Sunday, July 18, 2010

Long Time No Post

I know, I know- it's been too long. The end of the school year and this summer have been crazy (getting ready to fill out college applications in the fall!) so I really haven't been cooking or baking a whole lot. Plus, it's been a super hot summer (90 degrees most days) so spending time in the kitchen, unfortunately, doesn't sound too fun. Most of my meals have consisted of cereal, smoothies, fresh juices, or raw veggies and hummus, not that I'm complaining- I'm just eating whatever I feel like. I'll try to document a few of my more memorable meals later, but for now it's all about the cake!

A friend of mine was throwing a surprise party for another friend of ours and asked me to make a vegan gluten-free cake, so of course I was more than happy to do so :) I made a triple batch of the gluten free chocolate cupcake recipe from VCTOTW for two 8'' pans and a double batch of the fluffy vegan buttercream. The cake was by far my best yet. The cakes rose beautifully and were moist, but sturdy, the crumb coat stayed put, and I was able to frost the cake fairly smoothly. I wanted to do a few more decorations, but ran out of time and frosting. Not a big deal, though, because everyone loved the cake. I hadn't baked a cake in so long (probably because I don't want cakes hanging around my house all summer long) and this reminded me how much I love to bake and decorate cakes.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summers! While I probably won't be posting regularly, I will try to post again at least once or twice before the summer is over.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I'm going to keep this as short as possible since I'm exhausted and should be working on my US research paper. My mom, sister, and I went to NYC (the first time for all of us) over President's Day weekend and had a blast!!! It was pretty chilly (warmer than Chicago, though), but the city was so exciting and we were never bored. The food there is pretty awesome, too.

We didn't get up early enough to take the ferry over to Elis Island, but at least we got to see the Statue of Liberty from a distance.

We stayed in Times Square, which was cool during the day, but breath-taking at night. I slept surprisingly well with all of the honking outside our hotel room.

Friday night, we explored Times Square and one store that amazed me was this HUGE Toys R Us that was three stories and had a ferris wheel inside of it! I may be 17, but I still got super excited :)

I would have loved to see Central Park during the summer, but it was still pretty in the winter. Grey, but pretty. We, of course, had to see Strawberry Fields.

Saturday was my favorite day of the trip. After a long day of shopping all over Soho, we stopped by Candle Cafe on the way home so I could pick up dinner to eat before we all went out to a restaurant by our hotel where my mother and sister ate. I got the Ginger Miso Stir-Fry with a side of sauteed veggies with tahini sauce. While I couldn't get a good picture of my meal, the food was delicious and satisfying since I was exhausted from shopping! However, I must say that dessert was even better than dinner. One place I had to go to in NYC was Lula's Sweet Apothecary. I got a two scoop sundae (my first sundae in years) with coffee and chocolate fudge swirl ice cream and rainbow sprinkles. It was amazing and I would go back to NYC just for this ice cream. Gosh, it was good. My mom was so cute and loved the way the store looked and took tons of pictures of it.

Sunday, we saw the Lion King on Broadway, which was awesome even though my family and I saw it a few years ago in Chicago. We then went to a wonderful dinner at Blossom. Since they had a prix fix menu for Valentine's day, I wasn't able to try anything from their regular menu, but the meal was still delicious. For my appetizer I ordered the chestnut soup which was fantastic and I had to stop myself from finishing the huge bowl of it to save room for dinner. My entree was the pistachio-dusted tofu and I fell in love with it! There was some flavor in the sauce that was so great, I'm not sure what it was, but it was delicious. We each ordered a different dessert and, unfortunately, none of them were very good. Nothing was bad, but just disappointing.

This was such an amazing trip and I'm so thankful that I was able to visit NYC because I've been waiting to for a long time. Now I can't wait to go back!

Friday, January 1, 2010


Happy New Year, everyone! For me, this marks the official end to the holiday season and I'm glad to say that I survived and enjoyed it all! Christmas was great- got a ton of new clothes and CD's. We just had a small group of family members over and had a nice, quiet evening. For dinner, I made some ratatouille (loosely based off the same recipe used in this post) and a pumpkin swirl cheesecake for dessert (based off the recipe from Fat Free Vegan, but I used 1 1/2 times the ingredients for the filling, and less tofu and more vegan cream cheese) topped with candied pecans and it was a hit! My sis especially loved the cheesecake and the two of use finished it off in about three days :)

Hope 2010 is a great year for everyone and brings even more joy than 2009!