Monthly Archives: August 2011

Pizza and My Crazy College Life

This week is insane. I expected to have a nice, relaxing week on campus before classes began, but nope. The craziness started the minute I got here. I work for my college’s independent online newspaper- Fearless and Loathing– as the multimedia editor, so I’ve been busy with those responsibilities like recruiting freshman and taking pictures. Then there’s always trying to catch up with friends I haven’t seen all summer… and on top of THAT I am a waitress at this really great family-owned artisan pizza restraunt, Magpie Pizza. Everyone there makes fun of the fact that I’m vegan and yet I work in a place where everything is slathered with meat and cheese. Despite this, my managers know how to make a pretty great vegan pizza when I get hungry.

This one had tomato sauce, mushrooms, black bean and corn salsa, spinach, roasted red pepper, black olives, green pepper, and some of our house-made hot sauce. Yummy. Whoever says vegans can’t enjoy pizza too is crazy. I’m excited though, because one of my managers saw this very blog, and now wants to train me to make salads (maybe even pizzas eventually too) as well as waitress! It would be awesome to get some real kitchen experience under my belt.

Anyway. My goal for this blog eventually is to post something new every other day… but forgive me if that doesn’t quite happen for the next week. I promise that once I have more time (and money for groceries) I will have some fabulous new recipes for you all. I have a couple that I’ve been meaning to post… but my cookbooks are all in boxes that are currently being shipped to me, so those will have to wait a few days.

In the meantime…. who else goes to a liberal arts school? Does this video remind you of anyone you know? Hah, it sure does for me.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life

An Abundance of Plums

God, it feels good to be back at school. Classes don’t start for another week, but it’s nice to be on campus early when everything is quiet and the weather is still all summery and beautiful. However, the quiet part will definitely change when the freshman start arriving tomorrow.

I’ve checked out the kitchen in my new dorm and it’s so much nicer than my old one. I can’t wait to start cooking in it! But for now, here’s something I made a couple weeks ago…

I kind of went on a plum kick for a bit. You already know about this little treat, but what you don’t know about are the amazing plum and blueberry rolls I made for my aunt’s birthday. Okay I suppose I have also been on a breakfast rolls kick… but they’re just the perfect thing to wake up to in the morning.

These rolls might be one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. They were also the most labor-intensive, but it was totally worth it. You make a vegan dulche-de-leche spread first so that you can use it in the dough, which is a genius idea. It adds a subtle carmel flavor to the buns, but then you can pile on even more of the spread later to make them extra yummy.

I also got this recipe from seitan is my motor, who apparently shares my love of plum-filled desserts. My aunt absolutely loved these- I think they trumped the non-vegan cupcake she had afterwards! The filling is such a perfect combination of flavors, especially with the rosemary (I know it sounds strange, but trust me) and lemon zest. In fact, just imagine that plum and blueberry sauce poured over some soy ice cream… mmm. I might have to make another batch all by itself.

These are definitely something to wake up for!

5 Comments

Filed under Breads and Muffins, Breakfast, Recipes

Plum Cake

This is going to have to be a shorter post for now, because I am thick in the middle of packing to go back to school! Leaving for my second year is definitely not as daunting as it was the first time… however the pile of clothes on my bedroom floor is just as terrifying. Time to pull out some bags for the salvation army…

I actually made this cake while I was in Grand Marais last weekend along with these buns. I love baking up there! We have this adorable, cozy little kitchen and since the air off of Lake Superior is usually pretty cool, it’s never too hot to bake.

I had never tried making a yeasted cake before, but this one turned out amazing. The bottom layer had a slightly sweet, bread-like flavor, and the tartness of the plums contrasted perfectly with the crumbly buttery topping. Yum. You can make this cake with overripe plums if you want them sweeter, or just a little under-ripe if you like them more tart. I ended up with a mixture of both. You can get the recipe for this amazing cake here, at one of my favorite vegan blogs. I’ve tried a couple of her other recipes (photos to come!) and each one is so unique and delicious.

And just for fun… this cracks me up. Probably because it’s my life… Prius and all.

5 Comments

Filed under Cake, Recipes

August Love

This post is not exactly about food, but I did want to include some general things from my life in here as well, so here we go!

Who has been to the Minnesota State Fair? Well if you haven’t, you are seriously missing out on a quintessential midwestern experience. I have been every year since I was born. We actually have an old photo of me as a baby sitting next to the state’s largest prize-winning hog. I don’t think I’ve gotten that close to a hog since then…. but the fair continues to be a great tradition. Food on a stick (I even found vegan options!), funny looking chickens, roller coasters, seed art…

and Johnny Depp look-alikes? Yes please.

Speaking of traditions, I’ve decided on a tradition for this blog. Near the end of every month, I’m going to do a wrap-up list of random little things that made me smile throughout the days. Hopefully they make you smile too!

So, here are a few of my favorite things from the month of August, food related and otherwise:

This song. It is absolutely perfect for a summer road trip.

This food blog. Cute and Delicious… the title says it all. I tried the orange muffin recipe a while back and it was one of the best muffins I’ve ever made.

-All of the My Drunk Kitchen episodes. She may not be able to cook for shit, but this girl is hilarious.

-The book Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl. It’s a beautiful memoir about the way food can play a role in one’s life. it can bring people together, tear them apart and teach them who they are. I recommend it to anyone, even if you’re not a hard-core foodie.

This song too… it’s my guilty pleasure. It’s just sooo catchy.

-Mad Men. I just discovered this TV show and I am in love. I secretly wish I lived in the 1950s… or at least that people still dressed like that.

-Any recipe that uses fresh fruit. I’ve just been craving it lately!

That’s all for now! Let me know how you feel about having posts like this mixed in with the recipes and such. Being new at this, I’m still deciding what exactly my content should be. If anyone has any ideas please leave a comment!

New recipes and photos coming soon… stay tuned.

1 Comment

Filed under Life

Chocolate Raspberry Buns with Chocolate Ganache

Yesterday I got back from a second (and final) vacation to the cabin this summer. This time the whole family came along and it ended up being the perfect weekend of walks along the beaches, a 5 mile hike through gorgeous northern woods, knife throwing (did I mention I have a 15 year old brother?), sailing adventures, and, of course, good food.

In our cabin’s backyard, we had an abundance of raspberries and lots of cocoa powder in the cupboard…. what was I to do? Well I decided to experiment a little and came up with my first almost original recipe! I’d say they turned out beautifully… although the recipe could maybe use a little tweaking.

Dough:

  • 1 cup plain soymilk heated over the stove until warm- not hot!
  • 2 1/4 tsp (or 1 0.25 oz packet) active dry yeast, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour (plus up to 1/4 cup for kneading and rolling)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar (or 1/4 cup for a sweeter dough)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Filling:

  •  1 cup smashed raspberries
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 T melted earth balance
  • 1 tsp cornstarch (I didn’t actually add this, but the filling came out pretty watery and spilled out the sides when I rolled the dough up, so next time this is what I would try!)

Ganache (adapted from  Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World):

  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  1. Coat an 8×8 inch square baking pan, or 9-inch round cake pan, with canola oil baking spray. Set aside.
  2. Scatter yeast over warmed milk and allow to activate for about 10 minutes, or until foamy.
  3. Meanwhile, stir together both kinds of flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. When yeast and milk mixture is bubbly, stir in the applesauce and oil. Add wet ingredients into the dry and mix. Transfer dough onto a clean lightly floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes. You may have to add extra flour to make it less sticky. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Lightly flour work surface again and roll dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness, about a 12-inch x 9-inch rectangle.
  6. Mix together the smashed raspberries, sugar, earth balance and cornstarch. Spread the filling onto your chocolate dough, leaving a 1-inch space around the edges.
  7. Roll up the dough starting from the 9-inch edge- beware of oozing raspberries!!
  8. Pinch the edges of your dough and cut the log into 8 even pieces, then place them in your prepared pan. Cover buns with a cloth and let rise for 1 hour.
  9. Preheat your oven to 35o° F and once the buns are done rising, bake them for 30 minutes.
  10. While they bake, prepare the ganache by heating up the soy milk until boiling. Add the chocolate chips and maple syrup and stir over heat for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and continue to stir until it is smooth and chocolatey.
  11. Let the buns cool for about 10 minutes, then drizzle them with the chocolate ganache and serve warm.
They got the family stamp of approval.

8 Comments

Filed under Breads and Muffins, Breakfast, Recipes

Let’s Start it Simple

Hello and welcome to That’s So Vegan! I’ve been thinking about starting a food/lifestyle blog for a couple months now, and I finally worked up the courage to do it.

I started reading food blogs last winter when I went through a sort of food crisis in my life. I needed to make some changes in the way I ate so that I could feel healthier and happier.

So I went vegan.

And it’s actually pretty great.

However, being a broke college student with an ill-equipped kitchen, I found that there was a lacking number of cooking blogs aimed at my demographic. Which is why I thought, “What the hell, I’ll start my own.”

I’ll be honest and say that I don’t know exactly what this blog will evolve into, but you gotta start somewhere, right?

My first recipe here is not quite a real recipe, seeing as there are not exact measurements. My friends and I made this simple pasta dish a few weekends ago on a trip to my  family’s cabin in one of my favorite small towns, Grand Marais, MN. This recipe was actually thought up by my friend Evie, but we all helped put it together and it was absolutely delicious and fresh.

We started with about a pint of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half and sautéed them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until they began to get sort of wrinkled. We then added 3 cloves of garlic and a big handful of fresh basil and mixed it around until the garlic browned a little. Served over pasta, this twist on a regular tomato sauce is probably my new favorite dinner.

3 Comments

Filed under Lunch and Dinner, Recipes