Monday, May 17, 2010

I'm not Martha Stewart, deal with it.

My Grandma is a huge fan of Martha Stewart. She will talk about her as if they are best friends. It is pretty dang adorable. I admit it, I am a fan of Martha, too.

For my birthday, she gave me a subscription to Martha's Everyday Food. Let me tell ya -- it's a great publication. Fast, cheap and easy recipes. All of them I've made have been really easy to veganize or get ideas to inspire my own creations. What I really like about it is that there is not a lot of advertisements in it. There are some, don't get me wrong, but not a crazy amount. Maybe it is because the magazine isn't typical magazine size, it's really small!

Tex-Mex Feast!

Anyway, the June edition had a sweet spread of Mexican food. It is rare that I do this, but I actually made something out of a magazine! I followed the steps annddd most of the ingredients. Some friends came to enjoy the tex-mex goodness with us. Good friends and fresh salsa.. Mmm. Next time, I'm making the jalapeno poppers hotter, they needed a lil' more zing.

If Martha Stewart came, she probably would have been impressed with my vegan feast, but sad I didn't decorate enough or make knit sunbreros for my guests. I do love Martha, but I think our personalities would clash a bit. Maybe we'd be friends over some margaritas.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cookies and Commencement

I wish I was graduating. Two of my spectacular friends graduated today. I was lucky enough to stop by and spend some time with them and their families. They are just so grown up graduating and starting a life in the arts! It is just too great. I love seeing what they are both currently doing and what they will continue to do. Way to go, Kellen and Sabrin!

One of my friends is a vegetarian/vegan. He's a doll. I made him a batch of Dreena's cookies which were soo delicious. I was bummed that it only made about 8 cookies, but dang, it was so worth it! I also loved that they did not require Earth Balance. It is nice to make cookies that don't call for certain 'vegan' ingredients. Of course I ate more than I should since I did make them as a gift... I had to explain that I accidently ate three of them... Make them, seriously. You will be impressed. Good ingredients, good consisetncey, good taste. Yum.

After teaching this morning, I met up with an ol' friend that I hadn't seen in months. It was so great to catch up with her. Since then, I've run around from party to party visitng. I am completly cashed. Finals, teaching my butt off, parties, birthdays, etc. I've been pretty busy. After the last party I went to tonight, I stopped off to get a bottle of wine and am now relaxing. Finally!

I'll be continuing my evening drinking some fabulous vino and nibbling on some nuts listening to gypsy jazz. Mmm. Hope you are enjoying your Saturday! Love to you all.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Paw Print!

I know I have been skimping on recipes and posts about food lately. May is just so busy! School is wrapping up and I am getting ready to go and volunteer for three weeks on a farm in Northwestern Wisconsin. It is going to be such an amazing experience! I'm pumped.

This spring I took a printmaking class. It was awful. Okay, I'm being a little harsh and dramatic. But, I did struggle with it a lot at first and definitely couldn't stand the attitude of the professor. Maybe she struggled a little with my awesomness. My first prints were collographs that had multiple plates and I had to precisely align them with one another. I did an awful job at that... Most of my prints were off in their registration. It is hard for me to be very precise in a lot of things! It did get easier and I started to enjoy it towards the end. I really liked the last print I did of B's. The girls at my table thought I was crazy carving my dog into some linoleum. Once they saw it printed, they were jealous. Yeah, I'm amazing.

Off to write an artist statement about it and wrap up my semester! Tomorrow is my last day! It is going to feel so frickin' good to be done! Well, until summer school... Expect some goodies soon!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Viva Mexico!

First of all, Happy Cinco de Mayo! I am excited to see all the Mexican flags flying around town today. I love Mexican culture - the art, music, celebrations and food. Mmm... Mexican food. Don't even get me started on luchadores! We're fans, we have lil' figurines of luchadores throughout the house. We get plenty of questions, 'Uh, what is... That?' I'm planning on making enchiladas later tonight for dinner and relaxing with a cool Modelo. How will you be celebrating Mexico today?

This next recipe is Mexican, too! Well, it could be Cuban or Brazilian or anything, really. It's my own take on a black bean soup. When I got home from teaching last night I was completely famished. Thankfully, this soup is a breeze to toss together.

Easy Breezy Black Bean Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
pepper to taste
2 celery stalks - sliced n' diced
2 carrots - thinly sliced
2 cans black beans - rinsed and drained
1 can salsa- I adore Mrs. Renfro's, delish!
3 cups water
fresh cilantro and lime to garnish

Saute the onion and add the celery and carrots. Let saute together for a bit before adding the black beans, salsa, water and spices. Once everything is all in the same pot, let simmer until your house starts to smell delicious. Pour yourself a bowl and garnish with some goodies! I cut up some left over tortillas and placed them in the oven at 350 on the pizza stone to crisp. They make a fun garnish. Ooh! Don't forget to put some avocado on top, too! Enjoy!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Oh, peanuts

I love peanut butter. In a weak moment, I'll eat it out of the jar with a spoon. Although that habit has gotten better, I still love it and would do it if I didn't end up feeling like a pudgy elephant afterward.

Today was absolutely beautiful. The sky was blue, the sun was out and buds are beginning to bloom on the trees. It even smells sweet. I love this time of year. Usually, in Wisconsin, we jump from winter to summer in a blink. The 'in between' time is usually lost. This spring we've been really fortunate with pleasant weather and I am completely in love with it.

I spent the morning studying and working on weeding the garden. Bakie's ol' man and I are going to make some raised beds to put in our garden this year. I came in to make a snack mid-morning to find a refrigerator with a container of hummus, celery and and cilantro that has been in the vegetable drawer for over a month now... Pickins' were slim. Not too slim or slimming 'cause I tossed together a batch of Your Vegan Mom's PB rice crispies. Hot dang were these delicious! Between the two of us, we noshed on the whole pan 'till the afternoon. I hit my high and crashed. I took a good solid hour nap only to wake up and crave some more. Darn peanut butter haunting me in my dreams!

Over the past two days, I just can't get enough peanut butter or peanuts! Something about it is just calling me. I'm blaming PMS or maybe the end of the semester... I don't know, but I've got to tame this recent crazy obsession otherwise I'll be flopping my way through summer on my belly. Reallly bad visual...

To another nut! Cashews!

Penne in Garlicy Cashew Sauce

I've read a ton about pureeing cashews to make them into a cheesy sauce. I finally experimented with it a bit this weekend and am completely excited to try it out again! My sauce was a little on the dry side. I either didn't make enough, baked it for too long or didn't give it enough liquid to begin with. I don't know. I'll post the recipe when I feel completely at peace with it. Besides being a tad dry, it had great flavor. Mmm! :)

One more week of school before finals! I can so do this... Hey-- Have you seen my peanutbutter? :)