Now I know you're probably expecting a nice, pretty birthday cake because of the title post, right? Well, my dad's never one to be hung up on tradition, so he asked me to make him red velvet cupcakes instead! His birthday was on Friday, but he had something to do that night with my brother, so we really celebrated on Saturday night. My aunt, uncle and their children came over along with one of my dad's friends and his kids for a barbecue, but the weather wasn't great so we sort of spent most of the evening inside....oh well, that's spring weather for ya! The only vegan dish for dinner was a fruit salad, so I just whipped up some black beans and quinoa myself (I forgot to take a picture of my plate, though). For the birthday desert, I made two dozen of the Crimson Velveteen Cupcakes from VCTOTW and frosted one half with the vegan cream cheese frosting (also from VCTOTW, of course!), which is what you see above. The other half was frosted with a non-vegan cream cheese frosting (meaning no picture since they're not vegan) since I know how much my dad loves one particular recipe, and he was the birthday boy after all! The cupcakes are super moist and the flavor is perfect. I'll admit, I wasn't sure how they would turn out because I had never worked with chocolate extract before, but I definitely suggest trying to find this ingredient when making these cupcakes- it makes them perfectly chocolaty! While the adults preferred the non-vegan frosting, the vegan frosting went over really well with the little kids and my little brother actually ate two cupcakes last night and had another one this morning- I think they past the test! Oh- and of course, my dad was very pleased with his birthday cake(s).
Just to throw in some more food I've been making, I finally tried the Penna Vodka from Vcon. My family liked it a lot, and I did as well, but I'm not sure it was worth the effort. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious- the spices were great and the sauce was just smooth enough from the almonds. I guess I just don't really miss vodka sauce as much as I thought I did. If you do want vodka sauce for your pasta, I suggest you try this recipe. Personally, I think I'll only be making this again if I want to make a fancier sauce.