Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dinner!

So, I had to make some changes and simplify my recipe a bit. I used the quick pizza dough recipe I mentioned yesterday and added some Mrs. Dash and garlic salt. I also ended up having to add an extra 1/2 cup of flour in order to roll out the dough - it was quite sticky! I made the pizza sauce from scratch from The New Farm Cookbook! Delicious as always. I topped the pizza with artichoke hearts and carmelized onions and poured the melty nutritional yeast sauce on top. I was bummed that I had a difficult time working with this dough and didn't get the "perfect circle" that I so craved but, it's still pretty! Can you tell from looking that it's vegan??

It's Pizza Night!

And I finally found a recipe for Super Quick Pizza Dough! Now that we have our pizza stone, we've created some AMAZING pizzas - and Michael and I, well, we know pizza. We love it and I'm, personally, a bit obsessed with it. I'm including some pictures of pizza made prior to owning our pizza stone. Our best pizzas thus far have been with the stone, though. And with the help of this more Authentic Pizza Dough! It's definitely worth the effort and time. Tonight, I'm thinking toppings of artichoke hearts, carmelized onions, roasted red peppers, and roasted garlic. Maybe even some tofu or some Tempeh Soysauge Crumbles (PPK)? I definitely think this pizza needs to be topped with Melty Nutritional Yeast "Chreese"! I follow the pizza variation and, honestly, I think it's better than Follow Your Heart. Follow Your Heart is the best for melty "realish" chreese and certainly has it's place in the world of vegan pizza but I love knowing that I have all the ingredients I need to make pizza from scratch without an expensive trip to Whole Foods or
The East End Food Coop. Pictures of tonight's pizza to follow later. For now - check these pizzas from our vegan pizza/beer potluck...



Oooh, and check out the cupcakes I made last Friday! I made the sexy low-fat vanilla cakes and topped them with fluffy chocolate buttercream. I wasn't sure I'd be too crazy about them since I'm really more a fruity cupcake girl but they were pretty incredible - especially at only 125-150 calories per cake! Yum!


Sunday, January 28, 2007

I Am The Anti-Everything

One Reason I Hate the World

This week has been a week of major unrest for me. I've missed Michael and our girls more than ever at work. I'm feeling hostile towards omnis and now I'm beginning to feel isolated again from most of society. I don't want to buy in any longer. At the same time, I realize it's not my buying into the system that is the root of the problem...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

What do Ethiopians Eat? I Thought They Were Starved?!




I stole my title from Michael's dad. I thought it was clever. I love Ethiopian Food! It's probably my favorite food of all time! I usually make Mesir Wat and Vegetable Aletcha but today, I made Isa's Spicy Ethiopian Lentil Stew from The Post Punk Kitchen. Unfortunately, the site has been down today so I am unable to link you directly to the recipe, but, it's not hard to find. I feel that my recipe below is more "authentic" but, Isa's rendition is quite good, too. Even sick, I'm most at home in the kitchen. (Perhaps that's why I made a dozen cupcakes on Friday even though I was feverish and took off work?!?)

Misir Wat (Ethiopian Red Lentil Puree)
Servings: 4-6
2 Onions chopped
2 cloves Garlic crushed
2 t Gingerroot, peeled, minced
¼ c Oil, butter or niter kibbeh
1 t Turmeric
2 T Paprika
½ to 2 t Cayenne Pepper
1 lb Red Lentils
4 c Water or Stock Salt & Pepper to taste
*Puree onion, garlic, and ginger in a food processor or blender.
*Heat oil, butter or niter kibbeh in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add turmeric, paprika and cayenne pepper and stir rapidly to color oil and cook spices through, about 30 seconds. Add onion puree and sauté on medium heat until excess moisture evaporates and onion loses its raw aroma, about 5-10 minutes. Do not burn.
*Add lentils and water. Bring to a boil and simmer till lentils are cooked through and fall apart, about 30-40 minutes. Add water if necessary to keep from drying out.
*Stir in salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Injera (Ethiopian Flat Bread)
3 cups self-rising flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 T active dry yeast (equiv. of one package)
3 ½ cups water
*Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
*Cover and let set an hour or longer until batter rises and becomes stretchy.
*The batter can sit for as long as 3-6 hours if you need it to. (3 hrs is what I prefer)
*When you are ready, stir batter if liquid has settled on the bottom.
*In blender, whip 2 c. of batter at a time, thinning it with 1/2-3/4 c. water. Batter will be quite thin.
*Heat a 10-inch or 12-inch non-stick frying pan over medium to medium-high heat.
*Pour batter into heated pan (1/2 c. if using a 12-inch pan; 1/3 c. if using a 10-inch pan) and quickly swirl pan to spread batter as thin as possible. Batter should be no thicker than 1/8 inch.
*Do NOT turn. Injera is cooked through when bubbles appear all over the top.
*Lay each Injera on a towel for a minute or two then stack in a covered dish to keep warm. (VERY important to rest on towel before stacking!)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Food, Glorious Food...

Now don't worry, I'm not going to break out in musical (Oliver!) themed songs. This is really all about my adventures in food so far this week! Here, witness my newest cupcake creation! Jelly Donut Cupcakes! Mmm. I used the low fat cupcake recipe from the VCTOTW cookbook and then inserted the jelly with a pastry bag and dusted the tops with powdered sugar. This much is obvious, no? They are a reasonable indulgence as well - at around 125 calories a cupcake (2.5pts)

On to the Sushi! Hip Hip Hooray, Hip Hip Hooray! Up until last week, it'd be over a year since I made sushi! There is something innately wrong with that! So, last week I made my regular small rolls using half a sheet of nori and filling the inside with rice and avocado. Well, I watched the very first episode of the PPK this weeekend where they make sushi with the "rice on the outside". Intrigue! Michael then happened to come home with 3 beautiful avocados from Engel's Market and I just knew, KNEW I TELL YOU, that it was going to be another sushi week this week! I modeled my sushi after the "tofu dragon" - with fried tofu on the inside and sliced avocado wrapped around the rice on the outside.

And, lastly, our Indian-themed dinner:


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Skinny is Sooo Passe!


Clothing is the root of all evil! Really! I think the reason so many of us are delusional about our bodies is because we hide them. We assume that everyone else looks better than us and have no real grasp on what "average/normal" people look like - little stretch marks or fat dimples or tiny breasts or body hair! Still, radical reform isn't likely overnight so check out this progressive, reasonable proposition!

"The 12-point package of measures, or beauty "charter" -- drawn up with the health ministry -- includes a stipulation that shop windows display sizes of 38 minimum (size 10 in Britain, eight in the United States)..."

And check this out Julie:

"In a joint statement the couturiers said they intended to harmonise sizes in a bid to reduce the possibility of "consumer error" with sizes currently not in sync from one firm to the next."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I Say Tomato, You Say Tomato...



Tomato Chutney, that is! Mmmmm!


Here's my recipe from "The Best of Lord Krishna's Cuisine". It's the best!

2 T ghee/vegetable oil/shortening
1-2 dried chiles
1 t cumin seed
1 in piece cinnamon stick
1 1/2 lbs tomato (I usually double the recipe and only end up using maybe 2 1/2 pounds - it's fine)
3 T date sugar/maple sugar (I use regular ole evaporated cane juice)
1/2 t salt

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add the chiles, cumin seed and cinnamon and cook over medium until the cumin seeds are nice and brown. That's right - we don't want any mean cumin seeds. Once the seeds are browned, carefully add the tomatoes, sugar and salt. Cook for about 20 - 25 minutes, stirring regularly. The key to making chutney is to cook everything down until it's almost a paste. There really shouldn't be many distinguishable tomato chunks (I, myself, had to be schooled!).
I'm making Gota and Vegetable Biryani tonight to eat with my chutney! Yes, that is how I do things. My main food is whatever I'm dipping into - salsas, chutneys, hummus, soups....the rest is just filler.

Monday, January 22, 2007

1 Sick Kid, 2 New Shoes and 3 Boxes of Breadsticks

Yep, that about sums up my weekend. All in all, not an awful weekend but, not what I was intending either. Michael and I initially had plans to go see B-Nimble and the Boys down at PD's pub. We're their own personal fan club and we've seen them play at PD's twice and own the CD. A funky little band, you should check them out! B-Nimble and The Boys (Woo Hoo, I'm learning HTML).

So, we were pretty much house ridden on Friday and Saturday. Ok, forget the "pretty much" - we were house-ridden. I did get out to play the powerball, though. I'd never played the lottery before in my life! We didn't win but I do know how to play now - which could come in handy.

Sunday was a little more eventful. I drove in the snow. I'm terrifed of driving in the snow but, lo and behold, I live in Pittsburgh. We visited with all our girlies in Washington, PA and ordered three boxes of breadsticks from Papa Johns. Oooh La La! Garlic sauce! Fat girl me squeals in delight! A trip to the Washington Mall left me poorer than expected but since I finally found a pair of funky, vegan shoes I like. (I got the ones in black)Rocket Dog stuff is clearly labeled "cow friendly". I appreciate that, though I'd appreciate it more if ALL of their shoes were "cow friendly". It's almost like Whole Foods and their "animal compassionate" labeling.

Spent a bit at Whole Foods last night after we returned to town. As sad as it is that we stocked on lots of convenience foods, it's important that we have them - otherwise, we spend much more eating out. I'm trying hard to "plan ahead" the night before. Michael and I ate beer brats sauteed with onions and green peppers. Ooooh! I'm also making a chutney tonight for our Gotas/Vegetable Briyani dinner tomorrow. I may even be motivated enough to chop some of the veggies tonight. Then again, probably not...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Adventures in Sprouting


There is nothing quite like seeing something grow. Too bad sprouted hummus tastes like dog poo. Wait. I don't know what dog poo tastes like so, no offense doggies...this stuff was pretty darn gross! Still, it's an awesome visual - I intend to try a few more things before giving up on being a healthy vegan.

Speaking of which, I just bought Michael the cookbook "Vice Cream" - I had to special order it from Barnes and Noble because I was too cheap to pay shipping from Amazon. Don't laugh, I've already discussed how important it is to save money for eating out and beer...Anyway, imagine our surprise to find that these vegan soy cream recipes are actually "healthy"! What the devil? I mean, if I want dates mashed with nuts and maple syrup...what am I talking about...I sure as hell don't want dates mashed with nuts and maple syrup. I want two tons of sugar mixed with vegan caramel and vegan brownie bits in frozen soymilk. AND, I want a recipe so that I can make it at home. Now, I wouldn't mind if the above wasn't horribly fattening but, it would still need to include all of the ingredients I mentioned. Perhaps we'll give it a whirl anyway...

In other news, my scrabble game has been improving. I only lost by 3 measly points last night and I won the last time we played. I've been thinking that I might start taking photographs of the boards after each game. I think it'd be beyond nerd-tacular. Plus, we've had some games that were unintentionally "themed". Worth a picture. There have to be some major geeks out there that would be as amused as me by this..

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Exactly What Am I Thinking?

So, I applied for two new jobs today. A secretary position here in Sq. Hill and ...here's the semi-crazy one. A part time counter help position at Dozen cupcakes making just over $7 an hour. Spontaneous irrationality or burning desire? Both? They were hiring other positions not long ago - one for a baker. I was very conflicted about that. I'm not really cool with making nonvegan cupcakes. Now, only counter help. I have some crazy dream of convincing them to make more vegan cupcakes. Maybe I could work part time at the produce market, too?! Whew. Who knows if I'll even hear from Dozen Cupcakes - guess I gots some thinkin to do, huh?

EDIT: They emailed me - no more jobs there. boo hoo! (maybe a good thing- how the hell could I afford to live on a part time $7/hr job?!)

I've got such an incredible yearning to leave my 8-5 behind. I just need to figure out how to afford it - anyone want to finance me leaving my dumb job? Anyone? Hello? Some people have gotten all kinds of donations simply by asking people to give them money online. If I got enough donations, I'd start my own VEGAN cupcake/coffee/soft serve business with big fluffy couches, an anarchist library, and free internet with computers on site. Wow. That'd be great. I love the internet.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm a size 20, wha??!!

I hate pattern sizing! Everyone already knows that I'm "not normal" but really! I almost have to buy PLUS SIZE patterns! My waist is too large (33 inches) for what is considered a size 20! My chest size is a "pattern size" 18 and my hip size is a "pattern size 14"...What the devil? I freaking wear a size 7/8 when I buy clothes at the store (which is infrequent but still consistent!). Oh well, I found a nice $2 pattern at JoAnn Fabrics today which included a size 20 so I'm repressing the whole number thing and focusing on the fact that I'm making my first creation! I even photographed the fabric - also a steal- clearanced at .89 a yard! A $5 homemade dress! Weee!
Eva helped me in picking out a dress pattern for her and Malani but we didn't choose a fabric. She spent the entire 45 minutes in the store giggling about "poop". Mind you, poop is a very interesting thing. As an adult, however, I lose interest after, oh, I don't know, maybe 20 minutes. Which brings me to something else. It's difficult as a weirdo trying to raise a weirdling. I don't want her to have repress her own sense of humor (even if it is about poop). I'm don't want her to think that it's devasting to talk about "silly" or "crude" things. I think society needs to lighten up.


Now, if anyone is interested in telling that I need not freak about being a size 20, they can feel free to comment me. I fixed the comment feature - apparently, I had something clicked that wouldn't allow non blog members to post. I'm totally equal opportunity. Which brings me to - Happy MLK, Jr. Day. I'm on a roll...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Avoiding Sleep...



Such a common occurance nowadays. It's late - midnight- and I refuse to sleep. I feel as if I could run around outside, sing and dance in the living room and play another game of Scrabble. It's a sure fire sign that my job is completely unsatisfactory. I'm miserable there and I'm finding every way to squeeze out each minute of time away from my personal little hell (known to others as a cubicle). A hippie-freak, I could just run away. It's scary and dreamy all at the same time. It's also extremely unrealistic. I have two fantastic little monkeys that are homebased in "da burgh" for some time unforeseen.

All this work stress is affecting my eating, too. Never good for me. It causes me to panic and yet I still can't stop. I've always received a real pleasure derived from food - preparing, tasting, savoring and eating it. The more the merrier. I offer a picture as proof that I was, in fact, 250 lbs at one point in time. I'm so used to the "point system" now, that days that are unplanned or uncalculated are quite stressful. Eeek!
Sleepiness is setting in...I guess I'll drink some beer and go look at naked people online. Sounds reasonable, right?

Hummus, Fruit and Hummus...

I love Hummus. I eat it with a spoon. I'd find a way to eat it if I lived on the moon. I'd even risk death and fight a baboon. Oh, Hummus. Our fruit and hummus and bread lunch was certainly worth mentioning! Yum!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

How Have I Become So Apathetic?!

Aaah! It's awful! When did I lose my hypersensitivity? I'm aware of injustice and animal cruelty. I follow my routine. But, I've lost my "spark". I read Mike Elliot's post on the pgh vegan meetup board ( http://vegan.meetup.com/399/boards/view/viewthread?thread=2594171) and had to pause. I used to be aware, alert, passionate...but now...
I used to be so overwhelmed by society's general apathy and cruelty that I couldn't bear to remain firey. It hurt too much. To deal, I tried to fit in. A little bit, anyway. I repressed my outrage and tugged along a bad relationship because at least here was a person who "understood my unrest". I started a little alternative family -created my own little vegan/progressive reality. That relationship, in turn, sucked every last bit of life from me. Over this past year, I'd been so consumed with moving and tragedy that it was unrealistic for me to attempt to channel my little activist. I'm so fortunate to have found Michael. We're both too "hippie" for the "punks" and too "punk" for the "yuppies" and too "yuppie" for the "vegan freaks" and too "freakish" for the "rest of society". And we've found a nice vegan niche that we honestly "feel".
Still, I need to be reminded of the cruelty. I want to be alert and have passion. I was in tears last night when I saw that picture - and I know where that picture was taken - a place for so-called cow protection! Who the hell are we as humans to think that we have any right to molest a cow? What other fucking mammals steal another's milk? And then, to tie the legs together to prevent the cow from utilizing it's natural defenses? It infuriates me.

Friday, January 12, 2007

"I Thought My Vegan Baby Sofia Was Coming to the Party"

I'm mad at the world today. Rather, I'm wallowing in self-pity. I shouldn't. I have plenty of wonderful things to be happy about - a kick-ass mad mex dinner last night with awesome company, a shared lunch at work with 2 of the 4 most important people in world, a three day weekend beginning in just an hour, it's payday and still, I'm feeling grumpy. I don't want to work another minute and I want my baby back.

I continually mourn. Not only Sofia but also the unknown. Or rather, the known. I'm coming to the realization that Eva is IT. That it would be contradictory to my goals to try to "start over" again. That neither Michael or I entered into our relationship with an intention or desire to have more children. Part of my brain glamourizes the idea of having a baby with Michael. He's the most incredible person ever. But, for the most part, logic dictates that it's probably not what I "really" want. And it's confusing and it's frustrating and it's a final and it's huge to me. Most people would probably tell me to just "chill" - that I don't need to make any rash decisions and that stressing about this isn't productive. I have to acknowledge that as all my girls get older, it becomes more an more of a lifestyle disruption and that it's very much "the end" of babies. But FUCK, it shouldn't be the end of babies for me - I should still fucking have my little baby (2 year old) and it makes me - for lack of a better word - sad. Really really really...sad.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

It's A Good Thing I Don't Love Cupcakes...


Honestly, gimme chips and salsa anyday. I just make cupcakes because I want to decorate them. Not the most frgual things to do, I know, but it's fun and I don't have to worry about getting fat because I eat all of them - I can pass them up pretty easy. This edition consists of a plain vegan chocolate cake with a peanutbutter buttercream swirl and a chocolate chip on top.
Size 21 decorator tip - I love you!

I'll Stitch You, My Pretty, and Your Little Dog, Too!


My weapon! What a beautiful tool of mass destruction and reconstruction!

My new present arrived last week. I'm anxiously awaiting Friday (PAY DAY) so that I can splurge on some fabric and patterns. My first project is going to be kid-oriented. It would just tickle them silly to have a new dress made for them. Hmmm. Maybe we can all go and pick out fabric...Aaah. The domesticated yinzer shines through yet once again. I'm complex, I tell you.


In food news, a new very vegan friendly spot opened on the Southside - the Double Wide Grill. Vegan Pot Pie with Mashed Potatoes, Seitan Wings, and loads of beer. Mmmmm. Beer! When Michael and I walked by several weeks ago, we saw the draft selection - very extensive. Can't wait to try it out! Does this officially make me a yinzer yuppie? The grill is owned by the same people who own the Beehive, Lava Lounge and Tiki Lounge - hipness in 'da burgh. Who knew?


In scrabble news, my ass was kicked once again last night. That makes me 2:4. Rough night. Hard to make words when you have 6 vowels out of 7 letters consistently for over half of the game. Plus, our stupid kerosene heater stopped working. (shush, I'll make whatever excuses I want, damn it, it's my fucking blog!)


As for the heater, though, what's up wit dat? Two of the first coldest days this winter and it stops working? How the heck am I supposed to be able to affordably walk around the house naked if the heater isn't working? Priorities, hello?! Forget turning up the thermostat. That's an expense we're not willing to consider - why pay for heat when you can pay for beer or eating out?


Gotta love Lagunita's Brown Shugga. Michael picked it when we spent my gift certificate at D's so there was only one. Boo hoo. The taste I got, though, blew me away - I really liked it! I hadn't been impressed with the last few cases of beer we bought - the brooklyn and southern tier variety packs were just "so-so". Makes you appreciate the good stuff.


Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Naked Vegan Folk and More


Ya know you're intrigued...


So, Steve from the Pgh Vegan Meetup Group linked me to a new vegan forum. www.veganfreak.com
Hot diggity! I'm so glad to finally have a forum where sexuality is totally embraced. In two days of perusing the site, I've seen a handful of boobies, butts and penis'. So refreshing. Uptight vegans need to kiss my vegan butt. Yes, that is my vegan butt. I don't mind porn. In fact, I enjoy "good" porn. Abbywinters.com rocks! I'm looking to create a suicidegirls set, too. I passed the prelim. but I'm having a hard time "creating" what I envision. Suicidegirls is more of a creative/artistic pursuit for me. I want a really unique set.
I'm extremely interested in what makes humans tick. So much of our society is dictated by religious ideals. Would we mate for life if not for the societal pressures? Are we all hard wired to be homosexual or heterosexual? I like that our culture is becoming "looser". I think that it's a sign of progress -moving beyond outdated and rigid ideas about relationships and sexuality. I'm far from being a feminist. I don't believe that women flaunting their bodies is an insult to women or strictly for the benefit of men. I think it's a huge step back for women to insult other women for blatant sexuality. If women ever want solidarity, they have to stop isolating other women in the process. What? You can't be a stay at home mom living under traditional gender roles and still be a progressive? You can't be promiscuous and still be accepted? That's a whole 'nuther rant.
Sex is good. Why can't we all talk about it? It's so secretive. It just seems so normal to me. I'm bisexual. I don't care who knows and yet many people are still so "hush-hush" about those things. Oh well.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Good Ole Country Cookin from a City Girl














You should totally check out the Post Punk Kitchen for the tempeh soysauge recipe! Gimme Lean is tasty but there's something super special about making everything from scratch - besides, Isa is hot AND the girl can cook! ! http://www.theppk.com/

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Porn A Day Keeps the Doctor Away...
































The DIY Yinzer

My newest favorite book, Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-shirt, has inspired me to chop up every T-shirt I own. I've made little purses for the girls, a "talk nerdy to me" skirt, a black "ruffled" tank top, a pale blue skirt with a pittsburgh skyline stitched on (putting a picture of 'da burgh on your clothing is probably a pretty yinzerish thing to do - then again, it's cool when new yorkers do that stuff)...

Recently, I also revamped my vegan bodybuilding and fitness t-shirt into a kickin' halter. Mind you, if you have boobs bigger than average, the measurements in the book don't exactly work (hence the white ties). Still, it's funky and original and I wanted to share.




I'm making a Hare Krishna skirt today with a picture of Lord Jagannath. I'm quite amused by Hindu ritual and lords. Here is a picture of "the lord" himself. His eyes are wide because he was so overwhelmed by the praises of the gopis that his hair stood on end, arms retracted, and his eyes grew larger and larger as he smiled in esctasy.


Hey, look, I don't make up the stories, OK, I just relay them...