Monday, July 27, 2009

who put the thermostat on hell?

Knees and the sky. Taken by me, messed w/by Katie Marggraf

Gosh, it's just ridiculous here. Right now i'm sitting in my apt with my bikini on and a wet bandana around my waist and around my neck. The current temp is 101 and the next 2 days are supposed to hit 104. I am damn glad i will not be here to witness that! Tomorrow i leave for a 2 week "vacation." I'll be flying in to Philly, staying with my friend for a couple days, go to Lancaster for my dad and his twin sister's 60th birthday party, heading to Harrisonburg, Virginia for my friend Amanda's wedding, then to D.C. for a couple days before flying back home. And, man, i just looked at Philly's temps and it looks like it'll be high in the 80s the next several days with thunderstorms possible. Normally, i would be like "rain stay away from my vacation plans" but since it's been so hot and because i don't get to witness very many thunderstorms in these here parts i'm totally fine with it. 

I haven't been making much food. This morning my friend Kenny came over and i made pesto tofu scramble. I loosely used the recipe in Vegan Brunch for the pesto i made. This is the first recipe i ever used that had balsamic vinegar in it. I think it gives it a nice flavor. I used some of the pesto in the scramble then froze the rest in an ice cube tray. (later i put the cubes in a ziplock bag and back in the freezer) Other scramble ingredients: zucchini from the garden, thinly sliced shallots, cremini mushrooms, russet potato (which sadly didn't cook all the way...) and a little jalapeno. I didn't use a recipe for the scramble itself. I thought it turned out pretty well and Kenny had two bowls so apparently he's either a good liar or his claims that it was really good were true.

But, yeah, i haven't been eating well. I just don't feel like cooking in this weather. I don't feel like doing anything except finding a/c or shade and just sit. It makes me wish i had a pool in my backyard. Or one of my friend's backyards. Which actually i suggested to Kenny, he totes has room!
I was wearing a sweater just last Thursday!! It used to be cool in the mornings and then get warm for a couple hours in the afternoon....sigh...those were the days...
Taken by Katie Marggraf

Also, my car was broken into last week. Some -i assume- guy broke my passenger-side back little window (as in, the one that doesn't go down), stole my stereo, took everything out of my glove compartment and seat pockets. My insurance covers that stuff, but i have to pay $100 deductible first. Not cool when i'm unemployed and about to not get unemployment for 2

I'm bringing my computer and will probably blog while i'm gone and hanging out in new and exciting coffee shops on the East side! Upcoming topics: POM Wonderful and VEGA protein powder....i love free samples......

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pie! Pie! Pie!

Me and sister, taken by Michelle Citrin

The other week me, my sister Kim, and our friend Michelle C. went berry picking on Sauvie Island, an island a few miles from Portland that has many farms and beaches (including a nudie section that I've never even accidentally come across). I am not that into berry picking, I must confess. After the first initial "Yum! These berries are so good!" when you first start picking, it gets old fast. My sister loves it only a little more than I do, but she can keep up her excitement with thoughts of baked goods, freezing, jamming and carrying on that goes on at her house when she has fresh fruit. My mom comes every summer and enjoys helping with the berry picking. However, she isn't coming this year and she's very sad to be missing out (I'm sure my sister is also sad to not have as many berries tucked away in the freezer). Michelle C. on the other hand LOVES picking. Like, really LOVES.  Kim and I are on constant roam, looking for the magnificent and Michelle C. is all calm and meditative, sitting by a bush and picking all the ripe ones in front of her. It's the way to go since she picked more than we did....

We did end up with plenty berries, including some raspberries, which weren't quite ready for picking.

I had bought blueberries for mini cupcakes (below) I had made for a July 4th gathering at my friend Corinn's house.

Vanilla w/Buttercream from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World"

I still had a lot left of those inferior-tasting blueberries and decided to make a pie with them and freeze mine from Sauvie Island for future awesomeness. I didn't have any pie plates, so I went to a store and bought frozen crusts. The brand was Marie Calendar, I believe. I used a recipe for the filling that I found online (it's the one that VeganLunchbox's Jennifer McCann uses) and then used Julie Hasson's crumb recipe since I didn't feel like making the yummy, pretty lattice kind. Crumble topping is just so dang easy!

Of course, I had to have a piece after only letting it cool for about 20 minutes, so the filling was quite runny. It screamed for ice cream and so I put the only kind I had on it: Trader Joe's Cherry Chocolate Chip. It would do better with plain Vanilla, but it still worked and it was tasty! I was worried the pie would stay runny, but my mom assured me that once it cools it would thicken and, you know, moms can be so right sometimes....

I was expecting to make only one pie, but it turns out that that 4 cups of blueberries makes 2 pies. When you're me anyways. Julie Hasson's Blueberry Pie (see crumb recipe link) calls for cooking the berries and I think perhaps that would make it so they would all fit in one pie crust, but my recipe wasn't precooked and they weren't all going to fit. I was happy to have another pie and I got to take one to my brother-in-law's birthday cook-out.

My favorite pie is still cherry, but I'm proud of my delicious blueberry pies...

By the way, I *finally* ended up at Proper Eats in St. John's area! Yum! We three girls split Tempeh Tacos, Tempeh Reuben and a half order of 3 dips w/raw crackers and veggies. Everything was fresh, delicious, and beautiful! Best reuben in town! So many explanation marks!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Let's Hear It For Pepper Rings!

I know what you're thinking and no, I haven't lost my mind. I have begun a love affair with pepper rings. The sweet kind that you find at sub shops. I accidentally bought the ones I have when I was replacing my roommates spicy peppers. So the jar has been sitting in the back of our fridge a few months. The other day I was making a sandwich and was looking for interesting things to put on it. All I had was lettuce and the "meat" and then I saw the jar and remembered (fondly) once eating them on a sub. I really enjoyed the tanginess it added to my sandwich and so I've been putting them on all my sandwiches. 

Today is free bagel day at Kettleman Bagels new location in downtown Portland (SW 4th/Taylor, ignore the NW location they have on their website. wtf?), so I met up with a friend there and stood in the long (but fast-moving, no toasting is going on) line with her. I tried to get Tofutti cream cheese but the high school girl had no clue what I was talking about. She thought I was trying to say Tofruity or something and when I asked another girl that was taking orders, she also was like nah. Which saddened me since they always have Tofutti at that establishment and because I heard already from Jess that she had gotten some with her bagel this morning. I wasn't eating it right away anyways and had some Tofutti at home, so I just got a garlic bagel. Just that order confused the high school girl and she had to rewrite the order 3 times. I took my bagel home, toasted it, schmeared it with plain Tofutti, added thin cucumber and red onion slices, a little salt and pepper, and some pepper rings on top. Yum! 

I love sandwiches...

Friday, July 10, 2009

So not natural....but so vegan...

I am a huge fan of sandwiches and fake meats. Oh, and fake cheese when it adds to the experience (some fake cheeses are just added empty calories and processed food intake). I have blogged previously about my love of the bar Tube's vegan ham & cheese english muffin sandwiches and when I was scavenging about in my kitchen for some easy food I came across Tofutti American slices, Tofurkey Smoked Turkey, Vegenaise and my English muffins. I knew that would be tasty, no matter how unnatural the ingredients are. I love to prove that being a vegan doesn't necessarily mean you eat healthy...

I decided to make a melt and since I don't have a panini press, I heated up the slices in a pan on the stove while the English muffins toasted away. I flipped the slices, added a cheese slice and then covered it and turned the heat off. I slathered one side of a muffin with the Vegenaise and added the now melted cheese topped turkey. Deliciousness! Warm, gooey, meaty goodness! I ate one every day for 4 days. I just couldn't help myself...One day I did make some kale as a side so that I felt a little more nutritionally balanced. Another day I had a green smoothie, so I'm still healthy, right?