Sunday, July 31, 2011

Salt and Pepper Pancakes

Despite what you might think, given my fondness for sweets, I'm not a big fan of super sweet things for breakfast. I'd rather have miso soup than sugary cereal.

So today I made pancakes just for myself- savory style. I just used my usual pancake recipe (from Vegan with a Vengeance) and left out all the sweet things (cinnamon, vanilla, maple). Actually, now that I think about it, I accidentally left out the oil, too.

After I poured the batter on the griddle, I sprinkled each cake with sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper.

A little Earth Balance on top is all these cakes need!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Quick Salad

Baby arugula, cukes from the garden, grilled tofu and a garlic-dill-mustard vinaigrette.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Canning All Around Town

Hey folks.  For ya'll who live in the Twin Cities, here's a list of the canning demos and classes I've got coming up. I just love teaching these classes and I'm always happy to answer your canning questions at events like these.  (You can just show up for the demos, but the classes all require registration.)

7/30- Canning demo: "Bruschetta in a Jar" at the Mill City Farmers Market at 9:30 and 11:00 am

8/17- Canning Pickles class at Mississippi Market Co-op from 6-8pm

8/21- Canning class at Kitchen in the Market 11am-1:30- Participatory class!

8/27- Judging a state fair-style canning contest at the Mill City Farmers Market

10/1- Canning demo at Minneapolis Farmers Market (details TBD)

10/13- Canning class for St. Paul Community Ed from 6:30-8:30 pm

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tofu breakfast burrito

From Sunroom on State Street in Madison.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Freezing Peaz

The best souvenir I brought back from my trip to Texas is 40 lbs. of fresh peas. Well, okay.  Maybe the best souvenir was my mom's Fiesta ware pitcher in the discontinued pale yellow color.  But the peas are right up there.

We had to keep them packed on ice during the road trip, then get them blanched and frozen as soon as possible.  Blanching is an amazing thing.  It preserves color, flavor and texture in frozen foods- don't skip this step for veggies!  

Dump a couple pounds of fresh peas (these are purple hull peas) into a strainer and submerge them in boiling water for 2 minutes.  

Then, take the strainer out of the boiling water and submerge it in icy cold water (I use a combo of actual ice, water and freezer packs intended for coolers) for at least 2 minutes.  Then drain the peas.

Here's close-ups on all the varieties I froze:

Just like the black eyed peas you cook from dry beans, except not dried and 5,000 times better.

Similar to black eyed peas, except 10,000 times better.

 Speckled butter beans.  I could eat these for breakfast.

Not pictured: cream peas

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vacation from Cooking

Usually, when I haven't blogged for a while, I'll start writing by promising that I've still been busy cooking and gardening even though I haven't written about it.  But this time that isn't true-  I think yesterday was the first time I cooked anything or made it into my garden in weeks!

The past two and a half weeks have been odd and things are just now starting to get back to normal.  First, I went to Texas to visit my family.  My grandfather had been very sick, and I really wanted to get to see him again before he passed.  I'm so thankful that I was able to get a trip planned and time off of work on such short notice [My grandpa passed away last night, so the memories from this trip are even more important to me now]. Also, I hadn't seen my little niece in nearly a year and she's been busy growing up.  I had a great time with my family and ate some really fantastic food!

Fried avocado lettuce wraps from Matt's Tex-Mex.  Yep, fried avocado!

Spinach and mushroom enchiladas with salsa verde (they made them special with no cheese!  Yay Matt's!) and the best drunken beans ever.

My mom's home cooking!  Fried okra, yellow squash with cornmeal, fresh tomatoes, corn on the cob, fresh lima beans and chow-chow (pickled veggies)

But after all this amazing food, visits with family and a road trip back to Minnesota with my mom, I was left with the most horrible stomach pain!  I didn't eat anything THAT unusual while on my trip (okay, maybe fried avocado...) and I've never had too much of an issue with heartburn before...But for 8 days after my trip I couldn't eat anything without unbearable burning pain in my abdomen.  Plus, I had a fever, lethargy and no appetite.  Needless to say, I wasn't cooking much last week!  It was basically just veg. broth, bananas and crackers for a while there.  

My garden, meanwhile, was growing out of control with the heat we've been having here.  I made it outside to water a couple of times, but, honestly, I barely recognized my garden!  Everything grew up while I was away and I didn't have any energy to weed or harvest!  

But, now, today, I've had 3 square meals, no stomach pain and no fever.  I'm feeling very normal again and I'm happy to be munching on some oven-baked kale chips as I type.  I'm hopeful that this bout with severe heartburn (?) is over. 

And now I can think about food again and get back to sharing it with you!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Garden Tour

As promised: a tour of my garden.  Better late than never, right?

Mike added his own touch to the video (I'm pretty sure you'll know which parts are his)