Party Food & Searching for the Perfect Pancake, Part 3

Last weekend was bf’s birthday, and one of his cousins invited a whole lot of people over to his place to celebrate.  We were going to order the UFC fight and watch some college football, and wanted to keep the food simple and on the cheap side since we were expecting quite the crowd.  As usual, I contributed because I like sharing, and also to make sure I didn’t starve.

Layered bean dip:  refried beans, avocado mashed with lime juice, salsa, better than cream cheese with taco seasoning, lettuce, green onion and olives.  I guess technically it was a seven layer dip.  This was a hit, gone by the end of the night.  Many people asked me what the ingredients were and were surprised to hear there was a vegan cream cheese.

I also brought the ubiquitous veggie tray, with Trader Joe’s Tuscan Italian dressing.

BF doesn’t really like cake.  I mean, he’ll eat it sometimes if it’s there, but I wanted to make something I knew he would like a lot, so I went with a cookie cake.  Since my kitchen is still packed in boxes I used storebought frosting and didn’t go crazy decorating.  It wasn’t nearly as nice as the one I made for the superbowl (buried somewhere in this post…bf’s birthday cake from a couple years ago is at the very bottom too, that one was impressive.  and time consuming.), but it tasted great just the same.

It’s just the VWAV chocolate chip cookie recipe with a tad extra liquid, pressed onto a cookie sheet, baked and covered in icing.  It couldn’t get much easier.  People go nuts for cookie cake.

On Monday I started my new job in San Francisco, which unfortunately involves up to three hours of commuting every day.  It also involves staying in people’s spare rooms and on their floors since we don’t have a place to live yet.  This situation may or may not change in the near future, but for now my food during the week is mostly prepared due to time constraints, tiredness, and not wanting to mess other people’s kitchens up.  I took my camera with me and meant to document a few of the meals, however boring, but when it came down to it I just didn’t have the energy to take pictures.  When I finally got “home” at the end of the day I just wanted to eat ASAP.  So unfortunately I have no pictures of canned split pea soup, Amy’s roasted veggie pizza, salad from a salad bar, or a taco salad from Whole Foods hot bar that cost me over $11.  You know what all that stuff looks like anyway.  The food highlight of my week was a vegan blueberry donut from Whole Foods.  I LOVE blueberry donuts.  I used to buy blueberry and cherry donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts back in the day.  This one wasn’t quite the same, but it definitely hit the spot.  Blue frosting and all.

Having not been able to cook all week, yesterday I woke up with the urge to make something.  Lazy Saturday mornings equal pancakes to me, so I continued my quest to find the perfect vegan pancake.  Refer to these postsfor my first two attempts.  This time I went with the recommended Diner Style Pancakes from the Candle Cafe Cookbook.  I don’t have any of my normal egg replacers here though, so I had to tweak the recipe a little and use a tablespoon cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of water in place of the egg replacer the recipe calls for.

I put chocolate chips in some of them just because I could.  These reminded me of my results using the VWAV pancake recipe – they tasted great, but were still flat.  I’m not giving up on this recipe completely though, since I did change it up a little.  I’ll try it again, maybe with a bit less liquid for a less runny batter.

BF and two of his cousins were making breakfast too, since football starts at 10AM over here.  They were planning chorizo and egg burritos, and I was going to stick with pancakes for simplicity’s sake.  But bf called me from the grocery store asking if I wanted some vegetarian chorizo that he had spotted.  He’s become really great at looking out for me and my food needs.  So while they cooked up theirs, I “scrambled” my veggie chorizo with tofu and spices.

Not exactly picturesque, but it was tasty.  Very similar to tvp or tempeh sausage crumbles that I’ve made before, a little spicy.  Except the chorizo comes in a casing like the real stuff, and you squeeze it out of the casing into the pan.  It seems to me it would be easier to just package it without the casing, but I guess they’re going for authenticity.  The soy flavor was a little overwhelming since it was TVP and tofu, so I think next time I would maybe try it with beans or on its own.

We also roasted home fries.  Here is my resulting delicious breakfast that kept me stuffed for a very long time.

Very early tomorrow morning I’m back to the grind, commuting and eating from a can.  Until next weekend…


  1. Megan said

    All your food looks awesome, but the breakfast looks beyond yummy!

  2. VeggieGirl said

    What a lovely spread of food for your boyfriend’s birthday celebration!!

    Your job definitely sounds busy – hang in there!!

  3. jessy said

    i love the cookie cake! your pancakes look so yummy, too! and those home fries = mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

    i like the veggie tray – it’s really neat looking, and pretty! that’s so awesome people loved your seven layer dip – it’s fantastical looking! i could eat all of it! mmmmmmmmm!

  4. Carrie said

    Yikes what a long commute. I’ve never had cookie cake but it sounds delish. As does that dip, yum!

  5. How nice of your bf to think of you when he saw chorizo! I love it when omni boyfriends think of their vegan girlfriends. Mine’s getting better. And I’ve had flat results with the VWAV pancakes too! Everyone’s told me the recipe needs more baking powder, so I’m gonna try that next time.

    Hope you find a place to call your own soon!

  6. Lauren said

    your layered dip looks great! i love dips like that.
    and how nice of you to make him a cookie cake! it turned out great looking! 🙂

  7. Vegetation said

    Cookie Cake! Oh my goodness, I’ve never heard of cookie cake. YUM!

  8. shellyfish said

    I love layered bean dips – probably one of my favorite fun party foods ever! And I like that idea for the VWAV chocolate chip cookie cake! Whenever I’ve made that recipe, it has come out too wet for regular cookies so I do end up making bars…but why didn’t I think to put frosting on them??

  9. It all looks delicious! And how super sweet of the bf to pick up that soy chorizo- I love me some spicy chorizo! Hope you get settled & sorted out soon!

  10. I love big breakfasts with potatoes and soyrizo!

  11. aTxVegn said

    You are so good at the Mexican type foods – the dip and the breakfast scramble look terrific. I have a friend who doesn’t like sweets, but it still sounds weird every time I hear someone say that!

  12. melisser said

    I’ve never seen that kind of soyrizo! Interesting. Ryan would love that cookie cake. I should try that sometime.
    Congrats on the new job! That commute sounds like hell. Email me, please. melisser AT

  13. Tofufreak said

    3 hours of commute?!?!?!! wow! that is LONG!

    your breakfast looks SO AMAZINGLY GOOD. Like i am seriously having major breakfast cravings now!!!

    nice cookie cake too! ditto the cravings for this one!

  14. Adrian said

    Wow nice. Please tell me you and the BF had that Menudo finally. Its been ages since it was promised to have been eaten.

    Well hope you kids are doing well out there. Sucks about the last post, but I’m sure you’ll find something.

    Take care and give my best to the BF

  15. […] quest has come to an end.  You may recall that I’ve been trying in vain to make what I consider the perfect pancake.  Well, I finally did it.  In a stroke of what might be called utter […]

  16. […] made a seven layer dip a la this post, and served it with Trader Joe’s Corn Chip Dippers, which are awesome.  I also put out some […]

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