Thursday, February 28, 2013

While at the Cottage

 This was my daily view from the lake house where I spent my 40th birthday vacation! You can't see it, but there's a hot tub out on the deck. I spent a lot of time there when I wasn't in the kitchen.
 I made my infamous seitanic wingz. All you do is grab some seitan, lightly flour it, bake it up for a bit. I did 350 for ten minutes on each side. Once out of the oven, coat it with some wing sauce. It's not that hard and you have the fabulous flavor without any of the poultry or icky bones.
 I served it along with some fresh veggies and ranch style dip. I use beans as the base of the dip, and flavor it with ranch style seasonings. Think of it as ranchy, hummusy goodness.
For one night, we got rid of the kids and had some adult time together. I made this for dinner: The Jimwich from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes. It's pan seared seitan served with bbq sauteed onions and FRIED PICKLES. It was SO GOOD.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Squeaky Clean with Local Vegan Soap!

For my birthday, my super spouse got me a bar of Nature's Proportions Spiced Pumpkin Loaf Bar. Melanie Pool makes her own laundry and bar soaps and such and you can find her Pinterest page here!

Not all of her soaps are vegan, but this bar was as well as many others. Smelling distinctly of pumpkin pie, I kind of wanted to eat my face after washing with it.

Here's a link to her Etsy page, in case you're curious. I give the vegan bars two turn tables and a microphone.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me! Party at The Owlery

 I celebrated my 40th birthday at Bloomington's finest vegetarian restaurant--The Owlery. 9 of us sat around a table and noshed on our favorite eats and shared a monster chocolate birthday cake! Imagine going to a restaurant where the entire dessert case is loaded with only vegan delights. I thought I had died and gone to Chocolate Heaven.
I had the poutine.  What's that? It's a Canadian delight: gravy fries covered in cheese. At The Owlery, the default setting for most dishes are vegan, and if you want dairy cheese, you have to order it that way. Pretty cool, eh?

We also went on a mini-getaway to a cabin in the woods and I made some dishes from American Vegan Kitchen and Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day. I'll post on that later.

Monday, February 4, 2013

More Praises for "Hearty Vegan"

 I decided to dust off my growing cookbook collection and get to gettin' with the cookin' if you know what I mean. I opened up Hearty Vegan: Meals for Monster Appetites by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman. The pictures had me drooling. Yowza! I picked a few dishes based on ingredients I had at home, made a shopping list for what I didn't have, and was off to work.

The first picture is of the Cheesy Chili Bake. I had a few cups of chili that was looking lonely and wanted to do something creative. This was a great move on my part. This ain't your momma's chili mac-- the shit was fabulous, the stuff of ultimate comfort food. Then again, that's Hearty Vegan in a nutshell for you-- ALL the recipes are for mouthwatering, homestyle, and rib sticking delights. The chili bake has a cheesy sauce inside the bake and another one on top for twice the cheese goodness. This is a must make for anyone craving cheese. I topped the casserole with some french fried onions for flair.

Breakfast, anyone?

Brrrr, it's cold outside! How about a Pot O' Lentil Stew?

I made all of this and that's just the tip of the iceberg for this cookbook! The instructions are easy to follow, the pictures are drop dead gorgeous, and the recipes are inspiring. I mean, don't you want to make your own vegan peanut butter cups? How's about waldorf salad wraps? And what in the hell are Irish nachos? You'll have to buy the book to find out. 

I'll be covering more vegan cookbooks in future entries to ignite the spark within you all.