Monday, October 31, 2011

Witch's Brew

Happy Halloween! I can't believe it's the end of October. This month was a whirlwind. I bring you witch's brew with a witch's finger to celebrate today and wrap up Vegan MoFo!

The soup is a cheesy broccoli soup. While I love all of the ingredients in this soup, the flavor left me wanting more. I'm not sure what it was, but it was definitely missing something. I googled a simple bread stick recipe and used this one. The flavor was great! I just added a sliced almond on the end for the fingernail.

Thank you all so much for the great feedback during Vegan Mofo, whether it was here, Facebook, or Twitter! I loved reading your thoughts and your experiences; it made Vegan MoFo that much more fun! 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween 2011 Part 1

So if you didn't notice, I missed the past two days. Part of me is annoyed with myself because I typically don't like not meeting goals. The other part of me knows how crazy the past week has been, more so than usual, and this same part of me knows how much time I spent in the kitchen over the weekend, too. So forgive me, but I have Halloween treats to make it up to you.

My cousin Johnathan and two of his friends threw a Halloween party last night, and it was crazy! They did an amazing job of transforming the garage into a legitimately cool party space, complete with black lights and fog machines, and Mike played the best dance music all night. I made some treats, but between being busy preparing everything and my camera's recent bitchassness, I didn't get a ton of photos. In fact, some things didn't get photographed at all. Womp, womp. In addition to the s'more-pumpkin cupcakes, I made taco dip, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (with better results than the first go-round), black bean dip, and vanilla cupcakes.

Another Alice! And a Mad Hatter!

Halloween and Vegan MoFo posts wrap up tomorrow with a bewitched soup and pumpkin carving. How did you spend Halloween weekend?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What Does a Vegan Eat? Baltimore Edition

Disclaimer: I know I promised Halloween-inspired posts this week. I also know this is not Halloween-inspired in the least. I wanted to share this, though, in case you find yourself in Baltimore and in need of a delicious meal!

Say what you will about Baltimore, but vegans and vegetarians have it pretty decent out here. There are several veg-friendly restaurants, and it seems that the number of such restaurants is on the rise. While this is not at all comprehensive or representative of all that Baltimore has to offer (for that, check out VegBaltimore!), here's a look at some of my favorite places to eat!

Sticky Rice, Fells Point - A tiny Pan-Asian restaurant and bar. Sometimes the service is a little slow, and weekend nights are always packed, but the food is yummy! They have plenty of veg and non-veg options, including rice and noodle dishes and sushi.

Tofu Triangles

Mock Chicken Szechuan

Johnny Rad's, Fells Point - A pizza joint with amazing black bean hummus and great pizza!
El Gato, veganized

Mr. Chan, Pikesville - My favorite Chinese place, hands down. It's a bit of a drive from my house, but the food and service are always great! They pretty much know my order when they see me come in...

Warm Protein Salad

Great Sage, Clarksville - I am sad to report that I don't have any pictures to share with you, but don't let this deter you! This all-vegan restaurant/bar is about 30 minutes outside of the city, near Columbia, but the drive is so worth it! The food is amazing, and the staff is always wonderfully friendly and helpful. Where else would the guy working the bar let two seven-year-olds sample three different smoothies before making up their minds?!

Paper Moon Diner, Remington - A funky diner that has amazing food! They are open late at night, too, which I appreciate when I'm three sheets to the wind and need food.

Life on the Pita

Amanda's Vegan Wrap

One World Cafe, Charles Village - A great all veg cafe! Since this place is totally meat free, they have tons of vegan options, too, including brunch! They have several great dinner meals, too.

Vegan Pancakes

Where's your favorite place to dine in Charm City? Any recommendations I should add to my list of places to check out?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Smoothie

The flash on my camera has gone haywire, so please excuse this terrible picture. I've got leftover pumpkin sitting in the fridge, so I decided to make a smoothie this evening. I've seen a bunch of different recipes floating around, so I settled for this combination of recipes.


  • 1 whole bananas (frozen)
  • ¼ cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • a dash of ground ginger
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • graham cracker, crumbled


Combine all ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth, adding more non-dairy milk as necessary to achieve proper consistency. Add more pumpkin or spice to taste. Garnish with crumbled graham cracker.

Ridiculously easy, right?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Brownies

I bring you yet another pumpkin baked good. At this point, it's a miracle I haven't turned into a pumpkin. I saw these on Oh She Glows and wanted to give them a try. I refused to let these sit around my kitchen, tempting me with their dark deliciousness, so I brought some into work. Omni Mom did not like the texture, but just about everyone else said they loved them! And for what it's worth, I think they're pretty good, too. ;]

Pumpkin Brownie Layer:
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 3/4 cup white kamut flour (or white)
  • 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot/tapioca)
  • 1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Pumpkin Pie Layer:
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot/tapioca)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
  • Shaved chocolate, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a muffin tin.
2. For brownie layer: In a stand mixer or by hand, mix together the coconut oil, pumpkin, vanilla, and sugar until blended well. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking, soda, sea salt and mix until incorporated. Take about 2 tbsp of the mixture and place in muffin tin. Wet fingers and spread around evenly so it is smooth. I made 8 large cupcakes and 2 small ones.
Brownie batter.

3. For pumpkin layer: In a large bowl mix together the pumpkin, vanilla, and milk. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well until all clumps are gone. Now add approx 1.5-2 tbsp of the pumpkin pie mixture on top of each brownie in the pan. Garnish with grated chocolate (I used a lemon zester to grate the chocolate).
Layering the pumpkin.
4. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F. Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes and then move to the fridge to chill for 1.5 hours.
Ready for the oven!
5. Serves approx 8-10. I made 8 large cupcakes and 2 small ones (for kids). Enjoy with vegan vanilla ice cream.

This is what I did at work the other day. I love working with pre-k, but especially around holidays. For some of my students, the activities we do, like carving pumpkins, are the first time they experience something like this. And for most of them, regardless of their previous experiences, this is when they start forming memories of this sort of thing. It's really fun to be a part of it, and seeing how excited they get over things like this makes holiday activities even more enjoyable for me. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Stuffed Biscuits

Halloween, hands down, is one of my favorite holidays. I love absolutely everything about it, and it also happens to be Dakota's birthday. I've got loads of Halloween-inspired recipes coming up this week and I'm super excited to share them with you!

First up are stuffed biscuits. I can't remember how I stumbled across this recipe, but I immediately fell in love with it and wanted to try it. I didn't have any kids to share this cute and fun food with... but my excitement over this more than makes up for it. I followed this recipe pretty much to the tee, but added some baby carrots and a stalk of celery to the onions while sauteing. Yum!

Cutting faces was tough; I was lazy with some of them.
Now it's Monday Night and the Ravens are on MNF. Are you ready for some football?!?!

Dakota's ready.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Spiced Donuts

Today has been a nice, lazy Sunday so far. I wanted a yummy breakfast with minimal work. These donuts fit the bill perfectly. The recipe comes from Oh She Glows, and yields 12 regular sized donuts. Mom, Matthew, and Mandi tried them, and everyone said they were yummy, too!

You'll need:

  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (white vinegar may work)
  • 6 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh or canned pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar (or white)
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance (or other non-dairy butter substitute), melted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp ginger, + 1/4 tsp nutmeg (or 1.75 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

Cinnamon Sugar:
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance (or other butter sub), melted (approx estimate only)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two mini doughnut pans or two regular sized doughnut pans with Earth Balance (or other butter substitute).
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, milk, pumpkin, sugar, applesauce, brown sugar (sift if clumpy), and melted Earth Balance (or other butter sub). 
    3. Sift in in the dry ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt, and flours). Mix until just combined. I didn’t sift as I was lazy.
    4. Using a ‘zip-lock’ baggie or pastry bag, spoon the batter into the bag and then secure it with the zip lock or rubber band. Twist the bag slightly and then cut off a hole at the corner to ‘pipe’ out the batter. Pipe the dough around the circle and gently flatten down with slightly wet fingers to smooth. Repeat.
    5. Bake  for 10-12 minutes at 350F or until they gently spring back when touched. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully using a butter knife to remove. Place on cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes.
    6. Cinnamon Sugar: Melt Earth Balance in a small bowl and dip the cooled doughnuts into butter one at a time. Transfer the dipped doughnut into a bag with the cinnamon sugar and shake until coated thoroughly. Doughnuts keep for 2-3 days.

In other, non-food news: meet Squirt!

Two friends of mine found three stray kittens under their shed yesterday. Most shelters were already closed for the day, and not sure what to do with them, they called me. Despite how insanely cute they were, I was unable to keep any. Luckily, though, Matthew took one. He's been looking for a kitten for several weeks now, so this was perfect! Squirt is super cute and sweet; I'll be sad to see him leave today.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


My little brother and Mandi are visiting this weekend, and we took Dakota to BARCStoberfest earlier today. There weren't a ton of things for dogs to do, but there were plenty of vendors selling dog toys, treats, clothing, etc. At DogFest last weekend, we found Ruby & Bailey, a dog treat company. We bought the fall mix bag (apple and pumpkin flavored treats). Dakota loved them, so we picked up another bag of treats from them today. My favorite part of the festival, though, was that BARCS had adoptable pets out and socializing with festival goers. I wish I could have adopted all of them; we met several sweet, friendly puppies! Dakota and I dressed up, too. Can you tell who we are?

The Compassion Over Killing table had vegan food samples!

Vegan hot dogs, too?!?!

Best friends.