Summer Bummer

It is June 11th, and my one-year blog anniversary was June 2nd, which I somehow missed, and that is sad.  😦  Also, I managed to lose another digital camera to a bad fall last weekend, which doesn’t really help me in the blogging department, and is depressing because now that school has ended I’ve been doing alot of cooking and baking.  Tomorrow a big group of my friends is going down to Cape Cod to spend the weekend there, and I have this whole long summery menu of things to cook up for them while we’re there, which I’m really excited about because I love cooking in the summertime!  Of course, it is currently 56 degrees in Boston so maybe not so much.

Alright, enough bad humor.  Until my camera is fixed (or I bite the bullet and buy my third one in the last 13 months) I have a few pictures in my Photobucket that I can post for the sake of keeping up the blog…

First up is a series of photos of Dad and me making Happy Herbivore’s Chickpea Piccata

Here we have the patties, getting ready to go into the oven.

And there is the sauce, simmering away.

Some steamed spinach for a side dish.

The finished chickpea patties.

The finished sauce.

Overall, I enjoyed this recipe but we had to modify it a little.  The chickpea mixture that forms the patties was very dry (maybe because we used dried beans that had been soaked and cooked rather than canned?), and we had such a hard time keeping the mixture together that we ended up using an ice cream scoop to form the patties (as seen above), as well as putting lots (probably too much) of flour on them so they didn’t stick to our hands or the scoop. We did not flatten them before baking (as the recipe directs) for fear they would fall apart.  We also added a significant amount of olive oil (not HH’s style, certainly) to try to moisten the mixture and keep it together.  Also, I thought the sauce was pretty good but Dad thought it was slightly too acidic (with the bulk of the liquid being white wine and the lemon juice), and so next time we decided we’d use a little more water (in addition to that used for the cornstarch) and maybe even a dash of soymilk to even out the pH a little (while avoiding making it too creamy). 

This second pic is an old one, from last fall I believe, and it is Pumpkin Seed Crusted Tofu

Served up with brown rice and a plate of pita chips and roasted red pepper hummus

I can’t for the life of me remember where I got this tofu recipe.  If anyone has seen it before, can you please leave a comment or email me so I can give the author proper credit?  Thanks!  I usually wouldn’t post something if I didn’t know where it came from (since that is kind of the point of this blog) but they’re really pretty pictures and I’m kinda short on material at the moment. Overall this was a pretty yummy spread, nothing exceptional though.  Looking at the picture now, of course, I’m chiding myself on serving too much rice and no actual vegetables!

To wrap up, I just want to say that now that the semester has ended, I feel like a real person again, and not only am I thrilled to be back into the kitchen and back into my healthy eating and exercise habits, but I am thrilled to once again have the time to catch up on all of your wonderful blogs, from which I have been long absent. I’ll be back to commenting soon!!

Going-Away “Party”

Tomorrow M is leaving for a month-long trip to Israel, so my parents wanted to make her a nice dinner and cook whatever she wanted. She chose chicken parmesan which of course meant I’d be cooking a separate entree for myself :b

Using what we had on hand, I decided to make Stuffed Mushrooms from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.  This was the first vegan dish I ever cooked!  That was back in December and I actually made it several times (to the point where I could do it sans recipe!) during the winter, but I hadn’t made them for a while so I was back to referring to the recipe.  Tonight’s version deviated a little bit from the original, as I didn’t have any red bell pepper to use.  Instead, I played around a little with the spices, including adding some dried chopped garlic and some cayenne pepper to the stuffing mixture.  However, without the bell pepper, the stuffing comes out too dry to be of any use.  So I ended up stirring in a tablespoon of olive oil or two and it worked beautifully.  The mushrooms came out delicious and just a tiny bit spicy, with a yummy Italian flavor (thanks to the oregano, parsley, and olive oil), but they were a little saltier than I would have liked and I can’t figure out why.  I love this recipe–I just hate that the mushrooms are so small!!

(Somehow the really nice picture I took of the full plate of mushrooms disappeared) 😦

Dad also made broccoli to go with the chicken parmesan and was looking for something to add to make it a little special.  He was thinking along the lines of sliced almonds but a search of the pantry didn’t produce any, so instead we decided to toast some pumpkin seeds to toss in there 🙂

Here is my daddy toasting the seeds on the stovetop:

Here is the finished product (sorry for the crappy picture…this is after we’d already started eating! haha):

And for dessert…

Coconut-Lime Cookies from Vive Le Vegan by Dreena Burton

I made these once before and blogged about them, but without a picture.  M loved them so I decided to make them for her going-away dessert.

For some reason, the batter was a little runnier this time around, and I was in a rush, the result being that they all ran into each other while baking and did not turn out very attractive 😦  Three of them were pretty so I photographed those three :b

A picture of the popular kids on the cooling rack:

Here they are after getting their lime-confectioner’s sugar glaze:

And lastly, fine, okay, here is a picture of all of the shapey cookies (the uglier ones are hiding down the bottom):

Just as tasty as last time though 🙂

Bonus picture: J making garlic bread vegan-style 🙂