Cake in point: Oozing.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Cake in point: Oozing.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Fortunately, there are only three weeks left and I've come to enjoy my schedule. Because this is not the school I've gotten used to over the last three years, it doesn't feel like the same old routine that drives us crazy kids, well, crazy, and turns us into those ruthless, stereotypical sadists whose only way to blow off steam is derived from malicious teenage antics.
I don't generally have more than one class a day, though, so I've been able to keep my contact with the non-scholarly world in check. There was that weekend trip to Veneta, of course, as well as some downtime to get back to some good old-fashioned cooking with friends.
And, well, maybe some UNcookin'. The thing I cherish most about the local library is checking out volumes and volumes of cookbooks so that I can browse recipes new and old without having to buy a single one. The system keeps up very well with newly published books, so I was able to request Ani Phyo's newest tome, Ani's Raw Food Desserts fairly soon after its release.
They ain't pretty, they ain't made with patience, and they ain't even made correctly. But the Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Blackberry Glaze sure were tasty (raw foods = TASTING EVERY FLAVOR) and fresh as can be. The blackberries were picked from behind the West Oly co-op and the blueberries from Jo's front yard.
Mirrah, taking a big raw bite.
But moving on from raw goodness, released in... oh, hell, there is absolutely no segue for this. I SAW HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE IN IMAX 3-D, MOFOS.
There are precious few things on this god-given earth that I love more than these series of books and movies that I, having literally grown up with them, hold very near and dear to my heart. If the flesh-and-blood Harry Potter told me that the only way that the Horcruxes would be destroyed, Snape would be revealed as good, and Hermione and Ron would finally knock boots was if I ate a hamburger, I'd probably do it. Whereas, given the same demand from Jesus, I would probably tell to fuck off.
Granted, the movies suck. I'm that Trekkie of the Potterverse who sits there, demanding fidelity to the series, clutching my forehead and sputtering, "You're climbing on top of a goddamn roof?! Shame you don't have some sort of magical object like, oh, I don't know - EXTENDABLE EARS or an INVISIBLITY CLOAK!" And this wasn't the first time or even the second time I've seen it. This was the third time. And since only the first twelve minutes is in MIND-BLOWINGLY NEAT-O 3D, we needed something else to sustain ourselves throughout the rest of the movie. (It helps that Tom Felton and Rupert Grint are pretty.)
Being without an Ollivander wand and Molly Weasley's precise and harried abilities, we produced a batch of Pumpkin Pasties (from Dumbledore's Vegan Army) the Muggle way for some sustenance as well as some piping hot butterbeers (pictured in an ice bath). The empanada-like pasties turned out perfectly (not to mention adorably). The butterbeers - veganized from a recipe relying on cream soda and very nonvegan Werther's candies (anyone know where I can get my hands on or make some vegan ones, incidentally?) - will be tweaked in the near future as they were merely okay.
As a foodie, I have one more burning comment about this movie. I thought the Harry Potter franchise had somewhat of a multi-million dollar budget, so why are they eating Costco cream puffs tossed with Hershey's syrup in margarita glasses and why is every potion and drinkable substance except for (what I can only assume is) Crush soda and Cool-Whip clearly tap water?
*So, the title needs some work; Scholastic and I are coming to an agreement.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
...And by *good* story, I meant lame and sidetracked.
I mostly wanted to check in because I plan on making a solid effort in this blog's upkeep. Kind of like a really, really belated/lazy New Year's resolution. Yeah, kind of like a New Year's resolution - for the blog's
Moving right along without the pretense of a segue, I had been camping a couple weeks ago in Veneta, OR for the 40th annual Oregon Country Fair (which I'd been excitedly updating with if you follow me on "The Twitter"*). The Fair is like... what my summer is for. One glorious, indulgent, free-spirited, worry-free, peaceful, open weekend in July. It's hippy-fest to the nth degree for sure, but nowhere else do you meet the most interesting, open-minded, friendly people. And I do mean "you do meet." You will have fun and be interesting and meet interesting people. I don't care if you were there for three-hours or the whole three-day shebang. That is what happens.
Of course, the ultimate experience is the campsite. Zumwalt, one of just a few campgrounds close by, is by far the best. It is the largest, the only one with a shuttle to the fair itself, a water-truck, and a waterfront for bathing and swimming. And the people? Oh, there will be partying. You will get to know your fellow campers. You will experience Camp Canada at the far end of Zumwalt. Have you seen Canadian hippies party?!
It should be noted that this isn't your typical fair. This is green-living, artsy-craftsy, extravagant-(VEGAN!)-food-vending at its finest. There are countless stages with a myriad of performers from bluegrass bands to flamenco dancers. Parades are, like, every fifteen minutes. The fair itself, after forty years of this, has worked itself into the scenery of the surrounding forest. I can't even imagine what the grounds look like when it's not that second weekend in July.
Besides the plethora of FAIR FOOD I CAN EAT?!, perhaps my favorite fair-going experience is the - and I'm going to go real greener on you - the freeness of the body. Body consciousness is quite forced out of you at OCF as is evidenced by the abundance of bare-breasted women, young and old, small and large, with elaborate chest paintings and the flowery, glimmering babies painted on the stomachs of pregnant women.
Until next year, OCF. Until next year.**
A particularly sentimental map of OCF.
Emma's (*my* Canadian) patriotic rub-on tattoo. It's pretty much just like a passport.
*Can I just point out that I am FULL-BLOWN TWITTER ADDICTED. CAN WE STAGE AN INTERVENTION OR SOMETHING?! I've been sucked in to the self-indulgence that is "tweeting," so follow me if you so desire.
**As the people, vendors, and crafts are so fascinating and lovely, I ultimately failed at photographing any of the many, many vegan delicacies I purchased. My apologies.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Brunch rocks. That's no revelation. It's why Isa wrote the book. It's why diners thrive. It's why fries are an acceptable part of the morning meal. You see, brunch can mean every meal of the day and every cuisine of the world. Brunch happens on wintery Sunday mornings and lazy summer afternoons. You could say brunch is an excuse to not eat all morning and gorge yourself with whatever you fancy at noon and still call it balanced.
But brunches to me mean mostly three things: a lot of food, bottomless coffee, and the best of breakfast. If brunch is taking your favorites of easy, sweet and savory, then my favorites consist of breakfast, BREAKFAST, BREAKFAST. That calls for smoky sausages, cereals, fruits, jams, cinnamon, buttah, maple syrup, pancakes, and, of course: waffles.
I have a love-hate relationship with waffles. Not the waffles themselves. After all if we decided they were cousins of the average pastry, they're textural perfection - crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and gridded with pockets of syrup-and-jam-trapping goodness. It's the process I loathe. It's tedious greasing the special little waffle iron. I hate carefully picking the finished product out of the grid with a fork. It's knowing when to check for doneness lest you tear the crispy top from her bottom sister at the soft, soft middle. It's ignoring the obnoxious little "I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready" beeping from the iron because NO, my goddamn waffle isn't done, thank you very much.
I had already tried the Cornbread Waffles recipe from Vegan Brunch and was excited because I'd gone a long while without my indented little brunchy friends. My mistake was in insisting to use my big, difficult-to-grease broken Belgian iron because I WANTED WAFFLES NOW, DAMN YOU ... which only resulted in misery. So, in this second attempt I unleashed a cheapy new model I got for $10 on sale at Target. Admittedly this was meant to be waffle-loving friend's "dorm-warming" present ... but what she doesn't know I ever bought for her won't hurt. Selfish? Maybe. Satisfied? Oh, yes.
Waiting for each batch of two to be done took about as long and became just as tedious as trying to sit through an episode of The Hills. Let's face it, I secretly dread that kind of cooking that requires you to be actively paying attention for a long period of time as opposed to whip up, slip in oven, and wait. Maybe I just suck at waffle time management, but deciding to make them was quite the time commitment.
But how WERE they? Well, they were waffles. They were as good as they are supposed to be. I really appreciated the texture from the cornmeal, and even though I went the boring route and drenched them in maple syrup, I can see them being topped with any kind of topping, Mexican or Southern, sweet or savory, and being just as mouthwatering. Sweet wounded Jesus, the versatility!
The best part about making waffles is how excellently they freeze. Now it's fresh waffles, any time! If were to ever host a brunch by providing waffles, toasting from previously frozen would definitely be the way to go. In fact I may prefer toasting thawed waffles; I like extra crispyness you get without burning them.
I steamed up some sausages to complete my waffle brunch, also from VB. I love how Isa uses beans for texture and flavor in her modified variations of Julie Hasson's steamed sausages. These were delicious. Sometimes using vital wheat gluten can be a difficult thing because if they're not flavored well enough - and sometimes this is hard to tell while making the dough - the puffed up logs' primary flavor is still gluten-y. The flavor balance in these Italian Feast Sausages are perfect. Texture-wise they are off, but I improvised some proportions because I decided to use the entirety of some refried beans from last night. Consequently they are very, very moist. Some actually prefer this in their steamed sausages. Me, I like 'em thick and substantial. Oh yeaahhh.
But no problem. A quick slicing and pan-frying tends to do the trick.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Namely, the titles I was most eager to get a hold of are Babycakes, The Vegan Scoop, and Vegan Brunch.
I don't shop a lot. I am utter clothes-whoring, fashion junkie, this I will admit. But I have the most difficult time parting with my dollar. I drive all my shopping companions crazy because on the rare occasion that I am prepared to fork over my debit card, I spend at least half an hour in front of the dressing room mirror trying on even one article and double that time carrying it around the store. And even then it's no guarantee I won't return it within the week.
And then there's food. And cookbooks. And suddenly the money I was so stingy with at the Nordstrom clearance rack: gone. (Starting sentences with a conjunction pissing you off yet?)
I haven't bothered with posting my largely noninteresting meals from the past couple months. It's been a lot of leftovers, frozen dinners, and cereals. There's been the occassional baked good and tasty meal out, but truth be told squeezing in time to photograph has just not been a priority. So why the hell would I post without some remotely interesting visual? I'm no tease.
But it's summer, bitch - BUST OUT THEM WHISKS AND PYREX BOWLS, MOTHERFUCKER.
Vegan Brunch was the last book I bought, purchased on publishing day. (I wait for no one.) So far, I have not taken advantage of its luscious promises of Pain au Chocolat and Cherry Sage Sausages, but I did manage the East Coast Coffeecake for Father's Day with a jam swirl.
Eh, suckass lighting. Messy plating. But you see that crumb? Luscious, fatty, sugary, lumpy (in the most succulent way) crumb? A-MAZING. My dad did not exactly request a healthy or even vegetarian-friendly Father's Day dinner, so I took care of breakfast by replacing the AP flour with whole wheat pastry and the cake's oil with applesauce. It was still a great cake, but a little chewy and lacked the crumbly quality that I like my coffeecakes to fall apart into as I cut them. The cake didn't store well, either - though the melty, soft topping combined with the room-temperature jam swirl was just as enjoyable the next day.
I leave you now with a chocolate-swirl cheesecake and an excellent Scrubs clip. Not much to say about it - it was cheesecake. Fatty and fucking tasty. Rather pretty too aside from some very lazy photography, I would add. (The cheesecake, not Scrubs.)
I intend to divulge more adventures of flipping through my new
Sunday, March 29, 2009
The above is from St. Patrick's day - baking soda biscuits with sausage gravy made with seasoned Susan V's Irish Fauxsages. They were fantastic; I always enjoy the thick, flavorful White Bean Gravy recipe from Vegan With a Vengeance. The only downside is saving the gravy isn't really an option unless you're willing to thin it down or blend it the next day. The beans firm right up into some spread-type deal. Which can be a positive situation, depending on how you look at it.
After a rather depressing weekend I was determined to have a quality Sunday brunch. An early riser, I was even going to let myself sleep in. Unfortunately that started off poorly when my body woke me up at 7:30am and refused to relent. Then, my attempt at hash browns failed miserably when the potatoes resulted in a gummy, purple mess. It was revolting. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I'd only taken any part in hashbrown-making of the frozen package variety. As I learned... there's more to it than simply grating and pan-"frying..."
Success finally came in the deliciousness of the Banana-Coconut Rolls (with Almonds) from Have Cake, Will Travel that accompanied my morning coffee. Warm. Gooey. Sugary. Caloric. MMMMMhmmm.
After that win I started trolling my Google reader for more goods to try in the future, and this is what I came across:
I have tried many times (well, to count, three times - but three unsuccessful times is many to me*) to achieve good, fried yeasted donuts. The first attempt was a very tasty, though admittedly very not-donutty pseudo-malasada. My friend Kali and parents enjoyed them - I suppose being Hawaiian transplants it was like a taste of home. The second attempt was inedible. The third was... similar to the "malasadas," but I wanted to use icing instead of a sugar glaze and it was just strange. SO, in conclusion I'm desperate to try these curd-filled donuts from Vegan Visitor - I WILL HAVE DONUT SUCCESS. (Any tips on the lack thereof, by the way?)
Another treat I grew up with was mochi, and it has been eons since I've had it. My mother used to make butter mochi a lot when I was much younger; it was famous and requested by family friends often. I haven't looked at a recipe in years, but I believe it is rather dairy heavy (hellooo - buttah mochi). The "ball kind" (called daifuku when filled, and also never called "the ball kind" by anyone but me), available around here exclusively as ice cream-filled, includes fewer ingredients. After being asked for a recipe by Kali, that Hawaiian friend, I came across the daifuku featured on VeganYumYum. Mochi is in one word adorable, and now I want some.
I had never heard of monkey bread. It will be made, it will be shared, it will be devoured.
I love sauerkraut. I don't understand why we never have it or why I can't remember the last time I ate it. Thinking about it now, I'm craving vegan brautwurst. Maybe I think I love it because I never have it? In any case - easy, scrumptious-looking, and casserole. I see no problem.
I have actually spent a great deal of today wasting away in front of Google reader's search option but thinking about all this vegan feasting is seriously getting to my hunger trigger. The quicker I can get to sleep, the sooner I can get up and eat breakfast. Leftover banana rolls... just you wait.
*Not to imply I'm the brilliance in the kitchen I wish I were (or let people think I am), because I just happen to follow well-tested and -developed recipes from brilliant authors.
Monday, February 23, 2009
The above shots are of some of my most recent deals in the kitchen - a friend with my birthday cake from earlier in the month (I did indeed bake my own birthday cake), Vanilla-Hazelnut Cake filled with Mocha-Hazelnut Mousse, Chocolate Joe-Joe's, and topped with Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Hazelnuts, and buchty rolls from a magnificent bread book I bought at Border's on super-clearance.Valentine's Day was a treat as well - my "wife" and I celebrated with a Banana's Foster "wedding cake" from My Sweet Vegan. I baked, she got down on one knee with an enormous plastic keyring ring. All very romantic.