Saturday, January 10, 2009

when the weather looks like this...

I came home to this sight the other day. It was kind of funny, actually - I'd just trudged home through a blizzard with visions of hot stew in my head and what do I find but the storm decided to join me in my kitchen!

Ha, it was okay. I managed not to step in any of the puddles and was very very thankful for the crockpot stew I had put on the night before. Yeah, I actually used my crockpot! *shock* my mom would be proud. I had actually been so busy that I acted the great cliche and took it down off the highest shelf I have to put some veganomicon cholent-style ingredients together the night before.

I'm actually not sure if I'm sold on the tarragon + caraway thing... but it was warm and hearty and perfect at the time. (ie: full of potatoes). I added tabasco and corn, too.

Earlier than that (or later? oh I don't remember. sometime!) I made vcon lemon & pea risotto with roasted red peppers.

I don't know why people complain about leftover risotto! I actually thought this was tastiest cold out of the fridge, slurped up like cold lemony pudding. I'm weird, yes. I tried Risotto al Salto too, to try it (basically fried up like a fritter), which was fine. But nothing on the ice-cold stuff!

I posted about hoecakes before, so there isn't much to say about the big yellow thing on the plate - except maybe to amend my recipe to stress than fine cornmeal should be used in a hoecake. This one was coarse which did NOT work anywhere near as well, but ah you learn. The interesting bit, at least to me, is that grayish dip-like blob in the corner. It was very tasty! It's black bean & orange dip from ED&BV, and it's a little sweeter than a regular b.bean dip and really great on wraps and things.

In the midst of being busy I made some muffins to take to school. I wonder why I decided to make jammy muffins to put in my bag? Ha ha, anyway, they're hearty jam-dot muffins from Fran Costigan's second book. They're okay... I like that there's lots of toasted oats and sesame in them, and my mom's homemade plum jelly. A wee bit heavy, but I subbed some stuff so it could have been my bad.

Over christmas my dad bought me some veggie burgers for christmas eve Burger Night (woohoo!), which happened to be Amy's California Burgers. They're soooooo good! They don't taste a blessed thing like fakey meatstuff, but they DO taste like toasted bulger and mushrooms and loads of other great all-natural things. I had some on buns, and some on salad with tahini dressing and both ways were awesome. I had the last one today though, and I don't know what to do because I never buy pre-packaged food for myself but I think I've fallen in love!


And finally... we call this an economic birthday, or a belated one, or whatever. It's a full moon tonight and though it's neither of these boys' birthdays (although it's close), it's definitely always a good time for a chocolate jalapeno cake with ganache topping and strawberries inside. Yeah, I know!! It's another Extraveganza cake recipe and holy schlamoli, it's SO tender and delicious and soft peppery perfect, I tried a whole bunch of it that stuck to the cake tin. ^_^;

Word to the wise: the recipe mentions nothing about de-panning this cake, and in fact implies that it shouldn't be, I think, at least when you read the icing recipe along with it. I did anyway and it was a total headache cause it was so fluffy and sticky (and criminally delicious. did I mention that?), but I think it came through the operation 97% intact. Minus the chunks I ate. (I'm starting to think that being able to fix cake disasters is as useful as baking one that tastes good... :P)

Anyone else notice how the stuff on top kinda looks like a crab? Not planned! But I like it.

23 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Eeek!! Gotta keep the blizzard OUTside ;-)

Lovely food, as always!! And kudos for dealing with the minor cake catastrophe; and yes, the design DOES look like a crab - fun!!

Carrie said...

Everything looks so scrumptious!! But I especially want a piece of that cake...

Amey said...

mmm. yummy stuff.
I have a crockpot that I NEVER use. My mom got it for me at the thrift store, but some how I just about never use it.

I love your pretty decoration on the cake. Very nice!

Jes said...

Chocolate jalapeño cake? I'm in love.

Maureen @ madaboutudon said...

Blech, my windows do that too. The worst is when you can't close the window after and you're stuck with a perma-draft all winter. And btw, I don't like tarragon either, I don't know how anyone could. Those are lucky, lucky boys to receive such a delicious cake!

Kiersten said...

That risotto looks so good! I haven't tried that recipe yet, but you just convinced me to try it ASAP.

Cyn said...

Yum! I like cold risotto too. Actually, I love any kind of risotto.

Your cake decoration skillz are awesome.

Vegetation said...

Mmmm I want stew! And snow! And Amy's Veggie Burgers, and some of that cake! Yum!

VeganCowGirl said...

yeah for snow, boo for your puddles.

Mmmm those veggie burgers look so good, but you stole my heart with that cake. I have been craving cake like you wouldn't believe. I think I really need to get around to some good ol' hoe cakes.

Have a great week Liz!

T said...

That cake is absolutely precious! And I can't believe there's a kind of risotto I haven't tried...

Mihl said...

Snow joining you in your kitchen sounds like not so much fun. We've had quite some snow over here, too and I am happy about it...as long as it stays outside.
I wanted to make that risotto for New Year's and then decided to make something else. Why? I think I'll go for it soon.

Ruby Red Vegan said...

I don't see the crab! But the cake is beautiful. It's funny you mentioned frying up leftover risotto, because I just learned that you could do that 2 days ago! Well. I've never actually make risotto before. It does sound yummy like that! Your yellow hoecake is pretty too.

Okay? I would have been so upset to come back to a kitchen full of puddles! That's the type of thing that would make me want to cry and whine and stare at helplessly, wishing I didn't have to clean up! Hopefully tidying the mess wasn't too bad.

shellyfish said...

I totally see the crab - what did I win? I piece of cake?
You know, I really wish I had a crock pot...I feel sort of left out or something.
I think we should have a veggie burger night. Maybe I'll steal that from you???

Hannah said...

Oh no, you really can't escape that kind of weather, huh?!

That cake is so beautiful, and so nicely piped! I'm still intimidated by writing on cakes, so I only do it when I have no other choice at work (I usually try to convince the costumers that they really would prefer something else first!)

jessy said...

oh yeah - i do see how your cake decorating is crab-like, indeed! the strawberry pinchers are my fav! hooray for a super tasty cake & the ability to fix a potential cake disaster. i've never made a cake before because i'm kinda intimidated by them - but maybe one day i'll get up the nerve! :)

i'm gonna have to try that black bean & orange dip - sounds really good! we bought ED&BV a few months ago and i really need to start making some yummies out of it! mmmmmm!

i love the mushroom flavor in those amy's california burgers, too - oh-so delicious! and those jam-dot muffins look rock'n & hearty! sorry they were a bit heavy.

might i say that i am also a fan of cold risotto. i too think it takes yummy the next day! hooray for some crockpot stew to keep you warm. it looks extra awesome, indeed!

Theresa said...

I love cold risotto! Almost as much as I love chilli + chocolate.

Alice (in Veganland) said...

It might sound simple, but those roasted red bell peppers are calling my name!

tofufreak said...

ohhh. i love your cake! it's super pretty :)

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Chocolate jalapeno?! wow!
Also, I make the hoecakes a lot these days & use fine cornmeal, then throw in a bit of polenta for some crunch!

VeggieGirl said...

**Just as a heads up: I will not be able to comment on blogs as often now, during this semester, due to work overload (I'm stressed already) - PLEASE know that I'm still loyally reading, but just won't have time to comment. I hope you understand!!

vegetalion said...

I LOVE HOECAKES

and I love the look of those muffins!

...barbara... said...

yay for birthday non birthdays...
and chocolate jalapeño cake...who knew?
you did and now i do and now i must try....
off to purchase the book :)

aTxVegn said...

Your food always always looks completely amazing! Thanks for reminding me to get out my crockpot. It's so nice to come home and have dinner be ready.