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.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Strategy Strains.

Barley Stew

This was the stew that ate Manhattan! Or Cleveland! Or something! It was massive.

It also burned the bottom of my enameled cast iron pot (which is no biggie, has happened before). You can see a bit of the burney in the pic.

So, next time I would probably just use 1 C of pearled barley instead of 2.

But it was still good!

I kind of winged it based off of a few other recipes...

2 C pearled barley
1 T oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T chick'n powder
6 C water
2 large potatoes, chopped small
2 large carrots, chopped small
4 C water
1 can butternut squash puree
1 t oregano
1 t salt
1/2 t basil
1/4 t thyme
1/4 t rosemary
2 bay leaves

In a large soup pot, saute your onion and garlic in the oil, then add the barley and chick'n powder, mix well and add water. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 30m.

Meanwhile, chop your potatoes and carrots.

After half an hour, add the potatoes, carrots, water, squash, salt and spices. Mix well, cover, bring up to a boil again and then lower heat and simmer another half hour or until tender.

Serve with fresh bread. Yum!

And here is a leetle experiment I did when I was searching for a quick supper.
I took a packet of onion soup mix (vegan, please!) and whizzed it up with 2 T oil, a package of soft silken tofu, a clove of garlic and a little water (maybe 1/4 C?). Tada! Sauce!

I had some bean balls (recipe in Veganomicon) in the freezer that I nuked and tossed in there with the peas and pasta too. It was pretty good!

So I finished "Scourge of God" by Stirling and I finally figured out what it is about these books that make my eyes glaze over- the battle descriptions!! Dude is into the strategy thing, like, a lot. For a person who is unable to AT ALL understand the lure of, say a game of Risk, (read: not a strategy bone in my body), I am unable to groove on Stirling's detailed descriptions of the war. I think I should recommend this to my father-in-law, however.

Anyway, that said, I did enjoy this last book in the series, but I'm thinking the strategy strains are what held me up in some of the other books...

Still reading "Brisingr" what can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment. Also, I have not been to the library.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I Will, I Will!

Hello fellow people!

It seems I cannot post without a greeting....

Well, continuing my exploration of baked goods, I recently made crackers!! The soup we were having for dinner was fairly uninspired, so I felt an exciting inclusion of homemade crackers would make up for any lack, and I was right!

These crackers were a cinch, and really quite good! You will never buy a cracker again! Oh well, perhaps you will, I know I still will, but I will also have to hand a great recipe for homemade crackers should I ever desire, and I know I will! Holy 'will's' in that last sentence!


1 C flour
1/3 C Silk vanilla soymilk
1 T Earth Balance
1/2 t salt
1/2 t garlic granules
dash pepper

Preheat oven to 450.

Process everything except the soymilk. Add soymilk in a stream.
Roll out on parchment paper to desired thinness. Prick all over with a fork*.
Bake for 5m* or until lightly browned.

*see notes


I rolled it out on parchment paper (remember to sprinkle a little water over your work surface and put the parchment paper on there- it anchors the paper) and baked it en masse on the parchment paper for a lot less than 20 m- should have kept track of the time!!! It was getting pretty brown on top. I also forgot to use a fork to pinprick the cracker all over so it got these huge enormous bubbles in it, but that was fun, too. Tasted juuuuust fine. Ripped it into chunks and served with soup, so yummy!

And here is the humble oat cake. These are really good with a hot cup of coffee! It's like shortbread, but with oats. They are sweet, like a cookie. Gee, I couldn't find my source for these online again, this was the closest I could find- d'oh!

Oat Cakes

2 C oats
1/2 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
1 stick Earth Balance
1/4 C cold water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Process dry ingredients. Cut in Earth Balance. Process until mixed and add water.
Scrape out onto floured surface, cover with flour (this is a sticky dough) and roll out thinly.
Use a biscuit cutter to cut circles, place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 15 - 20m until browned.

Reading "Brisingr" just because it was in the house. Yes, I am just that desperate.