Thursday, March 27, 2014

Here's My Suggestion for that Deviled Egg Tupperware in your Mom's Cupboard

Dear Turkey,

I have a weird relationship with eggs (including my own). Sometimes I crave them; sometimes they gross me out, even the smell of them in cookie batter (which is one reason why I like vegan baking). The only deviled eggs I've ever come close to liking are your mom's. 

I guess that our moms come from the era of deviled eggs, and Tupperware expressly made for deviled eggs. Since DIY and re-purposing are so trendy right now, you will appreciate my re-imagining of said Tupperware. 

I saw this recipe and I knew that I had to try it. (I don't really want you to click on the link, because then you will see how much more beautiful hers are than mine. Mine took five minutes, however, and they look just as beautiful in my stomach as hers would.) This is a healthy, quick dessert that isn't really like anything in my repertoire.

I just melted some chocolate in the microwave (I used 70% bittersweet). Then I stirred in two sliced bananas, gently, until they were coated (this is where they would have looked much better if I had used a double boiler and dunked them one at a time, but, really, please). I froze them on a piece of waxed paper on a plate for about 10 minutes. Then I sandwiched them together with some peanut butter as glue, froze them again (IN THE RE-PURPOSED, VINTAGE DEVILED EGG TUPPERWARE!), and, voila:

strike a pose, Tupperware
honestly, have you ever been this happy when you were full of eggs?

They are kind of like an ice cream sandwich mated with a girl scout cookie, but you don't feel gross after eating them. And the peanut butter makes them satisfying, which doesn't mean that I couldn't eat the whole batch in ten minutes.

Hasta La Vista,

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Le Comfort Food

Dear Turkey,

It's Tuesday. You ask your smallest constituent what he wants for dinner. He says, "broccoli, grilled cheese." It doesn't matter that he doesn't actually eat either of those things, because they are still delicious.  

And easy, if you microwave the broccoli with a little lemon and salt (I heard that this is actually one of the healthiest ways to cook broccoli). At our house, we like our grilled cheese slow-cooked on low heat with lots of butter (I heard that this is not one of the healthiest ways to cook grilled cheese). 
Bon Appetit,

Monday, March 24, 2014

Thanks, Mom

Dear Mom,

I know that you and I really agree about seasonal eating. For example, I would never eat $8 of fresh raspberries in the middle of a snowstorm...unless you paid for them:

I am ashamed. 
After my half-marathon, I really enjoyed this lentil salad that you made. Unlike the raspberries, this is about as seasonal as you can get in the winter in Upstate New York. Oh, it's spring? That's when it's zero degrees after March 20.

Here is how you made this delicious salad, in a text-message:

Lentil Salad: open box of Melissa's already cooked lentils (in produce dept. near guac, back left.) gently break them up a bit(when you add olive oil and good quality vinegar, go gently on both, not saturating lentils, they will fall apart.) cut up orange cherry tomatoes in half or quarter (maybe 10 to 15 tomatoes, you judge), some fresh dill cut very fine, enough to taste but again don't overdo, a bit of garlic powder to taste, you guessed it, subtle taste is the goal here. Mix well. You could stir in feta or what I did is cube some around salad and I also opened a jar of pickled beets and put around salad. It was pretty to look at. Served it on a bed of spinach leaves.


Friday, March 21, 2014

More Breakfast Cookies

Dear Turkey,

Here is a follow-up to last week's breakfast cookies. These are also vegan. However, they only involve ingredients that reside in my kitchen (except the chocolate). So I can make them without going into the other room (not that there are really other rooms when your house is 800-square feet). They also use a whole can of pumpkin, which is more convenient. They don't have peanut butter (so they are easier to measure out) or oatmeal, so they are more cake-y -- you might like this more or less that the other kind (in other words, one of my constituents likes them more and one likes them less, a lot less).


1 regular size can pumpkin
1 c canola oil
1 c sugar
3 c flour (or slightly less if using whole wheat, a combo would also be tasty)
1 c mini chocolate chips
1 t salt
2 t cinnamon

Mix everything together in a bowl and bake at 350 degrees for 25 mins (if you make 15 big ones like I did). 

I heart you, too.
I moss you,

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hello: 1500 Calorie Snack

Dear Scale,

Why, you ask, are you telling me such a high number today, and making me sad? Well, maybe it has to do with this:

You see, here I was, at the bubble tea place, and I was hungry. And they have daifuku mochi. I love daifuku mochi -- it's the kind with the rice flour outside and the red bean inside -- and it's really hard to make (I asked my Japanese friend how to make it once, and she answered, "in a factory."). I have been known to eat a whole package in one day. So, I got four individual ones.

I was halfway through daifuku four of four, (and I had already finished my chocolate bubble tea with extra bubbles [in a size bigger than I usually get]) when I began reading the package. I was appreciating how Japanese desserts aren't usually as full of fake ingredients as American desserts, and then my eyes accidentally wandered to the calorie count: "254." "Serving size: 1." "Sugars: 56 grams." Look out, Japan, here comes Tofu.

Sorry, scale,

Monday, March 17, 2014

Amish Brioche

Dear Turkey,

First, I would like to say that this is Amish Bread because the ingredients came from our awesome Amish store (henceforth known as The Amish Trader Joe's), not because it is Amish Friendship Bread, which I hate. To me, Amish Friendship Bread is everything that you shouldn't do with a starter.

Second, this is Amish Bread because it is a template for the spreading of all kinds of delicious-and-calorie-rich butters and jams that can be purchased at The Amish Trader Joe's (complete with gas lamps AND solar panels) for cheap. 

Amish Ingredients (yes, all of these things can be purchased at The Amish Trader Joe's):

1/2 c Amish butter, melted
1 c Amish whole milk maple or vanilla yogurt
2 Amish eggs
1 T Amish yeast 
1 T Amish sugar
1 T Amish salt
1/3 c Amish [or Tofu] sourdough starter (optional but it really adds a lot here)
Enough Amish white flour to make it just cross over from a batter to a dough (probably a cup of two)

The dough should not be dry enough to knead by hand; just give it a few (or a few hundred, if you have excess energy to burn, which I don't) really good strokes with a spoon and let it rise, covered, until it looks like this (a few hours, depending on the temperature of your house):

Bake at 350 Amish degrees in a buttered dish (sprinkle some sugar on top before you put it in the oven), for about 45 mins, or until it looks like this:

I Amish moss you,

Friday, March 14, 2014

Vegan Breakfast Cookies

Dear Turkey,

Q: Like me, my baby likes cookies for breakfast. What do I do?

A: 1 c peanut butter (warmed up in the microwave), 1/2 c pumpkin, 1/4 c maple syrup, 1 c oatmeal, 1 c chocolate chips (optional [not]), 2 t vanilla, 1 t salt, 1 t cinnamon. Bake on parchment at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 12.

I moss you,

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's Quinoa!

Dear Turkey,

Since most of my constituents don't like quinoa, I am excited when I find someone to make it for. This quinoa is called Umami Vegan Quinoa Sensation for obvious reasons:

For the quinoa: cook the grains in water with salt and olive oil added. When they are tender, add lemon juice and some frozen peas.
For the sauce: heat some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a can of diced tomatoes, some minced garlic, and some salt and pepper. Cook it down until the vinegar starts to caramelize a little and you can smell the umami.

Here's a little something for the quinoa-haters:

Those delicious oven fries made with sweet potatoes, and rustic enchiladas.

I moss you,

Monday, March 10, 2014

One Pot Mexican Polenta

Dear Turkey,

This blog that I just discovered inspired me to make polenta and beans. I love beans, I love polenta, and it's healthy and way faster to make than rice. I even made it in one pot, cooking the beans first and then shoving them over to one side while I cooked the polenta. If you like your greens separate, you can then shove the polenta to one side and wilt/season the greens right after you turn the heat off:

For the beans: heat olive oil, garlic, jalepeno juice, and plenty of honey. Add the beans (undrained) and cook until they are dry enough for your taste (try not to stir too much so they get a delicious sugary crust on the bottom). 
For the polenta: heat some oil (I have come to terms with the fact that salt and fat are necessary for good polenta), add the cornmeal and water (usually it's four parts water to one part cornmeal), cook until thick enough for your taste (which could be runny or could be cut-able with a knife), stir in salt, pepper, lots of lemon juice, and greens if you want. 
Top with salsa, avocado, cheese, or a fried egg.

For dessert: 

Quaker oatmeal cookies with M&Ms AND chocolate chips instead of raisins.

I moss you,

Friday, March 7, 2014

It's My Dream Bubble Tea

Thanks Unique Tea House: chocolate bubble tea with double bubbles. My dream drink. (Shameless product placement of my favorite coffee on my SIGG in the background.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Cowboy Xavier

Dear Turkey,

I love Cowboy Caviar. So does my mom, but her iPhone text message auto-correct always changes it to "Cowboy Xavier." This is a recipe that we had at a party last weekend, and it's one of the best iterations of Cowboy Xavier that I've had. So, Cowboy Xavier, wherever you are, this is for you: 

Cowboy Caviar
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1/3 cup green onion
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 2-3 chopped tomatoes
  • 2-3 avocados (depends on how much you like avocado)
Cowboy Caviar Dressing
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove fresh pressed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
Mix everything except the tomatoes and avocado earlier in the day or the day before to let dressing soak in and put avocado right before serving. Serve with corn chips.

While I have your attention, here is what I did last night with some potatoes that were practically compost-material and some shallots that were about to turn green and blue (if you've ever seen a moldy shallot you know what I mean):

Slice the potatoes and shallots. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and then generously oil it. Sprinkle the veggies with oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and season salt. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or so:

These were so good, it made me wonder why anyone eats regular fries.

I moss you,

Monday, March 3, 2014

Why Do I Run Again?

Dear Turkey,

Q: Why do I run when it's zero degrees?

Post-run snack
Q: Can I really invent more vintage muffins?


I added a can of pumpkin and some mini-chocolate chips this time.
They are so deliciously orange; they look like cupcakes.

I moss you,