Lemon “Caviar” Spaghetti with Fried Lemon Slices!

Oh Ikea. How much I love thee. Where else can you buy a new futon and go home with elderflower syrup?! I’ve always wondered what the Swedish must think of Ikea… Anyhoo, I digress. Recently, my friend Mariko Corella told me that Ikea carries a vegan version of caviar. After picking my jaw up off the floor, I immediately dashed over to Ikea to check it out and sure enough it exists and for only $1.99!!! Seriously! $1.99, are you out of your mind!? I immediately picked up 5 jars and made Ina Garten’s recipe for lemon capellini with caviar. I used spaghetti instead of capellini as I love the texture of it much better and I added thinly sliced fried lemons to make it a real party. :) Zak claimed this as his new favorite and has asked me to make this 3 nights in a row. As it’s amazingly easy & light, I had no problems fulfilling this request from the hubby! I hope you all go get your TANGKORN (I will never get used to the product names at Ikea or at least say them without a chuckle) today and try this dish out! :)

Servings: 6

Time from start to plate: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
Olive oil

1 bag of spaghetti (16 oz)

1 stick of butter (Ina’s recipe calls for 2 sticks but I found that half the amount works just fine)

3 lemons (2 to zest & juice for the pasta & 1 to slice very thinly to fry up)

Tangkorn (vegan caviar from Ikea)

1/4 cup of flour

Garlic powder

Vegetable oil

Salt & pepper to taste

This is how we do:
Here is Ina’s original recipe for the pasta.  While your water is boiling & your pasta is cooking, you can fry up your lemon slices. Quick tip for cooking pasta – add a lot of salt after the water has started boiling. Adding salt before it’s boiled makes the water take longer to act up! Also, my other domestic hero, Nigella Lawson always says that “the water you cook pasta in should be as salty as the Mediterranean” and I completely agree!

In a small bowl, add your flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder and mix. Coat your thinly sliced lemon slices in the mixture and in a pan, heat up some vegetable oil. Throw your lemon slices & and let them get brown & crispy!

When you’ve put together your pasta & caviar dish, add your crispy lemons and enjoy!

Portobello Sliders!


It seems that I’m super into mini sliders lately! I came up with this while reading a recipe for a portobello burger in this month’s Rachael Ray magazine. It’s extremely easy & fast to assemble and Zak has now proclaimed this as his new favorite! These are great to serve as appetizers at your next party or if you make a few, you can have them for dinner (and because they’re tiny, you won’t feel so guilty after eating say 10)!

Servings: 6 mini sliders

Time from start to plate: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
6 mini portobello mushrooms, stems removed

6 mini slider buns

Balsamic vinegar

Olive oil

Daiya

1 jalapeño, veins & seeds removed & diced

1 onion sliced very thin

Arugula

Veganaise

Dijon

Ketchup

This is how we do:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, pour some balsamic vinegar & olive oil (about 1/4 cup of each). Dunk your mini portobello mushrooms and let them soak for a minute in the balsamic mixture. Place them on a foiled baking sheet with the opening of the caps facing up. Fill each cap with some diced jalapeños.You can add more than one jalapeño if you like a lot of heat but even just one gives a good strong kick. Fill each cap with daiya shreds and then pop the baking sheet into the oven. Let them bake for about 20 to 25 minutes (the daiya cheese should get nice & melty).

While your caps are cooking, you can sauté your onions! You can also choose to grill them if you prefer.

Once your caps are done, turn your oven off but leave them in until you’re ready to assemble your sliders. Toast your buns and then add layers of veganaise, dijon and ketchup. Then add some arugula, sautéed onions, and finish with your slider. Garnish with a cornichon (they are a MUST to complete this dish). :) Try not to eat more than 5 in one sitting.


Baby Shower Decorations!

Recently I helped my friend Shilpy Holden decorate for her baby shower. She wanted a theme of fuschia & teal to accent the party to welcome her baby girl. Paper poms seem to be the must-have trend for any party and luckily, they’re super easy and affordable to make! Here is an easy video that shows you how! All you need is tissue paper. Target & Walgreens both surprisingly have an amazing array of colors, so it’s not like you have to treck to a craft store to get them. The video instructs using 8 sheets, but I found that using 6 works just as fine!

We also decorated using baby pictures of Shilpy and her hubby Troy. She pasted them on teal & fuschia paper & we strung them up on twine with clothes pins!

 

I also made party favor bags for her using a mini popcorn bag template which I originally found on this very cute blog – Sweet Little Parties. If ever you need to make a mini treat bag, you should definitely check out the instructions on this blog. I took the original template, changed the reds to fuschia & changed the “popcorn” to a giraffe graphic (Shilpy loves giraffes :) ). Get my revised giraffe template version here.  After printing it out on regular 8×11 paper, I cut the top with special craft scissors to give it a scalloped pattern. I followed the instructions for the original popcorn bag to assemble and boom – instant customized party favor bag!

And here is a picture of Shilpy’s first daughter Chumpy. I had to include her on this post, though it’s random, because she’s just THAT cute. :)


Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

chocolate caramel cupcake

This is the second type of cupcake I made for the east bay vegan bake sale. Salted caramel is definitely a trend that I LOVE and often CRAVE! Though it sounds decadent, it’s actually fairly easy to make! Enjoy! :)

Servings: 12 cupcakes

Time from start to plate: 1.5 hours

Ingredients for chocolate cupcakes:
1.5 cups of flour

1 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup of canola oil

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 cup of water

Ingredients for the frosting:
1/2 cup of Earth Balance (or 1 stick)

1 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of mimic creme (or almond/cashew milk but mimic creme is best as it’s like a substitute for heavy cream)

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1/2 cup of vegetable shortening

3-4 cups of confectioner’s sugar

Sea or Kosher salt

This is how we do:
Start by making the cupcakes! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake pan with liners. In a bowl, add all of the dry ingredients and mix. Then add the rest of the ingredients (oil, vinegar, vanilla extract, water) and mix until there are no lumps and it’s smooth. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full and place them in the oven.  Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes and stick a toothpick down the center to see if they’re ready (if you can cleanly pull out the toothpick, then they’re ready). If they’re not yet ready, check on them every 2 minutes because nothing makes a cupcake drier than being overbaked! Once they’re ready, let them cool before icing.

While your cupcakes are baking & cooling, you can prepare your frosting. In a pan over medium-high heat, melt your butter with the brown sugar and stir. Continue to keep it over the heat until it start to boil. Once it starts to boil, continue to stir & cook for about a minute, until the color turns into a darker caramel color. Remove from heat and add the creme and vanilla extract and stir until nicely mixed together. Set aside.

In a bowl, beat the Earth Balance & shortening with 2 cups of the confectioner’s sugar. Add about half of the caramel sauce into the Earth Balance/shortening/sugar mixture and use a hand mixer to blend until ice & creamy. You can either add more confectioner’s sugar or caramel depending on how you want your frosting.

Once your cupcakes have cooled, frost them with your caramel buttercream. Take the remaining caramel sauce  & drizzle on top. Then add a few light sprinkles of sea salt (or kosher salt). ENJOY with a friend! :)

 

Mini Slider Cupcakes!

vegan slider cupcake

Last weekend, I volunteered to contribute baked goods for the east bay vegan bake sale! I thought it would be super cute to make mini slider cupcakes (get it, because vegans don’t usually eat sliders, get it???). These are super easy to make! I wasn’t super crazy about the yellow cupcake recipe I used, but I loved the chocolate one. If you have little to no time, you can try using boxed cake recipes – I heard you can take a boxed recipe and just add a can of soda to make cupcakes but I have yet to experiment and test out this myth (Sprite for yellow cake & Coke for chocolate cake).

Anyhoo, here is the how-to and the ingredients!

Servings: 12 sliders

Ingredients:

A dozen yellow cupcakes - I used this recipe *

A dozen chocolate cupcakes – I used this recipe *

Ducan Hines Classic Vanilla Frosting (yes, this is vegan!!!)

Green, yellow and red food coloring

Shredded coconut

Toothpicks

*When making your cupcakes, don’t use cupcake liners. Lightly coat your cupcake pan so you can pop them out once they’ve baked & cooled.

This is how we do:
Take your shredded coconut and place them in a bowl with some green food coloring & coat. This will be your lettuce. In two small bowls, place some frosting in each. Add red food coloring to one until it starts to have the coloring of ketchup. Add yellow food coloring to the other until it starts to look like mustard.

Take your yellow cupcake and slice them in half If you feel like your buns look too thick, you can shave off a bit. Then take your chocolate cupcake, and slice off about half to make your burger. Take the bottom bun, spread some ketchup frosting. Then add your burger, and layer on some mustard frosting on top. Sprinkle some green lettuce coconut shreds on top and then add the top bun. Slide the toothpick through the middle & you have yourself a vegan mini slider!

 

Shut the front door! Bread in 60 minutes?!

fast bread

You heard me. That’s right. Bread in 60 minutes! When I found this recipe, I couldn’t believe it. I’d tried No Knead Bread before when my friend Jena Mainey introduced me to it, and was amazed. But when I found this recipe, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Everyone should try it! It’s super easy & very yummy. So the next time you come home from work and your tired and all you want is some delicious, steaming hot bread to go with your Earth Balance & vino, MAKE THIS BREAD!easy bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

Site & Blog Love: Ruche

Recently I came across this VERY cute site – shopruche.com. They have the cutest clothes & accessories and do an amazing job of outfitting through their lookbook! Most of their products appear to be vegan (I haven’t found anything that isn’t except for their watches). I recently made a purchase of the below items & my order came within the same week!


They also have a great feature on their site where if you see something that you want but the size is sold out, you can have them email you if it comes back in stock! They also have a VERY cute blog that features all kinds of design inspiration. I found this very cute idea & tutorial on how to use a scarf to add a new twist to a braid.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.