viedma: (I'm the Brain Cell!)
Yesterday I visited our local Meals on Wheels program in my capacity as a United Way Allocations Volunteer. Ooo, don't I talk posh! In other words, I visit organizations that receive United Way funds, learn about their services, and recommend that UW give thems lottss and lottz of monies. And it's win-win because I get to visit places I wouldn't normally get to see and recommend their services to patrons.

And they fed us, too-- I'm vegan, but I was able to partake in a surprisingly healthy amount. I had pasta with liberal amounts of peas and pearl onions, a green salad with cherry tomatoes, and grapes. In other words, better fare than I've had from the restaurant literally next door to the joint. And while I'm not so naive as to think they'd serve the people who'd recommend their funding a load of slop, I thought it was nice that it wasn't cooked in a load of butter and salt. Moral of the story: restaurant food is gross, don't eat it if you value your life.

I'm reading Laika, but may have to stop before I'm due to give it back to its owner on Sunday as I'm having a really hard time with it. I mean, I knew I would, but sometimes I want nothing more on this Earth than a sweet doggie to take care of and to dig up all my plants. Gentle animals don't do well with humans as a rule. Wah.

I'm trying to read The Maltese Falcon for mystery book group w/o much success, partly because I've seen the movie remake of this and it was called Lethal Weapon and ol' Mel dialed back some of the homophobia for the 80s. Yeah yeah I know, different time, blah blah, I still don't like it. Why is Dashiell Hammett literature but Agatha Christie is just a crackin' good read? Yeah, I know why, too.
viedma: I will rule the world! Emperor Cupcake! (Emperor Cupcake)
It turns out that no, you can't substitute vegan soy creamer for soymilk and not have a cupcake that flies apart when you touch it.

>.>

Still, even a hot mess of a cupcake still tastes pretty good.

Read The Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters for mystery book discussion. I really didn't like it until I imagined Amelia and Emerson as "Bella and Edward Travel To Teh Pyramids & Wrote Doawn Wat They Did Thar," and after that it was a pretty fun ride. You know, with how Emerson must not like her because he's so OMG MEEN to her and all that. Except I don't think Bella would be allowed anywhere near the Pyramids because she'd probably trip over a ledge and break Egypt or something.

Written in 1975, and the world didn't end then, either.
viedma: I will rule the world! Emperor Cupcake! (Hot Fuzz Ginger Nut)
As a kid I loved things like hot dish, one-pot meals, potpies, chilis and tuna salad. My tastes really haven't changed much from that except that now it's veganized. It wasn't a big leap, granted, but when I realized that what I craved was something that tasted like tuna but wasn't made of fish I was golden. Here are some vegan cookbooks I love in no particular order because they're all great and it's whatever I can reach on the bed.

Yellow Rose Recipes by Joanna Vaught. I always want to call this one Rubber Rose Recipes instead, screw you Tom Robbins. Best Taco Salad recipe ever.

Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann. We just got this last week, and the broccoli calzones are fall down on the floor and grovel good. Lots of food-looking vegan food. She has a nice blog, too.

Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Chickpea cutlets, mole skillet pie with greens, spicy tempeh sushi rolls, messy rice, creole stuffed peppers, shepherdess pie and cholent. And lots of stuff for the beginning cook. I made the roasted eggplant and spinach muffuletta sandwich for a long train ride back to see mom and dad. It was delicious and held up quite nicely.

Vegan with a Vengeance, same authors as above. The tempeh bacon and knish recipe are staples. The chickpea and hijiki salad sammiches are scrumptious, a regular in the lunch pail at work.

Tempting Tempeh. Their tempeh and walnut mock tuna tastes more like chicken salad even with the addition of nori powder, but it still tastes mighty fine.

Vegan Italiano by Donna Klein. I got this one and The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen for Christmas this year and they are AMAZING. They are different from the other cookbooks in that there is not a single tofu, tempeh or seitan dish to be found. (She's got a weird thing against tofu, calling it a fad ingredient, forgetting that there are some people called "Asians" that have been eating bean curd for billions of years.) The recipes are very supermarket friendly and not as reliant on finding obscure ingredients at a crunchy health food store. (I'm making it sound like it's a bad thing when it's not, sorry.) Lots of pastas and tomato sauces with vegetables, beans and greens. You can actually feel your body getting healthier after eating them. I made a gratin of macaroni, tomatoes, basil and olives last week. mmmmm.

Cooking with PETA. Yeah, I know. I bought this secondhand because I'm not giving one thin fucking dime to PETA, but damn these are good recipes. This one is my favorite for the basics-- veggie worcestershire sauce, sour cream, and soy-free cream cheese. Their fake feta cheese tastes exactly like the real thing. It's a little scary what you can do with some miso and lemon juice.

The Student's Go Vegan Cookbook by Carole Raymond. My favorite chipotle chili and black bean burger recipe with corn and tomato relish is in here. The tempeh reubens are pretty outstanding, too.

People who I wish had cookbooks but don't yet--

Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. Everything I've ever tried has been delicious-- her vegan lasagna is my favorite-- and it's written in a nice, friendly and low-key style. And she has a twitter feed! i add oil to her recipes, shhh don't tell

Vegan Yum Yum. She veganized a recipe off of Next Gen, thus earning my forever adoration. I share her opinion about vegan food expectations, and she makes good colcannon to boot. She says she has a cookbook coming out, but she's promised us before, the big tease.
viedma: I will rule the world! Emperor Cupcake! (Sober Up)
I like soy. I pretty much have to with my chosen diet, but unless you have an allergy I don't see the harm (OHAI WESTON PRICE FOUNDASHUN, fuck you thank you for ur input). If you want to get away from soy in your fake meat analogs you pretty much have to make it yourself. Which isn't so bad as they're usually cheaper than store bought and easy to make.

Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon

Black Bean Burgers (I use a little vital wheat gluten to stick everything together)

Seitan O'Greatness. I put slices of this on my veggie Subway subs, as their "Gardenburger" has cheese, milk, and eggs in it. >.< I don't remember pulling any of the 3 out of my backyard plot, maybe they have special soil or something. This is the recipe that made [livejournal.com profile] annlarimer spit it out in the trash can, so...

Pinto Bean Sausages

I love to put spicy tempeh sausage crumbles on pizza, but that's soy. Still. Is yummers.

All of the above recipes, I leave out the salt and put at least 3-4x the spices in. Vali and I love hot, spicy food. If you're not crying while you're eating it what's the point? Cut me open and I bleed chipotle powder.
viedma: I will rule the world! Emperor Cupcake! (Abaddon is rly neat!)
This is how I felt after I watched Obama's speech last night ...


(thanks to [livejournal.com profile] skywardprodigal, I saw it in her LJ 1st)


Thinking about last night, I had one of those little epiphanies you get while you're doing errands that seem really profound until you start to write it down. I feel like the last and maybe the saddest victim of the last decade is hope. A lot of people on LJ are skeptical of Obama, and why shouldn't we be? We've spent not just the last 8 years, but really since Reagan we've been told that government is the enemy, it's crooked, it can't do anything right. And really, they've been doing their damnedest to prove their point. (I like Rachel Maddow's line: If you don't believe in government, stop running one.) It appeals to our (and by 'our' I mean 'my') cynical nature that nothing can ever get better. And when someone tells you that things could get better if we worked together and had hope in a brighter future, that's a pretty big target ripe for ridicule. I feel like people are afraid to try anything because it'll result in failure. Of course it's hard to imagine us failing moar harder than we already have. But if you start out a project with no faith in yourself that you will succeed because you are afraid of failure, you're not giving yourself much a chance. That's not politics, that's just life. I'm not hoping for miracles, I just want us to suck less because we can do better than this and I believe a lot of people feel the same way. Yep, definitely sounded better in my head.

Vali and I keep watching the episode of Spaced called 'Art': job interviews from hell, going to see your ex-boy/girlfriend's new bit of performance art, zombies, twiglets, violence, loads of cheap speed, what's not to like? It's scratching an itch we've got somewhere for this kind of thing. I love Vali's fanon that Vulva was verbally abusive to Brian only to shake him out of his state of complacency, is trufax. Now I'm showing Vali Batman: The Animated Series and so far she's likin' it. Keen.

A couple of days ago I was adding a couple of veg-friendly links when I found myself on a librarian's guide to vegan websites, which led me to I Can't Believe It's Vegan. It does my black heart glad to know that Froot Loops are vegan, as they were my favorite guilty pleasure cereal when I was in college. Anyway, I went to the main site to see what People for Euthanizing Tiny Animals was up to lately, when I see Alicia Silverstone's all-nude testimonial to vegetarianism. And yes, she is very pretty, but how much cooler would it be to see James Cromwell or Forrest Whitaker do the same ad, same way? Coming up out of the pool, all resplendent with their vegan naughty bits? Actually, ever since I thought that I can't unsee it, and it makes me smile every time.

The first time I tried diet pepsi with ginseng it was a miracle. I could focus, Vali said I looked cuter, etc. Then I started buying it by the 12 pack, and I find out very quickly that a little is good, a lot makes me completely fucking manic. I have no direction, no game plan, but at least I have LOTS AND LOTS OF ENERGY to do it in. Am freecyling [livejournal.com profile] annlarimer the unused portion and hope that it doesn't make her head blow up.
viedma: I will rule the world! Emperor Cupcake! (lol internets)
McCain taps Alaska governor for VP

First thought: O Rly Why So Soon? Not as good as McDonalds inviting us to schtup its cheeseburgers, but few things in this life are.


In case this bit of factoid should ever be of use to you-- nutritional yeast makes a phenomenal 1:1 substitution for parmesan cheese when you're making pesto. I was afraid I'd be relegating 4 cups of lovely basil leaves to the crapper, but I fretted in vain. NOM.
viedma: I will rule the world! Emperor Cupcake! (approaching speeds of THREE!)
I redid my journal again! [livejournal.com profile] gypsyjr made the most excellent header pic; she does LJ commissions for a price that can't be beat. I'm very pleased with it. And I know what you're all thinking. Why isn't Sophie sitting on the chair that says "Thug for Life"? That's so she can look at the Thug for Life sweater and know it's all about her. Don't feel silly for asking, it's all part of the process.

Last week I got some vegan cheese in the mail that had been praised to the skies by a ton of vegans. The best thing I could say about it is that I didn't want to immediately spit it out into the trash can and scrub my mouth out with something pungent, so right away it's better than Follow Your Heart. Yeah, it melts-- so does playdough when you leave it in a car on a hot day. Not something you want to put on a quesadilla. Who wants to bet that they gave some real mozzarella to the food reviewers and did a bait and switch for the rest of us? That would be funny and something I could get behind.

The upshot is that I freecycled the rest of it to a very nice lady who absolutely loved it and left a message on the answering machine saying she put it on her strawberries. Between her and the lady who left a note on my car with her phone number telling me she liked my Praise Seitan bumpersticker I'm thinking of having a little informal vegan dinner party at our house sometime. I sense fun in the works for a project like this, so long as they don't reject me utterly for not being vegan. >.>

I liked last night's Doctor Who ep, much to my surprise. I liked the way Donna brought the Doctor out of his zomg suckspiral in a kind way. I like how not everything is not about her; it wouldn't even occur to her that it would be. So not my favorite, but it didn't make me wish I was watching vegan cheese melt instead. Too many interviews where Rusty goes WTF you actually pay attention to the *plot*, what kind of pathetic loser are you??? have left me with a lot of resistant hostility to the show. Personally, I find that kind of defensiveness baffling. The great thing about the old show was that no matter how silly or incomprehensible the plot it didn't matter, because the actors performed it with conviction. I'm finding I like the whole winking a the camera thing less and less. And sometimes I have to remind myself that just because the new show ridicules fans for watching the show doesn't mean I can't watch and enjoy. As Vali says, they toss it and leave it, and we'll pull up quick to retrieve it. :)

After that we put in Gilda. We fell in love with Hazel K's fanvid of the movie (am sorry to say I don't know where the vid is now, I can't google it) and had to watch the movie, glove-stripping and all. What started off as an amazingly obsessive love triangle completely fell apart in the final ten minutes. But except for that and some tungsten b-plot they kept harping about that never made any sense, it was pretty good. Rita Hayworth made everything everything so dirty, bless her.
viedma: I will rule the world! Emperor Cupcake! (Default)
Or Happy Autumn to you nice Antipodeans or whatever the hell you call yourself down there.

I come bearing random bits and bobs.

Today I saw lots of little green points poking their way out of the soil, so it looks like a lot of the iris bulbs I got through Freecycle last fall are doing their job, hooray! I did a little tiny peanut dance in celebration, and a little tiny good luck peanut dance as we're supposed to get a billion feet of snow starting sometime tonight.

The megachurch held a pastor school or some such slop this week. )

Someone this week asked me what my Eat More Kale bumpersticker meant. (...) It's complicated.

Last night I put the finishing touches on my vegan banana nut muffins and chocolate chip cookies for the Humane Society bake sale, and I think they turned out really well this time. The recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance is a great starting point-- I especially like the tablespoon of molasses, it's a nice kick-- but it really needs some whizzed silken tofu to bind everything together better. Vali thinks I'm mental, that god made milk, eggs, and cream specifically for dessert. And I really can't argue, but I like the novelty of it. I've become much like my dad, except I tinker in the kitchen and he tinkers in the garage. I also did a very 'Dad' thing when I saw an empty tupperware container blow by me in the parking lot-- namely, run after it, stick it in the car, and take it home to be washed. Economy! (eyeroll)

I have fallen in love with this cat. He is a ginormously shy fraidy cat that will curl up and purr and make little paws on you in less than ten minutes of cooing and brushing. I think I'm gonna stick him in my bag next time I go over to the shelter.

I've finished course 2 in my Spanish audio lessons. Only one more to go! *collapses* I can't believe I started this like three years ago.

So I've decided I want to watch last night's Torchwood ep, but only for the good Jack/Ianto articles. Someone help a poor fangirl out with Youtube links please?
viedma: I will rule the world! Emperor Cupcake! (Sober Up)
After reading Vegan Yum Yum's recipe for Hasperat yesterday I had a tiny little nerd freakout and decided I had to make it the next day with some black bean soup. I made a few modifications, so here you are...


Mary's Hasperat recipe, modified from Vegan Yum Yum, who is a girl genius.

-tortillas

-1 cup roasted red pepper hummus (recipe follows).

-1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and sliced thin.

-1 carrot, peeled and coarsely shredded.

-1/2 block of White Wave Organic Extra Firm tofu, cut in half lengthwise and pressed, then cut into strips.

-1 cup of white vinegar

-1 bunch of fresh spinach leaves, rinsed thoroughly please god. You've read the horror stories, yes?

-fresh ground pepper to taste


Put the chopped cucumber, carrots, and tofu in a bowl with the white vinegar. Let that soak while you're preparing the rest of the sandwich.

Grill the tortillas on a griddle if you're making them by hand. I made my own with a cup of Masa Harina flour and water to get the right consistency, or you can pull them out of the package and warm them up if you're a heathen.

Spread a thick layer of hummus on the tortilla, then put down a layer of spinach leaves.

Strain the cucumber, carrots, and tofu from the white vinegar, place on top of the spinach leaves, then sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and sriracha hot sauce to taste.


*****

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Recipe

-1 red pepper

-1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

-3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

-2 tablespoons olive oil

-1 tablespoon lemon juice

-1 teaspoon chili oil

-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Preheat the oven to 425F. Take the red pepper, cut off the stem and remove seeds and cut into strips. Coat strips in olive oil and stick it in the oven in a glass baking dish. Leave in for about 40 minutes, or until the ends of the red pepper strips go black.

Stick roasted pepper strips in with all other ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

(I'm going to toot my own horn and say this is the best damn hummus I have ever made. I've spoiled myself rotten for anything else.)


***

I know it sounds like I must've spent all night in the kitchen, but this and the black bean soup together took me about an hour, and it was ever so tasty. However. A spicy hummus and tofu sammich, with black bean soup? Probably not something you want to make for a first date. Although why are you inviting a stranger to your house for a homecooked meal on a first date? You FREAK.
viedma: I will rule the world! Emperor Cupcake! (Black Books: Manny Bo Peep)
Someone just posted a recipe for hasperat. Vegan Star Trek food. WHICH I AM TOTALLY MAKING. I'm going to modify it with chili oil instead of soy sauce, use roasted red pepper hummus with horseradish and maybe some julienned tofu. And it will be amazing.

Side note: has anyone else noticed that vegans eat waaaay too much salt? Not just this recipe which is supposed to be salty, I'm talking about any vegan recipe out there. And I say this as someone who loves salt, immediately half any salt/tamari/soy sauce that's in the recipe. In soup, use water instead of those "salt-free" bouillon cubes, which contain tons of potassium (this via [livejournal.com profile] violetisblue, whose health depends on this sort of knowledge). I guarantee you won't miss it.

Also by way of Vali, a decent soy sauce substitute: one part blackstrap molasses to two parts balsamic vinegar and enough ginger powder to taste. It's more teriyaki than soy, but it gets the job done.

Today was much better than yesterday. I slept late and read the next mystery in my monthly mystery book discussion. If this book were food, it would be a very nice American beer-- light and bubbly and with absolutely no aftertaste. It was perfectly unobjectionable, and the killer was spoiler )

Then I went to the shelter and got a couple of cats adopted (someone actually reads the adoptable pets section of the local paper, who knew?), then came home and made this soup, chickpea cutlets, and steamed peas and carrots. Then a friend of mine who I haven't spoken to in a while called up and we chatted. Then Vali and I decamped to the bedroom to watch tv and that brings us up to...now, I guess.

We're toying with the idea of leaving the tv in the bedroom, rules of feng shui and all that garbage be damned.
viedma: I will rule the world! Emperor Cupcake! (strangle!)
Vali had the day off because of the nasty winter weather (all of her co-workers live in unincorporated hellholes that don't have money for commie pinko socialist programs like snow removal). I, otoh, had to go.

(WHERE ARE MY VIOLINS)

I was really grumpy about it, especially when I accidentally removed the driver's side windshield wiper and spent 15 minutes in the snow trying to put the fucking thing back on. Eventually I pleaded with a neighbor help my poor frustrated self. Yes, I'm 36 and don't know how to put on my own windshield wipers. Now is your moment to feel superior.

Vali's all relaxed and stuff, updating her Recs Page and generally just having a swell time. I look at her and think, it must be nice not to be perpetually grouchy. I should try it sometime.

So I subscribe to a mailing list called Meatout Mondays, and this week they had a recipe for jalapeno poppers made with vegan cream cheese. They were FRANTASTIC. ::thud:: Vali and I have become popper eatin' fools. The irony is that I almost deleted the recipe because it had the subject line "poppers" and thought it was more spam.

(I realize the mailing list is just so much vegan product placement, but in this case Tofutti's Better Than Cream Cheese totally deserves it. Nom Nom Nom.)

the recipe, for those folks who are interested )

Along with the jalapeno poppers, I made tempeh wingz, tempeh bacon, and banana nut muffins. With butter. When they find a nonhydrogenated margarine that doesn't taste like ass, I will be more than happy to make the switch. Until then.

Cinematic Titanic's newest project, The Oozing Skull, is really excellent. We were too nervous, worried that it might suck, to fully appreciate how good it was the first time we watched it, but now we're really in the swing of things. It's really hard to make fun of a movie without descending into open contempt for the finished project. I guess I missed the Joel years more than I realize. The point is, you should buy it and stuff. (My favorite riff is the title of this entry.)

Took co-worker friend to see her Garfield cat again today. She really likes him, but hasn't committed yet. I'm not telling her because it's not right to be pushy, but if she wants him she'd better act quick. He's a completely adorkable squeeze toy attention hound. I came in today to find him all propped up on the lap of luxury on some nice lady's lap. But it's cool, I just want to see him get adopted into a nice home, I really don't care where ultimately.

Went trolling through Doctor Who Icons last night. I found some really excellent ones, and yet I still feel grumpy and dissatisfied.

Three rhetorical questions for you Doctor Who fans all out there )

And Billie Piper, isn't there a union rule that says you HAVE to let other actresses take a few roles? The UK acting community has collapsed because she is currently in every 3rd role on television. Please stop her before she inevitably gets tagged to play Mary Russell. The sad thing is, she would be *perfect* to play Mary Russell; she sort of has the lock on "I'm an irritating blonde twat who grinds the action to the halt and has the entire universe revolve around her" roles.

...

Mmm. Peckish. Poppers are a-callin'. Then I have to finish The Game. Only 120 pages left to go. (::cries::)
viedma: I will rule the world! Emperor Cupcake! (Want Monkey! K FINE.)
...a ginormous brunch sometime around 2PM, followed by a solid afternoon of Do Whatever The Hell You Want. Ahhhh.

Yesterday Vali made chili sin carne al mole from Vegan with a Vengeance. She let the sofrito simmer longer than when she made this last time, and it produced the loveliest slow burn sensation in the mouth, yum. That and some garlicky kale with tahini dressing and brussels sprouts, and the memory of tinned dog food haggis is far, far away.

Vali's reading experiences have been more satisfying to her than mine have been of late. I'm reading The Game by Laurie King. It's not awful, it's just that I don't buy the central premise of the tale: that Sherlock Holmes would not just marry a woman, but marry a woman several million years younger than himself. But have no fear! She's tough! Smart! Beautiful but not too Beautiful! Resourceful! She's Mary Russell!: the wonder somethin'-or-other. (eyeroll)

I'd've ditched it ages ago, but I have to read it because it's for the book group I run and I don't remember things quite as well if I listen to them on tape. So mentally I've been searching and replacing Mary Russell with Watson. So far it's working, even when Watson has to wear a sari to the fancy dress ball on the slow boat to India.

There is one May-December couple that I totally buy, and that's Eight/Lucie Miller. Am listening to Blood of the Daleks and they are just yowsa, and it's made all the better by the fact that Lucie really doesn't care for Eight all that much. HOWEVER, i will be extremely grateful when we can get past this cultural moment of The Big All-Encompassing War That Will Change Everything garbage. It's not like I can blame Americans for this one either, as it's an English production. Here it's more of a case of "Lord of the Ring/later book Harry Potter"itis. Also, Daleks are lame and they suck and they will never be interesting no matter how much stirring music you put behind their screaming. I like the little moments better, of which there are many.

Am keeping happy by reading Vali's Life on Mars fanfic recs. I love how Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt bring out every retro impulse and every slash cliche ever, and do it in such a completely hot way. Moar, said the fangirl!

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viedma: I will rule the world! Emperor Cupcake! (Default)
Bill Rebane, Moviemaker and Feminist

April 2010

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