Wilderness Adventures

Today was forecasted to be one of the only sunny days this week. Since Tim has been working on an audio project for a short film, we ventured into the wilderness so he could make recordings. It was my job to be the foley artist and walk on twigs and run in the forest. It was pretty fun!

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We drove into higher elevations and found snow! It doesn’t snow much in Portland, so opportunities to enjoy the snow are always appreciated.

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The forest is so pretty during the onset of winter. Blankets of snow, water droplets suspended on bare branches, moody skies, and crazy birds cackling overhead.

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Running and jumping like a child in the forest tired me out and I slept the whole way home. And then, we made pizza for dinner! :)

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It’s a Pancake Kind of Morning

Sunday mornings are no stranger to the delightful pancake breakfast.

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Our favorite recipe – No Fail Buttermilk Pancakes – comes from 500 Vegan Recipes by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman. It truly is a gem of a recipe. They turn out fluffy and golden every single time!

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We served these beauties with tall glasses of freshly juiced oranges and the last tablespoon of maple syrup hiding in the fridge. It’s really hard to share such a minuscule amount of maple syrup!

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What’s your favorite pancake recipe?

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Proper Eats

Tim and I came home from work around the same time this evening. We were both very hungry. Since we plan out a week’s worth of meals, it should have been easy to figure out something to make for dinner. Here’s how the conversation went:

Tim: “We could make waffles or pancakes.”

Amy: “No.”

Tim: “How about this baked cauliflower meal?”

Amy: “No.”

Tim: “What if we went to Native Foods?”

Amy: “No.”

Tim: “Los Gorditos?”

Amy: “No.”

Tim: “Proper Eats?”

Amy: “Maybe.”

Can you tell I was being ridiculously stubborn? In the end, we did go to Proper Eats. It is our favorite restaurant and we don’t go often enough. I think that’s okay though because it makes each visit extra special. Speaking of special, Tim and I both ordered one of the specials. I got mac-n-cheese over a bed of sauteed greens and Tim got a monster-sized burrito filled with quinoa, sweet potatoes, plantains, barbecue sauce, and a medley of other things. As always, our food was outstanding. I love Proper Eats. If you ever visit Portland, I highly recommend you eat there! Vegan. Wholesome. Nutritious. Affordable. Delicious.

This is a photograph of my plate. The poor lighting doesn’t do the meal justice, but let me just say that despite the generous portion, I cleaned my plate – all by myself!

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Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day Giveaway Winner!!!

It’s finally time to announce a winner for the Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day giveaway I hosted last week! I had so much fun reading about everybody’s favorite sandwiches. There is inspiration for us all in the comment section of that post!

And now… the winner is… Laura S. who said: “OOOOOH this book looks so yummy! I love vegetable & falafel sandwiches – a combination of hummus, harissa, falafel, baby spinach, capers, avocado, sometimes some cucumber and mushroom, and sometimes a touch of tahini. Yum!” Congratulations Laura! You just won your very own copy of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!! I hope you will enjoy it and create some delicious sandwiches from the recipes. I will be contacting you shortly so that we can arrange shipment of your book.

In other news, I have been endlessly munching on the breadsticks I made yesterday. Give them a try! They are really unique and perfect paired with a bowl of your favorite soup.

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Twisted Cornmeal Breadsticks with Fennel & Coarse Salt

Days off are usually pretty rewarding. Today has been spent in my jammies wandering around the apartment completing tasks on my to-do list. One of those tasks was to make breadsticks.

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I haven’t made many batches of breadsticks. This particular recipe stood out though and seemed like a nice accompaniment to the carrot-parsnip soup we are having for dinner tonight. I adapted the recipe from a very old issue of Cooking Light magazine. It was nearly vegan to begin with, so my changes are minimal.

Twisted Cornmeal Breadsticks with Fennel & Coarse Salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm, unsweetened, non-dairy milk (I used soy)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

1. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together milk, sugar, and yeast. Set aside until frothy, about 5 minutes. Stir in olive oil.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flours, cornmeal, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Using the dough hook, knead on medium speed for about 8 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic.

3. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and set in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume. This should take about 1-1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

4. Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 24 equal portions. Cover with a damp towel to prevent the dough from drying out. Roll each portion of dough into an 8-inch rope. Take two ropes and twist them together, pinching each end to seal well. Place breadsticks on prepared baking sheets. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap while you finish with the remaining dough.

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5. Once all breadsticks have been shaped, cover lightly with plastic and set back in the warm, draft-free place for 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Brush the water gently over the tops of the breadsticks and sprinkle with the fennel seed and salt mixture. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffy. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

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Sadly, by the time these finished baking, all daylight was lost. But, you can still see how pretty they are with the twisted shape. I loved the addition of fennel seeds on top. Now we are justing waiting for the soup to finish!