Here’s looking to you kid

Picture 234

How anyone got through the mid-20th century is beyond me.

So, I’ve been knitting up a storm trying to get my act together in hopes of making more stuff. Unfortunately, my cooking might take a bit of a back burner but I’ll try to keep it up. Really, I’m trying to consolidate most of my ‘outside’ time into one day so that I have at least 30hours a week while Nathan is working to work on my knitting. I just can’t seem to focus on my knitting when I have other things to do since I tend to make mistakes or not make much progress when I’m only sitting down for 20min and then having to cook, clean, or run errands.

Anyway, I did pretty well this week and I tend to listen to the radio while I knit since I don’t have to watch anything. Unfortunately, our local radio website went down for a good few hours so I decided I’d watch movies instead. I eventually picked Casablanca since I’ve never seen it. Wow, that movie was fun. I don’t know if it’s considered a great movie in terms of the story but it’s pretty iconic and a lot of older movies can be crap just like modern movies are mostly crap. So it was really fun to watch and I was so impressed by their outfits and their drinks….and H.Bogart was totally sexy. Jeez, I wish he was right here so he could tell me, “Here’s looking to you kid” wow!! it’s not just the phrase but the voice…::swoons::

But I was totally fascinated with their white tuxedos and their Champagne Martini’s. It was like a light bulb went off in my head…Champagne? in a martini? Hmmm…..so I mentioned it to Nathan and we agreed it had to be the classiest thing we’ve ever heard. Just like investing, we’ve been trying to diversify our palate. We’ve been trying out wines which has been so fun and flavorful, we’ve been actually tasting different beers for a year which can be exciting…but we don’t really try mixed drinks because we generally know that certain things don’t sit well with us. Anyway, we looked up a recipe for this martini and most were Vodka, Champagne, and some sort of fruit liqueur. Headed to one of our local markets and picked up some sparkling wine since we didn’t feel like throwing down 40US on champagne and picked up some of Cointreau.

Mixed it up and boy did we feel classy. Too bad we don’t have any martini glasses.

Picture 289

I read on one website that these drinks were ‘lethal’ and I just sort of laughed thinking maybe they were weenies. But I can now say from experience that these things will land with an unexpected punch and an amazing headache the next day. How in the world people in the 40s and 50s drank so much is beyond me. Seriously, three martini lunches just seems scary. Anyway, being that it was the weekend it wasn’t horrible that we got a bit too drunk without meaning to. It tasted nice and it did feel super neat to act like we were in casablanca but next time I really gotta count these things.

Champagne Martini:1 Us:0 Totally Brutal.

Anyway, I finally got around to making some Vegan Enchiladas. I actually busted out my shredder attachment which I haven’t ever used because…well I never shred things. I shredded up a zucchini and about a pound of seitan….give or take. The seitan came out really fine and soft which was to be expected considering it’s not as dense as chicken. And I must say my seitan is softer than the store variety. I dumped the seitan in a bowl with a can (15oz) of black beans, strained. I sauteed half a large onion, garlic, 4 chipotle chilies, and zucchini. Plus a bit of spice. I’ve never tried cooking with chipotle peppers since I didn’t think they were all that special but I bought a 4oz can of them a while back on a whim. Damn were those things hot. And we like our food spicy. I only added 4 but I might up it to 6 next time since the veggies, seitan, and beans diluted the heat a bit. Mixed it all together and prepped the tortillas and pan with sauce. It’s a sign that I’m trying to cut down on my cooking time since I actually bought pre-made enchilada sauce but oh well. I poured about a fourth of it into the pan and laid the torillas in the sauce while I spooned the mix onto the tortillas. This allows tortillas to coat a bit more evenly. I also picked up a bag of shredded Rice cheese that was flavored as mozzarella since I’m trying to find a good cheese substitute since we still eat cheese on our pizza. It actually tasted really good which made me so happy that I just wanted to eat the whole bag. The texture was a bit stiff but once my saliva started breaking it down a bit it had a better texture. Nathan was a bit skeptical since he’s always had bad experiences with fake cheeses and I’ve tried it once before with horrible gagging as a result. It claimed ‘gourmet’ melting but we made half cheese enchiladas and half non-cheese just in case.

Picture 285Picture 286Picture 287

Baked them at 350 for about 15min. In my experience, a lot of vegan proteins never turn out well if cooked at the same length as meat since it dries out too quickly. We even got these Lemon-herb kabobs at the market last week and they said to grill them for 15 min but I knew they were going to dry out (which the did) and we really ought to have grilled them at the same time with the veggies since they cook up in under 10.

Anyway, the enchiladas came out really great despite the lack of spiciness. The cheese melted decently and it was so great tasting until…..

I found out they’re not vegan. Omg….I wanted to strangle the company. I was so excited that it was a great product I looked up their website and was looking at the other cheeses they offer. I randomly decided to look at the ingredients because some vegan products have the most random things in them. Turns out that it has casien listed and I was shocked and disappointed that this great rice cheese was in fact non-vegan. ::Sigh:: I suppose I really ought to either A. research some vegan cheeses and see if they’re carried locally and B. get around to making my vegan cheese which I attempted once but I wrapped it up too much so it didn’t firm up as much as it should have.

I actually need to check my other cheeses now that I think about it since I picked up a bleu cheese and feta cheese that was in the vegan area of…Wholefoods. I can’t believe we’re shopping there now. They recently opened up two stores in the santa cruz area and I’ve been pretty adamant about not shopping their since I like to support more local stores and the farmer’s market. We have so many organic, fair trade, and local options that I felt like the Wholefoods would just take away from our stores. But I gave in because Nathan wanted to see it and to be honest I was a bit curious. But it’s easier to blame Nathan for my horrible treason.

I’m not sure how other Wholefoods markets are but I felt like they were really pushing for a local feel because there were signs hanging from the ceiling that had pictures of local farmers stating where they came from and basically persuading us that they did indeed buy locally. Hmm…although I’m not too sure about how true it is and what proportion of their stuff is local and really…we live in Central California. We have oodles of food in this state that it’s not much of a stretch to say they’re buying locally. But they did have some great produce that I can’t find anywhere else….Mushrooms galore (our local farmer’s market only sells Shiitake and Oyster) they even had Chanterelle mushrooms at 30US per pound. God, this is why I don’t take Nathan shopping usually because he totally is willing to buy so much food and I spend a lot of money on food when I’m alone. Imagine with him….’go ahead and get some mushrooms who cares about price….let’s get some fancy champagne vinegar for our salads..’ seriously I think he’s more of a food freak than I am sometimes.

But they have a good variety of chile peppers which Santa Cruz seems to lack and they have fresh loaves and a really great vegan section. They had Vegan Gyros! I’ve been thinking about inventing my own recipe for awhile and it turns out someone has made them already which could be nice if they don’t taste horribly. Anyway, I can’t really justify spending money there but I do it anyway…guilty pleasure…and they seem to kiss our asses since I think they’re trying to win over customers. Anyway, I’m sure this hasn’t been all that exciting for people since I’m sure they have Wholefoods near them and I’m just weird about my food. Oh well.

Let’s see….I made Thai Fried Rice the other day which turned out yummy but not as fried as I had hoped. I’ve never made a fried rice dish even though I love them and Veg. Times had a big bowl of it on it’s cover that I decided it was time to buckle down and try it. I actually refrigerated the rice for a few days which was annoying since it was a bit clumpy when I dumped it into the wok. I just used a fork to mash it down and separate it…for those wondering if they have problems. I actually pretty much used my Sesame stir-fry recipe but substituted rice for noodles. I fried up 7.5oz of tofu, then stir-fried the onion, garlic, serrano, 1/2 bell pepper, and broccoli and added some sauce. Added the rice and let it fry up but I think the sauce didn’t allow for as much frying as I had intended. I really should have cooked it longer and added more oil if I wanted a crisper finish but I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out in general so I fried it up until I couldn’t see much oil in the wok. Added the snap peas towards the end and then the tofu. Yummy but not as hot as I’d like it to be. I really need to make it again since it’s just so tasty for lunch.

Picture 284

I need to work on my photography but really, when I’m super hungry I barely even remember to take pictures.

Next up….I know…everyone is probably hoping I’ll just end this stupid post…

Anyway, I made lavender seitan chops which I’ve been dying to make forever. Apparently, the lavender season is pretty short up here and is actually around during June mostly. Somehow I missed it during the early months but I was lucky to stumble upon it at the Felton Farmer’s Market a couple of weeks ago. I saw this recipe about a year ago and I thought it sounded so lovely. I usually just make rosemary chops which are tasty but lavender just seemed so unusual. The pictures are kind of crappy and I didn’t add as much lavender as I should have because I wasn’t sure we’d even like it. It’s too bad that I missed the season since it was a great lunch dish. For those who would like to know…I take about 1/4-1/3 cup of all-purpose flour, about 1tsp. of course sea salt, and chop up as much rosemary or lavender as I like and then dredge the seitan. I tend to use a good deal of olive oil in hopes of giving it a better texture.

Picture 279Picture 281

>.< I really should have added more lavender but oh well. A nice light lunch with steamed broccoli. It seems my cast iron pan is always making a cameo since I have to move it around a lot since our stove is a bit small.

Picture 293

I bought a Jicama ages ago and never used it for some reason. I think most of us do that right? Buy food that we like and then let it rot? I am trying to lessen my waste but sometimes it can’t be helped. Anyway, it began sprouting a while back and now has at least 2ft. worth of stem which Re is blocking but you can see a bit. Nathan wants to plant it since it seems like a waste to throw away but I need to check how big the plants get first.

Well, that’s all I have to write although I’m going to post some random pictures from New Mexico and around the house.

Picture 242Picture 243

Taken in Santa Fe, it was a huge Mexican Restaurant that I wasn’t too thrilled about going to since I was on a romantic kick. Well, I did have to sleep with paper in my hair as curlers and have men staring down the front of my dress all day so I wasn’t too pleased but after a Vodka Daiquiri everything was fine. I’m not a snob since I’ve roughed it in Central America and the U.S. but we were on vacation and I just wanted a more romantic day while in Santa Fe. I totally recommend the Georgia O’Keeffe museum cafe because it was super cute and had a great lunch date feel. We had a hard time in New Mexico in terms of food because not that many places had many Vegan/Vegetarian options and sometimes I feel like a broken record but just because I can eat beans and rice for a long time doesn’t mean I want to while on vacation and wanting to have one nice dinner with my guy. The Persian place we went to was really great but most of the food was really geared for appetizers, but again, I’m not so much complaining as explaining how hard it can be to find places to eat while being on vacation as a vegan. My mom did find a really great Asian place which blew my mind but I still wished there had been more Vegan friendly places that served New Mexican food.

Picture 246Picture 248

I curse my round face. So not fair. It’s hard to tell since these pictures are small but all three have me with devil eyes. I’ve had this problem since I was a kid and even though most cameras (including mine) have the anti-red eye flash I still manage it anyway, I think it’s because my eyes are a bit of a lighter brown…not hazel but a reddish medium brown that might reflect strangely. I don’t know, I’ve never looked into it but I’ve had devil eyes for as long as I can remember. These were taken at the Asian restaurant and the name is kind of unoriginal (Asian Noodle Bar I think) but it was kind of hipster and really good food. My drum instructor used to tell me that I looked so much like my grandma and I can see it now that I’m older. Broader/round faces and I think our faces when we smile are similar but I’m such a mix of my dad and mom it’s weird. Nathan’s the same way…we’re mutts.

My cousins from my Tia Marielos look like miniatures of her and her ex-husband that it’s scary. But as I’ve grown older I can tell that a lot of people look more like one parent than the other. But Nathan and I are super cool and take a lot of random features/genes from all over our family. I have a really bad farmer’s tan too now that I look at these pictures…thankfully I’ve been smart enough to roll my sleeves up when we go on our exercise to even it out since it’s really really embarrassing.::Sigh:: I wish I were darker like my dad since I think it’s so beautiful to have darker skin.

Random cat pictures. Fe loved the box that my grandparents sent the chile in and she just looks so cute. Re tried to one up her later by hanging out in our paper recycling bag and it’s really annoying that she keeps doing it because she kicks out all the paper eventually and I have to clean it up every time.

Picture 265Picture 275Picture 225

Well, I suppose that is it for this super long blog. Hope it wasn’t too boring. I’m going to finish this off with a great song and I couldn’t find an actual video for it and the live ones weren’t as good.

Eat good food and be the strutter.


2 Responses to “Here’s looking to you kid”

  1. 1 xxxicana
    2 September, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    OMG!!! I guess I failed as a mother. . . how could you have gone until now not having seen Casablanca??? Now you’ll have to see the other HB films: To Have or Have Not, The Maltese Falcon, We’re no Angels, Sabrina, and The Big Sleep.

  2. 2 Shell
    2 September, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Even Ross has seen Casablanca! He loved it, by the way 😉 What else do you think your mom will take the rap for?? xoxoxo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

August 2009
« Jul   Sep »



%d bloggers like this: