Finally, the long awaited post(or not really?)
(signs written by my friend with a calligraphy pen)
As promised, these are some recap photos from my vegan bake sale and sausage sizzle, and recipes. The bake sale was a self-organized, friends-cooperated fundraiser to make money to donate to SAFE organization. SAFE is a non-profit NZ animal welfare organization that work towards ending the mistreatment of animals in animal or farming industries in NZ(i.e. factory farming like battery hens). I volunteer there and felt like getting active and getting out there to help promote cruelty free eating(or veganism) and raise awareness about the animal welfare issues SAFE fights for. And so, armed with my love for baking and cooking, I approached the organizer of a local Saturday farmer’s market for a stall space(through the cyber space). She very kindly lent us(for one Saturday from 9 am -1 pm) a stall space for free! Possibly because she saw we were only students and were fundraising for a good cause!
Vegan cookies that turned out chewy(?), my friend apologized for the unintended chewiness. Hopefully they tasted great though because they sold out. No one came back for refunds so I guess they were alright. They were almonds and chocolate or coconut and chocolate flavoured. Its recipe will soon appear once I’ve tracked my friend down.
These ones are ‘crispy’ as oppose to ‘chewy’ almond and coconut vegan cookies. Co-incidentally both my friends whom have never met made the same types of cookies. What are the odds? Will also track this friend down for its recipe asap(Sorry didn’t try any cookies because don’t eat sugar and don’t enjoy sweets, more on this dessert-free diet of mine in later post, and therefore have no idea what they taste like).
Here’s the recipe for the cookies; http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/recipes/simple-sugar-cookies.aspx almond essence for almond flavoured, desiccated coconut for coconut flavour. Simple enough.
Pink icing vanilla vegan cupcakes, by me. This time have actually got the recipe on hand(or on screen?): http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegan-cupcakes/ According to the mother, a bit too sweet. So feel free to reduce the amount of sugar as listed in the recipe. They say(got this from a beginner’s baking book) one can reduces at least 1/4 cup of sugar as written in the recipe without altering the texture of the cake. I’d say this is a pretty decent recipe, the cupcake’s texture seemed very moist yet also light, and at the same time uncomplicated to make. Don’t worry about the whole coconut oil and almond milk ordeal(they’re ingredients unfamiliar to most people, I myself haven’t experimented with coconut oil in baking or cooking), I substituted them with plain old soy milk and vegetable(rice bran) oil which worked fine. Also, white vinegar will work instead of apple cider.
I didn’t use the recipe’s icing recipe because I wanted a plain vanilla flavoured one. So here’s my vegan vanilla icing recipe if you want to make an exact replica of my average looking cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
75 g margarine, other non-animal butter(i.e. sunflower or olive oil)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp of boiling water
Thing is, with normal butter icing recipes, you would use more boiling water than as shown above. But when used in icing recipes, using a non-animal butter(I used olive oil butter), too much boiling water can cause the butter to separate and the icing to become too soft, and not hold shape as seen in the picture further above.
(Olivani spread, the brand I use. It’s both pretty cheap for a butter/margarine alternative and great for your health, in small amount of course) After all, non-animal butter is much softer than butter, and don’t require as much hot water to soften.
Sweet cakes next to depressing leaflets. A tip for decorating cupcakes for amateur decorators(like me, as you can see); buy a packet of sugar decorations(i.e. the princess pack as seen above, came with tiaras, pink heels, etc.) to go with your icing’s colour scheme, then just stick them on top of your averagely iced cupcakes, and you’ll get cute little morsels of sweetness that could rival your local bakeries in appearance(or at least look appealing).
From left to right; Vegan banana loaf, recipe here(Was going to say didn’t try this one either, but actually did in a very small amount because there was a left over bit! No wastage! Texture is nice and fluffy but a bit too vanilla-y for a banana loaf, as in should have more banana essence and flavour): http://www.astray.com/recipes/?show=Banana%20loaf%20(vegan) , vegan chocolate cake, recipe here(I’ve tried this one I think, tastes pretty average *like bad birthday chocolate cake?, nothing special but super easy and cheap to make): http://www.instructables.com/id/The-BEST-chococlate-cake-ever…that-happens-to-be/ , vegan chocolate avocado cake *the one with slivered almond topping, recipe here(mother prefers this one. It’s quite light and low-fat, once the caramel topping has been excluded. Uses avocado as the butter of the cake, and contains a lot of water so is pretty low calorie, save for the sugar. But then again, feel free to lower the sugar content by 1/4): http://joythebaker.com/2009/07/vegan-chocolate-avocado-cake/ I don’t have a fixed recipe for the caramel topping, I just basically chuck ingredients that make up the caramel into a small pot, in proportions that seem right. They include golden syrup(use a lot of this as the base of the caramel), olive oil butter(about 2 tbsp to 3/4 cup of golden syrup), soy milk or other vegan milk or organic milk(a little bit less than the butter), sugar(same amount as the milk). Boil on medium low heat until the mixture bubbles(bubble, bubble, toil, trouble, Macbeth reference) then put the heat down on low and add slivered almonds. Stir around until the caramel flavours have sunk into the almonds, about 2-3 minutes. Then you’re done! I use this recipe to make the caramel for banofee pie too(Use to make this a lot for family and family friends due to popular demands).
Don’t have the recipe for apple and cinnamon loaf, sorry!
Summary to the fundraiser sales;
We made quite a few bucks for donations, mostly from the bake sale, so that was awesome news. A proportion of our bake sale customers were either lactose-intolerant or vegan. Some gluten-free individuals also tried to chip in, but unfortunately vegan doesn’t necessarily mean gluten free(I don’t see the basis behind this link people keep making). Nevertheless, a lot of non-vegans were actually genuinely interested in our food. Highlights of that day include; a middle-aged lady who bought an entire loaf, the apple and cinnamon one for the cheap price of $7 during our hard time of idle sales so super giddy when she bought the loaf, a guy who owned a healthfoods/vegan stall called ‘eternal delights’ kept coming back to buy our sausage(3 in total) claiming these things were hard to come by, have to get them while you can(although one can buy Fry’s sauusages in a pack of 8 at the supermarket for much cheaper? We sold them $3 each with onions on a piece of buttered bread and sauce) anyways, he’s a nice bloke, and a lactose-intolerant chick who came back to buy a second cupcake. And lots of other sales, we ended up with only four cupcakes and a few cookies. But overall, the sausage sizzle didn’t go that well(possibly due to German hot dog stalls competition, those bratwurst waving bastards) and the fact that our grill wasn’t positioned very well for audience view(so hard for people to know what the ‘vegan sausages’ looked like and how normal looking they really were) which resulted in the surplus of Fry’s sausages packages that I took home, as mentioned in this post http://obsessivenutritioncompulsive.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/26th-of-july/ I’ve been eating Fry’s sausages in at least one meal of everyday for the past few days since the bake sale last Saturday which shouldn’t be very great for my nutritional balance. After all, the soy protein sausages have been somewhat processed. Nevertheless, too delicious to stop, oh well, better off than having worse addictions like smoking or alcohol, this one should be pretty minute in comparison. Still not great though, isolated soy protein and high sodium every day. Will tone it down soon.
A helpful tip for vegan food fundraisers(can only think of one right now): Signs labelled “dairy and egg free” will appeal to people more than “vegan”. For some reason, vegans have this facade of a hardcore and violently strong minded animal lovers(I think?) Therefore people would avert from “vegan” more in the fear of getting plant-eating, yoga practicing crowds bashed.
Speaking of which, what a nice yoga home session I had today. I recommend Gillian Michaels’ yoga video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5nyrD4eM64 It’s not too hardcore(perfect for me) but also a good workout. The thing with yoga is, the amount of exercise and fat you burn depends on yourself(as in how much you engage your muscles). You can do the same yoga routine, but depending on how much strength you apply into the poses, you can burn twice the amount of energy, or half of that.
Next post: I’d like to share some of my weird food combinations and rant about my horrible, current food habits. Despite being super healthy and nutrition conscious, I still have my flaws(that I’d very much like to fix), and I’ll also include tips in fixing food and health habits that I am now rid off(Clean and shaven). An exciting post yet to come!
P.S. Strolling down the street this morning, a spitting cyclist have missed landing a glob of glorious phlegm on me by this much(Maxwell Smart reference). This lead me to wonder on what would happen in the event of if this scenario was played out differently; if the cyclist had made a successful shot. Has anyone been spat on accidentally by a passerby, cyclist, motorist before(i.e. by an unknowing stranger, not counting purposeful attempts)? Would make a totally awkward situation. I haven’t. I suspect I’d probably chase the individual down, running after them on the bike lane(shouldn’t be able to escape too far on a bike) and point the damp saliva spot in their face with wrath, “YOU SEE THIS?? IT’S YOUR SPIT. I COMMAND YOU TO TAKE IT BACK!”. What would you do?