Do you remember when MySpace became really popular and one... three... three and half hours were easily passed filling out your friends' tacky surveys? Surely that kid in my Spanish class desperately wanted to know who I would invite to my celebrity dinner, and my New Zealand pen pal couldn't sleep at night without knowing theme songs picked arbitrarily from my iPod shuffle. ...Maybe that was just me in the seventh grade. But trashy magazine quizzes have always been a very guilty pleasure. During some shows that don't involve a lot of preshow work, someone will bring a stack of Cosmos, QuizFests, and Seventeens backstage to entertain ourselves. When we're not working seriously on our coloring books. (Now, remind me: am I working for a drama department or a kindergarten?)
Lauren of Whoa Wren devised a survey for her first day of Vegan MoFo that I, with all my quizzical tendencies, found quite irresistible. Be prepared to become entranced once filling out your own... or mildly-suicidal-bored while reading mine.
1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze. It's DELICIOUS, they're low in fat, super low in calories, and I've been a big fan eons before I was vegan. And now they come in gallon cartons too!
2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Pizza to use up some dough and a homemade marinara sauce I haven't put to much use; Baklava Bread from The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes; a tempeh reuben sandwich.
3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Salt and GARLIC. GARLIC, GARLIC, GARLIC. (You can tell not much of my movie-watching time is spent on dates.)
4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
I could not for the life of me get a peanut butter fudge, which I had previously made at least three times, right for a party. By the time I came up with something remotely serve-able, it was already dark and I was about an hour late. On the way there I ended up painfully lost and drove home in a hysterical panic where I promptly threw away the fudge, sobbing. It's the story that gets me, really.
5. Favorite pickled item?
Jalapenos. Yeahhh, spicy.
6. How do you organize your recipes?
I have twenty something cookbooks, so I mostly cook from there or peek from off the Internet. I do have a file organizer with some of my favorite printed-off recipes, though.
7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
Compost & trash. Hooray for yard waste collection making compost such a no-brainer.
8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)?
Hummus, peanut butter, and fresh tortillas. Surely I will get scurvy provided I can't find any fruits or vegetables on this island... but it'd be worth it.
9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
When we lived in Seattle, my mom used to take me to a bakery in the U Village some weekday mornings so I could get an almond croissant or a pain au chocolat before school. It was before the Village was high-end shopping, so it was a lot more quaint. It's probably why I miss those pastries so damn much.
10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
Turtle Mountain Peanut Butter Zigzag. Are you picking up on a certain obsession with a particular sandwich spread?
11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Stand mixer! Oh, stand mixer, how I adore thee for facilitating my laziness. (And my kitchen scale. I get to pick two.)
12. Spice/herb you would die without?
13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
I bought Vegan With a Vengeance and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World at the same time, before I decided to give up all animal products. They totally taught me to love new foods, foods that even my culinarily-inclined parents hadn't introduced to me. It's what eventually coaxed me into blowing the full Monty.
14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Apricot preserves put the smile on my face.
15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
People love these banana cupcakes with caramel glaze and brown sugar frosting, so I'm always handing the recipe out. They're not even my favorite thing that I make, but people freak over them.
16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
Tofu. It can't do toothsome like seitan can, but tempeh's the most expensive and seitan involves more time and effort...
17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
I like to cook early in the morning, when I have the kitchen to myself because the house is asleep and the kitchen's clean from the night before.
18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Bins of cookie cutters, cake decorating supplies, and old tupperware.
19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Tempeh, vegan shrimp (I still need to do something with that), pizza dough.
20. What's on your grocery list?
Raisins, whole wheat pasta, avocados.
21. Favorite grocery store?
Trader Joe's. I'm a total TJ's fangirl, especially since one just opened up so close by.
22. Name a recipe you'd love to veganize, but haven't yet.
Pre-vegan, I went to New York and ate at Junior's, bringing back a box of cheesecake and authentic Black & Whites for my parents. I've since found a cookie recipe to satisfy the cravings, but I've been dying to veganize a recipe from the Junior's Cheesecake book my mom bought recently.
23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa's because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Oh, no! Don't make me choose! Perhaps Hannah for the insight and divine photos, FatFree Vegan Kitchen for the oh-so-appreciated creations and nutritional info, and Cakespy for being cutesy, mouth-watering, vegan-friendly at times, and a Seattleite.
24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Sweet & Sara's Vegan Marshmallows. BUILD A MANUFACTURING PLANT IN MY GARAGE, PLEASE.
25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
I bought pistachio nutmeats the other day for the aforementioned Baklava Bread. I get pretty scandalized by the prices of nuts as it is, so I felt just a little guilty paying the extra for the pre-shelling.
26. Ingredients you are scared to work with?
Agar agar. I've worked with it before, but the brand I buy is outrageously finicky, and I get panicky every time I go for a recipe calling for it. It rarely turns out *disastrous,* but it's completely hit or miss.