Sunday, May 11, 2008

To All of You

Today is tough for me, but I wanted to wish all of you who are mothers a very happy Mother's Day and to all of you who still have your mums, cherish today and every day you have with them. Give them a hug for me. :)

Rest in peace, mum.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Miss Me?

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Sorry I disappeared for so long. Not only did I move to a new department at work where internet time is virtually impossible, I am also in the midst of recording with the band. Everything's coming along real well, we're very excited. But more on that later.

Thanks to those of you who checked in on me. I am fine and still cooking away!

In fact, we had a coupla birthdays go by, as you may remember me mentioning in my last entry from so long ago. The first one was for guitarist and friend, Matt. See, his all-time favourite poison of choice is Guinness. It's not for me, but different strokes for different folks!

In honor of his love for the liqour, I made a 4-layer chocolate cake with chocolate and buttercream frosting in the shape of a mug of Guinness!

Matt's cake

(Sorry for the lopsided picture. I didn't mean to force you guys to turn your heads sideways. I forgot to upload the better pictures and they're at home right now! Perhaps I will do a little post in-between posts to show you some better angles.)

I have to admit, I got the idea from something I saw online, but mine is vegan so it's automatically that much cooler. Of course, as always, Mike helped with the label design, made entirely of marzipan and frosting. I shouldn't even use the word 'helped'. He actually did the whole label on his own.

Speaking of Mike, he turned the big 3-0 this year and little did he know, I had been planning a big surprise party for him. It turned out amazing- all our friends and family were there to celebrate with lots and lots of awesome food and he was plenty surprised! Let me tell you, I had TONS of cooking to do. In fact, I took a whole day off from work and was cooking from 9 in the morning to 11 o'clock at night (with minimal breaks). I am like a machine when it comes to this stuff!

Firstly, I am going to do some picture recycling. For the main meal, I made V-Con's Pumpkin Baked Ziti since it's so fabulous. FOUR pans of it!

Baked Pumpkin Ziti

Next, seeing as Mike is a HUUUGE peanut butter fan, I made The Joy of Vegan Baking's unbelievably delicious peanut butter cookie recipe, tossing in some white chocolate chips (an idea entirely of my own).

Peanut Butter cookies

I can't even begin to tell you how sweet and yummy these cookies are. In fact, here's a close up if you need a more visual idea:

Peanut Butter cookie

Did I mention Mike is also a lover of bananas and all things banana flavoured? I could not think of anything more perfect than Vegan Cupcake's Take Over the World's Elvis version Banana cupcakes with Peanut Butter frosting!

Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

This recipe came from the banana split recipe without the 'split' part. Isa and Terry suggested taking out the chocolate and pineapples and filling it with peanut butter frosting. Unbelievable! These were the real winners at the party.

Even though Mike was turning 30, we still went all out with silly decorations and things (more pictures later) all Super Hero themed! To keep with it, I purchased Spiderman cupcake liners. How cute are these?

Cupcake wrapper

We also had hummus and tabouli wraps on whole wheat. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of these because I was running around like a madwoman. But let me assure you, if you haven't had hummus and tabouli wraps by now, you're a very bad vegan. Or person, in general. ;) Something sooooo delicious, yet so simple. And it's not even fattening! Who woulda thunk?

We had lots of organic soda, chips, popcorns, salsas, ice cream, etc... (things we rarely ever buy, in fact, much to the joy of our GI tracts). But the best part, of course, was his birthday cake!

I was having trouble deciding what to do because I usually bake the cakes and make the frosting while Mike decorates them. He's an illustrator and a very talented one, at that! I, myself, well... I suck. I can make food taste good, but I have trouble making it look like art.

So I finally decided on a Spiderman design (still sticking to the theme). Using all natural plant-based dyes, I whipped up a few frostings and set to work on my 18 inch German Chocolate sheet cake- my favourite recipe from Sinfully Vegan. I filled the insides with strawberry buttercream and began my journey into the land of frosting art.

Here is what I came up with:

Mikey cake

Mikey cake D

Mikey cake B

In the end, I was very proud of my accomplishments. I was excited to show everyone, but was sorely disappointed when I kept getting laughs and 'that's cute!'. I suppose I have to admit, it IS more 'cute' than anything else, but I was hoping for a few 'really cool's'. This is why I leave the cake design to the art department (Mike) on most occassions.

In the end, Mike really, really loved it and thought it was awesome. And I know that's all that REALLy counts.

Oh, and the fact that this cake was DELICIOUS! And it was also HUGE. I had to send tons of people home with slices.

So I've got a lot more catching up to do with picture posting, but I'll end it here for now.

After all this junk, Mike and I have finally commenced our 'Liver Detox Diet'. I had done lots of research and finally scheduled out an eating plan for the next 4 weeks. I'll be doing a full post on it later, but basically it consists of 2 weeks of eating the best you can (lots of fruit, veggies, whole grains, nuts, etc...) with herbal liver support teas as well as FRESH juices, all day long. Lots of peeing will be going on, I tell ya. After the two-week mark, we will go on a strictly fresh juice and herbal tea fast for two days with an all-water fruit diet the third day. This is when the real 'clean-out' begins. Then 2 weeks following the fast, we continue our super, squeaky clean diet. After that, we can go back to eating mostly healthy with a few treats here and there. This is something that should ideally be done twice a year.

I am excited to reap the benefits of this detox! From all my research and the testomials I've heard and read, doing this will give me tons more energy and strength, clear up any acne, make me smell better (not that I smell bad now!!! Well, not TOO bad...) make me feel more rested in the morning, bring my mood way up, put a bounce in my step and just create a bright glow in me all around. I'm also back to exercising, which is always an amazing feeling. This way of living has been a long-time coming. I've still got vocal recording to do, so I'm sure this diet will boost my confidence and help keep up my stamina with long hours in the studio!

Anywho, I will shut the hell up now so I can catch up with all of your blogs. I've missed your guys and your awesome food!

Let's just hope I can get past the tempting desserts...