Thursday, January 28, 2010
If anyone reading this tries this recipe, I would like input on how to make it better. I think these came out a little too airy/flaky.
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbs baking powder
1/4 cup Romano cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter
pinch of salt
Mix all the dry ingredients together, add the egg and butter. Stir until the dough goes crumbly. Then add the cup of milk and cup of water. If the dough seems to be a tad too sticky, add a dusting of flour.
Put in muffin tin and bake at 250 for forty to fifty minutes. Serves 6.
*my apartment oven doesn't work well at all, my mother lets me borrow her oven for special occasion baking, but otherwise it's just me and the ol' Black and Decker.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
1. No recipe goes on this blog if I have not tried it. Usually, I also tweek it to fit my budgetary / taste needs.
2. If the recipe comes from a source, I name the source. If I've cooked something that was inspired by something I saw in a cookbook, but is not a direct recipe, I'll name the cookbook.
3. Some dishes are grounded in basic vegetarian cooking theory, those I tend not to attribute to any specific book. My three main vegetarian foodie inspirations are: Claire's Corner Copia Cookbook, Anna Thomas's The Vegetarian Epicure series, the New York Times's Dining In section, and various kosher cookbooks. (A chunk of my heritage is Central European, and milk-kosher food is as close as I can get to my family's comfort food.)
Friday, January 15, 2010
1. Why did you become a vegetarian?
I was never a huge fan of the taste and texture of meat, but I ate it when I was younger. My grandmother would take me to fancy places, and I remember really liking the chicken pot pies at Lamie's in Hampton, New Hampshire. When I was fifteen, I got a summer job at a farm stand. One of my jobs was feeding the animals. I was essentially a city kid, and my grandmother wouldn't really let us have any pets aside from an extremely moody cat, so I was suprised by just how intellegent farm animals were. They all had their own personalities: the chickens were mean spirited, but the sheep and pigs were just lovely. There was a pig who would come up to me and root around at my feet, and let me pet her once in a while, I named her Agatha. It was a working farm, so one day they took Agatha off to be slaughtered. I had a hard time with that, and decided to become a vegetarian in mid-October of 1997.
2. Is it hard to be a vegetarian?
Yes. It's not as hard now as it was when I was in high school, because now I can cook for myself, and I live near a big, liberal city where vegetarianism isn't considered some radical rebuke to traditional values, but it's not easy. I dine out primarily at Asian and African places because those are two cultures that don't have to have meat in every single dish, but still have to fill up on cereal if I'm going to an "American" place. (Applebees: boo!)
3. How can you keep a boyfriend if you don't eat meat?
He can cook for himself, if he wants. He does half the cooking in the house, anyway. I don't really care if other people eat meat, but I won't.
4. What do you mean, you don't care if other people eat meat?
They're adults, they can do what they want. I believe eating meat is morally wrong and that modern factory farms are inherently cruel and unsustainable, but in a diverse society one has to be tolerant. I used to be much more hard line and extreme, but I realized that I put people off. It was much easier to win people over to even a partial version of my way of thinking by simply not eating meat and then failing to keel over dead of lack of protein.
5. You must really hate hunters.
Not at all. Hunting is much more honest and environmentally friendly than buying shrink wrapped chunks of flesh in the supermarket. I never could stand people who would eat meat but wig out when they were reminded that they were eating a once-living animal. Hunters damn well know, and good for them.
6. Have you ever fallen off the wagon?
Yes, a couple of times in the past twelve years I've had bites of meat or a chicken sandwich or something. The trick is to not let that convince you you can't be a vegetarian. You just have to not eat meat one day at a time.
7. You're just trying to convert everyone to your pinko, food hating, family destroying ideals!
Look, I can't say I wouldn't be really happy if everyone in the world gave up eating meat, but we all know that's not going to happen. What I'm trying to do is show people that vegetarian eating isn't a negative practice. It's not about renunciation, it's about trying all these delicious things to eat! Even cutting down the number of meat-oriented meals a family serves in a day would make a significant impact on cholesterol levels and food resources, and that would be a good thing.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 stick butter
2 cloves garlic
red pepper flakes, pepper, cilantro to taste
peas, if you'd like
Brown mushrooms in the butter and garlic. Add the apple juice, spices, and vinegar and let cook down. Add peas. (I add them this late in the game because I don't want them to taste exactly like the mushrooms.)
1/2 stick butter
1 cup apple juice
1/3 cup vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1 cup potato peel broth
1 cup milk or water
1 tomato, diced
pepper and cilantro to taste
Brown the mushrooms in butter and garlic, be careful not to crowd them or they won't brown. Add 1 cup apple juice, 1/3 cup vinegar, 1 cup potato peel broth. Simmer. Add the milk or water if it looks like the soup is boiling down too much. Throw in the diced tomato. Add the pepper and cilantro to taste.
This coworker had been reading a book on the evils of factory farming. She has always been fond of animals, and had even tried her hand at raising chickens at one point. She was visibly bothered by the book, and I asked her if she had ever tried to become a vegetarian. She paused for a moment and looked up at me, and said "but I like food."
I had an exasperated moment. I like food too, and I've been a vegetarian since 1997.
I've been posting vegetarian recipes on my Live Journal blog for the past couple of years, so I figured I'd consolidate them on this blog. I would also like to post restaurant reviews and articles on topics affecting vegetarians in Massachusetts, but I probably won't get around to doing that for quite a while.
So, hello. I hope you enjoy my website. If I can convince one person that vegetarians are not all humorless, politically correct, and annoying my job will be done.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
NB: It's best to start this bread the night before you want to eat it, as the dough is at its best after a night in the fridge. I was really stressed last night, but I had some nice bread to go with my post running mellow today.
Part I: yeast slurry
1 cup flour (I like wheat)
1 3/4 tsps yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water
Mix yeast and flour together in bowl, add the warm water slowly. Leave in warm dark place for twenty minutes to activate the yeast.
Part II: bread dough
4 more cups flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons table salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 egg (for glaze)
mix dry ingredients with the yeast slurry, it should be dry and pebbly, then add the olive oil
knead until the texture gains elasticity, put in large bowl and cover with plastic, let sit overnight (the dough will ferment and gain flavor)
In the morning: remove bread from fridge, let sit an hour, knead again, braid, pour egg white over it all, and bake at 425F on cookiesheet for 45 minutes.
2 cups sugar
2 tsps vanilla
3 cups flour (I like the whole wheat kind, it gives it some body)
2 tsps baking powder
1 cup brown sugar (for topping)
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup leftover coffee
3 - 5 tbs. cinnamon
If you like, add raisins, walnuts, etc.
Mix dry ingredients in bowl until all components evenly distributed in dry mix. Melt butter, add melted butter to mix. Add eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. Stir thoroughly. Batter will be dry and pebbly. Slowly add the coffee until the batter loses its dry stickiness, stop when the batter becomes easy to stir. Put batter in heavily greased bundt pan or in prepared cupcake tins. Bake on 350 for one hour (bundt cake) or 40 minutes (muffins). Dust with brown sugar shortly after taking them out of the oven.
½ cup pineapple chunks
1 wineglass full of water
3 jigs Bacardi Peach Rum
4 or 5 springs (about ten to fifteen leaves) of crappy Demoulas mint
1 cup ice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
Assemble in blender, hit “ice crush” then hit “puree”. Makes about two drinks.
Here's the modified recipe (the original recipe called for pure chili powder, which just sounds awful -- so I added extra cinnamon, cloves, and sweet cocoa powder), adapted from Hip Kosher.
Hee. An Aztec-drink inspired variation on an American classic, taken from a yuppified Jewish cookbook promoting "California Cuisine" and adapted to suit my New England Franco-Lithuanian needs. Sometimes I do love America. Anyway -- the brownies.
chocolate (let me put in a plug here for Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa -- it adds a depth of flavor that Baker's Chocolate and Hershey's Baking Cocoa can't match)
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (and maybe a few extra pinches if you like cinnamon, which I do)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
several pinches of powdered cloves (to taste)
6 tablespoons of butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup water (you don't have to use it all, but you shouldn't use more)
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Melt the six tablespoons of butter in a different bowl. Add the butter to the dry mix. Then add the two eggs and the vanilla extract. Mix until all is mixed up well. This should take about three minutes. The cookbook says to use an electric mixer but I like to mix by hand because it's easier to tell if the mixture is too dry and sticky to bake properly. If your mixture is dry, add the water slowly until the batter becomes easier to stir. Err on the side of being slightly too watery if you have to -- you can always add extra cooking time to evaporate the water and you don't want the brownies to burn.
1/2 or 1 jig pommegranate vodka (it's been trendy for a while now, I was interested in the possiblities of pommegranate and cranberry)
1 cup cranberry juice
1 wedge of lime
combine ingredients in a wine glass (I have no martini glasses), drink slowly as the alcohol will sneak up on you
I fell in love with it when my boyfriend's mother made another version of it at Christmas, and she just sent me the recipe so I can make it myself.
1/4th cup olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 cans cream of cheddar soup
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon parsley
2 cubes veggie bouillon
1 liter milk
2 cups water
a dusting of flour to thicken
3 potatoes, sliced in thin circles
1/2 bag spinach
1 bag frozen corn
Combine the broth ingredients first: soften onions in olive oil, add the milk and water, crush the bouillon cubes and add them in along with the garlic, and then throw in the red pepper flakes and parsley. Now add the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer when adding the spinach and corn. Let cook 40 mins. Add the flour if chowder looks watery.
1 can pinto beans (washed)
3 fresh tomatoes
Pinch of salt. Liberal dashes of red pepper flakes, cilantro, and garlic powder.
Put beans and tomatoes into saucepot, cook until concoction is bubbling, add spices.
1 tortilla (naturally), shredded cheese, rice.
Put rice, cheese, and salsa into burrito, fold like so.
Not the most authentically Hispanic thing ever, but it can be made in fifteen minutes after work.
Part the First: The Sauce
Make a white sauce:
4 tsps of butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
Boil until sauce is thick, but still liquid.
Liberal doses of: curry powder, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, cilantro, pepper.
Part the Second: The Veggies
1 can chickpeas or red beans
1 bag frozen veggies (I hate chopping vegetables after I've been at work all day)
Combine the sauce with the veggies. Eat.
adapted from the always useful Clare's Corner Copia Cookbook.
3 tbsps of Classico Basil Pesto (you're supposed to use fresh basil, but I am broke and this is the closest commerical pesto I can find)
1 package frozen spinach*
4 tbsps olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4th cup Romano Cheese
1 cup water
Defrost spinach. Combine spinach, pesto, black pepper, water and Romano in a blender. Hit grate for about a minute, then hit liquify until spinach is completely pureed.
Boil angel hair pasta, then drain it and mix it with the olive oil, add the spinach puree to the pasta. Heat pasta and pureed spinach together. Add other spices (curry powder, chili flakes, more pepper) to taste.
*you could use fresh, but I find frozen purees better
2-3 bags fresh spinach, cleaned and picked through
1 pint of potato peel broth
3 cups of water
1 really big potato
pepper, soy sauce, and lemon juice to taste
Boil potatoes in potato peel broth until soft, then add the spinach. Cover and steam for about ten minutes, adding the water as needed. Add pepper, soy sauce, and lemon juice as needed.
Best if served with tortilla chips and cheddar cheese.