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Chocolate Midget Cake with Tiny Ganache (pg. 24)

Happy birthday to KG!  It’s a 200th poststravaganza of um… well…
… that I finally made that cookzine!  Actually, a while back, I made this in the space of one week, entirely handwritten (legibly) and full of the same recipes I’ve used since high school to absolutely perfect results, plus some extra new concoctions and no shortage of adorable drawings of FOODS all over thar place!  I’m gonna put it up on my Etsy sometime tonight, so if you want a copy, it’ll be real easy.

There’s some from the blog, and some new inventions, as well as some from my friends.  Some are veganized versions of comfort food I grew up with (Coconut Peanut Noodles – although growing up we had it on oh-so N. American tri-coloured rotini).  There’s the Raw Rosewater Cheesecake in all it’s dreamy creamy glory!  My sister added in this amazing Quinoa Salad that relies on copious, copious amount of poppyseeds, and it totally transcends anything I thought it could be.

Hi Satchmo.  =^-^=

(maybe next zine I’ll make-a-up some kitty treats?  Catnip nori bites?)

I could also totally get behind a totally-soup zine.  But anyway, the ones in here are good.

Oh yeah!  Speaking of soup, I made a whole million of polenta croutons in twee shapes for a soup yesterday! 

But that’s next post.  :D

apple sprout!
Every so often (in fact, very often), on those days I have left my apartment with a slog in my step or even just no specific inspiration for the day to come except possibly another coffee and another ride on the bus… I will check my little metal mailbox and see personal mail inside.  And instantly I’m five and it’s my birthday and I’m grinning cheekily and cracking open a pretty envelope and the day is, so to speak, saved.  Needless to say I was happy to see my copy of Swell Vegan’s cookzine last week!  It’s beautiful, first of all – the covers are home-silkscreened in a burnished gold on creamy green card – and inside are 15 absolutely enticing recipes.  I’ve already tested a spare few (the Maple Mustard Chili Tofu, Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers, and OH the Sweet Potato-Cranberry Scones with that gooey maple glaze!) and been really impressed each time.  The recipes are easy and vibrant, definitely on the healthy side and did I mention delicious?  The only thing I’ve made since getting my copy is Sarah’s Savory Baked Tofu, but of course that was perfect too, even when I just eyeballed the measurements to make a 1/3 recipe.  I actually really like the way A-K’s food tastes, there’s something really great about it.  
some past swell food…

Sweet Potato-Cranberry Scones – as WannabeVegan mentioned, these are worth the price of admission, I’m 100% serious about this.  Consider the price of a huge batch of the best scones you’ve ever eaten, then factor in being able to make them again and again each fall (or anytime), plus a few tempeh recipes and that just makes sense, doesn’t it?

Maple-Mustard-Chili Tofu – this recipe keeps wanting to be made and then I remember I don’t have maple syrup and then I am sad, because the maple flavour is vital and really delicious.  The salad underneath it was weird (artichokes and grapes, huh past self?  WEIRD!!) but that tofu was addictive.

And the first thing I tested were the Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers, which are a combination of some of my favourite things ever (almond butter, leeks, millet and sweet patats), in a more-ish kind of spicy burger.  You gotta eat these fresh, they crumble in the freezer (unless the recipe has changed, and A-K you can correct me if I’m steering anyone wrong here?), but they then turn into taco salad crumbles.  So not bad!

The latest dish!  Sarah’s Baked Tofu on some rice & millet, steamed vegetables, and a lemon-y sesame-thai dressing from the Millenium Cookbook that livened up broccoli like crazy. (It’s the dressing from the Chilled Soba Salad if anyone’s wondering).  Straightforward looking, but take a bite from this and it’s got zingy depth.  Serve it to omnis.  Mention whole grains and steamed veg and lean protein and then let them try it and giggle when they go all “ohhhh.  Wait, this is good!”  At least, that’s my secret plan.  Swell will be my secret recipe weapon, I’ve got the Mole Roasted Cauliflower on the mind to make next. 

Oh, and I made the Lemon Zucchini Bread and the batter was great and then the most disastrous thing happened ever.  My oven had the audacity that afternoon to turn into a dehydrator, resulting in the most depressing baked thing I’ve ever had the misfortune of creating.  It turned this beautiful lemony-sweet cake batter into a block of chewy (albeit tasty) crust with raw lukewarm uncooked battergoo inside.  I weep tears.  No, actually, I threw it out.  And I NEVER do that.  So um… word to the wise, before risking a lemon zucchini bread make sure your oven works, or else microwave yourself an end piece and put enough Earth Balance on it so you don’t notice you’re eating liquid cake… errr. yeah.
That’s a horrible way to end a supportive post!  But it happened.  It’s my funny story.  :)
PS: A-K you rock!

So it’s been 10 days, and I was all going to post this picture and be like, “well, dinners like this are pretty much the reason I haven’t had anything blogworthy to mention all week. Simple and summery and involving a lot of corn, nothing terribly new.” But then I realized I was sitting on a whole bunch of pretty photos! (It’s funny, I also swear I’ve been living off of miso soup, but it’s so perfect for end-of-term eating – quick and cheap and energy-giving for late-night drawing sessions).

Okay, okay… so at the beginning of last week I thought I’d recreate that magically fermenting sesame slaw I made before, to much success. And I managed to get a photo of it before all the colours bled and muted out, too! (and like my new bowls? I so do!)

They also came with an awesome rectangle plate that I fell in LURVE with and had to buy (so frivolous, and SO matching my grey spiral plate, it had to be done! :P)

And Pomme surprised me with freaking spring rolls! It was in thanks for her birthday dinner, and they’re pretty much my favourite food ever, I ated so many of these it’s a wonder I didn’t roll around myself afterwards, but they were sooooo good, with mango and red pepper inside and peanut dipping sauce, egads. I even bought a thing of brown rice vermicelli to make them even healthier the next time I make them (and thus even more like a perfect food).

I love summer and farmers’ markets! A big basket of random sumptuous berry-things! Plus ground cherries, teeny grapes, figs, flowers and tart little red dots-on-the-vine, all for $5. I made the oatmeal of kings from this basket.

I also made pretty awesome vanilla-vanilla cupcakes for my drawing group, ’cause waking up early on saturday to go downtown and muck around with pencils is just that much more enjoyable with frosting. :)

I love how R on the left spontaneously drew a garden, with a mole in it and everything, and a Mr. Potato head! He couldn’t remember what radish leaves looked like, and I so knew exactly, having just eaten a salad of them the night before… so houray for the new kids knowing about their foodstuffs (there were discussions on the relative frumpiness of potato leaves and how appropriate that is to their taste, hehe).

And uh… I ran out of li hing mui yesterday, so I went to chinatown and picked some up for 85 cents….. and then totally couldn’t resist buying a wack more goodies, cause that place is pretty much like my idea of culinary disneyland. This was all under $20, too! Clockwise from the left is some wakame, black rice, abalone flavoured wheat gluten in a can (can’t wait to try that one!), yuba/dried tofu skin, cornstarch, brown rice vermicelli, regular rice vermicelli, mangoes, a mysterious package of some sort of pickled vegetable for 10 cents, wonton wrappers, assorted sesame/peanut/cashew brittles, sweet pickled radish, really cheap tofu, bean sprouts, and (of course!) the li hing mui that started this whole debacle.

I had to HAD TO experiment with that yuba, so stir fry it was, and WOW is all I can say – I love this stuff! It’s so chewy and soaks up sauce like a chewy soyfood of long-pantry life and pure awesome! And for the record… pickled turnips are delicious but pretty much 92% salt, so serve with caution (or at least a lot of water).

And is this related? Oh, I dunno. Girls and bugs living in symbiotic vegan harmony sounds okay to mention! And plus one-shot zines are super cute and everyone should try their hand at making one, be it full of manifestos, sketches, goth poetry, bread recipes, or like… everything in your apartment listed alphabetically.

That, plus walking around across the city and back all day today made me totally and completely go into SANDWICH MODE. Gallery-hopping is fun but hunger-inducing, and I even took some extra detours to get the perfect soft baguette-bread to make the Vcon cornmeal-crusted tofu Po’boy and it was SO worth it. What a perfect damn sandwich, I mean seriously. Dude. DUUUUUUDE. Anything involving chipotle mayo has to be good, but this was a major synthesis of happy components making perfect lunch science in my mouth. Making this again! With even more mayo! Bwahahahahaha. So evil, yet so delicious…

I also hope next week is similarly uneventful so I’ll have nothing to post about again.
/sarcasm.

I’m thinking of making bread with sprouted wheat berries soon!

Yep, those are jackfruit carnitas taco-deliverers of spicy delish! This is all part of my grand master plan to celebrate all and every holiday that means I get to eat party food on a monday night. And thank you Melisser for the recipe!

Oh, and it really is cause for celebration, since I got these wonderful things in the mail a few days ago – JCD’s More Than Twigs & Berries zine, which is full of recipes I can’t wait to try out, like soup with homemade noodles, nanaimo bars and peanut butter banana muffins! And my first postcard in the ppk mail-art swap came! (thanks Pixel!)

I love getting things in the mail… in fact so much that my local postage-guy (who curiously works every single day, all day) seems more than a little amused every time I walk up to the counter with yet more mysterious and brightly-stickered/doodled packages and letters… postage is like a treasure system, really.

(oh, and the zine is crinkled like that cause I’ve already cooked with it :)

Oh my gosh! I got an email yesterday from someone who had read a review of my zine in Broken Pencil and wanted a copy! Eeeeeeeeeh! I didn’t know I was in there! (Broken Pencil is pretty the voice of canadian underground press)

“Underwater Cigarettes is what a little zine should be. Lovingly crafted and photocopied, it’s a smorgasbord of drawings, photos, vegan manifestos, stories and a dash of random musings on life. The entire zine is handwritten, and mercifully, Elizabeth’s writing is neat and legible. I sometimes found the vegan bits a tad preachy, but the random life reflections and artwork make up for it. There’s a wintery/hibernation/holiday theme and even a “bonus recipe” for pork cake! She probably found in it an old recipe book back in the day when they didn’t know better. Ingredients call for a pound of fresh ground pork, molasses, cinnamon, dates and raisins.” –Michelle Kay

I found the pork cake recipe in an ooooold soul food cookbook and it just about knocked my funny bone clear to tuesday, I just had to include it. But there’s real recipes in there too! Holiday stuffing, wine-marinated tofu, soy whipped topping, pumpkin pie and how to make a pie crust (and a happy NOT-eaten pig presiding over the food pages). So yeah, if anyone wants a copy for $2 canadian plus postage, email me at underwatercigarettes@gmail.com and I’ll send one right your way! :D

(oh yeah, and the vegan bits? NOT PREACHY. Sometimes I think all you have to do is mention the V-word and people go all buggy and defensive. I was just talking about why *I* eat the way I do, and briefly at that.)

There’s more good news, too! To nurture the sourdough starter in the beginning, you have to toss out 1/2 cup of it and replace it with fresh flour each day. But today it looked really ready, with a white foam and a delicious smooth sourness. So I figured why waste the 1/2 cup and why not attempt to make pancakes?

*ahem*

I have not eaten pancakes before this day.

Gorgeous, fluffy, tangy and sweet, slight crisp outside, the texture is to DIE for and they cooked up like an absolute dream – I am never ever making soggy old regular pancakes again (at least, not unless they have cool things like chocolate or figs in them, because I’m pretty bad at making the regular ones). Seriously, this is the stuff pancake dreams are made of. Yay sourdough!

And I rarely eat pasta, but I do love a good pesto. So I threw together some whole wheat spaghetti, tomatoes, marinated broccoli, greek olives, and spinach & sunflower seed pesto for an A+ awesome lunch. Gotta celebrate, right? :D