Arugula Cracker Appetizers!

vegan melba snack

In 2013, Jammer and I took an oath and declared no more potato chips in our household! Unfortunately, we could not eat these tasty round snacks in moderation. This new commitment provided a new challenge: what do we snack with these days? We tried toast, crackers, oatmeal, and a variety of carbohydrates that just did not fill the void. Until now! Inspired by the kitchn, I decided to play around with Melba Toast, and a new and healthy snack was made.


  • Place Melba Toast, preferably the sea salt version, on a plate. Lightly cover each piece of toast with cream cheese. We like to use Trader Joe’s vegan cream cheese, since we are flexitarian.
  • Chop arugula and onions. Preferably with herb scissors. Place on top of the cream cheese covered toast.
  • Lightly season with rosemary, kosher salt,  and white pepper. Then, lightly drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Enjoy!

How do I tofu? Or how I pan-fry tofu…


A dear cousin of mine asked me once, “How do I tofu?” And while there are many ways to tofu, this is how I started to do it after I banned frequent trips to the farmer’s market for that beloved free-range, locally sourced bacon. It’s not the same as bacon, but I think it’s good!

  • Start with extra firm tofu. You want to drain out as much liquid as possible. Here’s a blog that shows you how to do so.
  • After draining, thinly slice the tofu into squares.
  • Grab some nutritional yeast, which can be bought at your local Whole Foods or health food store. This stuff is magical, stuffed with protein and vitamins. Take your tofu squares, and gently “bread” the tofu in it, making sure to cover both sides.
  • Heat up a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Make sure to evenly distribute the oil on the pan, and then place the tofu on it. Take liquid smoke, and add 1-3 drops on each piece of tofu. This is optional, but you can add a tiny bit of maple syrup, too. Cook each side of tofu until the nutritional yeast is golden brown. Usually this takes 2-4 minutes on each side with medium high heat.

The finished product is shown here with crunchy lemon coconut couscous, sautéed kale and mushrooms. Still perfecting that recipe, so can’t share it just yet!

On Import Modding a Super NES

Not long after CGR Undertow posted a video about import modding the North American Super NES to play Japanese Super Famicom games, I decided to try it myself and see if I could indeed play Super Famicom games on my system.  The entire process was very simple and resulted in my SNES being able to play not only my North American SNES games, just as it always has, but also Super Famicom games flawlessly.


A Super Famicom game, Assault Suits Valken, on the left, and its North American version, Cybernator, to its right.

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Coke & Liqueur Float Drink Recipe

Cuteness and I bought some of Dr. McGillicuddy’s Intense Root Beer Liqueur, and so I thought I would experiment with it based on the vanilla ice cream and liqueur mix, or “root beer float.”  What I came up with was the following drink, the Coke & Liqueur Float, which turns out to be dastardly and dangerously delectable and delicious:

1 part Carolans Irish Cream Liqueur (as good as Bailey’s but cheaper)

1 part Root Beer Liqueur

2 parts Coke

For a drink with roughly the alcohol equivalent of a shot of 40 proof alcohol, you would mix 1 oz Irish Cream Liqueur, 1 oz Root Beer Liqueur, and 2 oz Coca-Cola.  Enjoy!  Oh, and if  you’ve never had a Coke float, it’s the same as a root beer float but with Coke: quite good.  Cuteness says they go well with these cupcakes.

SoftBrew Coffee Maker Versus French Press

I’ve learned this and that from Cuteness concerning how to brew a decent cup of joe; use filtered water, freshly ground beans or beans stored in the freezer up to two weeks, and a decent syrup such as one by Torani.  Many will tell you that a French Press also helps, and while I do have one, on an impulse (and since it was on sale) I bought a Sowden Oskar SoftBrew Coffee Maker from ThinkGeek.  Both the French Press and the SoftBrew Coffee Maker are quite similar, for they both are used to brew coffee without a paper filter, which allows the brew to retain some of the flavors of the beans that would otherwise be lost.  With both brewers, ground beans are measured out and dumped into the brewer.  Hot water is then poured in, the brew is left to sit for a few minutes, and then it’s done.  The design difference is how each brewer filters the grounds from the beverage; the French Press has a plunger that is pressed into the container, while the SoftBrew Coffee Maker uses a cylindrical filter that has tiny pores.   Both are perfectly capable coffee makers, but I’ve had the chance to use them enough to draw some comparisons.

Sowden Oscar Coffee Maker Versus French Press

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Vegan Doughnut Recipe

Growing up, I was pretty spoiled when it came to doughnuts. One of the best doughnut bakeries in the country, The Original House of Donuts, was in my backyard. I also have fond memories of going to church and getting a free doughnut and milk. It gave me something to look forward to after communion! So, when my new local parish needed help providing doughnuts after mass, I was up for the challenge. Unfortunately, the St. Louis area, where I live, does not have a doughnut that lives up to my standards. So, off to the kitchen I went! The only problem was…I did not want to fry. And if possible, these were going to be vegan. I wanted everyone with any sort of dietary restriction to enjoy these iced baked goods!

Fortunately, I was able to provide!

doughnuts 1

The Ingredients for the doughnut itself:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I leave this out sometimes)
  • 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy margarine, softened
  • 2 parts egg replacer substitute
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your doughnut pan.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together.
  3. Beat the sugar and soy margarine in another bowl until combined.
  4. Then add the vanilla extract and coconut milk.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.
  6. Fill each doughnut well until it is 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the doughnuts spring back at touch. Let them cool slightly before taking them out of the pan.
  8. Ice them using the recipe below!

dougnuts 2

Doughnut glaze ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (replace with same amount of powdered sugar if you want vanilla icing)
  • 3 tablespoons soy milk or water
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
  2. Then slowly stir in milk or water and the vanilla extract. Whisk until silky and smooth. If you need to make it easier to mix, you can add more milk or water. I’ve only needed to do this once or twice.
  3. Dip doughnuts into the mixture. I twist them to make sure everything is covered. This glaze hardens FAST, so if you’re going to do sprinkles, make sure you add them immediately after glazing.