Post of the S – Spaghetti, Sandwich, and Soup

Okay, so I have a hard time coming up with cute titles for these posts. So there are others meals in here that don’t start with S, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as yummy as the food included in the titles. ūüėõ

I am¬†way behind on posting regular food pictures, so don’t be too surprised when I mention Halloween in this post.

Tomato herb couscous (recipe coming soon!) and¬†barbecue¬†¬†Morningstar chick’n strips

Mushroom spaghetti and salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

The glorious thing you are about to see below is an artichoke-bacon chicken salad sandwich. This is probably the best sandwich I’ve ever had. It’s not very healthy, so it will have to be only made on occasion, but anyone who likes chick’n salad should try this.

Peter’s family made a wonderful dinner the other day. I had a Boca burger patty with A1, roasted sweet potato, steamed broccoli, and fried green tomatoes.

The Family and Consumer Sciences Student Group at UM had a Halloween bake sale and so of course I had to make lots of vegan treats!

Carrot cake cupcakes with cheez cream frosting
Peanut butter cereal “bars”, which fell apart so I just mooshed them into balls

Cookie dough bites (from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar) dipped in chocolate

Soy-Tan Dream Cutlets (which are amazing!) with buttery pasta
Potato soup with bacon bits

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Totoro and Catbus Cupcakes

My sister’s boyfriend, Josh, had his¬†birthday coming up and I decided it would be cool to make him¬†a cake to celebrate. He’s leaving soon on tour with his awesome band Carridale so it was sort of a going away party too.

I was going to make him a chocolate¬†cake in the shape of the Catbus from the movie¬†My Neighbor Totoro because he loves that¬†movie but the cake somehow failed and didn’t bake properly. Thankfully I had made a few cupcakes out of the extra cake batter, so we had something sweet to munch on anyway.

I¬†cut some thin circles out of marzipan and drew faces¬†on it with food coloring markers.¬† The one on the¬†left is the Catbus’ face and the one on the¬†right is Totoro’s face. I “glued” them onto the cupcakes with some chocolate frosting.

Josh is a huge Totoro fan, as is obvious from his leg tattoo.

Nerdy Food for a Nerdy Boy

Peter showing his love of cupcakes.

 

Above is a photo of my awesome nerd boyfriend, Peter!¬† During April,¬†I jokingly challenged him to try being vegetarian and to my surprise he accepted.¬†He took my vegetarian challenge seriously and decided to¬†go meat-free for 30 days. His parents don’t approve of vegetarians, so he had to keep his new eating habits a secret.¬†After he finished, I asked him a few questions about his experience¬†and here’s what all he said:

Q: Why did you try being vegetarian for 30 days?
 
A:¬†I tried being vegetarian for thirty days because I had always been bashing vegans and¬†vegetarians in a joking manner and never really thought about how it was like to live that lifestyle. I thought it was rather rude of me to just go about bashing it jokingly without giving it a shot. Plus I’m always willing to take up a challenge!
 
Q: How was your experience being meat-free?
 
A: In the beginning it was hard not to eat meat. I kept almost forgetting to not eat it and I had to keep telling myself no. But after a while I kinda got used to it, the only problem really was keeping it from my parents.
 
Q: How do you think taking this challenge will effect your eating habits in the future?
 
A:¬†I think it will effect my eating habits by making me not eat as much meat as¬†I used to.¬†I discovered¬†there’s a lot of great tasting veggies and fruits out there! Turns out that you don’t have much to miss when you stop eating meat.

 

So now he realizes what it’s like to be vegetarian! Though Peter is back to eating meat again, he respects my dietary choices and can appreciate the benefits of being a vegetarian.

This weekend I was bored and knew I needed to make something interesting for a new blog post, so I decided to bake Peter some cupcakes. He requested that I make them Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) themed. Let the nerdiness ensue! I gladly obliged and started brainstorming on how to make them resemble some parts of the game.

 

I decided to go with two things that would be pretty easy to make out of marzipan, dice and swords. The cupcakes were chocolate (this recipe) with vanilla frosting and the words were vanilla frosting too, just dyed red.

Updates and Easter!

Happy belated Easter, everyone!

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I’ve been super busy, but I’m hoping to start posting consistantly again.

The main reason I’ve been so busy is that I was able to go to three AFI shows in March. It was so much fun! We saw them in Nashville, TN on the 12th, Pensacola, FL on the 18th, and New Orleans, LA on the 19th.

AFI is an amazing band, and if you haven’t heard their music before I recommend you check it out. All the band members are vegetarian. Plus their lead singer singer, Davey Havok, and bassist, Hunter Burgan, are vegans. Davey actually recorded an ad for peta2 promoting a vegan diet (which you can see here).

Below are some pictures taken while waiting in line and during the shows:

 

 

 

¬†It was so much fun seeing my favorite band with some great friends. I can’t wait until May, when I’ll be getting to see them live¬†two more times.

On to the food related part of this post. I went to a party on Friday and I made Easter themed cupcakes to share.

I made chocolate cupcakes (using this recipe), then¬†frosted them with vanilla frosting that I had added green food dye to. I then made a tiny “nest” out of vanilla frosting dyed yellow, to hold the jelly bean “eggs”.

It was all finished off by being topped with a little chocolate bunny or chick (I made my own with a mold I got from this website). They were a hit and everyone enjoyed eating the cute, little, chocolate animals.

Panda Cupcakes

As you can probably tell by now, I find cute food irresistible. If you make it cute (and of course it has to be vegan), I’ll eat it. So when I saw “Hello, Cupcake” by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson sitting on a shelf in the library, I immediately checked it out.

I’m not very good at piping frosting, so most of the complicated¬†cupcake ideas¬†were out of the question. But then I found the page with the panda cupcakes! They were super cute and didn’t look too hard for an inexperienced froster¬†like me. I decided to make some for a movie party that was happening at my house on the upcoming weekend.

I baked up some cupcakes using the Whole World in my Hands Cupcakes recipe from “100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes” minus the food dye, cut up the Oreos for panda arms, and frosted their little faces onto the¬†mini¬†cupcakes once they’d cooled from the oven.

This is my best looking panda cupcake.

I’ve still got quite a ways to go before I become¬†good at frosting my cupcakes, but I’m pretty happy with how they all turned out. I was disappointed with how they tasted though.

¬†I’ve used the Whole World in My Hands Cupcakes recipe¬†before (for my Veganniversary), but I’d¬†altered the¬†ingredients then¬†and used¬†lemon extract instead of vanilla extract. This time I followed the recipe exactly and the cupcakes turned out not sweet at all. They had a great texture, light and fluffy, but they tasted like plain bread. No hint of sweetness. I don’t know what went wrong. Has anyone else had¬†a problem with that recipe?

Not that my friends cared. Most of them only eat the frosting off of cupcakes anyway, so it wasn’t a problem that the cupcakes themselves weren’t sweet.¬†They had fun eating the panda heads while screaming “Nooo! Don’t eat me! Save us, Hayley!”

My army of panda cupcakes.

Celebrating My 2nd Veganniversary

I have been free of meat, dairy, eggs and honey for two years now. Yay!¬†I’m not sure of the exact date¬†when I decided to stop consuming animal products, but it was¬†sometime during February and¬†before Valentine’s Day. So today I decided¬†to celebrate my Veganniversary¬†by making lemon cupcakes with “butter cream” frosting.

To make the occasion even more special, I finally opened up that package of Spongebob cupcake liners that have been sitting in my cabinet, waiting for the perfect opportunity to make an appearance.

The cupcakes were very delicious. I used the “Whole World in My Hands Cupcakes” recipe from The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes, but didn’t use any food coloring and¬†replaced the vanilla extract with lemon extract. The buttercream frosting is also from The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes and was simply amazing. It took the cupcakes to a whole new level of yumminess.

All in all it was a good way to celebrate that great decision I made two years ago.