Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vegan Craft Samples Earth Day Bags

The Vegan Craft Samples Earth Day Sample Bags go on sale April 4, 2010.  Our Keep It Green 1oz candles will be included in the bag.  Go to to pick up a bag. You can also go to to read more about the Vegan Craft Sample bags, including a 100% of all profits go to the animals.  The profits from the sale of the Earth Day Bags will go to the Carolina Pet Rescue

This week we tried Daiya's Italian style vegan cheese.  We made a Baked Ziti using the vegan cheese.  I'm really not fond of the Italian style Daiya, it's has a funky taste if you ask me.  We had it before in the Marinara Gardein Chick'n Good Stuff, which I also really didn't like. (  However, I must admit - the Daiya did work well in the Ziti. 
I combined cooked Ziti,  a batch of Tofu Cashew Ricotta (HIGHLY recommend) from Vegan Brunch, marinara sauce made by Mike, vegan burger crumbles, the Italian style Daiya, and vegan grated cheese in a deep oven proof casserole dish.  I baked it at 350 degrees for about 35mins. (until everything was really melted and bubbly) It all worked perfectly together!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Irish Eye's Were Smiling

A quick St. Patrick's Day round up. I made Corned Beef Seitan with boiled potatoes, white onions, cabbage and a couple of loaves Irish Soda Bread.  I've been making various forms of seitan for years now so making a Corned Beef version wasn't too difficult.  But I had never attempted to make Irish Soda Bread before.  I have no idea what I was waiting for.  None of the vegan Irish Soda Bread recipes I found  seemed like what I was looking for.  So I went ahead and veganized a traditional recipe. The results were - perfect!

Vegan Irish Soda Bread Recipe:

pre heat oven to 350 F.

Mix Dry Ingredients in a large bowl:
4 cups unbleached white flour (plus more as needed)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 oz of raisins (presoak in warm water to soften, drain before using)
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix Wet Ingredients in different bowl:
3 tablespoons melted nondairy butter (I use earth balance)
1 cup plain non dairy yogurt
1/2 cup plain seltzer water
1/2 cup plain soy milk mixed with 2 tablespoons Apple cider Vinegar

Combine wet and dry ingredients and knead together
add more unbleached white flour as needed until you have a thick, non sticky dough

Split dough into 2 equal round ball like loaves
place each loaf into a greased, floured pan.
Cut a "X" in the top of each loaf
Bake 55-60 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and tooth pick comes out clean
Serve hot or cold either way it's all good. 

Now on to some shameless self promotion!

Lady Luck is one of our newest candle and solid fragrance balms.  Lady Luck carries a very beautiful and fresh Four Leaf Clover scent.  Right now a large Lady Luck candle and  solid fragrance balm are available, a 2oz candle and a scented sachet will be available soon.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's Always Tea Time!

It's Always Tea Time! is the newest candle added to the shop.  Tea Time is a fragrant yet delicate herbal White Tea scent and is colored with unique swirls of white, pink and subtle blues. Every Tea Time candle is individually blended therefore no two are exactly alike.  

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cheesiness defined

Today Mike brought home Daiya shredded cheddar.  He  picked up the Daiya at Whole Foods Tribeca 270 Greenwich Street  New York,   NY 10007.  Some girls have husbands that bring them home flowers, I have a husband that brings me home cheese, vegan cheese.  I used my cheesy gift to make some super stuffed quesadillas, which came out amazing by the way.  I made a few simple grilled cheese quesadillas and they were excellent too.  I have hated every brand of vegan cheese that I've tried. I tend to shy away from any recipe that calls for nondairy cheese, until now. Your Omni friends will have a hard time believing that you are serving them vegan cheese if you use Daiya Cheddar in your recipes.  For family budget purposes Daiya is a bit pricey.  I cook for 7 people every day so I'm sure you can understand why price is a huge  issue with me.  The containers Mike brought home were $5.29 each and we were able to make about 5 quesadillas a container, trust me it was well worth it! The biggest problem I've had with vegan quesadillas is the trouble they have staying together - with the Daiya that wasn't a problem.  It melted so nicely.  We piled beans, veggies, and  Morningstar Farms crumbles - the Daiya held it all together perfectly!  For locations where you can buy Daiya, or for a list of restaurants that use Daiya products check out                                                                          

Yesterday we went to see Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.  I have to admit, I wasn't blown away.  I enjoyed it, but it was somewhat dull.  You will not find a bigger Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman nor Helena Bonham Carter fan then me (especially when they work together) but the movie for me, definitely lacked something.  I don't know what - but something.
We also saw Benicio Del Toro in  The Wolfman.  First I must admit that if I wasn't a happily married woman I'd probably be in jail for stalking Mr. Del Toro. I love him. I have loved him ever since I first saw him in The Usual Suspects. I do however love him enough to admit that he is a terrible actor - especially in The Wolfman.  I still enjoyed the movie anyway.  I've read reviews that ripped everything from Danny Elfman's musical score to how fast the moon moved.  The moon did move very fast, but it did so to depict the fact that several full moons pass throughout the course of the story.  I liked it all, the music, the actors, the gypsies, the moon - all of it!  Movie reviewers are stupid, don't listen to any of them.
Before I end this post I wanted to share with you my favorite new print.  I found this sassy little Zombie Hunter print while putting together a zombie treasury a few weeks back. Isn't she cute.  I had to get one.  I picked up this gorgeous plum frame from Home Goods. The frames color matches the print perfectly, like they were made for each other.  Just like me and my vegan cheese baring husband.   Before you puke from all of the cheesiness going on here stop by and get your own Zombie Hunter print. 

And yes cheesiness is a real word.  Here are some of the definitions I found:

chees·i·er, chees·i·est
cheesi·ly adv.
cheesi·ness n.

1. Containing or resembling cheese.
2. Informal Of poor quality; shoddy.
3. tasteless; tacky

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Farewell February

One word can sum up February 2010, it's an evil four letter word - SNOW!  The last few days of February saw us buried under 31 inches of the nasty white stuff.  It knocked out our power and left us very cold for a few days.  When the power final came back on we needed some serious comfort food, warm comfort food.  Hello Vegan Cinnamon Buns!
I followed the Cinnamon Bun recipe from Vegan Brunch and it was a great success.  The buns were soft and sticky and perfect.  We'll be making them again very soon I'm sure.  Vegan Brunch has become my favorite cook book, every recipe we've tried has turned out perfect. I have and love Veganomicon, but for some reason Vegan Brunch is the book I seem to always gravitate toward first. 
I enjoyed the Cinnamon Buns, but for me the ultimate comfort food is warm Spinach, Artichoke & Roasted Garlic dip served with toasted pita's.
Warm Spinach, Artichoke & Roasted Garlic Dip
2 Cups Cashews (salted are ok, just add less salt later)
1 large jar of marinated artichoke hearts drained
1 small head of  roasted garlic (see below for directions)
1/4 cup of olive oil (keep more on hand to use as needed)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup of vegan mayonnaise (I use Follow Your Heart's Vegenaise)
2 cups of frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
a pinch of dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated vegan cheese

 In a food processor combine cashews, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic, olive oil, vegan mayonnaise, lemon juice, oregano, salt & pepper and process until thick and creamy.  Drizzle extra olive oil as needed to obtain the creamy texture, you can replace the extra olive oil with water if you'd like but only use a couple of teaspoons at a time, you don't want make your dip to thin.  When everything is nice and creamy transfer to a large mixing bowl and hand mix in the chopped spinach.  Taste and adjust salt & pepper as needed.  When the spinach is completely mixed transfer to an oven proof dish, sprinkle the grated vegan cheese on top and bake at 350 for 25 mins or until top is golden.  Serve warm.

Optional variations: 1/2 cup diced roasted red peppers mixed in after the spinach
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts
 (I hate water chestnuts and never use them, but I'm told they're good in this dip.)

Roasted Garlic
Clean a head/bulb of garlic. Chop off the top of the bulb so that you can see all of the individual garlic cloves.  Place the bulb in a baking pan with an inch of water on the bottom.  Drizzle with olive oil and cover with tin foil.  Bake in the oven at 350 for 1 hour.  Allow the roasted garlic to cool.  The roasted garlic cloves will slip away from the skin of the bulb and be ready to use in all of your favorite recipes.

February wasn't all bad and snowy.  Mike and I celebrated our Anniversary by slipping away to Soy & Sake  This year was our 17th year together as old married people - wow! It's true what they say about time and flying.  Enough about that, more about Soy & Sake. We ate like we were on our way to the chair.  Everything was so good.  I'm going to embarrass myself and show everything we ordered.  My absolutely favorite was the Bourbon Chicken appetizer. Mike's favorites were this deep fried shrimp thing and steamed pork buns.

We also ordered the Citrus Beef, and Butterfly Soy Chops that came with this amazing side of Collard Greens that had little bits of vegan ham- so good!
We loved Soy & Sake and will definitely be back.