Sunday, July 19, 2009

More Cupcakes

I finally got to try out my pastry decorator that I got as a birthday present to myself. Actually, I used it a while back to pipe "custard" filling into cupcakes for Jeff's birthday, but that didn't turn out too well. This time I had lovely, fluffy "buttercream" frosting (vanilla and chocolate) from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and piped it onto vanilla and chocolate raspberry cupcakes.

The cupcakes were a big success at the potluck I went to, and I was very pleased at how they turned out, other than the vanilla frosting looking like it was separating a bit. (I wonder if it was the near 90 degree heat and lack of refrigeration while waiting for the T.) I topped them with some Sprinklez.

All of the recipes are straight from Vegan Cupcakes, but I did a slight addition to the chocolate cupcake recipe. Instead of extra vanilla or almond extract, I used raspberry extract. I also had some dried raspberries which I rehydrated with some sugar water, and I stirred those (minus the left over water) into the batter. The addition was subtle but pretty delicious.

More cupcake photos

Friday, July 10, 2009

On Soy Milk Prices

I wrote a post a little while ago about the Soy Scorecard and thought about it today when I was at Whole Foods. Why? Because while in the "dairy" aisle looking for Earth Balance sticks, I passed the soy milks and decided to do a price comparison.

Silk is now offering an organic soy milk again. As you may recall all of Silk's soy milks were organic until very recently. Now most of their soy milks are labeled as "natural," which (to paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut) means diddly-squat.

Silk's organic soy milk was in the range of 2.89$ (I can't recall if it was .89 or .79 after the 2.)
Silk's "natural" soy milk was about 2.69$

To compare, Whole Foods 365 brand organic soy milk was 2.39$

It's almost incomprehensible to me why anybody would continue to buy Silk in light of this. I have drank Silk soy milk, and find it to taste exactly the same as the store brand soy milks I have drank (365 brand as well as whatever Shaw's sells). Store brands tend to carry vanilla, chocolate, plain and unsweetened soy milks, so they have variety as well.

While I have my issues with Whole Foods, I would much rather support them than Dean Foods. If voting with our wallets is all we can do, I encourage everybody to stop buying Silk.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I just read an article from Cornucopia's blog about food safety, and it makes me wonder if things would be better if we could regulate against factory farming, which is what leads to increased bacterial infections of animals in the first place, instead of testing for bacteria after slaughter (or egg collection). In most cases, as far as I am aware, testing is up to the industries to perform which is not a very good regulatory procedure.

The FDA doesn't even have the authority to issue food recalls. They are all voluntary on the part of industry. This is why Nestle states that they:
voluntarily withdraw all of our retail Nestlé TOLL HOUSE refrigerated cookie dough from the marketplace. We announced the voluntary recall on Friday morning, June 19 [2009].
The US government does a great job of band-aid regulations. Instead of doing something proactive, like reducing factory farming which causes contamination of water supplies and produce (not to mention the quality of the air and the lives of people who work in slaughterhouses among many other factors) they simply allow the status quo to remain intact and ask for extra testing before products hit the shelves. I hope it will help but I'm sure that addressing the bigger problem would be much better for everyone.