Monday, September 10, 2007

Lots of Treats & One More Party!

Well, I've been cooking a lot lately - making ravioli and bread and homemade veggie burgers, but I thought I'd start this post off with Musty's & my newest lowbrow food obsession - Rice Krispies with Real Strawberries! Yum. A couple of weeks ago Musty went out to get some stuff at the grocery store, and came back with a box of Rice Kristpies. He didn't realize it, but it was this new variety "Rice Krispies With Real Strawberries." We were both skeptical - especially me - and we thought it would be all sugary and weird. In fact, it's just Rice Krispies (maybe a tad sweeter) with unadulterated freeze-dried strawberries in it. I know these little buggers aren't the healthiest way to start your day - but they sure are good!

I went to the thrift store with my mom this week, she goes all the time, but I don't go that often. We had a blast! I got some super nice metal skewers for making shishkabobs & also this super fun big metal mixing bowl. I love it!

Last week I made cookies for the guy who delivered us our new patio table. He was really nice & did it on very short notice, so that we would have it in time for last week's party. So I made a batch of the "Maple Walnut Cookies" from Vive Le Vegan. Man, I LOVE these cookies.
Speaking of which. I also made these Chocolate Mint Melties from the Everyday Dish DVD. I have Vicki to thank for teaching me about these cookies. When I met her at her house for brunch, she served these. I am a major mint-choco-combo fan... and I fell CRAZY in love with these babies. Truth be told, the only reason I broke down and bought the Everyday Dish DVD was so that I could have these cookies again. Oh, I could write love poems about these babies! They are wheat free, but not-gluten free, for those of you concerned about such issues.
After the great success of the Butternut-Squash-Pecan-Sage Raviolis that I made recently, I wanted to try the other ravioli recipe in "Voluptuous Vegan". These are the Porcini-Pesto & Tofu Ricotta Ravioli in Herbed Pasta Dough with Walnut Basil Pesto. These were very promising, but a bit too salty for me. Musty thought they were wonderful though, so maybe I was just feeling a bit sodium sensitive. Still, I have another batch of the pasta dough in the freezer, and I will try them again with much less salt. Even the pesto was too salty for me. Generally, I would say that I am definitely in love with making ravioli!! Also, for this pasta dough I used 2/3 white whole wheat flour - and it still worked well. A tad less elastic in the rolling process, but totally invisible in the flavor & texture of the final product. Cool!

One More Party! A Guitar Party!

Yesterday we had a bunch of Musty's guitar buddies & their various Significant Others over for an afternoon of hanging out and playing guitar. It was super fun. A few of them stayed overnight for the weekend, and others just came for the day. We had a great time, and of course I made tons of food. It turns out, guitar people are too busy playing guitar to eat - so we've got tons of leftovers! That's fine with me, of course! This is one of Musty's all time favorites... you might remember that my mom brought the same dish to our backyard party last weekend. It's the New Potato & Young Green Bean Salad from "Vegan Mediterranean Kitchen." It's very lovely & fresh. Also, those tiny little potatoes are just so darn cute! Everything was from the farmers market, which is always wonderful.
I also made this wonderful bean salad. I got this recipe from my mom - it's easy & I know you'll like it. I call it "Mom's MexiBean Salad" - although I have no idea where she got it or what it was called originally.

1 can kidney beans
1-1 1/4 c corn (I used fresh, off of two ears of corn, but frozen would be fine)
1 green bell pepper, chopped (I doubled and used 1 green, 1 red)
3-4 green onions sliced up
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped up

2-3 Tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
1 clove of garlic, crushed
salt & pepper to taste

Of course there was watermelon - our farmer's market is full of all sorts of fun melons lately - so I got a yellow & a red one. So pretty together.

Our friends Svea & Sergee brought along some super yummy hummus & then chopped up a crazy ton of veggies too. We've got lots of the hummus & veggies left over, which makes such a fun and quick snack. It's great to have pre-chopped veggies ready to dip!

Our friends Alan and Cindy brought along some great food! This one was called "Bill's Dinner" after their dearly departed friend Bill who was a vegetarian. It's a great, spicy chickpea dish topped off with a mountain of chopped up tomatoes & cucumbers. Whole wheat pita for dipping. Ooh, she left most of it with us, and I already had some for lunch and dinner! :)

I also made these tasty little buggers! These are the "Tempeh Chorizo Samosas with Spicy Tomato Sauce" from the Real Food Daily Cookbook. They are really yum. They take a little bit of time, but actually very easy to make. The dough is made of mashed potatoes! How cool is that?

Cindy and Alan live in Clovis, in the Central Valley - so they can easily buy fresh figs. Cindy brought along these figs topped with toasted sesame seeds. She also brought brie cheese to go with them, which was nice for everyone else - but I was happy to ignore the brie and chow down on figs! :) One of my favorite foods in the whole entire world.

One of our friends who came is allergic to nuts and also avoids gluten. I wanted to make her chocolate chip cookies, and even found some great nut-free, gluten-free chips... but then our Naughty dog Dottie got up on the counter and ate the whole bag. SIGH! Of course, chocolate can be fatally poisonous for dogs, so our first concern was for Dottie, but now that she's shown no signs of trouble, my secondary concern is for the safety of food sitting on my kitchen counters. Ack!

Well, after the chocolate chips were literally "off the table," I turned to a loaf of banana bread. I just left out any walnuts. I asked the lovely & wonderful Diann for some tips on gluten free baking & she suggested substituting 2 parts brown rice flour & 1 part Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix. She also suggested using a recipe with some sort of moist fruit in it, which is how I got the idea for banana bread. This is the recipe from "Modern Vegetarian Kitchen"- and it turned out really great. Not quite as sweet & dessert-y as I like my banana bread, but I think I will brush a little glaze on the part of the loaf that's left over & then it will be perfect. Thanks Diann! My friend was pretty excited to have some GF banana bread with no walnuts! :)

I always like to accomodate people's dietary preferences, because as a vegan I have personally felt the deep gratitude and love when other people do it for me. It's really not so hard. In fact, everything I made for the whole meal was totally nut-free, and the only gluten was the little bit in the tempeh (which I didn't realize), but that small amount was okay for her. Cool!

And of course - thanks to Urban Housewife who has gotten me completely obsessed with making sorbet... I also made a batch of Peach Sorbet. Oh YEAH!!! This stuff was crazy good! I used 2 yellow peaches and 1 white peach... and look at the beautiful color! It was a total hit and I can't wait to make it again.

It might be a few days 'til I post again (not likely I'm usually posting all the time... ha ha!)... I've gotta make my way through all these left overs! :)


  1. Wow, you really had a ton of delicious food, everything looks so good!

    I also LOVE that metal mixing bowl, it's so pretty! If I see something like it I know I will buy it, I can't stop myself from buying nice kitchen stuff.

  2. Isn't peach sorbet SO delicious?! I finished mine off this morning. yummmm.

    I love that all your foods look so fresh & beautiful & are mainly veg based! In a world of junk food, it's refreshing to see all the lovely produce!

    I'll have to make that bean salad, it sounds GREAT! Those samosas sound AMAZING! Can I request those for our potluck? hehe.

  3. What a cute cereal bowl...did it come with the Rice Krispies?

    Your chocolate mint melties look delicious. I too am a huge fan of the chocolate and mint combination.

    And wow, what a great assortment of food from your guitar party!! Have fun eating the leftovers!

  4. Ok, Amey, you know how I often say that your cooking makes me drool? Well right now I realized I *literally* have started drooling as I'm reading your post. WOW to everything.

    I love that bowl from the thrift store too! It has that perfect vintage 70's hippie look to it that I love. Maybe an older-generation vegan used to own it back in the day! (Don't you just love how you can fantasize about thrift store finds? They have so much history)

  5. Hi AMEY! my fav is that last photo of the peach sorbet - what a color & refreshing! I need to check in on that urban housewife! :)
    you new veggie mixing bowl is awesome, and lookie at your cookies!! feeling pleased to have intoduced you one of our obsessions! And now it my turn, cuz I've never made homemade pasta, but really want to after seeing all yours. And you put me way over the top with the dough made out of mashed potatoes! You're livin' up to your "famous potatoes" title!

  6. aah, I simply can't decide which food is best, in this post (I hope I don't have to choose, haha). I envy that you have so much time to produce such wonderful culinary creations in your kitchen!!

  7. Anonymous3:14 PM

    that's whole alotta veggie delights! i'm particularly intrigued by those samosas... yum!

  8. I love the bowl! I have one that same shape and I love that it's nice and tall. The cookies both look heavenly. And I too am drooling! Please tell me what kind of gadgets you use to make your pasta. I'm like Vicki - I've never made it and would love to give it a try. And you had two of my favorite salads. Did you tell your mom how much I love her green bean potato salad?

    Your dinner parties are pure veggie heaven! I'm glad the GF recipes worked out. The peach sorbet is so beautiful. I think that would be my favorite flavor.

    I tagged you for a meme. Now you can post sooner!

  9. the bowl is unbelievable!!



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