Sunday was Batt Lady’s birthday and I knew I wanted to do something nice for her since her husband, parents, and friends weren’t able to come visit…on TOP of which, it was opening weekend of our maniacally manic summer festival. So Saturday night I made sure I got out a little early (guiltily leaving the almost birthday girl to finish off the shows for the night) and snuck home with Miss Rice to make some box office/Batt Lady friendly cupcakes. She can’t eat eggs (and I just happened to have recently ordered Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World) and she can’t eat processed sugar, so I hopped out to the Red Hook Natural Foods store to buy a large bottle of Agave, along with some other vegan provisions.

There’s definitely a stigma around vegan baking (maybe it’s just cause I’m so into butter and eggs from my childhood baking experiences and Julia’s influence) and on top of that I’m not an enormous fan of the flavor of Agave, but Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero changed my mind (as they almost always do…). These. were. delicious. And though the frosting was a bit runny, it had a great texture and an even better taste!

Go ahead, experiment a little…you won’t be sorry.

Read on for photos and the recipe…
A nice hearty and healthy dish to serve alongside pretty much anything for the main course...or a filling snack!

Ingredients (serves 6 - 8 people)
3 lbs potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 lb kale, deribbed and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

  • Cook potatoes and mash.
  • In a separate pan, saute onion in oil, then add kale and steam, covered, until kale is soft (but not dead).
  • Remove from heat and mix with potatoes and seasonings. Put in casserole dish and bake at 350F until warmed through (we baked for about 15 - 20 minutes)
Yep! It's Vegan! Homemade vegetable stock and tofu matzah balls (no, tofu is not technically kosher, but if you're vegan you have to cheat a little tiny bit...)

8 dried shittake mushrooms
3 cups boiling water
5 medium carrots, sliced + 2 carrots, sliced
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 parsnip, coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water + 10 cups water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 bunches green onions, trimmed
1 potato, coarsely chopped (you can leave it unpeeled if you like)
1" piece of ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
Salt, pepper, thyme, & marjoram to taste
Onion powder (optional)

Go on, you know you're curious...