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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Round Up!

I have been cooking a lot lately, almost too much that I do not have time to blog about each thing separately. I'll try to keep on top of it from now on, but here is some deliciousness from November and one plate of awesome from today.

"Orange You Glad I Made Crispy Tofu" from Chloe's Kitchen- good but I would like  more spice.

"Pumpkin French Toast" from Vegan Brunch- super good, even though my bread wasn't stale enough.

Baked tortilla chips with "No-Queso Nacho Dip" from The Vegan Table- FFL is too spicy for me, this was pretty good.

"Three Bean Chili" from The Vegan Table- my fastest chili recipe to date, great w/the queso mixed into it.

Extreme close up of "Gingerbread Apple Pie" from Vegan With a Vengeance- so good!

"Voluptuous Pumpkin Pie" from Vegan Pie in the Sky- I'll leave it in longer next time, still amazing!

Breakfast date w/ my sister- "Chilaquiles" (Tofu Cookery), "Diner Home Fries" (Vegan Brunch), refried beans w/ green chiles and half an avocado each- yum!
Also, I started my new job on Tuesday and it's been nothing short of wonderful. It overlaps with what I was already doing so I have to learn some new tasks, but I have a slight advantage over the people who are completely new to the library. It's great to be working with our amazing team and best believe I am still keeping in contact with my gals from my other branch. They took such good care of me, they've definitely not seen the last of this one.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Taquito Time!

I really wanted to make a chorizo/papa frittata but is too hot to use the oven. I know it's November, but this is California so we don't know what that means. Good thing it isn't too hot to stand at the stove and fry up some greasy goodness. I messed up and put too much oil so these are greasier than they should be. If you are careful, yours will come out super tasty and you'll feel less guilty about eating them. I drained them the best I could. This was the first batch on their first pile of napkins. I put down fresh ones and let them drain some more.

I used the chorizo I made from Vegan Brunch to make "Taquitos with Chorizo and Potatoes" from Viva Vegan. There is a chorizo recipe in Terry's book too, but I used Isa's because I already had all the ingredients. I did my chopping/juicing/measuring while the potatoes cooked so I was ready to mix up the filling as soon as they were done. I warmed all my torts and kept them covered in a towel so they would stay soft. I added the filling, some FYH Monterey Jack and did my best to roll them well before dropping them into the pan of (too much) oil. I've never made taquitos before but my family always uses toothpicks to keep them closed. Terry doesn't do that and cooks the seam side first to seal it shut. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do it, but I had to give it a try. It worked! Only one taquito came undone. Next time I will just gently roll them over instead of trying to pick them up by one end with the tongs and flip them. I'm not the best fryer/flipper of things so it takes me way longer than other people. With time I'll get better and quicker, yay!

These came out great. I had only put about one and a half sausages because I was afraid it would be too much but next time I will add two. I also want to have beans, rice and guacamole to go with it- and I can since I know how to make all my own now after mofo. I had cooked beans on Monday but I didn't have time to do the rice or go to the store to get stuff for guac. I could do it now but there wouldn't be enough taquitos to justify it. Next time I'll do the beans, rice and chorizo ahead and just make the taquitos and guac the day I'm ready to eat it all. It's just too many dishes for one day, both the cooking and washing. It's worth the trouble though. I love home cooked food!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Are You Smuggling Seitan Sausages or Just Happy To See Me?

I really bombed the last few weeks of mofo so I am going to try to make up for them. I am still on a budget and trying to make the most of the cookbooks and ingredients I already have. You should do it even if you aren't on a budget since wasting food is terrible and sleeping on your cookbooks can really bum you out when you realize all the awesome stuff you could be making.

I have been in love with seitan since some time last year when I finally switched over to the "steam team" and had great results. Even though its really easy and you can do a bunch of other things while you wait for them to cook, I don't make seitan as often as I should. I have been wanting breakfast/brunch type foods so when I flipped through Vegan Brunch I knew it was time to get of the dime and make the "Chorizo Sausages."

These came out great. I love that they have the flavor of chorizo but without all of the grease. I halved the crushed red pepper and avoided the cayenne because I didn't want them to be too hot. I'm building my spice tolerance but since I was planning on serving these to my niece I wanted her to be able to enjoy them too. Whenever I make seitan, we call it "meat log" so I asked her if she wanted to try the "meat log". She loved it. I asked her if it was too spicy and she said it had a little kick to it but it was really good. She had a few little slices while I was prepping and we made some chorizo/cheese cracker sammiches too. I really wanted to make a frittata but it was just too warm this week so I am going to make the "Taquitos with Chorizo and Potatoes" from Viva Vegan instead. There's a chorizo recipe in that book too!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Vegan Mofo VI-Day 31: Photo Finish

 Happy Halloween! I had a busy morning and did not get to cook anything before work so my finale post is kind of a dud. I am going to post the rest of the week to try and make up for it. In the interim, here are some photos to cheer you up. First up, the only candy in our bowl I could eat. I'm so glad skittles no longer contain gelatin but there are probably tonnes of other reasons to stay away. It's only once a year, so I'm going for it.
Next up is my favorites treat of all, my dog Penny. I swore I wouldn't be one of those people who dresses her dog up but a few years ago costumes were on sale at a huge discount so I decided to try it. I had no idea how she would react but she didn't seem to mind at all. As long as nothing has go on her head she will wear it.
She was okay with the scarf and her sidecar companion, but the goggles, not so much. They strapped under her chin and her ears had to poke out of two holes as well. She kept shaking them off and I kept putting them back on but after a while I just had to give up and make the best of whatever shots I was able to get.
Last of all is my pumpkin- E.T.! I watched the final hour of this a week ago when I was up late cleaning so due to being tired I was way more emotional about it and fell in love with  the film all over again. I wasn't going to do anything for Halloween but I had to carve at least one pumpkin. I used to do 3 in the past but now that my niece is old enough to do her own I've let up on that. I have a few pattern books but I decided to look online for free stencils. When I found this one I knew it was the right one. I didn't even have to resize the printout. It fit perfectly. Yay!

 I'm sad mofo is over and there are a few things I really wanted to make but due to time or weather they didn't happen. I hope to do a better job next year but at least I might blog a bit more regularly now.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vegan Mofo VI- Day 30: Cool It Now

I can't believe what is happening back east with this storm. It's impossible to truly understand what is happening by just seeing photos or footage, but it is even more difficult to fathom such things when you don't even know what weather really is or what it can do. We are fortunate to have such lovely sunny skies almost all year round. We get a bit of rain and once in a while we have to stop wearing shorts and put a jacket on, but there's really no need to get bundled up unless you're going to the mountains or trying to look cute in a photo. I hope the worst is over and everyone is getting the help they need to get through this.

It's been in the high 80s over here, so I can't bake anything, but I also don't need to nail all my windows shut, so believe me I am not complaining. There are only a few no-bake sweets I like to make but luckily I had some frozen treats that required even less effort. These are the TJ's version of Tofutti Cuties. I haven't had the originals in a while so I can't really do an accurate comparison but I think they are quite good. The only difference I could tell right away was the these are less melty, if that makes sense. They take longer to melt so I try to remember to take one out and let it rest a bit before biting into it. Maybe you could microwave for a few seconds? TJ's saves the day again. I am crossing my fingers for the TJs version of daiya shreds. Do it!

p.s. Here is a corny joke:

p1: knock knock
p2: who's there?
p1: ice cream soda
p2: ice cream soda who?
p1: ice cream soda people can hear me

Monday, October 29, 2012

Vegan Mofo VI-Day 29: Guac On The Wild Side

I can eat guacamole by the bowl, but today is the first time I made my own. My co-worker's cousin has an avocado farm and she gave me a few last week. I planned on making guac then, but it got lost in the shuffle and my fruits got a little riper than I would like. Today I bought two new ones, plus the rest of the ingredients for "The Only Guacamole Recipe I Ever Make" from Viva Vegan and I got to work.

I chopped up my onion, cilantro, chile and garlic first. Garlic was not on the list but I added it anyway, shhhhh.  Next I juiced my lime and I had exactly 2 T. Yay! I put the first four ingredients in the bowl and started smashing them up. It was so fun to finally use the mortar and pestle I bought a few months ago. After that I added in the lime juice and avocado.

It was getting late and I was taking forever so my mom suggested I only make half the recipe, great idea. I had only put in half the onion and chile, but I put in all the garlic and cilantro and most of the lime juice. I forgot about halving didn't I? I ended up using my two baby avocados from my friend to try and balance things out. By the time I was done I couldn't wait to scoop this up and eat it so I didn't do the best job on presentation. Making guac is so much fun. I can't wait to do it again tomorrow since I have enough for another round. I can't wait to try salsa.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Vegan Mofo VI-Day 28: Rockin' Ramen

I don't eat ramen as often as I used to, but every now and then it sounds good to me. It was really warm out today but I still have some of my cold left so a bowl of yummy hot noodles sounded great but using the gross flavor packet did not. Thank goodness for the internet. I found a much better way to make ramen on ieatfood's blog.

The recipe for "Pork-free Ramen Soup" was easy to follow and I already had most of what I needed. I had some soycurls I'd been sleeping on so I decided to add those instead of tofu. I didn't shred them though because I was in a hurry to eat my soup. This turned out great and smelled amazing while the broth was coming to a boil. I put three times the amount of garlic to try and kill any germs I still have. This doesn't take that much longer than making ramen straight from the packet so it's well worth it. Plus you get at least two huge servings, 3 or 4 smaller ones. I ate a big bowl because I was hungry and it was pretty much my lupper.