Tuesday, October 31, 2006

This and That

A couple weeks back (during my blogging lull), I actually did whip up a few items of grub, but they weren't really anything to write home about. I figured I'd feature them here nonetheless, one as a warning and the other as at least a halfway decent quick dinner idea.

I was feeling a fiendish, teeth-grinding need for greens and quinoa, so I whipped this up real quick. I steamed my remaining quinoa, shredded up some romaine lettuce and threw it in a bowl, topped it with the quinoa as well as some black beans and leftover canned diced tomatoes and a bit of cilantro pesto. Nothing special, but a good quick meal. I did cave and throw on some hot salsa as well since I usually like my salads drenched in something or another.

I also finally tried out the Taste of Thai Panang Curry Paste I'd bought on a whim at the grocery store. More like a Taste of My Ball-Sack--this stuff was bland bland bland. Kinda like licking a table. If I hadn't made enough for a few days worth of lunch, it would've gone straight to the garbage. But I didn't wanna be wasteful. A definite thumbs-down.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


And finally, some of the food-stragglers of the party:

Since I still had pumpkin seeds left over from back when I whipped up that cilantro and pumpkin seed pesto, I figured why the hell not toast some pumpkin seeds, seeing as pumpkins = halloween and whatnot.

So that's what I did.

For one half of them, I used the Spicy Pumpkin Seed recipe from The Complete Vegan Cookbook--these were really quite tasty (even though I'm not a big fan of pumpkin seeds) with a bit of zip to them but not too much. They're flavored with spices the likes of cumin and chili powder.

For the other half, I decided to whip up a sweeter batch of pumpkin seeds. These also weren't too bad.

  • 1.5 T. canola oil

  • 2 c. raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds

  • 2 t. cinnamon

  • 1/2 t. nutmeg

  • 1/4 t. ground cloves

  • 4 T. sugar

Heat oil in a large skillet. Toss in your seasonings (everything except the sugar) and let cook for about 30 seconds. Toss in your pumpkin seeds and stir until coated in seasonings. Let toast, stirring occasionally, until they've begun to make popping noises and turn a golden brown. Remove from stove and put in a bowl with a lid. Add the sugar. Put lid on. Shake bowl until sugar is distributed amongst the pumpkin seeds. Nibble away.

The best part of the pumpkin seed roasting is that it leaves your house smelling earthy and autumnal. Good stuff.

The final item that I whipped up for the party I forgot to take pictures of, but it wasn't too remarkable anyways, so perhaps it worked out ok. And that was Not Pigs in a Blanket. I was inspired by the recipe in Garden of Vegan, but at this point, I was feeling wicked lazy after having spent time whipping all the other goodies up. So instead of making my own biscuity material to wrap the wienies in, I just went out and bought the Pillsbury Crescent Rolls that the VegCooking Shopping Guide has listed as vegan and used those instead. For the wienies, I bought a 12-pack of vegan hotdogs. And then what I did was cut them each into thirds and nab a bit of Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough to wrap around each one. I then baked them for about 10 minutes, I believe, at about 375. They were a bit doughier than I would've liked, but they were definitely browned, so I had no other choice than to remove them. I wasn't too bowled over by them (perhaps it was just the brand of hot dogs, or the fact that vegan hotdogs don't always cook up best in the oven), but every single one had vanished within the hour, so maybe it was just me.

Oh, and of course I threw together a batch of the infamous Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance as not everyone at the party had been lucky enough to have tried them before. And as always, they were a hit.

I'm telling you--they are like Love Potion #9 in the world of vegan goodies.

So please, dear god, if you haven't run out and whipped them up yet, do so. Get laid. Have fun. Eat cookies! HURRAH!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Black Punch and Disembodied Hand

My other favoritest item of Campy Horror Movie Night was a punch I made. I rarely drink pop anymore--I gave it up around the time I started eating vegan. But I couldn't pass this one up as it looks creepy and was almost idiotically simple to make.

I modified it from the original recipe some (it originally called for an additional two fricking cups of sugar, but on top of 4 liters of pop, that sounded like it might induce a sugar-coma, so I steared clear), so I'm not gonna try to track the original down again. But if you're gonna make this, you must *DEFINITELY* go with the ice-cube hand as well, because, well, it makes the fricking punch.

  • 1 unsweetened packet of grape Koolaid

  • 1 unsweetened packet of orange Koolaid

  • 2 Liter Pepsi (or Coke)

  • 2 Liter ginger ale (I think I used Canada Dry)

  • 4 c. cold water

  • 1 or 2 vinyl gloves (obviously, the ones that aren't powdered inside)

  • 1 bottle of rum

Giving them enough time to freeze (overnight or so), fill up one or two vinyl gloves with water and tie the ends off. Toss in freezer (on a solid and not slatted-surface).

Mix all your ingredients together carefully in a punch-bowl. Remove frozen hand from freezer. Run it carefully under cool water. Cut off the end and slowly and carefully remove the glove from the ice cube. Toss in the bowl. It melts, but not as terribly quickly as the original recipe stated (the fingers go first of course), so you may wanna wait until enough people get to your party to toss it into your bowl, that way it can be appreciated in all its gruesome glory.

Place your bottle of rum on the side, that way people can either drink the punch in its virgin state or lube it up a bit and get plastered.

The best part of it all is that it tastes like Pixie Stix!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bloody Finger Cookies



These have always been my favorite cookies to bake--they are way too much fun to shape and gorify, almost better than pumpkin-carving when it comes to entertaining gruesomeness. And people love them--they are initially grossed out, but then they taste them and can't stop eating them. Despite the grossness of them, they are rich and delicate little almond cookies. And they came out just as lovely-tasting veganized, perhaps even BETTER-tasting than the original recipe (they tasted more luxuriant and crispier to me). They were the definite favorite of Saturday night's party.

  • 1 c. vegan margarine (I use the Earth Balance tub that says it's good for baking on it), softened

  • 1 c. vegan powdered sugar

  • 1.5 t. of Ener G egg replacer mixed with 2 T. warm water (equivalent of one egg)

  • 1 t. almond extract

  • 1 t. vanilla extract

  • 2 2/3 c. flour

  • 1 t. baking powder

  • 1/2 t. salt

  • 3/4 c. whole blanched almonds (or you can blanch them yourself if you can only find ones with skin)

  • 1 tube red decorating gel (make sure it's vegan, but i didn't have any problems finding a tube)

In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar, EnerG egg replacer/water mix, almond extract and vanilla; beat in the flour, baking powder and salt. Refrigerate covered for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325F. Take one quarter of dough at a time from the refrigerator. Break off one heaping teaspoonful and roll it into a finger shape. Press an almond firmly into one end for a nail. Squeeze in around the middle of the finger to create a knuckle shape. Using a butter knife, make indents in several places to resemble a finger. Repeat with rest of dough.

Place cookies on a lightly greased baking sheet (or parchment paper) and bake for 25 minutes (or until a golden brown on the bottom). Let cool three minutes. Gently lift up the almond; squeeze red decorating gel onto the nailbed and press the almond back in place, so gel oozes out from underneath. Add in red gel at the stump end of the fingertip if there's a bit of a cave. Remove cookies from baking sheets and let them cool on wire racks.


Make your fingers thin. They plump up and sink down as they bake.

Make a small indentation into the end of the finger where it would've been severed from the hand. You can later squish some red gell in there to make it look like a bloody stump.

Makes about 2-dozen cookies

Cerberus, The Three-Headed Dip

So I'm back in black, babies!

Campy horror movie night was a success and a blast and a gorefest and a laughfest, all rolled into one. And man do I have recipes out the ass. Prepare yourselves.

We ended up laughing our way through two different horror flicks, Bloodlust, which features the dad from The Brady Bunch, and The Killer Shrews which is no doubt one of my all-time favorite campy horror flicks. It features dogs with added fur cloaked over their backs to look like "killer shrews." It features an unbelievable amount of alcohol consumption--my friend Mo pointed out, quite brilliantly, that this would make an awesome horror flick for a drinking game... If you drank one shot or a few gulps of beer every time someone in the movie did, you'd be quite lit very very quickly... please note this suggestion. ; ) And it features some of the funniest (and unintentional) one-liners ever ("I don't believe in asking questions, it's against my principles" and "I'll take a dull, alive woman any day"). Much too much fun.

I decked out my apartment to the brim with Halloween decorations (I love Halloween and I've built up a good collection, but I did venture out to the Halloween store for more over the weekend, including a sweet skeleton-hand punch ladle--woot woot).

I also couldn't resist the fake-blood at the store (especially when I checked the ingredients and realized that--apparently--it was vegan), so I of course had to zombify myself for the evening, grossing people out with the blood smeared all around my mouth and in my hair.

And the goodies were plentiful and enjoyed by everyone. As I mentioned last week, I whipped up everything from various dips to veganized witch's finger cookies (which were a success, folks!) to black punch complete with a frozen ice cube hand, so expect lots of recipe gems this week.

To start us off, I shall share with you the Cerberus of chip-dips I made for the party, from the boring to the sublime.

On the boring end of the range was the spicy peanut dip from The Garden of Vegan. I even added extra peanut-butter to the dip, and it still did nothing for me, which was a bit disappointing. It just tasted potently tofu-ish. And clearly other folks felt the same, seeing as it was relatively untouched at the end of the night. I'd stear clear--I'm sure there are plenty of other good dips in that recipe book to make use of instead.

For my second dip, I tried out Courtney's Smoky Chipotle and Black Bean Dip from Fat-free Vegan and it was quite quite good. I consumed way too much of the leftovers while zombied out (no pun intended) in my pjs in front of a movie yesterday in a post-party stupor. I made no variations to the recipe, but it DID end up inspiring me to make my own black bean salsa (whose recipe I'll post in a moment).

Smoky Chipotle and Black Bean Dip

  • 1/3 c. green onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 t. garlic, minced

  • 2 t. cumin

  • 1 - 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 c. water

  • 1/4 c. freshly chopped cilantro

  • 2 T. lime juice

  • 1 T. freshly chopped oregano

  • 1 t. chipotle chiles in adobo, pureed

  • 1/4 t. salt


In a small non-stick skillet, sauté the green onions and garlic for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the cumin, sauté 3 additional minutes or until fragrant, remove from heat, and set aside. In a food processor or blender, combine the green onion mixture and the remaining ingredients, and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, you can also add more chipotle puree if you like spicy flavors. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or veggies.

* * * * * * * * *

For the final of the three dips (and my favorite), I whipped up a black-bean salsa of sorts. It turned out SO fricking tasty that it even surprised me, and my friend Joe fiendishly consumed most of it during the course of the night and lavished it with compliments, so I suspect I wasn't the only one who thought so.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

  • One 15 oz. can of black beans, drained

  • 1/2 a can of corn

  • About 1/2 a 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes (or a 15 oz. can would work just as well, obviously)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro

  • Juice of one lime

Mix all the ingredients together. Let sit for at least an hour so the flavors mingle. Serve.

This final recipe is so fricking simple that you'll be amazed out how good it tastes.

* * * * * * * * *

As for the rest of the week's recipes, I promise to post the finger-cookies recipe sooner rather than later as I suspect some of you may very well be throwing your own Halloween galas this upcoming weekend. So stay-tuned for tomorrow's post.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

New Recipes Next Week, Promise!

I've been really bad this week and haven't posted one useful recipe.

But I promise you, I should have plenty to share next week since I'm having a campy horror movie night at my place on Saturday, complete with many Halloween-themed numblies.

It originally started out as a handful of us, but the number of people interested kept increasing and increasing. So now there's gonna be about 15 of us jammed around my television. Hee hee.

I think we're gonna probably end up watching one of these two flicks (at least):

(Click pictures to watch clips of each)

The Killer Shrews

The Giant Gila Monster

And as of right now, I plan to whip up the following items as hors d'oeuvres, so expect pictures and some recipes:
    Chips and pretzels with:

  • Either spicy black bean dip or some sort of layered taco dip

  • A tangy peanut dip (probably the one from Garden of Vegan)

  • And then...

  • Not pigs in a blanket from Garden of Vegan

  • Pumpkin oatmeal cookies from VwaV again, since they're a crowd-pleaser

  • Black Halloween punch

  • And I'm gonna try veganizing my favorite Halloween cookies--witch's fingers (these are the non-vegan versions I made last Halloween when I hadn't yet taken the vegan leap):

    Keep your witches' fingers crossed that they come out ok!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I Stink Like Sushi Orange Oily Feces (Part III of "The Most Bizarre Google Searches By Which People Stumble Across This Blog")


I haven't blogged all week. I have pictures sitting at home (nothing hugely interesting though) but haven't had time to upload or post them.

I am a bad bad naughty bad girl.

*Pouting at you and batting eyelashes*

So in lieu of my busy laziness (is that even possible?), I bring you Part III of "The Most Bizarre Google Searches By Which People Stumble Across This Blog." (You can check out Part II--and a link to Part I--HERE, for those of you who haven't been keeping up.)

Enjoy! And remember--if you're looking for "the sweetest shit ever," you need look no further!
  • sushi orange oily feces

  • pasta shite

  • drugs for patients sockarooni

  • best damn pasta salad

  • i was craving beans

  • cat shit cookies

  • sweetest shit ever

  • shit pie recipe

  • fastest recipes to make you shit

  • toss the salad tasting feces

  • kielbasa queen deep throat

  • shit in your mouth

  • mac lauren's (this was just sweet and made me seem all Madonna/Prince one-name-like)

  • shit enchilada

  • mascara ingredients bat poo

  • didn't rinse the lentils

  • good shit line of a champion

  • sweet potato queens cat shit cookies

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ooey Gooey Apple Crisp

The final item I whipped up for our autumnal dinner this past Friday was an apple crisp. I basically kinda mutatedly fused the cinnamon apple crisp recipe and the apple crisp recipe from the PPK with excellent results.

I have yet to purchase a small baking dish/casserole dish (yes, I am cheap, and stupid, and really just need to suck it up and buy one already), so I ended up just baking the crisp in a loaf-pan. But it still came out gooey and cinnamony and caramely and sweet. So apparently size and shape DON'T matter all that much! Baha. Uh yeah. *Straightening out necktie*


For the apple part:
  • 5-6 apples, sliced in 1/4-inch slices or so

  • 1 T. cornstarch

  • 2 t. cinnamon

  • 1/8 t. nutmeg

  • 1/8 t. allspice

  • 1/16 t. cloves

  • 1/2 c. brown sugar + 1/2 c. water

For the crisp part:
  • 1/2 c. oats

  • 1/2 c. flour

  • 1/2 c. brown sugar

  • 1/4 t. baking powder

  • 1/4 t. cinnamon

  • 1/6 c. canola oil (or 1/2 of a 1/3 measuring cup)

  • 1.5 T. soy milk

  • 1/2 t. vanilla

  • 1/8 t. salt

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to about 375. Mix together everything for the apple part except for the apples. Place the apples in your bread-loaf pan and then drizzle the mixture all over the apples. In a separate bowl, mix together everything for the crisp part. Sprinkle this mixture on top of your apples. Cover with tin foil--bake for 10 minutes. Remove tin foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes. Serve with soy ice cream.

Servings: 6+

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Walnuts, Green Tomatoes, and Cilantro-Pumpkin Seed Pesto

So as I mentioned earlier this week, I decided to try making some homemade gnocchi this weekend, something I'd never done before. But I love me some gnocchi, so I figured, what the hell... And damn if I wasn't pleased that I decided to try it out. Store-bought gnocchi doesn't even come CLOSE to the fresh stuff.

Overall, I actually really quite liked this dish (which I invented all by myself--look, ma, no hands!). And in the making of the dish, I thankfully only ran into a few real issues.

The first was the gnocchi dough--given that I've never made gnocchi before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Bryanna's Nonna's Italian Kitchen cookbook gave some tips for making regular potato gnocchi, so I used those to guide myself. She warned that the dough would be sticky, so you want to add the flour slowly until it's sticky but not SO sticky that you can't work with it; then you should stop, because the less flour you add, the more tender the gnocchi will be. And damn if she wasn't right about the gnocchi dough being sticky--I added probably what was close (or maybe even slightly more) than the 1 3/4 c. of flour, and it STILL was a fricking bear to work with. My tip is this: flour up those hands, flour up that fork, and flour up your table. Flour flour flour! Be liberal, as I don't think it will hurt much of anything, and it'll make you a lot less liable to want to throw the wad of orangey dough onto the flour and stomp on it.

The other issue I ran into with this dish was the pesto. As I was trying to go for autumnal-themed food (pumpkin soup, sweet potato gnocchi), I decided to try out the cilantro-pumpkin seed pesto recipe from The Complete Vegan cookbook. However, I must warn you that this is some potent, spicy shit. Like mega-potent. And mega-spicy. So much so that Mo actually admitted that she wasn't too keen on it, though she loved the gnocchi and walnut-green tomato mix. (You know you're good friends with someone when they can have the openness and candor to tell you this, and your feelings aren't even hurt a bit.) I actually quite liked it myself, but only in really really really small doses. For a serving of gnocchi, I'd say you'd be pushing it if you served any more than a tablespoon of it on top. That's how strong it is.

The other problem I ran into with this pesto recipe is the pumpkin seeds. Apparently pumpkins seeds are the cockroaches of the food world--they just WILL NOT DIE no matter how much time you spend trying to smash them to pieces. This was probably the most aggravating aspect of the whole dinner. I tried food-processing the raw pumpkin seeds first with no luck. They barely even wore down. Then I added the other pesto ingredients, and that only seemed to help minimally. It took much much much spinning of my food-processing blades (and probably some burning out of my motor) to finally get them ground up fairly reasonably. And even still, we kept running across little deviant still-whole pumpkin seeds. It was sheer madness. So be forewarned.

All that being said and done, I was very happy with this dish. The gnocchi were plump and wonderfully gloriously tender (despite me being worried about this), and the walnuts, green tomatoes, and pesto all mingled in a delightfully earthy but zingy mix. And it tasted like autumn. So there!


The Cilantro and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

(I am actually posting this recipe--from The Complete Vegan--since it's not really a whole recipe, and I highly doubt that it'll keep you from running out and buying the cookbook. Consider it a teaser to get you to want more more more Complete Vegan recipes. *Trying to make myself feel less guilty*)
  • 1 c. chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 c. chopped fresh parsley

  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 c. raw unsalted pumpkin-seeds

  • 2 T. fresh-squeezed lime juice

  • 1 T. dried oregano

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 t. ground cumin

  • 1/2 t. salt

  • 1/4 t. dried red chili flakes (cutting this down to 1/8 t. or something will probably help combat some of the fierce spiciness)

  • 1 T. nutritional yeast (this is not in the original recipe--I was trying to despicify it a bit after taste-testing)

Food process all of the above, except for the olive oil. Once it is processed, add the olive oil slowly while the blade is still running until it is mixed throughout.

The gnocchi
  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 2 large sweet potatoes)

  • 1 3/4 c. flour

  • 1/4-1/2 t. salt

Remove the skins of the sweet potatoes and then steam them both until they are tender. Immediately mash them up (while still hot) and add the salt. Gradually add the flour in (I did at about 1/2 c. at a time), mixing until the dough is sticky but workable. (Remember: the less flour you end up using, the more melt-in-your-mouth tender they'll be.) Flour your table or whatever you'll be kneading the dough on, as well as your hands. Knead for 2-3 minutes. Roll chunks of the dough out into 3/4-inch worm-like strings. Cut into 3/4-inch chunks. For each little gnocchi-chunk, take a fork (which you'll probably also wanna flour a bit) and press the chunk against the tines with your thumb--the point is to leave the lines of the fork on one side and your thumb imprint on the other. Once you get through all the dough (the quantity in the recipe I made makes enough gnocchi for probably 6-10 servings, in my opinion; I only made gnocchi from about half the dough, and froze the rest--which hopefully is an ok thing to do; I must look this up--and it made about 4 small-sized servings in this particular dish), start dropping the gnocchi into boiling water in small batches. Once they rise to the top, remove and drain them. (You may wanna taste-test a couple and make sure you shouldn't let them float on the top for a bit longer if they're TOO tender.) Repeat with all the remaining gnocchi until you're done.

The complete dish
  • 1/2 - 1 lb. green tomatoes, diced

  • 1 c. walnuts, toasted

  • Cilantro-pumpkin seed pesto

  • 1/2 of the sweet potato gnocchi you made above

  • 1/2 - 1 T. olive oil

Heat up the olive oil in a skillet. Toss in the green tomatoes and gnocchi and a little bit of salt. Fry on low/medium until the green tomatoes have softened and the gnocchi has browned just the slightest. Remove from the heat. Throw in the walnuts and mix. Serve a couple large spoonfuls of the mixture on a plate and top with some cilantro-pumpkin seed pesto (1/2 T. - 1 T.). Enjoy.

Servings: Given all the quantities above, I can tell you this: You will have excess pesto left-over (since you'll only want to use very little because of the spiciness). I just froze it. The complete dish quantities assume that you only use 1/2 batch of the sweet-potato gnocchi dough (so you can either just cut the quantities in half and make a half-batch of the gnocchi recipe--if you don't want leftover dough, or you can make the complete amount and store the rest for a later date). Given all that, this should serve about 4, particularly if accompanied by soup and fresh bread.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Pumpkin-Rice Soup with Sage and Walnuts

Finally, a few minutes of spare time! Woot woot.

OK--speed soup-discussion, here we come.

As I mentioned, Thursday night I cooked an autumn feast for me and my bestest of friends.

First on the menu was a pumpkin-rice soup with sage and walnuts from The Complete Vegan Cookbook. Simple, highly-autumnal, of course (due to the pumpkin base), and so ridiculously tasty that I just wanted to keep going back for more. And more. And more. But I controlled myself.

I shan't post the recipe here (but I promise recipes for the rest of the meal later this week), but to give you a general idea: it has a pumpkin and veggie broth base, is cooked with basmati rice and a heaping mound of sage, and is adorned with fresh parsley, walnuts, and lemon juice. And it is good, folks. Good enough that you should be sitting there right now, pondering the quickest way to get your hands on this cookbook, if for nothing else than this recipe. Good enough that you should wish it was autumn all year round, just so you'd have an excuse to keep making this. Over. And over. And over.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the sweet potato gnocchi recipe. Keep those drool-glands prepped!

Friday's Autumnal Dinner with Mo

I did oh so much cooking on Friday night. Let this be a tantalizing preview of recipes to come this week:

Friday's Autumn Dinner Menu:
  • Pumpkin-Rice Soup with Sage and Walnuts

  • Homemade Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Walnuts, Green Tomatoes, and Cilantro-Pumpkin Seed Pesto

  • Apple Crisp and Ice Cream for dessert

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Finally! Finally we get to my favorite thing that I made all week: the Vegan with a Vengeance pumpkin oatmeal cookies. These things are so fricking good that they make you want to run around your office floor while singing operatic music at the top of your lungs and leaping joyously like a ballerina, they make violins want to swell ecstatically, they make birds want to alight on your shoulders and beams of sunlight break through the clouds to beam down on you and you only, they make you want to howl orgasmically and make all the prudes' faces turn beet-red, they make you wanna stop in the middle of the street and start break-dancing or doing the robot, they make you want to make sweet sweet love to them. That's how good they are.

Seriously though, when I brought them into work, I described them as tasting "like you're chewing on a nice big squishy wad of autumn." And that's precisely what they taste like, all warm and yummy with the scents of pumpkin and cinnamon and nutmeg. Good good stuff. And everyone who tried them loved them as well. I even had one person randomly mutter to me as I was leaving the other day, "Man, this day somehow just isn't as good without pumpkin cookies." And it's true--if every day were a pumpkin-oatmeal cookie day, the world would be a much better place.

  • 2 c. flour

  • 1 1/3 c. rolled oats

  • 1 t. baking soda

  • 3/4 t. salt

  • 1 t. cinnamon

  • 1/2 t. nutmeg

  • 1 2/3 c. sugar

  • 2/3 c. canola oil

  • 2 T. molasses

  • 1 c. canned pumpkin, or cooked pureed pumpkin

  • 1 t. vanilla

  • optional: 1 T ground flax seeds

  • 1 c. walnuts, finely chopped

  • 1/2 c. raisins

Preheat oven to 350. Have ready 2 greased baking sheets.

Mix together flour, oats, baking soda, salt and spices.

In a seperate bowl, mix together sugar, oil, molasses, pumpkin and vanilla (and flax seeds if using) until very well combined. Add dry ingredients to wet in 3 batches, folding to combine. Fold in walnuts and raisins.

Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. They don't spread very much so they can be placed only an inch apart. Flatten the tops of the cookies with a fork or with your fingers, to press into cookie shape. Bake for 16 minutes at 350. If you are using two sheets of cookies on 2 levels of your oven, rotate the sheets halfway through for even baking. You'll have enough batter for 4 trays.

Remove from oven and get cookies onto a wire rack to cool. These taste best when they've had some time to cool and set. They taste even better the next day!

from the PPK

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Rice, Red Peppers, and Bean Sprouts with Ginger Peanut Dressing

On the list of things to make for lunch this week, I decided to tackle the "Rice, Red Peppers, and Bean Sprouts with Ginger Peanut Dressing" from The Complete Vegan Cookbook (which is pretty damn kick-ass, and which I'll be using some recipes from this weekend as well). The recipe's pretty self-explanatory from the name of it--it's a brown rice dish tumbled with shaved carrots, diced red peppers, and green onions, and drizzled with a very gingery peanut dressing. Normally you're supposed to serve it in a large lettuce leaf of some sort and top it with bean sprouts. I followed the directions with regard to the latter, but not the former (as I'd forgotten to pick up any sort of lettuce over the weekend).

This is an uber-simple recipe--like I said, basically, the name of the recipe gives you an idea of most of the main things you need to do. Since I'm not posting the recipe here (it ain't on-line), I will say this: you could probably just use my spicy peanut sauce recipe, hop it up with a few teaspoons of ginger, and toss it in with the ingredients I mentioned above, and you'd come close to duplicating this recipe.

It really won't blow your mind or anything, though I have been gorging on it the past two days for lunch (with a little bit of peanuts tossed in on top as well), but it's light and simple. And that ain't ever a bad thing.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Teany's Top-Secret Chili Recipe

So alas, despite me having cooked quite a bit this weekend, I just realized that there's a pretty good chance there won't be any recipes being posted here all week. How suckalicious is that? But what can I do--none of them appear to be posted on-line... (I swear that this chili recipe used to be floating around somewhere on-line, but apparently not anymore.) That doesn't mean that I can't get your tastebuds lusting away though, so KEEP ON READING, FOLKS!

On Sunday I made a big huge batch of Teany's Top-Secret Chili Recipe from The Teany Book which, for those of you who don't know, was written by Kelly Tisdale and Moby, the co-creators of the Teany cafe in NYC which specializes in teas and veg*n foods. (Hence the chili being pictured above in one of my most favoritest of tea-cups--25 cents each at the fleamarket a few years back, and the insides are a lovely baby-blue.) I actually had the pleasure of eating there once on a trip to NYC with my closest friend, and it truly was a lovely experience, both in atmosphere and in food-foxiness. Now I hear rumors abounding about whether or not it's actually closed down, but from what I can gather, they've just seriously cut some hours there as of late.

But I ramble...

For those of you who don't own this little book, I recommend getting your hands on it (especially since you can do so for dirt cheap on the 'net). It's quite the lovely little thing, offering up tons of little yummbly recipes straight from the Teany Cafe as well as lots of info about teas and herbs and how to use them to make your life a more wonderful place to be living in. Not all the recipes are vegan (if I remember correctly), but it's co-written by Moby (for freak's sake), so you can expect lots of alternatives offered in the hopes of veganizing.

Anyways, back to the chili: it is a good one, a yumtastic one, and most definitely worth checking out. The tomato base is rich and dark, awash with the roastiness of both coffee and cocoa, and kicking like a kung-fu master with a ton of chili pepper and other hot spices. Swimming around in this tasty quagmire is also a lot of fricking good (and healthy) ingredients--seitan chunks, red and green peppers, white beans, kidney beans, and corn, to name the major swimmers. Oh, and cashews. Mother of god, we can't forget the Olympic gold-metal champion of them all! The cashews add a delightful crunch to an otherwise softer kind of chili recipe.

It's a fairly simple recipe--the most time-consuming aspect of it all is the chopping. And the chopping. And some more of the chopping. But it's well-worth your while, as it is rich and roasty and has seitan that will melt on your tongue like (vegan) butter. Or like sweet sweet goodness. Or like sex. Or like an ice-cube. Or like one of a hundred other kick-ass melty things. So check it the frick out.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Eating Candles...

I realized this weekend that, when it comes to cooking, I'm kinda like the moosetracks ice cream and my fella E is kinda like the vanilla. I like to make these wildly elaborate dishes that are jam-packed with 1500 different ingredients and that have me sweating over the stove oftentimes for much longer than I'd like to be (or thought I would be), but typically resulting in something decent-tasting. E on the other hand is a very minimalist cook--he whips into and out of the kitchen in bare-minimum time and his recipes and inventions are always very simple (and I don't mean that derogatorily), relying upon very basic ingredients and in doing so, unexpectedly bringing out the rich flavorings of the food itself without masking it or confusing it through excessive ingredients. Never am I more happy with tofu than when I eat one of his tofu marinades.

And for these reasons, I'm glad we alternate cooking every weekend. His cooking reminds me that simple is good and that occasionally I should try this out for myself and venture into the land of minimalism.

This weekend, he whipped up some new homemade tofu-steaks marinated in a white-wine base and speckled with button shrooms with a side of green beans and white asparagus. As always, the simplicity of the marinade just made the flavors pop, and the fact that he incorporated white wine in with some of the vegetables as well pulled the whole dinner together.

I'd never tried white asparagus before, so that was also a fun adventure. Ultimately, it tastes exactly like asparagus, but it has a stranger, more watery consistency. And it makes you feel like you're eating candles! Yes yes. (I mean, check out the picture above--does it not look like I'm about to chow down on some long-ass pieces of white wax?)

E wasn't impressed with the dinner, but I liked it quite a bit and ended up chowing on the leftovers the next day for lunch.

And despite the fact that it was E's weekend to cook, I also cooked a lot on Sunday (whipping up food for the week, since, as usual, I'll be hardpressed for time), so expect lots of post this week. Woot woot!