carrot cakes.

i often bake treats for people's birthdays. my friend, dominic, likes donuts. some years ago, he asked if his birthday cakes could be in the same shape. i was already planning to make carrot cake for his birthday, so i made small ones. in the shape of donuts. sort of.

they were quite good. i can't remember which recipe i used, but probably one that has nuts, and not pineapple. i am unsure why so many carrot cake recipes use pineapple, but it just doesn't seem necessary.

oh my god. the turkey.

i made a turkey on thanksgiving. i've been vegetarian for years. more than half my life.

but, i was hosting thanksgiving at my house and i thought i should make a turkey. it was free-range and organic and expensive. i am surprised at how easy it was to make. and, i carved it myself. mostly with my hands. people liked it. incredible.

i don't plan to post the whole recipe, but mostly i stuffed it with fresh rosemary and thyme, cooked it for about 3 hours, and eventually basted it with some butter.

i forgot to tell you about the vegan cupcakes.

so, i promised i would blog about the vegan cupcakes. i was making them for my friend, caroline's birthday. i don't really know much about vegan baking. in my experience, it's more difficult than cooking, because you need to use things like egg replacer and vegan margarine, and, well, these foods are not necessarily what i want to be using. or eating. the problem with a lot of vegan products is the enormous amount of weird, processed stuff used to make them seem like the original version. i could figure out what sodium carboxymethylcellulose is, but i would rather just use something else.

i found an awesome vegan cupcake recipe online, of course. it's from a cookbook called vegan cupcakes take over the world. they were so very tasty, and easy to make. i bet there are other incredible recipes in the book. there's also an icing recipe on the site, too, but april was my baking partner on this project, so she made the icing. it was beautiful. very fluffy. nothing gave the hint that they were vegan; that's pretty amazing. (maybe she'll respond to this post with her recipe. hint. hint.)

i can't take credit for this recipe. go here: http://www.chow.com/recipes/10794


maybe it's because i am from texas.

i grew up eating tortilla soup. i love it. i had never made it before when my mom emailed me a recipe that she thought sounded good, and so i made it. it was good, and easy. of course, i doctored it up a bit, and made it spicier. it seems everything needs to be spicier.

1. cook about 3 cups of sliced, or diced, onions in oil until they are soft. add some cumin and oregano and garlic and cook some more.
2. add approximately 1 quart of broth. (i made broth from vegan vegetable bouillon. it's not made with any weird ingredients and you can keep it in the house for broth emergencies, whatever that might mean...) also add 28 oz of canned, diced tomatoes and chopped pepper (i can't remember if we used jalapeno or serrano, but use something with a kick.) reduce heat and cook for about 10 minutes.
3. crush about 3 handfuls of tortilla chips. do it in your hands; it doesn't have to be perfect. then, put them in the blender and pulverize them.
4. take a big scoop of soup (use the ladle) and put it into the blender and mix it with the chips, slow speed. maybe add a little extra soup so that it's not so thick. pour the mixture back into the soup. mix it up.

it's good. we put some cheese on top, probably monterey jack. i think this soup would be even better if we cooked it with some fresh sweet corn, too, but, it's winter and it's not really around. next time, i guess.


already february.

so, i haven't forgotten the blog. it's just that i've been busy. i'll be back soon enough to talk about tortilla soup, vegan cupcakes, and some other goodies. AND super tuesday. i am so excited about voting tomorrow, i think i am going to burst! almost like the first time. but right now, it's time for bed. it's past my bedtime.


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