Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Food Waste: Check in

I have been challenged to try new recipes as a consequence of my goal to reduce food waste.

After making mashed plantains last month, I had a solitary plantain languishing on my counter for days. It was slowly turning black and I wanted to use it up so I googled and made sweet plantains. They were sweet and yummy and would be divine over icecream.

I tried an interesting coffee recipe after reading about guilllermo on this site. It was definitely an interesting way to use a lime!

I ruined a batch of bread this weekend. This has happened to me before, and in the past I have thrown out the dough wasting cups of flour! But no more! I am eating delicious pizza, the crust made from the bread failure, as I type this.

Vegetables that have been languishing in the fridge (yes, celery I am talking to YOU!) get thrown in the freezer for stock before they go bad.

I also got to enjoy some delicious lemon icecream made with left over meyer lemons!

Overall, my resolutions are going well! I have yet to throw any food away and find I am enjoying the challenge and the creative use of some of the food items.

Monday, January 30, 2012

From Scratching: Vegan Butter

I few months ago I heard about vegan butter churners via twitter. I was intrigued and a quick google search later I was in possession of a vegan butter treaty. I do worry about the inclusion of refined coconut oil in this recipe but I follow the author's advice of moderation.

The big benefit of this recipe is that it eradicates reliance on a big business ie Earth Balance. I believe that all big business have the potential for abuse (of land, of people, of resources) and Earth Balance's use of palm oil is prime evidence of this. This recipe takes 15 minutes of active time and an hour of freezer time as well as having a long storage time frame making it easy to have homemade vegan butter in a hurry.

I made the Regular Vegan Butter and my only problem was that my soy lecitin granuales were old and had changed color and were sticking together. This made it hard to incorporate the granulates into the mixture. I think I will see if I can find some liquid lecithin for future butter making adventures.

I have had pancakes for supper twice in the last week just so that I can have some of this butter. It melts on pancakes beautifully. I think it tastes very similar to butter but I haven't had real butter in almost 5 years and was never a huge butter eater!

I recommend you give this recipe a try and I will definitely be making more vegan butter in the future. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Drinking: Blood Orange Juice

I buy certain things from thrift stores, envisioning all the wonderful times that will be shared with friends and family using them then I take them home, and put them in a cupboard. Never to be seen again.

I opened a rarely used cupboard a few days ago and (re) found this awesome juicer. I believe that it will come into regular rotation, as the strainer atop the pitcher catches all of the seeds (and most of the pulp).

With all the lovely winter citrus in stores at the moment I thought it appropriate to break in my juicer with some blood oranges. Blood orange juice is interesting. I think it is a combination of orange, grapefruit, and raspberry juice. And all in one nifty package!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Guest at More than Apples

Are you bored of my food posts? Want to read something different? Want to hear me rant about body image?

I guest posted at More than Apples about extraneous adjectives.  First read the article that I am referring to here.

What do you think? :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Hey guys,

Lets get a little personal here... I will be finishing up my MA in the spring and plan on taking the next 16 months off (before my PhD). I want to experience some living (and get out of the books!) I plan on trying new things, cooking new things, and having some fun.

One thing that is already set up is a 2 month, 1500km, bike ride around Ontario. I will be participating in the Otesha project 'Water Works' bike tour. I have to fund raise just shy of $3000 dollars.

If you want to donate, you will have my thanks!
If you have a blog, and would like me to guest post about my biking experience, food, recipes, or whatever I'd be glad to do it.
If you have a blog, and would like a link and spotlight on my blog, I'd be glad to do it.

Thanks so much! Here is the link to the fundraising site:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cooking from VeganMoFo: Mashed Plantain

As you may remember I made a New Year pledge to make some of the awesome recipes from MoFo. I started out with a simple, fast recipe. I made some mashed plantains. It's really simple. Get a green plantain. Boil it for a while. Mash it. The end!

I think I slightly undercooked my plantain. Boil it until it is very easily mashed. I would make these again as they are tasty. For some reason I think they are easier than mashed potatoes, but really they are the same amount of work. Boil. Mash. Eat. I would recommend some type of seasoning - I think lime and chili would be good.   

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Eating the Web: Milk, Cake, and Broken Fingers.

I was telling my husband about the rich guy that broke that waiter's finger and started by saying, "In the news today..." then I realized that just because it's on my food news radar, that doesn't mean that it was in the ACTUAL news!

In the news...

1. I particularly enjoyed the new Got Milk campaign. I know, I know - I shouldn't think it's funny. I should be insulted that Big Dairy is making fun of my choices, but damn - that's a funny commercial!
2. If you are looking for something to read, I recommend the new Chickpea mag!
3. Would you bake one cake a day for a year? And not even get to eat one!?
4. America is now officially over the cupcake trend. So over it that they are scared of cupcakes.
5. This article on booze is one of the best things I have read from the Star Phoenix.

Have you heard of an awesome 'news' story? Want to let me know? Leave a comment or DM at @Sarah999

Friday, January 13, 2012

Drinking: Spiced Caipirinha

The majority of my Christmas holiday was spent drinking. We went through close to three bottles of whisky mostly because we managed to found a brand of affordable, smooth made-in-Canada whisky called 'Collingwood'. It is smooth enough to drink neat but is also flavorful and interesting (not to mention cheap enough) to mix.

However, after one and half bottles my palate grew a little tired of whiskey so I moved on to this mixed cocktail from "Spice and Ice" by Kara Newman. I have had this book for a while and have enjoyed other cocktails from it including Spiced Iced Tea and Spicy Cucumber Margarita. I was craving a wintry, Christmas drink but did not want a literal warm drink. This cocktail, made with a cinnamon and nutmeg simple syrup, satisfied that craving perfectly.

Rough instructions: Muddle some citrus (orange and lime) with some simple syrup. Add some rum. Add some lime juice. Add some orange liqueur. Shake with ice. Strain.  


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: TofuXpress

Throughout my several years of being vegetarian and vegan, I have strictly disregarded recipe instructions that state 'press tofu'. I disregarded this information because
a) what could pressing tofu possibly do
b) I couldn't be bothered setting up a contraption with cans, plates and cookbooks as weights
c) I could never plan that far ahead

My perception of tofu has changed since I received a Tofuxpress. I realise that this is a very dramatic statement but pressed tofu is an entirely different product then non-pressed tofu. Pressed tofu is creamier. My tofu consumption has definitely increased since I received this product.

The press is easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to take apart and put together. The bottom can be used as a storage and/or marinating container and I appreciate that the lid for this container is stored on the bottom of the press because it negates rummaging through the container drawer for 20 minutes trying to find the right lid.

That said, the only real down-side of this product is the price tag. Although, if I begin to use it to press water out of other items (like spinach) and/or I get the light tension spring (which is very reasonably priced) the  price of the Tofuxpress could be rationalized.

The Small Print: This product was received for free in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed are mine and were not solicited.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Call for Submissions

Birthday Cake:Food Related Birthday Memories

As a consequence of recently celebrating my birthday, I have been reflecting on birthday celebrations of the past and find that the glamor, importance and taste of birthday cakes grow in one’s memory. Therefore I welcome written, artistic, and interpretive work with regard to Birthday Cakes and/or other food experiences relating to the birthday celebration. Recipes should be vegan.

Possible submission topics include:

 Recreation of a specific birthday cake

 Ideal Birthday Cake

 Personal memoirs that related to the birthday celebration

 Birthday cake disasters/Worst Birthday cake

 Baking your own cake/Baking your significant other’s cake

Benefits of Submission: Upon acceptance of your work into the pamphlet, you will receive:

            Inclusion of your web presence, along with a 20-30 word bio, in the pamphlet

            One physical copy of the completed zine

Submission Deadline: 20 Feb 2012

Contact me at wingedsnail99 (at) hotmail (dot) ca

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Eating the Web: Children, Liver, and Graphic Novels.

The Internet is always buzzing with food related news, links and articles. I thought I'd compile some of my recent favorite reads.

1. A chowhound thread filled with tips for dining out with babies and toddlers, while further solidifying my desire to never have children has also solidified my belief that noisy, annoying children are the product of bad parenting. Good table manner at home equates to a good dining experience for all.

2. The "This American Life" podcast recently aired their Poultry Slam 2011. My husband brought the third act "Latin Liver" to my attention. A Spanish poultry farmer has discovered a way to make ethical foie gras. This is a very interesting listen. For me, it brought up issues relating to food studies in general as the assumptions held concerning fois gras have been largely untested. There is obviously value in studying food academically, from various disciplines.

3. What makes a family recipe special? Maybe it isn't the origin of the recipe.

4. The award for the best fruitcake story of the season? A 70-year-old fruit cake!

5. I am hesitantly looking forward to Anthony Bourdain's graphic novel "Get Jiro". I am not an avid graphic novel reader but I think that a food themed graphic novel may be interesting - also, Bourdain is an asshole, which is always fun.

How have you been Eating the Web?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I remember visiting the neighbours over the Christmas holidays when I was a child and watching these wonderful creations being deep-fried (and consumed by the dozens) before my eyes. It was dangerous and beautiful. For years thereafter I have been on a search to recreate that experience. First I had to discover the name of these creations - Rosettes or Timbale Irons - and then I had to track down an iron for myself. 

I could have simply purchased an iron, but I like to use vintage kitchen equipment when available (and when it won't kill me. e.g. I won't be plugging in my 1940's waffle maker!) so I have been on the hunt for a vintage Rosette iron for about five years. Thankfully, I ended up in a thrift store and snagged an iron, with three designs for $5.

After practically jumping up and down, and after correcting the store clerk (No, those aren't cookie cutters...) I began to worry that this quest would end in disappointment. After all, the taste and experience of those first Rosettes were unlikely to have survived, unaltered, in my memory. However, these Rosettes seem to taste better in the present than they do in my memory.  

I managed to recreate a childhood Christmas memory with the help of $5 and a pot of hot oil. Christmas miracles are everywhere.

No recipe for these light, puffy, deep-fried treats as they are decidedly un-vegan. Veganizing them will be the first order of business for next year's holiday season! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

News for January

The beginning of a new year is a time for new resolutions and new goals - followed quickly by failed resolutions and bitter resentment. Who am I to refuse to participate in this time tested tradition?

My goals for the year 2012:
1. Make the 12 Vegan MoFo recipes included in my roundup.
2. Document (with the goal of reducing) food waste.
3. Trial run of making and following a monthly meal plan.