Tag Archives: bread

Scrambling

I am loving reading everyone’s requests for winning the baked goods! Seems like the lemon poppyseed cookies and birdseed bars are in high demand 😉 Keep on piling in those entries!

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I don’t think whatever that sickness I had yesterday had much of a chance…in fact, I think I effectively slept it off. Between dozing all morning yesterday and sleeping until nearly 8:00 this morning, I was good to go today. I woke up still a little “bleh,” but ate something and took 875% of my d.v. of vitamin C and I was feeling better already.

I actually received this sample along with my iHerb order, and I figured there was no day better than today to use it. Yes, that is 525 mg of vitamin C per serving, and yes, that does equate 875% of my daily value of the stuff.

I was a little worried I was going to turn into a clementine or something, but I’m still alive. Even better than alive, dare I say.

Maybe this was the reason why I felt so good all afternoon? It’s probably just coincidence, but oh well 😉

Good enough to go grocery shopping, even!

…unfortunately, I would have been better off at home. Ugh, $60? Really? I am so upset because I didn’t need to spend that much. In fact, I had just cashed a check for $45 an intended to spend no more than that.

I decided to just go to Price Chopper (from here on out to be called “The store which shall not be named,” AKA TSWSNBN) rather than Hannaford (closest thing I have to a Whole Foods around here, though I’m thinking it’s less expensive from what I hear) because of the whole convenience thing. TSWSNBN = 5 mins away, Hannaford = 1 hour away. It’s convenient if I’m in the area because of work/going to see Teddie, but not on a day like today.

Anyways. I get there and start cringing at the produce prices, but shrug it off thinking “I didn’t spend any gas money to get here at least.” and carry on. Note I pretty much just buy produce that’s on sale. If you can call it that.

Not only that, but they were out of just about everything I needed – most imperatively, dates.

I almost started crying when the stock-boy told me they were sold out. My lip started quivering and I had to breathe deep, but luckily I spared him the waterworks. And moved on to wanting to hit him over the head with the chopped dates he suggested I get.

You know you’re a date addict when you move from feelings of despair to ones of extreme anger.

Not only that but all their produce was on its outs, they didn’t have any old fashioned rolled oats unless I wanted to buy them in the tiniest container possible for $4 and I bought a moldy yucca.

So basically, I have to go to Hannafords and/or the co-op sometime soon anyway. And had I known that from the get-go, I just plain wouldn’t have wasted my time and money there today.

UGH! Okay, rant over. Onto happy things.

Like banana scrambles.

Oh hail yes. I feel better just looking at that. Don’t you?

It’s like food therapy.

See, the other option for breakfast the other morning was a banana scramble, but the French toast had the louder scream.

When I saw Jenny suggest a banana scramble on that very post, I knew it was fate. I had to try one, once and for all. I might start cheating on my pancakes for these babies, too.

But oyu know what I haven’t had in a while?

Anything gingerbread. I’m assuming this has been done already, since it is gingerbread and all…but here’s how I did it:

Gingerbread Banana Scramble

adapted from The Edible Perspective’s Cinnamon Banana Scramble

  • 1/3 c. quick oats
  • 1 T. oat bran
  • 1 t. chia seeds
  • 1-2 T. milk
  • 1/2 of a large banana
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. ground clove
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 – 1 t. molasses
  • pinch of maple sugar

Mash the banana with the oats. Mix in all remaining ingredients and then form into a patty with your hands. Place on a pre-heated, greased pan and cook until golden brown on both sides. Top with peanut-ginger sauce.

Peanut-Ginger Sauce

  • scant 1/4 c. peanut flour
  • 1/2 – 1 t. molasses
  • 1/2 t. maple syrup (or to taste)
  • pinch ground ginger
  • heavy pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 T. milk

Whisk together all ingredients, starting with just 1 T. milk and adding more to get to your desired consistency. Check for sweetness, adding more maple syrup as your taste buds call for it 😉

The only thing that would have made this better would have been having it between French toast. Too bad I was out of bread :[

But naturally, when new obsessions are born, they do not die quickly. As a snack post-workout, I decided more were necessary as an almost-lunch-but-not-quite.

On a note unrelated to banana scrambles, I think this was when I realized I might be more of a “late morning” workout kinda gal. I’ve never given myself the chance to workout anytime other than mornings, before starting my day. I felt like my mind was so much more in it today, though.

Maybe I was just high on Vitamin C, though.

In keeping with my almost-tradition of making just about everything either gingerbread or carrot cake, though, these ones were carrot cake.

I die.

Carrot Cake Banana Scrambles

adapted from the Edible Perspective’s Apple Scramble

  • 1/4 c. quick oats
  • 2-3 T. applesauce
  • 5 shredded baby carrots (do you find it funny to imagine me shredding poor little baby carrots?)
  • 1 t. chia seeds
  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground ginger
  • 1/2 T. shredded coconut
  • pinch maple sugar
  • 2-3 T. milk

Combine all ingredients, adding in more milk as you see fit. Carefully form a patty (or two) and place it on a preheated, greased pan. Cook until golden on both sides.  Serve and top with peanut-carrot sauce, coconut, carrot, pecans and molasses.

Peanut-Carrot Sauce

  • scant 1/4 c. peanut flour
  • 1 shredded baby carrot
  • 1/2 t. maple syrup (more or less as desired)
  • 2-3 T. milk

Whisk all ingredients together, adding milk 1 T. at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

I think this one would have been ever better with a banana instead of applesauce, just to add a little bit more sweetness to the carrots. I didn’t really want to go on three bananas today, though. What can I say?

What else happened today? Well, naturally I made more bread. Do I even need to say I love Sarena’s bread anymore? It’s probably engrained in everyone’s brains already.

I made this loaf with 6-grain flour that I’d almost forgotten about, adding in a little Vital Wheat Gluten to make up for the heavier flour.

You know bread is good when you can eat it plain without even toasting it.

I made Chelsey’s granola and burnt all the raisins.

Luckily, I don’t mind the occassional taste of char. You probably think I’m being witty right now but I’m totally serious.

Ironically, I also had to make it with quick oats. The whole reason I wanted to get rolled oats at the store was so I could make granola. My heart was dead-set on making granola though, so I didn’t give up. It worked better than I thought it would!

Aaand lastly – sausage and peppers and a baked sweet potato.

You know what I realized? I don’t think I like green peppers anymore.

And also: Jenn’s method of baking a couple sweet potatoes at a time (in the oven) for grabbing one on the fly, totally works. I baked this one when I baked one for last night, and after reheating in the toaster oven, it was just as good as if it were fresh out of the oven. It’s a great trick if I’m craving a sweet potato for work the next day since it takes an hour in the oven and I now flat-out refuse to microwave-bake my taters.

What are your time-saving techniques?


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Filed under baking, banana, banana scramble, breakfast, carrot cake, chia seeds, coconut, cooking, dates, dinner, food, healthy living, molasses, oats, recipe, seitan, sweet potato, vegan, vegetarian

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

I had a lot of decisions to make today.

Now before you go getting all concerned, relax! Relax. Fortunately for me, the hardest decision I have on days like today is what I’m going to have for dinner. Before you laugh, that’s a pretty big decision. I mean, it can make or break your day! …or maybe I’m just a little dramatic.

In case you haven’t heard, it’s snowing all over the northeast.

I’m guessing you’ve heard.

My first decision I faced was whether I wanted to call in to work or not. I’m guessing you can figure out pretty quickly that I called in.

Which meant that I decided sauteed apples were in the forecast for breakfast this morning. I was awed when I saw that my beloved Gala apples were on sale at Hannaford’s. Unless they’re fresh picked from the farm down the road, they’re the only apples I truly enjoy. (okay, so I probably prefer them over the local McIntosh apples, but I fear that might be un-Vermontan of me to admit, so I won’t. We have maple laws for Pete’s sake, I wouldn’t put it past us to have an apple law, too)

My, oh my, how I’d forgotten how amazing sauteed apples are.

I polished off the last of my bread yesterday, and knew I had to make more today. The decision?

Do I keep it as the original inventor intended, or mix it up again?

I kept it as intended, and think this loaf is a bit prettier (re: less embarrassing) and so won’t withhold the name of the kind woman who shared her recipe with me this time – it was the lovely Sarena, of course! I don’t think there is anything she can’t do in the kitchen. And if you don’t want to see really delicious looking pancakes with a beautiful pour of maple syrup, definitely don’t go to her blog right now.

While that rose, I faced another decision: strength or cardio?

Cardio won.

But these things can only keep me entertained for so long. It was 9:00 and I was already looking for my next project.

Biscotti or granola bars?

Biscotti, says mother – who also had a snowday.

Orange chocolate chip or cranberry almond?

Orange chocolate chip. Best biscotti I’ve ever made all thanks to Veganomicon. No I can’t share the recipe and no I can’t find it either. Buy the book. The biscotti and the chickpea-quinoa pilaf are worth that $15.

…but do I want peanut butter, jelly or maple cream on my hot-from the oven bread?!

Maple cream.

But what kind of nut butter do I want smothered into my date?!

It doesn’t matter because I’ll have another one in five minutes.

If I have hot cocoa in my Easter mug, will it be Spring tomorrow?

probably not, but you can try.

I love this Dagoba hot cocoa!

Should I shovel multiple times so that I only shovel a couple inches at a time, or once so that I’m shoveling more than a foot – but only one time?

Uhhh, well, I banked on multiple times, but this so-called “storm of the century” fizzled out, and I didn’t need to shovel after the once.

As it is, though, the snowbank to the side of our front porch is taller than the front porch, and if I venture off the beaten path I am up to my waist in the fluffy powder.

I hope I can go to the barn tomorrow so I can ride Teddie in it! Hopefully he won’t be like my Corona pony and decide it’s more fun to roll in said snow than it is to play in it. I’m not worried about getting rolled on, I’m worried about my saddle getting saturated. I paid more for the saddle than I did for the pony.

Do I make buffalo tempeh or barbecue tempeh?

Both! Sorry, guys – but I think I’m getting tempeh burnout. I’m sort of bored with it. When this block is done, I need to bid goodbye for a couple weeks. Needless to say, I do adore buffalo tempeh! Especially with the last of my caesar dressing and red onion (I heart red onion + buffalo + caesar)

I think I struggle making the decision between sweet potato fries or whole-baked sweet potatoes more than I struggle with the decision about what to wear.

It takes me a while to figure out what to wear in the morning. It’s too early to think clear, so I just stare into my closet for at least five minutes as if it’s some other-worldly realm.

And in case you were wondering, a whole baked sweet potato won, but I didn’t get to use this picture yesterday and was pretty proud of how perfectly baked and cut those fries are. Not to toot my own horn or anything.

Dinner was a big decision today, but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

I knew I should use the eggplant I had in the fridge, but nothing was particularly speaking to me.

Yes, when I flip through recipes certain ones call to me. I can plan “ooh I want to make that!” until I’m blue in the face but I can never decide what I want for dinner until 3:00 that day.

What did speak to me was Chickpea Piccata. (< Lucky for you guys, Isa has the recipe for this one on her website!)

But what to have it with?

Eggplant!

But how?

My new favorite way ever, of course!

I was flipping through my binder of recipes,and saw this very plain-jane recipe for roasting eggplant originally from Cooking Light. I was a bit apprehensive that it would be all that great – it is basically eggplant straight up, after all – but combined with the absolutely amazing piccata, this meal was enough to make me fall head over heels in love with…well, everything in site. It turned me into a hippie peace-love flower-girl.

For the eggplant, though:

Roasted Eggplant

slightly modified from cooking light, for one eggplant:

  • 1 medium eggplant, about 1 lb.
  • olive oil for brushing (I used basil oil)
  • pinch salt, pepper and herbs de provence

Preheat oven to 450*. Carefully slice your eggplant the “long way” into 1/4″ slices, leaving the end in-tact. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and fan out the eggplant. Brush with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly tender. Remove from oven, press down to fan out more, and brush again with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Bake 15-20 minutes more or until tender and skin is beginning to crisp.

My mom: “are you going to eat that whole eggplant?”

Don’t mind if I do!

Decisions – do you find yourself sometimes having a terrible time deciding over the silliest of things, too?! Please say yes so I’m not alone. And don’t ask me who you should marry. I’ll just say “everyone! peace and love!”

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Filed under apple, baking, bread, breakfast, chickpeas, cookie, cooking, dates, dinner, eggplant, food, food blog, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, snack, snow, sweet potato, tempeh, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies

Bacon. Mmm, Bacon…

I am in metaphorical foodie heaven.

Also known as…a plate full of my soon-to-be obsessions. I think the only reasons none of this is already an obsession is because I didn’t know it existed up until now. Or last night, if we’re talking onion rings.

Chavez Caesar Salad. With Eggplant Bacon.

And a side of homemade bread. (we’ll get there.) Oh and a couple onion rings. I had a few leftover and am rationing them two at a time so I can savor them over and over. I only have two left.

I already am plotting more excuses to “need” to get groceries so I can purchase a lifetime supply of sweet onions.

Fun fact: for just about the entire duration of my teen-hood, say from junior high to high school, you could bet $5 that whenever I’d/we’d go somewhere to eat, I’d be having a caesar salad or a caesar salad wrap. With chicken. Even after learning it had anchovies. And then something happened…maybe it was a caesar salad burnout. Maybe I was just too lazy to want to make my own once I started saving my pennies and stopped eating out for every meal.

But I finally geared up motivation to make a caesar salad (read: wasn’t feeling too lazy to clean the blender) and it. was. phenomenal. I don’t know how Isa thinks of these things, but seriously – this dressing is the caesar salads I remember.

Except better.

And you’d better believe I was picky about my salads. You’re probably thinking I was healthy even back then anyways, but honestly, for some reason I just had an inexplicable attachment to chicken caesar salads.

And then there’s the eggplant bacon.

Does it taste like bacon?

No! It’s eggplant!

Is it good?

Oh hell yes it is.

I was basically munching on it for the entire hour leading up to dinner. I’m lucky I had any left for my salad. I was never a “bacon-on-my-caesar-salad” kinda gal, but apparently I am an “eggplant bacon on my vegan caesar salad” kinda gal.

And here’s the kicker: I can make all of the above but apparently remembering about the bread I put in the oven is too difficult for my brain to handle.

Not to mention my other rookie mistake of completely forgetting to spray the plastic wrap I put over top while it rose, so of course when I went to pull it off I disrupted the entire top of it, beautifully risen and all.

But ohhhhh hot damn, this bread? Best loaf I’ve ever tasted. Hands-down. And unfortunately for you guys, I can’t give you the recipe.

Neener-neener-neee-ner!

Ahem. I’m sorry. That was incredibly rude of me. But this recipe was so generously passed along to me from a wonderful blogger friend. I’d really love to tell you because these acts of generosity deserve mentioning – but I’m afraid my ugly loaf would be an embarrassment, so instead I will choose to hold off until I make a prettier one.

Which won’t be very far away.

See, I fell in love with L’s idea of making mini loaves, so I halved the recipe and just made a mini loaf. My “problem” was that I’d make a normal sized loaf of bread and feel like I had to live off of sandwiches for fear if I didn’t have at least one a day, the bread would get wasted. Mini loaf? No problem.

Except…it’s almost all gone already. Mreh, well.

And as an aside – I need to publicly thank Jenn for being better support than WordPress is. She helped me figure out a way to publish the site I designed in iWeb for my photography! It’s got some kinks, but I feel so much more streamlined now 🙂 This blog’s gotta be next, though!

eventually.

What’s something you accomplished today? It took all morning – but I was so glad to get my site up. Far from done, but done enough to be public, I think. And at least better than what it was! I also did a bunch of schoolwork. Grumble.

Do/Did you have a favorite “restaurant meal”? Something you love to order out, but never make at home? I never made caesar salad (of course, I didn’t make myself anything back then!) but as mentioned – always ordered it out!

[Side note: Ask me how happy I was to have natural, real light to photograph my dinner. Go ahead, ask me! I’m so sick of using flash!]

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Filed under bacon, baking, bread, cooking, dinner, food, healthy living, photography, review, salad, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies

Maybe I am a Little Rude…

Weellll…I guess now I know who I can count on to share a banana with me, and who I can count on to hide the last one. Unfortunately for me, if I were to ever live with any of you, you’d all be hiding your bananas so if I was in a banana crisis myself, there would be none around.

Fine. I see how it is.

I jest, I jest. What matters is that we share when it counts. Moral of the story, though, is to never take the produce. Everything else is fair game. As my boss says, “sharing is for kids.”

At least I share with him. Even if I am a little rude about it.

So there I was, having an intelligent conversation with my boss, when my pretzels and apricots caught the corner of my eye. Ooh. I started munching. First it was pretzels, and then apricots. Together but separate, y’know?

And then it was “oooh, it’s kinda fun to split the apricots apart! they’re so gooey!”

Gosh, I’m so polite.

He was still talking.

I was still sort of listening.

My thoughts moved along to “hey, lets make a pretzel-apricot sandwich!”

He was still talking.

I was eating.

My input to the conversation? “Look! I just made a pretzel sandwich! It’s really good! Wanna try it?!”

Luckily, we weren’t talking about anything critical. Not that I recall, anyway…

Luckily, he’s as “into” food as I am. The pretzel sandwich was a hit, but he mentioned it would only be better with some cream cheese and cayenne pepper. I instantly vetoed that idea.

Though when I had a little remake of my pretzel-apricot sandwich earlier, I threw in some cashew butter.

Mreh, no denying the yum-factor…but I’m sticking to my guns and saying the pretzels and apricots have got a good thing goin’ and don’t need anything else.

But maybe it could be transferred to pumpernickel.

It was okay.

But we all know – okay, well at least Tat and I know – that the real way to eat pumpernickel is like so:

With almond butter and date syrup.

Oh, yes.

Dense. Chewy. Pumpernickel-y.

And oh-so-hideous.

Seriously. The only thing my homemade pumpernickel is missing?

The canoodling couple on the package.

I even slept with it at night for it to sour. This bread relies on being given 18-24 hours to just sit and, well, be dough. And then it requires a sloooooowwww baking time.

Oh, and did I mention it needed a warm place to sleep for the 18-24 hours? Well, being that I made this when it wasn’t even 0* out, I took that as a damn good reason to turn my space heater in my room on for just a little bit longer than usual 😉

When it first went in the oven (for hour one of five) I was alittle worried. It wasn’t a deep, dark pumpernickel color like I thought it would be. I was disgruntled. I didn’t know that the low and slow baking process is what gives it that color.

It emerged deep, dark and pumpernickel-y. Crisis averted.

And hey, it’s not even gross like I thought it might be when smeared with hummus and a roasted red pepper! Phew.

Of course, just because I can make pumpernickel bread doesn’t mean I can make pancakes anymore. Seriously – my groove was stomped on and thrown out the window this morning or something.

As much as I hate to admit this, there were two takes on pancakes this morning.

Take one fed the trash. And you know I hate to do that. But they were inedible. I don’t know why. The  middle would not cook. Oh, yeah – probably because I accidentally dumped in flat seltzer water because I’m all out of milk and am too belligerent to go shopping before this weekend. Oh, and I don’t get my day started by forcing down an inferior breakfast, thank you.

Take two, above, I burnt. Not a bad thing necessarily as I don’t mind burnt bread/toast/pancakes/cookies/whatever – and I actually really enjoyed the taste. I accidentally dumped in nutmeg instead of cinnamon, but that ended up being an error that worked out for the better. They were perfectly spiced.

However, the cranberries were…hear me out here…fizzy on my tongue. WTH? Maybe someone who knows anything about food science can tell me if maybe the acidity of cranberries react with baking soda? Because that’s all I could think of. I never use baking soda in pancakes but decided to throw it in there for the hell of it, and while the pancake itself was fine, the cranberries in the pancake were just…weird.

Yes the cranberries themselves are good. I had them just the other day.

It’s a mystery. Or maybe not. Maybe I should just get a clue in the kitchen?

OH and while we’re on the topic of ugly food, look at last night’s dinner.

Polenta stuffed pepper with mashed yuca.

Wow, don’t you just want to gobble that up?! You’re all probably shocked to learn this was actually the best stuffed pepper I’ve ever had. I’d share the (really easy) recipe but I’m 99% sure anyone who sees this picture would just as quickly decide it’s something they wouldn’t eat in a million years.

Hey, don’t judge a book by its’ cover!

Edit: Since a couple people were curious, here’s the recipe for the peppers. As you can see, I was out of a lot of…well, out of almost everything…so it’s been kept pretty simple. Simple is good!

Polenta Stuffed Peppers

Serves 1 as a main, 2 as a side. For a more complete meal, maybe throw in some chickpeas, or have some marinated tofu on the side! I had a side of mashed yuca, which complemented perfectly.

  • 1 medium-large red pepper, sliced in half and de-seeded
  • 1/4 c. fine- or medium-ground cornmeal/polenta
  • 1/2 c water
  • 3 white mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 c. stewed diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 T. hummus
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375*. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Once boiling, lower heat and slowly add the cornmeal, 1 T. at a time, stirring or whisking all the while. Once all combined, add in the tomatoes and nutritional yeast and season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir/whisk over medium-low heat until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in the mushrooms and hummus, and divide the mixture between the two peppers. Bake for 45 minutes, or until firm to the touch and the peppers are cooked through.

I loved having mashed yuca with this – its likeness to mashed potato really complemented the pepper. I followed a recipe out of Appetite for Reduction for mashed yuca with cilantro and lime. Even though I had no cilantro…

Anyways.

It’s All Star weekend. Don’t you wish you were my neighbor so you could come over for some of this pumpkin crumb cake?

AND YES, All plans are being made around the all star festivities.

Alright, everyone’s gotta have a really simple, maybe random combination of foods that they love together. Like apricots and pretzels. What’s yours?

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Filed under almond butter, baking, bread, breakfast, cooking, cornmeal, dinner, food, food blog, health, healthy living, lunch, pancakes, polenta, vegan, vegetarian

U R 16

I loved all the different answers to the resolution question!! Seems some of us love them and some of us hate them.

I have nothing against resolutions, but at the same time, don’t like the thought of needing an “excuse” to set goals. If I want to work on improving something, I should work on it when the thought strikes, not wait until the turn of the year!

..that said, I’m really awful at taking my vitamins and calcium and so it’s my “resolution” to work on that.

In case you were wondering, I’m failing already.

Yes, Eeyore and a stuffed german shephard sit above my bed.

I mentioned yesterday how my mom and I painted my room. Not a lot of thought went into the process, we just grabbed some leftover paint in the back room and green it was. The “organizing and re-doing” continued into today after seeing Teddie.

Am I the only one who feels guilty throwing away cards? I do, I can’t help it! It was rather cmical digging through the shelves in my closet that I forgot I had.

Now I’m just on the hunt for a computer desk for mr. iMac! It’s proving to be easier said than done…I guess I didn’t think of that aspect when I made the decision to get the 27″ screen vs. the 21″.

I won’t regret it when I can count the pores on my client’s faces this year.

Wait, is that a creepy thing to say? Sort of. Either way, I’m more anxious for this mac to get here than a two year old is on Christmas morning.

All the organizing was made better by the thoughts of what was gettin’ sappy in my oven. Susan mentioned a little bit ago how much more superior oven-baked sweet potatoes are than microwave baked, which made me realize I’m more apt to roast sweet potatoes “low and slow” rather than just throw them in the oven whole. Um, yeah, won’t be making that mistake again. After splitting that baby open and dipping in hummus or BBQ sauce, I was in. heaven. Paired with some BBQ tempeh to get my protein on.

Ever since buying this local tempeh, I don’t think I can ever go back to Lightlife. Same goes for the local tofu I had – never going back to Nasoya!

That’s not to say I didn’t make a total bomb of a meal with it the other day, though. This Kung-Pao tempeh was dreadful.

I do this all the time: want to think I like some sort of cuisine/flavor/what-have-you, and even though I know I don’t, convince myself to try it anyway.

I wanted to believe I would like Chinese if I made it myself, so I followed a recipe in Cooking Light for Kung Pao Chicken, simply swapping the chix for tempeh.

I hated it. And I don’t use “hate” lightly. I liked the fact that it was over bulgur. And I liked the fact that I decided to add peas. And I liked the fact that it has peanuts on top. The onions and the sauce? Hated. with. a. passion. Didn’t help that I made a batch for two meals out of it, so I was just trying to choke down the tempeh and not wasting it.

Someone come make me Chinese that I’d like. I don’t think I hate it all because I remember having this peanut-chicken dish in Boston once that I enjoyed. It was at a “real” Chinese restaurant though, which are few and far between around here. And I very strongly dislike soy sauce.

Moving on.

Never, never did I ever think Guy Fieri would encourage me to make something. But, I’ve been buying more magazines lately due to the computer sitch, and the FoodNetwork Magazine made its’ way to the register with me yesterday.

I’ve nothing against the man, but I think it’s safe to say that our cooking perspectives differ slightly.

When I saw he had a recipe for pretzels, though, I had to give it a try.

For a little while, I thought I’d be blogging about two failed recipes…

…because I sort of struggled with the recipe directions. I’m not sure if they were incorrect, but it never stated that they were supposed to rise? But that didn’t make much sense to me, so I went ahead and let them rise once after forming the original dough. Even after, I was expecting to be making pretzels the size of my face, not pretzels the size of a Rold-Gold mini.

Luckily, they got a little larger during baking. I don’t think it helped that I accidentally used just about all white whole wheat. Again, the destructions tricked me.

My mom asked why they didn’t look like Guy’s and my response was simply because I’m not cool enough to be Guy. So maybe they didn’t come out perfect, but remarkably, they were received well and enjoyed by all of us.

I almost made English muffins again, but then I thought that soft pretzels would be perfect for tonight’s game. Yes, I was thinking to make a giant pretzel in the “B” logo, but totally forgot until after they were all formed. Official fail of the NHL. Whatever.

Did you make any resolutions this year?

What’s your favorite soft pretzel “dip”? I love dipping them in honey mustard! I’ll probably give hummus a try, too 😉

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Filed under cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch

English Muffins and Stuff

Question: Was I looking forward to going to work today after finally having time to relax?

Answer: No. So I didn’t. I’m sick, can’t you tell?

…just kidding. More like…I didn’t want to risk life or limb driving in. It’s a wonder I haven’t blown away yet. In fact – it feels like today has been twenty different days all wrapped up in one.

  • Started off listening to wind howling, saying “oh hail no, I’m not driving to work,” and wondering when the roof was going to come off.
  • Realized it was going to be a long day not being able to a. go anywhere, b. bake (…much…), or c. get things done on the computer (due to aforementioned problems). So instead, started cleaning. A little obsessively, I might add. In my mother’s words, the kitchen sink is now shinier than she’s ever seen it. And she’s a good cleaner.
  • Listed stuff I will never use again on eBay. Like old show clothes so that I can buy new for (hopefully) next show season!
  • Mourned the loss of power and started layering up. Just in case, you know, we were out for three days again. Sorted through recipes.
  • Did an electricity happy dance when it came back on an hour later. Oh thank you lord.
  • Shoveled. A lot. There’s a lot of snow. It’s also really windy. Every time I’d throw the snow to the side, it’d just blow back onto what I was shoveling. It took some crafty maneuvering, but ultimately – I came out on top. You will not hinder me, snow.
  • Baked anyways.

Oh yeah, and was greeted at lunch time by THE best gift ever.

Jess sent me cookie dough balls!! It made me realize how I’m always the one giving away baked goods – and receiving baked goods from someone else (especially a wonderful friend!) was really exciting for me.

And my mom and her boyfriend. I’m told I’ll be making these soon. And I agree – they are phenomenal. See, for some reason I just kept putting off Mama Pea’s cookie dough balls (I don’t know why)…and Jess definitely found a way to suck me into the cookie dough cult! I’m not sorry.

Can you tell what else has gone on in my kitchen? Well, besides the gnochhi, various tofus, polenta-chickpea bake and cranberry-lime-coconut muffins?

You win…English muffins! Ever since buying the spelt English muffins that the Vermont Baking Company produces, I’ve been reminded of my slight obsession with English muffins. I mean, think about it…they’re soft, doughy, perfectly sized, crusty exterior and you can do anything you want with them. (oooh, racy.)

Add to that the fact that I had more fun making them than a cat has with a laser pointer.

Oh, and they’re easy. And now I have homemade English muffins. na-na-na-na boo boo!

I followed this recipe, though I think I ended up using 2 c. white whole wheat flour and only 1/2 c. bread flour.  Oh, and used honey instead of sugar. The only problem I had was that the baking soda was really difficult to mix in, and they could be a little sweeter. (well, according to my mom, it doesn’t bother me any.)

Of course, I don’t consider myself an English muffin conniseur. I enjoy them, but I don’t really care about nooks and crannies. I’m perfectly happy being handed a Thomas English muffin. Although these are way better, so that could change in the future.

I made some of them cinnamon-raisin, too. Though it didn’t backfire, next time I’ll have to remember to just create two separate batters from the get-go. Stirring in cinnamon and raisins after the dough had formed was also tricky…even if I did get sort of neat swirls of cinnamon 😉

And what better use for my homemade english muffins than to make flaxy french toast for breakfast?!

Oh, how silly of me – of course you can have better than flaxy french toast. Like when it’s smothered in maple peanut butter, grilled banana, raisins, maple syrup and sunflower kernels.

D’oh.

Santa brought me this peanut butter in my stocking. While I may have been on the fence about the previous Vermont Peanut Butter Company flavors – this “Harvest” peanut butter is a real winner. Like…I would take a bath in this if it was socially acceptable. Why bathing in peanut butter isn’t socially acceptable is a debate for another day.

Anyways. Does anyone else think grilled/caramelized bananas sort of resemble tongues? Because I do. And if I just ruined grilled bananas for you, I sincerely apologize, but I don’t mean it in a gross way.

Personally, I think it’s kinda cute! And you probably think I’m on crack right now, but it’s really just good old-fashioned time off that’s making me this loopy.

And in case you were wondering how I made my flaxy french toast (you probably weren’t) I’ll tell you.

I mixed together:

  • 1 tablespoon milled flaxseed
  • 2 T. So Delicious coconut milk yogurt
  • 3 T. unsweetened almond milk
  • hefty pinch of cinnamon

before halving an English muffin and soaking each half in it, on both sides, and poking the bejeebus out of it so it’d soak up the maximum amount of goodness.

I’ve also got a thing lately for grilling stuff in Earth Balance (or butter could be the alternative). It owns non-stick spray anyday of the week. Well, depends on the circumstances I guess because sometimes it’s just plain easier to use spray (like for muffins, or when you’re sauteein onions in olive oil…work with me here)

Anyways. I think you’ve heard enough from me for one day, even though it feels like I’ve got a whole load of recipes to share with you.

What’s your favorite snow day activity?

OH!! And because I forgot yesterday and was unable to deliver the message prior, Teddie says Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays:

…I don’t humiliate him or anything…not at all!

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, foodblog, health food, healthy living, recipe

Lists

Apparently, I’m ready to start my own dirty-girl competition.

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Yeah. Needless to say, I needed to go shopping.

Other confession? I’m awful with lists. Sure, I’m great at making them. I’m just terrible at not losing them. Or not remembering to bring them. And without some sort of reminder, I have a hard enough time remembering what happened yesterday, let alone whether I’m out of “salad lettuce” or not.

You know where I’m going with this. I forgot my list when I went to the store after work. It’s okay, though – it’s sort of become a game to me. The “Lets see what I can remember!” game.

It also meant I had to go up and down every aisle in the packed-to-bursting Hannaford’s to trigger memories of what I needed. I totally forgot I needed brown sugar until I saw it in the produce aisle. Don’t ask me what it was doing there, I’m just glad it was.

As a side note: if you go shopping between now and Christmas you might be clinically insane. It’s a madhouse out there, and I’m lucky I’m still alive. In fact, when I pulled in, there were a bunch of firetrucks throughout the plaza with their lights flashing. No one stopped me from going in and no one else seemed too concerned…so you know, just doing my grocery shopping while firefighters and trucks are running around, NBD.

I had to save the squashes and mushrooms and lettuces from the potentially-burning building, you know.

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I went to the co-op before going to the big store, though. I’ve found I much prefer the Rhapsody tempeh over Lightlife, and also needed some bread. Obviously, I wound up walking out of there with more like $37 worth of groceries and not just tempeh and bread, but that’s a story for another day.

This weekend is my mom and I’s holiday baking extravaganza, so I knew I wouldn’t get a chance to bake bread. I intended to get a fresh loaf from a local bakery, but when I saw these was way more intrigued. See, I’ve been on more of a “bread as a side” kick, so thought these Ozery Bakery pita-type wraps would be good to stuff.

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I’m sure the idea is to mimic the Arnold sandwich thins, but with less preservatives and…well, way better taste. I like that they’re not too thin – after buying them I started regretting my decision, thinking it wouldn’t be “enough bread.”

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Luckily, that was not the case at all. I had one lightly toasted, smothered with hummus and then packed with tempeh bacon, herb salad, roasted reds and tomato slices.

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And now I’m sipping tea while pondering whether I really want to tackle that homework I intended to do tonight. I actually intended to get out of work early so I could hit the store and get home sooner than usual – but by the time I could leave work and battle the crowds, I didn’t get home until I usually would be, anyway!

What kind of bread is your favorite – thick and hearty, wraps, pitas, bagels, english muffins?

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Filed under bread, dinner, lunch, review