Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sourdough Challah and Other Stuff

Dear Turkey,

As the resident Gastronomical Jew on this blog, I feel compelled to share my latest Challah adventure with you. As usual, I took a perfectly nice challah and lazy-ified-it.

Challah So Easy You Could Make It On The Sabbath (just kidding, real Jews):

In a bowl, combine (this is a trope in my recipes, have you noticed?):

1/3 c sourdough starter (optional)
2 1/4 t yeast
1/3 c canola oil
1/3 c honey
2/3 c warm water
3 eggs
2 t salt
4.5 c flour
1 T orange zest

Knead until a ball forms. If you like your Challah chewy, knead it for a few more minutes. Cover and rise until doubled, about an hour. Then put the dough on a lightly-oiled piece of parchment paper and braid it however you like to braid (or not). Drizzle with a little more oil and honey:

Let it rise for another hour or so and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes:

Here's the rest of your dinner:

This is a salad that we make all the time -- whole wheat couscous, a cuke, chives, mint, raisins, and poppyseed dressing (I used Brianna's). 

And grilled corn -- take the husks off (I just got the news flash that if you want your corn to get nice and brown before your bedtime, remove the husks):

Yeah, baby,

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tofu Zucchini Bread

Dear Turkey,

It's that time of year: someone shows up to work with a giant zucchini and you know you can convince your husband to let you bake something, diet or no diet.

I have lots of zucchini bread recipes, but I wanted one that uses lots of zucchini (like, a big one), canola oil instead of butter (cheaper and easier), chocolate chips (instead of cocoa -- cheaper), soymilk (I always have it), and whole wheat flour (so you can eat it for breakfast). So I made one up.

Tofu Zucchini Bread (does not contain tofu):

In a BIG bowl, combine:

6 c shredded zucchini (it's easier to do it by hand than to wash the food processor)

2 c canola oil
3 c sugar
4 eggs
2 T vanilla
3 T orange zest
6 c whole wheat flour
3 c white flour
2 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 T salt
1 T cinnamon
1.5 c soymilk
2 c chocolate chips

Oil three loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.

If there is any left when you get home from work, freeze it. I find that loaves freeze better than shredded zucchini, which is why I made all three at once.
I moss you,

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"I Love Summer" version 2.1

Dear Turkey,
Grilling makes me feel like such a cool mom -- I even do it in the rain. And here is my namesake: Tofurky Brats. Like my real name, it is frequently spelled wrong. Unlike my real name, you chose the spelling. The brats are accompanied by par-boiled potatoes which I grilled and then dipped in homemade chili aioli. And by homemade, I mean that the chili paste and the mayo came from Wegmans. Rolls must be toasted. 
And, since layers are in right now, here is this salad that we love, before mixing:

I moss you,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Chili Mac

Dear Turkey,

Today, we're going to discuss something close to my heart: Chili Mac. Ah, that perfect marriage of Mexican and pasta; what's not to love? Especially after an 11 mile run (you know you ran far when you can express it with numerals instead of writing out the number). 

I think that Chili Mac is supposed to be a box of mac and cheese combined with a can of chili. I am not knocking that interpretation, especially when camping. Here is what I do, however:

Chili Mac:
Cook a few big handfuls of elbows al dente. 
Pour the pasta into a strainer and then, using the same pot, heat up a can of tomatoes.
Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, black pepper, lime juice, jalapenos, whatever you want.
Add a can of black beans (I usually rinse them in the same strainer, before draining the pasta, and drain the pasta right on top) and the pasta.
Cook a little bit so that the pasta and the beans soak up the flavor.
Top with cheese.

The more Mexican cookbooks I read, the more I realize that oregano isn't just for Italian food. My suspicion was confirmed at Wegmans yesterday, where I saw "Mexican Oregano" next to the "regular" kind. The best kind of oregano is from my garden.

I moss you,

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Dear Lt. Veggie Nugget,

You are the winner! It is the delicious vegan marzipan chocolate frosting from our actual wedding cake. So, where is my blog post?

Yer Friend,

Friday, July 19, 2013

Who Knows What This Is?

Dear Vast Readership,

A contest: if you can tell me what this is, you will win a prize. Prize? You get to write the next guest post! Actually, you have to write it.

Clue: many of you ate this exact thing, I mean, this actual one:

All is fair in love and war,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"I Love Summer" version 2.0

Dear Turkey,
A lot of food blogs are into layers (including this one). You know, they're trendy, just like in your hair (hair in your food = not trendy). I've seen a lot of layered popsicles online, so I made some lazy layered popsicles. They are lazy because you don't have to wash the blender. I could call them "one blender popsicles." It's convenient because I wanted the chocolate layer to be the last one that I eat, because it is the best (you'll see what I mean in a minute).
In a blender, combine:
5 "ananas"
1 c soymilk
1 T vanilla
1 T cinnamon
Blend. Then pour that mixture into popsicle molds until they are half full. Add 1/4 c sweetened cocoa powder to the remaining stuff in the blender. Blend. Top off the molds. Drink the rest. Freeze and enjoy how sophisticated you are. 
Here's another reason why "I love summer." Free stuff that other people grew. Eaten in one sitting.

I moss you,

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


"Dear Tofu" [that part was by me, Tofu],

Marblehead Massachusetts is a relaxing yet famous little town. It's the birthplace of the United States Navy, the starting point of sailing races galore, many publicized artistic endeavors, the home of the museum that houses the original "Spirit of '76" painting, and NO chain restaurants or hotels, except Starbucks. (Stay at Brimblecomb Hill B &B. The owner, Gene Arnold also owns the gallery in town.) ~Nice lodging, wonderful hospitality, great breakfast, and artistic inspiration @ Arnold Gallery.

Our Marblehead trip was about two things, food and the beach. After many unpleasant happening the past few weeks, food and the beach were the soothing balm. Lobster rolls were the first order of business. Lobster just pulled from the shell, so sweet and flavorful without a hit of fishiness, and a very small dab of mayonnaise to cradle the meat. This comes on a grilled hot dog bun. I elevate it to a more nutritious level by ordered a garden salad, putting a dollop of balsamic on the salad, then the lobster on top. Total nirvana... I admit I ate muffins and fruit at the b &b. It's important to get all of your food  groups in on vacation. All of this topped off with a hermit cookie defined a satisfying lunch.

Marblehead is seafood wonderland. Our favorite seafood place is The Barnacle, although lobster roll eating takes place @ The Muffin Shop. The Barnacle is a step up from a clam shack. It sits right on the water, has an outside deck, full food and cocktail menu, and nice service. One particularly sweet girl Anna, has been our server many times. Very importantly, they have their own lobster boat. There's never a bad seat in the house, as three sides of the building are on the water.

I started with fried oysters. So fresh, and so lightly battered they sweetly melt in your mouth. I paired them with a glass of sauvignon blanc for its slight dry citrus flavor. Then I ate stuffed lobster. The lobster is "stuffed" with hardly any seasoned bread crumbs, just enough to hold the fresh shrimp and scallops together. Ahhhhh....A little messy to dismantle, but never a hesitation arose. Another glass of sauvignon blanc was in order.

The next night was $1.00 oyster on the half shell night. We decided to sit at the bar. I won't bore you with where the oysters came from. It only matters if you like them, AND you must drink vodka with them. This is ancient lore from Hilton Head Island and I believe it. I ordered a Goose Cosmo., rather limey to be safe. I put lemon on the oysters, asked the bartender for more horseradish, dressed them, then gleefully slurped them from the shell with gusto! Following were baked sweet sea scallops and asparagus. Admittedly, I took half of the scallops and asparagus with me, and ate them on a croissant the next morning.

Our third night of seafood decadence was TWIN lobsters eaten on the outside deck. Two yummy crustaceans, perfectly cooked and sufficiently hot were dissected by my nimble buttery fingers.(shell crackers were also employed) I splurged and ordered extra melted butter too. Chased again with sauvignon blanc, with a view of all the boats moored in the harbor made the  perfect summer night.

I treasure beautiful summer evenings, picturesque views and luscious seafood.  Until next month, Marblehead, I look forward to your healing power for body, mind and spirit.

"Your #1 Guest-Poster, 
[closing by Tofu -- dear other guest posters: are you going to let IF E MOT OF WINO have all the glory?]

Monday, July 15, 2013

"I Love Summer"

Dear Turkey,

You know how my mom always says "let's be mindful" before we eat a meal? Yeah, annoying, huh? Well, today I'm going to talk about one of my mom's more popular quotes: "I love summer."

My mom usually says "I love summer" about ten times a day during the summer, and twenty times a day during the other seasons. 

As you know, I happen to love fall, but here are some things that I love about summer:

Grilling sweet potato fries on our new grill. I didn't really know what was so great about grilling until I tried it. Less mess, keeps the house cooler, makes me look like a cool and relaxed mom when I'm yielding the tongs:

 Iced coffee with leftover whipped cream that I made BY HAND last night; the Kitchen-aid was busy making the cantaloupe sorbet:

Disclaimer: Mom, I don't really mind when you say "let's be mindful;" it's kinda growing on me,

Saturday, July 13, 2013

On The Rise Scones

Dear Turkey,

Remember when I told you that I sort of stole some delicious baking recipes? Well, the person who gave me the recipes is coming over later (she will remain anonymous for her own safety). So I decided to give her a trip down memory lane. Just like the barley shortcakes, these taste much worse for you than they are.

On The Rise Scones:

2 5/8 c soymilk
1 c canola oil
2 T barley malt
2 T maple syrup
1/2 T vanilla (you can tell this was scaled down from a bigger batch by the measurements)
2 1/4 c raisins
4 c whole wheat flour
1 1/4 T baking powder
1/2 T salt

Mix with hands until the dough comes together. It's a little moist-er (ahem) than regular scone dough. I made sixteen scones on two stones covered with parchment, baked at 400 degrees for 25 mins.

If they're a little too healthy, you can always smother them with butter and jam.

I moss you,

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Heirloom Pasta Master

Dear Turkey,

Now, I don't actually think that you make many of the things that I put on the blog. In fairness, I haven't made anything that you've put on the blog in at least six months. But I bet that you might make this one. Why? Because I named it "heirloom," and people like to make things called heirloom. Plus, it's delicious, and will use up things in your fridge that you have leftover if you made the last thing that I posted.

First, cook some pasta. Drain the pasta and heat up a couple tablespoons of oil in the same pot. Add a tablespoon of minced garlic (yes, from a jar). Then slice some beautiful multicolored HEIRLOOM cherry tomatoes into the pot. Add some multicolored HEIRLOOM olives (I had some salty ones and some not salty ones), sliced. Put the pasta back in and cook it a little on high heat so it absorbs the flavors. Pour in a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Turn off the heat and crumble in some feta. Then stir in some HEIRLOOM spinach and arugula that your mom grew:

Serve on heirloom plates.

I moss you,

Monday, July 8, 2013

Potato Salad That I Actually Like

Dear Turkey,

While we're on the subject, here is a potato salad that I actually like:

My mom stole the recipe from a magazine at the dentist's office.

Goes nicely with s'mores bars:

Line a pyrex dish with parchment paper. Crush up 4 pkgs of graham crackers (it's easy to do right in the pkg) and mix w/2 sticks butter, melted. Press onto parchment. Cover with 6 Hershey Bars. Cover with one bag marshmallows. Then dump the rest of that condensed milk on top and bake at 350 degrees for 25 mins: 

For dinner, rice and beans:

Red onions sauteed on high heat with oil, maple syrup, serrano, minced garlic, american saffron, and cumin. Then add beans.

In the rice cooker: rice, lime juice, oil, turmeric, salt, garlic powder. After it's done: tons more lime juice and cilantro.

I moss you,

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pasta Salad That I Actually Like

Dear Turkey,

Summer: that time of year when people try to make me eat yucky pasta salads with tons of yucky mayo. Phooey. 

Yesterday, I got to make pasta salad that I actually like. And other people actually liked it too. How about that?

I cooked a bunch of pasta al dente. At the last minute, I threw some broccoli and yellow peppers into the boiling water. After I drained the pasta I added lots of balsamic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, tomatoes, cilantro, mint, chives, and arugula. I cut everything up pretty small and I mixed it well so that the pasta could soak up the flavors and the greens could wilt while it was still hot.

After it cooled a little, I added some chevre.

Dessert: coffee poured over ice with sweetened condensed milk stirred in.

I moss you,

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Another Guest Post!

Dear Tofurkey (and Turkey),

As a Lt. Veggie Nugget, I’ve always looked up to my sister. She is beautiful, smart, super organized, and very dedicated. Especially to cookies. Actually, to baking and cooking in general. Which is why she is so good at it! So for my whole adult-cooking career, I’ve tried to measure (haha- measure, get it?) up to my sister’s cooking and baking endeavors.
This is difficult for me though, because my diet pretty much consists of rice cakes and salads, always in to-go containers. However, with the help of my always-hungry, always-creative boyfriend (let’s call him…Gluten-free-hungry-man), I generally am well fed at dinner. We have gotten very creative over the past semester, and here are some examples!

First, let’s have breakfast:
This one was a surprise during finals week- my boyfriend made me breakfast after my melt-down (and not a fun, cheesy melt)

Fresh-squeezed orange juice, coffee, soft-boiled eggs, Greek yogurt with gluten-free granola, and veggie hash. To make the veggie hash, just combine shredded carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, sliced tomatoes, and mashed black beans in a pan and heat! Add hot sauce, salt, and pepper. And, banana-chocolate chip pancakes, fruit salad, mimosas, and egg in a basket (cut a hole in a piece of bread, toast bread, and then crack the egg and cook in the hole). 

Next- lunch time! A grilled Panini on gluten-free bread with sliced pear, mashed avocado, arugula, cheddar or blue cheese, and craisins!

And finally, all our favorite dinners:

Lemon, salt, and pepper avocado and pepper salad with parsley, kale chips (roast along side the peppers in the oven) and maple-ginger marinated salmon.

Or….homemade sweet potato burgers with roasted cinnamon apples!

And of course, dessert:
 Or, if you want to party, you could always have a cored strawberry filled with strawberry-vodka jello shots:

So maybe not quite as prestigious as Tofurkey’s cooking endeavors, but we’re getting there! So thanks for the inspiration, Tofurkey, and someday we’ll do strawberry jello-shots together. Maybe.

Lt. Veggie Nugget!