Happy Birthday Mama Crunk!

Today (May 4th) was my mom's birthday, so my boyfriend and I met her and my dad at their favorite restaurant in West Memphis — Pancho's. It's a no-frills Mexican restaurant that my parents have had a thing for as far back as I can remember. I didn't take any pictures of my cheeseless spinach Mexican pizza, but it was super tasty!

I did snap a shot of her birthday treats — German Chocolate Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World:

It's the basic chocolate cupcake recipe topped with the Coconut Pecan Frosting. So, so good. And I traded the oil for applesauce, so they're kind of lower fat.

I gave her an autographed copy of Iron Chef Cat Cora's book, Cooking from the Hip:

Can ya'll believe how young my mom looks?!

Even though she's by no means a vegan, I love Cat Cora! My friend Nathan got me hooked on Iron Chef on the Food Network, and though they always cook meat, I just pretend its seitan. Those meaty shows give me ideas for preparing non-meat dishes.

Anyway, I met Cat Cora last week at the Macy's store in Memphis. She was doing a barbecue cooking demo, and though I couldn't sample the BBQ Shrimp, her broccoli slaw and pit bean recipes were both vegan. So I got to try some of Cat Cora's secret recipes! I also had a chance to interview her by phone the week before her demo for a story in the Memphis Flyer, the altweekly I write for (I wanted to link to the interview here, but for some reason, the Flyer's new website is giving me an error message when I search for it).

Happy Birthday, Mama Crunk! (BTW, thanks to a couple of commenters who called my dad Papa Crunk and Daddy Crunk in his birthday post last month, I've decided to start calling my parents by their "crunk names").