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(the laboratory mid-zebrification)
Step 1:  Get enthralled by this and this and this and this and this and this!  
I *had* to make it.  Not only was it zoologically named but it meant I could hide a secret surprise under the frosting (always good).  And given that I had an mocha-loving friend who very very kindly drove these paintings home from the studio for me through notoriously terrible montreal traffic, I knew it was the ripe time to start dolloping.  CHerry ripe time!  haha, okay I shut up now.
I started from the recipe at Caffeine Heartbeats, but added instant coffee to the mocha side and almond to the vanilla for extra je ne sais quoi, and a bit less vinegar for less risk of crumbling.  (Oh, and no orange, just vanilla this time).  And I had to tweak the viscosity on both ends with a bit of flour and water respectively, but not too much and then I could dollop away.  3 tbsps of each batter, thin little lines, up and up and up until….

Step 2: Bake it up in the oven for about 45-50 minutes and go ooooooooooooh zeh-braw…
Step 3: Flip it over to cool and notice another heart-shaped thing in your food, like they’re conspiring to surround you or something.  My word!

Step 4: Acknowledge the fact that it’s a sweltering August evening but ignore good reasoning and ice it super-generously in mounding swirls of fluffiffffy cherry frosting buttercream anyway.  (be so very happy you did that as you’re eating the veritable angel crack later on, a little bit melty regardless.)

Step 5: Keep it in the fridge as best as possible in this heat, then break it out and serve in big cool stylish overly delicious wedges.  One of the best I’ve ever made, and I mean that flavour-wise, too!  I was pretty glad to come by said friend’s house later the next day to help her eat it for breakfast, like that was such a painful thing to do (it wasn’t). 

Meanwhile, I’ve spent a few days picking apples at an orchard, so I’ll have some posting about that pretty soon, I think!

I’ve been raw for 5 days now!!  I’ll save writing about that for the next post, but in the meantime here’s a whole bunch of photos from the past few weeks I never got around to posting but are kinda making me hungry right now…

Allright, we’ve got up there… chili cashew dosas (my favourite recipe so far from Vegan Brunch), with a notably amazing chutney I made from the back of Indian Cookery, ie: this book ——>
Which is basically my favourite indian cookbook ever, even for the chutney chapter alone, which covers pretty much anything you’d want to stew and preserve in a super authentic, full of interesting tidbits kind of way.  Like, that peach chutney I ate with the dosas had paprika, poppy seeds, cloves, green chiles and cashews, oh my!  Totally easy to make, too.

Another perk of making chutney is that you get to re-use little jars and give them away after they’ve sat for a month on the shelf looking very pretty.  On the right is the peach, and in the middle is a pineapple chutney with about a ton of ginger and garlic in it, yay!
Okay, what else – this was astoundingly good.  It looks kind of grey, I’ll admit, but so so so good.  Velvety corn creamy chinese wedding soup, or something like that, with bits of savoury tofu floating in it and fresh peas.  It’s Bryanna’s recipe, and incidentally my introduction to creamed corn (I’m a fan, it turns out).
Oh, and Singapore green beans from Tropical Vegan Kitchen in the background.  Once that stuff marinates it’s addictive!
East Coast Coffeecake for an omni BBQ!  Plus adorable sign. :)
I loved how I could even make this in my dad’s kitchen – it’s the sign of a perfectly adaptable baked good.  (flour, sugar, oil, check!)
My favourite PB cookies ever, are the Crispy PB Cookies from Extraveganza with the cereal flakes inside.  They crackle like pop rocks and have that perfect dense chew, and are so easy to make.  I usually quarter the recipe and make them into the size of quarters, and have them as little pick me ups throughout the day.
Polenta Rancheros from V.Brunch, with noticeable flecks of toasted coriander that perfume the whole thing, it’s really nice, especially when made with fresh tomatoes cause that’s all I had.  Surprisingly light for a bean dish!
White bean, mango and rosemary tacos!!!  My surprising invention that worked, plus some leftover Tempeh Wingz made with tofu, cold and chewy out of the fridge.  (That red sauce is illegally finger-licking…. wow.)
Fresh organic vegetable pasta spirals with a sauce made from tomatoes, raisin-sage sausages, capers, zucchini & basil, NOM.
 

Banana Rabanada!!!  Not only is this delicious but no refined sugar, either, so it’s perfectly viable to eat for lunch!  Isa was spot on about the syrup & cinnamon-mopping, too.

(Heart-shaped) Fudge-pops from How It All Vegan, since I found my ancient copy in my mom’s garage a few months ago and figured I’d give it a whirl again.  These were sooooo good, and almost exactly like fudgesicles, which is no mean feat!

Sausage and eggplant quiche from V.Brunch with a homemade crust I put too much EB in but was still okay.   And I think that’s about it for cooked stuff!  Phew, sorry for the cursory writing about it all, too.  Somehow I think the pictures speak loud enough that it’s okay I don’t remember the details, plus this raw food thing is making me spacey… zomg.  It’s great, but I’ll be glad to bring it down to maybe 60% raw after the next few days.  Can’t wait to show you what that’s been like, though! 

This is just the shot of the leftovers – stuff put into tupperware doesn’t win any beauty points.  But the point of this lunch was that it was a bento-ish kind of meal that randomly came together after I poo-pooed the idea of a peanut butter sandwich and started to boil potatoes.  Which I never do, and made me feel festive enough to remember the wasabi tube I had in the fridge, thus wasabi mashed potatoes.  So obviously then I had to try those panko & daikon stuffed mushrooms from the Veganomicon.  Except… I didn’t feel like firing up the oven for 6 mushrooms so I made them raw and used bulgur wheat instead of bread crumbs, and added some sweet peppers and Sambal Olek for fun.  

Clearly the asian tofu from Vcon was the third logical step!  Grill pans are great stuff.
It was special because I was taking it to an all-day drawing performance with rather zen-like properties, so it felt very appropriate (albeit not-even-slightly-traditional) to have a cute little themed lunch like this.

I even had one matcha & goji berry scone leftover from the night before!  Double cute.  Not to mention how it looks amazingly like an anatomical heart, which I only noticed after I uploaded the photo!
See?  Awwww.


(psst the hottie ain’t me, it’s my sis)

(I am kicked out of veganism for this decorating job. of pure awesome.)

I’m still alive, I swear! I blame a flu for holding me hostage and making me kind of hate my own kitchen – a flu that has lasted for a month and is STILL CAUSING WHEEZY DEPTHFUL COUGHINGS IN THE NIGHT. Argh I say. I’m only sort of (maybe) remembering what an appetite feels like.

Chocolate PB banana smoothies + popcorn for dinner much? Anyway.

I turned 25 recently! And this year I insisted that a cake be made for me, because ha ha I was hating the sight of baking tins. Me mum made an amazing spice cake that I really want the recipe for – it was like eating a ginger cookie, except in cake form, and with plum frosting (and the best decoration job this side of my sister’s taste level). Amazing, and I polished a good chunk of it off with actual soy ice cream, which I haven’t had since high school. Happy birthday to me!

Later at home in montreal I had a wee shindig on my actual birthday, and flexed my rusty pastry muscles to pull off… the mushiest cake EVAH. Haha, it was good, but completely not cooked in the middle. (my oven is also teh sux, but we take responsibility for our disasters, yes?). I used the banana split cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and probably trying to make a full cake out of it accounted for the mush (also I only had whole wheat pastry flour, which is good, but not THAT good, you know what I mean? Forgive me but I like 50% white flour in cakestuffs).

At any rate the company was the greatest in the world, and I got a japanese unicorn mug, a pineapple, a decoupage candle-glass, a drawing of fish, some chamomile and ylang-ylang oils, and uhhh… my own tupperware back! Huzzah.

I also treated myself to a 10 kg bag of good old emptily nutritive white flour this afternoon. Aw yeah. :)

(^ psst that hottie is me)

I’m so bad… I have been all but absent from the blogging world for a long time, I know… art has been taking up a lot of my creative attention these days. It’s been oatmeal/miso/salad forever (and I don’t mind, it’s just not worthy of post). I will try, though – I took down my Veganmofo banner thinking I wouldn’t have the time… but you know what? I’m gonna *make* time. I will even get around to all of your blogs, because I know you’ve been doing incredible things that I will be sorely tempted to make but won’t have time for… but isn’t that the way of inspiring food? :D

So yeah… there were actually two dinners of total note in the past few weeks. We made the most perfect chili dinner EVER, I mean, it was off the hook. The chili was spicy chipotle-chocolate with shrooms, corn, peppers, tvp and 4 kinds of beans and it did that… um… chili-thing, where the texture is kinda like… kinda thick and sticky. In the best way!
(there was even red rice and super garlicky sour cream, meaning that Liz swirled her whole plate together like one giant steaming burrito and proceeded to cry little pearly tears of “OMG vegans eat SO WELL!”).

We even fried something! Lots of somethings, meaning corn chips. In heart shapes (and moon shapes, and snowflakes and each of our names, but mostly hearts because being twee is cool again, I swear.)

All right, dinner number two… pagan thanksgiving! Or autumn equinox if you prefer. It’s the time when the day and night are the exact same length, on September 22, and some like to celebrate with wine and apple desserts, and stories and tarot readings. (hint: we are those people)

Pomme cornbread of another flavour, this time with peppers and zucchini, because cornbread is basically the best accompaniment to everything. Including ice cream! …. okay, okay….. maybe not. But yummy with ratatouille, which we did have.

There it is! From Aux Vivres, actually, so basically super fatty and tasting kinda like gold. Along with couscous, steamed chard and veggies, and the most amazing sagey roasted veggies, it was easy pants to put together this dinner after work and still covered every “festive” base, I think.

And having an ugly apple pie for dessert doesn’t hurt that cause, either. Ugly and the best thing that ever happened to apples, that is.
(a mix of cortland, granny smith, macintosh and yellow delicous)

Oh right! And I almost forgot to mention! THAT is my harvest! My weeny teeny tomato harvest. Yep. And it was alllllll worth it. For serious, for true – being able to look outside of my 4th story window to a fire escape full of fragrant vines was the real benefit to this whole endeavour. They’re just really cute, tart, perky symbols of urban defiance, woohoo!

Happy Valentine’s everybody!

I wish I had time to make more heart-shaped food, some part of me loves a useless holiday that embraces little more than a funny symbol. Hehe. When I was in high school I used to treat it kind of like Halloween for softies, and dress up in pink and white taffeta and striped red stockings and give out chocolates to my friends and anyone in the halls who looked like they wouldn’t be offended by an overly friendly “happy valentines!!” and a little dark chocolate square. Today I don’t have time, and I don’t know how amenable the militantly awkward art school kids would be towards pure fluff and hallmark celebration (maybe they would get the irony?). So I’m off to paint two brazilian men kissing, and then I’ll buy pecans for the smlove so I can make a big wonderful pie for my family when I go home for reading week tomorrow.

On an unrelated note: I listen to CBC radio every morning while eating my breakfast (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and this is the second day in a row that they’ve had an extensive discussion on veganism! Yesterday they hosted Rory Friedman (the author of Skinny Bitch), and then a reaction interview with Debbie Rasmusen (the publisher of Portland’s Bitch Magazine) and Annahid Dashgaardt (the Executive Director of Anima Leadership, a Toronto-based organization dedicated to community building). I’m not the biggest fan of the Skinny Bitch book, but there were some interesting points brought up – like the fact that the information on farming and animal rights in the book is actually somewhat sound, and that it’s the first mainstream piece of vegan literature to be embraced in popular culture. I can’t wait to hear what they talk about today. I do have to say… Rory kind of rubbed me the wrong way in how she almost greasily sidestepped direct questions about the so-called “healthiness” of the diet proposed in the book (it’s a diet book! IT IS A DIET BOOK! and not a good one). And Debbie and Annahid thankfully made a strong argument for healthy body image and rejection of (even vegan) fad diets. Ideal solution being intelligent integration of the information offered in the book and ignoration of the idea that we all stand around hating the thinnest girl in the room? Could take a lot more social change than we’ll see in our lifetimes…
They even brought up the racism factor – by flat-out demonizing meat and cheese, the book is creating guilt on a cultural front, too! Oh god, I hope I’m not getting preachy. Ha ha ha. Does it help that I don’t know exactly where I stand with all this and so really can’t be preaching at all? It was interesting to listen to, I know that.

I propose a day in the garden and a rainbow-bright spread of veggies and grains for alllll the skinny bitches (people of all sizes and temperaments) of the world. Or maybe a square of dark chocolate and a flurry of fuschia lace. La la la la! This bitch is off to go paint…