Friday, October 31, 2008

Goodbye Vegan MOFO

This is so sad!! I can't believe Vegan MOFO is over!!!! I guess if you are vegan, it shouldn't really matter anyway... I mean, posting vegan stuff is natural haha I just loved the October spirit of vegan food. It was so fun and I had a great time making all these bangin' dishes. Oh yea. I forgot to wish everyone a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!! Is everyone going trick or treating? Yea, me either. I wish I was, but I don't have a costume... and I'm 19 (but my age should't stop me).

I am pretty set on cooking/baking all day long. I have to send a package to Iraq tomorrow for the soldiers, so I need to bake some stuff that travels well. If anyone has some great bar/cookie recipes, could you post them in a comment or email? I've been baking for the soldiers for a while now, so I could use some spooky new ones (Halloween ones would be great, too). I also have to send a package to the Marines training camp in North Carolina. My ex boyfriend is a Marine there, and he's been dying to get cookies with candy bars in them. That's all he's been asking for haha I guess you could say that I still miss him and like him, so that's why I'm sending him stuff... I just hate admitting that though! It drives me nuts.

Anyways, here's some recipes for today. There are 2 and they are both RAW. I'm sorry if you guys are annoyed by the RAW recipes, but I make so much raw stuff that's really good. The first one is a Larabar. I've never eaten one before, but everyone talks about how amazing they are. I made one and it was soo good. I didn't go by a recipe, but I'm sure there's a cashew date one running around somewhere. It's so much cheaper to make your own. Even at Trader Joe's, they cost $1.39. I made 6 of them and I don't know the cost, but it wasn't that much. The other recipe is for Sesame Date Truffles. I found the basis of the recipe on Gone Raw, but pretty much did as I pleased with it. I really liked them a lot more after they were frozen, so wait about an 1 before you eat one. They have a strong nutty flavor, but it's addictive.

Here's the recipes: Cashew Date Larabar
1 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup dried dates
1 Tbsp water

Directions: Prepare muffin tin with cupcake liners or cooking spray. Process cashews in food processor until they look like crumbs. Add dates and process. Add water if needed. Scoop into muffin molds and freeze for 30-1 hour. Then, take them out of the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for 1 hour.When you take them out, use a knife to cut around the sides to scoop them up. Makes 6.

Sesame Date Truffles
1/2 cup cup sesame seeds
2 tsp carob powder
1/4 cup dried dates
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 tsp agave nectar
2 tsp tangerine juice
2 tsp water
extra carob for rolling
Directions: Process sesame seeds in food processor until very fine. Add carob powder, dates, cinnamon and salt and mix. Add agave, juice, and water (if needed). Shape into balls (I made 7) and roll into carob powder. Freeze for a few hours and then gobble up!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Do you know the muffin man?

Good morning, everyone!! I've been so busy with school lately- it's driving my bonkers! I can't wait til December 15th when I'll have some time to do whatever the hell I want. I do feel like I manage my time wisely... most of the time. haha Well last night was an exception. At 10 pm, I baked a huge batch of chocolate chip coconut cookies because my teacher has been asking me to make them for her. I wish I could bake for A's. That would definitely help my Biology grade! It's my toughest class right now. I mean, my major is Wellness and that's a combination of fitness and nutrition, and I'm more interested in the nutrition aspect of it. All my Biology class has been is hydrocarbons, microtubules, and other words that I don't understand. Oh well... at least I have my youth haha

As for a delicious recipe today... I found it on Barbara Bakes. She found the recipe in Shape magazine, so I veganized it and changed a bunch of other stuff as well. It's a Tangerine Berry Muffin recipe and it's the best muffin I've ever had. I feel like I say that for all my muffiins, but these really are. I ate them all in one day (I made 4) and had to stop myself in order to take the damn picture. If you need a muffin recipe or just don't know what to make one day, these are so good for you and taste amazing. They are super moist and the dried berries plump up as they bake. Words can hardly describe it!! And I realize the ingredient list is massive, but I had all this stuff on hand. I always have sour cream because I'm addicted!

Here's the recipe:

Tang Berry Muffins

1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup Toffuti sour cream
3/4 cup oat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp quick rising yeast
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup tangerine juice
2 tbsp turbinado raw sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
1/8 tsp xanthan gum + 2 tbsp water
1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup dried mixed berries (strawberries, cherries, and blueberries)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400F. Coat a muffin pan with cooking spray.

Mix the xanthan gum and water together in a cup and let it stand for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the oats and sour cream until well-mixed (it will be lumpy). Combine the flour, baking powder, yeast, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl and mix together. In another bowl, mix the tangerine juice, sugar, oil, and xanthan gum mixture. Add the sour cream mixture to the wet mixture and stir until well-combined. Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and stir together. Fold in the blueberries and dried berries.

Spoon batter into muffin tins and bake for 12-16 minutes (depending on size of muffin tin). I have a taller muffin tin, so mine took 16 minutes.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Muffins make everything better

Yesterday was a nice day. I went to yoga which always makes me feel amazing. Then, I hung out at home and baked muffins. It was so relaxing just being in my pink plaid bathrobe. Everyone in my house hates my bathrobe because they say I look like an old woman in it; however, I don't care. haha It's just so warm and cozy. I can usually be seen in it when picking my sister up from school. She loves that, I'm sure. Anyway, after I got out of my bathrobe, I needed to clear my head and "get back to nature" as Emerson so eloquently puts it. I went running in South Park and watched how beautiful it was outside. I just felt so happy to be alive. The cold air going into my lungs just invigorated me and made me fun faster... okay that's stretching haha I haven't ran since August, so my speed was pretty crappy, but I still felt good. I stumbled upon a playground while running and swung on the swing-set as well. I know parents thought I was a pedifile because they were taking their kids away from the swings as soon as I got on!!! It was so funny, but I just kept swinging anyways. All in all, it was a darn good day.

Well, I've been making muffins like a madwoman these past few days. These ones were originally mini loaves, but I made them into muffins (mostly because I don't have mini loaf pans). I found them on eat me, delicious. I changed the recipe quite a bit because no one follows recipes anymore these days haha It's a thing from the past. They came out so delicious,sweet, and moist-even in muffin form. I just loved them. My main motivation for making them was to get rid of this pear that was sitting on the kitchen table. My grandma gave it to me last week because she orders pears from Harry and David. If you haven't ordered pears from there, do it now. H and D pears are sweet and huge and are great for baking. This recipe make 4 big muffins or 6 standard muffins.

Here's the recipe:
"I Want to Use Up This Pear" Muffins

3/4 cup oat flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp yeast (quick rise)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp turbinado raw sugar
1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tsp almond milk
2 1/2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce (generous)
1 large pear, cored, peeled and cut in half (mash one-half of the pear and cube the other half)
1/8 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp maple extract
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray or line with cupcake liners. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, yeast, and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together sugar, almond milk, applesauce, mashed pear, cubed pear, and pumpkin seeds. Add the extracts to the wet mixture and stir. Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and mix together. Spoon batter into muffin tin and bake for 20-22 minutes. Since mine were bigger muffins, I baked mine for 24 minutes. Use a toothpick to check the center of muffins and let them cool for 15 minutes before popping them out.

Friday, October 24, 2008

R.I.P Brian

I've had a hilarious day so far. Well, I take that back. The last 15 minutes were funny. I was picking out a Get Well card for my sister because she is just miserable. She's really sick with what I had and I just love giving people cards for the hell of it. I was sitting in the card aisle of Giant Eagle for 20 minutes cracking up. These card companies know how to make me laugh more than any person I know haha

The part of my day that wasn't hilarious was when I found out one of my friends from Virginia died. His name is Brian and he was only 17. I met him on vacation a few years ago in West Virginia. He was in a car accident on Wednesday night and the kid he was driving with also died. It's just crazy how life can be taken from you so fast. It makes me want to live up every day and take more chances than I do. When I say chances, I mean say things and be more assertive I guess- not being afraid of getting hurt or what somebody might say. So hopefully, all of you will do the same thing and make sure you always buckle your seatbelt!

As for my recipes, I haven't been able to eat a lot of interesting food lately because my stomach has been acting up. I drink smoothies like it's nobody's business so I'm posting 2 of my favorites.

Here's the recipes:
Gothic Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 generous handful of fresh spinach
juice from one medium orange/mineola
1/3 cup frozen blueberries

Blend all this stuff together and drink it down. You will get a dark purple mustache : )

Best Vanilla Milkshake Ever

1 frozen banana
1 scoop vanilla soy protein powder
1 container vanilla soy yogurt
1/2 cup pumpkin milk or non-dairy milk

Blend together and savior every gulp. It tastes just like a McDonald's vanilla milkshake. I always loved those when I ate whatever the hell i wanted haha

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bugs and Muffins

I'm watching Regis and Kelly and the guy who called in for the "Fall Frenzy" is absolutely hilarious. I hope some of you watched it because he's cracking me up. I actually got up at a decent time today so I could see the show. Thank Heavens. I did wake up with a big bugbite right on my ankle. It's itching me like crazy. Bugs are just everywhere in our house. My cat is constantly attacking centipedes on the wall, and I'm killing stinkbugs like a madwoman. A few days ago while I was in the shower, I saw a stinkbug and had to kill it with shampoo. I was terrified!!! And to change the subject really quick, ZAC EFFRON is on Regis and Kelly right now!!! haha I don't even like Zac Effron but my friend, Mitchel, is obsessed with the poor guy. He's probably jumping up and down in his dormroom right now. He'll be hitting himself if he misses this.

And to answer the question a few of you had about the pumpkin seed milk, I just used organic raw pumpkin seeds. I'd recommend soaking them overnight if you do make it. I think the pumpkin flavor would've been stronger. I'm gonna try pistachio milk next, so we'll see how that goes. As for today's recipe, it's the chocolate tahini muffins from have cake, will travel. It was originally called "Chocolate Tahini Bread" but I made the muffins instead with a few adaptations as well. I loved these muffins. I just have a strange addiction to anything in a muffin-like form. I don't know where this love of them came from, but I've embraced it. I ate 2 of these muffins for dinner with some Tofutti cream cheese.

Here's the recipe:
Chocolate Tahini Muffins

6 Tbsp carob powder
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
4 oz unsweetened applesauce (1 individual container = 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract
1/4 cup pumpkin seed milk or other non-dairy milk
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray non-stick cooking spray in muffin tin. In a large bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients (first 6 ingredients). In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (last 6 ingredients). Combine wet and dry ingredients together- don't overmix. Scoop the batter into the muffin tin. I got 4 muffins. Bake for 18 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin.

And just for the fun of it, I did this survey from For the Love of Guava. Her answers were absolutely hilarious and mine don't measure up at all. You have to read hers. haha

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure in the way of food?
There’s so many. I would have to say peanut butter, date rolls, and ALL vegan ice cream.

Have you ever done anything nasty to anyone’s food and then served it to them?
OMG too many times to count. I can’t even think of a situation.

Have you ever lied to an omni, telling them you were serving them something meaty but instead serving them veg-food?

Yes, I do it to my family. Mainly my sister… or random Sears employees.

Have you ever been arrested? If so, what for?
No, and that’s really sad.

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the sack?
Wear foot pads to detox my body.

Who’s the weirdest person you’ve ever done (or thought about while) in the sack? These questions are so funny and I wasn’t aware that this survey was a sex survey before I started it haha

If, for the rest of your life, you could only have sexual relations with folks in one manner/style/position, what would it be?
Downward Dog haha what?

Do you have any weird fetishes? (i.e. Turned on by orange oily feces)
Umm I hope so. I honestly don’t know. I think I’m just weird.

What’s your worst drunken experience?
I’ve never been drunk, so I haven’t had one yet. When I do, I’ll write about it on my blog.

If you could eat any vegan food off another person’s body, what would it be?
I LOVE Peanut Butter. End of story.

Have you ever done anything naughty with a vegetable?
Peanut Butter? Yes. Vegetable? No. Oh wait. You didn’t ask about peanut butter ;)

Do you think your mom would sleep with me if I asked nicely?
Haha Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if she did. She’s a hoot.

Do you have any tatts or piercings?

Just my ears. I wear fake tattoos ALL the time though. I have an enormous rose on my stomach right now.

Any strange names for you and your partner’s privates (and/or your sex toys)?
Oh Jesus. I don’t have a boyfriend, so no. As for mine, they are sold during Easter time and everyone gets them in their Easter backets.

Are you into PDA?
Yeah sure. A little PDA never hurt anyone.

Have you ever cheated on a significant other?
No. If you’re gonna cheat, you might as well just break up with the person.

Did you ever walk in on your parents doing it when you were younger?
Eww I hate this question. Gross memories are fogging my train of thought.

What’s one of the craziest things you’ve ever done?
Anything involving Lands' End dog and Mitchel. Lands' End dog is this gigantic fake golden retriever and we take it everywhere we go together.

If you could get it on with any vegetarian you know–famous or not–who would it be?
I have no idea!! I don’t know any vegetarians. I wish Frank Lloyd Wright was a vegetarian.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wake me up when... the pumpkin milk is ready?

Well, today I woke up really late. I try not to sleep in past 9 but I got up at 10:14. I was just so comfortable. I slept with a heating pad last night because my room was freezing. It's in the back corner of the house and no heat ever gets to it. I also had a really weird dream, but I won't get into that haha They always involve some random person (guy) I haven't seen in a while. But anyway, I have to take care of my sister today. She's sick with what I had last week. I feel so bad for her- I was practically on my death bed haha I made her some soup and Oreo cream cheese cupcakes. She loved the cupcakes, but how could you resist Oreos and cream cheese? She downstairs watching Mrs. Doubtfire and I'm wondering why I'm not watching it with her. haha That's a great movie!!

As for the recipe today, I have two because they were both just really good. First off, there's the pumpkin seed milk I found on GoneRaw. I really liked it and it didn't taste overly pumpkin-like at all. It just tasted really clean and pure if that makes any sense. haha I don't really know how to describe milk. The other recipe is for red wine rice. I was watching 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray and figured I'd make it. I really like wine, even though I'm 19 and shouldn't drink it. My mom lets me have a glass once in a while if I'm in the mood. This was honestly the best rice I've ever had. The wine made is really buttery somehow. I just loved it. I ate it for breakfast the next day. Yummy.

Here's the recipes:
Pumpkin Seed Milk
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked
1 tbsp agave nectar
3 1/2 cup water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean

Directions: Soak the pumpkin seeds for at least 2 hours before making the milk. Blend the pumpkin seeds with 1/2 the water until very smooth. Add the agave, vanilla, and rest of the water and blend again. Strain and enjoy!

Red Wine Rice with Grapes
1 cup red wine or burgandy wine
1/2 cup brown rice
3/4 cup red and black grapes seedless grapes, halved

Directions: Heat wine over medium until it starts to boil. Add rice, cover, and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add grapes after 12 minutes, turn burned off, and let sit for 5 minutes. The grapes get soft and delicious. I served mine over a bed of fresh spinach.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'll take it RAW

Alrighty. So yesterday, I saw my best friend, Mitchel!!! He came home from college this week, and I've missed him like crazy. We watched Survivor, CSI, and Eleventh Hour because we are both TV addicts. Survivor is hands up our favorite one. He also brought my birthday presents and i about fainted when i looked in the bag. He got me a life-size poster of Hannah Montana. Many of you don't know that I have a weird obsession with Miley Cyrus, so I couldn't have been happier. The poster is taller than me haha The other stuff he gave me was food... of course. He baked me brownies and got me two character cookies. Character cookies are the most delicious treat in the world and they always make me smile. They are basically two giant chocolate chip cookies covered in icing. These ones are decorated with a spider and a witch.

As for today's recipe, it's a RAW one. I made some raw brownies, and I loved them. Now don't get me wrong, nothing compares to a real, moist, cooked brownie, but these were damn good. They tasted kind of like the Clif Nectar Bar Chocolate version. I like mine better though haha I just threw a bunch of nuts and dried fruit together until it got a doughy consistency. I also used carob because I really like the taste of it. As of now, there are none left. I ate the rest for dinner last night with some warm cherries and Tofutti cream cheese.

Here's the recipe:
Raw Brownies
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
9 pitted dates (this is all i had and they were wimpy dates)
2/3 cup dried cherries
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup carob powder
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp water

Directions: Process nuts and seeds in food processor until they are ground. Add dried cherries and blend together. Add vanilla extract and carob powder and process. Add water and blend until mixture is sticky. Add more water if your mixture needs more moisture. Pour the mixture into an 8 x 8 pan and press down. Chill for 2 hours in the fridge, or 1 hour in the freezer. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Gimme some MISO!

Well, I had to go to the hospital yesterday for a test. I've always been unlucky with my whole digestive system, so I needed to get a flexible sigmoid something or another. Don't even ask what it is because it's not pretty!!! haha My doctor found that I have proctitis in my colon and that causes bleeding. So I'm on some pretty interesting medicine to fix it. It's just hard to know what I can eat anymore. I have to be really careful about what I put in this body of mine.

Last night, I made some miso soup because Kati from The Veggie Voice said it's always good when your sick. I made some last week when I had the flu, and I loved it. So I decided it would be okay in my stomach. It was splendid! The heat of the soup made my stomach feel really good. I just had no idea how good this soup is. I've had a jar of miso in the fridge for months and have never put it to use!! I'm so happy I did because it's just a really amazing soup that I will be making all the time. I pretty much just threw in a bunch of vegetables from our garden. It's still goin really strong even though it's October. It's like the garden that never dies haha

Here's the recipe:
Perfect Miso Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
1/2 of large zucchini
3 little red peppers
1 small eggplant
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 generous tbsp brown rice miso
1 tbsp cashew butter

Directions: Heat olive oil over medium in a nice big soup pot. Add vegetables and cook for a 3-5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup vegetable stock and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the stock, cover pot, and simmer on LOW heat for 5-7 minutes. Stir in brown rice miso and cashew butter and cover. Cook for 3 more minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's A Sunshiney Day

Well, all weekend I had a leadership seminar so that's why I haven't been able to post. It's basically a class that develops your leadership skills and examines what is necessary to be a good leader. I was surprised at how much fun I had. Most of the people were strangers to me, but they were some of the nicest people I've ever met. We watched a lot of movies and one of my favorites was "Iron Jawed Angels." It's a really powerful movie, and it made me realize how much women had to suffer to be treated equally. I definitely recommend seeing it if you are into the Women's Rights Movement... even if you aren't, you'd like it. haha I am just so drained now!!! But school never ends, as most of you know, so I guess I'll just keep using cooking to keep me sane.

And of course, there is recipe! I've been obsessed with making raw food lately. I tried my hand at zucchini hummus and I loved it. I found it on My Raw Food Experiment. I always thought hummus had to be made with chickpeas, but I was wrong. It doesn't really taste too much like regular chickpea hummus, but sometimes, a little change is fine. It's just so fresh tasting because I used a zucchini from my garden. Our garden was practically peeing zucchini this year. We got well over 50 of them. It was nuts. The most annoying part of this recipe was draining the zucchini. There was so much water in mine, and it probably took at least 20 minutes to remove the moisture.

Here's the recipe:
Zucchini Hummus

2 zucchini, peeled and grated
4 tbsp tahini
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil

Rolled the zucchini in paper towels and press hard to remove excess moisture. Take all the ,except the zucchini, and toss them into the food processor (I used my food processor to grate the zucchini, so I had to take it out and drain it). Blend these together than add the zucchini and process until desired consistency.

I had my hummus on a baked potato with a single piece of broccoli. haha I loved it. It reminded me of guacamole.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sweet Deliciousness

Alrighty. I have practically no voice today. I tried to do pilates at the gym this morning (what was I thinking) and ended up leaving half way through the class because I was burnin up. This fever just won't go away. I thought sweating it out would help, but it just made it worse. I'm just one of those people who hates sitting. Even when I'm sick, I try to clean and work out, but it doesn't do me any good haha And studying, for that matter, is useless when I'm sick. I've noticed that I can't retain any information for tests... such as huge midterms. haha That was a mess yesterday. I did well on Religions of the World, but the Bio test and Lab Exam were just a blur. I had to take my shirt off in Bio (I had a tank top on) because I felt like it was 200 degrees in there. And after the tests, we had a lab of course. The class is from 12:15-4:10- just lovely. We had to extract DNA from split peas and I ended up dropping the DNA extraction. Thankfully, my lab partners are REALLY nice and understood that I wasn't mentally "there." haha

Anyway, last night, I ended up cooking up a storm. I just couldn't sit still anymore. I ended up making Halva. I had seen it on Gone Raw and I don't think my version is raw, but I don't care. I changed the recipe so much that I don't know if it's still considered Halva haha I hope it is. It tastes like nothing I've ever had before so it's hard to relate it to anything else. It has the consistency of a crumble (kind of) and tastes like sweet tahini. Does that make any sense at all? It's a popular dessert in India and I had it for breakfast this morning. I halved the recipe and that was a mistake because I'm gonna have to make more... it's all gone. haha It's really THAT addicting!!

Here's the recipe:
3 cups almond meal
1/2 cup roasted white sesame seeds
2 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp honey (you can use brown rice syrup, too)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 vanilla bean, scrape out the vanilla
1/2 cup dried fruit
3 cups of water

Directions: Place the sesame seeds in a blender with 3 cups of water. Blend for about 15-20 seconds. Using a very fine strainer or cheese cloth, separate the sesame seed pulp from the water. Put the sesame seed pulp in a food processor. Add the almond meal, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla bean seeds/remains (not sure what to call them). Pulse those ingredients together and then add the agave nectar and honey. Add the dried fruit and pulse for a few seconds. That's it.

Note: The Trader Joe's Blend of Dried Cherries, Dried Blueberries, and Dried Strawberries is to die for. It tastes so well with the Halva so you just have to go out and get it. I ended up enjoying my halva with some frozen cherries and frozen mangoes that I warmed up in the microwave. It created a sauce that was just amazing. I was just so content while eating it. Our house could've been on fire, but me and my halva would have been in complete harmony. haha

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hangin in there

It was another sleepless night. Well, not completely... I woke up at 3:27 so I got a few hours in. I just can't stand this cold/flu thing anymore. I went to the doctor's yesterday, but she wouldn't give me an antibiotic. She said it was viral and should last about a week. A week?!?!? I have 3 midterms today (just my luck, right?), and I can barely concentrate on sleeping haha If that's any indicator of how I'm going to do, it's not pretty. I mean, yesterday, I tried to wash my mouth out with contact lense solution instead of mouthwash. How you ask? I have absolutely no idea haha It's mostly been my head, nose, and eyes, but throughout tonight, my stomach has been killin me. I'm just waiting to throw up so that queezy feeling will be gone.

Anyway, I made this smoothie yesterday morning because I've been smoothie obsessed lately. A few fellow bloggers told me to freeze the banana before I put it in the blender, and my gosh, what a difference. It's like an ice cream smoothie now... only with no ice cream in it. haha This has been my favorite smoothie so far. It's a green smoothie, but doesn't taste like spinach at all. The fruit really masks that flavor to make one deliciously, healthy smoothie. It makes a very big smoothie, but I drank the whole thing since it was my breakfast... and I feel like I can eat whatever I want when I'm sick. For some reason, I'm just always hungry when I'm sick. This managed to keep me full for around 3 hours surprisingly.

Here's the recipe:
Sweet Green Smoothie

1 frozen banana
1 1/3 cup fresh spinach
1/3 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup tangerine juice
1/2 cup water (optional)
handful of blanched almonds of almond slivers

Throw everything in the blender and drink up!

Note: I added the water because my blender is terrible and doesn't break up the fruit. It'll just be thicker and more ice cream-like if you don't add it... which is never a bad thing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A little hummus to weather the cold

I woke up countless times during the night. I'm pretty sure I have a cold. damnit. At 5:23, I decided it was just time to stay up, so I've been drinking tons of tea and watching Super Sweet Sixteen. When my mom woke up and went in my room, she freaked out. I was downstairs in the kitchen, but I had made my bed already. I hear her goin' "Jo!! Joanna!!!" and she comes downstairs all scared sayin' "I thought you had been kidnapped because I couldn't find you!" Oh mother.

Anywho, I did manage to make some hummus last night for dinner. I'm obsessed with the Sabra hummus, so I tried to clone it. It turned out really, really good, and I've eaten it with sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, olives, and spinach. Uhh just heaven. I didn't have the actual container to use when I made this because I finished it all and forgot to save it. haha. So I honestly don't know what 's in it... I just tasted mine as I went along. And just a warning, it doesn't look like this hummus, but I don't care about looks haha. It makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Here's my recipe:

Sabra Hummus Clone

1/2 cup kidney beans
3/4 cup chickpeas
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 Tbsp Tahini
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
4 Tbsp vegetable stock

Directions: Place all ingredients in food processor and blend!! Add more vegetable stock if you want to thin it out a little. I like mine thick because that's how the Sabra hummus is.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ok... A Red Sweet Potato?

I went to Trader Joe's yesterday and it was a lot of fun. Getting there was the hard part. There were so many construction signs, blocked off roads, and detours. My mom and I were just so confused. We ended up driving on a bus way and then realizing "Oh. This is a bus way. That's why everyone on the sidewalk is telling us to move... and by telling, I mean yelling." When we finally found a way there, we were so thankful to just be off the road in a parking spot. My favorite part about Trader Joe's is the prices. Their stuff is so cheap and I got ridiculous amounts of nuts and dried fruit... and when I say ridiculous, I mean like 20 different bags haha I was just going "shop happy" because it was my first time in there... you know how that is. We ended up finishing off our shopping at Whole Foods because, let's face it, Whole Foods is god of all grocery stores.

I did go crazy in Whole Foods, though. And for one reason only... I saw a RED sweet potato. Are you kidding me? I thought I had finally understood the difference between yams and sweet potatoes and now they start selling red sweet potatoes.

Red Sweet Potato

The darker-skinned variety (which is most often called "yam" in error) has a thicker, dark orange to reddish skin with a vivid orange, sweet flesh and a moist texture.

Alrighty. I'll quit obsessing over the damn sweet potatoes. haha My recipe for today is for brownies. It's not vegan because I still like to bake things that aren't. I send baked goods to Iraq every month and I put these brownies in the package. My stepdad said they were AMAZING and they were honestly the biggest brownies I have ever seen. I think their hugeness is from the 8x8 pan instead of 9 inch. I was shocked and really wanted one, but I refrained. I also added some Oreos and frozen blondies I had, so they were beyond decadent. And hey, Oreos are vegan haha. I found the recipe on Cookie Madness because Anna is one of the queens of baking.

Here's the recipe:
Fudge Brownies with Golden Syrup

1 cup all purpose or white whole wheat flour (128 grams)
2 tablespoons European Style cocoa powder (30 ml)
1/8 teaspoon salt (pinch)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut up (114 grams) — best
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature (1 sticks) – 230 grams
1 cup granulated sugar (198 grams)
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, lightly packed (100 grams)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)
1/3 cup golden syrup or corn syrup (80 ml)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 inch square metal pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.Sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler or melt in a metal bowl set over (but not touching) a saucepan of barely simmering water.Beat butter and both sugars in a large mixing bowl using high speed of an electric mixer. Beat in vanilla and golden syrup. When creamy, beat in eggs, beating thoroughly after each egg.Beat in the melted chocolate, scraping sides of bowl.Add flour mixture and chocolate chips, stirring until flour is blended in (do not beat).

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake on center rack of oven for 35 minute or until brownies appear set. Cool on a rack for 1 hour or until brownies are cool enough to transfer to the refrigerator. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 1 or 2 hours.

Lift brownies from pan by grasping foil. Place on a cookie sheet and cut into squares.

Makes 16 small or 9 large

Since the brownie took the cat's place on her window sill, she sat on the box where the brownie was supposed to go. And I take back the word "sat." She is WAY TOO BIG to sit in a standard flat rate box. haha

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Yam or Sweet Potato?

Alrighty. So today my mom and I are going to Trader Joe's for the first time. I always see fellow bloggers going there, and I've been dying to experience it. It's far away so that's why we've never gone, but we figure the absurd amount of gas we'll be using is worth it.

As for the recipe, well... there isn't one. It's more like an experiment. For years and years and years, I've always said that sweet potatoes are my favorite food. Well, after going to Trax Farms, I saw two piles of sweet potatoes and yams. The ones I thought were sweet potatoes were actually labeled yams. I was distraught. I bought one of each and decided to have a taste test to see which one I preferred. I did a little research and the orange one is the yam... the yellow one is the sweet potato. I was surprised and upset because I hate the name yam, but i guess that's what I like better. It's so much sweeter than a sweet potato and a lot less starchy. The S.P. reminded me of a regular baked potato. So if you ever get confused about these two, here's some helpful information. And if you don't care which one you are eating, then ignore this. haha I pretty much had a photo shoot with them. My cat was pissed because I had to move her off the table, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.


A tropical American vine (Ipomoea batatas) having rose-violet or pale pink, funnel-shaped flowers, and cultivated for its fleshy tuberous orange root.

Sweet Potato

The pale sweet potato has a thin, light yellow skin and a pale yellow flesh. Its flavor is not sweet and after being cooked, the pale sweet potato is dry and crumbly, much like a white baking potato.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Joy of Cooking

I haven't posted in a few days because, truthfully, everything I've made in the past two days has tasted horrible! I don't like posting stuff that tastes bad because I plan on redoing the recipe and making it edible. I tried my hand at a parsnip puree because I saw it on Top Chef a few months ago. That didn't turn out amazing- I still ate some of it, but couldn't stomach looking at it anymore so I threw it away this morning. Then, yesterday afternoon I tried making muffins from have cake, will travel. Celine's recipes always turn out perfect in my kitchen, but I had some problems with this one. The ratio of dry ingredients to wet ingredients was really weird, and the mixture had hardly any moisture. I stirred and stirred and it was still like lumpy sand. I added a few other wet igredients, but the end result wasn't pretty. And I really mean that haha They looked like lumps of coal!!! I'm gonna try and adjust the recipe though because mocha muffins just sound amazing.

As for my good recipe today, it's a smoothie. I just drank it and I liked it. You honestly can't go wrong with a smoothie. At least my body can digest them easier.

Here's the recipe:
Yummy Smoothie
1 banana
1/2 cup quick oats
1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
2/3 cup tangerine juice

Blend! I stuck mine in the freezer for 10 minutes because I like eating it like frozen yogurt.

These other pictures are from the city last night. There was a Gallery Crawl where artists, chefs, musicians, jewel makers, and so on display their work and entertain. My favorite place was the culinary institute and I got some great pictures of the cakes!