Monday, October 27, 2008

I Have Blog ADD

Hello friends!

I must have blogging ADD or something, because I've created (another) new blog!

I wanted a blog that incorporated living the good life (fun!) with food, frugality, and fashion (awesome vintage-ness, etc.) among other things. Would you care to take a look and leave a comment? Originally it was going to be only about frugality, hence the name - Cheap Thrills!

In other news, I've moved away from home and I now work for a rad vegan home meal delivery service/chocolate company!

I leave you now with a prerequisite food picture:

Coconut + Berry + Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding.
Loosely based off a recipe in Vegan Planet.
Loosely being the operative word.

I'm really into individual servings right now (although I actually made this in September), it's so nice for everyone to have their own little dish, you know?

Anyhoo, hope to see you at cheap thrills!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Big Hello From Me + New Blog!

Hey everyone! I know I've been MIA for a while, but I'm back with a new blog. I've moved from blogspot to wordpress, so go check out my new blog!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Yes, I'm Still Alive. Really.

So yeah, I haven't died or anything (although I did have a cold about a month ago). The past 4 months (has it really been that long since I've blogged?) have been super hectic because I was in a theater class and we were putting on a show, so that meant lots o' rehearsals. Plus, I'm working at the cafe full time now doing prep work, washing dishes, running to the bank, delivering to-go meals within walking distance, running around like a mad woman, and tidying up after we close. On top of that there have been guitar lessons, flamenco lessons, independent movies, contra and swing dances, music performances to see, etc. It was actually a little too much for me, and while I was still cooking, I just couldn't find the time or muster up the energy to blog. I made a kick-arse New Year's Eve meal, but sadly the lighting was horrible when I took the pictures, so I would be too ashamed to post them. The dessert did include an awesome tapioca pudding though. Mmm Hmm, vegan tapioca pudding. Who would'a thunk it? (I believe it was from The Millenium Cookbook, I'll have to double check if you really want to know.) Anyhoo, I hope you all had Happy Holidays!

Here's a catch-up of what's going on in my life:

* My aforementioned full-time job

* My guitar teacher's letting me record a CD at his studio, and I'm super excited about it!
Here are the song's I'm going to be recording (singing on most and playing the guitar on all):
1) The House Of The Rising Sun (rock/blues)
2) Texas Flood (blues)
3) Dust My Broom (slide guitar/blues)
4) A fusion combination we came up with (a morph of different fusion pieces)
5) A country picking piece
6) A country blues piece
7) Blowin' Down This Old Dusty Road (a Woody Guthrie folk song)
8) Blue Bossa (jazz)

*My mom left her job with a Hospice program and found another job

*Susan got a job working at a bank (she's starting out as a teller, but they told her since she has an MBA she'll move up rather quickly)

*Rachel's still working at the health food store, and yes, she's still bringing home veggies and other random stuff

*Dad's working in NYC and coming home on weekends, as he has been for a while

Life is content (except for those moments when we all want to kill each other).

What's new with everyone else?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Food P0rn Catch-up

I miss blogging and reading everyone else's blogs. How are things going with you all? I'm having a blast at work, and I don't mind doing schoolwork either. I've been making food, but I don't get time to blog about it, so I have a build up of food pictures. Enjoy them!

The lighting was bad for this one, so it's a little blurry, but it's a salad of romaine lettuce, tomatoes*, and Sharp Classic Vinaigrette with a Bite (from The Passionate Vegetarian). I subbed hemp oil for the extra virgin olive oil it called, but Rachel and I didn't like it as much as we have in the past. Also, this was the first time I made it in the food processer (as opposed to the blender), and it was much thinner than all the other times I've made it. I still liked it a lot though, it was just different.

This picture is blurry because of bad lighting as well. It was Artichoke and Lima Bean Ragout in Lemon-Garlic Sauce, served over artichoke penne pasta*. It's from The Passionate Vegetarian. I loved this dish, but everyone else seemed to think it was too sour. I guess you can't win them all!

This is baby romaine lettuce*, golden tomatoes*, and Cumin-Lime Dressing from Ecological Cooking.

This is my version of The Zen Platter, a combination platter found at a vegetarian restaurant semi-close by me. It has steamed kale*, carrots, zucchini*, and summer squash*; arame, pink beans simmered with golden tomatoes* and parsley*; tofu* marinated in soy sauce, garlic powder, ground ginger, lemon juice and sesame oil and then baked; millet, and finally tahini sauce to pour over everything and anything. This meal was very satisfying.

West Indian Rundown from you guessed it, The Passionate Vegetarian. It's a Jamaican Curry, and it's yummy. It was actually a wee bit too spicy for me, but it was still yummy. It had oil, onion, garlic*, scallions*, curry powder, coconut milk, vegetable stock (homemade from vegetables brought home by Rachel), seitan*, carrots, potatoes, acorn squash*, allspice, thyme, half a habenero chile, and tomatoes, and I served it over brown basmati rice. Everyone really liked it.

Sliced Brisket of Seitan, Jewish-Style, (from The Passionate Vegetarian) right in time to celebrate Rosh Hashanah (even though I'm not Jewish). Oh my goodness, I don't even know how to start describing this! I made this about 2 years ago, but this time it was much better. (Maybe because I had all the right ingredients and didn't have to make any substitutions? Just a thought.) I also used the variation listed, adding steamed potatoes* and cabbage to make it a one dish meal. Even my dad liked it!

This is Horseradish Tofu Sour Cream (part of the brisket recipe). No one except for me ate any though. Boo.

Here's the brisket plated and ready to be eaten. Just thinking about it makes me salivate.

I love making homemade bread. This is Sweet and Sour Swedish-Style Rye-Buckwheat Bread from The Passionate Vegetarian. I had a little trouble with the dough being too sticky, but I worked things out by adding a cup more flour than the recipe called for. It made two loaves, but I demolished the one not shown in the picture by trying to take it out of the loaf pan too soon. Anyhoo, I made this 100% whole grain by using whole wheat pastry flour when it called for unbleached white flour. The flours used were: rye flour*, ww pastry flour, ww flour, and soy flour. It also had caraway seeds, orange rind, and buckwheat groats, besides other things. I've been eating a huge amount of this bread; it's heavenly when spread with Earth Balance.

So since no one ate any of the horseradish tofu sour cream, I thought I would make an Eastern European sort of meal and use the sour cream up. Well, things didn't exactly work out as planned. I made Beet-Root Soup and planned on putting the sour cream on top. I'm the only one who ate the soup though, since Rachel wasn't home. Everyone else was eating a certain food group that will not be named (hint: it rhymes with eat). I enjoyed it thoroughly, although I have an enormous amount of soup leftover. It will be going in the freezer tomorrow, so I can just defrost it and eat in on a busy night. On the side of the soup is the aforementioned bread spread with Earth Balance, and some slices of pickles*.

These are the lovely Carrot-Raisin Muffins from Vegan With A Vengeance. I used spelt flour and turbinado sugar, and they came out so light and fluffy you never would have guessed it was spelt flour. I'll be making these again soon.

Pepper Steak. The peppers and seitan were free, as was the steamed broccoli shown on the side. The recipe for pepper steak is really easy to make, and it's so tasty. It's actually one of my favorite meals.

Okay, you may be asking yourself two things.
1. Why is Veronica using The Passionate Vegetarian so much?
2. Geez, why is Veronica eating so much seitan? I bet she's going to develop a wheat intolerance or something.

There are plausible explanations for everything. The answer to # 1 is that I'm trying to go through my cookbooks so that I can remember what I have. Whilst I was going through my cookbooks, I happened upon my beloved The Passionate Vegetarian. It's one of my favorite cookbooks, and for a good reason. This book is huge, and it's jam-packed with awesome, flavorful recipes. Anyway, I haven't been using it as much, but when I looked at it, I saw a ton of recipes I hadn't made yet, so I marked them and I'm trying to work my way through them.
As for # 2, I hit the jackpot (so to speak) last week! Rachel works at a health food store, so she brings home a lot of produce and other foods, but we also go to another health food store, and they give us free food as well. So last week, I got home from work and was told by mom that the other health food story (not the one Rachel works at), gave us some tofu and seitan. I was not expecting to see 2 lbs. of seitan and 4 lbs. of tofu. Imagine my delight! How glorious free food is. So yeah, we ate a lot of seitan recently, but hopefully not enough that we become gluten intolerant. :)

So there you go, the answers to your questions.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Lots of pictures, some food some not

It's been a while, hasn't it? My blogging will most likely be sporadic for a while, between work and schoolwork I don't know if I can fit it in. I'm going to be working Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, unless they call me and need me to come in. I had thought I was going to be bussing, but they hired a busser, so I'm doing dishes and prep work. Anyhoo, over the weekend I made Susan a belated graduation dinner, because she recently finished up her MBA. We had:

50's Style Onion Dip Redux and Crunchy Toast.......

Roasted Red Pepper Soup (without the cilantro jalapeno swirl that is an optional part of the recipe-Susan hates Cilantro)....

Outrageously Good Pan Crisped Millet Vegetable Cakes over steamed kale with Mushroom Sauce Veronese over top, also shown is mashed butternut squash. In the cakes were millet, beets, carrots*, garlic*, and other stuff. You can't really tell in the picture, but I made them heart shaped. (I didn't crisp the cakes in a pan, instead I broiled them.) All the recipes were from The Passionate Vegetarian except......

Chocolate Clementine Cake!!!!!! I used the recipe for Raspberry Blackout Cake from Vegan With A Vengeance, using the applesauce conversion in the book to make it lower in fat. I also subbed this super fancy, super expensive clementine marmalade in place of the raspberry jam, and I used all whole wheat pastry flour. It was so out of this world, and rich, and my dad was like, "This cake is vegan?". Haha.

This is a Chickpea-Arame Salad Sammich (from Vegan With A Vengeance). It's supposed to be a Chickpea-Hijiki Salad Sammich, but I couldn't find any hijiki. On the side are some steamed green beans. This was so delicious! We all loved it so much I made it twice this week.

Rachel brought this home from work the other day. It's a shopping list. Isn't it awesome?

This is a bad picture, but it's the Alfreda sauce from Vegan With A Vengeance served over whole wheat mini shells, steamed broccoli*, sauteed mushrooms*, and roasted red peppers.

Let's see. This was something we had last week: breakfast for dinner. VWaV tofu scramble with salsa, avocado*, and black beans added in; VWaV tempeh sausage crumbles over roasted potatoes*, carrots*, and onions; sprouted grain bread with Earth Balance and Grape Jelly*, and grapes. Mmm, I love having breakfast food for dinner.

This was our table setting when we had our breakfast for dinner.

OMG, aren't the butlers the cutest things ever? (They're jam spreaders.)

Mmm, coffee with agave nectar and almond milk.

Soy Delicious Purely Decadent Cherry Nirvana ice cream with fresh pineapple* and chocolate syrup. I didn't really like the cherry nirvana one plain, but it was awesome with the other stuff. My favorite flavor (of the ones I've tried) is the Mint Chocolate Chip kind. So yum.

This was sprouted grain pasta with Pumpkin Seed Avocado* spread (from How It All Vegan-it uses sunflower seeds, but I switched it up a little). On the side is sauteed baby arugala* with cherry tomatoes* and parsley, and also some honeydew. The honeydew was fermented, so I actually didn't eat it.

This was Papadini Lentil Rotini, tomato sauce made from sauteed carrots*, mushrooms*, yellow bell peppers*, onions, celery*, garlic*, and sausage crumbles from Vegan Vittles. Sprinkeled over the top is Tasty Topping from Ecological Cooking. I love the bowls we were eating out of!

Finally, on Friday Rachel brought home 3 big bags of beauty products. We still haven't had a chance to go through them yet, they're sitting in our hallway waiting to be sorted.

That's all.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

My Visit To The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary!

Okay. Before you look at the picures, I just want to tell you that I took a lot more pictures than this, but the digital camera we have is bizarre and so some of the pictures have disappeared from the camera. I have no idea where they went, but this isn't the first time that this has happened. A while ago (right when I started my blog, I believe) I took photos of one of our dinners, and they disappeared before I could scan them into the computer. About 2 months later, I accidentally dropped the camera and the batteries came out, and when I put them back in, the picures that had vanished were on there like nothing had happened. So that's what I'm hoping will happen with these new lost ones. Anyway, I had a nice time at the opening! The Woodstock crowd is kind of weird (this isn't anything I just learned, I've been to Woodstock many times) and we don't really fit in with the Woodstockians, but other than that it was fun. I had a good time with the animals:

The sheep seemed to be scared of people, so they kept skittering away. I did manage to take this photo before this one ran away. I really like this picture!

The goats were so cute! Some of them were kind of skitterish, but I got to pet a few of them.

Just a random picture

This goat was a ham for the camera! It knew I was taking a picture so it turned it's head for a side profile.

A cute black goat eating

Aww, adorable!

Here's a picture of me with one of the goats


Hee hee, isn't this one too cute?

Me again!

I think this is the goat that's a ham for the camera

I didn't realize that their necks were so flexible

Some turkeys. After I took this picture they had a little fight. Some little boy (I think his parents run the sanctuary?) had to come and stop it.

Aww, this goats name was Olivia. (I have no idea whose legs those are.) She thinks she's a cow because when she first got there she was friends with a calf. After the calf got older they had to separate them, but she doesn't go near the other goats because as I said, she thinks she's a cow.

Cute little piggies! (I went into their area to pet them, but those pictures are MIA.)

This is Olivia again

A lone rooster

This is where there should have been more pictures.

I got food there! They had a grill going, so they were selling grilled tofurky sausages. I got a Beer Brat on a bun (the one thing that was kind of weird was that the buns may or may not have been vegan, but I ate it anyway), and on the side I got a black bean and avocado salad and some vegetable skewers. The food was quite good! Mom also bought some chipotle potato salad, and that was yummy as well. For dessert, they had two different kinds of cakes (one chocolate and one vanilla) as well as some cupcakes (insert lost pictures here). They looked really good, so mom and I got chocolate cake and Rachel got a cupcake (Rachel and I shared our desserts). Lets just say they looked a lot better than they tasted. Since I started eating whole, unrefined foods, I can't handle too much processed food, and so the cake didn't taste good at all (it tasted like a cake mix). Rachel and I felt lethargic the whole evening.

The dessert was basically the only negative thing about the whole event. Mom bought me a copy of Meat Market by Eric Markus, and I got two free issues of Satya magazine, plus a free Satya pin. Oh, I almost forgot! Arm Of The Sea Theater was there with their puppets. I got pictures of them but guess where they are? I also got a Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary hoody that's really, really nice, plus a pin from Arm Of The Sea.

I guess that just about sums up my visit.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Today's lunch and dinner

As the title says, here's today's lunch and dinner:

Lunch: Guacamole Grillers from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. All it has in it is avocado*, nutritional yeast, garlic powder*, and umeboshi vinegar. It was served on sourdough spelt bread*. On the side is cucumber wedges*, tomato wedges*, orange wedges*, grapefruit wedges*, and a strawberry spritzer (in the glass, obviously). The problem with getting free food is sometimes it's a little weird. The textures were a little off on the tomatoes and cucumbers as well as the oranges, and I had to cut a whole lot of mold off the bread, but at the end of the day I'm just glad to have food.

Dinner: Romaine lettuce*, yellow/orange cherry tomatoes*, grated carrot, sliced cucumber*, chickpeas, nutritional yeast, kalamata olives, and Caesar salad dressing from La Dolce Vegan. Yum!

I'm going to see a concert tonight, and tomorrow I'm going to (drumroll please)...........

The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary's Grand Opening!!! Yeah! I'm psyched. If your want more info about them, here's their home page.

Have a good weekend everybody!