Wednesday, June 10, 2009

But that's life, and this is tofu

Summertime and some are slacking!  That is to say --- oh oh I'm sorry I dropped off the face of the blog-Earth!  I've been pretty busy, writing papers, painting spiders and lettuce leaves, taking t'ai chi, dating someone (yey), still cooking up a storm, and just not really feeling like there's been a good time to blog about it.  But really, it's getting ridiculous... I've lost count of how many photos I have.  Stacks.  And they're getting outdated, I'm forgetting if I used olives or capers in these stuffed tofus for example... at any rate I used Kittee's Method of the Stars to stuff them full of olive-oily spinach, red peppers, and raisins (I think).  Other good things, then breaded them in cornflakes, baked, and ate most of them all chewy-cold out of the fridge - like moment's notice hunger-killers, basically.

Sushi!  But with black rice this time, which is really more of a purple, and taste-wise isn't quite sushi bliss... but it sure is pretty.  I kinda feel like this is sushi with a silk tie on, or something.

And speaking of oceanic treats, my sister and I discovered some fantastic package of salty fried nori in her cupboards.  This stuff is gooooood.  For my money, beats the pants off of potato chips.

Sis thinks so too!

Then for a while I was all in love with med-firm tofu and it's magical ability to become some luxurious (yet low guilt) salad dressing at a moment's notice.  I played around with a few varieties - I tried the Vegan World Fusion Caesar (yum!), I made a kind of ranch, and my favourite was a curried apricot dressing that was very inspired by something from the Millenium cookbook, although I changed it entirely...  I even found the notepad file I wrote the recipe on!  So here it is ----

1/4 lb. med-firm tofu

1-2 dried apricots, soaked well and chopped

1 tsp rice vinegar

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp garam masala

1/8 tsp cardamom

pinch of cayenne

1 tsp almond butter

1 tsp canola oil

enough water to thin

Blend!  Blend like yo salad depends on it!  
My favourite part of tofu dressings is putting on so much that you can eat the extra at the bottom with a spoon. :)

Isa's perfect chocolate chip cookies are, by the way, and if you hadn't heard - perfect.  Utterly perfect.  Me and this cookie had a bit of a moment... time stopped outside my window, cars drove softly past and I felt like all the sweet chewy vanill-y mass was just going straight into my heart (forget stomachs).  Good times.  Oh!  And this is only from batch number two.  I made them before, maybe not creaming quite enough so they spread a bit, but obviously still amazing enough to convince me to try again.

Not having ever tried a Madhur Jaffrey recipe I figured I would give it a go, finally.  Her dhal intrigued me in how it has a whole lemon sliced right into it, and it really works!  Totally makes it a different sort of creature than your regular lentil-mash.  I ate it up with --- oh oh oh oh!!  guess what!!!  I got a food processor!  Or at least, an attachment for my new stick blender that my mom got me (love moms!).  I turned veggies into confetti in like, 10 seconds, wow.  Anyway, yeah, I stuffed said veggies (sauted with garlic, mustard seeds, cider vinegar, bit of braggs, maybe a bit of tahini? possibly caraway seeds, too) into a paratha, and then ate the mountain of leftovers too, because it was pretty delicious stuff.  

I also think I'm finally getting the hang of cakes.  Getting the right ratio of textures, flavours, sizes, richnesses, bursts of things, etc.  This was so well-balanced, one of my favourites in recent memory!  It's a chocolate mint cake with minty vanilla buttercream sandwiched between, whipped ganache on top, and loads of little violets, to celebrate spring or some such twee sentiment that surprised me in actually tasting good as well as looking way pretty.  I ended up dipping the extra violet stems in the leftover ganache!  And the cake... was this joyous kind of refreshing melt-in-your-mouth confection that I had (Mwahahaha!) MOSTLY to myself.  Usually I'm the one giving away desserts too soon, but this one was totally mine.  Yum!

*ackdroolzzz*  don't you wish there was taste-o-vision?


Jes said...

Too much to comment on! I'm totally making that salad dressing though, perhaps right now. Maybe that's what I'm craving at 10 pm! And the cake, oh my goodness, so beautiful and springy/summery! And the purple tofu? I could kill for purple tofu to match my purple bike. I'm glad you're back!

nora said...

Oh my gosh, that cake with the violets is so gorgeous! good job!

and I love the black (purple) rice in the sushi. I guess I'm just really liking all the purple things in your post, lol.

bezajel said...


I swear I could smell that cake while looking at the picture... so delicious smelling :D

Also, the stuffed tofu looks good and crunchy. I've bookmarked the recipe for later!

And ALSO, hi! I'm Sarah, first-time poster, check out my food blog if you like..

Anonymous said...

Holy yum, Liz! Can you come over and cook for me? Please?

Cyn said...

Those stuffed tofus look so good! I want caper or olive stuffed tofus. And the dal! And the salad! And the cookies! Wowza.

jessy said...

hooray! i got all happyfaced when i saw your post pop up in my google reader! you’re been a busy bee – having fun & playing hard – that rocks! stuffed tofu, sushi (i love the black rice – and yes, sushi = bliss!), nori yumminesses, and i’m totally gonna have to try your dressing! garam masala + apricots + almond butter – that’s gotta be glorious, fo ‘sho! i still need to try those cookies – your parantha = the best (and so is your chocolate mint cake). oh my gosh – there’s just so much awesomeness! i love it ALL!

aTxVegn said...

Your sushi looks nice with the purple rice and all the yummy veggies inside. And that cake is amazing! It looks like a giant Ding Dong.

Judy said...

I am curious to try black rice, but maybe I won't try it in sushi. I love nori and kelp, and lately I've been ripping up sheets of sushi nori to go in my salad, which is a great addition. Sea vegetables are so healthy too. And lastly...mmmm cookies...

Anonymous said...

Hi there!!

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P.s. I'm doin' a little giveaway on mine if you'd like to check that out, please do!!

dreaminitvegan said...

Everything looks so good. Your cake is the sweetest, I love it!!!