Apr 15, 2008

Cinnamon Buns - Oh, the joy of punching!

I made cinnamon buns because, well, why wouldn't you? Why am I not making cinnamon buns every second of my life? I thought about this a lot and decided the only reason was because I might get fat. But after making the little bastards, I realize that could never happen, because this is a workout. I mean, Food Pilates may be an up-and-coming exercise program if someone with a lot of money ever makes these things. Someone, I'd like to add that I'd be more than happy to work with you on that project, as long as I get to wear my new boots to class.

I know, I know, Demonia, but they're fuzzy, too.

I adapted the recipe a bit because I wanted to use whole wheat flour. That's right. I'm part of the scandalously regular pro-fibre agenda. There. My hat is in the ring.

With the whole wheat flour, you're gonna need a bit more water. Not much, and maybe some drops for the fingeroonies during the rollout process. Bonus points if you yell "Autobots, roll out!" when you do this.

Vegan Cinnamon Bun FUN FIESTA

3 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole wheat flour

Combine yeast, sugar, and water in a small bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes in a warm place. If your yeast does not bubble, it is dead and the dough will not rise. Throw out the mixture and start again with new yeast.

*There was an option to do this with a breadmaker but I'm not a fancy uptown bread-machine owning pastry fascist so here are the instructions by hand*

In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the nutmeg and salt. Add the flour in batches, stirring after each addition, until the mixture forms a cohesive ball of dough (it will pull away from the sides of the bowl). You will need about 3 1/2 cups of flour. Turn out onto a floured counter top and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. This can take up to 15 minutes. Flour your work surface frequently to prevent sticking.

Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray (or use one tablespoon of oil) and place dough inside. Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm area for 1 hour. While the dough is rising, make the filling.

1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
OPTIONAL: raisins (I excluded them because, fuck raisins, seriously)

Mix margarine, sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup, vanilla, nuts and/or raisins (if using) in a small bowl until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Punch dough down and divide into 2 pieces. Put 1 piece of dough back into the bowl and cover to prevent it from drying out. Place 1 piece on a floured work surface. Pat dough into a rectangle.

Using a rolling pin, roll out dough into a 9X13 rectangle. (Important! I ran ahead and made a huge sheet, about 2 feet by 3 feet, and the dough was not into the experience.)

Spread half of the filling mixture onto the dough using a spatula, leaving a 2-inch border at the bottom. Start rolling up the dough starting at the top left-most corner and working your way along the length of the dough. Try not to stretch the dough too much when rolling. Continue rolling until you reach the edge of the filling. Moisten the plain strip of dough (below the filling) with water and roll the dough down to seal. Let the roll rest while you finish the second roll.

With the seam side down, cut each roll into 4 equal pieces. Place, cut side down, in an oiled 9-inch square baking pan or in the middle of a baking sheet lined with parchment. Cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Place rolls in preheated 350 F oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and filling is bubbling. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before serving.

Gooey-Ass Entrepreneurial Icing:
Powdered (icing) sugar
Soy milk
Vanilla extract
Maple syrup

Put some icing sugar in a bowl, add a little soymilk till it gets faux-creamy, a few drops of vanilla, and then some maple syrup. I can't really give amounts but basically it's 75% icing sugar, 25% everything else. You'll know what to do as you're making it, so cowgirl up and give'er!

If you'll excuse me, I have some warm clods of fun to scarf back. It's been a long 2 hours.

Apr 7, 2008

Orange Chocolate cupcakes fit for the King

After making dinner I still had crazy energy (thanks, veganism!) so I said "Why the hell not?" and made some cupcakes for dessert. That's generally how I cook; the "why the hell not" method. See, if I want to cook something, I ask two questions:

1. Do I have the ingredients?
-if the answer is "no": Can I substitute anything for the ingredients I'm missing?
-if the answer is "no": Why the hell not?
2. If the answer is yes: Then why the hell not?

As a result I present to you some orange chocolate cupcakes, from the excellent (and ubiquitous) Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. I'll link to the basic recipe - the icing was sort of a creation though, so here's the fixins' for that.

Basic Chocolate Cupcakes here

Orange Frosting

(I didn't have the Earth Balance shortening so the frosting wasn't really as "buttercream-y" as the one in the book. Y'all may wanna throw some in there as I found this frosting a bit too sweet.)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp extra nonhydrogenated margarine
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange juice from a can of mandarin oranges
  • 1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer
  • 15 drops red food colouring and 10 drops yellow food colouring
  • cute little mandarin oranges from aforementioned can
  • statue of Elvis Presley
  1. Beat the margarine until all creamy.
  2. Add the sugar in 1/2 cup batches and add a few drops of orange juice and food colouring with each batch. Beat for about 3 more minutes - you'll see the pretty swirlies start to form.
  3. I added an extra tbsp of margarine at the end as the liquid ingredients made it a wee thin.
  4. Add the soy milk, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.
  5. Frost those bitches and luxuriate in your own awesomeness (not optional)
They were gone by the end of the night. And I'm feeling pudgy today. Pudgy...and satisfied. They went over big with the King too.

Black Bean and Yam Burritos with marvelous "Cheese" sauce

Yesterday my old man and I set up a portable kitchen island and to celebrate I made a fancy meal. I can't get enough counterspace. I mean, I have been really lucky in life to date with kitchens. My apartment in Montreal had a kitchen the size of a large living room; my first apartment back in Toronto had an entire galley-style hallway kitchen; and this one is sorta lofty but has limited counterspace. So the island was welcomed with fanfare and foofarrah and here's what I did with it.

The burritos started as a recipe from VegWeb but I didn't like the prep method much - I like my beans mashed up when they're in burritos, or else they sort of roll out of the wrap and get everywhere and it's a problem, a serious problem, that results in fashion emergencies. I change FOR dinner, not after dinner. So I added some nuked yam chunks (about 4 minutes in the mike) and mashed it all together to make the filling.

The superstar was the "cheese" sauce. This is the first "cheese" recipe I've made that actually pretty much tasted like cheese, and I want to share it with you because sharing is caring.

From the excellent vegancooking community on LJ:

"Cheese" Sauce by VampireFodder

Mix all of these ingredients together:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tbsp. vegetable stock
1 tbsp. tumeric - I used cumin instead since I had no turmeric, and it was fucking AWESOME.
1 tbsp. vegan parmesan cheese (I used Florentino Parmazano)

Then add:
2 cups water
1 tbsp soya sauce

and whisk it all together until it is well blended, with no lumps. Heat the mixture on low heat, stirring very often until it begins to thicken and bubble. Allow it to bubble approx. 45 seconds, and remove from heat.

Then, stir in:
1 tbsp mustard (I used dijon)
1 tbsp margarine

Went over huge with my old man and myself. I think I'll use cumin more, I really enjoyed the flavour and the smell. One fun thing about the transition to veganism - all the new spices to learn and try.

For dessert I made some cupcakes...

Apr 5, 2008

Fruit Salad: EXPOSED

While grocery shopping this aft, I picked up one of those pre-made fruit salads at the grocery store to munch on back at the ranch. It looked great - pineapple, strawberries, blueberries - that's serious num factor. Right?


My friends, the time has come to demand honesty in packaging, and that means the end of the term "fruit salad".

After eating the pineapple and the strawberries, which ended up being literally one piece of pineapple and one strawberry cut into 6 shuriken-thin slices, what was left? Why, what's always left! FUCKING MELONS.

If you like melons, you will like this salad. If, like me, you find the taste of melons similar to the taste of feet, you have been ripped off again by the fruit salad ILLUMINATI.

Yes, melons technically qualify as fruit. Everyone knows this; everyone knows. But to me, "fruit" is plural. That means "many fruits". That means "the U.N. of light salads".

That does not mean "this salad is made entirely of melons with two pieces of fruit that actually taste pleasant spread out on top to fool you into purchasing it."

I checked the bottom and I saw the melons and I, like many melon-loathers before me, sighed and resigned myself, but dudes...dudes. Look at that salad. Look at that orphaned, isolated blueberry.

That is a melon salad.
That should be labeled "Melon Salad With Melancholy Blueberry".
That should be named "Lie Salad".

Wernher von Braun, Little Green Men, and some great psykobilly music

I am a huge fan of Lehrer's, and I recommend you check out this amazing satirist - quite ahead of his time.

Von Braun was a Nazi scientist who came to work for the Americans, helping to eventually perfect the atom bomb. And the atom bomb is pretty much what began, well, the Atomic Age!

A lot of the aesthetic of the 50's is centred around "space". And a big part of the draw for me to the retro aesthetic (long before discovering amazing things like Dr. Chud) was the flowing art of Brave Spacemen and Little Green Men, and their wildly creative gadgets.

I'm running around today taking pictures of all my "space stuff". After dinner tonight I'll have a new recipe and some pics. I hate when people post "I'M GONNA POST STUFF LATER KK" but I wanted to break it up into a few posts so you're not like, whoa, that's a lotta post.

And thanks to The Stylish Vegan for linking me on his blogroll! What a prince!

Apr 2, 2008

Pasta-Free Tofu Lasagna

Was expecting La Liz and her lovely man over for my first fancy dinner in the new pad. The second (I mean the second) this thing went in the oven, she called up sick with a migraine. Ah well.

But, the lasagna must still be eaten. I took the recipe from one of the net's great vegan resources (and another "Eat To Live"-er), Fat Free Vegan.

The prep was a lot easier than I thought - whipped the whole thing up in like, 15 minutes - but here's a truth I'll tell you and I don't care who disagrees. Slicing zucchinis lengthwise into 1/4" slices SUCKS. I mean on the Monsanto level of sucking. You get the first 3 or 4 ok, then the zucchini starts saying "No, no, I refuse to participate in this wanton display of nose-thumbing to the pasta industry" and you slip, slip, slip and end up with 400 little wee thin pieces of zucchini. BUT HEY it's edible and serves the purpose. But yeah. Watch out for that.

It was frickin' delicious. Huge, too. There was a LOT of liquid in the bottom of the pan when I scooped out our servings, and I'm thinking maybe I should have pressed the tofu, but the recipe didn't say to do that so I declare myself an innocent victim!

My music - the old stuff

So way back in the hallowed 90's I was the lead singer of a band called Mojo Engine.
I spent a lot of time gigging, smiling, and feeling hopeful.
Unfortunately we broke up, as bands always do, and after a long time (uh..lessee..ten years?) I have been teaching myself to make music at home, with software and shit.
I can't play an instrument. I have tried, believe me. But my brain just don't work that way.

Feel free to have a listen and try not to laugh out loud!

Healing Heart Designs - Cruelty-Free Clothing with a punk-ass edge

Healing Heart Designs has an Etsy store that makes me wet my pants. Everything is handmade, 100% cruelty-free, Canadian-owned-and-operated, and extremely original. I've met Becca a few times and she's very awesome (and extremely creative, so go check it out!)

Vegan Etsy in general is a lovely resource. I get sick of triple-checking things I buy (remember, I'm still new to this!) and it's great to support other vegans too - especially people brave enough to strike out a living in what is still a niche field.

Go Healing Heart and go new friend!

Apr 1, 2008

Five Dumbest Questions To Ask A Vegan

From The Stylish Vegan - The Five Dumbest Things To Ask a Vegan

I won't just repost to look like I'm awesome, click that sucker and go have a good laugh.

This one I will repost though, because it killed me:

Q: If everyone just stopped eating meat, what would happen to all the cows? They’re only here to be eaten.

A: They’d probably make kick-ass pets. And just think how happy they’d be knowing no one’s going to torture them or take their children away or kill them after driving them in packed metal trucks through scorching heat. Oh and the wonder of walking Elsie through the neighborhood on her designer collar and leash. Paradise, I tell ya, paradise.

Right the fuck on.

Now that's a god damn wedding cake, amigos.

Yes, Virginia, there is vegan fondant!
This'll make the in-laws happy, I bet.

There ARE TOO vegan zombies!

I have always wondered if zombies poop. They eat constantly - even if their digestive systems are null and void, all that food has to go somewhere, or else their stomachs (already decomposing) would just explode, like the cows in Diablo 2.
Yet if zombies poop, would they then eat the poop as it was undigested human flesh, which they crave constantly? Could a zombie be kept in captivity using this eat/poop method?

Tofu, The Vegan Zombie over here is pretty much the Restaurant At The End Of The Universe of zombie stuff. And he's so cute!