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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Honest Weight Teaching Kitchen: Vegan Baking

 No, I'm not going vegan. But I do like cooking classes and Honest Weight has been holding some very good ones. This vegan baking class was probably the forth or fifth one I've been to. And I'm not stopping either - there's a DIY fire cider class at the end of the month I'm signed up for.
 
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After a brief introduction, the instructor (a HWFC member) got started on the desserts. The first recipe was for chocolate stout cupcakes. In place of eggs, she used egg replacer, which you can buy at the coop for ~6 bucks. Or, you can go onto Pinterest and find a copy recipe of this product. It's really simple - potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, and baking soda. Beer used was a chocolate stout, I want to say it was Rogue.
 
Mixed together you couldn't tell that it was vegan, but that's the whole point... right? While this was baking in the oven the instructor us attendees involved in making the chocolate chip cookies.
 
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Looks good, doesn't it? I think I need to start baking with coconut oil, which is what we used in this recipe.

 
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Here is the finished product. They were okay, but it was obvious there was no egg or dairy used. We made some chocolate frosting but as you can see, it was on the runny side. Someone suggested using vegan marshmallow fluff, which Honest Weight just happens to carry. Worked like a charm!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

How I Got Through a Birthday Tour

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Well, another birthday has come and gone and I have lived to tell the tale. It was plenty of fun, and only ended up with just a slight headache the following morning. Here are some tips if you’re thinking about doing this for your birthday.

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The Olde English

  • Make reservations, especially if you’re planning on celebrating on a Friday. The place was PACKED! I’m sure there were people that I invited that took one look at the crowd and left. M and I managed to get a spot at the end of the bar.
  • $40.00 deposit for the teacup, your choice of Magner’s Cider or a lager (this visit it was Heineken). If you get the cider, they will add ice to it.
  • Ask for another glass (or glasses). You may get a funny look, but if you’re sharing this is nicer… and no group back wash!

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Wolff’s Beirgarden

  • $40.00 deposit plus you have to spend an additional $20.
  • Don’t forget to ask for more glasses!

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  • Get a big mug of water. You may get teased, but you’ll thank yourself the next day.
  • Fried anything at Wolff’s is a winner. We got twenty bucks worth of food, well worth it considering that was probably my first real meal all day (cake at work is not filling… no matter what they tell you).

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Sciorino’s

  • Your birthday slice is really two slices… plenty for sharing.

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Nine Pin

Okay, so it’s not technically on the birthday tour, but it’s in the area. And I really like their cider.

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Bombers

  • If you ask for your margarita to be frozen, it’s an $8.00 charge.
  • The Troy Bombers ran out of shirts, so make sure the manager makes a note on your card so you can get one from another location.
  • And thank you to whichever table that bought us shots.

And that’s how I celebrated my birthday. I think next year I’ll take it easy and just stay at one place for the night.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Life With Dog

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I guess this is how parents get when they have a kid. M and I are nowhere near that, but I think a pup is enough. These are the pictures I’ve been taking.

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Stella is approaching the five month mark. My, how time has flown.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Let’s Organize the Pantry!

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M gets in these weird cleaning fits from time to time. On Saturday I came home from the gym to find the counter full of containers. In these containers are items I bought from the bulk bins. A majority of the stuff are different types of flours, but there is also an assortment of rices, spices, and beans (oh my!).

It didn’t take long (and half a bottle of flat sparkling wine) before these containers were inventoried and put back into the boiler room. M even made a special shelving unit for this, but I’m not allowed to post a picture of it.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Post Nap Surprise

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“Oh… you’re up.”

Not really the thing to say when you are suddenly woken up by a lunging pup. I can’t really hold it against her… she’s a cutie.

While I was having a much needed snooze fest, M took it upon himself to clean up the kitchen and try his hand at baked goods. It’s not from scratch, but I really can’t hold that against him.

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“It’s not really good,” he started to say as I walked into the kitchen. He then went on to explain all the reasons why these muffins were a failure – sticking to the wrappers, not sure if the directions were followed correctly, and well… the stuff was old. A few months past the “use by” date. Not that an expiration date as ever stopped me before. And besides, the kitchen smelled really good.

The muffin did stick to the wrapper, but it was still pretty warm. Taste wise, it was pretty bland. Maybe on the verge of banana bread like. But with no banana, so that’s a bit of a stretch. The topping was a weird powdery mess, but it looked nice enough. Hard as a rock and possibly tooth chipping.

So what box mix was responsible?

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I don’t even remember buying it, but I’m sure it was on sale and figured I’d give it a try. It would be better if you doctor the mix and forgo the topping it comes with. You can do better.