Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Random Food Attacks

A random mix of recipes, in no particular order...

First up....Chocolate cake. Raspberry preserves. Rich, fudgey, ganache-like frosting. Mmmmmm....

Despite not following the directions on how to apply the frosting and preserves (I just slapped the preserves in the middle and put the ganache in the fridge to quicken the cool-time before dousing the cake), this amazing Raspberry-Chocolate Blackout Cake with Ganache-y Frosting from Veganomcion was still decadent, flavorful and drool-worthy. Also, very, very easy! :) Four stars ****. Haven't baked in a while, so I thought a cake was about due.

Here's what the whole cake looked like. It would have been prettier with fresh raspberries and some frosting roses, but I didn't have the time, it was too hot, and it was for teenagers, who really didn't give a rats ass about looks (and who also scarfed it down!).

It was so hot, I spent my one day off last weekend, inside. OK, so we were painting three ceilings, so I wasn't really taking it easy. I called it, "bikram painting." It was so hot, ugh. But it's done and now it looks so smooth and new! Here is Mr. PLV, doing the easy part (I did the trim, edges, and around the light fixtures - hand cramp central!).

After that, all I wanted was something fresh, watery and cold. I splurged and got some organic fruit from the farmers' market, including a giant, dark red watermelon. These blackberries, cherries and blueberries were excellent, too! Holy antioxidants, Batman! Four, very sweet stars ****.

Mr. PLV was craving portabella mushrooms, so we grilled a few to top a huge-ass spinach salad with our own cherry tomatoes. (They just keep coming!) Three and a half stars ***. (That's leftover quinoa you see in clumps nearby).

Used up some of the CSA potatoes, too, and grilled them, then tossed them with our own parsley. Yum.....Three and a half stars ***1/2.

Had a CSA zucchini and some BIG ass tomatoes (also CSA/ organic) to use up, so Veganomicon's Greek-Style Zucchini-Tomato Fritters were baked in the oven. I used some local artisan olive-sourdough bread to make the breadcrumb crust. Wow!! Even Mr. PLV loved these and went back for leftovers, which he rarely does. Three and a half stars ***1/2. The cashew-cucumber yogurt-style dip was only OK. Two and a half ** 1/2, but it was probably my fault....long story.

Tonight, Mr. PLV baked our CSA eggplant in the oven for an hour, and I fried it up with some onions, spices, and another huge-ass CSA tomato. Wow!!! This was really, really good. The recipe was something like "Smoky Eggplant," from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. Great Indian food! Four stars ****. Unfortunately, the sauteed greens (beet, turnip, and chard) were horrible. Bitter, tough....even the great sauce from Vive le Vegan couldn't save them. Not even one star. I think it was the turnip greens that just didn't cook up right. Tips anyone?

Backing up some.... last week I had some pot sticker wrappers and seitan kicking around in the fridge. I tried my own recipe, added some ginger, scallions, soy sauce, and carrots to the diced seitan filling. Used a great dipping sauce from Vegetarian Times and wow! Four stars ****.

Finally, on Monday, our library's AC broke and we had to go home early. What a shame! :) I read an entire book (I'm a speed reader) while the acorn squash from the CSA was roasting, and while the awesome cornmeal-flavored crust was chilling for these Acorn Squash-Black Bean Empanadas from Veganomicon. They were well worth the effort, alongside a jarred salsa and some homemade guac. Wowee! Four stars for the crust, which kicked ass with the cornmeal crunch; three and a half for the filling. What an awesome week (and a half) of food! Stay tuned for more CSA-based recipes to come!

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