Awkward Food Photos Avocado

Avocado, is there anything you can’t do? Tasty when eaten with a spoon, tasty when mushed up and eaten as guacamole, tasty when stuffed into the center of sushi.

avocadoThis humble little fruit, which also goes by the name alligator pear, is so versatile and fun! But for food photography? The avocado is not always the belle of the ball. Dark green in color, oblong, lightly textured. Those words simply do not pop with fun.

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Jump in on the latest food photography trend! Put a bunch of other things into the picture to highlight and complement all that is the avocado. Beans are popular; make sure you artistically strew a few outside your tiny bowl. Include your drinking glass in the back. An end of garlic completes the photo. It doesn’t quite fit in and leaves the viewer wondering what exactly will be happening. They’re hooked and will keep coming back to your blog for more!

Food That Looks Like My Cat: Seitan Burgers

I love Joni Marie Newman’s seitan burgers from her book The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet. We make them often and I noticed they might qualify as a food that looks like my cat. These are super simple to mix up and bake and they always turn out great. Sometimes I stuff them with cheese and bacos but more often these days I just make them plain and load up on the toppings. For the purposes of making food that looks like my cat, I just put the burger on my standard whole wheat bun.

seitan burger

Shout out to brown food! Although George was willing to sit with the seitan burger, George did not appear very interested in it. However, the seitan burger is indeed a food that looks like my cat.


Halloween Plush Toys Return for 2014

Halloween plush are back! The vegan candy corn and wee ghost pirate debut in my shop today. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and I love sewing these plush toys. What better friend to take along as you go house to house collecting a pile of candy to be sorted and divided later?

halloween plush

These plush are sewn from Eco Spun felt, which is made of recycled plastic bottles. Their hand sewn faces ensure each one has a unique personality.

Candy corn measures 7 inches tall and has the traditional yellow/orange/white candy corn striping. The pirate ghost is 4 inches tall. They make a great addition to the Halloween pumpkin you’re putting together for your kid but want to make unique. They even make a great addition to your plush collection that you’ve been curating for years. Plush friends for life!


Available exclusively at Panda With Cookie.

As Seen on TV: The Rollie Brownie

I wanted to branch out this week and conquer a sweet treat in the Rollie. That vertical cooking technology seems like it could bake up a brownie, so I decided to try a marshmallow stuffed chocolate Rollie brownie. I decided to grab a mug brownie recipe to try even though I have never made a mug brownie. You don’t need a lot of batter for the Rollie and I thought the mug brownie batter would be a good fit. This may not have been my wisest decision of the day. The ingredients are assembled, the brownie batter mixed.

rollie brownie


I used the wooden skewers to skew some Dandies marshmallows. They look so happy on the bag but into the Rollie they went. The brownie batter got poured nto the cooking chamber and the wait was on!


And on. And on. And on. I should have pored less batter into that cooking chamber. There was a slight rise in the batter but it just did not seem to be cooking at the top. The 10 minute timer buzzed and I reset for another 10 minutes. Another buzz, another reset. I scooped a bit of the batter out and discovered that the brownie did appear to be cooking underneath. At 30 minutes I went ahead and pulled the Rollie brownie out.

rollie brownie

Or rather, I attempted to pull the Rollie brownie out. Much as with the biscuit of last week, the wooden skewer slid right out and left all brownie inside. Unlike the biscuit of last week, this thing was not coming out with out a fight.


I managed to get a bunch of large chunks out by running the skewer around the edge and shaking. You can see the well melted marshmallow in the bottom right. Now, this might look like a failure. And it certainly was in that I had no brownie cylinder to chow down on. But a pile of half baked gooey chocolate marshmallow pile is better than having no half baked gooey chocolate marshmallow pile at all.

Tasteless Tablescapes: Halloween

If you’ve seen Sandra Lee’s tablescapes, you’ve seen some amazing holiday creations. I wanted to come up with a spooky holiday themed tasteless tablescapes that would appeal to the children.

tasteless tablescapesDoesn’t that look fun? From a distance it looks like a great jack o lantern full of candy. But look closer, Gentle Reader. Look closer.

tasteless tablescapes

That cheery jack o lantern is filled with boxes of raisins to hand out. The horror, the horror.

The Garlic: Fruit Cup Not Well Received At Wedding


Asheville, NC- Wedding attendee Jasmine White was not impressed with her vegan dessert option at the wedding she attended in Asheville this weekend. While other guests were served slices of the three tier red velvet cake with traditional boiled frosting Jasmine was brought a dish consisting of sliced cantaloupe, a few grapes, and a strawberry on top.

“Janelle and Ed had plenty of time to work out an option for me. I sent in my RSVP with request for a vegan dessert months in advance. I even gave them the idea to buy a brownie from Firestorm Cafe and slip it to me before the ceremony even began.”

The dreaded fruit cup has become the bane of vegans everywhere. With its heavy reliance on melons and lack of imagination or taste it is the standard vegan wedding dessert. Despite a plethora of vegan sweets cookbooks, including Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, The Joy of Vegan Baking, Vegan Chocolate, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, Sweet Vegan, Vegan Pie in the Sky, Cheers To Vegan Sweets, The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, Stinky Fingers Sweets, Bake and Destroy, Whole Grain Vegan Baking, and Vegan Bake Sale, there seems to be a reluctance on the part of wedding caterers to venture into cupcake, cookie, or pie territory.

White was spotted at the local Earth Fare late that night stuffing a bag with their vegan chocolate chip cookies. A pint of Ginger Cookie Caramel Coconut Bliss was already in her shopping basket.

Iced Tea and a Bagel Sweetpea Bakery Edition

bagel-sweetpea bakeryI am drifting from my theme but hopefully no one will be too upset. I do indeed have a bagel but that is water with nary a glass of iced tea in sight. This is an old favorite from Sweetpea Bakery here in Portland. The bacon scallion cream cheese on an everything bagel. It is becoming less and less iced tea weather, so I went with a simple glass of water this morning. Stay tuned next week to see if we become hot tea and a bagel.

Awkward Food Photos Soba Noodles

Soba noodles! I love them. Quick cooking and good tasting, they come in neat little bundles that are perfect for tossing into stir fries.

awkward food photosSoba noodles share a similar awkward food photo problem to the veggie burger mix we saw last week: they are a grayish brown color. But even more alarming, the straightness of the bundle while sitting on the counter presents a rather stark angle with the grout lines on your tiled kitchen counter. This isn’t the Van der Rohe Farnsworth House and the year is not 1950. We need some curves, some movement to our food.

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Bring in that macro setting on your camera and go in for the noodle end close up! Stunning! Look at that curve! It says, “I defy the grid. I will not be bound by tile grout!”. The noodle ends are messy and reflect our contemporary life.

Food That Looks Like My Cat: Cheddar Biscuits

As I made some Bisquick cheddar biscuits yesterday in the Rollie, I though perhaps if they were baked, the biscuits might qualify as a food that looks like my cat. The Rollie doesn’t really brown food, so I did some more mix and popped a small batch in the oven. The results:

bisquick biscuits

I am a fan of these biscuits and have heard they are reminiscent of the Red Lobster biscuits. I have never eaten at Red Lobster but I do like garlic and I do like cheezey biscuits.

George was in no mood for sitting when I tried to photograph him next to the biscuits. Maybe George doesn’t like garlic. Maybe George just never sits still from the hours of nine to eleven AM.  But even with this blurry photo you can see that the Bisquick cheddar garlic biscuits are a lighter color than George and thus not the best candidate for food that looks like my cat.

food that looks like my cat