Archive for October, 2010

Failures & Successes

Last night I decided to make cookies for an event tonight, and so I was digging through the cabinet, trying to figure out what I could make with the ingredients on hand. (I’ve been trying to limit my grocery budget, by eliminating unnecessary trips to the grocery store. Because… I love grocery shopping. haha) I found a box of Duncan Hines brownie mix, which is actually vegan, you just can’t make it according to the directions on the box, because it calls for eggs. Anyway, there was an alternate recipe on the back for Espresso Chocolate Chip cookies. It went like this:

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 box of brownie mix
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbs instant espresso
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 3 tbs water
  • 1  1/2 chips chocolate chips

You dissolve the instant coffee in the water, then mix all the ingredients together, and shape into rounded tablespoons. Looked simple enough. Of course, I didn’t want to use an egg, so I used Ener-g egg replacer. Well, I’m not sure what went wrong… maybe it was the egg replacer. But here’s what happened:

Does anyone know what happened here? I tried adding flour, and the same thing happened. I’m wondering if it was the egg replacer… Anyways. I debating posting this, because it was such a failure, but, I suppose it’s a learning experience!

However, I was determined. So I pressed on. And I had pumpkin in my cabinet. So I tried this:

Maple Iced Pumpkin Cookies

  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice seasoning

Maple Frosting

  • 2 tbs Earth Balance margarine
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla

For the cookies, combine the first three ingredients together, and then combine the rest in a separate bowl. Once you’ve got your dry ingredients combined, you can add them slowly to your pumpkin/sugar/vanilla bowl. The dough will be soft, but you can still shape it into balls. You’ll want to flatten them a little, as these don’t really spread much. Bake @ 350 for about 8 minutes, until they just start to get brown on top. Note: If you don’t want to make the icing, I recommend sprinkling some extra pumpkin spice seasoning on top.

For the frosting: Melt the margarine, and slowly combine with the powdered sugar, stirring in the vanilla and maple syrup. You might have to play with the amounts. I sort of guessed, until I got to a good frosting consistency.

I’m happy to report that THIS recipe, was a success 🙂

Have you guys had any recipe successes or failures recently? I think the initial failure made my success seem that much sweeter 🙂

-LLV

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Where Can You Eat?

Dinner out with friends often starts with “Well, where can you eat?” and the truth is, I can pretty much eat anywhere. Most places are pretty accommodating, and let’s face it, everyone has salads these days. As boring as it can be to eat salads, I always have SOME option. (Ok, so I had to get pretty creative at the Cheesecake factory, but I made it work!)

That said, it’s always really fun when the restaurant already HAS plenty of Vegan options, such as 821Cafe, here in Richmond. My friend Stephen and I went here for dinner, and it was delicious!

I decided to order the vegan burger, which came topped with spicy mustard, sprouts, and avocado. YUM!

It came with a side of vegan chili, and it made for quite a delicious meal. Honestly, the burger itself was just ok, but the sprouts, avocado and mustard took it to the next level and made it quite splendid! Sorry for the not-so-great picture, it was pretty dim in there!

For all of you with special diets (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, allergies) do you find most restaurants accommodating? Do you have favorite restaurants that cater to your food-lifestyle?

As for my recent workouts, I’ve been getting into P90X again. However, I decided it’s much better if I put the tv on mute, and blast my favorite workout songs! Now that I’ve done all the DVDs before, I don’t really need to hear Tony’s motivational voice 😉 and music just gets me jumping! That seems to make the workout go faster.

Do you guys like using workout DVDs? Or do you prefer to do your own thing? Normally I like doing my own thing, but I’ve been lacking motivation lately, and following the DVD makes me work out harder.

Hope you all had a good weekend!

-LLV

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