Tag Archives: vegan

Where I Thank You All and Give You a Recipe for Delicious Cookies

There’s an old proverb I just made up that says “all good things happen to those who force themselves to leave their apartment to complete the tasks they’ve been putting off for weeks.” It may seem a bit specific, but I have some pretty scientifically conclusive anecdotal evidence that proves my point.

A few months ago is when I knew Kelly Oxford was meant to be my writing mentor and ultimate life-spiration. I finished her book Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar in about 30 seconds and I appreciated her honesty. I’m also not embarrassed to say I only started twitter this year. I’m sorry that I was busy living — and yes, by living I mean watching The Office re-reruns in my carpeted apartment with the shades drawn, sometimes crying into the bowl of popcorn littered with delicious raisenettes. But when I figured out you could like, directly talk to celebs via bird noises tweeting, I was as intrigued as any pop culture obsessed ex- Nysnc fan (Screw Backstreet Boys!) would be. But I’m also an educated person, so I follow classy chicks like Joyce Carol Oates and Representative Wendy Davis because, you know, I care about what’s going on in the world. It’s called being cultured.

I was super weary to tweet to celebs though, mostly because it’d take me too long to draft a perfect 140 character message that hints at my subtle yet brash humor without sounding wholly desperate and fanatic. (Love me, everyone!) But one night when I finally agreed to babysit the two boys — we’ll call them energetic –that force me into a Dark Vadar mask every time I’m over, a miracle of fandom happened. I was walking out of what felt like was the modern re-make of the classic Full House estate when I started thinking about how awesome the Olsen Twins had it back then — one uncle plays with the Beach Boys and the other has a cool radio show where he personifies a beaver; My uncle still tickles me inappropriately and threatens to throw me in my family pool whenever he sees me.

photo

This conversation was actually severely awkward for me, yet it still makes my top five life moments.

But it was in the middle of this embarrassingly mundane thought, when I heard the noise that means someone on twitter hasn’t ignored you.  Of course, thinking it’s the same spam robot that keeps favoriting old tweets about Community, I continue to find my way out of the labyrinth that is every rich person’s neighborhood in Texas, glancing down to check directions, and seeing a big old Kelly Oxford shaped tweet on my phone’s now beautiful screen. So, that happened.

Then, yesterday, I finally decided it was okay to bring my engagement ring in to get resized and oh yeah, I’ll make sure that “check oil” light on my dashboard doesn’t mean anything important. I don’t know why, but the highways in Austin this week have been scarier than the first time my brother held me down and made me watch the original Chucky Trailer when I was six. Of course,  I have to go see Al Bundy in North Not-Austin-Anymore-Ville to get the “wholesale discount” from Anita the antique jeweler’s guy, which is forty minutes away, or forty minutes longer than I want to be driving.

freshly-pressed-circleBut then… Brrrrrrrrrng! The best sound in an unemployed, self-obsessed writer’s life: A wordpress notification. And then another. And then another. Another. Another. Never before did I believe and want so badly for Transformers to be real so I could shape shift my way to the nearest guy station and figure out why the shit I was blowing up so hard (Because, yeah, I don’t text/use my phone and drive like an idiot teenager practicing for a roll in a tragic car accident ad.) Eventually I got to a gas station where I could read my email and allow my head to fully inflate upon reading the words “Freshly Pressed.” Man, I should’ve started doing errands sooner.

So yeah, shit goes down when you’re busy being completely ordinary, stuck in traffic, wishing you charged your phone more so you could plug it in and play that song Matti is sick of hearing on repeat. And yeah, when my book deal goes through I’ll be sure to thank you all for my humble beginnings.

Seriously, I want to hold all your faces in my hand and kiss both your cheeks like Heidi Klum in Project Runway except none of you will be eliminated. Then I want you all to sit with me on my pull out couch and watch Gilmore Girls reruns and talk about how Lauren Graham was famous before Parenthood. We can eat homemade vegan cookies I made for you all because I’m bad at being vocally appreciative and thankful — something about it not looking “cool.” Seriously, here’s the recipe for said cookies, because you deserve it! (Thank you all and don’t ever leave me!)

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe modified from afa-online.org)

Ingredients:

2 sticks (1 cup) vegan margarine, softened

1 ½ cups flourcookies

1 ½ cups light brown sugar

1 ½ cup quick oats

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 egg substitutes (1 T ground flax seed + 3 T water for one egg)

8-oz vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, including flax Seed. Add the margarine and the water from the “eggs” and mix with a hand blender (I use a fork and a can-do attitude!). Add vanilla and mix again. Dough should hold shape in ball: If too dry,
add a teaspoon of water; if too wet, add ¼ cup flour or oats. Add chocolate chips and fold in by hand or with a mixer. Using a spoon, form balls of dough and place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes.

Do insanely good things happen to you when you’re busy being average? Where’s the weirdest place you received great news? Did you wish you were somewhere else?

Food Network has Turned Me Into a Culinary Goddess

So, the other night while watching Food Network Star and then, subsequently, Iron Chef America (it was a long, sleepless night) I transformed into a chef. I’m serious! I have spent a lot of time screwing up recipes: the first time I made stale macaroni stuffed bell peppers, that time I made spanokapita with the wrong type of dough. It’s hard being a vegetarian in general, but when I also made the switch to mostly veganism due to my gastrointestinal issues it became doubly difficult to eat as deliciously as I wanted. Basically, I don’t eat dairy but I make exceptions for lactose-free dairy and eggs.

Selfie cooking shot -- look at me go!

Selfie cooking shot — Vintage kick ass apron not included in recipe.

While watching Food Network Star, one of the contestants, Nicki Dinki — no, I did not make this name up — made a winning chili which almost prompted me to get out of bed at 2 AM and go to HEB for the ingredients. I held back, but the rest of the night I was dreaming of Vegan Chili and by Matti’s request, Vegetarian Chicken Pot Pie. Chicken Pot Pie was a comfort food for Matti growing up so I spent a lot of time looking at recipes. Also, because the only experience I had with Chicken Pot Pie was when Cherisa Fee’s family made it for dinner and told me I couldn’t stay over because there wasn’t enough. I sat in the middle of the dinner table watching them all around me with little pot pie plates, sniffing and staring at me, their eyes screaming why are you still here and when can I eat my damn pie. The dad was a preacher. I never tasted the pie.

So, I had to make a great pie. I found a few different recipes and fused them together. You see that most of it is vegan but there are some dairy elements I added to make sure it had that authentic taste Matti would enjoy. Basically I’m a domestic goddess.

Mostly Vegan “Chicken” Pot Pie:

  • ¼ cup vegan margarine (I used smart balance)

    Finished product -- don't judge a book by it's cover people

    Finished product — don’t judge a book by it’s cover people

  • ¼ cup shredded carrot
  • ¼ cup finely chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • 1 cup frozen mixed veggies (I used peas and corn)
  • 8  brown mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 cup vegetable “Chicken” Flavored broth (I got Imagine brand No Chicken Broth)
  • 1 cup lactose free milk (for completely vegan use soy milk or cream)
  • 2 cups Quorn Chick’n Tenders
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 package of puff pastry (thawed)
  1. First, heat butter in large pan on medium-high heat. Add carrot, celery and onion and cook for five minutes. Add mushrooms, cook for a few minutes unti veggies are tender.
  2. Add in flour and salt until relatively smooth (mine still had some flour crumblies on it but that’ll go away soon, scouts’ honor).
  3. Mix in vegan “chicken” broth and milk. Use a whisk if you have one — I did not so I used a fork which worked perfectly. Cook this for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. This was the point where I began to try the mixins and had to go to the mirror to say to myself “damn girl.” So repeat this step if necessary.
  4. Then add your remaining seasonings, fake chicken and frozen veggies, however, calling this “fake” chicken is a grave insult because of how much it tastes like the real thing. Seriously, my meat queen best friend, Anna can testify to that and she eats beef jerky, just sayin’. Place on low heat and let the flavors mix for about 20 minutes.
  5. Make sure pastry is thawed. Get one sheet out, place it on the bottom of 9 inch baking pan/glass/whatever, trimming if necessary, and bake for five minutes at 400 degrees or until begins to puff.
  6. When mixture is to your liking, remove from heat and pour into your baking dish on top of pastry, cover with another pastry sheet, fold sides however you want or trim if necessary. I like thick crust so I rolled the excess pastry a little on the edges to almost make a pizza crust. Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes or until crust gets golden.
Eat me.

Eat me.

Matti literally ate 9/10s of this pie in one sitting. He even just brought me an ice coffee as I am writing this because in his words: “I was like uhhh I’ll just make brewed coffee because Starbucks is so stupid but then I was like, that Chicken Pot Pie was really good.” So if you make this pie your boyfriend will start buying you iced coffees. I don’t know what else I need to say.

Vegan Spicy chili:photo (92)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 cup Quorn Meatless and Soyfree Grounds
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chipotles in adobo
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 –  28 ounce can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 3 cups cooked red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, drained
  1. Heat oil in medium heat in large pot.
  2. Add onions, carrot, celery, garlic and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  3.  Add chipotles, oregano, cumin, chili powder and salt, stir that shit up.
  4. Add huge can of tomatoes and 3 1/2 cups water (use 4 cups if you like it less thick). Simmer for 45 minutes uncovered over low heat. (Does anyone know why you cover somethings to simmer and others you don’t? I’m genuinely curious).
  5. Add beans and Quorn meatless grounds and simmer for another 30 minutes. Make sure you check it and stir often so it doesn’t produce a crusty layer on the top — no one likes crusty chili.
  6. Pretend you are a culinary genius who will take the world by storm.
photo (93)

I don’t photograph well. -Chili

I’m Mexican. This chili is actually spicy but in the good way that you can still breathe and water cools you off. This may have been a trick since Matti can’t eat super spicy food. It did not work, however, he still had an entire bowl. I had two. The best part about these recipes though, is that you really should have leftovers which means a day off from cooking.

After all of this, I decided to also make vegan cookies. I’ve made them before and their the balls. Also, the best part is that they are completely vegan so you can eat the batter without worrying about salmonella. So, win, win! I will share this amazing recipe later because I must now go swim off all the food I have eaten in the last 24 hours.

On a separate note, if anyone’s hungry I have some leftover food in my fridge…