“T” is for Tamales

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On Thursday evening Tim and I made tamales for the first time (I admittedly used to be creeped out by dried corn husks so tamales were a no-no). We used the recipe for Black Bean Tamales from the October 2009  issue of VegNews. The verdict? I have been missing out all these years! Goodness, tamales are not only fun to make (although time-consuming) but you get to unwrap them like you would a present before you eat them!!! How cool is that? We ate ours with lots of avocado on the side, but a mole sauce or salsa would have made our meal all the better – next time!!!

Tamales 1

Before opening the tamales

Tamales 2

After opening the tamales (they are kind of ugly without the corn husk wrapper)

What’s to come in future posts:

Photos from a benefit dinner at Sweetpea Baking Company (dinner is Friday the 16th!!!!!)

A sweet product review

A second giveaway

Curried Sweet Potato & Wild Rice Soup

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I keep a bunch of recipes in a huge binder on my cookbook shelf. Most of these recipes have been printed off the internet with the good intention of making each and every one. But, as my collection continues to grow, I end up forgetting about at least half of the recipes. I also have a folder of printed recipes – this folder holds the recipes that I know I want to make within the next week. One recipe that made its way into the high priority folder was one for a Curried Sweet Potato & Wild Rice Soup. Lindsay from the awesome Happy Herbivore blog posted the recipe last week. What a wonderful soup!!! Tim and I enjoyed big bowls (doubled, the recipe yields about four generous servings) for dinner Wednesday evening. We made two small changes: instead of soy milk, we used coconut milk; and we topped each bowl with some toasted cashews (along with the rice).

Curried Sweet Potato Soup 1

Perfectly creamy, well-spiced, and simple to prepare – thanks for the recipe Lindsay!!!

Curried Soup 2

Annnnnnnd, this post makes 15 posts in a row!!!! Hooray for Vegan MoFo!!!

“Q” is for Quiz

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I suppose my laziness continues because I don’t have a very exciting post for today. I hated quizzes in school, but Vegan MoFo quizzes are fun! I saw this one on Vegan Shizzle’s blog. Here we go:

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?

Almond Breeze Original

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook for Vegan MoFo?

Tamales, Curried Sweet Potato Soup w/ Wild Rice, and Indian-Spiced Pumpkin Gratin

3.Topping(s) of choice for popcorn?

Salt, nutritional yeast, melted Earth Balance, and sometimes curry powder

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?

Seitan Piccata

5. Favorite pickled item?

Dill pickles made by myself and my friend

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6. How do you organize your recipes?

I have a huge binder for recipes printed from the internet that I hope to someday make, two shelves of cookbooks ordered by height (looks pretty!), and a small recipe box that rarely gets used.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?

Trash, but I am looking into compost options.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?

Kale, black beans, Peanut Butter Panda Puffs (a breakfast cereal) and hummus (I know that’s 4, but who cares?)

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?

Making mashed potatoes for my family every holiday dinner

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?

Coconut Bliss

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?

Vity, my Vita Mix

12. Spice/herb you would die without?

Freshly ground black pepper

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?

The New Basics Cookbook – I never use it anymore because it is far from vegan and the photo of the authors on the back cover scares Tim senseless, but it does have useful tips and information

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?

Homemade strawberry with hand-picked berries

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?

Veggie pizza

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16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?

Tempeh

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?

Dinner

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?

Five plants, a watering can, and a sugar pumpkin that will turn into pumpkin butter soon!

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.

Frozen strawberries, tortillas, lots of beans

20. What’s on your grocery list?

I just went shopping last night, so nothing right now.

21. Favorite grocery store?

Food Fight – they have the best produce and the nicest owners on the planet

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.

Hmmmmm… I guess a Newman O, which is already vegan, but I’d like to figure out how to make my own.

23. Food blog you read the most

Have Cake Will Travel is my favorite because I love Celine

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?

Sjaaks Almond Butter Bites

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?

Honestly, I can’t think of anything…

26. Ingredients you are scared to work with?

Agar

27. Favorite food cart?

It’s a tie between Sonny Bowl and Los Gorditos, both in Portland!

“W” is for Winner of My Giveaway!!!

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This is a lazy, lazy post. I just wanted to thank everybody for entering my giveaway! It was fun reading about all the different ways people enjoy the fruits of summer and fall (and all seasons!). I used a random number generator to select the winner (and have no clue how to show the little box with the number, so you’ll have to trust me here) and the winner is: Commenter #13 (oooooooooh and today is the 13th!), Gina!!!! Hooray, hooray, hooray!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations Gina! I love Gina’s blog and I am mighty excited to try her Baked Falafel recipe with Tahini Sauce, since tahini is my most favorite stuff on the planet.  Go visit her blog and see all her fabulous posts for Vegan MoFo. And Gina, I will contact you via e-mail to make arrangements for your prize – you can choose between a homemade pint of either Vanilla Bing Cherry Jam, Maple Pear Butter, or Blueberry Jam!

I will be having a different giveaway next week that will be open to everybody (meaning international readers as well), so stay tuned!

“C” is for Cupcakes!

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Tim and I went to a benefit movie night on Sunday organized by Food Fight and made a few dozen cupcakes for people to eat. Other kind folks made tasty cupcakes to share as well (thanks, they were really good!!).  What’s more fun than eating yummy vegan cupcakes and watching a funny movie? Not much! And, considering I had never seen Billy Madison, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

We ended up making three kinds of cupcakes: Pumpkin with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache, and Rootbeer Float Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting.

Cupcakes!

Here is the pumpkin cupcake with the Mexican Hot Chocolate cupcake in the background.