Last week my friend Dianne aka VeggieGirl headed into NYC to attend a book signing for Chloe Coscarelli’s new vegan dessert book. It was held at the Natural Gourmet. It was weird sitting in the same room that I took my cooking exams in when I was a student in their Chef’s Training Program. The small space was packed. We were lucky to get a seat right up front. Chloe came in. Answered some questions. Gave away a few gift bags (I WON ONE OF THEM!) and then signed some books. We got to nibble on some recipes from her new book. The donut was my favorite! I can’t wait to get to my hands dirty baking from this new book. Everything looks wonderful.
Thai Chicken Wrap, Butterfinger Shake
Before the book signing we went straight to Terri, which is a few blocks away from the school. Dianne and I both chose the Thai Chicken Wrap which is made with vegan chicken, mixed peppers and a peanut sauce. The peanut sauce was really good but had a slow burn to it. It didn’t notice it until you were halfway done. I kinda like when that happens. Dianne was smart and bought a pressed juice to drink. I was crazy and ordered my favorite Butterfinger Shake. I ended up tossing it on the way to the signing. It was too cold out to be drinking a milkshake! I’ll just wait until it warms up again before ordering one again.
Tickets to a show!
On Friday I had tickets to see Eddie Izzard in NYC. VeggieGirl and VeggieGuy were going and my husband and I were suppose to go. Peter ended up staying home with the kids because of the rare occasion that we didn’t have family members available to watch the kids. I ended up bringing my sister with me which worked out for the best anyway since she is a much bigger Eddie Izzard fan then my husband is. It was a tiny theater and it was amazing. This is the 3rd time I’ve seen him and the 1st in such a small setting. It was definitely the best show of his I’ve been to.
Raspberry Blackout Cake w. Ganache-Y Frosting
If you happen to be celebrating a birthday in our family this is most likely the cake I would make for you*. Who doesn’t like chocolate and raspberry together? Crazy people I suppose. I’ll admit that I usually don’t like raspberries at all but when mixed with chocolate cake you can’t go wrong. My sister was the lucky recipient of this cake even though a day before her party she requested a Crepe Cake which wasn’t going to happen on such short notice with 2 kids in the house. The recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance. You really can’t go wrong with any of Isa’s recipes.
When I was done smoothing out the frosting I had a bit left over and added some star details with a piping bag and tip. The detail and some fresh raspberries, which I picked off (!), made for a beautiful birthday cake!
*On occasion I’ve been known to make a coconut cake for birthdays also.
Braised Tempeh in a Lemon, Thyme and Caper Sauce
I received a review copy of Dreena Burton’s newest cookbook Let Them Eat Vegan a few weeks ago. Upon my first quick “flip through” of the book I knew that this was going to be a great cookbook. When I did my official look through of the book, when the kids were in bed, I immediately started bookmarking recipes. A LOT OF RECIPES! It got so bad, in a good way, that I didn’t even know where to start and what to make first. I finally settled on the recipe for Braised Tempeh in a Lemon, Thyme and Caper Sauce. I love love love the combo of lemon, thyme and capers and I wanted to include more Tempeh in our diets for variety so this became the obvious choice to start with. First thing…this recipe alone is worth the price of this book. It was so easy to make. Its a great way to have a fancy type dinner in the middle or your busy work week. I was able to make this while my 10 month old was getting into all sorts of trouble in the kitchen cabinets, then I was able to spend some time at the park with my husband and daughter and then we came home and had this delicious meal! Restaurant style food at home. Its wonderful! I served it with some white rice and sauteed spinach. Three of us loved the recipe: myself, my husband and 10 month old Miles. One of us did not: my daughter Reno..but that was to be expected. Tempeh is something she’s has never eaten before so I cooked her up some Gardein Crispy Tenders and she ate the rice and spinach that accompanied our meal.
Three’s Company Pie
Dessert! This must be one of the easiest pies’s I’ve ever made. It reminded me of my favorite Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana Smoothie that I make Reno and I for breakfast sometimes..minus the spinach we add to the drink. Much like my smoothie recipe you blend peanut butter, banana’s, cocoa powder with melted chocolate chips and a few other ingredients, pour it into a pie shell and then bake it. Topped off with slice banana, peanuts and some cocoa powder. Its amazing. I wish I had taken a picture of what the inside of the pie looked like. It was beautiful. Really. I brought the pie over to my Mother in laws for Sunday dessert and it was a hit. I will definitely be making this again.
So I’m basically in love with this book. In my opinion it is Dreena’s best book yet and I can’t wait to cook from it again. I have a lot of recipes that I want to try from it!
Reno and Miles
Having 2 kids is fun but it sure leaves no time for anything. Our house is a mess and we eat pasta and rice and beans all the time. I’m dying to come up with new recipes and have written all of my ideas down in my special recipe notebook. I did come up with a Seitan or Tempeh (your choice!) Carbonara recipe that I believe will knock your socks off. If shit doesn’t hit the fan today it’s what I’m making for dinner just so I can see if the recipe I wrote down will make sense to you all. I’m very excited to share it! I’m very excited to eat it again also. That’s how much I love this recipe.
Blueberry Pancakes with Field Roast Sausage
Once a week I’ve been trying to make us a nice breakfast. Usually on Sundays. This particular breakfast has been my favorite so far. My least favorite was the Chocolate Chip-Cinnamon Scones I made last weekend. I have know idea what they hell I did wrong but they came out WEIRD (i’m unfairly blaming the kids)! We still ate them though. I might have left them out all day and overnight on purpose just so I wouldn’t have to eat them again the next day. (sorry husband) :)
I hope you all have had/are still having a wonderful Holiday, whichever ones you do celebrate. Reno is off of school this week and asks every morning if she goes back to “school today”. When I say “no” she gets upset and I have to explain again and again why she’s off for 11 days. I hope she stays like this for all of her school career! I hated school and never wanted to be there so having her upset that there isn’t school is a dream!
Dr. Cow Cheese Plate
Last weekend me and 4 other lovely vegan ladies had a girls day in NYC. Our first stop was the all vegan chocolate shop Cocoa V. What a lovely space! We entered through the chocolate shop which was filled with chocolate, cookies, cupcakes…etc…etc…. Then we entered into a really nice little dining room where you can order all sorts of things from quiche to cheese plates and chickpea melts and drinks like wine, espresso, juices and Iced Chocolate all of which are 100% vegan. You can even get shakes there! I so wanted the Peanut Butter shake but was so full after our experience there that there was no way I could fit it into my belly. Next time.
For our appetizer the 5 of us decided to share the Dr. Cow Cheese Plate for 2. Besides having a few rounds of Dr. Cow cheese on the plate there were crackers, strawberry, figs, hummus and what I think was a type of quava jelly candy sorta thing. This was my first experience eating Dr. Cow cheese and it won’t be my last. I loved it. If it wasn’t so expensive I would probably make sure I had it in my fridge at all times.
Cocoa V Quiche of the Day
For our main course the 5 of us each ordered the Quiche of the Day. Which was made with leeks and daiya cheese. IT WAS AMAZING! Hands down the best quiche I’ve ever eaten vegan or not. I truly believe you can feed this quiche to the most hardcore omni you know and they would have no idea that it was vegan. It was that good and its something I’m going to try to recreate at home.
Chocolate Fondue Offerings!
After our main course we all split the Chocolate Fondue dessert. I didn’t get a picture of the melted chocolate but let me tell you it was the most melted chocolate I’ve ever seen in my life. We dipped everything from strawberries, candied ginger, apples to brownie bits and biscotti into the melted warm chocolate. I won’t name names but one person in our group, and it wasn’t me, was dipping their spoon into the chocolate and eating it like soup.
This was seriously one of the best meals I’ve ever had outside of my home. Everything tasted perfect, I was with wonderful vegan friends and it was so nice to go into a food establishment and be able to eat whatever I wanted and not have to worry about hidden animal ingredients. If you have yet to visit Cocoa V I suggest you do ASAP.