oh when the mice

come marching in. It’s getting cold outside, which means the field creatures are scouring the neighbourhood for places to crash. Mice are one of the things I’m afraid of, so I’m going to put the decision making into someone elses hands, and keep making tons of noise when I move around the place until that person comes home. Because the mouse is in the kitchen, dinner will have to come from the outside world.

 

cheap red wine and cookies

Oatmeal raisin cookies. I got the recipe off of Vegan Yum Yum (check out comments 5 and 6 for some apparent PPK drama circa 2007!) They came out delicious, though I didn’t let my first attempt at flax eggs rest long enough to get the eggy texture I imagine I should. /sigh. I suppose I’ll have to keep baking till I get it right. I was worried they wouldn’t bind and while crumbly, it stuck together fine.

Flax Egg= 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsps hot water mixed up real nice and let rest until it becomes eggy.

picture of remaining cookies.

also: cookies may not be the best accompaniment for cheap red wine, but it’ll do fine love, in a pinch

Glow

Glow is the name of  a magazine that Shoppers Drug Mart mails out to the homes of people in it’s Optimum points program. Because of a former tenant years back in my apartment it arrives on my door every so often. I like to give it a little flip through just to get a better feel for beauty magazine writing (not a market I tend to pitch but you never know) Between features about hair texture and slimming tips like nothing was an excellent looking array of vegan recipes. Lunch involved one of them- black bean burrito- and was a great opportunity to cook beans from dry for the first time.

Quick soak method- rinse and pluck your beans of any debris, put them in a pot with water (I used the directions on the back of the bag, but the internet can tell you the precise amount needed for your legume of choice), bring to a boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat to soak for an hour while covered. Change the water and cook for another hour to ninety minutes until the desired softness is reached.

The other stuff in the burrito included: sweet potato, tomato, onion, yellow pepper and garlic all tossed around with some cumin in a pan for 10 minutes, then rolled into a tortilla along with 1/4 avocado. good stuff.

Dinner was a split pea soup that I made on the stovetop but seems as though it would do nicely in the crockpot as well since the directions were pretty much “put everything in the pot and cook until it’s done”. my kind of recipe.

yesterday’s macaroni and cheeze sauce

goes well in other ways.

 

The Good: Cauliflower steamed, and leftover sauce, heated deftly in the microwave

The Great was the still leftover sauce looked like french toast batter so I took some bread and fried it up savoury welsh rarebitesque style! It was not attractive, though could be next time when I’m not in such a hurry to make it happen. It didn’t matter, it made my day.

Kensington Market

quick jaunt today after yoga class to make sure many coloured vegetables entered my house this week.

Essence of Life- the healthfood store of the daiya that is 50 cents cheaper than most other places. I picked up some of that along with a bag of flax seeds (because the mofo keeps telling me it’s a great idea), split peas (oh yeah soup) and almond milk on sale.

At the produce place across the street (north side) I loaded up with 5 lbs of onions, romaine, garlic, brussel sprouts, eggplant, garlic, roma tomatoes and yellow peppers.

Good haul.

Now I’m zapped of energy and chilling with a mason jar of water, reading a bit before deciding on dinner. Probably some mac n cheeze and fake caesar salad.

yum.

Cafe Noir

or Oolong Tea as the case may be. I work a freelancer week, which can translate into a lot of time at home- days if I’m not careful. I was reading most of today and thought I better make my way out to a coffee shop for an hour just to save myself the cooped up personality you see in indoor cats. I went shop to shop looking for a spot to settle starting closest to my house. Starbucks was full, Second Cup had only the bad tables left, and World Class Bakers has those ladies who work there that make me too mad to go in. And then I remembered Cafe Noir, with their Japanese Inspired Decor, High Tea option-thingys, bodum coffee and the million or so teas you can have by the pot. They even have American Iced Tea (the unsweetened kind) which is a most delicious rarity around here. I texted a companion and dove into my book while my tea steeped. Vegan-wise, there weren’t too many snacking options, but there was vegan carrot cake with fake cream cheese icing which seemed like a great choice. The cake was moist and spiced nicely, the icing a little too sweet for my taste- would have been better on it’s own. Still, tea out is a great way to spend a weekday afternoon, you feel almost retired.

 

 

Butternutty

Alright, knowing how hard some squashes are to peel, I understand the expensive grocery store pre-peeling/cubing model working on the masses. Or at least I would if it were Acorn, but it’s not, it’s always Butternut Squash- Queen of the easy-peel, cuts like butter squash. If you spend more than 10 minutes prepping a butternut squash you’re doing it wrong, so wrong that I can’t figure out how you could possibly be doing it wrong. Or maybe I accidentally did it right, and have never shared it with the world.

How I peel a butternut squash with finesse:

  1. cut off the bottom of the squash with a big knife
  2. think about vectors, and look at the Monroe-esque curves of the butternut squash.
  3. The curve on the underside slant (the one from lower-hip to bum) is easily taken care of by running your knife parallel to the squash around the circle
  4. stand your squash on end, for the next curve switch your knife to perpendicular and slice the peel off in small cuts using a downward motion from about halfway up the squash (top-hip to mid-hip). Cut the bottom half off of the squash.
  5. Divide the top part curves into straight lines by chopping at the axis points. The rest should slice easily
How I cube a butternut squash with sass:
  1. Take the bottom part turn it on it’s side and slice off 1″ off the top. Scoop out the guts (you could totally use this as a squash bowl now for cereal or whatever)
  2. slice the rest into 1″, stacking the slices and doing your cross cuts all at once.
  3. do the same with the top part, though I find just slicing your discs into quarters works great.
I was going to proceed directly to soup, but wanted to use a portion of the squash for a noodle bowl for lunch so I prepped it for roasting by placing it on a cookie sheet, dousing it in Olive Oil, quartering an onion and tossing in an unpeeled head of garlic and smooshed the oil in good adding salt and pepper and throwing it into a 350 oven for 40 minutes, checking and stirring at the half.
I pulled my portion as is and put the rest in a pot with vegetable stock, cutting off the bottom of the garlic and squeezing the cloves into the mess. Brought to a boil and then turned down to simmer about half an hour. In a few minutes I’ll finish it off with the hand blender and top with some nutmeg.

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

I’m finally starting to get over this cold for real. The nasal packages are unblocked though I don’t know when I can expect to get my sense of smell back. It’s been a relaxing few days of doing nothing until school. Watched 127 Hours from the comfort of my couch and thought it was much better than I expected. I didn’t realize that the dude fell all the way to the canyon floor, in my mind’s eye he spent the whole time dangling. I suppose cutting off your own arm is still pretty hardcore, and somehow they made drinking pee grosser than I thought it would be. Aren’t there health fanatics out there that swear by regularly drinking their piss to reabsorb lost nutrients? I guess the quality is different when you’re dehydrated to begin with.

But enough about pee, let’s talk about the grocery store. Last night I walked home from class and hit up the Loblaws for a midnight snack (since I usually eat dinner around 9pm, these school nights really throw off my system) and along with the bok choi I was craving straight up, I encountered President’s Choice vegetarian chicken wings in the frozen section. I even paid full price for the chance to take them home. The store brand has made a lot of strides this year to bring more vegetarian (and vegan) convenience foods to the shelves. I guess we should have the same opportunity to slowly get fat and eat at once the salt of three people just like everyone else.

I noticed that the line was super long at the cash, so I piddled around some more waiting for it to clear. When I couldn’t take it anymore I approached the front to find that nobody had been checked through in 10 minutes or so. The store went 24 hours a few months back, really just adding one cashier to the restocking staff why not right? Well apparently at 11:40 the bank does a read and the registers have to shut down until it’s done. And everyone has to wait growing increasingly irritated with the poor cashier who really can’t do anything to help. As we approached midnight proper, the security guard came by to offer the staff some support as the line was turning into a passive aggressive comment competition. People Please! It’s just waiting, and a great time to develop coping skills.

By the time I got home, my bok choi dreams seemed too hard to tackle, and knowing I was hitting the hay soon, I opted for tea and toast instead and watched 2 episodes of the United States of Tara first season. Netflix put them out of order for some reason so what I thought was the third fourth and fifth episodes were actually the end of the season. I plodded through to see the rest, see how we got there, but unfortunately the journey really loses its impact when you know the destination. I think that’s a sign of bad TV, or at least lazy serializing, where nothing that happens can change anything or else the story would wrap up and the show would have to end.

It looks cold and miserable outside. I’ve got tentative plans to meet with the director of my play to talk about the script before I do my rewrite, but wouldn’t mind putting it off while I rest. This cold has been annoying, but never qualified as totally miserable and I think it’s precisely due to my doing the least amount of anything in life while it worked its way through.

Grazing

It hasn’t been a banner year so far for me making things. Getting sick makes me put on trackpants, the kind with the elastic at the bottom of the legs, and mope around watching netflix. Instead of creating a meal I’ve been grabbing one thing at a time and eating it. It’s nice having jars of almonds, sunflower seeds and such laying around. Handfuls of dry cereal and the odd apple, hummus on a spoon. I’m finding it interesting to try things on their own, away from the familiar flavours with which they are usually combined.

The fundraiser went OK last night. The live version of The Newlywed Game (with real Newlyweds!) and the Dating Game (with real singles!) were hits, the participants all knew at least a few in the crowd, so it got pretty hammy. Next step is to proceed with the redrafting of my play. There’s a song I need to rewrite. It was a cover song that follows a fictionalized true story about this local bass player and his dramatic ditch of a band. Better to make sure that the details are all properly obscured before taking it to a local audience.

and with books in tow I head out to school. maybe grab a snack on the way. more grazing, some tea and enough luck to get back to better soon.

Getting Sick

ugh, best laid plans!

I’m not bed-bound, but am definitely under the weather today. Kept it simple, soba and tofu in a bottled peanut sauce for dinner, and various salad and spread leftovers through the day.