Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy Holidays and Exciting News!

The past couple weeks have been a whirl wind, so I haven't been on here except to quick post the peanut brittle recipe

It is hard to believe, but a couple weeks ago, I was bestowed with some very exciting news. Two of the recipes I submitted to the VegNews holiday cookie contest were in the group of top ten finalists! Winners were to be announced a week later.

On the day the results were promised, I neurotically checked for them more times than I care to admit. It was my husband who first saw the announcement.

I won the VegNews holiday cookie contest! Many happy dances later.........I calmed down enough to see for myself. 

All the recipes sounded absolutely amazing, I was so blown away to be chosen. It was an honor to be a finalist, let alone win. I wish they shared the rest of the finalist recipes as they all sound delicious! 

The winning recipe was my chocolate sugar cookies iced with crushed candy cane topping. Since the VegNews staff are sent all sorts of vegan treats to test, it made the win all the more sweet. 

Still pinching myself that I'll soon be whipping up treats with the Kitchen Aid stand mixer that I won. I've dreamed of having one, but t'was not in the family budget. Thank you, thank you VegNews!

 This momma can hardly wait for the next vegan bake sale to utilize this wonderful prize for a good cause other than making treats for the family.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Easy Microwave Peanut Brittle

My great aunt Doris gave me this recipe. She was near and dear to my heart. When she passed away this year, the world lost a kind and generous woman. Each time I make one of her recipes, I am transported back to my childhood and nostalgic memories.

If you were looking for a simple, easy to prepare dessert to give as a gift, you've found it. No candy thermometers required here. In just 15 minutes, you'll have peanut brittle cooling on a pan.

This is a recipe you need to prepare for in advance, and by that I mean: have all your ingredients, bowl, measuring spoons and cups at the ready.

You could easily mix this up and use different types of nuts with it. I've used pecan and cashews in it with great success.

Microwave Peanut Brittle

1 cup sugar
1/2 light corn syrup
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts
1 Tbsp. vegan "butter" (I use Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda

Combine sugar, corn syrup and salt in a 2 quart glass dish. Microwave ingredients covered with wax paper on high for 5 minutes. Stir in peanuts and microwave for 3 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from microwave using oven mitts and stir in vegan margarine, vanilla, and baking soda until foamy.

Immediately pour onto buttered baking sheet. Spread  1/4 inch thick with a spoon. Let is cool completely and break into pieces. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Third Annual Vegan Cookie Exchange

Each year just seems to get better and better. I love trying new recipes, as well as a few of the classics. This year did not fail to impress. 

Starting at the top going clockwise are: Cherry Cheesecake Cookies, Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls, Snickerdoodle Cinnamon Sugar Cookies, White Chocolate dipped Coconut Cranberry Pistachio Bars, Chocolate Powdered Sugar Coated Cookies, Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies, Almond Toffee Bars, and Chocolate Sugar Cookies Iced with Candy Cane Coating Topping. For a more closer view, feast your eyes below.

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

White Chocolate dipped Coconut Cranberry Pistachio Bars

Chocolate Powdered Sugar Coated Cookies

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Almond Toffee Bars

As I am writing this post, I am lamenting the fact that these are all long gone. Quickly devoured by my family, but as the holiday season continues on there will be more holiday goodies to feast upon. Until next year!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Snickerdoodle Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

My snickerdoodles were legendary at the office way back when I was working. If I sent out an email saying that I brought some into share, four dozen cookies disappeared within a couple hours. They are also often requested by family, and vanish just as rapidly.

It is an oldie but goody. I'm not quite sure what took me so long to share it. They are soft and chewy. Depending on how long they are baked, they also can be crunchy just around the edge. Exactly how I prefer my cookies. 

Be careful with the baking time on these. They do not get golden brown on the edges or they'll end up crunchy (unless that is your goal). Once out of the oven they need to cool and set, so have patience. You will be rewarded! 

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 sticks of Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
2 Ener-G egg equivalents
2 tsp. vanilla

Cookie Coating
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream margarine and sugars together. Next add egg equivalent, vanilla, and baking soda, then mix well. Last, add in flour and mix until well combined.

In a small bowl mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping. Pour it out onto a large plate and gently shake to spread an even mixture on the plate. Roll cookie dough into balls sized 1 inch in diameter (about the size of a ping pong ball). Roll the balls in coating until completely covered.

Place onto very lightly greased cookie sheet one inch apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the sides are set. Unlike most cookies you aren't baking until golden brown, as that will make them crunchy and not chewy.

Please allow 6-8 minutes to cool before lifting off of the cookie sheet with a spatula.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Iced Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

My inspiration for this recipe initially came from Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe Joes. I.cannot.stop.eating.them.

Chocolate, pepermint, and candy canes are a combination made for each other. I adapted my sugar cookie recipe from my Grandma that I veganized awhile back.

Chocolate cut-out sugar cookies are where it's at you have my word. I can always gauge a new recipe by how much dough my hubby continues to steal and gobble down. There was a lot of that going on this time.

Iced Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Peppermint Candy Cane Topping

3 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups margarine (I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
3 tsp baking powder
2 "eggs" using Ener-G Egg Replacer
1 Tbsp. coconut beverage (soy, almond, hemp, or rice work too)
2 tsp. vanilla

Peppermint Icing

1 ½ cups Powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. coconut beverage milk (or other milk alternative)
1 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

Candy Cane Topping

6 Small sized or 2 large candy canes crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the sugar and margarine (I recommend using a non-hydrogenated one). Mix together the Ener-G egg replacer with a whisk until creamy. Add it to the mixture, along with vanilla, baking powder, coconut milk and mix well.

Combine with the flour to make dough. Separate into 3 sections, and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or if you are in a rush about a half hour in the freezer. Roll out dough to 1/3 " thick and cut out shapes. Bake in oven 9-12 minutes or until edges are set. Transfer from pan to cooling rack until completely cooled.

In the meantime, mix together the icing. Whisk together peppermint extract, powdered sugar and coconut milk, alternately adding coconut milk and powdered sugar. Once desired consistency is reached you are ready to decorate your cookies. I shoot for a maple syrup type thickness when you pout the icing.

I recommend using a pastry brush to "paint" the icing onto the cookies. You can also add sprinkles or crushed candy cane pieces onto the cookies after icing, but need to do it immediately after icing a cookie before it starts to dry.
Crushed Candy Cane Topping:
The simplest way to do this is in a food processor/blender, but you can crush them with a rolling pin.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Green Bean Casserole

I must admit that green bean casserole did not grace my plate until I finally joined the grown-up club. Now I wouldn't pass it up. This is a fairly simple recipe, and it would be easy to add your own touch if you so desire.

Green Bean Casserole

4 cups of non-dairy cream of mushroom soup (I used Imagine Creamy Portobello Mushroom Soup)
2 lbs. harticort vert green beans
6 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional)
3 tbsp. corn starch
1 8 oz. can of fried onions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut or snap off ends of green beans and steam. While steaming green beans, sautee garlic in canola oil. Mix together with cream of mushroom soup, almonds, and corn starch.

Layer the green beans into a well sprayed 9 x 13 casserole dish. Sprinkle with fried onions. Bake 20 minutes, and then cover with foil. Bake another 30-40 minutes until the casserole is set (doesn't slosh too much in pan).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Squash Casserole

Since it was my first year cooking the majority of the meal, I needed to veganize my family's classic Thanksgiving recipes. One of my hubby's favorites is squash casserole. This one is topped with ritz crackers, but it has also been done with potato chips.

I love making recipes for vegans and people with allergies. While the recipe typically has dairy and eggs, this one is dairy-free, egg-free, and soy-free.

Squash Casserole

3 cups cooked and strained yellow squash
1 can of cream of corn or creamy butternut squash (equivalent of 2 cups)
2 cups grated soy-free cheese (I used Cheezly soy-free cheddar)
3 Tbsp. corn starch
1 medium onion sauteed
1.5 cups crushed crackers or potato chips (note: ritz crackers ARE NOT soy-free)
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. First steam the squash until well cooked. While it is steaming, chop and sautee the onion in oil. Next put steamed squash into a strainer and press excess water out. In a mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients (except cracker crumbs).

Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish liberally with oil. Add mixture from bowl and press into pan. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs or potato chips. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until golden, and then cover with foil for the remainder of baking time. Total bake time is 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven when set (ie doesn't slosh around in pan).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Another Very Vegan Thanksgiving

Our threshold was where our family gathered again this year for Thanksgiving. Now that my wee ones are getting older, I decided to take the majority of cooking on. 

This year I made tofurky, a field roast, squash casserole, maple roasted baby carrots, green bean casserole, roasted butternut squash, stuffing, homemade mashed potatoes, gravy, and pecan pie. 

My mom brought a sweet potato casserole, my mother-in-law fruit salad, and my sister cranberry sauce. Our family won't need to cook anything for the remainder of the weekend. Woohoo!

It must be noted that both of my parents went back for seconds on the tofurky.. That speaks volumes to their enjoying it. We tried it many years back and didn't care for it. Either it has been improved or our method was better this time, either way it'll be making a regular appearance now.

Tomorrow is my hubby's birthday, so we'll be picking up food from his favorite local restaurant Evergreen Chinese Restaurant. We're baking him a delicious cake tomorrow, and the kid's have a surprise for him. I'll also start getting recipes posted from our tasty holiday dinner. Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Seed Mania: Home Roasted Sunflower Seeds

I've started to feel like a furry little mouse preparing for the winter with all the seeds we've been roasting and noshing on around here. Maybe I was a little brown mouse in a former life.

My friend Melody was so kind to give us one of the mammoth sunflower seed heads she grew last summer. Seeds have already been set aside to grow some ourselves next year. I think the flower head ripe with seeds is beautiful in itself, don't you?

Things were crazy busy these past few month with starting work, mofo, and both kids starting school. Finally some time to soak and roast these!

Roasted Sunflower Seeds

3 cups of sunflower seeds
canola spray
salted water for soaking (1/2 cup salt per quart of water)

First you need to allow the seeds to properly dry out. I left ours out for a few weeks, to be sure they would be sufficiently dried out. They come out of the seed head much easier too.

Next I soaked them in salt water for 48 hours. I used 1/2 cup salt for a quart of water. The soaking for a longer period make the shells softer and easier to eat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly spray a baking sheet. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes.

Place them into an air tight container to enjoy for some time. Please note soaking them in the salt sufficiently flavors them and there is no need to salt again before roasting.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Well I still had leftover pumpkin in my fridge screaming to be made into something delicious. The kids decided it would be cookies. These are a bit more soft and cakey than the traditional style cookie. If you bake them until the edges are a little crunchy, the result is really nice.

I tried to make a swirled cookie version (see above), but need to play with the recipe more before sharing it. The swirled ones I tried were an epic fail. The pictured one is the single one that made it off the pan, due to the filling sticking to the pan.

Luckily, the cookie recipe itself was not! Once I get the swirl recipe worked out, I'll post it.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

1 and 1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
1 and 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 - 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (less is more subtle, and more a spice explosion)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
2 "egg" replacer equivalents

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit First cream together the sugars and margarine. Then add vanilla, spices, baking soda, and pumpkin, then mix well. Lastly, add the flour and combine. Please see below for swirl cookie directions, or continue for other kinds. Once mixed, spoon one Tbsp. onto the cookie sheet an inch and a half apart. Bake 10-13 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Easy Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Pecan Butter Whipped Creme Topping

If you've got house guests who you need to feed this upcoming holidays, here's a delicious recipe for breakfast. You won't spend all morning in the kitchen preparing it either. Bonus!

While both types of Bisquick are vegan, one has trans fats that our family avoids. The Heart Smart Bisquick is the type I recommend. It also makes some really tasty biscuits, which I plan to post.

Bisquick Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

2 1/2 cups Bisquick
1 3/4 cup almond milk
2 tsp. pumpkin spice mix
1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Whisk together all the ingredients until just combined. Turn on non-stick skillet or griddle to medium heat.

Once it is warm, pour batter into pan to create the size pancakes you prefer. They will start to bubble and look cooked around the edge when ready to flip. Cook on other side until golden brown. Remove and serve hot.

I REALLY recommend making Pecan Butter Whipped Creme Topping to put on the pancakes, but if you are pressed for time maple syrup will do just fine.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Easy Pumpkin Pie Bites with Pecan Butter Creme Topping

If you've been around on my blog awhile, it is clear I've got a bit of a sweet tooth. Even still, I like to come up with delicious treats which can be enjoyed without adding to that holiday weight surplus so many of us gain.

These little two bite goodies are just the thing to get a sweet shot without going overboard. They are pretty easy to make with a food processor, but should work well in a blender as well.

Whipped Pecan Butter Creme Topping
1 package of vegan whipped cream (I used Soyatoo Whipped Topping)
1/2 cup pecan butter

First add whipped topping into a mixing bowl or blender/food processor and whip until thick and creamy. Next add the pecan butter and cream for 5 minutes. Place the pecan creme into the fridge to set overnight.

Pumpkin Pie Bites or Mini Pumpkin Pies
2 packages of mini phyllo shells or 6 mini pie shells or make your own
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup silken tofu
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine pumpkin puree, silken tofu, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar in mixing bowl/blender/food processor. Mix until creamy and smooth.

Put mini fillo shells or mini pie crusts onto cookie sheet spaced so they are not touching. Spoon one tablespoon (or until almost full) into shells. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until edges are golden brown and pie is set for fillo shells or 18-20 minutes for mini pie crusts.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Place whipped pecan topping into a piping bag and swirl a layer onto the pumpkin bites or mini pies. Add a small pecan for garnish. For the pecan bites I broke then pecans in half for garnish.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Roasted Spiced Sugar Pumpkin Seeds

You can never go wrong with simply roasting pumpkin seeds lightly oiled and salted. This time I wanted to take a sweet version for a spin, and oh, how sweet it was!

If you are looking for perfect blend of sweet and savoury, this should hit the spot.

Since you don't always know how much you'll get for a pumpkin seeds, I provided the amount needed for each 1/2 cup of seeds. For example, if you have 1 1/2 cups, you should triple the recipe.

Spiced Sugared Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp. Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1Tbsp. natural sugar (larger sugar crystals)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Thoroughly wash off pumpkin seeds in colander, and allow to air dry or pat dry. Melt margarine in microwave, and then toss the seeds to coat them with it.

Spread out evenly on a cookie sheet, then sprinkle spiced sugar over the seeds. Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes or until they are crunchy and start to turn golden brown.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin and Cat Halloween Cake Pops

Recently I heard a rumor about preparing "accidentally" vegan cake mixes using pumpkin puree in lieu of oil and eggs. Since it sounded interesting, I gave it a whirl. It worked pretty well, and I decided to make Halloween cake pops using the cake.

It was an extremely moist cake and the result is rather tasty and fun to decorate. Next time I would probably make the crazy cake recipe for cake pops and save the pumpkin recipe for cake or cupcakes. My sister came over and we came up with a couple design ideas and below is the result.

Pretty cute huh?

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Pops

1 package of vegan chocolate cake mix
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
amount of water called for in recipe
 3/4 to 1 1/4 cup chocolate frosting (see below for recipe) or use vegan Duncan Hines Chocolate Frosting

Preheat oven to recommended temperature on box. I used the Duncan Hines Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix. Combine water and can of pumpkin puree to cake mix. Follow instructions on box for preparation.

Once baked, allow to cool and flip cake into a mixing bowl. Break apart cake into crumbs, and add chocolate frosting (see recipe below). Mix until it looks like the picture below. Start with less frosting first since you can't go back once it is added.

Roll it into balls, and add paper sticks. Place in freezer for 3-4 hours. Start to prepare the chocolate coating (see instructions below), add the ears onto the cake pop by dabbing a bit of melted chocolate onto a chocolate chip to make the ears stick. Put them back into the freezer until you are ready to coat them.

It is important to lay out your decorating materials before starting the coating, because the chocolate will dry pretty quickly. Once ready, roll pop in melted chocolate, decorate, and stick into a Styrofoam base to allow it to harden.

Chocolate Coating 

1 package of E. Guittard semi-sweet wafers
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance
1 Tbsp. Coconut oil

Melting the chocolate, margarine, and coconut oil in a double broiler. You could experiment and probably eliminate the margarine by adjusting the amount of coconut oil.

Here is the chocolate I used, which I found at Williams Sonoma:

Chocolate Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 - 1/3 cup coconut milk beverage
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup powdered cocoa

First cream together the shortening and margarine, and then add in the vanilla and cocoa powder. Next add the powdered sugar and coconut milk by alternating between the two and mixing in between additions. Do this until it is all added.

Then beat the frosting for 10 minutes, it will give it the light fluffiness. Don't skimp on the time, trust me on this one. If it doesn't seem creamy enough after everything is added, you can put in a little extra coconut milk beverage.

Happy Halloween!

In the meantime, don't forget to go enter the giveaway this week for a chance to win vegan butterscotch chips or a copy of The 30 Day Vegan Challenge.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Liebster Awards: Feeling the Love

Liebster Award!

What? Huh? I tried to track down the origin of this Liebster Award, but alas tired quickly. It appears to be the blog form of a "chain letter." Regardless, I think it is an excellent opportunity to share my new favorite blogs.

Thanks to Dawn from VeganAm and Kelly fromThree and a Half Vegans for each awarding me a Liebster award. It really made my day to have that acknowledgement! Below is the spiel that is circulating about it.

“Liebster” is German and means ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’ but it can also mean ‘favorite’. The idea behind this award is to bring attention to bloggers who have less than 200 followers and show your support during Vegan Mofo!

The rules of winning this award are as follows:
1. Show your thanks to those who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal 5 of your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Enjoy the love and support of some wonderful people on the www!

My top five new blogs I've been so lucky to find, thanks to Vegan Mofo are:

How about you? Have any new favorites?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pecan Butter Truffle Pumpkins

Lately I can't seem to get enough pecan butter, so these delectable chocolate confections were born. It is coated in white chocolate colored orange. Since pecan butter has a thinner consistency, it was necessary to freeze them to keep the filling from melting into the chocolate.

The recipe still requires a little tweaking, but they are definitely worth making. Once I get it perfected, I'll post the revisions. I wish these weren't still in my kitchen tempting me to snack way too late at night.

Pecan Butter Truffles "Pumpkins"

1 bag of vegan white chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. canola oil
orange food coloring

1 cup pecan butter
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker or cookie crumbs
1/4 cup softened Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
2-3 cups powdered sugar

In mix together the pecan butter, graham cracker/cookie crumbs, softened margarine (not melted), and powdered sugar. Start with 2 cups of powdered sugar and add more if it is hard to roll into balls. I made it in the food processor, but you don't need to. Roll into balls and store in freezer overnight.

Prepare coating by melting white chocolate chips in a double broiler. Add in the food coloring and oil to thin out the chocolate. You could try using margarine too. Once chocolate is melted, remove pecan balls from the freezer and roll in chocolate until coated well. Place them on wax paper to harden. Add a pretzel rod split into  thirds for the pumpkin stem.

Vegan Camping!

Recently we took the plunge and went on our first family camping trip. In order to test the waters, we stuck close to home in case the whole thing blew up in our face. Luckily it didn't and fun was had by all.

Any vegan camping trip would not be complete without veggie dogs and roasted veggies. As evidenced by the photo above and below, they REALLY enjoyed roasting the veggie dogs. To prevent them from blistering, lightly spray with canola oil before roasting. We used baskets to roast the veggies, and it worked best when they were wrapped in foil.

You can see my son eating his without a bun, and man does he ever have a tight grip on it. This vegan kiddo loves himself a veggie dog.

While on our trip we made scrumptious vegan s'mores. We even bastardized them a bit, by using candy  bars on a couple instead of chocolate. Unfortunately, they didn't last long enough to photograph, but I made some s'mores with peanut butter cups at home later.

We couldn't leave our "dooger" Polly behind, our affectionate nickname for the sweetest Beagle in the whole wide world. She loved being outside and snuggling up in the tent.

If we didn't have little kids, I probably would've tried a more challenging breakfast, but for our first time bagels worked quite nicely.

All in all, we had a super time, and the kids are already asking to go again. Mission camping with two small children was a success!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vegan Vegkins Halloween Party Part Deux

The second annual vegan Vegkins Halloween party was a success. Twin cities represent! To keep it simple for food, we did a potluck again. I can't think of a more perfect way to learn new family friendly recipes, than having parents make their favorites at a potluck. If you are looking for other party ideas, check out my previous posts on Easy Vegan Halloween Food, White Chocolate Ghosts, and Homemade Halloween Candy.

There were a few Halloween themed goodies I just have to share with you. The first was a mom's first time baking vegan, and boy did it turn out delicious and festive! She told me that the recipe came from Veg News, which was linked up to Chef Chloe's recipe for Witches Fingers, you know the one that won Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. Yep, a vegan cupcake took the cake so to speak!

The next thematic dish was spaghetti worms with veggie meat eyeballs. Not only was it eye-catching (get it, eye catching), but it was a festive dish for our event. This was made by Betsy, who also shared her technique for peanut butter blossoms. She has some mad talent!

Not only did she make the kid-friendly spaghetti dish, she also carved this awesome brain watermelon. It looked fabulous!

I could go on and on about the other food, but lets get on to the fun had all around, with a craft, games, and a costume contest. Here is Anna from These Little Piggies have Tofu working on a Halloween mobile.

Between meal time and games, the kids all created a kid "mosh pit" type of game inside at folded up gymnastic floor mat. Kids really can have fun with just about anything!

Al and his wife Jen from These Little Piggies Had Tofu, planned the games for the party. They did not disappoint! The first was a musical shapes game. The kid's danced to music, when it stopped they needed to find an animal to stand on. Everyone played until they all had a chance to win.

The kid's loved Pin the Tail on the Cat, and some wanted multiple turns. Look how cute the kitty cat blind fold glasses were for the game!

At the end, we announced winners of the costume contest and then everyone got a treat bag full of vegan goodies to take home.

Do you attend or throw a vegan Halloween party for your kiddos? If not, you can always start up your own group. A fine place to start is online. There are vegan meet up groups all over the country on there, a perfect place to meet other parents. Our group is linked in with the Animal Rights Coalition, which send prospective families our way as well. Happy Party Planning

Don't forget to enter the contest to win either some butterscotch chips or a copy of 30 Day Vegan Challenge.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vegan Mofo Giveaway Number 4: 30 Day Vegan Challenge, Butterscotch Chips

For newbie vegans or those of you are interested in trying it out, The 30 Day Vegan Challenge, is the perfect book. If you haven't looked out any of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's books, please do. I use The Joy of Vegan Baking frequently. The gingerbread scones are my favorite holiday treat. For a chance to win this book, or some delicious butterscotch chips from Vegan Essentials, please see details below. 

The two winners will be chosen next Saturday, October the 29th. One for the 30 Day Vegan Challenge and one for butterscotch chips.

The winners are: Kala (Vegan Craftastic) won butterscotch chips and Ashley F. won a copy of 30 Day Vegan Challenge. Congratulations!

Here is how you enter:

1) First subscribe to my blog. If you are already a follower, skip to step 2
2) Write in the comments what you would make with vegan butterscotch chips
3) For extra entries into the contest, like Growing Up Veg on FB, follow me on tumblr (, and twitter (@Vegan_Momma).
4) You can get an extra entry for tweeting or reblogging this contest too!

Please note shipping to domestic addressees only.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Easy Vegan Halloween Party Food

Halloween themed food need not be complicated. As parents of young children, it is more of a challenge to get things done while trying to keep an eye on your kids. Some of these options are fun for them to help out preparing, which is a double win - getting stuff done and the kids are involved.

Above is a simple plate with crackers and pumpkin cheese using your favorite vegan cheese. The other crackers have cream cheese on them with veggie ham bats. The kids liked to help cut out the shapes, as well as eating the scraps.

These are Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting, hands down my favorite Halloween treat. If you want to use a boxed cake mix, follow the instructions on the mix substituting 1/3 apple sauce for each egg, and add a Tablespoon of vinegar. I've done that with a Duncan Hines spice cake, and it worked perfectly.

Not into spice cake (really?) or maybe you just prefer chocolate. You really can't go wrong with chocolate, can't argue with that. Make some owl cupcakes using vegan creme filled cookies for the owl eyes, a runt for beaks, and chocolate chops for pupils.

If you'd rather use a pre-made mix to save time, I've got instructions on how to veganize this Pumpkin Spice Cookie Mix. You could try rolling them out and cutting them into shapes.

These white chocolate ghost pops are a cute treat to serve. If you need help getting started with home candy making, check out my post on homemade Halloween chocolates.

Don't feel like baking? Trader Joe's Halloween Joes Joes have got you covered. They are chocolate pumpkin cookies with vanilla creme filling. There are a variety of pumpkin faces, which are really cute.

I hope this helps get your party rocking. More Halloween themed posts coming up too!

In the meantime, don't forget to go enter the giveaway this week for a chance to win Go Max Go candy bars or a copy of Appetite for Reduction.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds

I always love this time of year, particularly for the squash and pumpkin dishes. Roasted butternut squash is a household favorite with second, third, and forth helpings requested.

Wait don't throw those seeds away! Oh my, these are so nummy! There were a couple squabbles over this treat, since there aren't as many seeds as a good size pumpkin would have inside it.

They are so divine just roasted in the oven until golden brown. All you need to do is: lightly spray a pan, spread out rinsed seeds on pan, lightly spray tops with oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast in oven on 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 7-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, as they cook faster than pumpkin seeds.

It would make a tasty treat for a small Halloween party, but if there are a lot of people coming they'll disappear too fast for everyone to get some. Enjoy!