Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cashew Cheese & Tomato Pizza & Other Good Stuff

Happy Summer! Oh wait--it's not even Spring yet. These sunny, 70-degree days have me fooled.

I'm finished recipe testing for the third Happy Herbivore cookbook. You know when you try a recipe that's so delicious, healthy, quick and easy to make, and has such simple, wholesome ingredients that you want to exclaim, "Wow!" That's how all these recipes are. Buy this book when it comes out! I know I will.

Here's what I've been cooking in addition to testing recipes:

Tomato and Cashew Cheese Pizza on Homemade Whole Wheat Dough
I've posted a version of this before that used a sweet basil tapenade. This time I was hungry for regular old tomato and cheese pizza. I made the Cashew Cheese from Veganomicon. I love this cheese! It's supposed to be a ricotta, but I like it both in place of regular cheese, as a spread, and on sandwiches. And it's pretty easy to make. For the tomato sauce, I sauteed some garlic and onion then added some canned, diced tomatoes (I'd use fresh in the summer), basil, and oregano, and stirred everything until it was thick. I made a whole wheat pizza dough that had brown sugar in it so it was a bit sweet. I gushed over this pizza for days and savored the leftovers.

Chocolate Raspberry Cookies
My holiday cookie supply in the freezer was getting low. I waited two months after all my holiday baking before I put on my apron again and baked Chewy Chocolate Raspberry Cookies from Veganomicon. Delicious!
Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes
I made two separate batches of Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World for friends. Tasting my first spoonful of cake batter after months of not making cupcakes was heavenly. The bliss was so overwhelming I almost fainted. I think the buttercream frosting is too sweet (it makes my teeth hurt), so this time I reduced the powdered sugar. Perfect!

I also witnessed two tragedies recently.

First, the second of my 1M decorating tips, which are crucial to creating those swirling, fluffy mounds of frosting, got into a tussle with the garbage disposal. I tried to fix it, but my swirls came out wonky. I feel bad giving cupcakes with wonky swirls of frosting to friends tomorrow; I hope they'll forgive me. I'll need to make a trip to the restaurant supply store in the Strip District soon to get some replacement tips!

Second, while grocery shopping, I saw a little boy go up to the section of blueberries and eagerly reach for a container before his mother yelled at him, "Put those back! We ain't buying no blueberries!" I looked on in horror. How could a mother deny her child something so healthy? She should give him all the blueberries he wants! I debated about saying something or offering to buy him some containers of blueberries but decided against it. I think if I did, she'd have tried to kick my ass.


  1. Maybe she couldn't afford them? Or she buys them every other time he asks for them and then he won't eat them and they get wasted?

  2. I thought about her not not being able to afford them, which is why I considered offering to buy them. But I thought it would ultimately seem like an insult. And isn't there some guideline where you have to put a new food on a kid's plate something like 10 times before he tries it? Buying 10 containers before he starts eating them would be worth it if he eventually does, because they're so healthy and much better for kids than the processed, sugary snacks so many kids seem to gravitate toward. I guess my point was that if the kid has a healthy habit, the parent should support it. I don't have kids, though, so what do I know. :-)

  3. If your approach was tactful I dont think it would have been taken as an insult. "Do you mind if I buy the blueberries as a gift for your son? I don't have kids of my own, but I really like to give gifts." That would probably elicit an explanation from the mother.

    The other possiblity is that no one taught her how to eat blurberries. SO throwing in "i love to sprinkle them on my cereal or just rinse and eat them" would help too.

    And even if she does get mad, you tried and the child is taught there are kind people in the world. :-)