Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Inept Couriers and Easy Cheezy

It's that time of year again when almost every package I order gets lost. My local post office is filled with idiots who constantly deliver mail to the wrong house. I have lost numerous comic books this way. The latest thing is: a cd I ordered has gone missing. Then a netflix dvd disappeared. And all I got was this cellophane bag with my torn netflix sleeve in it. Now UPS let me down. Good thing my neighbor from a street over delivered it to me. It was filled with Vitasoy Chocolate Peppermint Soymilk, Papa Tofu and Vegan De Guadalupe. HOLLA!

The first thing I created was a veganized version of the Onion, Pepper, and Spinach Quiche Bites from Vegetarian Times (Nov/Dec 08,pg 38). I don't have a finalized recipe and probably won't until Thanksgiving. Changes I made: FYH monterrey jack for the gruyere, 1/2 cup blended silken tofu plus 1 teaspoon arrowroot for the eggs, and soy creamer for the milk. I also baked it for an hour because it took that long to brown. The result was good, but kinda sweet. Because the peppers and onions have natural sweetness, I plan to use unsweetened almond milk next time. Also, I will most likely be using Cheezly because people rave about it. I suggest letting these cool in a fridge completely before slicing. Serve at room temperature or hot.
Next up, I made some stuff from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak. Pictured below is the White Bean Boursin. I've never had boursin so I don't know how close it is. This was good though. Herby goodness, creamy, and salty. The umeboshi paste adds a tangy and salty punch. It couples with the creaminess of the white beans and really has a cheesy taste. I advise pairing this with unsalted things. It works great with baguettes and cucumbers.
I also made the Gruyere from the book. Never had gruyere before so I don't know if it compares. What I can say is that it was noochy, bitter from the tahini, and zingy from the lemon. It was good if you like nutritional yeast. It was pretty great in the French onion soup I made. And look how gooey:
Finally, I adapted Crystal's queso recipe and made chili con queso. I omitted the Rotel, added a bit more liquid and added crumbled chipotle sausage. I like this version more with a spicy Italian sausage because it reminds me of the stuff my mom used to make.
I'm getting back into food blog mode. There will be much commenting tomorrow. Also, I will be making pepper jack. Expect to see an original pesto jack recipe in the near future.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Great Cheeze Project

This is a quick entry to let you know what I'm doing and where I've been. After all the mofo stuff, I needed a great sabbatical. I'm still having fridge troubles and won't be able to buy a new one for another two weeks, so my fresh food stash is limited. This is the main reason I haven't been posting. I also still have about two days worth of mofo entries to read. Sorry I haven't been commenting on journals or responding...I just need to find the time to get back into food blog mode.

My next endeavor is an exploration of vegan cheeze. Besides eggs, it really is the hardest vegan substitute in my mind. I was never heavy into it, but I do miss things on occasion. I will be creating, using and reviewing recipes dealing with cheeze in all forms. I'll also be purchasing cheezes for a sort of "face off." Oddly enough, this all started with me trying to recreate the Canadian Cheese Soup I loved so much as a lacto veg.

I'm not going to make this entire thing about cheeze, though. With the holidays coming up, I have a ton of things I'd like to I hope to be back soon.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Iron Chef: Dia de Los Muertos

Whenever people talk about their grandparents I get kind of jealous. The thing is...I never really knew mine. My maternal grandfather died before I was born. My maternal grandmother died when I was seven. My paternal grandfather died when I was thirteen. And my only surviving grandparent is somebody I'm still not sure I want to know. There are issues dealing with my father's childhood and the way she treats my sister. But this isn't about her.
fried seitan, greens, macaroni and cheeze
This is about Grandmommy Peoples and Granddaddy Henry. My mom tells the story of how I first met my grandmother when we were coming back into the states from England. I had an accent then, so my grandmother found me to be quite hilarious. The classic story I've heard again and again is how I looked at her and said "Can I have a biscuit?" Her response was, "Baby, breakfast has been over for a few hours."

There are two memories that I have of my grandmother. The first one happened when I was about five. My sister was still a baby and I was so used to imaginary friends that I loved having other people around. Sometimes I'd ask my mom to play with me, but she thought it was funny to make my Barbies curse and fight each other. This annoyed me. Yes, even as a five year old. When my grandmother came to visit for a week I asked her to play tea party with me. And she did. We sat at the top of the stairs drinking imaginary tea. And I don't know how I knew it, but I felt how happy it made her to be sitting there with me.

The next memory I have is seeing her in the hospital. We moved to Abilene, TX when I was seven because my mom knew her mother was sick. And I remember waiting and watching her die of cancer. It was the first funeral I attended where I had actually seen and talked to the person. It was my first realization of what death truly meant. I have vivid memories of sobbing uncontrollably on the way to the cemetary. So much so that my father and uncle were brought to tears.
kale with sauteed onions and red bell pepper
My granddaddy is a man I didn't know too well. I know that I met him on that same trip back into the country. My dad never really told me stories so I don't know much of who he was. There's this picture that sits in my parents living room of my granddaddy in uniform saluting. I like to think of him like that. What I do remember is that not one birthday or Christmas went by without a card from him. I vaguely remember talking to him on the phone a few times when I was younger. He died of complications from gangrene after undergoing multiple amputations. I don't think my dad has ever gotten over his death.

Both of my grandparents had these long, drawn out deaths. I don't wish it on anybody. When I go, I don't want it to be a slow burn. I want it to be quick and quiet. I suppose I'm digressing. This was a hard entry to write. I cried even as I was thinking about what to make. And I cried again as I conjured up these memories to type them here. The loss never goes away. It gets easier to deal with, but it doesn't cease to exist.
macaroni and cheeze
Today is about remembering who these people were. They were magnificent people and lover's of soul food. Now, soul food can be whatever you want it to be. For me, it's traditionally Black southern cuisine. I think soul food, as a general rule, must start from nothing. Soul food is about barely scraping by and turning your food into a healing salve. Old spirituals, oral traditions and soul food is what gave hope to my ancestors. So I dedicate this to them. And most of all to my grandmother and grandfather. I hope you're both tearing it up in the next plane of existence.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy World Vegan Day!

If you're anything like me, you ate a huge plate of pasta so you could go grocery shopping on a full stomach. Then you realized it's the first of the month. Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Lonestar card carrying people everywhere. I turned around and went home. My local grocery store can barely function on a slow day.

I did end up going to Walgreens where I bought enough half off Halloween candy to put a small army into a sugar coma. I feel like I really scored with the Jujyfruits and Friends. Oh, and sorry about the bad lighting. I took it super fast so I could watch both Underworld movies.
I seriously do not know what I will do with all that candy. I think I'm gonna take some to an election day party. I also got me a bag of Sabritones. They're these chile limon chips that are made out of wheat. I buy them every once in a while. They have a lot of flavor so I can't eat ridiculous amounts of them. I hope you enjoyed your day! I still have a bunch of mofo entries to read so I better start doing that now.
This entry brought to you by Sabritones. The chile limon flavored puffed wheat snack with the authentic taste of Mexico!