Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sweet Freedom

I have a couple more test recipes to show you from the splendid Ricki's upcoming Sweet Freedom cookbook.

This is a delicious Chocolate-Covered Caramel (Ricki posted about these here with a much more attractive photo).

Behold, a bowl of pineapple pieces topped with a dollop of Ricki's incredible Soy-Free, Sugar-Free Coconut Whipped "Cream." It took all the restraint I had to not eat every last bit of this whipped cream with a spoon!

By the way, Ricki's been nominated for a Best Food Blog Award in the Writing category over on the Well Fed Network. Voting is already closed, so keep your fingers crossed for her to win! Also, she's holding a contest for vegan goodies. Follow this link to enter.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Backlog and Update

I'm fairly backlogged, so I'll be rolling out posts about older food adventures and those that I've been experiencing much more recently (I've been cooking and baking up a storm!). Please bear with me so you don't miss anything!

First, though, an update regarding my Vita-Mix plea. Allison of Vita-Mix unceremoniously left me the following comment on Monday:

I'm sorry I'm a bit late to the conversation. Thanks for the request but we have reached our product limit for blogger reviews.

Allison for Vita-Mix

Thank you for responding, Allison, but I'd say it's Vita-Mix's loss for missing out on whatever reviews I'd have written if I were given one of your machines. There's no way I could buy one for myself and that means no free press for you!

Enough about that. Let's talk about Hannah Kaminsky's newest book!

Sadly, I didn't get a single decent shot of this scrumptious pie. It's called Cherry Macaroon Tart and it's honestly the best pie I've ever tasted. You see, I've never been a fan of pie crust and berry pie filling is the only type I've ever enjoyed (while I love fresh apples with a passion, cooked apples don't really do it for me). Until this tart came into my life, I would eat the pie filling and leave the crust behind. All that has changed and now I can have my pie and my crust, too! Ok, that saying doesn't quite work in this instance, but I tried.

Another test recipe for Hannah's new cookbook is that for Rum Raisin Fudge Brownies. These contain a sophisticated and decadent flavor combination that was a huge hit! Once again, my poor excuse for a photo doesn't do Hannah's recipe justice.

Rest assured that there's much more to come.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Very Vegan Christmas

I've had an extremely busy and upheaval-filled couple weeks, so please indulge me as I take you back in time to Christmas night. As you may recall from my Christmas lunch post, I was invited to a vegan Christmas party that evening. What better way to celebrate a holiday than with a group of like-minded people? I met some new people and enjoyed the company of those I already knew. When I sit back and think about it, it's shocking how fortunate I am.

The photo above is of the delicious buffet. There were crackers topped with tapenade and Miso Mayo (my first time trying it and it was good!), veggies and dip, vegan Doritos and spinach dip (I was hoping to find a link for the recipe on their blog, but no such luck). Real Food Daily goods included Caesar salad, tempeh meatballs, spinach linguine with marinara, cupcakes, and cookies. Our fabulous hostess made an amazing cheesy potato bake that is pictured below (I still need to ask for the recipe...note to self) along with delicious sweet potatoes and green beans whose origins I don't know (most likely our wonderful host's and hostess's doing again).

In the dessert category were Dee's Nuts donuts (I had half of one and thought it was ok; I guess I need to try them fresh), chocolate chip cookies (also ok), and sugar cookies (soft and quite good). Oh, yes, and in the foreground of the below photo is my dessert contribution: Persimmon Blondies, a test recipe for the ultra-talented Hannah Kaminsky's forthcoming book (more on those later).

Our hosts provided an ample selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including multiple varieties of vegan eggnog and vegan chocolate peppermint milk. I'm telling you, this party was divine. The company was engaging and lively and there was even an impromptu jam session that left me wishing my guitar-playing skills were ready for the public. Thankfully, there were many others talented enough to share their musical abilities. A Very Vegan Christmas, indeed.

As for those Persimmon Blondies, I've been quietly testing recipes for Hannah for a few months now (don't worry, I do have photos of the other couple recipes!). Hannah's blog and first cookbook are evidence of her incredibly ingenuity, creativity, and talent. This latest twist on blondies further displays those traits and results in a moist, delicious treat. The party-goers raved about them, so I can safely say that I'll be baking them again!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dear Vita-Mix

My Dearest Vita-Mix Fairy Godparent:

You have gifted so many deserving vegan bloggers with brand new Vita-Mix 5200s. I'd just like to remind you that I, too, have been a very nice vegan blogger and am deserving of such a gift. If you were to choose me as a recipient, I promise that I would put it to excellent use! I would make soups, nut butters, smoothies, grain mixes, and so much more in a Vita-Mix if I were so lucky as to have one of my very own.

So, I'm asking you sweetly and kindly to please send me a Vita-Mix to have and to hold and to test and review for you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Yours truly,