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Thank you everybody, for the commiseration about dumb boy things… it actually made me feel so much better! Thankfully it all worked out and I could quickly get back to business making cookies *constantly* with Pomme as we get closer and closer to perfecting the art of the invented cookie. And also we can make a batch in about 3 minutes. And also, they are all delicious (okay, some were dog biscuits, but most had chocolate and were… delicious).
These were actually from a recipe… the infamous Crispy Peanut Butter cookies from VwaV that have legendary crumbling abilities (oooweeeeoooooo). They actually held together pretty nicely once you let them cool. And so toasty-sweet melt in your mouth-y!
And that kinda necessitated a small batch of Extraveganza Crispy Peanut Butter cookies for comparison (the page of which I had actually bookmarked that morning… the great minds of Pomme and I thinking alike once again!). They called for oat flake cereal – yummy! – and were so so so close to the first PB cookies I used to make as a kid. The dense and chewy kind, my favourite.
These are only one of many a muffin Pomme’s made recently. All without recipes, most perfectly addictive and warming, and so muffiny it kinda isn’t even fair to the vegetables in the fridge that definitely don’t get eaten when she pulls a fresh batch out of the oven. These apple cinnamon ones were just mouthfuls of autumn.
I made some bread at some point… loosely based on the Struan bread from the Freshloaf, except with amaranth instead of oat bran, brown rice syrup instead of honey, some added flax seeds, less yeast, way more whole wheat flour, and some leftover cooked amaranth too, to use it up. Perfect toast bread! Really nummy. Like a party at the grain cupboard and my fig jam was invited.
Prickly pear innards look like this, and they taste quite melony.
(this was entirely inspired by the vegan 100 – I can cross one more off the list now!)
More cookies! On the bottom left, invented pistachio-date-cornmeal cookies with cardamom. The bottom rights are cardamom-oatmeal-almond (we were in a mood it seems). And on the top are probably our mascot cookie – perfect rough ‘n tumble mounds of oatmeal chocolate chip bliss. No experimentation required there, just grabbing the Earth Balance from the fridge and trying not to forget the vanilla.
So I need food therapy, and pretty pictures, and I’ve even finished my homework, so I am allowed, and everyone benefits, ’cause um…. food porn is a good thing. Just bear with me if I’m not exuberant? Up there is rice! (oh wait, that exclamation point was pretty exuberant. heh). Wild rice with cherries and almonds from Extraveganza, and maple roasted turnips and beets and onions, and even dandelion greens. I kinda feel like a hobbit eating dandelion greens, like I should be making them in a little tin pot that I carry around in my pack or something, with field mushrooms and a bit of a pipe and a song for after supper. :p
Living corn chowder from Vegan Fusion — this would have rocked my toe-socks off if the corn and avocado I’d used were looking healthier than the ones I *did* use. And it was still really yummy, even with lame-ish produce. And yes, blue corn chips are totally not raw at all, but c’mon…. chip sharks. You know you want em!
It is so officially fall around here — I’m wearing my deedly-bop Value Village hoodie sweater with the studious vibe and the cool knit pattern; I’ve got visions of stuffed squash and apple votive candles everywhere; perhaps there might be a day-trip to the Laurentians to enjoy the leaves even (ha! like a grown-up or something).
But the end of summer was great! I managed to get a good day in at the Jean Talon market right here in the city on the most gorgeous of Labour Days ever. Had a monkey of a time trying to find anything resembling a decent vegan lunch, however… so I had to make do with a matcha and banana popsicle, and that was actually hella good, and surprisingly filling, so that was okay. (behind it is my mum’s strawberry pop)
Buying produce there is mad incredible. I got the most gigantic and bi-coloured cabbage ever for $1. Which is soooo okay by me! I’m still working on it, actually… mmmmm I love cabbage. And all cruciferous vegetables, actually. Like those amazing brussels sprouts up there.
The next sunny day that was milked for every joyous drop of heat-strokey lazy time was a looong stroll down to the Bouchee de Pain for a cookie. I’d heard there was a vegan bakery in the city, so I figured I’d check it out, and it’s soooooooo cute. I mean, anything with a creaky barn door, brazilian knick knacks for sale, gluten free stuff, about 6 feet of floor space and a wide selection of vegan cookiescones is great by me! I chose a watermelon knick knack and an almond & lemon cookie – the cookie being as big as my head, but worth every crumb. You wouldn’t want it smaller, they’re that good! Generously almondy, not too sweet, a good chew, and brilliant with coffee, I am SO going back when the leaves turn flamey to try their mexican chili chocolate kind with some apple cider to dunk in… miammmmm.
Somewhere in the temperateness that was between the seasons, P made the most tenderest, most nuttiest good chocolate chip scones with like, a bunch of different flours in them (w.w. pastry, oat, and amaranth). It’s a beautiful mixture for this kind of thing, the amaranth being especially interesting in it’s ability to make things very melt-in-your-mouth, and I ate way more than was necessary, and would do it again, I would!
Whatever, whatever… yellow zucchini fritters, but the interesting bit is my first balsamic reduction (tee hee), that looks way more like carnage at the pen factory than a beautifully plated dish, but it was delicious, so inksplottedness is forgiven, I think.
Some marinated eggplant with capers and mint, as per the smitten kitchen. (I think her recipes must turn out photogenically by law!)
There’s Vegan Fire & Spice, Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, Extraveganza, and More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts, I am soooo excited! I’ve been in a cooking rut, but no more!
And that Culinaria Southeast Asia, I actually got at Costco for $10 and it’s like, the best book on southeast asian cuisine ever. It has recipes, but also culture, geography, history, festivals, art, ecology, everything else that’s interesting about people! Separated into Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, it’s really compulsive reading… I NEVER thought I would know so much about the manufacturing of soy, hehe.
Although one can’t really ever discount the old faithfuls of the cookbook shelf – after waking up a teeny tad hungover and NOT able to stomach the thought of oatmeal sitting heavy in my gut, I decided to make a protein-y breakfast of champions in the hour I had before school. Breakfast chorizo from Vwav, and tofu scramble, and tortillas… perfect. (not pictured: coffee, black. and plenty of it).
And later that evening I brought out the bevy of treasurebooks (and by that I mean cookbooks, of course) to show to P and J and that immediately brought out the “kid with a christmas catalogue” instinct in the lot of us. We could NOT decide what to make for dinner. We almost ordered out for vegan pizza. But lo – finally P made a salad of purple peppers and baby greens, J made his oh-so famous guac, and I made 3 of the simplest concoctions I could find out of Extraveganza – the Quick Noodles with Miso Lemon Tahini Sauce + Lemon Sesame Kale + Red Cabbage with Basil and Balsamic Vinegar. Amazing. I realized halfway through dinner that the way to do it was to toss everything together in one very fun-to-eat pasta dish, with all the components bursting with flavour in their own distinct way.
I mean, wow, I made a dinner with components and I didn’t even realize it. Gorsh.
(I like this book, I like this book, I SO like this book… I was even saying to P it might be my new love affair after the V-con. Seriously.)
And I mentioned fall, I know I did… this pie must close the post because it’s just so seasonally crisp-cool in the air right now, and I’m feeling in that sort of mood. But I must admit that I actually made this pie a few days ago with a pumpkin I bought at the market, and I might have to make another one soon, because we’re almost out and the thought of not having pumpkin pie in the fridge for one moment makes me sad.
Wowee, I actually splurged and got myself a new repository of recipeeeez, hurray. I decided on Jae Steele‘s book, Get It Ripe, mostly because of how healthy and easy it all looked, and it seemed perfect now that school’s started to keep my time in the kitchen to a relaxed minimum.
(also, she’s a local gal who runs between montreal and toronto a lot, and also – Aux Vivres restaurant recipes, like the Millet & Mushroom Tortiere? Yes, please!)
First up, and so far my fave – Baked Barbecue Tofu with mushrooms and green peppers. SO more-ish (spicy, tomato-y, nutty!), and it takes all of 3 minutes to throw together. And excellent cold the next day.
The lentil dhal was also a winner! It should be with red lentils, for the record – I only had brown. But still very very delicious. (I added a bit of EB, for that ghee kinda taste, and slathered it on rice cakes for the next few days – amazing!)
And the infamous flax-maple cookies were less like shortbread and more like biscuits, but once I wrapped my head around their less-sweet character, I realized they really were a lovely after-school teatime snack. And SO simple to throw together, I probably stood in front of a bowl for a minute and half, threw the pretty coins in the oven for another few minutes and cookie-baking time was over. So really, perfect for september! And also – very healthy! Win-win.
There’s also a million awesome pages of baking tips, health information, cooking charts and personable advice, so there’s that going for it, too. Oh, and beautiful pictures. It’s a really cute book! And I definitely know where I’ll be going for dinner ideas when I’m in a rush. :)
# 1 —
My sister’s adorable cats! That sit in windows and watch tea gettin’ made, scurrying into peach boxes and pretending to cut potatoes for our massive potato-wedge lunch whilst watching the new Project Runway episodes. Cuteness overload of the “kitties plus weapons” variety.
# 2 —
Going to lunch at The Table restaurant (a pay-by-weight buffet that’s largely gluten-free and probably 96% vegan). I wrote down the details of every minute morsel shortly after enjoying this, but it seems I lost the notepad file on my computer… alas. To the best of my memory, there was tofu & nut terrine, corn fritters with sweet onion chutney, black bean & quinoa salad, sesame snap peas, dandelion greens, smoky tempeh chunks, ginger with shiso, sprouts, salsa and dehydrated crackers, mashed root veg, fried tofu balls, cinnamon-y couscous, mexican lentils, german red cabbage, chickpea nibbles, slaw, eggplant curry, zucchinis, and beets, and onions….. not to even mention pumpkin pie for dessert (as well as two kinds of chocolate cake – beet and raspberry – and apple cake, and date squares, chocolate pudding, and gingersnaps with gray salt, cayenne and olive oil). Best. Dinner. Out. Ever.