Recent Eats: Sweets Edition!

Lavender Cupcakes #vegan

Testing out Lavender Cupcakes for a first day of spring birthday tomorrow.

Lavender Cupcakes

If it’s your birthday I’ll pretty much make anything you want. My sister requested Lavender Cupcakes. She envisioned them being lavender in color as well as flavor. I just stuck with the lavender flavor. I’ll use food coloring sometimes but would rather just stick with non dyed foods especially if a recipe would need A LOT of dye, which, this would have. They definitely tasted like lavender and were very pretty to look at. I’m not sure if I would make them again. A little too herb-y for a sweet treat I think. 

Reno and I created a cookie recipe today: Oatmeal Chocolate Covered Pretzel. They aren't bad! Need to tweak a few minor measurements. #vegan

Reno’s Cookie

My daughter is very into learning how to bake. She wants to own a bakery when she is “a teenager”. :)  So we’ve been experimenting with our own recipes every once in a while. Our latest, which needs more testing, is and Oatmeal Chocolate Covered Pretzel Cookie. We were big fans of these! 

#vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin

When your banana’s start to go you make Banana Bread/Muffins. We always add chocolate chips to ours. I have some bananas that are perfect for muffin making on my counter right now!

Pi Day Mini Key Lime Pies for a Pi Day potluck later today. Fingers crossed that they firm up by then! #vegan

Mini Key Lime Pies

This was a Pinterest recipe that I pinned awhile ago. I’m one of those pinners who pin but never do anything with those pins in real life. 

 

Easter Meal

Gluten Free-Vegan Carrot Cake is frosted! Just have to add Reno's handmade decorations :) #vegan #gluten free

Carrot Cake

This past weekend we celebrated Easter. For me, as a non religious person, it’s just another food holiday, which are my favorite! I love making new and special meals to share with family. After a backyard Plastic Easter Egg Hunt for the kids I got to work in the kitchen preparing 2 dishes to bring to my Mother In Laws house. 

First up was a Gluten Free/Soy Free/Nut Free-Vegan Carrot Cake. We have some allergies in our family (!) and as the only vegan in the family I wanted to make sure we had a dessert that everyone could eat. I’ve never made a full size Gluten Free cake before so I was a little nervous at how it would come out. As is my nature I tend to not test new recipes out before hand for holidays or events. Its a terrible habit but one that I’ve been able to get away with and managed to get away with again…phew! The cake was a huge success! It was full of hand shredded carrots and a ton of spices. The spiciness of the cake was everyone’s favorite part of it. It was loaded with cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. 

To decorate the cake I made a peachy pink vegan buttercream that I spread out as smooth as possible and piped some little decorations around the edge of the cake. I found some unsweetened coconut in my baking cabinet and sprinkled that on top. 

Our gluten free-vegan carrot cake with Reno's decorations! #vegan

Just before serving the cake my daughter and I added some handmade decorations that she made for the cake earlier in the day to make it more festive. It was adorable. I highly recommend letting your kids help decorate a cake with some of their drawings taped to long wooden skewers. 

My husbands Aunt declared that this cake will be her new birthday cake. She loved it that much and I will be happy to make it for her again. 

Easter Dinner: Seitan and Mushroom Roulade, asparagus and roasted veg #vegan

Seitan and Mushroom Roulade

For the vegetarian main entree I made a Seitan and Mushroom Roulade. I only had half a plan for this part of the meal. I know I was going to saute onions, seitan, carrots, mushrooms, garlic and spices and then deglaze the pan with tamari and red wine and then do something with filo dough. First I was going to make individual “cigars”. Then I was going to make individual wrapped pockets. In the end I didn’t have time for anything “individual” and a roulade was just to thing to speed things up! I saved some of the seitan simmering broth and we used that as a jus sauce. It was a nice a festive main entree. 

On my plate next to the roulade were Thyme Infused Spring Vegetables and Asian Sauteed Asparagus, both made by my mother. I didn’t eat a lot because I was saving room for the cake! Which we served with Trader Joe’s Soy Vanilla Ice Cream. It was the perfect Holiday Meal. 

Recent Eats

Seitan Wrap with Mesclun and Sriracha Mayo www.good-good-things.com

 

Homemade Seitan Wrap w. Mesclun and Sriracha Mayo

We are home, yet again, with another snowstorm. Spring is only 15 days away and I can’t imagine ever seeing my neighborhood without snow again! Its gotten to a point where there isn’t any place else to shovel it. I feel bad for the people up in and near Boston. They have it way worse then us. I love the snow and love that it is snowing but it’s getting to the point where enough is enough. 

Grilled Tofu w. Spicy Veg Fried Rice www.good-good-things.com #vegan

Grilled Tofu with Spicy Veg Stirfry 

Since the kids and I are home today I’m thinking of trying out some new recipes. Turn the oven on and make the house cozy warm. A few months ago I started working on a Spinach-Cheddar Biscuit. They would be so comforting to make and eat today. I’m thinking up an enchilada recipe or possibly a stuffed sweet potato recipe. Maybe I should combine both ideas? My 7 year old daughter wants to learn to bake so I though we could create a cookie recipe today with whatever is in the baking cabinet.

Secret Brownies  www.good-good-things.com

Secret Brownies

I let her make my Secret Brownie recipe the other day. She did about 95% of it herself which is not only a big deal for her but also a big deal for me. Its very hard for me to give control over to someone else in the kitchen! She did a great job on them. Can’t wait to bake with her some more!

Hope you are all safe and warm indoors today if you live in the path of this current snowstorm! 

Sauteed Kale with Peppers and Peanuts {recipe}

Side dish: Dino kale, yellow peppers, salted peanuts, garlic salt. #vegan #veganfoodshare #whatveganseat #vegansofig

 

I don’t often make side dishes. We are a one pot meal type of family. If I do make a side it’s just a “sauteed garlicky green”. While this might fall into that category, the additions of peppers and peanuts just made it much more then another “garlicky green” side dish. Chomping into a pepper was like a burst of sunshine! Something we definitely need in the mid-atlantic/northeast. The amount of snow we have been getting plus ice storms has me craving warm weather and sunshine. Two things I’m not totally fond of! Is this a sign of old age that I’m against the winter and snow for the first time in my life? I hope not! The salted peanuts added a nice texture and taste to the whole thing. Instead of adding chopped garlic I used garlic salt instead. I’ll admit to not wanting to chop garlic. I served this along side our weekly meal of rice and beans. It worked beautifully together. Especially the peanuts with the seasoned beans!  I’ve already purchased more peppers and kale to make this again. I’m (maybe) looking forward to the summer months (?) when I have kale and peppers growing in my garden. I’ll be able to eat this whenever I feel like it!

Kale, Pepper, and Peanut Saute
An easy and quick side dish to round out any meal.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  3. 1 bunch of kale, washed, stems removed and torn into pieces
  4. 1 cup salted peanuts
  5. 1-2 teaspoons garlic salt*
Instructions
  1. In a large saute pan heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the sliced yellow bell peppers and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Mix in the kale and raise the heat to medium high. Stirring occasionally.
  4. When the kale is tender, 5-7 minutes add the salted peanuts and garlic salt.
  5. Stir and cook for 5 minutes longer or until the peanuts brown a bit.
  6. Serve!
Notes
  1. *Not all garlic salt is the same. My favorite brand for garlic salt is Simply Organic. It has little bits of parsley in it and its just perfect.
good good things http://good-good-things.com/

 

Isa Live at City Winery, NYC

I'm starving. #isa #citywinery #isacitywinerynyc #vegan

Menu

When I first heard about Isa Chandra Moskowitz going on a culinary tour I knew that I had to go. I immediately posted on facebook seeing who would go and of course my vegan bestie, Dianne,  jumped on board and snatched up 4 tickets for the two of us and our husbands. My husband was a bit skeptical about the whole thing. He didn’t really understand what would actually be happening and quite frankly neither did I. I just knew I wanted to see Isa speak and eat her food. 

We arrived early and with ease. NYC on Superbowl Sunday is a ghost town. It was great! It was fun to just sit and chat and people watch. Waiting to see people we know in real life or recognize from online. 

1st Course at Isa Live in NYC #isacitywinerynyc #vegan #isalive

First Course

When it was time for the whole evening to officially start our first course was brought out. It was a Caesar Salad with Brussels Sprouts it came with grilled tofu, tahini caper dressing and pine nuts. Our plates unfortunately didn’t get any of the pine nuts. Through instagram I can tell that a lot of people did get pine nuts so it was just a mishap for us..I guess? Besides the missing pine nuts it was a delicious salad! The tofu was perfect. Just perfect. We aren’t big tofu eaters, especially my husband, and he even liked it. He also doesn’t like Brussels Sprouts but by the magic of Isa he enjoyed these. 

Second Course: Tamales #isalive #vegan #citywinerynyc

Second Course

This was the course I was looking forward to the most. The Tamale! I love tamales. Love them. I happened to also really love this tamale. Made with a lentil chorizo and served with guacamole and mole rojo. The menu said it came with a coconut sour cream but like the pine nuts…we didn’t get it. Besides the missing sour cream, like the pine nuts above, it was a great dish. The tamale had a perfect texture and the filling wasn’t overpowering. The guacamole was fresh tasting and the mole rojo had a great cinnamon flavor to it that mixed well with everything else on the plate. I wish I could have eaten another one!

Third Course: Chickpeas and Dumplings #vegan #isalive #isacitywinery

Third Course

Chickpeas and Dumpling, a creamy chickpea stew. It was a great dish for a snowy night. So comforting and warm. I’ll eat anything that has a dumpling in it. The secret to this dish, as demonstrated by Isa cooking on stage, was adding cashew cream to the stew. A favorite trick of mine to use at home. Cashews make everything better in my opinion.

Fourth Course: chocolate mousse cupcake #vegan #isalive

Fourth Course 

Of course the perfect way to end a meal is with a chocolate cake…or Isa’s Chocolate Mousse Cupcake.  A chocolate cupcake, chocolate mousse on top, coconut whipped cream and raspberry sauce. It doesn’t get any better. I will say that I found the cake to be very salty BUT I liked it. I don’t know if that was a mistake in the kitchen or intentional but I really liked it that way and would eat it that way again, happily!

Isa was of course her charming and beautiful self onstage. Telling us about each course, showing us how she made some of the components, answering questions from the crowd about cooking, her new restaurant Modern Love and beauty tips like how she gets her eyeliner so perfect. 

It was such a lovely evening with great friends, good food and no traffic while driving back to NJ in the snow storm that was just beginning as we left! I would do it all over again! Yay Isa!

(not pictured was the Wine Tasting Menu that both Dianne and I ordered. 4 wines. 1 for each dish.) 

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