Pre-Thanksgiving (“Fakesgiving”) Meal with Mom


After my four month RTW adventure and house/catsitting 3 large loveable kitties for a month in Portland, I’m currently in Southern Oregon, visiting my mom and my little brother.

         I can’t remember the last time I’ve been able to spend more than a few nights down here; with so many projects and a very full-time job, I could only eek away a little bit of time to visit for the last decade. But now, I’m back, and while I try to figure out what’s next, I decided to come home to visit for longer than I’ve been able to in years.

Epicurious Vegan

      While I’m here for the week, my mom and I decided to celebrate an early Thanksgiving, or ‘Fakesgiving’ as my little brother named it. She’s vegetarian and I’m vegan, so eating together is always a huge joy to us. She writes a blog called Greenbird, and in honor of her 50th post, she wanted to write a joint blog post with me. I gladly agreed, as I’ve been writing less for my blog than I anticipated since I’ve been back. Job hunting, working on Vida Vegan, and catching up with friends over champagne and tacos takes up a lot of time, OK?

   ***Side note: Speaking of Vida Vegan, now that Jess, Michele and I are all back from our respective travels, we’re hosting an intimate Holiday How-To Party this December. Ticket price is $20 before November 24th, and includes demos of cocktails, mocktails, crafts and savory bites. It’s an entertaining workshop, done in an entertaining way. Admission includes demos, samples, a special take-home gift and limited edible artisan door prizes. Tickets available here.***


     For our early Thanksgiving, mom and I just wanted a few dishes, since we both easily go so overboard in excitement. Our ambition dwarves our appetites, every time.

FAKESGIVING | Epicurious Vegan

    After Googling and going through her massive recipe index, we settled on this menu:


  • Thanksgiving Stuffing Casserole with Soy Curls, Kale, & Sage (recipe loosely inspired by Veg Web)

  • Mashed Potatoes topped with Crispy Parsnip Ribbons (recipe from Vegetarian Times)

  • Gravy

  • Homemade Bread (recipe inspired by Oregon Live)

  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • Pumpkin Pudding with Salted Caramel Bourbon Sauce


I’m going to let mom take it away with her bread post, and then I’ll share my cheater salted caramel bourbon sauce recipe.

 Take it away, mom!

 Fakesgiving-- Epicurious Vegan



      I had a favorite bread recipe for many years, but it recently disappeared. My daughter remembered seeing a recipe for bread by Grant Butler and looked it up for me. I modified it somewhat. It came out pretty good. Here’s my modified recipe:

  • 2 packages baking yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ cup lukewarm water (It is very important to get the temperature right.)
  • 3 cups flour. You can use a mix of flours.
  • ½ cup oats
Pour the lukewarm water into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and the sugar and stir just enough to mix.  Dump in the flour and oats all at once and stir until just mixed. Cover with cloth and put in warm spot until doubled in size—about 2 hours. Place bread dough onto floured surface and flour your hands well. Knead lightly. The recipe say that you do not have to knead the dough, but I like to, so I do it anyway. Skip that step if you don’t.
Shape into loaf and put into oiled bread pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until browned on top, and it sounds hollow when you thump it. Remove from oven, and take out of pan and place on rack. Let cool. It’s hard to wait because it smells so good, but it will slice better.

   Thanks, mom! This bread came out just perfect. Golden brown on top, chewy and soft on the inside.

    Making pudding is very basic. You need milk, sugar, a thickener, and flavorings. With this pudding, I used vanilla almond milk, brown sugar, and corn starch.  I didn’t measure anything (SORRY!) but also added in cinnamon, freshly ground nutmeg, a titch of ginger, and some Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie vodka, just for fun. (Pumpkin Pie vodka tastes like PUMPKIN PIE. It’s the best.)

   Instead of a coconut whipped cream (my mom hates coconut. Sad but true.), my mom suggested a sauce (genius), so I threw this together.

   Note: this isn’t a real honest-to-goodness candy thermometer-type caramel, hence why I call it cheater caramel sauce. I don’t have the patience for that. It’s something I threw together that turned out really nice, so if you’re lazy or impatient like me, this sauce is for you.

PUMPKIN PUDDING | Epicurious Vegan

This tastes better than it looks, guys. DO YOU BELIEVE ME?

Cheater Salted Caramel Bourbon Sauce

serves 2-4

  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance

  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • ½ cup non-dairy milk (I used vanilla almond)

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I’m a vanilla enthusiast; you may want to stick with 1 tsp if you’re a normal person)

  • 2 tablespoons bourbon or whiskey (I used Jameson’s, but Jim Beam Maple would be THE MOST IDEAL EVER)

  • pinch sea salt



Melt vegan butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Add salt and bourbon, stir. When the mixture starts bubbling, add the almond milk and keep stirring to prevent sticking. Let cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, adding vanilla extract about half way through.  Remove from heat.


Drink immediately. Ahem. I mean, pour on top of pumpkin pudding or dessert of your choice.

Read my mom’s Fakesgiving Post (her 50th post!) here! If you leave a comment on her blog, you’ll probably make her day and she’ll do a little dance.


I’m not sure what I’m doing for actual Thanksgiving, but I have a feeling it will include the Tofurkey Trot 5K and an entire coconut cream pie.

2012 Recipe Recap


Oh hey guys!

I started this epic post of my year-in-review, month-by-month, with gads of pictures, and got to April before I was like, geez louise, this is soooooooooo much information! Everyone will be nodding off by May.  I tried to throw in some things that didn’t make it on to the blog, like my trip to South Korea, but it got so involved and bam. done with that idea. So instead, we’ll go for a smaller, more manageable theme of 2012: my favorite recipes that I created and posted.


In no particular order (oh, I mean in chronological order):

Dijon Dill Pasta Salad


This pasta salad is the best pasta salad. If you like food that’s really delicious. I made this a handful of times this spring, and have been thinking about it again. The combination of dill and lots of veggies and Wayfare’s sweet and salty bacon bits blends together to create the perfect flavor and texture combination.


Vegan No-Bake Birthday Cake Balls

mini cake balls

Oh, hello, little beauties. These treats are not really what you could classify as ‘healthy’ but they are no-bake and gluten-free and contain nuts and are sweetened with dates, so for a little indulgence, they’re healthy-ish. They’re so fun to make and take only a couple of minutes. Once made, keep refrigerated and pop out for a little bite of birthday bliss.


Vegan & Gluten-Free Dance Magic Bars

magic bars

With a nut-based crust and coconut milk-based sweetened condensed milk, these magic bars are seriously—really and truly—100% magical. I’m not kidding you guys. Just eat one and you’ll know what I’m talking about. These give you POWERS, man. Or maybe it’s just the sugar high from the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and sweet and creamy milk layer.


Summer Kale Salad

kale salad

Kale salads are the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees…they really float my boat and blow my skirt up, if you know what I mean. And this one—with tangy cranberries, sweet strawberries and omega 3-rich hemp hearts was one of my favorites of the many many many many kale salads I had this year.


How to Cook a Spaghetti Squash


Spaghetti Squash, and the people that eat it, use to confuse me. But now I’m happily a believer. In addition to being adorable and fun to make, these really do taste like spaghetti (when you top it with traditional red sauce and Italian herbs).


Halloween Cupcakes with Marzipan Fingers and Pumpkins



This recipe for chocolate cupcakes goes way back to an index card in my mom’s kitchen, which I think she got from her mom—it’s a recipe from the Depression era when most families couldn’t afford eggs and dairy (Hmmmm. Was this before they were subsidized? Was the Depression era a reason WHY the dairy and egg industry became subsidized? Something to file in my ‘Things to Google’ task list.). This chocolate cupcake (or cake) recipe is very simple and made from a handful of common pantry ingredients. The frosting is also a recipe from my baking days in high school, just veganized. The marzipan pumpkins, fingers and skulls came about through a process of Googling and trial-and-error (and stained orange & red hands).

This recipe is Halloween-specific, but the cupcakes can be made any time, and you can do whatever your heart desires with marzipan (santa hats! easter eggs! spring flowers! american flags! champagne bottles! OMG Champagne Bottles!).


I’m still planning to do a bunch of Christmas baking this year—chex mix and muddy buddies (oh hey! I can use Earth Balance coconut peanut butter this year!) and cookies and truffles and the usual goodies. Just praying (in my agnostic way. So, hoping.) that my family can fight their way through the blizzard in Southern Oregon and make it up in time for Christmas (anyone know any good red-nosed reindeers?) to join in.