Friday, May 29, 2009

Vegan Meetup Picnic -- Furry 5k -- Andy's bday

The Seattle Vegan Meetup group ( is having a potluck picnic on Saturday, June 6th. I went to the 4th of July picnic last year and it was fun. There was also a LOT of delicious vegan food. I hope I see you Seattle peeps there.


The Furry 5k is on Sunday, June 7th. It raises money for the Help the Animals Fund, which provides veterinary care and supplies for sick, injured or abused orphaned shelter animals.

I'll be taking the walking option w/ Kobie, Andy, some friends and possibly a new foster dog. Kobie loves to hang out and eat sandwiches, which is what we'll be doing after the walk.


Andy's bday was this month. I decided to make him a bday feast. 4 items doesn't make a feast, but I was tired all the same.

I made miso soup (no pic) using this stock recipe (dashi). It was the easiest stock I've ever made. Just boil up some kombu and dried shitake mushrooms, then strain.

I asked Andy if he wanted green tea, he said "can't we have orange soda"? About 1/2 way through the meal, I asked him why he wasn't drinking his "tea". Apparently, he confused the orange soda (in the teapot)for green tea because natural soda is not nuclear orange.

I made the chinese dumpling recipe that I got in a class I took at PCC. It worked out well because it called for rehydrated shitake mushrooms, so I used the ones from the dashi I had made. They were perfection. I cheated and used a gyoza press.

3 kinds of Sushi. (V'con Elephant Roll: avocado & chopped peanuts), (teriyaki tofu/green onion/red pepper/cilantro), (avocado)

Tomato Soup Cake with lemon glaze & zezt. The recipe is from Passions, a truly bizarre soap that was cancelled. It is a spice cake.

Campbell's tomato soup is accidentally vegan. I replaced the butter w/ Earth Balance, eggs with Ener'G egg replacer, milk with a soy/rice milk blend. I typically tone down the amount of certain spices, but I followed the recipe on the spices. The batter should be sort of thick, but not so thick that it is hard to smooth in the pan. I always add more soy milk. The batter looks really nasty, but when it's baked, it looks and tastes really good.

Lemon glaze = powdered sugar, lemon juice, soy milk, vanilla. You just add stuff until it's the right consistency. Start with powdered sugar, then slowly add/mix lemon juice. I add soy milk when it starts to taste too lemony, but is still too thick. When I'm happy w/ the consistency, I add in about 1 tsp of vanilla. You have to taste it a lot. As you can see from the picture, I always make a huge mess with this stuff.
In honor of Andy's bday, Peepa practiced yoga pose #2329B aka Downward Facing Tummy Lick. Yes, he is cleaning his stomach.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hillside Quickies Saturday Brunch

Somehow I'm about 5 posts behind. I have lots to blog about because I have been stuffing myself w/ really good food lately. In fact, I'm currently eating a vanilla glazed doughnut from Mighty-O's. I blame it on PirateWA because he was eating one when I went into PCC to buy a tomato.

The U District Hillside Quickies started serving brunch on Saturday (only) and it is really good. It all starts w/ a choice of beverage (bottomless if I rememeber correctly) and muffins. I hit the blueberry jackpot with mine. What you're looking at is not french toast. It's 2 super thick perfectly browned tasty pancakes coated in maple syrup. I'm still dreaming about them.

It shared it's plate with fruit compote and scramble. It was a really unique and delicious scramble. If you aren't a saltoholic, then ask them to use less salt.
Oh yeah! Of course Andy had to order the biscuits and gravy, and I was super crabby because we ususally split our plates. My crabbiness disappeared after my first bite. I hereby proclaim that Hillside has the best biscuits and gravy in Seattle, hands down.
Guava, I really hope that you are reading this right before a meal so that you are forced to whip up a batch of biscuits and gravy. And of course, tater tots.
No pics, but I volunteered at the greyhound booth at the Puyallup farmer's market this weekend. The purpose of the booth is to promote greyhound adoption. Somebody stopped by with an Italian greyhound. They are so tiny compared with the kind you typically see in the US.
I should be getting my next foster soon...
Now that the weather is much better, I love to lay around in the cat cage and knit whilst listening to books on tape. We're currently about 1/3 of the way through Wizards First Rule. We're also watching the TV series based on this book, The Legend of the Seeker. I have already read the book, but figured since Andy was so far behind with his reading that he'd never get to the book. Plus I like being confused with how the book differs from the TV show.
As you can see, the cats are just as leechy outside as they are inside. Poor Andy has to share his lawn chair with the likes of The Judge and Tubs.

Dear Vegan Assistant,

Yes, I am grouchy. Perhaps this wouldn't be so if you did your job and massaged my back instead of annoying me w/ that camera all the time. How is one supposed to enjoy life if the catnip bowl is half full?

Yours Truly,
Spotted Devil Cat

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

(Stuffing my) Pa Pa Pa Portland Face Pa Pa Portland Face

ok, yeah, I'm a geek. Can't/won't help that. As I'm sure you already guessed, I went to Portland. Woohoo. Very fun and FILLING. As a disclaimer, there were 4 of us eating all this food. There was also a baby, but he brought his own stash of food, though I think he was very tempted by our food.

WARNING: This post will have you spacing out like you're watching TV because it has so many pictures. You won't see any pics of the Portland scenery, it's all food.

Before I get started, I must shower the stumptown vegans with praise. Their blog educated me on the Portland vegan scene. I read the entire blog, got very very hungry and sad because I knew I couldn't go to all the places I wanted to go to - though happy for Portland vegans because they have lots to choose from. Milkshake cart and french fry cart, we will meet some other day. I was very happy with the choices we made in restaurants & pizza.

The day before we went, we dropped Kobie off at the kennel.

We arrived in Portland around noon and ate lunch at the Hungry Tiger, Too. They have 2 menus, one just for vegan food. If only that would be the standard everywhere.
Squash filled wontons with a spicy sweet sauce and coconut milk on top. crunchy and tasty.
Polenta fries with spicy sauce and sour cream
Tofu Scramble special

Mac n' Cheeze. It was very mild tasting, could have used some nutritional yeast and spicy mustard. T(empeh)LT with tater tots. I ate way too many of them.

Vegan Mini Mall. I was in too much of a food coma to take a picture of it. I think the tater tots might have been my downfall because I wasn't even slightly interested in getting a doughnut at sweetpea. Fear not, Andy bought one and I ate 1/2 a few hours later. The best yeasted doughnut ever.

I bought a bright red Food Fight! tote bag. For the past few years, I tend to get tote bags instead of T-shirts when on vacation. I also give them as xmas gifts hoping they will be used.

Portobello Vegan Trattoria

After a walk in the park and a nap at the hotel, we headed off to Portobello. I was very excited to go out to a 100% vegan italian restaurant.

Chao Cheeze & baugette. The chao cheeze is made by the people that make fieldroast. I really like this cheeze.Flavored oil with bread and veggies for dipping. I forgot the name of this appetizer, begins w/ a B. It was really good w/ bread.

Onto the main course...

Ravioli. mmmm... can't go wrong w/ this. The white flecks are salt, not my camera acting up.

Giant delicious Beanball on top of zucchini noodles. Picture blurry, Bethany hungry.

Gnocci. Very tasty. Do I even need to say how good this meal was?
Portobello on top of mashed potatoes w/ broccolini. This was so good, that Andy was possessive about eating his 1/2. I think he loves mushrooms more than he says.
Broccolini. Yeah, you've seen it before, but I wanted to let you know about every detail of our feast.
Pot o' Potatoes. Mmmmmm... Why can't all mashed potatoes be served in a cute little pot?

Asparagus. Tired of looking at pictures yet? Too bad, there's more.
Tiramisu. Oh, yeah!

Chocolate Hazelnut Espresso Tarte. This was really really rich and had an intense coffee flavor.

Hotel Deluxe After dinner, we had drinks in the lobby of the hotel we were staying at, Hotel Deluxe. I had my first cosmo, and it was ok. I ended up trading w/ Andy because he couldn't handle the super spicy somethingorother he had ordered. It was an interesting combo of really spicy Hot Monkey pepper vodka, passionfruit, and other stuff plus about 99% more allspice liquor than needed. potent, but it sort of grows on you.

Our friends ordered Laphroaig (mentioned in "American Gods") and a champagne cocktail that had a stick of crystalized sugar for a stirrer.

The Hotel Deluxe was a very nice hotel, but we really wanted to stay at the hotel that used to be a school. Chalkboards in every bedroom.

Hammy's Pizza. I wasn't really hungry when I ordered. I just wanted to experience pizza delivery. The pizza was good. I'm not sure it's possible to compare to Seattle's Pizza Pi because they are so different.

Greek Vegan minus the mushrooms plus pineapple. (Mushrooms, artichoke hearts, green & red bell peppers, roasted garlic, & Greek olives on a pesto/marinara base topped with homemade vegan parmesan (contains nuts))

Paradox Cafe. The Vita Cafe was moving, so we went to the Paradox. I thought it was fabulous.

Tree Hugger. Sort of disturbing that you're on the menu, Jeni.
French Toast. mmm...
Seasonal Benedict. You gotta love tofu covered with pesto and spinach. Yes, the potatoes were perfectly crispy on the outside and deliciously soft /firm on the inside.
Fiesta Burrito. Well, that's the end of the road. I hope you didn't fall asleep or drool too much.


While we were away, I'm pretty sure this was happening at home. The shadow is Chippy watching Peepa do yoga.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thai Party Platters

I recently took the Thai Party Platters class at PCC, taught by Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen. I love her classes because she makes the best thai food. The food was very simple to prepare, but very flavorful and fresh tasting.

Here is her website. Her blog contains recipes and videos. She is also on youtube. She doesn't solely cook vegan, but the recipes are easy to veganize. My note taking was obviously wishy washy because I forgot to write down what to replace shrimp powder / fish oil with. I think it was dried mushrooms (probably shitake). UPDATE: Chessa also took this class and thinks it's salt or soy sauce to replace the fish oil. I agree :)

Here is an article about Pranee that has links to recipes on the righthand side. I'm already scoping out the soup, squash dumplings and cocktail recipes. mmmm... Tom Yum Martini.

It's pretty obvious that I'm part of the Pranee fan club. If you're in the Seattle area, you must take one of her classes. She does teach some 100% vegan classes at PCC (those are the ones I take).

Nam Takrai Saparod aka Lemongrass Pineapple Cooler. This was really refreshing. It also had some mint in it.
Satay Hed Horm aka Grilled Spicy Shitake Mushrooms. OMG. Spicy goodness in a mushroom.
Prik See Ew aka Spicy Soy Sauce. This is used in Thailand just like we use salt and pepper.
Kao Phad Takrai aka Lemongrass Fried Rice with edamame and tofu.

Phanang Portobello Mushrooms in homemade Phanang Curry

Makrua Pao aka Grilled Eggplant.

The Phanang curry is sitting on top of the eggplant in the picture below.

I'm definitely going to make this curry paste, because it tastes about a million times better than any other phanang curry that I've had before. When she added it to the coconut milk for the dish, she used a higher ratio of paste to coconut milk than you get in a restaurant, so it was full of flavor and not watery.

The whole class took turns grinding the curry paste for around 25 minutes. One poor guy got stuck w/ the majority of the grinding, so he deserves some props. Lets just say that the food processor is our friend :).

My crystal ball sees a Thai feast in my future. And it will be a feast because I have all the recipes from the other classes I've taken with Pranee :)


Here's little Peepa worshiping the April sun on a battered up tarp in the cat cage.
I'm sure some of you will wonder where his collar is. He's not wearing it because he had balance issues from his seizure/stroke like episode - which he recovered from. The question is have I recovered from freaking out over him? Sort of.
He is now ok enough to wear a collar. I'm all about collars, tags and microchips.

Now I'm off to take Kobie to the park.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In Seattle, it's never too hot for soup

Ok, that's not quite true. there will be a few days this summer (maybe weeks?) where it will be too hot for soup. It has been scorching hot here a few days in April. Today, it's been heavy steady rain all day long. I'm blogging to fill time before the cat in the hat comes over and makes a bigger mess of the house.

Lately, I've been spending most of my time cleaning out the den. Soon it will become my exercise and computer oasis. I will be moving the computer to the den because I use it less. The other reason is so the living room will look less like nerd central with all of it's cables and computers.

Back on topic... I made 2 soups in April.

The black bean soup from the Real Food Daily cookbook. Ahhh-may-zing! It had tons of flavor and the jalapeno lime creme on top was great. I found the recipe on Amazon. I will try a couple more recipes and If I love them as much as this one, then I'll buy the book. This is my attempt at trying to avoid building a library wing filled with (more) neglected cookbooks.

I can't remember whose blog mentioned that they had made the ever so delicious Quinoa Soup recipe from Andrea's Easy Vegan Cooking. I thank you, mysterious blogger, and I also thank Andrea for sharing the recipe.


Cats aren't always going to wait while you fiddle around w/ the camera. In this particular situation, the important thing was to capture the action. The Judge invaded Tubs' turf (on top of the cabinets).

He was groomed.

Tubs decided that he prefers his sanctuary to be Judge free, so he took off.