Ten Favorite Vegan Skincare Products

Last year I posted about my battle with hormonal acne (spoiler alert: switching to natural skincare and beauty products helped – a lot.) Since then, I’ve found a few new favorite products that really work well for me and my sensitive skin, so I figured I’d share them, along with a few discount codes, in time for a little self care this Black Friday. Brands or products with an * are offering discount codes so keep your eyes peeled!

Cleansing

I got 99 problems, but my skin ain't one... most of the time.

I got 99 problems, but my skin ain’t one… most of the time.

In my previous post I confessed to using CeraVe hydrating cleanser because my dermatologist recommended it – I scanned the label to to my untrained eye it seemed OK, and I’d read on some vegan beauty blogs that it was OK. But later I saw some chatter online about there being animal-derived ingredients lurking inside, so I thought it would be best to look elsewhere.

I’ve tried a new vegan, natural cleansers since then and never thought enough of any of them to really claim one as my favorite until I tried OSEA’s Ocean Cleanser. At about $7 per ounce, it’s not the cheapest cleanser on the block – but cheap is’t a great attribute in something you’re planning on rubbing all over your body’s largest organ 1-2 times a day.

If you read the product description there is lots of talk of algae and re-mineralizing and whatnot, but all you need to know is it will remove your makeup, and clean your face without stripping it of it’s natural moisture. So your skin will feel soft and will be stronger and healthier.

I’m borderline Amy Winehouse with my black eyeliner, so I go through eye make up remover like it’s nothing. I also was blessed with my mother’s oily eyelids, which means I have blocked eyelash follicles and inflamed eyelids all the time (sorry boys, I’m taken!) I tried We Love Eyes’ Tea Tree Make Up Remover* and saw the light – literally.

Use code bakeanddestroy for 10% off

Use code bakeanddestroy for 10% off

Why is this eye make up remover worth $18? Well, it’s made with just three ingredients – jojoba oil grape seed oil and tea tree oil, so it’s super gentle and natural. Could you mix those up yourself at home? Um, maybe, but I’m pretty anti-DIY when it comes to my eyeballs, and this stuff was formulated by an optometrist, so I trust her. It removes every trace of my gothy eye makeup, plus, I’ve noticed that my eyelids are less puffy, and I’ve had fewer blocked follicles since I’ve started using it.

*Save 10% until 2017 when you enter bakeanddestroy 

American Botanics* makes a few products I really love, but in the cleansing arena their SuperC+ Skin Perfecting Tonic with Brightening Complex is a stand-out. The scrubby little pads are soaked in fruit extract glycolic acid with aloe vera juice, bilberry, lemon peel and sugar cane, a mixture that polishes, brightens, fades sun spots and age spots, and fights fine lines and wrinkles.

I wash my face at night to remove my makeup, but in the morning I just rinse it with water to remove residue from my night cream, so I like to use these after my shower to refresh before I go pile on more makeup. The company recommends using them 1-2 times per week, or daily depending on your needs and preferences.

*Save 20% until 2017 when you enter HOLIDAY20

Serum and Moisturizer

I admit I’ve always been a little confused by serums. So, you clean your face, then you put oil on your face, then you put moisturizer on top of that? …why tho? I’ve tried tons, and I could never tell if they were “working,” and never wanted to spend anywhere from $40 to $100 on something that didn’t thrill me. Do you understand how many ColourPop lip sticks I could buy with $100? (The answer is 20.)

Then, I tried The Hero Oil by Poetic Blends*. This oil is billed as a multi-purpose oil – you can use it on your face, your hair, your nails, you can shave with it – but for $50 an ounce I was not about to do any of those things. I was going to put it on my beautiful, precious face. And I did. And I loved it.

I really like this oil for two reasons. One, it’s a “dry oil,” meaning it absorbs very quickly, so you don’t feel like an oil slick and your bangs won’t stick to your forehead all night. I also really like the inclusion of calendula oil in the ingredients, because it’s antibacterial, so it fights inflammation and kills germs. It’s nice to know when you’re on the verge of a major chin zit that your moisturizing serum is actively fighting zit-causing bacteria.

*Keep your eyes peeled for Poetic Blends’ Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales!

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-6-31-15-pm

Enter HOLIDAY20 to save 20%

Another American Botanics* product that’s become a regular part of my routine is their SuperA+ Sleep Tight Radiance Cream. Prickly pear and Retinol combine with other natural, calming, regenerative ingredients to make a lightweight, but deeply penetrating night cream for firmer, younger-looking skin in the morning. Bonus: it smells delicious. Not bonus: that makes my dog lick my face. Bonus again: my dog is really cute.

*Save 20% until 2017 when you enter HOLIDAY20

In the morning, pre-makeup, I use Pacifica’s Dreamy Youth Day & Night Face Cream. I use a ton of Pacifica products because they’re all vegan and cruelty, and they’re priced really reasonably. This cream is super lightweight, so it’s perfect under makeup – and it’s in a pump dispenser so you can keep your grubby hands out of the product.

Masks and Treatments

In my previous skincare post I sang the praises of Thesis Beauty’s* Smoothing Hydrating Brightening Strawberry Dessert Mask and that one is still in regular rotation. It’s about $23 for a jar, but don’t let that freak you out because you only need a teaspoon to whip up a mask so it will last you FOREVER. This mask will give you visible results – for real. Your skin will be brighter, and if you’re sensitive like me, you’ll notice a calming effect on angry spots. Plus it’s pink, and it gets dry and crackly when it’s time to wash it off, so it’s fun.

*Save 10% until 2017 when you enter BAKE10

Enter Dreamy15 for 15% off

Enter Dreamy15 for 15% off

I did not love Pacifica’s Future Youth Enzymatic Resurfacing Mask when I first opened the jar. It’s a clear gel, and it smells like kale (because it’s made with kale) and it’s pretty much the opposite of the pink, sweetly-scented, crackly fun of the Thesis mask I love. This mask, however, taught me not to judge a book by its cover.

After spreading a thin layer on, you’ll feel this mask tingling away – you might even notice a flush in your cheeks if you’re particularly sensitive. After 5-20 minutes, wipe it away to reveal decongested pores, and a fresh complexion due to it’s peel-like properties. It’s perfect for those of you who get dull, dry patches, and like all of Pacifica’s products, it’s a great price.

Anti-Aging

A lot of the products I’ve already covered do double duty as anti-aging products – anything that hydrates, plumps and brightens pretty much fits that bill. But, I’ve tried a few that helped with some particularly annoying signs of aging.

Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Anti-wrinkle Booster Serum is a quick-absorbing, lightweight gel. There’s a whole crazy list of ingredients and what they do, but the reason I really like it is that it instantly plumps your skin – so fine lines go bye-bye. It also doubles as a makeup primer, which helps the $75 price tag feel slightly less painful.

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-6-45-31-pmIf you’d like to try this serum at a lower price, plus get your hands on a few other really nice anti-aging products from Juice Beauty, I recommend the Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Solutions Kit for $49. This will allow you to try three products from this collection (a $100 value), including another favorite of mine, the Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Eye Treatment. This is the ONLY product I’ve ever tried that actually reduced the appearance of my chronic dark eye circles, plus helped diminish some fine lines.

Finally, this isn’t so much a product recommendation as a discovery tool recommendation, but I was able to try most of these products in my Petit Vour subscription box. I really like Petit Vour, because it’s always heavy on the skincare products, and the brands tend to be high-end. So for $15 a month (US price, Canadian and global options are also available) you can try an $80 night cream, a $65 serum, and a $32 cleanser and see for yourself if they’re worth it or not. Plus, you can earn loyalty points on your purchases through Petit Vour, so you can earn money off the things you really love.

What are your favorite vegan skincare products? What other vegan non-edibles are you interested in? Hair care? Pet care? You tell me and I’ll work on a post!

Honesty alert: This is not a sponsored post, and I paid for these products, so these are my honest opinions. Some of the links are affiliate links, which means I could receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking them.

Vegan Tamales Unwrapped: Red Chile Jackfruit Tamales

Vegan tamales are a hug your mouth gives your belly. Anyone who’s ever attempted to make them at home knows this isn’t a dish to be taken lightly – and if you make tamales, you do it from a place of love.

So I was super stoked to have the opportunity to check out Dora Stone’s new book,Vegan Tamales Unwrapped: A Step-by-Step Guide to Savory and Sweet Tamales, and share this recipe with you.

If you’re lucky enough to live near an international market, you should be able to find young jackfruit in brine, Masa Harina and corn husks pretty easily (jackfruit is often with the Asian food, corn husks with Mexican ingredients, and masa harina could be with Mexican food, or you might find it in the baking aisle with other Bob’s Red Mill products).

If these items are tricky for you to find locally, though, welcome to the Internet! You can find them here:

It probably shouldn’t come a surprise to you that this post contains affiliate links, which means if you click them and make a purchase I might receive compensation. Thought I’d mention it anyway though. 

Before we get into this I should mention that tamales aren’t a small undertaking – my friends whose families make them usually do so for special occasions. A lot of times they’ll get together with aunts and cousins and make a huge batch and divvy it up. Everyone works together in an assembly line. So maybe grab a few friends and have a tamale party.

Red Chile Jackfruit Tamales Recipe:

red-chile-jackfruit-tamales

Red chile jackfruit tamales

Yield: 18-24 tamales
Time: 2-3 hours

Ingredients: 

Guajillo Chile Sauce

  • 20 ea.(4 oz.) Chile guajillo, dry, seeded
  • 3 – 4 Arbol chiles, seeded
  • 6 Garlic, cloves
  • 1/2 Onion, white chopped
  • 2 cups Chile soaking liquid

Filling:

  • 4 Garlic, cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (20 oz./ea) Green jackfruit
  • 1 ½ cups Guajillo chile sauce

Dough:

  • 1 cup (8 oz.) Coconut oil, room temperature
  • 4 cups (1 lb. 2 oz.) Masa Harina
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Salt, kosher
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Cumin, ground
  • 3 ½ cups Vegetable broth or stock
  • 1 ½ cups Guajillo chile sauce

30 Corn Husks, dried

Preparation:

Also in this book: potato adobo tamales

Also in this book: potato adobo tamales

1. To prepare the corn husks: Soak the corn husks in hot water, in a large pot or in your

kitchen sink. Place a plate over them to weigh them down so they are completely

submerged. Let them soak for at least an hour.

2. To make the sauce, place the chiles in a small sauce pot and cover with water. Bring to a

simmer over medium-high heat and let cook for about 10 minutes. Drain the chiles and

reserve 2 cups of the soaking liquid. Place the chiles, garlic, onion, and soaking liquid in

the blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and strain. You should

end up with about 3 cups of sauce.

3. To make the filling: Drain the jackfruit. Rinse, and pat with paper towels. Cut out the

core of the jackfruit (tip of the triangle pieces), and cut pieces in half. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil

in a large sauté pan set to medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring

often. Add the jackfruit and cook for 3 -4 minutes or until it begins to brown. Pour 1 ½

cups of the guajillo chile sauce and reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer for 20 minutes

or until jackfruit begins to break down and the sauce has thickened slightly. Use a fork to

shred the jackfruit as it cooks down. Season with salt and pepper and let cool.

4. To make the dough, beat the coconut oil, on medium-high speed, with an electric mixer

for 1 minute. Add the baking powder, cumin, salt, and beat for 1 minute to incorporate

into the coconut oil.

5. Add half of the masa harina to the bowl, pour in half of the vegetable stock, and beat to

incorporate. After it is completely incorporated, add the other half of masa harina,

vegetable stock, and 1 ½ cups of the guajillo chile puree. Beat at low speed, until

thoroughly mixed. It should have the consistency of a thick cake batter. If necessary, add

more vegetable stock until you reach that consistency. Taste the dough, and add more salt

if necessary. It should be a little bit salty.

What about chocolate tamales for dessert?

What about chocolate tamales for dessert?

6. For lighter and fluffier tamales, let the dough rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Remove

the dough from the fridge and rebeat it, adding enough liquid to get it to the consistency it

had before.

7. Remove the corn husks from the water and set on paper towels. Reserve the largest husks

to wrap the tamales and the small ones to line the steamer.

8. To set up your steamer, fill the bottom with water making sure the water is not touching

the steamer rack. Line the rack and sides of the steamer pot with corn husks. Set aside.

9. To wrap the tamales, pull 24 pencil thin strips off of the corn husks and set aside. Take a

husk and dry off the excess water with a paper towel. Place the husk in your hand with

the tapered side away from you and the smooth side up. Using a spoon, spread 2-3 tbsp.

of the dough (¼ inch thick) onto the corn husk, forming a 3 – 4 inch square. Leave a

border of at least 3/4 inch on each side of the square.

10. Place 1 ½ tbsp. of the filling in the center of the dough. Bring the two long sides of the

corn husk together, this will cause the masa to surround the filling, and roll them in the

same direction around the tamal. (If the husk is too small, fold one of the long sides

towards the center, and then fold the other long side on top.) Fold down the empty

tapered section of the corn husk, forming a closed bottom. This will leave the top of the

tamal open. Tie with a corn husk strip to secure the bottom of the tamal.

11. Place the tamal in the steamer vertically leaning against the side of the pot, with the open

end on top. Repeat this process until you run out of dough and all the tamales are in the

steamer. Cover them with a layer of corn husks. If the steamer is not full, fill the empty

spaces with more corn husks. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn heat down

to medium and cook for 40 minutes. Check the tamales, when they separate easily from

the corn husk it means they are done. If they are not done, steam for 10 more minutes and

check again.

12. Remove steamer from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool

for at least an hour. Don’t be alarmed if the tamales seem really soft. As they cool, they

will firm up.

Chef’s Notes:

If you would like to make these with fresh masa, replace the masa harina with 2 lbs. of

fresh masa and use only 3/4 cup of vegetable stock. To substitute the coconut oil, you can

use 8 oz. of vegetable oil or vegetable shortening. For tamales without fat, use 8 oz of

cooked, unsweetened pumpkin.

Veganized: Christina Tosi’s Corn Cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar

This is me. I am also Midwestern AF.

This is me. I am also Midwestern AF.

Yes, corn cookies. If you ever ate honey on your cornbread or put sugar in your grits than you’re already half way there. (PS I am staunchly in the Salt in Grits Club, but I will still eff up some corn cookies.) They’re just a touch sweet, but not sugary, buttery, and saltier than your average “salted caramel whatever.” The center is chewy, the outer edge is crunchy. As you eat them you think things like, “This would be amazing with vegan cream cheese icing” and ” I could make a baller ass ice cream out of these” but instead you just eat them all while hovering over the sink at 11pm on a Tuesday night. And, they’re made with two kinds of corn products, which is Midwestern AF.

My friend Heather of Pie, Pie My Darling will make her own version of these for you by special order if you’re in Chicago. But if you aren’t, you can make them at home pretty easily. All I did was veganize the famous recipe from NYC’s Momofuku Milk Bar.

Make sure you use a margarine that actually tastes good (Smart Balance is good and you can find it in most stores) because that flavor is really important in these cookies. If you can find Miyoko’s Creamery Cultured VeganButter in a store near you it’s well-worth the splurge (and bonus: no palm oil so you get extra vegan points). You can even make your own awesome vegan butter with Miyoko’s own recipe.

I used EnerG egg replacer to replace the egg in the original recipe – I didn’t want to use flax or banana because they alter the flavor, and I thought tofu would mess with the texture. But do whatever you want, I’m not your mom. My only other ingredient note is about freeze-dried corn because I had a really hard time finding it. I ended up getting it on Amazon (ad link), but if you’re lucky you’ll find it at your local Whole Foods – I’ve heard you can also find it in some sporting goods store thanks to survivalist weirdos.

Vegan Corn Cookies

By BakeandDestroy Published: September 12, 2016

  • Yield: 13- 15 cookies

This is me. I am also Midwestern AF. Yes, corn cookies. If …

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine the margarine and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg replacer, and beat for 7-8 minutes.
  2. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, corn flour, corn powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Using a 2 3/4-ounce ice cream scoop (or a 1/3-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do NOT skip this step.
  4. Heat the oven to 350°F
  5. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center; give them an extra minute if not.
  6. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or to an airtight container for storage.

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    The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty: Vanilla Latte Body Scrub Recipe

     A few years ago a natural sunscreen company hired me to overhaul their image and to head up their marketing department. I’ve always been a sunscreen advocate, but never really knew the difference between chemical and natural sunscreens. Once I started researching the topic, I realized there were a lot of things I was unwittingly rubbing all over my body’s largest organ – my skin – every day.

    This realization encouraged me to start seeking out natural alternatives to my favorite health and beauty products, and to following vegan beauty bloggers like Sunny Subramanian. What I found was that there are a lot of alternatives out there, but I went through a lot of trial and error (i.e. money and time) to find the ones that worked for me. So I was really stoked to receive a review copy of Sunny’s new book,The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty: 125 Recipes for Vegan, Gluten-Free, Cruelty-Free Makeup, Skin and Hair Care Products because making your own beauty products gives you ultimate control over ingredient quality, and it costs a lot less than store-bought products.

    Sunny’s book takes you step-by-step through the world of DIY beauty. From active ingredients to resources to easy-to-follow recipes for everything from perfume to sunscreen to actual color cosmetics like foundation and blush. Each recipe has little “Did You Know” call-outs, along with tips, ingredient spotlights and tips for customization.

    I am far from crafty – I might be single-handedly keeping Etsy in business because I’d much rather pay someone to glue glitter on a thing than do it myself, so I was worried I’d space out and mess up these recipes. But, I’ve tried quite a few of the recipes inside – my personal favorite being the Coffee Body Scrub – and they are idiot proof, take it from a true idiot. So, with the publisher’s permission, I’m sharing a version of that recipe here.

    I really do recommend picking this one up – if not for yourself than for making really awesome gifts for your friends.

    This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive compensation.

     

    Vanilla Latte Body Scrub

    By BakeandDestroy Published: August 23, 2016

      From the author: Coffee grounds are a fantastic exfoliant. Plus, the caffeine they contain actually helps tighten and tone your skin, and can even diminish the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite, people!

      Ingredients

      Instructions

      1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt coconut oil.
      2. In a large bowl, stir together coconut oil, coffee, sugar and vanilla powder. Spoon into a jar with a lid.
      3. Using your hands, massage a small amount of scrub all over skin in the shower, using circular motion.
      4. Rinse skin with warm water and pat dry with a towel. Follow with your favorite moisturizer.
      5. Store in the shower for up to 2 months.

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        Vegan Bowl Attack! Loaded Potato Breakfast Bowl Recipe

        Duuuuuude I love Jackie Sobon. She’s the phenomenal photographer and blogger behind one of my longtime, very most favorite food blogs, Vegan Yack Attack. I am beyond stoked that she’s put her recipe developing and photography skills into this amazing book that, if I may be so bold, I think she actually wrote specifically FOR me. Behold: Vegan Bowl Attack!: More than 100 One-Dish Meals Packed with Plant-Based Power.

        I frigging love food in bowls! How many Bowl of Stuff posts have I written? Too many! It’s just a concept that never gets old – a big ‘ol bowl piled high with delicious stuff of varying tastes, textures and temperatures. It’s just a really great meal no matter how to shake it (don’t shake it, it’s a bowl. Bowls don’t have lids.)

        I decided to share this recipe because despite being a level eight vegan, breakfast is still a struggle. It’s just tough to find something tasty, healthy, filling, and fast. Cereal is not food. Oatmeal is gross. What’s a girl to do? The Loaded Potato Bowl is there for me, and it can be there for you, too. Also, I’m giving away a copy of this phenomenal book because I am just that thoughtful and generous and wonderful of a person. Also, Jackie’s publisher offered me an extra book to give away.

        Giveaway

        a Rafflecopter giveaway

        Ingredients

        For the potato hash:

        • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
        • 1½ pounds (680 g) russet potatoes, chopped
        • 1 cup (160 g) diced white onion
        • 1 cup (180 g) diced tomato
        • ½ cup (75 g) diced red bell pepper
        • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
        • 1 cup (20 g) firmly packed arugula

        For the mushroom gravy:

        • 1½ cups (355 ml) plus 1
        • tablespoon (15 ml) light coconut milk, divided
        • ½ cup (80 g) diced white onion
        • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
        • ½ cup (35 g) diced baby bella mushrooms
        • 1 tablespoon (8 g) cornstarch
        • 3 tablespoons (12 g) nutritional yeast
        • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) liquid aminos
        • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

        Vegan cheese shreds, for topping (optional)

        See instructions below.

        Recipe & photo used with permission from Jackie Sobon.
        This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links,
        I’ll receive compensation.

        Vegan Loaded Potato Breakfast Bowl

        By BakeandDestroy Published: July 10, 2016

        • Yield: 2 large or 4 small servings

        From the author: This crispy potato hash is covered in heavenly mushroom gravy, and it is the perfect breakfast food to serve your dad. I know firsthand that this bowl is a crowd-pleaser!

        Ingredients

        Instructions

        1. To make the potato hash: Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot enough to make water sizzle, put the potatoes in. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Start your gravy now, if you can.) Add the onions to the potatoes, cover, and sauté until the onions become translucent. Lower the heat to medium and then add the tomatoes and bell pepper to the pan. Leave uncovered and sauté until the potatoes are crispy and cooked all the way through. Season the hash with salt and pepper. Wait until right before serving to fold in the arugula, so that it does not become too limp.
        2. To make the mushroom gravy: Make the gravy at the same time as the potatoes if you can; I wouldn’t recommend doing it afterward, as the potatoes may get mushy when reheated. Coat a medium saucepan with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Next, add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes and then stir in the garlic. Cook until the onions are almost translucent and then add the mushrooms. Sauté until the mushrooms have darkened and reduced in size. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the onion-mushroom mixture and stir until everything is coated evenly. Put the contents of the saucepan in a blender or food processor along with the remaining coconut milk, the nutritional yeast, and liquid aminos and pulse a few times for a smoother consistency.
        3. Pour the gravy back into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so that the gravy simmers. Stir or whisk every couple of minutes until it reaches the desired thickness and then season with pepper.
        4. Divide the potato hash among 4 bowls (don’t forget to fold in the arugula first!) and top with cheese shreds, if using, and the gravy. Serve immediately.

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          The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur: Lemon Cornmeal Cookies

          In many ways, Kelly Peloza and I are opposites – she is a patient food stylist and talented photographer, and on social media she is thoughtful and reserved, not feeling the need to Instagram every vegan nacho she has ever eaten, or punching out epic Facebook rants about annoying people on the El. And I, as you may know, am a human tornado. My food is messy, my photos are dimly lit, and if we are Facebook friends, you know that I am perpetually angry with people on the El.

          Despite our differences, though, Kelly and I have been friends for many years now – we actually met when she popped up at my house to photograph Melisser Elliot for the cover of her book, The Vegan Girls’ Guide to Life.

          I was mega-flattered when Kelly asked me to write the foreword to the second edition of her delectable cookbook, The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur: Over 120 Scrumptious Recipes Made with Natural and Simple Ingredients. I even managed to do it without using any swear words or anything!

          Not only am I sharing one of my favorite unique recipes from this book, but I’m also giving away a copy signed by Kelly and myself.

          Giveaway

          a Rafflecopter giveaway

          Recipe and photo shared with permission from Kelly Peloza.
          This post contains affiliate links, which means that
          if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation.

          Vegan Lemon Cornmeal Cookies

          vegan lemon cornmeal cookies

          By BakeandDestroy Published: July 6, 2016

          • Yield: 15 cookies

          From the author: These have a lovely unique texture, sort of crunchy and chewy. The taste is mild and lemony and the sugar coating is the perfect finishing touch.

          Ingredients

          Instructions

          1. Preheat oven to 350 F
          2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder.
          3. Make a well in the middle, and add the oil, sugar, zest, soy milk and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
          4. The dough will be crumbly, but will hold together when formed.
          5. Form into 2-inch disks and flop both sides in sugar.
          6. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown, then transfer to a wire cooking rack to cool completely.

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            Bake and Destroy the East Coast

            Tony SlaterBetween June 4 and June 11, Tony and I will be celebrating ten years of unholy matrimony (we were married on 6/6/06) by leaving our beloved Chicago to tool around New York and Philly for a week. I travel to New York pretty often on official I Heart Keenwah business, and I try to meet up with friends at vegan spots whenever I do, but I know there’s lots more to see, do and eat and I want Tony to experience it all with me.

            So here’s our current list of sights, eats and shopping stuff, but I need your help! Did I miss a must-see? (Or must-eat?) Is something on my list sure to disappoint? Any hot tips? We especially need suggestions for non-eating things as we can only eat so much in a day. Use the comments section to be my guide!

            We’re staying in Brooklyn right next to Prospect Park so I’m dragging Tony over to see the Peter Steele bench since last time I went I was alone and it was raining. We’re planning on renting a car to trek out to Woodstock Sanctuary, too, so if there’s anything a little further out we should do feel free to mention that too!

            New York

            Eat
            Neapolitan @ Superiority Burger

            Neapolitan @ Superiority Burger

            Champs Diner – Tony and I were married at Chicago Diner, so I think celebrating 10 years at Brooklyn’s spin on vegan diner food is only fitting. Plus I’m obsessed with their milkshakes.

            By CHLOE – Chloe Coscarelli is a goddess and I worship her cookbooks. I’ve been saving this one for a time when I could go with Tony – we can’t wait!

            Superiority Burger – This is the only request Tony has made. The drummer from Born Against (also a James Beard Award-winning pastry chef) has a vegan burger spot. So yeah, we’re doing that for sure.

            Marty’s V Burger – There’s no location yet, but I’m hoping we can track them down at an event because I tried their stuff at NYC Veg Food Fest and I’ve been telling Tony about it ever since.

            V Spot – The Park Slope location is really close to where we’re staying and I didn’t get a chance to try them at the fest in May so we’ll definitely walk over for empanadas.

            MOB Dog

            MOB Dog

            M.O.B. – I’m about them Mob dogs.

            Candle 79 – Tony only knows them by the frozen meals I take for lunch sometimes, but I think this place is really delicious, and we could use at least one fancy anniversary dinner, right? Or should we go to Dirt Candy instead?

            Blossom Du Jour – This will be good to grab on the go, the smoky avocado wrap is dope, and I can say hi to my friend Brendan!

            Dun-Well Doughnuts –  Last time I went I tried to take them home with me even though the guy told me not to. He was right. Gonna try that again.

            See/Do
            There's a good chance we'll hate this.

            There’s a good chance we’ll hate this.

            Museum of Sex – Yeah that’s right. Top of the list. Tony is dreading this because he knows I’ll be giggling through every single exhibit.

            The Guggenheim – Because of course.

            Morbid Anatomy Museum – If we do to Mütter in Philly we probably won’t do this too.

            Coney Island – Should we? Shouldn’t we? If we do, what should we do?

            Shop

            Riverdel Vegan Cheese – A vegan cheese shop. I mean, I honestly might die.

            Croissant-infused chocolate caramels @ Lag

            Croissant-infused chocolate caramels @ Lag

            Lagusta’s Luscious Chocolates – I’ve been stalking them online for years and finally got to try some fancy chocolates at the Veg Fest. This is going to be like visiting mecca.

            Haymaker’s Corner Store – I plan on walking into as many vegan grocery stores as possibly simply to scratch my head and wonder why Chicago doesn’t have one.

            SlapBack – This place looks super cute, even if I always look a little derpy in rockabilly clothes

            Philadelphia

            Eat
            Vegan Treats - I might actually explode. Pic by LaziestVegans.com

            Vegan Treats – I might actually explode. Pic by LaziestVegans.com

            Vegan Treats – I’ve been mail-ordering for some time, my body is ready for the real deal

            Dottie’s Donuts – I’ve been stalking Philly vegans on Instagram and all signs point to this place

            Blackbird Pizzeria – An all vegan pizza joint? Eff yes.

            Grindcore House – I have been dying to go here. Metal. Coffee. Vegans. So into it.

            Philly Cheesesteak – Last time I was in Philly I got one at Govinda’s – still the spot or should I try somewhere else?

            Tattooed Mom – Can you believe I haven’t been? Last time I was in town it was with a bunch of non-vegan grumps who hated fun.

            Vedge – I’m not sure if I’m going to feel like being fancy in Philly, but if I do, this is where we’ll go.

            You bet your butt I'm taking a photo next to this thing.

            You bet your butt I’m taking a photo next to this thing.

            See/Do

            Mütter Museum – if we don’t go to the Morbid Anatomy Museum in NYC

            Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site – My second crush as a girl. My first crush was Panthro from the Thundercats.

            Rocky steps – If you only remember one thing about me, it’s that Rocky is my all-time favorite movie and Sylvester Stallone is a part of me forever.

            Magic Gardens – Public artwork, I’m into it.

            Shop
            Yes. Let's do this.

            Yes. Let’s do this.

            Crash Bang Boom – Reminds me of The Alley, but not.

            Phila Flea Market – I’m not sure what days we’ll be in town, but I’m hoping to check this out

            Prof. Ouch’s Bizarre Bazaar & Odditorium – Reminds me of Uncle Fun, but possibly weirder?

            What Else?

            We have a whole week, so what else should we pack in?

            DIY Unhappy Birthday Party Hats

            unhappy_birthdayMay 22nd is a holiday in my book – the birthday of one Steven Patrick Morrissey. This year my friends and I are celebrating with a vegan dinner and then dancing at Delilah’s where DJ Tony (no, not that Tony) will be spinning Moz/Smiths tunes all night. I decided to make the night extra special by making some mopey party hats, which I’ve slowly been assembling all week.

            I made about 20 of them so I can share with friends and strangers. It’s super easy, so I thought I’d post a how-to so you too can celebrate Mozzer’s 56th in style.

            Supplies:

            • Black card stock
            • Black pom-poms or other accents
            • Double stick tape
            • Hot glue/glue gun
            • Black ribbon
            • Stapler/staples
            • Sticker paper (or white paper and glue sticks)

            Tips: 

            1. I bought black poster board at the dollar store. You could also use scrapbook paper – this is the main material for your hats so you want sturdy, yet bendable paper.
            2. While you’re at the Dollar Store, buy a pack of party hats. You can tear one open to use as a template, plus you can re-use the elastic if you don’t want to buy ribbon.
            3. Yes, there ARE vegan glues out there. Elmer’s is vegan and they even make glue sticks now.
            Step #4 illustrated

            Step #4 illustrated

            How-to: 

            1. If you’re using a cheap party hat to start with, carefully unglue or staple it and remove the elastic. Use this as your template and simply cut the shape out of your black card stock. If you don’t have a party hat, download a template.
            2. Once you’ve cut out as many hats as you’ll want, roll them into shape and secure with double stick tape. You could also glue them, but then you’ll have to hold each one while it dries and that’s annoying.
            3. I added a small black pom-pom to the tip of each hat. You can do whatever you want to yours – line the part that will touch your head with pom-poms, use black glitter… your hat, your rules. I wanted mine to be as bleak and sad looking as possible.
            4. If you’re reusing elastic from other paper hats, just staple it into place. To use ribbon, you can either cut two pieces and staple a piece to each side, near the bottom, or you can cut one longer piece and poke a hole on either side, near the opening of each hat. I did mine this way, running the ribbon inside the hat for a more secure hold as I will be dancing my ass off all night.
            5. Add a sticker. I made stickers using an open source image of Moz by warungkopi. If you want to use my image, you can download it here, or use this multi-up file to print 2.5″ stickers. If you don’t have sticker paper, you can just print the images and cut them out or use a circle punch, then affix them to your hats with a glue stick. Or, you can make your own image, of course.

            If you like this post, you might like my Unlovable Valentine’s Day Guide for Morrissey Fans, DIY Morrissey Cupcake Toppers or Widemouth Strikes Again. Unhappy birthday, Morrissey!

            Friday the 13th Slasher Smores Cupcakes

            It’s Friday the 13th, y’all! Tonight I plan on cuddling up in front of the TV with a cup of cocoa and a cupcake and relaxing to the sweet crackle-crackle sound of campers being cremated alive in their own sleeping bags. Ah yes, the horrors of summer camp, how many times have we been warned over the years? Don’t leave the kiddies alone while you sneak off to make out with your boyfriend and his sweet 80s headband, don’t wander through the forest in your underpants and whatever you do, for the love of God, don’t re-open Camp Crystal Lake!

            In honor of the original Friday the 13th, I’ve created these smores cupcakes (a variation on Julie Hasson’s Best Chocolate Cupcake recipe.) I’m even including a PDF so you can make your own Jason cupcake toppers. Just click here to download them, print them on cardstock, cut them out and glue them to toothpicks.

            Friday the 13th Slasher Smores Cupcakes Recipe

            By BakeandDestroy Published: May 13, 2016

            • Yield: 12 (12 Servings)

            It's Friday the 13th, y'all! Tonight I plan on cuddling up in front of the TV with a cup of cocoa and a cupcake and relaxing to the …

            Ingredients

            Instructions

            1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 F and line one cupcake pan with paper liners. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the water, oil, and apple cider vinegar until just mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips and graham crackers. Scoop batter into prepared pan - filling each cup about ⅔ full. Bake 22-25 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched with your finger. Place pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely.
            2. For the marshmallow frosting: ½ cup vegan margarine; 1 & ½ cups Ricemellow Creme*; 1 Tbs vanilla extract; 3 cups confectioner’s sugar; 1-2 Tbs non-dairy milk as needed. *Feel free to make your own vegan marshmallow fluff in place of using Ricemellow Creme; or use your favorite vegan vanilla buttercream recipe in lieu of this frosting.
            3. To make the marshmallow frosting beat the margarine and Ricemellow Creme together for 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract, then add the confectioner’s sugar 1 cup at a time until well incorporated. If the frosting is too loose, add a bit more sugar. If it’s too stiff, add a bit of non-dairy milk. Top each cupcake with a plop of frosting and sprinkle with more chocolate chips and graham cracker crumbs.

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              Wide Mouth Strikes Again: 96 Moz-Inspired Mason Jar Recipes

              Book_2016A lot has changed in the three years since my first book came out – but one thing that hasn’t changed is my complete and utter devotion to the Pope of Mope, Morrissey.

              Moz has inspired so many of us to go vegan over the years, and this year, inspired me to write a new book filled with recipes influenced by his music. And bonus: they can all be prepared and/or served in Mason jars.

              Recipes include:

              • How Soon is Bao
              • The First of the Gang to Fry
              • Heaven Knows I’m Moussaka Now
              • I’m Throwing My Arms Around Pizza
              • This Charming Flan
              • Some Grills Are Bigger Than Others

              If you’re excited for this book you’ll definitely want to check out my other books, Bake and Destroy:Good Food For Bad Vegans, Kale and Kill96 Vegan Recipes Inspired by the Speaker-Blowing Music of Manowar, Caught in a Nosh: 125 Vegan Kosher Recipes and Eat Shit and Die: 101 Killer Recipes from Bake and Destroy!

              JK LOL and happy April Fool’s Day to you all!

              PS The images for this book cover are from the following: Morrissey image, noodle salad, cupcakes, breakfast jar.

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