cupcakes + twilight

what is it about Twilight that makes me turn into a 13 year old pubescent girl? it’s kind of sick. but i love twilight nonetheless. i watched it last night yet again…and it really doesn’t seem like a bad movie at all anymore. the first time i watched it when it was in theaters, the whole time i was just thinking “seriously? really? no. you have to be joking. is this movie legit? did they really put this movie out in theatres? wow. this is just…” yes. those were pretty much my thoughts the first time. but then afterwards, i gave it some thought, and it wasn’t that awful. i enjoyed it. i mean..the good looking cast really did help, but i mean, it wasn’t that bad, especially since it was a low budget film. it was so extremely not that bad, that i went to the theater a week later and saw it again…alone. i realized not many people go to the theater by was a weekday night, but it was packed, and i was pretty much the only one there alone in my sweatpants with my bag of popcorn. i wasn’t embarrassed..sort of.
anyways. it was a good fun time by myself. and now that the dvd has finally released i can watch it over and over by myself and not feel ashamed. luckily i got to watch it with gabby last night, so we could critique it, laugh at the lines they make Edward [the main vampire, if you are unaware] say, and other really bad parts of the movie. overall, i give the movie an 8 out of 10. [like i said, the good looking cast really does help].


i decided to make some cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. i chose to make the “chai latte” cupcakes. i like chai lattes, i like cupcakes, so why not try it as one.

everything was going smoothly, the batter smelled so good, (and tasted good), so onto the baking pans they went!

baked in a 350 degree oven for 20-22 minutes, so in the meantime…i make frosting! the recipe actually didnt call for these cupcakes to be frosted, but since i recently bought a cupcake decorator, i just had to. plus cupcakes just aren’t cupcakes to me if they aren’t piled with frosting.

so after they were done baking and let them cool..then comes the fun part!

ooh..the lone frosted cupcake.

okay so after seeing how yummy my cupcakes looked, time to taste it!…sad. the paper is stuck to the cupcake. after removing the paper, barely any cupcake is left to eat. theres more frosting than cake [i don’t mind] but its disappointing!. i taste it. umm…its good? but…mushy. unfortunately i think this is due to a substitution i made in the recipe. no substitutions next time for me. i decided to try and substitute the canola oil it called for, with apple sauce (you can use apple sauce in replacement of oils in some baking recipes). i thought it’d be a good way to slash the fat (that way i could go crazy with the frosting).

well. it was fun. i got to bake em with my friend gabby. we had a good time…and as long as your having fun, who cares right! well i still cared..but now i know next time, until i learn how to correctly substitute something, i will be going straight by the book.

but look how pretty they turned out anyways! =) simple.

prior to my cupcake baking of the night, i was too tired to cook anything up, so i went to one of my favorite quick spots to grab a bite…Pita Inn.. if you have not been there it is a must! and if you plan on getting stuffed grape leaves, which i highly highly recommend, get them at their market right next door, cheaper, and comes with more so you can save the rest for another meal! [their market also baked fresh pitas and other goodies daily…so do go!]. it. love the rice. love the grapeleaves..okay love it all.

the price of a big bag of pitas is like 2 bucks, so i took a bag and decided to make a healthy snack out of them…baked pita chips!

here they are in the oven getting all crisp.

oh and what better dip than an avocado dip! i didn’t feel like making a full on guacamole, so all i did was mash up an avocado with some cilantro and sea salt…perfect!

*tip: i learned from Robin Miller on the food network, that a really quick and easy way to make guacamole is to take the avocado flesh and put it in a ziplock baggy, put all your chopped up ingredients and whatever else your putting in it into the bag as well, close baggy…and then….just squeeze the baggy and have fun with it! all you have to do is mash it up in there, and its so quick and convenient. it is kind of wasteful for plastic baggies, but it saves time, you don’t have to use an extra bowl to mash it in..AND wen its all ready, you cut the tip of the baggy and squeeze it out so it comes out perfect! i loved finding this out. i love food network and their awesome tips.

and ta da! a healthy and severely easy to make at-home snack!

pita chips:
whole wheat or white pita.
extra virgin olive oil for brushing
sea salt

  • preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • take your pitas, and cut them up into triangles (or strips, whichever).
  • then split the pita in half so the chips won’t turn out so thick.
  • spread pitas on baking sheet, and brush with evoo. (i used a bruschetta oil, which had herbs mixed inside, for a tastier treat!)
  • pop in the oven. other recipes say to leave it in for about 7 minutes. i leave em in for a little longer so they get really crisp and dark.
  • take out from oven. [turn your oven off!]
  • and enjoy! they go great with hummus, salsas, guacamole, or whatever dip of your choosing really!
  • these chips are so easy to make, and they are a lot cheaper than buying a bag of pita chips from the store. they are also better to make at home because you know exactly what your putting in, and you don’t get all those crazy extra ingredients that you don’t even know how to pronounce. they’re great to make for parties, sports nights, movie nights, or any night for that matter! they are extremely tasty, and really healthy! they sure beat chips that are fried in a vat of oil. you can use whatever spices and seasonings you’d like, i prefer the simple taste of a little olive oil and sea salt. i have used garlic powder before, which was also tasty. try them with cumin, or curry powder for a really special treat! if you are craving chips, i suggest making your own =)
    (warning: REALLY ADDICTING, especially when eaten with guacamole).

    and here are some goodies that i purchased from whole foods:

    peanut butter panda puffs cereal is surprisingly good. i’m not normally a fan of peanut butter cereals, but these are really good and light tasting! they don’t taste like they are covered in sugar (only 7g sugar a serving, which is a lot better compared to cocoa puffs or reese’s peanut butter puffs, which contain 12g per serving.

    uncle eddie’s vegan cookies are sooo good. i got the oatmeal chocolate chip kind, but i do want to try some of their other flavors, like the one with walnuts, or peanut butter =]

    i love annie chun’s rice bowls. the sprouted brown rice tastes a lot better than regular brown rice, and its filled with more nutrients…plus they are really convenient to take to work and just pop in the micro. serve with veggies and tofu, beans, or even having it alone is really good. do try!

    i have not tried the hemp milk, or sticks and twigs curry snacks yet…but will update when i do.
    lundberg sweet green tea flavored rice cakes are reallllly good. i haven’t had rice cakes in ages, and decided to try these out (a little pricey, but what isn’t at whole foods?). they aren’t very sweet, but have a mild matcha flavor to them.

    i’m always so overwhelmed when i walk into whole foods,  and i’m definitely one of those customers that looks lost and confused at the same time. i always feel like i don’t know where i’m going, especially cause theres way too much to see…i need to definitely devote a whole afternoon to that place, because man..that place can really hold you in..

    well til next time.



    Welcome to the opening of my food blog, The Hungry Panda. I hope you will enjoy the food that I post, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!

    Today I explored Whole Foods finding goodies and essentials I will be needing for my creations that I will be posting for all of whoever is reading my blog. I spent almost 2 hours in there, and I really need to stick to a grocery list, because there is so much distracting junk food! I knew that I had to go in and get some bread for my Black Bean Burgers that I was going to make today. I pretty much had everything else: I popped a bag of black beans in the crockpot last night, so those were at home waiting to be mashed up with some other good stuff. I did plan on making the Chai tea cupcakes from ” Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World” but by the time I got home from my grocery trip I was pretty beat, and knew I had to make a main meal for me before embarking on dessert [even though I realllly wanted to bake…tomorrow perhaps!] Anyways, I picked up some vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies which I had for dessert, and it indeed yummy. I purchased several items that I have never tried before, such as Sucanat, which is nonrefined cane sugar, Nutritional Yeast flakes for some “cheesy” dishes I plan on making, Braggs Liquid Aminos which is a Certified NON-GMO liquid protein concentrate, derived from soybeans that can be used in replacement of Soy sauce or Tamari [its very low in sodium…no added salt!] and a few other things that I can’t really recall.

    I haven’t been eating meat for a few days now, and I honestly don’t miss it. I watched “meet your meat” [VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED] last night and I was saddened by the cruelty those animals were put through. I don’t think I need meat, and the only thing that is really an issue is family parties, or going out to eat. Well seeing that there are no family parties for a while, I won’t have to deal with that, and as for going out to eat, there are usually vegetarian/vegan options available at a lot of the places I go to [], and seeing that I am also trying to get healthier, I probably shouldn’t be going out to eat anyways! I hope everyone can respect my decision, whether they like it or not!

    Anyways, tonight my black bean burgers were a success. I took the recipe from here but did modify it to my liking (i didn’t add salsa or chili powder, instead used cayenne pepper and red chili flakes.) Also, I took the picture before I even tried the burger, and it was a little dry, so I added some Veganaise and a little green salsa verde to give it a bit of moisture, which helped, and it was great! I was pleasantly suprised, because this is the first time I have made a burger out of beans, and it was extremely easy, and I reccomend it to anyone who wants a burger, but doesn’t want to feel so heavy and gross afterwards. Beans make a great burger, and I quote my boyfriend Tony “It really tastes like a burger.” I was skeptical of him trying it out, and was relieved and grateful that he enjoyed it. My parents enjoyed it as well, and all around I give it a 4 out of 5 stars! Hooray.

    [black bean burger patty topped with avocado, thick slice of tomato, clover sprouts (sprouts make everything better..and pretty!), all on top of Ezekiel sesame sprouted buns.]

    the potato wedges were extremely easy to make, and turned out yummy! i cut up a few idaho russet potatoes, soaked em for about 30 minutes, dried em, popped em on a baking pan, drizzled some evoo on top with sea salt, crushed black pepper and a little celery salt. baked em for about an hour and they turned out semi-crispy on the skin, and soft and delicious on the inside.

    what to expect this week:

    the grand opening of The Hungry Panda!

    a few visuals you should be anticipating:

    • chai latte cupcakes.
    • black bean burgers.
    • spinach lasagna
    • bibimbap & chop chae

    come back soon, and come hungry! =p