Thursday, February 25, 2010

KG is moving!

Hey everyone - just a quick announcement, that - just as in real life - I'm moving!

I'm over at Wordpress now, at , hope to see you there. :)

(and as soon as I can figure out how to redirect RSS feeds, hopefully you won't have to do that manually, either)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

cornmeal cooking

Ah, remember the hearts? (now why can I never seem to keep from smiling at the thought of little cookie cutters?)

I made them to adorn a roasted eggplant & chestnut bisque (with blood orange and mint), but the trick is that I made them spicy!  It's pretty simple to do, and I learned a new method for making polenta thanks to Mark Bittman - instead of boiling the water and then adding the cornmeal, you first whisk the cold water with the grain so there's no lumps at all.  Granted, I've never had huge lump problems with polenta, but I do think this was easier.  It even accommodated my using a hand mixer attachment instead of a real whisk because, uh.... it was closer!  It's SO almost the same thing.

Spicy Ras-el-Hanout Polenta Croutons

1 cup coarse cornmeal
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Ras el Hanout spice
1 tbsp olive oil

- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornmeal, salt, spices and water completely.  Then, jack up the heat to boil and as soon as it does boil, reduce the heat to a very low bubble and stir every minute or so until the grain is completely cooked through and the porridge is thick.  It'll be about 12-15 minutes.  

- Then, whisk in the oil and spread the polenta on a baking sheet lined with greased plastic wrap and refridgerate for at least 2 hours to firm everything up.

- When it's firm - cut it up!  Cookie cutterized, or into little crouton-cubes, either way.  

- Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat and coat the bottom in olive oil.  Fry them up, about 5 minutes a side, until they're nicely browned and slightly firm when you poke them.  Top onto salads or soups or just snack on them, they're really nice.

Mmmm, speaking of cornmeal and how utterly delicious it is, I made some mini fluffy cornbreads from the Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas.  I've had this book since I was a little girl, or at least my mother always kept it's dry-bound oft-used pages up on the bookshelf for as long as I can remember.  Granted it's chock full of dairy and eggs, but what is viable for a vegan is really lovely, and the cornbread is no exception.

I replaced the egg with some flaxseed and added chopped thai chili and diced red onions, and they came out just barely sweet and nutty tasting!  This isn't a big-ol sopping up chili with a hunk of hefty corncake kinda cornbread, but light and refined kind of puff of mais-muffin that' got a crisp crust and is pretty low fat too.  Almost alarmingly charming.  ^.^

Saturday, February 20, 2010

200th post -- KG cookzine vers. 1, heart-shapes, unicorns and brownies

Chocolate Midget Cake with Tiny Ganache (pg. 24)

Happy birthday to KG!  It's a 200th poststravaganza of um... well...

... that I finally made that cookzine!  Actually, a while back, I made this in the space of one week, entirely handwritten (legibly) and full of the same recipes I've used since high school to absolutely perfect results, plus some extra new concoctions and no shortage of adorable drawings of FOODS all over thar place!  I'm gonna put it up on my Etsy sometime tonight, so if you want a copy, it'll be real easy.

There's some from the blog, and some new inventions, as well as some from my friends.  Some are veganized versions of comfort food I grew up with (Coconut Peanut Noodles - although growing up we had it on oh-so N. American tri-coloured rotini).  There's the Raw Rosewater Cheesecake in all it's dreamy creamy glory!  My sister added in this amazing Quinoa Salad that relies on copious, copious amount of poppyseeds, and it totally transcends anything I thought it could be.

Hi Satchmo.  =^-^=
(maybe next zine I'll make-a-up some kitty treats?  Catnip nori bites?)

I could also totally get behind a totally-soup zine.  But anyway, the ones in here are good.

Oh yeah!  Speaking of soup, I made a whole million of polenta croutons in twee shapes for a soup yesterday! 

But that's next post.  :D

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Like a ghost cookie from the land that posting forgot, K IS BACK!

*crunch munch crisp lunch.... *

A-so... it appears.....

Pomme's homestyle totally awesome-for-you date-sweetened rice-flour cocoa-banana-kamut crispies, just TRY and eat just one, it's impossible

Hiatus finito!  K is back on the keyboard!  And in the meantime, some things have, of course, changed.

 I moved, finally, back in with my best soul-mate P (or Pomme, for those who remember), which has been a wonderful and learning and growing experience like it always is.  I always think it's the path of challenge that is the one worth taking, and the challenge of love is really no arduous thing, especially when it means I can come home and breathe a sigh of relief for being around people who, perhaps more than most, understand me.  It's no small treasure, and I count my lucky stars daily.

It also means that I'm privy to her baking skills again, and since her cookies, bars, scones, and cakes are so different from mine I really really pounce on them.  It's funny how one's own cooking can never surprise and so is somehow less enticing.  She's all about the whole-grain, natural sugars, low-gluten and high-end organic ingredients, always done without a recipe and always tasting very massive and wholesome in the best possible way.  Think... deep cocoa and heavy vanilla use, too.  Anyway, it's been nice to trade off baking again, and though neither of us are very rich right now and have been rationing sugar and oil with a careful eye, it hasn't taken much to feel rich in other respects.  Like getting valuable practice filling the table with a peasant's panache - the kind that gets one to make homemade momo dumplings for a special chinese dinner without spending more than enough to get a set of sparklers.  (... because you need sparklers ! )

On that note - we're looking into starting a small personal chef endeavour.  It's a lot simpler than I realized at first, and fate (among other things - um, the recommendation of countless friends) has steered my excitement in this direction nonstop for the past week or so.  I'll update with any progress on that, of course, and in the meantime, there is finally access to a camera in the house!  With any luck, P herself may even start posting some of her own food thoughts, and there may be her own or a joint recipe blog coming up in the future.  

And with that - happy camera having!  And happy reading week to all y'all in university (my heart and blurry textbook-ridden eyes are totally, totally with you).  Namaste. ~_~

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hiatus, or "How I learned to miss the vegan universe"

It's been forever, huh.

I have to admit that I was testing my reaction to not blogging for a while.  After losing the camera of course my zest/zingawow kinda faded, one can only do so much with a webcam when every casserole looks about the same as your sock pile.  And you do never know how much you love something until you lose it, right?  So I intentionally lost it (the blog), or intentionally got lost.  Whichever way... but it's not right, something's been missing and I miss all of you.  Where else can I get so irretrievably excited over how a zucchini curl twists like it's come from a painting, and where else can I gnash and skip over what everyone's been deep frying or dipping in chocolate or turning from trash to ten-star cuisine?  

I've even been questioning my muffin skills.  For shame.  They're as fabulous as ever, and a number of cakes have gone by, like a towering raspberry maple ice sculpture and a straight up "vanilla with gobs of chocolate frosting and sprinkles" that made me sooooo happy to floof together I can't even tell you.  I even put a cookzine together last week (in the space of a week), for a zine fair last weekend, and it's got most of my best recipes in there.  A lot of mostly cute things, but also the rosewater cheesecake and my sister's opium test-failing Quinoa Poppyseed Salad of unexpected addictiveness.  As soon as I get a camera I'll have it on my Etsy...

Which brings me to the camera issue, and the reason for a hiatus and not an immediate return.  It's pretty simple, it's been officially deemed life-affirming enough for me to drop 150$ on a new one, but I'll have to wait til I go home for christmas to use some fortunately stashed gift certificates to a mall in Ottawa.  So until then, I miss you, I miss this, I'm glad I got to at least go crazy for the Veganmofo, I'm SO disappointed that I won't be able to take a picture of my next cake which is a carrot cake actually shaped like the birthday boy with a little 3d head poking out, hahaha.

So I leave you with this video, which is amusing anyway for having plenty of Data in it, but also 2:27 seconds in you'll see the kinda cake I'll be going for.  Yes it's creepy!  But that's why it's worth doing. ^_^b

Thursday, October 29, 2009

VeMoFo#29: Picking Pecks of Pink Papples

There's a texture and a difference to an apple who's home you've seen.  Who's home you've even twisted it off from, that is to say - an apple plucked and fallen into your own basket!  I worked at an orchard out in Ormstown (about an hour out of montreal) at the end of August this summer, just for a few days, but enough time to sufficiently drink in enough of the heavy silence and dusky richness in the air, completely devoid of cell phone crackle, car exhaust, cable hum and well... the city in general.

double stem

I took a certain liking to these pink ones especially.  They're not even eating apples, normally, but used for wine, and they grew all clustered like burnished billiard balls exactly even in size and ridiculously easy to pick, plus fuschia seeds.  The other main kinds we picked were Jersey Macintosh and Jona Golds (crisp as ice!!)

I only just ate the last of these a few days ago... yay for hardy fruit

We also stayed in a trailer!!  So exciting, I love small spaces, and living as MacGuyver-y as possible.  We rotated every precious dish, washed with a teensy cloth (no soap or running water), ate out of tahini jars, and everything was sumptuous to eat because A: we were exhausted, B: communal food obviously tastes best, C: half of it came wild from the land!

Dinner on our last night was a chickpea & wakame & brown rice pilaf, curried coconut vegetable stew, green beans & wild dandelion greens picked just outside, and a stovetop apple pie made with our own apples, on a strawberry granola crust!  Oh, and topped with wild blackberries, and sweetened with dates luckily left over from snacking, of course.

Can I even tell you how overjoyed I was to "bake" in the wilderness?

Zoop's Zon!

I also saw the most amazing tree, curled in and over itself like a snake or a spirit!  I have 4 or 5 pictures of this creature, and in each one it looks entirely different, and exquisite.  

It was in a very long and flat expanse of shale (weak sedimentary river rock) that ran with a shallow crystal brook for kilometres and kilometres up, full of tiny fishes, some fossils, seaweed that looked like mermaid hair, and when you jumped up and down on certain parts of the rock it kind of shattered just a little bit, like jumping on ice in November.  And everything was copper-coloured.

yeah, you can pay me to do this...

Monday, October 26, 2009

VeMoFo#26: Happy black&white camper

Guess what came in the mail todaaaaayyyyy!

Thusly, a half hour later, my very own, first ever NYC black and whites, with extra lime zest, making me feel better about having no vegan bakery in this city.  Something to remedy someday, but for to-day... I couldn't be happier!  I'd seriously run out of cookie recipes in the books I had already, which you might believe at the rate that I make them, and that was stumping me all over the place.  

I'm thinking PB blondies and Irish Whiskey Cremes next.  Somebody hide the sugar from me!

Super Closeup Time ::: one of my favourite buttons, it says Fruit Spirit, kawaii kawaii.  :O