Sunday, July 4, 2010

Turning 31!

I turned 31 on June 28th. I had a amazing 3 day birthday that involved coffee-walnut cupcakes and friends, San Francisco fun and good eats , a concert in Sacramento a more awesome food.

I decided to make two different cupcakes for my birthday. The one that had the most positive response was the coffee-walnut cupcakes with coffee butter cream frosting. This cupcake is super dense and rich and has loads of coffee flavor. The recipe is something I came up with after veganizing and reconstructing a few recipes. If you do not like StarBucks feel free to use a different brand of instant strong coffee.

Super Walnut Coffee Cupcakes + Coffee Butter Cream Frosting
[makes 12 standard sized cupcakes]

3/4 cup Earth Balance (room temp)
3/4 sugar
3 tbsp. of Egg Replacer with 9 generous tbsp water - mixed
1 1/4 cups ap flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ cup walnut pieces
1 packet* of Via Instant coffee -Italian Roast- dissolved in 1 tbsp. of hot water

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners.

Beat the Earth Balance and sugar together until creamy and then slowly add the Egg Replacer mixture. Sift in the flour and baking powder and then mix in. Fold in the walnuts (checking for big chunks, discard those). Divide the mixture between the cupcake liners evenly. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

[Coffee Butter Cream Frosting]
2 tbsp. of plain soy milk
1* packet of Via Instant coffee -Italian Roast-
6 tbsp. of Earth Balance
1 1/4 cups of sifted powdered sugar
large walnut halves to decorate

Warm the soy milk in a pan (do not boil) add coffee and stir until dissolved. Let cool in a medium sized bowl till warm - not hot. Beat in the Earth Balance and frosting till creamy. Frost each cupcake and decorate with a walnut half.

*About 2 teaspoons

For my birthday we usually take a mini day trip, this year I really wanted to go to Japan Town in San Francisco with a few stops. We got off BART and went over to Westfield Mall to have lunch at Loving Hut. We both ordered combo plates. The food was good, I even got a mock beef dish and it was not to ‘beefy’ which is sometimes the case when using mock meats.

Once in Japan Town I went crazy with all of the cute toys in the mall. We had a blast taking photos and decorating them at Pika Pika. I walked out with lots of super cute stationery from Kinokuniya. I could spend all day and all my money in this mini mall. We went across the street to the New People store/mall and I fell in love with some of the goth lolita stuff on the upper level. I really liked Black Peace Now’s stuff!

We headed down Filmore and had soy yogurt at Fraiche Yogurt with lil pillows of mochi settled on the side. Then we walked down hill (later up hill - my poor feet!) To eat vegan Chicago deep dish pizza with loads of Dayia at Patxis Chicago Pizza. I was never a huge fan of ‘commercial’ pizza since I grew up with hand made pizza from a Sicilian grandma, then vegan options are usually not tasty. Patxis just rocked the taste buds that night and we were both amazed at how good it was.

The next day in Sacramento we started off eating at the all you can eat vegan buffet at Queen Sheba . I always load up on enjeera and lentils!

I just really wanted to try Sugar Plum Vegan after seeing they opened a store front. I had tried a gluten free - vegan brownie at a craft show one year and it was yummy. The owner was super nice and we both got our order fast. I got the midtown club and my boyfriend got the tempeh reuben panini - they were both damn tasty and we are not even sandwich people. We stocked up on sweets for after the concert (we saw Dum Dum Girls perform at Blue Lamp - good show, clean venue!), the owner even through in a large cowboy cookie! The best thing we had (on our way home!) Was the peanut butter creme filled giant cookie - tasty!
Can I just applaud Sugar Plum Vegan for a bit...Living in the valley we don’t have vegan food on every corner. People from bigger cities thinks that we are often lame and write shit about us. Sugar Plum Vegan gives me hope, they are offering monthly workshops and kick ass food without the attitude. I look up to Sugar Plum Vegan - they started off how I am starting off with my own vegan bakery and it gives me lots of hope.

Yay smaller town vegans and having a awesome bday!

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