Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lots to talk about

WELL here I am again finally. If this picture thing works out! My dad had to fiddle with the computer for a while, and I think it's working now. Pretty exciting.
I LOOVE my new camera. It's perfect for food photography, and flowers especially. I discovered it had a black and white, sepia, and other features, plus the ZOOM that I am in love with.


I have been baking plenty...lets just say that! For the end of the school year parties, I was the one bringing tons of goodies. For a science party (yeah, I know) I made chocolate chip cookies from VwaV. These were yummy, with a very wet batter.

1 cup earth balance

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 T molasses

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350'F. Cream the EBB and sugar until fluffy. Add the molasses and vanilla. Then add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoon fulls on to a greased baking sheet . Bake for 8-10 minutes, golden brownish. Let cool for 5 minutes, if you can.

For a choir party, I made Crispy peanut butter treats with chocolate chips from The Kind Diet. People actually liked them! (And so did I...) I wasn't sure because after all they had brown rice syrup, and you know how people are about weird foods.

Makes 9-12 Squares
1 box brown rice crisps cereal
1 3/4 cups brown rice syrup
3/4 cup unsalted peanut butter
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Pour rice cereal into a large bowl. Heat the syrup with a pinch of salt in a saucepan over low heat. When the rice syrup liquefies, add the peanut butter and stir until well combined. Pour over the rice cereal. Mix well with a wooden spoon.Once thoroughly mixed and cooled to room temperature, stir in the chocolate chips. Make sure the mixture is cool, or you will end up with melted chocolate instead of chocolate chips in your treats.Turn the mixture out into an 8x8” or 9x13’” baking dish. Wet your wooden spoon lightly and press the mixture evenly into the pan. Let cool for 1 hour -- if you can -- before cutting into squares or bars.

But I was wrong! These were a hit. Also to that party I brought a veggie tray the size of me, pita chips, and a hummus quartet. Yum!

My amazing Latin teacher was retiring this year, and had a retirement party the day we left for our trip. I brought Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies, which vanished quickly. These could have been more rich, but as my mom described them, "They would be good with afternoon tea." Yup. But still, I vote for more chocolate!

1 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c cocoa
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 c canola oil
1/3 c almond milk
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
2/3 c sugar
6 t jam
Preheat oven to 350. Sift together flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda.
In a large bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients (not the jam) plus the sugar. Add the dry to the wet and incorporate well.
Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball and press into a disc, place on cookie sheet. Bake cookies for 5 minutes and remove from oven. Press your thumb into each cookie to make an indent and then fill with 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for another 6 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 2 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.
We (as in graduating class from 8th grade) went on a trip to Washington, D.C. This was interesting! Very educational, long bus rides, lots of sleeping and listening to John Mayer. (!!) I took over 300 pictures, it was very cool. We also went to Gettysburg.

On the bus, about to go CrAzY :0

In Gettysburg...friends picking a statue's nose!
BAD ASSES! Smoking (bubblegum) cigarettes from the candy store at an outlet in Gettysburg.

The famous squirrels in D.C. This one followed us a whole block!

Drinkin tea in the hotel room! YUM! (Like my camera case?)

Butterfly garden! (No butterflies that day...)

Nemo in the natural history museum!

Too. Hot. to. see. any. more. memorials.

All memorial'd out.

Passed this beauty on the way back out from DC.

We named him Fred...

The food was either suckish, or when it was good it was uber-expensive. At the capitol, me and my hungry self went to the salad bar and piled it with lettuce, arty hearts, carrots, pineapple, and other veggies.
$16.50!! Frick.
But it was well worth it, hey maybe not.

I went to the Native American museum for lunch one day, and got yummy food. There was a squash dish, some native kind. I also got a bit of salad, arugula and something. That came to about $12, plus a diet coke! Frick again. And did I mention the portion sizes were barely appetizers? Yeah.

Well we went to this thing called Medieval Times and tournament. I disapprove! It was a little outside of D.C, and it was in a shopping mall type thing. Pretty much a "show" of "jousting" and strange men wearing skin tight clothes and long hair. Oh and the best part? They whipped the horses. Right freaking there, in front of me. I felt bad even being there, more less eating their gosh darn food. But the food was fine, I probably only liked it cuz I was huungwy. The pita chips were stale, like REALLY stale. But the hummus and roasted veggies, and stuffed mushroom were good. But maybe I couldn't tell...

Pretty much summed up my whole experience there.

Anyways that place is not a good environment for a vegan.
There was a dinner the day before father's day that was at my cottage. Unfortunately I couldn't make it, but had a dish to share. I invented wheat berry black bean salad!! YUM! I had soaked and cooked black beans the week before, then froze them.
2 cups black beans (cooked)
3 cups wheat berries (cooked)
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each: cumin, Mexican oregano, crushed red pepper
1 tsp black pepper
3 T olive oil
corn from 1 husk grilled corn
1 1/2 cups cilantro, chopped finely
1/4 cup mint, chopped finely
1/4 cup salsa
1 tsp Valencia sauce
Combine all the ingredients and serve chilled. Easy enough?

Let's just resolve that I'm NEVER freezing a glass jar again.
But I heard rumors that my sister and niece loved this salad. And so did I, DUH.
I also have exciting news! I will be cooking at Cafe Selma. It is basically a volunteer breakfast thing that promotes local, organic ingredients. It is held every Friday morning at someones house, and there are different things on the menu each time. You can just sign up to cook, and it's so cool because the people are eating in the kitchen around you. I'm scared to cook for a crowd-never done it! But I'm very excited.
So what am I making?
VwaV sunny blueberry corn muffins! !!!!!!!!!!!! Plus tempeh bacon !!!
Nervous but excited! I'll let you know how that goes on Friday. Wish me luck!
I hope to be blogging a lot more now that I have a camera, my project for this summer is to cook my way through everything in all my vegan cookbooks...should I be intimidated?

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