Apple pie!

The apple pie I've been craving for the past month finally happened! Lily helped with the crust and applying the stars and sugar on top. All I can say is it really hit the spot!

Happy Halloween!


Baking with Ms. Lily

I came home from work on Tuesday night needing to bake. Lily asked for peanut butter cookies but once I found the three bags of butterscotch chips that were near their expiration date, Lily was willing to change her mind. We used the chocolate chip cookie recipe from Viva Le Vegan by Dreena Burton but used our butterscotch chips instead of chocolate. Lily did most of the work. She made some great cookies. We made four dozen and all four are gone! I took them to work today, which turned out to be my last day of work since I was laid off, and my now ex-coworkers devoured them! Glad I left them on a sweet note.


Halloween is around the corner.

Over the weekend we did Halloween "things".   Henry decided on his costume, another classic monster, the werewolf.  I was hoping that we would make his costume like we do most of the time, but he wanted the packaged one from the party store.  He loves it so much that he has already worn it to show his grandparents, the family across the street, and to apologize to me for not being nice.  I guess it was money well spent.  After that we hit up the library for free video rentals and new books for the whole family.  I still had three books to finish from the last library visit, that I had to skip getting anything new.  Then onto the pumpin patch in West Hollywood called Mr. Bones.

We go there every year.  Get a few pumpkins, the kids do a few bouncer/slide rides, and we head out.  Matt spotted Demi Moore, since she had a pack of paprazzi following her, so I guess she wasn't hard to spot.   The pumpkin patch actually had a specific location for the paparazzi to hang out while taking pics of any celebrities that might be on the premises.  All I could think was it might be time for a new pumpkin patch next year.  Way too L.A. and not enough corn maze and hay bundles.  Anyways, we headed over to Happy Family in Monterey Park for the vegan Chinese food.

On Sunday I made the baked pumpkin ziti with carmelized onions from Veganomicon.  So good!  Also made some cranberry sauce to go with it and some roasted broccoli.  I think I had two or two and  half helpings.  (Also had it again for lunch today!).  Lily use to eat this dish but last night she was only interested in the broccoli, no pumpkin ziti for her.  Henry wouldn't even try one bite.  He took one look and went back to his room.  His loss. I had hoped to bake an apple pie too but Lily wasn't feeling well, so I didn't want to have her eating something like that.  Once she bounces back, we'll get out our rolling pin. I can't wait!


Spork Fed recipe

This is from one of the new cookbooks I purchased.  I recently went a little nuts on Amazon.com and bought four books....one has yet to arrive.  I don't have a slow cooker...yet, so I had to pick a recipe from one of the other two.  I chose Spork Fed.  Don't get me wrong, Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites looks good too.  It's just that the tempeh recipe caught my eye, plus I knew I had a good chance that most of the family would eat it.

  I like tempeh, Lily likes ginger, both kids are willing to eat broccoli, and it needed to be fast.

The tempeh whipped up really fast! Make the sauce while tempeh is steaming. The sauce is: olive oil, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, maple syrup, and salt. Put all tempeh into the sauce, dump in pan and brown on all sides. Done. While that was happening, I tossed my broccoli with olive oil and coarse salt. Threw that in the oven until it was ready.

Dinner was on the table in less than 30 minutes. This is a dish that is gonna stick around with that kind of timing. Plus Lily loved it....Henry...not so much. I guess you can't win everytime.



Last night I was too tired to go to the market but the kids needed dinner. I had leftover biscuits, a couple hashbrowns and gluten free sausage patties. So I guess it turned into breakfast for dinner. Always a hit. I felt a little guilty that dinner wasn't that exciting, so I grabbed a few things out of the fridge, along with the super ugly brown banana, and threw it all in a blender. Henry was really happy to have a smoothie with his dinner, who wouldn't be?



Thursday night my husband and I were going to see the Foo Fighter's. Before my folks came over to watch the kids, we had to get dinner ready. Henry had been begging for pizza, which nobody else really eats since we have overdosed on it over the years with him. Henry likes his pizza plain. Just Follow Your Heart cheese. Lily is hot and cold on pizza. Sometimes she'll take a bite but usually she stays clear. She'd rather eat the olives and have some pasta.
The one thing Lily loves about pizza is making it. She loves rolling out the dough, spreading on the toppings, and helping to cut it once it's done. Just don't ask her to eat it, then she'll be happy, as you can see.

Hot cocoa with pumpkin spice marshmallows

As we all know, Halloween is quickly approaching. Since I have two vegan kids who enjoy trick or treating, I need to have vegan treats to trade for the non-vegan candy they will collect. I already have chocolate peanut butter cups, vegan gummies, and small chocolate squares that I purchased on Vegan Essentials. The dangerous part for me while shopping for the kids is that I see "new" items on the webiste. This time it was Pumpkin Spice marshmallows made by Sweet and Sara. I couldn't help but add them to my cart before checkout.

This morning I made biscuits and hot cocoa. Of course you can't have hot cocoa without marshmallows...right? The biscuits were okay but the highlight were the marshmallows. Pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon could be smelled as I drank from my mug. So good. My daughter had a mug of cocoa too. She only ate her marshmallows and then claimed to be full so she couldn't drink the cocoa. Hmmmm, I think I got tricked.

P.S.  If you like my mug, head on over to etsy.com and check out the lovely goods from Vegan Dish.  I was lucky enough to win this handmade mug from her during Vegan Mofo one year.



I love food with coconut milk. Curries, baked goods, ice cream, bean dishes, etc. So good. So creamy. When I go through a cookbook, if I see coconut milk in the list of ingredients, you can bet that I'll dog ear that page.

One such book is A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop. Even though I'm vegan, I still buy some cookbooks that are vegetarian if something about the book grabs me. Jack Bishop's books "grab" me. I have his Italian cookbook too. Sometimes I have to add a bit more spice to the dish to suit my liking but I like the combinations in the recipes.

The recipe used for the picture above had cauliflower, spinach, curry powder, garlic, coconut milk and pasta. I don't know the name (I'm at work and can't reference the book). I think I could eat the dish without the pasta. It is so creamy and filling all on it's own, which is fits me fine since I'm trying to cut down on my gluten intake. Cut down, not avoid completely.

Next time you are at the library, look up Jack Bishop's books and browse through it. Hopefully you'll find some gems, like I did.


Family day out

Today was about the kids. Took Henry for his chiropractic appointment to help his knees. He is knocked kneed so severely that it effects his running. A friend of ours is a chiropractor so we are trying her out to see if it makes a difference. Henry says he feels better after his adjustments, so I am going with it for now. I will say that the kid barely ever gets sick. Is it the vegan diet, just who he is or the adjustments? Or maybe a combination of them all, who knows.

Then off to Whole Foods to grab some quick snacks (peanut butter cracker sandwiches, popped rice chips, tangerines, water, and luna bars for treats) and over to the Science Museum in Downtown Los Angeles (which is free!!! We love free). There isn't any food at the Science Museum for us. It's all fast foods or over priced fruit. So we always bring out own snacks. I would have done better snacks but I haven't gone shopping for the week, so Whole Foods had to pull through for us since it was close to the doctor's office.

On the way home, I got off a different freeway exit so we could do a quick trip to Scoops Westside on Overland Avenue. They have six or so ice cream flavors everyday (no Sundays) and two are always vegan. Today it was Salted Vanilla Oreo and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Lily and Henry both went for the Salted Vanilla Oreo. I got a pint of the two flavors together so that my husband and I could share it at home.

Tonight is date night. We're off to see the Tim Burton exhibit at LACMA and then out for vegan ethiopian food at an ALL vegan restaurant on Fairfax, just South of Olympic. It is called Rahel's.  Give it a try if you are in the area.  Tasty food, cozy spot, and friendly staff.

Have a great weekend, I know I am!


Pesto baby!

My youngest LOVES pesto! She eats it straight, no pasta, just straight up pesto in a bowl. Last night's pesto was pecan and pistachios as the nut base. We use the Vegan with a Vengeance recipe as our go to pesto recipe and go from there. Lily loves to try different nuts in the pesto to see which is her favorite. Last nights
was a big hit! She doesn't like cashew pesto and macadamia pesto wasn't to high on the list either. Almond pesto is a favorite with pecan/pistachio a close second. For her snack at preschool today, she has a tupperware container of just pesto. Who's a happy kid???


More good food from Soul Vegan Kitchen

So I made another recipe from Soul Vegan Kitchen. I had made the maple pecans the other day, which you need for these muffins. I didn't have the time to cook them up the other day, but did today! Woo hoo!
Blend some bananas with rice milk and a little oil. Add to the flours (two kinds) , cornmeal and your regular baking additives (baking soda, baking powder, etc). Mix.  Add pecans. Put in muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes. Super easy, super tasty.

I really liked the crunchy bits of corn meal in the muffins. Really made the muffins for me. They are perfect for breakfast since they aren't super sweet. Only two tablespoons of maple syrup and two tablespoons of evaporated cane juice. Not bad when that makes twelve medium sized muffins. Twelve muffins that are gone! I took them to work and friends devoured them. Must be good, right?


Sunday dinner

Since I work Monday through Friday 9am-6pm, I don't get to cook the weekday meals in our house. I only get to do Saturday and Sunday cooking. I love to do a big meal on Sundays, if our schedule allows it. Last Sunday, I was able to get a few things going: rosemary tofu with a plum ketchup or ginger peanut sauce for dipping, maple mashed sweet potatoes, and collards.

The thought was that the kids would love dipping the tofu cubes into the dips...wrong! They didn't like either dip but they did enjoy the tofu cubes. My husband liked the ginger peanut dip and I liked the plum ketchup.
The recipes were from Bryant Terry's book, Vegan Soul Kitchen. I realized I have NEVER used this book since I bought it two years ago. So far, having tried three recipes, the tofu cubes were the biggest hit. I will add these to my menu routine. Always good to get
some new food in the weekly menus so the family doesn't get bored.

Next up, I'm trying to get the kids to sleep early during the week so I can make some banana pecan muffins. We will see if my plan works.


Veganmofo 2011

Hi. Things are not starting off well with me having time to cook. But Lily and I were lucky enough to be invited to an urban garden that belongs to a friend of mine. Chard, watermelon, broccoli, kale, collards, basil, lavender, mint, and chickens. Lily had a BLAST hanging out in the garden and feeding the chickens some watermelon. Great way to spend the day: get a little dirty, soak up some sun, and pick lots and lots of yummy food to cook up at home! My friend told us we can pick food whenever we want, don't have to ask, just help ourselves. He hasn't a clue to what he just did....we will picking his garden dry. Just kidding, Clark, I promise we'll leave some for the chickens.