Friday, October 30, 2009

Closing MoFo

If you just pay attention to the name, you might thing VeganMoFo is all about the food. And, to an extent, it is. But really, when over 500 people get together (whether it's online or in real life) with a common goal, I think it's even more about community. So what better way is there to wrap up VeganMoFo than with a potluck?

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I have a confession: I've never made risotto. Not because of intimidation by all the stirring and the waiting and the stirring (and the stirring), but because whenever I decide to make it, I get distracted by a recipe that sounds even better. Usually quinoa. So imagine how thrilled I was when I saw that Terry posted Quinoa Roasted Pumpkin Risotto to test for her upcoming book.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Autumn Rolls

I was sorting through my pantry recently and found a load of rice paper rolls. Suddenly, all I wanted to do was roll things. But what? Last time I had used these papers was for the Mango Summer Rolls from Vegan With a Vengeance, which were delightful, but I wanted to make something seasonal. Thus the Autumn Roll was born.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bubbles Don't Squeak

This post is kind of meta-MoFo: a VeganMoFo post inspired by another VeganMoFo post.

A couple of weeks ago, Heathen Vegan posted instructions for making Bubble and Squeak, which sounded really good to me. Just coming off a detox, I didn't want to stuff my face with fried potatoes, so I attempted a baked, parsnip-based patty that I'm going to call Bubbles Don't squeak.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mom Lunch

Yup, I'm still talking about my mother's new eating habits. I'm proud of her, dammit. And it gives me something to do while I detox. Here's a lunch I made her last week:

(I didn't use flash or play with this picture in Photoshop in any way, so the brightness of those carrots is scaring me a little).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Bars

I decided we should close out Sweets Week with something that won’t send us all into a diabetic coma just by looking at it: raw bars.

My mother is still trying to watch what she eats and is doing pretty well. She balanced out a big cheesy portion of baked ziti one day with tofu and mixed vegetables over brown rice (her first time ordering brown rice!) the next. And she ate all the fruit and nut bars I made her last week (she liked them so much she was hoping to have more last night and was very disappointed when I told her they’d still be in the fridge, firming up, when she went to bed), so it was time for another go around.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Birthday Baking

One of the all time best compliments I can get is when someone asks me to bake or cook for them. I know this is really more of a tribute to the person who created the recipe than me for just being able to follow instructions, but it's still exciting that they like what I do so much that they want me to do it again (and are even willing to pay for it, if I allow them to), instead of just asking for the recipe and doing it themselves. So we're continuing Sweets Week with cupcakes that were requested for a coworker's birthday. She asked if I could bring in chocolate mint cupcakes, using the same recipe I used for my birthday cake back in May (from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World), so I did.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ode to a Chocolate Chip Cookie

The last batch of cookies I made for the people who contributed to our bake sale was the chocolate chip cookies from Isa and Terry's upcoming Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I've made and posted about them too many times to count, so I won't get all redundant about how easy, fast and delicious they are, or about how everyone who's ever tried them has loved these crunchy cookies (once I solved the crumbling issue - make them a wee bit smaller).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles

How do I love these cookies? Let me count the ways.

OK, I'm not going to actually count the ways, because if you've been following VeganMoFo at all, you already know how awesome they are. I think at least half the participants have posted about them already. I'm a little late to the posting party, but not to the eating party - I've already made them quite a few times.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sweets Week

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s Sweets Week here at SSD HQ. This week’s VeganMoFo posts will feature cupcakes, cookies and maybe some other things to widen your smile and your waistline.

As you can see, Sunday was a very busy day:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fruity Friday: Mystery Fruit

Welcome to The Ides of MoFo. In honor of this auspicious occasion, I am pleased to present Fruity Friday.

During the summer, a coworker and I went to Grand Central Market every Friday to treat ourselves to a new fruit. Toward the end, we ran out of things we hadn't tried, but were lucky enough to come across a new fruit elsewhere. One Thursday night, we went to the Vegetarian Dim Sum House in Chinatown and passed a vendor selling fruit neither of us had had before. We didn't even know what it was called (and the signs were in Chinese). So we decided to buy it and eat it the next day for Fruity Friday. Help us discover what it is!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mom's Fruit and Nut Bars

My mother and I are on a quest to get her to eat better. After having absolutely no luck getting her to read The China Study, she's currently reading Eat to Live and thinks it makes a lot of sense. I don't think she'll ever go vegan, but in the past month or so, she's definitely become a barelyanymeatatarian, which I think rules (she even ordered her first cheeseless pizza today).

While looking for healthier alternatives to the candy and snacks she usually eats, my mother came across an ad for Mrs. May's Trio Bars and wanted me to order them for her. I refused, saying we can make them better ourselves. I hit the Internet, bookmarked about 473892 different raw bars, figured out what the basic deal was and got to playing with food myself. Thus Mom's Fruit and Nut Bars were born.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Night of Improv

The only thing I can think of that could be worse than your oven breaking during VeganMoFo is your oven breaking during VeganMoFo when you have a birthday cake due in about a week*. So far, no one has been able to repair our oven and I have no idea when we'll be getting a new one. Just as I was about to give up hope, I had a brainfart: Try the toaster oven! Improvise!**

So I did:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Knew I Forgot Something

Welcome to today's VeganMoFo trip down Memory Lane. Back in 2008, I offered to bake for everyone who sponsored me in that year's AIDS Walk. It ended up taking me ages to make something for everyone and even longer to remember to blog about it. Even longer = until today = over a year. Oops. Sorry, Internet! Better late than never, here's a small sample of what I made to thank the people who contributed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Curry Laksa

When it's not too spicy, I love curry and all things curry-related, so it surprised me when I realized I had never cooked with curry paste before, just powder. I remedied that recently, by testing a new recipe for Isa Chandra Moskowitz's upcoming whole foods book: Curry Laksa.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Asparagus Muffins

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: I love asparagus. I would gladly eat it in prepared any way, in any dish, at any time, in any place. My latest new asparagus experience was in a muffin, in August, at a picnic, in Prospect Park (suddenly this post sounds like a game of Clue).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pesto Rolls

If I had to pick my favorite herb, it'd probably be basil. It's not the most exotic herb around, but it's so pretty and fragrant that I can't help but love it and, by extension, love pesto. I'm always trying to find new ways to use the stuff. Most recently, I came up with pesto rolls, which are basically like a savory version of cinnamon rolls.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Speaking of sharing food with people one cares about, a few days after the aforementioned picnic, my little brother left to study abroad for a year. I offered to make him a farewell dinner of all his favorite things, which was easy for me, since despite eating everything, he absolutely loves vegan food.

He requested the Cesar Salad from Veganomicon, chili from Yellow Rose Recipes, grilled asparagus with lots of garlic and Raspberry Chocolate Chip Blondies from Vegan With a Vengeance.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Food and Friends

Whenever I see a food-related quote I like, it almost always says one of two things: Food is better when you share it with people you care for or food is a great way to show people you care.

Because of this, I try to cook and get people together for a picnic at least once a year. We spend loads of time together doing other things, including eating in restaurants and one another's homes, but it's not the same. Being outside on a nice day makes people happy and enhances the whole experience. It's an opportunity to eat and chat in a completely relaxed environment, without even the structure of table and chairs (if you sit in a different spot on the blanket when returning from the restroom, no one cares, but if you do that at the dinner table, your former neighbors will probably sniff their pits and check their breath).

My favorite type of picnic is brunch. For one thing, I just love brunch foods. I love to make them and I love to eat them. Another reason is that it's probably the most relaxed meal around. You eat brunch because you woke up too late for breakfast and are too hungry to wait for lunch. Late to start the day but eager to start the eating is my kind of deal.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Leggo My Lego Part II: The Barfening

Welcome back, MoFos! Hope you're all well.

Last week, I showed off my poor excuse of an attempt at the first draft of a Lego cake. Today, I'd like to discuss the lessons I learned and let you see how they didn't help. At all.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Leggo My...Lego?

I love to bake, and that works out well, because I'm pretty OK at it. I also love to decorate what I bake. That works out significantly less well:

Disapproving cake disapproves.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hot MoFos

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, to paraphrase The Zombies, it's the time of the season for MoFo.

If you're new to this blog, vegan talk, or the Internet, you may ask yourself "Where does that highway go?" "What is VeganMoFo?" So I'll tell you:

VeganMoFo (formally known as the Vegan Month of Food) is a play on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer's Month), except all non-fiction. For the month of October, about 360 denizens of the Internet (including me) will try to post about food daily, with the intention of showing off the wide and varied world of vegan eats.