Saturday, October 4, 2008

I'm not dead... just poor! Haha!

My newly empty wallet has me headed towards new horizons, check out my delicious vegan meal ideas for $7! There will be seven new meals each Tuesday.

I'm about to head back to school for another BA (I just can't get enough of that college thing can I?) and my job has turned into part time... leaving little money or time for extra baking on the side. I still have to make the basic foods though, which has lead me to my new project

Shannie's Sinful Seven. Hope you'll check it out!

http://shanniessinfulseven.blogspot.com/

Monday, July 28, 2008

EGADS!


I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted! I'm such a bad blogger! I've been far too busy taking in the sights of the Oregon coast to bake, woe is me.

My parents came to visit from Florida and we spent a week going down the coast and saw some beautiful places. To the right is a picture of Crater Lake's Wizard Island. Crater Lake is this incredible lake that was created by volcanic eruptions like... seven thousand years ago.

A friend of ours works as a researcher there this summer and we're hoping to arrange a camping trip soon (my parents idea of roughing it is no cable tv).

Even though I grew up in Florida, I'm not a big beach girl. I blame my irrational fear of the sun and bathing suits. For my money Oregon beachs totally trump the boring sand pits that are Florida's beaches-- my parents strongly disagree... but really you can't beat this. Sure the water is too cold for swimming, but it's just absolutely gorgeous to look at, even on hazy over cast days that are prevalent on the Oregon coast.

As a thank you to our friends who took great care of our Lylah Bean & Fitzgerald while we were gone (and answered my 1.5 million phone calls to check in on them) I whipped up a cherry cake. I found some amaretto cherry pie filling at Crater Lake and I thought it would be delicious in a dark chocolate cake. I remembered my mom making some cake from a box cake mix and a can of cherry pie filling about a million years so I decided to try to replicate it without the box mix. It turned out great. I pulsed the jar (13.5 oz) of cherry pie filling in the food processor and added it to my chocolate (vegan) mayo cake recipe (which I left out the water). The batter was VERY thick so I added a dash of soy milk to thin it out and separated the batter in two cake tins. I baked the cakes for about 20 minutes until done but still moist. While the cakes were cooling, but still warm I glazed them in some black cherry preserves I had found at the co-op. Instead of using "buttercream" between the layers I used the cherry preserves. I added about 4 tablespoons of the black cherry preserves to my basic "buttercream" recipe which gave it a lovely pink color (which the Oregon lighting doesn't really capture even with two photo lights directed at the cake and my amazing camera) dotted with some cherry skins.

I was surprised that the cherry flavor was not overwhelming. It was great-- cherry isn't exactly my thing so next time I'm going to throw in some amaretto extract into the cake and frosting and decorate with some dark chocolate ganache splatters on the icing next time to give it some more flavor profiles. The amaretto flavor wasn't as pronounced as I would have liked once I added the preserves and icing.

In other news, I'm on a roller derby league thats just starting up and we're having a bad ass bake sale sometime in the near future, so I'll be sure to be baking and posting a lot more now that the summer has calmed down. So far the best derby name I've come up with is TNT (Tits N Tofu) which is a hommage to my old nickname in high school TnA (Tits N Apathy-- I used to have no ass what so ever, that has changed in my "old" age).

I leave you now with the reunited (and it feels so good) Lylah Bean & Fitzgerald.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Summertime!


Ah... summer. Time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little R&R.
Unless your name is Shannon Pfingsten! I have been ridiculously busy lately. Nicole came and went and we had an absolute blast! The following weeks my in-laws visited and we're just recovering from that. In two weeks MY parents come for a week long tour of the Oregon Coast.

Whew.

Unfortunately I haven't had all the time in the world to bake for pleasure, but I have been eating some incredible food!
(Yes, probably the least attractive picture of me, of all time, but theres a great vegan donut in it, so it's totally worth it!)
Our first stop on the "Eat your way through Oregon" tour with Nicole was Voodoo Doughnut which we visited as soon as her plane landed. I haven't had many vegan donuts in my time, but these are hands down the best I've had. Great texture and flavor... not dense at all! We grabbed lunch at The Hungry Tiger Too... but I've already reviewed that here.


Next stop was Newport, my friend is an eco-tourism guide there so we were excited to go out whale watching with him. Unfortunately we didn't see anything as far as whales went but we still had a blast. We did get to see Sea Lions though, they were awesome! I was worried about finding vegan options in Newport since the whole town is fish crazy. Ever wonder what happens when you go into a seafood restaurant and ask for something vegan?
Spicy tempeh and vegetables over thai noodles. Delicious! This restaurant didn't even have any vegetarian items listed on their menu so I was so pleased they had tempeh on hand for us and they came up with something more interesting then a green salad with oil & vinegar.Nicole was excited to hear that one of her favorite bands, Sea Wolf, would be performing in Portland while she was in town. Since I live outside of Portland we decided to spend the night in the city. We prepared for the show by drinking beer out of mason jars at Bye & Bye and eating AMMMMAZING food. It's an all vegan bar which is great-- Nicole and I aren't used to have quite so many choices and we took forever to make our dinner selections... but it was worth all the thought. Nicole had the meatball sub and chili. I had a chili dog. We split a side order of tofu, chips & salsa, and more chili. Delicious. The service was great too.After a few mason jars... our pictures began to look like this...
After a great night in Portland we woke up and ate vegan sausage and the best maple syrup I've ever had wrapped in a waffle. Crazy, ridiculously, good. The Flavour Spot isn't just a small waffle cart in the parking lot of a video store... it is a diamond in the rough. They don't advertise their vegan options on their menu (what the heck) but the owner (who was nice enough to chat with me) told me they just opened another location as well! They have a few vegan options... peanut butter & jelly, vegan sausage and maple syrup (not to be confused with their veggie sausage which is not vegan), and strawberry & vegan whipped cream. Yum, Ian & I stopped by Flavour Spot again after dropping Nicole off at the airport.

I was sad to see Nicole go, but I had to hurry into "in law" mode and get everything ready for their visit. We had some friends over, as well as Ian's family, for dinner and conversation while they were in town. I think I made a pretty decent spread, and the non-vegans were just as happy as the vegans.
We had... homemade gaucamole, homemade roasted red pepper hummus, asian dumplings with miso ginger dipping sauce, balsamic marinated portabello mushrooms, champagne & mushroom pate', salad, and "chicken" fingers with honey mustard dipping sauce.















"Chicken" Fingers (Southern Style Seitan from this post. I doubled the recipe and made them into strips instead of patties)













Asian Dumplings, soooo simple to make. I bought premade vegan wonton wrappers. Sauteed some garlic & bagged coleslaw mix (carrots, cabbage, etc) until it wilted. Stuffed the wontons with about a tablespoon of the veggies and baked for ten minutes.

Now I am off to badger Nicole into uploading her pictures from the vacation... hope everyone is getting some much needed R&R this summer!

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