vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes

ingredients:

1/2 cup vegan butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
egg replacer for 2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk* mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree

*make vegan buttermilk by placing one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. add enough milk (soy or replacement milk of choice) to bring the liquid up to the one-cup line and let stand for 5 minutes.

preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy (about 5 minutes.)  while that is mixing, sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, ginger, cloves and pepper in a medium sized bowl.

add “eggs” to the butter and sugar and mix thoroughly.  alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. mix thoroughly again. now add in the pumpkin puree and mix until smooth.

bake 23-25 minutes. let cool completely and frost with your favorite buttercream frosting! makes approximately 22 cupcakes.

YUM!

source.

cherry pasta?

who would think to put cherries in pasta? this sounds like the perfect end of summer/start of fall dish.

  • 1 serving udon noodles
  • 1 T evoo, plus more for sautéing
  • 1/3 c sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/3 c white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 c arugula
  • a few cherries, quartered
  • 2-3 T chopped walnuts
  • a few fresh basil leaves
  • grated parmesan

1) Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in saucepan.  Boil for 5 minutes to reduce; remove from heat and let cool 5 to 10 minutes, until it thickens.  [You’re making a balsamic reduction.]

2) Sauté onion over medium heat until browned.  Add arugula and sauté until wilted.

3) Cook udon noodles according to package directions.  Drain and return to pot.

4) Toss noodles with olive oil, onion, arugula, cherries, and walnuts.  Transfer to plate; drizzle with balsamic reduction.  Garnish with basil and parmesan, if desired.

images; recipe.

wednes-diy

with today being the first day of fall, these table arrangements i saw on design sponge – using straw flowers and heirloom tomatoes –  felt really appropriate as today’s DIY.  the colors are gorgeous!

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making

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the top two photos are my favorite- i would just leave the flowers and tomatoes like that as table decorations! for instructions on how to make the flower garland, check out the tutorial here.

farmers market at the yard!

today we had the extra special treat of a farmers market right outside our office doors! fresh fruit, veggies and other produce from local farms and live music in the background as you shop. this will happen again september 8th and 22nd, how exciting! here are some photos from today- not the sunniest day but still nice :)

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this little boxer puppy stole my heart.

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new mocs + sunflowers = happiness.

bouncing round the room

last week i was passing by the area where our graphic designers and office coordinator sit…and something was different. their office chairs had been replaced by large exercise balls! hmmm…what’s this all about guys?

“we got them to strengthen our cores! exercise balls are the new thing.”

so have you noticed a change? do they work?

“yes! when you wake up you feel like you did crunches the day before.”

“it keeps you moving throughout the day so you get a little workout. and we have a mid afternoon workout session.”

“plus they keep you from getting sleepy sitting at your desk!”

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what do other people think about your balls?

“they’re jealous! everyone wants them now.”

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“the bouncing is good for your mental state too…you feel like a little kid!”

i love lavender.

next to one of the urban buildings there is a row of lavender bushes.  now that we’ve moved i pass them on the way to and from our new building and each time, i breathe in their wonderful scent.  scent is one of the most powerful triggers of memory for me and every time i smell lavender i am taken back to the south of france where i was fortunate enough to spend some time during my childhood.

the heat of the sun bearing down on my shoulders, the dust from dirt roads kicking up around my bare feet, and fields of the brightest purple lavender as far as the eye can see.

take me back.

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speaking of lavender…have you ever had lavender lemonade? it’s delicious.

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to make it from scratch you just need water, lemons and sugar.  bring to a simmer in a saucepan and throw in five or six fresh pieces of lavender. if you’re using dried lavender, put it in a tea ball.  let sit for a bit and then cool, and add a sprig of lavender for garnish.

for more specific instructions check out this recipe. (last 2 images from there as well).

where the greens grow

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one of our fp girls sent me these photos of a place called greensgrow in fishtown, philadelphia – a nursery/market that sells fresh, locally grown produce.  they also have a CSA (community supported agriculture) program in which you can buy a “share” in a farms’ season and each week get a box of produce and fruit produced on the farm.

check out their website, too- they post lots of recipes to give you ideas for what to do with all your fresh fruits and veggies! YUM.

drinks in a cube

this idea is so brilliant… don’t you hate when you have an iced coffee (or whatever you drink) on a hot day and the ice cubes immediately melt and you’re left with a watered down drink? i do.  i saw this on tastespotting from the blog zoom yummy – ice cubes made from coffee!

and check out how pretty these look:

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these are rasberry iced tea with a mint leaf inside them!

not only is this great for the aforementioned reason but i think it would be fun to come up with different flavors and combinations, like water with lemon ice cubes or iced tea with mango juice cubes… you get the idea :)

check out zoom yummy for more ideas!

guest post – kris chau

good morning! today i have a special treat for you – a guest post by the lovely and talented artist/designer kris chau! she has a really cool blog with illustrator hawk krall called “drawing for food” on which they review restaurants, food, and lots of hot dogs! and of course art makes its way in there too :) please enjoy this guest post from kris chau in which she interviews fellow artist rob sato!

Artist Series: Mr. Rob Sato

Rob Sato does not stop drawing. It actually gives me a huge complex about drawing. Why aren’t I drawing all the time too that I too need a special compartmentalized side satchel to hold my travel watercolor palette and brushes and various pens????? Then I look at his art and feel somewhat worthless and hide to eat my feelings. So with that introduction here is the amazing art of Rob Sato, eater, cook, drawer, and friend to Drawing For Food.

left: SweetBonesDeck–painting of Sweet Bones on skateboard

right: Satobites-imaginary food from my sketchbook

SweetBones–sketches for broken arm drumstick ice cream cone

DrawingForFood: What is your favorite dish your mom makes?

RobSato: Rum Cake.

DFF: What do you snack on for art deadlines?

RS: It used to be whiskey. When my body couldn’t take it anymore, I had to switch to almonds, bananas and water.

DFF: Do you make better art hungry or full? Why?

RS: Reasonably well fed is what works. Being too full makes me nod off over my work. A few times I’ve come-to with my face planted in a painting, drool pooling, and an unintended paint stroke streaking across the surface. I also fall into time warps after I eat where I suddenly become aware that I’ve been lying on the couch for hours reading or watching movies. On the other hand, being hungry causes panic, pacing, frantic snacking on weird food and long stares into the fridge. This can then lead to being overly full on snacks instead of simply preparing a decent meal. Every so often hunger mixed with creative blockage will drive me to the following menu, consumed in a near-zombie state wandering back and forth between the kitchen and the studio– It usually starts with a handful of nuts, then maybe a strip of beef jerky, soon a hand plunged into a box to eat cereal dry, more nuts, a bit of chocolate, an apple, a bag of baby carrots, cheese melted on toast, bites of cold gray dinner leftovers directly from the tupperware, a spoonful of peanut butter, a fried egg with more toast, more chocolate, just biting cheese directly off the block, a longing look at any alcohol in the house then maybe a beer, all the bananas, the remainder of the package of beef jerky, a few spoonfuls of ice cream, a cup of coffee in an attempt to shake it all off and calm the frenzy. Then a dreary, stupefied drawing session or an unintended, unsatisfying, guilt-ridden nap.

DFF: Wheres your favorite place to eat?

RS: With Ako, on our porch.

****DFF: coincidently this is one of Kris Chau’s favorite places to eat too…

DFF: If you could cut up and eat any artist in history to absorb their strengths and talents who would it be?

RS: This was a tough question. After much thought, the final and obvious choice is Leonardo Da Vinci. Absorbing him would deliver a massive load of skills and knowledge which I could mix with my own visual taste and pursuits. He does seem like he would taste pretty awful though. I’m not exactly sure why, but I’m imagining a combination of dust, dry burnt bread and bad, foul smelling cheese. The first artist that comes to mind who seems like they might actually have tasted good is Picasso. He reminds me of a cartoon drawing of a glistening ham. I’ve just disturbed myself.

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Ako with our dinner from the other night:
Sea Bass with miso marinade,
Tamago (japanese omelet)
brown rice,
avocados and pickled ginger.

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DiscountBurgers–stickers I found that look like burgers

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BurgerFolk–sketchbook image

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Ako with Thai Iced Coffee

And here is a recipe from Mr. Sato!

Chicken and Fruit Curry

2-4 tablespoons oil (canola, vegetable, peanut, or butter all work–amount varies depending on how greasy you want this)
2 medium onions, chopped
3 apples chopped into chunks (fuji or gala tend to be the least mealy, but all seem to work OK)
1 banana chopped into chunks (you can also use papaya or mango, or go with just apples but I prefer the banana)
1 cup tomato, diced
1 to 1 1/2 lbs chicken meat, cubed (about 2 breasts, or 4 cutlets, or 3 -4 thighs)
salt
2-3 tablespoons of curry powder
1/2 cup yogurt (optional)
hot pepper (optional)
soy sauce to taste, at least a tablespoon
handful of chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves

1. Heat up the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan or skillet that you are able to cover

2. add the onions, stir occasionally, cook until they become soft, 5-10 minutes

3. lightly salt the onions and then add the curry powder, stirring into the onions until they are fully coated with the powder,

4. add the chicken, the fruit, tomatoes and hot pepper (if desired)and mix them into the onions

5. pour the 1/2 cup of yogurt over the mixture (if desired)

6. cover the pan and cook covered for 8-10 minutes

7. check to see if the apples have softened, if not, it will need a little longer to cook

8. once the apples are soft, uncover and raise the heat to medium-high. cook until the mixture thickens slightly, another minute or two.

9. add the soy sauce and continue cooking for one minute

10. taste, adjust soy sauce if necessary

11. Serve over white rice, season with a spoonful of fresh yogurt, the cilantro, and mint

you’re done.
serves 3-4

thanks chau!!

make sure you check out her blog drawing for food, it’s awesome :)

avocado crostini

1. pop 4 slices of crusty artisan bread in the toaster, or on the middle rack of an oven set at 350 degrees F, until crisp and golden brown.

2. while the bread is toasting, peel and mash 1 ripe avocado in a small bowl.

3. spread the avocado on the toasted bread and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and sea salt. enjoy!

so simple and so delicious :)

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