Wednesday, December 31, 2008

check out the buzz

i followed CCV's suggestion and joined foodbuzz. it's a great networking site for all things foodie related. it's still very new to me, so i feel frustrated navigating my way around the site and getting the appropriate foodbuzz stuff to paste in the right places of my blog, but i'm sure i'll catch on and it will all be good in a week or so.
i'm having fun with my new cookbooks and have made a couple things: gazebo cheesecake from the ultimate uncheese cookbook and broccoli chickpea casserole from VWAV-(i've had that cook book for a while now.) pictures to be posted later.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

thanks a latke!

i can't believe it, i made out like a bandit this chanukkah. over the past year, my behavior warranted getting new underwear at best--but after eating my lazy assed latkes, good ol' chanukkah charry blessed me with some fine assed vegan fare:

this was from the first night: the ultimate uncheese cookbook, and ween's live at the cat's cradle album/dvd. the cd/dvd set had performances from way back in '91-92 before ween even had a band. back in the good ol' days where they were raw--just the boys, their geetars, and a drum machine. i doubt deaner and gener are vegans, but to gene's credit, he is wearing a chef's hat and goggles on the album cover which is just fine with me.

i also scored veganomicon, vegan-a-go-go, AND the vidalia chop wizard suggested as a must have by vegannifer. in fact, the chopper was the gift on the first night of chanukkah. i ran some onions and baked potatoes through the wizard and made those lazy assed latkes shown above. they were hardly effort in slackerdom. truth be told they were actually labor intensive and not as great as i had hoped, which in the eyes of a jew like me is just right. i call them lazy because i bake the potatoes first. here's the recipe:

jewbacca's lazy assed latkes

5-6 baked taters (smallish)
1 medium yellow onion
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1T garlic granules
2T flour
1/4 c of "milk"
2/3 c. of silken tofu
some oil for a fryin'

take a cheez grater and grate the taters n' onions, set aside. in a blender blend the salt, pepper, garlic, flour, milk, and silken tofu to a smooth consistency. mix everything together, but don't mix it too much--you want the mixture to have the stringy potato/onions intact. make patties, and fry the shit outta them in a little bit of oil. for the love of g-d USE A NON-STICK SKILLET, or you will wind up pissed and sad. top the latkes with sour cream, apple sauce, or whatever floats your boat. if your latkes fall apart, fear not. you have hash browns and can smother them in gravy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

my mug or yours?

i love weird coffee mugs. i scored both of these during separate visits to goodwill. i believe the teddy bear is an antique. they both cost me 99 cents a piece. they're absolutely perfect for my out of this world hot cocoa complete with vegan whipped topping and sprinkles.


Monday, December 22, 2008

aluminum chef

sorry for the crappy photo shop job!

if you're a fan of star wars you know that there's no such thing as an aluminum falcon. you become outraged that a non-star wars person would be an ass and get the name of the beloved millennium falcon incorrect, because everyone knows the name of that space ship. any hard-core foodie (omni or vegan) has seen an episode of the iron chef, right? well you know that there's no such thing as an aluminum chef....or is there?
once a month i work at my old job at juvenile detention. i used to teach social skills, but now i just sling hash in the cafeteria. they pay me 1/2 of the hourly rate i used to earn, i have no bennies, and the food i have to prepare for those kids is terrible: canned/frozen/processed gross-ass jail food. so why work there? well, i get to see the kids and i do i miss them. selfishly and more importantly, i get access to a huge industrial sized kitchen all by myself and have a ton of time between meals to do nothing but cook for my family. i bring in my own groceries and become the aluminum chef! i say aluminum because i'll never be as spectacular as the iron chef. aluminum recycles, and i like to use several ingredients and recycle them into multiple dishes:
butternut squash lasagna rolls: i had some leftover lasagna noodles and roasted squash. i cooked the noodles. carefully rolled these adorable babies up, and served them with alfreda sauce from VWAV.
rockin' tha lasagna: i make my own sauce without a recipe. layer the noodles with sauce, roasted butternut squash, smart ground soysage, and follow your heart mozzarella. i know squash lasagna sounds kinda iffy, but it was SO GOOD!

my specialty "ass of fire" salsa. my husband loves this raw salsa so much, he won't buy commercial anymore. during the summer we were able to get the ingredients free or on the super cheap. now that it's winter, he insists on buying fresh ingredients and having me make it all from scratch.
ass of fire salsa topping my ass of fire burrito with soy sour cream, rice, and cheez sauce from Veganomicon.
pictures taken with my new camera. i'm still trying to figure it all out, so sorry the pictures aren't that great.

Friday, December 19, 2008

mommas new shoes!

yo-yo-yo, check it. saucony jazz vegan-oatmeal and black hemp shoes. i bought these babies on line from i realize zappos ain't a vegan store, but they DO supply a nice array of vegan shoes with FREE shipping. for me, price was an isSHOE (get it, issue?) and i felt i paid a fair price for these ($48.95, the most i've ever spent on a pair of shoes). i ordered them on a monday and they were on my porch wednesday. they're super comfortable and go with just about everything i own.

chanukkah harry came early this year and got me a nikon camera on sale at target. once i feel comfortable enough using it, i'll start posting new food porn pics. i'm working at detention this sunday, and i use my down time at that job to utilize the enormous industrial sized kitchen to make meals to take home and freeze. i'm feeling real experimental and will probably make some sort of vegan latkes, persimmon pudding, and butternut squash lasagna. yep, you heard me right. squash lasagna.

btw, thanks for all the love and support. i'm doing much better and at more of a place of acceptance about clairisse's passing. i'm grateful for all my friends, family, my bloggin' buddies, and the PPK. i can't imagine going through this alone, and y'all have helped out so much.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

on the mend

hey vegan bloggin' buddies:

thanks for the tons o' love. i'm still hurting pretty bad. i bounce back and forth from feeling okay to being a complete faucet face. normally, i would distract myself with taking pictures of awesome food i've made but a) my camera died and b) i haven't felt like cooking.

i had google ad sense on my blog for a week or so, and took it off because all it showed were stupid assed diet ads. i thought the ad sense would advertise cool vegan things since this is a vegan blog, but i guess i was wrong. i apologize that you had to even look at them. i drew the line when the ad sense said something about "oprah's secret weight loss plan." gross. not only do i hate diets, but i hate oprah. i know hate isn't a very vegan sentiment, but good lord--have you ever met anyone so self absorbed?

perhaps i'll get a new camera and be back in the swing of things. again, thanks for all the good vibes. i realize clairisse's death will take a while to get over, and that there will always be a part of me that will be sad about it.



Tuesday, December 9, 2008


last night i had to do one of the hardest things i've ever had to do. i had to let go of one of my closest friends for the past 15 years, ms. clairisse von twittletoes.

my eyes burn from crying. i can't fucking sleep. i've been up since 5:15am and i feel guilty for the 3.25 hours of sleep i've managed to get. there are too many words to describe how i'm feeling at this moment. the vet was super cool. he explained everything to me as he was euthanizing her, and i was able to hold her and love her as she fell asleep.

this cat was a present given to me in 1993 when i made a decision to stop drinking. she has been with me through every move, job change, hook-up, break-up, illness, hiring, firing--everything. she was an incredibly outgoing cat that would march right up to a complete stranger, jump on their lap, and insist that she smell their mouth to say hello. if the person didn't comply, she would gently head butt the individual until they submitted to her will. she knew when a human being was suffering and would crawl right into the lap of the injured or depressed and stay there until the crying stopped. she played with toys like she was a kitten. she was known to engage in 'stunt eating' when she wasn't pleased with the contents of her food bowl. she was amazing.

and she will be missed in perpetuity.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

TGIAF (thank g-d it ain't friday's)

TGIJ- (thank g-d it's jewbaccas!) you should really click on this photo to appreciate the awesomeness...
artichoke dip with deli olives, kalamata olive bread, and yellow bell peppers
i've only been to a TGIF once (in pregan days, of course) and it was gross. the only sit down chain place i've ever really liked was applebee's but since going vegan i find their fare just as revolting. anyway, the TGIF in bloomington endured a scandal a couple years back: one of the prep cook's fingertips was cut off and ended up in someones salad, no shit. there isn't a link to the story because it conveniently disappeared. gross, eh? so my husband and i have called them TGI Fingers. and yes, i laughed like a teenager as i typed that.

this recipe is for the awesome hot artichoke dip from yer pregan days made into a kick assed vegan version. i promise you there are no fingers in this, but you might be tempted to lick your own:

jewbacca's okeydokeyartichokey dip:
  • 3/4 c. follow yer heart monterey jack style cheez, grated
  • 1/2 c. veganaise
  • 2 cloves of garlic (use a garlic press)
  • 2 to 3 small zucchinis (shredded with a cheez grater) OR use 1 pkg of frozen thawed chopped spinach. make sure all the water is drained.
  • 1 heaping T of crushed red pepper
  • 1 t bragg's
  • 1 small jar of artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 c vegan parmesan

  • preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9x9 casserole dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.
  • run your food processor on pulse with the artichoke hearts-(juice and all), veganaise, red pepper.
  • mix the artichoke blend with the shredded cheeze, zucchini, and bragg's
  • bake for 35 minutes. this should get nice and bubbly.
  • top with vegan parmesan and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

pairs well with raw veggies and specialty breads.

Friday, December 5, 2008

rubbing me the raw way

jicima and carrot salad with fresh cut mangoes
i was starving 20 minutes after i ate this.

silly fear of mine, i'm afraid of cooking raw food. yeah, you heard me right RAW FOOD. redonkulous, eh? raw food is so awesome and the name implies no cooking. what could be more fun? a poke in the eye with a sharp stick! (making voice of triumph the insult comic dog) i kid, i kid--i make joke for you!
i'm reading raw food, real world: 100 recipes to get the glow. i've been inspired by some of my vegan blogging buddies to try more raw foods. the book is pretty awesome, but makes me furious with jealousy because i'm super effin' broke and can't afford to buy some of the food, equipment, and other things a nice vegan/raw kitchen has. i found myself with a case of the i wannas...i wanna food dehydrator, i wanna vitamix, i wanna mandolin, i wanna have access to unlimited young coconuts, i wanna pantry full of awesome ingredients.
so, make do with what ya got. i scored some jicima at the food pantry. sliced it up, paired it with some shredded carrots, and tossed it in some lime juice and grapefruit juice. voila, very basic raw salad. i'm eating it for lunch and i really regret not getting bolder with some spices at home. i think a dash of cumin, cinnamon, and chili powder would have made it better.
i'm a sucker for lara bars too. after reading jo's recent blog entry, i think i might give the food-in-bar form a DIY try, of course. i'm just wondering if it'll be cost effective. $30 of ingredients will make how many bars? i was an art major, not a math major. if it doesn't work out, i'm ace at food in cookie and muffin form. i realize that isn't raw though. so i'll eat the batter or dough. guffaw.
another raw thing: eating that way in the summer months makes perfect sense-(smoothies, salads, and juice oh my!), but how do you enjoy raw eatin' in the winter? cold soup? no thanks. i am committed to being open minded about it though because as a vegan you have to have an open mind if you're going to survive.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

we've got a thing that's called tater love...

i kid you not, this photo wasn't photo shopped. i was scrubbing some taters and noticed an unusual pattern in the skin. i thought it was rotten so i peeled it away. lo and behold i was presented with a lovely heart. is my heart in better shape because of my vegetable consumption? i'd like to think so, but i think the message was this: veggie love is earthly love. ever heard of tikkun olam? it's a mitzvah about healing the world, and us jews are commanded to leave this place better than we found it. for me, being a vegan is a huge part of tikkun olam.

my regular camera died-(RIP), so i've been relying on older food porn photos or using my cheap assed cell phone camera. the picture doesn't do this dish any justice, and i'm mad you can't see the gorgeous, bright, and appetite inducing colors. this was a really good dish of mustard greens mixed with corn, tomatoes, and curry spices. i paired it with some simple broiled tofu. it was tasty, but i don't have a recipe. most things i make are on the fly and i should really start writing down what i put in them so i can replicate the flavors and pass on dish ideas to those who like to use recipes.

Monday, December 1, 2008

meek vegans suffer

Pictured above: tofurkey, cranberry sauce, roasted brussells sprouts, green beans, a microwaved red bliss potato, sweet potatoes, and my "miso happy" gravy mixed with the tofurkey mushroom gravy. in the background are fresh bananas and pears that my 14 month old son was not going to eat, so I happily ate them.

In the book "Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World" the authors discuss about how meek vegans suffer, and that a vegan cannot assume that the omni-world will take care of their dietary needs. Making sure your vegan ass is covered during the holidays is super important. I struggled a bit at my in-law's home during the holidays, but I stood my ground. Just look at that plate. Doesn't it look awesome? No animals were harmed while I engaged in some serious un-turkey day nomming.

The struggle was this: we were headed to CO for Thanksgiving. My in-law asked me for a shopping list, and I happily submitted it to her. I was very specific on brand names and where to find these items. I was surprised and super grateful that she was willing to do this for me, because I was honestly willing to do the shopping myself. She purchased some vegan items for me, but it wasn't what I had asked for at all. Again I was super grateful, but how can you can you make a vegan persimmon pudding without earth balance?

I went to the local food co-op and bought said EB and some tofutti cream cheese, no problem. Then came Thanksgiving Day. I was able to get some grean beans to cook with my tofurkey, but when I asked about the presence of milk and butter in the mashed potatoes, she (this is my interpretation) balked and said, "of course." She added, "I was a vegetarian for 20 years and I avoided obvious meat but wasn't so picky about other things." and I stood there quiet for a moment and asked for my own red potato to microwave. I didn't think it was a big deal, but I felt I was treated like it was an inconvenience. I asked about butter in the brussels sprouts and the sweet potatoes. Both were okay, but I could hear the tension in her voice as I asked about the ingredients. "I guess you won't be having rolls either because I made them with powdered milk." Another relative came and brought organic egg nog. "Oh, you won't be having this? Some of my friends take eating vacations just for the holidays." I felt a frothy mixture of anger and sadness because I could have done all the shopping and cooking for myself by myself and not have been such a burden. No, I don't want to take a 'vacation' from my veganism. Lesson learned: even when offered assistance, I will still make my food ahead of time and have it Fed-Exed to the family vacation destination. Or better yet, relax and stay at home with other vegans and let my husband and child hang out with family.

To my vegan blogging buddies I know you can relate, but I want to say something to other omnivores who are trying to be helpful and supportive to other vegans: We sincerely appreciate your effort to help us but WE DON'T WANT BUTTER, MILK, CHEESE, HONEY, OR EGGS IN OUR SIDE DISHES. THEY AREN'T VEGAN IF THEY ARE SERVED THAT WAY. I know it it just seems like vegans are being pains in the ass about this, but we've chosen to be vegan for a reason. While I really enjoy the taste of meat, eggs, cheese, honey, and butter--I can no longer eat these items in good conscience knowing what I know about the factory farming industry. Even "organic" farms abuse their animals. I know that doesn't make sense but that's farming for you. "Happy" organic dairy farms artificially inseminate cows to get them to lactate for human consumption. Once a baby cow is born the cow is often taken from the mother, given formula, and the cow's milk is kept for human use. If the baby cow is a girl, she's pimped off to become a milk maker. If the baby cow is a boy, he goes off to Bovine University as a veal calf or beef cattle. When a momma cow is too old to make milk she is killed, and it doesn't matter if she's raised at a nice organic farm or living in a modern Auschwitz factory farm, it's still murder. The poultry and egg industry is worse. Yes, even "nice" organic hatcheries. This is why I don't want to consume these products. I believe that animals were not meant for us to use and abuse. If you are an omnivore that wants to be supportive of a vegan you must respect this, even if it seems like we're being a pain in the ass. After all, some of us try to be respectful of your odd eating habits.