Friday, November 20, 2009

Some New Videos...

Okay, I can finally share the news on my top secret project. Morningstar Farms asked me to do a series of videos for them, featuring some of their recipes. The videos are aimed at getting people excited about veg meals. The recipes aren't all vegan, though they are pretty easy to veganize with a few substitutions (which I did in the recipes using soy cheese and sour cream). I'm really excited about the videos and will post them here as soon as I figure out how. Until then, they are on the homepage of the Morningstar Farms website here and on their Facebook page. And let me just say that the quesadillas are killer with Daiya cheese in them. Yum!

I'm also putting the finishing touches on my manuscript, which I turn in after Thanksgiving. I am really happy with the way that it's all coming together. I just wish that the book was coming out sooner.

I will try and blog again before Thanksgiving, but if I don't (we're expecting a lot of houseguests next week), happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

XO Julie

Friday, November 6, 2009


I'm still here! I've been typing and testing away, trying to finish the last part of the diner book. The recipes are finished, and the editing is just beginning. Each day I say "I'm going to do nothing but edit all day," but sure enough, there are so many details to stay on top of for the food cart, that the editing has become a slow process. Not to worry though, I am persevering, and having a great time too.

So, testers for Vegan Diner, there are quite a few new recipes to test, and LOTS more coming shortly.

We also squeezed in some filming last week, so there will be some new additions to Everyday Dish coming soon. I've also been working on another top secret project, which I'll hopefully be able to mention soon. I tell you, as crazy busy as things have been lately, it sure does keep life interesting!

Also, I put up a new post on the "Dish" page of Everyday Dish (yes, my second blog...). It has some yummy Thanksgiving recipe ideas, so if you're in need of some ideas, check it soon.

Back soon!

XO Julie

P.S. I have also been trying to tweet, semi-regularly. You can follow me on Twitter at (

Monday, October 12, 2009

A New Post, Finally!


Sorry that I am not posting as often. I'm going to try, really!

I've been wanting to share some pictures of our new food cart, all set up and open. I even brought a camera with us every day last week, but that didn't seem to help. We just never stopped to snap pics. Fortunately my friend Joanna came on our opening day, and snapped away (Thanks for letting me borrow your pic Joanna!).

We are having a great time with the cart. It's fun to have a venue where we can once again cook food for other people. I can also try out recipes that I'm developing as well, such as the seitan pastrami that is part of our awesome new reuben sandwich. Guess what? The recipe will be in the new cookbook. I also have some lofty dessert plans, and hope to start baking vegan chocolate Twinkies and a killer carrot spice cake soon. All in good time. At the moment, I've made sure to have a full cookie jar at the cart, so there's always something sweet.

If anyone in Portland is looking for our cart hours, you can follow us on twitter (nativebowl), where I've been trying to post our hours. Truthfully, we are still feeling the hours out and seeing what will work best. Right now we're open Wednesday through Friday 11:30 to 2:30ish. On Saturday and Sunday, we're  staying open later, depending on the hungry crowds.

I promise to be back soon. I still need to share the pics of my trip to the headquarters of Better Homes & Gardens this summer.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Moving Along

We physically moved the food cart to it's new home yesterday. It was so exciting to see it all tucked in amongst the other carts. There's still a few things that we have to take care of before we can open for business. We're aiming to officially open our doors next Monday, the 5th of October.

Now comes the millions of other details, like making sure that we have every tool and piece of equipment that we'll need to operate, compiling a list of all the ingredients we'll need to order, getting the right packaging, signage for the cart... There are so many details that my head is spinning. I must remember to do yoga in the mornings, to keep the stress in check.

So that's the scoop for the moment. I will let you know once we're up and running. Thanks again for all of the well-wishes and support!

XO Julie

P.S. Although I had brought the camera with us to photograph the event, I discovered the battery was dead as I went to snap photos. Thank you to the awesome woman who took these photos, and then so kindly emailed them to me!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


We finally have a spot! We were just about to take one downtown, when the phone rang with a better offer. Talk about timing! It's official now. We will be moving in to the Mississippi Marketplace with the other awesome food vendors. We are hoping to be open by October 1st, if not before. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for all the support!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Food Cart

Just wanted to let you know that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. We have our initial approval, but are still searching high and low for a spot to open. This part is proving to be much tougher than we imagined. How hard could it be to find a perfect spot with lots of traffic, an electrical hookup, running water... Oy! We're learning a lot through this process, for sure.

I will post as soon as we know where our location will be. Please think good thoughts for us. We need all of the help we can get!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The News

I think it's time to spill the beans about our newest project. It's not that I haven't wanted to share everything that's going on, it's just that sometimes I get a bit buggy-boo talking about things before they happen. The truth is that we're knee-deep in the permitting stage for a food concession trailer. Before we can proceed further, our plans are in the hands of the health department awaiting initial approval. This waiting is driving me bonkers.

The food cart scene in Portland has been absolutely exploding lately, and for good reason. There are so many inventive chefs and entrepreneurs, with creative food that runs the gamut from ice cream to stuffed hand pies, side dishes, stuffed waffles, vegan burritos to ethnic food, Belgian frites, vegan BBQ... You name it, it's happening in a tiny trailer on some street corner in Portland. So as a creative chef and food lover, I've often fantasized about opening a cart, wondering what type of food I would serve.

Then a few weeks back, I awoke one morning to find my husband with his laptop in hand, asking me how I felt about opening a food cart of our own. He had found a trailer for sale on Craigslist, that was all set-up and ready to go. Always up for a new adventure, I figured this sounded like a cool way to do some creative food, without the major headaches of opening an actual restaurant.

Needless to say, two days later we became the proud owners of a shiny black food trailer. The owner had set it up for himself, but had decided to move back home and was selling everything. "It's ready to go" he said. Well, maybe not quite ready to go. Jay has spent the last two weeks having the electrical fixed, replacing equipment that wasn't working and fixing things that weren't quite right. Now, hopefully, it's ready to go. For the time being we sit, waiting to get the initial approval from the health department. Then we can think about locations.

So now you all are up to speed on where we're at. We're holding our breath with our fingers crossed, hoping that we can make this newest venture a reality. Until then, I've got lots of cookbook editing to do. And a daughter to move to college. And a son going back to school... Life is good!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Great New Find

Have you ever had one of those weeks? I've been having one this week, and it's been a wild ride. It started off with my husband and I starting a new business venture, which I can't talk about yet, but will spill the beans soon. It's really exciting, but an endless maze of red tape to maneuver through. Then in the midst of working on that and the editing of the new book, I got sick and was totally laid up. Very bad timing, I would say. Then late last night I got a phone call that my dad had been bitten by a rattlesnake (twice) and was in the hospital. WTF? Fortunately my dad should be okay, and is receiving anti-venom and responding well (ETA My dad is doing well and is back home now). We're now calling him the snake charmer. But man oh man, what a week! Please forgive me if the posts are a little slow around here for the time being.

Now, about the review. I had the privilege of trying out a fun new gadget recently, and was excited to share the results. Just so you know, I never receive payments for these reviews and have no connection with the company. But it's an uber-cool kitchen tool, especially if you cook with tofu.

As someone who is gadget crazy, I'm always searching for the next cool product. The problem is, not all new things pass the muster. First off, it has to serve a purpose, not just be another large tool to cram into my over-stuffed drawers and cabinets. Next up, the tool has to work well, be well-constructed and well designed. It also must call out to me, or else there's no way that I will remember to pull it out of said over-crowded drawers to use it. Period. So, as you can see, I'm a pretty tough and jaded critic.

Now, every once in a while, a new tool comes into my kitchen and brings a smile to my face. I must be walking around smiling a lot, because two uber cool tools/toys/gadgets have me excited lately. One will have to wait for another post, because I want to talk about the TofuXpress tofu press first.

I found that firm tofu works really well with the press (Trader Joe's organic firm tofu to be exact). I pressed it for an hour, and couldn't believe how much water was gently but firmly pressed from the block. Pretty cool. I then decided that I would let it go another couple of hours to see how it did. Even more water was expressed, leaving a fabulously firm tofu which could have been grated like cheese. No kidding. The texture was incredible. I then took my pressed tofu, and placed it in the fab "Breast of Tofu" marinade from Bryanna Clark Grogan. It made for one fabulous dinner! I also had a brainstorm that since I was going to be heading out for a camping trip, I would press more tofu, slice it and bring it along on the trip (stored in freezer bag with more of Bryanna's delicious marinade). It worked exceptionally well, and how cool to have pressed and marinated tofu waiting for you to use.

I don't believe that the TofuXpress is available in stores yet, but you can find it on their website at It's currently being offered at a special introductory rate for the moment. I highly recommend that you check it out, especially if you cook tofu regularly or would like to.

I hope that everyone is enjoying the last little bit of summer.
Back soon!

XO Julie

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cherry Bombs

I had planned to get this post up sooner, but have been having some trouble with photos on Blogger. Anyone else experiencing this? Photos now come up as code on the posts. Weird.

Anywho, I wanted to share my easy recipe for cherry bombs, aka cherry vodka. This has been a tradition around our house for years. Some years we even make an extra large batch and share it with friends around the holidays. You can make it with most summer fruit, but bing cherries are exceptionally awesome.

It couldn't be simpler to make, as you just dump everything together in a large (clean) crock. I used 3 pounds of firm bing cherries, 1 bottle of vodka (you don't have to use a super premium here, as a middle of the road one will work fine) and sugar (I used 1 cup, but you can do this to taste). Mix together in a sterile crock and set aside in a cool place (not the refrigerator) for about a month or more. This will keep for a very long time, or until you eat all of the cherries (and drink the liqueur). I store the liqueur and cherries together in the crock on my counter. Oh, and I keep the pits in my cherries. After a while they give the liqueur a lovely almond undertone which is fantastic.

Try the cherry bombs (infused cherries) over ice cream (with the pits removed of course) or blot them if any extra moisture and dip in melted chocolate.

Now go run and grab yourself some cherries and make a batch. I'm telling you that these are the bomb baby!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Amazing Bean

Sorry for leaving my blog so quiet last week. I was away (without a computer) in Des Moines, Iowa, where I was invited to participate in a soybean tour. The Soyfoods Council arranged the farm to table tour, which had us visiting soybean farms, cooking at the culinary institute, watching demos, learning (a ton) about the latest studies from Dr. Mark Messina (one of the foremost researchers on soy) and had many delicious meals... I also made some great friends and laughed my butt off the entire time. It was a fantastic week.

There were about 13 of us on the trip, from cookbook authors to magazine editors to chefs and writers. All of us foodies, but some were new to the world of soy. Being the token vegan on the trip, I was probably one of the few that regularly ate and cooked with soy. But we all walked away learning all sorts of new and cool techniques and with lots of inspiration. I have all kinds of ideas for using miso and edamame, and am inspired to start making my own tofu on a regular basis.

I also learned a lot from Dr. Mark Messina about the latest in soy research, seperating all of the facts from fiction. There are some poorly written articles popping up in magazines and lots of crazy untruths. I mean, come on... drinking soymilk does not cause men to grow moobs! I will try and get my hands on some of the latest studies to share, because I think it's really important info.

I'll post the rest of the trip in another post. Pictures of us cooking at the culinary instute, more delicious vegan meals and even a side field trip to the headquarters of Better Homes and Gardens (and their test kitchens). Did I say that I had a fantastic time?

Anyways, here are some of the pics from the week.
Me, in the soy fields.

The farmer in his soy field.

Edamame guacamole which was absolutely amazing!

One of our fabulous meals, prepared by Chef Ephraim at the Tournament Club of Iowa. This dinner was unbelievable! Notice the homemade tofu at the bottom of the plate and the mashed potatoes formed into a pear, dusted with panko and ground soynuts (I think) and fried/baked. Such a delicious dinner! He used soy in so many new and unexpected ways.

Two vegan desserts. The one on the left is a mochi cake made with rice flour and a carrot cake on the right. These were absolutely delicious!

Dr. Mark Messina. My camera wasn't working well, so the pic isn't great. His presentation was excellent.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Vegan Scoop

Ice cream is one of my favorite things in the world. Period. So when I first got my hands on Wheeler Del Torro's new book on Ice Cream, I couldn't wait to crack it open.

The book is called The Vegan Scoop, and if you haven't seen it yet you've got to go check it out. Wheeler (the vegan "ice cream man" of Boston) has a flair for flavors, which run the gamut from traditional to exotic to just plain unexpected. Imagine flavors like Cherries Jubilee, Bubblegum, Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl, Nectarine, Honeydew, Black Sesame, Thai Chile Chocolate, Caribbean Coffee, Seaweed and Coconut Lemongrass to name just a few. We're talking 150 vegan flavors from cover to cover. Oh, and there's also recipes for toppings, ice cream sides and desserts (Twinkies, Madeleines or cookies anyone?).

I had the pleasure of meeting Wheeler a few months back, when he very graciously filmed a couple of ice cream segments for Everyday Dish. I can tell you first hand that his ice cream is delicious. The texture is smooth and creamy and the flavors divine. Although I have only tried a couple of recipes in the book, I've got many pages marked with Post It Notes to whip up sometime soon.

I did notice that the book calls for a lot of exotic extracts that you probably won't be able to find at your local grocery store. After a quick online search though, I found that with a little searching most of the flavored extracts can be found. If you're interested, check out the lengthy and extensive list at Nature's Flavors (including vegan coriander, Lychee and white chocolate flavors).

When I was asked to participate in the blog tour for The Vegan Scoop, I didn't hesitate. This is a book that I was excited to add to my vast cookbook collection, and knew that it would get lots of use. As a special bonus for the book blog tour, Wheeler created 50 new recipes to share with bloggers. Guess what recipe I get to share? Pralines and Cream! How delicious does that sound?! Now, before I give you the recipe, don't forget to check out Wheeler's Vanilla/Curry and Peanut Butter ice cream videos (and recipes) on Everyday Dish. The book can be found on Amazon or at your local bookstore.

Pralines and Cream Ice Cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup soy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Butter sides of a heavy saucepan. Add sugars, soy milk, and salt to saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Raise heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Reduce heat and continue cooking to soft ball stage, about 234° on a candy thermometer.

Remove from heat.

Add butter and vanilla, but do not stir. Cool for 5 minutes; stir in nuts. Beat with wooden spoon until candy is no longer glossy and is thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Quickly spoon candy onto buttered baking sheets or waxed paper. Let cool.

1 cup (235 ml) soy milk, divided
2 tablespoons (16 g) arrowroot
2 cups (470 ml) soy creamer
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
3/4 cup crushed pralines

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup (60 ml) soymilk with arrowroot and set aside.

Mix soy creamer, remaining 3/4 cup (175 ml) soymilk, and sugar in a saucepan and cook over low heat. Once mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and immediately add arrowroot cream. This will cause the liquid to thicken noticeably.

Add vanilla extract.

Refrigerate mixture until chilled, approximately 2 to 3 hours. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instruction. In the last 5 minutes of freezing, stir in pralines.

Yield: 1 quart (approximately 600 g)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Joni & Celine

Just a quickie to share a fun photo from yesterday. The adorable and talented Joni (of Just The Food) & Celine (from Have Cake Will Travel) spent the day with us yesterday, filming some upcoming segments for Everyday Dish. They were so much fun and their recipes are awesome! They have a cookbook coming out soon, and it's going to be fantastic.

Thank you both for a great day and lots of laughs!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Camping is something that has always been in my blood. I think I was only about 6 months old when my parents took me camping for the first time, as they loaded down our Volkswagon with one of those old impossibly heavy canvas tents, and a kayak that my dad had built from a kit. Later on our camping trips grew from weekend excursions to month-long journeys all the way up the California coastline to the Pacific Northwest. Yes, you can definitely say that camping is in my blood.

My hubby and I have carried on the camping tradition with our children, beginning when our daughter was only a couple of months old. Our trips have always centered around the food we bring. Food takes on new meaning when you are outdoors 24/7. Our whole trip revolves around preparing the food, cooking the food, eating the food, cleaning up from the food mess, then deciding what we are giong to eat next!

As we continued to camp, our equipment arsenal began to grow exponentially too. First the giant tent, so that we could fit all of the kid's toys and necessary stuff in there, then more cooking equipment and a larger cooler and big, bulky air mattresses. It all felt so necessary at the time, but we were completely loaded down. It's truly a wonder that my husband was so patient with all of the stuff that I insisted on bringing. He was a camping minimalist at heart; just a single bowl that doubled as a cooking pot, a pocket-size single burner for cooking and a fork and a knife. Ha! He never knew what hit him!

Now that our kids have gotten older, we are slowly finding ourselves scaling back on our camping essentials. Our tent has gotten smaller (and miraculously morphed into a small tent trailor), the cooking equipment has gotten sparser and forget those pesky air mattresses that continually sprung a leak. I think that the work load has even lightened up a bit too.

So if you're wondering where I'm going with this, last week we were able to sneak away for a 6 day adventure near Bend, Oregon, meeting up with some old friends that we hadn't seen in several years. Getting together two families with 5 teenage kids was no easy task. But somehow we pulled it all together, and as we sat there laughing and playing Apples To Apples by the roaring fire, I found myself reflecting on the evolution of our camping trips. We've come a long way baby.

ETA: I put up our camping food list on Everyday Dish (on the "Dish" page).

The kids proving to me just how short I really am.

Bruno, enjoying the sun and contemplating when he gets to go home.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bottle Love

A while back, after doing a lot of reading on the subject, I decided to give up on refillable plastic plastic water bottles. Knowing not just that the plastics, and more specifically the BPA's, are terrible for our bodies, but that there is some thought that they might contribute to breast cancer. Yuck! And forget the fact that these plastics are showing up in our blood. As convenient as those refillable plastic bottles are, I just had to say no.

My next move was to the stainless bottles. These are very durable, and perfect to throw in a gym bag or the kid's backpacks for school. They sounded like the perfect solution, but I still wasn't totally convinced. They are fairly pricey (if you go for the good ones with the non-toxic finish), and my son was always complaining that his beverages had a metallic taste to them. I couldn't fault him there, as I noticed it too.

I really was at a loss as to what to do, other than carrying around a water glass from home, which was completely impractical. Then it hit me. What about those great iced tea bottles that you find everywhere from the grocery store to take-out cafes. With their resealable lids, they would make the perfect container for water, juice or home-brewed iced tea on the go. Plus, they look stylish. There's also the added benefit that you're recycling at the same time too. And you can actually fit ice cubes into the bottle, for a truly refreshing iced summer drink.

Now I wouldn't recommend these for children or if you're planning on doing some rugged outdoor activities. But for running errands around town or slipping into a bag at the farmer's market or going out for a stroll, these bottles are ideal. I've even started to notice the nice designs that some of these bottles have. I love that they can be thrown in the dishwasher to be cleaned, without worrying that the plastic is breaking down.

So, the next time that you find yourself with one of these bottles, consider keeping it as a water bottle. You may just find yourself hooked on the idea. Who knows. Maybe we can start a new trend of re-purposing glass bottles.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pan Obsessed

I don't know about anyone else, but as I peruse kitchen stores and cooking catalogs, I find myself drawn to the specialty baking pans. You know the ones. They're shaped like hearts and giant cupcakes and mini Bundt cakes and flowers and twinkies and all kinds of other fun and unique shapes. Shapes that almost make me giddy.

Back in the "old days", I would often justify a pan purchase as necessary for recipes that I was working on, either for cookbooks or magazine articles or a TV spot. This was definitely a win win for me, as I "needed" the pans for work. This was fine, for a while, until I could no longer fit them all in my tiny kitchen.

I realize that by saying collection, it probably sounds like I have hundreds of pans, which I definitely don't. But I do have lots of them, all stacked together in plastic storage tubs. As I took a few out last night to photograph, it got me wondering if others find themselves drawn to these pans too. Anyone else find the specialty cake pans irresistible?

Fortunately I haven't bought a new pan in quite some time. I think that I'm set for now. Unless of course I happen to spy something new, that would make the "perfect" dessert...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Grilled Cheese & Lemonade

My daughter graduated high school last week, so I've been far away from my computer. It was so nice to be able to catch up with our family (and friends), since we don't get to see everyone nearly enough. The graduation ceremony was beautiful, and I can't believe that my baby girl is going off to college!

Now that I'm back to work, I wanted to let you know that we just put up a video and recipe for strawberry lemonade on Everyday Dish. So easy and refreshing for hot summer days.

We also put up a recipe up on the Membership side of Everyday Dish for Vegan Pepperjack Cheese. This stuff is so frickin' good, and makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches! You have seriously got to try it! It's both sliceable and spreadable, with a smoky peppery bite. I am completely addicted...

Pepperjack grilled cheese with tomato

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Good News!

Great news for those considering a subscription to Everyday Dish TV. We have a special running right now. The price is $35.00 for a one year subscription. Now that's a lot of marshmallows (and key lime cheesecake and awesome vegan cheeses and smoky sausage links and chorizos and...). Just think about it. The monthly cost is less than your favorite Iced Soy Mocha ($2.92), and much healthier too. EDTV is guaranteed to be habit forming, without the jittery side effects of caffeine.

In other news, for those of you with children (or without), who are looking for a fun gift idea, I have an article in the new issue of Family Fun Magazine. The article is on do-it-yourself truffles (vegan, of course), perfect for teacher thank-you gifts.

XO Julie

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Farmer's Market Demo

Spring has sprung, and summer's just around the corner!

It was a gorgeous day in Portland on Tuesday, and a perfect one to be outside. I was invited to be the guest chef at the Farmers Market at OHSU (Oregon Health Sciences University), a weekly event designed to not only provide fresh food and produce to the community, but the whole OHSU family (the hospital, medical school, cafes and dining establishments) as well. OHSU is undergoing a sustainable transformation, to provide locally prepared food and products that can be delivered as naturally as possible with an emphasis on recyclable containers. No easy feat for such a large organization, but I applaud their efforts as they put their best echo foot forward.

I was provided with a table for the demo (sans electricity), and had to have samples for over 200 people. I immediately thought of the "Peanut Sesame Noodles" from Everyday Dish TV, as it can be made without appliances, and doesn't require cooking. I brought everything that I needed to assemble the recipe, chilled and pre-measured, threw everything in a bowl and mixed the dressing right there on the spot. Everyone loved it and I ran out of samples much sooner than expected. Not so surprising as the samples were free! I met a lot of really interesting people, which is one of the things that I love most about demos. I got the definite feeling that this dish will be showing up at many barbeques and potlucks this summer.

Sometimes I forget about past recipes that I've created. That is until I have to search for one, given a scenario such as this. After making the peanut noodles again I can definitely say that it was just as good as the first time I made it, maybe even better. Being a cookbook author I am constantly challenged to come up with new ideas, and I have to admit it's in my nature to nurture this development process. But it's always comforting to revisit forgotten favorites, and bask in the pleasure that they provide, in a satisfyingly prepared meal.

My daughter was so upset that there were no leftovers I had to make it again for dinner that night. A chef's job is never done. Just when you get the dishes done its time for the next meal.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Few Ideas For Memorial Day Feasting

I couldn't help but throw out a couple of recipe ideas for Memorial day. First off, marshmallows! What better way to end a meal?

Okay, if homemade vegan marshmallows aren't your thing, how about Key Lime Cheesecake? This baby should do the trick, and is delish with the bright flavor of fresh lime.

Little Smoky links are another one of my favorites, and perfect for Memorial Day BBQs. These can be made large or small, and are absolutely perfect grilled up on a bun!

All of these recipes are up on the membership side of Everyday Dish. You really must give them a try. I'm not just saying that. They really are yummy!

A final suggestion, Peanut Sesame Noodles. These are so darn good! They would make a great side dish, or a main if you're not planning on grilling tomorrow (or need something to take with you to a BBQ). You can find the recipe here on Everyday Dish

Memorial Day weekend always feels like the beginning of summer. The weather is usually fabulous, and makes you think of all the fun things to come. When I was growing up, Memorial Day weekend was when the community would gather together for a crazy, weekend-long festival of sorts called Topanga Days. As a kid it was always loads of fun, especially the year that Robin Williams (who lived in the area at the time), was the master of ceremonies. That was certainly a parade to remember!

My husband and I also got married on Memorial Day weekend. We thought that it would be a fun weekend to celebrate every year. This year is our 20th anniversary. My how the time has flown!

I hope that everyone has a fantastic weekend!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Vegan Brunch

In case you haven't heard, Isa's new book (Vegan Brunch) is out and it's fantastic! I had a chance this weekend to try out some of the different recipes, and everything was fabulous! No more wondering what to serve for brunch when you have a houseful coming over to eat.

From quiches, omelets, scrambles and frittatas to Ethiopian Crepes, Brazilian French Toast, Smoky Shitakes, Jalapeno Garlic Grits, Blueberry Ginger Spelt Muffins, Smoked Almond Gravy and a plethora of coffee cakes. This book IS brunch. The last and final word, as far as I'm concerned. You can check out the book here, with some sample recipes too. With Father's Day just around the corner, shouldn't we all be thinking about cooking up an awesome brunch, vegan-style?!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Raw Tamale Filling

We have another raw recipe up on Everyday Dish. The filling was designed to be rolled up in the raw corn tortillas, but it would be delish in tacos and many other dishes too! I like that it isn't nut based. Although I love nuts, it's nice to see some raw recipes that don't rely on them. Anyways, go check it out here!

Below is a pic of chef Elaina Love, with her gorgeous raw tamale. There are more raw videos and recipes to come (including the cream and red sauce that you see as part of her tamale garnish).

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cookbook Review

Being vegan in college doesn't have to be difficult, thanks to Peta's new college cookbook which hit bookstores this week. I was lucky enough to receive a review copy a couple of weeks ago, although before I even had a chance to look at it my college-bound daughter swept in and disappeared with the book. Let me just say that this is not a usual occurrence with my daughter and cookbooks.

A couple of days later I found her hunkered down on the sofa with the book (she was home sick with the flu), reading the book cover to cover. She was really excited (amazing, considering how sick she was...cough*cough*). "These recipes look so easy to make, and you can cook them all in your dorm room", she said. From vegan mac & cheeze, bean dips, ramen noodles, PB Bombs, Final's Week Fudge, Sloppy Joels and blueberry pancakes baked in mugs to Pizza Fun-Do, 'shroom dip, strawberry shake, No-Egg-Nog, Peach Cobbler and Fake Blondies. No stove needed. Of course you do need access to a microwave oven (and possibly a food processor or blender), although many of the recipes can be made with just a bowl and a spoon too.

My daughter has already said that she's taking the book to school with her. Apparently she also has her eye on my food processor and blender as well. I figure that this is a great thing though. Not only will she be cooking for herself, but I know that she won't go hungry. Now if I could only get her to start cooking before college, that would be cool.

Go check out Peta's Vegan College Cookbook, 275 Easy, Cheap, And Delicious Recipes To Keep You Vegan At School, by Sourcebooks, Inc. There's also a little companion video from the authors on You Tube.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Love Springtime!

I just had to share a pic from the farmer's market this weekend. I love the abundance of fresh produce and flowers. So much eye-candy!

Talking about produce, my friend Nancie McDermott (cookbook author extraordinaire!) just started a blog and has a great post about growing lemongrass in a jar on your windowsill. I'm going to pick up some lemongrass later today and give it a shot.

Also, before I sign off, I wanted to mention that we just put up a video for Veggie Bao Buns on Everyday Dish (Member's Login). We'll be adding a delicious new video & recipe every week!

I'll be back tomorrow with a new cookbook review.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Raw Corn Tortillas

Thank you so much for the amazing and enthusiastic response to the call for recipe testers. I wish that I could use everyone who replied. Although I only need a handful at the moment, I will most likely need more to come, so I'll be keeping everyone's name on file. Thank you again!

We just put a new video on Everyday Dish for raw corn tortillas (with chef Elaina Love). They are really good, so go check it out! We've had a lot of requests for raw recipes, so we turned to a couple of experts to share some of their favorites. There are more raw recipes to come.

Also, I want to thank everyone who has subscribed to the membership side of Everyday Dish. By subscribing you are helping us to keep Everyday Dish and the cooking show alive and thriving. We love you guys and want to say a giant thank you for your support!

Have an awesome weekend!

XO Julie

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Call For Testers

I'm in need of a few good recipe testers for the new book. Right now I've got a handful of recipes that are almost ready to be tested, probably in the next week or so. This is just the first round, so if the timing doesn't work for you right now, not to worry. There will be other opportunities for testing to follow.

What I'm looking for in the testers: people who have the time to commit to cooking and testing recipes in the next couple of weeks, are experienced with cooking and baking (preferably with vegan recipes) and don't mind following the recipes to a T. Prior recipe testing experience is great, but not required. If you're interested in testing, just leave a comment here, and an email or a way for me to reach you.

Now, just in case you're wondering what the photos are of, the top one is a chocolate chip swirl bread and the bottom is a mocha java cake. Yup, both recipes are in the new book.


Friday, May 1, 2009

It's Finally Up!

The membership area is finally up on Everyday Dish. Whew! I feel like a proud mama. Jay and I have been working feverishly on it since last winter, and are so excited to finally have it up and ready to share.

When you go to sign up, click on the "Member's Login" tab at the top of the page. Make sure to login first as a user on the site. Otherwise it might not let you register. The pictures above are from the new recipes (little smoky links and key lime cheesecake). Besides the pics above, and the marshmallows and chocolate cream pie, there's also chorizo sausages, chedda & nacho cheeses (that are soy-free and will knock your socks off!), curried coconut sausages, jambalaya... The list goes on and on.

I'd better get back to working on the cookbook.

Have a great weekend!

XO Julie

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fun News, Marshmallows And Chocolate Cream Pie

A while back I mentioned that I was working on a couple of new projects. You already know about the book, so here's the scoop on the other one. For the past few months we have been working feverishly on launching a Membership side to Everyday Dish TV. We're putting the finishing touches on and it should be polished and ready for its big debut within the week.

Becoming a Member will include exclusive access to over 45 new cooking videos and recipes! We cover helpful tips like stocking your vegan pantry to recipes for vegan marshmallows, chorizo sausage links, my rockin' nacho and chedda cheeses and everything in between. New videos will be added monthly for fresh ideas and innovative recipes. The first 20 subscribers to the Membership side will also receive one of our Everyday Dish DVD's free for joining. So definitely stay tuned because you won't want to miss out. You'll love what you're going to see. The recipes on the membership side are some of my very best.

The picture above is a chocolate cream pie with marshmallow meringue topping. Yes, it's true! The recipe is perfected, filmed and ready to share with our members. I'll let you know once we've officially launched.

I have to admit, I'm so thrilled to be able to share the marshmallow and meringue recipes finally! I think I worked on those recipes for almost 8 months, with hundreds of trials and trails of marshmallows along the way. Whew, that was a lot of work. But I knew that it was a code that I had to crack ; )

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Barley Tea

With record breaking temperatures and beautiful blue skies, I have found myself craving iced tea. Now, being a tea fanatic, my mind starts to race to all of the different possibilities. Should I make matcha or jasmine or vanilla rooibos or Earl Gray? And then I remembered my big bag of barley tea. I knew exactly what I needed to brew up.

The first time that I had barley tea was in a Korean restaurant in L.A. It was served iced, and was the perfect thirst quencher. It had a nice light flavor with a hint of roasted smokiness. I was forever hooked after that first sip.

One of the great things about barley tea, besides the great taste, is that it's super inexpensive. You can get a huge bag of the tea (mine came with 52 large tea bags), for about four dollars. Each tea bag will make one quart. Oh, and they're made to steep in cool water too. So all you have to do is toss it in a pitcher of cool water and refrigerate for 30 minutes. No muss, no fuss. I have to believe that there's got to be some health benefits to the tea too. After all, the only ingredient is roasted barley.

I'm sure there are many brands, but this is the one that I bought at our local Asian market. If you're looking for something refreshing and caffeine-free, you might want to give barley tea a try.