Monday, July 11, 2011

Um, we are experiencing technical difficulties...

hey patient readers!
i've been experiencing some technical difficulties that have been preventing me from blogging. i'm working on it, i'm so sorry! i thought i'd post about what i've been doing this summer and am forced to use some old photos because i cannot find my $@*&!ng USB drive to download pics of food that i've made.

the video tutorial on stuffed pancakes? we taped it, but mr. j. accidentally had his thumb on the mic, so you have lovely footage of me making the pancakes, but you can't hear me. call me crazy, but that's no fun.

so this summer i have been (in no particular order)

container gardening-(aka patiently playing the waiting game with heirloom tomatoes) my buddy victoria has allowed me to use her 4.4 acres to grow food in salvaged plastic containers. i've been checking on my babies and have been able to regularly harvest chard and kale. my tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, and squash all have fruits, but are not ready to harvest.

so i've resorted to the farmer's market which is horribly overpriced. i learned of a smaller one in a town several miles west of btown, so i'll check that one out. i've also been utilizing the fresh produce at the local food bank to make dishes with.
my hunt for the super secret paw-paw tree on site at work has availed nothing. no one will come forward with the information so i can find said tree. i'm not stupid, i know it exists. i want a paw-paw! for those of you who have never had one, it's like an avocado, pear, and banana did it and had little babies. they are really delicious.

we moved! yes, i know i just mentioned that. we moved. it was bittersweet. i've lived in that tiny country home for 8 years so we had accumulated a ton of crap. i took two trucks worth of stuff to good will, sent other things to the reuse center at our county's awesome recycling center, gave away our lawn mower and washer/dryer to friends, and the buyer of our home adopted our exclusively outdoor cat. we're finally all moved, but unpacking and redecorating is going to take some time. the new kitchen is smaller but has more counter space AND a pantry! i'll make sure to post pics when i'm done. i got a little too excited and tried to hang shelves by myself last night. they are a bubble shy of plum. poop.
because of the move, i've leaned on more convenience foods than i'd care to admit. my favorite has been the kashi line of vegan foods. i'm also smart enough to freeze half of everything i cook for future events like these that prohibit me from spending a ton of time in the kitchen. the following meals from the following cookbooks freeze well:

appetite for reduction
: eggplant lentil chili, white bean/quinoa/kale stew, chipotle lentil burgers
vegan on the cheap: pasta fagioli, peanutty pumpkin stew, chocolate chip cherry bread pudding
veganomicon: chickpea cutlets, seitanic red/white bean jambalaya, snobby joes
viva vegan: potato/poblano enchilada casserole
because of the intense heat, i have not been wanting to make any baked goods, which means i've been eating a lot of vegan ice cream. i'm quite fond of the coconut milk based ones because they taste creamier. coconut bliss is the best, but is too damned expensive. purely decadent is good, but it's still nearing the $4 mark. mr. j. is great about finding it on sale, but i don't want to pay $3+ for vegan ice cream anymore, so i took matters into my own stubby lil' hands. once i find the camera, i'll post pics, but here's a recipe for vegan cheezecake ice cream. yep, you read that right. now, it DOES NOT have that awesome ice cream texture, but i'm working on it. test it and tell me what you think, honestly. i'm good with constructive feedback so i won't get hurt if you think it sucks. i'm trying to recreate the cocoa fudge from DQ and have been totally unsuccessful.

Jewy's Fudge-My-Suck Cheezcake Ice Dream

1/2 c. tofuti BTCC
12 oz pkg House brand silken tofu
2T lemon juice
1 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 t salt
1t vanilla

Put all items minus the brown rice syrup in the blender. spray a measuring cup with non-stick spray and measure your BRS, then pour it in--just makes it easier that way. Blend for a few minutes, make sure it is completely smooth. Pour this mixture evenly into small tupperware containers, but not completely full. You'll need room for the fudge ripples!

Oh Fudge! Sauce
* 1 stick EB
* 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 cup your favorite vanilla flavored non-dairy vegan liquid coffee creamer-(I used So Delicious Coconut)
*3/4 c. brown sugar
* Pinch of salt

Melt the butter, add creamer, then sugar, then mix salt and cocoa in slowly so you don't get coco lumpy turds in the sauce. let it come to a soft rolling boil, then turn off heat and set aside.

Let the sauce cool completely and pour even amounts of it in your tupperware containers with the cheezcake ice cream. Gravity will do some of the work, but to get good marbling throughout the ice cream, take a butter knife and swirl it a few times through the mixture to make nice pretty swirls. Stick containers in the freezer. Once completely frozen, take containers out and let thaw for a couple of minutes before eating. This is really rich, so if you can exercise restraint, make your servings about a half a cup.

*to make strawberry cheezecake, throw several large strawberries in the blender prior to blending the cheezecake base.

these would probably make good puddin' pops too.

i'm also getting way stoked for vida vegan con. i finally booked my flight last night and paid my roommate for the room. i can't believe this is really happening! i won't be able to get into town early to see the vegucated movie, but i'll be able to stay f-su and fly out on monday.

i have been catching up on my buffy watching, charlaine harris reading, and am engrossed in this season of true blood. oy!

lastly, i've been working on not one but TWO special secret projects. i can't tell you or i'll get severely beaten. beatings aren't vegan, but they occasionally do happen. the vegans wronged gang up on the offender and take away all of their cooking tools and rare spices. look it up! i'm serious.

so, thanks for your patience, stay tuned, keep your cool, and for the love of supersecretvegan projects, stay vegan!


Bianca said...

That fudge suck situation sounds delicious! And I can't wait to meet you at Vida Vegan Con!!! We are gonna tear that shit up.

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

wow, fudgy heaven happening at your place! Your new place!

We should start a group for phyllo fear.

VegSpinz said...

Congrats on your move! Must've been hard leaving your cat!

Jen said...

@ Bianca--you know it!
@ Tami, yes fudgey. I've been eating bites of it every afternoon and night during this heat wave. Again, it lacks that ice creamy consistency, but if you leave it out for a few minutes, it softens right up. PFDA? (Phylo Fear Disorder Anonymous)
@ Spinz: yes, it was gut wrenching to leave Maury at the farm home, but I really believe he's much happier there than he would be to have to be an exclusively indoor kitty. It was bittersweet. I've never really been the same about cats since the passing of my Clairisse 2+ years ago. Maury was our outdoor companion, defender of our flowers, lover of our catnip, and he just got to be a really good wild cat.