Currently viewing the tag: "theme"

I kind of caught World Cup fever. It was hard not to with television, newspapers, chalkboard signs at bars and men at the bagel store hyping the rivalries and sensationalizing the sensation. Heck, even the supermarket was prepared with soccer cupcake liners! They were the last piece of a cupcake plan that had taken shape a few weeks back when I learned I’d be attending a World Cup party. Ever-ready to ponce on a baking theme, this is what I came up with.

I wanted a variety of cupcake flavors symbolizing diversity. Halving VCTOTW‘s basic vanilla, basic chocolate and the graham base from the s’mores cupcake recipe, I had a golden yellow, a deep, rich brown, and a gorgeous black. 

As the cupcakes lined up for their icing, I organized their flags. The variety pack of little flags I picked up from N.Y. Cake, a baker’s heaven, had a mix of nations… all of whom were participating in the World Cup! England’s flag was not the official but the Union Jack flag. Oh well. What do you want for $2.59?

I also picked up some black food coloring gel, in the hopes of creating a soccer-ball pattern with pipings of that sweet, sweet vanilla buttercream. The black coloring, however, was more a metallic gun-metal grey… a color that spread and stained easily.

And they’re done! The World Cup-cakes.

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I often feel I was born in the wrong era. Though I have taken to the 00’s I suppose, I pine for old time aesthetics. I love the smack of a type writer, tintype photography, cloche hats, Ada Jones. From the satisfying scratch of a phonograph, to the grainy temperament of a Super-8, the past just seems richer and far more grand than today. Luckily this weekend’s Fall Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island, gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in the best of what has carried over through the decades. With era-appropriate digs a must, a group of us ferried over to the small secluded island for a vegan picnic back in time.

Here I am all dressed for the occasion.
My ride. Yeah, I wish.
Candy stripe dancers.
Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra. They ruled the school. We all had a crush on Michael Arenella by the end of the event.
So yes, I did mention we had ourselves a vegan picnic! Here’s the grub. Em made a totally scrumptious rasberry tofu cheesecake.
And a sun-dried tomato-almond spread. So yum on the fresh veggies she also hauled along.
Power-couple T&A brought delectable mini sandwiches: cucumber, mint and tofu cream cheese & chick(pea)en salad on whole wheat along with some amazing pickles.
I brought Karen Zucchini & chive muffins! They were quite good but lil Ms. Scatterbrain plain forgot to add the oil the recipe called for… so they were a bit on the dry side.
CandyPenny also brought some damn good potato-spinach knish-y type things I didn’t snap a picture of!
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Me and my vegan Twinkies… and stained spouse-sweeper, Confederate-inspired belt buckle and undersized jeans.
Plenty of cheap beer was a necessity. Here is an extra large “Danish Lager Beer”
Southern fried tofu from FoodSparrow with a veganaise aioli.
CandyPenny chomping on my Red Lobster bun
Tator tots and smart dog on picks! To the right, “real” pigs in a blanket: gasp!
CandyPenny‘s delicious Ambrosia! Vanilla pudding, Dandies, coconut and pineapples.
Not picture due to too many cheap beers:

Allison’s Beer Cheese Soup
Kris’s Ice Cream Cake trifle
French ladies’ Funfetti cupcakes
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Tapping into my inner low-brow for a White Trash Dinner extravaganza, I kicked up the zing on some vegan Twinkies by piping them with Southern Comfort-infused buttercream! My oh my, how I love me a themed dinner party. With friends busting out the denim cut-offs and mesh hats, crafting appropriate playlists and locating buckets for Southern fried tofu, I knew I had to step up my game. Barefoot in the kitchen, I replaced the vanilla extract with a couple of teaspoons of whiskey for some sweet grain euphoria.After the canoe pan ate my first attempt using VCTOTW‘s golden vanilla cake base, attempt number two used Jennifer of Vegan Lunch Box fame’s recipe. Jennifer is a food artist, to say the very least, and her recipe is more thorough than Maude Lebowski’s doctor.
Finally, the golden delicious cakes emerge from the pan in their entirety, save for a destroyed couple that needed immediate disposal in my mouth. With equal parts white flour and sugar, these cakes were way sweet.
After a few false starts, I was piping like a pro. Although I opted for only two cream entrance points, I was sure I was inflating them adequately…
…but it turns out I kind of skimped. But they are sure to be a crowd pleaser, I’m sure!

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CandyPenny is off to Japan for some roaming and vegan reporting! In light of this exciting adventure, friends and I bid farewell with a Asian-themed party.

I was excited to have a go at a Thai-inspired dessert for the occasion: sweet sticky rice! In fact, since my time in Thailand I had imagined turning the whole world on to the salty sweet pleasure of coconut-sweetened sticky rice.  Many a hungry day was spent perusing markets for kao nio ma muang (mango with sticky rice) and kow dom mat (sticky rice encased banana).  Obtaining ingredients here in the states required a bit of running around.  But after my experience in making kow dom mat from scratch in a rural Thai village, shredding coconuts barefoot on the kitchen floor, I was thankful for the convenience of canned coconut milk.

Sweet & sticky: mmmm.
1) Prepare the sticky rice:
You can buy “sticky rice” from an Asian market or gourmet grocer. Cover 1 cup of the rice with cold water and soak overnight. “This is very important!” I remember my guide at the Thai Farm Cooking School exclaiming. Afterwards, rinse the rice till the water runs clear. Then repeat the rinsing. Steam the rice in cheesecloth in a bamboo steamer for 25 minutes or so until rice is very soft.
2) Prepare sweetened coconut milk
While rice is steaming, pour a cup of coconut milk in a saucepan. Add 3 TB of sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. Turn on low heat and stir to a boil.
3) Combine coconut milk and cooked sticky rice
Add cooked rice into boiling coconut milk and mix well. Allow to cool. Do not refrigerate!
6) Add-ins
I cut up some ripe mango and banana to throw into the mix. So good. Finish your dessert off with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. 

Other delectables included: vegetarian duck from Lily Thai, soy bean and broccoli pilaf and cucumber and seaweed salad.

Farewell CandyPenny!!

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On the same eve the official New York Lebowski Fest was starting off, a group of motley misfits celebrated D.I.Y. style in Long Island City’s unsuspecting Maric Lanes. Far cheaper than the official fest’s bowling party in Times Square, sponsored, fittingly, by Kahlua, Maric gave us 5+ hours of bowling for the discounted rate of $10 per person.  And the bi-directional plastic seats surrounding the lanes offered all the right blockades for our smuggling in cases of Pabst and Budweiser. 

Despite the matriarchal trait of being exceptional bowlers, the magic has officially diluted in this daughter incarnation. But I love bowling! In between gutter balls there was plenty of opportunity to scream Walter quotes and mock Jesus buffing his ball. 
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Dr. Cow Macadamia Nut Cheese
Sunergia Soy Feta
Galaxy Rice singles cheddar & pepperjack quesadillas
PPK‘s Nacho Cheese Sauce
Teese Mozzarella (Chicago Soydairy)
Alexian Vegan Pate
➆ Cara Cucina Artichoke & Garlic cream

A wine & vegan cheese night has been on my list of things to do for quite some time. This past weekend I pulled it together with a table full of cheesy offerings to my guests. By far the Dr. Cow nut cheese was the hot topic, although my favorite was my homemade nacho dip from PPK. Fellow veganesses, CandyPenny & FoodSparrow, arrived with a cashew cheese ball (below) and a batch of peanut cookies to add tp the table while vegan powercouple S & L whipped up a cheezy fondue with some beer kick. Delish!

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