Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Sausage Rolls!

Seitan is something that I usually buy, but rarely make. Which is silly, because it's not difficult to do and tastes so much better home made. 

The basics of Seitan are wheat gluten and spices (the "dry"), mixed with water/stock and a binding agent (the "wet"). When I make my Seitan ribs I use natural peanut butter as the binding agent, but for sausages I wanted a different flavour. I have seen in other recipes that some people use beans so I thought I'd give it a try. 

To make the sausages you'll need:

The "wet":
3/4 cup baked beans in tomato sauce
2 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp tamari
1/2 tbsp hickory liquid smoke 
2 tbsp chili oil (or olive if you don't want them spicy)
1.5 cups vegan beef broth 

The "dry":
2 cups wheat gluten 
1/3 cup nooch 
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp onion powder

In a food processor thoroughly mix the wet ingredients until smooth. Switch the blade to a dough hook and add in the dry mix until a batter forms evenly.

Using lengths of heavy duty aluminum foil  add even mounds of batter and roll into sausage lengths, twist ends closed. Repeat until all batter is used, 8-10 sausages depending on size.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes and let cool in the foil. 

Now that you have sausages, the possibilities are endless! BBQ and top with sauerkraut and mustard, slice and fry for pasta dishes, or create some great holiday apps! 

To make sausage rolls, once cooled you need to slice them in half and cut into 1.5" sections. 

Roll out your puffed pastry and wrap each square evenly. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with specialty mustard, and enjoy!

Friday, 28 November 2014

When you dip, I dip, we dip!

Firstly, who gets the song reference? Hooray for 80's kids! 

Moving along.....PIZZA!!! Now that Pizza Nova has vegan mozarella, at a reasonable price no less, I can once again embrace my inner (ok; maybe outer  too...) fat kid and eat my feelings via take-out! 

The one thing they don't have is a vegan dipping sauce. My fave FAVE dip was the Cheddar Jalapeño dip that most pizza places carry. So creamy, and cheezy and with a nice bite.

When you order pizza that you're too lazy to get dressed to drive and go pick up, it leaves a 40 minute void. Mostly, this time is filled with peeking through the curtains brimming with hope that THAT car has your pizza, contemplating getting dressed to exchange money for carbs (but ultimately deciding against it) and/or swearing and wishing that they would just HURRY UP WITH MY PIZZA damnit!!

Maybe I'm maturing, because I spent my 40 minute void concocting dipping sauce! Truth be told, I ordered pizza on several different occasions which gave me the opportunity for trial and error. There wasn't a lot of error, per se, but I did find a great recipe that tastes amazing and is easy peasy.


1 cup vegan mayo (I used Nayonaise)
1/4 cup nooch (or more if you want it really cheezy. Always add more nooch!)
2 tbsp hot sauce (for both added heat and colour)
1/2 a jalapeño, finely diced

Add all ingredients into a blender and purée until it's a nice saucy consistency. If it's too thick for your liking, add a bit of liquid. Water or unsweetened, unflavored milk will do. 


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Baked smashed potatoes!

I'm tired and cranky. The kind of tired and cranky that only starch can fix. Bring on the potatoes! 

I bought a few bags of those little mini potatoes. They might have a real name, but I already said I'm tired. After boiling them, I arranged them on a parchment lined paper and used a wooden spoon to smash them. 

You can really garnish them with anything you want, but I used:

- Earth Balance
- Sea salt 
- Fresh minced garlic 
- Scallions, chopped finely 

Pre-heat the oven to 375 and bake for 35-45 minutes. Then, eat all of your feelings and hopefully be a little less cranky! 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


Starch fried in (vegan) butter may as well just be called HEAVEN! 😍

Oddly, not everyone agrees with that. As you may have gathered from previous posts, my other (better) half doesn't like a lot of my favourite things. Like bread, sandwiches, pierogi. Basically, if it's starchy and or fried, she wants none of it. She likes her food to be nutritionally complete, where I like mine to replace feelings and cause bloat. I know, I'm not sure how we make it work, either. 

So I wanted to try something that kind of met half way. Let me have my fried starch while being (somewhat) nutritionally complete. So I thought, why not use processed chick peas in lieu of potato, add a ton of nooch and some other good stuff? Win win? I think so!

To make the pierogi shell, I googled and came up with this:

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour 
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sunflower oil 
1 cup warm water

Blend flour and salt in a food processor, then add oil and water and mix until combined. Hand roll into a ball and set aside while you make your filling.

For the filling I used:
- 1 large 28oz can of chick peas, rinsed and puréed in the food processor
- 2 medium white onions, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
- 1/2 tbsp ground sriracha (aka THE GREATEST SPICE EVER!) 
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

In a large frying pan, sauté the onions and garlic. Then season with sriracha (or other spice with a nice heat) turmeric and nutritional yeast. Lastly add in the chick pea mix and combine well. 

On a floured surface roll out the dough to desired thickness. Use a cup to make the shapes for your pierogi. Spoon one tbsp of filling onto the centre of the shell. Pinch near the middle to seal and then continue along both sides until you have a crescent shape. (See photo for detail)

Once they're all formed, crimp edges with a fork and get ready to boil. Do not overcrowd the pan; only boil 3-5 at a time and then set aside. When they are all done, preheat a large frying pan and sauté in vegan butter until lightly browned on both sides. 

Top with your fave vegan sour cream (or not) and enjoy! 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Nacho Cheez!

I'm back! Two weddings, three events and the general chaos of life has subsided (kind of) and I'm back to the blogosphere! Yay!

Nacho night is one of my fave nights. I bought Yves new soy free veggie ground round with pea protein and figured the best way to try it out would be spiced into oblivion with veggies from our garden. And then I had a hankering for nacho cheez sauce. You know the kind that you see at the 7-11, except minus the plastic-y look. Without further adieu...

Nacho Cheez Sauce

1 cup hot water
1 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup nooch (nutritional yeast)
1.5 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp pimento, drained
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder 
1 tsp smoked paprika 
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1 whole jalapeño, diced 

Blend well in a high powered blender with nut blade attachment and voila! Creamy, tangy, spicy cheez sauce!


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Toffee Apple Pie!

Every fall I bake a billion apple pies. Every year I say I'm going to learn to make my own crust and NOT use those oh-so-convenient pre-made, ready to roll crusts. This year, I actually made my own!

I'll include the recipe, but truth be told it is finicky and may need alterations to make sure it's the right consistency. 

For the crust:
2 cups of unbleached, all purpose flour 
1 cup of vegetable shortening 
1/2 tsp salt
1-3 tbsp cold water

Combine salt and flour. Using a pastry cutter, add in 1 cup of shortening. Once combined well, knead with your hands and start sticking it together into a giant ball. Add cold water 1/2 tbsp at a time until your dough is moist enough not to crack, but not too sticky that it is too doughy. (I told you, finicky!!) 

Once it's in good form, split into two and roll out onto a well floured surface. Place the bottom into your pie plate and roll out the next half for the top. You'll need to cut it into strips to make a lattice top. Mine is ugly, yours can be too. You need the lattice top for the toffee. 

Peel, core and slice the apples and fill the pie plate. Make it nice and tall because it'll cook down a lot. You don't need to add anything to them. Add your lattice top and set aside while you make the toffee. 

Preheat oven to 425. 

For the toffee:
1/2 cup of earth balance
3 tbsp flour
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup unbleached cane sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

In a saucepan, melt earth balance. Add flour and whisk until smoothe. Add in water and sugars and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. 

Using a large spoon (I suggest silicone) spoon the toffee over the lattice of the pie. You'll want to take your time because you want the mixture to seep into the middle. Make sure all of the lattice is covered and as much of the crust as you want. 

Mine always looks messy because I like the mix of the sticky crunchy toffee with the soft crumbly crust. 

Place in the middle of the centre rack and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce head to 350 and bake for another 35-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

What you should now have is a crunchy, chewy toffee apple pie! Let cool before serving. Enjoy!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Maple Smoked Tempeh Facon!

I know very little about bacon other than the obvious. It comes from pigs (😔), the smell is so strong it's nauseating and overwhelming and it is really, REALLY popular. I have never eaten it and I don't really get it. 

I bought some tempeh at the grocery store and decided to make one slice (literally) of tempeh facon (fake bacon). My wife is always my guinea pig for these types of experiments and she immediately asked for more. I played around with different marinades, different thicknesses of tempeh slices and different baking temps and times. What I came up with is this little slice of facon heaven...

Warning: There are literally NO measurements, sorry. (Kind of) The measurements will depend on how much facon you're making. It needs to marinate in a single layer and you want the marinade to cover the top. I suppose you could use something more small and shallow but I havent tried that so I cannot confirm or deny... Moving along! 

A generous pour of olive oil
A half as generous pour of cider vinegar
An equal pour of maple syrup 
A medium sized splash of liquid smoke (I used hickory)
A medium sized splash of tamari 
A good amount of smoked paprika 
A good amount of cumin 
A healthy dash of black pepper 
A healthy dash of salt 

Mix all ingredients in a large shallow dish and then add in your sliced tempeh. You can cut it to whatever thickness you prefer.) Cover tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours. 

When you're ready to bake your facon you'll need to preheat the oven to 300 degrees. On a parchment lined sheet lay each slice of tempeh side by each and bake for 7-10 minutes or until they're toasted nicely. Keep a close eye though because the maple can make the edges burn quickly! 

Once done, remove from the oven and let cool. Once cooled, crumble on salads, add to sandwiches or just eat on it's own! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Chocolate? Peanut Butter? Pretzels?

No one is going to believe me anymore that I don't like sweets. Especially if they just saw me make sweet eating love to this cupcake. 

This all started when I saw waffle shaped pretzels on sale at the grocery store. The only thing I love more than salt is a good bargain. Salt on sale? SOLD!

I've been doing lots of chocolate lately so I guess you could say it's been on my mind. Then it happened. Chocolate dipped pretzels. Before I knew it I was melting away over a double boiler and dipping away. To be clear, I'm not sorry. I'd do it again. LOOK AT THESE BEAUTIES! 

So in the fridge they went and back to life I went. The idea of un-hinging my jaw and dropping the whole tray in crossed my mind, but I thought that they were too pretty to devour in such haste. 

So naturally, I thought of cupcakes. Vanilla? Caramel? Chocolate? YES! Chocolate! But what about icing? I thought about the same old; chocolate, vanilla, caramel.  And then I remembered my old friend Reese's. Peanut butter! 

Once I have my mind set, I just DO. So when I came home from work today I whipped up a quick batch of chocolate cupcakes so that they could cool while I was a hollering soccer mom and be ready to ice and decorate. 

While it did take some prep work and planning these are SO worth it. Without further adieu, the recipe to the best of my recollection! 

For the pretzels: 
1-1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips
1/2-1 tsp coconut oil 

Melt over double boiler (or microwave in 30 second increments in a microwave safe bowl), dip and lay on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Move to fridge to set and voila.

Chocolate cupcakes:

1 & 1/4 cup unbleached flour 
1 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder
1 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water 
1 tsp vanilla 
1/3 cup vegetable oil 
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Mix your dry ingredients, add your wet and combine. You can do this in two bowls if you insist, but one is just fine so long as you whisk the dry ingredients first and create a divot in the middle. 

Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes or until a test stick comes out clean. Then set aside to cool and start your icing!

Whipped peanut butter icing:

Ok, sorry to my measuring friends but this is LITERALLY a 2:1 recipe. I used approximately...

1/2 cup earth balance
1/2 cup peanut butter 
1 cup powdered sugar 
Splash of almond milk

It is ridiculously hot today. 40+ Celsius with the humidex. It's gross, but it did make icing prep easy! Combine the earth balance and peanut butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and mix well. Add a splash of milk until the icing is thinned out but not watery. Then using your electric mixer go to town. 

When you're ready, pipe the icing onto the cupcake and then angle the chocolate pretzel on top. 

Make sure you have friends to share with or you may eat them all. Enjoy!


Sunday, 24 August 2014

Ganache, Nuts & Requests!

99% of my food requests come from my other half. Sometimes they're easy ("Babe, I want a salad!") and sometimes they're uh...not. ("Babe, I want a vegan lamb stew!") 

I have been making hella truffles lately which means I have hella ganache sitting in the fridge. Tonight's blog post is brought to you by, "Babe, I want Ferraro Rocher!"

Admittedly, this first round is SO delicious, but not 100% where I want it to be. I have some ideas to mimic the cookie wafer shell. I'll update when I get around to it. 

In order to make ganache, it's a bit finicky but so worth it. You'll need:

1 cup of vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk
1/2 tbsp vegan butter, melted

Bring the coconut milk to a boil and pour over the chocolate chips in a bowl. Let sit for two minutes and then stir until well combined. Then stir in the vegan butter and transfer to a shallow dish to cool. (I used a glass lasagna dish.) After a few hours, it should be cooled completely, now you will have to cover and refrigerate over night. (I tried every possible cheat. It won't work unless you follow these steps. Drats!) 

Fast forward 24 hours and you now have endless possibilities with your ganache! You can roll it into spheres and top with cacao, chopped pistachios or pecans and you've got killer truffles. 

Or if you want to make someone you love happy and take a lot of time making something amazing, make THESE!

You'll need:

Whole hazelnuts 
Coarse chopped hazelnuts 
Vegan chocolate chips
Coconut oil 
Parchment lined cookie sheet

"Wrap" the hazelnut with the ganache. Roll in the spheres using the palm of your hands. If the ganache gets too soft just take a break and throw them back into the fridge to firm up. 

Next, roll them in the coarse chopped nuts. Then in a small bowl heat chocolate and coconut oil until it is fully melted. Roll the spheres in the chocolate mixture and spoon them out onto the cookie sheet to set. Sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired. Let firm in the fridge and enjoy!! 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Besan Omelettes

Brunch. That gluttonous massive meal when you've slept in and want to eat your weight in something, anything. Preferably something greasy and carby to help you forget that you made the mistake of opening and finishing that second bottle of wine (and bag of chips) the night before.

Ok, maybe that's just me. But even people who don't often suffer the morning after the night before like a good brunch. Which brings us to Besan Omlettes.

Like any good vegans, we always have heaps of onions, peppers and other veggies on hand. I also really REALLY like spices. Not just the ones with heat, but ones that add dimension and flavour, too.

Besan, is ground chick peas for those who don't know. Chick peas can do no wrong in any form. That's not just my opinion, it's actually 100% factually true. They're perfect for everything from mock tuna, burgers, salads and yes - even flour.  It has a great binding ability and the flavour is everything you'd expect from a ground chick pea. 

I'm going to make up measurements as close as possible to what I actually did for a certain friend who doesn't like a simple "2:1" explanation. 

Besan Omelette Batter
1 cup besan flour 
2-3 teaspoons of your favourite spices. I used 1 each of roasted red pepper flakes, roasted garlic and powdered habanero
1/2-2/3 cup of milk (I used sunflower)

Mix your spices into the flour and then add the milk slowly while stirring to avoid lumps. You want your batter to be thick enough to fold. It should stick to a fork for 1-2 seconds before slowly running through.

Set aside the batter and work on your filling. I used fried onions, red peppers and spinach in mine. When your filling is ready remove it from the heat and start the omelette. 

Preheat a frying pan (with a lid) to medium-low heat. Melt a good dollop of vegan butter into the pan and when it's melted pour or spoon in the batter. You'll want to swirl the pan to make sure that you just get a nice 1/4" coating on the bottom of the pan. Cover with the lid until the top is no longer shiny and looks cooked. Add a generous amount of your toppings on one side, use a spatula to fold in half and voila! An amazing, savoury besan omelette. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Sunday August 10th at Studio.89!

I am so excited to be doing another pop-up, this time in Mississauga at Studio.89!

Studio.89 is a great space, with great people and a great mission! Great! :D 

For more info on them and their mandate, check out their website:


Monday, 28 July 2014

Roasted Jalapeno & Corn Hummus

Chick peas, am I right?? They're pretty spectacular. They can do no wrong. Ever.

I bought jalapenos with the best of intentions of making some grande dish that I never got around to. And I had fresh local corn that I was going to BBQ, but never got around to it. See a theme here?? Like I said in my last post - WE'RE BUSY!

One thing that we always have in apocalyptic quantities in our house is chick peas. Because they're awesome. I don't ever need a special occasion to make hummus. I can pretty much eat it out of the jar with a spoon, as a spread on sandwiches, as a dip for fresh veggies, nacho chips or pita. Yum, yum, yum!

While looking for something to use my sad looking corn and jalapenos for, I found this gem. A couple of mods later, and there was hummus! (And then a few hours later, there was none!)

Hot Mess Warning: This will not be a Siobhan approved recipe. There will be no measurements. :)

For starters, I always pour a healthy amount of tahini into my food processor with a good splash of lemon juice and whip that first. It's the secret to creamy hummus! Then add in your drained and rinsed chick peas and pulse until coarsely chopped.

In the oven on low broil, I blackened the corn and at the end added the jalapenos. It took about 15-20 minutes. When they were done, I chopped the jalapenos and used a sharp knife to cut the corn from the cob and threw it all into the already coarse chopped chick pea mix. I turned on the food processor on low and started pouring in olive oil until the hummus was thick and smooth and lovely.

I didn't think to take a picture of it, though it was quite pretty. It's far too late now. But I did take a photo of the roasted jalapeno and corn. That'll have to do. Cheers!

Deep Fried Avocado Tacos

I don't know about you all, but avocados are one of my favourite foods. I eat at least one a day. I know that there are some people out there who panic and fret that "avocados are so high in fat, though! You shouldn't eat that many!", to which I reply PPPFFFFTTTTTTT.

When did fat become the enemy?? And is it the "fat" in avocados that people are afraid of or literally BEING fat? Either way, my PPPFFFFTTTTTTT still stands. I'm no professional or anything, but my motto when it comes to food is simple. Whole over Processed. Mostly in moderation (Because we all need a bag of chips and a bottle of wine for dinner now and again, or is that just me??) and get off your butt and DO SOMETHING. I'm not selling an illusion here; I'm not some primed Olympic athlete - but we walk the dog, go for family bike rides, cut the grass, work in the garden, work Cedar Row Farm as often as possible and just generally are busy people. I take the stairs  I deserve an avocado or two. :)

Now, onto the good stuff. I originally saw this recipe online somewhere, but it was very un-vegan. It called for buttermilk and loads of eggs. It really only served as inspiration for deep frying my own avocados so I don't feel schmucky not linking to it. As with most deep fried foods, you will need three bowls. That way you can make a really big mess and thrice the dishes.

Bowl # 1:
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp habanero powder
- 1/2 tsp dried cilantro flakes

Bowl # 2:
- 1 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond)
- 1 egg replacer (I used Ener-G, but Flax would also work)

Bowl # 3:
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp dried cilantro flakes (Because you can NEVER have too much cilantro!)

In a large heavy bottom sauce pan, heat about an inch and a half of oil medium-high. I don't have any fancy thermometers, I just splash some water in and when it fires back at me I know it's ready. Safety first! lol Depending on the size of your avocados, or your mouth I suppose, slice it in quarters or eighths.

Hot Mess Tip: Before you start frying, make sure you have a plate ready with paper towels to transfer them to. Also, you'll want to eat them right away so have your plates ready and waiting. I used corn tortillas, chopped iceburg lettuce, garden fresh tomatoes and fresh cilantro and green onion.

With your avocado sections, coat evenly in bowl 1, transfer to bowl 2 and then into bowl 3 for the Panko. Don't skimp on the Panko. Press it right into it! Repeat until all avocado is coated and ready to go. I laid mine out on a cutting board so that I could do them all at once but if you allow help in the kitchen there's no reason you couldn't use teamwork here.

You can use tofutti sour cream, or daiya cheez on your tacos but I wanted a rich, creamy, spicy sauce to top off my tacos with so I whipped up this:

3/4 cup Vegenaise
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp Sriracha Hot Sauce
2 green onions, chopped. I used my herb scissors.
1 large bunch fresh cilantro, chopped with scissors

The end result? THIS.

Monday, 21 July 2014


Very rarely do I get THIS excited about things. (That may be an absolute lie.) but I am really REALLY excited. So excited in fact, that I just used caps locks on five words, including the title. Good grief!

Those who know me, know I'm not a big fan of faux cheeses. Actually, that's a little general. Specifically I don't like processed faux cheeses. They just taste so weird to me! I had good luck with the tofu ricotta for the stuffed shells. Then I saw this little gem and thought it was worth a try. I did not make the whole pizza recipe - just the moxarella. I had very low expectations. Very low. Almost non-existent.

But something beautiful happened. It was easy. Like, really, really easy. And cheap. Tapioca starch is only .99 cents for a lifetime supply and the cashew count is only 1/4 a cup. And friggin' delicious. It has the perfect mix of salt and tang and it's creamy and light and wonderful.

As the original recipe states it isn't a good replacement for a Caprese salad but baked it is 11/10.

Copied from One Green Planet:

  • 1/4 C. raw cashews 
  • 1 C. hot water (NOT boiling)
  • 2  T. + 1 t. tapioca starch
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4  t. sea salt
  • 1 t. fresh lemon juice

After chilling it and using it on pizza with some tomatoes from our garden and a sweet basil base sauce I had lots left over.

I got to thinking. What if I roll them in a mix of panko and herbs and bake them? And then inhale them like my life depended on it? Yes please. The moxarella is really "sticky" so you'll need to wrap it in saran wrap. Oddly it doesn't stick to knives or other objects, just fingers. Anyhow, the breading was easy to make. On a silpat, or sheet of saran wrap mix:

1 cup panko crumbs
1/2 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder

Cut the moxarella into "sticks" and roll into panko mix. They will flatten and roll out as you go. Repeat for as many as you'd like. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet, spray with canola oil (If you want them more like fried, as opposed to baked) and bake at 425 degrees for 5-7 minutes per side or until golden brown.

You can dip them in whatever you'd like. I made a quick vegan ranch dressing dip. This one's good.


Dessert Pizza

Sometimes, something so simple can be so amazing. We were going for dinner with friends the other night and I needed to make a dessert to bring.

Maybe because I've baked so many cakes lately I'm all caked out. I wanted something would really 'wow' them. And then I thought of it. Dessert pizza! 

First I whipped up a batch of my fave chocolate chip cookies, but instead of dividing it up I rolled it out on a parchment lined cookie sheet and made my "pizza" base. You can either let the giant cookie air cool, or put it in the fridge or freezer to harden to be able to apply the next layer.

Then I used a tub of Almond Dream vanilla ice cream as the next layer. I spooned the entire tub into my food processor with 1 tbsp of almond milk and when it was smooth and spreadable I slathered it on the now cooled cookie and immediately got it into the freezer to harden while I prepped the next layers.

I had walnuts kicking around, but they weren't chopped so I worked my magic. Because I had previously made thick, rich bourbon caramel I got the cheat this next step. You will need to follow this link and make your own caramel :)

Now, to assemble!

Repeat after me. Cookie. Ice Cream. Chopped Nuts. Caramel. OM NOM NOM.

If you're feeling EXTRA fancy you can add a chocolate drizzle on top, as well. Perfection.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Baked Buffalo Chick'n & Tofu Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Here's a little secret; I'm kind of oblivious. Like, really really oblivious. I can notice something relatively small and inconsequential, and yet I'll miss something blaringly obvious. I could tell you heaps of examples but then I'd just start feeling bad about myself and abandon this whole blog post. So for the sake of this recipe, instead I'll just tell you why I'm letting you in on this secret. 

I thought I bought faux chicken strips, but it was veggie ground chick'n. It was discounted so I bought all that was left. It was a good deal! The problem? What the hell was I going to do with 5lbs of veggie ground chick'n? 

The answer my friends, buffalo chick'n & cheez stuffed pasta shells. They're creamy and rich and have a wicked kick with the hot sauce. You're welcome. 

Tofu Ricotta:
1 package of firm tofu
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil

Drain and press the tofu to get as much of the liquid out as possible. I wrapped mine in a tea towel and just hand squeezed. If you have a tofu press, good for you fancy pants. 

In a food processor pulse the dried tofu with all other ingredients and you're done! Wasn't that easy? :) Set uncovered in the fridge while you prep the rest. 

1 package of jumbo shell pasta
2 packages of veggie ground chick'n 
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup of buffalo hot sauce
A 9 x 13 lasagne pan/baking dish

In a frying pan, heat oil and brown the chick'n. You could and add onions or celery or other stuff but I didn't. Once it's browned add in the buffalo hot sauce and remove from heat. Place covered in a bowl and refrigerate until completely cooled. 

While the mixtures are cooling, pre-heat oven to 375 and boil water to cook the pasta shells. You will want to leave them al dente or they will be really mushy after you bake them. When they're ready drain and set aside. 

Mix the ricotta mixture with the chick'n mixture and spoon into pasta shells. Repeat and arrange in the lasagne dish. It's ok if they're crowded. 

Once the dish is full, bake for 20-25 minutes and then enjoy! 

You can add shredded Daiya on top if you like it, I just drizzled more hot sauce. 


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Caramel, Bourbon, Cheezecake. SOLD!

Bourbon? Yes.  Caramel? YES! On Vegan Cheezcake? Oh HECK YES!

Once in a while I get adventurous and try to veganize something that is really ambitious. Most of the time I go into it with the expectation that it will probably end up in the compost whilst I swear up a storm. Maybe even a few tears. Lucky for all of us, this latest experiment turned out to be Heaven on Earth. The only tears were tears of joy!

There are lots of vegan cheezcake recipes out there, but one in particular caught my eye. Thanks to The Minimalist Baker I got the base for a creamy, dreamy, super-duper cheezcake. It wasn't until I got to the Bourbon Caramel part of the recipe that my heart sank a little. Heavy cream? Dang!

Sidenote: There is nothing more frustrating than websites that are a mixed bag of recipe types.Sometimes I read recipe names and by the time I'm salivating and clicking away I realize that there's little to no chance of veganizing well...sigh...

One of the staples in our fridge is canned full-fat coconut milk. When you refrigerate full fat coconut milk the coconut cream will separate from the coconut water and you can do so many things with it. Add a little agave/maple/sugar or vanilla and whip it up. Few things beat coconut whipped cream. Then with the coconut water, save it and use it in smoothies. Delicious! Anyhow, I figured it was worth a try.


2-3 tbsp bourbon
1 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup coconut cream

On medium heat, in a heavy flat bottomed pan add the sugar and water. DO NOT USE A UTENSIL. "Swirl" the pan around in clockwise and counter clockwise circles to keep the mix moving. If you don't do this, it will burn. The mixture should bubble and eventually brown. When it has a rich caramel colour remove from heat and stir in the coconut cream and bourbon. Return to warm element (It shouldn't be on, just warm) and using a silicon spatula stir and mix liquid well. Once it's all mixed well, pour it into a glass container and put in the fridge. It will be pretty thin right now, but in an hour or so it will be thick and caramelly. Resist the urge to pour it down your throat, but I won't judge you if you do. :)

Once your cheezcakes are set, top with this amazing vegan bourbon caramel and inhale!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Roasted Red Peppers!

Roasted red peppers are a staple in our house. They're great cold, hot, in a dish or on their own. Did you know how easy they are to make? Seriously! All you need is a large cookie sheet, some tin foil and a large mason jar.

Turn on your oven broiler to high.

Slice the peppers into quarters, and trim them so that they lay flat, skin side up.

Cover the cookie sheet with tin foil and arrange the peppers skin side up, close to one another but not overlapping. Broil for 10-15 minutes watching closely until all of the skins are evenly blackened. You may need to turn the cookie sheet or use tongs to rearrange depending on how your oven broils. 

When they are evenly blackened, remove from the oven and wrap tightly in the foil. This is to steam and soften the peppers. After about 30 minutes, open the foil and the skins will slide right off. :)

After the skins are shed, simply place in a mason jar and refrigerate for up to a month. They never last that long in our house! 

PS- I usually also broil zucchini and eggplant in addition. Roasted veggies are so versatile and with just a little olive oil they're healthy too! 

Suggested uses:
- Slice and add into pasta dishes
- Layer onto a sandwich with Vegenaise and other roasted veggies
- Top your fave pizza
- On it's own as an antipasti 

Happy broiling!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

You can't win friends with salad, or can you?

Now that summer is here and we are all out of hibernation, it seems that our social calendar has exploded! Does this happen to anyone else? Increasingly I find myself looking 4-6 weeks ahead to book time to "relax" with friends. Because of this it seems we are always planning everything. My iPhone calendar is synced with my better half and if something doesn't get entered, it literally doesn't exist. What does this have to do with vegan food? Read on, friends!

I'm sure we aren't the only family with a freezer full of veggie burgers and veggie dogs on stand-by for the "Oh shit! I forgot that was tomorrow" BBQ, or the "I'm on strike, I'm not cooking" lunch/dinner. (Or just a regular day - I'm not judging!) But if you're anything like me (God help you and your family...) veggie burgers and veggie dogs just don't hit the spot on their own. So today I am going to talk about my favourite side dishes that are easy to make large batches of on the fly. We all know that while

Potato Salad:
There are so many types of potato salad, how do I choose? Let's start with my basic rules. 

1. Potatoes!
Red skinned potatoes are my fave, so they are all I work with. I'm sure there are others, but they pale in comparison and aren't worthy of my attention.  I'm stubborn like that. And by stubborn, I mean awesome.

2. Texture!
I hate pasty, mushy potato salad. I like there to be a ratio of 4:1 for firm potato to mushed potato. In addition, I also require crunch and another variable texture. Acceptable add-ins to achieve the desired texture(s) include, but are not limited to; green onions, red onions, chopped jalapenos, corn, relish, chopped dill pickle, chopped peppers and chopped kale.
Tip: BBQ the corn, peppers or jalapenos to add extra depth!

3. Flavour & Colour!
The only thing that rivals pasty, mushy potato salad for the worst ever is pasty, mushy, flavourless potato salad. Lucky for you, if you're reading this post and are taking my advice to heart, you've added texture from my handy-dandy list which also conveniently adds flavour AND colour. Damn you're good. 

4. Sauce!
If you read the last post, you know what sauce means to me. It can make or break the potato salad. I have good news, and bad news. Much to the chagrin of my family, I've never made the same potato salad twice. Partly because when I make it I'm using up the dregs of the fridge (appetizing huh?) but more accurately because I'm not paying attention. The good news is that every time I've made it it's been delicious! A good potato salad dressing MUST include the following: Vegenaise, Mustard (Dijon, Bold 'n Spicy, Plain, etc.) and apple cider vinegar. Just close your eyes, spoon indiscriminately and  hope for the best!

Creamy or vinaigrette? I'm 50/50 on this one. If it's creamy, it must have raisins and heat, though. Check out my recipe from my previous blog post for Jalapeno Wasabi Slaw. As a bonus, that's also my rib recipe link. 
The thing about vinaigrette's is that they require a lot of sugar. Unless you like to pucker up from the vinegar, but I for one can't afford any more wrinkles! I think I lied to you. I just changed my vote to creamy all the way!

Coleslaw isn't always ideal for making the day that company is coming because it often tastes a heck of a lot better the next day. But in a pinch, dress your slaw, put it in a sealed container and flip upside down to store. That way there's less mixing to do when you turn it upright. 

Chick'n Salad
This is actually a recipe that I find revolting, but my family loves it. In the interest of freedom and democracy and all that other good stuff, here goes...but don't way I didn't warn you. It's also super quick and easy to make.  President's Choice makes vegan chick'n breasts. You can bake, broil, BBQ, microwave or fry them. Once cooked, you can either hand tear them or chop them into 1" cubes. Here comes the texture, colour and flavour again! Salt and pepper the plain chick'n. Add in chopped red onions, green relish and stir well. Now mix in vegenaise, mustard and a healthy bounty of fresh dill. Eat alone or on sandwiches. Enjoy!

Cold Rolls <-- This is an old post of mine. Cold rolls are a solid go-to because you can fill them with anything you've got. Glass noodles, veggies, pickled ginger. Go nuts. 

Raw Beet Citrus Salad: <-- This has been a fave recipe of mine for years. If you don't already know, shredded raw beets are the bomb. So sweet and crunchy, and the orange pairs amazingly. 

Moroccan Carrot Salad <-- This is another great salad if you want to try something different. The combination of spices are sure to please a mature crowd :)

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Sauce; The Final Frontier

If you're anything like me, sauce is everything. It can make or break a dish. It needs to have depth, the right texture and consistency and of course - HEAT! OK, now I know not everyone has a penchant for spice, but the beauty of all recipes is that you can increase or decrease any ingredients that you'd like! Seriously. Love garlic? Double it! Wimpy taste buds? Half the chili flakes!

At Niagara Vegfest I was lucky enough to run into an old friend (hi Deb!) who mentioned to me that finding a good base sauce was where she struggled. So I figured I'd make an entire blog post dedicated to my top sauce go to's. In no particular order...

1. Dreamy Cream Sauce.

This isn't an actual sauce. But if you want something that is ULTRA creamy you need to look no further than soaked cashews. (I usually soak them in a sealed bowl of boiling water for 10 minutes while I prep. If you have lots of time, good for you. Soak them overnight.) Make sure you buy the raw, unsalted.

The key is that you need a blender/bullet with a nut blade so that it doesn't have any small chunks left. For every one cup of cashews, blend with one cup of water or broth. If you want it thinner, just add more liquid. On its own it's a great base for cream of "anything" soups.  Once you have your basic cream, then you can add in the flavour for other dishes!

Add in some garlic, parsley and vegan Parmesan.

Add in some lemon juice, nooch, mustard and onion powder

The possibilities are endless. Blend it with roasted red peppers. Or cut the liquid in half and add jalapenos to make a kick-ass dip. Play around! If the dip doesn't work, add some corn, cilantro, beans and broth and make a Mexican-style soup. Have fun!

2. BBQ Sauce.

BBQ sauce is so easy to make you'll never buy it again. That's not true. You'll just learn to quadruple the recipes and bottle it while rationing each drop. Then again, not everyone is a sauce-whore like I am. Seriously, I'll do anything for sauce.....

Moving along...

A BBQ sauce base is tomato (sauce or ketchup. If you go with sauce, you'll likely want to add sugar), onion powder, garlic, lemon juice/vinegar, mustard (powder or wet is fine). I always like to add brown sugar and whiskey into mine because, let's be honest -  sugar and whiskey make everything better. If it's too thin, just add tomato paste. Too thick, no such thing.

What can you do with this amazing BBQ sauce base now that you've made a gallon of it? Well, let me tell you. It is a great beginning for:

Sloppy Joe's:
Mix the BBQ sauce base with some fire roasted tomatoes and molasses. Add in your joe mix (lentils, TVP, veggie ground round) and slop away friends!

Pulled Not-Pork:
You can buy soy curls, or make your own wheat meat to sauce. Great on mashed potatoes or sliders.

BBQ Seitan Ribs:
If you haven't seen my previous post about seitan ribs - go find it and read it now. Then head to the grocery store and buy all the ingredients. Make this for dinner. Crunchy, saucy, heaven. You're welcome.

3. Curry.

Curry should be renamed to something more regal. Because it's fricking amazing. You can buy curry paste, and curry powder. I usually like to mix them up. There is nothing you can't do with curry.

Dice and fry up some onions and veggies, sprinkle (drown) with curry powder and paste and then add in soft or silken tofu. Scramble, top with fresh scallions, top on toast and inhale.

Coconut curry red lentil soup. One of my faves. Fry some diced up onions, add garlic and some nutmeg and both curries and when 2/3 cooked add in 2:1 coconut milk and vegetable broth. Add in one or one and a half cups of rinsed red lentils and a tablespoon or two of tomato paste. Let simmer for 20 minutes and then eat it all in one sitting.

Stew that sticks to your ribs is exactly what we need in Canada during our 8 months of winter. You know what stews amazing? Butternut squash and spinach. Throw in some chick peas and you've got yourself a pot of heaven.

4. Ethiopian "Berbere" 

I recently made my own spice blend and I'm really, REALLY glad that I quadrupled the recipe. Seriously. I made a half litre of the dry mix. It it super spicy, but has such depth. It is great for marinades, bbq, stews and more. Check out my previous post for Ethiopian Stew and you'll find the recipe.

5. Vegenaise

I'm sure I'm not the only one who is overdependent on vegenaise. I know I should be sorry, but I'm not. You know why? Because THIS:

Add lime juice, cilantro and sriracha into a base of vegenaise. Now put it on sandwiches, dip your chips into it, or eat it with a spoon.

Mix 2:1 vegenaise and a bold mustard. Add in some lemon juice and crunchy fried onions. (Costco sells a massive bag, full of carcinogens but vegan!) Again, chips are optional for dipping. You may just prefer to eat with a spoon.

I'm sure there's more and as I think of them I'll try to remember to update this blog. Until then, go make sauce! SAUCE ALL THE THINGS!


Monday, 2 June 2014

So Sloppy, Sloppy Joe!

Holy mackerel it's been a long time since I've blogged! So much has happened! I swear I'm not just slacking, I swear! 

I had a bakesale for the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, which was AWESOME! R&R Cafe was super super amazing and let me take over for a day and between the cafe sales and home sales I was able to donate $900 to Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary. ❤️️👍

Then it was time to gear up for Niagara Veg Fest! I baked my little heart out and made about 350 Macaroons! Good grief!! Once they were all stuffed into a bin they looked so sad and cramped! Poor BB's. Eventually most were eaten, which is a strangely better fate. 

Now, let's get to the sloppy joes! You'll have to forgive me and use some of your own judgement because I'm not 100% sure how these happened but hot darn they were good! 

So Sloppy, Sloppy Joes!

Onions, diced
Peppers, diced
Fire roasted tomatoes
Green lentils, rinsed, boiled and "ready"
Garlic salt
Smoked paprika 
Powdered Habanero (aka THE FOOD OF THE GODS!!! I add it into everything!)
Vegetable oil 
BBQ sauce (I used a no name plain)
Black Strap molasses 

Sauté the onions and peppers in the olive oil and add the spices. Use as much as you like. I used Swedish chef amounts. (Mutter "horgy porgy" and toss in indiscriminately until you feel you've added enough) Reserve the habanero!

Then add in the fire roasted tomato and lentils and stir well. Douce with BBQ sauce and molasses. I did a ratio of about 4:1, respectively. 

Shake the habanero on top and let cook down on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. The sauce will thicken, but if it doesn't you can always add a tablespoon of tomato paste. 

I had previously made the cole slaw. It was in a basic vinaigrette which was a mix of:

Apple cider vinegar
Raw cane sugar
Bold mustard
Vegetable oil
Garlic powder... And I think that's it. Haha

The final product? Once the Joe mix was spooned over a whole wheat toasted bun... TA DA!!

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Creamy Mushroom Soup

After a butt kickingly AMAZING yoga class tonight, it was back to the kitchen to really relax. And by relax, in my crazy world I mean cook. Or bake. But my waistline begged me to take a baking break (at least until the bake sale!). 

So, after scouring the fridge I realized that I had a pound of fresh mushrooms that needed to be used ASAP. I also had cashews soaking that were ready to transform into something creamy and delicious. 

I don't know about you all, but when I grocery shop my FAVE thing is to buy the reduced produce/products. There's the obvious factor of saving money, but I also like that it forces you to get creative. (And if you have a mental block you can always google "XYZ + recipe"!)

Anyhow, no google needed tonight- creamy cashew + mushrooms? Soup was in the cards! 

1 lb of fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 lb yellow onions, diced
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2-3 tbsp earth balance
1.5 cups cashews, soaked
4 cups vegan 'chicken' broth 

In a sauce pan melt the earth balance. Add in the onions and when about half done add the mushrooms. Sprinkle with all of the spices, cover and let simmer until mushrooms are soft and onions are cooked through. 

In a blender, blend the cashews with equal parts stock. Pour into the pot, and top with the remaining broth. Stir well and cook for another 3-5 minutes on low heat. 

I like my soup with a rich base and good sized "chunks" of vegetable. I used an immersion blender to break up most of the mushroom and onion while still leaving pea sized pieces. You could blend it completely, to your taste.

I had a small taste bowl- divine! 

Sadly, I didn't take any pictures of the soup in any sort of appealing presentation. I did get a picture of it cooling in a storage jar. 

Good enough? It'll have to be, folks! This hot mess is tired! 


Monday, 28 April 2014

Chocolate Mudpies

I've been really slacking on posting recipes and blog posts lately. It's so much easier to point and click the iPhone before chowing down than it is to type out recipes! #firstworldproblems! 

Tonight I decided to try the 6 ingredient Chocolate Mudpies that I saw on Finding Vegan! Boy am I glad I did!!!

This is raw, vegan, GF and gluttonous!

cup pitted dates, soaked
1.5 cups walnuts
3/4 cup cacao powder

Mudpie Filling:
1 package silken tofu
1.5 cups melted vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup of coconut milk

First pulse the walnuts and cacao in the food processor until finely ground. Then remove into a bowl and drain and pulse the dates. Fold the nut mixture back in and blend.

I lined muffin tins with Saran Wrap and equally portioned balls of the mix into each one, then pressed into the bottom evenly. In the freezer she goes!

Now, clean the food processor and et ready for the filling. Add the tofu and coconut milk into th food processor.  In a double boiler (or microwave) heat the chocolate chips. Add the melted chocolate chips into the food processor and while they're still warm turn on high until it's consistency is fluffy! 

Remove the muffin tin from the freezer and add two to three dollops of the filling onto each crust. Place back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes and Voila! Amazing chocolate mud pies!!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Whoopie Pies!!

I have this bake sale coming up, and to be honest I'm freaking out a little. I flip flop between "oh god, what if no one comes" and "oh god, what if no one likes the food". A little ridiculous, I know. 

The biggest feedback I got about my baking was really that I needed more gluten free options. But the problem is that gluten free food sucks!! Ok, that was harsh. But honestly, so much of it is really bland with dry or unappealing textures. I do have my gluten free macaroon, which is damn good but I wanted something else to sell on May 3rd. So I asked the land of Facebook and lots of suggestions came. 

I made a chocolate quinoa cupcake with whipped buttercream frosting that was pretty good. The people who ate my test batch loved them, but when a recipe calls for 6 eggs the egg replacer falls a little flat, in my opinion. 

Those are the quinoa cupcakes above.

Tonight I thought I'd try another recipe went to me. It only called for one egg and was a one bowl dessert which is my fave. It's actually all made in a food processor which is even better. I doubled the recipe to make 10 joe louis sized whoopie pies. Because I'm gluttonous like that.

The ingredients:

2 cups of black beans
6 tbsp cacao powder
2 "eggs" (I used Ener-G GF replacer)
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup of agave nectar
3 tsp baking soda 

Here's where it gets easy. Preheat oven to 350. Throw all ingredients into a food processor and process until smoothe. 

Spoon about 1.5 of batter at a time onto cookie sheet and leave room for spreading. Bake for 20 minutes and voila!!

While they're cooling, make the icing. 

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup earth balance
3.5 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp cacao (if you want chocolate)
1 tsp vanilla 
1/4 cup almond milk

Mix the earth balance and shortening together, add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Then use electric beater and whip into a beautiful sugary dream.

When cookies are cool, pipe onto one side of a cookie and press together. BAM! Whoopie pies straight from heaven!!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale!!

I am very excited about an upcoming event that Veganhotmess is hosting! It brings my heart great joy to partner with Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary and raise funds for the animals. Have a look at the poster, mark your calendars and come ready to stuff your face with all kinds of delicious vegan treats!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Ethiopian Sweet Potato & Lentil Stew

In our house anything with lots and lots of spice is always a hit, so when I saw a recipe for an Ethiopian dry spice called "Berbere" I knew I had to make it and use it immediately. I suggest you make this in bulk (I quadrupled the recipe) and use it as often as you can. It is amazing.

I cheated and used my NutriBullet to grind up the seeds, flakes and whatnot but if you're insistent you can use the old fashioned mortar and pestle way. When you're done just keep it in a mason jar. 

Berbere Spice Blend:
  • 4 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
Now for the stew. I LOVE lentils. Like, really really love them. And I also love a good stew. We volunteer at Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary in Ontario (Canada) and the farm work visits are potluck. There is something about working your butt off and then sitting down to stew that just feels sooooo good. Stew is also a really easy way to feed a lot of people :)

Anyhow, the ingredients for the stew are:
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp berbere spice
  • 1.5L Broth
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 of a cabbage (red or green) finely chopped
  • 6 small-medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup green lentils (or 1 can)
  • 1 can organic tomato paste
  • In a large pot, sauté the onions in the olive oil. After a few minutes add the garlic and ginger. Next add the berbere and stir well. Now add the cabbage and cook covered for a minute or two. Now you're ready for the broth and potatoes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil before lowering heat and simmering for 20-25 minutes. Lastly add the tomato paste to thicken. 
When the potatoes are done and the broth had thickened I like to give it a once over with the immersion blender to make it extra thick and stewy. Enjoy! 

#goodfoodbadpicture haha

PS - my formatting is all off on this post but I can't be bothered to boot up the laptop and fix it. So I have a bulletted paragraph that shouldn't be. If you didn't already notice, now you will. If you did 8 am painfully aware but totally apathetic. Ha! 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Cinn-Aparts Heaven

I saw a post by #planetvegan linked to "Vegan Monkey Bread" and HAD to try it.

I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out pretty delicious. I would, however make a few small tweaks. I would use the following ingredients:

1 c almond milk
1/3 c warm water
2 T vegan margarine, melted (I used Earth Balance)
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 T yeast
3 1/2 c all-purpose flour, plus extra for surface work
2 t salt
1 c brown sugar, packed
2 t cinnamon
1/2 c vegan margarine, melted
3/4 c powdered sugar
2 T almond milk
I'd suggest going to the website (linked above) for full instructions, as she has laid it all out beautifully with photo steps along the way. In addition to the small tweak on the recipe for the goo, I would also suggest baking them for 30-35 minutes if you don't like them quite as soft and doughy, like me. Although to be fair, there was not a single complaint that it was too soft or doughy as I fed the masses today. (Shout-out to Soo-Jin AGAIN just because it makes her happy!)