Potluck, biscuits & sausage gravy & ice cream testing party!

26 10 2008

Just got home from another incredibly fun potluck!  There was lots of delicious food to be had and so many new faces to meet (I didn’t count, but I think about 30 people showed up).  The weather was perfect, so that just helped make the day even nicer.  Mondo was taking pictures for me while I stuffed my face and he seemed to only be interested in the first sweets to arrive – but I’m sure Leigh will have lots of photos of all the food and more desserts (I saw her snapping away on her camera).  I decided to make something with a fall theme and choose the butternut squash lasagna w/ bechamel from Yellow Rose Recipes.  It doesn’t photograph too well, but tastes great (I think).  Laurie makes amazing sweets and totally brought the halloween theme to the potluck with her cookies (which I am snacking on as a type) and cupcakes:

There so many yummy dishes, I really enjoyed the mac and cheese Idalys & Howell brought, the macaroni salad Lori & Jared brought, the potpie in a biscuit Kevin & Laura brought, the pizza rolls Jill & Tony brought, the sloppy joe biscuits Leigh brought and the kale salad that Alicia brought.  Angelina brought an amazing pumpkin cheesecake (recipe from fatfreevegan.com) that I couldn’t stop eating, and there were so many tasty cookies and other desserts – I think everyone was about ready to undo their jeans and let their stomachs hangout for a bit after eating 2 plates worth of food!

I can’t wait for the next potluck, spring sounds like a good time to have another one…once everyone defrosts from winter.

Saturday morning we were being lazy and I decided to actually make breakfast (this seriously is a rare occurrence).  We had picked up some spelt biscuits the day before at Sevenanda so we decided on biscuits with sausage gravy. I’ve never had anything by the brand gimme lean, but I heard it makes a mean addition to gravy and it really did…I can’t think of a breakfast that has tasted better than these big fluffy biscuits smothered with juicy vegan sausage and creamy gravy.  Just another one of the perks of being vegan, this was all cholesterol & cruelty free!

Last but not least, I am so late on posting this, but I received many many samples from Turtle Mountain of their new ice cream flavors & products.  It was way too many for Mondo and I to devour ourselves, so I brought everything over to Cosmo’s and called on Atlanta vegans to due their civic duty by taste testing vegan ice cream.  We had a nice little gathering, sampled some tasty new things and Leigh took photos and tallied up everyones rating of each item.

The samples I received included: Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl ice cream, Passionate Mango ice cream, Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream (my personal favorite, I could eat that everyday), Coconut Almond mini ice cream bars,  Vanilla mini ice cream bars &, Coconut mini ice cream sandwiches & Banana split mini ice cream sandwiches.

We all agreed that the cookies part of the ice cream sandwiches was a bit too crunchy, but Tim from Turtle Mountain explained that they were just made the day before I received them and need a little while to soften up and have that texture people are used to.  The next day, they were totally soft and sticking to my fingers! I really liked that the center portions of the sandwiches and bars is sweetened with agave nectar, I learned that this has a different freezing point and helps keep the centers nice and soft!

Here are the ratings we all gave each sample:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl – 

Ashley – 3 / Laura – 5 / Kevin – 3 / Leigh – 3 / Howell – 4 / Idalys – 3 / Ken – 5 / Mondo – 2

Average rating: 3.5

Passionate Mango – 

Ashley – 3 / Laura – 4.5 / Leigh – 3 / Howell – 3 / Idalys – 2 / Ken – 4 / Mondo – 4

Average rating: 3.35

Overall consensus “It was good, for a fruit flavored ice cream”.  Very smooth & nicely flavored.

Mocha Almond Fudge – 

Ashley – 5 / Laura – 5 / Kevin – 5 / Howell – 5 / Idalys – 5 / Ken – 4 

Average rating: 4.8

Coconut Almond Mini’s – 

Ashley – 5 / Laura – 5 / Kevin – 5 / Leigh – 5 / Howell – 5 / Idalys – 5 / Mondo – 5

Average rating: 5.0!!!

Overall consensus: Perfect in every way!!

Vanilla Mini’s – 

Laura – 3 / Kevin – 4 / Leigh – 3 / Mondo – 4

Average rating: 3.5

Banana Split Mini’s – 

Ashley – 2 / Leigh – 5 / Howell – 1 / Idalys – 3 / Ken – 5 / Mondo – 2

Average rating: 3.0

Overall consensus: You either loved ’em or not.  Some devoured them with pleasure, while others thought the banana was artificial tasting.

It seems that we completely forgot to tally our ratings for the Coconut Mini’s, but I think everyone enjoyed but couldn’t get past the crispy sandwich part (which as I stated earlier, softened up completely by the next day).

I am glad to have been selected to sample the new treats from So Delicious and was happy to share.  Cosmo’s is ordering some of the products to sell in the store after having taste tested them, so go grab some and ENJOY!  These really are amazing and it’s great to see Turtle Mountain expanding their offerings; things seem keep getting better and better ever since the addition of their coconut milk varieties – makes everything creamier and less icy tasting.

A nice end to a busy day, I’m off to join Mondo & the dogs on the couch and catch up on some reading!


Happy One-Year Anniversary, Cosmo’s!!

22 06 2008

Last night was the Ice Cream Social at
Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the retail store. Turn out was INSANE!! I never knew there were so many vegans in Atlanta; it was amazing! Saw a lot of familiar faces and hung out with friends while stuffing ourselves full of delicious ice cream sundaes. I chose a few scoops of Purely Decadent (made w/ yummy creamy coconut milk) Coconut ice cream, a scoop of fresh strawberries and blueberries, some crumbled vegan shortbread cookies, ricemellow, chocolate sauce and soyatoo whipped cream. Mondo had scoops of Purely Decadent Cookie Dough ice cream, ricemellow and crumbled vegan shortbread cookies. There were homemade vegan waffle bowls and cones at the social, too! SO MUCH BETTER TASTING THAN IT LOOKS IN THIS PHOTO!

Everything in the store was 10% off and a portion of the profits are being given to the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary. I grabbed a shopping basket and walked the aisles in search of new things! This is my take below: Tings (for me), Soy Curls, Mimic Creme, Dulce Vegan Cinnamon Roll (for mondo), Teese, Rasberry filled chocolate bar (for Mondo), Vega Smoothie mixes and Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe shirts for Mondo and I. Such an awesome and delicious haul…I can report that the Tings are already gone!

We had bundles of fun and can’t wait for the bake-off in December at Cosmo’s. It’s so great to hang out with such rad folks in our favorite store in Atlanta. Congrats Ken & Leigh, here’s to many more years!

(For more photos of the Ice Cream Social, there are some up on the store’s blog now!)

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t..

21 06 2008
I like cookies. A lot. I think I enjoy cookies more than any other kind of baked good out there. So I tend to make them more often than a lot of other things. I wanted to make a cookie out of things I needed to use up in my fridge (and sounded like a good combo in my head). I added chopped pecans, shredded coconut and dried cherries. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew they looked SO good coming out of the oven. I sat patiently, kept myself busy picking up why they cooled off and then finally couldn’t take it and sunk my teeth into one. MMMM. So soft and full of flavor, something different each bite…a pecan here, a dried cherry there and an allover coconut flavor. Mondo liked them a lot, too…but he is still talking about the cookies I made last week (Chewy Chocolate Rasberry w/ pecans and dried cherries) and how awesome they were.

Earlier in the week I was really in the mood for roasted cauliflower and sauteed garlicky greens, so Mondo picked up some BBQ peach seitan from Whole Foods to add to the mix. I really love cauliflower and roasting it takes it to a whole other level. Just a little pepper, salt and olive oil and I’m a happy gal! I mixed purple kale and collard greens together along with some sauteed garlic, nooch, salt & pepper and vegetable broth. I’m trying to incorporate more veggies into our meals each night and this was a great beginning!

We’re heading over to the one-year anniversary Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe is having this evening, where we will stuff ourselves with the delicious ice cream sundaes that’ll be there!! A portion of the profits tonight are going to be donated to the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary. Awesome store, ice cream sundaes, fun people and a great cause…it doesn’t get much better than this!

I <3 Teese

16 04 2008

Thanks to Leigh at Cosmos Vegan Shoppe for saving me the VERY LAST pound of Teese in their stock (don’t worry, she said there will be more in by the end of the week for your fix). Thanks Leigh!!!!

I just love living in the same city as this rad store. I’m always so happy when we go there and I always find something new to try. Along with the Teese (which came in a very phallic shape that makes for plenty of jokes at home), I picked up their new tote bag (so cute and roomy!), a copy of The Damn Tasty Vegan baking guide, multivitamins, tartex (we love it on water crackers), a dark chocolate bar w/ raspberry filling (I can’t recall the brand, but it was for Mondo) and a Sweet & Sara’s s’more (for me).

I did some gardening when we got home (which resulted in an eye injury, haha). I was a little beat after that and had about 75% of my vision, so I got started on dinner a little later than usual. We had planned to start simple with the teese, to get a good taste of the flavor before going crazy and using it on everything. We had bought some tasty lookin’ sourdough bread earlier in the week and decided on Grilled Teese on Sourdough sandwiches. YUMM.

The Teese isn’t so great on it’s own…meh…but melted in between two slices of sourdough breaded slathered with EB… phenomenal. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. As you probably already know from 50 million other blogs, it melts very well. It was so nice biting into the crispy, buttery sourdough and creamy teese. Oh yum yum yum, I can’t wait to try it on pizza and use it in dishes that call for a vegan cheese.

I knew that we couldn’t take a grilled sandwich to work for lunch, so I also made the lentil soup from YRR. I love to make soups (and cannot wait to try the Curry Eggplant Soup from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen) and lentil is one of my favorites because it’s SO EASY and tastes great. I didn’t get a photo of it, certains soups don’t photograph well and this is one of them.

I did, however, get some photos of a fantastic pasta I made for dinner this evening. It was very simple and came out just right. The only thing that could have made it better would be the addition of some fresh diced tomatoes, mmmm.

Everything came together so easy; it was just Orecchiette pasta, sauteed garlic w/ cannellini beans and spinach pesto (I never add salt or lemon juice: spinach, walnuts, garlic, nooch and olive oil). I did add some small chunks of teese to it, to make it creamy. Mondo gave it the thumbs up between ‘mmmm’s’. We don’t eat pasta that often (like once a month if that), so I don’t feel too guilty that this is pretty high in fat. The taste made it so worth it!

Is anyone else going to Sevenanda this weekend, for the ORGANICA! ’08:Spring Harvest Market? We’re going to be there, while trying to see what Criminal Records has on sale for Record Store Day.

I love spring; always something to do!