Tag Archives: Vegan MOFO

Rations, rations, rations. That is what motivates people to cut out eggs and dairy from their cakes. So I have yet another cake to share that was already vegan. Naturally I made some modifications, but let’s start with the history.

Many kids in America has played The Oregon Trail. I have not. But if you haven’t played it, the premise was pretty easy. It was a computer game where you traveled across the United States on the Oregon Trail to get to the west. On the REAL Oregon trail, you probably would of made this cake. Or if you were traveling anywhere really, whether you were a cowboy or relocating. Most everything in this recipe is shelf stable, making it great for most pioneers.

The recipe may look familiar with other cakes- boiled raisin cake, war cake, depression cake, or my favorite milkless eggless butterless cake (thanks wikipedia) What makes this version pretty awesome is that you don’t dirty up too many dishes. Unlike the Wacky Cake, which tries to only use one pan, this one really isn’t mess when mixing the batter. Sure you will have to dirty up another small pot, and something to drain the raisins, but overall it is a pretty easy clean up

Now I could of just made the recipe line by line, but I thought this could use some jazzing up. First I stuck with raisins, but you can easily swap out any other dried fruit. The recipe even suggests it. Just chop up any large fruit, and just follow the recipe. 

But I thought I would use a little booze in the recipe. I thought and thought about what kind- and finally settled on a gose beer (pronounced go-suh). A Gose is a sour beer originating in Germany. It is spiced with coriander, and is known to be salty. It gets it’s name since it originally was brewed in the town Goslar. The style almost disappeared in obscurity, but it has recently become really popular since the rise of sour beers.

Can’t find a gose beer? Any sour beer will work just fine. If you don’t know a lot about beer, just ask someone who is working at the liquor store or look for any bottle with sour, lambic, or wild ale. If you choose just a sour beer (or any type of sour juice) remember to add a pinch of salt, gose beers are naturally salty.

I used Sixpoint Jammer. It is a gose that is vegan and American, so I like that. I was lucky enough to buy the can individually from Total Wines and More, but you can also see if you can order it online. But remember, this isn’t the ONLY vegan gose out there. There are tons, and it might even be from the country you live in.

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“Why can’t you make normal cakes?” asks my husband. Duh- that would be boring. I am very much that type of person who hears about something weird and crazy and instead of thinking “that sounds gross, I should stay away” I think “my god, that sounds gross! there must be something to it!” I’ve ordered a mustard cocktail, miso ice cream, and spicy pepper ice cream. This is one of those instances- sauerkraut? In a cake?

Another appeal of this cake is that it has Pennsylvania Dutch roots. I probably should make a post of all the regional recipes featured on this blog. And this isn’t the only Pennsylvanian dutch recipe featured in the book. There the shoofly pie, which pushes the definition of a cake (and a pie) and the Moravian Sugar Cake, which sadly I know I will not have anytime to attempt (it uses yeast.)

Since it is National Chocolate Cupcake Day, here is a little fun chocolate cake history. It took quite sometime for bakers to add chocolate to their sweets. Originally chocolate was viewed as a medicine, and was more focused in Europe for melting in milk, or making milk chocolate bars. I think you can hear more about this evolution from Stuff You Missed in History Class But slowly it made it’s way in a cookbook in a very small amount in a spiced cake. Sarah Roerer takes the credit for pouring melted chocolate into a cake, to make a “healthy” cake. Do you think we will be laughing about how we make “superfood” desserts by adding spirulina and maca to our cakes in the future?

And there may be many of you wondering “what’s up with Devil’s Food Cake?” This is something I’ve been wondering for a LONG time as a child. According to Wikipedia and American Cakes– not much. Early recipes used a lot of different things in the batter- sour milk, heavy cream, sour cream, baking powder, baking soda, white sugar, brown sugar, melted chocolate, cocoa powder, spices, and even mashed potatoes. Confusing huh? Make things even more confusing not all Devil’s Food cakes has the same frosting. What can be agreed on that Devil’s Food Cake is a fun name next to the other American classic- Angel’s Food Cake. And in general, there’s more chocolate than normal so the cake is super rich and dark.

The recipe in American Cakes calls for chocolate sour cream frosting. The recipe reminded me of the simple chocolate mousse recipes I’ve seen using silken tofu. I would make my own sour cream from silken tofu anyways, so I just used the Chocolate Mousse from The Post Punk Kitchen (from the Cupcakes Take Over the World cookbook) Depending on how you like the frosting you can halve the recipe. I use maybe 60% of the recipe, but it is plausible to use the whole thing.

Just like the book, I used canned sauerkraut. It worked out fine, but I think you would probably get dreamier texture by using homemade or “fresher” sauerkraut. I normally buy jarred sauerkraut but I didn’t have two cups. If you don’t really like sauerkraut but want to give this recipe a go, I suggest sticking with canned. It will have exactly enough you need.

this is what happens when you try and take photos for the blog with a kid… they just want to see what is going on.

Like any cake recipe this really isn’t “healthy.” But it does have a fair amount of iron and vitamin c (from the sauerkraut and cocoa powder). So I guess if you are a menstruating pirate- this will help fight anemia and scurvy! If you are a fretful parent who is thinking about making a fruit cake for their baby’s first birthday, this one isn’t the worst. You can cut down on the salt and sugar. And the frosting is made with tofu so you get a little bonus protein!

That being said, I am all for just straight up enjoying your cake. I liked the taste, and I think I would just chop the sauerkraut more in the future. It is super moist and easy to make. Oh and a little extra fiber. What is there not to like?

he eventually got that cake

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Holy Cow! I am on time for once with these monthly baby updates! Wow! Just a few days off of the 13th, which is perfectly acceptable to me. So let’s start with the most obvious part- since it is Vegan Mofo- THE FOOD.

FOOD Little Wolfie keeps gobbling up food. I finally joined a Vegan BLW facebook group. And you might see some BLW recipes in the future… maybe. Try and post some baby dishes, and meals that are easy to eat with a baby (the whole point of BLW is that you are eating the same stuff as each other) Sadly, the last week Jon has been working late, so little Wolfie has been eating separate dinners from us. Hopefully we will get back on track this week.

The cost of avocados went down, so I got these small size avocados in bulk from Trader Joe’s. Wolfie wasn’t sure what to make of them at first. He ate one half, and when I gave the other half he threw it on the floor. WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH HIM?! Just kidding, he EVENTUALLY ate the other half later that night.

MOVEMENT This kid is walking. Pretty well too. It started with him “crying” while walking. This baffles me. If you hate it- why do the walking? He then decided it was better to hold my hand while walking back and forth. Then once he felt more confident, he has been walking back and forth all on his own. It is pretty crazy. He still hasn’t figured out how to stand up without using something to pull himself up, so I guess that is the next big thing.

GROWTH Clearly he is growing more than last time, I don’t have any actual numbers. But scarily he is already grown out of his infant seat! If you don’t have a kid, and don’t live in the USA, here is a quick baby seat breakdown. They first start in a infant seat, they usually pop in and out of a base. Then after a year they move to a convertible seat that shifts from rear face to front facing. Then after two years you move the baby to face the front. Then after a certain point they move to “booster” seats. Wolfie will be moving to convertible seat, facing rear. So crazy.

TALKING He is starting to be a little motarmouth. I think overall he still talks less than other babies, but he is learning lots of pointless fun stuff. He has learned how to smack his lips and buzz them together.

Wolfie- luckily- is able to understand words. He has said “all done” a few times and I am pretty sure has said Dada and Baba for Dad and bottle. He also knows the word/phrase “change you diaper,” breakfast, eat, nurse, and banana. Hmm… I guess we know what his world revolves around.

TRAVELING My husband and I don’t travel much. I read blogs about how parents take their first vacation with their baby. I think the last time Jon and I took a “vacation” was for a wedding… and vegan doughnuts. So traveling with a baby isn’t likely. Except- for my mother. She had her knee replaced and needed some help while my Dad was working. So we stayed overnight and it was annoying. The sleeping overnight wasn’t so bad, it was just having to change diapers on the floor, bathing in a new area, nursing was a struggle, naps weren’t likely, etc. In fact I left earlier than expected because he was so cranky.

We also took a trip to my Grandmother’s house on Long Island. This was a big trip- taking several hours to drive up. To make things worse- I forgot the pack and play, so we had to skip the afternoon nap. oops. My Grandmother also didn’t do any form of baby proofing, not even taking some hornet/bee spray off the floor. It was pretty exhausting keeping a constant eye on him. But we got through it. And we get to do it again probably for Easter.

TEETH Oh gawd it was bad. The first two teeth weren’t so bad. I thought if all the teething would be like this- no big deal. But the top teeth were a nightmare. They all kind-of came in at once, and Wolfie was a wreck. The bottom two kind-of had holes appear for the teeth to fit through. The top teeth looked like they “ripped” through the gums.

Nor have they come in the right “order.” They sort of skipped around, but it looks like pretty soon- by next month maybe- he’ll have four teeth on the top. Very weird.

SLEEP Maybe I should just stop talking about his sleep? Or maybe I shouldn’t. I mean my life REVOLVES around his sleep right now. AND IT IS AMAZZZZING right now. Sure I complain a lot, but hey I know I have a good thing going on right now. Wolfie is now sleep almost 12 hours! Goes to bed at 7, wakes up around 6:30! I am now setting an alarm to wake up at 6. Amazing. He is even taking really long naps right now. Total difference from when he was an infant.


Today’s Vegan MOFO prompt is about secret ingredients. And since we are doing cakes and cocktails, I think it is worth talking about the secret ingredients of booze. See alcoholic drinks don’t have the same standards as regular food. They don’t need to list their ingredients, and many places hide their recipes keeping them very secret for hundreds of years.

So making a cocktail vegan is more tricky than what you might think. I made a list of common hidden ingredients for cocktails, liquors, beers, and wines. Some are more common than others, and it worth noting that there is a lot of animals stuck into a vodka bottle. Always check with the site Barnivore to see if they are vegan, or if they aren’t listed, contact the companies one on one.

Honey

If you are a ren-fair fan you probably know about mead. It is a really old drink that is made from adding water to honey, and letting it ferment. I use to make it, and boy is it friggin easy. So far there isn’t any “vegan mead” but that is something I’ve always wanted to try out. One day right?

But honey gets hidden in a lot of drinks. Sometimes in cocktails as an ingredients (you can easily swap out simple syrup or something similar) or they are used in brewing beers. They are often found added to liquors, or more tricky- used as the main ingredient for fermentation for things like vodka or herbal liquors.

Milk

It seems kind of gross. I mean, if you are vegan for a long time that is. Milk is used in two ways- beer and liquors. In beer you have two main styles that use it- cream ales and milk stouts. Milk stouts are defined by their use of lactose sugars, but cream ale refers to the color of ale. But many companies like to add lactose to the brew, just like Forgotten Boardwalk‘s cream ale. Just quickly look at Barnivore to see if you are cleared to drink the cream ale.

Then you have cocktails and liquors. Clearly you can just sub cream or milk in a cocktail to a vegan cream or a vegan milk. But here is the tricky part about liquors. “Creme de…” doesn’t mean that liquor will have dairy! Back in the day, “creme de” was a way to describe a sweet liquor. The name came about because the liquor was so smooth from the sugar that is was creamy. Examples would be creme de violette and creme de menthe. That being said, cream is often used in liquors. The most well known one is Bailey’s, which they have released a vegan version to use. The easiest rule of thumb is if the drink is cloudy/opaque then it probably has cream/milk.

Bugs

Many vegans may already know about the cochineal bug, and how humans like to use them for red dyes. They are often found in liquors, especially amari.

There has been actual bugs tossed in booze. We all know about the worm at the bottom of a tequila bottle. Let me tell you, even if you aren’t vegan, don’t buy any bottles with worms on the bottom. It just add a little wormy flavor to it. There are some drinks with bees in them. There is a super rare liquor in Japan that has giant hornets in it, supposedly with medical benefits. And there is a practice of putting bees in mead while fermenting to add some tannins, but this is an old practice that isn’t really done anymore.

Eggs

Yes, another weirdo ingredient for booze. It makes sense, really. Alcohol keeps things preserved. Most animal products are easily perishable. Cocktails that use eggs like eggnog (and the many similar variations around the world) were made in the winter so it could sit and sit and sit and not spoil. Back in the olden days, you could easily find eggs in beer but no real specific styles came from it. People also use to drink beer with a raw egg cracked into it. There is also a liquor called Advocaat, which is made from eggs, it also shows up in The Shining!

But you see eggs mostly in cocktails. Yes, we mentioned winter egg drinks like eggnogs, but you mostly see them in as egg whites to create some bubbles. Many people are starting to use aquafaba to get those lovely foam going, heck I’ve even tried it out with my pink lady cocktail. It is easy to take out of a cocktail, but it won’t have the same texture.

Oysters

I have a confession. I really miss oysters in my booze. No I am not talking about those crazy bloody mary’s adorned by a whole salad bar. I am talking about Oyster Stouts. Yes, there is a beer made with oysters and I haven’t had a stout with the same salty-umami-ness. These are luckily- pretty easy to spot. They are usually advertised as such.

Again, cocktails love oysters. Or rather the juicy-brine. Be warey of cocktails that use clamato juice (mixed in beers, and bloody mary like drinks). Sometimes the simple brine is used, which just the other day my Mother was talking about a drink where it is just oyster brine and a liquor.

Beef Broth & Worcestershire Sauce

I hope I am not grossing you out. Truthfully I love savory cocktails, sadly there aren’t many VEGAN savory cocktails. Luckily beef broth isn’t super popular in cocktails. You probably won’t pass many bars that have it, just the super hipster ones.

Worcestershire sauce is MUCH more common. It is found in the classic Bloody Mary. What the heck is in Worcestershire Sauce that isn’t vegan? Anchovies. Bummer. But you can easily find vegan version of worcestershire sauce, and hell, a bloody mary will taste better when you make it at home than in a restaurant (they are almost always using a mix)

MEAT!

I’ve heard horror stories of vegans carefully asking about the bloody mary containing Worcestershire sauce, and end up with a worcestershire free bloody mary topped with strips of bacon. Ouch. But I am not talking about that. I am talking about MEAT IN YOUR BOOZE!

Okay don’t panic. You are 99.9% in the clear. I just know of two cases in modern booze making. Back in colonial America everything was tossed into beer, including meat. Mystic Brewery is testing old American recipes, which means they’ve tried some of those meaty recipes. If you ever visit, a quick mention of your veganism will help steer you clear of these brews. Then there is one mezcal brewery that uses a dead chicken while the mezcal ages. I mean, like a raw chicken sitting in the same room. So technically it is vegan since the chicken isn’t IN the mezcal. Needless to say both of these aren’t easy to find so you are pretty much good.

So what is the culprit in this drink? Well it is honey. I like using hard ginger ale because the liquor in the drink is amaretto, which is a fairly low ABV. But the most popular brands of hard ginger ale use honey.

The good news? Henry’s Hard Sodas are all vegan! The bad news? They are owned by Miller Coors. Womp womp. What can one do? If you don’t drink much, feel free to just use regular old ginger ale! 

As for amarettos, most are vegan. Use barnivore to double check, but I used Di Amore Amaretto. It gets decent ratings, and it is cheap as fuck. I think I paid $12-15 for a bottle, and the mainstream Disaranno is a much higher $25. Ratings are about the same. But it is vegan so if you have mucho cash- GO FOR IT!

Know of any other weirdo ingredients in your booze?

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Today’s prompt is “go to gadget,” and that would be my cocktail shaker! Okay it isn’t. But I sure love my shaker. It is so shiny and pretty, and despite reviews, I don’t have problems with leaking. It is a pretty big shaker, making it great for mixing drinks that go into high ball glasses, or mixing up several drinks at once.

But this drink I am sharing today I call the Cherry Cherry. I name it as such because it has cherries in it, and I like the song by the artist Chara. The cherry really is the star of this cocktail.

I had some sweet pickled cherries that my husband got me for Christmas. I LOVE them. They are much more acidic than traditional maraschino cherries, and much smaller. These cherries were bought from my local CSA, so it isn’t like I can just send you a link to buy them. But you can make your own pickled cherries, and it looks like Punk Domestics have many links to pickled cherry recipes. Need to buy some? That’s okay. You can use maraschino if you are in a jam. But these Woodford Reserve cherries look dreamy to me.

So what booze to buy? Most amarettos are vegan. I went with di Amore Amaretto. It is cheap and vegan. I used Kammer Obstler’s pear-apple eau de vie. I actually do not know if it is 100% vegan. If you are wondering eau de vie is a type of clear fruit wine, usually made from fruit other than grapes.

There aren’t many eau de vie listed on Barnivore, and it isn’t that common of a drink in the USA, you can use apple brandy or pear brandy (or a mix of both) if you are in a jam. I would recommend the peach brandy from KOVAL because it is vegan and the bottle is super pretty.

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Went to visit my Grandmother in Amityville Long Island. I walked in her retirement community and it has some pretty views.

I tried so hard to post this in September so it wouldn’t get in the way of Vegan MOFO, but man I am busy. On October 1st I helped Alexa move into her new apartment (yey!) Earlier I went to a concert (yey!) and this week I have to go to my parents to help my Mom after knee surgery. So… yeah. Sorry about the break from food but you know how things get.

Reading: I really wanted to read The Whole-Brain Child since I heard about it. I put it off for awhile because- you know- I didn’t have a kid. So I guess there was a pitfall of it being over hyped. The book isn’t bad, but it isn’t anything drastically new information. Overall it is nice to hear the suggested ways to handle situations, but there is a lot of fluff page fillers. 

Watching: TV shows are coming back again! Horray! So we are starting to watch the new seasons of This Is Us, Goldbergs, and Speechless. The Goldbergs are starting to loose some steam, I am just not finding it as funny more, but most comedies do that after 3-4 seasons anymore.

Jon and I watched the first season of The Magicians on Netflix. It is a really good series, but like all SyFy originals, it is really tacky in the beginning. The first episode should of been stretched into two (honestly) but after episode 4 I think you get sucked into the overall story arch. I also love how after many episodes they give help hotline numbers.

Can’t you see those abs forming?


Crafting: Our shop is looking a little sad. Alexa (as mentioned) moved so she hasn’t been able to work on our logo, and my Mother (as mentioned) had knee surgery. But leading up to the surgery, her legs were so bad that she couldn’t even use the sewing peddle. Yikes! But you can see the AWESOME QUILT we made. Also if you want, you can favorite our shop and items. No pressure though. ^__~

Otherwise I’ve been picking up my Gwar needle point again. I started it over and over again because I kept miss counting. Finally I started from the bottom of the “T” and got a rhythm going. I think I finally got the hang of it. Whoo!

Photo taken by my friend Justine- I mean look at those boys. So well dressed. I betcha their Mom is back stage to pinch their cheeks and say how proud she is of them… I mean I would.

Listening: I picked up two albums from my library- Stars’ The Five Ghosts and Regina Spektor’s Remember Us To Life. As always Regina Spektor is awesome, and gives something that is refreshing from the all too similar modern pop music (no hate on specifically modern pop music, but it is all too calculated and running out of new melodies that fit the formula) But The Five Ghosts was surprisingly good! It was not what I was expecting from the album cover, I was expecting something much more melancholy. But it is catchy and upbeat.

I also recently went to a Hanson concert. Yup, you read that right. I am not a HUGE Hanson fan. The were my first concert when I was little. My Aunt and Uncle got us tickets, and I remember sitting the whole time, and my Aunt telling us that we could stand (like all the other screaming girls) But I remember sitting in a spot where you had a really good view of the stage, so I didn’t get why I would need to stand, and I felt awkward in front of family lol. ANYWAYS- I think Hanson is a really fun band to see live. They played on time (WHAAAAT?!) and it was super upbeat and family friendly. In fact I think I saw a total of 10 kids- 10 more than I’ve ever seen at a concert. The only downside is that I got the feeling that 99% of the fans were people who never stopped listening to Hanson as a kid. So they were much more intense that I was. Hands down the best part of the show as Taylor! Duh! I mean he had a cute butt and TRI-and-BI-CEPS that could crush a watermelon.

Podcast: Gastropod I love you. You are the BEST podcast on food. Sadly, not vegan, but they always have great historical context, sound editing, and scientific backing. Their more recent episode on Marshmallow Fluff really inspired me to do more with it. Maybe pick up some Ricemallow or try making my own with some aquafaba.

Another case of me loving how diverse my state/area is. Hasidic Judaism was something I was always familiar with as a child. Sometimes we would see families walking to and from church. Sometimes we knew when traffic would be bad on certain holidays, etc. So it was interesting to hear The Longest Shortest Time’s recent episode about Shpitzle’s Secret. The episode is about a woman who grew up in a hasidic community, and how she fought her way out for her son.

some cute lil mushrooms growing in a tree

Garden: I dug up my one bush and finally put it towards the front of the house. But that is about it. My Mother in Law bought us some mums, and I placed them next next to our tombstone Halloween decor. Maybe I’ll get some tulip bulbs from my Mom to plant this fall for next year. *crosses fingers* maybe they’ll bloom?

CSA: Thinks have gone by so fast lately. My Mom hasn’t been able to watch Wolfie because of her knee, so I started to work Saturdays, which means I haven’t really been to my CSA to get the produce. But we are moving out of summer and into the fall foods. So I’ve been getting my last bits of tomatillos, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and raspberries. And we are getting more sweet potatoes, blue skinned potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin, garlic (cured aka dried), kale, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and onions again. It is nice to get more shelf stable good, and not have to panic to use all the produce by the end of the week. XD

Wolfie eats an upcoming chocolate cake

Other Eats: Cakes. Cakes. Cakes. I think my husband will divorce me soon. lol

Other Shares: I found this article about the nutritional content of plants very interesting. A quick TL:DR; is that the rising temperatures and CO2 levels are making plants produce less nutrients and protein, and more sugars. Naturally this isn’t an attack on veganism, because we don’t know what it means for meat and dairy (they have to eat the same plants as we do- duh) Just another thing to worry about with global warming (or to counter arguments saying that high CO2 is good for plants.)


Oh the vegan applesauce cake. You are such a staple to vegans everywhere. Just a quick search of the words vegan applesauce and cake comes up with so many pinterest pins. I’ve read about people in Europe complain about us damned American bakers who keep putting applesauce in our baked goods, and I remember reading in How It All Vegan that applesauce is a great way to replace eggs.

I was a little surprised to see how American this cake is. Applesauce has been put into cakes in the United States back in Colonial New England. But it wasn’t until the depression era that it became a popular ingredient. Now you may be thinking- “I know there are apples in cakes in Europe,” but they are often chopped apples, or layered in the cake. Folding in smashed up apples into a batter is pretty American. There is even a national applesauce cake day in the United States on June 6th. Side note today is national vodka and national taco day. That just seems like such a mistake waiting to happen.

So what about THIS recipe? Well, according to American Cakes, this cake was popular for many reasons. First there was World War I, then the depression, then World War II. Ouch. This particular recipe uses applesauce both as a fat replacement and an egg replacement. It felt like this cake could pop up on some super healthy “clean” food blog, but it is just really economical.

Oddly I have not used applesauce that often in baking. I guess mostly because I don’t really like eating applesauce. Sure I loved it as a kid, but not so much as an adult. Luckily I baked this cake twice so I used up most of the jar. The first time making it I thought it was too sweet. But after a day the sweetness mellows out. I baked it a second time with less sugar, and oil instead of margarine. I posted the recipe with the original amount of sugar but you can easily drop it to 3/4 cup of sugar if you like things not very sweet.

I took the second cake to my Grandmother’s who loved the cake. She also couldn’t get over the fact that you could bake without butter or eggs. I never fully understood why people say this, but I guess I always baked enough to know that not all recipes use butter or eggs. Then my Mother started to confuse my Grandma about how you can use shortening or lard in a recipe. Now she will make me a cake out of lard thinking it is vegan. But she asked for this recipe, and I will happily share. It right up her ally- insanely easy to make.

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Welcome to Vegan MOFO 2017! Yey! This year I’ve got this! lol nope, I don’t. I am crazy to think I can balance a baby and a blog post each day. But I love Vegan MOFO, so whatever. I’m going to try and make it work.

This year I decided to try and do a theme. Way back in March I wanted to try and bake cakes from my cookbook American Cakes. I thought I would do a cake a month or so… and I got only one done. In my defense I tried several different cakes, but haven’t found the perfect veganized version. Since it has taken me so long, I decided to make it be my theme for Vegan MOFO- Historical Vegnaized American Cakes! If you want to read more about my mission, check out the original post.

KIND-OF working with the weekly themes, this week is Changing Vegan Perceptions. So I thought I would pick recipes that are vegan to begin with or near vegan. Yes, vegan baking is historical. Who knew? There are actually quite a few recipes that needed little to no modifications in the book- enter the Wacky Cake.

There are lots of stories surrounding this cake. Some people say it came about from the depression since butter and eggs were so readily available. But it seems more likely it would of been made during World War II because of rations. But author Anne Byrn focuses on the popularity of this cake as an “emergency dessert.” 

This concept cracks me up, but is a very real social requirement of the 50s. You must be prepared to feed a guest at any moment! My boss talks about how guests would show up, and there was routine that the dinner portion would shave down just a little for everyone to make up for the extra table setting. Then his Mom would cook up some potatoes to make up for plate space. Since this recipe didn’t have any perishable items, it made it easy to whip up. Heck I made the whole cake and topping in one nap time (aka less than an hour)

The original recipe is suppose to be made in just the cake pan. You sift the flour, create little holes in the flour, and fill them with the liquids. Mix all together and bake. I found this to be a pain in the butt, and it didn’t mix all the way. So I just mixed it all together in my kitchen-aid mixer and got much better results.

At first I felt a little odd making this cake without making any modifications, but after a quick search- I found that this cake is ALL OVER THE PLACE. Heck, even when reading the recipe I thought “this looks like the recipe my Mother in Law made..” Yup- it was. She used the recipe from Mayim Bialik’s cookbook, she even makes it on Rachael Ray. So I felt a lot less weird about posting this recipe. I did try and keep the caramel topping in the book. I personally love it. I even tried to make it a little more “shelf stable” by using coconut oil instead of margarine. But you can use whatever frosting you want- or just some powder sugar.

And if you are wondering why it took me so long to post a recipe that I didn’t really alter? Well, it is because I kept not getting very good photos. First time making it, I didn’t bother with photos, for whatever the reason. Then the second time I made it for a party and someone cut tiny little squares and they just weren’t very photogenic. Then I made it again, which annoyed my husband (this isn’t his favorite cake) and I kind-of over cooked the caramel. *sigh* but I HAD to get the photos this time. So there you have it. Three cakes in total. Yikes.

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In my usual fashion- just like 14 days late. No biggie right?! XD Well, here’s what I’ve been up to in August. I’ll leave you with that so you can read before it is October XD

Reading: Finished Strong Female Protagonist, so I get to return it to Alexa WHEN SHE MOVES TO HER NEW APARTMENT! Very exciting. But focus on the book- it took a lot longer to read than most graphic novels. It is fairly text heavy, but the visuals are still very awesome. I don’t think the texts take away from the medium. I liked the idea of superheroes in the everyday world, and I love how internal conflict that Alison has with trying to “save the world forever.” You don’t need to be a super hero person to really dig this novel.

After finishing that, I went to the library and saw Emily Strange in the YA section. I had no idea that there was a comic series…. so long after her debut. I remember loving Emily Strange when I was a little tween (I mean look at that website- so dated!). So it has been interesting to read The Complete Emily the Strange: All Things Strange. It is interesting to see a personality bloom for Emily. I think I would of fallen in love with her even more if I had the comic when I was younger. What is most interesting is the style changes all the time. Some are stories, some are little “hyuk hyuk” jokes, some are little interviews, and some are just really cool art. Heck even the artistic style changes through the comic series. And naturally this is making me want to dye my hair black and cut some bangs again. I know I shouldn’t though. I never upkeep my bangs.

Watching: As always I am late to the game with what I am watching. Jon and I just finished up season two of Master of None. God I love that show. It never stops entertaining me, and really tries to push what a TV show can do with editing. It is also FINALLY getting Jon on board with Eric Wareheim. Jon HATES Tim and Eric and Tom Goes to the Mayor. I love the visual editing from them. Now Eric Wareheim is in something Jon can dig (read: a plotline) Side note- I saw Eric once in person! I didn’t say hi, mostly because I kept thinking “Why the fuck does this giant look so familiar?” He was at DiBruno Bros so he was probably buying cheese.

Jon and I started watching Key and Peele. It was on the short list of things I would like to watch, but I didn’t know how Jon would react. He randomly decided he wanted to watch it the other day, and we are in love.

A bandana bib from our new etsy shop

Crafting: Nothing new really. Well, my Mother and I are working hard on opening an Etsy shop filled with quilts and little sewn goods for babies. Right now I have a whole whopping ONE item in the shop. XD But we should soon have more.

Listening: For Jon’s birthday I tipped his parents off that he wanted a new record player for Christmas. But it didn’t work out because we had too many things we needed- mostly a new storm door. Turns out that it kind-of is a gift for me as well. XD I brought down all our old CDs and I’ve been jamming out to a lot of Judy and Mary and SE7EN. If they sound familiar, it might be because Judy and Mary sang the opening theme for Rurouni Kenshin and SE7EN debuted in the US with a single featuring Lil Kim.

Podcast: The Longest Shortest Time just released an episode on talking to kids about racism. Ugh. I thought it would be tough to explain veganism to Wolfie, now this? It is really interesting hearing how it is okay to be clumsy talking about racism as a white parent. They also talked about how kids notice these things very early on, so the race talk might be come much earlier than what I originally anticipated.

Garden: My pathetic garden always surprises me. The Spider Queen plants from last year went to seed and grew this year. Sadly, the bunnies kept nibbling them down, so I assumed they were toast. Not so! They bloomed! Though they were not as impressive as last year. XD I am hoping my boss will share some seeds for the plants that seemed to be bunny proof with me. It is possible that I might be growing tobacco next year.

CSA: Tons of green beans and tomatoes. So many tomatoes. Like stupid tons. Luckily the crockpot makes tomato sauce super easy anymore. Just cook for an insanely long time. Done! XD But this was the last week for tomatoes (probably) as we had a “take what you want” written on the you pick board. Tomatillos are back but so far I only took a quart and made my tomatillo tofu. Blackberries finally ended and raspberries are starting to come out.

I made some okra curry from Vegan Richa, and Wolfie gobbled it all up. We got a spaghetti squash (yey this season has been horrible for them) and made them into tacos with the tomatillo tofu. Lots of bell peppers and onions have been going on pizzas, some eggplant here and there, and one or two summer squashes. We’ve gotten a tiny yellow watermelon and two big red watermelon.

I’ve been boing and chopping up the beets for my smoothies. It’s been too hot to make any of the beet recipes that I like. T_T We got one head of lettuce for the summer, which to chopped, washed and ate asap because things freezing in the fridge is still and issue.

Other Eats: PUMPKIN BEER! Okay so that is a little bit of a September thing. I’ve been really happy with booze lately. Maybe that is a sign I am getting more sleep? We had a big family get together so I got to taste a few beers, cocktails, and champagne. I’ve been browsing local liquor stores seeing what they have and dreaming up new cocktail recipes… maybe? BTW if anyone tracks their beers via Untapped, follow me and Alexa! We love seeing what other people are drinking!

And in news of food, I did it- I signed up for Vegan MOFO 2017! I won’t be using their prompts. I’ll HOPEFULLY post more Veganized American Cakes, and cocktails. But Alexa might pop in with the prompts.

Other Shares: I’ve been thinking a lot again about body image. I wrote about how weird pregnancy is for the body, but post pregnancy brings up slightly different issues. And not that men don’t have issues with changing bodies, but I think women have more circumstances where their bodies have drastic changes. Anyways, all of this is leading up to Gina’s new post about Why She Got Her Breast Implants Out. She talks about why she got implants, why it made sense at the time, and why she got a little more plastic surgery done. It is a great read for anyone who had breast cancer or had a baby or both or none of the above. Clearly the post will have body image trigger warnings but also “clean eating”

I also feel like lately I’ve been handling bad news by ignoring it. It can be hard with a kid since you know that the stupid choices being made will effect him the most. So I am taking the time to point out Hurricane Harvey. If you have any money or time to offer, Offbeat Home gives a bunch of great links to food banks, diaper drives, and ways to volunteer your time.


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Yes, I have gotten quite bad at keeping up with Vegan MOFO, and this will be the last prompt that I will make a post for. I technically will be posting a review of How It All Vegan, which was suppose to be my favorite vegan cookbook. But this post was for the prompt “What was your first vegan meal?” Truthfully I probably had some vegan meals before I went “vegan.” I had spaghetti and tomato sauce plenty of times. But, when I first started my vegan journey in college, I remember making many meals from How It All Vegan and The Garden of Vegan.

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So this dish is from The Garden of Vegan, and it has been altered a lot over the years. My culinary skills have gotten better, and my pantry has gotten larger. But this use to be my impress a person type of dish. Back in the day I use to live on 16th and Webster in Philadelphia. It is funny seeing how much it has changed, at the time we had a rowhome that had no neighboring buildings. It looks like there are now buildings sitting next to it. I was about a mile away from my classes, and even further from a lot of the grocery stores. I needed a bike pretty badly.

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My roommate’s boyfriend was really into biking culture, and had a spare bike to give her. She had no intent of actually biking around, and the bike was much too tall for her. So like any college student, I chimed in if he was interested in giving me the bike…. for free. We struck a deal, he would give me the bike if I made him a vegan dish. He really couldn’t think of anything that didn’t have meat, cheese, or eggs in it. Naturally he loved the meal.

I still have my bike, though it is reaching the end of it’s usefulness. I hate biking in the suburbs because no one treats you properly on the roads. Plus we have a storage issue with the bikes, and I need to fix the wheel, which I am putting off. 

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As mentioned before, there has been lots of alterations with this dish. For starters, the pie cuts best when it has time to sit. In fact, these photos were taken the next day when the pie was really cold. You can also play around with all the veggies you pick for the inside, use whatever you have kicking around in your fridge and adjust cooking times. 

I also have altered the pie crust quite a lot. I remember taking the dough and just squishing it around to fill in any holes in the past. But as I make more pie crusts for desserts, I’ve learned a few tricks. Mostly upping the fat and adding some besan instead of all flour. Sadly, I didn’t chill the dough long enough and didn’t flour the surface enough, so the pie crust is a little… funky looking.

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