Friday, May 23, 2008

Elvis Cupcakes

I got this recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and just had to post it! These cupcakes are SPECTACULAR. The recipe recommends filling them, but I decided to skip that step and just frost them. Go easy with the frosting, it doesn't need that much. You can even cut this frosting recipe in half. Top with chopped peanuts or chocolate chips. I used a pastry bag to make the frosting extra fancy.


CUPCAKES:

1/2 cup mashed over ripe banana
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
2/3 cup rice or soy milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your pan with paper liners.

2. Throw your mashed banana in a blender or or just smash it into oblivious with a fork. Just try to get the lumps out.

3. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl, mix well.

4. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, soy or rice milk, vanilla, almond and mashed banana. Stir or fold the wet ingredients into the dry, but don’t over mix or you’ll get tough cupcakes. Small lumps are fine. Fill liners 2/3 full. Bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.


FROSTING:


1/4 cup margarine, softened
2 Tbs. shortening
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/3 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1-2 Tbs soy milk

With an electric mixer, cream together margarine and shortening until smooth. Add peanut butter and vanilla, beat until very smooth. Beat in sugar, mixture will be very stiff. Dribble in soy milk a little at a time, beating continuously until frosting is pale and fluffy.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

'The X-Files: I Want To Believe' Trailer


video



This is it! The trailer I've been waiting 6 years to see... the movie I've been waiting 10 years for! I started watching the show in February of 1999 and have been obsessed ever since. If you've never seen the show, it's never too late to start watching.

The movie has been top secret, very hush-hush. What you see in this trailer is about all I know. I guess I do enjoy a nice surprise, but with this hype, Chris Carter better have something spectacular up his sleeve!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Calabacitas Casserole with Polenta and Caesar Salad

These two recipes are pretty simple, the Casserole comes from Rachael Ray (not a huge fan, but this recipe is great) and the salad is from Veganomicon. I got lazy when making the croutons and used garlic salt in place of roasted garlic... worked perfectly too, less mess. I made the dressing the night before, so all I had to do was make the croutons and open the pre-cut romaine lettuce bag.



Veganomicon Caesar Salad:

FOR THE CROUTONS:
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves roasted garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 medium loaf French or Italian bread (little less than 1 lb.), stale and torn or sliced into bite sized pieces
¼ teaspoon salt

CAESAR DRESSING:
1/3 cup blanched, slivered or sliced almonds
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3/4 lb. silken tofu (fresh, not vacuum packed is best)
1⁄4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 heaping tablespoon capers
4 teaspoons caper brine
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
salt to taste

FOR THE SALAD:
1 large head Romaine lettuce, chopped
Freshly cracked black pepper
Handful or two of spinach and arugula, torn into bite-sized pieces (optional)



DIRECTIONS:

1. Prepare the dressing: In a food processor or blender, pulse the sliced almonds till crumbly. Empty ground almonds into an air tight container that you’ll be using to store the finished dressing in. Place garlic, tofu and oil in food processor or blender and blend until creamy. Add lemon juice, capers, caper brine, sugar, dry mustard powder and pulse until blended. Adjust lemon juice and salt to taste. Pour into container with the ground almonds and whisk to combine. Cover and allow dressing to chill in the refrigerator for a minimum 30 minutes, optimally 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

2. While dressing is chilling prepare croutons. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine olive oil, roasted garlic and lemon juice. With a fork or immersion blender mash or blend the roasted garlic till creamy. Add torn bread and toss to coat each piece with the garlic/oil mixture. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt if desired and bake for 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown. Toss the croutons twice during baking. Remove from oven and cool croutons on baking sheet.

3. To assemble salad, pour 2-3 cups for each individual serving (depending if it's a side or entree) of lettuce/greens--and if using--vegetables, tempeh, etc. into a large bowl. Ladle on about 1/3 cup dressing (or more or less to taste), and use kitchen tongs to toss greens and coat with dressing. Add warm croutons, toss again and transfer to serving plate. Sprinkle with a little freshly cracked pepper. If not serving right away, warm croutons in 300 degree oven for 5-8 minutes before adding to the salad.


Calabacitas Casserole with Polenta


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups corn kernels, defrosted
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 green chili pepper or 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 small to medium zucchini, diced
1 small to medium yellow squash
1 large yellow skinned onion, chopped
1 (14-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, diced if desired (with juice)
2 teaspoons dark chili powder
Salt and pepper
1 (16-ounce) tubes prepared polenta
2 cups of Monterey Jack Cheese (optional)


DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, corn, garlic and chilies. Saute 3 minutes, add zucchini and yellow squash and onions, season with salt and pepper, chili powder; cook 7 to 8 minutes.

3. Add stewed tomatoes and heat through. Transfer to baking dish. Cut 1 tube of polenta in 1/2-inch slices lengthwise or into “coins.” Top vegetables with polenta and cheese. Place in hot oven to warm polenta, 8 to 10 minutes.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

America's Next Top Model Winner

Congratulations to Top Model Winner, Whitney, who was given the Top Model title on Wednesday, making her the first full figured winner in all 10 cycles. Even though she was constantly criticized for her "beauty pageant" qualities, I truly believe she earned the title and will be an amazing role model to girls of all ages and sizes.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Duggar Madness

We all saw it coming. Michelle Duggar is pregnant with her 18th child. Why this couple keeps bringing children into this world for the other children to raise... only God knows. The children have already been deprived of being children. Can you say, resentment down the road?

Michelle and Jim Bob - It's called the barrier method, you don't have to worry about miscarriages and to use the Christian religion as an excuse is bullshit. I was raised Christian and I know better than to force parenthood on 13 years old just because you can't keep off each other! God wants you to adopt, stop exploiting your children, and get on with your lives! And tator tot casserole? You really think God wants you to slaughter all of these turkeys and chickens just to feed your kids trans fat, cholesterol, saturated fat, and excessive amounts of calories? Yes, you have a gorgeous house, but the kids you already have need more one-on-one time with you. There's no way you can spend enough time with your kids, they might as well be in daycare all day.

[/rant]