22 January, 2010

Kitchen Alchemy

Today I made oatmeal for breakfast. Not just any old oatmeal either. I made cherry-vanilla oatmeal with chopped almonds. Oh yes! And do you know what? Mr. Crow didn’t like it very much at all. Apparently he doesn't like the texture of steel cut oats. He prefers the rolled variety. oh well.

Now, I’ve got about 2 cups of oatmeal chilling in my fridge and I like oatmeal on occasion but I don’t fancy eating it for an entire week, you know? So what’s a girl to do? I put on my Sorcerer's Apprentice outfit and got to work!

The conversation with myself looked a bit like this:

More breakfast items?

. . .Nah, that’s boring

What about cake or something?

No, I’m not thrilled with that either.

Well, how about cookies?

YEAH! (tickticktickticketytick[me on the lappy]) Ooo! That's a simple recipe. . . but I don’t have enough flour. . . COCO POWDER!

And, thus, my newest creation was born:

Black Forest Oatmeal Drop Cookies.

You will need:

1 3/4c flourChewey, moisty goodness!

1/4c coco powder

1t baking powder

1/4t baking soda

1t salt

1t cinnamon

1/4t nutmeg

1c sugar

2/3c shortening

3t Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 4T warm water

1 1/2–2c cooked steel cut oatmeal

1/2c rough chopped dried cherries

1/2c rough chopped almonds (I used whole roasted ones)

Preheat your oven to 375F and spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Sift all the dry ingredients together. Add the shortening and egg replacer mixture and beat on medium-low until combined. Add the oatmeal, almonds, and cherries and stir until thoroughly combined. Drop by rounded teaspoons into prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. remove to a cooling rack and then eat’em!

15 January, 2010

Just a Note Since It Has Been a While

Well, With Mr. Crow's schedule change things have been a little different in our little nest. Breakfast is our meal together lately and I've been living out of my most recent cook book acquisition: Vegan Brunch by my most beloved Isa Chandra Moskowitz. So far, I've made the following:

-blueberry muffins
-Added frozen peach chunks and powdered ginger to her scone recipe
-chocolate beer waffles
-added orange peppers, carrots and spinach to her basic breakfast scramble recipe

. . .oh, and I used her marinade for tempeh bacon to season some homemade seitan cubes which, I can only assume, tasted like ham? honestly, though, I haven't eaten ham in over 12 years so it's not like I would know. Regardless, after previously using Isa's recipe for seitan, I cut one hunk of seitan into cubes and browned it in a frying pan. I then mixed up about a third of a recipe of the bacon marinade and tossed it over the seitan until it was absorbed. I literally said, out loud, "I am enchanted by this flavor". Oh yes I did.

Originally, I was going to type out all these recipes to share them, but i realized that I'm not doing the authors of these books any favors by distributing their hard work for free online so, if i can find a link, I'll post it but otherwise you're on your own to buy the book or get it from the library. Speaking of the library, I'm getting 3 cookbooks from there very soon: Vegan Lunchbox, Vegan Yum Yum, and Nonna's Kitchen. I've been stalking Vegan Lunchbox and Vegan Yum Yum online for what feels like forever and I'm so happy to see that their hard work is paying off!

Um, so now I think it's time to mention what you may have already noticed. I am inching towards veganism. . . Really, the only reason I'm "inching" is because I still have vegetarian Monteray jack cheese in my fridge that I can't un-buy and I don't want to waste. I went down a slippery ethical slope of, "If I don't support the beef industry practices how can I buy milk that results in cows that get turned into burgers? How can I eat eggs if male chicks go into garbage bags? Now that is not to say that Holistic Acres (a local farm where our eggs came from) engages in these practices, but it's much easier to simply draw a line than eat eggs only sometimes from some places and have to explain that to people I know. Someday, when I fulfill my dream of having chickens of my own I'll eat eggs again but, until that day, not so much. Really, those who have known me for a while know that this is a return to normalcy and one that I'm quite thankful for. I feel happier, lighter, and more relaxed since the change.

Wow, this "note" seems more like a letter. I'm now going to whet you appetite by mentioning that very soon there will be a vegan conversion of an amazing cake that you won't want to miss!

03 January, 2010

I ate TWICE today!

True story. Whisking

For breakfast I made vegetarian sausage gravy and biscuits. You can find the recipe here and, let me tell you, you won’t be disappointed. I did make some seasoning adjustments by adding some thyme and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper to the “gravy” but, although I’ve got nothing to compare it to having never eaten the actual meat dish in my life, it was a savory, filling breakfast that I would gladly have again. It was quick, easy, and it only required one pan! WIN! YUM! Bisquick eat your heart out.

Then, we hung our original Kribbs on the wall, finally! We had to wait for the calendar to come down and free up the appropriate spot near the espresso machine. Be jealous.

"Coffee Feeling" '08

After that Mr. Crow and I went out to run errands. We did laundry, dropped off our recycling, Petco for cat litter, and World Market where I found this:

Don't Stop the Poopin'!

Truly, the world is full of wondrous things.

Anyway, upon arriving home Mr. Crow and I were famished from all the hunting and gathering. So, whilst he assembled the new entertainment stand we bought I scurried to the kitchen to make cheese steak sandwiches!!!!! Yet another meat dish that I’ve never actually had. This recipe comes from my vegetarian starter kit that came from Mercy For Animals. Again, I made a few changes but I think they turned out for the best. Mr. Crow ate two of these in about five seconds flat.

1T olive oil

1 med. onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 med. red bell pepper, seeded and julienned

8 oz. of seitan (we made our own)

a generous splash of Braggs liquid aminos

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 oz of mozzarella cheese (*vegetarian please!)

4 small (6”) pitas (or flatbreads)

*most cheeses are made with rennet which is an enzyme that comes from a dead cow’s stomach. ovo-lacos beware! Plus, it’s just nasty. You can find cheeses made with bacterial enzymes fairly easily but if it just says “enzymes” on the back it’s probably dead cow.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, cover, and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the seitan and cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Add Braggs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and recover to melt. Scoop the mixture into the bread and enjoy!

Like my new plates?

And now some pictures of things completely unrelated to anything else!

First up: a fruit bowl! It looked so happy and good I just wanted to share it !

Feeling fruity!

Now, this next picture is something we bought at the grocery store. It’s supposed to be all amazing and stuff. It sounds good so we’re going to try it. Mr. Crow doesn’t eat enough fruits and veggies for my liking and he oftentimes forgets to take his vitamins so this is the alternative. CHOCOLATE SMOOTHIE!!!

I've got my fingers crossed.

I’m trying the “berry” and “natural” flavors as well. A product review will be forthcoming. Also, if you’re interested, here is a link to the product website for you to see for yourself.