Countdown to Spring Flavors

Since I feel that we are now in the homestretch towards Spring and sliding off Winter's radar, I felt it necessary to do some Spring Men...

Since I feel that we are now in the homestretch towards Spring and sliding off Winter's radar, I felt it necessary to do some Spring Menu planning and testing as well as baking a few old favorites for fun. The Spring always gives me a strange sense of hope and motivation. As the hints of the return of outdoor life start to pop up here and there, I feel like a little puppy with its ears perked, waiting for the next clue to follow and chase down. The air starts to smell warmer, your car is hot from the sun when you get into in, you get the urge to prematurely crack a window on your ride home... Anyhow, it's happening. I'm stoked for March, since I get to release my St. Patricks Day flavor, cook a variety of traditional Irish fare, and drink lots and lots of beer. I have my Spring Menu planned out and awaiting testing and plan to launch in early March. But until then, here's a look or two at what I've been fooling with in the past month.

Just like Starbucks' Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake. Alex and I went through a phase in my pre-vegan days before we moved where we'd go to Starbucks on the weekends and get this coffee cake and badass black ice coffee and sit outside and talk about important global issues and we thought we were so smart and looked so intelligent. Today I told him he should request something for me to make, since I always just make what I want and he usually doesn't help me eat it. So he requested this old favorite, given the vegan remix. It was a rough draft, and I have notes for next time, but it definitely does the trick, and the whole cake cost me maybe only slightly more than one tiny slice that they sell from their case at starbucks. 
I was pretending it was Spring and made a fresh fruit pie.. I had a ton of leftover raspberries from my Valentines Day cupcakes that I wanted to put to good use, and to good use they were put! This is the "Pucker Up Raspberry Pie" from Vegan Pie In The Sky with the addition of balsamic vinegar for extra pucker. It tastes killer. Plus my lattice skills are legit.

Superbowl was a clear let down... My theory is that Madonna is entirely to blame. Despite the outcome of the game, the food did not disappoint. My falachos were a huge hit! It's just like it sounds: Falafel + Nachos = Falachos! This genius idea was shared with the vegan community through the ppk 100, which is the top 100 components helping to make 2011 the year of the vegan. Write it into your Chinese New Year rotation. I used whole wheat pitas to make the chips, tossed with cumin, corriander, salt and pepper and a little bit of canola spray. Crumbled falafel acts like the taco meat, then dollops of homemade paprika hummus, then a zigzag shower of yogurt tahini sauce, a generous sprinkle of cucumber salsa, and a handful of chopped pickles. Touchdown, kids.. If only Tom Brady had housed these falachos before kickoff.. Would have been a TOTALLY different ballgame.
I signed up for a million more recipes to test for Terry Hope Romero's new cookbook, and they all look awesome so excpect some serious food porn to be flagged very very soon. This might be the last round recipe testing so stay tuned for news on her new book release. I'll hook you guys up with picture previews, and you'll have that badlarry on pre-order sooner than you can say babaganoush.

So until Spring arrives in all its glory bringing a bounty of fresh fruit including cherry season, the kentucky derby, and many delightful rays of sunshine, You all keep it real.

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