Sunday, December 28, 2008

Boxing Day

Boxing day we wanted to go for a walk because Christmas day we didn't go outside at all. This is just outside our house. That's db's company car buried in the bank.

The Boxing day the weather wasn't much better than the rest of the week, but we decided to brave the snow and slippery streets.

Our goal was Bert Flynn Park mainly because we were curious. How much snow would accumulate in such a well canopied forest? The most direct route makes the park about 3 km from our house and most of the walk is uphill.
Here's db at the start of our journey. The snow was blowing into our faces for the first half of the walk.
It was slow going, but once we got to David Ave the road levels out and it was a bit easier going except we couldn't walk on the road anymore because David is too busy a street.
Here's one of the many footpaths where the sidewalk should be. This is along David Ave and as you can see people were out driving in the mess.
We reached the bridge that crosses Noon's Creek and decided that Bert Flynn Park was too tough going on that footpath. After we crossed the bridge I saw that the trail along Noon's Creek was being used.

One of the things I love about living in Whoville/Port Who-dy is the numerous footpaths and trails that connect roads. While the roads may twist and wind up the hills, the footpaths are often more direct routes.

We decided to get off the main road which was turning out to be less fun and head down the trail that follows the creek. The trails had been traveled enough so we could see where the paths led so we'd know which way we were going. From where we were there was really only one direction at that point and that was downhill. We were happy to be headed down the mountain.

It was beautiful in the woods. All the sounds were muffled so we couldn't hear the noise from houses or traffic. Everything was covered with a thick layer of snow so we really felt enclosed in the woods. It was beautiful. We kept following trails, not really knowing where it led, but I knew eventually it would come out on one of the main roads somewhere down the mountain.

We met a future nurse tree on the way. He looked pretty happy.

Eventually we did come out on Heritage Mtn Rd and then trekked to the video store before heading home.


I wanted to see the Trailer Park Boys Christmas special since I'd never seen it. It's quite fun and I love the Christmas message in it ("Christmas is about getting drunk and stoned with your friends and family) given by Ricky in true Trailer Park Boys fashion. Now that's the Christmas spirit.

Later we watched I'm Not There.
This is the Todd Haynes film about Bob Dylan. It is a remarkable film, a dramatized version of what is known about Dylan's life. There are six Dylans with different names who are all portrayed by different actors one of whom is a woman, Cate Blanchett and another is an African American kid played by Marcus Carl Franklin. Each represents a part of Dylan whether real or imagined. The fragmented storylines are like a compilation album. It might not be all the songs you want to hear, but you get an overview of the artist's complete work. However, this isn't just about the songs, this is about the personae. It seems fitting that for someone like Dylan that several actors should depict him.
The style and settings of the film shifts with the actors. Each character is in his (or her) landscape and the colours and setting reflect each storyline.
I highly recommend this film.

Prima had a good boxing day as well. She likes to stick close to the tree. I think she's watching t.v. in this shot.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here's come the snow again

A little weather update.

So we made it through the last 30 cms. The main roads are plowed, but the sidestreets are kind of left on their own. Sidewalks? Forget it. There are no sidewalks unless a business decides to shovel around its store. Sidewalks around schools are plowed, but just to the school property limit and then the pile of snow and more footpaths. It's slow going for a pedestrian like me, but I'm enjoying the workout and I'm just glad my local shuttle bus is running since they often don't when we get a lot of snow because the hills are just too steep.

Tonight we're supposed to get a little more snow followed by even more snow tomorrow. It's just going to get more interesting. db and I are going to a friend's place tomorrow evening so I'm thinking the bus is the best option even though db has the company car over the holidays.

Needless to say running outdoors is not an option. There are no sidewalks to run on. The gym has limited hours tomorrow and is closed on Christmas so I'll just have to go for a walk on the snowbank/sidewalk and call it a day.

Christmas dinner is decided. Originally we were going to make stuffed eggplant, but db really wanted to make something Italian since it's a bit of a tradition in his family. So we're going to make canneloni stuffed with butternut squash and mixed mushrooms. It will be baked with db's fabulous and famous tomato. Christmas day will be about the cooking (like any holiday or special event in our house).


On the bus home I travelled with a young co-worker (young as in just 20 years old). Last year when he found out I was vegan I had to explain what vegan meant and he was shocked that such an option existed and kept asking me things like "you don't even eat chicken?" It was one of those "what do you eat" moment and actually was kind of funny.

Well he's come a long way in a year. We talked a lot about food on the bus ride home and it seems he's more aware of eating more healthy and showed concern over fast food and how unhealthy it is to eat that way. I could also hear that he understood better why I'm vegan. He was telling me about a restaurant in van city that he thought I might enjoy and searched his wallet for their business card. While he was searching he came across a KFC coupon. I said to him, "don't ever eat there." He said "I know I shouldn't. I saw a video on-line about how they get the meat from their chickens." He'd seen a PETA video on KFC and he said he couldn't eat there anymore. He then said, "It's wrong what they're doing. If it's true." I assured him that the video was real and was just a glimpse into some of the horrors of the meat industry. He's obviously a little more of a conscious omnivore.

When we went our separate ways I felt good despite the subject matter. I could see how much he had grown in a year. He's very open to all kinds of foods and cuisines and was thoughtful and respectful of my choices. He was much more aware of vegetarianism. What a difference a year makes.


I just finished Peter Singer's and Jim Mason's book The Way We Eat: Why our Food Choices Matter. I'll hopefully get a review up shortly on the Book Collective site. I'll write that one over the holidays.


For now I'm going to go watch the rest of the Blues game as they get defeated by the Red Wings. With so many injuries it's tough to watch the team struggle. Kariya, Andy MacDonald, Eric Brewer (the captain), Oshie, Eric Johnson, Jay McKee are all injured and are all key players. It's a wild time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Is anyone grumbling yet because my last post was "let it snow"?

I heard about people trapped at Pearson airport on the news this morning and one of the people interviewed sounded like redjane! She said "I just want to get to my family in Nova Scotia" and there was something in her voice that sounded like redjane. I hope she's okay and not grounded for too long.

I hope everyone is okay in the snowstorm. We're getting one tomorrow so I'm going to stay in and do some Christmas baking. I don't think I'll be out running with my stabilicers on tomorrow. I'm crazy but not that crazy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Let it snow

We got a full day of snowfall and the longer the snow fell the slower everything moved. My commute home took longer, but not by much. As I watched all the cars creep along the highway I was glad once again to be a transit commuter.

Once we got away from the traffic jam and the noise I could see that the snow has blanketed everything and it looks beautiful.

I use to hunker down at the first signs of winter, but now I enjoy it while I can because I know it will be brief. So I'm going to enjoy the snow while we have it. We may even have a white Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

As you can see Gigi had a good weekend. She likes the new tablecloth as the cats always do as soon as I put a clean one on the table. Yup cats rule the house and they can go wherever they like.

Saturday db had the company car so we could go get our Christmas tree. We drove out to Mission to the same tree farm we went to last year. The trees aren't sprayed with any pesticides so they're organic which is important when we consider the cats and how they like to chew, not to mention I don't want my Christmas tree off-gassing something other than its natural fragrance.

It's a beautiful setting on this little farm off the beaten path and it didn't take us too long to locate a tree we liked.

Here's db taking the saw to it.

It's a Fraser Fir and we managed to get it into the tiny Nissan versa db borrowed as long as I sat in the backseat with part of the tree over my shoulder. We'd picked up a re-usable Christmas tree bag from the Valley so the mess in the car was minimal.

Once we got it home we discovered it was a wee bit too tall so we had to take a bit off the top.

Saturday night we got a dusting of snow (I heard van city got quite a bit more than us which is unusual since we usually get the accumulation while they remain snow-free). It looked so pretty coming down oh so gently.

By morning there was a light coating of snow, but not enough to deter me from running. However once I got outside and over the fact that it was chillier than I thought, I realized that the sidewalks had just enough ice on them to make them unsafe for running. I walked back up the hill and put my icers over my sneakers and started again. Once I realized how well the icers worked I was running as usual. The noise was kind of like a tap-dancing sound of me clackity-clacking along the sidewalk, but it didn't bother me and there weren't many people out so I don't think it bothered anyone else either.

I'm officially crazy now that I'm going out for a run with ice spikes on my running shoes. As I left the house I looked back to see db in the window motioning that I was crazy. Maybe so. I had a good run though.

Monday, December 08, 2008

This was my perfect Sunday morning. There's my knitting, my tea latte and db's cinnamon rolls. db pulled the recipe from Bob's Red Mill website and made them gluten free. I went for my run and when I came back there was db at work in the kitchen sprinkling cinnamon over the dough.
They were delicious.

Prima enjoyed her Sunday as well in her new basket. She was a bit hesitant at first, but then realized it really was comfortable afterall.

It's hard to tell by the photo but dinner was Mushroom and Butternut Squash lasagna with a vegan bechamel sauce.

Oh, I love Sundays!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I had a good run last night. I went to the Running Room drop in run again. I was expecting more of the same (fartleks or a steady 5 k run or something), but no hills were on the schedule and a group of about 12 or 13 of us headed out into the night for a warm up run to a nearby park. Once at the park we ran 12 minutes of figure eights up and down the parking lot's gentle hill. The group leader said after our warm up "this is not a social club" and suggested that we run as hard as we could on the hill.

It was cool when we all started out together and then at the top some of the group went right and some went left so we spread out nicely. I moved pretty quickly, but after about 8 minutes I started to slow down and worked on just trying to keep a good pace without giving up.

We ran back to the Running Room for a total of 45 minutes of running. I have no idea how far I went since my watch is a basic one, I can't track distance on it. was a good workout and once again I was just happy to make it out for the run after a full day on my feet at work.


new and exciting:

(No, not the suspension of Parliament. I'm waiting for the news to come on so I can find out all the juicy details).

I just picked up the new Living Without Magazine and am very excited about the cookie recipes and the article on the 18 best wheat-free flours. Did you know they make cabernet, merlot, chardonnay and reisling flours? It's true. It's made from the "by-products of wine making."

I'm almost through another knitting project. It's so nice to be knitting again. Maybe I'll post some photos soon. I'm a little shy about my knitting projects and besides one might be a gift for someone reading this post so I don't want to spoil the surprise.

I also just discovered Lacey Jane Roberts who created the piece in the photo, We couldn't get in. We couldn't get out. As you can see she's an artist who makes sculpture with yarn.

After seeing some of the art pieces in the WACK exhibit that used yarn to change spaces or create spaces I discovered a whole new area of knitting, crocheting, crafting to appreciate.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

running circles

Training five people in the middle of a Christmas rush is a new experience for me. I like to think of myself as a patient person, but this new job may test that. We're only the first week of December and I'm already running circles, chasing people down to complete this task or show them how to correct an error or just to answer questions or resolve a customer's problem. It's fatiguing. I only have to do this for the month of December during the Christmas rush so let's see how long I last.

This morning I imagined myself going for a run after work. In the a.m. it was fairly warm and I was pretty well rested, but after being on my feet (or maybe that's my toes) all day I have been slowed to a shuffle. It hurts to stand so tonight I'll skip the run and try and get it in tomorrow.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I'm excited about a potential coalition government. This is exciting politics! I'm loving the news right now. I just wish Elizabeth May was part of it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas time is here.

Ah the company Christmas party. db's company held their party last night at a Greek restaurant in North Burnaby. For db and I there were two vegan meals prepared consisting of stuffed peppers, tomatoes with a side of potatoes and a greek salad without the feta. It was pretty good, but way too huge for us to finish along with the bean soup, hummus and baba ghanosh that we'd already been served.

There were gifts and a game. One of the gifts was some very tastey looking olive oil bottled in a wine bottle with it's own label. I'm really looking forward to opening that.
During dinner we had a performance from a belly dancer that got a lot of other people dancing as well, which was almost more entertaining than the belly dancer. Overall, it was a fun evening until the drama kicked in when one of the guys was so drunk he couldn't really speak anymore. We figured he had started drinking before he came to the party since there was no way he could have gotten into that shape over the course of the evening. It wouldn't have been a big deal except that no one knew how to get him home since no one knew where he lived. We had a general idea (as in Surrey) and no one could get an address out of him. Plus he's moved a couple of times this past year so he gave a few addresses when someone did eventually get him to speak. A few people pooled their cash together and put him in a cab with one of the addresses. I imagine he made it home...eventually.

Having catered many parties like this I've seen similar circumstances. There's always one at a company party isn't there?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

run vegan run

I can spend a lot of time coming up with reasons to not go for a run especially when it's cold, dark and after days work, but last night I had a new reason to go running. Our local running room had some adidas reps with shoes to try out. The running room has a Wednesday night group run so the event coincided with their group run. So I finally did it; I finally went for the drop in group run.

It was pretty cold last night. It was probably around 3 degrees and I couldn't wait to get moving and warm up. I had to buy some gloves while I was there because the ones I wore were seriously inadequate. Then, I tried on a couple of shoes and settled on the Supernova Sequence which is a similar style to my Asics Kayano. They felt a bit firmer, but I decided to try them out. The rep handed me some free socks and I mingled in the group until we were organized into smaller groups.

I had planned to just take an easy run with the 5.5 k group, but as the group leader started setting up the groups, I jumped into the fartlek (speed play) group for people who run a "1:30 to 1:50 half marathon." Then, he said "even if you run a 2:05 half marathon you should go in this group." That sealed it. I know 1:51 was my last time, but was I still in such good running form? If they took 2:05 then I could do it. But we were such a small group of only five people including the pace setter. We started out together at what I would consider a brisk pace and then when the pace setter picked it up for the first time we started to separate. I tried to keep the two front runners in sight and they were really not far ahead of me, but I was running fast and I felt fine. The shoes felt fine which was a good sign. I was pretty happy that I kept up with the front runners. When we stopped at the last street light, I was able to run with them for the final block and chat a bit.

I was thrilled with my run and being able to keep the front runners in sight. I ran a 29 minute 5.5 k. This is reason enough for me to try and make the Wednesday night group runs. With a more flexible schedule at work I can go in a little earlier on Wednesdays so I can leave early enough to make the group run.

As for the shoes? Being about a hundred dollars cheaper than the Asics (of course I usually buy them on ebay for a lot less), I think I'll give them another try when I'm ready for a new pair.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I was visiting mister anchovy's blog and noticed that he too had just finished The Wire so I thought I should write something about this great series.

db and I just finished watching The Wire. My whole family had been talking about it for several months and would get into discussions about episodes while I'd sit there having no idea what they were talking about. My mom bought the series and sent us home with four seasons after our vacation. Thanks mom!

We took our time with the series, making sure we had no distractions so we could commit fully to watching an episode. I loved every minute. It did take me a few episodes to get into the pacing of it, but by the third episode I was hooked. Each episode doesn't wrap up in a tidy way, but rather recognizes that the entire season and beyond with tell the whole story. It's untraditional in many ways and breaks with lots of t.v. series standards, creating it's own style and pacing. It's a fantastic series. The writing is brilliant and is very cinematic in its choice of shots or the way the camera moves in a space.

I'm sorry it's over only because television this brilliant doesn't happen that often.

Photos from the week.


More fall colours to appreciate. The leaves have pretty much dropped by now. Today, however, I noticed that Van city still has quite a few trees with lots of leaves. It's gets that much colder once you move further from the coast and here in whoville we've got some elevation as well.


There were wind warnings in the news so I got out early and ran. The run went well and I managed to avoid the nasty weather, which really didn't get that bad until well into the night.

For dinner I debated with myself on what to do with the two smallish delicata squashes and finally settled on squash risotto. This is an easy way to make your risotto creamy without having to add an dairy products. Creamy and delicious. Make your risotto as you normally would, but prior to adding the rice, cook your chopped up squash for about 10 minutes. I cooked the squash with a couple of tablespoons each of earth balance and olive oil and then just covered the pot. Then I stirred in my rice and cooked it a little before adding the wine followed by the doses of stock.


db named this one the Mt. Crumpet soynog cappucino. It's actually my tea with a noel nog cream. Delicious. It's a great way to start a Sunday.

The One-of-a-Kind show has come to Van city. Eventhough we had already gone to Circle Craft's seasonal show, we decided to go to the One-of-a-Kind as well. It's about a fifth of the size of the one in Toronto, but it's the first year.
I was curious on how they could pull it off in BC Place with that icky roof and the dull lighting of a stadium. You can see the solution. It worked really well. An area of the field had been cordoned off and enclosed. There was carpeting to muffle the echoey sound that you might expect in a stadium and overall it was bright and set up really well.
We weren't really shopping since we don't really Christmas shop (and of course having no money to spend helps), but I really enjoy being able to admire all the work. I guess it's more like going to a gallery for me. I probably should have gone to the east side culture crawl, but I made my choice. Next year I'll have to get to the culture crawl.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More from the ppk.

Brunch! You know I love brunch. What's not to love about brunch?

Over at the post punk kitchen there is a little preview of Isa Chandra's latest book that will be all about vegan brunch. Could life get any better? I guess it could if we could all be vegan.

love that burn

Running hills was my spontaneous choice today. I have a general guideline of how long I want to run which means I'll run out half the distance and then back. Today I knew some hills were in order.

During my last training session for the Victoria marathon I eased off the hill once I realized I had an injury and then tried to stick with as flat a terrain as possible. Then, once I realized that I was only fit enough for the half-marathon I stuck with my physio and moved to nothing hillier than the trail that rolls up and down, but never gets really hilly.

Today, I tried not to think about the hill as I ran up it. Then my throat started to burn with every breath. I took a short break after four minutes at the top of the first hill and then felt the burn in my lungs as I walked a little more. Once the burning subsided (it really didn't take long) I went at it again. I completed a short loop of just over 4 k. Fortunately 1.5 k of it was downhill.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On the beach with John Francis, Planetwalker

I just finished the book Planetwalker and highly recommend it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More of fall

It's been fairly rainy this last week. Today the sun is out, but yesterday when i walked to my doctor's office, it was overcast and just lightly raining. I actually prefer the colours when it's overcast because they seem much richer than on a sunny bright day like today.
We've had a generous fall that has felt like a full season. When I lived in Ontario and Quebec fall seemed so brief and it seemed to shift from extremes (hot to cold) very quickly. I think I prefer this longer season.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Fall Colours

The smokebush in the front yard is a fiery orange.

The fall colours are in full bloom (except for my toad lily) and are amazing. They are mostly yellows mixed amongst the evergreens that look so vibrant on our overcast days. However, I fear that the past two days of rain may have caused all the leaves to fall before I take anymore pictures.

I realized that the food we've been eating are not unlike the colours outside.

db's yellow tomato sauce from our garden tomatoes. We're pretty happy to still be making fresh tomato sauces from our garden in November.

Vegan cupcakes take over my world. Caramel Apple Cupcakes with a Caramel Penuche (fudge-like frosting).

Not only are these vegan, but I made them gluten-free as well. They are divine, soft and moist with a fudgey frosting. Oh my goodness. I think I'm going to have to get Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

Here they are in the frosting area.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The past week

With VeganMofo over I've stopped keeping the camera in the kitchen and I felt I needed a little blogging break. Of course there was the U.S. election in there and work etc so I've been focusing my attention elsewhere.


Loaf, loaf and more loaf. I slept in, spent some time with Prima and Gigi. I went to see my friend tp who has this fabulous store. She use to work with me at the Valley until she went after her dream and set up her own store. Now it seems like it all happened overnight, but really it was months of her taking courses, planning, renovating, and ordering the most fabulous stuff ever.

Here's one of the prints I ordered from her. "Hedgey," as she calls it, is from PaPaYa.
She carries pacifica, Beautea organics and barefoot venus so I always have a supply of soy candles and bath salts that are vegan. Also she has locally made exquisite jewellry that I mostly have to drool over (good thing it's under glass) since I can't afford it. There is one woman's work she carries from Ireland who re-makes new pieces from antique jewellry. It's unbelievably beautiful.
Anywho, I'm very proud of her and we had a nice visit on a rainy Saturday afternoon.


db and I went to the gallery to see WACK: art and the feminist revolution. Spend some time on the website, it's quite worth it. Some of the artists speak about their work. It's wonderful to hear their voices and hear them talk about their work.
WACK is a huge exhibit covering women's art from the 60s to the mid 80s. We spent several hours going through the rooms discovering sculpture, paintings, fabric arts, film & video, interactive art, and pieces from performances.
It was quite a moving exhibit for me. I knew some of the women artists (mostly the filmmakers), but many I discovered for the first time. I felt very connected to what the women were conveying, responding to and/or subverting in their work.
The exhibit is extensive and I'm glad I have a gallery membership so I can go back and visit at least once more, maybe twice. One of the rooms has a listing of several films that will be screened throughout the day and what days they will screen them so if I time it right I can get a film in as well.


Work. Newcastle wins over Aston villa and drag themselves from the very bottom of the Premier League table.


Work. Oh yes, that election in the U.S. I thought I wasn't that interested until I started to watch the country shift to elect Obama. I read this as a definite rejection of Bush's administration and their policies. After watching such a dramatic change, I am also greatly disappointed in our electoral process and the sad excuse for leaders that people vote for in Canada (with exception to May of course).


Work. It was my sister's birthday! I didn't get to speak to her but I hope she had a great birthday. When I called her after work I knew she'd probably be out to dinner since she's usually always out on her birthday.
I remember once we made her favorite food for her birthday. A couple of years she was away on her birthday doing a show so I remember the year we cooked for her quite well. She requested Indian food and we made a beautiful meal for her. This was when we rented the downstairs of her house.
When we lived together she came for lots of meals and I miss those days. She often felt like she was imposing on us, but we never felt that way and could never convince her otherwise. I loved sharing our meals with her. Sis cooked for us as well and that was always a treat or she'd bring something to our dinner to contribute (sometimes it was just one of her cats visiting which didn't always go over well with our cats).
In the warm weather we'd eat outside on our patio or on her deck. I think we were really lucky to have had that time in our lives together. Happy Birthday sis.


A little running, a little job search, and hopefully some baking. We'll see.

Friday, October 31, 2008

While I was shopping...

I found a crumpled list in my grocery basket.

When someone finds out I'm vegan I'm still often asked (yes, it's true in this day and age) "what do you eat?" I think I'll save my shopping lists for when someone asks me this. Then I can hand over a list to whoever asks.

This list I found in a Stupidstore basket (Superstore. I go there because Earth Balance is almost 2 dollars cheaper! Also, away from the bustling city there are fewer store options). I think it's a glimpse into a non-vegan world.

What does a non-vegan shop for anyway?

( it is written in blue pen on lined paper and I will try to re-create it as it is listed)

Cheese Block
2 doz eggs
Ivory Soap Bars
Stir fry mix/frozen veggies
4 kleenex
4 K.D.
1 H2O Flat
1 Pancake mix
ice cream
taco kit
3 Bread
Chicken fingers/hotdogs
1 milk
1 mayo
1% milk

I think my favorite part of the list is the 4 kleenex (oh the poor Boreal forest). If you can read the one word I couldn't make out, then let me know. I thought it said Gummy as in gummy bears, but I know that's not right.

Farewell VeganMofo, sushi and Happy Halloween

It's the last day for VeganMofo! It flew by. The last day and I have no dinner plans. db will be out for dinner so what's a vegan girl to do? I'll come up with something. We have a fridge full of leafy greens and all the ingredients to pretty much make anything so I think I'll be fine in coming up with something tasty.

Last night was the end of a day that was a crazy day for both db and I. We had very chaotic work days and needed some chill time.

We took a walk to the pet supply store and on the way there I got to vent about work which was very cathartic. On the way home we took a look at a new sushi place that opened up. db suggested take-out. And that's what we did. We needed an easy night to just sit and watch the Blues.

We also just happened to have some premium sake on hand that we've been wanting to try so it was a good opportunity to have a taste or two or three of that.

These were the yammy rolls with wakame seaweed on top. This was my favorite.

For dessert we finished off the pumpkin pie I had made earlier this week. After having such success with my veggie pot pie, I wanted to make another pastry crust.
I wanted to save the picture for the last VeganMofo day since it is Halloween as well.

Thanks for following the VeganMofo posts. I'll probably do more foodie posts now as a result.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Simple Squash Soup

A few years ago I was at a favorite restaurant in T.O. and picked up their lunch menu to browse. On the back of the brochure was a recipe for one of their soups, Creamy Sweet Potato.
Here is my re-creation of it.
Saute garlic, hot pepper, carrots, celery
Add squash (I used delicata, sugar pumpkin and a little butternut -- this is what I had on hand). Cover with water and cook until soft. Then add coconut milk, and a little salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Simple and delicious.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Iron Chef Challenge #4

This is really only my second Iron Chef Challenge, but it's the 4th in the VeganMofo series.

The challenge was "stuffing." Stuffing could be interpreted as we wished. When I read the challenge I knew what I had planned for dinner would fit into the "stuffing" category.

What did I stuff?

Corn tortillas couldn't be simpler to make. Just mix masa harina (corn flour), salt and water, then roll, press and cook. Cook them 30 secs on one side, flip and cook for 1 minute on the other side, then flip again and cook for another 30 secs or until they puff up.

I have a tortilla press that makes the pressing process much easier and it's fun to use as well. There are some presses on the market that are...well...flimsy. If you're in the market for a tortilla press make sure it has some weight to it, as in some cast iron weight to it. This also makes the pressing much easier.

db made the red mesa sauce from our new cookbook, rebar modernfood cookbook.
And what did we stuff the tortillas with?

I made my own version of refried beans that consisted of pinto beans, veggie stock, garlic and jalapeno. We added Tofutti sour supreme, guacamole, chopped lettuce, and garden tomato salsa.

I also made some Mexican Millet from Veganomicon to have on the side. Meximillet is one of my favorites from the book. Topped with a little cilantro (there was a little cilantro in just about everything) and it's ready to eat.

There's one stuffed tortilla with all of the ingredients listed above. I later followed it with two more until I was stuffed. The meal turned out to be very delicious. The end result: two stuffed vegans.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More Pie?

Yup. Friday we had Shepherdess' Pie. Veganomicon has a Tempeh Shepherdess Pie, but I didn't have tempeh so I combined the Vegan Planet and Veganomicon recipes to make my Shepherdess' Pie. The key ingredient...

Better than Bouillon! This is my plug for the Better than Bouillon. I haven't made my own stock in a while so the Better than Bouillon is great to have on hand. It made a great sauce base for the pie.
db suggested we try it since I was a bit disappointed in the veggie bouillon cubes and powders.

Here's how it looks with my veggie base (carrots & broccoli) for the Shepherdess' Pie. Once in the casserole I added crumbled up Sol veggie burger and ground hazelnuts (hey something locally grown! Actually so are the broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes and garlic).

End result...yummy. Our salad had tomatoes from our garden which was nice.


Today we went to the Gourmet Warehouse. Everyone at work kept telling me I had to go. Since I'm not originally from this part of Canada I don't know about such places and whether they're worth going to. Plus I was a little suspicious of such recommendations from co-workers who think that Wendy's is a good lunch. To each her or his own, right?

I intended to take my camera, but I had no batteries charged so you'll have to use your imagination.

From the outside the storefront is very unassuming. I've gone past that stretch of Hastings St. and never even noticed it (probably because the big white Crappy Tire building looms into view). There's no big showy windows or shiny displays, however, the entrance is marked by a sign and once you enter all the treasures are there.

It has good quality pots, pans, baking dishes, wine glasses, dishes and coffee machines. There are short rows jam packed with spices, hot sauces, rices, pastas, salts, mustards, tea, coffee and everything else. There's a little baking corner with baking chocolates, sugars, extracts, molds, decorating supplies. There is every kind of kitchen utensil invented. I draw the line at onion goggles and asparagus tongs (aren't tongs just tongs?). You get the idea; the selection is very good.

db and I had a good time. I picked up some supplies that I know I can't get near home. We even found organic brown sushi rice.

After picking up the rest of our supplies for tonight's dinner (you'll have to wait and see what it is) at drive Organics we headed home.

Back at home db made us tomato sandwiches (more garden tomatoes) while I made a batch of wheat-free chocolate chip cookies from Veganomicon.

They're chewy and crumbly goodness. The picture doesn't really show the chocolate chips, but they're in there. They kind of melted down in the baking since this is a fairly thin cookie.

I think these cookies might be good with a little soy delicious in between or maybe a little of my own homemade sorbet. I'll have to wait and see.