Posts Tagged ‘2011’

Eggcellent Easter Brunch!

April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Today I had an Easter brunch for my boyfriend, my sister, and my sister’s boyfriend.

Menu
Easter Egg Punch
Carrot-Pineapple Muffins
“Ham and Cheese” Quiche Tarts
“Rabbit Food” with a Creamy Dill Dip
Cantaloupe with Agave-Vanilla Soy Yogurt

I made all the time-consuming things yesterday – I even set up the table inside! So I didn’t have much work to do today. All I had to do this morning was make the quiche, cut up the fruit and vegetables, make the punch, and take the table outside. It was very un-hectic, and I finished everything 45 minutes ahead of schedule! Actually had time to get ready before everyone arrived and blow up some balloons. 😀

Easter Egg Punch
I came up with this after I drank some cranberry and orange juice my sister had mixed together. Seemed like a good combo for a brunch!

5-6 C ice
3 liters cranberry juice cocktail
1 12 fl oz container pineapple-orange concentrate, thawed
3 1/2 C orange juice
1 12 fl oz can ginger ale

Place ice in a large punch bowl, pour in other ingredients and stir!

Carrot-Pineapple Muffins

These are the Carrot-Pineapple Sunshine Muffins from Veganomicon and they are SO good! The only change I made was adding more cinnamon and less ginger due to personal preference. They really do taste like sunshine!

“Ham and Cheese” Quiche Tarts

This is a variation on Fat Free Vegan’s Mini Tofu Quiches. I doubled the recipe, made a few small changes, and used Martha’s Favorite Pie Crust for the tart shells. Doubling the recipe made enough for 10 1-inch tart shells, three 4-inch tart shells, and one 8-inch tart shell. I also want to note that I think pretty much everyone prefers the quiches without a crust – so don’t bother!

2 12.3-oz packages lite firm silken tofu
1/3 C + 2 Tbsp soymilk
1/4 C nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 6-oz package Yves Meatless Canadian Bacon
1 C shredded Daiya cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place all ingredients except the “ham” and “cheese” into a blender or food processor and process until smooth (it’s thick, so you may need to help it out a little). Pour tofu mixture into a large bowl and fold in the “ham” and “cheese”. Divide equally into either 50 1-inch tart shells, eight 4-inch tart shells, or two 8-inch tart shells. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the tart(s) comes out clean. Let cool a few minutes, remove from tart shells, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Rabbit Food with a Creamy Dill Dip
No recipe! Just carrots, celery, and cherry tomatoes with a dip made out of Vegenaise, (v) sour cream, dried dill, parsley, salt, sugar, onion powder, freshly ground black pepper, and a little soymilk to thin it out.

Canteloupe with Agave-Vanilla Soy Yogurt
Just fresh cantaloupe with vanilla soy yogurt that was drizzled with a little agave nectar.

I thought it would be cute to make the punch bowl look like it was in a nest full of Easter eggs, so I got this little grapevine wreath from the thrift store and picked up a bag of plastic eggs to decorate it with. I think it turned out pretty darn cute!

   I hope everyone had a great day, however you celebrate!

– Andrea

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Earth Day, 2011!

April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Earth Day is one of my favorite holidays. There’s not normally a lot of hub-bub surrounding it from the general population, but the hub-bub that is there makes me very happy. It’s so nice to have an entire day devoted to helping the environment. I think the biggest thing that made me excited about Earth Day when I was a kid was The Big Help on Nickelodeon.

Remember The Big Help? Where really cool people like Rosie O’Donnell and LL Cool J would try to convince kids to recycle and do good things in their communities? I remember this one animated commercial where a girl was brushing her teeth with the water running and outside the window you could see all the water in a pond disappear and a really sad-looking fish was left without any water. I never left the water running again after that! That poor fish. I always wanted to pick up trash on the side of the road and recycle like the kids in the commercials, but I guess my parents thought it was too much of a hassle. That’s why I make up for it now!

I try to recycle anything and everything I can, even if it means holding onto things for years until I can find a way to recycle them. I recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, tin, glass, lightbulbs, batteries, shoes, etc.. I can’t stand throwing something away if I know it can be recycled SOMEWHERE. Earth 911 is my favorite website for figuring out where to recycle odds and ends, and just finding tips to be more environmentally friendly.

Today me and my boyfriend went to our local metal recycling center (Recycle USA)  to take all of our cans. It was so much fun! Everyone had on Earth Day shirts, they had a radio station out front, and they even gave you a free lunch after you took your receipt up to the cashier! It was a bag of chips and a roast beef sandwich (I think). I ate the chips and let Jon take the sandwich to give to someone at work. Obviously, plant-based food is better for the environment, but it’s hard to complain when they’re trying to get people excited about recycling! It was just so fun seeing people get into the spirit of Earth Day.

After that I came home and started making my green/earth-inspired Earth Day lunch!

Worms in Dirt

I made Worms in Dirt using the chocolate pudding recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance and crushed Oreo cookies. I also made Candied Orange Peel to use for the worms!

For the Candied Orange Peel, you’ll need one orange (washed well), 3/4 C sugar (plus more for coating), and 1 1/2 C water.

– Cut the orange in half across the middle, then cut each half into an X to make four segments. Peel off the fruit and cut the peel into strips (don’t worry about the white part of the rind – the blanching will mellow it out).
– Bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch the strips for five minutes. Drain and repeat and until you’ve blanched the strips a total of three times.
– After the third blanching, bring the 3/4 C sugar and 1 1/2 C water to a simmer. When all the sugar is dissolved, add the orange peel. Simmer for one hour.
– Before all the liquid is gone, use a slotted spoon to transfer the strips to a bowl of sugar. Toss to coat, place on a baking sheet to cool.

These worms are SO good!

Earth Day - Soup and Salad

For my “real” food, I made the Spring Vegetable Soup out of the May 2011 issue of Everyday Food and the Portobello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing from Veganomicon (I just left out the chickpeas). I sort of went with a “green” theme, can you tell? I added in the blue bowl to represent the oceans, though 😀 The soup was so-so, but I loooved the salad dressing and the portobello marinade for the salad. For the greens, I used 50% Romaine and 50% watercress. I have a slight obsession with watercress lately.

I also went to Publix today to pick up a few last-minute things, and they gave me one of these adorable keychains!

While I was there, I picked up two new reusable holiday bags! I swear, I love that they sell holiday-themed reusable grocery bags. I have black and orange jack-o-lantern bags for my Halloween grocery shopping, red and green “Happy Holidays” bags for my Christmas grocery shopping… And they also have them for Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving! I’m wondering if they have any for the 4th of July.. I’m definitely going to be looking out for those this year! I did notice they had Earth Day-specific bags while I was there today, but I think the regular, old green ones are just fine for that 🙂

Sunday I’m having my boyfriend, my sister, and I think my sister’s boyfriend over for an Easter brunch. I’ve wanted to do this for years so I’m really excited to finally do it! Not excited about all the school work I still have to do this weekend :-\ Yuck.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back on Sunday!

– Andrea