Thursday, August 28, 2008

busy busy busy.

this week has been hectic! i feel like i've barely had time to just sit down and rest, let alone bake anything :( i have a mad cookie craving and don't have time at all to make any! and of course i'm working the 6-hour closing shift every day this weekend. ughhh.

i really like my classes so far though. i'm making a wormhole out of various wires and a tree branch in my design class. sounds weird but it's really fun.

the one thing i will not skimp on when i'm short on time is breakfast! i picked up a couple packages of van's waffles at sprout's yesterday. they so beat eggo waffles, especially with fresh strawberries & preserves :)


and now . . . alien potatoes from outer space?!

scary, i know ;)

Monday, August 25, 2008

first day of school!

i am so excited. i love school. and that's not even sarcasm.

this year i'm taking french III, physics, and british literature at home and design II, english II, and american history II at the college. i also made up a huge reading list that i want to get done. i've already read two--my antonia and the time machine (which seemed reminiscent of tripping on shrooms.)

today will probably be a simple day food-wise, as i'm trying to get a feel for my schedule. breakfast this morning was just a bowl of cheerios and kix (yes i am still a little kid) with strawberries and vanilla almond milk, and a piece of whole wheat toast with a blob of all-fruit blackberry preserves.

my grandparents weren't that bad after all. i think they're finally starting to get the concept of "vegan." that's not to say that they still don't mention it every five minutes, but oh well. i did end up mostly eating boca patties and salad like usual but my grandma made an ALMOST veggie dinner, with sweet potatoes, crusty bread, seasoned brussels sprouts and onions, and yellow hominy. with a small plate of sausage to make my grandpa happy.

this is me with my two cuzzies playing littlest pet shop ;D they're cute and all but there's still just something incredibly irritating about hearing someone say "i wanna go watch barney" in a hick accent.

and now for The Vegan's Hundred, courtesy of Bittersweet:

1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.
5) Pass it on!

1. Natto
2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble
4. Haggis
5. Mangosteen
6. Creme brulee
7. Fondue
8. Marmite/Vegemite
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Taco from a street cart
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Gyoza
20. Vanilla ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Ceviche
24. Rice and beans
25. Knish
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Caviar
29. Baklava
30. Pate
31. Wasabi peas
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (as long as I wasn't paying for it. =)
46. Stroopwafle
47. Samosas
48. Vegetable Sushi
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi
57. PiƱa colada
58. Birch beer
59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Soy curls
63. Chickpea cutlets
64. Curry
65. Durian
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain
70. Mochi
71. Gazpacho
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies
73. Absinthe
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxstess Cupcake
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
79. Jerky
80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes
83. Tings
84. A meal at Candle 79
85. Moussaka
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese”
88. Flowers
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan
92. Kimchi
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough

how sad! only 24. i need to expand my food horizon.

more food-related stuff coming soon!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

cosmic goodness.

today i'm going with my mom to east texas to see my brother off to engineering school. i'll be staying at my grandparents' til sunday, which means living off boca burgers and salad and my grandma asking me stuff like "alaina would you like some of this salad? it's just chicken." i won't be able to update while i'm there because my grandpa still thinks i'm going to crash his computer by touching it but i'll post on sunday.

i wanted to try to use up some veggies we had before leaving, so for lunch i made a copy-cat dish from my favorite restaurant, the cosmic cafe. it's this great little place near downtown dallas (i think there also used to be an austin location) made out of a house and decorated east indian-style. the food is all vegetarian, some cheese, but they're very accomodating to vegans and there are always vegan desserts. there's also a meditation room upstairs!

pretty :)

recreation of i hate eggplant

1 medium eggplant, cut into chunks
3 small chopped white onions (probably about 1 medium)
1 medium yellow squash, cut into chunks
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
handful of soy mozzarella
4 whole wheat pitas
olive oil for sauteeing

heat oil in a large skillet. add eggplant, onions, squash, and garlic. sautee until onions begin to turn clear. add basil and thyme. remove from heat and serve over pitas with a sprinkle of soy mozzarella.

easy and tasty!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


well, this morning my family went to houston (i'm staying because of work) and took the camera. so, sadly, i have no way to show you my weekend's cooking adventures.

the cake i mentioned in my last post was east indian spice cake from soy of cooking. i didn't have any cardamom so i made up for it with a bit more of the other spices, and i didn't have prune puree so i subbed canned pumpkin. in short, it was like gingerbread. really. it did NOT rise at all. i decided to make a second one and layer it on top so it would appear to be bigger. i mixed up the creamy molasses topping and found it was too liquidy, so i added more tofutti. still liquidy. i ended up just pouring it over the cake. it was tasty as hell but severly lacking in the presentation department, because after getting so frustrated with the cake i didn't feel it deserved to be decorated. oh well!

prior to the cake escapade i tried cooking up some blueberry waffles. great idea, except i've never made waffles in my life and had no idea how to tell when they're ready. i lifted up the top of the waffle iron too soon and got a gobby (but tasty) mess of waffles. at least the stuff came off easily so it wasn't hard to clean up . . .

so, after describing my failures, i'd love to know: what are YOUR worst cooking experiences?

Friday, August 15, 2008

i am not dead! + a meme.

poor blog, i'm already neglecting you.

i've been working every day this week though, so i really haven't been cooking anything fun. it's basically been soy nut butter sandwiches for dinner every day. not that i'm complaining ;)

next week will be better though, and tomorrow's post will include CAKE!

to make this post even more uninteresting, here is a meme!

1.If you have to choose between locally grown or organic, which do you usually choose?
locally grown.

2.Favorite way to prepare potatoes:
hash browns.

3. Do you press your tofu before preparing/cooking it (if you eat soy)?
i squeeze the water out and usually freeze it.

4.Name your favorite recipe that is a tradition in your family:
cajun gumbo. cajun jambalaya. cajun dirty rice.
yeah.. anything cajun.

5.Any food allergies?

6.When you want to go to a fancy dinner, where do you go?
fancy is not my style ;) i like the cosmic cafe.

7.When you have a cold, what do you crave?
the office haha

8.What kind of water do you drink?
filtered water from my fridge

9. Name a flavor of soda you'd love to see:
i don't drink soda.

10.If the recipes you ate as a child were compiled into a cookbook, what would the title be?
dad's spicy cajun fire-mouth cookbook
or something like that.

11.If you were allowed to grow one food that can't grow in your climate, what would it be?
i really don't know! i grow figs though.

12.Favorite type of mushroom?
all of them. <3

13.Most frustrating part of your kitchen?
the dishwasher. it doesn't get run often enough to keep six people's-worth of dishes from piling up all over the place.

14.Last food you burned?
grilled cheeze

15.Usual response to a veg*n's favorite question, "But where do you get your protein?"
beans, grains, and nuts.

16.If you were baking your own birthday cake today, what flavor would it be?
last time i did strawberry cream cheese. this time.. cookies n' cream!

17.Favorite brand of chocolate chips?
umm. i forgot the brand name.

18.You have $200 of your tax return reserved for Williams Sonoma- What do you buy?
ha i really don't know.

19.Do you plan your menus in advance? Any tips to share?
nah. i really just eat whatever i feel like at the time.

20.You have 3 minutes before you have to leave the house and you're starving- What do you eat?
i grab a big apple.

21. If Martha Stewart, Paula Deen, and Rachel Ray got into a fight, who would win and how?
martha stewart. come on, she's been in jail, she can kick ass.

22.If you eat oatmeal, what do you add to it before serving?
brown sugar and fiber one cereal.

23. If you got to travel to one country and learn all the traditional dishes there, where would you go (ignore commitments in your current place of residence)?

24.Favorite late night snack?

25.Favorite springtime food?

26.Favorite food-related magazine?
don't really read them. i guess vegetarian times.

27.Which do you prefer: shoyu, tamari, conventional soy sauce, or Bragg's Aminos?

28.What vegetable or fruit do you dislike the most?
i can't eat steamed yellow squash by itself.. i just can't :(

29. Name a holiday food you look forward to all year long:
green bean casserole! vegan-style, of course.

30. If you could convert anyone to veganism with your magic wand, who would you convert?
ross perot... just because

Saturday, August 9, 2008

peanutty goodness!

i had the day off yesterday, so i decided it was a good day to make the good ol' classic peanut butter cookies i'd been craving for weeks. i was missing oil and brown sugar, so i subbed applesauce and added molasses to white sugar. the batter was very liquidy and the raw cookies refused to keep those cute fork marks, but i decided to pop them in the oven and just see how they turned out. they came out very light and fluffy, not like normal peanut butter cookies, but puffed up like little marshmallows. the fork marks stayed better after they were baked. my family DEVOURED these; i don't even think they lasted 30 minutes. so, i pronounce these cookies a success!

puffy peanut butter cookies
adapted from cookie madness

1/2 cup applesauce

3/4 cup chunky or creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp water

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 cups all-purp flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

preheat oven to 350 F. beat together applesauce, both sugars, cornstarch, water, vanilla, and peanut butter in a large bowl. in a seperate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, and salt, then add that to the peanut butter mix and beat until smooth. drop in spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. bake 10-13 minutes. when done, press a fork into the cookies.

makes about 30 cookies.

Friday, August 8, 2008

cinnamon raisin scones

slightly blurry maybe, but i didn't realize until i uploaded it and it just so happens that i already ate all of them :) while i was mixing up the batter i freaked because it was so dry, so i added a bit of water. haha . . dumb. i didn't know scones were supposed to be that biscuit-y. oh well, they tasted fantastic. not too sweet, perfect for breakfast.

recipe adapted from the oatmeal experiment
3/4 cup all-purp flour
1/3 cup oatmeal
1/2 small banana
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
3 tbsp applesauce

preheat oven to 375 F. mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, wet in another. pour the wet mixture into the dry. put large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet (i sprayed mine with cooking spray, but this may not be necessary). bake for 20 minutes.

and as a bonus, a quick scramble i whipped up for lunch today:

firm tofu, gimme lean sausage, red onion, and mexican corn, seasoned with turmeric, black pepper, and seasoning salt. simple yet satisfying.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

lazy hot days.

i woke up this morning with the amazing sensation that i have NOTHING TO DO TODAY. seriously. no work, no shopping, nothing. and since today is something like the 11th consecutive over-100 degree day, i decided to spend the day watching movies and surfing the net.
at lunch i threw together an easy stirfry for my lazy day.

lazy cajun bbq stirfry
adapted from vegweb

1/3 block firm tofu (i froze mine to get a better texture)
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 small bag frozen mixed vegetables
generous shake cajun garlic sauce

heat oil in a medium skillet. cube tofu and add to the pan. fry for a few minutes until light golden brown, then add veggies. mix together bbq sauce, water, and soy sauce. turn down heat a bit and pour into
pan, stirring to coat tofu and veggies. shake on cajun sauce and stir some more. serves one hungry teenage girl.

maybe later after my brain has turned into goo i'll try to finish a piece i've been working on . . .
probably not.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

spiral diner and post-impressionism.

i finally got around to visiting spiral diner & bakery, the winner of the 2007 vegnews veggie award. i went to the fort worth location, which is considerably farther from me than the dallas one, but it's 10 minutes from the arts district and i wanted to stop in at the museums.

the outside wasn't much but it was cute on the inside, bright aqua walls and elvis stuff everywhere. there was a little store at the front, selling everything from organic peppermint soap to nayonnaise to spiral diner t-shirts.

i have no pictures of my food, unfortunately, but it was delicious! i had the chopped bbq seitan sandwich, which had red onion, pickles, and mayo, along with the mint chocolate chip i-scream shake which was incredible. i also stole a bite of my brother's "ate" layer burrito and my mom's parmagiana wrap. yumm.

we had to wait a good while for our meals, but i'll forgive them because it's the only other place i've been to besides mr. natural and the cosmic cafe where i don't have to worry about sneaky animal products in my food.

afterwards we went to a museum. the rotating exhibit was on the impressionists. i'm not very into that style; it's not thought-provoking enough for my taste, but i always like the outside sculptures. we didn't have enough time for the modern art museum but i'll probably be going this weekend and hopefully to spiral diner again!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

my first post.

after spending hours reading other vegan blogs, i've decided to start my own. there won't be many recipes because i'm quite possibly the laziest vegan on the planet, hence the name plain banana, but i'm getting better! and i'll start off with a photo of today's breakfast (my favorite meal of the day) which was chocolate french toast.

i'm a painter, not a photographer, so please forgive my amateur photos.