heidi swanson = the new rachael ray?

alternatively titled, someone else I love to hate.

As some of you may remember, I dislike Rachael Ray and everything she stands for (ie, dunkin donuts). AND YET she has some great recipes that I can't resist making/veganizing.

Rachael Ray has been replaced in my life, with Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. For those of you too lazy to click on the link, 101 Cookbooks is a vegetarian food blog whose conceit is that the creator, Heidi Swanson, has 101 cookbooks and realized one day she had to start cooking from them before she could allow herself to accumulate more. Heidi Swanson posts gorgeous pictures with cute little stories and fairly healthy recipes.

Other than her loose definition of being a vegetarian (oh, you had soup made from chicken but wouldn't eat beef cheeks? that's okay then), I have no reason to hate Heidi Swanson. And yet every time gmail links to one of her recipes above my inbox, I groan. Stupid Heidi Swanson and her soothing white and beige blog and her so-pretty-they're-practically-pornographic pictures of food. I refused to try any of her recipes for months.

But then! I got home late one night to find a note from my roommate: she had made a tofu scramble, I could help myself if I was hungry. So I did. It was THE GREATEST TOFU SCRAMBLE I HAVE EVER HAD. I'm not exaggerating. The next day I told my roommate how amazing it had been... and she told me where she got the recipe.

I still irrationally dislike Heidi Swanson. But yeah, okay, now I sometimes check out her blog. And dangit, I pretty much always like the recipes.
Broccoli Pesto from 101Cookbooks.com

For the first time in a while, I too, have been turning to my cookbooks. Here are some of the results:
Smores Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies, from Vegan with a Vengeance and Vive le Vegan, respectively.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, from pamela's blog - but slightly healthier, I swear! I halfed the amount of chocolate chips and sugar, and instead put in a little extra tofu and some cocoa powder, and if you look closely, you'll see I used sliced bananas instead of a cookie crust:
I mean, it's practically health food, right?

And finally, Paradise Casserole from the Candle Cafe cookbook.
When I had this at the Candle Cafe, there were waaaaay more sweet potatoes on top. The recipe called for 4. Next time, I say at least 6! I made it for my mother when I was back in upstate NY. ALSO in upstate NY, I got to meet and enjoy delicious vegan milkshakes with bazu of where's the revolution?!


VeggieGirl said... Best Blogger Tips

Your cupcakes, cookies, and pie are SCREAMING decadence and deliciousness, oh my goodness, haha.

Rural Vegan said... Best Blogger Tips

I can't click on the Heidi Swanson link because I am not ready to give up my hatred for Rachael Ray and focus my ire on a new irritating foodie yet. Maybe next year?

I love the banana crust! Ingenious!

Kati said... Best Blogger Tips

Whoa, peanut butter pie. I haven't had pb pie since I was a kid and we bought one from an Amish store in Pennsylvania. I am overdue for another!

I see that you're originally from upstate NY - I live in Ithaca! I just moved back in September. :-)

ChocolateCoveredVegan said... Best Blogger Tips

Seeing those beautiful Boston pictures, I totally forgive you for being away from the blogging world for so long!

And now I reeeeaaaallly want to make those s'more cupcakes! But I *just* finished making a not-as-fun chocolate cake, so the cupcakes will have to wait.

Urban Vegan said... Best Blogger Tips

Have you tried HS's Japanese Otsu? It's amazing.

I like her cookbook. I like the photos and the fact that she's reaching the general public with at least a lean toward veggish food.

I have a love-hate relationship with RayRay. Her perkiness grinds on my nerves, as does her unhealthy cooking. But I like that she's a self-made woman who has worked hard to get where she is. I also like quick meals and have gleaned a few good tips for her.

She is fun to make fun of (and easy, with all those annoying catch-words). I did it in this post a few years back:


sarchan said... Best Blogger Tips

I have the same plate in the 3rd photo.

Your PB pie looks awesome, and I'm intrigued by the casserole. I don't have any of the Candle Cafe books.

Vegan_Noodle said... Best Blogger Tips

Bananas for a pie crust.. I love it!!

I haven't seen heidi's blog but maybe I'll go check it out....

And a good reminder that I have been meaning to make that paradise casserole eversince I got that book like two years ago!

jd said... Best Blogger Tips

You completely crack me up!

I can NOT stand Mrs. Yum-O either... ugh! She is sooo annoying. Seriously!

And as far as Heidi's concerned, I feel pretty much the same way that you do. She's one of those people whose blogs are just TOO perfect.

However, I've had good luck with the recipes of her's that I've tried. Her lentil soup - check it out on my blog if it makes you feel any better :) - is delicious, as annoying as that is!

Anyway, all of your food pics look scrumptious (as usual). Maybe I should start hating you, too! Kidding, kidding!! :)

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I love Heidi Swanson's 101cookbooks.com. In all honesty, this site has changed the way I eat and cook, for that matter.

I find it hard to criticize anything about the site. And there are very few recipes that call for any meat (or meat-products like chicken broth.) In fact, I don't think I've ever encountered one on her site.

Haley, Web Content Company