I may or may not have a small obsession with books. Specifically, cookbooks and other food-related books.
I’ve talked about how I went out to run errands and came back with cookbooks instead, how I decided I’m going to collect cookbooks from all my travel destinations, and how I raid other people’s bookshelves for anything food related.
Well, this weekend I hit an all time low.
First of all, I am a sucker for Groupon and LivingSocial Deals. I use them wisely, as I only score deals I would have used otherwise. When I saw deals for Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble, I caved. Guess what I bought?
I’ve been wanting Veganomicon for awhile, and was finally convinced by Heather from Hangry Pants. Side note: Why is the book almost $30 in the store and half the price on Amazon? I perused through 500 Vegan Recipes at the store and decided I needed it. I sense a vegan challenge coming up.
The Sriracha Cookbook? Hello? Why didn’t I know about this before? I LOVE Sriracha! Go look at the table of contents and drool. What the World Eats is right up my alley, because I’m fascinated with food and culture. It’s going to be my new coffee table book, right next to my Williams Sonoma Wine & Cheese book.
Today I went to Mr. K’s Used Books, because I had never been there before, and like I said, I have an obsession.
Let me tell you. This place was huge. And amazing.
I couldn’t get over the selection and the prices. The store was huge, easily as big as a moderately sized Barnes and Noble. I was surrounded by shelves and shelves of books, all arranged by category. Of course I instantly magnetized to the food/cooking section.
And then spent an hour and a half in there debating what to buy. I ended up with 5 food related books.
The most expensive book I bought was $6.50. Who could beat that?
I then decided to take inventory of all my food related books…
Yeah, I have a problem. I’m already thinking about going back to Mr. K’s to get a sweet Starbucks cookbook from 1995.
I suppose there are worse things to be addicted to. Just don’t be surprised when you don’t see me for days. I’m either in the kitchen or at the bookstore.
Who knew that pickle soup is actually delicious?
It sounds really strange and it looks like baby vomit, but this version is packed full of nutrition. I should know by now that everything Mama Pea makes is delectable.
I did a little research and found out Pickle Soup is actually a Polish recipe, originally called zupa ogórkowa. I can’t believe it went from being full of beef stock, eggs, milk and butter to completely vegan.
I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, so just head on over to Peas and Thank you for the deets.
I’m actually just a sucker for anything with dill in it. Especially Havarti with dill. Grilled Cheese? I die. Yum.
This documentary was unlike any I had ever seen before.
In a good way.
There is no dialogue. Just scenes. Short clips of different aspects of the food industry. The benefit of this type of movie is that the viewer draws his or her own conclusions. The movie I saw may be very different from the movie you see, which is, in my opinion, what makes a wonderful, insightful movie.
The cinematography is absolutely beautiful. The entire movie is symmetrical, in a sense. Most of the shots could be split right down the middle, mirror image style, which is ironic because there are a lot of scenes depicting animals being split right down the middle. Literally.
The movie rotates between very real insight into the meat industry, the production of vegetables/crops, and the workers that perform various food industry duties.
There are also a lot of very disturbing scenes. I almost couldn’t watch the last 10 minutes because it was just cows being killed, skinned and split. Basically, this movie completely solidified my decision to not eat meat. The crazy thing is that I didn’t become vegetarian because I wanted to save all the world’s animals. I stopped eating meat simply because I didn’t like it anymore.
It also makes me wonder if these people slaughtering animals day in and day out are desensitized to other forms of cruelty. I wonder if any of them are more likely to abuse pets or their spouses due to the nature of their work. But, that’s just the sociologist in me.
All in all, it was a super interesting documentary (but we all know I love documentaries) and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has a remote interest in food/the food industry. Just don’t watch it while you’re eating.
The snow day doesn’t come around often, but when she does, she is a delectable little gift. A treat. A break in the monotony of being an adult. A chance to relive childhood. For an entire day, you are trapped in your house/apartment/abode with nothing but yourself and whatever you want to do.
We got hit with several inches of snow last night, my guess is around 6 or 7. The roads are slick, the snow is still piled high. The city shut. down. I’ve always loved the peaceful silence that accompanies falling snow. It’s a different type of natural silence that I quite enjoy.
Today was a snow day. My today was full of blasting Kid-A in the kitchen, cooking, laundry, a huge Christmas jigsaw puzzle, the entire first season of Mad Men, Runner’s World Magazine and vlogging during a delightful walk through the snow.
An elaboration of things I’ve done today:
- Kid-A in the kitchen. John Mayer’s version is stunning. Calm and perfect.
- The Christmas jigsaw puzzle is a work in progress. It was started over Christmas break at home and then transported back to my apartment for me to finish. I basically started over because none of the pieces held together. I forgot how much I enjoy puzzles and I got a significant portion done today. #nerd
- First season of Mad Men. I. Am. Addicted. I think one of the main reasons I enjoy it so much is because it’s mostly a social commentary. I love seeing the social norms of the time, i.e. people smoking and drinking at work, at home, while pregnant. Children hanging out in the backseat of cars, no seatbelt or anything. I just started season 2. I’ll most likely be on season 4 next week.
- Banana Pancakes. I did see that it was snowing and no, there was no need to go outside. I did wake up too early and I did pretend it was the weekend. So I made vegan banana chocolate chip pancakes.
- Runner’s World Magazine. I received my first issue today and the first thing I opened to was a two page advertisement for all the Disney races. It just so happens that the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend falls on my birthday this year. Also, Southwest is beginning nonstop flights from here to Orlando in March. I’m pretty sure it’s a sign I should go and I’m seriously debating a birthday present to myself.
- Channeled my inner 6 year old and made a snow angel.
- Walking through the snow + Vlogging. Video to come later.
Apples and bananas! I like to oat, oat, oat opples and banonos!
Please tell me someone else remembers that song. Now it will be stuck in your head for at least 30 days straight.
Speaking of apples and bananas and children’s songs, I saw this little gem over at edible perspective the other day and decided I had to drop everything and make them. Immediately.
I originally wanted to make them with pumpkin butter, but I discovered that my jar of local, preservative free PB was moldy.
Sad day. I replaced the jam with (mold free!) apple butter, which worked just fine. Hence, apples and bananas! I also subbed whole wheat flour for spelt flour, omitted the flax meal, used light brown sugar in place of the suncanat, sunflower butter for peanut butter (so my allergic boyfriend can indulge too) and rice milk took almond milk’s place. I also had no parchment paper so I had to pry it out of the pan using sheer force determination willpower a knife.
These bars aren’t overly sweet, which is good for me, because I can’t stand having sweet things first thing in the morning. I imagine this would make a wonderfully easy on-the-go breakfast option. The bottom layer stayed soft and moist while the top layer crisped up a bit, which I love. They do remind me a bit of Nutrigrain bars, only these are clearly superior! Next I’m going to make them with a chocolate filling.. yum!
Guess what’s on the breakfast menu for the next week? If they last that long..
In between recovering and catching up on Weeds episodes, I may have made some absolutely wonderful banana bread muffins.
I discovered I don’t have a loaf pan (??), so I had to improvise when I was hit with a last minute banana bread craving. Side note: how do I not have a loaf pan? I have everything that could ever conceivably be in a kitchen, but not a loaf pan? I suppose I am more of a cook than a baker. However, I keep hitting gold with vegan baking.
Vegan Banana Muffins (Adapted from this recipe)
Makes 6 regular sized muffins
1/8 c rice milk
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 mashed ripe bananas
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp dark chocolate powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts & almonds
1/4 c white chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, chocolate powder and salt together in a large bowl.
Mix milk, oil, nectar, extract and banana in a separate bowl.
Incorporate wet ingredients into the dry.
Fold nuts and chips into batter.
Use muffin cups or spray with PAM. Fill muffins tins 2/3 full.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
I made these last night. They’re already gone.
Since I’m still sick (but getting better), soup was on the menu tonight.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp curry powder
1 vegetable bouillon cube
2.5 c hot water
1 c lentils
1/2 c pureed pumpkin
- Chop carrots and onion. Saute with olive oil in a large pot.
- After a few minutes, when vegetables start to get tender, add the garlic and curry.
- Add the water, pumpkin, bouillon, and lentils.
- Let simmer over medium heat up to 30 minutes, until lentils are desired tenderness.
I like granola bars. I like making things in the kitchen. So, why not combine the two and make my own granola bars?
These bars were a little chewier and definitely more moist than a crunchy, dry granola bar. I think I liked it better my way though. They tasted more like cake and less like hard granola crunch. Plus, they’re vegan!
1 c oats
3 over-ripe bananas
1/2 c applesauce
1/4 c dried cherries
1/4 c chopped dates
1 T chia seeds
1 T flax seeds
Mash bananas. Combine everything in a bowl. Mix well, ensuring all the oats are moistened and everything in incorporated. (I apologize to anyone who detests the word “moist.” That’s the third time I’ve used it in this short post. I have no other way to describe it. How about thoroughly wetted?) Spread the mixture out into a 9×11 pan. Bake at 375 degrees F until firmed up, about 10 minutes. Let cool before slicing into rectangles.
I feel like sometimes the recipes I write are super confusing, so if you ever have a problem translating one of my recipes from Emily-speak into normal person speak, please let me know.
I’m pretty excited to get up and swim tomorrow. It’s so lovely to watch the sun rise from the indoor pool in the morning. I get my exercise and Vitamin D all at once, and I don’t freeze my ass off trying to run in 40 degree weather (Maybe one day I’ll enjoy running in the cold..). I ran on the dreadmill this morning for about 30 minutes because it was all I could bear. I don’t know which is worse, the dreadmill or being frozen to death running outside. Running outside is less boring, but more uncomfortable. The dreadmill is neither comfortable nor entertaining. Although I did get to watch the news this morning.
Apparently the FDA is on the way to banning drinks that contain both alcohol and caffeine. I have mixed feelings on this issue. For starters, the FDA’s regulations are wacky and seemingly random. I’m not sure if the regulations are on your daily reading list, but please take a look today because the amount of insect and rodent hair that is allowed in our food makes my skin crawl. More reason to eat local, fresh, unregulated food. But I digress.
What happened to consumer accountability? We are so stupid that we need federal regulation to BAN things that are bad for us? Instead of saying hey, this is a bad idea but we live in a free country so make up your mind? Last time I checked, there were similar warnings on cigarettes, but they aren’t banned. Although they did just ban clove cigarettes. And our country’s weight IS out of control. So maybe we do need someone to sit us down and ban things that are bad for our health. What happened to moderation? Is the combination of alcohol and caffeine toxic at any level? Or can you enjoy a bit of it without becoming a “public health concern”?
Does this also mean they will be yanking Red Bull out of bars? I’m pretty sure that Red Bull and Vodka is a common drink. Jägerbombs are made with caffeine and alcohol. Are they going to ban everyone from ever mixing caffeine and alcohol? Have police go around taste testing drinks? I’ve definitely had some Kahlua and coffee before, and I didn’t die or end up in the emergency room. I suppose I consider myself an ‘informed consumer’ and the point of me drinking the spiked coffee was not to get drunk. This policy just raises a whole lot more questions from me than it answers. What are your thoughts on the caffeine + alcohol issue?
I bought applesauce and rice milk the other day so I could experiment with some vegan foods. This morning’s breakfast seemed like the perfect place to start.
I have a go-to whole wheat pancake recipe that I’ve been using for awhile. It’s just the usual, flour, eggs, milk, baking powder, oil. This morning I decided to try and veganize it. The results were pretty delicious. Not astounding, but still tasty. My friends even ate it!
My two best friends came up to Greenville on their way to Charleston last night. It was so nice to see them, to catch up, and to have some thai food. I realized I am super bad at taking pictures! I don’t know what’s going on because I have historically been the one documenting every second of every outing. I need to start taking pictures of every day happenings. Although I’m glad P90X went undocumented this morning.
In other news, should I do an 8k in February? Hmm..
PS: Notice I changed the header picture? I needed some fall around here! Also, I was getting tired of looking at the ham. What do you think?
Mondays usually get the best of me. I hate waking up early, I hate that my weekend is so rudely interrupted by Monday morning. I decided today that I don’t want to be miserable on Mondays anymore. I burned a whole bunch of CDs last night and listened to one in particular today. This song was a delightful lift in the middle of my stressful Monday. I’m thinking that each Monday I’m going to pick a mood-lifting song to listen to so as to lessen my pain.
But enough of that, you came here for the food, right? Today I made the most delicious tuna mix ever. I have no bread so I just ate it straight out of the bowl. Next to a side of some okra I broiled up, it was dee-licious.
Best Tuna Mix Ever
1 can tuna in water
1.5 tbsp mayo
1/4 c shredded mozzarella
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp grainy mustard
• Mix everything together. Eat. Love.
I didn’t take any pictures because somehow tuna just comes out looking like cat food any angle you shoot it at.
I also had a ton of okra that I needed to do something with. I was talking to my mom earlier who told me that my brother liked it boiled. I chopped and boiled some of it in salted water. The water was still all goopy when I took it off the stove. It was okay, but I wanted something crispier. So I invented some okra “chips” that I broiled. YUM!
I am seriously bad at measuring things and most of the time I just estimate portions when I put them up here. I’m not even going to try and guess portions for this recipe because I imagine it’s pretty hard to mess it up.
red cayenne pepper
• Slice okra into small coins.
• Put the okra in a shallow baking dish and put a small amount of olive oil in the dish. Mix in a small amount of garlic and pepper. The more red pepper you put in, the spicier it will be. I like mine with just a little kick and therefore only put a pinch.
• Broil until the okra looks crispy, about 5 minutes.
Seriously, good. I hope I get more okra next week!