Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas dinner a day late...

We made Christmas aka winter solstice dinner a day late because we were busy messing around in the snow. Here are some of the things we had.

Garnet yams with maple cider glaze in puff pastry. This has a nice lemon flavor. Yum. I skipped the wash. I used Aussie brand puff pastry. I should have cooked the yams a bit more so they would be mushy.

Biscuits with a bunch of nutritional yeast added in.

Green Bean Casserole from Veg*ns are Friends not Food. It was nice and creamy and the croutons were really delicious. I made 1/2 a recipe and skipped the rosemary.

Basic Stuffing, nothing too exciting. I was going to make Guava's stuffing balls, but the stuffing was too stiff and unwieldy.

Mashed potatoes. Yeah, it's sort of obvious, but I wanted to make you hungry for them.

Squash Pie. I used Hubbard squash instead of pumpkin in the recipe from Voluptuous Vegan. Super dense and rich. This pie weighed a ton, but I like my pie really squashy. Hubbard is my all time favorite squash.

Is that enough food? Nope. There was also some cranberry sauce that wasn't cooperating w/ the camera. We made it instead of using the typical canned kind. To be honest, I like the canned kind. Next time I'm skipping the orange peel, other than that, I liked it a lot.
Partway through cooking we realized that we hadn't prepared seitan or something like that. We were way too burnt out at that point, so we skipped it.
After 12 days, we escaped yesterday! The roads were plowed - that snow wasn't going anywhere on it's own. Here are some pics from my walk with Kobie today. There is a huge dirty pile of snow from the plow on the right.

Here is the first of 2 hills from hell that we have to go down. That strange white spot in the middle is the road winding down the hill.

Peepa and the Judge are having some water together. They have their own water bowl, but they (like all of the cats) like to use Kobies bowl. Cats really freak me out when they synchronize their poses.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

VeganSnowFo day 8,243 - or at least it feels that way

Yay, the snow is finally seeming to melt. It even rained later on today.

I'm super annoyed with it right now because of reasons that are pretty much my own fault. We tried to drive the subaru down the driveway today and surprise, surprise! After about 1/2 way down the driveway it got stuck. Now why would a car not like driving in 2 feet of snow? beats me. so we had the nasty task of shoveling the compacted snow from under the car. Then we shoveled a foot+ layer off the top of the snow on the driveway (believe me, I'm not shoveling an ounce more than necessary). We got to a point where the car isn't stuck, but didn't finish the driveway shoveling. We'll do that tomorrow. That took more than 2 hours. We gave up because it was cold and getting more tea and OJ didn't seem worth it. If we escape tomorrow, I'm thinking brunch at Cafe Flora.

Hey, this baby can deal with rain, but not 11 days of being trapped at home.

Here are some things that have to do w/ snow at my house:

1. Kobie can eat snow right at head level.
2. Kobie doesn't like the snow to be over his head. He makes an attempt once in a while to jump through it, but it's not fun for him. This rule of unfunness doesn't apply when in the cat cage, because Kobie loves going in there.

3. The roof of the cat cage got slammed with snow. It's made of net, so it stretches when it's weighted down. This was the worse yet. The part where it's touching the ground should be 7 feet off the ground. The only solution is to go out and smack at it with sticks which is what Andy is doing below. Don't worry, I have my own stick and umbrella. This type of fun needs to be shared.

4. Abominable snowvegans

Andy made some pancakes from the Candle Cafe Cookbook and they were to die for. The texture was perfect.

Chippy & co aren't about to go outside (even if the cat door wasn't locked). So what's a cat to do? Leech off the nearest heat source. In this case, it's Andy. No fear of him moving for hours because he's playing games (Andy, not Chippy).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

VeganSnowFo day 5 - almost dark days yum-panada

This is my second time making the empanadas from Veganomicon. They are just as yummy as the first time. Delicious butternut squash, jalapenos, black beans and other goodness all wrapped up in a flour cornmeal crust. They taste even better after they have been frozen. Gotta love that.

This could almost be a dark days of Local cooking, but alas, the flour while milled in WA, is from Utah. That puts this recipe at roughly 70% local instead of close to 90%. Still, that's pretty good. Everything else except the black beans, spices, and maple syrup is from WA. I'll get there eventually. When I say eventually, I mean when I'm not snowed in. And it is STILL SNOWING.

I have to thank Chocolate Covered Vegan for her copious posts on butternut squash. They convinced me to get one and roast it to make the filling for the empanadas. Yummy!

I have to also thank Chessa for posting on her roasted squash seeds. It forced me to roast mine - typically I'm too lazy. I'm glad I did, not only are they a good source of protein, but they are really tasty. The hubbard seeds are the bigger ones. They are good, but the butternut seeds have a very thin shell, so you get more of the inside stuff per seed.


This time of the year, Andy & I make sugar cookies from an old Veggie Life magazine. I'm in charge of cookie cutting and glazing. He does the sprinkles and oven.

Joanna, this scene of the zombie squirrel making more zombies is for you.

oh, kissing swans, what giant cranberry eyes you have...


Chippy likes to sit on the monitor to get warm. In the background you can see the frozen tundra which is the yard.

Monday, December 22, 2008

VeganSnowFo day 4 - cupcakes a plenty

I made some orange "sort of filled" cupcakes from where else, but Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I didn't fill all of them because the filling was more like a really good creamy jello than pudding. I think it would be excellent as a summer dessert by itself, but not in a cupcake. The cupcakes themselves were tasty. They had orange zest in them to make them nice and orangey. I frosted them with a mixture of melted chocolate, vanilla, orange zest, soymilk and powdered sugar.

I took advantage of the tons of snow and great outside lighting.

Chessa, this is for you. It's supposed to make you drool and get you in the kitchen to make biscuits 'n gravy. Who am I kidding, you're on autopilot when it comes to this recipe. Here's to hoping your PCC class selection dream comes true and Dawnula teaches another class.

Kobie is busy searching for cupcakes in the snow.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

VeganSnowFo day 3 - Fried Oatmeal & Stuffed Shells

I made fried oatmeal this weekend. I read about it on Yasmin's blog. She found it on Fuss Free Flavors. I really liked it. It tasted a lot like fried rice because of the soy sauce. It made me look at oatmeal in a different way. I used red bell peppers, parsnips and onions for my veggies. You can also see the fried tofu sandwich that Andy made.


I'm in the process of cooking a bunch of stuff to fill the freezer. Andy is on vacation, so he is helping out. So far we've made a bunch of stuffed shells. I stuffed them w/ a mixture of tofu ricotta, pesto, spinach, and follow your heart mozzarella (not much). Of course we didn't freeze all of it :)


Today we're going to start playing Banjo Kazooie. I'm looking forward to it, because I like games where you explore an area and have to figure out how to get to the next part of the "world" you are in. There is some fighting, but it's not the focus of the game. Andy & I play together, switching who has the controls. They also made Conker, a game about a squirrel.

The snow outside made me start replaying Super Granny last night. She goes through 99 different mazes saving cats and avoiding gnomes and dogs. Essentially you're running through a vertical maze w/ ladders (think donkey kong). Snow makes me want to play super granny because there are a bunch of snow mazes. At some point soon, I will also play Age of Empires with the christmas map - Andy & I vs. the computer.


This morning's reading was 1' 2" and it's still snowing. Kobie just goes outside and stares at it.

I still haven't made it into the vet yet, but Kobie's foot is looking ok. He's sick of wearing my socks, and he really hates wearing a plastic bag over it when he goes outside.

Kobie's snow eating process (you can also see how deep it is!):

Friday, December 19, 2008

VeganSnowFo day 2 - crescent roll ring

If October is VeganMoFo, then the winter months should be VeganSnowFo. Basically it's when you're trapped at home because of bad weather and you end up blogging about vegan this and that.
My cough must be getting better because I went out in the cold and I didn't have a coughing fit. I'm betting I won't be able to pull off that feat at night. Thank you huffing medicine!

The bonus of the snow:
  • Andy is forced to work from home
  • The sky is clear blue and the sun is shining. I'm getting my sun fix without having to travel. In the seattle area you need this in the winter.
  • The potential of snow sculptures. Maybe I can try to make a snow cat. When I was little we made a snow dragon.
  • The yard looks really good
  • an acutal white christmas
  • you get to see cats in the snow. They don't want to go out there, but if we do, their nosiness forces them to follow. Case in point:
Tubs. Hanging out in the tunnel that leads to the cat cage.

Faline looking grumpy.

I found this recipe in a cookbook that assembles processed foods so you can trick people into believing that you spent lots of time in the kitchen. Though I can't imagine who would be fooled. I don't own this cookbook in case you're wondering. Some of the recipes are from celebs. This is Katie Couric's Cresent Roll Ring. It was pretty good.

You can check out the link for the official recipe, but I'll include pseudo directions in case the link disappears. I wouldn't want anybody to miss out on some prefab sweetness.
top: pillsbury crescent roll dough - just 1 sheet's thickness.
middle: jam (I used raspberry)
middle: marzipan
bottom: crescent roll dough - just 1 sheet's thickness.
She somehow arranged it in a ring. I'm sure that's why her's is thicker than mine. I just made a rectangle.
bake like you would a normal crescent roll, then slather with glaze. I just used powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, water.
I didn't have marzipan, so I mixed up some almond flour, powdered sugar, water and a small amount of lemon juice in the food processor. It wasn't as smooth as marizpan, but it tasted fine. I formed it into a thick plank with my hands. I'm not as dainty as Katie.
For you sickly types out there, it tastes good with tea and is a nice break from lentil soup and toast. ha ha ha. ok, that's at my own expense because I'm pratically hooked up to an IV of tea right now.


Chippy is still refusing to drink. Why drink water when your servants will fill you up with subcutaneous fluids?

I can tell that he is feeling better because he did some grooming today. Well, not exactly the type of grooming you're used to seeing a cat do.

I'm typically safe from this because my hair is too long. Plus Andy's hair greases up more overnight, so the yield is better.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Haning out in the Snow-attle area

Ugh. There is over 1 foot of snow outside and it's still coming down. Western Washington is snowed in. Most of the roads are closed. The local news has taken over so that they can report on the roads. This is a good thing. I hope people are watching it and it makes them stay at home. Kudos to the WA meterologists, they did a very good job of giving everybody many days warning before the storm.

I can tell whazzup w/ the temperature by looking out the window at the lone icicle on the porch roof. Yesterday it was melting like crazy (majority of it was from the roof runoff down the icicle) and today it is longer and not going anywhere.

Chessa, you would be proud of me because we went out yesterday and stocked up on supplies. Though I did have a bunch already.

I got sick of seeing all the snow coverage, so instead I'm watching a show on global warming, Six Degrees Could Change the World. Very depressing. Actually we're pretty screwed with every degree change, let alone 6. I have to believe that global warming has something to do w/ all this snow in Seattle where it doesn't belong.


We're getting more snow tomorrow and on Sunday. The worst part is that I have to go out in the snow sometime over the next few days to take Kobie to the vet. He nibbled a hole in his foot. It's about the size of 1/3 of a dime. He's always been a foot groomer, but this is taking it too far. I think he'll be ok because I cleaned it, put sterile gauze on it, then wrapped his leg in ace bandages. The wrapping needs to go up over his back so it won't slip off. I also have to watch him like a hawk because he will chew the bandages off.

Here is a pic of him moping on his doggy bed. He keeps staring at me trying to guilt trip me. He should enjoy his relative freedom now because tonight he's wearing a cone.
I'm sure he's also pissy because he wants to play in the snow. The next time he goes out to the bathroom, I'll put a plastic bag over his leg and let him play. I'm not a totally mean mommy!

UPDATE: Kobie snuck off and bit through some bandaging and he loosened the stuff around his foot, so he has been rewarded w/ closer scrutiny and one of my socks. Somebody isn't so tough looking w/ a red kitty cat sock, is he?


We went back to the Wayward Cafe. This time I took pictures, so you'll all want to go eat there and meet the new owners. Well, if you've been to Pizza Pi and Sidecar, chances are you already know them :).

Scram Bam Thank You Ma'am (scramble, toast, hashbrowns). The red stuff is hot sauce and the toast is coated w/ nutritional yeast. In fact you can see the shaker behind the toast. woohoo!
The Wizard (seitan, pepperoncinis, sauerkraut on rye bread with home fries and a pickle). This sandwich was amazing. Pepperoncinis = genius.

Guava, if you move to that neighborhood, I'll get the house next to yours.


Numi Tea tasting continues. I've been really pleased with the tea from the sampler collection.

Aged Earl Grey (caffeine)(Assam Black Tea, Italian Bergamot fruit). They don't use oil of Bergamot, but instead use the fruit itself. The Earl is my favorite tea of all time, so I'm pretty picky about it. I thought this was a good cup of tea. Yummy. FYI - I drink mine with soy milk except when I have it iced.

Morning Rise Breakfast Blend (caffeine)(Keemun, Darjeeling, Ceylon, Assam). This was a really nice blend.


My cold is getting much better. I'd venture to say that I'm done w/ the cold and I'm in post cold cough mode. This phase still makes me feel weak. I went to the doctor last Friday and got some prescription nasal sprays that will fix my post nasal drip which causes my cough. The sprays have a horrid chemical "taste/smell" to them. It can still smell it for hours after a huffing.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

award, Banana pancakes, wayward cafe & SNOW

Thanks, Joanna and Tara for awarding me the proximity award. It's really nice of you. I think you're both awesome and caring people. Your blogs put a smile on my face.
I think it's a relative of the butterfly award, there is even evidence in the pic :).

Here's the scoop on this award:
"This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Here are the 8 bloggers I think you should check out, if you haven't already. I gotta give some props to VeganMofo for helping me find them! Of course you should know that everybody on my blogroll should be on this list PLUS the blogs that I haven't added to the roll yet. What can I say, it really needs updating.

1. chocolate covered vegan
2. Guava
3. Becks - I am not a Rabbit
4. Jeni Treehugger
5. wingraclaire
6. Seitan is my motor
7. Tofu mom
8. Thrifty Living


We went to the Wayward Cafe on Saturday. It recently changed owners to the couple that runs Pizza Pi and the manager of Sidecar and her husband. The Wayward is in a neighborhood, which is really odd zoning wise. I would love to have a house across the street so I could eat there every day. I hope the people in that neighborhood know how lucky they are.

We got there at 3 PM, but hey, no problem. Breakfast is served all day. Can't argue w/ that. If you're like me, you've probably already looked for pictures. Hey, what can I say. sometimes I'm too blinded by food to remember silly things like my camera that was in the car.

I had the breakfast special (scramble, toast, hashbrowns). Andy had the seitanic philly. Both were really really good. They even had a shaker w/ nutritional yeast in it. Come on, you gotta love a place that has nutritional yeast as a condiment. Of course I slathered my toast with it. Too bad you weren't here Joanna, fellow toast slatherer, you could have done the same.



Numi Tea. I've been drinking lots of honeybush. It's been growing on me. I liked the Roobios Chai so much that I got a box. mmmmm...

Red Mellow Bush (Roobios). Really good. 'Nuff said. If you haven't had Roobios yet, what are you waiting for? It tastes sort of like a berry tea, but not really. Hard to explain.

Berry Black (caffeine - Darjeeling, hibiscus, strawberries, rasperries, rosehips, raspberry leaves). I liked this hot, but I think it would be really good iced. VERY fruity.


This morning (well afternoon for the rest of you), Andy made pancakes with bananas on top and some Yves meatless breakfast patties aka snausages. ~~~~~

Wingraclaire, all your pictures of snow have put a spell on Woodinville and we got snow :). Well at least my part has snow. It snowed on and off for two days (Friday and Saturday). When we went out yesterday, the snow stopped a few miles from my house. yay, I'm so "lucky". With the amount I got last night, maybe the snow covered more area.

There is somebody in the house that LOVES snow. Kobie.

Here he is on the first night, Friday.
Today, Sunday, he spent a lot of time running around in the snow. He has it all over his face because he loves to eat snow.
Here he is in action. He's like a steam shovel.
The Judge is very nosy, so he came outside to see what was going on. Of course, he immediately wanted to be protected from the cold.

Here is the cat cage. You can see the tunnel on the left leading out from the house to the cage. The tunnel has a tarp over it so that the cats can hang out there when it's rainy and they won't get wet. Though some of them don't care about that. Behind the cage is a shed that I have been tiling for 3+ years now. When it's done, it will be connected to the cat cage. Why they need a clubhouse I don't know. I knew 3+ years ago.