Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lovely Lily

I thought it would be fun to "introduce" you to the kids! I'm starting with Lily, 9. She is such a beautiful, talented, smart, creative, FUN daughter & sister! 

Lily - lover of all living creatures! This ladybug would not leave her! It was amazing!

Causing trouble in Mama & Papa's room!

First day of 3rd grade. She's going into 4th grade in just a couple weeks!! She, being a little fashionista, picked her own wardrobe!

Lily loves wigs (& dressing up in general!)

Holding her baby sister, Giorgia, at just a few weeks old

Lily & Kingston, messing around

  Lily in Hawaii - she thought this guy was awesome :) She posed as a much cuter statue with him 

All dressed up - & yes, it's just another day at school. No occasion - just Lily being awesome!

This is one of my favorite pics of Lil - our Laker girl :) 

Bitch's Broccoli Soup (Again!) with Yummy-licious Yogurt biscuits


Hello there! Well, Rowan's back in Washington & we seem to be settling back into our routine. Which, of course, means, I will be more consistent with my blogging! 

Tonight I wanted to surprise my husband by making his favorite biscuits! Of course, he still isn't home & the kids & I finished dinner over an hour ago :( But this is still good news for you because these biscuits are RIDICULOUS! & by "ridiculous" I mean AWESOME! Everyone will love you if you make these, I swear - I tell you this from first-hand experience. 

I paired these with one of my old staples (& a favorite around here), Best Broccoli Soup! 

Just a couple things with the Broccoli Soup:
1. Depending on the amount of veggies you may or may not stuff into this soup - you're going to want to adjust the broth & soy milk accordingly. If you use a ton of veggies like me then maybe up the amount of liquid to 1/2 cup more each. That's what I did last night because I used a considerable amount of broccoli & potato. 
2. I computed the nutritional info for this soup! I always like knowing that stuff- I love numbers :)
PER 1 CUP SERVING (recipe makes 12 - 14 cups)
CAL 105 FAT 3 CRB 17 SUG 3 SOD (before adding salt at the end) 143 FIB 3 PRO 3 
So there you go! Not too shabby - of course, I had about 5 cups last night!!

makes 20 - 24 medium biscuits

These are much easier with a food processor.

(you can easily cut this in half but I find I like to make more because they get devoured quickly & we eat them for breakfast the next day with Earth Balance & jam, or drizzled with agave, or sprinkled with cinnamon see where I'm going with this?)

4 cups unbleached white (or all-purpose) flour
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp baking powder
10 - 12 tbsp COLD Earth Balance 
(I know, don't freak out on me. But, trust me, MORE is better)
2 cups plain, unsweetened soy yogurt

1. Preheat your oven to 450.
2. Combine your dry ingredients in a food processor, pulsing to combine evenly.
3. Cut your butter into the flour mixture & pulse again until it is completely blended into the flour mixture.
4. Dump in that yummy yogurt-y goodness & blend in the food processor until it just becomes a ball of dough. Take out the dough onto a floured surface & knead it just for 1 minute. The dough will stick a bit to your hands.
5. Press the dough out, flattened to about 1 inch square or rectangle. Using a round drinking glass, punch out rounds & place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Just parchment. You can continue to reshape the dough & punch out rounds until all the dough in used. You may have to do a couple batches in the oven. 
6. Bake for about 9 minutes - check them at 7 or 8 minutes though. You'll know they are done by their pretty pale golden color. Serve & devour IMMEDIATELY.

Little Giorgia's first taste of broccoli soup! She couldn't get enough! She kept trying to rip the spoon out of my hands - it was so cool!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Missing Rowan

Well, it is another gorgeous summer day here in beautiful Southern California but I'm sad :( Rowan is going back up to Washington today & we will miss her dearly. We had so much fun yesterday- school shopping, getting mani/pedi's (thanks, mom!), having deep, philosophical conversations - she is THE BEST!  Here's some pics she took & things she did while staying here with us:

Rowan & Lily
Adorable! Gorgeous girls!!

This is the incredible mural Rowan drew on Lily's wall in her room! It is SO unbelievable! & so awesome for Rowan to leave a bit of her amazing self on her sister's wall for always!

Rowan took this pic of Lucas, Giorgia & me on one of our after dinner walks. Of course Rowan, Lily & Kingston were all rushing ahead of us - Lucas & I were a bit more leisurely :)

So not only was Rowan able to get Kingston to share his toys with his baby sister, she got him back in our pool!! Which is so rad - I have video footage of it but I'm technologically impaired & can't seem to download it for this post! But she is the only one who could get him to play in the pool - not even his papa could get him back in there! 

Rowan we all love you so much! You are a special, talented, thoughtful, strong, amazing & beautiful soul. You bring light & joy & laughter to our home. You are missed! We cannot wait to have you back again! 


Old Lame Cakes NOT Old Bay Cakes :(

So I was super excited to make these amazing-looking tofu cakes. They are another Tal Ronnen recipe I have been dying to try! But, unlike every other recipe of his I have made, we were all incredibly disappointed! Now a couple of things may have come into play here - 1. I may have not let the cakes refrigerate long enough - although I followed the recipe exactly, I'm thinking they needed several hours or overnight to become much more firm. 2. I only made the tofu cakes - I didn't go all out & make the pan-roasted summer veggies or the topping. BUT shouldn't the cakes be awesome all on their own?! I know something went wrong because everything Tal makes is pure culinary magic! & for some odd reason, unbeknown est to me, these were a disaster. It is very difficult for me to post this because I am not used to failing in the kitchen. But I have to be honest - I will not be making these again anytime soon. The texture was bizarre & they were WAY over salted & I adore salt! It's my vice! Total bummer! But here were 3 other components to the meal that were delightful - thank goodness! 

 Here's pics for you anyway because they sure look yummy! On the plus side, my sweet dog, Chica, devoured the left-overs! I made her night!

They look so good frying up in the pan!

Here is a picture of the lovely summer drink I made! It was a recipe from the latest issue of VegNews & it was fantastic! I also made the peach pie recipe from the same article & I thought it was yummy. Not the best peach pie I've had but it was still very yummy, none-the-less.

 These are the BEST Brussels Sprouts ON THE PLANET. Super simple & I am very proud of this ridiculously easy recipe. It is how I got Kingston & Lily to eat Brussels Sprouts & they eat these like they are popcorn!! You don't have to believe me but it's TRUE!!


4 - 6 cups Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered ( "the more the better" is the motto around here!!)
Olive oil spray
Sea salt
Nonstick pan or skillet
Paper-thin sliced garlic from 1 head garlic (for garlic "chips")

Heat pan/skillet over medium high heat for a minute or two.

Coat the hot pan with spray then quickly toss in sprouts & mix around with spatula/spoon - lightly coating the sprouts with the olive oil. 

Let sprouts brown, about 5 - 7 minutes. Then lightly spray the tops of sprouts & turn over to lightly brown other sides. 

Remove from heat sprinkle with desired amount of salt & pepper. 

Eat them like crazy!! Yum yum yum!!!

FOR THE CHIPS: In same pan (preferably before cooking sprouts), heat pan over medium high heat for a  minute or two. Add 1/2 - 1 tbsp olive oil & swirl around pan to coat bottom. Throw in the thinly sliced garlic & heat until lightly browned, then turn over (may take a little time to get each one). But they will fry p pretty quickly! The point is to try & keep them a light light brown if they get too cooked, they really don't taste as pleasant. Top your Brussels sprouts with these delicious little babies & go wild!!

Lovely Peach Pie. A perfect summer treat. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

INSANE Chow Mein!

Well, it's been AWHILE since my last post, & for that, I apologize. But BEST NEWS EVER, Rowan & Lily are here! These two gals light up my life & I have missed them dearly - so now the house feels complete - at last! It was a long summer without them!
Now I also think you may agree that this recipe was worth the wait! That's my insanely gorgeous hubby digging into what he calls "my favorite meal EVER!" He got halfway through the plate then looked at me, panicked, & said, "Wait. There's more, right?!" Haha I was stoked! Even better still, Kingston gobbled his bowl down faster than I've ever seen him eat green beans & cabbage! He has always liked veggies but not like this! Great night for my ego! :) (By the way, this is the 4th time in 2 weeks my family has asked for this meal!!)

Not that you ever wanted to see me this close up but here I am shoving chow mein, hot from the pan into my extremely happy mouth! I have to say, being vegan is RAD. I have always enjoyed food & cooking but I LOVE & ADORE it - there are so many amazing things I was missing out on before! & to be able to enjoy a meal that is peaceful, non-violent & cruelty-free - wow, it's such a blessing! Not to mention, miracles in my mouth!

Would you like some noodles with your veggies today?

serves 4 (maybe. you may it half of it before it gets served!)

1 1/2 - 2 cups fresh green beans, cut in half (or not, your choice)
2 -3 carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks
1 small head Napa cabbage, chopped finely
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1/2 small package frozen peas, thawed
3 -4 pieces pickled ginger, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 - 1/2 cup veggie broth
1 - 2 tsp agave nectar
1  tbsp hoisin sauce
1/4 - 1/2 cup tamari
1 package udon noodles
1 - 3 tbsp peanut or sesame oil (I think  more is better to enhance the flavor of this dish but it can always be made low-fat by just decreasing the oil amount)
Sea salt, to taste (you won't need much, if any)
Pepper, to taste
Cayenne (I use about 1 tsp, but add it after I serve the kids)

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, add green beans & carrots for about 1 minute, then remove & submerge immediately into an ice bath. Note: you do not have to do this step, if you want a bit more bite from your veggies just skip this step - in fact, I did not blanch them tonight & I now prefer the chow mein this way Bring the water to a boil again & cook the udon noodles according to the package directions. Drain the noodles once cooked & immediately rinse with cold water. Keep them set aside in the sink to allow them to drain completely. 

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 - 2 tbsp oil, turn heat to medium. Add garlic & ginger until pungent, 30 sec to 1 minute. Add noodles & cook until lightly browned, about 5 - 7 minutes (could be quicker depending on your stove top). 

Add green beans, carrots, peas & water chestnuts & cook until warmed through, 2 - 4 minutes. At this point, you can add another tbsp of oil if you like. Add hoisin, agave & 1/4 cup broth (add more if needed once it cooks down a bit). Let the mixture cook down - it will get thicker. Add seasonings to taste & cabbage. Cook for another couple of minutes. Transfer to an oven-safe dish & place in a warm oven, around 175 or turn heat under pan to lowest setting so it is warm but doesn't continue cooking, while you make.....

makes approximately 30 to 40 dumplings

My husband & son watch the movie "Kung Fu Panda" at least 3 times a week - it's kinda' ridiculous. But it's their Papa/Son time & it's super cute to see them cuddled up together, chomping on grapes or salt'n'vinegar chips, watching Kingston's favorite movie. It is because of their love for Kung Fu &, of course, "Kung Fu Panda", I call these "Dragon Warrior Dumplings" & I hope the Dragon Warrior in you enjoys them - they get devoured faster than I can make them!! & it may seem like a hefty amount to make, but these freeze great & are wonderful to have around! (Oh ya, this is of note, these are a GREAT appetizer for non-vegans - they will be blown away by their absolute deliciousness!!) 

3 - 4 tbsp Earth Balance (again, your choice, but I say, amp up the fat on this one! haha at least it's not gross hydrogenated, cholesterol-laden , animal fat - it's yummy vegan fat! it won't kill you every once in awhile - but it is your choice - it's so easy to just use 1 tbsp versus 4)

1 package Gardein Chik'n Filets (4 filets), thawed & pat dry with paper towel(s), then chopped into very small cubes/chunks

1 - 2 cups finely chopped Napa cabbage, depending on your preference, I freaking LOVE cabbage (if you can't get Napa go for green cabbage not purple but the Napa is really so perfect for these)

1 cup shredded carrot

1/4 - 1/2 cup tamari (or reduced sodium soy sauce)

1 - 2 tsp garlic powder (or 1 tbsp fresh, minced)

1 - 2 tsp ginger powder (or 1 tbsp fresh,minced)

1 package wonton wrappers (vegan, of course! & they are out there!)

small bowl of water, for sealing dumplings

Heat large skillet over medium high heat, add Earth Balance & turn down heat to medium, letting margarine melt but not smoke. Then add chopped Gardein filets & cook until they brown as evenly as possible, about 5 - 7 minutes.  

Toss in tamari, garlic & ginger. It will sizzle & the chik'n will soak it up fairly quickly, so stir, stir, stir, letting the chik'n get evenly coated. Add veggies & cook a few minutes more. Taste this. Adjust seasonings as needed - always start with less & add more if needed. But also taste because it's freaking awesome. Now set pan aside. 

Take out the wonton wrappers & separate several wrappers & keep them under a damp towel to keep them from drying out, which tends to happen once they are not being refrigerated. Taking one wrapper in your hand, put a hefty spoonful in the center of the wrapper then using your pointer finger (or whatever finger, duh haha) dampen all sides of wrapper & squeeze the sides together to create a dumpling - you can have them be like pot stickers or open at the top like siu mai, whatever shape you like or whatever shape happens to come out! Mine all look different, I swear! 

Fill a large pot with a steamer basket about 1/3 of the way with water (just no water touching the steamer basket) & bring to a boil. Spray the steamer basket with cooking spray (a neutral oil spray) so the dumplings don't stick! Place 4 - 4 dumplings (or as many as will fit without touching) in your steamer & steam about 5 - 10 minutes. Serve with.....


1/2 cup tamari (or low sodium soy sauce)
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp Sriracha
1 tbsp minced garlic

Place all ingredients in small bowl & mix to combine. The heat can easily be adjusted by reducing the amount of Sriracha. This sauce is RIDICULOUS!!

All in all, this is an incredible meal. Incredible. 



Friday, August 6, 2010

Best Broccoli Soup & Tal Ronnen's Twice Baked Fingerlings

Well, little Giorgia may not be feeling so hot but she cannot help looking ADORABLE! i know, I know, I did give birth to her but she is such a cute baby!! I think I have a problem, every time I have a baby, I just think they are the be-all, end-all but...THEY ARE!! My kids are AWESOME, gorgeous, smart, talented & vegan!! I LOVE them! To me, they are perfect! Ok Ok you want recipes, dammit & dammit, I have them!! Last night was so good! Comfort food at it's finest right in the middle of summer of all things! Ya ya ya!!An amazing "Cream" of Broccoli Soup & my man, Tal's unbelievable twice-baked fingerling potatoes!! Heaven on earth! Hope you try & enjoy as well! Giorgia says TRY IT! LIVE IT! LOVE IT!

Beautiful Bitch's Broccoli Soup

- 1 1/2 - 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large sweet Maui onion, chopped
- 2 - 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 small to medium carrots, cubed
- 1 small celery stalk, chopped (optional)
- 3 - 4 good sized Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
- 2 large heads of beautiful broccoli, chopped into small florets
- 2 cups vegetable broth (go with Better Than Bouillon!)
- 2 cups soy milk (unsweetened)
- 3 - 6 tbsp (or more if you like!) nutritional yeast (damn this stuff is good!)
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat stock pot over medium high heat for 1 - 2 minutes. Turn heat down to medium & heat oil in pot.

2. Add onions, carrots & celery, if using,  & saute until soft & translucent, about 5 - 7 minutes, keeping a close eye they get soft not brown. Add garlic & saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. (Getting tired of similar directions for every meal?! haha)

3.  Throw in Yukons & saute for a few minutes along with other veggies.

4. Pour soy milk & stock in with veggies & bring to a low boil, not raging (Add soy milk slowly & stir it as you pour so it doesn't "curdle"), then turn heat to low & simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes until the potatoes are nice & soft.

5. While soup is cooking, put the broccoli into a steamer & steam until tender but still have some bite & maintain that gorgeous green color. When potatoes are tender, add broccoli to the pot. Remove from heat & in small batches, transfer soup to blender, blend, then put into clean soup pot on the stove. You can leave some of the soup unblended so to give it more texture. Reheat.

6. Add nutritional yeast & incorporate well. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Yum!

This soup is INSANE! It should be illegal!

For those of you who live in a ditch in BFE & are unaware of Tal Ronnen, let me introduce you...He is a revolutionary, to say the least.  You want the fingerling recipe, BUY THE BOOK!! Haha actually there are a ton of recipes from the book online. To take a look at this recipe, check out Tal's website at: you will be so happy if you do!! I do a variation on his recipe - For my son's potatoes, instead of cashew cream, I use vegan tofutti sour cream to make them creamy (he has a gnarly sensitivity to raw cashews). Also, I leave out the horseradish & dulse. But for my husbands & mine, I (surprisingly!) add a bit of cayenne pepper to the mix. Then when I serve them, I add some Fakin' Bacon bits for my hubby & I add chopped chives to mine! YUUUMM!!

This is a great & lovely vegan appetizer to surprise your non-vegan friends - they will NEVER know it's vegan - the potatoes are so damn creamy! I love surprising people with this one!!

Here's Kingston shoving the potatoes in his face mid-bite - no joke, he ate 6 of them in less than 5 minutes! & he is typically a very slow eater! He cleaned his plate & asked me for more - I told him, EAT YOUR SOUP! Haha kids are awesome