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Tag Archives: No Udder Desserts

Vegan at Sprinkles Cupcakes, The Grove, Los Angeles

The Grove and Original Los Angeles Farmers Market is one of the great, atypical places to take out-of-towners or to spend a leisurely Saturday.  There are tons of upscale stores to peruse, including the American Girl store, which is one of my favorites.  If you haven’t heard of them, they are great historical fiction books and dolls that are age-appropriate for elementary school kids.  I wrote an entire term paper for my Children’s Literature class about the flaws (specifically gender and racial inequalities) in these books and I still think they are great, so that says a lot.

Anyway, Eric and I were at the Grove for a free screener of Homefront, starring Jason Statham and James Franco.  You basically get exactly what you expect walking into that movie.  The actress who played Jason Statham’s daughter was great, though.  After the movie, we stopped at the tiny Sprinkles Cupcakes booth so I could try their famous vegan Red Velvet cupcakes.

Red Velvet, Sprinkles Cupcakes | A Vegan in Progress

First of all, if you are going to offer one vegan option – why not more than one?  I know that seems like I’m asking a lot, but not everyone likes Red Velvet.  I found the frosting to be very fragrant – almost smelling like a sugar cookie.  However, it tasted oddly of coconut.  Eric got another cupcake with a cream cheese frosting (not a vegan one) and it also tasted of coconut.  To me, that is both weird and gross.

Red Velvet, Sprinkles Cupcakes | A Vegan in Progress

The cake itself tasted a little dry.  Nothing about the cupcake left me thinking I should stop by Sprinkles more often.  After trying a non-vegan cupcake, Eric said that he wasn’t a fan either.  He prefers Crumbs Bake Shop, which also has several locations, but sadly no vegan options.  I highly recommend No Udder Desserts over Sprinkles.  They only have one location, but offer many more flavor choices as well as different desserts in addition to cupcakes.  The taste is far superior to Sprinkles.  Sprinkles Red Velvet fans – you don’t know what you’re missing!  Definitely give No Udder Desserts a try.

Vegan Graduation Party

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As I have mentioned a couple of times before, for the last few years I have been very busy, working full time and attending school full time in the evenings.  All of the hard work and years without much free time to speak of came to a close last month when I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies – Teacher Preparation option with a General Science Concentration from California State University, Northridge.

Vegan Graduation Party | A Vegan in Progress

Vegan Graduation Party | A Vegan in Progress

The last two semesters were extremely challenging and equally rewarding.  I graduated with honors, Cum Laude – a personal goal that I had set for myself a couple of years back.  In addition, a paper that I worked very hard on will be submitted for a literary award for the best piece of work on Children’s Literature in an academic year.  All of the trying nights studying and weekends spent in front of my laptop instead of out having fun were totally worth the hassle.  There’s a sense of accomplishment that I can’t really describe and it’s only magnified by the fact that I did it all while working a regular job.

Vegan Graduation Party | A Vegan in Progress

Happy graduate!

To celebrate the event, Eric and I threw a small party for close friends and family at our place after the evening ceremony.  My mom and sister and I planned an all vegan menu, but didn’t make a big deal about it, hoping that our guests would try everything without prejudice.

Vegan Graduation Party | A Vegan in Progress

Vegan Graduation Party | A Vegan in Progress

Just some of the vegan spread

We had stuffed olives, veggies, pita, and homemade hummus, fruit and a thai fruit dip, chips, pico de gallo, and guacamole, stuffed peppers, a three-layer italian dip and crackers, cucumber soup shots, and my mom’s famous meatless meatball sliders.

Vegan Graduation Party | A Vegan in Progress

Meatless Meatball Sliders - Vegan Graduation Party | A Vegan in Progress

Meatless Meatball Sliders with cashew cheese

Vegan Graduation Party | A Vegan in Progress

My mother in law was especially surprised with the tasty food and made a point to try everything.  Our omnivore friends raved about the meatless meatball sliders, their favorite items of the evening.

We ended the night with a toast of Dom Perignon and slices of this delicious vegan chocolate cake from No Udder Desserts.  Everyone went crazy for the cake.  Eric has even said that he wants his 30th birthday cake from the same bakery.

No Udder Desserts Cake - Vegan Graduation Party | A Vegan in Progress

No Udder Desserts, Woodland Hills

Located directly behind The Vegan Joint in Woodland Hills is No Udder Desserts.  It’s a small place where, if you want a lot of cupcakes or a whole cake, you’ll have to order ahead.  It’s no problem for me because Eric and I usually stop by on a whim once a month or so to pick up a cupcake each.  They are always yummy and moist.  Eric’s preferred desserts are cakes and cupcakes and he likes No Udder’s cupcakes regardless of him not being vegan.

Take a look at the website for a sampling of their selection.  I’m a chocolate devotee, so I haven’t tried anything else.

I snapped this photo of the display case last time we were there.  Stop by if you’re ever in the area and support a vegan small business!

No Udder Dessers, Woodland Hills | A Vegan in Progress

The Vegan Joint, Woodland Hills

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** I should start by saying that I live in the Southwest part of the San Fernando Valley in Southern California.  All of the vegan restaurants I have mentioned so far have been within an hour away.

I have driven right past The Vegan Joint in Woodland Hills thousands of times.  It is really close to my home and in the same parking lot as No Udder Desserts, a yummy vegan bakery.  Eric and I checked out the reviews on yelp and they seemed pretty favorable, so we decided to try it out.  They have a pretty varied menu, so it took us a long time to decide!  Eventually, we settled on each trying two things.  He ordered the Orange Crispy Tofu and an order of garlic fries.  I got the Garlic “Chicken” Burger and “Chicken” Nachos.

The Orange Crispy Tofu tasted a lot like traditional orange chicken from a Chinese food place (as I remember it), but with sort of an egg-like texture to the tofu.  I can see why tofu is used as a replacement for egg so often!

The Vegan Joint - Orange Crispy Tofu | A Vegan in Progress

Orange Crispy Tofu

The garlic fries were perfect!  So often when you order garlic fries you just get regular fries with a dollop of garlic and a drizzle of oil on top, but these tasted well seasoned all the way around.

The Vegan Joint - Garlic fries | A Vegan in Progress

Garlic fries

I ordered two soy chicken items because I am obsessed with it now, thanks to Hana Grill.  The Garlic “Chicken” Burger came with a garlic and cilantro sauce that was very tasty, along with lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, pickles, onions, and tomato.  The patty was really great and the sauce went very well with it.  I also got my own order of fries with it, so we were swimming in excess food!

The Vegan Joint - Garlic "Chicken" Burger | A Vegan in Progress

Garlic “Chicken” Burger

The “Chicken” Nachos were very fresh tasting, with what seemed like house-made taco chips.  The toppings were grilled soy chicken, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, black beans, serano chili, and fresh salsa.  It was supposed to come with soy cheese as well, but I didn’t see any, so perhaps they were out.  I also got a side of guacamole.  I would order them again.  The leftovers even held up well for the next day, once I separated the chips from the toppings.

The Vegan Joint - "Chicken" Nachos | A Vegan in Progress

“Chicken” Nachos

It was only about $24 for all of that yummy food, so we will definitely return.  I’m looking forward to trying more of what they offer!  Next time we may order online and pick it up to go, because it was a rather small place.

UPDATE:  DO NOT try ordering over the phone. I had a very unpleasant experience with a man who had so heavy an accent that we could not understand each other.  He insisted that I had ordered something that I did not and said that it had already been made, insinuating that I should just take it.  I eventually got what I had ordered, but it was very frustrating.

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