Browsing Tag


Hosting A Vegetarian Thanksgiving

November 21, 2013
(Although I wish this was my own feast that I was muchin’ down on, it is not. As a change of pace on VV, I’ve borrowed most of the photos in this post so please click on the images to check out more beautiful photos from the original authors)


I’m a total planner. Anytime my boyfriend mentions he’d like to go on a trip somewhere, I’ll have a full day by day itinerary wrote up and emailed to him by the following evening. He usually has forgot he even mentioned anything by the time he receives the email but I know he has to smirk a little in that moment he opens it to find days (usually by the hour) planned out with restaurants, museums, sights, road stops, forests, and campsites. At least, I know I smirk a little when I re-read those emails. I don’t realize I’m doing it but I’m being exactly like my father in those moments. He would take us all (my brother, my three cousins who lived with us, and my step-mother) on a two week vacation every August when I was growing up. For the months leading up to it, he would pull out the atlas after dinner and compare tourist books (this was before the internet was a real big thing) to what was along the route. I remember how playful he always was in those planning moments and he’d tease me with comments like ‘should we go gambling in Vegas or take that 7 mile hike all uphill to see the rock that resembles a monkey head?’ (as if either of those things were appealing to a 10 year old).

Most of these trips I plan are just ideas – tucked away in email folders – never to actually be carried out. Sometimes I wonder if I have more fun planning adventures then actually taking them. There is just something comforting about these plans being there – comforting in the sense that if we did ever decide to sneak away to the Smoky Mountains or Lake Powell or Montreal at the last second, we wouldn’t miss a thing because I’ve got an itinerary for that!

Anyhow, I bring this story up because I planned out Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is sort of like a trip – you spend months planning and prepping only to have it carried out in one big meal. The funny thing is I’m not even hosting Thanksgiving this year. We always have Thanksgiving at my parent’s house up north and all I do is pick out a few recipes to make the day of and demand a Tofurky. However, even though I’m not hosting Thanksgiving, I still made a Thanksgiving menu. You know, just in case I ever feel like throwing a Thanksgiving dinner on a non-Thanksgiving holiday or something? Okay, that sounded crazy. I just mean that I did it because I enjoy planning. Planning can be a hobby, right?

So, to get to the point, if you are looking to host a Vegetarian Thanksgiving this year or just still need a few ideas on some sides, here is how I envision the perfect Vegetarian Thanksgiving:

Continue Reading…

DIY Delicious: DIY Buttermilk /// Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

May 22, 2012

This was originally posted on this morning. It’s a new blog that my good friend, Kristin, and I are collaborating on. Don’t worry – I’m not cheating on you, VV. It’s just a new outlet for me to express my thoughts on things outside of food…like DIY projects, shopping lists, decor suggestions, etc.

It’s still very new and in the experimental stage (we still don’t even have a bio made yet!) but feel free to go check it out if you have a few minutes!



Oddly enough, I’ve been using this trick for years for vegan baking but never really caught onto what I was actually doing. My introduction to vegan baking was in high school when I picked up Isa’s Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. Almost all of the cupcake recipes start with mixing a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a cup of almond milk and end with amazingly moist, flavorful cupcakes.

Anyhow, I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve bought the smallest possible carton of buttermilk, used half a cup, and then let it go bad in my fridge swearing to myself, I’ll use it up next time. It’s just one of those staples that I never go through in my house (and I bet a lot of you are the same way).

This led me to research about buttermilk substitutes…and discover great news from it! You can actually make buttermilk with 2 simple pantry (fridge) staples in less than 10 minutes! Wah? I almost feel upset about discovering this because of all the times I’ve wasted soooo. much. buttermilk.

Here’s how it goes:

DIY Buttermillk

  • 1 cup of milk (any kind you like – whole will give you a closer texture but use soy if you like it vegan!)
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar

Mix together in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes [this will cause the milk to "curdle"]. Mix into all your favorite buttermilk recipes and that’s it!

And…by favorite…I mean recipes like the following:

Perfect to 2

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • dash of vanilla
  • 1 cup flour (+ more if the batter is too runny)
  • `1/2 cup oats
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • Sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup

Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl and mix together. In a large bowl, add in all the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet into it. Fold the dry into the wet until a thick batter forms. If the batter is too thin for your liking, add a bit more flour.

In a large skillet, melt a dollop of butter or oil over medium heat. Use a 1/2 cup measure as a scooper. Scoop batter onto the skillet and put two to three pancakes on at a time. Cook for two to three minutes on each side (will depend on how hot your skillet is). Repeat with the rest of the batter.

In a small saucepan, place the pecans and saute for 5 minutes on low. Next, add in 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup. Cook on low until all the syrup has stuck to the pecans.

Enjoy the pancakes lathered with maple pecans, sliced strawberries, butter, and lots of maple syrup!

Eat while sipping on your favorite coffee and watching some morning cartoon classics.

Oatmeal Honey Buttermilk Bread

April 1, 2012

I realize a lot of you already know this but I live in a house of five girls but what you don’t know is that really translates to 6 girls, 2 boys, and a dog if you count all the baggage that comes along with college ladies (boyfriends, siblings, animals, etc). Anyways, my point is there is always SOMEONE around which is fantastic because I love the company but baking is one of my stress reliever and every once in a while I just want to bake in peace. Luckily, Saturday was one of those days where I took the kitchen all to myself. I woke up extra early because I knew that would give me time with two of my roommates being late sleepers, one being in Chicago, another in New York checking out Cornell for the fall, and my boyfriend at work. It was wonderful to just be able to put a vinyl on and go to work.

I love my breadmaker because it gives me the ability to just throw everything in the machine and come back at lunch to fresh bread for sandwiches but making it by hand is so simple and satisfying when you have the time. I realize it seems daunting thinking you have to plan for 3 hours to make this bread but really there is about 20 to 30 minutes of hands on time so when you are busy around the house anyways, letting it rise for an hour by itself is not a big deal. Anyhow, this bread is delicious and anyone who appreciates fresh bread with their sandwiches, I highly suggest making this recipe!

The recipe makes two 8×9 loaves of bread but since I only had one pan I made one loaf and 4 big sandwich rolls (yum!). The bread turned out super moist (still just as moist today – the day after!) and very hearty with the ever-so slightly hint of sweet from the honey.

Oatmeal Honey Buttermilk Bread

adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride
  • 1 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 Tbsp + 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt

Combine 1 cup of oats and hot water in a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes or until the oats absorbs the water up.

In the bowl of your mixer, add in 1 tbsp of honey with 1/4 cup warm water and sprinkle the yeast on top; let sit for 5 minutes so the yeast can react to the water.

Next, add in the soaked oats, buttermilk, oil, 2 tbsp honey, oil, whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, and salt. Turn the mixer (with the bread hook) on low until everything is combined and then turn up to medium for 10 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap for one hour or until it doubles in size.

Wait, go play with your puppy, do some dancing to David Bowie, wait.

Tuco helping me bake

Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about five minutes to get the air bubbles out of it. Divide the dough in half and place in two oiled pans (or form into circles if you’re making rolls). Mix the remaining tsp of honey with 1 tsp of very hot water and brush on top of the loaves. Sprinkle the remaining oats on top.

Let sit for about 30 minutes to let it rise a bit more.

Preheat oven to 375. Cook the loaves for 20 to 25 minutes and the buns for 15 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy hot with butter or make sandwiches like I did below!

wishing I had some avocado

Corn Pancakes

December 30, 2011

As a stocking stuffer, I received a GIANT tub of Michigan maple syrup which, could not have come at a better time with my two week vacation following the holidays. I love maple syrup because it’s used in a lot of vegan cooking but of course, it’s also great with breakfast. So this maple syrup has inspired many of my recent breakfasts.

And I came across this idea of corn pancakes because I recently saw some polenta pancakes on the Food Network (I Know, TV is lame but sometime it’s a good distraction from homework). Anyways, this led me to search out polenta pancake ideas and I came across lots of corn pancakes (to be specific, this recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen). At first, I was weirded out by the idea of making corn patties and then lathering them in maple syrup but damn. I am converted. The salt and sweet combination gets me every time.

Corn Pancakes

  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  •  1 cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup  cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, divided

First, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the corn for about 5 minutes or until it begins to slightly brown. Set corn aside and season with 1/8 teaspoon salt.  Reuse the skillet in a bit for the pancakes.

Mix the egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract, corn and sugar in bowl. In another large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and baking soda. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly add the wet ingredients to the batter. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until everything is well incorporated.

Reheat that skillet over medium heat and grease the pan with butter. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to spoon the batter onto the skillet. Let them cook until bubbles form on top of the batter (about two to three minutes) and then flip on the other side for a minute or two. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Lather with additional dollops of butter and loads of maple syrup.

Get back into bed and munch down while enjoying a big mug of french press coffee and enjoying rerun episode of ‘Unsolved Mysteries’.