What lead you to the vegetarian life? How long have you been cooking vegan food?
My childhood was full of being around hunters,and seeing things I’d rather forget about. It helped me decide to be vegetarian about 9 years ago. I’m fairly new to cooking from scratch, though. It was 2 years ago when I completely cut out dairy. You kinda have to reteach yourself to cook. You have to live mostly a vegan life style at that point.
What is the most important spice(s) that every new vegetarian cook should never be without?
Garlic, and cumin are my favorite.
What is your favorite vegan recipe you’ve ever made?
My green bean casserole. I don’t follow a recipe on that one. I just create, and go where my taste buds take me!
Can you recommend a cookbook that could be useful to new vegetarian bakers or a website?
Skinny Bitch Cookbook, and Google. I swear, I google everything.
Do you have a crazy baking story that you would share that went really well or went horribly wrong?
I recently made some cupcakes and I accidentally put t0o much salt in the batter . You should have seen my boyfriend’s face when I had him be my taste tester. People shouldn’t be afraid to mess up a recipe – That’s how you learn, and come up with better ideas.
Do you have any other secret talents that you would like to share?
I sew from time to time, and take some photos.
Can you recommend a few bars/venues/or bakeries that you enjoy in the 239 area?
I don’t go out too much, but when I do I hit up the smaller bars, or happy hours. There’s a place called Jimbob’s Pub off Del Prado, near the Wal-Mart. It’s a neighborhood bar with fair prices. I have been told that their food is good. Rack’ems is near me, so I hit them up for happy hour. For a non- alcohol drink, I go to Ada’s for the fresh smoothies.
Ashley sent us two of her favorite vegan dessert recipes for you to try at home! Enjoy!
Recipe #1: Vegan Sugar Cookies
5 cups unbleached flour
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 cups sugar white sugar (I recommend ‘sugar in the raw’ I feel it made a better texture compared to regular sugar)
1/2 cup almond milk, soy milk, or soy milk creamer (I use almond)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 13-ounce carton of whipped earth balance buttery Spread
Sugar and Earth Balance
Using a mixer fitted with the Beater Blade, cream the Earth Balance and sugar together until light and fluffy. ( to be honest,I mix by hand. It would be much easier with a mixer )
Add baking powder,and Cinnamon to mixture and beat till incorporated.
Add 1/2 cup milk,and vanilla. Slowly add flour until blended… do not over process.
Refrigerate the dough:
Roll the dough in the bowl into a large log shape and wrap with parchment paper. Add a layer of plastic wrap and carefully seal it and lay on a shelf in your refrigerator. The dough should be refrigerated for at least an hour.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the dough log from the refrigerator and remove the coverings.
Slice 1/4 inch thick circles and place on a slightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until edges are just starting to turn a pale brown. After the cookies have cooled on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, use a spatula and lift them onto a cake rack to cool completely.
If you want to use a cookie cutter, let the dough sit for 10 minutes before rolling.
Cut the log in half and roll out the dough to 1/4″ height and cut the shapes desired.
Recipe # 2: Vegan Pumpkin Brownies
1/2 cup vegan butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin (I buy the canned stuff, but you can be fancy and cook your own, too)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 to 1 cup flour
1/2 to 3/4 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Melt your butter, and mix the ingredients in order, making sure each is well combined before moving on.
Grease and flour an 8×8” baking pan, pour the batter in, and bake for 26 minutes. If you’re hungry (or you have to share), double everything, pour into a 9×13” pan, and bake for 32 minutes.
Cool, cut, devour. Goes best with coffee.
Let us know how your cooking turned out by leaving us a comment on our facebook or commenting on this article! If you have any scrumptious recipes that you would like to share please let us know!