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When we learned that July is National Ice Cream Month, Ethan and I knew we had to come up with some new flavors.  As we were discussing flavor ideas, Ethan reminded me of how I once served him a bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with balsamic marinated strawberries and asked if we could try that.  I made the mixture of strawberries and balsamic vinegar added it to our coconut ice cream base, blended until smooth and tasted it.  HORRIBLE!  Bad combination of flavors.  The coconut was too strong and didn’t work with the other flavors.  So, we knew we needed a neutral base.  We decided to try cashews as they make a great cream when blended with water and have a high fat content to give the ice cream the richness we wanted.  The second time was the charm.  We first made a cashew cream, added the marinated berries and a

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July 28, 2014

Vedge of Glory

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The very first cookbook review we did for Our Hen House was Vedge, 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby of Vedge, A Vegetable Restaurant in Philadelphia, PA.  As we started reading the book to review it, we knew we would have to make it to Vedge to try these dishes as prepared by Rich and Kate.  Well, it took us many months to get there, but this year for Ethan’s birthday we went to Vedge.  It took us way too long to finally make the trip, but it was so worth the wait. From start to finish, the entire experience of dining at Vedge was wonderful. As soon as we arrived at Vedge, we were greeted and shown immediately to our table. This is always a plus. When dining out, it is very frustrating to show up at restaurant at the time

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While not a true s’more, as there are no graham crackers involved, this cookie bar is filled with melted chocolate and marshmallows.  This cookie is almost like a new take on a Mallowmar. The cookie is really just a vehicle to get the chocolate and marshmallow to your mouth. But don’t think this cookie isn’t spectacular, because it is. This is a flavor bonanza and a bit of a sugar rush too. This takes the idea of a pan cookie to a whole new level. Prep Time: 20 minutes Baking Time: 15 – 18 minutes Yield: 12 large, 24 medium or 32 small bars Ingredients: 2¼ cups flour 1 tsp baking soda ½ tsp salt 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats 1 cup vegan butter ¾ cup sugar ¾ cup packed brown sugar 2 tsp vanilla extract 4½ tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer 6 TBL water 2 cups chocolate chips 2

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When I was in college I used to tell my friend Kim that I had a craving for vanilla ice cream with bacon bits on it. She thought I was weird. I never actually followed through on this, but it stayed in the back of my mind.  Fast forward earlier this month when Ethan and I learned July was national ice cream month. Ethan suggested we come up with a recipe for a Maple-Bacon ice cream.  We knew we would need a neutral base for the ice cream, so coconut milk was out. We opted to try a cashew base instead.  When it was all mixed up, and we tasted it, it was perfect. It tasted like a waffle covered in maple syrup. So really, you can think of this as a breakfast/brunch ice cream.   No need to wait until after dinner for dessert.  Start your day with a bowl of ice

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Hot chocolate is my favorite hot winter beverage, espcecially when topped with vegan marshmallows or vegan whipped cream.  In fact, it is the only hot beverage I like. Summer is too hot for hot chocolate, but there is no reason you cannot enjoy the same chocolatey marshallowy goodness in the heat. You just need a cold form of it.  To solve this problem, I came up with a recipe for hot chocolate ice cream. To make cutting up the marshmallows easier, I suggest freezing them for a few minutes or using kitchen shears to cut them. You want them in 1/4 inch cubes.  If they are too big, they won’t distribute as well throughout the ice cream and they can freeze too hard to enjoy.  Put away your mug and grab a bowl, it’s ice cream time! Prep Time: 10 minutes Inactive Time: 4 hours to soak cashews, and 2 hours

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Our vegan Reuben sandwich is made with tempeh, and is 100% delicious!

A Reuben sandwich is New York City staple. The sandwich is named for its creator, Arnold Ruben, a German owner of Ruben’s Delicatessen in New York City who started serving them around 1914. Originally, this sandwich was made with corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut, and served grilled between two slices of rye bread. Growing up in a kosher home, eating meat and milk together was prohibited.  Couple that with the fact that I never really enjoyed the taste of corned beef, and you can understand why I never bothered to try a Reuben, even in my post-kosher, pre-vegan days. Then, one day after going vegan, I tried my first tempeh Reuben. I was utterly delighted. I really enjoyed the flavor and texture combinations and decided that I wanted to work on this to perfect my own version of it. After many years of working to find what I believe to be the perfected sandwich, I

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Whipped toppings make everything better.  Back in my pre-vegan days, I often found comfort in the can of readi-whip – straight from can to mouth. After going vegan, I tried the ready made whipped toppings available.  The soy ones had too strong a soy taste for me.  The ones you had to whip yourself, just didn’t do it for me.  If I was going to have to whip it myself, I figured I would just make it fresh.  Coconut milk makes the ideal base for a whipped topping because it is very rich and thick. This is a treat, so don’t worry about the calories and just get the full fat version.  The lite ones do not whip up the way you want them too. The trick to making this is to put the can in the refrigerator UPSIDE DOWN overnight to let the coconut cream separate from the liquid

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I love ice cream. Doesn’t everyone? But I love it even more when it is covered with a hard chocolate shell. You know the stuff that starts as a liquid and then magically becomes a hard shell. When I was little I would scoop some ice cream into a bowl, drizzle it with the aforementioned chocolate, add another layer of ice cream and then a final layer of chocolate to completely cover it.  Once the chocolate hardened, I would break open a small space for my spoon and carefully excavate the ice cream below. Once all the ice cream was gone I had a chocolate shell left to eat on its own. I still don’t understand why I have not been awarded a Nobel Prize for this.  My father, not to be outdone, would take the bottle, once it was empty and add a little hot water to it. He

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July 9, 2014

Chocolate Egg Cream

Written by Posted in Recipes, Sweets Comments 0
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As a child with a mother from Brooklyn, I grew up hearing all about egg creams. To me, they sounded vile. Who in their right mind would want to drink raw eggs? It wasn’t until well into my adult hood that I learned that an egg cream does not in fact contain eggs.  It is simply milk, chocolate syrup and seltzer.  Basically a fizzy chocolate milk.  Why is it called an egg cream then? I have no clue.  In honor of my mother’s roots, I came up with a vegan version of her childhood favorite.  To make a truly authentic egg cream, you need a high fat content milk.  I found that coconut creamer works really well.  If you are not a coconut fan, try hemp milk or almond milk.  The end product won’t be a rich, but it will still be good.  This one’s for you mom. Prep Time:

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July 8, 2014

Chocolate Syrup

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As a kid, I did not like chocolate syrup. I don’t know what turned me off about it, but I just didn’t go for it.  I loved chocolate, just not chocolate syrup.  However, today, I understand and appreciate what a wonderful thing chocolate syrup can be. Rather than buy it in the store, the little time it takes to make it yourself is worth the effort.  Once you start making it, you will never go back to store bought again.  Try storing it in a squeeze bottle so you are ready for any chocolate syrup emergencies.   They can happen.  It also goes great over our vanilla ice cream. Prep Time: 2 minutes Cooking Time: 8 minutes Yield: about 1 1/2 cups Ingredients: 3/4 cup cocoa powder 1 cup sugar Pinch of salt 1 cup boiling water, divided 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract Directions: 1.  In a small saucepan, whisk together the

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