Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer of Juvenile Fiction

Welcome, welcome, so good to see you back...

Oh no, wait, that's me!

Ah well, today I bring you the best of July-August for your viewing pleasure...

A while back I read about caramelizing onions in a slow cooker somewhere on Metafilter and I just had to give it a whirl (see here for more tips)... and yay, it worked! Whee! So I turned them into soup, which you see above and is totally anticlimactic. But I WILL be using them on my next pizza (more on that later).

Here is a blueberry grunt which photographed terribly but was pretty good. It was a little tart, as I recall, but I think that was the berries we used which were from last summer, really late season blueberries (think apple picking time) so they, as a berry, were just tart. I followed the recipe here and veganized it, of course omitting the whipping cream at the end.

And here is my new favorite thing! Whee! I used follow your heart vegan cheeze, mozzarella flavour, and my new favorite pizza dough. Yummy! I made it again recently, and just used 1/3 of the block of cheeze so now I can eek out three pizzas from one block of (fairly expensive) vegan cheeze! Yay! And in all truth, the pizza using the third of a block of cheeze was better anyway, used some fresh veggies from the farmer's market that I sauteed up and nom, nom, nom!

Pizza Dough

1 C warm water
2 T yeast
3 1/2 C flour
1/4 C vital wheat gluten
1 t ginger
1/4 C oil
2 t salt
2 T sugar (or honey if you're a beegan)

Mix water and yeast and let sit 5m until dissolved.
Mix in olive oil, flour, salt and sugar.
Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, approx. 10m.
Place in oil coated bowl and turn and flip dough so it is coated.
Cover with plastic wrap or a wet towel and allow to rise until doubled, around 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down dough, divide in half and let sit 10m (you could freeze one half here if you don't want to make 2 pizzas- that's what I did and I made breadsticks with it for spaghetti another day).
Place pizza stone on rack in lower third of oven. Preheat to 450 degrees for 30m to 1 hour (I scoffed at this initially, but the second time when I made it, I let the oven preheat for more like an hour and the crust came out crisper!).
Flatten dough to 1/2" thick and 10 - 12 " wide. Go easy, if it starts to get wierd, let it rest (and you, too) for 5m. Then start again, patting and stretching.
Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal and put pizza crust on it.
Make dents using your knuckles, then brush with oil and let rest 5m.
Top with toppings and slide pizza onto baking stone (if it doesn't slide, add more cornmeal).
Bake 10 - 15m.

And here is what we had for supper last night-

Chickpea and Broccoli Macaroni

I must have been channeling my winter self or something, because this is a *gasp* casserole (yes, I turned on the oven, I am a masochist) and *gasp* it uses frozen broccoli. I should have gone to the farmer's market and bought fresh broccoli (wears hairshirt).
Anyway, this was good! Yay! I will make it again, fo' sure.

I made it just like the recipe, except I was all like, what's up with the 3/4 t ?!?! So I bumped the salt, garlic powder and paprika up to 1 t. Talk about taking a walk on the wild side, baby! Also, I used pasta water for the sauce, because my husband was not home yet with the soymilk. It turned out fine. Really good, folks. Definitely put this in your 'to make' pile. I can't wait to make it again, this time with soymilk and maybe even frying up the chickpeas with some garlic and onion. Yuuuum!

So, this has been the summer of juvenile fantasy fiction. I read "A Wizard of Earthsea" which was really good, read the next two after that.

I also read Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonsinger" or whichever one is the first in the series. Dragonsinger, dragondrums, dragonmaster, dragonrider... eventually the series will reveal 'Dragonaccountant' or 'Dragonhairdresser'. I have read the 'harper's hall' trilogy. The first was pretty good, then they were okay.

When I've run out of library books, I've been slowly working through LOTR. So good.

Next up, I am thinking about tackling the Harry Potter series. Yes, I am that crazy. Don't you think that would be a good way to end the "Summer of Juvenile Fiction"?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

I Despair!

Heya peeps! Long time no blog!

Well, maybe it's best this way... you are spared the innumerable combinations of rice/pasta with a bit of tofu/fake ground meat/tvp and a somekindof sauce made usually with nutritional yeast.

I bring to you my 'best hits' of the summer, thus far!

First up, the magnificent breadstick! Ooooh, ahhh!

Marvel at it's uniform brownness and the sparkly bits of salt atop it's crest.

Truly, it is a wonder.

Ahem. No, really, though. It was good! Yay! I think I just googled 'olive garden breadstick' and this is what I came up with (after wading past all the nutritional info sites, oh, yeah, and all the sites telling me how to make breadsticks using a frozen bag of bread dough- d'oh! yah, right.). So anyhow, I really liked these and the baking time is less 'cause you've cut up the dough and stuff and I added my seekrit ingredients the second time around (pic above) and got even better results! Hoorah!


4 C flour
2 T sugar
2 t salt
2 t yeast
1 1/3 C water
1/2 C vital wheat gluten (opt- seekrit ingredient)
1 t powdered ginger (again, optional, secret ingredient)

1 T melted Earth Balance
1 t salt
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t oregano

Oil 2 baking sheets.
Mix first group of ingredients in mixer, then knead for a few minutes.
Divide dough into 16 (I use my digital scale for this, because I am a nerd) and roll into breadsticks, placing them on the baking sheet once you've rolled them out.
Cover with a damp teatowel and let rise 45m.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt butter and brush onto breadsticks.
Mix the salt, garlic powder and oregano and sprinkle the tops of the breadsticks.
Bake 15m.

See? Easy! You can make these if you have maybe an hour before supper and then all you have to do is make spaghetti, but you've really fancied it up here with the breadsticks and everyone will be like, wow.

Next up is a few pictures of my new favorite 'spice blend' for 'Indian' food. See how I used those little quotes there? That's because spice blend sounds so fancy, yes? And quotes make anything better. Also around the word, Indian? That's because I'm sure an real Indian cook would scoff. But hey, me likey. Scroll down for the recipe. Below you see fried chickpeas and tofu with tomatoes and below that you see fried chickpeas and silken tofu with tomatoes and freshly wilted, or is that wilted fresh, spinach. It was fresh spinach, freshly wilted, anyhow. Sooo good.

This 'spice blend' originates from this recipe... the only thing I changed was to drop the chili garlic paste and replace it with paprika, 'cuz my family are wusses.

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 can diced tomatoes
2 T oil
1 T fresh grated ginger
1 t onion powder, cumin, garam masala, salt
1/2 t coriander, tumeric, garlic granules
1/4 t paprika

Fry the garbanzos in oil until browning. Add ginger and spices. Add the tomatoes and spinach if you've got it, mix until well heated. Serve over rice. Tada!

And finally, here is the piece de la resistance (that is wholly incorrect, I'm sure)- strawberry shortcake!! I found the recipe on the intarweb and now alas, I cannot find it again. Ah well, besides, I changed it up some, so there. Soooo goooood! Go, pick some strawberries, now! Make this tonight!!

Strawberry Shortcake

2 C sliced strawberries/1 quart strawberries
2 T sugar

2 C flour
2 T sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t cream of tartar
1/4 t baking soda
3/4 C soymilk
1 1/2 t apple cider vinegar
1/4 C canola oil

Oil two baking sheets.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Slice strawberries, sprinkle with sugar, mash up a little with a fork and set aside to allow juices to release.
Add apple cider vinegar to soymilk, whisk a little and set aside to sour.
Mix dry ingredients well.
Add soymillk and oil and gently mix.
Spoon 6 mounds onto baking sheets.
Bake 15m until golden.
Remove to racks and cool.
Top with berries and serve.

Well, so now for the reading...
I finally got my hands on a copy of "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian" and it was a really good read! Lots of engaging stuff in there about culture and aging and love. I couldn't put it down! I was so tickled because I hadn't been able to get it from the library (not in the system) and so I had just relegated it to the 'books I can't get ahold of but have come highly recommended'- thanks Mallika!. This category also contains "The Mysterious Benedict Society" btw. ANYWAY I was making my semi-frequent stop at my local bookstore to see what they had on the free to members prerelease shelf and there it was!! Whee!

Again, you are treated with my 'best of' reads here, suffice it to say I would give myself a headache if I tried to remember and list all the books I've been reading, but one that stands out, dun, dun, DUN! is "Treasure Island". Yes, that great classic of old. Aaaaand, get this. I read it online!

Here's the story- I checked it out from my library, from the children's literature section, mind you, and it was some terrible bastardized version! Ptoooey! Oh, it was awful. I cannot even say how awful it was. They gutted out all the interesting asides that make the characters spring to life and I couldn't even bear to read past a few pages when I threw it down in disgust. Yes, folks, it was that bad. OMG, srsly, if this pap is what they are giving our children to help smooth it down their throats, I despair. End rant.

Okay, that's it for today. Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Glazed Over.

Ooooh man, sorry for the blog neglect!!

But here I am, safe and sound again...

Here's a little number I like to call 'The Perfect Sloppy Joe'. I'd make it every day if I could get away with it...

No, seriously, you know I've been honing in on my perfected sloppy joe and I think I've finally found it!

So here goes, do not faint at the amount of brown sugar!

1 C red lentils, (uncooked) rinsed and drained
1/2 C TVP reconstituted in 2 C boiling water (do not drain)
1 - 2 C water
1 onion, finely chopped
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T oil
1 can tomato paste
1/2 C brown sugar*
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T italian seasoning
1 T molasses
2 t salt
1 heaping t paprika
1/2 t mustard

Saute onion and garlic in oil in a large pot. Add spices, salt, sugar, tomato paste, molasses and apple cider vinegar and mix well. Heat until fragrant.
Add lentils and TVP, including the water from rehydrating the TVP and mix well. Add 1 C water and cover and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until lentils are tender (30m or longer, depending on your lentils). Add more water by 1/2 Cfuls as needed.

*that's a lotta sugar! you could reduce this (obvs) and I think I may next time, to 1/4 C. But it WAS really good....

And here is another quick supper that was sort of improvised that turned out well.

I call it 'Tofu and Garbanzos Over Rice'. Because that's what it is! Yay!

1 can garbanzos, drained
1 1/2 carrots, shredded
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T oil
1 pkg extra firm silken tofu
1 C frozen peas
1 t cumin
1 t salt
1/2 t ancho chile powder (or some other spicy something you like)

In a large (pref cast iron) skillet, fry up those chickpeas. Really fry those puppies. Then add the spices and salt. Then add the garlic and fry for a bit, then the garlic. Add tofu and peas and mix it all up, letting the tofu get coated in all the spicy goodness and the peas get hot. Serve over rice. Ta da!

Well, let's see. After finishing "The Stand", I read some filler books that I had laying around the house. Some good, some okay, all fine.

"Wesley the Owl" good with a little woo at the end there. But fun to read about an owl (win!) and wacky biologists.

"The Storekeeper's Daughter" kind of preachy (ha) the author obviously thinks we should all be Amish, really. Don't ask how I have this book.

"Summer World" by Bernd Heinrich is interesting and I love to learn about nature but I sort of glazed over about half way through. Good intentions of finishing, though.

"The Elephant Keeper" this was a reader's copy or prerelease or whatever and I enjoyed it. An interesting story with some cool thinking about animals. Lame ending, though. In my opinion.

Oh, and I can't forget "The Fairy's Return" by Gail Carson Levine! I am a big fairy tale geek and I guess this shows it. Having read "Ella Enchanted" and enjoyed it I risked picking this up at Goodwill (actually I didn't remember the author or that she'd written Ella Enchanted or anything, I just saw 'fairy' in the title and skimmed a page and thought it looked good. Thanks, subconscious!). Anyway, these are fun, although it does give me pause to discover that she is allied with Disney... I just have this reflexive 'ewwww' reaction. Oh well.

That's it! Gotta get my hands on something else to read!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kind of Drippy.

hey, yo.

wow, lots of foodstuffs for you today!

first up (above) we have some yummy pasta with sauce.

do you ever do this? where you mix it all up together and let it cook up hot? kinda reminds me of a cafeteria...

i used some fancy pants spaghetti sauce from the coop (no corn syrup) and doctored it to my taste. turned out pretty good!

2 T oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 t oregano
1 t salt
1 t italian seasoning (remember to crush those spices up between your fingers, folks)
splash balsamic vinegar
1/4 t ancho chile powder

Saute onion, then garlic in oil. Add spices, vinegar and salt. Add sauce. Simmer for a bit while your pasta boils.
Mix up with your pasta and serve hot.

oh, man, this was good! of course, everything was fried, so what do you expect?

1 can garbanzos, drained
1 1/2 carrots shredded
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 T oil
1 pkg water pack extra firm tofu
1 t cumin
1 t salt
1/2 t ancho chile powder

Heat your oil in a large cast iron skillet over med high heat. Add your garbanzos (watch out, those garbanzos can spit!). Stir around and add salt and cumin and ancho chile powder. Add the garlic in there and then the carrots. Keep stirring on high heat.
Lower heat and add the tofu- I boiled the tofu for ten minutes, as is my standard operating procedure these days (I think it makes it firmer), then cut it into cubes- stir around until tofu is hot and spicy too and then serve over rice! So good!

I made bagels again, this time with 3/4 C whole wheat flour replacing one of the cups of flour. I also added 1 t of cinnamon, just to mix it up a little. They turned out good (a little chewy, but good).
Here is an old favorite- Taco Ring! I think I got this originally from Fairly Odd Tofu Mom... I used the reduced fat crescent rolls and they weren't as insanely addictive tasting, but still good.

2 cans reduced fat crescent rolls
1 package Boca 'ground beef'
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 C minute rice, uncooked
1/2 C frozen corn
1/2 C salsa
1/2 C bulk dry uncheeze mix
1 T oil
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced

Take yer crescent rolls out of the frig.
Let 'em sit.
Meanwhile, boil up 2 C of water in your microwave safe dish in the microwave and then, slowly (I mean, add a few grains rice, first, to make sure it's not superheated) add rice. Let that sit.
Heat oil in a large pot, saute onion, then garlic.
Add Boca.
Add uncheeze, salsa, pinto beans and corn. Add rice. Mix well and heat on medium heat, covered.
Meanwhile, take a baking sheet and oil it well.
Lay out your crescent roll triangles with the points facing outwards. You will overlap the wider ends on the baking sheet, leaving a circle approximately 6" in diameter in the center.
Put 1/4 C of the bean mixture in the center of the base of every two triangles. Wrap the two triangle ends over the mixture and press them together with the dough in the center.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20m.
Cut into 8 wedges and serve with salsa, vegan sour cream and sliced black olives.

This was just some hot buttered pasta with tofu and fingerling potatoes. Sounds just like what it is- made the pasta, boiled the fingerlings right along with the pasta, boiled up some silken tofu, then cubed it then sauteed it with garlic and Earth Balance and added the pasta and potatoes in there too. Served with a side of green beans (from a can!) seasoned with sumac and salt. Nice and filling.
And here is the ubiquitous spicy peanut sauce spaghetti. It was pretty bland as I didn't add any ginger or basil or even cumin, oh well.

1/2 C peanut butter
1/4 C soysauce
1 t salt
1/4 C brown sugar
splash rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic

Blend. Thicken on stove (you can see I didn't thicken mine enough or drain my pasta enough- the sauce is kind of drippy). Mix with spaghetti. Yum, supper.

So, I finished The Stand with a side detour into "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies".
Okay, first off, don't read the unabridged version of "The Stand". I mean no disrespect to the King, but whoah. That was long.
SPOILER America sure loves it's sacrificial heroes, doesn't it?
Long on dread and short on action, NOTHING HAPPENED until way into the book, and then it was sadly disappointing when the bad guy turned out to be a straw man- or was he? Dun, dun, dun. I may try to read "It" some day, but I think after that, I'll be done with Stephen King.

The P & P & Zombies was fun! Don't go into it expecting a super ton of zombie action- I mean, it was there and all, but it sort of strangely ended up as an accompaniment to everything else. Funny, yes. A whole new thing, no. But that's not what it's meant to be.

I got "American Psycho" from the library. Hm. I have a hard time reading books where the goal is so obviously to make me ?hate? the protagonist... we'll see.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Subtle, he is not.

Greetings, fellow earthlings.

Oooooooh man has it been a while.

Let us begin.

First up, last night we had chickpea cutlets.

My husband is not a great fan of these (I know!) (it's the vital wheat gluten chewiness) but since they are so easy and I like them, we have them every once in a while.

I stayed with the recipe, except that I didn't have enough vital wheat gluten, so then I added more bread crumbs, but then when I added the water it wasn't like a dough any more so I added more flour, and more, and more... well, you get the picture. Still good. And, oh yeah, I used parsley instead of thyme and sage. And added some garlic granules as well as fresh garlic (double garlic!!!).

The sauce I used is from another quick and easy garbanzo based meal "Quick Saucy Garbanzos". It's good! This time I remembered to add more water after it cooked down too thick so that it was actually pourable (it's something I'm working on).

It was kind of strange to eat rice as a side. Do people normally do this?

2 cloves garlic
2 T oil
1 C soymilk
2 generous T flour
1/2 t salt
dash pepper
1/4 C nutritional yeast

Blend. Heat. Serve.

And here is a casserole!

Actually, it's not REALLY a casserole- I made up all the ingredients, put them in a casserole dish and let them sit in the (now turned off from making tater tots) oven until my family was home to eat it all up!

So. Tater tots, ground 'beef' with seasoning (I think I used some ancho chile powder, some chili powder, garlic and onion gran and salt and pepper thankyouverymuch), 1 C mixed vegetables and sauce (Dragonfly's bulk dry uncheeze). Aaghl aghl aaaaa... it was good.

And here I continue my quest to perfect the sloppy joe. This time I used 1 C red lentils and 1/2 C TVP. I was out of tomato paste so I used ketchup (ouch, that makes me cringe- trying to avoid that, you know- ketchup in cooking). I think the TVP helped with the consistency. And I like the spicing on this one- molasses it is! If I make it again, I may double the spices or something. And next time I'm going to use tomato paste and 1/2-1/2 C brown sugar instead of the ketchup. Sugar is bad, but not as bad as corn syrup, right?

1 C red lentils, rinsed
1/2 C TVP reconstituted in 2 C boiling water, undrained
1 T oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 C ketchup
1 T italian seasoning
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T molasses
1 t onion and garlic powder
1/2 t mustard powder

Saute yer onion, then garlic. Add spices, mix well. Add ketchup, molasses and apple cider vinegar and mix well. Add lentils and TVP (including the water you reconstituted it in) and another cup of water. Cover, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, stirring often, until thick.

This one counts as a fail. Except the cornbread. For some reason (and I have made this chili before) I thought pineapple was a good thing to add to chili. It was a phase. If I'm going to stick anything in my chili, it's going to be chocolate from now on.

Actually, later when I made it again as a lunch, I added some chili powder and it was good then (duh).

1 25 oz can black beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1 can tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T oil
1 T brown sugar
2 t cumin
1 t oregano, ancho chile powder, cocoa, salt
1/2 t cinnamon
2 C water

Saute onion, garlic. Add spices and seasonings, tomato paste, beans and finally water. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until thick.

And finally we have a tasty dish that looks strange- dumplings with veg and chickpea gravy.

Oh how I love to make dumplings. Boiling dough. How fun is that! Make some today.

And the sauce was good, too!

2 C flour
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
4 T Earth Balance margarine
1/4 - 1/2 C water

Put a BIG pot of water on to boil.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in food processor. Add EB until it looks like a coarse meal. Sloooowly add water until the dough pulls away from the bowl and sticks to itself.

Roll out into a 'snake' and divide into 16. Roll each of these in flour and place on plate.

When the water is boiling, lower the heat to a rolling boil and tip the dumplings in. Cover and DO NOT PEEK for 10m. Remove with slotted spoon.


1 can garbanzos, undrained
1/4 C nutritional yeast (I forgot to add this in the original post- bad blogger)
1 t onion powder, parsley and salt
1/2 t garlic granules
2 T veg broth (powdered)

Blend. Heat. Serve. Serve over dumplings, if you're smart.

Okay, now that we're all caught up on food, I'll catch you up on my reading.

Still reading "The Stand". There.
No really, I must say that I am getting a wee bit tired of King's having all his characters have a sudden gust of certainty that "it will all end in a bloodbath". Subtle, he is not.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is That So Wrong?

Hello, hello, hello!

What do we have here? Why, it's a chili topped sweet potato! One of my favorite dinners!
About 4 hours before you have to eat, wash off your sweet potatoes and place them in the crockpot (I always make an effort to say 'slow cooker', but in my heart it's really a crockpot. I've decided to give up on the high-falutin' 'slow cooker' and just call it a crockpot from now on. It just never came naturally.).
Cook on high 4-6 hours or until tender. And, oh, man, are they ever tender! I have not found a better way to make a sweet potato!!! I usually do four, but I have a huge crockpot.

Anywhoo, after you've got that going, then a little before supper (less than an hour), make the chili toppin's and you're golden!

This time I did it this way...

1 big can black beans (25oz I think) undrained
1/2 can diced tomatoes
1/2 onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t ancho chile powder, cocoa, salt, cumin, garlic granules, oregano*
2 t apple cider vinegar
1 T oil

Saute onion in oil, add garlic, throw in spices, add tomatoes and stir and mix until most of the liquid is gone. Dump in black beans, cover and simmer. Uncover and simmer until thick how you want it and add the apple cider vinegar. Boom.

*didja notice how I did that, there? I just used 1 t of everything- hee!

And here is an unremarkable dinner, except for the tofu!!!
Wow, I liked this.
I used my bulk uncheeze mix I had made up, rice and broccoli as you can see, but let me tell you how I did the tofu!
First, I got out my water packed extra firm tofu out of the refrigerator and stabbed it open. Anyone else get a thrill from stabbing open the package and ripping down the sides with a knife? Just me, then? Hmmm... moving on....
Then I boilt it! Fer 10m! Just 'n like I always do!
Then, I pressed it. Wow, am I crazy or what, boiling, then pressing my tofu!
Then I sliced it in two and put half in the fridge and cut the other half into tiny little cubes which I then proceeded to fry the heck out of in 1 T olive oil with a generous dash of pepper and salt.
They were crispy, flavorful bits 'o goodness! Do it today!

Well, let's see, when I last left you, I was reading gosh knows what. I did, however, find solace in "Alas, Babylon". What a crackin' good book! One of the first apocolyptic novels, I thought it was fun to see how the genre started out. A leetle chauvinistic, but then, those were the times, I guess. We've come a long way, baby. But it was nice to read a normally narrated story, I really enjoyed it.

Then I started "The Rift" but stopped shortly after the gratuitious sex scene. The story was sort of jumpy and I wasn't really getting into any of the characters.

But then, oh joy, oh joy! "The Stand" which I had requested, came in at the library. Gosh, if I ever live someplace where the library is far and not right on my way to my daughter's preschool, I will be a sad puppy. Anyway, "The Stand" I got was the unabridged or whatever one and it's like, 1,000 pages long. But hey, so far so good! A little horror-y for my taste, but what do you expect from Stephen King. It's different enough from other apocalyptic stuff I've read that that makes it interesting. More later.

Oh, and this past weekend I was at Shepherd's Harvest Fiber Festival and now I want an alpaca. Is that so wrong? Actually, two alpacas, you're not supposed to keep them alone.

I thought this picture was so awesome, it so captured the day. Dudes in the back are using those big grills to make heart attack inducing burgers, dude in the front with the flannel. And people walking around with animals. I think those are alpacas but I don't want to tip my noob hand and get any comments informing me that they are llamas.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

That Would Be Awesome.

Do you know that they make CHOCOLATE Pez candies?!? What is the world coming to, I tellz ya!

Oh well. Here we have a few of our more recent suppers...

After my recent success with tortillas, I was excited to make these again (yes I did use Crisco)! I decided to use one of my favorite crock pot recipes as the filler. Conveniently it is actually taco/burrito filling. I've changed it a little from the original so that it works for our family, the greatest change being the change from barley to bulgur.

Aaaaaaand I finally remembered to pick up an avacado at the coop this week! Hoorah!

And I got to try out a sour cream recipe, too, so that was fun as well.

So here's how I made the fillin's this time...

Bulgur Burrito Filling

1 25oz can black beans, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 T oil
2 t cumin
1 t onion gran, garlic gran, salt, ancho chile powder
1 C your favorite salsa
1 C bulgur
2 T chopped cilantro (I had some in the freezer)
2-3 C water (I added some as I went along)

Mix it all up in the crockpot, set on high and cook until tender 4-5 hours.

Meanwhile get your tortillas mixed up and risin'.

At the end, make yer 'sour cream'.

Tofu Sour Cream

1 12.3oz pkg silken extra firm tofu
1 T oil
1/4 C water
1 t sugar
1 t apple cider vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/8 t citric acid

Of course if you don't have citric acid around the house (I mean, who doesn't?) you should just take a peek at the original recipe. Other places I've seen it on the intarweb suggest using only 2 t lemon juice. We left off one of the t's of apple cider vinegar because we don't really like tart things here at chez centrepullball. Voila!

Well, I am still working through "Rides A Dread Legion" by Feist. No, not that Feist. That would be awesome.

No, no. First of all, the title. Rides a dread legion.

Okay, now, there is a lot going on so far in this book, lots of introducing characters, backstory, history etc. etc. and I guess if I had the other two books already and loads of time, I'd keep going. As it is, I may bail. This would make great light reading for a long winter, but it's spring and I'm in the mood for some post-apocalyptic reads...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

How Could You Go Wrong?

Hey peeps!

Here is a delicious, yummy supper we had last night!

Red lentil curries are a popular dish at our home, and this one was super easy and good!

First, I was just going to make some rice and cover it with the cheeze sauce. That seemed so lame.

Then, I thought, hey, I'll add some red lentils to that sauce.

Then I thought, hmmmm, why not just make it into that curry I was thinking about making... and I'll keep the cheeze sauce in there just for kicks. Yay! I'm glad I did! It turned out really good!

Red Lentil Curry

1 C red lentils, rinsed
heaping 1/2 C Dragonfly's bulk dry uncheeze sauce mix
2 T Patak's curry paste
1 can coconut milk

Mix it all up in a sauce pan. Boil until the lentils are tender (maybe 20-30m? I just did it while the rice was cooking). Add water as necessary to keep the lentils from sticking too much and to keep it 'saucy'.
Meanwhile, make your rice.
Serve. Yum- dinner!

I suppose you could add a can of full fat coconut milk to anything and it would taste good! Can you imagine- this dish had the goodness of coconut milk, the cashews in the cheez sauce AND the rich, oily goodness of the curry paste!! How could you go wrong?!? I couldn't.

Still reading "Flora Segunda". Geez, this kid can get away with anything!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Does this book make me look juvenile?

Hello folks!

Well, nothing much exciting this weekend... lots of yard work, actually.

I thought I'd try boiling some water pack tofu, just like I boiled the silken tofu, to make scrambled tofu, and it turned out really well!! I kind of used the spices from this, and added onion and garlic granules because I was too lazy to chop (now, that's lazy!). No, actually, I justified it to myself by saying that the onion and garlic granules 'allow for the flavour to permeate the entire dish'. So there you go. Next time you don't want to chop an onion, just pretend you're making sure that all oniony goodness is equally distributed throughout the dish. Don't say I never did anything for you...

Scrambled Tofu

1 T oil
1 T Earth Balance vegan margarine
1 block extra firm water pack tofu
1/4 C nutritional yeast
2 t cumin
1 t salt, onion, garlic, oregano
pinch pepper, turmeric and paprika

First, boil your tofu for 10m. I just plopped it in a saucepan, added water to cover, covered it and put it on the stove on high. You should keep it at a low rolling boil so it doesn't get too crazy in there.
Meanwhile, boil your pasta (or rice or whatever grain).
Toward the end of your tofu boiling time, heat up your skillet to med high and melt the margarine together with the oil.
Drain the tofu and slice it into little cubes.
Plop into your skillet and gently stir around until the tofu turns golden.
Add your spices, then the nutritional yeast.
Place entire skillet into oven and broil on low while you drain the pasta.
Serve hot.

I thought the boiling and the broiling made the tofu easier to work with in a scramble, but I may just be delusional. How's that for a rousing endorsement? No, really, I think it kept the tofu from just crumbling into tiny pieces in the skillet which is usually how my scrambles turn out. Like mush. So yay! Broiling may have been overkill, but hey, it kept the tofu hot while I scampered about getting everything else set to go.

Here is a soup, much like many of the red lentil soups I am wont to make, but with 2 important differences! I know you are waiting with bated breath.

I made it in the crockpot AND I added a can of garbanzo beans.

I know, be still my heart.

Red lentil soup WITH garbanzos

2 C red lentils, rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, undrained
6 C water
1 T olive oil
2 t cumin (say it with me now, KOO-min)
1 t coriander, sumac, salt and onion powder

Put the oil in your crockpot and let it heat up a little on the 'high' setting.
Add in the spices and mix around.
Dump in the lentils and mix.
Add water and mix.
Cook for a few hours until lentils are tender.
In a blender or food processor, blend the garbanzos along with their water.
Add to the soup and mix.
Serve hot.

This makes a lot of soup, but it is oh so good.

So I have been on a run of books lately that just aren't doing it for me.
First there was "Wave" by Walter Mosley. Yeah, that was just too creepy for me, couldn't handle it. Just not into creepy and I wasn't convinced it was going to be worth it.

Then, I started reading "Swallows and Amazons" which I am convinced is good, and I can't wait to read through the series with my girls when they get older, but it was just moving much too slowly for me right then. Will get back to that one.

Anyway, I was all excited when I started "The Years of Rice and Salt".
Meaty, adult fantasy fiction with lots to sink my teeth into!
BUT a) I was bummed when I found out Kim was a man and b) felt like I was going to be reading it for years. The characters kept changing every chapter and even though their names retained the same first letter (I think one kept being a 'B' name) I just could not hang. Loved the premise, SPOILER; reincarnation, just couldn't concentrate enough or get engaged enough to continue on (hey, I got through, like, half of the book, guys!).

What can I say, first, I want wholesome non-creepy entertainment, and I get it with Swallows and Amazons and then I complain it's too slow.
Then I want meaty adult fantasy and I get it with The Years of Rice and Salt, and I complain because it's too philosophical and hard to follow.

So then I went back to another book I started (just a few pages) and now I'm reading that. It's not great, but "Flora Segunda" will do. I am waiting for the hammer to fall on this little girl who is doing all this crazy stuff unbeknownst to all her elders. Yes, it is Juvenile fiction. Does that make me juvenile? We'll see.

Friday, May 01, 2009



I made this, and it came out brown.

That's what I get for using pinto beans instead of Northern. My Target does not have northern beans, however. AND it tasted great!!

I also added too much water (I used 1 C soymilk and 1/2 C pasta water) and even though I simmered it on the stove for what seemed like forever, it still was a little soupy. My bad. I got a little ahead of myself, there.

Maybe next time I'll make it and add some browning sauce and call it pasta and gravy. Haha.

Or maybe next time I should just make it with white beans (gotta get me that pressure cooker) and add the water/milk a little at a time as I should have done!

Anyhow, my family loved it and ate and ate and ate it all up! I think this one will become a repeater!

1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 t salt
1 t garlic granules
1 t parsley
1/4 t pepper
1 C soymilk

1/4 C Earth Balance
1 C frozen peas
1/2 box pasta

Boil up your pasta.
Toward the end, dump in the frozen peas, let them simmer and then turn off the heat and cover until you're ready to drain the pasta and peas.
Blend up your beans, soymilk, garlic gran/powder, salt, pepper and parsley.
Pour into a saucepan, add the Earth Balance and heat until thick.

Oh, and I finally got my hands on "World War Z". Yay- a zombie book!! Zombie fans, unite! Do you know what the vegan zombie said? Huh, huh? Do ya? 'Graaaaaiiiiinns.'. Oh, ho, ho, I crack myself up!

Anyway, I was completely engrossed with this book and could not tear myself away. So fun to read!!!! Really, I think anyone would appreciate this book. For example, I would recommend it to my father-in-law, and I really don't think he has much interest in zombies. He's more of a civil war guy. But he would totally appreciate it!

It is also broken up into little sections, so if you have more self-control than I do, you could theoretically put it down and pick it up fairly easily. Thought provoking but not dense, it is a great read.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Actually Crispy.

OOooooh! Lovelies! Here we have SUCH a yummy dinner!! I got the idea from blah blah blah-ler, she made it sound so easy and good, and it was! Also, now I will always think of Doritos when I eat this dahl...

I made it in the crockpot, 'cuz that's how I roll... Um, actually I made it in the crockpot because it seemed like a good idea to let all that spicy goodness simmer away all day.

I probably should have dragged out the 'ol trusty skillet and really browned/fried those chickpeas up- I will try this sometime (and then of course skip the crockpot). That would definately up the Doritos effect.

2 15oz cans garbanzos, drained and 1 undrained
1/2 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 T oil
1 T freshly grated ginger*
1/4 t chili garlic paste (you know, the kind with the rooster on the front?)
1 t onion powder, cumin, garam masala, salt
1/2 t coriander, turmeric, garlic granules

Put the oil, ginger and salt and spices in the crockpot on high, and mix around until fragrant. Dump in the rest of the stuff, mix well and let it cook on high for a few hours, however long until supper. Make rice and serve. MMMmmmm.

*I've been scraping all the skin off the ginger with a spoon, then freezing it in a little ziplock in the freezer, then taking it out and grating it on my box grater and it works great! Yay, no more shriveled, sad mistakes of ginger left to moulder on the counter!

Here is a fairly uneventful supper. The most exciting thing was that I made crackers and doubled the recipe and they were more like soft crackers, if that makes any sense. Still good, though. I will go back to the original half amount, though, and make actually crispy crackers.

I finished "Smilla's Sense of Snow" and I don't know if I was just distracted toward the end or what, but I just could not stay interested. Isn't that wierd? It was, like, the culmination of all this stuff and ?dare I say it? it was sort of anticlimactic? I am so Western I suppose all with my need for dramatic endings and resolution. That was sort of the point of the author- no resolution, so I guess I'll just have to take my lumps, or however the saying goes... Really cool book, though. Pretty cool heroine! I wonder what the movie's like?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Jessica Seinfeldy

Hello. Here is some soup. It was good.

Split Pea Spinach Stew

Note that my stew looks nothing like the picture in that post...

1 T oil
1 onion, chopped
1/4 pkg frozen spinach
1 C split peas
1 t salt
1 t cumin
1/8 t cumin
1/8 t chili paste
4 C water (I also added 2 more cups at the end after I blended it)

Soak yer peas.
Saute yer onion.
add yer spices and salt and water, bring to boil and simmer until tender.
Add more water.

This was pretty good- the spinach lightened it up and I felt all ?Jessica Seinfeldy? (that woman who put out the 'hidden vegetables' book or whatever). Yum.

But, the big deal of this meal was as follows...

Maple Beer Bread

from Cottage Living (a great Canadian magazine)

3 C AP flour
1 T baking powder
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/4 C stout
3/4 C maple syrup

Grease a 9x5" loaf pan.
Mix dry ingredients.
Add syrup and stout.
Mix well (but don't go crazy or anything).
Pour into pan and let rest at room temperature for 20m.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375.
Bake 40-45 (mine took a lot longer) or until it tests done (stick a toothpick in there and if it comes out all gooey, stick 'er back in that oven!)
Cool in pan, then remove and cool on wire rach 10m.

Oooh, oooh! I have to say this turned out supergood! I have made beer breads before (with ww flour) and they were not as good. This rose up so nicely and was tender and sweet!!! Make it, make it, make it!!!! I think the 20m resting time was pivotal. Pivotal, I say.

I made a pot pie. We will not speak of this.

Still reading "Smilla's Sense of Snow" gosh, I really like this. She is the most awesome heroine. It's like turning into this crazy adventure. I rarely think about books when I'm not reading them, but lately I've been thinking things like, "Gosh, I wonder if Smilla will figure it all out?!?". Seriously.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Something To Hang On To.

Greetings, fellow creatures!

Above we have a yummy, scrumptious dinner, just perfect for having on a beautiful Spring day.

Crockpot Dump Taco Soup

1/2 C TVP
1 can corn, undrained*
2 large cans black beans (or 3-4 regular cans) black beans, undrained*
1 can kidney beans, undrained*
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained*
1 T chili powder
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1 t cumin
1 t oregano, crumbled
1 t salt
1 T veg broth powder or bouillon (geez, I cannot spell that word! Spellcheck recommends boil lion when I check it) cube
2 T oil

Dump it all into your crockpot (I have the hugest size, I believe). Set on high for 5 hours (or even less, I imagine- just so the TVP has a chance to rehydrate and the flavors to 'meld'). Yah- it's that fancy.

Serve with cornbread. This one.

I thought I would make a more savory (read; one eigth the sugar), somewhat less oil version. It was not worth it. Now I know.

*I guess you could rinse and drain all the beans and just drain the tomatoes and then add back in roughly 6-8 C water if you felt like it, but I feel that goes against the laissez-faire attitude a dump soup should have.

Read ANOTHER mystery, what is going on?!? Actually, I just had to give up. "Glamorama" must reflect the ennui and uncertainty of our time through it's confusing, apathetic/psychotic hero and I'm sure I'm meant to realize all this pertinent stuff about our modern day life, but no. No thank you. I could not 'bond' with the protagonist and realizing SPOILER halfway through that he is crazy or something (still not sure) did not even help, even though it was interesting. Give me something to hang onto, dude.

So now I have started "Smilla's Sense of Snow" and although it is ANOTHER MYSTERY I find it engaging and interesting so far.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Blend Everything After The Stars

Hello, friends.

Here we have a favorite supper here at chez centrepullball. Camel Pockets. Oh, my. So good.
This time I divided the dough into 8ths instead of 16ths for EVEN BIGGER Camel Pockets! Yowza! Also, I used less pepper. Next time, I'm going back to 16ths. Much more manageable. Also, I am going to try and cut the oil down in both the dough and the filling. But really, you should try these. So supergood.

The giant Camel Pocket.

And another nice, quick supper. I can't believe it's taken me this long to sort of come up with a favorite mac and cheeze supper, I mean, mac and cheeze, so basic! But this is it. It's pretty much the New Farm Macaroni and Cheeze recipe, not baked. I just whizzed all the sauce ingredients in the blender with a Tablespoon of cornstarch, heated it (carefully!) over the stove and dumped it over the pasta when it was ready.

16oz uncooked elbows
3 T oil
1/4 C flour
1 1/2 C really hot water
1 t salt
1 t garlic powder
pinch turmeric
1/2 C nutritional yeast
1/2 t paprika
1 T cornstarch

Blend everything after the stars. Heat on stove, stirring often to prevent lumps. Meanwhile boil yer pasta. Drain pasta, mix with sauce and serve. Yuuuum.

Do you know how excited I will be to serve supper with fresh, local produce instead of canned or frozen, huh? huh?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blank Blank with Blank.

Greetings, fellow peoples...

Here is an eclectic supper from a while back. It contains said predicted crescent roll samosas, some scrambled tofu, take II and some leftover baked lentils. Mmmm.

I tried the scrambled tofu with the silken soft tofu and it was a little more breaky and stuff, but still fine. The thing to do is to make sure you serve it hot, hot, hot!

I seasoned it with some garlic granules, salt and pepper and a pinch (tiny!) of turmeric. I had been getting freaked out by the turmeric I had in the cabinet since I've had it a looooong time, so I was happy to use the recently purchased at the coop turmeric. Apparently turmeric is a wonder spice, but I could not find much info on it's shelf life (some say it lasts a long time and can even extend the shelf life of other things, others not so much). Our coop has actual turmeric root, but I have not been brave enough to purchase said item, also, we do not use that much turmeric.

Here are some wonderful I-Don't-Have-Time-For-a-Yeast-Dough Whole Wheat English Muffin-ish Stove Top Buns. These were good! Thanks, River!

I think I added 3/4 C ap flour because my dough came out too wet, but that was the only change I made. These are great for a semi-quick weekend morning breakfast! So yummy! And I love me some whole wheat and flax action!

And here is what I did with the second half of my fake chicken flesh. I made some Saffron Chicken with Parsley. Oh, no, wait! No I didn't! I WAS going to make that, but then I couldn't find the parsley* so I made it without the saffron or parsley. For that matter, I made it without chicken, really. So I guess I made Blank Blank with Blank. Ha ha. No, I guess it was Fake Chick'n with Italian Seasoning.

Fake Chick'n with Italian Seasoning

1/2 pkg Morningstar Farms fake chicken
1/2 onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
1 T fake chicken powder dissolved in 1/2 C hot water
pinch citic acid (or if you are a normal person, 1 T lemon juice)
1 t Italian herbs (don't forget to pulverize this by rubbing it between your fingers)

In a heavy pot, saute the onion, then the fake chick'n. Add spices and fake chicken stock. Simmer, covered for 10m or so and uncovered for a bit, too. Sorry to be so vague, but it's not really chicken, so you don't really need to simmer it that long. Just let it go until the rice is ready.

Serve with brown rice.

*of course, mere minutes after commiting to the change in plans and having started everything going, I found the parsley. Maybe next time I'll make it with the saffron and parsley.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Hello, everybodeeee (said in best Grover voice)!!!!!!

Here (above) is some lovely Itiakiet Stew and Cornmeal Griddlecakes.

The stew came out pretty salty. Like, that is not a euphemism. And I only used 1 t salt, geez! If I make it again, I would probably double this and stuff.

Here's what I did;

1 can kidney beans
1 T canola oil
2 cloves garlic
tidge chili garlic paste
2 t cumin
1 T tomato paste
1/8 t cayenne
pinch citric acid
2 T peanut butter
1 t salt
2 C water

Blend ever thing. Cook. Bam.

As for the griddlecakes, well, I can't seem to find where I got the original recipe from, but the above link takes you to virtually the same recipe if you just leave off the fake ham thankyouverymuch. And, I was like, 1/4 C soft silken tofu?!? What? I should have just used egg replacer of skipped it altogether. I'm keeping the rest of the soft silken tofu to make scrambled tofu again. I'm hoping that as some of the liquid leeches off in the refrigerator it will miraculously become more like extra firm silken tofu. TMI?

Anyway the griddlecakes were good, but holy fried! Next time I think I will try baking them in the skillet as per so many cornbread recipes (ooh, remind me to make that second one sometime!)... so much easier.
And here is ol' standby, Baked Lentils. I think that by doubling it, I screwed up the lentil-to-liquid ratios or something- it came out half baked. Now, I may be half baked, but my lentils should not. Perhaps I will halve it next time, cook it longer or try a different pot or more water. Gosh, it used to come out just fine! Maybe next time I will just use red lentils!!! Oh, Serina recommends soaking the mixture overnight- good idea! For the record, I use brown lentils and maple syrup instead of honey. MMMMmmmm...

So, I read "The Thirteenth Tale" and loved it. So engrossing. Read it now. Also, I started "The Gun Seller" which is cracking me up. Great witty dialouge is keeping me interested. He toes the line between overdone and perfect and comes out on the perfect side, IMO. Both of these were sort of mystery-ish books and I am so totally not a mystery novel reader. Hmph. But so far so good. As you can see, I finally made it to the library. Happy me.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pasta Water

Well, well, welcome.

Last night I made samosas. Mushy samosas. I cooked the potatoes too long... still good, though. Used up all those potatoes and now we have yummy samosa leftovers!

"Samosas" it's fun to type and if you look at it long enough it starts to look strange. The word, that is. The pic above might look strange, too, I haven't looked at it that long.

You will be seeing these again, wrapped in delicious crescent roll goodness...

And lo! Here is some pasta. I always hesitate to post these 'chick'ny' pics because when I look at them they look so flesh-tastic, but ah well... again, a good dinner. And quick!

I tried this newfangled 'use less water + start from cold' way of making pasta and it was fine. And yes, the pasta water is good! I feel like I should save it for making soup or something!

1/2 box 8 oz pasta
2 T oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 pkt morningstar chick'n
1 t herbes de provence/your fave herb
1/4 t citric acid/some lemon juice
1/2 t salt
few leaves kale/some spinach/broccoli

Boil up your pasta. Stir often to prevent sticking.

Meanwhile, in a large cast iron skillet, saute your onion. Add chick'n and herbes and citric acid and salt and chopped up veg. Saute until chick'n is brown, adding pasta water everytime it starts to stick. When pasta is done, add it to the skillet and mix well. Serve hot!

And finally, my most exciting thing!! Are you excited?!? I made tortillas.

A long time ago I made tortillas, and they were breaky and stiff. Like, not wrappable. What's up with that?

So I was bound and determined to find a good recipe, and I think I have.

Of course, then I read a bunch of scary stuff about Crisco, so now I'm all freaked out about using it.

Next time maybe I will sub in Earth Balance... we'll see.

I did like them enough to use Crisco again. They were soooo good and fun to make. I used my cast iron skillet (suprise) and heated it up real high and then counted 'one, two, three' flip, 'one, two, three' flip and 'one, two, three' off onto a plate. Actually, I had a friend help and that made it even more fun!

I also tried a new way of making tofu! Pretty exciting, huh? Scrambled Tofu.

I liked it becuase it did make softer, golden tofu. I could definately see this in a regular tofu scrambler. I just mixed it in with some spiced up black beans and it made a good burrito filling.

And topped it all off with cheeze sauce*.

1/3 C nutritional yeast
1/4 C flour
2 T oil
1 C water
1 T cornstarch
pinch citric acid
2 garlic cloves
1/2 t onion powder

Blend, heat and serve.

*This is a variation of Vegan Explosion's queso, which is gone for now... aww! So yummy!

Finished Brisingr. It got better at the end. Must. get. more. books!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Watery Glue.

Here they are again- soft pretzels!! Made these again, so good. I made up a batch of Bulk Dry Uncheeze Mix (note, don't make this in the blender unless you want cashew butter) and turned some of that into soup and then had good reason to make pretzels again. Is is so weird that I think pretzels and cheeze soup go together?!? I think not.

This time there was a sort of inadvertent 2nd rise due to baby sleeping issues and I think that this made these even better, so fluffy chewy and crispy on the outside. Also, I was out of baking powder for when you drop them in the boiling water and so I subbed 1 t baking powder = 1/2 t baking soda and 1/4 t cream of tartar... worked juuust fine.

And here was another sucessful supper- another repeat. Spicy TVP and black beans. This time I used 1 t ancho chile powder instead of the regular chili powder and whoa was that good! This supper was sort of strange in that I served it over rice and really, it should have been served with tortillas or something, but we shall ignore that and just call it 'dirty rice' or summat.

I am becoming entirely too dependent on my blender. I whizzed up the can of tomatoes (much to the happiness of the tomato hatah in residence) along with half of a super big can of black beans plus everything else, here, let me write it up for you...

1 large can of black beans, undrained, divided
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
4 cloves garlic
1 T oil
1 t ancho chile powder
1 t cumin
1 t onion powder
1 t oregano
1 t salt
1/2 C TVP

Blend everything in the first bunch - only dump in half of the can of beans. Reconstitute the TVP in 2 C boiling water (I nuke it for 5 m in the microwave in my handy dandy Pyrex 2 Cup measuring cup). Careful adding the TVP so it doesn't bubble over... add some salt in there...

Pour all the blended stuff into a big pot. Add the second half of the beans and the TVP. Simmer until thick.

Eat. Yum.
Okay, so the book gods answered my cries for rescue from Brisingr and I got an email from my library saying that "The Graveyard Book" was on hold for me! Oh, goodie!

I had seriously thought that I would not see this book until September or something... I was 47 on the hold list, I believe. Hm. Some peoples read fast or lots of people failed to get this or I don't know what happened, but WHO CARES! I got it!

I had started listening to the book here, which was wonderful. I highly recommend it. In fact, while reading the book I realized that I had enjoyed it much, much more listening to it. I just did not have the time... ah well. The reading went so much more quickly and this is a book you should linger over if at all possible. I cried at the end. Wow.

So now back to Brisingr. I am dogged, if nothing else. I realized what is so strange about this book is that the glue that holds the narrative together is very, very watery glue. It's like the author just thought up all the coolest scenarios/happenings/incidents and plopped them one after another, like beads on a string. I mean SPOILER the war I guess is the thing that "holds" (and I use that term v. loosely) it all together, but sheesh. Anyway, that's what is so strange about this book. I could put it down at any time and never return to it again and it wouldn't really bother me. Entertaining while you're reading it, but not gripping.