A Long-y but a Good-y

Guys.  Today’s post might get a little long.  I have two recipe reviews to share, a strange encounter (of the human kind), and other general ramblings and musings.

I’m going to jump right in with the recipe reviews!  Yay!

First Recipe Review:  Walnut Date Cookies

So, first up is a quick and easy walnut date cookie recipe that Poppy’s Patisserie shared yesterday.  I just about fell out of my chair when I saw it because I was craving something sweet, healthy-ish, and quick to make.  (Yay for instant gratification!)  The second I saw this recipe, I literally ran upstairs to the kitchen (from the office downstairs where I’ve been kickstarter campaigning) and made them.  YES.  Cookies fo’ life!

Here’s the link to Poppy’s post:

http://bunnykitchen.com/2013/09/23/fast-and-delicious-cookies/

And here’s the link to the original that includes the recipe for these tasty cookies:

http://kineticheart.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/fast-and-delicious-cookies/

Okay.  I *think* that takes care of any moral/ethical/legal issues with sharing & reviewing, right?  (If not, please let me know and I’ll fix it straight away, okay?)

Now for the photo!

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I’m going to give this recipe overall a solid 9.5 out of 10.  Extra points were awarded (in my opinion) for:

1.  The lack of white sugar & flour in the ingredient list (gluten-free, haaaay!)

2.  Ease to make (throw in a Quisenart, then bake).

3.  Limited ingredient list (that you are most likely to have in your pantry).

4.  Smelled GREAT while baking.

5.  Tasted GREAT while EATING.  Which, if you ask me, is THE most important little detail.  😉

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Chewy & melt-y are great qualities in a cookie, if you ask me!

Notes:  Now, I didn’t use medjool dates as the stores around here have been oddly OUT of them, so I’m not sure what kind I used.  I deducted 1/2 a point because the cookies were just a tad on the oily side and they could have been a little teensy tiny bit sweeter (my sweet tooth, I guess, is less of a tooth and more sized like a Mammoth tusk? ha!) but I’m think that perhaps the right kind of dates would make a difference here.  The only change I made was in the use of the chocolate chips.  The original recipe featured one lovely, large, chocolate chip, placed front and center on the cookies and I used a few small ones, just sprinkled on top.

I’m excited to use this recipe formula to make other nut + date cookie combos.  Next on my list will be to try this is almonds, as the original recipe creator, Kineticheart made mention of this in their post.

Overall, two thumbs up–great recipe, please try it!

Second Recipe Review – Buffalo Chickpea Mac ‘n’ Cheese

This recipe from a vegan blog I only just discovered called Vegan Yack Attack for Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Mac ‘n’ Cheese.  If you guessed that I discovered this recipe whilst trolling for something to make for dinner, you would be CORRECT!  Now, I’m going to tell you all that since going vegan, there have been a number of flavors/tastes I have been missing.  A good Mac N’ Cheese and buffalo sauced anything are on that list.  When I came across this recipe, it was like a little light went off; the angles trumpeted and the skies parted!  When I read the ingredient list I realized that this was something I could totally make, too!Here is the link to the original post:

http://veganyackattack.com/2013/09/19/buffalo-chickpea-mac-n-cheese/

I am going to tell you that I did make some modifications to this recipe.

1.  I made my own buffalo sauce as I didn’t have any.  Vegans beware, but the majority of buffalo sauce recipes I found had butter in them!  I never knew!

2.  I made my ranch recipe because it is easier and I can’t tell the difference between it and the non-vegan kind.

3.  I didn’t have any salad fixin’s (I had to hit the store and my fridge was running low!) so I made it without the lettuce.

4.  I used Daiya cheese shreds instead of “Cheddar Teese”.

PHOTO:

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I’m going to give this recipe a solid 9.5 out of 10.  I awarded it points for:

1.  Quick and easy to make.

2.  Even though my pantry and fridge was near empty, I had these ingredients, including the stuff to make the buffalo sauce!  Yay!

3.  Exciting and amazing flavor profile.  My taste buds were thrilled!

4.  Satisfying.  Totally satisfying.  The mac ‘n’ cheese was creamy and didn’t taste “vegan.”

5.  Felt great after eating this–if I had eaten a non-vegan version, I would have been lethargic and my tummy would have hurt.  No negative side effects after eating this, however!

I did deduct a half point here because it isn’t the healthiest thing in the world.  But honestly, if you can’t enjoy the food you eat, then what’s the point of cooking?  I especially loved the buffalo flavored roasted chickpeas with the hint of ranch on them.  They were crunchy and spicy and on their own would make a great snack. It is nice to be able to mix it up once in a while and make something that is a wee bit sinful, but still vegan!  Hey, I made cauliflower and broccoli to go with it, so that counts for something good, right?  😉  (Just ignore the vegan ranch I put on top of it!)

Overall, total recipe success on this one!  It is crave-worthy.  I’ll be making this again, soon!!

Notes:  Here is my vegan buffalo sauce recipe!

3 Tbs Vegan Butter

1/2 Cup Hot Sauce (I used Rooster Sauce aka Sriracha)

1/4 tsp Salt (taste to see if it needs)

1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp White Vinegar

Several shakes of onion powder and garlic powder

If you like it SPICY you can add chili powder, but I felt it didn’t need any more spice, so I left it out.

Directions:  Melt vegan butter together with rest of ingredients.  Apply lavishly over anything that needs it.  🙂

Human Encounter Story

Okay,  I *think* I may have already mentioned this, but I basically needed to go to the store, because if you haven’t caught on, I was dang near out of everything! lol

While at Trader Joe’s, a woman who I’ve never seen or met before leans over to me and says, “That’s a pretty skirt!”  I say, “Thank you!” and proceed to reach for some Medjool dates, and say, “Oh my gosh, they finally have these back!”  She looks at the dates, then says, “What ARE those?  I mean, no one likes how those things look, they are so strange.”  I proceed to tell her that I use them in baking, often times as a sugar replacement.  She looks puzzled, then starts to tell me that what she really needs is some really nice, ripe fruit.  Her man loves fruit and all he has at home is a can of peaches.  But the prices at Trader Joe’s were too expensive, she says.  I say, “Well, the strawberries look good…” She then starts to wanders off to go see, and I say encouragingly, “Well, good luck finding great fruit for your guy!”  She then looks over the row of grapefruit and says to me, “Do you know that Jesus loves you?” I say, without skipping a beat, “Yes, I do!  Thank you! Do you know he loves you?”  She says, “Yes, I know he does!  I feel it every day.”  I reply, “Good, I’m so glad!”  Only then do I notice she has crosses on her earrings.  She smiled, wandered on, and so did I, pursuing avocados.

I’m not religious.  At. All.  I’m not eve sure where my words came from.  They flowed, naturally, and I didn’t even think about it.  Honestly, I’m not sure what I find more surprising, her random shout out to Jesus, or my response.  I found the encounter to be so odd I had to share on here.

I really enjoyed doing the recipe reviews as I struggle to sometimes to create new recipes on my own.  So, I think this might become a standard part of the blog!  I have my eye on making some vegan Almond Joy truffles… I can feel my Mammoth tush sized sweet tooth getting activated!  🙂

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7 thoughts on “A Long-y but a Good-y

  1. Yum! Cookies look great, they look very moist! So glad I reblogged it at the perfect time for you to try them! Mac and cheese looks fab too! Thank you for linking back 😀

  2. Wow! I had no idea everyone would love the walnut date cookies so much! Thanks for the re-blogs! I’m glad I now have 2 more great blogs to watch! Stay tuned for my vegan trail mix cookies 🙂

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