Monday, October 31, 2011

Spooky Cake!

We had our anual Halloween party this year. And I taught my husband how to work with fondant. He has done a bunch of sculture and painting so he was a total natural! I wanted to post pictures of his first cake. I made the cakes and advised on sculpting technique! The base cake was vanilla and the skull/zombie was pumpkin walnut! And there is a thin layer of buttercream under the fondant!
base cake covered and getting trimmed.
The hair is always hard!
The finished results before they were on the serving dish!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cupcakes anyone?

Who doesn't love cupcakes? These little vegan beauties are based off two recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Which is a super fun cupcake book for any vegan baker. They both have a basic butter cream frosting, made with vegan butter.

The Green topped ones are Pistachio Rosewater; for the butter cream I put a slight flavor of almond in it, it was a nice counterpoint to the rosewater. They are also topped with chopped pistachios.

The chocolate ones are the basic chocolate recipe from the book but I added two teaspoons of orange extract, a tablespoon of orange juice, and about a tablespoon of orange zest. So they went from plain chocolate to chocolate orange! The topping for this is again vegan butter cream, with vanilla extract added, which was a great counterpoint to the orange. Then topped with some sprinkles.
The cupcake tower is by Wilton and is most likely pretty available in most craft stores. It is pretty fun to make these tasty treats go vertical and they are very easy to take off the tower as well.

Yum and done!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

I have said it before I will say it again, I love peanut butter! So for my a dessert of peanut butter and chocolate is great. This is quick and easy and the oats are a good binder. Some people like to use confectioners sugar but I didn't want the extra sugar. Plus I think the taste of the peanut butter and the dark chocolate is wonderful, no reason to sweeten it up even more.
• 2 cups peanut butter (choose your favorite but I like a chunky for extra texture)
• 2 cups rolled oats
• 2 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks
Mix the peanut butter and oats together well.

mixed pretty well but I gave it one more pass
In a double boiler melt chocolate. As that is melting down take an 8 by 8 or 9 by 9 pan ( 8x8 will give you a bit of a thicker bar) and spread the peanut butter oat mixture evenly. When chocolate is melted pour and even out over the mixture.
pretty even if you ask me

chocolate spread, and now all over my phone
Let the chocolate temper do not put in the fridge until very set. When chocolate is set you can put in the fridge if you want a cold treat! Enjoy!

Yum and done!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


The inspiration for this ratatouille came from Food & Wine October 2011. The original recipe was put together by Melissa Clark arthor of Cook It Now. What I found most fascinating about her recipe is that she cooks the ingredients in smaller batches to cook faster thus not spending a ton of time doing a traditional ratatouille which can be hours. This in contrast with prep time took about an hour. It can be made in advance and heated up and will keep in the fridge, the directions below are for four servings. To keep it vegan hold the goat cheese! And with any stew you need some nice toasted bread to go along with it, and it helps if that bread is garlic!
• 1 medium eggplant peeled and diced
• 1 small yellow squash
• 1 small zucchini
• 1 medium onion diced medium fine
• 10 to 12 ounces cherry tomatos cut in half
• 1 pound canned or stewed tomatoes (mine were canned from the garden)
• 1/2 cup basil chopped and loosely packed
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 5 cloves garlic minced
• about 1/2 cup olive oil
• salt and pepper to taste
Put about 1/4 cup olive oil in a dutch oven and heat until shimmering over medium heat. Add the diced and peeled eggplant cook stirring regularly for five minutes add two cloves of minced garlic and cook another five minutes, adding a bit of salt and pepper. Remember eggplant loves salt so don't add to much.
some of my ingredients waiting
eggplant starting to cook down
Next let the eggplant rest in a bowl, I would suggest pulling it out with a slotted spoon to keep any olive oil in the dutch oven. Add a a bit more olive oil to the same pot and next add the onions, after the onions have cooked to be translucent add the squash and zucchini.
Squash and zucchini just added
After about five minutes still over medium heat add the cherry tomatoes and two more cloves or garlic and half the basil.
Just added
Let the tomatos cook until the are releasing a lot of juice and then added the stewed tomatoes.
More tomatos added
Add the last clove of garlic and cook on low heat for at least 20 minutes then add the rest of the fresh basil cook for another five minutes. Plate and enjoy, seen below with goat cheese and garlic bread!

Yum and done!