Tag Archives: food

The Vegan Cupcake Off!

14 Jun

The adorable little boutique and DIY community space Rock Paper Scissors Collective in Oakland hosted a vegan cupcake off on Saturday! For $5 you got to sample all the cupcakes and act as an official cupcake judge. Fun!

And the cupcakes! Wow!  Everything was so tasty, I wish we could have bought extra cupcakes after we sampled everything. I would have happily taken home one (0r 12) of everything. Starting from the very bottom and moving clockwise we have: Inlaw Cupcake (double chocolate and coffee), Lime Raspberry-inthemiddle Mini Cupcake, Cardamom Cupcake with Strawberry Jam and Basil Buttercream, Peach Melba Cupcake, Pastel de Tres Leches Cupcake with an adorable little palette cleanser to the side, Rhubarb Apple Cupcake with Burnt Sugar Drizzle, and a Blueberry Surprise Mini Cupcake.
 It was truly difficult to pick just one winner.  Everyone who entered should give themselves a pat on the back for being so talented! But choose I did.

A big thanks to RPCC to putting on such a great event! I’m already looking forward to next year.

Which of these flavors do you think would have been your favorite?

Winter in June – How I Stay Sane During Bay Area “Summers”

1 Jun

Oh, the joys of living in San Francisco. The weather is hardly ever quite right. While my family and friends living in Texas are reporting temperatures well over 100 degrees, it has been cold and raining off and on for the past week. I suppose you learn to love it, and it certainly pays off in the actual winter months.

I recently treated myself to Julie Hasson’s new book Vegan Diner and have been eager to try some recipes. Even though it feels so wrong to be making soups and stews as the rest of the country eases into the first weeks of summer, I can’t help but crave comfort foods when the weather gets so dreary. So, I decided to try the recipe for veggies and dumplings.

I really enjoyed this recipe, and it was so easy to put together!  I can’t wait to try more from this book; I have my eyes on the  the mac-and-cheese, reuben, and Philly cheesesteak sliders for future meals.

I refuse to completely abandon hope that warm weather will come to San Francisco. If it doesn’t, I’ll never get the chance to wear the Comment (Norah Gaugah Vol. 6) tank I’ve been working on for the past week.

After knitting Watershed I had decided I wanted to work something a little more mindless for awhile. It’s a lot of stockinette.

Luckily, I had just enough Knit One Crochet Too 2nd Time Cotton in my stash for this project. If you’re not into subbing you’re in luck, the pattern calls  Berroco Bonsai (97% bamboo, 3% nylon) which is a vegan yarn!

So that’s about how my life has been since finishing up the semester. A lot of cooking, knitting, and glancing wistfully out the window wishing for warmer weather. What are your summer plans?

A Weekend in Los Angeles: Part Two

25 May

On Sunday we got up around 7  a.m. to head to Van Nuys and start setting up the FARM table for WorldFest. I volunteered to help out for the day promoting and take registrations for the Animal Rights National Conference in LA this summer. Plus free admission! Score!

Here I am, keeping an eye on things.

Since we were there for about 10 hours there wasn’t much to do to keep ourselves entertained during the slow spells besides sample all of the delicious food available.

First things first. Vegan funnel cake with strawberries and whipped cream. That’s right. Funnel cake. It was from that vendor with kettle corn and lemonade thats been at every festival or fair you’ve ever attended.

I had been eager to sample something from Jam Vegan Bakery since I heard they would be attending. My little oatmeal cream pie was quite tasty!

Northern California’s own vegan nacho cheese company Nacheez was there slinging up nachos. I swear, it was exactly like I remember 7-Eleven gas station nachos tasting as a kid.

And they were sharing a booth with So Delicious where you could get your scoop of mint chocolate chip or mocha almond fudge coconut ice cream with a brownie!

As for non-food related items, there were baby cows from Gentle Barn that just about made my heart explode. You do not know adorable until you’ve had a calf rub its face on your tummy! And there were all sorts of great vegan businesses hawking their wares. I picked up this awesome tote bag and some stickers from the Herbivore booth. It’s the perfect summer tote; I can see it easily holding  a beach towel, water bottle, and of course my knitting.

After a successful day for FARM we packed up the booth and started the six hour journey home. Overall, I thought it was a great event! Certainly the best vegan/eco festival I’ve ever attended. I would love to be able to go again next year, but I also have my fingers crossed that something similar will come to the Bay Area!

A Weekend in Los Angeles: Part One

23 May

I finished up the semester on Wednesday! Hooray! I am looking forward to spending my extra two days off a week over the summer reading and knitting both by hand and on my machine. I have so many plans! But first, Alex and I made the 12 hour round trip drive down to Los Angeles and back so that he could table for his job with FARM at WorldFest in Van Nuys. We both have friends and family in LA, and there’s so much great food that we decided to make a weekend of it.

We had heard that Madeleine Bistro would be closing up shop indefinitely on Saturday the 21st so we made a reservation for Friday evening with a few friends. I ordered the Filet No Fish with a caesar salad and gluten free macaroni and cheese on the side*. The lighting was so bad I had to ask my friend with a masters in photography to take the photos for me. I think he did a great job!

Filet No Fish and Caesar Salad

GF mac n' cheese

While I thought the food was great (someone please teach me how to make the seitan in the Filet No Fish!), it was pricey for the portion sizes. I don’t think anyone in our group felt satisfied after our meal. I hope that Madeleine will reopen one day with some minor adjustments to the menu pricing! I would love to eat there again.

Early on Saturday morning we went for brunch with our friends at Sage, an all vegan bistro in Echo Park not too far from where we stayed the night. I immediately zeroed in on the Smoked Macaroni and Cheese. Mac n’ cheese at 9 in the morning? Yes, please!

Smoked macaroni and cheese with biscuit & gravy and walnut sausage

The mac n’ cheese was an instant favorite and the walnut sausage was unique and delicious! The prices were also shockingly fair for an all organic restaurant. Next time I’m in the area I will absolutely be going back.

That afternoon we drove about an hour to Irvine where Alex’s younger sister lives; his older sister and her family also met up with us and we all went to Native Foods for lunch. I had a really hard time choosing what to order, everything on the menu looks so good! I finally went with the Wild Buffalo Wrap with a side of kale and Alex ordered the Classic Deli Reuben.

Wild Buffalo Wrap

Classic Deli Reuben

My wrap was great, but I love any combination of buffalo sauce and ranch dressing, so I pretty much already knew I would enjoy it. However, I stole a few bites of Alex’s reuben and I am fairly certain it is the best sandwich I’ve ever had. The seitan was perfect! and they did not skimp at all on the filling. Native Foods, please open a location in San Francisco (there have been rumors!) so that I can eat this sandwich all the time!

For dessert we split a chocolate cupcake. I can’t even properly describe how good this frosting was. Kind of like eating sweet and creamy air?

Chocolate Cupcake

On the way back to LA form Irvine I finished my Watershed Cardi in the car! Turns out you can get a lot of knitting done when you’re stuck in traffic for most of the day! It’s blocking now so I’ll have a post soon!

I’m skipping over our dinner at Stuff I Eat (a vegan soul food restaurant) because I didn’t really like it. I would be willing to try it again, but I would get a sandwich or enchilada pie instead of the Soul Food Platter.

We left Stuff I Eat and went to visit my Aunt who just happens to live near a Veggie Grill. Since we were both still hungry after not eating much for dinner we headed over right before they closed and each had a Santa Fe Crispy Chickin’ Sandwich. I added a side of the GF Mac-n-Cheese to mine.

Santa Fe Crispy Chickin Sandwich and Mac-n-Cheese

I had eaten at Veggie Grill before so I already knew I loved the chickin’ sandwich (I’ve pretty much been dreaming about it since my last trip to LA 2 years ago), but this was my first time trying the mac and cheese and I really wasn’t into it, I took about 4 bites before I quit. Not too surprising since it’s made with Daiya and I don’t really like Daiya!

So that concludes Friday and Saturday eating in LA! I’ll have another post this week talking about WorldFest.

Have you tried any good restaurants in the LA area?

* You will be able to find a detailed report of the mac n’ cheese dishes I tried on The Noochy Noodle.

More Pie!

30 Apr

Here’s another pie from the test kitchen; a Chocolate Caramel Tart with Fleur de Sel. I’ve got to say, I think this has been my favorite recipe from the book.


The Leaf Beret is just about complete! Lookout for pictures soon!