Saturday, July 30, 2011

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese icing

Modified from the recipe here.

Now, something about lifelong vegans, or those who have been doing it for a while, is they have developed a taste for tofutti products. I can't stand them. The texture is great, but the aftertaste is unbearable and very prominent. Usually, if a recipe calls for tofutti, I either sub it out through extra soy milk and thickener, don't use it at all, or say 'fuck it' to making the dish vegan and use real cream cheese instead. I seriously cannot stand the stuff.

I was determined to make it work in this recipe. Besides, I figured that if I couldn't make it work, I would toss the cream cheese icing and make a plain white one instead!

I am very happy to report that I was able to reduce the nasty aftertaste so significantly, if no one told me it wasn't tofutti, I never would have known (though it still isn't *quite* as good as Philadelphia cream cheese-- it tastes like it might have been made with a cheap store brand, which never tastes quite right either)

Now, here is the trick. Pay attention in case you need to adjust! I didn't measure too well as I messed with it, so the measurements for the icing are very approximate. The three key things that get rid of the aftertaste are the salt, the extracts, and the lemon juice. Be VERY careful with the almond extract, as it is very strong-- stronger than the vanilla-- and a tiny bit goes a long way. Add the amount in the recipe first, then add more at a rate of 2 drops at a time. Go really easy. Add more vanilla at about 1/4 tsp at a time, starting with the amount called for in the recipe. Add more lemon juice at a rate of about 1 tsp at a time, starting with the amount called for. Add the salt just a couple dashes at a time. You will find the icing will take quite a bit without tasting salty, but still be careful! Over-salting anything will ruin the entire batch.

2 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup cane sugar

1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Fold in:
2 Tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer

Sweet Cinna-Nut Swirl
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 cup vegan butter - melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
dash of cayenne (less than 1/4 tsp)

Vegan Cream Cheese Icing

6 ounces tofu cream cheese
1/3 cup vegan butter – softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil or vegan shortening
1/3 cup vegan sour cream
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp soy milk or soy creamer
2 tsp real vanilla extract

1 tsp real almond extract
3 Tbsp corn starch

2 Tbsp dark grade agave syrup
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice (to taste)
pinch of salt (or to taste)


Preheat oven to 350, grease one 8" or 9" round cake or square cake pan (be sure it is a deep pan, at least 3" deep!).

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together both sugars, soy milk, water, vegetable oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Fold the wet ingredients in with the dry. Fold in the egg replacer. 

Make the cinna-nut swirl by mixing all the ingredients together in a separate bowl.

Pour batter into cake tin. Swirl equal amounts of the cinna-swirl mix into the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes - or until edges start to lightly brown.

Make the icing while the cinnamon rolls bake. Whisk all the ingredients together, adding the powdered sugar last, and very slowly.  Adjust the lemon juice, extracts, and salt as needed to get rid of the tofutti aftertaste. 

Allow cinnamon rolls to cool, slice like a cake, and drizzle the icing on top.

Makes 6 big rolls, or 8 more reasonable sized ones.

Monday, July 11, 2011


of the demons in my head. Normally, they dance around, poking me, pulling my hair and ears. I eat, and in those moments, they scatter. When they return, they return with a vengeance, mocking me for my weakness. Sometimes, I can concentrate really hard on a project, and I can ignore them. If my mind is distracted, they have trouble breaking through. When I am left to them, however, there is no mercy. They never let up, replaying things I did wrong in my childhood over and over again, something wrong I said last week, or forgot to do, or wish I said or did. The list goes on and on. Anything, everything, constantly, never letting things go.

Why can't I remember happy things, good things? My demons don't care for these, only misery. Every moment left to myself, when I am not eating, they are attacking me. I muster up strength, positive thinking, and they swoop in, crushing the positive feelings until there is not a trace left. Not even enough to write in a blog post, or to translate to art or writing. All that is left is me, shaking in a corner, no idea what to do with myself, waiting for them to go away so I can have a life.

I feel so broken. Lost. I can't do anything worthwhile, no skills. Just another warm body taking up space. I die, no one blinks, no one notices. Momentary sadness from immediate family. I have left nothing of importance in my wake.

To me, this is unacceptable. I feel that I should have accomplished something by now, that I was MEANT to do something. I have no clue what. I am sure it is more than drifting through life aimlessly. I also know that my failure is all my own fault. Maybe there are signs I missed? My head in the clouds, distracted by my demons, I have trouble seeing anything related to self. I just see them, hear them, feel them pulling me down.

They revel and gloat in their victories over me. It whips them into a frenzy as they rip me apart. Venom drips from my own lips as their words become mine. Sleep or food is the only respite from the madness. Sleep does not come to a mind so agitated. Focus on anything else is a laughably impossible undertaking.

I gorge until I can sleep. I live to fight another day. If one calls this 'living'...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The trouble with blogging... the same problem I have with writing in general. I am uber self conscious. I am a better writer and smarter in my head than on (digital) paper. I look back at my writing, months, years later, and think what an idiot I am. I pick out all my grammar mistakes, the horrible flow, the rambley nature, and roll my eyes at the content in general and how boring and unimaginative it is. I can't stand to look at my own writing any more than I can stand to look at myself in the mirror. Living in my head as a beautiful genius is a lot easier than seeing my pathetic reality reflected back at me.

I have always been accused of being a dreamer with my head in the clouds.

Committing ANYTHING I want to say or is on my mind to (digital) paper therefore becomes... arduous. Especially when I have time to myself. I always feel exhausted. Not tired, exhausted. The other day, a talk radio personality put into words what I have been feeling; when you enjoy what you do, you can work yourself raw until you are too tired to continue. You go to bed, get up after a night of rest, and are ready to do it again. When you DON'T enjoy what you do, even the smallest amount of effort on your part becomes exhausting. He called it, 'Leukemia for the soul'. You are left feeling constantly drained and lifeless, regardless of how long you worked or how much physical exertion was used. I *technically* am only part time at 32 hours a week (I fudge that easily by making sure I squeeze in a smidgen of overtime every week to bump me over). I feel like I am working nonstop. I am always exhausted after work and when I have time off. It takes me days to recover. By the time I am over my work-hangover funk, I am back at work again. It feels relentless.

Don't get me wrong here. I am not lazy. I do not dislike being busy. In fact, I LOVE being busy when I get in my zone. It keeps my mind in a happy place, and keeps my body safe from my mind (ie, I don't engage in emotional eating). Amazing work comes out of my hyper-focusing and extreme attention to detail. Frustration comes from having a job where this quality is not only completely ignored, it is seen as a negative quality that will get me in trouble. I spend too much time on projects, that is the number on complaint about me. I have never once been told I am inept, or that I put out low quality work. I have never once been told I am not working, or not working hard enough. I have been told I am not performing to the company's standard. I am performing at a standard that is higher than they can afford, and am costing them money by giving customers more than they pay for.

*rubs temples*

It is backwards. It is fucked up. Rather than promoting me to a position that would take advantage of my high quality work, I am told to 'underclock' myself. Like a computer with a very good chip in it that can be overclocked to unusually high levels. Rather than using that system to it's full potential, like a dedicated rendering machine or do do heavy calculations or number crunching, they are saying, 'No! I bought this computer for my grandma to play solitaire on! Turn the clock cycles down below rated specs, because this computer costs too much when you overclock it, and all I want it to do is run solitaire for grandma! If this computer costs too much to run solitaire, throw it in the trash and find me a celeron that won't use so much power!'

Ehm. Sorry for the geek analogy. Let me try something more common...

Ah. Cars. I am a... umm... truck. With very high torque and horsepower. These cars, inevitably, are gas guzzlers. But you don't use them to putter around town. They are for specific jobs, and there is no competition when it comes to these jobs. But I was hired as a car needed to putter around town. I am pretty much wasting all that power in my engine by not hauling shit around and pulling redwood trees out of tar pits. I am becoming too expensive to run because I am not fuel efficient. Sure, I might be a newer car that isn't leaving massive amounts of smog in my wake. And I give the person inside a VERY smooth ride with my awesome suspension, ice cold A/C, and nice sound system. But the people inside the cars are paying almost nothing to be puttered around town. So the company doesn't want to give them something nice when the customers are only paying for a Yugo. (note: I went on an hour and a half long tangent finding the right car to compare this to. I originally put Gremlin, then realized this might not be the right car and I *really* don't know much about it anyways. So I researched it, and other horrible cars, to find the right one. This is why I never get anything done...)

(Shit, where was I?)

(I just had a 15 minute long argument with the BF about cheap ass cars because I was laughing and telling him about some of the goofy info I found out about them, and thus *distracting* him, being overbearing, not having a life of my own, and not doing what I said I would do today, which is to write...)

(I never wonder why I never get things done. These tangents are the obvious reasons why. I only wonder why I am like this, why I am my own worst enemy, and how the hell I can stop myself...)

Ugh. Abrupt end to this post. I can't think clearly now. Will try to paint or something.

(And BF just now had me turn around to look at a video of something I showed him a few weeks ago that he had yelled at me-- with the exact same tangent and argument as the one I just highlighted-- for distracting *him* with. He laughed at it because he remembered me showing it to him. I guess he forgot yelling at me for showing him. And for yelling at me 5 minutes ago for showing him something for as brief a moment as he just showed me. FWIW, our computers are less than 5 feet from each other. We are back to back in the same room with them. To look at something doesn't require running to the other side of the house; it merely requires turning around in one's chair or turning one's head to see what is on the other's monitor.)

I just want to run away. From everything. This is not the life I want, and I hate myself for putting up with it and putting myself IN it.

I can't post this post now. We-- well, specifically, he-- have such a strong online presence, I would be hurting his reputation by talking about personal bullshit involving him. Or something. I can't talk about him online under my known aliases or in places where he is known.

Shit, does anyone even read this shit anyways? It will come back to bite us one day, months or years later, if some troll is looking for some ammo. I haven't hidden this blog from the community we are a part of, and in fact have tried gently to get people to read it. The BF will read this too one day, eventually. Hey, sweetie, at least I am writing, amirite?





Per the blog title, I promised inner ramblings. So here you go. And it is in space because of the cool background... or, because that is where my head always seems to be.




(I usually proofread this shit multiple times before I post. I did minor stuff paragraph by paragraph as I wrote it. But, for right now, I am done. Apologies for the mess I left. I will clean it up one day. Which may involve just deleting this post. For now, I am way over this.)