February 03, 2011

Irvine Regional Park

Not much of a natural setting, but for a paved and crowded park, it was all right.  Here's what I did instead of cooking:

The afternoon was pleasant.  It's a prelude to the warm, dry, horrible summer to come! :P

Some parts of the park were eerie, almost like a fairy tale.  I probably wouldn't go back any time soon, but it was nice to visit...


January 26, 2011

The first farmers market of the year

Well, not the first, but our first visit to the farmers market this year.  Not much in season.  But, there were these 1.5" diameter mandarins!

Some slightly green tinged, all fresh and wonderful.

Also, I made more muffins for a party.  Pumpkin muffins from VwaV.

And some oatmeal-apple butter muffins.  They're still waiting for their recipe.  It's in-progress.

I packed them in a soda box.  They fit quite well.  :D

Also, my Freund sent me this that she made out of clay...
Badass, no?

It's a raptor claw.  Yes.

January 22, 2011

Banana muffins, sunflower seed and walnut variations

It has been unseasonably warm here.  A banana bunch ripens faster than two people can eat them.

Walnuts are the traditional banana bread companion, but I had only enough to cover half of the muffins.  So, the rest were decorated with sunflower seeds.

January 07, 2011

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

A work in progress.

And some photos from to/fro/in Oregon:

Rebekah and I spent some time cuddled by the heater.

Birds and squirrels and snowfall.

Holiday decorations.

My boyfriend's mom's cats, LOLing it up.

On the way home, snowfields from the window.

Happy New Year, everyone.  Hope you had your ozoni!

December 21, 2010

Teriyaki Seitan

This past weekend was the DISKovery Holiday Potluck.  It was nice to socialize with all of the awesome people who help keep our computer lab running and who make use of the classes and public computer access.  I finally was able to get my grandma's recipe for teriyaki marinade, so I felt it was time to make some serious teriyaki seitan.

Teriyaki Seitan

2 lbs seitan (or however much you want.  I used homemade, but any fake beefy seitan would work well)
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup good strong soy sauce
2 T sake, sherry, or vodka (I used vodka)
1/2 t salt
2 t grated fresh/frozen ginger
1 clove minced garlic
green onion

Mix up the marinade and let the seitan soak up the tastiness for at least 3 hours, but the longer, the better. I fried up the slices of seitan along with some onion, carrot, and edamame.

I think many of the potluck attendees did not know this was fake meat when they tried it, but they really enjoyed it and all of the seitan was gone by the end of the party!  I love sharing tasty food with people, and I'm so glad that this turned out well.  My grandma is awesome, what can I say?

The sauce/marinade is very gingery and garlicky, and the sugar carmelizes when you cook the seitan.  Om nom nom.

I also made a couple of batches of gifflar filled with apples and apple butter.  Ahh I'm almost getting tired of baking and cooking.  After the holidays, maybe it'll be time to take a break and just eat french fries.

December 18, 2010

Chocolate Attacks; Maims 20

It has been a weird week.  The boy was on a business (er, science) trip and I was left to fend for myself.  After a ton of adoptions at the holiday event, the shelter has been shuffling kittehs around, and my favorite community room got a couple new cats.  Every time I go volunteer there, I wish wish wish I was making enough money to be able to foster.  SOON.  Someday.

Anyway, the food.  I made black and white shortbread.  Half chocolate, half normal ol' shortbread, it is the lazy lady's version of those pretty checkerboard shortbreads you sometimes see.  

It began with Earth Balance buttery sticks.  I'm not sure why, but buttery sticks never seem to work as well for me as the Earth Balance tubs.  I combined the buttery stuff with some vegetable shortening, but even then the shortbread wasn't as "short" and non-spreading as I would have liked.  I've never had a problem with the tub form of Earth Balance though. 

Shortenin' shortenin'

Tons of powdered sugar.

Slicing the chilled dough.

I packaged a bunch of these to send to relatives and some as a thank you to my boss for a letter of recommendation.  

Then, there were bananas.  I bought some "red band" bananas from the grocery - a huge bunch for 50 cents just because they were a little spotty.  I had planned on making the same old banana muffins I usually make, but the boy had the excellent idea of making them chocolate.  And not just chocolate chip, but goddamned chocolatey.  The result was definitely not a healthy breakfast item, but it was fluffy and delicious.

I packed him a few to take on his trip to the East Coast, from which he'll be arriving in just a few hours.  It's so boring to cook just for myself, and I've resorted to eating mostly oatmeal and leftovers while I bake Christmas gifts and potluck dishes.

The muffin platform is a diverse and forgiving medium; to construct this one, I added 1/3 cup of cocoa powder to my regular banana muffin recipe and a cup or so of chocolate chips.  These muffins (to be honest, they were more like cupcakes) were very moist even though they were low in oil and fat.  Bananas.  They're professionals at keeping baked goods moist and fluffeh.

December 08, 2010

Quick soft dinner rolls

I've been looking for a go-to roll recipe, so I veganized a recipe I found on the interwebs.

Quick Pepper Dinner Rolls

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
2 1/2 t instant yeast
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
2 T nutritional yeast
1/2 c soy milk
1/4 c water
2 T Earth Balance margarine

Heat the soy milk, water, and margarine in the microwave or on the stove until the margarine melts.  Cool until it's about bath water temperature (you don't want to kill the yeast!).  Combine 3/4 c of the flour, sugar, instant yeast, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast.  Add the liquid mixture and stir until well combined.  Gradually add the remaining flour to form a not-too-sticky dough.  Knead for 5 minutes, then let rest for 10 minutes.  Divide the dough into 12-16 chunks and arrange on a baking pan or a greased pie dish.  Let rise for 30 minutes.  Bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.