Thursday, December 06, 2007

I'm off....

Low and behold - my camera is working! again! I spent 3 days assuming it was gone, fiddling with it, and then last night, although the menu is being funky, I decided to attempt using it to capture Thomas' birthday cake - and success!
This camera has really held up through the past few years, with all the dropping I've done to it, the portland mist, etc. - so while I'm absolutely wanting to replace it, I do have soft spot for it, for sure.

From last weekend - Toasted salt and pepper pecans (another one inspired by Julie! who made these a while ago at a potluck - they stuck in my mind!).

December 001

I didn't have her recipe, just the idea - so I toasted the nuts in a pan, added a lil bit of olive oil, some coarse sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of organic sugar.

December 002

Oh, and that cake that I just had a teeny little sliver of?
Mocha Buttercream Layer Cake.

December 006

At the birthday boy's request.
FYI, It says 'T-rock'. Not that anyone calls him that. I underestimated how much frosting I had left to pipe, and was simply going for T, and then kept going...

He requested the cake I made for our anniversary a couple years ago, with the layers from the Candle Cafe cookbook (recipe here), but since I was out of maple syrup, I made the chocolate cupcake batter from VCTOTW and added coffee extract to the batter.
The buttercream is based on the fluffy white one from the same book - with coffee liquor as the liquid, and coffee extract and cocoa powder added. I myself would call is heavenly! or something.

December 012

December 014

And dinner before cake - baked tofu (tamari, sesame chili oil, agave, rice vinegar, garlic), sesame green beans (VWAV - asparagus recipe) and short grain brown rice.

December 005

Thomas and our friend Jeff split what I was originally making for dinner for the birthday guy - half a soy chicken baked in sweet and sour sauce - and then dove into the vegan baked ziti that that he asked I make while I was away as well. I wanted some of the tofu to myself, above, so I only used half a recipe of VWAV's tofu basil ricotta - plus chopped roasted red pepper.

December 008

Wish me and my camera good luck - red eye flight tonight! If you were me, where would *you* go, and dine, in Boston and NYC? And well, South Shore Long Island if you're familar..


nora said...

Oh wow, that cake looks delicious! I am very jealous you are going to NYC; I went for the first time in October and looved it! I wanted to make it to NY Dosas but couldn't find that is what I recommend. Have fun! I've been reading your blog for awhile now, but this is my first post. I am a dedicated follower!

Stacy said...

South Shore LI? I wouldn't say that Long Island has much in the way of "destination eateries," but if you're visiting some people and you'd like to go out, here's some places I'd recommend:

In Bay Shore, I'd recommend Tula Kitchen or Tullulah's. Neither is entirely vegetarian, but both have things you can finagle into being vegan.

Cornucopia in Sayville has veggie and vegan things, although the only thing I've had from there is a vegan berry cheesecake that my co-workers got me for my birthday. Which was good, but I can't vouch for their other food.

If you can get out there, go to the House of Dosas in Hicksville. It's not on the South Shore, but it's one of the few entirely veggie places on the Island.

If you plan on ordering pizza from a local place for some reason, remind them that in addition to leaving off the cheese they should also go light on the sauce and the veggies. Otherwise you get super soggy thin crust pizza.

And, finally, if you need to get groceries, there's Sherry's in Babylon. Other good places are the Whole Foods in Jericho, or Wild by Nature in either Huntington or Hampton Bays. Granted, neither Jericho nor Huntington are on the South Shore, but depending on where you're staying, they may be easier than going out to the Hamptons. Also, Wild by Nature makes this vegan pizza that's topped with all kinds of garlicky greens and grilled veggies which is pretty darn good, but they don't serve it often, so if that suits your fancy, you might want to call and check.

bazu said...

Aw, have a good flight tonight! I remember there was a really good Thai restaurant on the South Shore of Long Island...I think it was in Babylon... my memory is really fuzzy!

That cake looks wonderful. So do the nuts. (Hee hee, I said 'nuts') Like you, I have a dinky little old camera, and I'm totally attached to it because it's done so much for me and it's been everywhere with me!

Anonymous said...

all the food looks tasty, the cake is awesome!
happy belated birthday to the boy!!

Taylor said...

Best girlfriend, ever!

VeganFabulous said...

I will need to get a list of places in NYC you recommend. I am supposed to be going in March!

Vegan_Noodle said...

That birthday cake looks delicious. I like the additions you made to make the mocha chocolate frosting!!

Have fun in Boston and NYC! I've heard grasshopper in beantown is good, and right next door is a vegan pizza place, tj scallywaggles, and I enjoyed that!

Claire said...

Holy Jess what a cake! In NYC make sure you check out Sacred Chow, it's vegan tapas and incredible. I happened upon it while wandering. Where else but NYC would you stumble upon vegan tapas?! I think it's near Bleeker Street. Also go to Babycakes bakery. I have a little cupcake-taker from there that holds one cupcake, it's amazing.
Have a blast.

Liz said...

Those pecans sound so good! I always eat all the pecans first out of mixed nuts...

maybepigscanfly said...

What a lucky birthday boy! That Mocha Buttercream cake looks fantastic.

I hope your flight went well! I've only been to NYC once (I really wanna go again!), but I second the recommendation to go to Babycakes! Also, I found this awesome little health food store called LifeThyme that I recommend... Have loads of fun!

Ericao said...

I love your blog and have been reading for awhile now, though I've never commented. Hello! I was motivated to break the silence because I have one of those weird half-chickens sitting in my freezer and no idea how to cook it. How did you cook yours? Thanks! Looking forward to hearing about your NYC trip! (I went for a week over the summer and basically just ate the whole time...Heaven.)

VeggieGirl said...

yay for your camera working again!! :0) mmm, the toasted salt & pepper pecans are quite intriguing; and that layer cake!! wow!! so decadent-looking!!

as for dining in Boston: as crazy as this sounds, Legal Seafoods has a DELICIOUS vegan stir-fry dish - who knew that a vegan would want to willingly dine at a seafood restaurant? ;0) oh and Sweet Tomatoes serves fabulous pizza sans dairy.

as for dining in NYC: I recommend Candle 79, Yummy House, Zen Palate, Sacred Chow... that's all I can think of right now :0)

urban vegan said...

OMG. I can't beleive, after seeing your psots, that most people are missing out on this kind of yumminess!

Have a great time.

NYC eats? I love Red Bamboo, GoBo and Vegetarian Dim Sum (Which VKO introduced me to).

supercarrot said...

hehe. i love how you used the flower candle holders as decoration and then stuck the candles directly in the cake. hehe.

i didn't know they still sold those things.

Shananigans said...

Holy crepe, that cake looks good! Enjoy your trip to NYC.

Judy said...

What a great idea for the nuts, they sound delicious. I love pecans.

Mikaela said...

Well happy, happy birthday to T-Rock! And, I'm glad to hear your camera is still hanging it :)

Ashasarala said...

That cake looks incredible. I wish someone would make ME a cake like that! Boo, hiss.

Bianca said...

I tried making the pecans for a salad, and they were super yummy!!! I had a huge bag of pecans from my uncle's pecan farm that I didn't know what to do with...maybe I'll make a pie!

You can see the pecans on my salad on new blog. It's called Vegan Crunk. Also on blogger.