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.
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!