Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winter popsicle experiement

I recently acquired (found for free in the lobby of my apartment) a cute plastic Popsicle tray. How fun, right?! It is very cute and colorful and I'd love to make seasonal frozen treats with fruit and maybe veggies. Some ideas I had:

-Watermelon Basil (or mint, or lime)
-Tangerine Lime
-Cucumber Lime Chili
-Raspberry Lemon
-Strawberry Coconut

(Note: The dinosaur returns to the blog! He's had a bath since we last saw him.)

I pretty much want these all in my mouth! Unfortunately it is winter and these fruits aren't locally available unless they are shipped from distant lands and handled by many people. So I got to thinking about what I have in my home that I can use: chocolate, lime, peanut butter, almond butter, ginger, avocado (questionable for my abilities), soy milk. Well creamy chocolate ginger sounds awesome. Ginger lime is a good combo, too. Chocolate peanut/almond butter? Sure!

Let's see what happens!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Good Cook Book

For a while now I have wanted a cook book to reference while I'm creating my masterpieces (achacha! or achacha). More and more I am realizing that I don't want concrete recipes but, instead, something informative about grains, fresh produce, baking and cooking methods so that I can build on what I am learning every day. As it is I can barely make myself follow one recipe at a time. I usually search several blogs to create a hybrid recipe that gets me really excited. I suppose I've been lucky, too, because I have mostly made good-tasting foods instead of disasters.

At least, I've been told they are good...

So I guess I'll just keep searching the blogs with my eyes peeled for the book of my dreams.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tempeh Tacos

I found a new kind of tempeh that I have never seen before: Spicy Vegetable! It inspired me to make some, kinda spicey, but no less awesome Tempeh Tacos for dinner tonight.

Sauteed green bell pepper, onion and strips of tempeh. At the very end I threw in some kale so it could get softer. Uncooked kale can be a little hard to handle for me sometimes.

There were also black beans seasoned with garlic, ground pepper and red chili flakes.

All wrapped up in a corn tortilla and topped with jelepeños, Tapatío hot sauce, and fresh lime!

I'm actually still sniffling and wiping my runny nose. They were good and next time I'll not add the chili flakes... or so much hot sauce...

Oh, Tempeh Bacon, you're good

A friend recently mentioned having Tempeh Bacon for breakfast and it sounded so delicious that, obviously, I had to run out an make it. After review of a couple marinade recipes here is what I did:

4 Tbsp Tamari Soy Sauce (GF)
1 Tbsp Tapatío hot sauce
1.5 Tbsp Liquid hickory smoke
Garlic powder
Ground pepper

1 package Five Grain Tempeh sliced thinly (like bacon!)

I mixed the ingredients then marinated the sliced tempeh until most of the liquid was absorbed (let's say 20 minutes), then cooked them in a little olive oil on medium heat until they were brown and slightly crisp on both sides (let's say 3 minutes per side). If I felt like some of the slices weren't bacon-y enough, I poured a little extra marinade on them while they cooked.

Yesterday was a great day of food with both Vegan BLTs for lunch and a mixed veggie and bacon salad with homemade vinaigrette for dinner. Check out that BLT: avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion, and tempeh bacon on toasted bread.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Single Speed

My "new" bike. It doesn't have full fenders, a rack... or more than one gear. When I ride it I get wet, carry a heavy backpack and go up hills very, very slow. Jealous?

I love it!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekend food

A couple more photos of food that happened this weekend.

Reheated Three Bean Chili with Cornbread and that homemade ginger ale from a couple days ago. I used cilantro for the first time in my recipe and it added great flavor when cooked in my funny red Crock Pot.

I'm still getting the hang of picture-taking and I see, now, that these photos are blurry. Sorry.

Roasted Seasoned Yellow Potatoes. Raw onion is my main squeeze these days so I added that along with avocado, jelepeño and Tapatío hot sauce to the final product. The yellow is nutritional yeast flakes.

Instead of adding seasoning after I place the potatoes on the cooking sheet, I have learned to season them in a bowl first. With the help of olive oil the spices more evenly coat the potatoes.

The pill bottle is one of many that I use to hold spices. They are much better for grab and go cooking than the plastic bags they come in when I buy them from the bulk bins.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The day I found a camera

I have been given hand-me-down digital cameras for years from friends and family and never use them. It's a good thing I started this blog, because now I have a use for the cameras.

For your viewing pleasure: Peanut Butter Oat cookies with a Chocolate Drizzle... and a small red dinosaur I found in the lobby of my apartment building.

The dinosaur was covered in dirt and I probably shouldn't have put in on the cookies. But, oh well, I think it's funny.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Time on my hands

Underemployment, unemployment and seasonal work is proving to be difficult. There is a certain kind of reassurance of self-worth that comes with a job and steady employment that can't be covered by all the amazing, supportive people in my life. No matter what the job is, the fact is that, "Yes, I went to work today," and it feels good. So without a job I've tried to find a way for me to give myself that sense of a hard days work.

I spend my day in my apartment trying not to get sucked into internet gossip sites. I slowly ride my bike through the varied neighborhoods of Portland. I look up job postings and probably send out an application every other day. I look up recipes and brainstorm new meals. I look up times and places to volunteer. I make art. I invite friends over to eat the food I make.

And it makes me feel good. And it helps take the sting away from unemployment.

Here's what happened today:
-Went to the library to look for a book to read while I wait for the book I want to read to come in. No luck.
-Went to the bank. ATM check deposits are hard for me. I like the real person interactions much better, even though they take longer.
-Stopped at Grocery Outlet to replenish my coffee supply. I found a bottle of organic shampoo and conditioner that were $3.99 marked down from $17.98! It's a small miracle that I didn't buy them with such an astounding price difference...
-Had a great dinner with a friend: slow-cooked Vegan Three Bean Chili and Cornbread. I've never made cornbread so moist and I probably never will again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The beginning...

My name is Randi and I don't have a job. In its place I spend a lot of my time thinking about, buying and preparing food.

And riding my bike.

While I am slowing concluding that I must have some diagnosable problem with writing cover letters and sending in resumes, I am discovering my love of learning to cook and bake. You know those hip, cute, popular food/craft blogs where everything is local or fresh and handmade? I want that. So I started this.
Today I made Lime Ginger Ale with some left over grated ginger from my rice noodle, basil lunch dish. It will be ready in about a day and a half.

A friend recently went Gluten-free and gave me a large supply of oats. As a result, yesterday, I made Peanut Butter Oat Cookies with a semi-sweet chocolate drizzle. My first impression was raving: over cooked, dry, no flavor. But today they are softer and taste awesome. Delicious!