Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wordless Thursday?

Wordless Thursday?  Can I do that?  Let me see if I can sneak one past the blog world.  These were all dishes that were recently made at Ashley's house for dinner.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A quick taco

I am not sure why I never make tacos.  They are a rarity.  I have made them less then 10 times in my life.  I actually really like tacos and I am not sure why I neglect them.  Recently, Two Vegan Boys made some tacos and it inspired me!

There tacos were much healthier and had more homemade filling but mine were also good.  I cheaped my way out and bought much of the filling at the store but sometimes you sacrifice for convenience. 

Next time I hope to make some of the filling myself and have more time to cook and enjoy them.  Tacos will be on the menu again soon!  I can feel it!

Monday, January 28, 2013

More ravings about my tofu press!

I have been going tofu crazy recently.  Ever since Ashley made me a tofu press, I have been really into doing tofu dishes.  I can not over state how great of a kitchen tool this is.  I think it is the most valuable kitchen tool I have gotten since my super nice blender.

I recently got some tofu and pressed it for about 20 minutes.  I got nearly 3/4 of a cup of water out of it!  Amazing!  This makes the tofu fry up nice and crispy and really absorb flavor well.  I made this particular dish into some teriyaki tofu and roasted some brussel sprouts to go with it. 

The dinner was great and I am so happy to have my tofu press.  It is just so much more awesome that Ashley made it herself.  She is a wizard.

 look at all the liquid pressed out!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Reminding me of cold Maine winters...

When I got my first apartment, way back in 1998, I used to make soup every sunday.  I called it the weekly soup.  From those soups, I have actually made a number of them as part of me regular soup repertoire.  One soup that I used to make often all those years ago was split pea soup.  It has been about 5 or 6 year since I have made the soup though and I thought it was due for a revival. 

I made it with Ashley who had never had split pea soup (vegan or otherwise).  Over the years she has come to trust my cooking despite her initial skepticism.  The soup was creamy and smooth.  I am going to put a little more unique flavor into it before I share the recipe but it will be shared!

Going old school with split pea soup!  I love warm creamy winter soups, they are so comforting, especially growing up in Maine.

Monday, January 21, 2013

So much good food!

Feeling well and motivated to get some cooking in, I decided to make an old favorite that I have not made in years.  I stuffed some baby bella mushrooms!  These are always one of my favorite dishes.  When I see them on a menu at a restaurant I am always temped to order them.  Mushrooms were strange for me, before going vegan I never messed with them.  Then, almost like my body new it needed the vitamin D, as soon as I was vegan, I craved them.  Ever since then, mushrooms and I have had a wonderful relationship.

These mushrooms were stuffed with some veggies and tvp while topped with some vegan pepper jack cheese that I am trying to use before it goes bad.  I also made a balsamic glaze for the tops, they came out great and I think I will make them again soon.

I also whipped up (with the help of Ashley) some ginger sweet potato soup.  It was really good, super savory.  I think I will play around with it a bit more and post a recipe.  I really like the root veggies in pureed soups.  They are so comforting and hearty. 

As a side dish, I made some tabouli.  It came out really well, the bulgar cooked perfectly and the lemon juice was the perfect amount.  I used to make tabouli fairly often but have not made it in years.  This seems like a shame since it is really the perfect food to take with me to the jobby job.  It sits well, it is best cold, and you can take a few bites and move on if you are busy.

Dessert was keeping with the lemon theme, lemon cheesecake bars!  I use my basic cheesecake recipe and just altered it a little to make them into bars.  It was a great treat, sweet, tart and small enough not to gorge.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Breakfast is comfort food.

Sometimes the best way to get over a serious illness and get back into the swing of eating is to have comfort foods.  There is nothing more comforting to me than breakfast for dinner.  It was pancakes, tofu scramble, and home fries.

I used my new tofu press to prepare the tofu.  I can not express how happy I am wit my new tool.  It makes tofu so much easier to prepare.  All the water presses out of the tofu and allows all the flavor to absorb into the dish.

I had some of the sausage that Dough uses for their biscuits that I added into the scrambler.  It was a nice addition and added some great full flavor.

It feels good to be on the mend!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sickie-Sickerson and the (unrelated) Cracks Tofu!

It has been forever since I posted last.  I have some explaining to do.  I got insanely sick.  I have not been this sick in years.  For several days I was unable to get out of bed.  It was miserable.  The thought of food made me ill so I did not eat much more than a bowl of soup and some oranges for nearly 5 days.  Even now, I do not have much of an appetite.

I have been better for about 4 days now and have been trying to catch up on things, hence the no posting.  Just prior to being ill, Ashley and I went to the Cracks for dinner (no, this dinner did not make me sick).  It was wonderful, we had some great tofu and quinoa with veggies.  After dinner, Nate taught us all how to play a new card game.  Nate always seems to have cool new games and this was special.  It was quite fantastic.  I have even been playing it since.

I will be spending some time trying to make up my absence to the blog world but unless folks want to read y thoughts of re-runs of 90's TV hit shows, I do not have much to say about my period of illness.  Either way, Ill be back in full force very soon!  Bare with me, until then, enjoy the picture of the cracks tofu!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Things are starting to slow down at the jobby job which leaves me more time to cook.  It has been nice to be creative in the kitchen again, even if it is basic stuff.

I have been using my new homemade tofu press recently.  It has been great to have and my tofu dishes have been coming out really firm.  I made Bar B-Que tofu with some roasted beets and cauliflower for one of the nights.

The other night I made some sweet sesame tofu with steamed broccoli and roasted brussel sprouts.  Both dishes were exceptional.  This tofu press is great.  Ashley did a wonderful job making it and I am thrilled to have it!

I think I am starting to get sick, so i will be taking it easy over the next few days.  Hopefully I can fight it off.  I really can not afford to be sick right now!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Banana Bread is a bedtime snack?

After a long day at the jobby job I just want a snack.  However, I have been trying to eat better and take it easy on the snacks.  Ashley and I set goals for ourselves recently and she has been showing me up!  We want to feel better and eat better.  Due to my lack of hiking adventures this past summer I did not lose the usual amount of weight I generally drop.  Now I have to make it up, that means less snacks.  However, it does not mean I still can not eat some delicious sweet treat before bed!  I just need to not eat so many or much of them.

For whatever reason, I have come into lots of bananas recently.  It has resulted in too many to eat but a wonderful solution to a bedtime snack, Banana Bread!  I made several loaves over the course or a few days.

Ashley, Kaleigh and I made banana bread muffins.  Three dozen in one sitting.  Kaleigh had gotten some cool puzzle-like muffin designs for a gift and we decide to make some of the muffins into the puzzle.   We made a banana bread muffin turtle!  It was really cool.  We also made some normal muffins while the turtle was cooling.

Banana bread has been everywhere, especially in my belly at night.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ashley's New Book

As a gift, I recently got Ashley the cookbook called Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day.  Ashley loves sandwiches.  Typically, when I ask her what she would like to eat, it involves a sandwich so this book seemed to be the perfect fit.  The day I gave her the book, she spent most of the afternoon looking through all the recipes to figure out which sandwich she wanted to try first.

I was rewarded when her first sandwich was a fried chicken KFC style burger.  Although the book gives some great options for making your own bread and buns, we opted to use some store bought since we did not have much time.  These burgers came out fantastic.  Ashley did a great job.  They were rich in flavor, crunchy, and the sauce was outstanding.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Stone Mountain day trip

On of the highlights of a busy month was a day that Ashley and I took Kaleigh to Stone Mountain.  Stone Mountain is a tourist spot here in Atlanta, it is a pretty cheese and fairly run down version of disney with a mountain in the middle that can be hiked.

We avoided the mountain but took in a number of the attractions.  We played mini-golf, rode a train, watched a 4D movie, sat through a ridiculous play and we even found this cool barn of balls thing.  They had all sorts of foam balls that you played games with and shot out of cannons.  It was pretty cool.  I definitely pegged my share of kids and their parent.

It was really cold and I worked that evening but it was still a fun time.