Friday, October 31, 2008

VeganMoFo day #31 - candy corn & pizza

This is the last day of VeganMoFo and I'm sad that it's ending. I have been to almost all of the blogs doing VeganMoFo, I have less than 20 left to go. I loved reading about all of the different vegan food and perspectives. I'm really looking forward to mofo next year.

Seeing all of the halloween themed food inspired me to make a Jack-o-Lantern Pizza. Not my own idea, I either saw it on a blog, TV or both. I had been planning on making a pizza this week because we got a shipment of Teese. I made a pesto/red sauce/teese/basil/pineapple pizza. To make it more pumpkinish, I slathered it with way more fake cheeze than I would normally use. I love a pesto pizza!

We also made a white Teese pizza with a more normal amount of cheeze.

I think Teese is very similar to Follow Your Heart. FYH doesn't smell quite as much, so I'm going with that. Plus it's already in my co-op. I love white cheddar Cheezly too, but we don't get it too often. I think we're finally done trying Scheeze. 3rd time has convinced me that it is not my cup o' tea. Galaxy foods makes vegan rice slices that I like.

The crust we used was a Vicolo cornmeal crust.

I made candy corn using Melisser's recipe. They were good. So good that I lost count of how many I've eaten.
I got bored part way through forming them and made some into a ball. I think that was my way of taking a time out. Not done with it yet, got more forming to do.

Here is Scoatt with a "lion cut" that I gave him this summer while I was in VT. The hair on Scoatt's neck so long that it has to be trimmed. Otherwise, he can't clean himself.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

VeganMoFo day #30 - Trick or Treat?

If you live in the Seattle area, consider going to the vegan meetup this Saturday, November 1st. We're eating at Kitaro, a Japanese restaurant. The meetup will also be holding a nutrition class on November 22nd.

This should really be my Halloween post because it is scary. Or is it? I saw these vegan scallops at sidecar, Seattle's vegan grocery store, so I had to buy them. To make them more appetizing, they are in a can. The scallops are very firm chunks of seitan type stuff. I fried them up in a pan, because I love to do that. They had a mild flavor and weren't that bad. I'd eat them again - I kind of have to because there is 1/2 a can left.

On a related note, somebody on a TV show was going on about snowflakes that were as brilliantly blue as a scallop's eye. When I googled it, I found out that scallops have lots of bright blue eyes. Very cool, but creepy.
They can also swim, here is some footage. I don't know if they sped up the video or not, because these were some speedy scallops.

The second scary thing is the VitaSoy Chocolate Banana soymilk that Andy found yesterday. He was all excited because he loves the combo. When I opened it, a burst of fake banana smell came out, yuck. Thankfully it tasted like real bananas and it wasn't too overpowering. I prefer mixing up my own bananas with chocolate soymilk, but I wouldn't turn this down. Judging from Andy's reaction, it will be baaaaaack!
Oh how cute! My foster greyhound, Stitches, is playing with her chipmunk toy. Wait a second, there is something odd about that chipmunk... Could sweet innocent Stitches have chewed its legs off? Luckily there is a chipmunk ER in my house. The ER also handles toy gingerbread men, toy snakes, sandals and socks.

Here are some chipmunks conspiring against Stitches.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

VeganMoFo day #29 - I was sooo hungry

Ever get so hungry you eat all the food before you took a pic? Well that almost happened today when I went to the Teapot for lunch w/ a friend. I remembered when there were a few bites left.

So I ask you to use your imagination. When the House Soup Noodles came to me, it was piled so high with noodles that they rose above the surface of the spicy soup. There were also finely chopped veggies and seitan. There was also a fresh salad roll to dip into the soup. YUMMMMM. It's spicy deliciousness was perfect for today (it's getting colder, ya know).

If you are in Seattle, go to the teapot and order their house soup noodles. It's on the dinner menu (oddly enough, it's not under the soup section).

Here's the last bit of my mango smoothie.

Here is Peepa's mommy, Tubs. Ok, Tubs is a boy and he's not related to Peepa. For some reason, Peepa always crawls all over Tubs looking for heat and a bath. Very strange because Tubs is the bully of the house. Tubs usually gets pissed and will growl and even bite Peepa. Peepa just ignores him and eventually Tubs settles down.

Tubs also has very sexy legs - he's not the Spotted Devil Cat for nothing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

VeganMoFo day #28 - Super Cheezy

I somehow missed reading this Mac 'n Cheeze recipe in the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of VegNews (UPDATED link to recipe is here), so I'm really glad that yeah that vegan shit posted about it, otherwise I would have totally spaced on it. It's wonderful. Really rich, creamy and flavorful. Just do it!

Here is Tubs sitting next to Faline. You can see why Faline is NOT an official worm, she's totally glaring at him. She is an outcast by choice. ME-OW!
In case you're wondering, they can go outside, but only in a giant pen that has a top made of golf netting. That way they can't run around with the likes of Wile E.

Monday, October 27, 2008

VeganMoFo day #27 - The best southern food EVER

I just got home from another cooking class at PCC (seattle area co-op). It was Southern Vegan Comfort taught by Dawnula Koukol. Dawnula is really funny, tells great stories, knows a lot about cooking and is an awesome chef.

Chessa from Maybe Local Vegan also took this class at a different location. So now you have 2 testimonials to take this class. If you're not in the Seattle area, sorry for tempting you.

This is the only cooking class for the fall quarter that Andy would take. Because it had biscuits and gravy.

Here is the food....

Spiced Pecans - YUMMY. Andy hates nuts, so I got to eat his too :) This was the only food in this class that I got to take from him...

Miss D's Smokin' Collards. The BEST ever. Typically I hate the bitterness of collards, but these had no bitterness at all. Just a big pile of smoky deliciousness.

Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits and "Sausage" and Mushroom Gravy. OMG, these biscuits were so moist and flaky good. And the gravy was sooo good. I found out from Dawnula that you shouldn't use a sweet "milk" in gravy otherwise when it thickens up, it will have a gross sweet flavor. Could be the reason that the last batch of gravy I made got sweeter as time went by. That was because I was using a rice and soy blend. The sweetness of the rice milk was a bad move. Lesson learned. Thanks, Dawnula!

Bread Pudding with Maple-whiskey sauce. YUMMERS. I love bread pudding - the apples and currants were a bonus!

BTW, a worm pile can sometimes include Kobie. That's because Tubs LOVES Kobie. Technically Kobie isn't a cat, so I wasn't lying about the worm pile rules & regs in my house where max = 4 cats in a pile. Now watch Faline and Nibbler make me a liar by hanging w/ their enemy cats.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

VeganMofo day #26 - Reverse Spotted Devil Cat Cake

I was really busy the past couple days making a cake for my friend Heather's bday. It's a reverse spotted devil cat cake. Reverse because spotted devil cat is tan w/ brown spots.

It's has 2 layers using cupcake batter from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
  • 1.5 batches of marble cupcake batter
  • 2.5 batches of vanilla cupcake batter

I forgot how many batches of chocolate buttercream I made. Total sugarfest.

The tan things on top are peanut butter balls that I made and cut in half. I dip mine in melted chocolate instead of a frosting mixture. Typically I then roll them in coconut, but not this time. I stuck them to the cake with vegan white chocolate. I highly recommend making these pb balls. they are very easy to make.

The lettering is also in white chocolate.

The cake was good, but not as much fun as cupcakes in my opinon ;-). The party was really fun. Not much of the cake was eaten because I think we cut it too late. Oh well, as long as I could leave the leftovers behind I was happy. We had a good time at the party. Some of us played scattegories, which turned out to be a funny game because of the people playing. Towards the end of the party we played a game called Mafia. It was really entertaining and only requires a deck of regular playing cards. I'm just an innocent commoner.

This is what I call a worm pile. The players change, but the results are the same. Sort of looks uncomfortable. Worm piles never consist of more than these 4 cats. The other 2 would not get this close to another cat. Once in a while Kobie will attract a wormpile.

This is the dirty look you will get if you take too many pictures.

Friday, October 24, 2008

VeganMoFo day #24 - Maple Bday Tidings & Pizza

Today was my buddy Kevin's bday, so I made him maple cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. We went to lunch w/ Kajal at Taco Del Mar.

I skipped the maple extract in the batter, probably a good move because the cupcakes were super mapley enough without it.

I tried making the maple frosting, but it was a disaster. Very gross, I'm not sure what I did wrong. If the frosting had been maple, it would have been a maple overdose - this is coming from somebody that could drink maple syrup from the bottle. They were perfect as is with VCTOTW's vanilla buttercream. I don't like the name buttercream, it sounds very unvegan, but it is. If you haven't made these yet, you gotta do it.

For dinner, we had Juliano's pizza. Juliano's is located in Seattle and he makes the best pizza. The cheese is follow your heart - somehow he can serve it up in thick slices and make it taste great. If you're ever in Seattle, stop by.


Scoatt moved to VT to live with my brother last year. A couple of the cats and Kobie were picking on him. cat-cat-dog-cat-cat-cat-cat-cat dynamics are complex. He's now an only cat and he loves it. Mostly because he is the huggiest kissiest neediest cat ever. You gotta love a cat that can purr and growl in the same breath :) This pic is from this summer. Ok, now you've met everybody, though I sort of put the dog's pics in much earlier posts.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

VeganMoFo day #23 - Chickpea Pleasing

I made sandwiches with SusanV's Creamy Chickpea Salad with Fresh Herbs for lunch today. Really yummy. It does sort of remind me of tuna fish, but not in a gross fishy way. It was really easy to prepare and the flavor was awesome. Thanks so much Susan for always being so generous and sharing your recipes.

Nibbler likes to hide and he hates the camera, so this is a typical pic of him. I'm sure everybody knows where I got his name.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

VeganMoFo day #22 - Dal-icious

Last night I continued my tour of the negelected cookbooks by making Mixed Vegetable Dal from Vegan Feasts. I was a bit worried towards the end of cooking that is was too bland, but was able to save it by adding some more of the ingredients it already called for (cumin, corriander, lemon juice). I also added a bunch of hot sauce. I think lemon was the key ingredient.

Overall it turned out to be pretty tasty. I'm really picky about dal, so that says a lot. Sort of looks like a bowl of slop, but it is good. I haven't tried any other recipes from this cookbook. I used to own one of her veg cookbooks, which prompted me to get this one.

Earlier this week I made the Rice Cereal recipe that was in the booklet from the detox class. They didn't make it in class. Pretty simple stuff (liquid such as amazake or almond milk, rice, raisins, water, agave, vanilla. soak overnight, cook for an hour the next day - an hour because it's rice). I tend to dislike things like oatmeal unless there is a ton of maple syrup and fruit on top. Thus the lake of maple with chopped up pears (though they look like potatoes). I had some leftovers today and it seems like the raisins really permeated everthing so it's much sweeter on it's own. I'm about 2/3 along the way of liking this stuff. I think oatmeal lovers would like it.

This is a pic of the Judge grubbing for some bread. He only wants it because it's slathered in Earth Balance. Total grease hound.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

VeganMoFo day #21 - Banana Bread masquerade

Taking advantage of yet another neglected cookbook, here are Banana Oatmeal Cookies from The Shoshoni Cookbook. They are very flexible bendy cookies that really remind me of banana bread. That said, they are pretty good, though not as sweet as regular cookies. I'm toying around w/ putting on some glaze. I subbed "just like honey rice nectar" for the honey in the recipe. Oh yeah, I burned the 2nd sheet of cookies. yeah, my bad. Hopefully this isn't becoming a trend. I'm still eating them.

Can you tell which one was burned?

Here is Chippy trashing my lawn chair.

Monday, October 20, 2008

VeganMoFo day #20 - Curry Stir Fry

I'm on a kick w/ using my neglected cookbooks now. I broke out the Vegan Gourmet and made some Tempeh with Curry Peanut Sauce. You can check out this recipe on Amazon. Click on Look Inside and go to page 186.

The main components were carrots, celery, tempeh, onions, sauce & spices on top of rice noodles with soy sauce (instead of kasha). I also put a banana on there thinking it would be good. Not so much. They taste good w/ a coconut curry, but not this one because it had tempeh in it ;-).

I'll definitely make this again. It was easy to prepare and the results were good. Some changes I'd make would be:
  • double the amount of peanut sauce because it was really good.
  • fry up the tempeh in a teriyaki glaze. 8 oz of tempeh was a lot of tempeh and the flavor of the curry didn't soak in enough.

Here is Faline mid-yawn. I used to think that she had hair spots stuck to her tongue, but it's just the color of her tongue.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

VeganMoFo day #19 - Country Kitchen, Hot Damn and Hell Yeah

Brunch today was totally inspired by Bex at how to feed a vegan. She made some country fried tofu from Hot Damn and Hell Yeah, a really cute cookbook. Bex's came out so good, that I had to try it out. I had also been neglecting this cookbook. It's in good company. I've been ignoring lots of them. Time to start forcing myself to break the ice w/ some of these cookbooks.

In addition, I also made the biscuits and gravy from the same book. Woohoo for brunch!

Anyhow, this meal was very very good. I even sat at the table to eat it. Typically I lay around when I eat.

There is a lot of prep work, so I started yesterday. I decided to make their BBQ sauce which is a component of the tofu marinade. It was good, but I still think Veganomicon's apricot bbq sauce is my fave. The recipe made buckets of sauce, so I see a BBQ'd tofu post in my future.

Marinating tofu:

The thick soy milk bath:

The bread crumb tank:

The spicy flour dredge:

After going through all the stations, I fried them up in my cast iron pan. I found part way through that you really need to oil up that pan. They weren't sticking, but they weren't being properly fried. oil solved the problem.

Here is what the final pile up looked like. The gravy was made with crumbled up sausages. Very tasty.

Here's a picture of Peepa lounging underneath a laptop so he can leech off its heat. That cat is never warm enough. I think I'll make him another sock hoodie this year.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

VeganMoFo day #18 - Hot Steamy Mango & a cat that does laundry

Had to go grocery shopping today, so we went out to lunch first at Square Lotus. We had heard really great things about it's vegetarian menu.

The text at the top of the menu said that their vegan menu is all vegetarian. Well, that's a good start. Then I noticed that they kept talking about egg noodles in the dishes. After talking to the waitress, she had no idea about what vegan meant. She said that there were eggs and milk in some dishes. Confusing, but we got around it. We avoided the mock meats. I was happy w/ the meal, it was really good. The also had pho, but I wasn't in the mood for a mega bowl of soup. Portions were really huge. If I had known, we would have gotten 1 less dish because I had forgotten my tupperware.

The Lotus salad had shredded lotus, carrots, fried tofu and a sweet but slightly vinegary sauce. It was different, but yummy.

The Phad Thai minus eggs was really good. I like a really wet phad thai. The only exception was a place that made a great dry phad thai. Never had it better than that place. Too bad it was pre vegan food.

The Mango Tofu was really good. Fried tofu, huge mango chunks, veggies, and a nice very slightly sweet sauce. If you ever go there, get this dish.

Spotted devil cat likes to lick this particular cat blanket thing. He also likes to lick the dog, select other cats and occasionally people noses. In addition to having mommy cat tendencies, he is a huge bully at times. His is very skilled at cleaning this blanket. It comes out nice and fluffy - even better than what the washing machine does.