Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Muenster at the End of This Blog

Wow.  I can't even begin to tell you how unfortunate the last 18 hours have been.  So, I'm trying to get some MoFo stuff taken care of before it starts.  That way I don't have to rush to do everything the day of.  So last night I was baking a cake for a friend's birthday.  Before I even began, my oven started smoking because something had spilled and was burning at the bottom.  I'm still convinced Era might have done it because I don't remember spilling anything.  Haha.

The first attempt at baking, I put the cakes in the oven and realized I had forgotten the sugar.  So I threw everything out.  Then I went to put the cakes in and one of my mini tester pans FLEW out of my hands and landed upside down in the oven.  So I finally made, frosted and decorated the cake.  Then I realized I misread the recipe and used baking powder instead of baking soda.  Good news is that I couldn't tell when I ate the tester.  I hope it's the same for the big one.  Then, and this is truly priceless, I ran out of sugar just when I was about to bake all the gingerbread and cakes for my haunted gingerbread!

I need a nap...or three.  I don't think I've been sleeping enough and it's all catching up to me right now.  Some good did come out of this craziness, though.  Last night I had a hankering for a sammich.  Only problem is that all I had was my 99 cent Yves turkey slices.  No bread, no cheese, no problem!  I baked the Beer Bread from 500 Vegan Recipes and made the Muenster Cheese from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook.  I am thoroughly in love with so many of the recipes in that book.  Plus the block cheezes are really easy to personalize.  I even forgot to add the tahini (yet another indication I should stay out of the kitchen) and it still tastes great.
muenster, beer bread, more muenster, sandwich

Instead of using regular paprika, I went for smoked which only added to the awesome.  If I take a long enough nap today, I think I'm going to make two more block cheezes just because.

Earlier this week, I went through and wrote down my calendar for MoFo.  Most of the days are filled out.  Here are some hints on what I'm doing for the first week:

Monday-All about Halloween.
Tuesday-Video about my favorite hangover cure.
Wednesday-I'm making something for the first time and it's gonna be crunchy.
Thursday-Shopping for bargains.
Friday-Dinner and a movie!  Seriously excited about this one.
Saturday-Taking a little trip to Belgium.
Sunday-Making snacks.

So excited!  I can't believe everything goes down on Monday!  Well, I have a ton of blogs to catch up with and need to take a nap or two.  Hope everybody has a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vida Vegan Con and Mo' MoFo

If you haven't already heard about Vida Vegan Con, you must get in the know!  It's the first ever vegan blogger conference, and it's going to be held in Portland next August.  I've been super frickin stoked about this ever since I heard about it several weeks ago.  Not only am I excited that I'll get to meet some of my PPKrushes, the thought of a vegan blogging conference fills my nerdy heart with such joy.  On top of that, I received an invitation to be a speaker!  Seriously...I scared Era with all the SQUEEing.

Now, registration is supposed to start soon.  There will be a ton of stuff going on during the conference.  Speakers, demos, workshops, panels, food, and so much more.  I'm crossing my fingers that Portland throws one of their awesome vegan proms for this!  I've been saying I'd straight school some fools with my robot for years now.  Haha.  So if you are interested in going, check out the website.  Plus, there is also a scholarship opportunity.  Winning a scholarship would award you FREE registration!  Check out all the details here.  Also, be sure to add the banner to your blog because vegan word of mouth (or blog) is where it's at!

Now to switch gears a little bit, I have MoFo on the mind lately.  Throughout the year, if I thought of something that seemed interesting for a theme I wrote it down.  My list is becoming super huge, and I probably won't get to some of what's on it.  As per usual, I am not having a monthly theme.  I've broken it down into several themes and will probably not even know what I'm doing until the week before I do it.

So far these are my ideas:
Bowls-Never really encountered these before California.  It's a meal involving a starch, vegetables, protein, and a sauce or two.  Thinking about doing different ones because bowls are just freaking awesome.

Playing with Food-This involves weird, involved, often hysterical food related projects.  Examples include: haunted gingerbread houses, veganizing omni monstrosities, and baking weird things inside of a cake.  Oh, and Ladies Brunch Hot Dog Rollups:

the ghost of MoFo past

E.A.T. World-River's blog challenge that involves making cuisine from around the world.  I'm finding it hard to narrow down the countries.  This will be seriously fun!

Holidays-It's that time of year, and there are so many traditions I'd like to celebrate.  And nothing brings a celebration together like food!

Dinner and a Movie-I've only got one movie picked so far (Serenity), but I am really looking forward to doing this again.

Cooking the Books-Always taking my cookbook collection for granted, I figure this is a great way to make recipes I have never made before.

Those are the major ones.  Other ideas include: cocktails, raw food on a budget, fair food (deep fried beer anyone?), and a cheesecake party.  Okay, a cheesecake party isn't really a theme.  However, I have officially become obsessed with finding the best vegan pumpkin cheesecake and decided a tasting is absolutely essential!  Why isn't it November yet?

Tomorrow, I'm doing a second Thanksgiving trial.  Look for details on that later this week.  For now, I'm gonna sip some iced tea, listen to Amy Winehouse, and get a few more MoFo details worked out.  More to come soon...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bargain Shopping, Insanity, and MoFo

Fellow vegans, I am still on a bargain high from my weekend of grocery shopping.  I think most of y'all know that few things thrill me more than an extremely good deal  If you know where and when to shop, groceries on clearance are your bestest friend!

On Sunday night, Era and I headed over to Ralph's (a local grocery store).  Era saw this Modern Marvels about cheese and felt he needed some.  I figured I'd go along because they are the closest store in my area that has Daiya.  We don't normally shop there because the prices are pretty high.  But two glorious things happened this trip.  First, they finally are stocking Tofurky Pizzas!  We were so stoked that we bought all three flavors.  Then, we realized that they had a whole selection of vegan soy/seitan products on sale.  Italian sausages for $1.25, Yves deli turkey for 99 cents, and Tofu Pups for $1.25!  We bought four of each and froze most of them.  It was a treat for us because we don't really buy convenience foods normally.

Sabra hummus!

Yesterday I started Insanity again, after having to stop due to an injury.  This program is seriously no joke.  But I absolute adore the intensity.  So more food journaling should be coming.  I pretty much took the summer off from working out and doing food journals.  Fall is here so I definitely have renewed energy.  Take a look at yesterday's lunch:

sourdough bread, Italian sausages in marinara, VT cheddar cheeze, olive medley, hummus, grapes

Vegetarian Times cheddar cheeze

I really like the cheddar cheeze.  I think it absolutely shines paired with mustard (especially brown deli mustard).  I had it in a grilled cheeze today on sourdough.  Awesome sauce!

Kittee testers (washing greens for gumbo, King Cake)

Lately, I've been cooking a lot.  This is what I love about Fall.  It's cool enough to spend hours cooking.  Above is a mosaic of some Kittee testers.  Mostly King Cake, but there is a sink full of greens for a gumbo I ate yesterday.  Very good stuff!

Speaking of testers, I revisited one of my favorite cookbooks to test for: Viva Vegan.  I made the arroz con seitan last week for the Britney episode of Glee last week!  No theme.  I just wanted good food to go with possibly the best episode EVER! the steamed white seitan so much!

arroz con seitan

I also delved into 500 Vegan Recipes.  I've made recipes here and there for this book, but I almost never have ingredients for food that isn't Mexican or Indian.  True story.  I did end up making the white pizza last week.  Really good!

white pizza

I feel like this is the longest entry of all time, but I did want to remind everybody that Vegan MoFo is just around the corner.  If you haven't already done it, please sign up here.  Also blog, tweet, and facebook it!  This is the 4th edition, and it is going to OWN!  I've been collecting ideas all year, and I hope to do some things that I've been excited about for a while.  I'm going to organize my ideas tonight.  What about you?  What ideas do you have for MoFo themes?