Archive for the 'vegan' Category


a babycakes feature from the most reviled celeb blog in history


Today’s GOOP newsletter (what, you don’t subscribe? Then how are you nourishing the inner aspect?) from Gwyneth Paltrow features an interview with Erin McKenna, whose Babycakes bakery in NY–and soon LA–is all vegan. I haven’t tried their stuff, but they have a decent reputation. Anyone who’s trying to raise the bar on vegan treats is doing a good thing, because that bar is often too low to even limbo under. Plus, vegans can’t live on sorbet and cupcakes with grainy icing alone.

BTW, I thought it was interesting that McKenna looked at Julia Childs’ cookbooks for inspiration.

P.S.: Gwyneth, it doesn’t help win people over when you refer to your friend Billy Joel as William. Come back down to earth.


lemon-lime cake

vegan lemon-lime cake
purchased at curly’s luncheonette on the very lucky day of August 8, 2008.
the cake was a little dry, and not as packed with citrus zing as i would have liked, but the icing was top notch. buttery, yet vegan. HOW DO THEY DO THAT???


dessert tour: the bay area!

just got back from a week in the bay area, and i had a great dessert time!
here’s how it went down:
day #1, after a delicious vietnamese pho blowout, we stop at a nondescript place called “bud’s” so that people can get milkshakes. i walk in and discover FROYO! it was delicious – this was like tangysweet, for the dc readers, except cheap. this was the child-sized portion. don’t ask me how child-sized gets to be so huge. i couldn’t finish it all myself.
coconut corn cake
day #3, we stop for a late-night snack at au coqolet, a french diner in berkeley. i am intrigued by the corn and coconut cake on the menu. it is very, very thick. it is also not as moist as i would like it to be. i should have learned to just stay with desserts that sound good, not desserts that sound intriguing.
chocolate hazelnut raw cake
day #5, i have the best dessert of the trip – the raw chocolate hazelnut cake at cafe gratitude. yes, a raw organic vegan restaurant managed to kill on the bay area desserts. this cake was a little piece of heaven, and has made me crave creamy, mousse-y cakes ever since it crossed my lips. the dessert is officially called “i am bliss.” there was never a better description for anything i’ve eaten.
luscious chocolate cake at baghdad cafe in the castro
day #7, i had eaten a huge breakfast at rudy’s can’t fail cafe. so i wasn’t that hungry when we stopped into a cafe for some coffee before going to see TRON on the big screen. but boy oh boy, when you have a dessert named “luscious chocolate cake,” i’m going to have to try it. it was pretty luscious, i have to admit.
siphon coffee arrives! it's really strong
and while this picture of coffee isn’t dessert, i feel a need to link to it here because i was woefully delinquent in taking photos of what accompanied it – a fantastic waffle. we went to blue bottle coffeeto try out their siphon coffee made on a japanese machine. it was strong stuff, but the waffle that accompanied it was pitch perfect.

so that was my trip! i did have a few other desserts (great bubble milk tea, a yummy elephant ear) here and there, and a few other desserts that i missed out on (like the veggie treats at millennium), but i was overall pretty impressed. for a land where people are supposedly super healthy, there was certainly no shoddiness with the sweets.


Surabhi’s mom’s yummy oat squares

Mrs. Shah is known for her prowess in the kitchen, and this is one of the recipes she shared with me that I’ve road-tested. You can customize these oat sqaures by adding whatever you want (chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, etc.). I added mini chocolate chips and pine nuts to mine. But I recommend adding regular-size chocolate chips–the minis were ungratifyingly small.

BTW, if you don’t like the taste of molasses you can substitute honey, but I guess that would technically make them non-vegan.


Mrs. Shah’s oat squares:

2 teas baking powder

4 cups quick-cook rolled oats

1/2 cup (or slightly more) molasses or honey

1/2 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teas cinammon

1 teas ground ginger

optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips/nuts/seeds/dried fruit

Mix all ingredients together by hand right in the baking pan (saves on dishwashing!). Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until it starts bubbling. Let cool completely before cutting.


dc frozen yogurt tour

today, mimi and i went on a quest – a hot, sweaty quest – to settle a question which has recently arisen in the dc dessert community.

who makes the best frozen yogurt in dc? tangysweet or sweet green?

first, i had to start things off with a bit of vegan soft-serve at sticky fingers.
vegan soft serve
it was vanilla and rich and much denser than i expected. i only had a few spoonfuls, though, since i knew what type of gastronomical challenges were awaiting me later in the day.

mimi and i met up in georgetown, where we headed down m street to sweet green, assiduously dodging all the sweaty bodies in the crowds. ick ick ick. we were happy to finally get into the air-conditioned sweet green, a healthy fast-food joint that serves nothing but salads and frozen yogurt. we paid four dollars for a small serving plus three toppings, which were limited to berries and a few crunchy things. they were also disturbingly close to the crunchy toppings for the salad. i was a little concerned that an inattentive clerk might mix wasabi peas into my yogurt. we opted for a relatively healthy combo of blackberries, raspberries, and coconut:
sweet green
now, mimi had been talking up the way in which sweet green’s owners had apparently developed this unique yogurt formula, so i probably had much-too-high expectations for the taste. the problem? sweet green tastes like plain yogurt, except a little colder. i found myself wondering why i had paid $4 for a taste that I could get for 99 cents at the safeway. it got mildly better as we worked our way through the cup, but it was a letdown. the plus? sweet green’s seating is limited, but it’s located right across the street from the shady francis scott key park.

we then trekked through the unrelenting sun-drenched streets of dc to go to tangysweet, the latest froyo emporium to open in dc. the drawbacks? no place to sit down, and the place was super-crowded and filled with people i sort of know, but don’t want to see on weekends when i’m looking decidedly non-worklike. the plus? delicious yogurt. for $4.50, mimi and i got a generous serving of plain with three toppings.
she was craving the mango, but i wanted to partake of the ample cereal-based options at the store. i got fruit loops and raisin-laced granola. and yes, i know that mango and fruit loops don’t actually go together.
both of us were wowed by the flavor of the yogurt – it was sweeter and zingier than sweet green. mimi lamented the fact that she was likely going to spent the rest of the summer addicted to tangysweet, even though she lives just far enough away from it to make it unwalkable on a daily basis, especially when the deep humidity hits.

we’ve got some tips for some other froyo places, so keep checking back for more reviews…


I could be vegan for a day…


…if you promised to feed me this vegan tiramisu from Sticky Fingers. I don’t know where it gets its creamy flavor, but I will definitely go back for more. BTW the oozy goodness doesn’t really stand up on its own so I had to keep the plastic on for this photo.


Oscars party desserts


Ok, so Ann’s 13″ TV with iffy reception might not have been the ideal way to view the Oscars. But it didn’t matter, because we were plied with so many goodies that the Oscars were upstaged. Check out these cute vegan cupcakes and astronaut-friendly Tang pie.