I’m Beside Myself!

16 10 2010

I came home from work last night with only one thing on my mind – TOFU!  I was going to make garlic bread, and some pan seared tofu with garlic, basil and olive oil tossed with some pasta – some nice starchy carbs for a cool autumn evening.  I turned on the oven, got the water boiling, heated up the oil and tossed in the tofu.  And then my stove died.  Yes.  You read that right, the stove died.  Nothing.  The water never boiled, the tofu barely got warm – thankfully the oven heated up enough to make the garlic bread edible.  Jason came into the kitchen and decided to check and make sure our gas was still on making a joke about not paying the utilities.  He comes back from the bathroom declaring we still had hot water.  I then informed him we had an electric stove….  Hopefully we can get this matter up resolved quickly.  Tonight we are ordering Chinese food.  Tomorrow we are pulling an all nighter at the Capitol Theater participating in the 12 Hours of Terror (10pm – 10am).  Thankfully I’ve got my copy of In the Garden of Vegan which has an entire chapter on college dorm room cooking – which considering all we’ve got is a microwave, a George Foreman Grill, a rice cooker and a toaster, we’ll be making full use of that.

In the meantime, shameless self promotion!  I’m going to show you a few of the pieces I’ve been working on for the upcoming Halloween show next weekend.  Enjoy!





Cinnamon Rolls and Fall

14 10 2010

Hello!  Autumn is in full swing where I’m from and I’m enjoying every minute of it!  I spent most of my morning yesterday cleaning up my garden, cutting down/back plants, taking in the last of the harvest and getting it ready for winter.  Its definitely a sad time, but a good time as well.  Winter will be here soon, no more fresh tomatoes from the garden…. but that just gives me time to plan for next year!  And preserve what I’ve collected from this year.  I made kale chips, dried a mess of tomatoes, and even made some bouquets of fall wildflowers for some friends.  It was a good day.

Sunday, I got up early and made a batch of vegan cinnamon rolls for Jason and myself.  They were definitely some work, but totally worth it.

http://earthvegan.blogspot.com/2009/04/vegan-cinnamon-rolls-with-cream-cheese.html

This is where I got the recipe from.  I made extra frosting because, well admit it, who doesn’t love cream cheese frosting?  I didn’t have any nuts, so we made them without and they were just as tasty.  Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a photo until I was almost done, but I thought a pic of a half eaten cinnamon roll would convey just how tasty they really are.

This week I also made up a mess of beans and rice to nosh on while at work.  Very simple recipe using just things I had at home.  I actually used some potato, mushrooms, tomato, onion, garlic and a can of black beans.  Mix that together with some salt and pepper, chili powder, cumin and whatever else you enjoy and serve over rice.  I don’t drain my beans, but if you chose o drain them, make sure to add 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of water.

Life is good, my garden has been harvested, my pantry is full to get me through winter.  Now I just have to get my fingers busy for all the craft shows I have coming up.  I don’t foresee any free time much before next year 🙂





Equinox

24 09 2010

I realize that the Equinox was technically 2 days ago and yesterday was the full moon; but, per usual, this is the first time I’ve had to sit down and write a bit.  Again, no pictures.  Yes, this is getting old, but I have to take what life throws at me and right now its no time to go get batteries.  That said, I’m going to tell you what I’ve been up to the last week – basically getting ready for the winter.  My garden is slowing down and dying off; that means LOTS of tomatoes.  I’ve already dried to batches – one is in the freezer the other is in a jar of olive oil.  This Sunday I’ll be making a large batch of sauce to freeze as well.  I’ve also completed one of two batches of sunflower seeds from my garden; not to shabby for my first time around.  Tomorrow is a garage sale I’m having with my neighbor and a few friends; I’m looking forward to it.  My ultimate goal is to get rid of things and clear out the attic and my apartment and prepare for winter.  I spent last week cleaning, setting up Halloween decor (YES!  in Sept…) and just enjoying the season.  I’ve made a batch of chili using a mixture of root veggies and whatever else I could find in my fridge to use up and 2 loaves of the best whole wheat bread I’ve had so far.  Although where I’m at its currently in the 80’s (lame!)  I know deep down its officially autumn.  Thanks for reading this.





I love Autumn

13 09 2010

Well,  again, I apologize for not keeping up with this on a daily basis.  Life just gets away from me sometimes and well, I just don’t have as much time as I would like.  Autumn is officially right around the corner, although she’s already made her presence known in my neck of the woods.  My garden is slowly dwindling down, looking quite scraggly.  Its still producing tomatoes and peppers, but everybody else has turned in their cards for the season.  I’ve got sunflowers that will be “ripe” by Weds – at which point I will be roasting them.  I’ve been quite busy in the kitchen, however the batteries died in my camera and I’ve had no time to grab more.  So, you’ll just have to take my word for it that the food I’ve been making is not only tasty, but pretty to look at as well.

Yesterday I set out spending the day drying and preserving some of my tomatoes.  After 10 hours of drying I placed them in an air-tight glass jar and submerged them in olive oil.  I’ll be preparing another batch later in the week that I will keep stored in the freezer.  If you don’t have time to make sauce now, but plan on it later, you can freeze your tomatoes whole and use them later.

In addition to preserving my tomatoes (and sunflower seeds soon…) I also made some applesauce cocoa bread and onion, potato and kale soup.  It was damn tasty – I’m still devouring it.  Soup is great for cooler weather.  It warms you up, utilizes all the flavors of the season and you can make a bunch and live off it for a bit.  Ah, Autumn, how I love thee…





Stuffed Tomatoes

5 09 2010

Sadly, I didn’t get a picture because the batteries in my camera died 😦  So you’ll have to use your imagination and visualize the awesomeness that is TOFU STUFFED TOMATOES!  My garden has been throwing tomatoes at me faster than I can use them all up. I plan on drying a bunch soon – Wednesday maybe?! – but have yet to really have 10 hours to devote to that.  So I have to continually invent fun ways to eat them so we don’t tire of them.  Yesterday I decided to stuff them with tofu and spices, bake them in the oven and serve them with crusty bread.  It was delicious.  I recommend fresh, homegrown or purchased from a farmer’s market tomatoes; not those silly things they sell at grocery stores they claim are tomatoes but taste nothing like them.

4-6 medium to large tomatoes

1 package firm tofu

basil

oregano

garlic powder

hot sauce

parsely

salt

pepper

olive oil

nutritional yeast

crusty bread

I didn’t put down measurements for the spices because everybody has different tastes – maybe you want more, to add something else or eliminate a spice.  Thats up to you , a recipe is simply the framework.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Slice off the tops of the tomatoes and core them.  I feed this stuff to my turtles but you could also save it to make a marinara sauce later or for compost.  Arrange the tomatoes in a small oven proof dish and pour 1/2 cup of water into the bottom.  Mash up the tofu in a bowl and add everything but the olive oil, parsley and nutritional yeast.  Spoon the mixture into the tomatoes.  If there is extra just dump it on top – when it’s all done you’ll have a nice au jus at the bottom of the dish for your bread…  Sprinkle the tops of the stuffed tomatoes with nutritional yeast and parsley; drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 15-25 minutes.  Serve with bread, a salad, as an appetizer… or a really simple lunch.  Enjoy!





Bagels

1 09 2010

I love me a good bagel.  Not those pre-sliced ones you get at the grocery store – you know the ones.  They taste like cardboard, preservatives and nasty.   I get my bagels from the bakery.  $2.5 for 6.  Not bad.  And they are fresh, delicious and taste like a bagel should.  Today I’m indulging in the poppy seed variety.  I prefer sesame, but they were out.  I toast mine, slather it in Tofutti cream cheese and fresh tomato from my garden.  BEST. SANDWICH.  EVER.





Tomato Overload

26 08 2010

It’s nearing the end of summer, and that means tomato overload.  My garden is pumping them out faster than myself or my neighbors can eat them.  So, what does one do?  We could make gallons of marinara sauce, can it and put it away for later.  We could dry them, store them and save them for dinner, or we could dive in and eat them NOW!  And that’s exactly what Jason and I have been doing.  Today we had one of my favorite dishes – Foccacia with fresh tomato, olive oil and basil.  Paired with a simple salad of Romain lettuce tomato and an olive oil dressing.  Delicious!  The foccacia was made from scratch, so it was fresh and hot right out of the oven.  Wow your friends and family and go make this now.

2 1/4 tsp yeast

3/4 cup warm water

2 1/4 cup flour

1 TBSP kosher sea salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp fresh cracked pepper

combine the warm water and yeast, give a quick mix and let sit for 5 minutes.  add the olive oil, salt and 1 cup of flour and mix, continue adding flour until combined and a dough has formed.  Let rise for 1 hour.  Roll out into a rectangle, using the blunt end of a wooden spoon, make indentations in the dough, coat in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.  Serve immediately garnished with a slice of tomato, fresh chopped basil and a drizzle of olive oil.