Friday, January 28, 2011

Have you seen the cookbook challenge over at PPK? People are cooking from a different book each week. I was inspired by Sara's blog to make this delicious sandwich from Veganomican. It is the Po' Boy sandwich with chili cornmeal crusted tofu. I thought I made this tofu once before, but I don't remember liking it so much. Maybe I didn't make a sandwich with it that time? It has a nice cool slaw and chipotle mayo. I used my regular tofu marinade (equal parts tamari, nooch, EVOO, and water) to make the breading stick instead of the soymilk/cornstarch mixture in the recipe. Worked like a charm and added an extra layer of flavor! The fries are Trader Joe's frozen garlic fries - happily vegan and even the carnivore loves them!

By the way, the mystery item is a gnocchi board - for rolling the formed gnocchi on to get the little ridges. Will I ever use it or will it be relegated to the unused kitchen gadget drawer?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Back to MY Food

I mentioned that we had house guests for 10 days.  I don't cook my regular food when we have guests because then I would be cooking my food, the kids' food, the husband's food, and the guests' food. Yes, it would be better if everyone would eat the same food, but as I'm sure many of you also experience, this will never be the reality in my house. There are only so many pots I can wash in one night, especially for so many days on end. SO I generally don't eat very well when we have guests, because I just make do. Kind of like when you go to an omni's house for dinner and you just make do.

I was excited to get back into the kitchen and make something yummy. This is from the new book by Isa, Appetite for Reduction. There are so many recipes I can't wait to try in this book. I started with the chickpea piccata. VERY delicious! And easy, too. I tried a new product for this  - the "Better Than Bouillon" No-Chicken Broth paste. I really like this product. I usually use the Vegetable flavor, but I like this better. It is much milder - the veggie version, while good, has a very pronounced flavor that tends to take over everything.

Those of you who have this book have probably read the "Caulipots" recipe, a combo of potatoes and cauliflower, designed to reduce calories. I didn't have the potatoes needed for the recipe, so I just steamed the cauliflower and served it with potato gnocchi on the side. Trader Joe's sells gnocchi made without eggs!

For Christmas, my husband gave me a cooking class at the Viking school. If you can ever take a class at Viking, I highly recommend it. They are hands on and use only top notch ingredients and of course all the great cooking gadgets (so you will want to buy them in the store after class). Also, they serve wine when you eat the meal you cooked. This was a class in gluten free cooking. It was very interesting -  mostly about how to combine different non-gluten flours to make baked goods. We made pasta, bread, cupcakes, and a few other things. The chefs at the school also made a quinoa salad and the spinach salad  I made last night. The salad had a caramelized shallot vinaigrette that was to die for. I seriously could not stop eating the salad (and I don't even like raw spinach)! It also had toasted pecans and dried cherries (in class the salad had goat cheese). Now if I can only figure out how to make those cupcakes without eggs! They were way better than traditional cupcakes. Unfortunately gluten free is not necessarily vegan.

On Saturday we drove my parents up to the airport in Milwaukee. We stopped at the outlets on the way home. They had a gourmet store and I bought this. Does anyone know what it is? The girl that worked there did not know!

We have had a lot of snow (although not as much as my friends in the east!) One day it went all the way up to about 30 degrees, and everything started melting. The dogs love to play in the snow - they play on the slide and in the kids' playhouse! They were out so long that they looked like they had a bath. Don't they look sad? They look so skinny when wet.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!

 Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! We had lots of fun - visitors, Christmas events, parties, kids and husband off for two weeks. It seems very quiet this week back by myself, and into the regular routine.
Christmas Card 2010
The only picture I got of the girls dressed up.
Smartie Pants's first snow.

The pups when they first arrived......

And now - a little bigger, eh?

Why are kids so amused by toilets?

View from my living room after a snow fall.

I actually have done some cooking lately.......

This is a hollandaze from Robin Robertson - I think the "Meat and Potatoes" cookbook? I didn't think I was going to like it, but it was very good, especially over the nice soft cauliflower. Please ignore the ketchup on the macaroni - this is how my Irish husband grew up eating macaroni, and now my kids love it.

Kale chips? I have read about them so much and thought it was the worst idea I ever heard. Until I tried them. My 11 year old ate the whole batch except for the few I managed to grab.

Have you ever cooked with lemongrass before? I hadn't. I think mine was a little dried out - there wasn't much pulp inside all those layers.

I used it to make this from "The 30 Minute Vegan - Asian." It was supposed to be a Massaman curry - potatoes, pineapple, peanuts and coconut milk. I thought it was not going to be any good.  When I made it, there seemed to be way too much liquid. But then I let it sit while I ran out to yoga class, and by the time I got back it was thick and delicious. 

I served it with this tofu from the same book - kaffir lemongrass tofu. Also delicious. If you read cook books a lot, you may know that you can sub grated lime rind for the kaffir lime leaves. I did this and it was still good.

I hope to get back to my regular cooking again, although with more visitors coming next week, there probably won't be anything exciting for a while. I tend to cook for the others and make do with pasta and veggies for myself!