or water (I used water)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of dried thyme (crumbled in your fingers)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Several pinches of freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

Combine the broth or water and flour in a measuring cup and whisk with a fork until dissolved (a couple of lumps are okay)
Preheat a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Place the oil and garlic in the pan and gently cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often and being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook for about 15 seconds. Add the broth, turmeric, and nutritional yeast, and raise the heat to medium. Use a whisk to stir constantly. The mixture should start bubbling and thickening in about 3 minutes; if it doesn't, turn the heat a bit higher.
Once the mixture is bubbling and thickening, stir and cook for about 2 more minutes. Add the lemon juice and mustard. The mixture should resemble a thick, melty cheese. Taste for salt, turn off the heat, and cover the pan to keep it warm until ready to use. The top might thicken a bit while it sits, but you can just stir it and it will be fine. Serve warm

Note: I used whole wheat penne from Trader Joe's, but it might be more authentic to use macaroni! Enjoy!

February 18, 2008

Live with intention. Lead with the heart.

Through my practice of anusara yoga, I have learned to live with intention, and to lead with my heart. Over the past few weeks, these mantras have held particular relevance in my life. I have decided that I want to be certified as a yoga teacher once I graduate this summer. I have always thought it would be a wonderful thing to be a yoga teacher, and now with intention, I have decided to make it part of my reality.

My lovely roommate/best friend, Carrie, has been with me for most of my adult growth, and this term we have been taking anusara yoga together on Mondays and Wednesdays. We have the most inspirational, uplifting, beautiful, teacher who is full of laughter and grace. Her name is Michele. I think she has had such a positive influence on Carrie over the past six weeks and on me over all three terms that she has been my teacher. She has inspired both Carrie and I to live with intention and open our hearts and let our excellence radiate. And she is definitely one of the best reasons I want to become a teacher. I hope someday I will be able to have such an influence over my students.

Living with intention inspired Carrie and I to finally go grocery shopping, stop eating out so much and explore our talents as young chefs. As I began to prepare to make whole wheat bread from scratch (look for the blog post in a couple of days), Carrie made us a delicious soup to close the weekend and make Sunday extra special.

Carrie's Green and Yellow Vegetable Soup

2 large carrots, chopped
1/2 purple onion, diced
1 large head broccoli, chopped
1 cup snap peas, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 tsp dill
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp Court Bouillon Bio (X-mas present from my Aunt Alison who lives in Paris, but we think it's a mixture of thyme, coriander, marjoram, laurel and lovage)
1 tsp salt, or to taste
pepper, to taste
1 cup bow tie pasta
1 cup wheat spiral pasta
1 can whole pinto beans

Chop carrots and broccoli into manageable chunks. Cut several of the broccoli chunks close to the heads, so the buds separate in the liquid. In a large pot, boil a cup of water and cook carrots over medium-high heat for 15 minutes. Bring water to a boil for pasta.
In a separate pan, saute diced purple onion in water for about 4 minutes or until translucent. Add vegetable broth, broccoli, and snap peas to large pot of carrots and stir in spices, salt and pepper. Add onions and cook at a medium heat while pasta is cooking.
Cook pasta until al dente then add to large pot. Stir in whole pinto beans and let cook on a low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until all vegetables and pasta are tender.

Carrie says, "The turmeric gives this delicious soup its golden color, and the broccoli buds make the soup thick with a lovely deep color. GO DUCKS!!!"

February 17, 2008

I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon...

....then at Sweet Life with my best girlfriends, Carrie, Lin and Lydia. We decided that it was time for a trip to our favorite sweet spot since we hadn't been all term. Lydia got regular cheesecake (She swears by it, but I really just don't like cheesecake unless it's vegan), Lin got gelato, which I did sample, and although not vegan, was delicious. And of course Carrie and I got the mixed berry vegan cheesecake. A staple in the life of any real sweet tooth. We also got petit fours, which are just so cute we couldn't resist! Mine was pink with a little red heart in honor of St. Valentine, and Carrie's had a white musical note on it in honor of..umm...the sweet melody of life! Chatting with my bestests and eating vegan cheesecake is how I wish to spend every Saturday afternoon. With the beautiful Eugene sunshine casting shadows on our table in the brightly painted patisserie.

February 15, 2008

The Vegan Powerhouse aka My Life.

I have been waiting to post about this for a looooooong time, and finally I remembered to take a picture before chowing down my meal. The Vegan Powerhouse with homefries, tofu, spinach and mushrooms, and the spicy peanut sauce on the side, with a side order of wheatless spelt-rye-oat toast with soy butter. PERFECTION!

This menu item from the Keystone CafĂ© can be ordered in a variety of ways, but as a regular Keystoner, I assure this is the best. I absolutely LOVE dipping my chunks of tofu and the chunks of homefries into the peanut sauce. I literally envision myself doing this when I am lying in my bed (sometimes hungover) waiting to go to breakfast. My friends (namely Carrie and J.) and I always try to be creative and go to a different morning breakfast/lunch spot, but it just never happens. It’s always back to good ole’ Keystone.

February 12, 2008

Birthday Cakes Galore!

On the 26th of January it was a certain J.’s birthday. 22!! A magic year. And this lucky man got two birthday cakes. One when we were on the coast celebrating with his family, and one when we got back to Eugene.

The first one was the legendary vegan cheesecake from Sweet Life. I was thrilled because I had only ever had one piece placed in front of me, and all of a sudden there was an entire cheesecake. We could eat cheesecake till we die!! It survived the trip to Waldport, but the berry topping got a little displaced along the way. Well, it didn’t matter one bit! The cheesecake was delicious on the night of J.’s birthday and the next day as well!

The second cake, made by moi, was a Raspberry Chocolate Cake. I got the recipe off FatFree Vegan Kitchen. And as always, it did not fail to impress. I was particularly impressed by the chocolate buttercream! It tasted and looked perfect. I decorated it with some left over raspberry preserves and some dark peppermint chocolate. I think, and hope, J. really enjoyed his birthday!

February 11, 2008

Back to Blogging...finally!

First, I would like to apologize for neglecting my blog for the past couple of weeks. I have been so busy!

Mainly, she is the reason...

She is a dream, let me tell you! She is so well behaved, affectionate and happy. I call her Tilly for short, and I have a whole schlew of other nicknames :o) Another reason I have been so busy is that we changed residences last weekend. The new house is much nicer and a better fit for me and the pup. And Tilly is happy because she still lives in close proximity to her best friend Justin the cat! He's five months old and belongs to my best friend and roommate of four years, Carrie. I say close proximity because Matildae and I live in a separate apartment-like room located right behind the main house. The house is perfect except I don't have internet in my room causing my internet usage to plummet. It's not that the house is so far away, but I'm just so used to having the internet right in my bedroom. We might have to fix the problem in the coming weeks...

January 31, 2008

I <3 Tempeh!

I probably eat far too much tempeh, but I don't care. It's just sooooo good. I like it especially with an agave and mustard marinade. I usually mix about 3 tablespoons dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon raw blue agave then mix in some spices depending on my mood. I cubed the tempeh in pretty hefty sized chunks, but you could just as easily crumble it. This time I had it with broccoli and cauliflower. It made for a winning combination. Especially with the broccoli. Because broccoli is one of my top 3 favorite foods, I couldn't think of a better thing to put with tempeh.

For this tempeh goodness I just used the magic of leeks to flavor the whole dish. I also love leeks. Threw in some portabella mushroom caps and red bell peppers. So delicious. If you've never used leeks in your cooking I recommend doing so. They add so much amazing flavor. Also, definitely give tempeh a try. Vegans and non-vegans alike can enjoy this hearty, protein-filled ingredient.

January 29, 2008

The Holy Cow is certainly Holy.

Everyday I am on campus I go to the Holy Cow, an all vegetarian restaurant in the EMU (the University of Oregon's student union) to help myself to a heaping salad from their all organic salad bar. Their hummus is literally the best hummus I have ever had, and makes a fabulous addition to any salad. So now you will understand when I tell you how utterly devestated I am to annouce that the Holy Cow has been put out of buisness by the Portland, OR-based chain, The Laughing Planet.

While I do enjoy L.P.'s Soylent Green Bowl, I cannot say that I am at all happy about this decision. The Holy Cow's owner, Kathee Lavine, opened the restaurant 10 years ago, and invested over $200,000 to open the buisness. The decision was a poor one made by a committee consisting of five University employees and one University student. That's the thing that makes me the most upset. How can such a large decision be made by such a small population?!?!

Passionate University students are fighting at all costs to stop this from happening, and I am one of those students. I have hope that the real voice of the students will shine through.

Support local businesses.

January 28, 2008

Dressed to Cook!

My lovely mamabean, whom I miss dearly everyday I am away from her, got me the cutest apron and matching pot holder for Christmas, and I thought I had to share it with you all. I got a bunch of other amazing kitchen supply stuff for Christmas, but this matching Anthropologie set topped my list. Other highlights were a cute set of ceramic measuring spoons (pictured), and a peeler disguised as a Japanese samurai.

January 24, 2008

Cooking Shows, Internet Magic!

I was on youtube yesterday searching through some random assortment of videos when I stumbled across a series of cooking videos called Everyday Dish. The five to ten minute long segments show viewers how to make some pretty yummy looking vegan dishes. The one I watched yesterday was called Tofu Breakfast Scramble. But they have everything from Oatmeal Cookies to Pumpkin Hummus to Seitan Corned Beef---all VEGAN!!! Check this one out.

I signed up for a subscription for Everyday Dish, which is also free! Having a subscription allows you to make playlists, mark your favorite videos and be in touch with other subscribers. Another interesting way to build a community on the internet. Thank goodness for fiber-optic cables!!

It's amazing to me that now we can watch cooking shows over the internet. And for free! Another great resource (along with blogs) for learning and trying new recipes and techniques in the kitchen.

I encourage you all, vegan and non-vegans, to watch some of the videos. The meals look delicious, and hey! you never know, maybe they will open your taste buds to a whole new experience!

Never stop exploring, loving and opening your heart and mind to new experiences everywhere!
love and light.

January 23, 2008

Sweet Morning, Sunshine!!

I am typing this post from the depths of my house which because of a broken heater is currently an igloo. Eugene is covered in frost and when I went to run an errand this morning I thought, "Hey! It's colder in my house than it is outside!!" I have been waiting around all morning (not going to class...sorry!) for the repair people to come, but still waiting...

I have a big announcement! On Friday....I'm getting a PUPPY!! I am so, so, so excited. She's about 12 weeks old. I named her Matildae (the Italian form of Matilda), and she's a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I'm picking her up in the late afternoon on Friday, and could not be more happy! Pictures to follow...

So before I head off to PetSmart to gear up for my new addition, I thought I would blog about the vegan pancakes I made Sunday morning. It was a big day for football fans, and to my surprise, and my Dad's delight, over this past fall I have become one of them. My brother and my Dad are the biggest sports fans ever, so I figured it would rub off eventually. So Sunday morning came along, and realizing that I was penniless because of my M.O.C. shopping spree I decided to opt out of the trip I was going to take to the Newport Aquarium, and watch football with a certain J. instead.

Pancakes just seem like a Sunday morning delight, so I was happy to make them! I used the leftover blueberries from the pie I had made, and the leftover carob chips from the muffins, and we had a real sweet morning!

Sweet Vegan Pancakes

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup non-dairy milk
3 tablespoons orange juice (or other sweetener, like maple syrup)
Cinnamon/nutmeg/cloves to taste
Fun additions: fresh or frozen fruit, carob-chips, walnuts (or any nuts for the matter), raisins

Cook like regular pancakes. When top side starts to bubble a bit and you can easily lift up the center, the pancake is ready to flip. Don't be scared! The first flips are always the hardest :o)
Serve with maple syrup, soy yogurt or fruit jam/syrup.

I ate mine with maple syrup and strawberry syrup from Emandal.

January 21, 2008

Gramma always made the best, I try vegan-style!

Growing up my dear Gramma Julie always made me an apple pie every time I came to her house on Cape Cod. Apple pie was the best. I sometimes even ate it a la mode (haha. reference: I just watched Little Miss Sunshine last nite). I decided making a fruit pie vegan style in honor of my lovely Gramma would be an awesome thing to blog about.

On my shopping spree to M.O.C. I bought frozen Wholey Wholesome Organic Spelt pie crusts.

I also bought a bag of frozen blueberries and a bag of frozen marionberries. (I think next time I will attempt strawberry rhubarb!). I adapted the recipe from, yep, you guessed it The Joy of Vegan Baking. Although I'll admit I didn't use cornstarch. I think thats maybe the reason it ended up a bit runny. I layered the mixed berries with the soy butter, sugar mixture and popped it in the over for about 50 minutes.

It was kind of soupy after we cut into it. Does anyone know what could have caused that? But with the muffins from my last post and the delicious warm pie, we were in heaven and ready to pass out during the Motorcycle Diaries. :o) Love and light my friends.

January 20, 2008

Plantain, carob-chip goodness...mmm!

I went to grab dinner at the Sundance's hot food bar sometime last week, and before I left I checked the damaged food shelf where there is often times perfectly good produce for half price. I found what I thought were 3 very ripe bananas. I did notice that they looked a little oddly shaped, but I was excited to make some banana bread.

Last night I decided it was time to make the banana chocolate chip muffins from the Joy of Vegan Baking. On my M.O.C shopping spree I bought vegan carob chips and brown sugar so I was set to bake. When I defrosted the bananas (I keep them in the freezer once they start getting too brown) and started to peel away the skin my eyes were surprised by the sight of the orangey not-banana flesh. They were plantains!

Well right on baking I went.

I added crushed organic walnuts as well as the carob-chips. I think it adds a nice touch to the muffins. They turned out scrumptious!! We have been eating them non-stop. I heart plantains!