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.

 

“C” is for Cupcakes!

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Tim and I went to a benefit movie night on Sunday organized by Food Fight and made a few dozen cupcakes for people to eat. Other kind folks made tasty cupcakes to share as well (thanks, they were really good!!).  What’s more fun than eating yummy vegan cupcakes and watching a funny movie? Not much! And, considering I had never seen Billy Madison, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

We ended up making three kinds of cupcakes: Pumpkin with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache, and Rootbeer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting.

Cupcakes!

Here is the pumpkin cupcake with the Mexican Hot Chocolate cupcake in the background.

Vegan BBQ, it’s true, it’s true!

Tonight was the grand opening of an all-vegan BBQ in Portland called Homegrown Smoker. I know!!! Tim and I tossed aside our previous dinner menu and rode our bikes up to Last Thursday, which is a chaotic mess of arts, crafts, food, music, costumes, and hoards of people roaming the street having fun and being silly. Usually a crowded environment makes me a bit unpleasant to be around, but come on, vegan BBQ!!! 

Homegrown Smoker turned out to be quite delicious. They have a decent-sized menu with sandwiches, specialties, side options, beverages, and local vegan desserts (check out the menu on their blog!). Making a decision wasn’t easy and the smoky BBQ smells emanating from their stand were numbing my mind. I finally decided upon the Smoked Soy Curls (served on a pita) with a side of Mac No Cheese. Tim opted for Chronic Tempeh Ribs & Vegan Sausage (I believe they use Field Roast sausages) with Cole Slaw and Baked Beans. The wait was incredibly short since we arrived before the crowds. With food in hand, we found a cozy spot on the curb to dine, people watch, and listen to music. Here, take a look:

Smoked BBQ Soy Curls

BBQ Tempeh

The smoky flavor was perfectly subtle, and the BBQ sauce was sweet, tangy, and a little spicy (there are two sauce options). My pita bread was chewy, soft, and gently grilled. I was a bit disappointed with the side portion of my meal, there was maybe a 1/4 cup of macaroni, which isn’t very much, especially for a hungry BBQ-crazed vegan food snarfer (such as myself). But, the Mac No Cheese was yummy, and I happily shared bites with Tim. We both agreed that the ribs would have benefitted from simmering in BBQ sauce rather that having a squeezy bottle for customers to dispense onto their food. Overall, we enjoyed our food and look forward to visiting again (we live only a few miles away!!!). The ever-growing number of all-vegan businesses in Portland makes me overflow with glee. Taco trucks, milkshakes, Italian food, bakeries, groceries, tattoos, bars… I love it here.

The street fair also had a sweet little baked goods vendor called Petunia’s. We purchased two cupcakes for dessert and probably should have purchased a dozen. We chose a Chocolate Hazelnut and a Lemon Coconut, but there was Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars too, I think. We also purchased a Strawberry Vanilla cupcake from a vegan bake sale that was happening during the festivities (Portland’s 3rd and final in the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale). Mmmmmmm, cupcakes!!!!

2 Cupcakes

Pardon the smooshed top, Tim was handling the box.

Lemon Coconut Cupcake

Lemon Coconut cupcake

Tim Snarfs Cupcake

You would think he’d share…

Petunias

Pretty, pretty baked treats!!

This weekend Tim and I will be attending the second annual Let Live Animal Rights Conference!! We learned so much last year, and the speakers lined up for this year are equally amazing. You can see the schedule here, and look forward to photos from the conference in my next post. It’s always nice to be immersed in a room full of like-minded compassionate people working together to benefit the animals. Veganism has made a huge difference in my life, and I wish I’d made the choice years ago. Go eat a cupcake and get happy!

Waffles Before Age

Tuesday was my birthday and I discovered that elderliness is creeping up on me way too quickly. I long ago predicted that my teeth would fall out before my hair turned gray, and would you believe that I woke up with sore teeth and gums?! Luckily I took the day off from work so that Tim and I could enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures (it almost reached 60 degrees-in February!!!). Nice indeed. 

We started the day by taking a long bike ride up to Flavour Spot, a waffle sandwich cart in Portland with several vegan options. We each opted for a crispy waffle wrapped around two veggie sausages and drizzled with a maple/margarine spread. Delicious! We had also packed along a big thermos of tea to enjoy with breakfast. After we finished the first round of waffle sammies, I decided it would be smart to try the Nut Fluffer too. A Nut Fluffer is a waffle wrapped around peanut butter and Ricemellow. Who are we to resist? Tim and I shared the Nut Fluffer.

Here are some photos:

nut-fluffer

veggie-sausage-waffle

tea-from-thermy

Afterwards we sat in a nearby park and warmed in the sun while digesting breakfast. I also thought fondly of my co-workers seated in front of their computers… Heh, heh, heh…

The rest of the afternoon included a bike ride to a huge art store we had never visited (future W.I.P. Wednesday post perhaps?!!), Tim making me cupcakes (twice), and an awesome dinner. The story behind the cupcakes is quite humorous and sad at the same time. I had chosen Chai Latte cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World as my birthday treat. Tim eagerly mixed the batter and then asked me to fill the muffin pans. I had filled two muffin cavities when Tim realized he had forgotten to add the oil. The batter went back into the bowl and the oil was stirred in. The batter went into the muffin tins, baked, smelled amazing, and came out of the oven as golden cupcakes. And then… They sank into dense, heavy, rubbery pucks (we decided that adding the oil too late and mixing the batter too much as a result caused our disaster). Tim insisted I choose another recipe since the first batch wasn’t too tasty. I decided on chocolate cupcakes. He let me frost them:

nods-cupcakes

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These super chocolatey cupcakes made my day!

For dinner we made Jessy’s Tempeh Meatlessballs with Green Rice. If you haven’t tried this recipe yet, you really ought too (I have posted about it before, here)! It has become one of my top ten all time favorites!!! It is incredibly tasty. We topped ours with a tahini sauce.

tempeh-balls-and-green-rice

The evening ended with a movie and an extra cupcake (or was it two?). 

And just because I love food in bowls, here is a photo of the dinner Tim and I made this evening:

crazy-stir-fry

 

This was a compilation of veggie odds and ends: carrots, broccoli, shiitakes, peas, red bell peppers, kale, and tofu. Tim made an awesome stir-fry sauce and we served the result over chow mein noodles (the non-crunchy ones) and sprinkled black sesame seeds on top. 

That’s it. I’m off to have a cupcake. If Tim isn’t looking, I’ll take his too.

It’s Cupcake Time

The absence of treats in my apartment leads to sassy behavior from a certain somebody. Today was no exception.

Golden Vanilla Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

I added about a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract to the batter, dusted the baked cupcakes with powdered sugar, and topped them off with blueberries Tim and I picked a few weeks ago. Simple and satisfying.