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Oooh, and unfortunately there’s no slice picture, but I made a red velvet cake!! It was a bit of a talent exchange and I got a professional (shi-shi, layered and subtle!) haircut from a friend of mine who adores southern stuff. I even put mint on it, a la Paula Deen. Oh, and the recipe was of course from Vegan Cupcakes and OMG this frosting if you haven’t made it yet MAKE IT it’s all whippy like creamy and dangerously low-sweet and HIDE THE SPOONS. O_O!
Right, and finally, this is definitely the result of my new love affair with my wonderful freezer. Never could have concocted something so specific without being able to freeze tiny bits of things throughout my cooking. The whole door is filled with single cookies, 1/4 cups of icing, cake shavings, and other fun detritous I collect, mwahaha. For this little cake that I made for a dinner on friday, I started with a disc of leftover Brooklyn Brownie cupcake (the recipe really does make a LOT of extra batter). Then I made a base cheesecake cream in the blender, divided that into two and stuffed one with melted chocolate and the other with peanut butter. I layered and baked that at 350 for 45 minutes, then I made a quick chocolate agar-gel for the top and was really really pleased with myself for rocking agar finally. And then! Crushed-up peanut butter cookies for the sides. You know the awesome kind that are essentially just peanut butter and sugar? Yeah, those kind. And I almost forgot – star dollops of leftover chocolate cupcake frosting! PIMPED. OUT.
So when Isa says smother, smother I do. There’s not much else I wanted to eat after making the VwaV punkrock chickpea gravy, except anything with loads of this on top. Potatoes are totally good for you, right? Like, they’re vegetable matter! I ate so much potato last week.
Yes, and cabbage. If you think this is stereotypically peasant-fare so far, just wait until you see my third primary vegetable of late. But anyway, cabbage in everything, and when a lunch needs to be made in the time it takes for coffee to brew, a nice apple & clove braised cabbage isn’t bad at all, and can be slurped like noodles actually.
Third in the poor food trinity? Carrots! Good thing I almost consider them dessert. My favorite way to eat them these days is shredded with daikon radish, peppers and sprouts on top, with toasted sesames, tamari and rice vinegar. Sometimes sriracha, and sometimes… wakame seaweed! No, not hydrated, just crunchy and awesome right out of the bag. Better than chips sometimes.
One can see why I took the opportunity to hop home this weekend and eat out of someone else’s fridge for a while? Too bad Ottawa produce is expensive and wilty, ah well. Increases appreciation for the bounty of home, definitely (I complain but it’s really not that bad in Montreal). And at least there are fair trade vegan chocolates everywhere. This Zazubean bar was sweetened with cane juice and had damiana leaf, maca root and horny goat weed, whatever that is. Had to try it. Flirtacious, no? The cherries were the best part and there were tons.
The real reason I went to Ottawa was to hit the annual Fall Fair Flea Market at the First Unitarian church, which is basically a place to find vintage treasures and loads of fabulous high-quality literature for utter pennies. I found Godel, Escher, Bach for $1, and at that I rest my case. No wait! I also found The Man Who Ate Everything for $1, which is a fairly entertaining read. Almost precisely like reading a top notch food blog in book form. Plus I got a zillion classics, artbooks, and philosophy for a smile & a song and a twenty dollar bill, y’all, Liz is in happy book land!!!!!
Perhaps more importantly, I discovered that the church offers sanctuary to a number of people. Most recently a Nepali human rights activist (Shree Kumar Rai on the right), and for ten years a Bangladeshi family who were abused years ago here in Ottawa, and threatened back at home for speaking out about it. So now they both have apartments in the building, and cook amazing amazing food (mostly vegan!!) to pay for expenses and things. And they need people to watch for government officials all the time, which is crazy, but I’m proud of my old church for having the balls to be this immensely awesome. That’s the mediterranean plate they put together for me up there, with a requested cauliflower pakora in the middle, yum.
(More information about UU sanctuary here).
Not to mention I was lucky enough to try Mr. Samsa’s vegetarian wrap and holy crap, it was actually the best deep-fried falafal-ish thing I’ve EVER had. No kidding. The bread was yielding like butter (absolutely homemade), and the innards were spiced like the chorus of your favourite song. I wish I could get these all the time!
They even had sushi! Basic veggie style, but it was real and fresh and delicious as sushi usually is. Go International Cafe! I just wish I could have tried some of the onion bhaji or samosa, which were flying out of the kitchen and looking phenomenal, but next year I guess.
So that was the trip and now I am home, and since I couldn’t for life of me decide what I wanted for dinner tonight I mixed it all together with some kind of gluten-free pasta (rice, I think), fresh basil, chard, garlic, sundried tomatoes and chickpeas I made this morning with balsamic grilled fennel and that was pretty good for a girl who makes noodles maybe ten times a year. Pretty good delicious, that is!
Oh yeah. And 100% potato/cabbage/carrot free, and for that we sing a wee song of yay and happy-chew. :)
It’s been a while, it’s been a while… ooooooh, I’m doing the It’s Been A While Dance. All of this food is like, over a week old (oh no!)
But that’s okay. I’ll just go through it real fast and label it. And pretend I’m gushing over everything, because it was all real worthy of gush. Onwards! —>
Soba All’Arrabiata! Or, “angry soba” if your Italian is good. Spicy marinara with sundried tomatoes and roasted vegetables just seems all that much more delicious when it’s on elegant and super-slippy noodles.
– halved the recipe
– used w.w. pastry flour instead of white
– replaced sugar with date paste
– used walnuts instead of macadamias
– pureed pineapple instead of orange juice
– no coconut (not my decision, but mehn)
– no candied ginger (’cause there’s sugar on it. MEHN.)
– used cultured cashew cream instead of coconut icing
……….it was good, I kind of loved it (especially the cashew cream), but it was dense, and I would never serve it to omnis. I’m definitely noticing that cakes are especially tricky to adapt to special diets, as opposed to cookies/pies/things that don’t require fluffiness. But I’ll keep at it…
And when Pomme left town for a few days / I found a lb. of cherries for $1.59, I couldn’t resist diving into a modest flurry of sugar and flour to make (duh duh duh) a clafoutis! For the unhealthiness, but also for the vague french associations and a chance to use my mysterious chia seeds. I went from Hannah’s awesome strawberry clafoutis recipe, and it worked perfectly — gelled up into a pretty summer pudding that would be perfect with ice cream. Oh, I do love white sugar…
Oh, and leave the pits in the cherries! It’s traditional, and it infuses the cake with this haunting almond flavour. Plus, so much lazier. :D
Moving day this weekend. And moving day again, and again and again… my two best guy friends J and W moving to different apartments and a new roommate for me. It’s been change! And a lot of fun, actually, even though I’m pretty sure my arms have doubled in size due to a constant and unending parade of boxes and audio equipment.
There’s my man J, taking a well deserved break (silly man was so excited to move that he didn’t sleep the night before and became Zombie J of the Wobbly Muscles). Note the wrought iron and the heavy-ass keyboard cases that evidently weigh about as much as 13 me’s. (what, 1.3 tonnes?? okay….!)
You know what eases all this pain though? Vegan ice creamables. Well, not ice cream, and I admit I gazed longingly at the green tea gelato, but opted for the best of the options available to me, which was a nice mix of mango and strawberry sorbert. I’ve had better sorbet (namely, stuff that has flavour beyond “sweet and vaguely fruity”, but still, the treat was super nice.
And then when all was finally done (okay, when the guys were done moving at least) we felt this huge empanada craving, so we headed to La Chilenita on St. Laurent ave, which does this otherworldy good Chilean food. I got the burrito grande, which I (eloquently) described later as “melt-in-your-mouth-face-stuffy”. Everything I was craving and more.
I don’t remember precisely what was in here, but I think this bad picture might refresh my memory… okay, Chilean black beans, slurpy sweet onions, rice, avocado, spicy red sauce, and YES YES TOFU! Not to mention multiple hot sauces on the side for slathering, which was particularly awesome because on the way to this place I specifically wished for rice in a burrito with multiple hot sauces on the side. There must have been restaurant fairies in the air.
Not vegan, but pretty funny — J couldn’t decide which nacho was the most ultimate of nachos worthy of becoming his last bite, and the competition between the two chips got a little out of hand, becoming what I can only describe as Mount Nachos (or alternatively, they kinda look like boobs).
(the one on the left-hand side was declared the unequivocal winner, by the way)
After the dust settled J stayed with me for a few nights before his own plans got worked out, and I took the opportunity to get some real food into his system. Can I mention here that getting food on the table is a whole ‘nother world compared to all-day creative culinary noodling? I thought I did okay here, though. I made Vwav braised cauliflower with 3-seed sauce, chickpea cutlets curry-style (cumin, cayenne, turmeric, lime juice and cilantro), and some peas, for the green factor.
And then a mess of vcon brooklyn macaroni salad, which disappeared over the course of today, amidst a lot of slurping and crunching and digging into tupperware containers. No radish to be had, but I think I prefer it this way with red pepper and scallion instead!
Finally, my new roommate P showed up and we helped her with her own load of boxes, and an offhand suggestion of brownies to commemorate the occasion got followed by the fastest baked good I think I’ve ever thrown together – a nice half-batch of Vcon blueberry brownies. And I think you can tell that patience was none of our virtues and warm gooey blue choco-cakeness was needed in our mouths, and who needs tidy edges anyway? For some crazy reason blueberries and chocolate marry like epic lovers here. I’d ask “who knew?”, but obviously a lot of people did. I’m just super glad I’m in on it now.
Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! Okay, now I sleep forever, and ever and ever and always. Except not, because I’m up tomorrow at 6 for school. But shhh! There’s brownies for breakfast. And that makes everything very OK. :)
I love end of term. I love the delirium, and the not-sleeping, and the out-and-out stress of it all. No, actually I hate all those things, but I DO love how productive I get in all other areas that aren’t school. I made a bunny! It’s for my sister, and I’m seriously considering starting an Etsy shop (even though that would mean getting a – *shudder* – credit card). I could see myself sewing on summer afternoons on a regular basis, plus I’d get to make adorable things all the time. Also, supplemental income – always nice. (she’s wearing an apron which makes her OK for a food blog, btw ;)
Onto the white beans! What better than Vcon pasta fazooool to throw together in less than 15 minutes so I can pretend my priorities lie with paper-writing and not in the kitchen? Nothing, it’s totally the best thing! I liked this a lot, though the inclusion of beans in anything pretty much guarantees I’ll be nuts for it. And I totally stand by eating this on spaghetti, it ups the challenge factor, and you can’t slurp tiny pastas as far as I know. (at least, not with the modicum of neanderthal grace I allow myself when I’m snarfing noodles alone, ha!)
And yummy lunch today was Vcon hot-sauce glazed tofu, baked sweet potato and really really cheater baked beans (white beans + bbq sauce). More than enough fuel to proofread. And not get distracted by Harvest Moon. With any luck! Course, I am stuffed and groggy now and could use some time attempting to woo the bartender’s daughter, hee hee. I’m so responsible. :)
(as for the tofu, it was spooky – I could almost sense the tempeh in the store calling out for this marinade, insisting that tofu was way better suited to more delicate things. I only vaguely recall what tempeh even tastes/feels like, but I’m pretty sure it would rock so much more than the ‘fu here. That said I was practically sipping the leftover glaze!)