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Wee!  So – I’m here drinking my mint & mushroom tea with large slices of ginger dropped into it because I was a little too brave this afternoon and added some (a lot of) questionable sauerkraut to my hummous wrap.  It was worth it at the time… but now I need the tea.  Yeah, white stuff in a sauerkraut jar is no good… 
Anyway.  More old pictures (I swear I’m getting through them, I do!)  I made crepes!  I made buckwheat versions of Veganomicon crepes, and stuffed them full of Columbian red beans with plantain (from Terry’s Vegan Latina), some broccoli too, and an avocado-corn-cream sauce that is essentially this recipe that I’d had mentally bookmarked since I went vegan in high school.  Seriously that long ago. (*oouuuuuurrrrrgh…. waveof nauseau happening……RIGHT NOWurg*)  XPPP
cough.  ok better.
Anyway.  avocado cream sauce!  I ate in on pasta first, but it’s way more economical to show it here, even if it does look a little like ralf.  tee hee.  I swear it was tasty.

And then I had leftover crepes with sauteed peaches, coarse raw sugar, cranberry jam, and some malted soy drink mixed with enough water to make a sweet cream.  Oh, frugal AND delicious, and even maybe healthy, how ’bout that?  I love dinners that revolve around fructose.

Speaking of which, I made a tiny sweet potato cashew cream pie with a lone spud, because it’s just been so damned cold it seems not very weird to make food like this.  Plus, it has a pumpkin seed crust a la Extraveganza, which in my weird mind makes it kinda summery.  And when you pop it in the freezer and eat slices of it cold like spiced ice cream…… *drooooolz*.  Also gives me a chance to use the tiniest fork ever imaginable that I picked up at a garage sale for specific things just like this.  Fairy pie technique!

From now on I make my own thai green curry paste.  Has anyone tried the yellow variety?  I almost did but then I chickened out and returned it for a jar of the classic green, and while it resulted in a slurpily good skillet of hyper-spice, well… I’m still curious about the other variety.  Maybe next time I’ll get the yellow (which boasts coriander and white pepper, yum) and just grind up lots of green chiles into it myself.  I ended up throwing like, 3-4 extra thai peppers into this one anyway, cause I kind of like my thai curries to practically send off sparks into the atmosphere.  Anything less and why bother, I say!

Speaking of skillets — I made the Vcon leek & bean cassoulet finally.  That’s how cold it’s been around here!  It’s mid-June and I’m still checking my bag for extra gloves, just in case… ack.  So on a particularly blustery and charcoal-grey day I decided snap it I’m just gonna make a big old comforting stew and I am SOOOOO glad I did.  It was the perfect antidote to my standard rut of cooking with loads of citrus & spice — the cassoulet is all…. comfy like a big herbal pillow.  And far too easy to pleasantly spoon down while cuddled up in a blanket reading school work things.  Very very nice…
(oh, and peas/leeks/white beans were replaced with corn/extra onion/black&red beans to good effect)
Enough for now?  Probably… there’s red velvet, kittee muffins, cold soba, successful souvlaki rice to come, though.  *phew* 
Oh, what the heck, one more — I made Scotter Muffins, yay!  I don’t remember what variety at all, probably apple and banana and cinnamon swirl.  Gosh, I love muffins, don’t you?  They’re so balanced, like the medium spectrum between the best of all baked goods.  Or maybe I’m just a fan. ^_^b
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I have to mention this specially. I can’t not mention it. It’s a service to tongues everywhere to spread the word that Jamaican Stew is where it’s at!! I didn’t really plan it but it came together so magically, and I’m really happy at how my first “giant pot of something that should ideally feed me through the week” turned out. I even did up the last handful of my jasmine rice in celebration.

Incidentally I’m running out of pantry supplies like there’s no tomorrow and I’m only replacing the basics because I want to buy paintbrushes and hang out with a certain valentine. And that’s okay! I’m still cooking, it’s just adding a different spin on it.

Anyway, seriously seriously make this, it is really comforting yet sprightly (and delicious!)

Pseudo-Jamaican Stew

1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
1 turnip (baseball-sized), peeled and diced
1 large carrot, sliced
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 bell pepper, diced (I used yellow)
2 whole red dried chiles (or fresh scotch bonnet if you have it!)
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp ground allspice
loads of fresh ground black pepper
1/2 – 1 tsp salt (check and add more if needed)
2 cups water (or broth)
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
1 16 oz. can red kidney beans
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
a few generous shots of tabasco

jasmine rice (for under!)
green onions (for over!)

1. Soften the onion and garlic in a large pot over medium heat (with the oil of course), until they’re translucent and aromatic.
2. Add the turnip, carrot and cauliflower and cook until things look slightly tanned.
3. Add the bell pepper, all the spices, and cook another minute.
4. Add the water and canned things. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer, partially covered for at least half an hour, or until the turnip basically is cooked through and the liquid looks broth-like.
5. Stir in the vinegar, tabasco. Check for salt and pepper. Serve over rice with lots of finely chopped green onion on top.

(I’ll be licking the tupperware when that moment comes!)

I came home to this sight the other day. It was kind of funny, actually – I’d just trudged home through a blizzard with visions of hot stew in my head and what do I find but the storm decided to join me in my kitchen!

Ha, it was okay. I managed not to step in any of the puddles and was very very thankful for the crockpot stew I had put on the night before. Yeah, I actually used my crockpot! *shock* my mom would be proud. I had actually been so busy that I acted the great cliche and took it down off the highest shelf I have to put some veganomicon cholent-style ingredients together the night before.

I’m actually not sure if I’m sold on the tarragon + caraway thing… but it was warm and hearty and perfect at the time. (ie: full of potatoes). I added tabasco and corn, too.

Earlier than that (or later? oh I don’t remember. sometime!) I made vcon lemon & pea risotto with roasted red peppers.

I don’t know why people complain about leftover risotto! I actually thought this was tastiest cold out of the fridge, slurped up like cold lemony pudding. I’m weird, yes. I tried Risotto al Salto too, to try it (basically fried up like a fritter), which was fine. But nothing on the ice-cold stuff!

I posted about hoecakes before, so there isn’t much to say about the big yellow thing on the plate – except maybe to amend my recipe to stress than fine cornmeal should be used in a hoecake. This one was coarse which did NOT work anywhere near as well, but ah you learn. The interesting bit, at least to me, is that grayish dip-like blob in the corner. It was very tasty! It’s black bean & orange dip from ED&BV, and it’s a little sweeter than a regular b.bean dip and really great on wraps and things.

In the midst of being busy I made some muffins to take to school. I wonder why I decided to make jammy muffins to put in my bag? Ha ha, anyway, they’re hearty jam-dot muffins from Fran Costigan’s second book. They’re okay… I like that there’s lots of toasted oats and sesame in them, and my mom’s homemade plum jelly. A wee bit heavy, but I subbed some stuff so it could have been my bad.

Over christmas my dad bought me some veggie burgers for christmas eve Burger Night (woohoo!), which happened to be Amy’s California Burgers. They’re soooooo good! They don’t taste a blessed thing like fakey meatstuff, but they DO taste like toasted bulger and mushrooms and loads of other great all-natural things. I had some on buns, and some on salad with tahini dressing and both ways were awesome. I had the last one today though, and I don’t know what to do because I never buy pre-packaged food for myself but I think I’ve fallen in love!

And finally… we call this an economic birthday, or a belated one, or whatever. It’s a full moon tonight and though it’s neither of these boys’ birthdays (although it’s close), it’s definitely always a good time for a chocolate jalapeno cake with ganache topping and strawberries inside. Yeah, I know!! It’s another Extraveganza cake recipe and holy schlamoli, it’s SO tender and delicious and soft peppery perfect, I tried a whole bunch of it that stuck to the cake tin. ^_^;

Word to the wise: the recipe mentions nothing about de-panning this cake, and in fact implies that it shouldn‘t be, I think, at least when you read the icing recipe along with it. I did anyway and it was a total headache cause it was so fluffy and sticky (and criminally delicious. did I mention that?), but I think it came through the operation 97% intact. Minus the chunks I ate. (I’m starting to think that being able to fix cake disasters is as useful as baking one that tastes good… :P)

Anyone else notice how the stuff on top kinda looks like a crab? Not planned! But I like it.

A post-holiday fridge is usually a riot of leftovers, and this thanksgiving was no exception, and yet — what do I have left here? Hmm… chickpeas, loads of peppers that are going wrinkly, red wine, a bag full of cut onions, mushrooms, and 1/2 eggplant. Shazam, that means ratatouille! Regardless of the amount of wild rice stuffing there is still left to eat. I’m firing up the oven now!

So I roasted the whole deal with a head of garlic and added a whole bunch of thyme, rosemary, basil and tarragon, some tomatoes, stirred stirred and THEN – oh my, like magic, it was wine-y and oven-roasted sweet and slurpily good. Go french stews. I’ll be having these leftovers over hoecakes for lunch today!

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