between the table and the kitchen

I don't remember when, exactly, it happened, but around the end of July I found a recipe for vegan cinnamon rolls. I mentioned this, casually I'm sure, to Daniel, who pounced on the idea. I made cinnamon rolls for Christmas a few years ago, and they were (if I may say so) pretty damn good. I was excited to find a recipe that was not only vegan but also mentioned Cinnabon in the post.

An aside: when I was young, my mother and I would go on shopping days, and we would almost always get a roll or two from Cinnabon in the morning. In college, far from my mother, I recruited one of my best friends to go on Cinnabon expeditions with me. I have similar fond memories of meatballs subs from even younger days at the mall in New York.

Anyway. I was excited, Daniel was excited, I bought all the necessary ingredients. Let me remind you: this was the end of July, maybe the beginning of August. I did not make them. I kept on not making them, for various reasons. I started a new job, so I didn't want to use my precious weeknights for such a time-intensive project. I was tired. I didn't want to be stranded by myself in the kitchen for such a long duration.

It's like I had forgotten how much I love baking.

So when Daniel suggested I start making the dough while he made dinner on Sunday night, and I felt myself warm up to the idea, I made myself do it. I ran back and forth between the table and the kitchen, with its woeful lack of counter space, proofing yeast and melting margarine and measuring flour. As soon as I had the dough in my hands, I remembered. I remembered how much I love making food, how much I love baking in particular.

We ate dinner while the dough was rising, and Michael came over to hang out. He and Daniel sat around in the living room while I flattened the dough into a rectangle, melted more butter, spread the cinnamon-sugar over the melted butter. I filled pans full of a melted butter and sugar mixture. I waved off the offers to help and finally I rolled the dough and cut it, filling three different pans full of rolls. Then into the refrigerator and onto washing some of the mountain of dishes I had made.

The next morning I slept in a little, still waking before Daniel, and tried to quietly pad around the apartment until it was time to put the rolls in the oven. It was a great way to start the holiday.

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Here at VeganYumYum

A note: heed the warning not to add liquid to the icing. It does, in fact, come together with a lot of elbow grease.


photo friday plus

I miss the days of endless time
when I could write or clean or make food
all on my own schedule.
Yes, I am glad to be employed
but (poor libra me) the balance seems off, now.
It'll just take time, is all.


a little update

and, just like that, employed again. funny how things work out.


what a good place

I went away for a little bit. A digital shot from each day at Indian Lake can be found here, but I also took 7+ rolls of film, so I'll be uploading pictures probably for the rest of the year. Which is nice, in a way, because I'll be able to look back and remember what a good place that is.


photo friday

ever since the move,
I've been wandering around
taking photos of this new space
where I live.


holiday special

this holiday has always been about something different for me, i think:
it has been about celebrating my own independence.

regardless of what it means for you, i hope your holiday is a good one.


all these things

There are many things about moving that are awful and stressful. You know, switching the bills, changing your address, packing. Figuring out where to get a bunch of boxes. All these things.

But one thing I am appreciating in this move is an opportunity to purge things that I either have no use for or haven't used in a while.

Not the books, though. Don't be silly.


any of it

Three years ago today, I moved to DC. It seems crazy, that so much time has passed. My life before DC seems so faraway, so out of reach. Which is not to say that my life here is not good: it is so good.

Yes, I'm still unemployed - or, as I like to say, I am a full-time writer and photographer who makes her money from unemployment. Yes, there are stressful decisions which have to be made in the next couple of months. Overall, though? I wouldn't trade any of it. Life is good.


another return, sort of

Oh, dear. It's hard to get back into the swing of this whole blogging ordeal. (The fact that I call it an ordeal may give you a hint into my mind-space regarding it.)

But here I am, regardless. Today I am too tired, up late reading - because when my mind gets a hold of fear it does not let go, and the only solution for it is a book. I fell asleep with one at my side like a security blanket. It was good, in a way, because it reminded me that I am still capable of that, of taking care of myself.

None of this is what I came here to tell you.

There are new photos in the etsy store, because despite it all I am still trying to be an artist in the eyes of the world.


photo friday

it's hard to get back in the habit of this, but i'd like to try.


on two years

Oh, my poor neglected blog. It has been two years since I started this little experiment, and the results have been mixed. It is hard work, maintaining a blog, harder than I imagined when I signed up for it.

I am still unemployed, but I have plans for the etsy store and I am trying to be better at both writing and photographing. It's hard, but I know it's worth it. I think I can do it.


photo friday

it's funny how different a creature vegan baking is, and how similar.


just another step

(Some of you may have seen this message once, or twice, or maybe even three times, and I apologize for that. Also, I realize that it's been a while. I apologize for that, too.)

Hi friends!

So as it turns out, I got fired last week. I'm hoping to turn this into a positive thing, so I'd like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that I have some prints for sale in my etsy store. I am also willing to do photos on commission and working out the details individually, especially if you are in the DC metro area. (It should be mentioned that I work primarily in film photography.)

Just another step toward taking myself seriously as an artist.


old standards

Okay, okay, I know: I have been kind of bad at this, lately. It's not that I'm not making delicious food, it's just that the delicious food we make is, well, now a rotation of old standards. We make pasta al bianca, tacos, and lemon pepper pasta on a fairly regular basis.

So what I am proposing is this: a break. Just a little one, until I have more recipes in the reserves to post. Until then, seriously, check out those recipes above. They are so good.



a doozy

no recipe today.
there is a picture everyday, though. find them here.
and next week, well. it'll be a doozy.


distractions in the kitchen

I was chopping vegetables for dinner on Sunday night.

There is nothing unusual about this statement; the sous-chef duties usually fall to me. I chop and mince while Daniel adds everything together in a pot or pan. He asked me, on this night, if I was okay with continuing this. Yeah, of course, I said. After all, I've known for quite some time that in our little duo, I am the baker.

"But you're a good chef, too," he said. "That lemon pepper pasta was delightful."

I don't undertake major cooking endeavors, for the most part. Scones, cookies, breads, cakes - these are the projects that interest me. And most of the cooking projects I do involve doughs, anyway, like pot pie or spƤtzle. Every so often, though, I do cook something, and that lemon pepper pasta was such a time. So on Monday night Daniel took on my usual sous-chef chopping while I cooked the vegetables (almost burning them because the last time I made the dish I did not have any distractions in the kitchen).

Here is the nitty-gritty: make this. It is simple and delicious. The flavors are bright enough to perk up these days of winter.

Spicy Lemon Pepper Pasta
adapted slightly from here

You'll notice there aren't really amounts here. If I were better at crafting recipes, there might be, but I'm not baking here, after all. Part of the fun is splashing in a little of an ingredient, then a little more if it needs it. Exercise caution at fist - you can always add more, but it's hard to take out some if you've splashed too much, say, lemon juice in there.

pasta - I use penne when I make this
olive oil
broccoli florets
about half a jar sun-dried tomatoes
hot pepper flakes
lemon juice
black pepper

Boil some pasta. While that is happening, chop up the broccoli and the tomatoes. Pour enough oil into a wok to coat the bottom of it, then toss in the broccoli. Cook at medium-heat for a minute or two, then stir in the tomatoes. Let cook - without stirring - for another minute or two before stirring. Repeat this process of waiting and stirring until the broccoli is bright green and the tomatoes have regained some of their color.

If you've timed this exceptionally well, your pasta will be ready to drain. Make sure it is well-drained, then add it to the wok. You may need to add some more oil - only enough to lightly coat the pasta. Add in a splash of lemon juice, to taste. Add in salt and pepper, also to taste.

Et voila. Serve and enjoy.