Sunday, January 2, 2011

Deep Fried Oreos, say whaaaaaaaat?

Happy New Year!!! My apologies for having my blog all out of order and never posting for months on end. I'm a busy, busy woman. The Office is not going to watch itself, but I digress... I had a wonderful New Year's Eve with friends, AJ, and my lovely sister out partying with us. There was lots of champagne, dancing and laughs. The next morning I took my sister to the airport. So sad!! When I got home I was able to console myself with an invitation to a friend's house for some more champagne and some deep fat frying! The idea was to do Twinkies and Snicker's bars, which are so not vegan, so imagine my delight when AJ's friend walks in with Oreos!! Yay! We made a basic batter for me and more pancake like batter for the rest.

Here are the non-vegan ones in the fryer.

Out of the fryer.

Oreos in the vegan batter.

Fry, my babies, FRY!!!

Yes, my little napkin, soak up some grease.

The vegan ones are a little blonder, AJ said he couldn't taste a difference.

I'm so glad I don't have a fryer.

We didn't stay long enough to do the pickles, thank the lord.

Shepherdess Pie

All Christmas season long I've been wanting to make this.  I need a single dish that covers all the bases for a yummy meal for me and that others might enjoy and that travels well.  I've never made a Shepherdess (or Shepherd) pie before but I have been wanting to for some time now.  We do a lot of family get togethers this time of year and there's not too much vegan food, I usually end up eating lots of chips (not really a complaint).  Anyway, I've only just gotten around to making it this weekend after the season is over and it's just me and AJ at home watching football.  Haha.  I looked at a few recipes and winged it.  It seems to me the main theme is meaty some thing at the bottom and mashed potatoes at the top with whatever vegetables you fancy in between.  Today I fancied Smart Ground crumbles, chickpeas, broccoli, green beans, and of course, mashers!!

Here we have a pot of mashed potatoes.

I always forget to take a picture of the layers as I go along... Here's the top. You can see my green beans and broccoli with a couple of chickpeas poking out.

Here it is topped with the mashers.

Yummy, yummy in the bowl.

Shepherdess Pie

2 large potatoes, I used Russets
2 small onions, or 1 big, whatever you've got
1 package crumbles, I used Smart Ground
1 can chickpeas
1 small head of broccoli
2 cups or so frozen green beans
Salt, pepper, olive oil

Here's how I did it:

Preheat the oven to 375. After washing I chopped the potatoes and put them in a pot of boiling, salted water. Then I left them alone to prep the rest.  I chopped the onions and put them in a pan with a touch of olive oil on medium heat until softened, about 10 minutes. At that point I added the crumbles to heat through. I chopped the broccoli and threw the green beans in the microwave to thaw. Then in a big casserole dish I layered the crumbly onion mix, topped with chickpeas, raw broccoli, and thawed green beans. I drained the potatoes and mashed them with some olive oil, salt and pepper. We didn't have any soy milk that wasn't sweetened vanilla, so I left that out. I topped the whole dish with the mashers and put it in my oven.  After 30 minutes I couldn't wait any longer, so I pulled 'er out of the oven to dig in!  I'd say once all was said and done it took about an hour and a half to make, maybe only and hour.  Let me tell you, it's good!  Even AJ liked it and had seconds.  

I like these kind of casserole dishes because you can do so much with them. You can add corn, you can leave out the crumbles, you could add gravy or some other sauce, just use your imagination! I've even seen some recipes where people have used mashed sweet potatoes on top instead of regular white 'taters! Yummy.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I've had it in me for weeks that I was going to make homemade pizza and it would be awesome and we would each make our own deliciousness to our liking.  So!  I used the Vegan with a Vengeance recipe.  This one is a yeast-ed recipe.  Lots of kneading and rising times.  I made the dough on Saturday and we got around to pizza-ing it up on Sunday.  Sorry for the lack of pictures, I'm going to start taking more of them!  Before we move on to the pizza, please allow me to introduce my ever faithful kitchen companion, Kyra!  Here she's trying to become bi-pedal, I'm guessing to get a hold of anything on the counter. 

Sorry for the dark shot! Isn't she the cutest thing? She has the nicest sense of humor...

This is my pizza before cheese. Please note the bonus bread sticks on the side. I can't remember why I did that, but they were yummy.

Up close shot of my toppings. That is my homemade, garden fresh tomato sauce, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and green peppers.

*Bonus tip for pitting olives!! I've whiled away some hours and given myself pain in my fingers trying to pry pits out of olives until I learned this little trick. All you have to do is lay the olive on the cutting board and whack it with the flat part of the knife. This separates the pit from the deliciousness and you can more easily extract the pit.

AJ's pizza before cheese. The only difference between our pizzas was the cheese. He didn't care to get to fancy, he was just happy to eat. Note the roundness of his pizza.

Con queso.

Mine with mozzeralla Daiya.

Up close.

AJ's fresh from the oven. I thought mine had a couple minutes more to go, so I left it in there. And that is when I smelled the burning. What a bummer!

Looks okay here, let's flip 'er over!!


I was pretty disappointed in the pizzas.  AJ liked his, although it was a little soggy in the middle and a thicker crust than he likes. Mine was still edible.  I guess that's what I get for waiting and hyping up a recipe. Haha.

And them we both got heartburn.

In conclusion! It's delivery from now on!!

Tomato Sauce: A Journey

I spent the summer growing tomatoes. I have no idea why a person who doesn't like tomatoes much would grow 4, count 'em, 4 tomato plants, but there I was. I convinced myself that they're better from the garden and they are, but they're still not entirely edible... So anyway, I ended up saucing a lot of these babies and leaving them on coworkers desks. These are the last of the batch.

Why yes, they are sitting on the kitchen floor, what of it?

I made the sauce very simply. I sauteed a little garlic in a pot. Okay a lot, like, we're out of garlic now. No worries about vampires for sure. I diced all the tomatoes, threw them in a pot and let them cook down. At this point I realized that AJ has NO spices so I let it all cool down and threw it in the freezer for the next weekend. Flash forward a week and I'm back in the suburbs with my tomato sauce. I brought my own spices and added some basil, oregano and sugar to the tomato garlic mixture and let that simmer for a long time. I knew we were going to use this for pizza, so I really let it cook down and and thicken up. That was that. I've got some homemade pizza to blog about next!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin Carving!

Yesterday was Saturday and with Halloween right around the corner we decided to carve pumpkins! We invited a few friends to come over and join us. It was a blast!!

This is the local pumpkin patch, you just drive right up, pick a couple pumpkins, and using the honor system, drop your money in the bucket!

Remember from It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown? "Ahhhh!! You didn't tell me you were gonna kill it!! Waaaaaaahhhhhh!!!"

This pumpkin is perfect for me. Off color and wonky. He can't stand up straight and he's green!

Here's a group shot of everyone's pumpkins all lined up together. See the skinny guy in the middle? It was a nice mystery squash I was planning to eat, but one of our friends thought it would be fun to carve it. I'd say it was well worth it!!

Happy Halloween!! Oh, and since this is supposed to be a blog about food too, I'll tell you what we ate. We grilled, so I had a yummy veggie burger with guacamole and hot sauce while everyone else had regular burgers. I may have had a few apple ciders and whiskey. Hey, it's fall!

My first post in my first blog!

This is my first attempt at blogging!  I figure, I've got at lot of things to ramble about, this can be a good outlet for all that!  I'm going to blog about vegan food I eat, my cat, the fun things I do on the weekend with my boyfriend and his adorable pup, maybe some jewelry and maybe some working out.  I guess, whatever is on my mind!