Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin’

Harry Potter-Themed Anniversary Dinner

November 16, 2010

So, as I said in my last post, Saturday was mine and my boyfriends six-year anniversary. With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One coming out on Friday, we decided to start re-watching all the movies. So I decided it would be a good night to make a Harry Potter-themed anniversary dinner! I didn’t want party-style food, so cupcakes and cookies and all the really “fun” Harry Potter foods were out. I wanted a real meal for our anniversary. So, this is what I came up with:

Herbology Salad with Liquid Luck Vinaigrette
Shepherd’s Pie
Sauteed Gillyweed
Golden Galleon Beets
Pumpkin Pasties

Butterbeer, which is a drink that regularly shows up in the books and movies, can be served either hot or cold. It is described as having a sort of butterscotch flavor to it. You can read more about it here. I wanted to actually make some Butterbeer, using cream soda and butterscotch flavoring, but I could find any 😦 We ended up just drinking cream soda, which I normally can’t stand. Amazing how calling it Butterbeer made it taste good 😀

Shepherd’s Pie is one of the many dishes served to the students at Howarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and is a traditional British food. I made mine with homemade seitan, peas, and carrots. The seitan was a beef-style seitan: 1 1/3 C vital wheat gluten + 1 C no-beef broth. I sliced it fairly thin before adding it to the cold broth and bringing it to a simmer. The simmering liquid was no-beef broth, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, and whole black peppercorns. I simmered the seitan for about an hour and a half and allowed it to cool before cutting it into bite-sized pieces. I used one bag of frozen peas and carrots, and mixed everything together with 2 C of homemade gravy (2 C water, no-chicken and no-beef boullion, 2-3 TBSP cornstarch). The potato topping was Yukon gold potatoes boiled in salted water until soft and mashed with soymilk, margarine, and garlic powder. I then piped the mashed potatoes onto the pie the same way you would pipe icing onto a cake. The pie was baked for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees until everything was heated through.

It was bloody brilliant!


Herbology Salad with Liquid Luck Vinegarette

The Herbology Salad was inspired by the Herbology class at Hogwarts, taught by Professor Sprout. It had various greens, including spinach, arugula, and some pretty lettuce I bought at the harvest market that morning. I included red and yellow bell peppers, an orange tomato, and sliced cucumber. The Liquid Luck Vinegarette was inspired by the Felix Felicis potion, aka “Liquid Luck”. It was a agave-dijon vinegarette.


Gillyweed and Golden Galleon Beets

The Gillyweed (a magical plant that allows wizards to grow gills and webbed hands and feet) was sauteed kale. I sauteed it with salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, and red pepper flakes + a little sugar. The Golden Galleon Beets were named after galleons, a golden coin used in wizard currency. These were golden beets, peeled and sliced, then roasted at 425 degrees with olive oil, salt, and pepper, for about 10-15 minutes, turning every now and then.


Pumpkin Pasties

The Pumpkin Pasties are a popular dessert/snack in the world of Harry Potter. And I freakin’ love it when Cho Chang says, “Two pumpkin pasties, please.” SO CUTE. Anyway. I made the basic pie crust out of The Joy of Vegan Baking and made a filling with half a can of pumpkin puree, 2 TBSP flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and vanilla. I rolled the dough really thin, cut it into circles, added about 1-2 tsp of filling, and closed it up, using a fork to seal the edges and poking holes in to the top of the pastries. I chilled the pies before baking and added an “egg wash” that I made out of agave nectar and water. They were baked at 350 until the bottoms began to brown. Definitely best served warm!


Harry Potter Hot Cocoa

I also made us some hot cocoa to drink while we watched the movie and finished off the Pumpkin Pasties. Hot chocolate is mentioned quite a few times throughout the books, so I thought it was fitting. And I love Soyatoo whipped cream. It was a dollar off at Whole Foods last time I went, so I picked up two cans in preparation for the holidays! 😀

I so wanted to make Chocolate Frogs but I just didn’t have the time. I plan on making them sometime this week, though! I have the absolute most awesome chocolate mold for them! I can’t wait to make them!

I’d say it was very successful meal. We ended up only watching The Sorcerer’s Stone on Saturday. I watched The Chamber of Secrets last night. I just finished re-reading The Deathly Hallows, and me and my boyfriend plan on watching The Prisoner of Azkaban tomorrow! We’re on a Potter-frenzy, I tell you!

I am so excited for Thursday night! Long live Harry Potter!

– Andrea


Our Beautiful Jack-o-Lanterns

October 30, 2010

Me and my boyfriend finally carved our jack-o-lanterns last night! But before I unveil our pumpkins, I wanted to share the history behind the jack-o-lantern. I scanned this out of a Halloween magazine I bought in 1998 called The Joy of Halloween. It was basically the most amazing magazine in the entire world to me at the time. I read it every single day after I got it. My mom even made me and a few friends some of the spooky (and silly) snacks out of the magazine. I loved learning about all the Halloween legends and superstitions and I think this was really about the time I started to see there was more to Halloween than trick-or-treating.

No more rambling! “Prepare Your Pumpkins – Jack is Back”:

And here’s a bit on how to pick out and carve your own jack-o-lantern:

And here are our lovely pumpkins for the 2010 Halloween season:

The three in the middle are mine, the two on the ends are my boyfriend’s.
E.T., The Pumpkin Who Couldn’t Smile, and Sam

If you don’t know who E.T. is, there’s just no hope for you. But if you don’t know who The Pumpkin Who Couldn’t Smile and Sam are, check these out:

Oh, what the heck. I have to include this now:

Tonight is Phantom of the Opera at the Alabama Theatre for me! I hope you all have a fun Halloweekend! And don’t forget: Never blow out a jack-o-lantern on Halloween!

Happy Hauntings!

– Andrea

Eyeballs, Petrified Pumpkin, and Broken Glass

October 26, 2010

I find it hard to believe I haven’t made a single post all October. I guess it all started when we didn’t have our pumpkin patch picnic at the pumpkin patch and, instead, had it in my front yard. Wasn’t a good way to start off the Halloween season. 😦 I have made a few things throughout the month, though. And I had my Halloween party this past Saturday. I’m hoping to make up for lost Halloween food time this weekend, and extending it into next week for Day of the Dead.

Foods I’m planning on making before the Halloween season is over:

– Caramel apples
– Tofu tombstones with smashed spirits and graveyard gravy + “rotten” roasted vegetables
– Spooky-faced veggie pizzas with an orange pumpkin crust
– Chocolate Chick-o-stick tarts
– Scarecrow toastadas

For Day of the Dead, I’m thinking something along the lines of:

– Mexican-spiced calavera cake (anise seed, orange, and cinnamon)
– Cornbread sugar skulls (with sour cream and green onion decorations)
– Black bean soup with lime, cilantro, and avocado

I hate to admit that I’m ready for a new holiday season to start, but I think I got a little burned out on Halloween early this year. I still can’t wait to have some spooky fun these last few days, though! Here’s a few foods I’ve made this month:

Stuffed Shell Eyeballs

This is just a regular stuffed shell recipe, with olive and roasted red pepper added to make the eyeballs. I used tofu, non-dairy cream cheese, nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper for the filling. Then I just used a jarred pasta sauce. It’s easiest and less messy to put the filling into a plastic bag and cut the corner off to pipe it into the shells. These were covered and baked at 350 degrees until warmed through.

Petrified Pumpkin Enchiladas

I used this recipe for the sauce. For the filling, I used Gardein chick’n and steamed Yukon gold potatoes. Then I just made a face using Toffuti sour cream, olives, and chopped green onion.

Broken Glass Cupcakes

These are red velvet cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I used a store-bought vegan icing and I made a hard, clear candy to break up into glass shards. Then I added some red gel icing to make it look like the cupcakes were bleeding 🙂 If you make these – Don’t add the hard candy until you’re about to serve them. The candy will pick up the moisture from the cupcakes and start to “melt” and deteriorate after a few hours.

Hard Candy:

1 C sugar
3 TBSP light corn syrup
1/3 C water

– Coat a baking sheet (or sheet of aluminum foil) with nonstick spray. Put sugar, corn syrup, and water into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occassionally with a wooden spoon.
– Continue to boil until mixture reaches 310 degrees on a candy thermometer.
– Immediately remove from heat and pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet or aluminum foil, spreading thin with the back of a wooden spoon.
– Allow to cool and harden. Break into glass-like shards.

I hope you’ve all been having a wonderfully spooky October!

– Andrea

Happy First Day of Autumn, 2010!

September 23, 2010

I’ve been a bit confused over the last few days about when the first day of Autumn was supposed to be this year. Someone said it was on Tuesday, then there were people wishing everyone a happy autumn yesterday.


All of my calendars said the autumnal equinox was today! So, screw everyone else’s calendars. I have a cute, Gil Elvgren, pin-up calendar. And it most certainly is not wrong. So I went with today as the first day of autumn 🙂

So, happy, happy Autumn, everyone!

I made Pumpkin Pot Pies! Well, I actually only made one. This one:

I don’t really have a recipe, because I cut the original into 1/3, and then it only filled up one pumpkin instead of two.  And the veganization of it didn’t really turn out the way I had planned. So, basically:

Cut the top off of a sugar pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds (save for roasting!) and pumpkin guts. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the inside of the pumpkin and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until soft when poked with a fork. Then add your favorite pot pie filling. Use your favorite crust (I used this one) and some small, autumn leaf cookie cutters to create leaves. Use a toothpick to create a crease (you can obviously be more detailed with this) and lay them around the rim of the pumpkin. (You could also create a full crust on top of the filling using the leaves.) Bring oven temperature down to 350 degrees and bake the pot pie for another 30 minutes.

I added a lot of hot sauce to mine, because my awesome boyfriend brought me some today! 🙂 It was much better after that.

I would definitely do this again with a better pot pie filling. I shouldn’t have tried to veganize the original recipe, since I have my own favorite filling. But I’ll know better next time!

I hope everyone had a good start to autumn today! Even if it was 95 degrees!

– Andrea

A Very Vegan Thanksgiving, 2009

November 26, 2009

Happy Tofurky Day, everyone!

Me and my boyfriend had our vegan Thanksgiving yesterday. Yesterday also happened to be his 21st birthday, but we had his party this past Saturday. I’ll post more about that soon 🙂

Thanksgiving is a holiday where I don’t like to change much, in terms of food. It’s the only time of the year I eat most of the items on the menu, and I like to keep it that way because it makes the food more special. I think next year I may want to change up the main course. I don’t mean forgoing the traditional Tofurky roast. I just mean adding a new bird-substitute to the table. Maybe stuffed acorn squash, or a seitan roast with stuffing.

But the planning for next year can wait until then. This is what we had for 2009:

 Tofurky and Gravy
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Macaroni and Cheese
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Cornbread Dressing
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Buttermilk Drop Biscuits
Pumpkin Pie Trifle
Apple Cider

I used the soy sauce/olive oil/ sage baste from the Tofurky box and followed the package instructions for the non-bird. For the gravy, I made a roux and added no-chicken broth, soy sauce, sage, poultry seasoning, and freshly cracked black pepper.

The sweet potatoes were baked for nearly two hours, until soft. Then I took the skins off, mashed them, and added white and brown sugar, margarine, and apple cider.

For the green bean casserole, I used this recipe, and it is amazing. We’ve had it the past few years.

I roasted the brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

The cornbread dressing has no real measurements, just ingredients scribbled down by my mom of what was in my maw maw’s dressing. It’s basically a loaf of cornbread, two cans vegetable broth, chopped celery and green onion, sage, poultry seasoning, garlic salt, and pepper. Then I put a few bits of margarine on top and baked it at 350 until the top was golden brown.

For the cranberry sauce, I just use the directions on the bag of cranberries. I usually add more sugar than called for, and I also added a splash of orange juice.

The biscuits were a bit dry, so I won’t post those right now.

The pumpkin pie trifle was graham crackers, pumpkin puree + vanilla pudding (from a vegan boxed mix + soymilk) + pumpkin pie spice + cinnamon, and Soyatoo Soy Whip. It was sooo good. But the single mini trifles are enough for two, so we just shared one and saved one for later 😀

And that was my Thanksgiving! I hope everyone else had wonderful food and good company.

What did you have on the table? What would you change for next year?

If anyone is getting out shopping tomorrow, be safe!

Also, this is hilarious: Defensive Omnivore Bingo Card! I’m sure many vegans and vegetarians throughout the country would have been yelling “Bingo!” today if they had known about this. 🙂

– Andrea

Spooky Breakfast Ideas

October 14, 2009

Halloween-themed food shouldn’t be shunned at breakfast time. There are a lot of quick and easy ways to make a breakfast from the darkside! The quickest way, of course, would be to just change the name of the food 😀 For instance, this morning I had Solid Souls and Ghost Toast for breakfast (aka “cheesy” grits and toast).

Solid Souls + Ghost Toast

Solid Souls + Ghost Toast

More Halloween Breakfast Ideas

Haunted Hashbrowns – if shredded and pan-fried, Fried Maggots
Boo-berry Pancakes – Blueberry Pancakes
Batcakes – Chocolate Pancakes. Use a metal cookie cutter to create bat shapes!
Scary Tofu Scramble – add ketchup for Scrambled Brains
Freaky French Toast – use cookie cutters for spooky shapes!
Scary “Sausages” -or- Decayed Fingers – add a sliver of bell pepper for a finger nail
Soul Cakes (biscuits) with Gruesome Gravy
Shrunken Heads
– Whole baked apples, with a face carved in them
Black as Night Coffee -or-  Coffee from the Darkside
Green Goblin Tea
-or- Sewer Water (green tea)
Kooky Hot Cocoa

And, of course, there is always the amazing choice of having Pumpkin Pancakes!

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Best eaten with pure maple syrup, these beautifully fluffy orange pancakes were made using the recipe in the Vegan Family Cookbook. You could easily make a cute jack-o-lantern face with either cut-up banana slices or margarine.

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups white flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp egg replacer powder
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups soymilk
2 TBSP extra light olive oil
1 cup canned pumpkin

Preheat griddle or skillet to 375, or medium heat. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir in soymilk, oil, and pumpkin. Cook pancakes on a lightly oiled griddle or skillet.

Makes about 20 large pancakes.


I hope you have a wonderfully spooky breakfast tomorrow morning!

– Andrea

Celebrating the Trick ‘R Treat DVD Release

October 8, 2009
Poison, drowning, claw, or knife.. So many ways to take a life.
Trick R Treat Blu-Ray + Candy Corn Lollipop from the BF

Trick 'R Treat Blu-Ray + Candy Corn Lollipop from the BF

Being the huge Halloween fan that I am, I had been waiting for Trick ‘R Treat to come out since early 2007. The wait ended on Tuesday.

While a theatrical release two years prior would have been preferred, actually owning the movie makes me incredibly happy. Needless to say, Trick ‘R Treat was well worth the wait, and I’ve already watched it twice! I meant to do this the first time I watched the movie, but it wasn’t possible. So this is what I did to watch the movie the second time around:

Never blow out a jack-o-lantern before midnight.

Never blow out a jack-o-lantern before midnight.

In fact, I love the movie so much, I made Trick ‘R Treat-themed cookies tonight! Ladies and gentlemen.. Meet Sam:

These are pumpkin spice cookies, with Sam’s face drawn on with edible marker.

And Sam can’t leave home on Halloween without his trusty (and not to mention deadly) lollipop. So, here we have Sam’s Lollipop Cookies!

Same cookies, but with icing and a lollipop stick that was stuck in right after the cookies were removed from the oven.

I love my Trick ‘R Treat cookies. I still haven’t eaten one yet, because I just can’t stand to eat Sam’s cute little face. I’m sure I will eventually, but for now he is safe.

I can’t recall exactly where I got the original recipe, but here is my version:

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of softened margarine
1 “egg”
1 tsp vanilla
3 TBSP pureed pumpkin
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray.

Cream together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg, vanilla, and pumpkin. Blend well.

Sift together the remaining dry ingredients and slowly stir them into the sugar mixture until everything is combined.

On a floured (or powder sugar-ed) surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4″ thickness. (I rolled mine out on wax paper and refrigerated it for about 10-15 minutes. It was easier to deal with that way.)  Cut into shapes as desired with floured cookie cutters and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool on wire rack and decorate if desired.


The cookies were dipped in orange icing, and the black icing face was piped on. The icing I used is the Royal Icing recipe in The Joy of Vegan Baking:

1 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg replacer
2 TBSP water
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp almond extract (didn’t use)
1 1/2 C confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Food coloring

In a medium-size bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg replacer mixture with the lemon juice and almond extract, if using. Add the sifted  confectioner’s sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth. Add food coloring, if using.


And there you have it! My special little way of celebrating the DVD release of my new favorite Halloween movie, Trick ‘R Treat. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, or don’t plan to get it (shame on you!), you should at least watch the short film that it was based on:

Season’s Greetings by Michael Dougherty:

The rules of Halloween:
1. Wear a costume.
2. Hand out treats.
3. Never blow out a jack o’ lantern.
4. And ALWAYS check your candy.

Happy October 8th!

– Andrea

Pumpkin Patch Picnic

October 3, 2009

Today was Pumpkin Patch Day! Me and my boyfriend (Jon) have gone to the Great Pumpkin Patch in Hayden, Alabama, every year since 2005. We just barely missed 2004, since we were established in November of that year. So this was our 5th year. I remember going once or twice as a kid, and I’m so glad I’ve made it a tradition as an adult. (Can I be classified as an adult? Whatever. I guess I’m considered one by law.)

I never thought to bring a picnic to the pumpkin patch before 2007. Even then, I just brought along some Pumpkin Cranberry Scones with Maple Glaze for dipping. We ate in the car before heading to the patch.

Pumpkin Cranberry Scones with Maple Glaze

Pumpkin Cranberry Scones with Maple Glaze

The next year, I got a bit more picnic-y and brought some vegetarian chili, a salad mix, and a slice of baguette.

Vegetarian Chili +Salad & Baguette

Vegetarian Chili +Salad & Baguette

This year, however, I wanted a bit more of a meal than a soup and salad deal. And I wanted my menu to completely embrace all that is autumn. So I made Cider Baked Butternut Squash Soup (brought along with some leftover Butternut Bisque from yesterday), Sweet and Tangy Green Bean Salad, Pumpkin Focaccia, and mini Apple + Cranberry Crisps. We had apple cider to drink!

Pumpkin Patch Picnic, 2009!

Pumpkin Patch Picnic, 2009!

It might look a bit much, but everything fit into our picnic basket! (Well, I brought the cider in a separate cooler.) I put our tablecloth in the bottom of the basket. The soup stayed warm in little Cambell’s Soup thermoses. The green bean salad was in a plastic container (it was eaten at room temperature). The crisps where brought in mini ramekins with lids, and the focaccia was wrapped in aluminum foil. Then I just had to fit the plates, bowls, cups, and utencils in there! haha.

Picnic Packing

Picnic Packing

I’m just going to post a link to the Cider Baked Butternut Squash Soup, because I don’t really think it’s worth posting. The soup was *ok*, but I much preferred the Butternut Bisque from yesterday.

The pumpkin focaccia, however, is worth posting! I used this recipe, replacing the butter with margarine and omitting the cheese altogether. Instead of walnuts (didn’t have any), I just sprinkled some kosher salt on top of the loaves before baking.

Pumpkin Focaccia

2 loaves, 8 servings each (serving size: 1 wedge)

  • 3/4  cup  warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1/3  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1  package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3 1/2  cups  bread flour, divided (about 15 3/4 ounces)
  • 3  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 1  cup  canned pumpkin
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) grated Gruyère cheese, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  teaspoon  cornmeal
  • 1/3  cup  coarsely chopped walnuts

Combine water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 1 cup flour and butter to yeast mixture; stir just until combined. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes.

Add pumpkin, salt, and nutmeg to flour mixture; stir until well combined. Add 2 1/4 cups flour and half of cheese; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide dough in half; shape each half into an 8-inch circle. Place dough circles on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle remaining cheese and nuts evenly over dough circles; press lightly to adhere. Lightly coat dough circles with cooking spray; cover and let rise 20 minutes (dough will not double in size).

Preheat oven to 400°.

Uncover dough; bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until loaves are browned on the bottom and cheese melts (shield loaves with foil to prevent overbrowning, if necessary). Cool on a wire rack.


For the green bean salad, I blanched some green beans and then dipped them in an ice water bath to retain the color. Afer draining, I tossed them with some thinly sliced red onion and a dressing consisting of about 2 TBSP dijon mustard, 2 TBSP agave nectar, and 1-2 tsp red wine vinegar + salt and pepper, to taste.

The Apple-Cranberry Crisp is in the current issue of Everyday Food magazine (which has a ton of awesome, easy, vegan/veganizable recipes, btw!)

Enjoying the Pumpkin Patch Picnic!

Enjoying the Pumpkin Patch Picnic!

Moving on to dessert.

Moving on to dessert: Stud Muffins!

And that’s that for the Pumpkin Patch Picnic 2009. I hope the pumpkins didn’t realize I had baked them into the bread I was eating :-\

– Andrea

Autumn Soup, Salad, & Pasta

October 2, 2009

If you asked me what produce most reminded me of Autumn, I would reply with the following: Pumpkins, cranberries, pumpkins, apples, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, pumpkins and various other winter squash (acorn, butternut, etc.)

I suppose you noticed all the orange items in that list? Yes, well.. orange is my favorite color! So I like eating orange things. It just makes me happy. And so do pumpkins. I can’t walk by a pile of pumpkins without touching them or rubbing my face up against them. They just feel so good! And I love patting them and hearing that beautiful hollow sound through that thick, orange rind. It’s the most beautiful sound in the world.

If I kept talking about pumpkins, I could go on forever. So we’ll get to some awesome orange-y recipes now:

Creamy Pumpkin Linguini with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Creamy Pumpkin Linguini with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Creamy Pumpkin Linguini

1 box linguini, cooked according to package directions
1/2 C + 2 TBSP canned pumpkin
1 block Firm Silken Tofu
1 C soymilk
3-4 TBSP margarine
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp garlic powder

In a blender, blend the pumpkin, tofu, and soymilk until completely smooth. In a medium saucepan, melt the margarine along with the salt and pepper. When margarine is melted, add the blended tofu/pumpkin mixture. Turn the heat to medium-low and bring mixture to a slight simmer. When it starts to bubble, whisk in the nutritional yeast and garlic powder and turn heat to low to keep warm. Toss together the noodles and sauce, and serve with a little more freshly cracked black pepper, if you’d like. (<3!)


I made this next recipe for lunch this afternoon. It’s adapted from the original recipe found here.

Butternut Bisque and Autumn Salad


Butternut Bisque

1 1/2 TBSP margarine
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 dashes ground cayenne pepper, plus more for garnish
Coarse salt
12 1/2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small cubes
1 C no-chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 C soymilk
(Vegan) Sour cream, for serving

In a large saucepan, heat margarine over medium. Add onion, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, and cayenne. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5-7 minutes.
Add squash, broth, and 1 1/2 C water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
Working in batches, puree in a blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan and add the soymilk.
Serve bisque with sour cream, garnished with cayenne, if desired.


The salad is red leaf lettuce, chopped Bartlett pears, dried cranberries, red onion, and a homemade balsamic vinegarette.

Nom nom nom. Autumn autumn autumn.

– Andrea

She’s here, she’s here!

September 22, 2009

Happy, happy Autumn, everyone!

I’ve had a great day. This morning I woke up to some awesome movie music playing on Cinemagic. Then I went outside where THE SUN WAS SHINING and there was a light, cool breeze. It’s been raining for the past week, so this was amazing.

After that, I ventured out to run some errands. While I was out, I found candy corn-flavored DOTS! And DOTS are vegan! And this is amazing! I’ll share more about those tomorrow.

When I got home, I started putting out some Halloween decorations. I didn’t get close to finishing, but I thought I’d save some for the rest of the week.

After decorating, I started watching the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer while I waited for a loaf of Cranberry Pumpkin Bread to come out of the oven.

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

I modified this recipe from the Pumpkin Bread recipe found in Hot Damn and Hell Yeah. By the way, the picture above is what it looks like if you half the recipe. I only had 1 C canned pumpkin, and I didn’t want to open another can :-\

2 C canned pumpkin
1/4 C applesauce
2 egg substitutes (I used Ener-G egg replacer)
1 C sugar
2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and lightly coat with flour.

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, applesauce, egg substitute, and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the cranberries and pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife (or toothpick) inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.


The bread is now out of the oven. Some of it is being digested inside my stomach. And I have a beautiful, handsome, cat prince in my lap. What a beautiful day!

Happy Autumn!

– Andrea