It’s Pi day! Another excuse to eat pie!
Back in January it was National Pie Day, a fake holiday made up by pie marketers, god bless ‘em. But today, the 14th day of the third month, is International Pi Day, a real holiday made up by math nerds, god bless ‘em.
Get yourselves some pie, people! If you’re too
lazy busy to bake it yourself, make go to Mission Pie in SF or Souley Vegan in Oakland or perhaps Watercourse Foods in Denver or, um…somewhere in NYC? Help me out, guys! Anyway, the point is to EAT PIE. Do it.
[Pie photo by veganbaking.net on Flickr]
Now, a song.
What I would give if I could live inside that piiiie?? What would I pay for a warm slice in my tum? Bet you at Safeway they have a ton but I can’t buy them, they’re not vegan! Slices of heaven! Pie is the shit! Ugh, neverMIIIIIIND. I guess I’ll have to make it myself, look at the internet and find some recipes. Like what is a Rhubarb and why does it… what’s the word? Taste like crap when not in a piiiiie?!
Okay, I’ll stop. I am so high on Theraflu right now, you have no idea. Or I guess if you read the above passage, you really do. xoxox
Bake gluten-free: xgfx did all the work, so you don’t have to! »
The cutie-pie gluten-free bakers over at xgfx have taken it upon themselves to experiment with the new King Arthur flour gluten-free baking mixes! They have attempted the challenge of finding the right ratio of egg- and dairy-replacements required for VEGANIZATION of each mix! I don’t know nearly enough about gluten-free baking, BUT what I do know is after reading their review and subsequent recipes, I am definitely going to be making this pizza. I will also become a master vegan, gluten-free baker after reading this! I love xgfx!
VEGAN AND GLUTEN-FREE?! If that’s Daiya cheese (which I know it is), does that mean it’s soy-free as well? It’s like, anyone could eat it.
[Photos via xgfx.org]
Vi Zahajszky has a recipe for vegan beignets up at Bay Area Bites. They look delicious and like not toooooo much work. I would like a million of them and 17 cups of coffee and also, some French fries. What? It’s Mardi Gras Monday! Oh, I guess that means some gumbo, too.
Getting educated: vegan truffles at Natural Gourmet! »
Natural Gourmet is an awesome fucking institution. Yeah, they use poultry and other animal products in their cooking school. But it’s one of the few professional outlets where the public/you can take a baking class—entirely VEGAN!—and learn some real technique. Hands-on, did I mention? I’m a student, and it was really awesome to have a non-academic thing to do on a Thursday night post-finals meltdown. I had the lovely opportunity to drop $110 on a class titled “Decadent and Delicious Vegan Truffles.” Running 3.5 hours, we had a lot of work to do in a short amount of time.
The class was lead by sassy-but-classy Fran Costigan, a pretty respectable self-proclaimed Diva of Vegan Desserts (yes, it was embroidered on her uniform). I mean, look at that paper toque; this woman means business. We learned that ganache is the base for all truffles (or at least the ones she was showing us); and that the key ingredient to a good truffle is really really good chocolate; and, just a tip, the cacao content should be at least 65 percent—the more cacao, the thicker the ganache. The chef recommended a bunch of eco-friendly, fair-trade, vegan chocolate brands (read: Theo). The set up consisted of a short lecture/introduction by the chef, followed by recipe assignments and hands-on production of the truffles. I made a regular old chocolate truffle (no frills) rolled in cocoa nibs.
And my truffles were fucking delicious. At the end of the class, they sent us around to everyone’s stations to stock up on everyone’s truffles. The result: chocolate even CocoaV would be jealous of. I think the $110 price tag was a bit excessive, but in the end the hands-on nature of the class made it all worth it. Oh yeah, and DID I MENTION THAT THIS CLASS WAS 100 percent GEARED TOWARDS VEGAN BAKING?!?! Everyone in the tristate area should take a class there immediately. Oh and guess what I made this morning? Lavender-vanilla chocolate truffles, using a master recipe edited by yours truly. I’m on my way to becoming the best vegan chocolatier out there.
[photos by Brianna!]
Recipe!: Vegan Gingerbread House! »
This year I forced the fam to make vegan gingerbread houses. Shweet! My family is super into holiday fun-times like these. We made mini houses so that everyone could decorate their own. I don’t like sharing! Mine is the minimalist (by comparison) one on the left, my mom’s is the fancy one in the center gentrifying the neighborhood with its thatched roof (made with shredded wheat!), and my sister’s is the wacky yellow one on the right, bringing down our property values.
We borrowed the recipe from a whole gingerbread house cookbook by Christa Currie—it’s a fanatical gingerbread bible and I’m drinking her Kool-Aid! We made a few minor changes but the gingerbread recipe was already vegan! Yay! We found a vegan gingerbread frosting recipe over at ecochildsplay.com. Ok, now the slightly arduous fun begins!
The first thing you do is cut your gingerbread house pattern out of paper. If you have graph paper, it’s pretty easy to design your own pattern! Look at you! Designing your own pattern! If you’d rather not make your own, there are many online. Here’s a simple one and here’s a whole crapload of patterns.
Line some cookie sheets with parchment paper. Tip: If you don’t have parchment paper, you can actually just use brown grocery bag paper. Totes works.
Preheat over to 375 F.
In a large pot on low heat, melt:
• 1 cup vegetable shortening
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup dark molasses
Remove from heat and mix in:
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. cinnamon
• 2 tsp. ginger
Stir in 4 1/2 to 5 cups flour, one cup at a time.
Mix and knead dough until it’s even and smooth, not crumbly or dry. Divide the dough into three pieces; wrap two in plastic wrap while you’re working with one, so they don’t dry out.
Now it’s time to roll and cut out your gingerbread house! Put your dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out flat with a rolling pin. place your pattern on the dough and cut around it with a knife.
When you’re done cutting your pieces out, place them on a cookie sheet and bake those bastards. It depends on how thin you rolled the dough but cook for 10 to 14 minutes. If you touch the dough and your finger leaves an imprint, bake a few more minutes.
3 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons of Silk Nog or soy milk
Egg replacer for three eggs
Beat the soy milk, egg replacer and vanilla together, then add powdered sugar and beat until thickened. Add more sugar as needed to thicken the frosting. You might need to make a second batch later, depending on when you decorate and how much frosting you use when decorating—but don’t make it all at once because it’ll just get hard and dry out.
Now it’s time to assemble your house! Fun! If you have a piping bag, put the frosting in a piping bag. If you are normal and don’t have a piping bag, you can make a makeshift one with a plastic bag. A large Ziplock-style bag works best. Put the frosting in there, dumping the majority into one corner. Twist the bag on the end diagonal from that corner. Cut the tip of the corner off, and you have a piping bag! This is my preferred method but if you want, you’ll probably be fine just putting the frosting on with a butter knife.
When adhering the pieces, put a generous amount of frosting on both edges and stick them together. First use the frosting to glue one of the long sides to whatever tray or plate you are using—trust me, it’s much easier to put together if you adhere the whole house to the plate/tray. While setting up the sides, it helps if you use glasses or jars to prop them up while the frosting hardens. Once you have all the sides done, leave them alone for a while so the frosting can harden and fortify that mofo. Do the roof last. If you’re having trouble getting the roof to stay on, it helps if you kind of hold it in place for a little while until the frosting dries for a bit. Let the whole house dry for a while before you start decorating.
• Lots o’ vegan candy!
• Pretzels, mini shredded wheat (not frosted—it has gelatin in it), chocolate chips, whatever you want!
• Using the frosting, decorate your house with your vegan candy! Go wild! Get crazy! It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be AWESOME.