Wednesday, September 10, 2008

wherein summer changes to fall... a story in 12 pics

It is so officially fall around here -- I'm wearing my deedly-bop Value Village hoodie sweater with the studious vibe and the cool knit pattern; I've got visions of stuffed squash and apple votive candles everywhere; perhaps there might be a day-trip to the Laurentians to enjoy the leaves even (ha! like a grown-up or something).

But the end of summer was great! I managed to get a good day in at the Jean Talon market right here in the city on the most gorgeous of Labour Days ever. Had a monkey of a time trying to find anything resembling a decent vegan lunch, however... so I had to make do with a matcha and banana popsicle, and that was actually hella good, and surprisingly filling, so that was okay. (behind it is my mum's strawberry pop)

Buying produce there is mad incredible. I got the most gigantic and bi-coloured cabbage ever for $1. Which is soooo okay by me! I'm still working on it, actually... mmmmm I love cabbage. And all cruciferous vegetables, actually. Like those amazing brussels sprouts up there.

The next sunny day that was milked for every joyous drop of heat-strokey lazy time was a looong stroll down to the Bouchee de Pain for a cookie. I'd heard there was a vegan bakery in the city, so I figured I'd check it out, and it's soooooooo cute. I mean, anything with a creaky barn door, brazilian knick knacks for sale, gluten free stuff, about 6 feet of floor space and a wide selection of vegan cookiescones is great by me! I chose a watermelon knick knack and an almond & lemon cookie - the cookie being as big as my head, but worth every crumb. You wouldn't want it smaller, they're that good! Generously almondy, not too sweet, a good chew, and brilliant with coffee, I am SO going back when the leaves turn flamey to try their mexican chili chocolate kind with some apple cider to dunk in... miammmmm.

Geeyap watermelon! There's gonna be a clearer picture of this plastic guy I found behind my bed later in the post - perhaps someone knows who he is? He's been getting into the cupboards. ~.~

Somewhere in the temperateness that was between the seasons, P made the most tenderest, most nuttiest good chocolate chip scones with like, a bunch of different flours in them (w.w. pastry, oat, and amaranth). It's a beautiful mixture for this kind of thing, the amaranth being especially interesting in it's ability to make things very melt-in-your-mouth, and I ate way more than was necessary, and would do it again, I would!

Whatever, whatever... yellow zucchini fritters, but the interesting bit is my first balsamic reduction (tee hee), that looks way more like carnage at the pen factory than a beautifully plated dish, but it was delicious, so inksplottedness is forgiven, I think.

Some marinated eggplant with capers and mint, as per the smitten kitchen. (I think her recipes must turn out photogenically by law!)

And my amazon order came!!!!!!

There's Vegan Fire & Spice, Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, Extraveganza, and More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts, I am soooo excited! I've been in a cooking rut, but no more!

And that Culinaria Southeast Asia, I actually got at Costco for $10 and it's like, the best book on southeast asian cuisine ever. It has recipes, but also culture, geography, history, festivals, art, ecology, everything else that's interesting about people! Separated into Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, it's really compulsive reading... I NEVER thought I would know so much about the manufacturing of soy, hehe.

Although one can't really ever discount the old faithfuls of the cookbook shelf - after waking up a teeny tad hungover and NOT able to stomach the thought of oatmeal sitting heavy in my gut, I decided to make a protein-y breakfast of champions in the hour I had before school. Breakfast chorizo from Vwav, and tofu scramble, and tortillas... perfect. (not pictured: coffee, black. and plenty of it).

And later that evening I brought out the bevy of treasurebooks (and by that I mean cookbooks, of course) to show to P and J and that immediately brought out the "kid with a christmas catalogue" instinct in the lot of us. We could NOT decide what to make for dinner. We almost ordered out for vegan pizza. But lo - finally P made a salad of purple peppers and baby greens, J made his oh-so famous guac, and I made 3 of the simplest concoctions I could find out of Extraveganza - the Quick Noodles with Miso Lemon Tahini Sauce + Lemon Sesame Kale + Red Cabbage with Basil and Balsamic Vinegar. Amazing. I realized halfway through dinner that the way to do it was to toss everything together in one very fun-to-eat pasta dish, with all the components bursting with flavour in their own distinct way.

I mean, wow, I made a dinner with components and I didn't even realize it. Gorsh.

(I like this book, I like this book, I SO like this book... I was even saying to P it might be my new love affair after the V-con. Seriously.)

And I mentioned fall, I know I did... this pie must close the post because it's just so seasonally crisp-cool in the air right now, and I'm feeling in that sort of mood. But I must admit that I actually made this pie a few days ago with a pumpkin I bought at the market, and I might have to make another one soon, because we're almost out and the thought of not having pumpkin pie in the fridge for one moment makes me sad.

Even Nameless Plastic Guy the Boy Wonder Hero seems to like the sticky roasted maple cayenne seeds I made out of the pumpkin's innards. It must be done again! :)

22 comments:

sweetpotato said...

pumpkin pie! i made some today, it was delicious. i bet yours was too:)

vegan addict said...

I wanna be your roommate. And I think I have a crush on that plastic boy wonder dude... I mean, he eats vegan seeds? He has to be cool. And besides, he's totally portable.

Your food/photos look amazing, as always. The vision of Mexican chili chocolate cookies dunked in apple cider makes me wish fall would arrive quick-as-heck in Portland.

tofufreak said...

O.M.G. you make me starvingly hungry!!! pumpkin pie, zucchini fritters, matcha popsicles, cookiescones, (cookbooks too!)....

ohhhhh i wanna be you :)

Anna said...

I'm loving Extra Vegan Za at the moment as well, haven't had it that long but there was so much I wanted to make once I read through it. Looking forward to seeing what else you make from your new books, nothing like new recipes to inspire you in the kitchen!

Urban Vegan said...

Thanks for taking us along for the ride on your wonderful culinary journey. I've seen that SE ASian cookbook, also at a discount place, but didn't buy it...Why?! It is a great book.

Not fall here yet, and I hope it stays away as long as possible. [I'm one of those rare people who love the hot weather.]

VeggieGirl said...

Autumn has definitely arrived - it's FRRRREEEEZZZZIIINNNGGGG here!!

What a great way to spend the end of your summer!! And as always, your food looks stellar - Liz, you must come cook for me :0)

Cute watermelon; and hooray for cookbooks!

Hehe, Nameless Plastic Guy the Boy Wonder Hero is too fun :0D

Theresa said...

Aw yum. Your season-transition looks like it was delicious!

Jes said...

Please please please do me a favor and send me autumn with the box of goodies I just ordered from you! What I would do to wear a hoodie outside...

Fall is so my favorite season.

Radtabulous cookbook order!

Kati said...

I can sense the amazingness of that chocolate chip scone through the computer screen - it must have been good!

Really, everything in this post has me hungry - inkblots and all.

Also, I like the way you cut your carrots.

...barbara... said...

oh pumpkin pie....it usually replaced my birthday cake every year....and to see this tofu less recipe makes me soooo happy.....love the tofu, just not when it mingles with my sweet sweet pumpkin treat.....
also, i will now be adding extraveganza to my next cookbook purchase....i always have a hard time deciding the next one, so recommendations are superb....
this whole post makes me all warm and fuzzy....like an oversized holiday sweater....

Sanja said...

That scone looks sooo good! And hmm... pumpkin pie! I've never tried Bryanna's version, but I will now. I'm only not sure if I can wait a whole day to eat it...

Carrie said...

Everything looks awesome! I love VWAV's breakfast chorizo...it's so yummy. And I think you have inspired me to make my first vegan pumpkin pie.

aTxVegn said...

We're still quite a ways from autumn, but I'm looking forward to fall produce. Extraveganza has some really good pasta recipes, and lots of great treats.

Chelsea said...

i've tried so many different vegan pumpkin pie recipes and they never come out right. did you let your pie set for a whole day like the recipe says to? maybe that's where i'm going wrong...i take the pie out of the oven, let it cool a bit, then slice into it..yeahhh im guessing that's what i'm doing wrong, haha. any tips though would be greatly appreciated! <3

Liz² said...

haha, I can never wait either! ^.^
But this one set up right away, actually, I was really impressed! It tasted better and it was firmer the next day, but it wasn't overly soft at all after just a few hours in the fridge. I think cornstarch is more predictable than tofu, actually... you never know how much moisture will be in that stuff. I even used my own pumpkin, which is supposed to be wetter than the canned stuff and it worked just fine. Yay bryanna, eh? :D

bittersweetblog said...

It's a bit sad to see summer go, but with great food like this, fall shouldn't be too bad... :)

T said...

My first five balsamic reductions were black and burned and hideous... nobody wanted to try it when I finally got it right.

I'm so excited about fall, even though its grossly hot here. Well at least I can live vicariously. :)

Celine said...

I was just busy drooling over your pics on flickr. :)

Mihl said...

Your food always look so delicious. Yellow zucchini fritters, you say? Please send them my way.
I've never seen brussel sprouts sold like that before. We never get them "on a stick".
I am looking forward to the next post already, now that you have all those shiny new cookbooks, he he.

Monika K said...

You're hilarious! I feel like I'm reading Juno's blog here - wicked cool. (-: But seriously, why don't you live closer to me so that I can mooch off of your mad kitchen skills/amazing cookbook collection?!! The combo of eggplant, capers and mint has me curious - I'll have to give it a try.

Ok, peace!

VeganCowGirl said...

I loved reading about Value Village!!! I miss the Double V. Wear the heck out of that hoodie for me!!!

The pumpkin pie looks amazing...just amazing. You never disapoint to make me uber-hungry even after I have finished my dinner. Damn you and your vegan magic!!!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Ooh, that's a lot of yum! I love the Brussels on stalks like that & the vegan bakery sounds lovely. Fritters & pie sound mighty good to me right now!