Friday, May 31, 2013

The Bakery Chronicles

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

People, I can't make this stuff up.

Actual conversation with customer:

Me: Can I help you?
Her: Do you have any vegan cupcakes?
Me: Yes, right now we just have these chocolate ones.
Her: Oh, you don't have any other flavors? 
Me: No, I'm sorry. We're all out at the moment. 
Her: ok, well, I guess I'll just take one of these then [pointing at a really pretty, though not vegan, cupcake]
Me: You know that kind's not vegan, right?
Her: It's my friend's birthday, but she doesn't like chocolate that much. This will be fine.
Me: We do have slices of vegan vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. What about one of those?
Her: oh, yes! Where?
[we move to a different case and I point out the cake slices]
Her: oh, but they're so white
Me: Well, they're vanilla.
Her: Yes, but they're so pale. I'll take that other one.

Do you bang your head against walls (or counters) at work? I think about it sometimes, and, people, this was certainly one of them. How else besides white and pale should vanilla cake look?

Sadly, this isn't even the first time someone has completely ignored the birthday girl's diet/allergies/whathaveyou. Do they think they get points for effort? Does spending $4 on a [jumbo+fancy] cupcake that the birthday girl can't eat somehow win one points? Because if it does, I think we can turn that into a marketable thing. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Springtime Pasta Alfredo with Peas - vegan & gluten free

Spring Pasta Alfredo with Peas

I first read about making creamy, vegan things from cashews a few years ago in a gourmet vegan cookbook my mom checked out from the library. I don't remember the title, nor the chef, but he was somewhat famous and vegan. So, not really famous, probably, but well known within a niche, perhaps? Anyway, at that time, gourmet+vegan was a much newer idea, and making whipped cream from cashews? Well, that was just crazy innovative.

Fast-forward to the present, and cashew cream sauces are a regular thing on blogs, and cashew whipped cream isn't as crazy as it once sounded. The idea has been floating around in the back of my head for quite a while at this point, but most of the recipes I've seen for cashew alfredo sauce instruct the cook to soak the nuts overnight. Now, maybe you're more on top of things than I am, but I rarely plan a weeknight dinner a day in advance. Or two, really, if you need to be sure you have the appropriate ingredients.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Grapefruit Cake - gluten free & dairy free

Grapefruit Cake, feeling sultry

This is the second recipe in a row that is legitimate dessert AND breakfast food. You are welcome. 

I made this cake for my mom on Mother's Day, and it was a big hit with both her and my dad. Mr Official Taster? not so much. But, awesome wife that I am, I anticipated that and there were cookies for him. (Impressed? Don't be. I had dough stored in the freezer, so all I had to do was slice and bake.) I liked it, but I thought it needed just a touch more sweetness. A glaze on top or a sweeter variety of grapefruit to begin with would solve that issue.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Coconut Bread - vegan

Coconut Bread

I have had this recipe pinned since March. And while that's not as egregious a lapse as some, it was still too long. First off all, it comes together in a snap. Two bowls and a spoon are really all you need. Plus, obviously, a loaf pan, though you could make muffins instead. There's no rise time, yeast, or kneading, so it's not intimidating to those of you still scared of bread. (b-t-dubs, please don't be. it's not scary. Maybe start with some no-knead? or a super forgiving loaf?) Also, it doubles as a cake. I mean, it's not a fancy cake, but if you have a mid-week hankering for dessert, this fits the bill (and then, breakfast the next morning).

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mark Bittman's VB6 Review & Giveaway

Bittman VB6

Mark Bittman's newest book, VB6, came out last week. He's been a food writer for as long as I can remember noticing there were food writers; I have several of his other cookbooks, and I have lots of recipes saved from his New York Times columns. I like his recipes, and I like his food philosophies, which sound quite similar to those of Michael Pollan.

Anyway, in VB6, Bittman writes about his food lifestyle and diet. "VB6" stands for Vegan Before 6, which is just what it sounds like. Most days, he's a vegan until 6pm, at which point his food "rules" no longer apply. This means there's still wiggle room and room for decadence, and it also means it's a lot easier for him to be sociable. It's not an all-or-nothing approach to diet.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Over Pasta - vegan & gluten free

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Over Pasta - vegan & gluten free

Look at this! Two posts in a week after being absent for several. I'm kind of patting myself on my back here, not gonna lie.

Somehow it's gone from Spring to Summer and it's really confusing. It's been in the 80s here lately, and occasionally in the 90s, so our apartment heats up quite a bit by 4 or 5'oclock in the afternoon and doesn't cool down till late. It's primo napping weather, but thus far I've (mostly) resisted. However, it's just barely May, and this is what's confusing: it's not really summer even though it feels like it. And by summer, I really mean the time of year when I can eat raspberries and tomatoes and watermelon with abandon. Mr Official Taster and I are having some people over tomorrow night, and when we were deciding on a menu, he suggested corn. I had to break it to him that, really, it's still spring even though it's hot and light out past 8pm, so it's asparagus and strawberries that are actually in season. And, yes, we could buy corn, but I don't think it will taste as delicious as we want.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A List

  1. It's May. How did that happen?
  2. It's my Saturday. Hallelujah! 
  3. It's been a while since I've posted. oops? I've been working hard and traveling and jury duty-ing and being tired from the aforementioned activities. 
  4. Seattle is so lush! I went to visit the other weekend, and as the plane came down through the cloud cover and all that green appeared, I remembered. I remembered how lush and green and growing everything always is there. 
  5. I guess it's fitting then that (among other things) my lady friends and I went shopping for green dresses in the Emerald City. I think we found a winner. So thank you, Bride, for not forcing your friends into ugly dresses we will never wear again. You have our eternal gratitude. 
  6. Also, I will be happy if I never go into another David's Bridal again in my whole life. It kind of made me want to flee. Thank goodness I had cupcakes to sooth my soul later that weekend. And my girls to keep me from fleeing- they are awesome and I didn't want to leave them. 
  7. This post has seriously piqued my interest and I keep thinking about it. The next (obvious) step will be to stop thinking and start doing. 
  8. I am suffering from I-want-to-rearrange-itis. Do you ever suffer from this condition? I want to change *something* about our apartment, but as we rent, painting or some other major DIY project isn't really an option, so I'm left with rearranging furniture. However, due to the small (just over 700 sq feet) size of said apartment, there aren't as many options as I might like. sigh #firstworldproblems 
  9. Fun fact: my Pinterest board for delicious food has a lot of green and chocolate at the top right now. 
  10. Also, every time I'm scrolling through my pins and see this one, I think I should have a party just so I have an excuse to try them out. 
  11. Mother's Day is soon, people! A week-and-a-half soon. Start thinking! I have my May Favorites up- maybe you'll find some inspiration? My mom (and dad) will actually be here that weekend, so I'll get to wish her a happy one in person. And, I suspect, bake her something. I'm thinking, Mom, I promise. 
  12. At my bakery, we're thinking about gearing up for it as well. I see a lot of ganache, heart-shaped creme brulee, and brownies in my future. 
  13. I've missed you! What's new with you?
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