Archive | October, 2011

food swappery

27 Oct

True facts, one time I deleted someone from my twitter feed because she said she didn’t like food.  It’s not like I think she’s a bad person, but, really, what more could she have to say that would be of value to me?!   Food plays a very important role in how I connect with people.  I love cooking for and with people, talking about food, and, oh, of course eating.  If these aren’t a few of your favorite things… Well, I don’t know your life.

This past Spring, I was totally stoked to find out a food swap was beginning in my town– And, a little pukey because even just thinking about new social interactions makes me nervous.  Mostly stoked, though.

The basics of a food swap are these:

  1. Make foodstuffs
  2. Bring foodstuffs to swap
  3. Trade with other swappers 1-for-1
  4.  Go home with your new yum-yums (and maybe some new friends… AWWWWW)

It has only been a few months, but I am definitely head over heels for my local food swap.   Every month I get to step away from my family and go to an event that feels like it is just for me.  We meet at a yarn store; everyone sets up their swap goods while gabbing with new old friends; and, there is a real sense of warmth and camaraderie in the air because we are there for mutual, obsessive love of food– Okay, sometimes the warmth is a broken A/C unit in the middle of July, but usually it is camaraderie.

The swap I go to is a monthly event, and, no, it isn’t exclusively vegan.  But, it is a lot more vegan-friendly than you might think.  My vegan baked goods have always been well received, but probably the most popular items I ever brought were ginger syrup and candied ginger.  Homemade condiments are very often vegan, and they get a ton of love.  There are a number of people who bring intentionally vegan fare, but there are also plenty of popular items that are accidentally vegan (jams, salsas, and extracts to name but a few).  Alls I’m saying is, if you avoid mixed-diet potlucks like the plague (and I feel you on this one) you may find more middle ground at a swap.  Of course, there’s no reason we couldn’t make vegan food swaps the next big vegan trend…

Whaddaya say?  Want to find a food swap in your city or mayhaps start swap of your own? Author and Blogger, Kate Payne, has a food swap how-to and a list of swaps in cities nationwide.  I especially like the link she includes to a Chow.com article about effective food swapping.  It is a great excuse to make some new recipes and meet some new friends!

 

 

P.S.  Look at these mitts I just finished!  They were supposed to be a Christmas gift LAST year, but pregnancy malaise took me over.  Only a little belated…

I realize in this picture they look child sized, but I promise you that they are just so big and fuzzy they make my normal, adult hand look shockingly petite.

true confessions

23 Oct

I have a problem.

I

Can’t

Stop

Making

Banana Bread.

This time I got so excited about adding Rye and Amaranth flour in addition to the All Purpose and White Whole Wheat that I added an extra 1/4 cup of flour.  I had to up the almond milk, but didn’t realize my mistake until the bread was out of the oven.  Also, for lack of blueberries I added chocolate chips.  I maintain that blueberries are a superior add in.

The Rye and Amaranth worked fabulously, but I wish I hadn’t added the extra flour.  I prefer a super moist banana bread, and the extra milk was just enough to get the dough to a workable consistency.

{Vegan MoFo} Week 3 Round Up!

21 Oct

Happy weekend, MoFo’ers!  Unless, you’re like our family, and it’s not your weekend.  Then, a happy still-the-middle-of-the-damn-week to you.

This month has been fun so far, but shucks it is hard to keep up with all you people and your delicious foodstuff bloggery.  Here are some of the standouts for me this week…

Joni of Just the Food has been mashing up two unlikely foods each Monday, and this weeks Pumpkin and Potato Taquitos need to get in my mouth.  Stat.

Jenna of Good Good Things has mixed up a delicious looking Cashew Dill Sauce I cannot wait to try. ON.  EVERYTHING.  (P.S. check out the seitan recipe she posted just before the sauce.  It’s def going on my impossibly long MoFo To-Make list)

Speaking of good, good things, check out this fantastic Descendents themed cake from Kristen of Sugar Skull.  High school me just squeed with joy.

My mind pretty much blew up today when I saw these simple but impressive Squash Ribz over at Unhealthy Vegan.

Finally, no one had to sell this lady on Macaroni and Cheese Pizza, but I’m especially smitten with this no-fuss roux based cheese sauce over at Munchin’ Mochi.  Doesn’t that look like a slice of heaven?

I cannot believe that after three weeks people are still bringing it so hard.  This food looks amazing, ya’ll.  It’s probably going to take me all the way to Vegan MoFo 2012 to try all the recipes I’ve been bookmarking.

{quickie} oatmeal + apple butter

20 Oct

I don’t know how other people do oatmeal.  I usually just throw some stuff in a sauce pot, heat, and eat.  It’s definitely pretty willy nilly up in here, but I try to remember when something works.  Today, everything worked.

  • 60/40 water/milk
  • pat of butter (do i need to clarify that i meant earth balance?  i call all margarine butter.   it’s just what i grew up doing)
  • rolled oats (using less than I think I should gives the best results)
  • and after heating, a spoonful of apple butter (maybe use a smaller spoon next time)

It was delicious.  Or, as my three year old in one of his better moments would say, PAH-LICIOUS.

P.S.  Can I just say how thrilled I was when I realized oatmeal was a great vehicle for jellies, jams, and fruit butters?  It’s not that I hate toast, but… my toaster is evil.

cauli’ mac: adapting the veg news mac n’ cheeze

18 Oct

I assume at this point most people who care about vegan mac and cheeze have at least heard of the Veg News Mac and Cheeze.  It’s one of very few nutritional yeast free cheeze sauces I’ve ever seen, and in my opinion, it’s one of the best cheeze sauces period.

Well, last night I had a hankering for some creamy, comforty mac and cheeze, but I was sans potatoes.  What I did have was a head of cauliflower.  I thought about how often people use cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes, and it all became clear.  Clouds parted, angels sang.  It was good times.

Happily, it tastes just as good as it would with potatoes.  Though, I dare say it is slightly less photogenic.

I think a combo of cauliflower and potato would be a nice compromise and add some smoothness back to the sauce.

Adding cauliflower was a new trick, but there are a few deviations I make from the recipe every time.

1.  I always use significantly less Earth Balance.  It calls for a lot, and I’d sooner up the cashews than use that much EB.

2.  I double the sauce.  Mama likes the sauce.

3.  I use apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice.  I do this in every vegan cheese recipe that calls for lemon juice.  It adds the same kind of tang without imparting a strong flavor.  CHEESE ISN’T SUPPOSED TASTE LIKE LEMON.

The Veg News Mac is tied as my favorite vegan mac along with the recipe from Vegan Yum Yum.  The nooch + onion powder sauces just don’t do it for me, and even if I thought Daiya tasted good (I don’t) it makes me feel ill.

Did I offend you with my Daiya hate?  Do you have a favorite vegan mac?  Or, do you avoid it altogether?

{veganize it} pull-apart pumpkin bread

17 Oct

So, seriously, Pinterest is gonna be my downfall.  It’s as full of ideas as Laura Palmer was full of secrets (and that girl was full up).

When I saw this bread get pinned I crossed my fingers it would be easy to veganize and clicked through to the link.

And, by the beard of Zeus it was!  A simple non-dairy milk/margarine for dairy milk/butter swap– You could veganize this in your sleep.  I also ended up using AP flour instead of bread flour (simply because I didn’t have any) to no ill effect.

Oh, and verdict, it’s totally delicious.  Honestly, the glaze is nice, but if you want to ease up a tad on the sugar you could do without it.  But, I don’t really care what you do because I’ll be busy eating some of this bread.

Vegan Mofo Iron Half-Chef

16 Oct

Have you been following the official VeganMoFo blog?  You should.  The MoFo team is doing daily round-ups, give-aways, and, every weekend, an Iron Chef challenge.  This week’s ingredients are Banana and Coffee.

I tapped my finger to my noggin’ a few times trying to think of a unique way to combine these ingredients, but alas.  Fortunately, there are a bunch of people MoFo’ing who didn’t draw a blank!  Some of my favorites from the reader are:

There are so many more wonderful contributions, and I’m excited to see the official list up on VeganMoFo.com.

If I was going to contribute a recipe it probably would have been a variation of my Chocolate Banana Bread Muffins.  Coffee seems like a natural addition to this recipe.  It’s often used to add richness to chocolate baked goods.  However, I didn’t do that because so many other MoFo’ers already had a similar idea, and I’m not highly motivated to add unnecessary caffeine to my baked goods (the java don’t jive with my nursing baby, just sayin’).

Even though I didn’t add any coffee, I am going add to the banana bread inundation on your MoFo reader and post my muffin recipe.  Because, excuse the brag, people effin’ love these muffins.  Seriously.

Chocolate Banana Bread Muffins

NOTE: This is really a heavily modified Betty Crocker recipe so a little more experimentation and tweaking never hurts.  Things I often tinker with: the amounts and kinds of sweetener, the kind of flour, and the add-ins.  Most recently I omitted the white sugar, used coconut oil instead of EB, and did half White WW Flour.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 C soymilk + 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (this is the buttermilk mix, combine at start so it’s ready when you need to add it)

1/2 C earth balance (or coconut oil… really whatever fat you want)
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C maple syrup or agave nectar
1 1/2 cup mashed, ripe banana (about 3 medium)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C flour
1/4 C cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, cream together the earth balance and sugar. Add in the bananas, soymilk/acv mixture and vanilla. Stir until well combined and smooth.

2. Stir in the dry ingredients. Don’t overmix.

3. Fold in any additions you see fit (nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc). No more than 1 cup, probably.

4. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

5.  Eat ’em up.