when friends come to town….

so if you don’t know my story…. i’m a stay at home granddaughter. i play chef, personal driver, appointment setter, gardener, maid, aide, errand runner, nurse… you name it. i do it all. so obviously i moved here and all of my friends are spread out all over the country… florida (where i hail from) california (where i left my heart) salt lake city & chicago. so when my best good friends come to visit, i cater to their every wish. and mostly it has everything to do with my vegan noms. 😀

so my friend tori decided to come to nyc and gave me her list of likes & dislikes for food. here is the menu i ended up making for her visit.

  • lasagna rolls (vegan family meals cookbook) i LOVE this recipe. i always add the daiya mozzarella to it for extra cheesiness. 😀 (also made the marinara from this recipe – doubled the batch for extra saucey-ness)
  • creamed spinach (just like boston markets recipe!) 1 large bag of frozen spinach (about 4-6 cups?), 1/2 tub vegan cream cheese, 1/3 cup vegan mayo, 2-4 cloves of garlic minced, 1/2 cup or more nutritional yeast… and if you wanna make it super cheesy you could add the daiya mozzarella shreds… or add artichokes if you so desire (artichokes were on tori’s no thank you list). salt & pepper to taste. just add everything to a sauce pan and cook it down until it’s super creamy & steaming hot! so so so yum!
  • bean balls (appetite for reduction) actually tempeh / black eyed pea balls if you wanna get technical. really good. grandma LOVES them.
tori's first dinner

for dessert i made my all time favorite carrot cake recipe. i actually don’t order carrot cake EVER when i go out anymore because it is NEVER as good as this recipe. next time i make it for tori i’ll leave out the coconut flakes. OOPS. whatever, it wasn’t on her list of foods to avoid so that was her bad. 😉

super amazing carrot cake

you will need:
2 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or allspice)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup vegan cane sugar
3 egg equivalent (ener-g egg substitute)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups finely grated carrots
1 can (14 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins


preheat oven 350 degrees

in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, spice, baking powder and salt. in a large bowl, mix sugar & egg substitute ((which you should follow pkg instructions – add water to – beat till frothy)) until creamy, add vanilla extract, canola oil. Mix wet & dry ingredients together and add carrots, pineapple, coconut, walnuts & raisins.

i like to make these into cupcakes (although they are far from light & fluffy cupcakes – they are SUPER moist & dense!) but you can use a 9×9 or 9×13 pan if you prefer cake. grease whatever vessel you decide to bake the cake in… fill with batter. bake for 40-45 minutes or until knife comes out clean. be sure to cool completely before adding the cream cheese frosting.

cream cheese frosting

you will need:
1 tub vegan cream cheese
1/3 cup earth balance, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups organic powdered sugar


beat the cream cheese and the earth balance until smooth (if you have electric mixer, use it)
add vanilla, add sugar. so flipping delicious!!! NO ONE will believe it’s vegan! 😀

happy 6th birthday miyagi!!!!!

i didn’t give him one with frosting… just for photo purposes! 😉 miyagi loved the carrot cake. i picked out all the raisins in his! happy birthday puggy! (09/29/2011)

for breakfast the next morning i made my favorite pancakes…. chocolate raspberry. i used the perfect pancakes recipe from vegan brunch cookbook (cut the baking powder in 1/2 though) and then added vegan chocolate chips & fresh raspberries which i mashed up a bit. the pancakes were a bit too thin for my liking, but tori gobbled them up! 😀 yay for pancakes!

pancakes with soy sausage

tori also stayed for lunch. i wanted something easy after all of the labor intensive cooking i’ve done the past 48 hours…… so i opted for chickpea salad panini melts. 😀 mmmmmmmm goodness. i basically make the chickpea salad (1 can chickpeas drained & rinsed & mashed, vegan mayo, relish, spicy mustard, salt & pepper) spread the mixture on whole wheat panini bread…. topped with daiya mozzarella & cheddar shreds! and then pressed on the panini grill. mmmmmmmm good! i love love love this melt!

super easy chickpea panini melt

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