a familiar feeling

It's convenient that I post recipes here on Tuesdays, because Mondays - successfully reclaimed, also known as party Mondays - have become a time when we experiment with new food.

(Well, mostly. Last night it was this fettuccine dish again. I love it so much. It has definitely managed to become a dish we make frequently. Please try it. It's so good.)

Here is a confession: most of this is Daniel's doing. He, after all, is the cook out of the two of us. (I am the baker. This may be obvious from reading this blog.) It's become a familiar feeling, to be standing at my counter chopping vegetables while Daniel stands at the oven sauteing something. We make a fair amount of stir-fries, so we also strive to make them new and exciting.

Those are the ones that make it to the blog.

Daniel's Peanut-Ginger Stir-Fry
adapted from Daniel's scrawled notes

3/4 c. vegetable stock
1/8 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. white wine
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. white vinegar
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp water
3 tbsp minced ginger
2 hot peppers
4 cloves garlic
minced green onions

chicken-style seitan

If you are eating rice with this, start preparing that now. If, however, you are going to eat cous-cous with this, as we did, save that until the end. Cous-cous takes startlingly little time to prepare.

Combine the stock, soy sauce, wine, sugar, cornstarch, and vinegar. In a pan, heat up some oil and toss in the ginger, hot peppers, and green onions. After a little while, add the stock mixture and cook on high heat until done.

In a separate pan, saute all of your stir-fry ingredients and add the sauce. Make your cous-cous. Serve the vegetables and sauce over your rice or cous-cous.


black friday sale!

Dear reader, because I am so thankful for you, I am offering a sale (only for blog readers) in my Etsy store. Just enter in the coupon code "BLACK30" to get 30% off any photo!

Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!


the potential of pumpkin

I've written about pumpkin before. Like, pretty frequently, I realize. It's just that I love pumpkin so much, and I hadn't even fully comprehended that until maybe last year. Pumpkin pie was always my favorite, you see, but I had never realized the potential of pumpkin.

So, here's the deal: Thanksgiving is a matter of days away. The day after tomorrow, in fact. It seems a little silly to give you a Thanksgiving appropriate recipe so close to the holiday, but you know what? I'm okay with that. (There is also the recipe I was going to post last week, but hopefully Daniel will understand that pie takes a priority this week.)

I was worried about my vegan baking mojo, you see. There were these vegan peanut butter cookies attempted that never got past the crumble stage to become batter. But I've made this pie crust enough times at this point that I feel comfortable with it (thanks, Michael Ruhlman, and your ratios). And the filling was simply a matter of measuring and mixing.

The pie has to sit overnight, so if you are going to make it for any kind of Thanksgiving feast, make sure to make it - well - tomorrow, I guess. Unless you are doing like us and having a second Thanksgiving. (We call ours Friendsgiving. This will be our fourth annual one. I'm so excited! You'll almost certainly hear more about it.)

Because it has to chill, I kind of forgot about it. I know, even though there was an entire pie sitting in my refrigerator. So Daniel and I, celebrating nothing other than party Monday, ate pumpkin pie at approximately 11 PM. (Reclaiming Monday was a great idea, you know. You should all try it. Mondays are pretty awesome now.) And what a good decision that was. Granted, neither of us could finish the slices we had because we were so full from dinner, and there was a hint too much molasses in it, but still.

You can't really go wrong with pumpkin pie, no matter what time it is.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie
adapted from here

I would recommend decreasing the molasses a little bit, as it comes through quite strongly in the finished pie. I'm also sure you could use another kind of non-dairy milk if you'd prefer something other than rice milk. Enjoy!

1 stick margarine, cold or frozen and cut into small pieces
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. ice water
pinch of salt

2 c. pumpkin puree
1 c. rice milk
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg

To make the crust, rub the cut-up pieces of margarine in the flour until you have pea-sized chunks. Slowly add in the ice water until the mixture becomes dough-like. Add in the pinch of salt. Knead until it comes together. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to roll out.

Mix together all the ingredient for the filling in a large bowl. Stir until blended completely.

Roll out your crust, if you haven't already. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Pour the filling into the crust and bake for about ten minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 50 minutes. Let cool on a baking rack, then refrigerate overnight.


photo tuesday, oops

So, I don't have a post for you today, not because I don't have a recipe but because I forgot the pictures of it. Alas and alack!

Hopefully this photo will make up for it. It's kind of my favorite right now.


a good feeling

Monday has changed. It used to be a day of dread, the start of the work-week, not something to be enjoyed. It's only been a few weeks since we first reclaimed Monday, but the changes were immediately apparent.

Mondays are still the beginning of the work-week, obviously, but now we look forward to what will happen when the day is done. Namely, making delicious food and drinking some wine with dinner and - now - watching the new episode of The Walking Dead. (Note: probably a good idea not to eat and watch at the same time.)

The story is basically the same: Danielle and Daniel decide on a delicious thing to make, and make it. What I like about this story is that it keeps happening, and because it keeps happening, the food we make gets better. I think we started out being pretty good at making food, but we are getting even more awesome at it the more we keep at it. Which is a good feeling.

So last night we made risotto, which neither of us had made before, and which was simple (albeit time-consuming). It was a comforting sort of food, thick and creamy, and probably better suited to the depths of winter instead of the surprisingly warm night on which we ate it. Our original idea was to have the veggies as a side, but we quickly abandoned that because they tasted so much better together.

Sun-dried Tomato Risotto with Asparagus and Bell Pepper
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

4 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 c. arborio rice
8 whole sun-dried tomatoes
1 c. white wine
7 c. veggie broth
white pepper
fresh basil, chopped

1 bunch asparagus
1 bell pepper
3 (more) cloves of garlic
cayenne pepper

Heat your broth in a pan and set it aside. In a large pot (or wok, like we used), heat the butter and the oil together. Add in the diced onions and the minced garlic - you'll want these to be chopped pretty finely, since the goal is for everything to meld together deliciously - and cook for a few minutes on medium-low heat. Add in the rice, stirring gently for another couple minutes until the rice is covered in the butter-oil mixture. Pour in the wine and mix until the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Toss in the chopped tomatoes.

One cup at a time, add in the broth. After each cup, stir until the liquid is absorbed. It's insane how much liquid the rice takes in, but keep going. Pretty much you keep doing this until the rice is done. You'll know when it still has a toothsome quality, but is not crunchy. You can add in the spices (cumin, white pepper) really at any point during the broth process. Stir in the basil when finished.

About ten minutes before the rice is done (you'll have to guess on this - and probably the veggies will be done before the rice), start preparing this veggie dish, with only one bell pepper. We didn't use cumin in these this time because it went into the risotto itself.

Serve together. Yum!


the surprise

Okay, I am nervous and excited to take this step, but here goes nothing. My Etsy shop has gone live. Now you can buy prints of the photos I take!

There are only a few photos up there now, and I'll be adding some periodically.



No recipe today, dear reader, but hopefully I will have a surprise for you on Friday!