Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Summer is coming to a close here in the Black Hills. The mornings and nights are getting cooler, school is almost back in session, and the harvest has begun. I love this time of transition between Summer and Fall. Its my favorite part of the year. Everything begins to slow, to calm, to cool. Its a state of pure perfection.

The transition also means I can turn my oven back on. Which means blissful hours spent baking. This time of year, this is my Zen, my apex, my joy.

My life over the Summer has had me feeling completely out of focus, off center, and unable to accomplish my goals. I began the season with a goal of publishing the first week of August. That has come and gone, and so I'm setting a new goal. November 1st. No messing around this time. No leaving it on the back burner. No letting other things get in the way. Perfect or not, November 1st.

I ask you, all of you to help me hold this vision. To ask me monthly, weekly, daily how the book is coming. To push me to hold my goal and achieve it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kitchen Therapy....

Its been a rough week. This Mercury Retrograde really seems to be making a mess of things lately. Thus, I've been indulging in some kitchen therapy to help myself cope. My go to foods when I've had a lousy day are always packed with earthy flavors to ground my soul. I tend towards homemade Mexican food when I need comfort food, because the flavor profiles are earthy, clean, and fresh. Here are some of my favorite recipes for shaking off a crumby day.

Mexican Rice

1 cup Brown Rice
2 cup Water
1/2 cup Tomato Juice
1 tsp Better Than Bouillon Veggie Stock

Place all ingredients in a 3 quart sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cover with a tight fitting lid. Let simmer and steam for 35 to 40 minutes. Be careful about checking it too often. Releasing the steam means the rice won't cook as well. Let sit for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.

Re-fried Beans

2 cups Pinto Beans that have been soaked and slow cooked. You can use canned, but its just not the same.
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
Salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a large skillet on medium heat. Using a potato masher, mash the beans to your desired creaminess. Note that adding a bit of the liquid the beans cooked in or a touch more oil will help to make them creamier. Cook until heated through.

Homemade Tortillas

2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Coconut Oil (solid, it won't work as well if liquid) or Vegetable Shortening
1 tsp Coarse Salt I like the Margarita glass rimming salt for this. 
1 cup Warm Water

Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the coconut oil or vegetable shortening using a fork or a pastry blender to incorporate. Once the consistency is sand like, add the warm water and work into a dough using your hands. When the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl and has formed a nice ball, cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rest 15 to 20 minutes. Heat a dry non-stick skillet to medium. Pull off 1 inch balls of dough and press using either a tortilla press or between two pieces of wax paper with a rolling pin. Place the dough in the skillet one at a time and cook until puffy and lightly brown.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Revisiting past recipes...

Once upon a time I ran a blog called A Vegan In South Dakota. I've been revisiting some of those recipes lately and wanted to share my two favorites with all of you. I bought some local Rhubarb from the Farmer's Market and plan to make the coffee cake tonight.

Coffee Cake of My Dreams

The batter for this is more like a dough, but it bakes up moist and amazing!

For Cake
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups all-purp flour
2 cups fresh fruit (I love it with Rhubarb)

For Topping
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare a 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish. Cream sugars, butter, and apple sauce. Add dissolved cornstarch and vanilla. Fold in flour and fruit and spread into baking dish. Sprinkle on topping and bake for 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting. 

Wonderous White Bean Dip

1 can white beans drained and rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp Braggs
1 tbsp Paprika
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Fennel Seed
a mix of chopped fresh or dried herbs

Blend it all up in your food processor and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Introducing: Season of The Vegan Tasting Parties!

It started as a day dream... and turned into a beautiful way to promote my upcoming book. Tasting Parties, a wondrous way to indulge. But first, I need to gush a bit...

I know I don't update the blog as often as I should, and for that I am very sorry. I'm so grateful for those who have stuck with me and supported this adventure. I wish I could personally hug each and everyone of you! The book is coming slowly, but that's due to my need to release a good product. I want to birth a book into the world that people want to own, that they want to cook from, that they want to share with others. Not just another vegan cookbook that sits on the shelf and gathers dust. I want it to be inspiring in text, taste, and photo. I want people to feel like they are indulging in full sensory eating. I want it to be cherished and loved and delighted in. I know many will buy it because they know me, love me, and want to support me. Or because they've tasted something I've brought to a potluck and always wanted the recipe. But most, will buy it without ever having met me or tasted anything from the book, or anything vegan for that matter, and I want them to have the same amazing experience cooking from it as those who know me. The book is a labor of love from me to you.

The Tasting Party idea came out of a need to be in the kitchen, a need to feed those around me, and a need to promote my upcoming book. The basic idea is such, you (the party host) pays a sliding scale payment of  $35 to $65 cover my time, you select between 4 and 6 items from the list below, then you and your guests each pay a sliding scale payment of $5 to $15 to cover my food costs. In return you get an amazing experience of well prepared vegan faire, everyone receives a copy of the recipes, and you support my publishing costs. Its that easy!

Savory Picks:

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
Spring Greens Salad
TLT Sandwiches
Crazy Crunch Salad
Grilled Zucchini
Balsamic Black Bean & Corn Salad
Spiced Nuts
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Black & White Dip with Chips
Baked Artichoke Dip
Stuffed Mushrooms
Oven Roasted Yam Medallions
Brushetta Trio (counts as 3 picks)
Meatless Meatballs

Sweet Picks:

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
Coconut Cakes with Coconut Frosting
Basil & Mint Fruit Salad
Fresh Cherry Pancakes
Maple Pumpkin Pudding
Pecan Pie Puff Pastries
Oat & Apricot Cookies
PBC Truffles
Dad's Pie Crust Cookies
Coffee Cake of My Dreams
Death By Chocolate Cakes
Mixed Berry Soft Serve
Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes


Cranberry Orange Fizz
Cafe Granita
Midnight Champagne Cocktail

To book your Tasting Party please email me at 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Renewal, writing, and cupcakes from heaven!

Ah my favorite time of year is finally upon us here in Rapid City. Its warming up and the Earth is coming back to life. Renewal is in the air. <3

There are some big things happening here at SoTV. The book is coming along, all be it not as quickly as I had hoped. I'm hoping for a release date of August 1st. Stay tuned for updates!

We have a wonderful new Vegan business here in the Black Hills that will be up and running in early June. Welcome Ginger Twins Vegan Cupcake Company! I had the joy of meeting the younger Ginger Twin, Shannon Crane, last month when the ladies donated 4 dozen of their amazing cupcakes to our local benefit production of The Vagina Monologues. She then graced my door step a week later with 1 dozen of my new favorite treat, their Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcake with Orange Buttercream. These cakes are pure heaven! I was skeptical at first of pumpkin (my personal favorite flavor of anything) paired with orange, but whoa mama are these good! The flavors balance in a way that creates this burst of sublime ecstasy on the palette. I had to share the love at the arts center, otherwise I would have eaten the whole box.

I've also sampled their PB&J, which features white cake filled with strawberry jam, and topped with a wonderfully creamy peanut butter frosting. Its the best PB&J you'll ever eat. Their cakes have a wonderful texture that is neither too dry nor overly moist. Its that perfect middle of the road crumb that gives a delightful mouth feel. Their cakes are also just the right amount of sweet. I often find that vegan bakers up the sugar content in the frosting to tooth achingly sweet. The Ginger Twins have got it just right. These ladies are certainly going to hit the ground running in June! I can't wait to try all they've got and introduce all my local peeps to the goodness that is the Ginger Twins Vegan Cupcake Company.

If you'd like information on how you can indulge in a Ginger Twin creation visit the ladies at their website or find them on Facebook. And be sure to let them know Ashley at Season of The Vegan sent ya!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Season of The Vegan 2.0

Its been a long time! But, I'm back and ready to roll. You'll be seeing some big changes here at the blog. Plus, I have some big news about the cook book!

The beautiful Mrs. Anna Roop has agreed to do the food photography for the SoTV cook book! We start the photo shoots and cooking extravaganza on April 7th.

Stay tuned for upcoming contests, Tasting Parties, new recipes!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Last nights dinner...

Dinner with Robin

As promised, here is a picture of last nights dinner. We had Wild Rice, BBQ Tempeh, Asparagus (that a friend of Robin's canned recently), and Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Such a quick, easy, and tasty meal! Here are the recipes for the BBQ Tempeh and the Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

BBQ Tempeh
I left out the onion and green pepper when I made this batch, due to not having them on hand. Its great with or without them. You can serve this as is or on a bun as a Sloppy Joe.

1/2 a large White Onion, diced
1/2 a Green Bell Pepper, diced
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 block Tempeh, crumbled
1/4 cup Your favorite BBQ Sauce

Heat the oil to medium heat in a large skillet. Saute the onion and green pepper for 3-4 minutes. Add the tempeh and continue to saute another 2-3 minutes. Mix in the bbq sauce and finish heating another 4-5 minutes. Enjoy!

Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes

2 medium Sweet Potatoes or Yams, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
4 tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
a sprinkle of Ground Cumin

Preheat oven to 350. Drizzle a cookie sheet with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and place the slices of sweet potato on it. Drizzle remaining olive oil on top of the slices and sprinkle them with the sea salt and cumin. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until fork tender in the middles and slightly blackened and crisp on the edges. Enjoy!