Monday, October 16, 2006

Birthday cake, squash, and more

Here is that birthday cake I made for my sister's 20th birthday. It was supposed to be a spice cake, but I omitted all the spices because she and her boyfriend have very plain tastes. :( It tasted so good and I could just imagine it with all the allspice, cinnamon, etc. Oh well, it will give me an excuse to make it again.

I found a recipe in a little pamphlet about going vegan that I found stuffed somewhere, and I modified it to pieces. I'll share with you what I did.

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
(1 teaspoon allspice)
(1 teaspoon cinnamon)
(1/2 teaspoon ground cloves)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup applesauce (substituted for oil)
3/4 cup vanilla soymilk
1/4 cup water

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet in another. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until thoroughly blended. Bake in prepared 8-inch cake pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

1/4 cup soy margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons soymilk
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Melt margarine over low heat, add brown sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the soymilk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Gradually whisk in the powdered sugar. Spread on the cooled cake.

It was delicious. I even sent some home for my parents and they enjoyed it too. It's very moist and a little on the dense side, so I think you could get away with adding less oil/applesauce.

I had so much fun with my sister over the weekend! I really miss living with her and hanging out with her--she lives four hours from me now, and we only see each other a few times a year. In fact, I realized this weekend how much I miss my whole family. I have not been down to visit my parents since last Christmas (we had a little rift and weren't speaking for a while, and now we're still not on the best of terms). Bob and I decided to spend Thanksgiving up here this year, either with his family or just by ourselves. It will be the first Thanksgiving I've spent without my family, and it makes me really sad to think about it.

Anyway... This is a delicious and comforting lentil soup that I made last night for dinner. It was cold and rainy here last night (and still is today, in fact), so it felt so nice to curl up with a hot bowl of soup and a slice of homemade crusty bread. Very simple:

Bring to a boil:
1.5 pounds of brown lentils
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
Cayenne pepper
Bblack pepper
Worcestershire sauce
Liquid smoke

Cook for about 30-40 minutes, and then take it off the heat and squeeze in a bit of lemon juice and let it sit for a few minutes. There are plenty of leftovers--I had another bowl for lunch today.

When Earth Fare's organic winter squash is on sale for 0.99 per pound for a few days only, what do you do? You buy two butternut squash, two spaghetti squash, two acorn squash, and a sugar pumpkin! And then you make spaghetti.

If you've never seen a spaghetti squash before, look at this:

Once the squash has been roasted (about 45 minutes at 375 degrees), you can take a fork and pull the flesh into these beautiful strands. It tastes really nice just plain, but tonight Bob made a beautiful red sauce to serve with it.

The stuff on top is a "parmesan" that I saw a recipe for online. It was really simple:

Process together until crumbly:
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt

It doesn't taste much like parmesan really, but it's a whole lot cheaper than any vegan parmesan crumbles you can buy and really worked on top of the spaghetti.

One last thing: So many of you have blogged about it, that I had to do it too! So I ordered my copy of Nava Atlas' new veganized cookbook! I told myself no cookbooks until Christmas, but this was too good to pass up--two books for $13.50! I ordered them last Monday, and they arrived today! This time, really--no more cookbooks until at least Christmas! I'm so excited about trying out these wonderful soup recipes, but it will have to wait until after Thursday, after my exam.

I'm going to disappear again until Friday. But I hope you all have a good week--see you soon.


Anonymous said...

I'm having a hard time resisting those cookbooks too! errr!

I love the sound of that icing with brown sugar in it. Mmm .. brown sugar makes everything taste so so good.

Urban Vegan said...

I love spaghetti squash. Gotta go out and get one.

Your lentil soup looks amazing.

KleoPatra said...

I love it! Spice cake sans spice! That made me laugh... I'll bet it was really good anyway, Laura. Very nice of you to do that for your sister.

I'm a big fan of spaghetti squash, though it's been years since i've had it... the way you prepared it, wow! Lookin' GOOD, girl!

funwithyourfood said...

ooh spaghetti squash is one of my favorites. :)


Harmonia said...

You got the latest edition of the soup book! I just borrowed one and it was an older version but still very good! The other one I will have to get! Thanks for the reminder!!! Your plates look lovely! I have been pondering a lentil dish. ;)

Have a great week!

aTxVegn said...

Hi! I've been visiting your blog for a while and really enjoy seeing such wonderful looking food. Your cake looks really delish. It looks so moist I bet it would even be good without a frosting.

Great buy on the spaghetti squash. I know I've (unknowingly)paid six bucks or more for a tiny one in the offseason!

bazu said...

Great job with the cake! I'm glad everything worked out.
And your lentil soup looks like it would really hit the spot right now- it's cold and rainy here too, much colder than you, I'm sure!
Hurray for spaghetti squash- those little suckers are awesome.

Jennifer C. said...

Your spice-less cake looks delicious. In fact the spaghetti squash and the lentil soup look good as well. I'm wishing I was eating at your house!

Candi said...

The spice-free spice cake looks really great! I thought the frosting was a maple frosting at first, but then I saw brown sugar. YUM! I saved the recipe and will make this, but will include the spices! :) Thanks so much for sharing.

Your lentil soup and spagetti squash look great! I would love to try spagetti squash like you did- with red sauce! :)

Good deal on those cookbooks!! I'm loving the soup one! I may have to add that to my Christmas list! :)

Have a great week!!!

Gaia said...

Wow Laura ! Lost of love is going your way for posting that Spice Cake Recipe :)))))) Love spice cake and yours is fat free : I'm in heaven !

Spaghetti squash is so cool, isn't it ?
I hope that you will have a fantastic Thanksgiving even though you are sad right now. It may still turn out to be a pleasant surprise :)

You are a good sister <3

Nikki said...

I just made that lentil soup last night! :) It looks eerily similar.

The cake sounds wonderful...but I'm sure with some spices it would be even better!

I just got my soupbook today too! :) Yay!

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

your sp. squash looks perfect! LOVE that stuff.

everything else is beautiful as usual. yum! thanks for sharing the cake recipe. it looks so moist!

Anonymous said...

You are a good sister!

I've been eyeing those cookbooks -- you'll have to let us know how they are.

Anonymous said...

A tip for when you go to Epcot -- stop by the free seminar locations before you visit the different areas so you can see what the ticket limitations are. We tried to go to the 11:30 and 2:30 tea tastings with no luck. We were in line at 2pm for the 3:30 seminar, which we attended.