One More Giveaway!!!

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Mmmmmmm… Breakfast. During the summer months my mornings were filled with smoothies for breakfast. Now that it is getting chillier outside, I’ve moved on to warmer meals. When Tim and I attended Portland’s Veg Fest in September we snagged a few generously-sized sample packets of a delicious 10 Grain Hot Cereal from Bob’s Red Mill. We enjoyed it so much that we ended up buying some and it has become an intergral part of our morning routine. We even took it backpacking once! This cereal is mighty healthy and a nice switch-up from oatmeal. You can add fruit, nuts, cinnamon, or whatever you enjoy most to this cereal and it will help plow you through your day.  Click on the link above for more information. Here’s a photo courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill:

bobs

For this giveaway, one reader will win a sample packet of the above yummy cereal (it’s a nice-sized sample, probably at least 4 servings) and a cute measure scoop (also from Bob’s). Just leave a comment telling me your favorite breakfast eats/drinks and you will be entered to win! This giveaway is open to international readers too, so everybody gets to play!!! The deadline will be October 30, 2009 (11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time) and I will announce the winner on the 31st!!!

“W” is for Whiffies

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Whiffies Truck

What is Whiffies? Well, let me tell you! Whiffies is the name of a fried pie cart in Portland that serves up sweet and savory hand pies. They even have vegan options (and a separate vegan fryer for those vegan pies – how nice, right?!). Tim and I had never visited Whiffies prior to last Saturday night so we decided to take the plunge. Unlike most folks, I am not a fan of fried stuff (except for frites) but late night treats are usually (always) an exception. I opted for a Pumpkin Creme pie and Tim chose a Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip pie. We didn’t have to wait long and the surrounding crowds provided plenty of entertainment (it was especially amusing to make mean faces and scoff at a girl wearing a real fur coat). Anyways, back to the pies!!! Golden flaky crusts and generous amounts of filling make the $3 price worth every penny, but let me just caution you: sometimes the filling can explode out of the shell and down your chin, onto your pants, and perhaps your shoe too. Messy indeed, but tasty too. My pumpkin filling reminded me of pumpkin pie and Tim’s filling was as it should be – a perfect balance of peanut butter and melty chocolate chips. However, we will reserve future trips to Whiffies for special occasions only because my tummy can’t handle a whole pie plus bites (and bites) of Tim’s pie. Here’s a shot of the nice end of my pie all fancied up at home:

Whiffie Pie

Annnnnnnd, just for some extra fun, here is what happens when I have Whiffies pie filling running down my face while trying to take a photo of Tim eating his pie without properly adjusting my camera setting because I am holding the camera with only one hand (pie in the other):

Whiffies make me loopy

Oooooooooooooooops-a-dozzle!

“R” is for Roasted Squashkin Butter

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Squashkin Butter 1

October is flying past me much too fast. It’s my favorite month of the year and the temperatures in Portland are still lurking in the 60’s (the leaves are changing to brilliant colors though!!!). Wishing for cloudy skies, rain, and chillier days doesn’t seem to be working. My solution? Make some tasty Roasted Squashkin Butter. Initially, I was just going to roast a sugar pumpkin, but since there was a lonely Delicata squash half in the fridge, Tim thought we should make squashkin butter instead. So we did! I don’t have much a recipe, it’s more of a procedure:

1. Buy a sugar pumpkin (any size you want, ours was maybe 4 pounds)

2. Buy a small squash (any variety)

3. Cut them in half, scoop out the innards (save the pumpkin seeds for roasting!)

4. Place cut side down on lined cookie sheets

5. Roast your pumpkin and squash (the amount of time depends on the sizes, our squash took just under 30 minutes, but the pumpkin took almost an hour)

6. Scoop out insides and puree (in batches) in a blender

7. Put pureed squashkin mixture in a big pot and turn the heat on to medium (or just below, you want a gentle simmer)

8. Add in sweetener to taste (we added a cup of dark brown sugar and a few tablespoons of maple syrup – we had about 7+ cups of puree)

9. Add in spices/seasonings to taste (cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, a pinch of salt, nutmeg)

10. Stir in the juice of a lemon (or two if you have a lot of puree), and some vanilla

11. Allow to cook and thicken until your desired consistency is reached (maybe 20 minutes or so) – make sure to stir often and keep an eye on the mixture

12. Transfer mixture to clean jars and seal according to manufacturer instructions (we used a water bath canner and processed for 10 minutes). If you aren’t canning your squashkin butter, I’d suggest making a very small batch and refrigerating/freezing your squashkin butter. My guess is a fresh jar will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. Yummy!

If you have questions or need more detail, please feel free to contact me.

For the Chimps!

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This past Friday evening, Tim and I went to a four course benefit dinner for the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest held at Sweetpea Baking Company. A lovely group of folks prepared and served about forty diners an amazing meal – perfect for the chillier autumn weather (although it was kinda warm in Portland on Friday!). I have always had a deep fondness for chimpanzees and couldn’t be happier to help support such a wonderful sanctuary. Please check out their website to learn more and to meet some very special chimps (I love Burrito!).

THE MENU (taken from here)

Bread Basket
Mushroom walnut pate, carrot ginger spread, baguette, matzoh, flatbreads

Salad
Root Vegetable & Caramelized Figs
Mixed greens, endive, creamy garlic dressing, cilantro pesto drizzle

Entree
Butternut Rissoto
Cashew creme, roasted brussel sprouts, toasted hazelnuts

Dessert
Apple Pie with Peanut Butter Caramel
Homemade vanilla bean ice cream with a creamy coconut cashew almond base

Chimp Benefit 1

Chimp Benefit 2

Chimp Benefit 3

Chimp Benefit 5

Thanks to everybody who helped prepare and serve such a delicious, filling meal!!!

“A” is for Almond-Orange Sweet Rolls

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Earlier this year I was busier than a bee testing recipe after recipe for Celine and Joni’s soon-to-be released cookbook, 500 Vegan Recipes. Several (I mean, MANY) of the recipes became repeat favorites and the following is one of them:

Almond-Orange Sweet Rolls

Almond-Orange Sweet Rolls

The recipe is actually called Almond Spelt Sweet Rolls, but I was out of spelt flour for this batch and subbed AP flour instead. You can find the recipe here, because Celine is a sweetie and posted some of the cookbook recipes on her website! The rolls are sweetened with agave, studded with raisins, and coated with crunchy raw sugar/orange zest mixture. The interior is soft, fluffy, and subtly sweet. They are the perfect rolls to have alongside a cup of tea or coffee. In fact, they are so delicious that I had to hide them from Tim because he was devouring them. We eventually had to play the Hot/Cold game because he desperately needed a sweet roll fix and he was getting increasingly moody. Make these and be extra happy.

Almond-Orange Sweet Roll 3