Monday, April 30, 2012

Eating the Web: 80's cereal commercials

I have an awesomly awesome link to share with you. Sarah Heyward posted this youtube playlist of retro 80's cereal commercials over at HelloGiggles. Check it out! I love the Steve Urkele cereal and the Star Wars one best. They are awesomely awesome!  

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's amazing how accurate one's memories are. I remember baking these whoopie pies. I remember who I baked them for. Where we ate them. What happened that day. I remember them being delicious!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wed: Sushi

Sushi is presented so delicately. So precisely.
This is the aftermath of devouring homemade sushi. Messy and delicious.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cooking from VeganMoFo: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

My mother used to make these when I was a kid. I remember those pumpkin chocolate chip cookies very vividly. It's odd - the things you remember.

I made two versions of these cookies. The first was my MoFo inspiration but I ended up under baking them. That recipe also happened to not be true to my childhood memories. They were not orange enough or pumpkin-y enough. I think that was due to the inclusion of brown sugar.

The second version was amazing! I used the recipe from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur by Kelly Peloza. A book I have been coveting for a while now. I finally picked it up for 5 bucks! These were the "Autumn Clouds Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies". They were amazingly orange and pumpkin-y.

I know pumpkin cookies are slightly out of season but a good trip down memory lane is appreciated no matter the seasonal inappropriateness of the food!

What seasonal inappropriate foods are you consuming?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Trying: Fresh Young Chickpeas

Is it a bean? Is it a pea? Is it the future? Or is it the past?

I snatched these fresh chickpeas up as quickly as a 'Sex in the City' co-star would have snapped up some ridiculously expensive pair of uncomfortable shoes!

I spotted this bag of fresh chickpeas in my local Middle Eastern grocery store. They were pretty expensive at almost six dollars for the equivalent of 2 cups of shelled beans but I simply had to give them a try. They have a very unique but mild taste. They are a blend of fresh peas and the usual bean-i-ness that accompanies chickpeas. I ate most of them fresh from the pod as one is wont to do with fresh peas.

Fresh chickpeas have been appearing in the blogosphere with more frequency in recent years. The emergence of fresh chickpeas is framed as a unique, exclusive, speciality product. I imagine that during a different era, an era where all the chickpeas consumed by a family were produced by that family, fresh chickpeas were a spring/summer speciality that was widely used and consumed.

But the wonders of industrial agriculture has removed that diversity and given us a simple abundance of dried chickpeas. As a bonus? We have lost the knowledge and recipes that accompanied the summer abundance of fresh chickpeas.

But aren't we lucky to have imported strawberries year round?

I'd rather consume our diverse local product.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Apple Pie does double duty...

I celebrated Pi day (March 14th) a little late this year as I was on my way to Halifax and didn't want to have to eat a whole pie in 1/2 a day by myself!

This is the Cosmo Apple Pie from Vegan Pie in the Sky with an olive oil crust. I have been a fan of Isa and Terry's for years, but I really think that their standards are in decline. I have no recipe fails from Veganomicon or Vegan with a Vengeance, but had tons of fails from Vegan Brunch. Vegan Pie in the Sky is on the edge - there are some good ideas (balsamic vinegar in a fruit pie, and olive oil crust) but the recipes simply do not seem as well tested. I feel like Isa makes a recipe once and puts it in the book. That is not gonna work out well in the long run!

This was my first ever apple pie and it was okay but a little under baked. I would make the pie dough again, as I really like the conception of the olive oil crust. You take some oil and put it in the freezer for about an hour and use that as the fat in the crust. It works well.

This pie had to serve double duty as it was used to celebrate my 4th wedding anniversary. The traditional wedding gift for the 4th year of marriage is fruits and nuts, so I made a fruit pie! Next year is WOOD!

What did you do for Pie day this year?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Cooking from VeganMoFo: Steamed Bread

I've been on a MoFo kick as of late. There was simply so many awesome, inspirational mofo posts this year.

I have been curious about steamed buns for a while. I was hesitant to make them as I've never had them before and thought I would mess it up but my inspiration made it seem so easy and fun that I just simply had to give it a shot! Now that I've done it, I know that these buns are so easy and fast that they can replace the quick flat breads or biscuits that I usually make to accompany supper.

I followed the recipe and instructions for the bread exactly, but my filling was seitan-and-a-bunch-of-random-spices. The bread was good, but I have to roll the dough thinner and work on closing the buns. These buns were awesome while they were still warm but were also good as an in-between meal snack.

I am so glad that MoFo inspired me to make this dish! It will definitely be made again!

Don't be scared of steamed bread!
What have you made lately that scared you?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Food Travel

Travel. I love to travel. I love to eat and explore the unique food experiences of the location that I am visiting. I find that being a visitor forces one to try new things and to explore a location. I will be travelling to Australia this summer and am looking forward to the experience. In looking forward, I look to past travel experiences.  

(Ireland: Vendor)

(Ireland: Market)
(Vegas: Noodle Shop)
(Vegas: Growing Wild)
(Ottawa: Melon Fest)
(Toronto: Maple Fest)
What are your favorite food travel memories?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dollar Store Foodie: Apple Cider Dessert

One of my goals for next year is to improve my recipe development skills which is why I wandered around the dollar store for half an hour trying to think of a good idea. I picked up noodles, put them down. Picked up pudding, put it down. Picked up nuts, but it down. Finally, I had the idea to make a carmel apple version of nanomio bars. I found it difficult to determine what texture and ingredients should make up the middle and bulk of the bar.

My ingredients were:
1. shortbread cookies
2. powdered apple cider mix
3. apple juice
4. milk chocolate disks
5. soft carmel

First I ground up the cookies, adding some sugar and butter. This mixture was pressed into a spring form pan.
I boiled 2 cups of apple juice and 2 packs of the apple cider mix. I added 2 tablespoons of agar-agar to set it. I used way too much agar-agar. Pour into the spring form pan and let set.
Melt chocolate and drizzle over cake. Melt soft carmel and drizzle over cake.

I think the concept of carmel apple nanomio bars is a solid one but the middle layer simply wasn't that good. I did enjoy the process though. I would recommend it for anyone in a recipe development rut!

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