December 2008


I know you all are scratching your heads in amazement, wondering why the chocolate vegenaise cake was less than stellar, but in breaking news: the flavor is better today! It tastes more like chocolate today, as opposed to nothingness yesterday. I mean, the cake is still mediocre, but not inedible.

And just because I hate writing posts without pictures, here are a few photos of my housemate’s cat, who has taken to sleeping in my room. Her name is Grimm, but I just call her purrball because she never stops purring. Awwwww.
P.S. It’s hard taking pictures of cats, they’re always moving!

img_7516

img_7517

img_7520

img_7521

img_7615

My mom has this friend who used to make a chocolate mayonnaise cake (actually, I bet she still makes it), and apparently it was a pretty great cake. As revolting as it sounds, I can see where mayonnaise would make for a moist cake. Side note: this lady’s now deceased husband had two heart attacks, and she has had (at least) one.
It’s not a joking matter, but is it any wonder?

I myself had a horribly scarring childhood incident involving a mayonnaise + bologna sandwich (mayonnaise being the main ingredient), and every so often I think of it and shudder, but I pushed the memory out of my mind because I really wanted to make a chocolate mayonnaise cake.

I figured mayo cake was a countryish thing, and indeed, it is. I found a recipe online (this one) and read and ignored the reviews, partly because the reviews were mixed and partly because of the spelling. Does that make me a horrible person?

“I would deffinatly make this type of cake instead of using veggitable oil and eggs.”

This one is just plain scary:

“I made this cake for some friends and it was a big hit. This cake was sooooo moist and delicious. In addition to the ingredients specified, I added a box of chocolate fudge instant pudding along with 3 eggs, and 1 cup of Hellmann’s Lite Mayonnaise instead of 3/4 cup. This would make an excellent birthday cake for those chocolate lovers.”

Anyhoo, the mayonnaise stands in for oil and eggs, so all I had to do was use vegenaise instead of it. I added a little black cocoa powder to it, and I had high hopes for it, because the batter was frickin’ delicious. It took me literally five minutes to throw together, and as I was licking the bowl my housemate came out of her room and asked me what I was making. I didn’t want to tell her it was mayonnaise cake in case that grossed her out enough to not want any, so I said nonchalantly, “I’m making chocolate cake, yum!” My plan was that after it was done I’d give her a piece of the cake, watch her eat it, and when she was done watch her reaction as I told her there was vegenaise in it.

Well. If there ever was a time to use epic fail in a sentence, this would be it.
The texture is okay, but the taste is completely lackluster. So sad. It’s like the proverbial bad vegan cake recipe x infinity. I made a coffee icing to go on it to try to save it, and it helped a little, but it’s still a failure. I want to say my mom’s friend used to make a mayonnaise + chocolate icing for the cake, but I could just be making that up for the grossness factor. In fact, I think I am.

img_7614

You win some, you lose some, right dudes?

Really, I’m not. Yet every time I’m at a second-hand store I always check the boys’ and girls’ clothing. I can’t help myself, there’s just always something to be found.

Once, while I was looking at the girls’ clothing at my local Salvation Army, I overheard two ladies bonding over finding ticks on their children, needing to buy winter coats for said children, and Florida. A bit random, but it was very cute and I like to imagine that both families now get together for play dates while wearing their thrifted coats.

Anyway, last time I was shopping, I found an awesome pair of pajamas (for 3.99) in the boys’ section.

img_7463

img_7470

One thing I want to know is why do they have heart buttons?
It intrigues me every night as I’m getting ready for bed.

img_7482

img_5863

Terra chips, you were nice while you lasted.

This is possibly the dumbest post ever written, but hopefully Bob Dylan fans will get it.

(I am aware this photo is super blurry, it’s my take on the Blonde on Blonde album cover. Take it or leave it…..)
img_7435

img_6749

Blondies are a nice change of pace from the boring regular chocolate dessert that is known as the brownie. Alright, I take it back, brownies aren’t boring. And actually, chocolate isn’t always used. When my sisters and I were younger on rainy days my mother used to make carob brownies a la 1970’s hippy food/Mollie Katzen cuisine.*
One day when my sister was away at college her friend started talking about how she thought she hated brownies growing up but really she just hated the carob brownies her mother made, and my sister knew exactly what she meant.**
My sister’s friend grew up on a hippy commune in Texas, though. We didn’t grow up on a commune, we were stuck in the suburbs with the urban blues, so I have no idea what my mother’s reasoning behind the carob was.
(Actually I do. We just ate super healthy growing up.)

* I have nothing against the Moosewood cookbooks. In fact, I think they’re adorable. However, I am annoyed by Mollie Katzen’s selling-out. (Don’t follow the link unless you want to be aggravated.)

** For the record, I like carob and I know at least five other people who believe in it.

A few weeks ago I had an idea that cashew butter would be really nice in blondies, so I pledged my time to make some absolutely sweet treats.
The cashew butter worked well in them; the flavor isn’t too overwhelming, but you can taste it, which is nice. I’m happy with the texture, it was just like a blondie should be (well, the texture was perfect for 2 of the 3 I’ve made). The 4th time around we’ll see how it goes.

These babies are a work in progress, though.
I still think they could use something else, I’m just not sure what. If you have a suggestion, feel free to tell me! I’m sure at least one of you must know something to jazz it up.

I wanted to buy some of the Price Chopper accidentally vegan butterscotch chips I’ve been hearing all about lately so I could use them in the blondies and call them blonde on blonde, but the ingredients were scary and I couldn’t bring myself to buy them.
Although I might just have to crack and get them to see how taste in the blondies. Decisions, decisions.
img_6750

Not that I want to be a pilgrim (or even associated with one), but for some reason I have weird pilgrim-ish clothing in my closet, so I figured why not take a picture for my Thanksgiving food post?

I got the dress at a Salvation Army for $4 a few months ago. It’s awesome in a colonial sort of way. The cute itty bitty chicks on my shoulder aren’t attached to the dress, I anchored them on for the picture.

Every year when Thanksgiving comes around I always think of King Missile, specifically their song “The Indians.”¬† (What’s that, you say you don’t know of King Missile? You should check them out! They’re only, oh I don’t know, the funniest band EVER!)

For your entertainment, here are the lyrics to “The Indians.”

The Indians lived all over this land before we came and killed them.
That was very bad of us.
We thought we needed the land,
But for the most part,
We just ruined it anyway,
And now, nobody can use it.
That’s the way we are.
We’re pigs.
One of my favorite foods to eat is called corn.
The Indians call it, “maize.”
We call the Indians, “Indians.”
This is because Columbus thought he was in India
When he first came to this land.
Some people say we should call the Indians, “Native Americans,”
‘Cause they were here in America before us,
But before us,
This land wasn’t called, “America.”
It was named “America” by a mapmaker who never even came here.
He just lived in Europe
And made maps and when he found out about this land,
He just made a map of it,
And just put his name on it,
‘Cause he could.
That’s the way we are.
We’re pigs.

As I was writing this,
A cockroach fell from the sky and onto the table.
I killed it,
‘Cause I did.
That’s the way I am.
This doesn’t really have very much to do with the Indians, though.
I guess I got kind of sidetracked.
Anyway, I hope you see my point.

I was originally thinking about making a posole and pumpkin stew for Un-turkey day, but I decided to make calzones instead, hoping to go as far away from tradition as possible. I think it worked….

We started off with a salad of romaine lettuce, purple cabbage, roasted sweet potato wedges and pomegranate seeds with an apple cider vinaigrette. My sister Susan apparently doesn’t like¬† pomegranate seeds, but that’s her problem (aka more for me).

I think my mom was a little scared when I told her I was making broccoli raab calzones, but everybody really loved them. I made a chickpea and sage puree to go on the side, along with tomato sauce and tangelo roasted carrots. The calzones had caramelized onions (deglazed with vermouth), garlic, pine nuts, broccoli raab, oil-cured black olives, and a couple of other things I’m forgetting.

The chickpea and sage puree had chickpeas, roasted garlic, fresh sage, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt + pepper. When I moved out I took my food processor with me, so I had to use a blender, but it turned out okay.

The tangelo roasted carrots were really good! I made a mixture of sesame oil, shoyu, tangelo zest + juice, and maple syrup and poured it over the carrots before they went in the oven.

Last but not least, for dessert we had individual gingerbread cakes with sauteed apples + cinnamon coconut whipped cream. Oh yeah, there was also a blackberry brandy reduction on the plate for a little sweetness and color.
The apples were a little mealy, and everyone agreed that they took away from the rest of the dessert. I bet warm applesauce would go better, maybe I’ll try that next time. Susan thought the gingerbread was a bit strong, but she has WASPy taste buds, so we can’t go by her.