Birthday cake and coffee maker

What up, blogosphere?

This was an exciting week here, because it was the first full week of classes and things are starting to heat up for sure. I actually did not cook every single day, can you imagine? I started the week with a white-bean chili which was so simple that I hesitate to even label it chili. I ate it over a “baked” potato that I secretly just made in the microwave.

I seriously forgot how much I suck at taking pictures! I guess it’s best that I know my limitations … maybe I should take a class or something. But I digress. The ingredients of the chili were:

green pepper
white beans
chili powder

And I basically just put them in a pot and simmered. Then I had leftovers, which I ate in between classes on yet another potato, so at one point I was carrying around a raw potato, just chilling in my backpack.

Monday was Haley’s birthday, so we made a cake! Megan made the actual cake part (“your basic chocolate cupcake” from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World) and I made the frosting (“vegan buttercream” from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World). Happy 21st, Haley!!!

That day we did a lot of baking, actually. My class schedule on Tuesdays is a little bit more insane than other days. Megan and I, as the former chairs of EnviroDems, decided to make cookies for our Tuesday night meeting, which meant that we made them on Monday. I made these cookies, which are also a recipe by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, which I found here. I didn’t have any cayenne pepper, so I left it out. Incidentally, yesterday my horoscope said that I should study a successful associate and try to adapt their policies to my life. After a lot of consideration, I decided that meant I should read lots of cookbooks and be more like Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Best compliment ever from Zach: “I was really skeptical about the vegan thing, but these are delicious.” Why thank you!

On the subject, I also made scrambled tofu from Vegan with a Vengeance, with zucchini. That was a success to be sure.

I am planning to try this again … lots. Yesterday at the co-op I got a whole ton of cilantro, because the bunches they were selling were just huge, which will mean scrambled tofu + salsa in my future.

I now finally have a (terrible) photograph of that salt and pepper tofu I made a couple times at camp. I ate it with a mint-cucumber salad that due to laziness was just mint leaves, cucumber, and soy sauce … definitely too much soy sauce. The crispiness of the tofu was a really excellent counter to the soft cucumber.

Friday for dinner I branched out and created my own recipe. Like most things I come up with on my own, it was super super simple. It involved the following ingredients:

black eyed peas (dry, not canned — they only take about an hour to cook)
brown rice (so much more delicious than white rice!)
olive oil

Yep, that’s it. The ratio of beans to water is one to three, so measure out three times as much water and combine that and the black eyed peas in a pot. Fifteen minutes later, add a little bit more water and the brown rice. I didn’t get the amount of water quite right, and ended up with ever-so-slightly crunchy rice. Don’t let that happen to you!

Meanwhile, saute the onion and tomato in the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Black eyed peas have such an interesting and unexpected flavor, and I didn’t want to overshadow them by adding too much spice.

When the onions are translucent, turn off the heat. Combine the two parts. At this point I stopped taking pictures and started eating, but here’s a picture of the leftovers the next day, inside a tupperware. Attractive, I know … I really need to work on that.

Ugly? Yes. Out of focus? Yes. Delicious? HELL YES.

Last night for dinner I made yet more beans, this time in the form of black bean sweet potato soup. So. Good.

I made some adjustments to the recipe, so I’m just going to post it anew, as if I invented it. I didn’t.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Soup (makes about four bowls of soup):

1 can black beans
2 cloves garlic
1/2 white onion
1 tomato
1 T olive oil
1 stalk of celery
1/4 bell pepper
1 small sweet potato
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 a lime
some cilantro

1. Mince the garlic, chop the tomato, and dice the onion. Put them in a pot with the beans and four cups of water, bring to a boil, and let simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, dice the sweet potato, celery, and bell pepper and saute them in the oil. After about ten minutes, add in the cumin and chili powder. It will smell heavenly, I promise.
3. Once the 20 minutes for the beans is up, introduce the sauteed vegetables to the simmering beans and vegetables. They will be fast friends, because you will be letting the whole thing simmer for half an hour … if you can wait that long. I’m not going to lie, I simmered it for about 20 minutes, but you should really do thirty.
4. Pull out all of the chunky bits and run them through your blender. I a) love my blender and b) like to use the “milkshake” setting, mainly because the idea of a black-bean-sweet-potato milkshake is grossly hilarious. You will also be pulling out some beans and blending them, which made me skeptical at first, but it looked and tasted awesome.
5. Put the blended part back into the pot, squeeze in the half a lime, and season more with salt and pepper. I was using canned beans, so I put in hardly any salt, but still lots of pepper.
6. Chop up some cilantro and put that on there in your bowl. I also served with a piece of whole-wheat bread, just because I was excited about eating this bread, which is from Avalon International Breads in Detroit, and I like to have a vehicle for bringing hot soup to my mouth that will tone down the heat. On the subject, I have big sandwich plans for this bread.

Last but not least, allow me to introduce you to my new coffee maker, given to me by my parents, who somehow got a free coffee maker a couple years ago. I’m unclear on those details. I will have to ask my mom, but I think that it is from 1985. It has a sticker on it that my sister put on there when she was like 5, too. It’s a bunny.

Classic! Vintage! It’s still got it, though. It is intended for the production of coffee, and it certainly does that. Man, I love coffee. I love food. I love Sunday morning food-blogging. See you next week. Same time, same place.

This entry was posted in beans, breads, cake, coffee, rice, salad, soup, sweet potatoes, tofu, tomatoes, vegetables and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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