Happy Sunday everyone!
This was a bad week in terms of stress, but an excellent week in terms of food. I kicked things off last Sunday by making lots and lots of pancakes.
If the one on the bottom looks burned to you, well, that’s because it’s burned. It still tasted good, though… chocolate fixes nearly everything. I made some plain and ate those with maple syrup, and some chocolate chip, which need no embellishment.
Then for dinner, because I wasn’t done frying things in pans, I made the Sweet Potato Pancakes from the first Moosewood cookbook. I distinctly remember eating these as a kid. I think my parents used to make them with other vegetables, too, like zucchini. This time I used scallions for the onion it calls for; for some reason I love scallions in pancakes. The only problem with this recipe was that it calls for an egg, which admittedly would have been helpful in keeping everything together. This time I just left it out, but in the future I may swap out the flour for some corn starch, or add some baking soda or something. This falls into the category of things that are not actual problems, however, because they were incredible anyway. I will forever be a fan of sweet potato + nutmeg.
Last Saturday I got some really incredible hydroponic butter lettuce at the Farmers’ Market, which ushered in a beautiful era of salads. I do love salad, but because it’s often the only vegan thing on a menu, I never think to make it myself. That’s a shame, because only when I’m at home can I entirely customize my ingredients. The first salad I made had apples, raisins, and walnuts. I dressed it with the lime-cilantro vinaigrette from Rick Bayless’s Everyday Mexican cookbook which I borrowed from my dad. My notebook is actually full of recipes I copied out of my dad’s celebrity chef, super not-vegan cookbooks, some with adaptations, some peripheral items that just so happened to actually be vegan. This dressing really worked for the salad. I worried that the lime would be too fruity with the apples and raisins, or that the cilantro would clash, but no, not at all. Delicious.
I started trying to assemble this in a regular-sized bowl, but that was obviously not going to work out, so I used one of Megan’s big glass mixing bowls and just ate it straight out of that. Gotta love an enormous salad.
This week we had a bake sale for Dems, so I made sugar cookies (not vegan) and banana nut muffins (vegan!). It was also my friend Chris’s birthday, so I made him a key lime pie (not vegan). While I was at it, I baked my sister some cookies. Baking pictures:
Mmmmmmm, banana! I should have mashed them first, but this was more fun. To make these, I just followed the veganized banana bread recipe from Moosewood that I adapted over the summer, which makes some of the most fabulous banana bread on the planet, second only to my mom’s molasses-laden recipe.
What up, star-shaped cookie cutter, made famous from the star-shaped biscuits from the summer! I used these two implements of culinary destruction to make the sugar cookies from Joy the Baker I’ve been dying to make for a while. This gave me the chance to use the amazing vanilla beans that Maia gave me from Madagascar. I’m jealous of the non-vegan bake sale patrons who got to experience the vanilla; next time I use it, I’m making sure that I can enjoy it, too.
Adorbs. And here are the delicious muffins (I had two for breakfast the day of the bake sale. I gave myself a discount and only paid for one. Seemed fair).
Our table is so cluttered all the time. I don’t mind it, but it makes the pictures look bad. Although it does give you a bit more of an accurate view of my life.
Somehow I did not take any pictures of the key lime pie — what? — but here are the cookies I mailed to Emily. They were ever-so-slightly crispy rather than soft, so Megan told me to put them in with some slices of bread. This worked for my sugar cookies, so I tried it out. We’ll see what she says. The cookies were from this recipe, by Naturally Ella, but I used the dried berries & cherries I’d been using for my oatmeal rather than dried apricots, which did sound amazing. I liked the thought of including lots of different kinds of things to mix in. If I had been making these for myself I would have also put in some nuts, but Emily was not for that.
They look good, at least. Here’s another salad, this time with carrots, almonds, and more lime-cilantro vinaigrette.
I didn’t take a picture of the salad I made for lunch yesterday, but I can imagine it looks almost exactly the same as that. I dressed it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and put in raspberries, almonds, and cilantro. It was crispy and sweet. Perfect.
I think I mentioned last week the eggplants I harvested in Detroit. I thought about what I was going to make with them for a long time before I finally settled on something my friend DJ made for me this one time last year. She discovered it in China, and apparently it’s called something like The Three Things That Come From the Earth. I’m not entirely sure if this is how she made it, but basically, I sauteed an eggplant, a potato, a red bell pepper, and half a red onion in a pan. Done. Dinner.
I love eggplant — and potatoes, too — so much. The next night I made baked tofu & wilted kale. I used the marinade from Vegan Planet but the cooking method from Vegan With a Vengeance, because it cut the baking time in half, and I am impatient. That’s not really true, but I am hungry, and why wait another half hour to eat? Before baking the tofu, I coated the sides of each slice with sesame seeds.
The night that I ended up making The Three Things that Come From the Earth I was originally intending to make a stir fry, so before I finally settled on what I was going to make, I made some rice. I used that up by stuffing a yellow bell pepper with it. I went really simple with the stuffing and just mixed in salt and pepper, almonds, thyme, parsley, and paprika with the rice, about a teaspoon of each. That for sure ended up working out for me. Look how fancy it is!
Next is an eggplant curry I made last night, based on this recipe but without the peas. I don’t love peas, so I don’t have any. It had the greatest flavor — I love eggplant (have I mentioned this?)! I roasted it in the oven for like 40 minutes then scooped it out. Instead of the canned tomatoes, I used three little tomatoes from the Farmers’ Market. Now I have one lemon tomato left, which is destined for my final salad. I’ll keep you posted. Anyway, here’s the curry.
I cannot wait to eat those leftovers. Just to bring us full circle, here’s my breakfast from this morning. I took one of my leftover chocolate chip pancakes and ate it with a raspberry syrup I made by just putting some raspberries in a pan.
You can’t tell that it is a chocolate chip pancake in that picture, but it was, and it was delicious.
Things to look forward to in next week’s post include:
1) Not one but two Dems bake sales, and this time my baked goods will be 100% vegan
2) I will be posting from Virginia! I’m going to William and Mary to visit David … remember David? You guys know David.
3) Newly-purchased red quinoa (not nearly as exciting)
See you then!