Friday, April 18, 2008

mozzarella sticks, stromboli and pizza...oh my!

So I had some mozzarella, super-melting, Cheezly so I decided to give mozzarella sticks a shot. I had tried this with FYH mozzarella and they were pretty tasty but I thought Cheezly would work even better. WOW! I was right...they were damn good. They didn't come out stringy like dairy mozzarella but all the taste was there and they were all melty on the inside. I will make these again for sure...they disappeared in about...oh...2 minutes flat!

Here is how you make:

Take out three medium sized bowls...fill one with 1/2 cup all purpose flour, the second with 3 eggs worth or ener-g egg replacer mixed with water, in the third 1/2 cup Italian style fine bread crumbs (or whichever breadcrumbs you like). This was enough to make 1/2 of a package of Cheezly mozzie sticks. Cut the cheeze into whatever size you fancy...mine were about 1/2 inch thick.

Dredge the cheeze through the flour, then dip in egg replacer, then roll all sides in breadcrumbs. Once you have done this to all pieces you simply deep fry in canola oil. Let each side come to a golden brown...should take only about a minute altogether...just keep an eye on them so they don't burn.

Let cool slightly on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Serve with warm marinara sauce and enjoy!!!!

The stombolis were very easy. I just pureed together some Mediterranean olives, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, garlic, salt, pepper and extra firm tofu for the filling topped with some FYH cheese....put this on half of a round piece of rolled out pizza dough. Folded over the empty half and sealed dough together. Then I brushed the tops with olive oil and sprinkled with garlic powder (this made the tops nice and crispy). I baked at 425 F for about 20 minutes. So yum...but so filling...we could all only eat half! I know what I am having for lunch today!!!!! :)

The pizza was made with the leftover dough I had from the strombolis. I just topped with the tofu mixture, FYH mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms. Baked at 425F for about 15 minutes on pizza stone.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Dad......

My dad, who some knew as Everett and others knew as Holiday, was a quiet man but when he had something to say it was usually quite meaningful. He was an amazing judge of fact he never much cared for any of my boyfriends until I met Patrick....who of course is now my husband. He was always kind and always fair...and of course had a heart of gold.

My dad was one of seven children who grew up in a very rural place in southwest Virginia called Indian Valley. He was raised mostly by his mom, Gerusha, after his father, Early, suddenly passed away when he was quite young. He never finished school, he had to quit in order to help support the family, but he was one of the wisest men I have known.

He was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. Luckily he spent most of his service time in Germany and never went into battle. He never told me too much about his Army time and I think this was because he was very homesick while he was there.

He met my mom on a blind date...and if I remember correctly she didn't like him at first...being 10 years older than her she thought he was a playboy :) Well, needless to say he won her over and they were happily married for over 40 years! He was an amazing father to me and my brother. He and my mom instilled great values and ideals in me which made me the strong, opinionated and vocal woman that I am.

He passed away suddenly last March and it has been so hard being without him. I tell everyone that if it had not been for my pregnancy and the arrival of Lydia I am not sure how I would have lifted myself up out of the sadness. He would have never wanted us to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. He would have wanted us to carry on, be happy and enjoy life. This is what I plan on doing.

I love you Dad and I miss you so!

chocolate and orange...mmmmmmmm

So I made some cupcakes yesterday...basic chocolate and basic vanilla. Well, something went terribly wrong with the vanilla so they were sent flying out the back door for the squirrels to enjoy or throw at one another. Later on I attempted a third cupcake cupcakes!
These are topped with a thin layer of orange marmalade and then orange buttercream icing. I feel like the cupcakes are a bit dense but the original recipe calls for a pudding filling which I had to omit due to time...perhaps with the filling the density would have made more sense. Either way they are still yummy...just have more of a pound cake texture (not that THAT is a bad thing!) The chocolate turned out great as always and I topped them with chocolate buttercream icing. All recipes are from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

The reason for the cupcakes is because I needed gifts. One box is for Liam's teacher who is leaving for maternity leave tomorrow and the second is for a friend of mine that has been gracious enough to give Liam a ride to school since Lydia was born. I thought these would be thoughtful yet inexpensive gifts. Money is a little tight these days with me not working and having very little time to work on illustrations. Hopefully they will enjoy these vegan treats!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The witch's kitch...

I like to see other folk's kitchen so I thought I would post a peak into mine. It's a little galley kitchen but feels a little bigger than it is due to the vaulted ceilings. Everyone knows to stay out of my way when I'm cooking meals as there is really only room for just me :) It was pretty interesting when we had a sushi making party last year...we had about 10 vegans in the kitchen at once. I am surprised we didn't all get wedged together!

Also included pictures of our cute little microwave we purchased about 8 years ago for 20 rocks and it's orange and also a pic of where we eat most of our meals.....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

mmmmm....more tofu and another yummy dessert!

So I have tried another recipe from Dreena....this is Olive Oregano Wine - Baked Tofu which you can find on the the Canadian Food Network website. It was a taste sensation! I didn't have any grapes because I can't get organic ones just yet but it was fabulous without them. Once my grocer starts carrying organic grapes again I will give it another go. I served the tofu over quinoa with a side salad of organic mixed baby greens. My 7 year old also loved this......he is one tofu eatin' kid!

Another recipe I just tried was the Banana Crumble from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I must say I am not a huge banana fan (though I do eat them every day because they are so good for you), but this recipe was FABULOUS! The warm bananas practically melt in your mouth...and that texture goes so nicely with the crispy topping of brown sugar, oatmeal and toasted coconut. Oh yes...I will make this again indeed!!!