Kabocha Curry with Spinach, Chickpeas, & Farro

Kabocha Curry with Spinach, Chickpeas, & Farro

Friends. I have things I want to tell you about. Big things. So major that I’ve been staring at these photos for over a week, unable to find common ground between all the news I want to share and this unexciting (albeit delicious) bowl of curry. And that’s why half my news will have to wait. Until I make a cake. One that may involve booze and pink frosting.

The other half, I’ll share now.

… 

Read More »

Homemade Nutella

I am kind of freaking out at the moment. In a good way. Freaking out because I have a ton of posts lined up, and I want to show them all to you NOW. I sat at my computer this morning, downing coffee and staring at all of my unpublished image folders, contemplating which one to choose. Should I sneak some syrup from one of the three shrubs that are steeping in my pantry at the moment, and photograph it before the season has passed for its star fruit? Or should I snap some pictures of the recently bottled homemade version of everyone’s favorite spicy sauce? They were all so tempting, but this nutella won out in the end. And that’s because there’s a follow-up post. One that involves nutella contained within something. And pumpkin. And maybe also the words “doughnut” and “muffin.” OH YES. Pumpkin fever is upon us, and I’m ready to embrace the madness. So please, join me — let’s loosen our belts, hide our scales, and ready…set…TREATS!

… 

Read More »

Orange & Roasted Plum Sorbet

There are questions that plague me on a regular basis. Questions like, “when will the bar in my closet finally collapse under the weight of a thousand dresses, taking out my flimsy shoe rack in the process?” And “how do I manage to do absurdly clumsy things, like wipe out on my bike for no discernible reason, right in front of some young guy who is nice enough to come over and pick up my bike while I hunt around for my shoe?” (That actually happened earlier today…I am the coolest.) But most of all, I wonder if working from home is beginning to take a serious toll on my social skills. These days, I feel like I’m rounding the “six months in” point on this Degradation of Social Skills timeline and approaching “one year in” at breakneck speed. (See the hilarious full comic here.)

To counteract this, I’ve tried actually engaging people in conversation. This started out a bit weird for me, as I have a tendency to, on occasion, misspeak and stumble over words when I’m thinking too much about what I’m saying, emit loud, bizarre giggles when I’ve decided that speaking has failed me, and become overwhelmed by waves of awkwardness, which cause me to turn bright red, sweat profusely, and consider turning and running in the opposite direction. (And while this isn’t something that happens on a daily basis, my limited social interaction combined with my propensity to dwell on the littlest things usually leaves me in a state of thinking, “oh god, that was the worst thing EVER.”) But slowly, it seemed to get easier. Less freakish laughter. Less awkward perspiration. Less neurotic dwelling. And along with feeling a bit more adventurous, socially, I found myself venturing outside of my comfort zone in other areas. Buying things I would normally walk right past and then figuring out what to do with them. And that is how this awesome sorbet came about.

… 

Read More »

Vegan Sweet Potato, Coconut Milk, & Roasted Chili Ravioli

That’s right—ravioli without cheese! You’re skeptical, aren’t you? I understand. (I ♥ cheese too.)

When it comes to vegan cooking and baking, cheese substitution is one of those things that gives me a headache. I’m a bit wary of soy-based alternatives, as they seem over-processed and unnatural in comparison. There are, of course, equally over-processed varieties of “cheese” that freak me out too! (Full disclosure: I did have a bizarre addiction to Tofutti cream cheese a year or so ago, and have been rather reluctant to group it into the Weird Fake Cheese category. But the editor in me demands consistency above all else!) Another interesting alternative that I’ve come across online is blending together nuts, nutritional yeast, and other stuff to make a creamy, cheese-like substitute. This usually involves soaking the nuts overnight, which is far more than I care to go through to make fake cheese. (Also, the vegan community seems to invariably refer to this substance as “nut cheese”—a phrase that is so hilariously gross, I have trouble taking it seriously. Yes, deep down, I’m a 13-year-old boy. :P) So, my very simple solution: make a filling so tasty, it doesn’t need cheese. No headaches here!

… 

Read More »

Whole Wheat Vegan Bread

Anyone familiar with my blog or me personally knows that I am most definitely not a vegan. Although I don’t consume all that much meat, I cannot imagine my life without eggs and dairy. I am amazed by the leavening and emulsifying properties contained within one tiny little egg, and fascinated by all the different things that can be created from milk. So why am I—lover of all things butter and cheese—making vegan bread?

Well, this particular batch of bread was being turned into appetizers for a party where at least one vegan friend of mine would be in attendance. However, the decision to make vegan-friendly food stems from the frustration I felt in my vegetarian days—towards soup, in particular. Nine times out of ten, I’d grab what looked like a promising vegetarian soup from the grocery store shelf, only to scan the ingredients and see the words “CHICKEN STOCK.” And I’d mutter a string of curses at the soup can and shove it back where it came from. I would run into the same issue at restaurants as well. And though I [sort of] understood why many large companies wouldn’t bother taking the extra step to make veggie soups 100% vegetarian, I could not comprehend why small restaurants didn’t make such a simple substitution. They’re both liquid; they’re both salty. Why not use the one that more people will eat? And while thinking about non-egg leavening agents makes my head spin, alternative fats and liquid sweeteners—that’s really not that hard. And that is why this bread is vegan!

… 

Read More »