One More Time and the Big Winner

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It’s finally the end of Vegan MoFo 2009!!! While it was fun posting every day, I am ready for a comfy break. Big happy hoorays to all the people who participated and made the month of October a vegan wonderland! And, a big happy hooray to the winner of my latest giveaway, a sample package of Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Hot Cereal

Random

Let’s see, #17, that would be… Lindsay from the Cooking for a Vegan Lover blog!!! Congratulations Lindsay! It’s funny because Lindsay recently had a hummus giveaway on her blog and I was one of the winners!  Small, small vegan world! Anyways, I will send an e-mail your way soon Lindsay so that I can mail off your prize. Yay! And to all the folks who didn’t win, don’t be sad because I will be having another giveaway in the next few weeks.

What else, what else… Oh! I guess I will leave this year’s Vegan MoFo with a photo of what I plan on baking tomorrow:

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Potato Pumpkin Seed Bread, recipe coming soon enough.

Happy Halloween!!!

 

 

“X” is for Xagave

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I really thought it would be difficult to come up with a post featuring the letter “X”, especially one relating to vegan food. But then I received an e-mail earlier this month from Robyn at BetterBody Foods & Nutrition offering to send me a sample of Xagave, an organic, raw agave nectar. I love agave nectar and happily accepted her generous offer (who wouldn’t, right?). Within a week, my sexy UPS man delivered a package to my door and I opened it with enthusiastic glee.

xagave

Here are some cool facts about Xagave:

1. It is a blend of both blue and white agaves.

2. It is raw and organic.

3. It contains inulin, a prebiotic fiber that makes your lower intestines and immune system happy, plus it increases the absorption of calcium.

4. It contains calcium, vitamins, and minerals too – which occur naturally in the root of the agave plants.

5. It mixes well with both hot and cold liquids.

There are a ton more wonderful benefits/properties of Xagave and I encourage you to check out the website if you want to learn about them.

My bottle of Xagave is nearly empty now because Tim and I used it in a variety of applications. First, I baked some Almond Orange Sweet Rolls (which I recently blogged about here):

Almond Orange Sweet Rolls 3

The recipe for these rolls already uses agave nectar, but they are the most delicious rolls in the world and I had to make them with Xagave. The result was an incredibly fluffy, soft, buttery, golden treat. If you haven’t made these rolls yet, you should. Xagave lended itself perfectly to this recipe.

We also drizzled Xagave over granola and hot cereals for breakfast.

Buckwheat Almond Raisin Granola

It was a nice addition, but not necessarily needed.

I stirred some into a spicy tomato-based soup to help cut the acidity. It worked!

I used it when making the rye bread I featured in this post, adding it to the yeast and water mixture. Even lil’ yeasties love Xagave!

I used it when making cupcakes. The flavor is very mild and works wonderfully in baked goods.

Kind Cupcake 2

Annnnnnnnnd finally, I stirred Xagave into countless mugs of hot bevvies, like green tea:

xagave

Xagave is a gentle sweetener with a mild, smooth taste. I love that it is raw, organic and can be added to both sweet and savory foods. It is reasonably priced too. Tim and I usually buy our agave in bulk at our local food co-op and since Xagave isn’t available near us (yet perhaps?), we will continue buying ours in bulk. If you happen to find Xagave at a local store near you though, I suggest giving some a try! Thanks again Robyn!!!

“J” is for Joni Cookies!!!

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A few weeks ago Joni from Just the Food (and co-author of soon-to-be-released 500 Vegan Recipes) and I decided to do a mini homemade package swap. I sent her a jar of Roasted Squashkin Butter and she sent me these lovelies (which arrived Wednesday and made my day since I have been home sick):

Joni's Pressies!

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe here, on Joni’s blog) and a handmade (by the amazingly crafty Joni herself) crocheted winter hat!!!! Wow!!! I wore the hat while munching on cookies (four to be exact, you know, spread throughout the day…) and sipping a lemon elixir meant to make me feel better (it did a bit). The cookies are delightfully perfectly crisp and peanut-buttery with a generous amount of chocolate chippies mixed into each bite. They are a great dip-in-a-glass-of-milk cookie. Thanks so much Joni!!!!!!!

Hey Lil’ Cupcake!

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Last week I had the absolute pleasure of attending an event at Powell’s, a local bookstore in Portland. Alicia Silverstone was there promoting her new book, The Kind Diet. Even though Tim and I arrived early, we still entered a very packed room and ended up standing in the back (which was fine by me because I could see perfectly!). Alicia gave a great talk about her book, her journey to veganism, and compassion for all life. The Kind Diet is full of amazing recipes (some with ingredients I have never cooked with before, but am eager to try) and tips for becoming healthier, happier, and more respectful of all animals and the earth. A wide variety of topics are covered in the book and the photography in the recipe section really inspires me. Yay! After the talk, Tim and I met Alicia and she signed our book. Tim got all nervous and asked silly questions, but that’s OK, I kept my cool. Here I am waiting as she signs our copy of the book (yes, I am blurry, too excited perhaps):

Book Signing

Anyways, the title of this post is about cupcakes. I have made a few recipes from The Kind Diet already and one of them is a cupcake recipe. Super simple and mighty yummy. They are made with agave nectar as the sweetener which I love because agave makes cupcakes moist and delicate. Speaking of agave, I have a product review coming up for my next post (a product which was used for these cupcakes and many other fun creations!!!).

Behold my kind cupcake:

Kind Cupcake

A lil’ vanilla cupcake that I drizzled with chocolate ganache.

Kind Cupcake 2

I plan on making many more recipes from The Kind Diet! In fact, there are three on our meal list for the upcoming week… Stay tuned!

Don’t forget to enter my latest giveaway, here.

 

Swippity-Swappity

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I recently participated in a PPK package swap and was the lucky recipient of a package from the creator of the Intellectual Blackout blog. Inside my package was an awesome variety of candies, chocolates, green tea, Turkish Delight, handmade pins, a beautiful bookmark (also handmade), an art zine, a make-your-own bag kit, mix CDs, and a cute rabbit keychain. I love swaps!!! Tim and I have devoured most of the chocolates and a bit of the candy; I actually hid the candy to make it last longer (although we both know where it is so it isn’t really hidden I suppose). I am super excited to get out my sewing machine to make the bag and some of the buttons are on my backpack. Here are some shots of the goods:

Swap 1

Swap 2

Swap 3

Swap 4

I Love My Bike

T Delights

Thanks so much for the amazing package Z!!! I loved every ounce and I am super psyched to fill my homemade bag with stuff.