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Mmm… it’s one of those mornings I grab a sweater and a coffee and just start working on stuff, in this case blogging.  To me that’s so evocative of autumn, which has begun to be noticed in the air.  I’m supposed to be selling postcards at an outdoor craft show/sidewalk sale today and the sky is a dark dark grey, with a snappy chill and a risk of rain… So I’m enjoying the indoor lamplight while I can, and getting the most out of every second I can hang out in my plushy pajama pants.  (pajama pants being the best invention ever, probably).
It seems appropriate to blog about the last of the summer meals, in this case.  Cold refreshing food I might not be as interested in in just a few days… zarusoba being an iconic example.  Despite owning a package of soba noodles the size of my head, I only just recently made up the appropriate dipping sauce to go with it so I could eat it summer style, cold with nori shavings on top.  If it’s still warm where you are, I recommend it so much!  And I insist that you slurp it, sucking up air in a perfect satisfying hoover as you eat, because it really does improve the flavour about 50% – I think it has to do with almost smelling it as you eat.
Perfect technique, so demure, and yet loads of delicious delicious air in every bite!  Now I kinda want fat soft udon, yumm……

This is a vegetable curry Pomme and I made using a lot of inspiration from this book, a seafood curry to be exact.  So it was a mix of turmeric, basil, mint, cayenne, paprika, pepper and lemon, which I thought was really novel (and very delicious).  Eaten with wheat berries for carbohydrates (defrosted from the freezer because you can do that), and a cucumber salad I made with chunks of ruby red cactus pear.  The seeds of cactus pears are hard like little BBs, but the melon taste and beautiful colour is worth it, like a poor man’s watermelon maybe.
Of those occasional small-batch cookies I make sometimes after meal, these mint chocolate brownie bites were knee-meltingly good!!  I wish I’d written things down, but there’s ground almonds in there, plus vanilla, mint, pockets of chocolate chips, and the texture was like 2-bite brownies, amazing.  Biting into them was a world-stopping experience, which probably means I added enough cocoa powder to the mix. ;P
Sometimes hash, just straight up hash is perfect.  Smoky sausages, in season tomatoes, little baby basil leaves, and enough salt and pepper to tie it together = wish I had more sausages so I could make this for lunch right now!
Finally, I’d had a tomato tart on the brain all summer.  Every week went by and I wondered when I would do it, if I would remember, if all the ambrosial blushing tomatoes would disappear from the markets en masse before I got the chance to make that pie.  But I did remember!  Luck would have it that I came upon a huge package of gorgeous organic tomatoes for a steal, and I hopped on the chance to bake them oh-so briefly in hardly more than their own juices.

I used a cornmeal pizza crust recipe from here, replaced most of the cornmeal with masa harina, spread the bottom with grainy mustard, thyme leaves, and drizzled it with olive oil before baking.  
And while I folded up the edges to make it more like a tart, I quickly found out that hand-to-mouth was the ideal method of eating this – it was a pizza at heart, and a robust and juicy one, too.  I still can’t think of any way I’d rather eat tomatoes right now!

Oh right!  That wasn’t the last thing, this is ^  Celine’s peanut butter granola!  oooooooooooh!
I replaced the PB with a Peanut-hazelnut blend, used hazelnut oil instead of canola, and left out the chocolate and it’s absolutely fantastic.  I hardly need to rave about how it melts away on the tongue and is just kissed with sweet and is full of toasty flax and is easy to make… because most of you have made this I’m sure, or at least if you haven’t you should and you can have a batch of oven-fresh granola in less time than it takes to run out and buy some.  
Kind of makes me wish I had some milk or yogurt around ever, but a jar of this in the fridge will disappear from nibbling fingers soon enough anyway, I assure you. ;)
Next post: an adventure in ninja-vegan waffle cones!
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This might be the most delicious soup I’ve ever made.  I don’t even usually like creamy soups, but this one has ocean in every bite, and the tofu bits get all soaked with the richness and get buttery, and the veggies are… in giant chunks!  Which is fun!  I have to thank the Sexy Vegan in huge part for a lot of the tasty tricks involved (nori seaweed!  cashew cream!), but here’s my specific take on the method.  So so so so good.

Cashew Cream
1/3 cup cashews
1 cup water
– blend together in a blender until very very smooth and liquid-y creamy
Chowder!

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, in 1/2″ pieces
1 large stalk celery, 1/2″ pieces
1 medium red potato, chunks
1/4 lb. extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
fresh black pepper
enough water/broth to cover (4-5 cups?)
1/4 cup white wine
**Cashew Cream
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp margarine
1/2 cup corn niblets
1 sheet nori seaweed
dash of liquid smoke (optional but approximates bacon)
salt to taste
– okay!  Saute the onions over medium heat in a large soup pot until starting to soften, then add the carrot, celery and potato and cook another 5 minutes or so, just til things look golden.  Add the tofu, spices, broth, white wine and cashew cream and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer about 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft and beginning to break down, then add the vinegar, margarine, corn, nori seaweed, smoke flavour (if using), and adjust seasonings to taste.  Eat while hot, sprinkled with bacon bits and with crackers or biscuits on the side.  Magnifique!
For a technicolour moving-pictures version, with drunkennesss and tempeh and fancy mushrooms and robot voices——->

I’m sorry, I’ll make a real post tomorrow (pink soup!), but for now this is the awesomest thing ever:

I can’t even feign surprise or indignation over this. Instead of hitting the last vestiges of humanity untouched by fast food culture with bibles or giant stickers that say “Democracy!”, why not give them a burger? RIGHT???

This video is adorable and it makes me queasy. I really wanted to scream at them “Don’t do it! You’ll get hooked on the salt and the strange meat! You’ll eventually start craving cheap white bread instead of whatever delicious real food you were serving to those deluded BK-advocates! Put the sandwich down!!!”

Bonus points for everyone who poked it like it was a malformed sea creature. :/

Gah.

Thank you so much to Veggie from the So What Do Vegetarians Eat Anyway blog for giving me a blogging award of excellence! Her blog is quite excellent as well and she’s a fellow Ontarian, too! I’ll do my best to not post when I’m tired and cranky and hopefully live up the that pretty little Jpeg of awesome. ;) As for passing this along, I’ll send it to Vegetalion, Dabbles with Apples, Tofu For Two, The Metal Femme’s Vegan Living, and Don’t Lose Your Lunch!, even though there are SO many others that deserve it, these are the first 5 that come to mind.

And sweetie Lori of Pleasantly Plump Vegan has tagged me to reveal 5 facts about myself, which I hope I can manage without going off of a bunch of tangents! Ha ha, anyway, here goes:

1. As much as I seem pretty slothful (and I am), I used to teach snowboarding and yeah, I was pretty darn good at it, too.

2. I’m a super geek – comics, anime, sci-fi, fantasy rpgs, video games, you name it, I probably have some history of obsession with it. Especially Final Fantasy and the Chrono series, and wacky shows like FLCL and Haibane Renmai. I also have a black/blue Magic card deck that could probably smoke your artifact-deck to little pieces. :D

3. Both my parents are from B.C., and I think I have a bit of a west coast accent, at least I drawl out my short A’s sometimes, especially if I’m feeling lazy.

4. My favourite colour is red.

(Incidentally I’m addicted to hot sauce. I went through half a tube of harissa yesterday, just by squirting it on pickles as a snack! :P)

5. I hate sleep. I’m constantly sleep-deprived because I think staying in bed is SOOOOO boring. Eek, right?

(BONUS FACT, because it’s the most important thing about me and I forgot to mention it — I live and breathe food, it’s true, you know that. But to give some sort of perspective, my mind is actually divided 44%/60%/6% – Food, Art, and Not Tripping Over Stuff. For the record. :D)

So that’s five (or more) random things about me. And now I’m passing this on to….. , Vegan Soul Power, Adventures in Vegan Cooking, Bitchin’ Vegan Kitchen, Epicurvegan, and Half Baked Vegan. Yay for getting to know everyone better!

And just so this post isn’t entirely devoid of food, here’s the best video on Youtube, ever —-

This, my friends, is a $2 yellow pepper. I didn’t plan it like that – I was just doing my usual fridge restocking after getting home (lazy stuff, baba ganouj, pita, carrots, etc) when I saw it looking all taut and beautiful next to some green ones on sale. I figured, “hey, why not?”, but they tricked me with their misleading sale arrangements – it was so expensive! Not that I wasn’t going to appreciate it…

And in light of a grocery faux pas, I made another one! I pass this at the dollar store ALL the TIME and it’s always tempted me with it’s non-food prepackaged glory (yes, it’s vegan!). So I finally bought it for some reason, for $1.

First result, an absolute scrumpfest of a roasted veggie sandwich – eggplant, red onion, baba ganouj, garlic, lemon, regular roasted onion and loads of kalamata olives – sooooo goood. And the yellow pepper was 100% the star here, and I had enough for 2 sammies and a half-pepper left over besides! Lovely.

Result #2: After 3 minutes in the microwave and some ingenious plastic draining action, I had myself a little tray of insta-food. I wish I could say it sucked, guys, I really do. But oh my god, I never eat food like this cause it’s completely nutritionally awful, but this was some tasty MSG-ed tvp. Generously spicy, the noodles were chewy, the oil/flavour packet combo was zesty in a kind of Doritos way. Anyway… I probably won’t buy this again. But that’s only because I could feel my body going “nooooo!” while my tastebuds went “yesssss!!!”, and that’s not a good habit to get into.

Oh, and I found a video that pretty neatly explains all the hard work involved in making this noodle-crack —-

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