Saturday, January 17, 2009

sneaky chocolate cake.

i call this cake sneaky because it has two cups of zucchini in it. my mom has been making it for years and years in an attempt to make us kids eat our veggies. it's kind of pointless, because really there's nothing healthy about this cake at all. of course, that's what makes cake fun.

the grated zucchini adds a nice texture and keeps the cake moist. i've always just used powdered sugar to top it, but i bet this would be amazing coated with a nice glaze or drizzled with chocolate. mmm, chocolate.

sneaky chocolate cake

1/2 c plus 1 T vegan margarine
2 c sugar
3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
egg replacer for 3 eggs (i use bob's red mill)
1/2 c vanilla almond milk or other milk sub
2 t vanilla
2 c coarsely grated, unpeeled zucchini (about 2-3)
2 1/2 c flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon

cream margarine, gradually adding sugar, beating until fluffy. beat in chocolate. add egg replacer, beat. beat in almond milk, vanilla, and zucchini.

in a seperate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. add to creamed mixture, beat well.

pour batter into a 10-inch bundt pan. bake at 350 F for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. cool in pan 10-15 minutes before removing. dust with powdered sugar.

oh, and i'd like to share some pictures my friend took. we recently spent a day in fort worth at sundance square and the modern art museum. the building itself is a work of art, it's incredible.

drinking black coffee... obviously

lovely. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

meatless in cincinnati.

well, i've finally gotten back into the grind after a very nice break and have officially started my last semester of high school. last semester! woo hoo! that thought is the only one keeping me from freaking out that i'm taking seven classes. jeeeesh.

this is some whoppin' good chili. and that's coming from a chili expert (aka a texan.)
it's very different from my traditional texas-style chili. what is texas-style chili, you ask? it's simple really: take any regular spicy bean chili, add rotel brand diced tomatoes n green chilies, and you've got texan chili.
like i said though, this is different. the addition of sweet spices and cocoa give it a wonderful depth and flavor.

cornbread as a side is a given. i always eat cornbread with chili. and when you cut it in half and drizzle agave all over while its still warm and it crystallizes, oh god... heaven.

cincinnati-style chili
adapted slightly from the complete idiot's guide to vegan cooking

2 1/2 cups water
2 T ketchup
1 T soy sauce
1 c TVP granules
1 medium onion, diced
2 t olive oil
1 T minced garlic
1 1/2 T chili powder (or more, depending on how hardcore you are)
1 t cinnamon
1 t sea salt
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t cayenne
1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (16 oz) can great northern beans
4 t cocoa powder
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf

pour 1 cup boiling water over the TVP granules. mix in ketchup and soy sauce. let stand to rehydrate for 10 minutes.

heat olive oil in a large pot and saute onion until soft. add garlic, chili powder, cinnamon, salt, cumin, oregano, paprika, black pepper, allspice, cloves, and cayenne. saute 2 more minutes.

stir in TVP mixture, remaining 1 1/2 cups water, tomato sauce, beans, cocoa powder, vinegar, and bay leaf. cover, reduce to low, and cook 10 to 15 minutes (mine needed way longer... like 40?) or until thickened.

Friday, December 26, 2008

the aftermath.

christmas is over!! how very sad. i hope everyone had a good holiday filled with food and presents and all that mushy love crap.

what did *i* do on christmas, you ask?!

for starters, i made cinnamon buns for breakfast.

picture taken mid-drizzle... yum. the almondy icing went perfect with coffee.

as far as presents go, i got a bunch of awesome stuffs including clothes and a copy of my absolute favorite piece of music, a schumann piano concerto. obviously though, you guys are only interested in the food-related goodies, so here ya go:

vegan candy! newman's sweet dark chocolate x2, green and black's 70% dark, dagoba (i'm not sure if the name is a star wars reference or just a coincidence) mint chocolate x2, sunspire chocolate raisins and chocolate almonds, huge bag of candied ginger, and some random japanese fruity things hidden under there.

a DONUT PAN! so i can make delicious vegan donuts without the bothersome and artery-clogging deep frying.

a lovely recipe book so i can have a place other than my laptop to keep all of my favorite recipes from you guys ;)

a WWF sweatshirt. not food-related, but kind of vegan-related?

here is the cinnamon bun recipe:

cinnamon buns
veganized from baking bites

1/2 cup water, warmed
2 tsp sugar
2 packets active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk, warmed
2 ener-G eggs
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp earth balance, softened
5 1/2-6 cups flour

Combine first three ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let stand for 10 minutes, until yeast is foamy.
Add almond milk, "eggs", salt, sugar, earth balance and 3 cups of flour. Mix until well incorporated and smooth. Add 2 more cups of flour. Mix until smooth. Add any remaining flour in smaller increments until dough comes together and away from the sides of the bowl. Dough will be slightly sticky, but very smooth.
Form dough into a ball and place in greased, covered bowl to rise until doubled, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

3-4 tbsp vanilla almond milk
Brown sugar
1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.
Coat two 9×13 glass baking dishes with cooking spray or butter.
Remove dough from bowl onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide dough in two and roll each piece out into (roughly) a 10×14 inch rectangle. Brush each rectangle with milk, dust throughly with cinnamon and top with brown sugar. Sprinkle with raisins, if desired. Roll in a jelly-roll fashion beginning at a short end. Pinch seam shut. Repeat for second rectangle.
Slice logs at 1 inch intervals and place rounds in the baking dish so they are just touching.
Bake 15-20 minutes at 400F, until tops are golden brown.
Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Cut apart and drizzle with glaze.
Makes about 20 buns. (i halved the recipe and got 15, but mine were small)


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
Enough almond milk to form a pourable consistency

Stir ingredients until smooth with a fork. Drizzle over cinnamon buns.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

my life as of late: a photo essay

okay, so i haven't blogged in a long time, obviously. so i decided that instead of boring you all with a painfully long post i'd simply put up a photo essay, because not only does that sound all sophisticated-like and artsy it's alot more fun. woo hoo!

pumpkin pie.

foam sculpture from 3D design class, cast in aluminum

carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.. this wasn't vegan, but it's quite lovely anyhow

sporting my humane society shirt, although you can't see it.

cranberry pie.

my grandma's molasses crinkles, veganized!

creamy mac n cheeze from fat free vegan. actually by the time i took this photo it kind of hardened as saucy pasta is apt to do. but i promise it was creamy at some point in time and was very delicious.

bonus video: dr gradus ad parnassum! i'm playing it for part of my college audition. i've been practicing my ass off lately. around 3 hours a day. (does this video work? i'm not sure, i embedded it from facebook)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

temporary hiatus.

just posting to let you know i'm here and i'm not going to abandon my blog.
life has been too stressful to bother making nice and pretty food, let alone snapping pictures of and writing about it. not to mention i've been letting myself get distracted by reading all of your lovely blogs instead of writing papers and studying... bad alaina!

so for the foreseeable future (or at least until nutcracker is over and i have my college stuff under control) i will be taking a break from blogging. i'll be back probably in a few weeks with tons of pictures so expect a painfully long post!

Monday, November 10, 2008

maple-fig glazed acorn squash.

i had two sad little acorn squashes that i'd been neglecting for a few weeks. every time i would open the fridge i could almost hear them pleading for me to cook them into something yummy. it was getting so annoying that i finally broke down. actually, i'd been thinking about what to make but with my busy schedule i can usually only cook on mondays and wednesdays and maybe one weekend day. needless to say, those are my favorite days of the week.

i know these photos are practically identical, i just couldn't decide which one was better so i'm posting them both. ;P

maple-fig glazed acorn squash
2 acorn squashes
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup fig preserves
3/4 tsp ginger

preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
slice the ends off the cute lil squashes. if you're a weakling like me you may want to microwave them for about five minutes first so they're a bit softer and easier to cut. next slice the squashes into four rings each and scrape out the goop.
place the rings on a cookie sheet (line it with parchment paper, or spray with oil). bake for 15 minutes (around 10 if you nuked them first).
meanwhile whisk together the maple syrup, fig preserves, and ginger in a small bowl.
after squash is ready take it out of the oven and brush with the glaze. put it back in for 15 minutes. then take it out and brush it again, and bake 10 more minutes or until tender.

i scraped out the insides of my rings to eat it. i wasn't sure if you're supposed to eat the skin... yes? no? at any rate, this recipe is quite good if you basically want to eat candy for dinner.

p.s. i've been tagged by josie!

the rules are to write seven things about yourself, then tag seven other people to do the same.
so, here are my seven:

1. i've played piano ever since i can remember, and i've taught it since i was 13.

2. i've also done ballet since i was 3 1/2 and i used to be in a pre-professional company but i left this year since i decided i wanted to devote my time to other things.

3. i love, LOVE sweaters. especially the grandpa variety.

4. when i was little i thought it would be fun to put my arm on a conveyor belt at the wal-mart checkout counter and it got sucked under almost all the way. and yes, i was pretty traumatized.

5. if i'm not studying, i spend my weekends hanging out around coffee houses and bars with my friends. also, most of my friends are college-aged because i kind of hate highschoolers (hypocritical, yes?)

6. i have a weakness for tattooed and pierced boys... yummy.

7. my dream is to someday live in austin in a little hippie house and paint the whole thing in east indian-type murals.

i don't know who to tag... everyone's already done it! so if you're reading this and haven't filled it out yet, consider yourself tagged and get to it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

pumpkin cranberry scones.

wow. what words are there that would adequately express my new love of veganomicon? i honestly can not think of any.

before cutting--scone pizza!! i made my circles a tad too thin i think :P consequently i got some impressively large scones. seriously, these mommas were big. not to mention freakin' delicious.

sorry for the poopy pictures. i decided that i am just not a photographer at 9 in the morning.

oh, by the way, can someone tell me why colin powell insists on having his name pronounced "colon"? did his parents seriously name him after an organ? that's like me naming my kids "spleen" or "pancreas." or, "small intestine." gross much?

(you don't actually have to tell me, this has just been bothering me for the past few days.)