vegan fusion philly cheese steak

July 3, 2008

So I bought some Field Roast brand deli meats. I’ve bought their sausages (which aren’t available here) and really liked them, so I figured I’d try this. It was kind of odd, but tasty. I bought the lentil sage flavor. Anyway, then I noticed some FYH cheddar in my fridge that wanted to be eaten, so I came up with this concoction. I call it vegan fusion [because there’s guacamole!] philly cheese steak. I’ve obviously never had philly cheese steak, so I have no idea how it compares (probably not at all), but it is really, really tasty.

There is half an avocado’s worth of guacamole with lime juice and salt, sauted onions, 4 slices of the deli meat, and a little bit of FYH cheddar, fried in olive oil and served on some tasty tasty whole grain bread from a local vegetarian cafe/restaurant/whatever (Benevolence Cafe).


boring dinner.

June 29, 2008

This is the dinner I have like every day when I’m not feeling creative.  Some version of chili, with some things from the following list: rice, polenta, guacamole, salsa, tomato, green onion.  Tonight, it was chili with kidney beans, tempeh, onion, jalapeno, and yellow squash, with guacamole and fresh salsa.

Ok, seriously people…

June 22, 2008

What the hell is this thing???

Ok, ok. It’s clearly some sort of centipede or millipede, what with all the creepy legs. Centipede, since it only has one creepy pair of legs per body segment. Click for a larger image if you want to confirm that. But the more important question here is…


Googling told me that it probably won’t kill me or Elephant, and besides it seems mostly interested in staying the hell away from me anyway, so I’m leaving it alone for now. But this is a really fucking creepy bug. Especially since it moves so fast that I couldn’t capture it under a jar for deportation. Just saying.

black forest cupcakes!

June 20, 2008

Last week Thursday, David let me know that on Friday there was some picnic thing at work that I was supposed to/allowed to attend with him. Since I did actually want to be able to eat SOMEthing there, I immediately started making potato salad and cupcakes to bring. I had some dried cherries, so I decided to go for black forest cupcakes. (The potato salad was just my normal potato salad, which will show up here at some point, but which is similar to Vegan Dad’s–and no I can’t be troubled to find his post with potato salad, so use google or something if you care.) Everything got eaten (the cupcakes had the “has alcohol” bonus to offset the “vegan” penalty).

Anyway, on with the cupcakes!

I mostly followed the recipe from VCTOTW, but I used dried cherries instead of frozen (and added some water to make up for that, as well as cooking them for a bit longer–until they were soft and plump), and I used the hazelnut cupcakes, with 1/3 cup flour subbed with dutch processed cocoa powder.

I used the hazelnut cupcakes because my Oma (who is german and lives in the black forest) makes black forest cake with at least half hazelnut meal instead of flour. I was somewhat unhappy with how the cake part turned out–it was very tasty, but not nearly as dense and rich as I’d like. Inauthentic. This is partially because I think there needs to be more hazelnut meal than the VCTOTW recipe calls for, and partially because Oma uses melted chocolate, not cocoa powder. In the future, I will experiment with more hazelnut meal, and then possibly with melted chocolate. OR I’ll just call Oma and ask her for her recipe (which I used to have, but lost). 🙂

Oh, also, I added 2tbs kirschwasser to the buttercream frosting (in addition to the other liquids, not instead of anything). I liked the way the buttercream came out better with a bit more liquid, and the kirschwasser I got was very, very weak, so the flavor was still subtle. Probably if you’re using real kirschwasser, you should go with 1 tbs and then 1 tbs extra of soy milk or creamer. (Really I used 1tbs and halved the frosting recipe–half the frosting recipe was enough for 20 cupcakes; yes, 20, each batch only made 10 cupcakes for me. Half a frosting recipe would probably cover 24 cupcakes if you’re a bit stingy and actually manage to get all the frosting into the pastry bag.) I also doused the cake part with kirschwasser instead of making the kirsch glaze, because that’s what Oma does. (Since I was bringing them to an Air Force official function, I did not douse them in nearly as much kirschwasser as Oma uses, though. )

Lastly, as you may have guessed, I used kirschwasser, even though the recipe calls for kirsch brandy. Not really sure what the difference is or if there’s even a real difference, but what Oma uses is labeled “kirschwasser”, so I went with it. (Literal translation is “cherry water,” but obviously it is alcoholic.)

Morocco, and lots of food.

June 3, 2008

As … probably everybody reading this knows,  I was in Morocco last week at a conference.  It went well, and you can see tons of pictures with comments on my flickr page, if you like (skip past the food photos).  I also have a ton of food to share.

Tonight, I made veganyumyum’s sweet chili lime tofu, except I substituted kale, and didn’t actually measure anything:

I thought the lime kind of overpowered the kale, but perhaps it’s better with collards.  …also I really like the subtle flavor of kale, so it’s probably more important to me.

Also, scones from VWAV, added ad-libbed raspberry sauce and vanilla to the scone batter:

and broccoli soup:

This is the first time I’ve made it exclusively with nutritional yeast instead of any manufactured cheese substitute (there was, of course, tasty tasty earth balance, though).  It turned out really well that way.  Not sure I’d be happy making it for non-vegans though…

Scarlet Runner Burgers

May 13, 2008

I’ve been trying to invent the veggie burger I want for a long time, and this is the latest iteration.  (I also tried a similar recipe with runner cannellinis, with worse results.)  It’s far from perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction.  I’ve tried a ton of other people’s recipes, and never really get what I’m looking for.  The next iteration of this recipe will probably contain some TVP for less uniform texture and a good bit more spices and flavorings.

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my students. they make my brain hurt.

May 12, 2008

Why, how, WHY does this always happen???

Students.  They turn in homeworks, where their answers are clearly copied and pasted from eclipse.  (Which is ok.  Good even!  I encourage running homework problems to check that they work!)  But how the hell do they have syntax errors?  Did they not NOTICE the red underlinies?  Why even bother writing in eclipse if you’re not going to run it or check syntax errors, anyway???

Are they copying and pasting and then adding in syntax errors just to screw with me, to see if I’ll notice?

It doesn’t really matter.  But it makes my brain hurt.  Why???  (Seriously.  If you have some guess as to why they do this, I’d like to hear it.  This happens all the time.)


May 7, 2008

I have news. Which I can’t talk about here, because people in my office know this screenname and they are not allowed to know yet (for two weeks).

ARGH. The not talking about it. It hurts. (If you’re not David or Casey, and you don’t know what I’m talking about already anyway, please contact me. I want to talk about it with as many people as possible! Who I’m allowed to talk to.)

agave cupcakes!

May 5, 2008

I made the Simple Vanilla and Agave Nectar Cupcakes with the Super Natural Agave Icing from VCTOTW. I’m not sure how I feel about the icing–it’s more drippy than I like my icing (but to be fair, I did not give it the overnight sit time that is recommended, just an hour). The cupcakes, though. They are very, very good, and were forgiving of my oven being stupid (more so than some of the other cupcakes from VCTOTW).

The cupcakes are, as you can see, a very neat color.

pancakes, and christmas limas

May 4, 2008

The other day, I finally cooked some of my delicious christmas limas. I wish I had bought more than one pound!!! I added a bit of thyme and drizzled with olive oil before serving. They were so good.

Also, this morning turned out to be one of those mornings where I simply forget to eat. So when I realized around 2pm, I decided to make pancakes. I topped them with homemade strawberry/raspberry syrup. (Actually this is not my normal strawberry/raspberry syrup, which uses frozen strawberries and frozen raspberries… I had no frozen raspberries left, so I used some raspberry syrup instead–the kind that one would ordinarily put in coffee drinks). I will post a recipe for that when I remember to measure while I’m cooking. The pancakes are similar to those in VWAV (I think), but really just thrown together as well.