i have had food on the brain. i don't know if i'm feeling tired or it's the cool, cloudy/rainy weather we've been having or what, but i feel like i've been thinking about food, looking up recipes and snacking a lot today and yesterday. so i baked something this morning and now i'm going to share about it! :)
i've been making a lot of recipes from this site lately: http://www.101cookbooks.com/index.html. i really like her balance of healthy and yummy ingredients and that the main dishes aren't all meat-centered. and she has lots of things that i wouldn't think to try- she's pretty creative. anyway, last night i made the red lentil coconut soup for the second time- i don't use red lentils or yellow split peas or golden raisins, but rather the less-glamourous brown, green and purple varieties, respectively. i also used minced candied ginger instead of fresh because we never buy fresh ginger, and we never EVER buy cilantro, so there wasn't any of that either. and i just noticed, while perusing the ingredients again, that i forgot to add salt to it. i didn't notice it missing from the flavor. then we topped it with yogurt and roasted, salted cashews and heated up a couple whole-wheat pitas in a frying pan for on the side and yuuuuummmm...i highly recommend it.
on tuesday i made her vegan peanut butter cookies, again, for the millionth time, and i've already gushed about how wonderful they are. and they still are. and they are almost gone.
this morning (late morning, i feel the need to clarify) i was browsing the dessert section and came across ginger cupcakes. the ingredients list is simple, and since i wasn't being terribly productive anyway, decided that at least this would be something i could do and that i'd have something to show for it at the end. and do i ever! they are DELICIOUS. i did change a few things with the recipe- i used whole-wheat pastry flour, sucanat, 2 eggs instead of three, and, of course, i added chocolate chips to most of them after pouring the batter into the cups. and for some weird reason i got 16 cupcakes instead of 12. the flavor- i was really surprised. they're very tasty- mildly spicy and not too sweet- but my favorite part is the texture! it doesn't taste like it was made with whole wheat flour and sucanat, if you know what i mean. i love ww flour and sucanat, but you kind of have to resign yourself to the fact that all of your baked goods are going to have that quaint "rustic", "hearty" quality. not that there's anything wrong with that; all i'm saying is that these cuppycakes have a very soft texture and i think what may be called a "delicate crumb". yay!
howdy. i've been meaning to post some pictures of some of the projects we've/i've been working on. first up, another beady.
...yeah, i know. it's been really fun, though, and challenging. i started out trying to plan the design using photoshop, but that only worked to the ring of red beads, and then things stopped lining up for some reason so i've been winging the rest as i go. that part's hard. i'm not good at envisioning the final result and sometimes i'm too impatient to carefully devise a plan, so i do things without having a strategy in mind and then often end up trying to salvage them. i'm a weird mix of patient and impatient.
next we have some books- i recently found several half-finished books in a box, and for a couple days i worked feverishly on them, vowing to not start any more books until these were finished and, ideally, sold (because i have been slowly amassing a fairly impressive inventory of one-of-a-kind hand-bound books). but before that i made these, inspired by the idea of a book that wasn't a regular ol' rectangle:
...and inspired to try something a bit more elaborate with the binding (i added beads, naturally):
and finally, here are pictures of the wee little garden we've started. yay plants!! it wasn't easy- our duplex doesn't have a lot of vacant dirt space, but we do have a lot of concrete. we bought some large, over-priced pots from target a while back (why are pots so expensive???), and then i found pots of equal size, if a bit less attractive, at the dollar store (yes, for a dollar! :) ) and bought several, along with a few rectangular pots. almost two years ago, bart bought several vegetable seed packets as we dreamed of transforming the wesley street house (where he lived at the time) into a garden paradise. well, that didn't work so well (the poor plants were hammered to death by the summer sun's burning, relentless, pounding rays), but he did have a bunch of the seeds left over, which we've planted again this year. surprisingly, a lot of them are still alive. we'd also saved the seeds of nearly every heirloom tomato we bought at the farmer's market last year (but neglected to label them). so we've got cucumber, zucchini, dill, basil, thai basil, oregano, thyme, mint (seeds may be dead), spinach, chard, peas, green beans, carrots, broccoli, and two mystery tomatoes growing in various pots and in the one small, out-of-the-way patch of dirt we can safely call our own. we also have some cosmos started and would like to plant them, along with some california poppies, in a little rectangle of dirt that currently houses one small, somewhat frail rose bush in front of the duplex. i took pictures of the "empty" pots and dirt with the hopes of updating regularly (HA) with pictures of their progress :)
in addition, we were given permission to take home all of the easter lilies at church after easter. we have three of them inside, and gave away one, and the rest are here on the back patio, enjoying the sunshine, and, until very recently, full of extremely fragrant flowers. <3 we also have some geranium and fun little succulent cuttings rooting there. our one successful gardening venture at the wesley house was filling a small square of dirt that has a manzanita tree in it with little succulent cuttings. it has since filled out beautifully and is flourishing. yaaaay for green things!
wow- i really didn't think it'd been a month since my last post. time has been flying recently, like, warp-speed. it's scary. luckily, i wrote this post a while back, so i have something to update you all with. :) it's about food.
Rainbow rice I usually try to plan our meals ahead of time, in order to be more careful about spending money at the grocery store as well as to have a ready answer to that great, never-ending question “WHAT’S FOR DINNER?” But I’m not very good at it, for various reasons, and at least a few nights every week are mad scrambles to throw something together with whatever we have. It usually turns out ok, if completely uninteresting. A few days ago, however, I struck gold! We’d just come back from a run- it was probably a little after 7- and I’d had vague plans to make rice and veggie soup, since we had leftover rice and an open container of vegetable broth in the fridge, plus a slew of veggies. It turned out way better than that, becoming a dish that I now refer to as “rainbow rice”. It was:
Some diced onion Garlic, minced 1 red bell pepper, chopped Some canned diced tomatoes 2-3 carrots, chopped Some frozen corn 2 large leaves of kale, chopped Two small blue potatoes, diced 1 sweet basil pesto sausage, sliced Water, some broth Basil, parsley, oregano, fresh thyme, salt, pepper- to taste Brown rice
The veggies kept their colors really well- we thought the blue potatoes would turn everything bluish, but they didn’t. A really good test for me on the yumminess of a meal is whether or not I will want to eat the leftovers- and for this one, I actually did.