Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It's here, it's here!

Okay, I have a lot of catching up to do and I have a slew of pictures to put up, but that will have to wait for another few days. What I NEED to tell you all is that the Herbivore store is opening its doors on Thursday night! We are opening at 5 until 10 because it's Last Thursday here in Portland when the shops stay open late and people can wander around and take it all in. So come on by, eat some cookies (expect some crazy baking posts soon) and see our cool store! Everyday it's transforming more and more and it's truly going to be a fun spot to come and see!

I'll be back soon, I promise!

Friday, August 25, 2006

House pics!

Thanks for all your congratulations, guys! This has been a really exciting and crazy week for us. We've been coming over the the house and painting and cleaning and other things all week. I think it's better to move in to a nice, clean place rather than shifting around all your disorganized crap to try and make it look nice and welcoming. We are going to start really moving in tomorrow. I'm so excited! I've been going to work then coming over here, working until midnight, driving to our apartment, sleeping and then getting up and doing it all over again all week and I miss my kitties and Moussa! And they miss us, so I'm glad they'll all finally be able to join us and explore our new place.

So here are a few no-so-great-but-will-have-to-do pics:

This is the front of the house. There is a covered parking spot to the left of it, so I couldn't really get it all into the frame, but you get the gist of it.

And this is the back, with patio and a little white picket fence. Awwww.

It's not quite the nature preserve we've been living on, but man are there every squirrels around here! They are everywhere! So I've been enjoying that, naturally,and the kitties are going to love it. Another bonus to this place that makes it cat friendly are the the oversized window sills for laying in... I think there will be 3 very happy cats living here soon... after they are done being freaked out.

OK, more soon, I promise!

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I'm going to be busy for a few days because... drumroll, please... we bought our house on Friday! We have been super busy getting it situated and painting and trying to get it ready to move into without worrying about kitties. Thankfully we have our apartment until the 31st, so we can move at a more leisurely pace. Pictures of home and food to come soon, I promise!

Monday, August 14, 2006

A quick recap

Okay, time to recap. It's been really hectic over here lately, but here are a few yummies I've had time to crank out.

Marionberry muffins. Remember my big flat that I made jam with? Well, that was only half of them and a bunch ended up getting frozen. I pulled a bunch out for breakfast muffins last week. I always make my muffins jumbo size, regular just aren't enough.

Tonight I threw together a quick dinner with another curry-in-a-jar from Trader Joe's. Okay, so it wasn't really in a hurry, since it took me over an hour, but I didn't have to figure out spices, so that's enough for me. We had brown jasmine rice with some potatoes, carrots and chickpeas simmered in this coconut milk and lemon grass green curry. So good, definitely my favorite of the two vegan simmer sauces they have.

This afternoon I worked on dessert. A raw pie. I'm really desperate to try and curb my sugar intake, I'm just hooked on it and working on this cookbook has not helped with that! I have yet to meet a raw dessert that I don't love so I decided to try my hand at a tart. I don't like regular pies because I hate pie crust, but raw pie crust has always had a special place in my heart, so I made a simple crust with raw pecans and dates. The filling was simply 3 bananas I tossed into the food processor, then, as it was running, I dropped in mango slices. I let it set in the fridge then sliced my kiwis and Rainier cherries for the topping right before serving. It turned out great and totally satisfied my sweet tooth. More finicky Jim also loved it, especially because I peeled the skin off the kiwi. I always eat mine with the skin on, but I wanted him to enjoy the pie as well. I know what I'm having for breakfast tomorrow! And I won't have to feel guilty!

This weekend we also ate at a newer local vegan restaurant called Proper Eats. They are a very whole foods based restaurant with a great menu, local, organic produce and live music many nights of the week. I highly recommend going there if you are a Portlandian or will be passing through town. I took pictures of our food, but they were on my food and the lighting was so low, they look like crap. I highly recommend the raw hummus, I could have eaten a bucket of it!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Why stress when you can eat?

Okay, it's no lie that when I'm stressed out I like to eat to try and comfort myself. It's not always sweet things, it's savory too, so I hope that I'm at least balancing it out. Our home-buying saga is (hopefully) coming to an end on Friday of next week, the 18th, when we should be closing. Until then, I shall bake.

Oatmeal cherry cookies with an icing drizzle. I buy these tart dried cherries from Trader Joe's, they really give it a kick for flavor, instead of using raisins or cranberries. Super yum. I made Jim leave the kitchen after he ate over half a dozen. He likes to make himself sick on cookies.

And falafel! On pita, slathered with hummus, and romaine and tomatoes and drizzled with tahini. And my starchy little friends, fries, on the side with some organic ketsup. Crunchy, a little greasy, starchy, this is comfort food at its best.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Herbistore Help!

Hey folks, please check out Michelle's latest post on the Herbivore blog. She's working on the buying for the upcoming store and we want your ideas of what you would want in such a store. Your opinions are SUPER DUPER appreciated!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Breaking the Brownie Code

What started as a product review became an adventure.

I noticed the Truffle Brownie Mix at Trader Joe's was accidentally vegan, so I picked it up, not wanting to deal with making them from scratch. I baked them on Friday night and we enjoyed them ala mode. Very rich and chocolatey, I really recommend them.

But, as I was reading the box, I realized that there were barely any ingredients in it. Could I replicate the recipe by playing with quantities?

Well, they aren't exactly the same, but they are pretty darn close. I'm chalking up most of the difference to the fact that I didn't have Dutch press cocoa, which makes a slight flavor difference. But I was quite happy with them, they are moist, dense and chewy, what else do you want from a brownie? Plus, I will admit, I felt rather badass by making these by guessing at the quantities. I estimated that the package contained about 2 to 2 1/2 cups of mix, so I just went down the line of ingredients, greatest to smallest and I estimated pretty darn well, if I say so myself. I will be experimenting and tweaking this for the book.

Not that it was really necessary to replicate it, the mix costs $2.29, but it was a fun challenge that kind of defeated my "I don't want to bake from scratch tonight" plan, lol.

In closing, here is a picture of my crazy little snake cat, Ravi, giving me instructions on how to lay around during the weekend. He's a good teacher, he convinced me to take a nap with him and it was rather relaxing.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Yummy Food

Okay, here's a catch up. I was really bad about taking food pics while my friend was in town, so there aren't quite the bounty of pictures I thought there were.

Last weekend we went to the coast to a little town called Astoria. It's a really cute place, lots of little shops and some incredible old buildings. Not much for vegan eating, but we made due at a local Thai restaurant. From there we drove up the coast to a beach that has the wreckage from a 1906 British ship. It was the Peter Iredale and this is all that remains.

This is the view looking head on at the front of it. You can literally walk (or swim, depending on the tide) right up to it, which to me screams "tetanus", but no one seemed to be bleeding or injured. It was cool to see. It's on a great beach that's in a national park. Jim and I want to get back there soon to do some camping and exploring.

If you checked out my other blog entry over at the Herbivore group blog, you read about my recent adventures with kale. This was my meal yesterday at The Blossoming Lotus. I had a yummy bowl with brown basmati rice, pinto beans, and steamed kale, covered with a spicy peanut sauce with a side Caesar salad. For dessert I indulged in some melon vegan soft serve. I was skeptical of the melon, but it was very refreshing and tasty. This is a camera phone pic, sorry.

This is my latest food obsession. I happened upon a Wild Oats the other day and saw these vegan veggie rolls in their bakery and I just had to try one. It's basically a dough blob with layers of vegan mozzerella, chives, basil, tomatoes, zucchini chunks and other assorted flavors all coming together in a yeasty explosion of goodness. I swear, these things have crack in them. And don't let the faux cheese throw you off. I hate faux cheeses, but this is really subtle and tastes great. If there is a Wild Oats near you, check them out and see if they make them. If they don't, request that they do.

Tonight Jim and I split one of those yummy rolls with a sundried tomato and artichoke risotto which I whipped up in 10 minutes in my new toy, the pressure cooker. All I did was dice my veggies, sautee my onions and garlic and throw everything in a pot, brought it to pressure for 7 minutes, used the quick release method, took the lid off and voila, fancy pants dinner in Rice-a-Roni time. It was my first time making risotto and I've had some gross experiences with it in the past, but I think I've just had the misfortune of eating undercooked risotto, because this was delish. I think next time I'll add some mushrooms to it as well.

Well, until next time, either here or on the Herbivore blog!

Bloggity Blog Blog

Hey, Josh has hooked me up to start blogging on the Herbivore group blog. You can access it by going to the Herbivore Magazine site and clcking on the Blog Mashup button, but here's the direct link. I just posted my first entry there, it's fun stuff!

I will post more tonight, I have a backlog of food to put up and now that my friend has gone home I have the time to get them all up to you. See you later!