Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cat Days of Summer

People like to call them the, "dog days" of summer, but if you've ever seen a hot cat, you know the cliche line can be easily changed! Here is my "little" Hobbes, flaked out on our "old but new to us" recliner (gotta' love FreeCycle!). We've had the windows open and air conditioning off as we stain our new windows, and poor Hobbes, with all his fat and long fur can't take the heat - literally! He usually races around, tearing across the floors, jumping at the walls and generally pissing off our other cat, Bear. But with the summer heat invading his usually cool house, it's all he can do to walk to his food dish! I promise, it's really not that hot, especially with the fans going in all the rooms - it's just that he's not used to it! We provide lots of cool water and run the air conditioning when we're done working.
Meanwhile, it's never too hot for me to bake! I celebrated my last day at my elementary school practicum (for those of you unaware, I am finishing up my Masters in Library Science), by baking these Chocolate Mint cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I had baked them before for my hubby's birthday, but when I overheard the librarian I was working with rave about the combination of mint and chocolate, I just couldn't resist making them again! This time, I didn't "dollop" or "plop" the chocolate ganache on top as recommended in the cookbook, but drizzled it. I also used a mint leaf from my herb garden instead of an M&M. I think that the result is more professional and prettier than the first round! What do you think? If you do make these, be sure to halve the mint extract it calls for, or else it tastes more like toothpaste than a mint patty!
And last, I have here a great summer salad, from (you guessed it) The Candle Cafe Cookbook. It was the Spicy Soba Salad with Creamy Wasabi Dressing. As usual, I really wanted to rave about the recipe, but have some misgivings. First of all, the tofu needed to be cut into 8 pieces, not four, for the marinade to fully absorb. Second, the baking time for the tofu was half as much (or even a quarter) as was really needed to crisp up the tofu pieces. Finally, the dressing was not just, "creamy," but downright thick. I had to add more soy sauce and rice vinegar to make it even spreadable. It also wasn't spicy enough for me. Yet overall the flavors were decent, the mix of textures (especially the arame seaweed!) fun, and the cool salad a nice change from hot evening meals. And it made enough leftovers that I don't have to cook again for several days. Rating: ** stars (out of four). So, off I go to stain some more windows and care for my beautiful, almost healed tattoo :) Question of the week: What is your favorite summer salad?

1 comment:

VeggieGirl said...

great-looking cupcakes and salad! your cute is adorable :0)