Food


For my dad, for his birthday meal.
img_2445

The pierogies came out so great! I added some buckwheat into the beet/sauerkraut filling and some kale and baby spinach to the onion topping.
img_2450

Seriously, make them!
img_2455

For the cake, I veganized the recipe for mai tai chocolate cake from Death By Chocolate Cake, by Marcel Desaulniers.
img_2442

It had a lot of components going on (pineapple-almond layer cake, chocolate rum mousse, orange buttercream, chocolate orange ganache, and last but not least chocolate dipped/almond covered dried pineapple slices), but I made them all over a few days, and it came together quite easily.

There were a lot of textures going on, but I mean that in the best way possible. It was extremely satisfying and rich.

img_2437

I made the orange buttercream with coconut oil, and I was super happy with how it came out. Also, the orange zest flecked throughout looked so adorable.
img_2461

img_2472

Both are going into my “Absolutely must make again!!!” file.

Going through my baking stuff a few months ago (my god, I’m so behind on blogging about everything!) I remembered about the precious cocoa butter waiting to be used.

First up on my agenda was white chocolate mousse from The Millennium Cookbook.

I was planning on making the white chocolate mousse, then using half of it to make the peanut butter mousse recipe in the cookbook, but I didn’t really read the part where you have to blend the peanut butter in before the mousse sets up. Oops.

Making do with my mistake, I blended in some peanut butter after it had set up overnight. Unfortunately, there were some noticeable gobs of peanut butter that my sister Susan objected to, but it definitely could have been worse. Besides, it added some more texture, ya know?

Speaking of texture, the mousse texture itself was pretty frickin’ fabulous, even if the flavor was a little too cloying. I’m really excited to experiment with the recipe, I think it would be great in tiramisu, among other things.
img_9508

I plated the mousse with chocolate sauce, strawberry coulis, and toasted cacao nibs ground with turbinado sugar (I’m not a huge fan of cacao nibs, but we always seem to have a ton lying around, and I thought their bitterness would go nice against the sweetness of the mousse – it did). The peanut butter mousse is the middle scoop, the two outer ones are plain. Not the greatest presentation or picture, but whatevs.

Next was getting over my fear of making white chocolate. I used the recipe on BitterSweet, but it didn’t come out quite as I had hoped. The powdered sugar sort of clumped together in the center of my mold (aka shallow glass dish), so I put it in the back of the fridge to forget about it for a while. When I was finally ready to do something with it I made white chocolate macadamia cookies, like any sane person would.

img_1266

I used the VwaV chocolate chip cookie recipe as a loose guide, and went from there. I’m a sucker for anything sweet and salty, so for a couple of the cookies I sprinkled on some fleur de sel. I wish I had added salt to more cookies, because they were a little sweet for my taste and the salt really helped balance the sweetness, but everyone else seemed to like them.

I am going to try making the white chocolate again soon, I’ll tell you all about it when I do….

What better a day than Earth Day ’09 to talk a little about weirdo hippies?

Dear Blog: Today I saw a guy wearing a tie dyed t-shirt over a tie dyed long sleeve shirt, a cowboy fringe vest over that, cargo shorts, and a cowboy hat. Just as I was thinking to myself WTF, I remembered it was Earth Day. Unfortunately, I got the feeling that his outfit was something he wears all the time.
Please note that I have nothing against tie dye, but I thought I was seriously going to have a seizure when I saw the combo. Wow.

img_0327
I always pass this place on my walk into town (and choke on the greasy smells that fill up the air surrounding the plaza it’s in), and of course when they put up their “Hippie specials” I had to see what all the fuss was about. It was kind of about….nothing.
Here’s how my conversation with the waitress went:

“Hi, um, what are your hippie specials?”

“Well, right now it’s an omelet with feta, spinach, and tomato, but it’s normally just any kind of small bit of food.”

Right.

My housemate informs me the owner/cook has thrown people out before for being Republican, which I have to say is quite amusing.

You know what else I find amusing? When people come up with food and drink ideas that are just so completely horrific, you have to laugh.
Case in point:
img_2392

Yes, quinoa gold. A blend of quinoa, water, agave, and natural flavors. In a pina colada flavor, nonetheless! (Please note the quinoa sludge at the bottom of the bottle.) I don’t normally go for pina colada flavor, so I had a bad feeling about it.
img_2394

It got worse when I smelled it.

img_2395

It was so revolting. Ugh ugh ugh. I hate wasting food, but I just couldn’t make myself drink it. Luckily, it was a free sample, so that makes it a little better, but not much.

But I mean, who else but a weirdo hippie comes up with a quinoa drink? Please don’t make millet milk next, that’s all I ask.

If you’re like me, you can never have enough cookbooks in your collection.
The Best of Bloodroot (note: there are two volumes, I haven’t made anything from vol. 1 yet, so this post is only about vol. 2) is now up there in my favorites (along with The Passionate Vegetarian and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, if you were wondering), but I’m sorry to say that until my friend/boss Lagusta gave me a copy of the book, I had never even heard of Bloodroot. As a vegetarian feminist collective, they blend politics and food together seamlessly, and they’re an inspiration to all.
What I especially love about this cookbook is the fact that there is a conscious decision to move away from Earth Balance and other unsustainable products we sometimes become accustomed to.
The majority of the recipes are also soymilk free, replacing soy with coconut, which leads to amazing texture and richness, and is also very nice for people looking to cut down on their consumption of soy. (Lagusta has an amazing essay on coconut in the beginning of the book, definitely check it out!!!)

But enough of the raving, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Winter Miso Soup

Winter Miso Soup

Chinese Steamed Buns

Chinese Steamed Buns

Seaweed and Bean Thread Noodle Salad with Avocado

Seaweed and Bean Thread Noodle Salad with Avocado

Shiitake Soup

Shiitake Soup

Estofado Con Chochoyotes

Estofado Con Chochoyotes

Parsnip (in place of pumpkin) Tofu Custard with Caramelized Pears

Parsnip (in place of pumpkin) Tofu Custard with Caramelized Pears

Chocolate Ice Cream with Hot Fudge Sauce

Chocolate Ice Cream with Hot Fudge Sauce

Banana Cream Pie!

Banana Cream Pie!

Half-Eaten Banana Cream Pie

Half-Eaten Banana Cream Pie

Slice of Banana Cream Pie

Slice of Banana Cream Pie

Go buy it!

Sorry for the hiatus, I hope you’ll forgive me once you’ve ogled the backlogged pictures of sweets I’ve been baking up…..

Pomegranate Bar

Pomegranate Bar

Banana Chocolate Walnut Cake

Banana Chocolate Walnut Cake

Basically this is just banana bread with a struesel-like concoction in the middle and on top. I used the banana bread recipe from The Passionate Vegetarian, omitting the dates from it. Here’s the original recipe from Gourmet.

Slice o' Cake

Slice o' Cake

Chewy Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Adapted from a Veganomicon recipe.

Token Cherry Dot Cookie Amongst The Others

Token Cherry Dot Cookie Amongst The Others

Walnut Brownie

Walnut Brownie

These brownies were from a botched attempt to veganize these cookies. After the cookie dough didn’t turn out to my liking, I added a bit of this and that, threw it in the oven, and whaddya know, these brownies were awesome.
Don’t ask me what I did, because I have no idea.

Chocolate Chip Scones

Chocolate Chip Scones

These scones are from The Joy Of Vegan Baking (the first thing I’ve made from the book, but it looks a bit blah), and I forgot to add the coconut oil (that I was using in place of EB), so they weren’t as good as they could have been. Note: That didn’t stop them from being devoured.

Chocolate Coconut Cake with Coffee Coconut Buttercream

Chocolate Coconut Cake with Coffee Coconut Buttercream

The cake and frosting recipes are adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. The icing was an experiment to see if buttercream can be made using coconut oil. (The answer is: YES!)
I was worried about the coconut oil becoming too solid once it was in the fridge, but it was fine! Awesome!

My sister Susan ate some of the cake and asked if it was flourless.
It’s not, but it does have a great fudgy, moist texture, so I think I’ll experiment with it and see if I can make it flourless.

Yum

Yum

img_8455

I don’t hate Swiss chard, but I don’t count the old chard as a favorite among my leafy green friends, so when I had a ton of it to use up in my fridge, rather than go the boring route of sauteing, I figured why not make pesto out of it?
It was promptly blanched and shocked, then tossed (well, not really tossed, but you know what I mean…) into the food processor with lemon zest, extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, and salt and pepper whilst the alphabets were cooking, and a good meal was had by all.

Although I must say, the alphabets had some serious letter ratio problems, with most of the pasta shapes being P’s, B’s, or R’s.
A-Z my arse.

Dear pasta company,
If you’re going to have alphabet shaped pasta, please have the whole alphabet so I can spell out big words (my parents never told me not to play with my food- actually, my dad did, but I didn’t listen) and not just the initials for Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

Thanks,
Veronica

img_8456

I used to take this theater workshop sort of thing, and there was a kid in my class who always used the word “ballin.” My theater teacher didn’t know what in the world this word meant, and actually, neither did I. That’s why I like Urban Dictionary.
But um, that’s not what this post is about.

Every single year around the holidays, my sister Rachel asks me to make popcorn balls, because I made some about five years ago (from a recipe in Martha Stewart Living) and she adored them. I never make them – partly because I’m lazy, and partly because I like to annoy Rachel – but this year I thought I’d suprise her by making some.

img_7810.

Martha Stewart’s recipe is decidely un-vegan, chock full of butter and marshmallows, so I used Kittee’s recipe instead, subbing coconut oil instead of Earth Balance and Agave in place of corn syrup. Also, I don’t have a candy thermometer, but (eye)ballin’ worked fine.

Verdict: These tasted more like caramel corn than the popcorn balls I remember, but I thought they were really nice, albeit super duper sweet. Rachel said she liked them, but so far I’ve eaten more than her, so who knows. And who cares, more for me, I say!

Next Page »