Thursday, December 27, 2012

(893) joyeaux Noël

I hate to say it, but I am relieved that Christmas is over. It came up way too quickly and right in the midst of trying to figure out new health issues that have been occurring. It has been quite some time since something so out-of-the-blue and painful has happened to me. I am trying to be patient until my regular doctor returns from leave so I can talk to her about it. I can only hope it will get better soon. Besides the craziness of Christmas, it was a lovely quiet one. I got to spend a lot of time with my family which was nice. I also ate a ridiculous amount of food! (surprise surprise)

I love stir frys because they are so easy to pull together, and they are especially quick when you prep the vegetables a day or so ahead. I cooked my quinoa two days before and chopped my vegetables one day before. This is probably my favorite stir-fry to date! Crunchy, golden quinoa with edamame, garlicky shiitakes and topped with lots of organic sriracha. This did not last two days in my house before I ate all of it. I love recipes like these because you add anything you want and adjust things to your liking. Next time I would like to add fresh ginger and some kale!
//love + lemons

I am not going to Bikram yoga for a while, until I figure this health stuff out, but this was a lovely post-yoga snack: grapes and avocado toast smothered in paprika/lemon juice/salt.

Sometimes you have leftover quinoa and most of the time you're not sure what to do with it. I was just thumbing through Foodgawker one night when I saw these easy quinoa sriracha bites. It's a great way to use up leftover quinoa and it has eggs! (protein!). I would like to try these sometime with blended tofu to make them vegan. I added extra sriracha, obviously, and really loved the way they soaked up GF soy sauce. Sesame seeds on top add a lovely crunch! //leaf + grain

More avocado toast (for breakfast): what I call "deconstructed guacamole" toast with avocado, lime/lemon juice, smoked paprika, salt and cilantro.

The best tofu/veggie burgers I've ever had! I scarfed this one down in a second. I just wish they were freezer friendly because I would love to always have them on hand.

I learned a little downside about food blog recipes: they are bound to have mistakes (more often, I would say, than cookbooks). That being said, I have seen cookbooks who had to publish an insert to go with the books because there were mistakes (printing errors etc.) but when you have a blog recipe, people try them out and if they don't work out so great, you will hear about it! So I made these little chocolate chip rice krispie treat cookies...and I kept asking myself why some of them spread and some of them didn't. So I checked the recipe and she had updated it two weeks ago (PS I write my recipes very early on if it interests me). The butter sugar: flour ratio was off and that's why they spread so much. Luckily, I have some lovely co-workers and family members who said these were some of the best cookies they've had (hope you guys weren't joking!) and they were pretty damn good. //spoon fork bacon

Beautiful romanesco cauliflower 

Vegetable tofu pad thai from my sister

A lovely english perry cider and my new cookbooks, which I so gratefully gifted to myself. My excuse is that I did pretty well this semester and deserved it, haha. I have finally read all of these and cannot wait to start cooking from them. Pictured: "Veganomicon", "Everyday Happy Herbivore", "Happy Herbivore Abroad", "Vegan Brunch", "Appetite for Reduction", and "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World." (notice a trend? they're all vegan!)

The most amazing with out a doubt deliciousss black bean sweet potato stew with pineapple and fresh avocado. What?!?!?! My family and I (with all the aunties and uncles alike) met up at Blue Corn Cafe this weekend for a holiday get together. This stew is what the restaurant is famous for, apparently, and I can see why. I ate every last drop, along with two GF beers, and it was absolutely DIVINE.

I was so pleased at my options at this Mexican restaurant. While everyone else was chewing on sopapillas and fried ice cream, I had a beautiful glass of the best fresh mango sorbet I've ever had. Still drooling.

So I changed the Christmas dessert last minute to this lovely orange gingerbread with a cream cheese frosting. It was so fluffy, moist, and just the right amount of ginger and orange without being overpowering. I subbed in 1 C sorghum flour, 1 C tapioca flour, and 1/4 C almond meal alongside 2 1/2tsp xanthan gum. I used vegan butter and vegan cream cheese for the frosting and halved the frosting recipe. This is my mom's favorite cake yet, though she says this every time I make a new cake, but it's still really lovely! //joy the baker

I like to make my dad granola every year because he's incredibly hard to find gifts for. Last year I made this holiday granola, festively studded with cranberries and pistachios. I decided to make it again this year, but it was even better this time around! If you enjoy nutmeg, you will love this granola and it's so easy to make (like any granola recipe!). //yummy mummy

My mom made a lot of soup for us growing up, and still does. I think I got her soup making/soup loving gene because it is my favorite thing to make! If you asked me what her best soup is, corn chowder would be at the top of the list. She would make it during the dead of winter, when it was most comforting and heart warming, and it would be just perfect with crackers. I could eat that corn chowder for days. But, we all know I like to switch things I made this roasted poblano pepper corn chowder with red bell peppers and cumin. Let me just say, this is a close second to hers (along with tarragon corn chowder). The amount of heat here is perfect (could even use some minced jalapeno) and it's so comforting. I love variations on classics, and this is my favorite yet! //knead to cook

Christmas French toast with maple syrup, powdered sugar + bananas.

My new 12-qt soup pot. So in love!

New iPad 2 and green case. I am kind of shocked at how well my dad knows me because this case is amazing!

I was going to make a shepard's pie for Christmas but things got turned around and I wanted to cook from things I only had in my pantry; so I made Happy Herbivore's GF hippie loaf. This was the easiest and most flavorful vegan loaf yet! Made with black beans, aromatic vegetables, quinoa and Italian herbs, it was a hit with everyone on Christmas! It was kind of torture to drive to my parents' house with this in the car because it smelled so good. //happy herbivore

Vegan christmas dinner plate: homemade biscuits (same ones I made for Thanksgiving), bourbon pecan sweet potatoes, cornbread dressing, potato salad, and hippie loaf. Yum!

Trying to be more free-handed in the kitchen: Italian mushroom onion scramble, leftover biscuit, grapes and black currant tea for breakfast. Here's a half-ass recipe for the scramble:

Chop up equal amounts of mushrooms and onion. Preheat a small skillet with just enough oil. Throw in vegetables and stir, letting saute for 2 mins. Add a good sprinkle or two of Italian seasoning and stir. Let saute until mushrooms and onions are soft and fragrant. Meanwhile, beat eggs in a bowl with almond milk (I use the ratio of 1 egg:1 T milk, and I used 3 eggs). Season eggs with salt and pepper. Once vegetable mixture is cooked down, pour eggs directly over them. Let sit until the bottom begins to set, then push the eggs around with a spatula, scrambling lightly, until cooked. 

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