Archive | July, 2011

StupidSimpleSummerSippable

31 Jul

It doesn’t look like much:
Which is why I put it in a wineglass and use kick-arse ice cubes:

Can’t be goth-ish without the skull and crossbones ice cubes.
This drink is ridiculously easy and delicious: Ginger tea. Or ginger water, if you prefer. Or you could call it an infusion or even a tisane. But since this is my StupidSimpleSummerSippable I am calling it SSSS. To be pronounced like you are an angry snake.
SSSS(taught to me by my awesome neighbor Sheila-maybe I should add another S)
Slices of ginger root
Water
Bring water and ginger to a boil. Take off heat an let sit for a half hour or so. Strain and chill. Garnish with cool ice cubes, a slice of lime, or whatever you fancy. Also delish with a splash of pomegranate or cranberry juice. Ssssooooo refreshing.

Advertisements

Taking risks

27 Jul

That girl. She got me to give tofu a shot and I liked it. I upped the ante. Took on scary new things. Threw doooowwwwwn. Well I didn’t do that. At least not with the finished product. That would be unsanitary.
i decided to take on Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipe for a vegan quiche. Not only did I give tofu a chance to repeat it’s performance, but I also tried nutritional yeast(used by vegans for its cheese-like essence)and Rosemary, that herbaceous little wench. I’ve held a grudge against Rosemary ever since at the age of about ten my mom added it to one of my favorite childhood dishes, corned beef hash, and I did not care for it. Favorite dish ruined by one little herb. I’ve grown up, stopped eating corned beef or any meat, and decided it’s time I let Rosemary redeem herself.
This smelled terrific in the oven. It tasted pretty darned good too. I want to play around more with the nutritional yeast. I don’t think Rosemary and I are besties, but we can be in the same room together now.
I did nothing to alter this recipe and Katie deserves the credit for creating it so I am not going to publish the recipe myself, I am going to send you to her.
Go try something that you used to hate today. Life’s too short to hold grudges.

The moral of this smoothie is:

24 Jul

I need a new blender. I use my immersion blender a lot, but it cannot crush ice. Neither can my regular blender, apparently. Also, I have been holding it together with duct tape for years now and while I do believe you can solve most of life’s problems with duct tape, safety pins and superglue, my blender is still leaking. Yep, I need a new blender. Anyone got a spare Vitamix? Ok, enough complaining about the state of my pulverizing devices.
Onwards to the recipe!
What’s almost as good as cookie dough? Cake batter!
Kaitlin with Honey’s recipe for a Cake Batter Smoothie has been on my to-make list for a while. Even though it had bananas in it, I still wanted to make it. Even though my blender did not totally crush all the ice or frozen banana, even though it did not really taste like cake batter to me, even though I did not have the chocolate protein powder Kaitlin recommends and had to use vanilla, even though even though even though, stuff and nonsense, I actually really liked this. I didn’t notice the banana really, which I count as a good thing. In my book, bananas should stick to breads most of the time. However, this application worked. I adored the usage of raw oats, much more than I liked the cooked oats in this shake. If I can only get my hands on a better batter blender, sweet smoothie victory shall be mine.
Cake Batter-ish Smoothie(slightly altered from Kaitlin with Honey’s blog, maybe that’s why it is only batter-ish)
3 ice cubes
2 Tbsp. oats
1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 frozen banana
4 tsp. vanilla protein powder(appropriately, the flavor of my Iron-tek powder was Vanilla Cake)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon
Blend, blendy blend blend. If you are me drink it in fancy stemware. Everything tastes better sipped from an elegant vessel:

Happy happy, Joy joy: Cookie dough!

20 Jul


Two of the best words one can say: Cookie. Dough. I grew up in a family of cookie dough makers. You will note, we were dough makers, not cookie bakers. We would just make a bowl of dough and kept it in the fridge. Only silly mortals defile the dough by placing it in the hellish gates of the oven. The recipe for these Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies came from one of one of my favorite blogs, Joy the Baker. The conceit is that you make cookie dough balls in advance, freeze them, then bake later. If I had my druthers I would never bake this. But come Friday I’ve a buddhist BBQ to go to and I promised dessert so eventually I will make these into cookies. Let me clarify that it is a BBQ attended by mostly by buddhists, we will not be putting buddhists on the barbie.
I altered the recipe just a tad to make sure that the dough would be safe to eat raw. I hope it makes it to Friday.
Whole Wheat Chocolate Cookie Dough(adapted from Joy the Baker)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
10 Tbsp. white flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup stevia or splenda for baking
1/4 cup pasteurized eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips(I used Ghiradelli bittersweet)
Cream butter and sugars. Blend in eggs and vanilla, stir in dry ingredients and lastly chocolate chips. Bake or not, your choice, but make the right one.

Pickled pink

17 Jul


I won’t lie. I was nervous. Pickled eggs? Made with beets and horseradish? I’ll fool around all day with cookbook authors, and try their recipes for simple things, but I have to really trust a man to jump into brine with him. Naturally, Mark Bittman was this man. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian was the book. Plus there was the alluring promise of pink food. Loooooove colored foods. Love pink. I’m such a girly-girl underneath the pale skin and black clothes.
These were only so-so in the taste category. A bit vinegar-y for my taste, I’m not going to bother with giving you the recipe. But I will store the fact in my mind that grated beets boiled with equal parts vinegar and water are a terrifc way to dye eggs naturally.
Ok, question to anyone reading: do you choose foods or beverages based on how they look? I do. If I order a mixed drink rather than my usual vino, it usually has to do with the fact that I want a pretty drink in a fancy glass…I am curious to hear if other people do this sort of thing:)

#EggsPicklesCelery

14 Jul


Okay, so I have used the whole hash tags theme before, but I can’t help it. I think that things like hash tags and emoticons are great. They are a unique way of enhancing the written(or typed) language.
But let’s talk about the gruel. I got a little crazy last week. Cheating on Mark Bittman with Chocolate Covered Katie. Mmm, mmm, mmmmmm. Tsk. This week I returned to my main man Mark and my beloved How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. This was another variation on straight-up Egg Hash. Vegans, never fear. There is a tempeh hash coming soon. Come to think of it, you could probably trade out the eggs for tempeh and the butter for olive oil and make this vegan.
This was good. Bittman describes it as being like a warm potato salad. I ate it warm, then I ate the leftovers cold which is what I prefered. Then again I like things cold that I am not supposed to. Like oatmeal…

Egg Hash with Celery and Pickles(adapted, just a bit, from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)
olive oil spray
1 Tbsp. butter, separated into 1 tsp. and 2 tsps.
4 red new potatoes, chopped
salt
freshly ground pepper
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, whites chopped and yolks mashed(keep separate)
1 tsp. minced garlic
8 tsp. chopped scallions
8 tsp. minced celery
8 tsp. minced pickles
1 tsp. dijon mustard
Parsley for garnish(I am discovering these finishing touches really do make a difference, adding freshness and balance to the dish, so don’t omit and don’t use dried)
Mist pan with olive oil, add 1 tsp. butter and turn heat to medium-high. Add taters, sprinkle with salt and pepper and let cook undisturbed until edges brown. Toss, turn heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally until crisp and golden. Add a splash of H2O, scrape up any browned bits and transfer all to a plate. Turn heat back to medium high, add 2 tsps. butter and melt. Add egg whites and let cook undisturbed until they start to sizzle. Add salt and pepper and toss. Turn heat to medium and add garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until garlic and eggs are golden, about 2 minutes. Add back the potatoes, along with the scallion, toss, and cook on medium-low for about 3 minutes. Stir in yolks, celery, pickles and dijon mustard. Put it on a plate, garnish with parsley, and gobble. Or daintily nibble. Whatever you like. I chilled and devoured it.

Tofu: a (slight) change of heart

8 Jul


I actually found a use for tofu that may cause me to go out and purchase more. I know, I know. I’m a vegetarian. I am supposed to love tofu. And it does, to its credit, soak up the flavors of what it is cooked in. And you can play around with it to change its texture. But all this seems like a lot of trouble when I could cook with something that is delicious without having to be pressed, frozen, thawed, marinated, basted, tied up and smacked around. However, two words that made me reconsider: Ranch Dressing. Good lord, some fries to dip would be good right now.
Who convinced me to give tofu another shot? Chocolate-Covered Katie. Sounds kinky, but she seems pretty un-kinky, which probably means she secretly is? I dunno. Sorry Katie, I will stop contemplating your kink-factor. You seem like a very sweet girl.
Anywho, she posted this recipe for Crazy-Good Ranch Dressing that is so healthy you really could eat a bowl of it, and do no damage, unless you are sensitive to soy. Not only is this stuff healthy but I did not have to do anything to the tofu except mix it with my immersion blender aka the best unsung hero of my kitchen. Love that thing. Less clean-up than a normal blender. I digress. Make this dressing. Go tell Katie she’s awesome for inventing it. I did.
Eat it up with a spoon, if you want. I ate it with broccoli. Then celery. Then roasted beets. Then said what the hell and broke out the spoon. It was worth it.