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Fresh for 2010, an update!

Viva Vegan! book out April 27 2010

If you’re wondering if it does indeed feel embarrassing to tend to a much neglected blog, well wonder no more. Consider me humbled. I have seen your small requests, questions and posts and figured all the while that I should probably do something about this.

So, here’s the deal.

I am no longer in need of recipe testers at this moment, but I am deeply appreciative of all who responded. That germ of a cookbook idea is now nearly a fully assembled, typeset manuscript right next to me on my desk. The recipes are done and the photos are taken. I’m just in the home stretch of checking things once, maybe twice. Strange to realize that that what started actually two years ago is nearly over. It feels a little like coming home from a really long vacation to find that your luggage is already unpacked and your kitchen learned how to stock the fridge on it’s own.

But your testing requests will be answered someday soon: there will certainly be books in the near future and I’ll post up the need for testers once more.

Viva Vegan! (Vegan Recipes for Latin Food Lovers) is available for pre-order on Amazon and should be released April 27 2010. It feels surreal writing 2010 and realizing that means right now, not 2008. My publisher would have an official release date of May 5th for that proper tamale-festival feel. We’ll know more as those dates approach. Hopefully by the end of this month the manuscript will be out of my hair for good, once and for all. Margaritas on the house everyone!

In regards to this dusty little blog you see here, I aim to transform it into something more updated, more informative, more bloggy. Sites are set for sometime in mid-March.

Until then the best way to keep tabs on is via Twitter. Yeah, that thing, I’m on it now. Look for terryhope and follow me…never know I could follow you back. Until then, thanks for reading!



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I break for recipe testers!

I’ve only posted my search for testers here and on a local board populated mostly by friends, but the response has been wonderful and encouraging. Thank you everyone who has signed up!

I estimate that I should have everything up and running toward the end of next week, and then everyone who has contacted me will get a heads up. I’ll also post here when testing has officially kicked off…and if you signed up and haven’t heard from me by then please bother me and I’ll make sure you haven’t been forgotten.

If you’re just chancing upon this call for testing now there is still time to be included. There is also the chance that I may do a second wave of tester sourcing down the road. So if recipe testing interests you but you can’t see yourself doing it now, but maybe come March or April, let me know here and I’ll keep you in mind.

Until then maybe invest in some containers to bring lunch to work. If you’re hitting the kitchen as much as I am you may just find yourself with lots of tasty leftovers for lunch!


Filed under Vegan Latina book

Wanted: Vegan Latina cookbook testers

Salvadorian pupusas stuffed with black beans, fried plantains & tofu chicharrones

Salvadorian pupusas stuffed with black beans, fried plantains & tofu "chicharrones"

Greetings from the long lost. A lot has been going on and it’s done a fine job at keeping me away from blogging. But big things are coming down the pike. To be brief:

This is my first quiet call-out for testers for my upcoming Latin American themed vegan cookbook, known for now as Vegan Latina. I hope to have a full-fledged private testing forum in the next few weeks. What to expect should you choose to sign up:

-A mélange of vegan recipes with Latin American sabór! Sometimes I will veganize traditional favorites while other recipes are purely driven by inspiration. This will feature the whole enchilada including: soups, salad, desserts, sauces, entrees, sides, sweets, etc.

-A lot of recipes to test, but this all depends on you. I will be posting over 100 recipes for testing. Anyone who tests at least five recipes will get a thank you in the book. Testers that are gung-ho and test more (an amount I’ll determine soon, but if you’re psyched and an enthusiastic cook you will certainly qualify), will get a copy of the book for free.

So, ultimately how much time you are willing to donate will figure into how many recipes you want to test. I appreciate and value all the help I can get!

Not familiar with Latino cooking? Well then I hope to get you a little more comfortable around it. Generally you’ll be eating healthy with plenty of fresh veggies, grains and beans. But of course there will be dessert and a little frying now and then. There may be ingredients unusual or hard to come by, but that’s part of the testing process. If you’re willing to do a little online ordering for ingredients then hopefully everyone can be covered. And there’s always substitutions!

Who I am looking for: the open minded, home-cooking-lovin’, internet-using person who thinks they can swing at least two home cooked meals a week and post about how it went on an online forum. You don’t even have to be vegan to cook this stuff, just excited to give it a chance! Of course if you cook like five meals in one evening once a week, or five little things over the course of a week and a half that works too. I’m just generalizing what kind of pacing will be needed for testing recipes.

I estimate that testing should span early February to late spring/early summer.

If this sounds like something you want to do, please give it a shot! Respond to this post and I will contact you shortly.

Oh, besides all of that I’m up to my eyeballs in cookies (and there are so many more I haven’t had a chance to post pics of here).


Filed under Vegan Latina book

Thanks for voting us awesome!

Your vote counts!

Your vote counts!

I’ve been running around like a maniac cooking up stuff for the two new books, enjoying the kickin’ fall cold weather and wrestling with the ever important day job. But not too busy to say thanks (belatedly for sure, I know) to everyone that took the time to participate in VegNews’ Veggie Awards and that voted Isa and I your Favorite Cookbook Authors of 2008. Rest assure that we’re never resting, but slaving over hot stoves, lugging home the groceries and typing like mad on our keyboards to bring you more kick-ass cookbooks for years to come.


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Veganmofo 13: I’ll take one Vegan please (and goodbye ‘mofo)

Id add watercress to everything if you let me

I'd add watercress to everything if you let me

Secret vegan sandwich alert. Well not really secret or an alert, but if you’re lost in Manhattan amidst a sea of Burger King and Quiznos and feeling spendy then high-end NYC sandwich chain ‘Wichcraft hears your call.

‘Wichcraft saves the day with a forward-thinking, luscious sandwich that’s worth the occasional forgetting to pack lunch for. Known to the public as the Chopped Chickpea sandwich, the staff end of the receipt reveals it’s covertly known as the VEGAN. I had to beg my slightly confused sandwich server to let me have her receipt, the one she uses to locate which sandwich belongs to whom.

After almost overdosing on this lovely creation within the first few months of not one, but two of them open near my job I’m now back in the habit. Two slabs of peasant bread nestle tangy chopped chickpeas, Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers and paper-thin slices of preserved lemon. That’s right, preserved lemon makes this a work of art. I typically customize my order with the addition of watercress (no charge!), but I’d happily pay up another dollar for my favorite crunchy green thing.

I adore this brilliant move on the part of ‘Wichcraft. It excites me when I see mainstream companies, even this “niche” upscale chain, unexpectedly cater to vegan needs.

This sandwich is just an occasional treat, with its recession-unfriendly price tag and dripping with abundant oil. Then again an almost healthy, veggie-laced lunch in midtown Manhattan is usually designed to clean out your change purse. And after a week of eating from the same giant pot of homemade beans or soup for lunch a splurge is inevitable.

And so ends my experiment in Veganmofo today too. It’s been great in many ways and it’s given me the inspiration and motivation to join the vegan blogging masses, who are always good company. I jumped on late but it’s better than not doing anything at all, and that means you too, other late-joining Veganmofoer. Cheers and hurray to everyone that participated and blogged like hell along the way. Go bake a dozen pumpkin cupcakes to celebrate if your fingers haven’t fallen off from all that typing just yet!


Filed under NYC Eating, Veganmofo

Veganmofo 12: Poll: Seitanic Confessions (set puns to stun, possibly ouch)

Like a brat out of hell...newly born seitan ain't pretty

Like a brat out of hell...newly born seitan ain't pretty

Seitan worshippers out there, by what method do you oversee the preparation of everyone’s favorite devilishly delicious wheat meat? With Halloween near let us gather in mass to sing the praises of our high protein, low-fat overlord!

Did you discovered the pleasures of steaming your homemade seitan and convert after one too many boiled “brainy” lumps? Is baking in broth the way you get your kicks, or does your hand-me-down slow cooker seethe with fiendish gluten delights? Or are you a devote member of the ancient cult of (almost) boiling atop the stove, always getting perfect results every time in an eerie way that confirms what your mother said about you being possessed by vegan cooking demons (she did say that, no?).


Filed under Veganmofo

Veganmofo 11: Ice (can’t stop) Screaming

As previously confirmed by your responses, it’s always ice cream season. Friggin’ cold weather be damned. Just through on another hoodie and you’re ready to take ice cream eating to the fall-weathered streets.

After an excellent dinner at Angelica Kitchen on Friday, maybe the best I’ve had there yet (a fall-themed vegan bisteeya served with roasted turnips that were as mellow, juicy and sweet as grilled zucchini), we headed over to Lula’s, the brand spanking new all vegan ice cream parlor in the LES.

Sign of the times

Sign of the times

So many times after having a fabulous vegan meal in the East Village have I thought how great would it be to get a little scoop of something sweet to round out the meal. The shiny and new Lula’s is a dream come true, an adorable slip of a store with stylish exposed brick walls and shelves of shiny jars filled with truly vegan treats and toppings. Most of the ice creams are house-made and the soft serve is good old Temptation. Also on tap that evening was Temptation Fair Trade Green Tea hard ice cream. And how can you not love an ice cream shop that serves up the goods with shovel-shaped spoons that insures maximum cool creamy goodness gets into your mouth even faster?

If only this cone was as big as my head

If only this cone was as big as my head

Thanks to an uber-healthy dinner I was stuffed with vegetables and could only muster a single dipped wafer cone. Peanut butter chocolate cookie ice cream sans topping was the perfect choice for savoring slowly. Lula’s ice cream chefs look to expand beyond the realm of soy dairy into nut-based ice creams and this soy-free flavor had a luscious dense texture similar to gelato.

Still life in ice cream perfection

Still life in ice cream perfection

Eppy made us regret all our choices with his old fashioned ice cream sundae. Let the picture do the talking.

On my way over to dinner I walked past the Top Chef trailer right off of Union Square. I don’t get much time for television these days but I can’t stop watching if Top Chef and I cross paths. Top Chef-heads out there, what are you looking forward to in this new NYC season?

This isnt Top Cab pal. Try next season.

This isn't Top Cab pal. Try next season.


Filed under Soy Dairy, Veganmofo

Veganmofo 10: Freezerburn Friday

I know you don’t need me to remind you what day it is with frightful blog post titles. TGIFreezerburn Friday only once a ‘mofo, lucky you. Grow-Peace tagged me (and hence my freezer) and now it’s open season on the sad contents that lurk within.

Not so long ago this past spring I was singled out by Vegnews for a similar study, that time being the whole enchilada, both the ‘fridge and freezer. If you’ve been wondering since how a girl manages to operate in the kitchen with bushels of fresh kale brooming from from her fridge well I’ll let you in on a little secret. I was preparing to move and with less that two weeks to spare in the apartment the fridge was mostly emptied. So a last minute shopping trip of what I would typically have stocked was made, a little artful arrangement and fridge life was beautiful for a few hours before resuming it’s regularly scheduled chaos.

Since then it’s been five months, a new place to live and a mortgage later and still the freezer is looking empty. In the tradition of NYC food shopping I haul home myself only as much as I can carry, so takes a while to really look busy in there. We do have an aging car but out of laziness, gas prices and the dread of finding a parking space we almost never make one big shopping trip. And the sushi place across the street has peanut avocado rolls so that makes putting off making dinner all the easier.

That being said I now present my new freezer au natural. No airbrushing or makeup and just tumbled out of bed, here she is:

Two blue things that go straight in the freezer together

Two blue things that go straight in the freezer together

Frozen blueberries make my world go ’round in smoothies (see frozen bananas). Love Rice Dream but the Gingersnap flavor is less than lovable.

Slab o carob, suspended in time for when we need it most

Slab o' carob, suspended in time for when we need it most

The most extreme carob anything you’ll ever hope to try, even if it’s just me hoping for carob. Basically a slap of liquified Cypriot carob with some sesame seeds tossed in, trapped like bugs in amber for eternity. Sounds delish? I put it in the freezer with the idea it would end up something like a frozen Charleston Chew. I never even liked Charleston Chews.

Not your moms B&B

Not your mom's B&B

Health nut bagels full of definitely un-bagely things like hemp seeds and sprouted wheat. Frozen bananas and oh look, more ice cream, this time a lovely sangria sorbet.

Ancient ice creams lay dreaming...

Ancient ice creams lay dreaming...

A shelf of just ice cream? I can’t really justify this ice cream ghetto that invaded my turf over the summer. It’s just how things unfolded over last few months of my life. Note that the vanilla soy delicious is actually doctored up with fresh pistachios, almond extract and a little green food coloring and was absolutely brilliant when it was still fresh and tasty. The yogurt container actually is stuffed with a friend’s homemade mango sorbet. And the glowing plastic container underneath it all contains the remnants of homemade ice cream (vanilla chai and green tea)…left over from Labor Day, gah! Now I’m starting to feel silly about all this. One day you open the freezer and it’s like a wicked vegan ice cream elf took up residence in your home without you knowing. Maybe I should look around the apartment so I don’t end up like this guy.

Veggie scraps and ice cream tub, not necessarily in that order

Veggie scraps and ice cream tub, not necessarily in that order

There are also decided non-dessert things like veggie burgers and frozen vegetables, so take a moment to imagine those. The bin to our right harbors frozen veggie scraps awaiting the composter, above more veggies and in the foil a lone homemade pupusa filled with beans and something. Why yes that’s the ice cream freezer tub, trying to look inconspicuous. Mocking me daily when I reach for those virtuous smoothie ingredients.

Sounds like it’s high time to dump the freezer burned and bring in the new. Why fight the obvious choice, so how about some fall-themed ice cream?

Help me decide from the following three:

-Maple Pumpkin Something (something crunchy or caramel included for textural good times)
-Pomegranate Ice Cream with Chocolate Cookie Crunch or Choc Chips
-Molasses Gingersnap (let’s show Rice Dream how it’s done right)


Filed under Soy Dairy, Veganmofo

Veganmofo 9: A little Thursday baking shwag

Gather ye knights around the Round Dish

Gather ye knights around the Round Dish

Nothing special to report, unless you’re a flour snob like me and can’t get enough of the King.

Well over a year ago Paula so wonderfully gave me a little bag of black cocoa from KA flour. Black cocoa being what it is, so intense and more of a flavoring than an ingredient, it lasted me through a year and beyond of cupcakes and holiday cookies. Until the summer that is. A plague of pantry moths spurred by the intense heat proceeded to decimate anything beany, nutty or floury in the cabinets, always before I could do anything about it. My precious bag of black cocoa went down with the best of them. Life goes on without making deeply dark Oreo-esque treats, but can we really call it living? Enough is enough already.

Blackest of the Black Cocoa, what started it all

Blackest of the Black Cocoa, what started it all

For some reason black cocoa in annoying elusive during my daily NYC travels. Isa of course had it magically stocked mere minutes away from her at the local Key Food or whatever in Brooklyn, but that’s Isa for you. For the rest of us there’s mail order and the joys of internet shopping.

Online shopping leaves me defenseless at times and I couldn’t resist picking up a few extra things. With the price of shipping being what it is might as well go bananas. Or in this case lemons. Lemon Powder claims to deliver maximum lemon flavor to baked goods beyond what fresh lemons can do. I also like the idea I can make things really lemony without upsetting the delicate liquid balance of the recipe.

Continuing the quest for flavor I threw in a bottle of baking emulsion, which apparently ain’t your mother’s baking extract. “Princess Cake” flavor, something citrus/vanilla/nutty, appealed to the six year old in me. Just opening up the bottle made my kitchen smell like a fantasy bakery owned and operated by both Strawberry Shortcake, Holly Hobby and My Little Pony. A little fake and intensely sweet but entirely yummy.

Along with the black cocoa I picked up some richly hued natural cocoa that has not been Dutch processes. Dutch processing is the most popular form of cocoa I find in stores here and usually the only kind. While Dutched cocoa has less natural acidity (and deeper color), its cocoa flavor somewhat mellowed unlike natural cocoa. I’m looking to make high voltage chocolate biscotti soon with a combo of both cocoas.

And what’s a kitchen splurge without a few gadgets? Not a gadget really, the huge stoneware deep dish pie plate was on-sale pie plate and screamed “buy me”! Just look at that baddass scene on it’s surface of King Arthur and his boys chillin’ by the Round Table. You just know they’re discussing import matters of the kingdom like the pros and cons of ground flax seeds vs. blended silken tofu.

The dough whisk, looking like modern art and reminding me of something I found flattened by the side of the road once, promises to be able to stir batters and dough of any strength. I use a rubber spatula to stir things 99.9% of the time, but I have to stay open minded. And if it fails to impress at least I hang it from the Xmas tree or beat a rug with.


Filed under Baking, Veganmofo