Posted by Nina on Sep 4, 2010
This bento was super fast to put together! I used the left overs from my tempeh alfredo, bbq chix tortilla wraps, and a gyoza sandwich filled with homemade apple butter. It took all of 2 minutes to make. I ended up using the lettuce like little cups for the wraps to keep the filling from falling out, worked like a charm.
Posted by Nina on Sep 3, 2010
While in Minneapolis this past week, my friend Amy and I ran to Mall of America to check out the Sanrio store and we both walked out with shiny new bentos! This is mine! I just love little Cinnamoroll and what could be cuter than a little puppy on a merry-go-round made out of candy, whipped cream, and fruit!? This was lunch today.. quite simple and grain free.. it included a corn cobette, cucumber sakura blossom and slices, cherry tomatoes, tempeh on top of shiritaki noodle alfredo (vegan chicken alfredo) with a red pepper flower.
Posted by Nina on Aug 26, 2010
This is an AMAZING recipe. Imagine for a minute those delicious garlic breads that the pizza joints give you with marinara dipping sauce… now imagine them as both the crust of your pizza and on top of your pizza! Then imagine for a minute that there is a beautiful blend of cheese, peppers, and pepperoni.. only imagine that it tasted the same but no animals were used or killed.. mouthwatering right?! Well this pizza is exactly that!
This is another tester recipe for Celine & Joni’s upcoming book called Hearty Vegan. The book is not diet friendly but the foods inside are pretty darn incredible! This one was no exception.. I probably would buy the cookbook just for this recipe alone! The longest prep time for this recipe was making the bread.. everything else was just a dump and cover method. I don’t usually like thick crusted pizza (I am not a chicago pizza fan!) but this one was purely amazing… everything about it!
I wish I had taken the time to make the top of my pizza look really pretty but I didn’t think I would be photographing it or blogging about it.. I mean I knew it would be good but I didn’t think it would be so delicious that I couldn’t wait to blog about it!! The recipe says it serves 8 but in our house it serves more like 10.. with 8 servings that brings your calories to 671 or 10 servings at 537 calories. That’s not really too bad considering its a huge pizza pie topped with garlic bread sticks and the worst thing in it, is the healthy oils! Win-win!
Posted by Nina on Mar 29, 2010
Celine & Joni have another cookbook coming out that I am testing for! YAY for great food!! This one is called “Hearty Vegan”, at least so far, and the recipes look fantastic! full of flavor and goodness! This is the baked 5 cheese macaroni & cheese recipe. It is without a doubt the best vegan mac & cheese I have ever made. It’s been a long time since I had the full cheese versions so I can’t exactly compare to how real it tastes but it does bring back a lot of memories of the yummy yellow stuff with the crunchy topping!
I was never really able to get & stay full with the dairy version.. I always had to have it as a side dish or I would eat a ton of it and still not really be full until I grossly overate the stuff.. but THIS!! is nothing like that! It makes 6 pretty big servings and they are very filling. I don’t think there is a single thing I can find to complain about! It’s really delicious!
A while back I had Jenna make me up some of these beautiful little batts.. I was thinking of making a blanket and using it in the studio for props but now I am thinking I might use it to make something for me and stash it away instead. I was thinking of doing a baby surprise jacket perhaps.. I figure the colors are unisex enough to be used for a boy or a girl.. and since that jacket is unisex, I could use some cute little mahogany wooden buttons and it would be perfect. It spun up really beautifully, don’t you think? just a hint of sparkle but not enough to be over powering.
Posted by Nina on Feb 24, 2010
I’ve finally found a solution to my problem! I often wear my hair up or back in a ponytail because it’s so long.. but living in Michigan doesn’t always make it easy, especially in the winter, to stay warm when you wear your hair up.. and I don’t know about you but… putting a hat over a ponytail is uncomfortable and it looks ridiculous.. I’ve known about the calorimetry pattern for awhile but never had any desire to knit one before, especially since they are so popular.. but I decided if you can’t beat ‘em – join ‘em.. now I see what all the fuss was about! They are warm and pretty and they don’t interfere with buns or ponytails at all! I knit mine up in black acrylic yarn with a celtic knot button.
Since I have been testing recipes so long, I turned to a cookbook for a quick and easy no-brainer dinner.. and who should come to my rescue but Sarah Kramer.. this is ‘the joint’s cheeseburger pizza’ recipe from La Dolce Vegan. You know how to make a cheeseburger right? well there you go.. you know how to make this pizza lol.. it’s exactly what I needed during this crazy month of little time! It’s delicious.. tastes like a real cheeseburger and this was the first time I ever got Vegan cheese to melt!! win-win! Thank you Sarah, for giving me some much needed rest and kick-ass food!
Posted by Nina on Feb 20, 2010
Celine & Joni’s new cookbook Vegan Substitutions is getting ready to wrap up and it looks like my taste testing time is nearing an end.. and I am really, really sad to say that! The food I have tested this far has been incredible. Only one recipe I tested didn’t work out too well for me.. but this book has the best burger recipe I have ever eaten!
It’s called the western bacon cheese burger.. 100% Vegan, 100% incredible. I ate this for dinner for 4 nights and when the last burger was eaten I seriously wanted to cry! It’s that good! I browned mine in a cast iron skillet (it’s not burned!) and then oven baked them to ensure an even cooking and I served along side baked french fries… and the burgers were huge!
Then there was this incredible recipe for Orange County Sushi & Spicy Sushi Sauce… the sushi was great but the sushi sauce (not pictured) was incredible. I don’t think I will ever eat regular sushi with soy sauce again! It was this spicy, creamy, dipping sauce that made everything in this sushi roll pop and it was so simple to make!!
This red curry rice was incredible! It was more like a risotto than rice but when I say it was incredible.. I mean every single grain of rice was eaten and Sergey even ate some! Those of you who follow my blog know that he doesn’t ever eat anything Vegan but this he ate a big bowl of! It’s creamy and rich and decadent.. this has become a family favorite! I really hope this makes it into the book because omg is it delicious!
Then we had this instant potato soup.. it was pretty good and was super easy to throw together.. it took me maybe 5 minutes from start to finish. It’s instant . potato . soup .
We planned to have this green bean pesto linguine for valentine’s day but it ended up coming a day or two later.. I had never had green beans and pesto together before but it really works well! The pesto is fresh and this is a very garden friendly recipe.
Last but not least, we have this delicious coconut raisin bread.. this came out a little heavier than I had intended and I think that is because I needed to add more oil or less flour.. the topping on this bread tastes exactly like a coconut macaroon! My husband ate a piece of this bread and even threatened to take it to work! I think I will try to make this again and go with my instincts and add more oil/less flour next time. It ends up tasting like a cross between coconut pound cake and raisin bread topped with a coconut macaroon but not overly sweet at all.
I don’t know if I have convinced you through reading my blog that this cookbook is going to be an amazing addition to your collection or not.. but the food is fantastic! I would have bought this cookbook for the hamburger recipe alone!
Posted by Nina on Jan 31, 2010
First up we have the Green Autumn (Druid Mittens) by Jared Flood. I love these mittens more than words can say.. however, I have found that the yarn I chose has left a lighter dyed band around the center of the mitten and I am obsessing over it. I think I might have to knit an additional mitten to mask this. I finished the pair this morning at about 8am. The pattern has amazing texture exactly like you would expect from Jared. I made a few modifications to the pattern. I decided to mirror the chevron pattern around the cuffs of the mittens as well as the cables on the thumbs.
Next we have this beautiful yarn! I purchased these two batts from Uniquely Yours. These were the New Year’s themed mystery batts (I purchased them without seeing what they would look like) for the spin-a-long. I don’t think there are very many of us spinning these batts and so far, mine are the only yarns posted on the contest thread! I had planned to spin these two yarns together so I made them very thin but once I finished them I loved them separately so I plied the black base with black nylon thread and the white base with white gold metallic thread.
I’ve over taxed myself in January. I decided to do all 6 HPKCHC classes, a new years themed spin along, plus working on my HPKCHC OWL project. I finished 6 projects, 2 skeins of very beautiful yarn, and have done a lot of knitting! February I have committed myself to the Ravelry olympics games to finish off some of my works in progress (event: wip dancing) and spinning (event: flying camel).
That about sums up January for me! oh yeah, and some fantastic food in there too! Celine & Joni’s new book is going to be incredible. Every recipe I have tried is turning out to be my new favorite! Last nights dinner was ‘beef’ & broccoli bowls.. I lacked the seitan so I used tempeh but was FANTASTIC! I think I might make another batch to eat on all week lol.
Posted by Nina on Jan 12, 2010
It’s been a while since I shared some photos of the food I am testing for Celine & Joni’s new book ‘The Complete Guide to Vegan Foods Substitutions‘. If there is one thing I can say about the recipes I have tried from this book.. all but 1 has been a huge success! That single recipe that caused me some trouble has worked well for every other tester though! The photo you see above is a delicious polenta and chili bake.
This is an incredible sweet baked vegan brie!! I loved spreading it on bread, crackers, toast, and eating it with fresh fruit! I never really ate brie cheese before but this spread is dangerously good! I topped mine with blueberry jam for the photo but it works equally well with apple butter, pumpkin butter, or any other sweet preserve.
This is a little bowl of heaven. This is a rustic pasta bake and tastes fantastic hot or cold. It makes up a bunch and I can see it being a fantastic party food. I have a love/hate relationship with artichokes but this recipe makes me love them! You could easily adapt the spices to change the flavor of the whole dish.
Last but not least is this delicious green temeph casserole.. I didn’t expect to love this recipe as much as I did… I love tempeh, that’s no secret, but this was just plain insanely delicious. I can see eating a bowl of this for dinner or wrapping it up in spring rolls for lunch.. its just FANTASTIC. It’s super healthy, very cleansing, and very garden friendly. It looks to me like Celine & Joni have another hit on their hands… and I cannot wait for you all to get to taste these incredible dishes!!!
Posted by Nina on Dec 10, 2009
Ever since I found the Ultimate Shepherd’s Pie recipe I have been in love with it… I was always looking for one that reminded me of Grandma’s chicken pot pie.. and this is it!! The gravy is thick and rich, the veggies are tender and decadent, and the potatoes are just yummy! There isn’t anything about this dish that I didn’t love! It’s fantastic!!! It’s quite different from the first but equally as delicious!
If you aren’t already excited about this book and the food we’re testing… let me just say one thing… my breakfast today is carrot cake waffles and baked sweet brie. Yeah… I said baked sweet brie.. AND carrot cake waffles.
Posted by Nina on Dec 8, 2009
More tester recipes in my house today! I am testing both breakfast cookies and shepherd’s pie (see tomorrow’s post)! The recipe for this is pretty simple, requires just a few ingredients and bakes a super rich tasting cookie. The flavor is very fudge-y and is slightly chewy and mine crisped around the edges.
The cookies are not overly sweet but are just the right amount of sweet and chocolate that I’ll look forward to having for breakfast. They are perfect to make the night before and grab on the go for those busy work days when you have little to no time to eat.. and I can see adding a few things to the base cookies to personalize them to suit your needs. I loved them!! They kept me full and gave me a bit of energy and were quick and fun to eat! The recipe makes 2 huge breakfast cookies.
As I mentioned before, this is a test recipe for Celine & Joni’s new book “The Complete Guide to Vegan Substitutions” so I cannot give you the recipe.. but I can tell you that they are worth ordering the book for!