Have Yourself a Merry Little Friday!

Happy Friday to you!!

Recipe review time!  I’ve been good and posted up some pretty decent vegan recipes, and now it is time to try out a recipe from someone else!  I found a great little recipe on ohladycakes and just had to try it out.  It is for pumpkin cinnamon roll cookies.  Autumn inspired baking?  I’m IN!


There’s the link that will take you to the original recipe. 


And this is an example of the final product!  Little yummy tasty nom-noms if you ask me!

I ended up cutting the recipe in half because I just don’t trust myself.  I’d eat the whole batch if it turned out half-way decent.  And let me tell you–they were amazing!  So I’m very glad I don’t have a ton of these little guys sitting around, staring me in the face all weekend, saying “eat me! eat me! eat me!”  ….heh. 

More photos:


The cookie dough was easy to make and easy to work with.  Plus!


It rolled out and rolled up like a champ!


Once chilled, it sliced up like a boss.  Not crumbly, not too sticky…just perfect!


Waiting to go into the oven!  Look at how lovely.  🙂  I trimmed off the uneven edges and had a little taste of the raw cookie–super yum.  I was pretty excited to see how they would bake up!


They baked like a boss, too.  The house smelled great and I was literally dancing around the kitchen watching them.  Yes, I like my sweets.  🙂


Oh wait, you get glaze? Um, yes please! 


Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh!  …YES. 

This recipe gets high marks for:

1.  Easy.  This recipe, given it has a couple of steps, was still pretty easy.

2.  Taste.  Like heaven! 

3.  Cuteness.  I made my cookies small, about 2 inches by 2 inches.  Easy to pop in your mouth!

4.  Looks impressive.  No joke. 

5.  Originality of recipe.  Pumpkin + cinnamon roll + cookie?  Uh, that’s AWESOME. 

I don’t really think I’d change anything about this recipe.  They could, perhaps be a tad sweeter, but that could mean I just need a wink more glaze.  Uh, more glaze?  Ha, yes please! 😉  Um, I like my sweets. I’d give this recipe a solid 9.5.  It is right on the fringe of getting a 10.  These cookies are pretty addictive.  Make them, share them, and enjoy!

So, here is the actual recipe, if you don’t feel like going and seeing what ohladycakes is up to.  But I honestly recommend going to her site.  She has some really amazing things on there and I want to eat them all!

From OhLadyCakes:



1/2 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup powdered cane sugar
1 tsp unsulphured molasses
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp almond milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tbsp butter, melted
1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup powdered cane sugar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp almond milk


In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, molasses, vanilla extract and milk on high speed for 1-2 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and continue beating for an additional 30-45 seconds. Add the baking soda and salt; mix until combined. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides as needed. Mix until all of the flour is incorporated then pinch the dough to test the consistency; it should be smooth and have a bit of elasticity. If it’s too dry, add additional milk, or if it’s too sticky, add additional flour.
Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Roll the dough out into a 10×18 rectangle (approximately 1/4″ thick). Brush with butter then sprinkle with brown sugar (up to 1/2 cup) and cinnamon. Roll dough tightly, starting at the long end, into a log. Transfer to a baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes, or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/2″ segments and line on baking sheet. Bake at 350˚F for 9-10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. While the cookies are cooling, prepare the glaze by mixing the sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Once the cookies have cooled, drizzle with glaze. Store in an air tight container for up to three days.
Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies

Warming Soup w/ White Beans & Pasta

Where did the sun go?  The weather changed considerably yesterday afternoon and it suddenly went from sunny and warm to cool, overcast, and threatening to rain!  Well, bring it on, says I!  I love me some great autumnal weather!  Rain?  Oh yeah.  That’s soup weather! 


I was feeling cold and hungry and whipped this up for dinner last night.  If you find yourself in the same boat tonight, try it out!  It’s pretty easy and tasty.  Oh, and it’s cooked in one pot!  Um, I think I’ve mentioned my love for things cooked in one pot before, right?  😉

This soup really reminded me of minestrone.  With a side salad and piece of garlic toast I was a happy camper!  Nick, on the other hand isn’t such a big soup fan and fought the urge to request something more “filling” for dinner.  However, once he tucked in found that this was exactly what the doctor ordered to cure the dinner time hungers!  So, I present to you, Warming Soup – Vegan – With White Beans + Pasta!


1/2 White Onion, finely diced

4 Large Cloves Garlic, finely minced

1/2 Cup Chopped Carrots

1 Can Crushed Tomatoes

4-5 Cups Veggie Stock

1 Can White Beans

2-3 TBS Olive Oil

3-4 Servings of Dried Pasta (I used penne, but you could use any other type you have on hand)

1/2 TBS Dried Basil

1/2 TBS Dried Oregano

1 tsp. Dried Thyme

1 tsp. Dried Parsley

1/4 tsp. Dried Rosemary

1/4 tsp. (or less) Red Pepper Flake

Salt & Pepper (to taste–I added what felt like quite a bit to get it tasting just right.)



In a large pot, saute onion and carrot in olive oil until softened.  Add garlic and saute a minute or two longer.  Add veggie stock, seasonings, and pasta.  Stir, cover, and return to a slow simmer.  Cook until pasta is starting to soften, about 6 minutes or so.  Add tomatoes and beans, cover and let simmer for another 10 minutes or so.  Taste your soup to make sure it doesn’t need any additional seasonings. 

And that’s it!  Easy, right?  Right.


I’m going to enjoy the leftovers today for lunch!  What are some of your favorite rainy weather dinners?  🙂 

Cinnamon Roll Recipe Review

Guys.  Cinnamon Rolls.  Good ones.  VEGAN ones.

7 ingredients.  Minimal effort.  SUPER good results, as in I couldn’t mess this one up, and the yield was 10, knock your socks off cinnamon rolls.


Now, for the all important details.  I found this gem of a recipe on http://minimalistbaker.com/

Go HERE for it! ——-> http://minimalistbaker.com/the-worlds-easiest-cinnamon-rolls/ Or just scroll.  I’ll include it at the bottom of the post.

I’m a little bummed because not everything on this site is vegan.  The cinnamon rolls sure are, however.  I’m pleased to announce that this recipe is a solid 10 out of 10.  I almost can’t believe it because I can usually find something to add or improve upon.  I fought the urges to add pecans, raisins, and brown sugar because I just wanted to keep the integrity of the recipe intact and as it was intended.  Super simple.  Super easy. And I’m tell you all–fight the urge, too, because these simply don’t need it.  They are amazing just as they are.


This recipe gets points for:

1.  Easy instructions + easy to come by ingredients.

2.  Great dough.  Seriously.  I’m trying to think up other ways to use it.

3.  General high level of deliciousness.

4.  House smelled great.

5.  Post copious taco feasting, everyone still wanted to eat these–and ate not just one, but TWO whole ones!  Just that alone should tell you all something.


Making cinnamon rolls is a multi-step process.  But the steps were easy and so worth it.  Here are the little guys, just chillin’ on the “warming” zone on my stove.


Lookie how fluffy that dough is!  It was tender, soft, tasty…just perfect.

Nary a cinnamon roll was left.  All plates were licked clean–literally.  Including the baking dish!  I used the vegan cream cheese frosting by following the link provided.


I will be making these again, very, very soon! Possibly today.  I’m bummed none were left for day after leftovers!

I’ll post an original, Glitterpony created recipe soon.  I just had to share because I made these last night to take to taco Tuesday/game night and they were such a hit.  Do you guys have any great cinnamon roll recipes I should take a look at?  Let me know!  Hope you all have a great Wednesday and I encourage you to wander over to the Minimalist Baker and try this recipe.

Recipe courtesy of Minimalist Baker @ http://www.minimalistbaker.com

  • 1 packet instant yeast
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup Earth balance (vegan butter), divided
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar, divided
  1. In a large sauce pan (or in a bowl in the microwave at 30 sec increments), heat the almond milk and 3 Tbsp Earth Balance until warm and melted, never reaching boiling. Remove from heat and let cool to 110 degrees, or the temperature of bath water. It should be warm but not too hot or it will kill the yeast.
  2. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle on yeast. Let activate for 10 minutes, then add 1 Tbsp sugar and the salt and stir.
  3. Next add in flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring as you go. The dough will be sticky. When it is too thick to stir, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so until it forms a loose balll. Rinse your mixing bowl out, coat it with canola or grapeseed oil, and add your dough ball back in. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size (see photo).
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. Brush with 3 Tbsp melted Earth Balance and top with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 – 1Tbsp cinnamon.
  5. Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough and situate seam side down. Then with a serrated knife or a string of floss, cut the dough into 1.5 – 2 inch sections and position in a well-buttered 8×8 square or comparable sized round pan (you should have about 10 rolls). Brush with remaining 2 Tbsp Earth Balance (melted) and cover with plastic wrap. Set on top of the oven to let rise again while you preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Once the oven is hot, bake rolls for 25-30 minutes or until very slightly golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve immediately.
  7. Optional: Frost with dairy free cream cheese frosting or a simple mixture of powdered sugar and almond milk.

Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie

Happy Saturday, Everyone!  I hope you all are getting into something fun, relaxing, and generative!

Since autumn has starting showing up all around (though not in the weather today–it is hot and sunny! Poor us, I know!) I have been inspired to make hearty, warming dishes.  When I was a kid, my mom used to make Shepherd’s Pie and since going vegan, it has been something I have tried to recreate.  But, as you other vegans already know, it can get tricky replicating “meat” in a believable and satisfying way. ‘Course, I’m still new to this vegan thing and I know I have lots to learn!

Anyway, I’m very pleased with this recipe–pleased enough to share with you all. 🙂


May I present for your eating pleasure, Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie!  When my mom made it, she would have the meat gravy under the mashed potatoes, then bake it.  I did not have the patience to do this last night, but I’m sure you could make it that way and bake it–or freeze and bake later when in a pinch for dinner.  This recipe is comprised of two parts–the gravy and the mashed potatoes.  The amounts of each ingredient are flexible, depending on your own person tastes, and I encourage you to play with it to get it just right.  Also, note that this made two large servings, so double the recipe if you want leftovers or have a family.


Hearty “Meaty” Gravy

1-2 Tbs Olive Oil

1/2 Onion, Diced

3 Cloves Garlic

1/2 Cup Sliced Mushrooms (I like using crimini, but you could use whatever you have handy)

1/2 Package Lentils (I like these–a helpful little cheat when pressed for time!)

1/4 Walnuts

1 tsp Ground Sage

1 tsp Thyme

Small dash of Allspice

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 Cup Veggie Stock

1/4 – 1/2 Cup Beer (Yes, beer!  I used an IPA, but a porter, stout, or even just plain old Bud would work.  Beer has gluten, but I’m sure you could use gluten-free beer and make the dish gluten-free, too.)

Several Ladles of the potato starch water, as needed.  The principle here is the same when cooking pasta and you want a creamier sauce so you add a little bit of the pasta water into your sauce.


Sautee the onions in the olive oil in a large pot.  Add some salt and pepper.  When onions are mostly translucent, add minced garlic.  Sautee for a minute more, then add sliced mushrooms.  Sautee and stir until the mushrooms start to wilt and release their juices.  Then add in the lentils, walnuts, seasonings, and liquids.  Cover and simmer for as long as you want.


While this is going you can also have your mashed potatoes getting ready, too!

Vegan Mashed Potatoes (Easy-Peasey!)

3-4 Peeled Russet Potatoes, Chopped into roughly 2 inch x 2 inch hunks.

Unsweetened Almond Milk (or veggie stock, or other nondairy milk)

2-3 Tbs Earth Balance

Salt & Pepper (to taste.)


In a large pot place chopped potatoes.  Cover in water plus extra for use in above recipe.  Place lid on pot, and boil until potatoes are soft when pierced through the center with a fork or knife.

Drain off water, add in earth balance, salt, pepper, and milk (add gradually until you get the right consistency) as you rough mash with a handheld mixer.  Once you feel you have enough liquid, turn on mixer to whip up the potatoes.

Then, you put the whole thing together!


Enjoy!  It is a pretty easy meal to make. I always serve with steamed green beans as my mom used to put green beans in between the layer of gravy and potato.  You can also serve with peas if you are feeling a bit more English pub-fancy.  🙂

And in other news, I got my first non-family/friend backer on Kickstarter!  I’m stoked!  I changed a few things, such as my photo (too serious!) and addressed the most important features/benefits by putting them first and foremost.  It’s like selling real estate, y’all.  😉  Hope my new approach works!  Keep my project in your thoughts, guys!  It’s all about building that energy that attracts the right people.  🙂

Anyway, peace out.  I have to go clean bathrooms.  Have a super fun day and let me know if you try this recipe out!  I hope you do!  But not while cleaning bathrooms.  That would be unsanitary.

Friday? Heck Yes. Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions? Heck YES.

Everyone.  I have a most excellent recipe I’d like to share with you all to celebrate the weekly return of Friday and help usher in a fall-tastic weekend!

First, let me explain a bit about what inspired this recipe.

1. I wanted something yummy, vegan, and different to share on here!

2.  I wanted to experiment with the savory + sweet flavor combo.

3.  I wanted to create something fun and fall-tastic that could be a Thanksgiving side-dish contender.

Let me say, I achieved all these objectives.  Initially, my idea was to use butternut squash in place of the sweet potatoes.  But….when I went to grab my butternut squash….well, let’s just say it was long past the point of being edible.  Bummer.  But I was still tasting for this savory + sweet combo and grabbed my new bag of sweet potatoes and rocked it out.

Have you ever caramelized onions?  I haven’t.  But it sounded like a great start to the savory aspect to this dish.  For all of you out there that are like me and haven’t caramelized onions let me tell you this:  it. is. easy.  For this recipe I wanted to layer in the flavors, so I used coconut oil to saute the onions, and added a bit of maple syrup (instead of sugar) to get them nice and caramel-y.

Step One:  Slide/dice/chop up 1/2 an onion.

Step Two: Saute up in a pan with a Tablespoon or more coconut oil (you could use olive oil, too).


Step Three:  Add a Tablespoon maple syrup, a dash of salt and some pepper.

Step Four:  Saute up over medium heat until the onions are soft and browned all over.


I left my onions just a wee bit un-browned because I had big plans for them!  They were going to be a main highlight in my sweet potato dish!


Sweet & Savory Sweet Potatoes w/ Caramelized Onions


4 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped into bite sized chunks

Caramelized Onions

1 TBS additional coconut oil

1 TBS additional maple syrup

Dash of nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground sage

salt & pepper


Put all ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Toss to coat the sweet potatoes.  Place sweet potatoes in a tinfoil lined Pyrex and place in the oven.


Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes (or until the sweet potato is soft and browned).  Toss at 15 minutes for optimal, even browning.


I couldn’t stop eating this as evidenced by the slightly blurry photo here, that I stopped to take between mouthfuls of sweet potato bliss.  Between the caramelized onions and the baking sweet potatoes, the house smelled incredible.  Keep in mind that the amounts in this recipe are flexible and can be tailored based on your own personal tastes.  This recipe is pretty easy to make and I could see the leftovers being pureed up and turned into a savory tart filling.  ….That is, IF there are leftovers! 😉

Have a fabulous, fall-riffic Friday!  Try this recipe out and let me know if you are as delighted by the savory + sweet as I am!

Vegan Almond Joy Recipe Review + General Me Stuff

Hi guys!

Have you ever just had one of those moments where you are so grateful to just be alive?  Where the colors seem more vibrant, the sun feels like it’s hugging you, and you really feel connected to everything?  Sounds strange, but I had one of those moments today.  Everything was calm, beautiful, pure, and I was…present.  Not thinking about Kickstarter, or the business, or who I might need to get in touch with for a project; not thinking about my dog, or the piece of mail I forgot to send; no.  No thoughts. And no, I wasn’t on anything, either.  🙂

It was pretty awesome.  I’m honestly not even sure what triggered it–I guess I just got out of my car to have lunch with my dad today and was in that state of mind.  Anyway, lunch with dad was fun, and insightful, as per usual.  I was explaining to him that I struggle to be a hardass with our clients.  My preference is to be fair with everyone, and not see them from the place of, “What can I take you for?  What can I get out of you?” and rather, “What can I contribute here?  What can we create, together?”  I don’t like having to manipulate or play politics. I don’t like negotiations and I don’t like having to “sell” people on a design.  The longer I do this job, the more I realize everyone wants to play designer, but rarely anyone has taste, and because it’s all so subjective, people think their 2 cents matter when it really shouldn’t.  It just shouldn’t.  Trust the people you hire to deliver.  End rant.

My dad’s thoughts? “Well, that’s business.”

I’m seriously beginning to wonder if this business stuff is for me.  I feel I can’t trust anyone; that they are just working me (us) and I fall right into their trap. Every. Time.  Then I just get pissed off that we got taken advantage of, or could have negotiated a better price for our work.  I get anxious many times during the day when I have to “deal” with a client, over something simple.  I’m really beginning to think I really just suck at business and this has shaken my confidence to the core.  I can’t even make a simple email happen without considerable thought now.

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer.  I just wish it were easier!  And that, to have the success I’d like to have, I don’t have to morph into a sneaky, raging a-hole.

Okay.  ….phew.  That’s a lot.  Let’s move on, shall we?

RECIPE TIME!  YES.  Best. Part. of. the. Day!


Found this totally yummy recipe for Vegan Almond Joy Truffles on a sweet little site called “Real Food.  Real Deals.” and I said, “Hell yeah, I wanna make THAT!”  So I did.  Photo!


I give this recipe a solid 8.5 out of 10. (*note: reasons for point deductions have been clarified and the directions were not unclear.  I’m just an idiot, apparently. lol)

What I loved:

1.  5 ingredients.  (Winning!)

2.  Healthy ingredients.  (Woot.)

3.  Quick & Easy to make.  (Heck yeah.)

4.  Tasted great.  (Oh yeah, you know it!)

Why I deducted 1.5 points:

1.  Unclear directions.  Is the chocolate supposed to be melted?  The recipe doesn’t say.  I thought that for the sake of it be a truffle, the chocolate should be melted.  It’s only logical, right?  These kinds of things need to be clear for the idiots, like me.  I really dislike having to guess and potentially waste food.  If I had just added in the chocolate chips, not melted, it wouldn’t have turned out.  So, I’m sorry, but this whole chocolate issue cost ya one whole point, just for the stress on me and having to think.  I don’t want to have to think about a simple recipe.  No.  Do I LOOK like I want to think?  (If you could see my face, the clear answer would be, “No, you don’t want to think, Jessica.”)

*Update* So, you can just leave the chocolate unmelted.  The recipe is clear enough–I guess it just didn’t make sense in my little brain.  Hope you can forgive me, Real Deals Real Food!

2.  1/2 point was lost because these didn’t have the full, wow you in the mouth taste of a traditional, non-vegan almond joy.  They were good, don’t get me wrong!  And I fully suggest you all go out and make these!  Just be aware.  If you are thinking they are going to just like almond joys, don’t be fooled.  They are almond joy inspired.  But, that’s good enough for me!  I was just expecting it to be a little more similar to one of my favorite candies of all time.

3.  Last but not least, a little note.  I added just a touch of vanilla extract and a touch of almond extract.  It seemed like it was needed.  You don’t have to add it, and I don’t think it really made a difference in the price of rice in China, but it is something to consider if you agree with me on this point of view, which is: “If you are baking something, it should probably have vanilla in it, somehow.”


These would make great little tea party treats or even dessert appetizers.  Um, I don’t know about this last photo.  Seemed like a good idea at the time!

Anyway, they are a nice little treat and I may have been to hard on ’em, so please know, I do give them a solid two thumbs up–make ’em.  They are pretty delightful–just make sure you melt your chocolate. 😉

Note:  Or don’t melt the chocolate.  🙂  As the original recipe intended.  But if you DO melt the chocolate, they come out dang tasty!

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:


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


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.  😉


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:


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”.



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!  🙂