Sunday, November 29, 2009

There's chocolate in my snowball

Seriously, there really is chocolate in my snowball, although this one is made of coconut snow. Rather than being annoyed by the uninvited presence of dirt or gravel in the outdoor stuff, I welcome these particular dark speckles in the food variety.

Back to Mofo again (but I promise to make it brief; I can see how this has gotten a bit out of hand), I decided to finish off the month of November with yet another Mofo memory in cupcake form. This one combines a few.

You may recall how I found the Sexy Sadie and her bakery home via the Cooking Vegan With Soul blog. Well, in the process, I also discovered the many other flavors the Sweet Avenue Bakery has to offer, like the Snowball and the Jet Black. I had planned on making one of each, but at the last minute decided to morph the two into this black and white version.

Reminded of Averie's cookie dough, as well as her chocolate snowballs (I'd seen a lot of raw macaroons during mofo), I shaped this traditionally snow white ball with cacao nib "chips" and placed it on top of a plain cookie dough cupcake (actually, the "cake" is basically my rawified and sexy reduced-fat cupcake base). Delicious!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dressing up your leftovers

Happy day after Thanksgiving everyone. Hope it was a good one.

Unfortunately, I was a bit under the weather for mine, but in the end, I still managed to have a good time. I took it easy, finding vegan fare at both houses, so today I'm whipping up a post-celebration salad with yesterday's untouched ingredients (who wants to eat a dish made by a sick person?).

It seems that is the theme of the day, as many of the morning shows were presenting their own creations out of Thanksgiving leftovers. Some were traditional, while others took their leftovers to another level (think curry and decadent pumpkin/chocolate milkshakes).

I decided to keep mine traditional, since I could barely taste my meal yesterday. Inspired by Rachael Ray's raw stuffing salad (which she served under turkey cutlets; In my opinion, the salad can easily stand alone as the star), I made my own version out of chopped carrot, celery, mushrooms, flat leaf parsley and apples, like hers. Then, I swapped out the bread for almonds and walnuts, and added some dried cranberries to really serve up the whole holiday experience in a bowl.

As for the seasonings, I used sea salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, garlic and some cinnamon for my own special touch. It was all tossed together with some lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and EVOO. It really does taste like Thanksgiving in one dish. Delish!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Last minute cupcake meal

If you were hoping I made my Thanksgiving in cupcake form this year (something a tad more filling than this miniature version), give this a try. Just whip up a savory mock meatloaf/mashed potato cupcake (you could even add a layer of raw stuffing and swap out the raw ketchup for cranberries) and pair it with this pumpkin trifle cupcake for dessert. Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanks for giving ...

... me the opportunity to post another flashback. After two years of blogging, I'm so grateful that you, my loyal readers, keep coming back.

Unfortunately, I've been unable to post as much as usual, so from time to time, it's nice to look back at holidays past. Maybe these Thanksgiving meal ideas will help inspire you in creating your rawified feast this year.

When I started this blog, I presented a traditional approach to making a festive raw plate, as seen at the top of this post. I made mock mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, marinated veggies and cranberry sauce. I also had this yummy apple crisp for dessert.

The following year, I had both brunch and dinner to create. Brunch was simple, as I easily whipped up these raw pumpkin muffins, which I enjoyed with the fresh fruit at my mother's house.

Later, I rawified a veggie pot pie recipe from my Vegetarian Times magazine, and served it alongside some kale, also inspired by the same article.

To finish off the meal, I made a raw version of my mom's chocolate pie, a favorite of mine growing up. It looked just like the cooked one, and tasted quite similar (I actually prefer a raw nut-based crust to the traditional baked stuff).

This year, I plan on taking it easy, being grateful for whatever raw or cooked vegan food I find. My mom is making sure to have the usual fresh fruits and veggies at her brunch, and she always has nuts to snack on. She'll even make her apple crisp wheat-free and vegan by my request.

Dinner will be at Matthew's grandmother's house again, where his uncle is always nice enough to bake me a sweet potato (yes, I typed "bake;" that's where I'm willing to fall off the raw wagon for a bit) and put some of the green beans to the side before cooking them. I also may be able to find some cranberries. Yum!

To freshen up the spread, I might bring a fall salad like these I posted last year (one is Rachael Ray's Autumn Double-Apple Salad and the other is inspired by Panera's Orchard Harvest Salad), or this one suggested by Rawkin Mom.

No matter what I decide to do, I know I'll enjoy spending time with my family members. I am so grateful to have them :-)

Friday, November 20, 2009

A miniature Thanksgiving

This little idea (literally) comes courtesy of Monique a.k.a. "Mo," who posted her miniature Thanksgiving part 1 and part 2 on her blog during last month's Vegan Mofo. Here's my quickie raw cupcake version, also inspired by last year's turkfruity (pictured in the flashback photo below).

To start, I constructed a mini turkfruity out of apples with dried blueberry eyes, which I proudly displayed atop a pumpkin cupcake. Then, I rounded out the teeny tiny meal with raw whipped icing/mock mash potatoes seasoned with mint, a little leftover date and nut crumble "stuffing," some dried cranberries (what's Thanksgiving without cranberries?) and a side of pumpkin seeds (it needed some green in there somewhere).

Now that's a sweet and petite holiday meal :-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Starbucks went vegan ...

... and now it is raw, too (and in cupcake form, of course).

The idea to veganize the popular pumpkin muffin with cream cheese filling came courtesy of Nom! Nom! Nom! To fulfill her craving for both pumpkin pie and cheesecake at the same time, she whipped up these Cheesecake For Your Pumpkin Pie Hole Muffins.

Now, I didn't rawify the cheesecake part, but I did come up with a raw visual tribute (I even photographed it from above, like its predecessor).

Using a modified version of Averie's (I can't thank her enough for encouraging me to participate in this year's mofo) pumpkin donut holes (mine was made in different ratios of pumpkin puree, flax and agave, as well as with the addition of nut "flour" and date paste), I formed the "dough" into a muffin/cupcake and filled it with the usual raw whipped icing (I also substituted the icing in place of the coconut oil when modifying the donut hole recipe). Then, like the Nom! Nom! Nom! muffin, I garnished it with some pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of agave. Yum! Yum! Yum! Give me some :-)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sadie's still got it

During Vegan Mofo, one particular cupcake (yes, this Mofo memory actually is a cupcake to start) really caught my eye. It was the Sexy Sadie from the Sweet Avenue Bake Shop I found via the Cooking Vegan With Soul blog. One look at this fine specimen (you can see it in the pic below, courtesy of this Cooking Vegan With Soul post), and I just had to rawify it.

It had been suggested to me to use beets in this red velvet "cake," but unfortunately, when the time came to make it (I have to just go with it when little lady gives me the chance), there were no beets in my kitchen. So, instead, I just did what I always do; worked with what I had on hand.

On that particular day, I had some dried berries (cranberries, blueberries and cherries), as well as some fresh raspberries. The combination of the two were a good substitute for the date paste in my classic raw chocolate cupcake base. The color probably would've been a closer match, if I hadn't accidentally added some of the dried blueberries in with the cranberries and cherries, but the taste more than made up for it.

Since I also didn't have a black cupcake liner, I made my own out of chocolate, like these lovely raw ladies (Heathy and Carmella have been making this kind). I also topped the whole thing off with a generous swirl of raw whipped icing and a sprinkling of finely chopped goji berries for that pop of red color. It may not be rawified red velvet, but it sure is sexy (or in this case, tasty) :-)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another cupcake split

Continuing with my Vegan Mofo cupcake memories, I opted to highlight one of the Urban Girl Scout's splits. She used them as a theme for several of her posts (kind of like when I get on a roll with my cupcakes, which seems to be still going), so it was hard to pick just one.

My first instinct was to select the berry cream chocolate pancake split, featured on the Mofo wrap-up, but then her following post made my decision making a cinch. Being that this is a mostly raw blog, I had to go with the split date version (practically a raw foodie staple). Delish!

Just like her, I split some dates, filling them with some yummy nut butter goodness. Then, I skipped the microwave part, proudly displaying them atop this yummy chocolate chip cupcake with a bed of banana, raw whipped icing, chocolate sauce and more chocolate chips (in this case, cacao nibs).

I think I'm having a case of deja vu again. But, I'm not complaining; banana splits and raw cupcakes are worth another try ... and another, and another ...


friday, november 13, 2009, continued ...

Worth checking the mail

I don't know if the weather is as wet in your neck of the woods, but it's been raining cats and dogs here for days. It is amazing that anyone would brave it to put this little package in my mailbox, and thanks to my hubby, it didn't have to stay in there for long (thanks Matthew).

The cute little key chain I mentioned I won (I got the sea foam green one) was neatly tucked inside. Finding it there really brightened my day. Thanks Jeanette for making/sending it to me. It arrived at the perfect time :-)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Want s'more bunnies?

This cupcaked (I just made up that term) Vegan Mofo memory comes courtesy of a combination of three blogs.

Using my last post's dough from Averie's blog, I formed these bunny-shaped cookies, similar to the bears featured on Cupcake Kitteh. Then, I took it a step further, filling them with raw whipped icing and chocolate sauce, like the mini bunny s'mores on Chow Vegan, and proudly displaying them atop a raw cupcake.

Now that I think about it, I may be experiencing yet another case of deja vu. This isn't the first time I've made a s'mores inspired raw cupcake, as I rawified this Isa and Terry creation last year :-)

tuesday, november 10, 2009, continued ...

My first choice

As I mentioned the other day, I am the proud winner of these dainty dangles (love them, by the way), although I never said which ones I picked. That's because I didn't know which ones I was going to get. It was a surprise.

And, my surprise arrived yesterday; it was my first choice, too. Now they'll definitely remind me of my hubby.

Thanks again Isle Dance (for the earrings, as well as permission to use the photo). I'm wearing them, as I type this :-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

This cookie's dolled up in dough

Still reminiscing about Vegan Mofo in cupcake (or in this case, "cake"/cookie) form, I made a mini tribute to my friend Averie's blog (she got me to participate in Mofo in the first place).

Although I've made raw cookie dough balls in the past, I never used this combination. My usual concoction consists of raw almond butter, tahini (sometimes I eliminate the almond butter and just use tahini), coconut butter, agave, vanilla and cacao nibs, while hers is a mixture of cashew/oat flour, agave, maple syrup, vanilla and vegan chocolate chips.

I just had to whip some up asap, but in my usual fashion, by making some tweaks. I didn't measure the ingredients and I replaced the maple syrup with date paste. I did, however, bend the rules a bit, using vegan chocolate chips instead of the really raw cacao nibs. A girl has a right to fall off the wagon, if she gets back on again, right?

Anyway, I opted to present this Vegan Mofo memory in an upside down version in honor of Averie's daughter, Skylar. As a little girl, I loved the doll cakes my mom made for me, so I formed the cookie dough around a mini Barbie and decorated it similar to how those cookie places in the mall frost their giant cookie "cakes." She has a top made out of chocolate sauce and a raw whipped icing ruffle around the bottom of the dress.

Thanks girls (Averie and Skylar) for the memories :-)

By the way, speaking of memories, this reminded me of another raw cupcake I already made with raw cookie dough. This is the one from last November. Talk about deja vu; it was the same date, too.

On another note, I might have a chance to get my hands on another Magic Bullet blender, or perhaps this opportunity could go to you. Chocolate-Covered Katie is having a kitchen gadget giveaway. Check it out :-)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Breaking the mold

Another one of my favorite posts from last month's Vegan Mofo was this one from Vessels and Wares. Just look at the cute mug and key chains this blogger made. Can you believe she was giving them away? (and I won a key chain, too. Yay for me!)

The post inspired me to mold some materials of my own, but instead of using clay, I formed my mug out of raw nut butter (the more solid stuff at the bottom of my cashew and almond butter jars). As promised, I also kept with the raw foodie theme, keeping the whole thing together with a cupcake.

Thank goodness I had something solid in the inside as support, since the nut butter was less than stable. It had to be chilled periodically throughout the molding process to preserve its shape.

Obviously, a nut butter handle was out of the question, and unfortunately, I was out of raw chocolate pretzels from this previous post. So, what was this girl to do?

I took a cue from my puppy post, attaching an apple slice in its place. This made the mug almost too cute to eat. But, just like the puppy, it would eventually meet the same fate.

And, what kind of raw cupcake was hidden beneath this creamy whipped topping (as in this raw whipped cream) within this edible mug? There is a hint sprinkled on top, as well as the garnish.

Inside the mug is a raw cinnamon roll, which I shaped to look like a cupcake using a reusable silicone mold (I did remove the mold prior to covering the "cake" in nut butter "clay"). I unveiled it for you below :-)


thursday, november 5, 2009, continued ...

I'm a winner x 2!

In the above post, I mentioned winning one of these cute key chains, but I later found out that I also won a pair of lovely earrings, as a symbol of my love story with my hubby (thanks again!).

To enter the contest, I had to share our story again (I already told a snippet of it in my We Like It Raw Pop Tart post, which explains my photo selection), as a comment on Isle Dance's site. I thought about snagging a pic to post here, so you could see my prize. However, I'd rather encourage you to visit her site to view all of her amazing photography. Which pair do you think I won?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Life after Mofo

Vegan Mofo is over for another year, so what can you expect next? Unfortunately for my loyal readers, you will be faced with less reading and visual material, as I'll be cutting back quite a bit.

Little lady is increasingly alert, needing more and more attention everyday. As a result, I have to confess that I only finished the last week of Mofo, because I did it all in advance.

I made it a personal challenge to post daily in the month of October, in addition to being a participant in Vegan Mofo. Not willing to give up so easily, I did whatever I could during Hayden's naps to build up material for the long haul. I then typed all my posts while feeding her (there's not much else I can do at those times), so they would be ready and waiting on the corresponding date.

Of course, it is unrealistic to keep up with that pace. I go back to work in December, and I have a lot of other goals to meet before then.

But, when I have the opportunity, I will keep you updated on what's happening around here. I also hope to rawify some of my mofo memories from other blogs in cupcake form (2 to 3 per week), minus the typed out recipes. I'll just provide a brief overview of what I did, since most of the recipes are already posted.

For instance, you may remember me pointing out the "Twist and Shout" pb cup from the Intellectual Blackout blog (it's pictured to the right). I made a quick raw version out of the usual raw whipped icing (but this time I swapped out the coconut butter for cocoa butter) and a filling of almond butter mixed with cocoa powder and agave. I topped it with some naturally-tinted coconut flakes and let it set in the freezer.

Since I planned on presenting it in cupcake form, I also filled a basic raw cupcake with some more chocolate filling (almond butter, cocoa and agave) and frosted it with some more raw whipped icing mixed with a touch more cocoa (I felt like it gave definition between the candy cup and the frosting, although I ended up leaving on the paper for even more color ... by the way, don't eat the paper). It was the perfect seat for this yummy treat :-)


monday, november 2, 2009, continued ...

Halloween memories in photo form

As opposed to cupcakes, I thought I'd share some Halloween memories in the following pics. My sister was nice enough to send them this morning. Thanks Lori :-)

Here's most of the crew. Jacob and his cousin Cameron are both jedi masters, while Cameron's brother Colin scared us all as a zombie. My mom is the witch peeking out from the back.

Even my sister Lori got dressed up as Sookie from "True Blood" (love her doctored up bottle of the stuff). Hayden is the sleeping flower I'm holding, so I tried to pass myself off as Anne Geddes, although I didn't really have a costume.

There are those crazy boys again. Are you scared yet?

You should be (sounds like the "Scare Tactics" episodes we watched that night). Check out our little zombie and his tombstone. He cracks me up.

And, last but not least, here's my mom's cat Tabitha. She just loves her chicken costume. Somebody needs to tell her that :-)