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!


For the Love of Guava said...

haha. .. what a lovely energetic enthusiastic post!! So good to have you back! Mmm... I may just need to do those breadsticks and strawberry shortcake.. but I despair.. b/c I'll have to wait for weekend farmer's market/ grocery trips... and good link... I like to keep something open and switch back and forth at work!!

P.S. did i tell you i did a taco ring?? wait... did I post about it? well I'll have to check but YUM!!!

Jeni Treehugger said...

Good to see you back. I recently read "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian" - how coincimental. I thoroughly enjoyed it - all the characters were so well depicted, I felt a connection with them all. I got wierd looks from people when I told them what I was reading though - I had to explain it was fiction.
That Strawberry Shortcake looks outta this world and the Bread looks perfection on a plate