I can’t really believe it’s been so long since I posted, but that’s how life goes. Never have I been the most active blogger. I wouldn’t even really consider myself a ‘blogger’, instead I’m more of an internet journal-writer. This is more for my reflection and display of delicious food than for anything else. But really, nine months is kind of pushing it. It’s not like I haven’t done anything. It’s not like I haven’t eaten – which by the way is the main subject of this enterprise.
I think my problem stems from a couple things. The testing for Terry I was doing slowed down in 2012 (but dang I’m excited to see that cookbook all printed up because those recipes are awesome) so I took a bit of a break from cooking something new every day. At some point in the last few months I also updated the OS on my computer and my iphoto has not worked since. Yeah I know I need to get it fixed but my tech guru is also very busy and it never seems to get done. I get easily frazzled when messing with it and my lack of photos kills any inspiration I had to write. Going along with frazzled I’ve been very busy at work and when you work in a kitchen all day cooking and doing dishes the last thing I wanted to do at night was cook and do dishes. I’m hoping I can change that. Our CSA this year has helped but I’ve just been in a cooking funk.
Maybe it’s time to come up with a new incentive. Clean out the pantry, use old cooking ware and appliances, pick a cookbook and work through it. Something like that. For now I’ll leave you with a picture of something wanting to be cooked.
Pineapple Curry – a Terry tester
My shepherd’s pie recipe
Our first Thanksgiving by ourselves. It was delicious. Clockwise, at 12 o’clock is mashed potatoes, then mushroom gravy, chickpea cutlets, green bean casserole, kale salad, cornbread stuffing, and in the center canned cranberry sauce (which is Nick’s favorites part) and some of his grandma’s cinnamon pickles. It’s just not a holiday without them.
Scrap pumpkin pie
And the best was saved for last. This was from a Thanksgiving potluck we went to in November. It’s the chocolate tart from Vegan Pie in the Sky. With mimicreme healthy top it was like the French Silk Pie of my childhood.
It’s all been so tasty.
I’m much better at just posting pictures than dutifully writing posts. So here are some more testers from Terry’s cookbook-in-progress.
Red Pepper Tofu Curry with Coconut Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables. Rather labor intensive making the curry paste from scratch (it’s got cashews and ancho chiles in it!) but was pretty good. I loved the coconut quinoa (just coconut milk and shredded coconut mixed in).
The gyro seitan in the back there is another tester and it’s awesome. I made tofu feta, roasted tomatoes, hummus, and the cucumbers and steamed broccoli for a gyro feast.
It made me so happy. The only thing missing was the tzatziki sauce, so I’ll just have to make it again.
And just because, here’s a picture of our goofy cat.
Testers: baked tofu and avocado mango salad. Both are amazing.
(Local BBQ sauce and homemade mulled cider in the background)
Tester: Flying Massaman Curry (holy crap so good!)
And finally, the vegan vanilla cake I made for my niece’s birthday party yesterday.
I always come to a point in the month where I miss a day. Then another. And then all ambition flies out the window. I’ve been busy with my new job and taking care of my mom who just had a knee replacement. So since the surgery I haven’t been doing as much cooking as normal. Tonight we had boxed black bean bisque and some olive ciabatta bread from the co-op. Last night we had takeout. The night before I ate out with my mom after her physical therapy. So not much to report.
Harkening back to my goals I have succeeded on a few. I made a bunch of French recipes and I mastered the bran muffins (though I haven’t posted about it yet). I did not make any bread from Bread Baker’s Apprentice because I don’t have a scale yet and think I really need one to be successful. Maybe next month. There’s always next month.
We don’t make pizza too often, but it is a household favorite. It’s usually his thing. He has his own crust recipe and is often the one who takes charge and makes the whole thing while I try to restrain myself from making little suggestions. This is hard for me, but I know I have to keep my mouth shut because I hate it when people butt in when I’m cooking. Needless to say it’s rare for us to really cook together. Usually one person cooks, the other tells stories and opens the wine. Our collaboration happens more in the planning stage. So when he suggested pizza the other night I said yes. But we didn’t have tomato sauce. I didn’t want either of us to have to run to the grocery store at seven so I came up with an alternative. Someone at work had made a curry pizza and that got my thinking. So instead of tomato sauce I made peanut sauce. Instead of sausagey crumbles we had teriyaki tofu, instead of olives a few broccoli. In the crust we worked in some cilantro, red pepper flakes, and garlic. In the end it was amazing and opens up a whole new realm of pizza ideas. Thanksgiving pizza? tandoori pizza? enchilada pizza?
Last night I made Terry’s Pistachio Date Quinoa with Chickpeas. Talk about a perfect dish to bring to a potluck. It’s got pistachios, it’s got dates, it’s got crunchy onions, chewy dates, soft chickpeas. I loved it.
My standard potluck food is a dessert of some sort, usually a cake or bars, and some sort of salad. Rice salad, quinoa salad, bread salad, kale salad, anything that can be tossed with oil and lemon salad. So this was perfect and something I will make often.
I love potlucks. Part of it’s the food and vegan camaraderie, part of it’s that I met my sweetheart at a potluck. I was coming back up from a really low spot in life and inspired by the other awesome potlucks happening in the Square on the PPK I decided to host one for the Iowa folks. This was seriously outside my comfort zone. I barely knew one person coming and everyone else was only a screen name I’d talked to. Needless to say it went well. It went great. And I met this guy who’d ridden his bike thirty miles to get there and I couldn’t believe it. Now of course I ride thirty miles and think nothing of it. Anyway, he brought banana bread. He was cute and funny. Everyone had fun and I moved on. It wasn’t until months later when he was hosting a potluck that we met up again. Because of the flakiness and determination of different invitees I was the only one to come. We ate soup, we played legos, we made plans to meet up a few days later where we started falling in love and have been together since. So yeah, I like potlucks. But I don’t think any will top those two.