First up: Humphry Slocombe’s (took me nine times to spell their damn name right) Secret Breakfast ice cream! The Secret Breakfast is one of the few appetizing flavors from Slocombe AND it contains bourbon, so we’re very happy she chose it! Now, off to make and eat gallons of this as it’s 10 billion degrees out and Hazel and I are panting in front of a fan in our underwear. OK, only one of us is wearing underwear. AND IT’S NOT ME. What! You gotta mix it up when you work from home!
Vegan creme eggs, y’all! Of course, not everything is wonderful because they’re in England and currently unavailable but I suggest you bookmark that page and refresh the living hell out of it. At least that’s what I’m gonna do from now until Easter but I’m a freelancer so I ain’t got nothing but time, baby! In completely unrelated news: PLEASE HIRE ME.
In the event that the eggs never available for purchase (I’ve got a bad feeling about this), you can always make your own. Good luck with that, Martha.
UPDATE: Oh snap, they might not actually be filled with creme. I can’t tell! Oh well, I did find where you can actually buy some (and lots of other vegan easter candy, too!) OH and someone posted on the Facebook wall, here are some for real vegan creme eggs to order! From the UK, too. Man, they’ve got that shit on lockdown.
(Chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse, berry compote, and almond milk ice cream by Melisser from last week’s Top Chef : Just Desserts challenge, let’s get it on.)
The seventh episode of Top Chef: Just Desserts airs on Bravo tonight (10 Eastern/Pacific), which means that we’re ready to unveil our seventh guest chef (see the first six here! Chocolate mousse! Margarita bombes! Toffee brownies! Chocolate cake! White chocolate mousse! Panna cotta! Rice Krispy bars coated with chocolate and hazelnut butter! Mini cinnamon almond cakes! DO IT) who will veganize the episode’s winning dessert! Well, we’ve got our next fabulous chef and she’s one of our favorites so let’s DO THIS:
Bianca of Vegan Crunk! You already know how much we love Vegan Crunk, and if it’s possible, the love, it is growing. Everything she makes and eats looks like magic, and I’ve wasted many afternoons staring at her creations. But really, “wasted” is such a subjective term. Some might say I’ve actually been enriching my life with deliciousness. Those people would not be my parents, boyfriend, employers, or dog, but what can I say? She taught me to made perfect seitan two ways, the fast way for when I’m lazy and the slow way for when I’m poor. And if you find yourself in Memphis, she has a Memphis vegan dining guide for you! So helpful! I just adore this awesome, awesome lady.
We’re thrilled to see what Bianca does with the crazy challenges that Top Chef: Just Desserts throws her way tonight. Don’t worry, we won’t make her compete in some ridiculous sweets relay race like The Fonz is doing here with the cheftestants. And by ridiculous, I mean OMG I TOTALLY WANT TO DO THAT.
[can’t see the video? watch it at vegansaurus.com!]
Jenn Shagrin of Veganize It…Don’t Criticize It and new cookbook Veganize This! »
Introducing Jenn Shagrin (aka, Jenn Shaggy!) from the fantastic vegan blog/vegan blog with BEST NAME EVER, Veganize It…Don’t Criticize It! and the upcoming cookbook, Veganize This!. We love her and her blog, her new cookbook appears to be UNSANE; this lady can veganize pretty much anything and her recipes freak us out, in a totally good way. You need to get to know her and then buy her book and bookmark her blog and be a better/fatter person because of it!
Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, or a combination?
I’m definitely a vegan for a combination of reasons. First and foremost, I’m against cruelty to animals of any kind. I even feel guilty when I have to yell at my dog for chewing up my undies. I also don’t want to contribute to the negative impact that animal-product consumption has on the environment. As for health reasons, that’s probably the lowest on the list. It’s great that I’ll most likely have low cholesterol, but I also occasionally veganize some fried or comfort foodie goodness, so I’ll leave it up to chance.
How long have you been vegan? Why did you become vegan?
I’ve been a vegan for about six years now. My path to veganism started many moons ago when I read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and realized exactly where that steak on my plate was sourced. Reading that book sparked my interest in animal rights, and vegetarianism onto veganism seemed the obvious path to travel. My best friend going vegetarian in our early teens additionally motivated me to cut meat out initially, then meeting my first vegan friend when I moved to California helped me realize I could make the full transition.
Do you have any companion animals? Where are they from?
I have two adorable dogs. Izzy, a Cairn terrier mix, who we rescued from a shelter here in Los Angeles. He’s a lucky dog, as he was abandoned as a puppy and fell ill with parvo. He’s definitely our little survivor. Our second dog, Pepper, we rescued from Louisiana just days before he was going to be dropped off at the pound. He’s a Miniature Pinscher mix, but believes he’s the size of a Bullmastiff.
Do you have any super-cute photos of animals to share with us? Favorite animal videos on YouTube?
Here’s a great picture of our pups laying together. All right, maybe it’s a little TMI (which you’re used to if you read my blog), but they’re total gay lovers.
What is your favorite animal? I know, this one is REALLY TOUGH.
Well punch me in the gut and call me sissy, because I couldn’t pick one from the other. Actually, I take that back. My family’s dog, a bluetick Beagle named Farfel, was my favorite animal ever. He was such a bad ass. No one could tell him what to do.
When did you start Veganize It…Don’t Criticize It!? What’s your favorite recipe from the blog?
I started Veganize It…Don’t Criticize It! in April of 2008. It’s my weekly creative release. My current favorite recipe is the "Turkey," Tarragon, and "Mascarpone" Lasagna, but that’ll probably change in about a week, so you may want to check back.
How did your upcoming cookbook, Veganize This! come about? What’s your favorite recipe from the book?
Veganize This! was definitely the spawn of my blog. Everyone I knew kept asking why on earth I didn’t just put all my recipes and ramblings together, and I finally just sat down and compiled the first manuscript in two very sleepless weeks. The process of finding a literary agent and publisher happened so fast after that, I’m inclined to believe someone sprinkled fairy dust on my mom’s womb prior to my birth. My favorite recipe has to be a fusion dish called "Chicken" Marsala Masala with Fresh Morels. It’s divine.
What’s your favorite other vegan cookbook?
To be perfectly honest (and I’ll probably get my ass kicked for this one), I don’t read a lot of vegan cookbooks because I’m so focused on veganizing the un-vegan. But if I had to pick just one, I’d have to say Vegan with a Vengeance. It really inspired me.
Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant?
This also changes constantly, but as of late, Masa of Echo Park’s vegan Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza is off the chain.
Are you willing to have Vegansaurus over and cook us a vegan feast? If so, what day?
No. Haha…gotcha! Of course I will. Next time I go visit my parents in SF, I’ll whip up a buffet.
Any questions for Vegansaurus? Anything!
Boxers or briefs? Wait, wait. I can do better. What am I missing out on food-wise when I visit SF? What’s the best of the best? Some of my favorites are Millennium, Ike’s Place, Herbivore and Cha-Ya…just so you know where I’ve already hit up. (Ed.; That’s hard! Email me and let me know what your favorite kind of food is and I’ll customize a SF restaurant guide for you!)
[All photos from Jenn Shagrin, except that delicious Vihn Loi Tofu shot from quarrygirl!]
Your holiday novelty food, veganized: Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts! »
I saw this weird/gross/totally fascinating post on Limited Edition Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts about a month ago, and it made me feel funny inside. “We might be delicious,” they said to me. “Don’t you want to find out how delicious we might be?” Yes, oh yes I did. Once upon a time I was a novelty Pop-Tarts junkie; never the fruit flavors, only the nastiest kinds like S’mores and Chocolate Fudge, and Cinnamon and Brown Sugar right out of the foil, though that wasn’t for pleasure so much as binge-time, ahem. When I went vegan, I assumed Pop-Tarts were on the list of foods I’d never eat again; but then, I was unaware of the genius for creativity in the vegan community. Look at what our guest chefs have done with Project Just Desserts!
Eventually I learned to make a lovely vegan Twinkie, and 10 months ago, our pal Natalye gave us her recipe for vegan Pop-Tarts. When I came upon the Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts, I knew I wanted to make them; I just needed the opportunity. THEN I found out that the Great Canned Pumpkin Shortage of 2009 had ended, so I could break open one of the cans my mother had been hording and get baking.
First, I made a vegan pumpkin pie. I used this recipe from VegWeb, making two adjustments: I used 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup maple syrup; and I dissolved the cornstarch into a little hot water and slowly poured it into the food processor. Also, no crust, obviously. I let it cool on the counter and refrigerated it overnight. When I was ready to make the Pop-Tarts, I took the pie out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature.
Following Natalye’s instructions, I doubled the pastry recipe. For the filling, I mushed up the pie—avoiding the extra-cooked edges—and substituted it for the blueberry preserves in the original recipe.
For the icing, I used the cinnamon icing recipe on page 126 of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, without the non-dairy butter. For authentic replication, I left out the cinnamon when icing half the Pop-Tarts, and applied it with a quality food brush.
There you go: vegan pumpkin pie Pop-Tarts! Everything you wanted for your novelty holiday breakfast!
Top Chef: Just Desserts, episode six airs tonight, and our sixth chef is revealed! »
The fifth episode of Top Chef: Just Desserts airs on Bravo tonight (10 Eastern/Pacific), which means that we’re ready to unveil our sixth guest chef (see the first five here! Chocolate mousse! Margarita bombes! Toffee brownies! Panna cotta! Rice Krispy bars coated with chocolate and hazelnut butter! Mini cinnamon almond cakes! DO IT) who will veganize the episode’s winning dessert! Well, we’ve got our next fabulous chef and there’s no reason not to tell you RIGHTNOW who it is I just like a little suspense OK fine:
Please welcome Melisser, The Urban Housewife! The crew at Vegansaurus and Melisser go waaaaaay back. In fact, when Meave started the Vegan Brunch Cartel in 2007, Melisser, Megan Allison, Maria, and I were some of the first to join! Soon we were meeting monthly to create amazing vegan brunches from scratch (or if you’re me, amazing vegan mimosas from scratch!). My how we’ve grown (I’m not just talking physically! Vegan food is really good!) and I mean that especially for Melisser; not only is she busy running her awesome blog, moving to Vienna, and perfecting vegan candy corn (MAKE IT! It’s almost Halloween!); she’s now a published author, with The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life hitting the shelves in November! So exciting! We’re thrilled to see what Melisser does with the crazy challenges that Top Chef: Just Desserts throws her way tonight. Hopefully her time in the kitchen won’t include an elbow to the face, as it did for Heather here. Drama rama!
[can’t see the video? watch it at vegansaurus.com!]
Saturn Cafe in Berkeley veganizes it! »
So I’m about to start your day off with some good news and you may return the favor with large wads of cash. Deal? No? OK! I just heard from Tristan, the most wonderful owner of Saturn Cafe, and she has some NEWS: Saturn’s Berkeley location has buttloads of new vegan options (ow!), including:
- Vegan French Toast
- Vegan Sampler Platters
- Vegan Quesadillas
- Vegan Cheeseburgers
- Vegan Banana Walnut Pancakes
- Vegan Huevos Rancheros
- Vegan Homemade Saturn Patties
- Fall Exclusive: Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes (!!!!!!)
What’s even more awesome is that ALL the pancakes and french toast are VEGAN! There is no non-vegan option! Can I get a what-what!? And also a bib because I’m gonna enter a French Toast-eating contest against myself where the only loser is also the only winner and the prize is obesity with a side of guilt and also smug satisfaction. Let the games begin!
Tristan tells us they’re still looking for a supplier for Gardein (chicken patties, ahoy!), vegan chocolate cookie crumbs (so they can make vegan mud pie HELLO!!), onion rings, and much more. Le sigh, I love her. Listen, there is a God. And her name is Tristan. And she has heard our prayers and our prayers have been answered. God is good.
[Photo of amazing pancakes isn’t from Saturn, it’s from iStock. But I’m sure Saturn’s pancakes are equally ridiculous-looking!]
Enter Scharffen Berger’s Chocolate Adventure Contest AND WIN 10,000 (vegan) BONES! »
Y’all, we need to enter Scharffen Berger’s Chocolate Adventure Contest because we want, nay NEED, a vegan to win! It’s a cupcake recipe making contest and basically you have to come up with a cupcake recipe that employs at least one ingredient on a list of “exotic” ingredients. Basically, it’s stuff like adzuki beans and coconut milk and lots of stuff vegans already bake with because we’re a creative and resourceful lot. Anyway, you don’t have to use them all; just pick a few stand-out ingredients and make an amazing cupcake and then win! Win big! Win $10,000 big! CHA FUCKING CHING!
The contest ends on Jan. 2, 2011 so you have some time. My challenge to all of our readers is if you have an iota (an IOTA!) of baking talent, PLEASSSSE enter!! The more we flood them with tasty vegan cupcakes, the more they won’t be able to deny us and our amazing talent. I know you all have a copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and you’re all harboring the dream of being a Vegan Cupcake Queen Supreme (this works for all genders) so read the rules (or skim them! It’s pretty simple!) and then: DO IT.
[deeeeelicious cupcake image via Freakgirl!]
Lunch Box Bunch has a recipe for a vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) which is kinda an obsession around these parts. And by these parts I mean my lady parts because this drink SEXUALLY EXCITES ME. Hot! Also, gross!
Saw this on boingboing today: DOUGHNUT BURGERS. Why are omnivores such fucking freaks? Does anyone want to veganize this? Maybe not everything should be veganized? Shall we take a vote?
[Picture from boingboing, by Mark Pescovitz]