Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sweet Art

My favorite bakery is Sweet Art. They are all vegetarian and do many vegan options. They are also a cafe of sorts too. They have interesting hours but the most amazing food. I love their cupcakes, brownies (they occasionally have pb brownies too) their cakes, buttercream... Okay I love it all! I got my birthday cake from them, it was a Best of Both Worlds (6. in cake with four layers of alternating vanilla and chocolate cake, I chose to have chocolate buttercream filling and a vanilla buttercream frosting... it was unbelievable, I ate half of it in one day... by myself) They have an amazing atmosphere, and really helpful staff. They owners are a married couple, the wife does the baking and the husband makes paintings which are hung around the shop (get it, art?) Anyway, I really want to work here over the summer!!!! So, I went there for breakfast with my best friend over break and we ordered the breakfast quesadilla. I wish I remembered what was in it. But it was a whole wheat tortilla, with tofu scramble, some match meat probably, sweet potatoes I bet and some daiya, and onions and avocado on top. I wish I remembered what else inhabited this deliciousness but I cannot. Here are the pictures though. This is pretty much the best place ever and if you are ever in the area you absolutely MUST try it... it is too good for words. You will not be let down!

I love this quote! 

My bday cake (that I shared with my sister)

The inside, YUMMMMY look how tall it was!!

It was soo moist and rich, the chocolate buttercream was HEAVENLY!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hal & Al's

Hal & Al's is an all vegan pub/bar. We had chili cheese fries, I had ordered sweet potato fries with chili and daiya, but I think they just made a mistake. Totally didn't bother me though, I could have eaten those fries all day long... too bad they ran out!!! Then I had a chili tofurky dog with daiya onions black olives and then ketchup. It kind of scared me how similar it tastes to a normal hot dog. I really don't eat much match meats, so when I do they kind of freak me out. My mother had a luna burger which is a vegan burger from a local company (the Luna company, I guess) on a pretzal bun. It tasted pretty good, I liked the consistency of the bun and burger together and the sweetness of the bun complemented the burger nicely. For dessert we got sweet pretzel bites. They were basically french toast with sweet vanilla sugar glaze. They were so good and puffy and the glaze was very sweet, I just wish it came with a little more. It was an amazing restaurant, my all time favorite! I would honestly come back to Ohio just for Hal & Al's. The service was great, very relaxed environment and quick, caring service. I have heard they have a very comprehensive beer menu so if you like beer it makes a fantastic bar just for that. Anyway I will upload the photos later, just wanted to fill you in on this great place! While in ohio we ended up always matching, this night was no exception....

Diggin' in!!

The damage

Pattycakes Bakery

This morning we went to an AMAZING little bakery, the best part: It was all VEGAN! It is called Pattycakes Bakery, my mother and I shared a pumpkin walnut muffin which was deliciously decadant! We also shared a cinnamon roll, it was a very manageable size and was not heavy like a Cinnabun roll would be. It was sweet and fluffy! They had shirts for sale (made by American Appearel) and I got one in blue! I am soo excited, it is very cute! They also had free buttons and fliers and whatnot that I hoarded. They had hemp-flax oatmeal bars and we got one for my dad, we also got a slice of cake: lemon with fresh blueberry frosting!! I already ate half of it! It is soooooo goood! Fluffy, moist, and so fresh... just like I wish the weather would be here. It was a great environment and the workers were clearly having so much fun together. I noticed no men were working, but there were male customers. The presentation of the goods was unsurpassed, and I believe the prices were justified, however, it was a little pricey. It was also a little challenging to get to, we took a cab and even he got a little turned around. Ok, so then I made a pb sammich for lunch and then we went to the most amazing restaurant EVER for dinner, I will post more about that later.

They gave us free buttons!

So fluffy and moist!

How cute is the seating? And that giant chalkboard?

DELISH! I took home a peice of that lemon blueberry cake (the lemon cake with pink frosting in the upper left)

I also got a blue shirt! I couldn't resist, look at that wall though! NOTICE: Obama now has a mustache lol

And they have personalized bags?!?!

To go cakes, I love how they decorate them with their logo!

...and cookies and muffins!!


I am in Ohio. Yes, Ohio. Well apparently, Columbus, OH has a huge vegan following. Yesturday I went to ZPizza for the first time, I had been wanting to try it for a long time as I've heard about it on PETA. The food was delicious and reminded me of Pi pizza. The dough I thought was better because it was whole wheat and softer than Pi's. The cheese was daiya and obviously the same. Their match meat was more tender and less seasoned (a plus in my opinion) The only difference I couldn't decide was the sauce which would have needed to be a side-by-side comparison. It was a little pricy, to say the least. But it was delicious, and a fun atmosphere. When I told them I was vegan they pulled out a list, sort of like it's own separate menu. My first clue into how awesome Columbus is. 
Anyway... you may be wondering why we are in Ohio. My mother is a nurse and we are attending the Midwest Nursing Research Society. It is a lot of fun and am really enjoying it. Anyway we are going home tomorrow and I am nervous we will get delayed due to the snow. Can you believe it is snowing at the end of MARCH!?!??!

California Salad, we already ate the avocado, so creamy and yummy

Can you see the steam? Fresh service!


Needless to say, this got eaten like right after I took this


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Break, exciting announcement in the works!!!

I have some very very very good and exciting news that I just received yesterday, however I am not ready to share it with the public yet. Heck, not like I really even have a fan base though who would spoil anything!! So just know there will be a big surprise reveal coming up soon (think mid/late-April)

So besides my icing failing miserably, I made cakes, cupcakes and cookies. My cakes fell (I either overmixed or the batter was toooo moist) but they leveled out just fine. My cupcakes are kind of a mess, but the cake itself tastes great. AANNDD- it was super super healthy! I replaced the oils with applesauce to make it even more moist, so no oils, the butter I used had flax seed in it (smart balance light with flax is vegan, flax is a natural, plant source of Omega-3's), I used whole wheat flour, and obviously there was no cholesterol since there were no eggs or dairy!!

buttercream? ya right...

6in cake, see how badly it fell?

So I realized why some exploded like that, I believe those were the ones I added some "buttercream" to the center to see what would happen, none of them visibly had a filling after baking so I guess it absorbed it

what I ended up leveling off, boy was it tasty

After being in the fridge for a long while my "buttercream" held together a smidge better, adding the green dye

all iced and pretty

side view, first time I've iced a cake like this (with a spatula, etc)

about to dig in!!!

In case you were wondering, once room temp the "buttercream" went to mush again, this was after the crumb coating... and after my cake started to slide around : (

The cookies on the other hand.... well they are good.... fudgy, chocolatey, and crunchy. Although I was going for gooey and chewy.... I have no idea what happened with them.... first, I think I messed up the batter because it was unbelievably sticky! Second, my oven is a mess and we have no thermometer so it's a guess and check game. I guess some were over done, but the recipe said until the edges were firm. I ate numerous since after each tray went in I tried a different technique, thinner cookies, shorter cooking, thicker cookies longer cooking, and tons of other combos. So of course I had to try them all to see if something worked.... right? Well none turned out like the picture or the way they were supposed to.... they are kind of dry and cakey but they are dense and fudgy (not gooey fudgy mind you though) I had tried the regular chocolate chip recipe of hers (Kelly Peloza) and they too were supposed to be gooey and chewy and I ended up with cakey, and I even made them in a different oven that is more reliable. Anyway, those were my mishaps. Maybe I am just not destined to make cookies?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Frustrated... any suggestions?

UGGG... hrmph.... I am very frustrated, irritated, and disappointed. I am making a cake tomorrow for a family dinner, luckily I decided to make the buttercream the night before. My buttercream will NOT whip... maybe it is the fact that I am using a mixer that was crappy when it was bought 25 years ago as a wedding present for my mother. Or maybe it's the fact that I added chilled soymilk... or maybe it's that I added soymilk at all. Or maybe my butter broke? I have no idea... either way, I have soup... blah... I spent 42 minutes attempting to whip it... gave up... did some googling... went back, added more powdered sugar whipped for maybe ten minutes.... and gave up again... my soup is now in the fridge.... if ANYONE knows any suggestions PLEASE help me : ( I really wish I knew what to do....

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patty's Day, a day too late

Yesterday was St. Patty's day, and boy o boy do I love that holiday. In all seriousness though, I have no idea why I love it so much... I feel like I love every holiday and maybe since I have a special connection to this one is why I like it so much... but I'm not even that Irish. Anyway, I had an amazing St. Pat's day, I wore my green PETA shirt around campus, leafletted, met some veggies and even a vegan (in my town? who knew!) went to my composition class where we received our mid-terms. My teacher liked mine so much, she read it to the class (what am I a second grader?) she also told me it was so useful I should try and get it published in the school newspaper! My paper was on the vegan friendliness of different restaurants throughout my college town.  I indeed had a super green, vegan St. Patty's day!!! Anyway, I am going to try and update at least every other day even if I have no new pictures just to get myself into the habit so we don't have another hiatus like last time! (can you tell I love that word? I think it is because the first time I heard it, it was used in context with Lost, my all time favorite T.V. series)

Anyway, I am going home tonight and I really cannot wait. First off, I love the train!!! I get to watch a movie on the train and start my outline for my extra credit paper in geology. I also get to start on my next comp essay, all of my essays in comp so far have been about animal rights, and I think it is really starting to catch on in my town, it makes me briefly consider staying... for like a second...

One last class before I am officially on break, but it is my philosophy class. It is a really enjoyable class, fun, easy and thought provoking. Plus, it starts at 1pm so it's such a refreshing Friday!!

Have a wonderful and safe friday everyone!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Ok, so despite having failed at blogging, I did still bake during my hiatus. I made three different types (sorta) of cupcakes and two different types of cookies.

My cookie recipes were from the cookie connoisseur cookbook

The first was supposed to be your typical bakery style chocolate chip cookie. Thin, big, crispy and gooey on the inside. Problem is I made the dough before hand and didn't bake it till later so I could bake it at my dad's house. I now know that you should get the cookies into the oven (or any dough) as soon as you can after mixing wet and dry ingredients unless specified in the recipe as it messes with how it rises, etc. Probably why my cookies turned out more cakey. I loved this type the best though, reminded me of my grandma's homemade easter cookies that are such classics, except hers are more buttery.

See how they are more pillowy?

The second were supposed to be much more but I think I overcooked them... actually I think I overcooked both sets... but I'm still learning... and they were still yummy, o well! Right out of the oven these tasted just like nestle break 'n bakes, chewy outsides and gooey center. However, given time to solidify they were mostly just crispy and a little chewy on the insides, almost stale-like. But still... it's a cookie, when they are good, they're great, when they are bad, they are still pretty good!!

See how they are a little crispier, and looking?


I made one batch of chocolate cake from the joy of vegan baking. I poured them into cupcake liners, the first four I dropped peanut butter in half of the batter, the next four I poured the chocolate peanut butter icing in the middle of the batter just as I did the peanut butter. The last four I made and filled later with the icing. I don't know what the consistency of the icing was supposed to be but it was more like a ganache, chocolate peanut butter ganache, YUM!!! My favorite was the peanut butter filled ones, they tasted like my buckeye balls, but they were very rich. I also LOVED the ganache baked because they were delicate and rich and creamy and sooo yummy! much more of a sophisticated cupcake, sort of like a lava cake just not as runny.

See the peanut butter peeping through? YUM!

Filling the cupcakes!

Celebrating my birthday AT HOME!!!!

The inside of the PB filled cupcakes, sooo yummy!

With the extra batter I poured it into a quiche pan and made a mini cake, plopped some blobs of peanut butter and more ganache, baked, then iced with the ganache! SOOOOOOO YUMMY! Tasted just like a reeses bar!