feeling fancy and feeling girly

In regards to Blog Post Title Part I

Well, I still don’t have many photos to show, but my weekend included a lot of feeling fancy – at least some contributions to it. I hid and cooked in the kitchen during the first Heartichoke, my friend’s new vegan supper club, and we pulled off five French-inspired courses & seemed to have content guests on our hands. It was a great experience; the smoke alarms didn’t go off and there’s talk of a Tapas and Basque inspired dinner this Spring.

The photos I do have, thanks to my camera’s 5 second life span, were not from the dinner, but are pretty fancy and productive for the end of a weekend:

Tuscan Braised Beans, The Urban Vegan. With the addition of gigantes beans and fresh basil. Dynise’s dishes always class it up.

First theme, continued:

Herb Crusted Tofu with Mushrooms Marsala ala The Farm Cafe in Portland, via Everyday Dish TV.  As for changes, I baked the tofu, used a mixture of maiittake and shiitake mushrooms in the sauce, and served it over braised beans and steamed baby spinach.

In regards to Blog Post Title Part II

Hey! If you’re in the Portland area tomorrow night and you’re a vegan or veg-curious female or you’ve ever met one or even if you plan on spending the rest of your life surrounded by the XY chromosome and no other, you should come show your support for Melisser Elliott, the talented author of the The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life, at everyone’s local vegan owned and operated clothing store, Herbivore. The signing party starts at 5pm.

Later this week: Thoughts on the revolutionary documentary, Forks Over Knives. Have you seen it yet?

The Great Pumpkin Syrup Sunday

Oh, Fall

I picked up a sugar pie pumpkin from the coop yesterday with two goals. Today, I’ll open up about the first: Pumpkin Syrup.

I’m one to seek out a vegan-friendly pumpkin latte or two, or milkshake, during my favorite season, and one to wonder, “Where aren’t there more classy pumpkin cocktails?”

Pumpkin, seasonal spices and brandy (or bourbon, or just  insert your mocktail design here) just make sense.  With this in mind, and eye-rolling over the multiple recipes for pumpkin syrups and sauces online that simply involved pureeing canned pumpkin with maple syrup and heating it, the following happened in my kitchen…

Pumpkin Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cold water
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted pumpkin*
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick (you’ll be removing this after cooking)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Combine everything, except for the maple, in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook for 30 minutes. Gently stir, occasionally.
  3. Stir in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
  4. Carefully remove the cinnamon stick. Even more carefully, transfer to a blender, and puree until smooth. Be sure to let it cool, somewhat, or let the blender breathe so you don’t have an autumn explosion on your hands.
  5. Transfer to a bottle or jar, and refrigerate in between use.

Use this sauce to sweeten your tea, incorporate into cocktails, bribe your friends for favors in the 10th and 11th months of the year, and smuggle into local coffeeshops.

Notes, etc: I purposely made this syrup light. Again, I didn’t want a heavy pumpkin puree or a syrup I needed to constantly shake.  Nor, did I want a heavily spiced syrup. If you want something thicker, use more pumpkin. Like it spicy? Add more spices, and consider adding freshly grated ginger.

*I didn’t want to use raw or soft pumpkin, so I roasted it for 20 minutes at 400F, and let cool before use. I can’t break down all the scientific sense as to why this made more sense to me, it just did.

Success!

Pumpkin Tempeh Chili with Roasted Smoky Seeds & Pumpkin Apple Brandy Sipper

creamy content: acorn squash sauce over pasta

Whole Wheat Rotelle with Squash Sauce, Sorrel, Tempeh, Red Pepper & Roasted Pecans


Broken record: I’ve been warming my way across various posts-in-progress for this site and Stumptown Vegans – where there’s always something – multiple posts, second and third visits, site development ideas, etc. –  going on behind the scenes. Working on that, the grand invites and open registration (why, could it be next weekend?!?) for Vida Vegan Con almost makes it less depressing that my sunny culinary photograph is now limited to the weekends and sporadic lunch hours. Will my dinners become boring? Not necessarily, I typically vow to never eat leftovers at home, but last night I did make a mini pizza on lavish bread, which was pretty lame. It wasn’t an abomination of ingredients (a mix of homemade sauce, farmar goods, and teese); I just don’t feel right calling it a pizza. I can just imagine my Italian great aunts giving me the stink eye over the crust (and the whole soy cheese thing, but whatever).

As for the titular pasta dish, there’s a layer of chopped lemony sorrel, Trader Joe’s whole wheat rotelle, squash sauce, sautéed tempeh bacon and sweet red pepper, and roasted pecans. The sauce is a go-go Magic Bullet puree with a base of sautéed garlic and a teeny bit of olive oil, black pepper, sea salt, roasted acorn squash, plain soy milk, nutritional yeast, ground pecans, thyme, sage, oregano, red miso, a little tamari, mustard, and probably something else or another. Those fun things that go into cheesy sauces.

Whole Wheat Rotelle with Sorrel, Squash Sauce, Tempeh,                                        Sweet Red Pepper & Roasted Pecans

In continuing adventures of confirmed deliciousness and fall acceptance, Savor Soup House is still delicious. I had a cup of Tomato Fennel Orange soup earlier for lunch, and a big kudos for a soup-maker that knows how to meld flavors other chefs might use for sheer attention.

Savor. Soup.

 

SW Alder and 10th, Downtown PDX


I took my lunch to Director Park for reading & eating, and there was a ‘flashmob” taking place. I would have assumed it was a colorful, regular theater troupe, but I heard a few excited mentions of “flashmob”  around me and grabs for smartphones. Sadly, no sign of dancing zombies.

Activity! Director Park!


And one more time – Vegan Bloggers, wherever you are – if you’re interested in attending the Vida Vegan conference late next summer, I’d selfishly advise subscribing to the site for the registration opening. Once it’s booked up, it’s booked up. I don’t think I’m the only one who’s going to squeal when our amazing speakers, or you know, special vegan guests from the dreamlist, like Moby, confirm…