Archive for January, 2012

…and I don’t mean the vacuum brand or the town LOL


I know what I’m about to post you may want to and will have every right to say, “Well DUH.” But I can’t help it… I seriously never thought of this before, except when trying every diet known to mankind and all those tips they give you for eating salads RME. 

MAKE STUFF AHEAD! Yes. Very. Basic. Knowledge.  (Don’t rub it in)

So I had this lightbulb/eureka moment last week when, for the what seems to be the 75th time, I had to prep dinner for my lovely daughter. I am a big fan of do ahead to the point where you can stop and either a) freeze it to cook later or b) prep and cook it the next day or even the following day after that. For some reason, this little shortcut eluded me. ANYWAY…

I was resenting the fact that I had to prep food that if I don’t want to eat the stuff ~ why should she? (Totally irrational thinking, I know.) It was then as I was looking at tofu, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, cilantro and curry sauce sitting on my granite countertop, awaiting their destiny, when this brilliant idea of prepping ahead came to me. Too bad this idea didn’t show itself via a slice toast with Jesus’ face imprinted thereon or some other diety-like “miracle” because then I could sell tickets and make a lot of money and hire a vegan chef. YAY! (((sigh)))

I was attempting cook silken, soft tofu and make it the way my Vietnamese friend prepared it a stir fry dish she let us sample. The tofu was soft, creamy and not shaped like a cube (a plus aesthetically speaking) and it had a light brown colour because it had been friend/sautéed. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get my tofu to “do” that for me. Hence buying the soft silken tofu.

It worked! Altho, it was too soft, I fried it in olive oil to a nice, golden brown. The bean curd kind of fell apart because it was too soft. This week I have a firm silken tofu and will try that. After it was all cooked, I drained it on brown paper and then put it in the fridge.

I also caramelized/sautéed mushrooms with a little thyme, salt, pepper and a tiny bit of tarragon (I love it!!). Drained it and put it in a container in the fridge. Then I went down the line with carrots, broccoli was steamed, you get the idea.

It was wonderful! I could put together a quick soup w/the roasted veggie stock I had in the freezer, or a stir fry or curry. I made other things that week too not using those ingredients, like pasta w/vegan friendly marinara sauce (it surprised me that a lot of marinara sauces have cheese in them), seitan with a sauce and rice, tempeh, etc.

What I do need to do is make a decent sized pot of miso soup, which, apparently, is wonderful to have in the morning (that’s what ‘they’ say…whoever/whomever* ‘they’ are).

Oh, get this,  after that whole “thing” with the tofu, I find out that she BUYS the bean curd fried that way!! Apparently the local Asian markets sell it fresh on a certain day each week and it sells out very quickly.    >.>

I am planning to update more of the pages  in the next few days. I’ll post a notice on Facebook so some of you will know.



*My dd and I had this way too long discussion about whether to use one or the other and after looking online, our brains started to hurt. So before we pulled a muscle there, we decided we didn’t care. Well, I still care, so I did a cya and posted both with a “/” hahaha.

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…reallllll soon…

I’ll be back here  for I have new stuff to put on Road Tests, To Eat or Not to Eat, Pig Out, and more!

I’ve been gathering photos and information and hope to be posting all this great stuff in the next two days!

In the meantime…a funny to keep you amused…well, for about five seconds LOL


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  …get back…I’m alright Jack keep your hands offa my stack…

This lifestyle of my dd’s is expensive. Even if you make things on your own

(as opposed to buying items prepared already), it’s still a great expense. I think this is


◊  Suppliers of the various raw ingredients hike up the prices due to the fact that they’re (insert specialty label here).

◊  This cost is passed on to the manufacturer who then passes it on to me (us).

◊  Also items are packaged in smaller amounts as opposed to selling in bulk. Not only is this not “green” (as some would say), but totally unnecessary AND another reason to hike up costs. I find it a waste personally.

Do they think we’re stupid? No, but they certainly have us by the whatevers, don’t they? Sell small amounts of an item at a high cost and rarely on sale, and you’ve got ’em (us). It’s like a monopoly only worse. They’re doing this in the name of healthier eating or “supporting” a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. They try to argue that it’s because the items from the suppliers are more labor intensive. okay give me a break. they’re not out there raising small quantities of product, they’re raising large quantities and treating them accordingly.

Now I’m not dissing the farmer here, Lord knows how they are treated and “abused” by the “system.”  I’m just saying “specialty” products are a RIP.OFF.

Just like plus sized clothing. Oh give me a friggin’ break. When a retailer sells a blouse for 40 bucks I think they can afford to sell an item that’s a couple sizes bigger without cutting into their profit margin too much. Particularly since they are buying mega rolls of a fabric and it’s made in some other country.

I’m not crabby … just something I wanted to “say” out loud. I guess because the other day my dd and I were chatting and she told me of a friend who is not “allowed” to be totally vegan per her doctor, because of a medical issue. And I understand that. She can lean as much as possible to that lifestyle but not the whole meat free enchilada. Also, my dd told her that she could buy organic milk, etc. The girl responded that her parents won’t do that because it’s too much money. I suppose that was my trigger for this post lol.

My son (and I) made paella as a surprise for his gf who started classes this week (he starts next week) so she could have a nice dinner when she got here around 830. It was a very nice tasting dish. We added shrimp, clams and chicken. This dish can EASILY be made vegan and I will try that very soon.

I still have to post the recipe I made the other night. We had a decent amount of leftovers and dd ate it all over three days. She wasn’t tired of it either YAY!

I will do that tomorrow. Bourne Identity and Bourne Ultimatum are on and they require my full attention.


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I’m writing this in between commercials while watching Grimm. Then off to pick up the entire reason for this blog. She’s at a friend’s house watching a movie.

My experiment I discussed in yesterday’s post was a hit for the one intended but not so much for her sibling. I liked it and my husband said it was “okay” which means tolerable. I used a jarred curry and I think it may have had too much of a lime flavor for both of them. I, personally LOVE lime in almost anything. I also think it needed some fresh cilantro/coriander. I’ll post more about it and photos tomorrow and then the recipe on my Road Tests page.

See, I knew all of you wouldn’t be able to sleep until you knew what happened with those ingredients LOL.



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….of ingredients just waiting to be made into something great.

Well, maybe not great, but it will be tasty. I hope. I was bored earlier…

I sauteed off some mushrooms using vegan lard and adding thyme, freshly ground salt and pepper and a smidgen of garlic powder (mostly because that’s all I had left lol). I like to caramelize my veggies. And that’s kind of what I did to the mushrooms. I could eat an entire bowl of these mushrooms and still want more.

A month or so ago, the owner of LD Nails, Allentown, who makes my hands beautious, made a dish for my daughter to try. She’s Vietnamese. Her tofu in the dish was kind of odd-shaped and looked like fresh mozz that was stretched in funny ways. The food was delish. When I asked about how she got the tofu to look like that (which she says bean curd and never tofu), she thought I was pretty funny. Finally she figured out what I meant and I believe she said she used soft tofu, not silken. So that’s what I used tonight. Soft bean curd.

I tried to shape it but that doesn’t work. So I just ripped off chunks of it…I felt like a barbarian…and kind of smushed them and then tossed them into the hot vegan lard. I then added some soy sauce, and I really need help with this…it just got on some of the tofu and immediately was absorbed and so I madly stirred the stuff around to spread the love. I was trying to be careful because I didn’t want to cause the pieces to break up. I cooked it for a while and there was too much liquid to fry up properly. I realised then I should have pressed it a bit. So I let it all cook out and proceeded.

ANYWAY…. I added another pat of lard and then a dash of sesame oil and let it all sit there cooking. I left the room. When I started to smell something I went back in. It was all brown and crispy-ish on one side.  I turned over the pieces I thought really needed it and cooked them until there was some colour on the other side.

I tasted them after they had cooled off and drained and they were very nice. I liked the way it tasted. I was getting sick of the whole soft food deal. I do have teeth and so does my kid.

Tomorrow I will decide what to make…well I’ll be making it up as I go. I’ll post about it after it goes down.

Nighty night!

OH!! I forgot! Check out my new page of restaurant reviews … click on the pig!


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…trying a new recipe. Watch out!

I received an email from Allrecipes for “Mushroom Pie” and it looked yummy.

The only problem was that it’s non-vegan. No problem, I am going to convert the recipe so it is indeed vegan. (And you didn’t think vegetables proselytized, did you? hahaha sigh).

I will post several photos and the recipe as soon as it’s done. I already see an issue that may be a problem but I’ll figure that out when it’s out of the oven. The recipe I read called for putting the mixture on puff pastry and then sealing it. But there were other versions that were in a pie shell. I am using a vegan pie shell (Whole Foods®).

Now I know I can make my own pie shell but, as I explained earlier, I am buying the pre-made stuff for a while so I have a marker, good or bad, something to compare with what I make.

Here is my review of the pie (see recipe/photos on “Road Tests“):

It tastes very good. It looks really bad. The filling did not fill the pie crust, I believe if I doubled the recipe it would yield a much nicer looking and substantial dinner meal. I kind of had that feeling about it when I copied the recipe and looking at various reader photos on Allrecipes but I wanted to do it myself. And of course, I was right.

My daughter just told me/my husband that it was very good and she would like that again. She went back for seconds. I told her my thoughts on making it a thicker slice and she thought that wouldn’t be necessary. But if she got two regular slices, she’d only need one more substantial slice. Plus I would put a side salad with it.

So… onward and upward. No, not really. It just sound like something I should say.

NCIS is new tonight and I can’t wait! Then I’ll watch the rerun of Mob Wives which I missed on Sunday night.



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….that’s good enough for me!

I loved that song. When my son was little, before my daughter was born, we’d watch Sesame Street together …  mostly because I loved that show! Fond memories of it… and I wanted him to have them as well. By the time my daughter came around, he was watching TLC’s Little Bear and Busy Town, etc. So she watched those as well with him. They were never the kind of kids that would just sit there staring at the TV. They watched and they would play at the same time or just get up and do something else. I, being the cartoon/animation freak I am, would be the only one left in the room sometimes watching the show.

Anyway, I’m not quite sure what brought that on except I was looking through my files looking for a picture for a post and found this one. I actually LOL…I was never a huge fruit and veggie eater. I love both, but they’re just so much work..all that cutting and chopping and monitoring (to make sure they don’t go bad as if you were some kind of food police). I never forced the stuff on my  kids but they did eat it because well, I guess I did force it in some respects. When they were wee little, they ate their baby food stuff. Then they got older and ate my eggplant parm or some other such thing. Then they didn’t. They just stopped one day.

That’s when I instituted the “no thank you helping” rule. They had to have a helping of whatever it was they thought they didn’t like or want and that’s all. It worked very well and unfortunately I STILL have to do this with my kids who are 16 and 19. What the heck is that all about?

I was searching online for vegan cooking classes in this area, just so I can get some more ideas maybe learn a technique or two. This turned out to be almost fruitless until I found this woman who lives nearby and has a FB account about her business/cause and will come to your house and show  you how to do it. It seems promising. We have emailed and I have to get back to her later on. It does sound like fun. 

Her blog is: http://savethekales.wordpress.com/ 

New Years’ day dinner was the traditional pork and ‘kraut but I made flash fried pork chops w/a panko crust and I cooked the kraut the way a German friend taught me years ago…it’s more of a sweeter ‘kraut but still has some sourness. For my daughter, I made tvp patties and a huge sweet potatoes. This time I put some tarragon in the patties along w/a splash of marjoram and nutmeg. They came out very nice. I had to stop my son from wolfing them down. He already had something like three chops.

Tomorrow I will be in NJ and will stop at Trader Joes for some fresh veggies and a couple of vegan treats for the girl child. She’ll be pleased.


♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ♭ ♮ ♯  Ohhhh cookie, cookie, cookie starts with “C”  ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ♭ ♮ ♯

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