birthdays

2015, a Recipe Odyssey: April Edition

I had a disaster that sabotaged some of my meal plan for this month. It was a “somehow the upright freezer door was not closed for an undetermined period of time and everything in the freezer was warm” sort of disaster. So I quickly had to use up some things, so I made tater tot casserole again and a bunch of smoothies and things to use frozen fruit in. I was thankful not to lose as much as I might have; there were spices, flours, and jams in there and I know those are all fine. I did lose probably 8 or so packages of lima beans (boo!) and some seitan pepperoni and a number of quart bags of frozen cooked pinto and kidney beans. Some stuff that was still cold I popped in the other freezer.

So I skipped out on some of the meals I had planned to make because of this disaster, the ones that I hadn’t bought anything specially for the purpose of making.

In other news, I turned 32 (halfway to 64, wheee!) and I bought several cookbooks with my birthday money: Whole Grain Vegan Baking, Vegan Diner, Vegan Casseroles, and the new edition of Vegan With a Vengeance. So now my Isa collection is finally complete (well, once VWaV gets here! it’s not released yet!) and I have loads of new things to try!

Here’s what I made this month! Grouped by source.

From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World:Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 1.36.52 PM

1. Cocoanut-Lime Cupcakes – I’ve been dreaming about making these for a while, and since we were all sick I held off. Until my birthday. These were delicious and I would totally make them again, especially the frosting because lime is SO GOOD.

2. Chai Latte Cupcakes – I didn’t have black tea, so I used Stash apple-cinnamon-chamomile tea instead. They were okay. I wasn’t really fond of the cocoa powder on top; it just seemed too bitter to me. I don’t think I’ll make them again, but if I do, I’ll just do them naked or with a little basic frosting.

From Everyday Vegan Eats:

3. Leek Potato Soup – I really liked this and it was very simple and yet very flavourful. Much more to my liking than the recipe I tried in January. Also, both GooGoo and Lou Who like it! Every time GooGoo says, “I DON’T WANT ONIONS” I tell her, “They’re not onions, they’re leeks.” She buys it and there is Peace at the Dinner Table.

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4. Báhn Mì Burgers – Must admit the whole idea of this “báhn mì” thing is alien to me. I keep hearing about it but had/have really no idea what it IS. That being said, I am SO IMPRESSED with these burgers! They actually held together and cooked properly in my skillet – something I have NEVER been able to achieve with any other burger recipes! So excited. The pickled veggies were very easy. I used radishes and carrots, and no sugar. (And they tasted amazing!)

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5. Minestrone – This was a big hit! Mr Pine Nut and I both loved it, and it’s already on next month’s meal plan again.

6. Hungarian Tomato Salad – I loved the flavour of this, but for the amount of tomato/cucumber called for, my veggies were absolutely drowning in the dressing! We had to fish the veggies out with a slotted spoon.

From the interwebs:

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7. Teriyaki Chickpeas Bao – I’ve been wanting to make these ever since I saw Vegan Richa post them to Facebook, and I was not disappointed. I used up some sort of homemade Asian sauce I’ve had in my freezer forever, and I had some cilantro so I threw in a bit of that minced up. Super yummy. There wasn’t quite enough filling for all my buns, though, so some of them I just steamed as buns with no filling. I also had some trouble getting my first batch extracted from my steamer, so they mostly didn’t look super gorgeous. Tastewise, they were great, and even GooGoo ate them!

8. Pita Bread – THIS WAS SO EXCITING! It puffed! It pocketed! It tasted awesome! I actually made this twice this month. The first time I did it as dictated in the recipe; the second time I used about a 50/50 ratio of white/whole wheat flour. I actually liked them better the second time, and they even seemed to puff better.

From Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day:

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 7.55.09 AM9. Cabana Cheese Sandwiches – You GUYS, this cottage cheese is the BOMB. It’s totally like real cottage cheese! I didn’t have tomatoes, but I served this on the green monster rolls I made and froze last month with the lettuce and topped it with dilly beans.

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 7.54.18 AM10. Pesto Pitzas – I had to sub dried basil for fresh. My only complaint was they were a bit salty, so I would skip adding salt to the pesto next time. The cheese has enough plus the flavour of the capers. It was kind of a lot of work for the results – just four pita pizzas, which was enough for Mr Pine Nut and me, but nobody else – so I don’t know that I’ll rush to make it again, BUT I was so excited about the cheese, because it actually does melt! It didn’t melt so much on ours, but on the plain pitas-with-cheese for the kids it melted more.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 3.04.10 PM11. Hot Brown Sandwiches – I wanted so much to like these, but the sauce was way too noochy and I just didn’t like the flavour combinations or the fact that they were sort of hard to eat. The smoky tofu bits, however, are a definite “will-make-again”. YUM.

12. Bulgur Hummus Wraps – I’ve wanted to make these ever since I won this book during MoFo 3 years ago, and I’m just now getting to it. But they were SO good! I served them in pitas instead of tortillas. This is a definite success in my opinion.

13. Beans Not on Toast – I’ve made the bean part of this before and eaten it on actual toast, but not the waffles, so that’s what qualifies this as a new recipe. 😉 The waffles were great! I was a bit worried they’d seem overly sesame-oily but I hardly noticed it at all in the finished product. I would definitely double the waffles next time though, because four waffles in this family of four was Not Enough.

14. Navajo Tacos – Oh man. These were astonishingly good. I’ve wanted to make these ever since having the book but the frying part seemed like So Much Work, so I didn’t ever get around to it. I doubled the recipe and we ate almost all of it.

From Vegan Brunch:

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 8.28.48 PM15. Raised Waffles – These were really good! They did not taste yeasty to me, which I was a bit worried about (I’ve tried yeast-raised muffins before and they just taste like flavoured bread, basically) and I will definitely make them again!

16. Tofu Omelette – I did a half batch of this because I had half a package of silken tofu in my fridge to use up. They were tasty. More noochy than eggy, in my opinion, but good. Half of one was plenty for me. I filled them with chopped red bell peppers that I sauteed in oil and liquid smoke with some fennel seeds.

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 6.09.13 PM17. Lemon Poppyseed Muffins – These were okay. I always hope I’ll find a poppyseed recipe I’m super excited about but it hasn’t happened yet! I forgot to add the salt, but they were pleasant with some Nucoa and raspberry jam. 🙂

From Whole Grain Vegan Baking:

18. Raisin Bran Muffins – Super good!

19. Onion Caraway Loaf – I don’t have beer around 🙂 and I didn’t have seltzer water either, which was the recommended sub, so I subbed some of the veggie stock I just made. I’m not sure if it affected it. The bread was nice, I wouldn’t say fantastic, but it was eaten.

20. Spelt Rye Crackers – I didn’t have any spelt flour handy so I used wheat. I liked these but maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for caraway seeds, because neither this nor the loaf above really wowed me. And I love rye bread and caraway seeds, so I dunno.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 7.06.29 PM21. Blackberry Allspice Muffins – Muffins great; blackberries must have been bad because they tasted weird.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 7.05.56 PM22. Apricot Cardamom Cake – I liked this. It was a bit too cardamom-y for my taste – I think I might replace part of it with cinnamon next time – but I would make it again. GooGoo ate a piece but didn’t want any more, and Lou Who didn’t ask for seconds either.

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar:

23. Macadamia Ginger Crunch Drops – Loved the dough, was not as crazy about the cookies. They were slightly too crunchy. Maybe I overbaked them. I think this would lend itself well to a bar cookie though and if I make them again I may do it that way.

Cookbooks [or other sources] represented in April: 7

Did I meet my goal? YES YAY.

See you next month, with May’s recipe report!

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Categories: birthdays, breakfast, brunch, challenges, dessert, lunch, salads, sandwich, soup, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Exiles of the Snow

First, business: One of the winners of the giveaway has never responded to my email, so I’ve chosen a second winner via Random.org: Panda With Cookie! You should be getting an email from me shortly!

***

The view from the living room window of our friends' house

The view from the living room window of our friends’ house during the cold snap of doom

Now, on to other things. We had a cold, cold cold snap. Our woes began when the trickle of water we left running wasn’t enough of a trickle and our trailer pipes froze on GooGoo’s birthday. This wasn’t as bad as it might have been, since we do have a water storage tank in the trailer that we can fall back on. The problem with that is that when it’s empty and the trailer hose is frozen, refilling it involves a 5-gallon bucket being toted from the house where water *was* still running, a funnel, and four hands.

Spiders are creepy, but their webs are awesome.

Spiders are creepy, but their webs are awesome.

With the weather forecast ominously predicting lows in the teens, we became exiles from our own abode on Friday the 6th. We headed with girls and cat in tow for the booming metropolis of Shedd where we found refuge with good friends until the snap passed.

We had all kinds of adventures with the their cat hating our cat and our cat being all passive-aggressive to their cat, a treacherous trip to Corvallis because Train Boy was going to just PERISH if he had to use Nucoa instead of Smart Balance just one more meal, and hearing Greensleeves practised a few times over the course of the week. I got quite a few felt ornaments made, though, and got in some music practise myself.

The girls being entertained by The Engineer

The girls being entertained by The Engineer

Well, the weather didn’t warm up on Tuesday as they had predicted. It was Friday before everything was sufficiently melted and our pipes were thawed out. So we ended up being away from home for eight days.

Pumpkitten knows there's a heater right beneath him

Pumpkitten knows there’s a heater right beneath him

We’re still getting things back in order around here and I have been afflicted with ridiculous fatigue I can’t explain. I have been lazing around hoping to regain my energy. I predict I’ll be back to normal tomorrow, but we’ll see.

***

Bonus! Three photos of GooGoo’s birthday. How is she four already?

The tiger cake!

The tiger cake!

The pathetic picture of the inside of the birthday cake.

The pathetic picture of the inside of the birthday cake.

The sweet birthday girl. I love you, GooGoo!

The sweet birthday girl. I love you, GooGoo!

 

 

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Categories: birthdays, GooGoo, Lou Who, Mrs Pine Nut, pumpkitten | Tags: | Leave a comment

Photos of the Day #12, 13, 14, and 15

GooGoo having a contemplative moment with Jeremy Fisher. He's been around a while. I got him when I was about 5.

GooGoo having a contemplative moment with Jeremy Fisher. He’s been around a while. I got him when I was about 5.

K's birthday cake. She wanted ice cream cake, so her mom made a caramel-pretzel ice cream cake with homemade cocoanut ice cream. Tasty, but the rocky road cake (not pictured) was even better.

K’s birthday cake. She wanted ice cream cake, so her mom made a caramel-pretzel ice cream cake with homemade cocoanut ice cream. Tasty, but the rocky road cake (not pictured) was even better.

Blurry, but this was such a gorgeous hydrangea. I got to bring it home with me after our women's ministry training event Sabbath afternoon.

Blurry, but this was such a gorgeous hydrangea. I got to bring it home with me after our women’s ministry training event Sabbath afternoon.

Sunday was plum-canning day. On the left are the bright and jewel-like processed plums, and on the right are the dull, boring unprocessed plums. We did 49 quarts, all before lunch!

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Categories: birthdays, canning, Food Preservation, GooGoo | Leave a comment

Lou Who’s Birthday

We had a wonderful party for my darling baby.

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I can’t believe she’s one. But I can’t deny it any more. One she is!

We had my in-laws and their house guest and some other friends over who are essentially family as well. It was a low-key, laid back party.

This was our spread

This was our spread

I made three kinds of sandwiches. One was cucumbers and almond cream cheeze on rye. One was smashed avocado (with a little lemon juice/salt) and tomato on my homemade bread, for those who were soy/nut intolerant. The third was veggeroni and tomato with the cream cheeze on a nine-grain bread. I checked the ingredients halfway through sandwich assembly that the nine-grain had dairy! Oy. We’ve gotten that bread before and I’m positive it was vegan, but I’m guessing they must have recently changed the recipe. I used it anyway and just warned off the dairy intolerant. Note to self: Companies change their recipes! ALWAYS CHECK INGREDIENTS. Preferably, yanno, before buying.

My father-in-law can’t have soy or nuts (soy oil/Crisco is okay); my friends’ little boy can’t have soy, dairy, eggs, or peanuts (but soy lecithin/oil is okay); his older brother can’t have dairy; and Lou Who (and therefore I) also can’t have peanuts. So, there was something for everyone in the end, at least.

We also had a layered fruit salad: chopped cantaloupe, watermelon, and freshly-picked blackberries collected by my husband and GooGoo to keep them occupied while I was busy preparing the party. I also had some sliced cucumbers available for people to add to their sandwiches or just eat on their own.

And I brought out homemade apple juice and a couple bottles of sparkling cherry and apple cider that have been around a while.

These were the veggeroni-tomato sandwiches

These were the veggeroni-tomato sandwiches

Lou Who had to be woken from a nap to attend her own party!

Lou Who had to be woken from a nap to attend her own party!

The cake

The cake

My cake could be one of those “PINTEREST PINS vs. REALITY” examples. This pin was my inspiration. I made my sailboat out of construction paper, scotch tape, and part of a chopstick, and I used tinted cocoanut for the waves, because I had limited frosting and not enough powdered sugar to make more to do my waves out of frosting as in the picture. Since it was a cocoanut cake anyway, it worked. I’m happy with the way it came out. I’m not Martha Stewart and have no intention to become her.

I used Chloe’s cocoanut cake recipe for the cake. It was super gooey and came apart coming out of the pan the first time, so I baked a second one (I can only do one layer at a time anyway in my oven) and it also came apart. But it came a little LESS apart, so I just smushed it all back together and covered it up with frosting. It would have been really tasty with chocolate frosting, just like an Almond Joy bar. Next time I make it, I think I’ll do that. Anyway, it was really yummy despite being so gooey, but I have no idea how it would ever come out of the pan in one piece. On the side I had chocolate cupcakes that originally were to have waves and shark fins, but due to the abovementioned frosting shortage, I bypassed that idea.

First cut of the cake!

First cut of the cake!

Lou Who was far more interested in her cake than was GooGoo at her first birthday

Lou Who was far more interested in her cake than was GooGoo at her first birthday

I also blew up a ton of white and blue balloons and everyone enjoyed playing with those, including the adults. Lou Who got some lovely new clothes and books and a bib. (Just like the one in the above picture, but pink.)

"I'm ONE, I'm ONE!"

“I’m ONE, I’m ONE!”

It was a wonderful party.

Oh, and Lou Who’s dress? I had one cut out for her and had embroidered the sailboat on the skirt and started sewing it together. But my iron was so full of gunk Thursday when I started sewing that I ran out of time with all the other things needing to be done before I could get around to cleaning it. So, this little dress popped up at a yard sale my friend and I had Friday and I bought it, never thinking until the morning of the party that Lou Who could wear it. It’s 3T! But it fit her almost perfectly despite being a little big in the shoulders. I think it’s vintage, and looks homemade, but it has a tag in it. So I have no idea. I was just thankful it was available just when I needed it.

I’ve finally posted Lou Who’s Birth Story if you’re so inclined to read it. On to the second year of my baby’s life!

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Categories: birthdays, entertaining, Lou Who, Mrs Pine Nut | 2 Comments

And now I’ve had a birthday.

And I’m 30, and I really don’t care. In fact, I’d like to flaunt it. 30, and flirty, and thriving, right?

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Definitely.

So, my life this past week has been utterly insane and I’m reeling from all the insanity and struggling to keep my head above the water, so to speak. We had a bonfire on Sunday afternoon/evening (I’ll post about that later) and it was loads of fun but also loads of work and I made probably enough food to feed three times the people that showed up. I’m not complaining; we had very good attendance, but I think we’ll be eating Brasilian rice the rest of our lives.

Anyway, due to that, I haven’t slept well in about a week. I think too much while preparing for things and then I think too much afterwards. So. Much. Stimulation. And when I don’t get enough sleep, I begin to get incredibly irrational about everything, and life is miserable and there are lots of tears and everything is disaster and nuclear bombs and despair.

So I almost didn’t make myself a cake because I was feeling so low, but then I decided I would, because why not, even though I’ve been cooking a lot and I’m sick to death of the kitchen and I already have at least 3 kinds of cookies in large bags in the freezer and I’m kind of sick of sugar. Yes, me, sick of sugar.

So I made myself a cake. I call it the Minstrel Boy in Prison Cake. If you don’t get the reference, keep reading and you’ll get some hints later on.

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I’m very picky when it comes to carrot cakes. I’ve tried a lot of recipes for them and while they’re all pretty good, the one I grew up with is still my favourite. It has all the elements I consider essential for a carrot cake, not the least of which is CRUSHED PINEAPPLE omnomnom.

So, let’s interject my mom’s carrot cake recipe here, veganised.

In large mixing bowl, sift together:
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
In separate bowl, whisk together:
2/3 c veggie oil
4 T water + 1 T Ener-G egg replacer (this is equivalent to 2 eggs)
1 c finely grated carrots
1/2 c crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 tsp vanilla
Add liquid ingredients to dry and stir until moistened; beat 2 minutes at medium speed on electric mixer. [I did it by hand and just stirred it around a few times, definitely not for 2 minutes.] Bake at 350 in greased/floured 9×9″ pan for 35-45 minutes, whenever toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan if you plan to remove it.
Cream Cheese Frosting
3 oz. vegan cream cheese (I had Follow Your Heart brand in my fridge, but you could also use Tofutti)
1 T vegan margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
 2 c powdered sugar
In small bowl, beat cream cheese, margarine, and vanilla. Mix till light. Gradually add sugar, beating till fluffy. If necessary, add a bit of non-dairy milk or water to make it the correct spreading consistency.
_MG_1393
This cake does need to remain refrigerated when not in use. (Or “pie”, as GooGoo insisted on calling it. She wanted to eat the “HAPPY BIRDAY” PIE all morning.)
***
Now, what about the minstrel boy?

The minstrel boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you’ll find him;
His father’s sword he hath girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
“Land of Song!” cried the warrior bard,
“Tho’ all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy right shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!”
The Minstrel fell! But the foeman’s chain
Could not bring that proud soul under;
The harp he lov’d ne’er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder;
And said “No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and brav’ry!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free
They shall never sound in slavery!

Now, if you still don’t get it, read the poem carefully and go back and look at the cake again.

And finally, here is a picture of a seriously awesome birthday present for you to enjoy looking at.

_MG_1395

Oh yes I will. Expect recipes with pinenuts (that you can sub sunflower seeds for) in the future. *rolls around in the culinary gold that is pine nuts*

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Categories: birthdays, dessert, Mrs Pine Nut, recipes, vegan | 1 Comment

Happy Birthday to Mr Pine Nut

This week Mr Pine Nut turns 35. As per usual, he requested a cobbler rather than a cake. He wanted peach, but I only had nectarines in the freezer. Close enough.

Three and five make 35, right?

Three and five make 35, right?

Various good things about my husband:

  • He helped me finally get my driver’s license at 28.
  • He caught Lou Who when she was born in our unfinished bathroom minutes before the midwife arrived.
  • He finds pleasure in simple things… like pruning trees.
  • He got me started on the road to plant-based cooking.
  • He introduced me to the world of outdoorsy-ness and hiking.
  • He bought me my first Apple product, an iMac, around the time we got engaged.
  • He gave me two beautiful little girls.
  • He put up with me very lovingly for the 40 weeks of misery and hormonal rage otherwise known as being pregnant with Lou Who.
  • He plays very lovely music on his pennywhistle.
  • He understands me when I say “Fluff fluffs and Fold folds, but sometimes Fluff folds and Fold fluffs.”
  • He is not too macho to change poopy diapers.
  • He likes to Jump Off Things with me.

These are just a few of the many things I could say. But there is too much. Let me sum up. I love you, Mr Pine Nut. 🙂

And so does this little one.

And so does this little one.

And so does this littler one.

And so does this littler one.

Here’s to the next 35 years!

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Literary Post: Flicka, Ricka, Dicka Bake a Cake. THE Cake.

Maj Lindman’s “Flicka, Ricka, Dicka” series (and the corresponding “Snipp, Snapp, Snurr” series) were staples of my childhood reading experience. These girls are industrious, helpful, model little citizens without being preachy about it. They seek to help those less fortunate and the elderly, make sure they right wrongs, and are willing work hard for things they want, and unhesitatingly give up the things they’ve worked for to help someone else.

In Flicka, Ricka, Dicka Bake a Cake, the girls want to give Mother a surprise for her birthday and an aunt helps them to bake her a cake.

flicka ricka dicka cake

I always thought this cake looked so delicious. My mind’s mouth said it should be cherry-flavoured. The book was kind enough to detail what all the girls dumped into the bowl to make the cake:

…butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, cream, and raisins were all mixed together in the big blue bowl.

They frosted it with pink frosting and put small pieces of candied fruit all over the frosting. Here’s the picture of the girls rejoicing over their finished product:

flicka ricka dicka bake a cake

So… where to begin? I decided to use a recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook as a starting off point, and this is what came of it: a cake that tasted like a Pillsbury funfetti cake. In other words, totally a classic birthday cake flavour that is intensely sweet but quite fantastic.

(One note: I used almond milk. If you want a more creamy milk for the “cream” you could skim the cream off canned cocoanut milk and use that, but I don’t think it’d make that much difference in the end.)

The Cake

Sift together:
2 c all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

In separate bowl, mix with a mixer:
1/2 c vegan margarine
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 c non-dairy milk
1 tsp cherry flavour (I used the liquid from a jar of maraschino cherries)

In small bowl, whip until frothy:
4 eggs’ worth Ener-G Egg Replacer (1/2 c water+2 T powder)

Combine the margarine and flour mixtures in a bowl. Using a handmixer, beat about 30 seconds at low speed and around 2 minutes on high speed. Fold in egg replacer and thoroughly incorporate. Then fold in 1/2 c golden raisins.

Bake in a bundt pan (I used an angel food cake pan) at 375 for 30-40 minutes and allow to cool. Remove from pan to cake plate when completely cool.

My finished cake

My finished cake

The Frosting

3 c powdered sugar
1/3 c vegan margarine, softened
2 T non-dairy milk
2 T maraschino cherries
A few drops red food colouring

Blend cherries and milk together in a blender until cherries are well pulverised.

In a bowl with a hand mixer, blend margarine and powdered sugar until crumbly. Add milk/cherry blend and beat until smooth and fluffy. You can add more milk if needed. Spread over the cake. Decorate with golden raisins (or, alternately, sliced almonds).

Categories: birthdays, book-inspired food, dessert, holiday, recipes, vegan | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Snowflake/Hanukkah Birthday Party

My internet was down for a while this week and I didn’t have time to finish the post I wanted to post this week, so you’re getting this one instead.

It’s wintertime still, so I’m going to write a little bit about GooGoo’s first birthday party. It fell during Hanukkah, in December, so I decided to make it blue and white and go with a snowflake theme.

I’m the type who tends to plan things way in advance, because I like to Plan Things and Make Lists. It’s like a disease. In fact, the planning is far more fun for me than the execution. I started planning Lou Who’s first birthday party the spring before she was even born. Yes, I’m crazy.

Because GooGoo was only a year old, I felt no need to get really elaborate with games or anything like that. I chose to do this cake, only with a round pan because I was too cheap to shell out the dough for the hexagonal one, and made her a party dress to match.

I did a homemade cocoanut cake recipe and put icing and a layer of cocoanut flakes between the two layers of cake.

I’d share the cake recipe I used, except I have no idea which one it was. Something off the internet somewhere. It was very good, but was more a muffin-y texture than light and fluffy like cake really should be. I was still pretty new to the world of vegan cake-age at this point. I also did cocoanut milk ice cream from a recipe I’ve never been able to relocate online. (Note to self: THIS IS WHY BROWSERS HAVE BOOKMARKS kthxbai.) I used the classic Wilton buttercream recipe for the cake.

This is my finished adapted version of the cake. Making a non-wonky Star of David would have been much easier with the guiding points of the hexagonal cake shape.

Just for the record, don’t make the same mistake I did. I frosted the cake and popped it in the freezer a few days ahead of time to decorate later. It didn’t work so well because then the frosting sweated when I pulled it out and the decorating frosting didn’t want to stick. At all. I would have done better to just do ALL the decorating and freeze it ahead of time.

Side view. Because I was having so much trouble getting the decorations to stick, I just did stars instead of the more intricate snowflakes on the sides.

I should also add that I am NOT a cake decorator and have more wrecks than successes, by far. Someday I’ll share some of my wrecks for your entertainment. Maybe. This is one of my finer moments in cake decorating and it’s still not exactly pristine. But I was satisfied with it anyway.

And GooGoo had a custom-made dress to match her cake.

I was absolutely in love with this dress. I wanted to eat it up. The fabric was leftovers and freebies from someone’s garage sale haul, too, so it only cost me my time. Looking forward to having Lou Who get to wear it too.

We had both sets of grandparents to the party and some family friends. I served latkes with applesauce and tofu sour cream (the latkes weren’t vegan; I wasn’t brave enough or skilled enough to try doing them minus eggs at the time). I am pretty sure we also had green salad, but I have no pictures of that, so I’m not 100% sure.

After we had the meal, we had cake, ice cream, and presents. The doily under the cake was a lovely gift from a lady who has since died, but did incredibly crocheted handwork despite being legally blind.

And, because it’s my blog and I can, I leave you with GooGoo’s official birthday portrait.

Categories: birthdays, GooGoo, Mrs Pine Nut | Tags: , | 2 Comments

GooGoo’s 3rd Birthday

GooGoo is 3.

GooGoo is 3.

Three years ago GooGoo joined our family and our life has been quite an adventure ever since. GooGoo is feisty, stubborn, sweet, and beautiful. Despite the bedtime battles that have raged ever since she entered the world and her tendency to throw fits, gnaw her fingernails, pull out her hair, and say “no” a lot, she is still becoming more and more fun all the time. She can talk to us, she loves to help in the kitchen stirring food and wiping tables, she sings Jesus Loves Me and Jingle Bells and loves to look at books, “reading” them to herself. (Somehow the sentence “Jesus a comin’ to trailer” always manages to get into any story she might be “reading”.) We wouldn’t trade her for any other little girl. She keeps us on our toes. She loves her little sister.

For her cake, I was inspired by this pin. I had made the dress earlier this year and it was too big at the time, so I figured she could wear it for her birthday and, of course, the cake had to match. I did two layers of cake: vanilla and chocolate gluten-free from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, using mint extract in them, and filled and frosted the sides with chocolate frosting. (I’ll talk more about the cake when I review this book next month.)

I had to frost the cake at least partly in chocolate because I don't like white-frosted chocolate cake.

I had to frost the cake at least partly in chocolate because I don’t like white-frosted chocolate cake.

She had a nice party with some great-aunts-and-uncles, grandparents, and of course us.

gggggqrtejjjjjjjghfddeeeefghrdeey42 <—This is GooGoo’s message to you.

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Categories: birthdays, dessert, GooGoo | Leave a comment

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