Thursday, October 24, 2013

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Fall in love with the yummiest brownies of the season!
There's nothing like really getting into the spirit. Weather is getting colder. Still have yet to find a solid vegan coat.  My laptop is almost garbage.  Libra's magical spell on the world has temporarily ended, but I still retain the special essence spinning within. I do have a Spirituality painting crit tomorrow and an afternoon hair appointment. Really excited about the latter. I'm videotaping the entire event and making it into a documentary series of some sort.
So yes, school is going phenomenally well. Just finished our first round of group crits last week. The faculty are pushing, pushing, pushing. I definitely enjoyed their words and tried not to be hurt by the criticism.  Much needed.
I did, however, feel like we (the students) could use an autumn inspired treat to knock down the stress. So before our afternoon individual critic talks, I baked pumpkin cheesecake brownies and cut up slices for those wanting- even fellow staff members! I gave slices to my fellow classmates and strangers on the elevator. Some people thought they were peanut butter brownies. Some thought the presentation itself was a beautiful work of art. Others thought they were a "special" kind of brownie. You know how art students are...
Fun times.

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies Ingredients and Preparation


1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1 banana, ripened
2 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl

8 oz. vegan cream cheese (used Trader Joe's brand), room temperature
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift dry ingredients together.
Mash banana & mix with almond milk & vanilla. Combine wet with dry & pour into pan. Set aside.
Mix pumpkin swirl ingredients together.
Layer the pumpkin cream cheese on top, using your spatula to make swirl pattern. Bake for 25- 30 minutes.
Well... I had to remember to take a picture of the finished product at some point, lol. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Vegan Mofo Roundup With Mashed Potatoes And Smoked Apple Sausage Gravy

September was a great month.
Thank you all for the birthday wishes and entering my first ever blog contest. Congratulations to Amanda on winning my favorite vegan products. I'm hoping to make another soon so that all my lovelies will win more than a recipe.
October has arrived (obviously) and my participation in my first ever Vegan Mofo came to an end. I must thank the organizers for creating such a wondrous event that brings vegans from all over the world to participate and for recognizing two posts- my review on Trader Joe's Chocolate Granola and my homemade Carrot Potato Ginger Soup- influenced by another Mofo blogger. I also have a bunch of recipes in my roster and grandly applaud every last Mofo participant. They have gifted me new recipes to try and refreshing ways to explore the vegan kitchen and beyond. Now I shift focus on next month's Virtual Vegan Potluck, deciding which category to craft an enticing vegan meal and am juggling between- should I create it or use one of these inspiring bookmarked recipes?

Mashed potatoes & gravy are always satisfy the sudden case of the chills. Well, temporarily speaking.
With cold October comes hot meals meant to warm up the body. A great favorite is mashed potatoes and gravy. I've really enjoyed Field Roast's Smoked Apple Sausage. It's been a delicious discovery.

Mashed Potatoes

3 cup water
4 russet potatoes, diced (or any potato, even yams and peel if you want- I don't)
2 tablespoon Earth Balance Culinary Garlic & Herb Spread
1 teaspoon garlic salt (or regular if that's too much garlic for your soul)
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup dairy free milk (I used Almond Breeze Original)

Smoked Apple Sage Gravy

1 cup water
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausage, shredded and pulled
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon Italian Seasonings
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of paprika

After boiling potatoes for 45 minutes to an hour (once softened to desired consistency), stir in culinary spread, garlic salt, rosemary, oregano, and white pepper, beating potatoes in the process.
Close up of buttery action.
Add milk and whip.
Once removing sausage from casing, I used my fingers to tear it apart.
The sausage pieces are tossed into a skillet of water and olive oil.
Add turmeric, Italian seasonings, black pepper, and paprika. Bring to a simmer for 7-10 minutes.
Pour hot gravy over mashed potatoes.
Mount Mashed Potato. Plant a flag at the top if wanted.
Another view.
Served with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Yum!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The First AfroVeganChick Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a smorgasbord of my favorite goodies.
Love Earth Balance's Aged Vegan Cheddar Puffs? Enjoy the taste of Almond Breeze's Vanilla Almond Milk? Well, these items and more are part of my special birthday prize package as my gift to a fellow reader. It may be my birthday, but why not spread the joys of bornday? From Larabars, Clif Bars, Annie's Cherry Bites, Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter, and Bixby Chocolate Bars, my favorite treats are stuffed into one convenient teal Whole Foods Love tote is ready for one lucky devotee to devour as much as I do.
I would love to thank everyone for visiting and spreading the wonders of my site which has grown into a tremendous adventure. This surely is the first contest, but certainly will not be the last!