Archive | October, 2008

Spritz Cookies

29 Oct

spritz

What to do when you’re in the middle of your craziest week yet? Bake cookies and try out your new cookie press!

I opted for very seasonal cute little pumpkins with orange sprinkles and simply veganized a recipe found in the The Joy of Cooking.  And my first trip into cookie press territory was a success although I did admittedly have trouble at first but once I figured it all out, it was pretty simple and fun!   A nice break from the studying I’ve been drowning in lately. 

Spritz Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup Earth Balance Shortening
1/2 cup soy yogurt
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.

1.  Cream together the sugar and shortening.
2.  Add the soy yogurt and vanilla, beat to combine.
3.  Sift in the flour and salt and cream until dough forms.
4.  Place dough into cookie press and press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet.
5.  Bake for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.

I always type survey ‘s-u-r-v-e-r-y’ for some reason.

26 Oct

Even though I do know how to spell it. This survey was a lot of fun to do, it may not be about food but you’re probably getting a little sick of food anyway at the end of Mofo, right?  Just kidding.  I was tagged by the lovely Josey of Vancouver Vegan to complete this fun survey.  I was going to include a picture of my closet but then I took a look at my closet and let’s just say well it has been a busy few weeks of school work…

1. What is fashion/style to you?
Fashion to me is expression and creativity.  It’s all about representing who you are and how you want to be read in society.
2. Describe your style.
Classic.  I don’t dress over the top and follow trends.  I like to stick to the pieces that never go out of style.  I hope that one day I can look back at photos and not be like ‘What the hell was I thinking??’.
3. Your favorite look/fashion style/genre.
I’m not sure.  I love looking at old photos of 60s bands and celebrities so that one.
4. Fashion style/look that you are into lately.
There’s been this look in the magazines that they’re calling rock or something like that and I love the accessories-big boots, bags with studs…none of it seems to very vegan though. 😦 Other than that, just the classic looks I was talking about earilier.
5. Your favorite fashion item.
I have two!
Scarves!  I am with the philosophy that you can never have too many and they can make something as basic as a black tee and jeans look awesome.
Cardigans!  I have a huge weakness for cardigans.  It’s kind of ridiculous.  I have…7?  Or more? 
6. What plays the most important role when you’re choosing your outfit?
How I feel that day.
7. Least favorite look/style/fashion item.
-legging as pants!  NOT flattering.  EVER.
-pants half way down your ass (guys, I’m looking at you!)
But there aren’t too many that bother me, as long as you’re dressing true to how you want to dress, I’m down with that.
8. Does your style change often?
Not really.  I stick to shades neutral colours-black, gray, navy and brown with a little bit of colour.  And I’ve been rocking that for a few years.  It does change though but slowly.
9. A girl’s wardrobe essentials?
A favourite pair of jeans.
A Cardigan.
A few scarves.
A pair of boots.
10. Your fashion motto:
Dress yourself.
11. Your fashion role model/icon.

There’s no one whose style I model myself after but I do admire the wardrobes of these people:

Audrey Hepburn
Rachel Bilson (she likes scarves too!)
Zooey Deschanel
12. Your favorite brands?
I don’t really have one.
13. What do you do when you see somebody wearing the exact same outfit that you are wearing?
It’s never happened to me, and I find it hard imagining that it would happen.  I’d probably laugh it off awkwardly.  Or stare them down.
14. Do you like to follow the trends often?
Not at all.
15. Your fashion secrets/tips:
Don’t dress like the Olsen twins (I mean who would have ever thought that hobo chic would become a term?).
Buy clothes that fit.  Even if that size on the tag isn’t what you normally buy.
Wear what you like.
Keep it simple.
16. Your favorite fashion model?
Like runway model?  I don’t have one.  I mean, Kate Moss can make wellies look cool so maybe her if I had to choose?
 
17. Favorite fashion mag?
I’ve been liking InStyle lately.  It’s so big and there’s lots of pictures.
18. Do you like to give fashion advice to other people?
Yeah.  I don’t do it too often though but if someone asks, I’m pretty honest.
19. The best look on opposite gender?
The first thing that came to mind was ‘clean’, ha ha.  I like how guys look when they dress ‘dressy-casual’
20. What is the most dominant colour in your closet/wardrobe?
Black.  Although gray’s becoming a close second.
21. Favorite fabric/texture of clothes?
Is it viscose?  That tree fiber thing, it feels sooo soft as a sweater.

22. Favorite clothing details?
Any thing that contrasts.  Like my latest cardigan purchase that’s black with tiny white buttons.  It just really makes the cardigan.
23. Favorite print?
I’m usually a solid girl.  I wear stripes often though.  I’ve been looking for a cream sweater with thin navy stripes so if anyone sees one around, let me know!
24. Your favorite no-fail clothing items?
Cardigan, skinny jeans, scarf, slouchy black boots.
25. What do you “collect”?
As mentioned previously, scarves and cardigans!  Scarves are the only accessory I wear a lot actually.
26. How do you take care of your clothes?
I try to hand wash stuff or wash them on delicate, washers are so mean to clothes.
27. Favorite shopping spots/places?
Anywhere and everywhere.  I can find stuff anywhere, like my yellow scarf that I found at the duty free shop at the Canada-USA border.
28. What is the oldest item in your closet?
I purge stuff a lot so there isn’t anything too old.  Unless you count my mom’s scarves and belts from the 80s that I ‘borrowed’.
29. Which fashion era is your favorite?
60s!  I love the mod look.  And the laid-back look of the 70s is another favourite.  I also love love love the roaring 20s look.
30. What inspires your style/fashion?
People on the street, pictures from different eras (20s+)…
Tag people to do this:

VeggieGirl!
Melisser!

Vegan Mofo: Breakfast

23 Oct

I was doing so well!  But then I just stopped posting.  Now part of the reason was because I was in the middle of mid-term season but the other part was I was just blah on the food front.  Sorry!

But this post isn’t for excuses, it’s about breakfast.  I love breakfast, it’s easily my most favourite meal of the day.  That and brunch, which is still breakfast in my books.  But I often get stuck on breakfasts.  For example, all summer and most of September I was having a slice of ezekiel sprouted bread toasted with almond butter and banana slices.  EVERY morning.  And it took me a long time to get tired of it. 

Now I’m stuck on something new.  Well, technically it’s not new because it’s what I had for breakfast all last winter.  Oatmeal.  I looove oatmeal.  It has to be made with steel-cut oats though as I do not like mush for breakfast.

breakfast

This is the version of oatmeal I’ve been enjoying, Apple-Cinnamon, trying to use up the large surplus of apples we have from apple picking a couple of weeks ago.  It’s delicious and keeps me full until lunch.  What are your favourite versions of oatmeal?

Oh, and I’ve started another blog.  It’s not a food blog and I’m still not sure if I’m going to keep it yet so I won’t give you the link yet. 

I’ll try not to neglect this blog anymore, there are only 8 days left of Vegan Mofo!

Vegan Mofo: Survey!

17 Oct

11.10.2008

Yawwwn.  Despite having a long weekend last weekend, I feel like I could use another one.  So to wake myself up, I filled out a survey.  I love surveys.  This one is brought to you by the lovely Jess of get sconed!.

1. What was the most recent tea you drank?
Pumpkin Spice Tea! (Thanks Shannon!)

2. What vegan forms do you post/lurk on? If so, what is your username? Spill!
I post on the ppk under the name ‘Ash’.

3. You have to have tofu for dinner, and it has be an Italian dish. What comes to mind first?
Um. Hmm. When I think italian, I think tomato sauce so maybe pizza with tofu ricotta?

4. How many vegan blogs do you read on an average day?
No idea. I read a feed so it’s quite a few. Some days I don’t have time to read them all so I’ll have to spend one day reading a bunch in one sitting.

5. Besides your own, what is the most recent one you’ve read?
Get Sconed! where I picked up this survey.

6. If you could hang out with a vegan blogger that you haven’t met, who would it be, and what would you do?
There’s so many! Can we have a huge vegan blogger meet-up? I think it would have to be
Veggie Girl! because she would a) bake me something awesome b) teach me how to dance. I can’t dance. At all. I’m an embarassment on the dance floor.

7. If you had to base your dinners for a week around one of the holy trilogy – tofu, seitan or tempeh, which would it be?
Tofu! I don’t think I can ever tire of tofu, it’s so versatile and adaptive.

8. If you had to use one in a fight, which would it be?
Seitan for sure.

9. Name 3 meals you’d realistically make with that tough protein of choice!
Oh, um I don’t actually eat seitan that much, I just thought that with a name like Seitan it would be tough to be beat. So um, yeah.

10. What’s a recipe in vegan blogland that you’ve been eyeing?
fatfreevegan’s Best Vegan Green Bean Casserole. I’ve never had green bean casserole before but it sounds and looks awesome.

11. Do you own any clothing with vegan messages/brands on them?
I have a “Please Don’t Eat Birds” tote bag from Herbivore.

12. Have you made your pilgrimage to the ‘vegan mecca’ yet? (Portland, duh)
No. I would love to someday though but it’s like way over on the other coast.

13. What age did you first go vegan? Did it stick?
I was 17 and yes it stuck.

14. What is the worst vegan meal you’ve had? Who cooked it?
Probably one of the many boring salads from a restaurant that wouldn’t have been my first choice to eat at.

15. What made you decide to blog?
I’m not sure, I was inspired by lots of other great vegan blogs and decided to give it a shot.

16. What are three of your favorite meals to make?
This changes but lately it’s been:
1) Marinated and baked tofu with quinoa and steamed vegetables.  (I make this SO often, it’s so easy to make)
2) Sesame Kale Soba
3) Chickpea Salad

17. What dish would you bring to a vegan Thanksgiving-themed potluck?
Pumpkin pie

18. Where is your favorite vegan meal at a restaurant? How many times have you ordered it?
Cajun Tofu from the Heartwood Bakery. I think I’ve ordered it three times.

19. What do you think the best chain to dine as a vegan is?
Probably Subway.

20. My kitchen needs a………

21. This vegetable is not allowed in my kitchen…..!
All vegetables are welcome in to my kitchen. Except celery.

22. What’s for dinner tonight?
I’m not sure yet!

23. What’s your favourite cookie cutter?
Right now I’m really loving my bat shaped cookie cutter.

Vegan Mofo: Apple Spice Loaf

14 Oct

14.10.2008

Today was another beautiful fall day (unlike yesterday) and had me wanting to do something with the apples picked on my Thanksgiving adventure I had the other day. The first thing I thought of was an Apple Spice Loaf. I’m unsure why because I have never had such or loaf or if it even existed. So I looked around until I found one that sounded good and tweaked it to my liking.

Apple Spice Loaf

I ended up using my recipe for Cinnamon Swirl Loaf, and changed the streusal recipe to one I found in this recipe.  It was very good, it develops a bit of a crust over a tender and cake-like loaf. The streusal was wonderful and so easy to make too (you know how streusal can sometimes get too dry or too oily? well this one was just right).

Apple Spice Loaf

1 cup soymilk
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 soy yogurt (I used So Nice’s Orginal)

For the Apple-Cinnamon Streusal:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup earth balance, melted
1 apple, peeled and diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a loaf pan.

1. In a small bowl, combine the soymilk and the apple cider vinegar. Set aside so it gets all nice and curdly.
2. In another small bowl, combine all of the streusal ingredients and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
4. In a separate large bowl, beat together the canola oil, sugar and soy yogurt.
5. Add the flour mixture, along with the soymilk/vinegar to the sugar mixture in batches. (I did this in three batches)
6. Add 1/2 of the batter to loaf pan and then sprinkle with the Apple-Cinnamon Streusal. Add remaining of the batter and top with the remaining of the streusal.
7. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick or a knife is inserted into the loaf comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Oh, and to my fellow Canadians, get out there and vote today!

Vegan Mofo: Hot Chocolate

13 Oct

Brrr. After an absolutely gorgeous weekend of sunny autumn weather, I woke up this morning and it was cold and wet. Oh well, it made for perfect weather for all the studying and reading I had to do today. It also made for perfect weather for a certain beverage: Hot Chocolate

Picture your ideal cold weather day. I bet you’re drinking hot chocolate in it, am I right? When we were kids, my sisters and I lived off of the instant stuff (and adding way more than the recommended tablespoon) on days that were blustery and cold. My sister even invented a practice of placing chocolate candies in hot chocolate (like those little chocolate bars we got on Halloween night) and letting them get all melty and making the drink extra chocolate-y. We liked our chocolate. Since becoming vegan, my hot chocolate days have dwindled as many of those instant hot chocolate mixes simply aren’t vegan and I never got around to making my own.

Hot Chocolate

Not too long ago, tofu for two featured a recipe for Hot Cocoa that sounded amazing-Hot Cocoa with Mint. I loooove chocolate and mint. So today, I decided to try it out. It was so simple to make (seriously why do those instant mixes exist?) and perfect complimented with a Sweet & Sara vegan marshmellow, yum. All it’s missing is a candy cane (and you’re all like ‘god ashley! You just had Thanksgiving, no mentioning Christmas yet, god what is wrong with you?’).

Vegan Mofo: Thanksgiving 2008!

12 Oct

It has been an extremely busy weekend.  My sister came home for the weekend and brought a few friends who we’ve been showing the sights of Halifax.  It’s been a very fun weekend, scroll down to see!

Yesterday we had our Thanksgiving dinner, I didn’t make too much as the oven was full of something that should not be named on this blog so all I made were biscuits and the gravy from Eat, Drink & be Vegan and ate the usual thanksgiving-y sides (mashed turnip, carrots you know…).  Sounds sparse but it really wasn’t!  It’s my comfort food. I always make dessert though so this year I made a Pumpkin Pie. Note my attempt at trying to make it look extra pretty with pastry maple leaves. I used Veganomicon‘s pie crust recipe and it was wonderful, so easy to work with and it baked perfectly.

Pumpkin pie.

I always use Bryanna Clark Grogan’s recipe, it always gets rave reviews.

Then this morning, we got up bright and early and headed down to the valley to pick apples and see pumpkin people!

IMG_3407

apples!

We really coveted the orchard’s driveway:

IMG_3431

We picked a giant bag of apples! I predict lots of pies and crisps for the rest of autumn.

Each fall, the town of Kentville holds the Harvest Festival which welcomes the arrival of Pumpkin People! It was so much fun to drive around the town looking at the many displays of the people made of pumpkins, we’re definitely going back next year.

pumpkin person!

pumpkin kitty

Check out more photos of the pumpkin people on my flickr, you definitely want to see the awesome Pumpkin Massacre display.

Happy Thanksgiving!