Life, infusions, recipe testing and an invitation to Vida Vegan’s Holiday Event this Saturday in Portland, OR. P.S. my blog is snowing. Continue reading
First things first, Happy Vegan Pizza Day! If three little things weren’t standing in the way of my own pizza-making ambitions today, well, I’d have some dough rising right now. Instead, I’m melting into a puddle of freckles as it’s … Continue reading
Mission, complete! Weeknight dinners…all set. No excuses. Testing for Isa Does It, Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s ode to weeknight wonders, has ended, which is sad news for me, but good news for you! This brand spankin’ new book is officially due out … Continue reading
I’ve been perusing Serious Eats (and wishing they’d read my mind and hand over my own vegan column already, jeez) quite a bit lately, and had to borrow one of their regular features as a title here, and hand it … Continue reading
Oh my, I have entered into the big 3-0 birthday week, and what doesn’t that have one thinking about? I did get a stunning set of fancy French skillets from my younger sister as an early gift, which of course, … Continue reading
Much to my delight, life has calmed and evolved in the past few weeks. These are some photos and dishes I created while life was not so calm. With this oh so welcome change, expect more updates in my internet-verse. Time is mine once more, and every damn day belongs to farmers markets and projects.
Yeah, I’m loving the charming new tablecloth J. Legume picked up.
The weekends have been treating me well: the dawn of the Spring farmers markets and seemingly endless varieties of raab and rapini, the ever-more frequent dry days, a growing trend of old fashioned cocktail bars in Portland, new cookbooks and creative supper dates with a special someone.
I’ve been making relaxed, but focused meals from Chloe’s Kitchen, May Kaidee’s Vegetarian and Vegan Cookbook, The Sexy Vegan (more on this later), Isa’s current test kitchen, and whatever else calls out with ease.
Using a little flexibility, I give you, a sort of deconstructed nacho scramble lunch. The spicy pickled jalapeño were picked up at the Gathering Together stand at the farmers market, and the beer is Emma Amber Ale by local brewer Captured by Porches.
A couple of weeks ago, giant chocolate chip cookies were featured on an episode of GRIMM, (more Silas, pls!) and I made my own bloodless versions the following day:
On the final full day of my December travels, I attended a class at May Kaidee’s Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking School on Khao San Road. I am so glad I did – it was a definitive, education and fulfilling way to wrap up my time in Thailand. Perhaps, one day, I’ll finish my post on the matter, but for now, I can share that every time I open this book, I find a smile on my face and fresh curry or noodles on the table. Below, I paired a test recipe from Isa Does It with vegetable-loaded fried rice and a Thai beer from Fubonn.
Next up, one of the dishes I’ve been trying out from The Sexy Vegan…
Slow, Sunday night dinner preparation has become a positive experience on a dwelling evening. The last meal was my first from Chloe’s Kitchen.
Julia and I have spent some time thumbing through this book, deciding what to make first. There’s a lot of cashew cream, which I must avoid these days [insert tears here], and a wonder of sweets and tempeh, seitan, vegetables and salads to start with. Last night, we went with something classic:
I baked the wholesome burgers with coconut oil spray vs. pan-frying since I had the oven warm for the fries. They were served on bread from one of my favorite neighbors, Little T, and fixed with Chloe’s special sauce, green leaf lettuce, red onion (for her! not me!), more pickled jalapeño and sliced dill pickle.
Which brings me to the following important question: Why is it so hard to find local pickles that maintain their crunch in this city?!
In conclusion, this has been a rare Get Sconed! update that includes actual scones.
It takes a lot for a cookbook to truly hold my attention, and the stories and recipes, in addition to the soundtrack, of Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen did just that. This past January, his latest, The Inspired Vegan was released, and I’ve been captivated. The words, the quotes, the instructions and meal components, were just that, inspired. I immediately placed a hold at my library upon its release, and after two weeks and multiple recipes on my table, I purchased my own copy.
Bryant Terry is simultaneously an activist for food justice within the culinary world – and beyond, as he is an author, chef, and parent, taking a lot of inspiration for his books from his daughter’s birth.
The human connection and understanding of what we put into our mouths, and how, and with whom, is fascinating. I may not have a space to garden of my own, but I’m anxiously awaiting my first Portland farmers market visit of the season this weekend, and returning home with a notion of that evening’s dinner unfolding in my head.
Sunday night’s dinner from The Inspired Vegan brought the following to the table:
- Meyer Sipping Gingerly cocktails with local New Deal Vodka
- Cayenne simple syrup
- Roasted chili oil – simple, yet sensational flavor
- Tofu in roasted chili oil with peanuts
- Garlic braised gai lan
- Red* beans with thick gravy and roasted garlic
A couple of weeks ago, I took my first leap into the book for a dinner party. My guests, some dear friends, have a variety of dining habits, and every dish included was eaten by all.
On the table for this dinner:
- Wet jollof rice with garlic parsley paste – a vibrant, perfect accompaniment
- Funmilayo fritters [baked with coconut oil spray] with harissa – I find myself starting to praise another accompaniment, so, you get my drift. It wouldn’t stop.
- Bright-black fingerling* potatoes
- Chipotle & blood orange ketchup [adapted from the plum ketchup]
- Gingered sesame brittle [I couldn't find my candy thermometer and over-caramelized, but the final product remained intriguing]
- fresh thyme
- Moskarella #1 & rice crackers, a bonus from Isa’s test kitchen
- in addition: cherry vanilla sodas with fresh blood orange and local Burnside Bourbon
*I subbed Yukon Gold potatoes
In short, if you’re appreciate of creative, plant-based cuisine, pick this up.
I had a wonderful long weekend. It marked the first time since November I’ve truly had a free weekend to cook and bake in a relaxed manner, in addition to a couple of swell meals out of the house. There was no special occasion, I wasn’t prepping for a dinner party or the week ahead, I was simply in my kitchen. No rush required.
Here’s the weekend, foodwise, including the casual, pasta from Isa’s latest PPK test kitchen, a return to Bay Leaf, cookies, and the first BOH dinner.
If all I eat are quinoa and black bean bowls covered with queso for the next week, it’s fine by me.
The following pasta meal is a dish from Isa’s latest book in progress, with the working title, “Isa Does It”. I skipped the toasted walnuts (dang you, potential allergy woes) and topped it with roasted sunflower seeds. I’ve been hooked lately.
Olive Angel Hair with Seared Brussel Sprouts
Chocolate Chip Cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance
From lunch at Bay Leaf. I hadn’t been in quite some time, and my girlfriend had never. Their hot and sour soup and Sizzling Tofu is my go-to meal when I’m sick.
Sometimes it’s nice to dine somewhere where the dishes stay the same, time after time. It’s even nicer to say that place is a vegetarian restaurant (somewhat) down the street.
Most of the time, I crave variety in my dishes, and I choose to dine out because I desire the experience of new dishes, different cuisines, creative dining, interesting textures – everything I don’t, and probably can’t – try in my own little kitchen.
Dry Rosé, Winter’s Hill, Portobello’s kitchen
Over the weekend, I was invited to attend the first BOH dinner at Portobello Vegan Trattoria, which never stopped impressing, course by course. It started with a miniature potato pancake smaller than my thumb, moved onto a kimchi and kumquat (among other things) adorned green onion pancake, on-wards to beet and pinenut-filled ravioli with blood orange sauce and moscatel syrup (and more), two more stunning courses (both on the plate and in my mouth), and this rarely ever happens with me, but my favorite of them all, if you forced me to pick, was the finale: a miniature slice of sweet potato bourbon pie, topped with housemade coconut ice cream and caramel sauce. Yeah. The full menu is on the facebook.
Of course, I was already a big fan of Portland’s vegan Italian spot and moan about gnocchi pretty much whenever it’s mentioned, but this experience was damn avant-garde. Bear with my phone photos, and head over to their facebook page for a full album of much higher quality.
Up ahead, a thankfully short week ahead capped off with a visit from my sister from NYC, bagels in tow.
This is admittedly, one of my more rushed, rustic crust jobs that I’ve been rolling out with brown rice flour. Simply because….the bag is sitting on top of my fridge, locally milled and purchased from the farmers market, duh. More importantly, it served as a party pie for a dear friend’s birthday last weekend. This combination of saucey, sweet strawberries and the deep, refined tang of balsamic is almost unreal. Frankly, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a pie consumed this promptly.
The book is due out this October. Berry picking adventures soon.