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Last weekend, Melinda, Amelia and I went to see Brave/Spiderman at the Drive-In. I knew I was in good company when the first thing Amelia and I said when we finally had plans nailed down was “I can’t wait to make treats!”. I love hanging with fellow foodies.

So, of course, store bought treats would not do for us. Oh no! We had to all make our own, of course! And everything came out delicious!

We had a nice spread of buffalo hummus courtesy of Amelia (who hasn’t sent me the recipe yet so I can’t share it with you…*hint hint Amelia) with pita chips and veggies, dark chocolate covered pretzels and peanuts, popcorn popped on the stove with a little olive oil and spices courtesy of Melinda (super good! Melinda did send me that recipe and I have made it so you may end up getting that one…) and, of course, italian blood orange soda because regular soda wasn’t pretentious enough for us! lol!

Besides an incident where there was a little fight over the pita chips (“Melinda! If you don’t turn around and buckle up, I’m pulling this car over!!), our food went over splendly. Included in my contributions were these s’mores cups. I’ve been on a obsessive s’mores kick lately so it’s always good when you can find a way to bring them on-the-go!


S’Mores Cups
 
makes approximately 18

  • one sleeve of graham crackers (about 10 crackers)
  • 2 TBSP of Earth Balance, melted
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 bag of vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 TBSP vegetable shortening
  • 27 vegan marshmallows ( I used Dandies, which I found at Whole Foods), cut in half

Optional: one heating spoonful of smooth, natural peanut butter (or more to taste)

Line a mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake liners.

Place the graham crackers in the food processor and process until they are fine crumbs. Pour into a bowl. Add the melted butter and sugar in with the graham cracker crumbs and mix until well combined. Pour about a spoonful of the graham cracker crumbs into the mini cupcake liners. Pack the crumbs down with your spoon. Your cupcake liner should be approximately half full.  Place three marshmallow pieces in your cupcake liners on top of the graham cracker crust.

 

Using a double boiler, melt your vegan chocolate chips and vegetable shortening (and pb, if you are using it). Spoon melted chocolate over the marshmallows. Place in fridge to chill. Best served cold.

My favorite way to eat a s’more is with a thin layer of peanut butter. It’s so good! So I melted some PB in half of my chocolate. I did nine s’mores cup with regular chocolate, melting about 2/3 of the bag of chocolate chips with just vegetable shortening, and then melted the remaining 1/3 of the bag with a big scoop of peanut butter and a little bit of shortening for the remaining 9. I honestly can’t decide which version I love more.

 

Have a great weekend, everyone! The sun totally won in our war at Warped Tour and I walked away red as a lobster. So I will definitely be nursing my sore skin this weekend. I hope you do something way more fun that that!!

 

 

 

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Happy Friday! I had a really hard day, guys.

– It’s the 8th day of my vacation. Only 2 days left.

– I went to the midnight showing of Hunger Games (don’t judge!) last night and didn’t go to bed until 4am, which forced me to stay in bed until noon, obviously. I gotta get my 8 hours!

– Then I had to go grocery shopping. But I didn’t feel like it so I left my PJs on (which contain my super cute new cupcake shorts I got at Gap outlet for $1.99!)

All that shopping was a huge drain so I was forced to whip up this margarita and have lunch on my porch (um…it’s 78 degrees in Boston right now!).

Fresh Strawberry Margaritas
makes a single serving
straight from How Sweet It Is

  • 2 ounces Grand Marnier
  • 1 1/2 ounces Tequila
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 2 1/2 ounces strawberry simple syrup
  • lime + fresh strawberries for garnish
  • salt + sugar for the rim

Rim the ridge of your glass with a lime wedge and dip in a mix of margarita salt + sugar [I used about 3 tablespoons salt to 2 teaspoons sugar]. Fill the glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, grand marnier, simple syrup and lime juice with ice, and shake for about 30 seconds. Pour over ice and squeeze in lime slices and add a few strawberries.

For strawberry simple syrup: combine equal parts sugar and water, bring to a boil and let sugar dissolve, then turn off heat and let cool completely. Combine 1 cup simply syrup + 1 1/2 cups slices strawberries in a blender and blend until combined. I don’t mind strawberry seeds, but if you’d like you can strain the mixture over a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

I’m debating keeping my PJs for my friday night dinner but my little pseudo-niece calls me out when I wear mismatched socks. I can’t imagine how she’ll react if I show up wearing PJs for dinner

PS. that salsa is Stonewall Kitchen’s Chipotle Pineapple Salsa. I discovered it when I was in NH. I’m obsessed!

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This morning I woke up feeling pretty sad. Today is my last full day in NH and my last day to scrapbook. Tomorrow, I pack everything up, clean up and head back to the city.

That sadness lasted for approximately 10 minutes, until I went to take a shower and found a large, black spider perched on the drain. *shudder* After I managed to pseudo-drown it and then flush it down the toilet, I went to finally get in and found two more! Of course, even after I killed those two, my short, luke-warm shower was filled with dread that there were more spiders lurking in my shower poof waiting to extract revenge for the death of their friend and family.

…I think my vacation is wrapping up at about the right time.

Anyway, I don’t know if this counts as a recipe but its one of my favorite lunches and it’s INCREDIBLY easy to prepare, especially if you are making it at lunch at work. It requires almost zero, night-before preparation and the ingredients can be thrown in a bag in about 60 seconds when you are running late.

Avocado Toast

  • 1 piece of bread
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • salt, to taste

1. Toast your bread. Make sure it’s some really yummy bread. There’s only really two ingredients here,
people. You’re going to want the best. My favorite is When Pigs Fly.

2. Mush 1/2 of the avocado onto your toast.

3. Salt to taste

4. Eat the amazingness that is your new favorite lunch and marvel how few ingredients are in it.

If I’m having this at work for lunch, I will have 2 pieces of bread and use the whole avocado. According to the Avocado website , one serving of an avocado equals 1/5 of the avocado. Seriously? Who eats only a fifth of an avocado?! On the plus size, a whole, medium size avocado only has 250 calories and is packed with vitamin C, potassium, protein, and healthy fats.

I like to serve mine up with some raw carrots sticks or fruit. It’s an overall healthy lunch! and it’s SO. EASY.

By the way, this is me procrastinating working on my scrapbook. I have over 50 pictures of Pompeii that I need to tackle and that’s after i weeded out 50+ that I didn’t deem scrapbook worthy. I don’t even know where to begin so I spent most of my morning soaking up the sun and reading A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I love vacation…minus the spiders…

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Six years ago, my friend Whitney dragged me to see The Exorcism of Emily Rose. For months weeks after, I would wake in the middle of the night petrified to open my eyes and look at the time in case it was 3 o’clock, which is when the devil supposedly is most likely to possess you.

Every once in a while I still wake up terrified. I wish I was kidding…

Also, I have really intense nightmares of people being attacked after I watch  3 or more episodes of Law and Order: SVU, which happens to be one of my favorite shows. And which is ALWAYS having a marathon on TV. How can I not watch more than three episodes??

So, when my roommates told me that they were all leaving for the holidays after their fall semesters ended and I’d have three weeks on my own, I was excited for about 5 seconds and then I realized, Shit! Who is going to be around to read my demonic statements written in blood on the wall if I get possessed? Or, what if I’m attacked? Whose going to call the Boston equivalent of SVU and make sure I have a hot middle-aged, balding detective with severe anger problems  to help me out (lets not even talk about my crush on Stabler…)??

I was in a serious dilemma here! Thankfully, Melinda (of the Bread Dilemma and the Beet Cupcakes) was apartment searching and needed a futon to crash on. Score!

Melinda!

And THEN, Becca, my old roomie who moved to Cali, was visiting and crashed with us. This was as a perfect scenario: The priests that fly solo in the movies always fail! Two people would be way more successful if an exorcism was needed. A girl needs to plan ahead!

Becca!

Plus, we all like cooking so delicious food was inevitable!  We all chipped in and helped with this Irish Stew:

Vegan Irish Stew

Based on Vegetarian Irish Stew on Food.com

Olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 medium onions
1/4 cup flour
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 cup carrots
1 turnip, chopped
1 potato, chopped
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup lentils(we forgot to put these in and it resulted in a brothier stew, but it was still delicious!)
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
pepper
1 cup Seitan, cut into chunks

In a large part, sauté garlic and onions in the olive oil until they are soft.  Add the flour and stir until the garlic and onions are completely coated.

Add the remaining ingredients, mix well and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for about 30 minutes, or until the veggies are done

Cooking with Melinda and Becca was hilarious because neither of them believes in really following a recipe or measuring things. For instance, they went to the grocery store to pick up a few things we needed and instead of coming back with celery, they decided kale was a perfectly decent substitute. I had to keep track of all their changes on the white board in the kitchen so I could remember the recipe when it was time to post it!


Thankfully, the meal turned out awesome, even though we changed half the ingredients and forgot the lentils! AND I didn’t need them to rid any demonic spirits from my life. Definitely a win, win!

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Happy holidays, Wicked Vegan readers!

 

I just wanted to take a moment and say I haven’t gone anywhere…but my computer charger has. Its hanging with my folks in CT. As soon as I get it back and have more then T minus 2 minutes of battery life left, I will resume posting.

 

Until then, I hope you have a happy and safe holidays!

 

Love,

Erin

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Last night, I made Maple Bacon Chocolate chip cookies for a friend’s birthday. You should have seen me trying to make bacon. I think I over cooked it but I was so scared to under cook it and then have him die of some sort of pig carried disease that I made sure it was extra crispy. Unfortunately, the cookies were a hot mess and spread out like pancakes on the pan. When I pulled out one of the cookie sheets, all of the cookies had spread out and mushed together to form one ginormous cookie. I had to cut it with a knife. My baking cheat sheet I found on pinterest says it’s because I had too little flour. I actually added 1/2 c extra flour per tips from online. Worse, I don’t even know if they are good because they have bacon AND butter AND eggs in it. I’m leaving it up to my friends at work to tell me if they are good enough to gift. I’m thinking he’ll end up getting a gift certificate instead…

On the plus side, I had this lovely recipe for dinner and it helped ease the pain of my baking flop. Actually, the two large glasses of Chocolate Peppermint Soy milk with chocolate mint baileys were probably more helpful in easing the pain but I’m still totally obsessed with this recipe. It’s insanely good.

Minestrone Pot Pie with Vegan Biscuits

soup
adapted from How Sweet Eats
makes one 9×13 dish, serves 4-6

drizzle of olive oil

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

1 cleaned and trimmed leek, thinly sliced

1/2 cup coarsely chopped baby bella mushrooms

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash

3 cups raw spinach leaves

3 cups torn kale leaves

1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz) peeled whole tomatoes

1 Bay leaf

1 TBSP Thyme

1TBSP parsley

3 cups vegetable broth

Coat the bottom of a large soup pan with olive oil and heat. Add onions and leeks to the pan with a sprinkle of salt, cooking for 5 minutes. Add in mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Stir in garlic, thyme and parsley and cook for 30 seconds. Add spinach, kale, squash, tomatoes, beans, bay leaf and broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook f0r 20 minutes, covered. While soup is cooking, make biscuits below and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

After 20 minutes, transfer to the baking dish. Top with biscuits, then brush each biscuit with melted earth balance. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the biscuits are done. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Biscuit
from Holy Cow! vegan

Mix and set aside to curdle:

1 cup very cold soymilk or almond milk

1 tsp vinegar

Mix together:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Add to this:

5 tbsp transfat-free vegetable shortening (like Crisco) or very cold vegan “butter” like Earth Balance, chopped into small cubes.

With a fork or a pastry-cutter, mix the fat into the flour until you have a coarse mixture with no large pieces of fat. If using “butter,” work quickly because you don’t want the fat to melt.

Now add the curdled soymilk-vinegar mixture and mix quickly until the dough comes together.

Make a ball of the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.

Use a round cookie cutter (I used a round drinking glass) and continue with the steps above.

Melinda and I actually used our team work powers to make this meal. She’s crashing at my place for a while. So I bought all the ingredients, Melinda made the soup and biscuit dough, I came home from work and put the soup in the pan and cut out the biscuits and baked it. In fairness, she had the tough part so she gets 2/3 credit for this recipe. It turned out amazing so she totally deserves it.

She’s also responsible for getting me addicted to chocolate mint baileys, which she keeps adding to the hot chocolate she offers me when I get home from work. I’m not complaining though!  In fact, when I bring boys around I hope she hints to them that like the people on Mad Men, I like to come home with a tumbler of booze waiting for me…except instead of scotch, I expect hot chocolate with mint baileys.

But I digress, this soups amazing so go make it.

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Fall Harvest Couscous

 

I swear, I am no longer pretending its fall. I mean…not really. Technically, there are still pumpkins in my house, caution tape from my Halloween party strung across my porch and a Jack-O-Lantern rotting on my porch but technically, I have embraced christmas…well…as much as someone with a heart three sizes too small can. The fact that I’ve had Fall Harvest Couscous everyday this week for lunch, and probably will continue to have for lunch each day this week, is a mere coincidence. I just really love roasted pecans and butternut squash!

Fall Harvest Couscous

Ingredients

1 (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (you can buy it peeled and cut, that’s what I did)
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced 
1/2 -1 c. sliced baby bellas (the original recipe didn’t call for this but I had some leftover from a different recipe so I threw them in. They tasted great)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
1/2 teaspoon pepper 
1 1/2 cups couscous 
1 1/3 cups vegetable broth 
1 tablespoon Earth Balance
1/3 cup dried cranberries 
1/2 cup pecans, toasted 
Method

Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine butternut squash, onion, mushroom, olive oil, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until squash and onion brown slightly, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool. At this point, butternut squash and onion mixture can be frozen. Defrost in refrigerator for several hours or in the microwave. 

Combine defrosted squash and onion mixture, veggy broth, Earth Balance and cranberries in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add couscous and cover. Take from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in pecans and season to taste with salt and pepper. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Nutrition

Per serving: 410 calories (150 from fat), 17g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 9g protein, 59g total carbohydrate (8g dietary fiber)

 

See, look! I used a poinsettia as a prop in my picture! That counts as christmas spirit right??

Also, Dan, Melinda and I decorated our apartment’s christmas tree last night! There was old school jams playing, hot chocolate spiked with mint chocolate baileys, off-key singing going on…it was a much-needed destresser from the craziness that has been the last few weeks. Plus, now our dining room looks so pretty!

See, I’m so over fall! Just…ignore those pumpkins under the tree, ok? Thanks.

 

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