Friday, December 23, 2011

I'm a Sap for Christmas Trees!

I love the holidays. I love every holiday. Christmas, however, is one of my favorites! This year, Patrick and I are staying home, playing video games, watching movies, drinking Spanish coffee and eating. It is probably going to be the BEST DAY EVER. Although, it will be hard to top selecting and decorating our Christmas tree.

It was love at first sight!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Very Important Date

New York is Wonderland and Brooklyn is the Mad Hatter's Tea Party; a little off kilter, quirky and fun! I recently went to Brooklyn to visit my wonderful friend Kim, who you may remember from her July visit to Seattle and the Bazooka BBQ! Instead of focusing on going out to bars and restaurants, we decided to throw caution to the wind and spend our days catching up and meandering, and our evenings drinking wine and cooking. It truly was one of the best vacations I have ever taken.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Choosing My Beer On a Case by Case Basis

It's no secret that I love a good beer. Recently, Brandi treated me to a beer at one of my all-time favorite places, The Stumbling Monk.

Now, I urge you to click on that link and look closely at the picture. While searching for a link to direct you to this fabulous bar I (hardy har har) stumbled upon this review that JUST SO HAPPENS to include a picture of ME (and Patrick and some of our friends). Isn't that the best thing ever?!? It's circa 2007 which makes it somewhat dated, but all the more fun.

Anyway, Brandi and I had been doing a little shopping and we ended the evening with a delicious beer and great conversation. One of my favorite things about the evening, was the accidental Space Needle on our table.

Paint chipped Space Needle and St. Bernardus 

I know that you are all waiting with bated breath for a "real" post. I promise it is in the works. May I suggest waiting at The Stumbling Monk?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Silence of the Yams

Yes, it's been awhile. A long while. In fact, tomorrow is DECEMBER! Gah!

Let's re-cap:

1. October was the month of Halloween decoration creation and party planning. I must say, it all worked out into a pretty spectacular party that I may have to do annually - especially now that I have two dummies, a wooden coffin and enough cobwebs to impress Dracula himself. In typical me fashion I failed to photograph ANY of the food. I am sort of the worst. But here's a picture of Patrick and I taken by our lovely friend.

2. And then it was November! And I went to New York and I turned 30 and I celebrated Thanksgiving. I have pictures and recipes and lots of things to share about those so check back!

3. While I organize my thoughts and pictures, please enjoy this recipe from one of my all time favorite sites!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How did the ghost mend his sheet?


Halloween is definitely my favorite holiday. As a child, I remember thinking that things could not get much better than dressing up, trick-or-treating and celebrating with a pillowcase full of mini-candy bars to last through the freezing Montana winter. Eventually, as a teenager, trick-or-treating became all-night horror movie fests and Halloween parties, and as an adult the never-ending supply of mini candy-bars ceased to be the end result of trick-or-treating and became my favorite way to celebrate November 1st. SALE!

One of my all-time favorite seasonal celebrations has got to be pumpkin carving. This year was no exception! We took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch and last weekend carved some of the best pumpkins I've ever seen! Instead of munching on candy all night, I kept to comfort food and served mini pot-pies.

Tonight the seeds will be roasted, and Dollhaus of Horror prep will continue. Halloween is almost here!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

You've Gotta Chai These Cupcakes!

I would officially like to apologize for being MIA as of late. I know that most of you have probably been sleeping at your computers, waiting and hoping for a new post. I hate to keep you in suspense!

Halloween is around the corner and most of my energy has been spent crafting and baking for the world's most amazing Halloween party that is happening at my house. Pictures and updates to come on that front. In the meantime...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Frankly Speaking - Gourmet Hot Dogs!

Sometimes when I don't feel much like cooking, Patrick and I decide to indulge in such things as Smart Dogs and burgers. Recently, we decided to experiment with making some gourmet hot dogs and WOW.

Patrick was craving a chili dog, but I was looking for something a little different. I thought about all of the things I love: Thanksgiving, Bacos, and Mermaids.(The movie! Well, and real mermaids AND mermen).

How did this experiment end, you ask?

Patrick dined on a Carnival Dog, as well as a Chipochili Dog. (I am really good at naming hot dogs).

Carnival Dog:

Smart Dog, Ketchup, Mustard, Veganaise, onion, relish and Cheddar Daiya

ChipoChili Dog:

Mexican Chipotle Field Roast, Amy's Organic Chili, Veganaise, Jalapeno Mustard, homemade cheese sauce, and sliced Jalapenos

That chili dog looked so good that I had one as well, sans the bun because it is my least favorite part. The second dog I created was something I like to call The Frenchy.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Highline Part 3: Because I wasn't Bacon Breakfast

Oh, Highline. Why are you always my go-to brunch place? Is it because you are within walking/biking distance? Is it your reasonably priced brunch food? Maybe the fact that the staff understands that it is morning-time and I don't feel like chatting, just eating? Whatever the case may be, Patrick and I ended up at Highline for brunch not too long ago.

Summer is winding down and Autumn is upon us, although now that school has started and I am getting excited to make casseroles, the weather has decided it needs to peak at 89. Patrick and I had a last hurrah Highline Brunch, complete with red beer before embarking on Sober September (no alcohol--30 days), which is part of my Autumnification, as well as to celebrate the last days of Summer (even though it feels like Summer is finally beginning, but whatever). It was a gorgeous day; one of those moments you tuck away to remind yourself that you are happy and life is great!

Just a little fence climbing and construction work.
Enjoying our final beers of the summer!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Easy Etouffee: For The Southerner Who's Quick On The Drawl

Happy Friday!

Labor Day weekend is upon us again and I am beyond excited for 3 days off and minimal plans. The weather promises to be gorgeous. I will be barbecuing in West Seattle and later in the weekend partaking in  homemade brunching with my book club

In the meantime: Southern Comfort. Not to be confused with Southern Comfort <shudder>.

I have a lot of friends who hail from the South. I don't really understand how they all ended up in Seattle, but I sure lucked out because they are all awesome. Really. So, anyway, a few weekends ago Dylan (who you may remember as the one who excels at opening champagne bottles) mentioned his desire to have a down home Southern cookin' night; minus the lard or whatever actually goes into non-vegan Southern food. Shrimp? 

We decided to make Etouffee, cornbread, collard greens and peach cobbler! What made it even more stellar was the fact that the collard greens and green onion were from the garden as was the zucchini for the Etouffee. Success!!

The Etouffee recipe is simple and delicious. Don't worry if you don't have all the ingredients, or can't find something at the grocery store. It is very user-friendly and will taste great!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Highline Part 2: Soy Ham Cured My Craving

I went brunching 2 weekends ago and, naturally, ended up at Highline - by way of Charlie's for a mimosa because Highline doesn't open at 10:00 AM. Supposedly it opens at 11:00 AM, but I think Saturday mornings are extra hard if you work at a bar.

This time I remembered to take a picture of the menu!

If you will recall, last time I ordered the Chicken Fried Steak. My goal was to order each item as listed, top to bottom. However, sometimes you don't WANT the Western Ohmlette. And you call yourself a Trailblazer

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gardein Chick'n Marsala: ImPECKable

Dinner has been pretty great these days. Patrick and I have been swamped with a lot of "life happenings" and thus we have been relying on the ease of things like quinoa, cous cous, kale and Gardein! Having limited time for creative cooking has not hindered our evening meal by any means. In fact, I think it has prepared me for the 2012 Iron Chef competition!

I recently discovered Gardein's Chick'n Marsala and not only was it on sale (yesssssssssss), it also promised to be fast and delicious and full of protein. The kitchen was running a little low on supplies (it's been a busy summer!), therefore, I had to play one of my favorite games: Make Something Out Of Nothing! Or, MaSOON.

MaSOON's of the past have included flour tortillas filled with hummus and mixed nuts, a can of chili combined with Frito's and guacamole, as well as TofuYoung (that recipe I will probably end up posting because it turned out SO GREAT!)

Anyway, the Chick'n Marsala MaSOON was fantastic. It was fast, it was delicious and it looked beautiful to boot.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Stuffed Portobello Cap: A Real Fungi!

I recently entered a contest over at the Veracious Vegan's blog and although I didn't win, Angela listed my recipe as one of her favorites! It made my day! So, for those of you who are sitting on the edge (edge, edge) of your seats, I bring you:

Stuffed Portobello Caps!

For this adventure you will need:
  • 4 Portobello Mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of fresh spinach (chopped coarsely)
  • 3 Roma tomoatoes (or a package of cherry tomatoes) (cut into chunks)
  • 1-2 shallots (I used 1 shallot and 1/2 an onion that I had in my fridge) (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup Panko (or the breadcrumbs of your choice)
  • 1-1 1/2 cups of Balsamic
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic (you know how I am, I think I put in 14 or something) (minced or chopped)
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Daiya
  • 2 Smoked Apple Sage Field Roast Sausages (finely chopped)
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • Aluminum Foil
As a side dish I couldn't resist Susan V's Roasted Yellow Squash with Onions, with fresh garden squash! For the side dish you will need:
  • 2 yellow squash per serving
  • 1/2 a small onion per serving
  • Canola or Olive Oil
There is nothing I love more than traipsing around the garden with a colander looking for vegetables (and gnomes)! It makes me feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder or like I live in Maple Town.

Garden squash and tomatoes

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Daiya: Another Grate Dinner

Dinner has been really excellent lately. Part of this is because the Safeway, a mere stone's throw away from my house, now carries DAIYA! Finally.

With Daiya within arms reach I can make macaroni and cheese EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK! Except, I don't have to because one batch generally lasts a whole week.

Is anyone still reading?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Portland Queer Music Festival (and so much more!): The Cymbal of My Portland Weekend

Last weekend involved a road trip, a barbecue, live music and pirates. It was GREAT!

Jared and the other members of Noddy were set to play at Portland's 1st Annual Queer Music Fest. The weekend promised to be fun-filled and over the top, and Portland is home to some of my favorite people of all time, so the decision to go was a total no-brainer.

I arrived in Portland around 10:00 PM on Friday night and spent the rest of the evening watching episodes of the Office and  figuring out where we were going to eat the following morning. Super important stuff. The next morning I woke up early, ate a nectarine and waited for Joyce and Jeremy.

The first stop of the morning was Beaterville. This cafe was awesome and the staff was even awesomer (seriously, it's a word). Every scramble had a tofu option and they even asked if I wanted Smart Balance on my toast! I chose the Supernova Scrambler which included tomatoes, fresh spinach, green onion, garlic and mushrooms. It came with toast (I opted out of the Smart Balance and went with jam) and home fries!

At first I screamed because the tofu looked like chicken BUT IT WASN'T! Phew. 
We spent our breakfast leisurely people-watching, as there also happened to be a street fair going on that day. There was also plenty of dog-watching, too.

Sadly, Samson was unable to participate in the Dog Parade. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Planet of the Crepes

Sometimes I like to imagine that I live in France. I use my limited French speaking skills around the house (usually directed at the dog), pour myself a glass of wine and sit on my back porch to read Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I have a dream of vegan-izing the most non-vegan recipe in that book but it's a tough choice. There are so many options! So, the other day, instead of figuring out how to make Sauce Beurre Blanc for my roasted duck I decided to keep things simple and make some crepes!

I am a huge fan of the savory crepe and also a huge fan of perfecting my crepe-making skills without the use of a crepe pan. Then came the dilemma of sweet or savory. It didn't matter that it was for dinner; sometimes I eat cake for breakfast. Crepes always surprise me by being shockingly filling, so I decided to make 8 savory crepes and serve them with a simple salad, hopefully have leftovers and save the dessert crepes for weekend brunching!

Of course, this whole idea came to me at the beginning of what ended up being a really long day. I was lacking motivation and the thought of even venturing to the store seemed devastating. Then it dawned on me that even though all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and eat a ring pop, at least I have all my limbs and I know how to cook and I have a job that means I can actually purchase groceries and why am I whining about making dinner when some people can't even boil hotdogs? So, I went to the store.

On the menu: Mushroom Medley Savory Crepes with Lemon Cashew Cream Sauce and a green salad.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

All Fired Up: Bazooka BBQ 2011

Do you remember how junior high was the most awkward and devastating period of your (my) life? Your elementary school friends dumped you because you were pretty uncool (yeah, I didn't get the memo that high-waisted KMart jeans and men's bowling shirts weren't "in"), you spent most lunch periods in the library reading up on Tarot and practicing ESP on the librarians, and your locker was sandwiched between Mikey, the bully with a Napoleon complex who called you fat to your face, and that girl who kept a bowl of melted M & M's on her top shelf that somehow managed to spill all over your English book.

Ugh. I need a drink just thinking about it. 

Luckily, in 8th grade I met the amazing Kimberly Martin who made the end of my Junior High years much more tolerable....even sort of fun. (And, bear in mind, I did manage to make some awesome friends in 7th grade as well; don't worry, I wasn't a complete outcast).

Kim has been a constant in my life since we were 14; some years more constant than others thanks to college, crazy 2-year relationships (ahem, ME) that somehow manage to isolate you COMPLETELY from your friends and loved ones, and distance. Now she lives in Brooklyn and last week she came for a visit! SO MUCH TO CELEBRATE! Again, this post promises to be picture-heavy and longer than most, but it's definitely worth it!

In keeping with the summer theme, we threw a Bazooka BBQ to honor Kimberly and re-unite the fearsome foursome (high school was so much friendlier than junior high).

Excerpt from a note written by Kimberly to me in high school, circa 1996 (used as the image for the BBQ invite)

THEN (circa 2000 or 2001?) Me, Kim, Jared and Craig

NOW (circa last Wednesday) Kim, Jared, Craig and me

Those outfits were unplanned. I think it's all those years of practicing ESP...we just sort of knew what to wear. I would also like to mention that I am much happier without orange hair.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mar(r)yland: A Wedding Post

I recently returned home from an amazing trip to the Washington DC area, hence the posting hiatus. I was more than a little excited for several reasons:

1. Cousins that I hadn't seen in EONS were going to be there (and one was the groom!).
2. The weather promised to be the opposite of Seattle's 78 minute summer.
3. It was the first trip I've ever taken with just my mom! (and she is really awesome).
4. On my list of sites to see were the stairs that were filmed in The Exorcist!

So, this post is going to be a little longer than most. I considered splitting it up into two, but then I thought NO! It's mostly pictures anyway. And it's Friday; take a break, read a longish blog post.

We stayed in the resort town of National Harbor, Maryland and although it was not exactly a mecca for vegan dining, it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

The atrium roof in our hotel.

Statue (or is it?!?) on the waterfront.
Our hotel as we approach--in style--on the water taxi.
In spite of the resort-y -ness (yes, it's word, now) of National Harbor, there were two restaurants that hit the spot! We were also lucky that much of the food served for the wedding festivities was Indian and therefore extremely vegan friendly.

So, without further adieu, I bring you:

Ellen's Tour of Vegan DC Land! (No, it's not catchy and I don't really mind.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's that time of the month!

Girl's niiiiight!

Brandi and decided that a Girl's Night was long overdue. She and I have been getting together pretty frequently to drink beer and make delicious things, like stuffed pretzel rolls, but we hadn't really done the whole Girl's Night adventure.

We picked a night, we chose a venue, we created a menu. Fin.

(Clearly, I should have been either a theater major or a poet).

(Also, am I the only one who wants to spell theater like this: THEATRE)?

Our theme was simple. Black and white. And not even fancy black and white, just black and white. Because nobody (except maybe me) wants to go to the trouble of re-creating an accurate costume depiction of a 1930s French hooker.

Because it has been sunny for three (3) consecutive days this year we decided to RISK IT ALL and throw a barbecue. Luckily, the weather cooperated.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Vegan Chili Rellenos? No Poblano!

Oh, Daiya, how I love thee.

Patrick recently informed me that Chili Rellenos are one of his favorite foods. Being from the Great State of Texas, he knows his stuff. However, being vegan for 15 years, he hasn't had the opportunity to enjoy a cheesy, breaded and fried stuffed chili in awhile.

But guess what?! Daiya came along and solved all my problems!

Credit card debt? THANKS DAIYA!

Leering guy on my walk to work who tried to hand me a dirty sock? THANKS DAIYA!

That Slurpee stain on Patrick's white t-shirt? THANKS DAIYA!

But, really, Daiya is awesome and I use it all the time. And I used it to make Chili Rellenos and they were so good that I am pretty sure I am going to become famous for them.

All right, let's do this.

First and foremost I had to do some Rellenos Research because I am not from Texas and up until very recently was not a big fan of Mexican food. Of course, that was because I was only eating rice and beans at the restaurant down the street. Once I started actually making my OWN Mexican food.... Well, now things are much different. THANKS DAIYA!

I decided to embark on the less healthy version of the relleno; breaded and fried. I also made a Ranchero sauce to top the peppers.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Gardening Ground Rule: Eat Your Greens

My roommate's garden is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Remember Fern Gully? Of course you do.

That is actually a pretty accurate depiction of me, as well. 
This is what my backyard looks like. It's amazing. And because my roommate is not a jerk he lets me have all the kale, collard greens, arugula and bok choy that I want!

With this free grocery store at my fingertips, Patrick and I have been eating a lot of greens, naturally. (Of COURSE pun intended).

Yesterday was long. I wanted dinner to materialize in front of me. I finally pulled myself up off the floor (it was so much more comfortable down there) and surveyed the kitchen trying to decide what to eat with our endless supply of greens. 

In the freezer, like a beacon of light and a choir of angels: Morningstar Hickory BBQ Riblets. 

I love these riblets like I love jerky and we all know how much that is!

Of course, then I started thinking about sides and about picnics and barbecues and summertime and bike rides and all of a sudden I wasn't tired anymore. And then I started making dinner and it turned out just like a picnic!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I may be... In Seine

All right, because it is ENTIRELY POSSIBLE that I am lucky enough to win this stupendous giveaway, I am entering in all possible fashions. One of which includes mentioning said giveaway in the old blog.

There are no recipes here, but the IDEA of French cuisine somehow veganized. Or, just a week full of delicious French wine!

So, I would suggest entering to win, but that's going to lower MY chances of winning. If you decide that you don't care about my feelings and enter anyway, I ask that you AT THE VERY LEAST take me along as your 'plus 1' if you win.

Bonne chance!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mediterranean Travel: Without the Grease

These punny titles are more and more of a stretch with each post but I know you guys LOVE THEM, so don't worry, I won't stop!

All right, so, did you know that I have been known to travel around to different continents (i.e. kitchens in Seattle, sometimes Portland and my hometown of Billings, Montana) and cook food for my friends and family? It's true. Would you like me to come to your house? Just comment below and we'll figure something out.

Last weekend my brother and I decided to have a Mediterranean Extravaganza! Originally we had planned on having a BBQ (also fun) but Seattle hasn't been very summery lately, so looking at the cloudy forecast we decided: Why not use the oven?! (Sorry East Coast, I know that sounds like Hell---pun, pun, pu-un).

A Mediterranean theme was chosen because Jared loves hummus and because I wanted to make The Veganomicon's (feel free to take a moment and purchase if you haven't already) Eggplant-Potato Moussaka. The more we discussed the larger the menu grew until we had the following:

1. Tahini Sauce
2. Black Bean Quinoa Salad (changed from a couscous salad for the added bonus of quinoa being AWESOME)
3. Spanakopita
4. Eggplant/Yam Moussaka (because we didn't have potatoes)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tacos to go BANANAS over!

Have you ever eaten a plantain? Have you tried cooking with plantains?

Several months ago my mom came to visit and we decided to have an enchilada dinner party complete with margaritas and dessert at my brother's place. I decided that I was going to attempt fried plantains. I had never cooked with plantains or even eaten one, but all of the online photos I found looked delicious!

Looks easy enough, right?

Guess what?! NOT THAT EASY.

Cooking with plantains was not as intuitive as I had imagined. I had an image in my head that involved a house full of people enjoying homemade enchiladas in front of the fireplace while I sneaked (it sounds weird to me too) away to the kitchen to whip up a dessert that would look painstaking and time consuming, but couldn't possibly take longer than 10 minutes to prepare.

In reality, I slaved away in the kitchen trying to make the plantains NOT taste like poison.  A raw plantain is what I imagine biting into a piece of chalk would taste like. A piece of chalk dipped in gasoline. I spent the better part of the evening experimenting with the plantain frying process and deciding how much sugar was too much sugar when trying to mask the taste of guano. (The answer? There will never be enough sugar.)

So, imagine my surprise when my brother forwarded me this recipe with a request to make it. And then imagine my (our) surprise when I made them on Saturday and they were FANTASTIC!

Not disgusting!

I would like to apologize in advance for the lack of brilliant photography. These were all taken on my cell phone and thus are not the highest quality.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy Hours that De-Liver!

There is something about sunshine and warm weather that makes me crave Happy Hour. I tend to gaze out the window at work, watching everyone below me hurry off to fancy luncheons and mid-afternoon shopping sprees at Barney's and I decide I need a drink.

As I am no stranger to Seattle Happy Hours, I have compiled a list of my three favorites. They are my favorite places for many reasons---it is so HARD to pick just one!

1. Shorty's
    2222 2nd Avenue # A
    Seattle, WA 98121-2038

    Price: Cheap pitchers of PBR and Rainier

Once upon a time I worked at a lovely job where I was done for the day by 1:00 PM. It was a high stress job and it led to MANY Happy Hour excursions. The place that I most often frequented was Shorty's.

Nothing boosts a mood like a bar that could be mistaken for a carnival. Yes, clowns are creepy---terrifying, really---but, 2 rooms of pinball, a juke box, alcoholic slurpees, Buck Hunter and veggie dogs make the clowns seem almost friendly.

Another high five to Shorty's for having the bartender who came and sat down with me and my friend to ask why we hadn't left him a tip. BEFORE YOU JUDGE ME: we hadn't finished ordering - of COURSE we were going to leave him a tip. For those of us who have worked in the service industry it is understood that the majority of time is spent biting your tongue, but not at Shorty's which makes me love it even more!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Brownie Cup? Piece of cake.

I have been on a dessert kick lately and let me tell you it is not a bad kick to be on. Unless of course you are dieting or trying to lose weight, but PLEASE--diets are SO 1963.

Instead of worrying about your weight, eat one of these scrumptious, toothsome (best word ever) Rolo Brownie Cups. What's a brownie cup?!!?! Well, it happens when you try to make cupcakes with brownie mix EVEN THOUGH the box says that it is a cake mix. So, your "cupcakes" come out all cupcake-shaped, but with the delectable taste of a chewy, fudge brownie. Only these are extra spectacular because I put caramel in the middle. Talk about a mind-sticker!

I used Trader Joe's Truffle Baking Mix. I had never used it before, but was not deterred. I had the feeling that it would taste just GREAT. It was also really easy to mix. I won't go into detail. Just read the instructions on the box and follow them. 

I also had leftover caramel from when I made vegan Twix bars. No, I haven't posted it yet. I need to make MORE and actually take pictures. They were fantastic, by the way. Anyway, so this caramel had been sitting in the fridge, taunting me, "Heat me up! Or don't! Eat me with your bare hands right out of the Tupperware. Take me upstairs and gnaw on me in bed and start that Lifetime movie on Netflix you've been itching to watch....". Instead, I popped open a Tab and decided to bake these Brownie Cups with a dollop of homemade caramel in the middle. (Although, at the time I thought I was still making cupcakes. Details, details.)

I filled each cup with a spoonful of batter (after spraying it with Pam of course), a spoonful of caramel and then another spoonful of batter. And then I baked them for 35 minutes. Actually, I baked them for 20 minutes, checked them and baked them in 5 minute increments after that. The caramel caused them to bake a little longer, but it was well worth it. 

Not the BEST picture, but that's okay. I'd still eat 4.
Sadly, the recipe only made 12 and they were gone like that (I'm snapping my fingers). I will definitely revisit these treats and, yes, the Twix bars too! Until then, gaze lovingly at these photos and peruse this awesome site (which I found today while searching for Rolo Cupcakes) for inspiration. I love the internet.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Blowing Off Some Steam:Hot Tamale!

Have you ever wanted to make 40 tamales? Yes? Well, settle in. I'll show you how. (I am experimenting with photo-size here. X-tra Large? BBW? Thoughts, experiences? No one cares? Perfect, let's move on.)

Until recently I had never made a tamale. Frankly, I wasn't even really sure what it was other than it being wrapped in a corn husk (or a plantain leaf?) but with some thorough internet research (thanks Wikipedia!) I discovered that Tamales were a Spanish Conquistador staple and that in Central America they use plantain leaves, but in Mexico, corn husks are used.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

No More Sweet Talk!

Do you remember that time I promised you caramel corn? Today I shall deliver, and hopefully before The Rapture hits (crossing my fingers)!

I sometimes dream about caramel corn the same way I dream about beef jerky and those tofu egg patties (has anyone thought of a name for those yet?). Ew, and I truly mean beef jerky, get your mind out of the gutter! I recently decided to make my dream of caramel corn a reality and now, without further adieu, I bring you:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tofu Eggs Are Hard to Beat!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it's so damn hard to eat it! At least for me. When given the option of sleeping in an extra 30 minutes or stumbling downstairs and eating, I will choose sleep. That is why the Food Gods created protein bars; specifically protein bars for Women (Receive a FREE box of TAMPONS with every purchase of 7 or more!(I kid, I kid...that's not a real offer, but it should be.)).

Weekends, however, are another story. I rise with the dawn (well, more like 8:30-9 AM) and ponder what's on the menu for the morning. Unless, of course, I am going to the Highline. The last couple of weekends I have been attempting to use up the magnanimous amounts of tofu I have on hand. There are several things I purchase every time I go to the store, regardless of need,  and tofu is one of them. Chex Mix is another.

So, prepare yourself, here are two of my faux-egg-cellent breakfast dishes.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Highline Part 1: Being Vegan ain't no Missed Steak

The best way to cure a hangover is the Highline. (I will spare you the link because hopefully all of you have been so enraptured with my previous two posts that you have already viewed both of the links provided. If not, I suggest you take a look. I'll wait for you here. In my food coma.)

I love food; I love eating food, cooking food, taking pictures of food, reading ingredients...I'm no Craig, but maybe in time. I plan on reaching that goal by eating absolutely every item on the Highline Menu, and after an eventful evening on the Bayou I was famished.

The Higline brunch menu is where I began my adventure. Well, sort of,  I began my adventure with a red beer (you know, the whole "hair of the dog" philosophy) which isn't on the brunch menu per se, but whatever.

So. Delicious.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Wanna Be Loved Bayou!

It has been one whole week since my first post, and what a week it's been. There have been two cooking projects, a birthday party, a hang-over and my first visit to Highline since deciding  to eat my way through the menu.

Where to begin!? The best place to start is going to be on the bayou.

I had been enlisted to cook appetizers for 50+ guests for a bayou-themed birthday party. On the menu for the occasion were Cajun Mini-Quiche, Jalapeño Cornbread and Cajun Spiced Popcorn. (I actually had to stop typing for a second and reminisce about those quiche. They were so wonderful. Mmmmm....) Okay, so, last Friday:

I used Susan V's phenomenal, wonderful crazy-delicious mini quiche recipe and then kind of added my own little spin to Cajunize it. For the cornbread, I found this  mamma jamma. I replaced the corn with jalapeños and we were set! My own little spin for the quiche involved Tony Chachere's creole seasoning and extra bell peppers! 

Ca-jun-ize  transitive verb  \΄kā - jun, - īz \ : to make something Cajun, in this case food). 

(Mamma Jamma  noun  \ 'mä-mä, ‘jam-mä \: 1. something that is considered by many to be very sexy and/orboss. 2. synonym for the word "thing" (Thank you Urban Dictionary)).

We started the evening off with a some green beer to celebrate the launch of my almost world famous blog. 

My roommate, Tiff, helped by drinking beer. 
Brandi looks a little skeptical of the project. 


The green beer slowed the cooking process down a little bit, but we still managed to get everything done. And Brandi even found time to KNIT!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Weeding out the Meat (& Dairy)

Welcome to my very first post! Welcome all, um, 3 of you. Hi, Mom! Thanks for telling your friends!

This post is going to be a brief little introduction. Later on I will jump in to all the delicious things; recipes, cooking adventures and the chronicles of me eating my way through the Highline menu. That link does not take you to the website, but to another blog that does a superb job capturing all the glory of this fantastic restaurant/bar.


After making the conscious decision to abandon all animal products, I was somewhat skeptical about how I was going to survive. I was leaping from one extreme to the other. I was diving into veganism after a steady 2 year diet of sausage, nachos, pizza and cream puffs. Yes, cream puffs; those mini ones from Costco! The only break from all that delicious junk food had been the 1 month post break-up Alcohol Diet.

This is what my steady diet had created.
Yes, I am wearing a tie.
That guy in the dress shirt is  abhorred!

Oh, early 2007 (all of 2006, and 2005), not the greatest years of my life.

Moving on.

I started out small and boring; hummus, Madison Market Deli (NOT boring, just convenient), Zen party mix and frozen vegetables. The change felt almost immediate, but in reality it took about a month for my body to realize that it could survive without Chicken Parmesan Lean Pockets.

Summer 2007. Thanks veganism!
I upgraded from the tie to those God awful ripped jeans.

What happened next?! You are on the edge of your seat, I know. I know because I installed a little camera that shows me exactly what you are doing while you read this. Pretty creepy, huh? JUST KIDDING! But, seriously, you are on the edge of your seat, right?

So, what happened next was a steady increase in energy and a magnanimous desire to cook. I finally discovered the kitchen after 26 years. Yay! I am now dangerously close to becoming Donna Reed sans children and husband, which I guess makes me an extremely watered down version of Martha Stewart without the ability to sew. Well, I can hem; yes, I know, not the same thing.   

Never-mind; I am totally this woman.
Please stay tuned for more posts! Tonight I am embarking on a Cajun Cook-fest for my friend's birthday party. It will be nothing short of AMAZING.