Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Well, it's 2008 and I've been promising this blog for half a year. Happy New Year. Happy Blog Year. Happy Baby Year. And so on.
My blog is titled 'Participation Breeds Revolution' because that is the only phrase my husband and I could agree to tattoo on our bodies. The phrase embodies involvement, change, and freshness; three objectives that we honor and salute. 2008 is going to be an amazing year; I'm having a baby, I'm going a deeper shade of green ( see stylish handmade stocking cap from Alaskan Bfly above), and I think we actually might live in one city for longer than 6 months! Although I wanted 2008 to be the year of nutritional and motivational change through Veganism and physical fitness, the growing human in my belly wont will me to those extremes. So, I'm participating in the blog world to connect, share and educate with friends, family and strangers. Mostly, I just want to create a space to provoke fun conversation and inspirational ideas.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Well, I used Earth Balance for a butter substitute as reccomended by my favorite beautiful vegan Erin for the batch in the photo. But I simply think the muffins taste marvelous with organic, unslated butter. They rise better with butter and are less gooey. J ate them just the same so maybe it's all in my head.

2 sticks organic, unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
1 cup organic, unbleached granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp organic, pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (i use kosher)
2 1/2 cups rinsed, organic cranberries
2 cups organic, unbleached flour
1/2 cup soy milk or dairy milk (i use vanilla soy b/c that is what we always have in the fridge)
Zest of one orange
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar in the raw

Preheat oven to 375. In a mixer with a paddle attachment (or handmixer) cream the butter until smooth. Add sugar and mix. Add eggs, vanilla, baking powder, salt and mix just until blended. With mixer running at a low speed add half the flour and half the milk, and mix until just blended. Don't overmix or your Cranberry Muffins will be dense like a Cranberry Loaf...and that's no fun. Repeat with the remaining milk and flour. Add the remaining cranberries and the orange zest. Mix by hand with wooden spoon or spatula.

Butter your muffin pan or line the pan with muffin liners. I prefer to use a pan that makes a larger than traditional muffin, but it only makes 6 muffins. Spoon the batter to fill the cups 3/4 full. Mix the cinnamon with the sugar in the raw and sprinkle over the batter in the cups. Bake about 25-30 minutes. Check them first after 20 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for atleast 30 minutes before turning them out.

Concord Grape Juice

We love our juicer. This year when J, Brynne and I took the annual trip to NYC, Brynne ooh'ed & ahh'ed the concord grapes flaunted by the street vendors. She kept meaning to buy some of those dark jucy babes, but our bellys were filled with Ino and Babycakes almost every chance we got. Although I am a lover of all fruits, I had never actually eaten a concord grape. So, I bought some at Whole Foods upon our return home and made the most delicious juice. In case you haven't ever tried a concord grape, they are the perfect mix of sweet and tart (but watch out for those pesty seeds). We loved this juice so much we drank it for two weeks!

Szechuan Green Beans and Brown Rice

We like it hot here in the Vaughn-Pierce household. Spice is mandatory and a cure for any seasonal stuffiness. These Szechuan Green Beans are tasty alone with brown rice or are fucking radd with my homemade Peanut Sauce (I'll get around to adding that recipe some day soon). I'll detail the beans, you make your rice as you wish.

Three fist fulls of fresh green beans, ends trimmed
6-12 (6 for some spice, 12 for some kick) dried Chiles de Arbol (found at Whole Foods, click on link for a visual)
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
3 green onions (chopped chunky)
1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon on peanut or sesame oil

Get a large frying pan hot at Medium-high heat with the oil. Toss the beans, chiles and red pepper flakes in at the same time. Constantly stir or move veggies in pan for about a minute. Add the onion and squeeze the juice from half a lemon over the mix. Don't let the onion sit on heat for longer than 45sec. Pull from heat and serve hot over rice. Yum!