Monday, November 05, 2007
Once Upon a Time and Some Bling
Once upon a time, there was a girl who was taught how to cook by her mother and father. Her father was a stay at home dad for a while, and he cooked on the fly, adding hotdogs or spaghetti to meatloaf, but also making all baked goods, including homemade whoopie pies, from scratch. The girl learned to value a home cooked meal, and the love it represented.
Her mother was a better baker than cook. The lesson the girl learned most was to always measure carefully, and never measure ingredients over the mixing bowl! Very, very carefully, she would weigh ingredients on a small postal scale, and level off flour with the back of a knife.
As time went by, the girl kept cooking and baking, always remembering the lessons she had been taught. But perhaps the most valuable lesson she was taught, was one she taught herself. Having a 'fast' personality like her father, meant that she often skimmed recipes and got half into them before realizing she had forgotten to buy an ingredient, or had misread the directions. Yet she learned from these (many!) mistakes, by substituting other similar ingredients, and laying out all her tools and food before she began.
Fast forward to the present. Above, you see the delectable Thai Chik'n Pizza, a third-place winner in the annual Vegetarian Times cooking contest. However, although we followed the recipe to a tee (well, ok, I didn't have tamarind paste, so I looked it up online and saw that I could use lime juice and molasses or sugar), it was very disappointing. The flavors were spot on. But between the hardness of the crust (the dough was homemade, then frozen in the freezer for a couple of months), and the dry, crumbliness of the topping (it wouldn't stick to the 'sauce'), I couldn't believe that this had won even third place! So, here's my suggestion....try the 'sauce' (very thick!) on a tortilla, like a hummus, add the pizza toppings, and roll up! I loved the spread so much, I just have to try this for lunch next week.....So that's what I learned.
Moving on to a new recipe from Isa's latest cookbook, Veganomicon, which FINALLY came from Amazon :P.....
Seitan with Mushrooms and Spinach..... quick and easy but it burned too quickly and WAAAAAYYYYY too salty! From now on (Isa Pizza from VwaV had the same problem), I will watch the salt flavorings in all savory dishes from her cookbooks. Sorry, but I was disappointed after waiting all that time!! However, once again I haven't given up, but merely learned from my (0r other's) mistakes....
Finally to the bling! I treated myself long ago to these two cookbooks, and I am treasuring each time I open their pages. There is nothing like a new book of any kind, to make it feel like Christmas (even textbooks, what a nerd I am!). You can never draw out long enough, the first moment you open their covers. Any suggestions from fellow vegan bloggers for what to try first from either one? (well, the seitan dish was my first!).
And now onto the real bling....the most beautiful necklace I have ever laid eyes on. Funnily enough, I saw it in a magazine, and was intrigued to look for it online. When I saw the message imprinted on it (Peace, Love and Recycle), and the fact that 100% of my money would go towards planting trees through American Forests, I knew it was the perfect gift from me to me.... and to the Earth. Don't you want it now?? The photos don't do it justice. (If you go to Tina Tang's website with the above link, click on the necklace image to see the reverse side with the words).