Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hello ...anybody out there?

It's been so long since I've posted that I'm surprised Blogger didn't take away my blogging rights. But thank goodness they didn't!! As of June last year, my world got crazy busy. And by that I mean I took on a new job which has been non-stop's like I donated all of my 26th year to my employer. And for what? Cash. So sad.

So here are the highlights! In October I went to Manhattan. NYC, baby! It's been my childhood dream to visit / live / obsess over the big apple and I was so happy my dream finally came true. So to commemorate this success my picture is of the cake-batter sundae I wolfed down at Lula's Sweet Apothecary.

I've also made a couple trips back to the homeland (Milwaukee) and have otherwise been in Portland. I've been busy learning away taking classes in German, Pattern-making, Fashion Sketching, Sewing ...even ice skating! Dream number 2: Be a famous fashion designer! (Can you tell I have lofty unrealistic goals? I'm the type of person who actually thinks they're going to win the lottery when they buy a ticket).

I wish the last year has been all ice cream floats and shopping. Sadly, it's mostly been work. To the extent that I have heart palpitations from stress, insomnia, and nightmares I don't even know who I am anymore. The recipe for that my friends is 1 part overload and 1 part evil boss.

Anyway, I hope to do more blogging some day. Just wanted to say "hello" to anyone still out there. :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Soy Curls and Double Decker Chikn' Tacos

It is the absolute truth that Mexican food is my favorite. I remember the first time I had taco bell as a kid (have I mentioned that?) and how it was my favorite fast food restaurant growing up. Taco bell even released some food-kits in the grocery store where you could recreate certain items on the menu and I loved those as well.

One thing that really stuck with me from the Taco Bell days were Double Decker tacos. I like to believe they invited them but I don't know if there is any truth to that.

Essentially you take a tortilla, coat it with refried beans and wrap it around a hard shell taco. MMMMMM!

Vegan boyfriend and I will typically fill the hard shell tacos with boca ground beef but this time we worked with Soy Curls. When I first heard about SC I chalked it up as a vegan food I would never be interested in trying. I had the chance to taste it though at Native Bowl food cart and OMG soooooooooo good! They sell them now at Blossoming Lotus too and even there they are good. So I figured WTH I'll give them a whirl.

SC are very easy to make. You heat up some water and soak them for 10 minutes. Cook them on your stovetop with oil and seasonings and you're good to go. (Hint - use lots of flavor since these have none). They remind me a lot of those morningstar strips that came out once upon a time but much less expensive and far less ingredients.

Go make some tacos!

Arroz y Habichuelas

This is one of my favorite recipes from the "Dining with Friends" cookbook. It's so simple and satisfying. I find this to be true of Priscilla's other recipes too and I go back to them again and again.

I prefer canned beans to dried and this recipe calls for the later though I use the former. :) This time around I wasn't thinking and added the salt intended for dry beans into my sofrito...3 teaspoons!! It was soooooo salty and completely inedible. I had to double the recipe by adding a can of tomato sauce and black beans to mellow out the taste. The aftermath was still salty but this time it was in fact edible.

I hope to never make that mistake again!


Okay, honestly, how long can a girl who LOVES breakfast go without buying a Waffle Iron? I caved in about a week ago and when I took my treasure home I learned my new toy was busted. I had to postpone my waffle making glory to the week following when I returned/upgraded my iron and voila - success!

I am trying to figure out if there is a difference between waffle and pancake mixes...does anyone have the answer to that? It seems that the products in the grocery store are interchangeable as they're often marked "pancake/waffle mix." I was leery of screwing up my first attempt so I googled some recipes and came to the following link.

I changed nothing of the recipe and only added some blueberries. It seemed to cook pretty well in the iron though the cooking part initially took FOREVER. Eventually I had to turn the dial to the max so I could get the damn thing to brown.

It made a pretty waffle (see?!?).

Vegan boyfriend ended up being the taste-tester and we had the following dialogue:

VB - "It tastes like an ice cream cone"
Me - "Oh, you mean a waffle cone?"
VB - " the regular cheap tastes like those things they give out in church"

Ok, great. So when I got around to mind, I could see his point. It wasn't bad though; it held together and with butter, maple syrup and fruit, it wasn't a big loss. We'll just go for a different recipe next time.

Italian Food in the Great Outdoors

I was totally stoked to find a cute bistro set that was 1. small enough for my tiny patio and 2. within my tiny budget. I fell in love with this at Home Depot and couldn't stop thinking about it. When I went back a week later to make my purchase it had gone on sale - $40 off!! ZING!

Isn't it lovely?

Vegan boyfriend made a tasty Italian dinner and it ended up being exactly what the doctor ordered. yummy?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Strawberry French Toast

There are few things more romantic than Strawberry French Toast. Eating it makes you feel like you're sitting in a bed of roses. Ordinarily, I'm not *that* into French Toast...I always felt it was overrated and never quite understood the hype. That being said I don't dislike it by any means s it's more of a once or twice a year dish.

I found that cutting up the berries on top didn't quite give me as much strawberry as I was looking for. Or maybe it was that we were eating berries early in the season and they weren't quite packed with that flavor. Either way, next time I'll experiment with some kind of puree or sauce. MmmmMmm!

If I recall, this was essentially sour dough bread with a mix of soymilk, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Meh.

Tofurkey Cheeze Pizza


There are 3 glorious flavors but I decided to start at the beginning: Cheese. Tofurky paired up with Daiya on these frozen wonders. I can't help but think to myself how ridiculously loaded those Daiya people must be...where don't they have relationships? This stuff is being stuffed in gardein, tofurky and restaurants everywhere. Genius + delicious = genicious. $6 and change.

I felt kind of embarrassed walking out of Food Fight with this box in my clutches. Not so much for the product but mostly because 1. I'm the type of person who buys frozen pizza and 2. I publicly stand in line like a dork for the latest cheezy vegan things.

I had to laugh to myself at how much this reminds me of brands like Tombstone frozen pizzas. My parents often defaulted to frozen pizza when my sister and I grew up. We'd buy the veggie version though none of us were vegetarian. My mom was convinced the meat varieties were made of "rat meat." I hated the wilty little veggie was always frozen in the center and so sooo yucky; it was my opinion this never happened with the pepperoni. ANYHOO, the tofurky pizza was looking a little sparse in the center and reminded me of the good ole days. :)

As you can see, the cooked version looks exactly like the baked. It was not bad! I would say this could feed 2 people in a sitting...obviously the pie is MUCH smaller than takeout. My only gripe is that it wasn't very saucy and I like extra sauce typically. NOM!

But honestly, a frozen pizza to heat up in only 10 minutes...that is crazy! Go out and buy some!