Hello there! So far this week has been great, considering it's only Tuesday I think that's pretty good odds! I am counting this weekend in the greatness of the week. Ian & I treked over to Sweetpea Bakery (link can be found in my side bar) to taste some of their vegan treats. I had the Chocolate & Coconut Cupcake. It was a beautiful cupcake drizzled with chocolate ganache and sprinkled with a bit of toasted coconut.
Unfortunately it was a good cupcake. I mean this because it was only good, not great-- which frustrated me. There was a nice "milk" chocolate flavor to the frosting-- which is a nice change from the typical dark chocolate found in vegan baked goods. Unfortunately there was little to no coconut flavor. I was expecting a nice mellow nutty flavor to smooth out the chocolate and I was disappointed at the lack of coconut flavor. Ian didn't taste any coconut at all. Hurmph!
Ian ordered a "Chicken" Salad Sandwich, since my Picnic Salad (my version of Chicken or Tuna salad) is one of his favorite sandwhichs of all time. Sweetpea delivered in this department, it was very tasty. Lots of celery-- which Ian loves, and topped with Vegan Mayo and a thick tomato slice. We really enjoyed Sweetpea, the people there were extremely nice and there was a great selection of bagels, bagel schmears, two or three cakes, donuts a few days a week, and a few cupcake varieties, as well as some gluten free treats! It was pretty busy, which was definitely nice to see. Ian and I continued our journey next door at Herbivore and stocked up on animal friendly t-shirts (I got the Praise Seitan Tee), bumper stickers (factory farms are mean & dirty), and I finally got my hands on Yellow Roses Recipes which was printed by Herbivore and is a local PDX blogger- Really good classic tastes, I'm excited to try a few of the recipes soon.This is my Picnic Salad sandwich, it's Chicken Salad without the Chicken, Tuna Salad without the Tuna... Potato Salad without the potato... anyway, it's good and SIMPLE to make. I know this is good because I brought in some for my lunch yesterday to work and a co-worker who is a devote Anti-Vegan (oi vey) offered me money for my lunch! I just gave it to him and chocked it up to saving that chicken that he would have eaten otherwise (sort of the opposite idea of a bully stealing your lunch money!). Here's the recipie, try it out and tell me what you think!
12 oz Tempeh, cubed
1 cup vegetable or vegan chicken broth (I find vegan chicken bouillon cubes at Food Fight! A Portland vegan grocery store and dissolve one cube in one cup water)
Vegan Mayo to taste (about 1/2 a cup)
1 teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste
Bring the broth to a slight simmer and add the cubed tempeh. Simmer for about 10 minutes, drain & cool Tempeh (I usually just throw it in the fridge). Mix 1/2 a cup of vegan mayo (more or less depending on how you like your mayo to tempeh ratio) with the dried spices and add the tempeh once its been cooled. Chill for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. We throw it on wheat bread with roasted red peppers and baby spinach!
In other news, I had this great idea recently. Because my job had given me the 13th & 14th off (and Ian & I are not really "Valentines" people) I was going to bake 4 dozen Valentines Day themed cupcakes and drop them by various bakeries, coffee shops, and vegetarian restaurants around town to see if anyone was interested in my baked goods. Of course, right after I bought all the ingredients I get told I now have NO days off this week (yay to part time jobs that don't stay part time!).
I did manage to whip up some cupcakes this morning for Ian's graduate committee meeting, and I will still attempt my original plan! These are Chocolate cupcakes with Raspberry "Buttercream" frosting and Marzipan hearts. They turned out pretty cute in my humble opinion and all 24 of them got eaten in about 10 minutes!
Since I only had the morning off of work, I just used Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World recipes (which I will be happy to post if anyone is interested). One major modification was made from the basic recipe and it is of note because it is a modification I ALWAYS make. Whenever a recipe calls for Canola Oil, I use Safflower Oil. I truely think it gives me a much moister cupcake with a lighter texture then is typical of Vegan cupcake batters. The frosting recipie was a bit too buttery in my opinion and I will play around with it a bit more.
I hope everyone has a great Valentines Day full of lots of sweets and sweetie pies (Hey, I'm a newly Wed I'm supposed to be a goober!)Check in soon to see what I'm doing with these little guys...