Hi. Hi there. I just got back from a quick weekend in Las Vegas. Before you go getting ideas I was there visiting some very good friends who live there. We had a lovely time together hanging out, eating, hiking and more eating!
My friends frequent a mystical place known as Mt. Charleston which is right outside of Vegas. Supposedly there is this place just a wee bit out of town boasting temps that dip below the triple digits and trees and greenery are abundant…what?!? Near Vegas?!? Since they always have such good things to say about this so called “Mt. Charleston”, I asked if we could maybe go hiking there. My friends obliged and were happy to take me on a quest for the perfect Saturday afternoon hike. Guess what? We found it! The way up was not only gorgeous, but was a nice ride. No winding roads or dramamine needed = awesome.
After we passed through the desert, which is very beautiful itself, we started seeing more bushes…then shrubs….then…..trees! It was pretty magical. In just a few minutes the landscape turned from Joshua trees and sand, to firs, pines, cedars, with large rocky mountain sides and sprawling green meadows in between breaks in the forest. The temperature went from over 100°F to just around 76°F, which was so refreshing from the heat. The hike was great. Beautiful scenery, good company and great exercise.
I hope you enjoyed those photos because I enjoyed taking them 🙂
One other thing happened in Vegas that was of major importance slash significance; The [vegan] Maple-Bacon Cupcake was born. In the last few months or years or whatever, I have been hearing of desserts and other treats that have bacon in them. At first, the idea sounded pretty disgusting to me, but recently, I have been reconsidering that notion. I thought that maybe I should try to create a vegan version of such a crazy treat….and the Maple-Bacon Cupcake idea was born. I got all of my ingredients together and brought some supplies to Vegas. I figured since I was visiting beloved friends, I ought to use that opportunity to experiment on them. Insert maniacal laugh. I kid, I kid (or do I?), but really, I can’t make cupcakes without mouths to eat them and several mouths at that. The more mouths the better…but not more than 12 or you won’t get a cupcake. One of my friends was kind enough to be my kitchen assistant and we cooked up some tempeh bacon, made some batter, some icing/frosting–was def a cross between the two– and success!
Those little bits you see in the cake are maple-glazed bits of smokey tempeh bacon! I need to add a little more next time though I think.
The frosting is maple flavored and I used vegetarian bacon bits rather than tempeh bacon as a garnish. I thought the crunch of the bits would be a nice contrast. I will post the recipe soon, I just want to make a few very small changes. The friends I had test these cupcakes were all omnivores and they really enjoyed them. I was told they have a distinct breakfast-like taste. Someone said they thought of waffles and someone else thought they would be nice at brunch. In any case, I am glad they were enjoyed and I am so happy to have a new and exciting recipe. 🙂
Any strange combinations of foods that catch your fancy?
*The photos of the cupcakes were taken by my awesome friend Amanda Eisenberg of Eisenberg Designs. She’s got one of them fancy cameras for picture shootin’ and things, so I had her take them. Thanks Amanda!
Who would have thought–all that greenery just outside of Vegas??!! Looks lovely, and a nice escape from the awful heat. And it looks like your friends were in for quite a tasty treat! I know you have been thinking of making these for awhile and I am thrilled they turned out so well. They look yummy! It does seem that people try sticking bacon in everything and vegan/tempeh bacon is far better in my opinion. No little piggies harmed in the process:(
Hmmm. Strange flavor combinations. Gonna have to think on that one. When I was a kid, I used to devour peanut butter & cream cheese sandwiches, and many of my friends thought I was super weird. But I don’t think that is strange at all. I did also used to put cottage cheese, potato chips and paprika on my baked potatoes. That’s a little weird. But it was really tasty, I swear! Come to think of it, potatoes in some form found their way into lots of my foods. Potato chips on sandwiches, french fries on my burgers or in burritos. How I love those yummy little tubers!
I don’t know what looks more appealing: the scenery or the cupcakes…well who am I kidding? the latter!!!!
Those pictures are great! Can’t wait to taste the cupcakes. Looks like you had a wonderful trip in Vegas.
You guys are the best! Seriously, I need to make these for you guys….and about a million other ideas I’ve got brewing.
Peanut butter and cream cheese, I am going to have to try a vegan version of this at some point. Def. sounds interesting.
And vegan bacon is the best! I LOVE tempeh bacon. Sigh, if people only knew the pleasures of tempeh bacon….but with these cupcakes, hopefully they will! Save the piggehs!