Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Earthlings part 2...

Okay, I have had a few people asking me what I thought of Earthlings and I promised a post...

The Documentary is split in to 5 parts: pets, food, clothing, entertainment and scientific research.

I have only made it through the first two parts. I have been busy and it is just so sad, I can't handle watching it all in one sitting.

The pets thing was hard to watch, some I already knew and some things I didn't. It made me extremely glad that I have adopted my cats and didn't buy them from a pet store.

Food was just heartbreaking to get through! To be honest there wasn't a lot that I didn't already know, but actually seeing the horribleness of all of it was just too much for me. I will never look at a piece of meat the same way again.

Part of me thinks that because days later I'm not depressed about it and functioning that it shouldn't matter any more, but after actually seeing the things I've heard about, I just can't do it. I haven't had any meat since the day before I watched it and am really feeling okay about that decision.

I probably won't get around to watching the rest of it for a few days. I've got a busy and fun rest of the week. I don't want to make myself depressed watching that. Will pick it up later this week or early next.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Epic failure and a blog I LOVE!!

So last night I stayed up all night to finish some baking so that I could bring treats to my coworkers today. I have been making an honest effort to try and veganize my holiday treats and a lot of my favorite recipes.

Well last night I tried to veganize my recipe for butterscotch blondies... What an EPIC failure that turned out to be! The batter tasted really good. It has been a while since I've made them so I wasn't quite sure of what the consistency was supposed to be but it seemed okay. Well I couldn't find my 9x13 pan (my roommate hid it by accident) so I decided I would just pour it into my cupcake pans and make little individual ones instead...

I put them in the oven and set a halfway done timer. Well when I went and checked on them I was shocked at what I saw! The outer edges were crispy and the centers were boiling... Not at all how it should be cooking! I for some odd reason decided I'd leave them in longer and check to see if maybe they'd improve if they just cooked some more.

Wrong! So I took them out and now my poor cupcake pans are possibly ruined! The edges are so crispy I can't pry it away from the pan and the centers are so gooey that even once I scoop out what I can there is tons stuck to the bottom and sides....

You really can't tell how awful it is by this picture. I've got them soaking in my kitchen sink now in some warm soapy water hoping that if they soak and soften I can get it all out without ruining my pans. *fingers crossed!*

On to another topic! I have recently made a new friend on twitter, her name is also Meagan spelled with the extra A.(very rare, we were definitely meant to be friends!) :) She's a friend of my friend Jordan which is how we came to follow each other online. Anyway... She has one of my favorite vegan blogs!!

Meg's Cooking Addiction

Most vegan blogs are a little scary if you are new to the world of vegans. To someone like me who is unsure and just trying to learn the basics they can be terrify with all these fancy ingredients that are somewhat hard to find or foods you've never dreamed of combining.

Meg's blog is great! It is all food you'd eat anyway, simple recipes with things you can find at your local grocery store. :) I urge even my non vegan friends to look at her yummy recipes!!

Meg's Cooking Addiction

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pie Crust

You will probably never see me post a recipe for any of my fruit pies I make. Mainly because I have no idea what amounts I use of anything, but I decided that since I am awake waiting for some butterscotch blondies to come out of the oven that I would post a recipe for the pie dough I use, or at least what I used to use when I first started making pies years ago.

This is the Basic Pie Dough recipe from the Joy of Cooking cookbook.

Basic Pie Dough

2c flour
1teas salt
1/3c vegetable shortening
1/3c chilled butter
5+TBS water

This makes 2 9in pie crusts

Super simple... I add white sugar to my dough also. Again, I don't know how much because I tend to make tons at a time and really don't pay any attention to how much of anything I put in.

If using this for something like potpie I'd say use it the way it is, if making a dessert pie, I'd say be sure and add some white sugar to it! Totally changes the flavor! I always have people asking how I make my crust, they love it!

This isn't my copy, but this is the same version I have. :)

Pie Dough on FoodistaPie Dough

Peanut Butter thumbprint cookies...

My phone takes super crappy pictures and makes everything look yellow... But those are 3 different ways to bake the same cookie! I made some regular old school peanut butter cookies, thumbprint cookies (some with my grandpa's homemade crab apple jelly and some with black raspberry jam) and peanut butter blossoms with Hershey kisses on top. This is the first year I have ever not done just the kisses on them. Worked out well all the way around though. :)

I have made these every year for Christmas for years and years and I always use the recipe off the bag of Hershey kisses. I cut it out and taped it to a piece of paper a few years ago and now I'm glad I did because this year they changed the recipe on the bag and I didn't want to use the new one.

This year though, I veganized the recipe... I am going to post the recipe I actually made and those of you who don't want to veganize it can switch things back to what they would be.

1/2c vegetable shortening
3/4c peanut butter
1/3c sugar
1/3c brown sugar
Ener-G Egg Replacer to equal 2 eggs (original recipe only calls for one egg)
2TBS vanilla soymilk (I imagine any form of milk will do, that is just what I had)
1teas vanilla
1 1/2c flour
1teas baking powder (the original recipe calls for baking soda but I was out)
1/2teas salt

I mix all the dry ingredients and shortening together, then add the 'egg', vanilla and milk and mix again then add the peanut butter very last until it is all smooth. It'll be a little sticky but its supposed to be that way. :)

Roll it in to 1in balls then roll the balls in sugar. Bake at 375 for 8-10min. Keep in mind that they continue to bake for 3min after they come out of the oven, so don't leave them in too long. If you want to make just regular peanut butter cookies, press them down with a fork before putting them in the oven. If you're adding jam then make a thumbprint in them as soon as you take them out, or add your kisses as soon as they come out of the oven.

Let cool a few minutes before trying to move them or they might crumble cuz they are a bit soft when they first come out.

Here is a picture of the egg replacer I used.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Wednesday my buddy Jordan is coming over. He is going to teach me how to make 'chicken' and I'm not quite sure what else to make a complete vegan meal. We are also going to watch the Earthlings documentary. Neither of us have seen it, he has been meaning to watch it and I have been told by numerous people that I should. This movie has the potential to be life changing... Honestly I've been putting off watching it for so long because I'm afraid to see it. I have a basic idea of what it is about but am not looking forward to actually seeing the horrible graphic things it has in it....


I'll write about that experience next week, if any of you feel the need to watch it you should. Will be interesting and possibly eye opening for you...

Chistery's!! (drink recipe!)

Okay so tomorrow or I guess later tonight is my annual holiday party with my friends. Last year we started a tradition of doing a spin on a white elephant party.

Tonight I am starting all the baking for our party and the treats I plan on bringing to work. Last night I made the vegan pumpkin pie, it is amazing! So much better then the recipe I usually follow on the can! Even my roommate who seems to think EVERYTHING should have meat in it agreed.

I had a friend I really wanted to come tonight, but she was a little hesitant because her husband will be at work. So I bribed her into coming by promising her our favorite alcoholic beverage! We've been saying for months we needed to get together just to have an excuse to make them, but just haven't had time. Well tomorrow is the perfect excuse!

So I don't have a recipe, just a list of ingredients that go in it, you can add things to your liking.

Margarita mix
Vanilla bean ice cream
Mike's hard raspberry lemonaid

You blend together everything but the mike's hard until it is kind of like a shake. Will probably have a few ice chunks, that's okay!!

After you pour it into a glass pour some of the Mike's hard over it and drink.

This is something a couple of my friends and I created while watching the Dark Side of Oz... What is the Dark Side of Oz you ask?

Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon dubed over The Wizard of OZ. Here is a link to a video if you don't believe me...

We were watching it one night while making these drinks and decided to name them Chistery's after one of the evil monkey's in the Wizard of Oz movie! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vegan baking! (pumpkin pie recipe)

Starting my baking for our holiday party on Saturday and some stuff to bring to my coworkers for Christmas. I just put a pumpkin pie in the oven. It's my first vegan pumpkin pie! I was a little worried to be honest, but I tasted the batter and its pretty good, hoping the pie turns out just as well.

I used the recipe from here.
Vegan Connection

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Have ready, one 9" unbaked pastry crust

2 c. solid-pack canned pumpkin (if you use home-cooked pumpkin, drain it for
several hours hanging in a cloth bag, so it's thick like canned pumpkin)
1 c. non-dairy milk (I used vanilla soymilk)
3/4 c. brown sugar or Sucanat (I used dark brown sugar)
1/4 c. cornstarch (yes the amount is correct, I thought it was odd, but it worked)
1 T. molasses
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. EACH ground ginger, nutmeg and salt
1/4 tsp. ground allspice or cloves

I only used about 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon and about 1tsp nutmeg instead of putting ginger, allspice and/or cloves in it. They aren't things I ever have on hand so I just used what I had already.

Pour the filling into the pastry and bake 60 minutes, covering the edges with foil if they begin to brown too quickly. Cool on a rack, then refrigerate overnight before serving.

It is REALLY dark, but considering it has molasses and dark brown sugar in it that would make sense. It doesn't look at all like pumpkin pie though, but really turned out way better then the recipe I follow off the can every year! Seriously, try it out!!

Also going to make some cranberry-orange muffins tonight and then tomorrow making my yearly peanut butter cookies and probably some butterscotch blondies. Maybe some potato chip cookies or some jalapeno potato chip cookies. We'll see!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thanksgiving part 3...

Finally getting around to getting this blog posted almost 2 weeks later! It has been a week from hell and well... Getting online was not my biggest concern.

Dinner turned out great, I think for the first time since I started doing Thanksgiving at my house, NOTHING went wrong! We had TONS of snow that day but my brother and family were still able to brave the storm and make it to dinner. :)

Does anyone know how I can post a slideshow of pictures instead of mass amounts of individual ones?

Thanksgiving 2010 pics

here is a link to them on my Facebook page, I don't want to post a million pictures on here. This is all the food from start to finish... Check them out!