Monday, February 23, 2009

It seems like it, but I don't go out to eat all the time

Though it's hard to remember what I have made lately because I feel like the events of each day are blurring together into one big confused blob. Is spring almost here? Didn't think so.


When are the new Go Max candy bars going on sale? I need my veganized snickers! And I also want to try veganized Three muskateers, milky way, and almond joy.


Here are some of the things we made this month.

Raw Pesto with Zucchini noodles. This recipe was from the class I took last year. It's your basic pesto with soaked walnuts instead of pine nuts. I added the raspberries because it was for a Valentine's Day potluck. It was really good.

Eggplant Rollatini from Veganomicon. As with most pasta dishes, I liked this better after it had a chance to sit a day after baking. This recipe seemed like it had a lot of steps, but it was worth it.

I baked the eggplant strips instead of frying them. Next time I will skip the Almesan (sprinkles for the top) because it didnt' add much for me. I'm pretty sure you aren't supposed to cram them into a round casserole dish, but I was worried I wasn't going to have enough sauce. Trust me, there are individual rolls in there.
I've made this scramble from Vegan With a Vengeance many times because it's awesome. I mention it (again) because I made it in my new mega cast iron frying pan. I made a double batch, so there are lots of veggies plus 2 lbs of tofu and it is barely 1/2 full. Once it's on the stove, it stays put because it weighs a ton.
We made the toasted coconut cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The coconut didn't make it into batter, but they didn't need it because the extract, coconut milk and coconut oil gave them a nice coconut flavor that you could easily taste over the chocolate. I used vanilla frosting, then dunked them in finely grated coconut. I should have made these a lot sooner, they are really great.


Sable is playing w/ the new toy that has 16 NOISY squeakers in it. She really loves to destroy squeaky toys. This one might be too much for her because after 10 minutes she needed to rest.

I don't think she will ever break Kobie's record of 5 minutes to totally destroy a toy. And that includes ripping the many legs off the caterpillar toy one by one.

PS. I went to Wayward yesterday and had the lost souls scramble - again!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

out on the town

Here are some places that I ate at recently. It's a good thing I don't live in Seattle or I would never eat at home.

Hillside Quickies. Their sandwiches are so filling and tasty. I love how they put potato salad in some of their sandwiches.

I think I might have eaten more fries than Andy because I ate more than 1/2 by the time we switched our plates. We also had milkshakes which we did not switch. You gotta love a vegan sandwich place that has fries and milkshakes.

Freemont Philly. In the pic below, the sandwich is open. It was really messy to eat, but completely worth it. The sauce and the seitan went perfectly together. I might have a new favorite.

The Big Fish. Maybe. I forgot the name. It was a bit vinegary, but in a good way.
Lalibela. This is my favorite Ethiopian restaurant. We got the veg sampler plus some spicy shiro wat. I was so food focused, I almost forgot to take a picture.
The Wayward Cafe. They changed owners a few months ago and they have been updating the menu w/ more great food. They are testing new items each week - info on their site. I know I'm a broken record about this place, but it is so good.

I got a scramble, with hashbrowns subbed for the kale.
Andy got the special, a breakfast sandwich. I typically don't like the herbs associated with sausage, but this one was good. It's on an herbed biscuit. Andy was so addicted to it that he had me go back in the middle of the week to get him one for fear that it wouldn't be on the menu again.


I have never seen this before. Kobie used Tubs as a pillow - on purpose. He was lying on one side of the couch, then decided to turn around just to smoosh Tubsie.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Warning! Sugar Overload to commence in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

February has 3 days in a row of significance to me. Some years the sugar factor is slight, other years, it is sort of like Halloween. I'll let you figure out what type of year 2009 was from my sugar report.

Bethany's February 2009 Sugar Report

Feb 13: Anniversary of when Andy & I started dating

Peanut Bark from Andy. He was surprised that it was just peanuts in chocolate because he thought it would be brittle or toffee covered in chocolate. It's still good.

Sjaak's Lavendar Chocolates (lavendar foil) from me. BLEAH! I spit mine out.

Feb 14: Valentine's day

Sjaak's Cherry Chocolates (red foil) from me. YUM! You can sort of see that it's a densely filled from the one that I gnawed in half.
Allison's Gourmet Filled chocolates and caramel assortment from Andy. I love the caramels the best. They sort of taste like Sjaak's caramels, but with only 3 flavors instead of Sjaak's many many flavors.
Allison's Gourmet chocolate and vanilla caramels. I can always detect a slightly burnt taste to her caramel, toffee and brittle, but I like it anyway. Nobody else knows what I'm talking about.
Pre-birthday birthday cake from my friend, Suzanne. Yummy coconut cake from Vegan with a Vengeance. Thanks again, Suzanne!

Feb 15: Bday time

Andy made me some Apple Cider cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I always wanted to try these, but was too lazy. They were really moist and tasty.

It was impossile to pour all of the batter into the liners because the batter immediately started frothing in the bowl. This led to sort of flat cupcakes and an extra 1 layer cake.

He made the super natural agave frosting. It had the consistency of glue, but tasted really really good. Andy said all of this before I did, so I'm not dissing him.

Are you ready to puke up a big ball of sugar yet? I am. Ok, I'm really not because I didn't eat it all in one day. It will all last many many days to come. The chocolate/sugar snack bin is full.

Andy is now eating some cake before dinner.


Thanks, everybody, for your concern over Kobie. We both appreciate it. He isn't limping anymore, so 1 issue out of 3 has been solved.

It snowed here (again) last week, but not enough to mess w/ the roads. Here's Kobie playing with his favorite toy of all time.He's doing just what the vet didn't order - running around while it's snowing. Bad, Kobie!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Curling up w/ a good bowl of soup(s)

A couple weeks ago I took the Soup Simplifies Your Life class at PCC. It was taught by the same instructor as the last soup class I took, Marie Donadio. Marie is awesome. She teaches a hands on class where each group makes a different soup. Somehow she manages to help all of us when we need it in a room with lots of people that are all doing different things. She helps without giving too much help. I think that is a rare and important skill for a teacher.

The soups were amazing just like the last time. I love how each soup has a distinct garnish. It always has an acidic element to it to help bring out the flavors of the soup - you learn lots of stuff in Marie's classes.

Ruth's Carrot Soup. This is the bonus soup that Marie demo'd at the beginning of the class. It was really flavorful, yet simple to make. The sparkly looking stuff is just the flash. PCC isn't a photo studio. Marie was really thougthtful and got some toffuti sour cream to put on top.
Congee. OMG. this is the best soup ever. In China they eat this for breakfast. That's what I will do once I eat my way through my feedbag of oats (aka oatmeal). Though I could speed up the process by making oatmeal cookies...

It is really thick with a delicious mushroomy flavor. You can see the garnishes in a line at the top - soy sauce, ginger, and green onion.
Saffron Scented Wild Rice with Tomato Soup. This is the soup that I helped make. It contained garlic prepared 3 ways. The soup looks dry in the pic below, but it wasn't. It was perfect. It even had just enough, but not too much saffron. I'm not a saffron lover, but maybe that's because it's typically overdone. The garnish is a lemon wedge and some fresh herbs (lemon thyme?).
Caldo Verde. mmmmm... this soup had potatoes, kale and smoked paprika in it. Very delicious. You can see that I'm not very neat at serving myself because I got stuff all over the sides of the bowl.
Mulligatawny Soup. This was a super spicy Indian soup that was very thick and filling - and great tasting too. When that team was cooking up the spices (turmeric, cumin, corriander), the room smelled really good.

I was supposed to put the rice on the bottom of the bowl, but I put it on top. The garnish was a very loose variation of Haroseth. It had apples, lemon, nuts, and lemon. I could have eaten the whole bowl of garnish by itself.
You do not walk away hungry from this class.

Marie - if you're reading this, I lost your email address. can you add a comment to this blog w/ it? I will delete it afterwards.

Andy - you need to choose which soup I make first.


Now to the curling up. The worms (Chippy, The Judge, Peepa, and Tubs) were at it again.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I smlove you

Ok, I'm not sure what the technical defintion of smlove is, but it tastes good. In my last post, I was testing out different brownie ideas for the NARN brownie bakeoff that took place yesterday. The Wayward Cafe was nice enough to let NARN use their space to host the event. I'll blog later on what I ate there beforehand.

I decided to take all of the toppings from the Chocolate Smlove Pie from Veganomicon and put it on top of a brownie - peanut butter caramel, maple glazed pecans and chocolate drizzle. This was a good move because I won :). Though, really, I feel like a cheater because Isa and Terry deserve the credit for coming up w/ a great recipe. We all know that they rock!

Since brownies are really messy to cut up - even if they are plain, I cut them up first and then put the layers of topping on.

There were lots of awesome brownies at the bakeoff. I took some pics early on, but as usual, I spaced taking pics after that.

I saw Yasmin there, but didn't get a chance to talk to her other than saying hi.

Minty Brownies w/ cute sprinkles - I'm a sucker for sprinkles. yum.

Voodoo Brownies. these had some kick to them that snuck up on you. delicious!
Raw Brownies
Scones - she can't find her secret ingredient in the store anymore, so she made scones. Which was a nice break from all the chocolate :) ~~~~~

NARN also had an auction this weekend. I made marble cupcakes from V'con and lemon gem cupcakes from VWAV. I tweaked the lemon frosting recipe so that it was edging towards being super lemon. Lemon is pictured below.

I've been eating out a tad bit more lately, so you should be seeing some restaurant reviews soon...

Poor Kobie just can't catch a break lately.
1. He is being treated by a dermatologist for his hair issues.
2. He is also scheduled to have some more big lumps removed. I would let him keep his lumps (rather than going through surgery), but unfortunately they are getting big and they are not in comfy spots. I think he knows they will be removed because everybody (vets, me, Andy) keeps touching them. Kobie is not stupid, ya know.
3. To top that off, he started limping yesterday. I took him to the vet today and it turns out that he somehow sprained his shoulder muscles on one side.
He's not very happy because with these issues come restrictions. He is being penned into the living room to restrict walking around too much. He can't go outside and lay around because the dermatologist said he has to avoid being wet. He's really going to hate the twice daily bandage changes when he has his surgery.
I'm hoping that after all this drama, he can have settle into a great summer with lots of barking and running around.
Until then, Mr. Kobie, you will have to sleep on your bed or the couch and not the stairs. (yes, that's his tongue)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Letting it all hang out

Calling all Seattleites! NARN is hosting a brownie baking contest this weekend. $10 to be a judge (aka stuff your face w/ brownies).

When: Sunday, Feb 8th @ 4:00pm
Where: Wayward Cafe (901 NE 55th St, U-District)

I've got something else in the works, but thought I'd tempt you with some cheeZecake brownies. For the cheezecake part, I used the recipe from Philadelphia cream cheese, but subbed in toffutti for the cheeZe and Ener'g egg replacer for the egg. I also added in some vanilla. They tasted ok. I'd make them again.

Since I suck at making brownies, I used a mix, "Ooey Gooey Chocolatey Chewy Brownies" by the Craving's Place. It has huge pieces of chocolate that stay melty. You can see one on top of the brownie below.

PS. if you can't make it, the night before they are having an auction. I'll be baking something for that too.


Cooking classes have started up again at PCC. The first class that I took was a bread baking class taught by George de Pasquale from the Essential Baking Company. Not only did he know his stuff backwards, forwards, upside down and sideways, but he was really funny.

He smacked down lots of myths and BS about baking bread w/ a starter. He showed us how to bake artesian crusty bread, baker's math and how to wield a spray bottle. Very cool. If you live in the Seattle area, TAKE THIS CLASS!!!!


Ever seen a greyhound hoozit? I have. You don't really have a choice when it's displayed for all to see for long periods of time (just in case you didn't notice right away).