Monday, February 25, 2008

Cookin' with Jack

I agonized over this month's Cupcake Hero Contest. The theme ingredient is liquor, which we generally avoid in our house. But I really wanted to do an Apple-tini Cupcake with Caramel drizzle on top. I visited a couple of liquor stores to find an apple flavored liquor, but they all had scary artificial colors added to them and required buying a huge $16 bottle of booze that I'd never drink. Then I had to go out of town on Thursday, so I just gave up on this month's contest.
I was ecstatic to learn when I returned that the deadline was extended until today. I searched the liquor stores for some other ideas, but returned empty handed and uninspired. With only hours remaining I remembered the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie from "How it all Vegan" by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer. I bought a small bottle of Jack Daniels to make this pie about 3 years ago...and still had the leftover whiskey in the cabinet. Surely this heavenly combination of whiskey, pecans, and chocolate could make a winning cupcake...

Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Whiskey Buttercream and Chocolate Drizzle

1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1.5 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup Earth Balance, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. Jack Daniels
1/4 tsp molasses
3/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground flax seeds

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, potato starch, xanthan, bkg powder, bkg soda, salt, pecans). In a separate bowl, mix together melted Earth Balance, vanilla, JD, molasses, sugar, and flax seeds. Then whisk together dry and wet ingredients and distribute in cupcake liners. I filled them pretty full and got 9 cupcakes, but I like a puffy rounded top to my cupcakes. It would make 12 smaller cupcakes.
Cool completely before frosting.

Whiskey Buttercream
This doesn't make a ton of frosting because it's super rich and pretty potent-tasting. If you want a thick frosting, just double the recipe.

1/4 cup Earth Balance, softened
1 tsp whiskey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Cream together Earth Balance, whiskey and vanilla. Add 1/2 the powdered sugar and mix until no lumps remain. Add remaining sugar and mix until smooth.

Chocolate Drizzle
3 Tbsp non-dairy milk
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Over a VERY low heat, heat milk until steaming. Then remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until completely melted and smooth. Refrigerate until thickened slightly, but still drizzle-able.

***I know that making my entry gluten free will greatly reduce my chances of winning and of many people making these cupcakes. But I figure that if I keep posting these recipes, eventually folks will realize that although gluten-free baking seems incredibly intimidating, it can be done (especially with a good recipe)! Plus, this is a Cupcake Hero contest and anyone who is gluten free will tell you you're a hero if you bake these.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Is it Spring Yet?

I've got Spring Fever bad and it's still February. I might have to get some grow lights and plant lettuce in my basement. Actually, I could. At the Organic Farming conference we learned about Growing Power's operations which use aquaponic systems to raise all sorts of greens, tomatoes, sprouts, and even fish in greenhouses all year long in Milwaukee. I won't be raising fish in my basement, but I am considering making/buying some row covers for my garden to extend our short growing season.

Today I started planning this year's garden. This is a long thoughtful process that involves buying way too many seeds and way too much graph paper...and I love every second of it.
Some things are a given- Of course we'll grown tons of kale, tomatoes, and hot peppers. But we'll have to decide if we want to plant Japanese eggplants again and if we want to grow potatoes at the house garden or the community garden.
Of course, right now there's not much I can do besides plan because my garden's under a foot of snow and the compost bin is frozen solid.

So I'll snuggle inside today, eating last year's harvest from the freezer and pickling jars and dream of warmer weather.

Little Trouble cat has never been outside or seen a Spring. She's fallen in love with sunshine, though. Especially when it shines on the laundry bin.

Friday, February 22, 2008

What Elephant?

Yesterday my coworkers and I drove down to La Crosse, Wisconsin for the Organic Farming Conference. This is my first year to go, but for many years I've envied the produce managers who always go to this conference. While it's true that most of the workshops are geared toward actual organic farmers ("Practical Fly Control" or "Basics of Organic Hog Production" anyone?), just the experience of being among so many farmers committed to sustainable agriculture is uplifting.

Seriously, I'm ready to sell the house and buy a farm.

Today our keynote speaker was Melinda Hemmelgarn, MS, RD. She spoke so eloquently about the connections between healthy communities, healthy environment, and healthy farms. It was refreshing to hear food spoken about with such unabashed political messages and numerous calls for action.

I have not heard any presidential candidate address our food system issues in a debate. Today Hemmelgarn said, "I won't vote for any presidential candidate unless they address the problems with our food system" (or something really close to that). While nothing will stop me from voting in November, I do have to agree with the conviction behind her statement.

How can we get our politicians to address food issues? Food is where it all comes together- family, farming, environment, education, diversity, health, poverty, safety, security, and economics. Our failed food system is the big elephant in the room that no one is talking about.

Sometimes when the big picture of American food is too overwhelming, though, I take comfort in knowing that at least I live in an area so rich in organic and sustainable farmers that I can find healthy, organic, local foods for much of the year. And I'm lucky enough to have a yard where I can grow a good portion of my fruits and vegetables for half of the year. And I'm lucky enough to have a lifestyle (also known as "the slow lane") that leaves me enough time to cook my foods from scratch and preserve my own harvest.

But truly, while this makes me feel better for a while, I know that this is not enough. Every little patch of land and home cooked meal helps, but it will take some large scale changes to impact most people in this world. Part of my job is to teach people about organic, natural, local foods and co-ops- But I want to do more. I don't know if the answer is to do more outreach, call more politicians, or buy a farm, but I sure am inspired by this opportunity to gather with organic leaders in the Midwest.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Monday and Tuesday meals

I blatantly stole this meal idea from Mary Frances at Gluten Free Cooking School and Susan at Fat Free Vegan. Susan originally posted the recipe and Mary Frances paired it with coleslaw.

These beautiful stuffed corn bread/tortilla rounds could be filled with anything- the possibilities are endless! These were super quick because I filled them with Amy's Organic Refried Beans and Vegan Gourmet Monterey Jack (Both on sale this month at the co-op! Yes!). The surprise hit of the meal was the coleslaw- which was just shredded cabbage and carrots with a dressing of veganaise, soy yogurt, vinegar, celery seed, and salt. I think this is basically the same as my mom's recipe, except using vegan mayo and some soy yogurt.

I planned ahead for this next meal. Tuesdays are always so busy, so I pre-marinated my tempeh in lemon juice, olive oil, dill, garlic, and kelp powder to make "Sea Sticks" which are my version of fish sticks. I even got my potatoes rubbed with kosher salt and olive oil and wrapped them in foil the night before.

But then Tuesday night wasn't nearly as hectic as normal. The kids had a cold so we didn't go to basketball. Their teacher only gave one worksheet for homework, so that was over quickly.

All I had to do was dip the tempeh in a mixture of crushed brown rice crispy cereal, nutritional yeast, and salt and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes with the potatoes. Then I steamed some broccoli and stirred together a Cheeze sauce with nutritional yeast, salt, lemon juice, cornstarch, garlic powder, and almond milk.
So dinner was a breeze and we had plenty of time to enjoy Battleship and couch-snuggling with the whole family. Awwww....

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Just in case you haven't celebrated the most wonderful day of the year yet- you still have a few hours left. Today is 2-17, otherwise known as Liz day.
{If you turn the numbers 217 upside down, it spells LIZ}

Here's how I celebrated:
White Chocolate Cashew Cookies (gluten free)
These are based off of Dreena Burton's gluten free chocolate chip cookies from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free)
Blackened Tofu, Spirals and Cheese, and Garlicky Collards
The Blackened Tofu is from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan. The Cheese sauce is freestyle.

So it looks like I celebrated Liz Day with Dreena's recipes. I also celebrated by not getting out of my pajamas for two days (including grocery shopping), watching over 5 hours of The Office on Netflix (thanks, Mom!), and eating a pint of Rocky Road So Decedent Ice Cream.

And really, aren't these things all what Liz Day is all about? It's important to remember the real values that are behind holidays, like being lazy and indulging in everything you want.

Survey #2

Anyone who knows me very well knows I am obsessed with surveys. Any types of surveys. The highlight of 2007 was when our house was selected for the U.S. Census- the mother of all surveys! I also enjoy product registrations, MySpace surveys, and telephone polls.

Given the success of my last food survey, I think there are plenty of food bloggers who love surveys, too. This one from November traveled all over the vegan blogger community- Just about every blog I went to had a link to this one!

So I figure it's high time for another.

Below are my answers- you just need to copy, paste, and fill in your own answers on your blog.

1. If you have to choose between locally grown or organic, which do you usually choose?
Local, as long as I'm confident the farmer used sustainable methods

2. Favorite way to prepare potatoes:
Right now- baked potatoes rubbed with kosher salt and rocking my world

3. Do you press your tofu before preparing/cooking it (if you eat soy)?
Never. I'm too lazy.

4. Name your favorite recipe that is a tradition in your family:
Spinach casserole- But I haven't had it in ages. It desperately needs to be veganized.

5. Any food allergies?
Nope, but my partner doesn't eat wheat so I've cut down.

6. When you want to go to a fancy dinner, where do you go?
Tanpopo Noodle Shop is awesome and can feel fancy if you want it to.

7. When you have a cold, what do you crave?
Lemon, garlic and cayenne soup or Seitan and Dumplings

8. What kind of water do you drink? (Filtered, spring, tap, etc.)
culligan filtered water

9. Name a flavor of soda you'd love to see:
Orange ginger

10. If the recipes you ate as a child were compiled into a cookbook, what would the title be?
Hamburger Helper

11. If you were allowed to grow one food that can't grow in your climate, what would it be?
Satsuma mandarin oranges in my backyard!

12. Favorite type of mushroom?
Hen of the woods

13. Most frustrating part of your kitchen?
my oven smells really funny and is about 75 degrees off from the dial

14. Last food you burned?
Spices for a soup

15. Usual response to a veg*n's favorite question, "But where do you get your protein?":
Beans, grains, nuts, and seeds

16. If you were baking your own birthday cake today, what flavor would it be?
Caramel Cake

17. Favorite brand of chocolate chips?
Tropical Source, by far.

18. You have $200 of your tax return reserved for Williams Sonoma- What do you buy?
probably a Le Crueset pan

19. Do you plan your menus in advance? Any tips to share?
Not too much, I tend to go by daily cravings

20. You have 3 minutes before you have to leave the house and you're starving- What do you eat?
Peanut butter on toast or pretzels

21. If Martha Stewart, Paula Deen, and Rachel Ray got into a fight, who would win and how?
Paula would pour melted butter over the floor and Rachel and Martha would slip and fall.

22. If you eat oatmeal, what do you add to it before serving?
Peanut butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt

23. If you got to travel to one country and learn all the traditional dishes there, where would you go (ignore commitments in your current place of residence)?

24. Favorite late night snack?
Popcorn or ramen-style noodles

25. Favorite springtime food?
baby greens

26. Favorite food-related magazine?
Cook's Illustrated is the most educational

27. Which do you prefer: shoyu, tamari, conventional soy sauce, or Bragg's Aminos?

28. What vegetable or fruit do you dislike the most?
any kind of melon- I can tolerate cucumbers

29. Name a holiday food you look forward to all year long:
Stuffing- I'm not sure why I don't make it more often

30. If you could convert anyone to veganism with your magic wand, who would you convert?
Barak Obama- then he'd be perfect

It's fun to read everyone's answers, so copy this info along with the questions:
*After answering the questions in a blog post, comment at Food Snobbery is My Hobbery with a link to your blog.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Two recipes to try

It's taking a bit of time to get used to my partner not eating wheat or gluten- most of his favorite foods (and my favorite things to cook for him) have wheat. So I haven't baked any biscuits or made pasta lately. And he has been craving pizza like a fiend.

We used a boxed mix for a pizza crust one time and it turned out really good, but it was pretty darn expensive. So when I saw the Gluten Free Cooking School's Pizza recipe, I knew it was worth a try.

I must say, it was amazing. We made a double recipe and the whole family devoured the two large pizzas. The recipe was really quick because there was no need to knead or let the dough rise. So now we don't have to plan ahead to make pizza!

This one had red peppers, black olives, artichoke hearts, and a cheeze sauce made with cashews, tofu, and squash.

Today I wanted to ward off the cold that everyone in the family has gotten, so I decided to try Vaishali's Screaming Hot Garlic and Lemon Rasam. While I took some liberties with the recipe, the basic ingredients and spices are the same. This soup was light, spicy, and definitely killed any cold germs with the chilies, lemon, and garlic. This is way more delicious than western medicine.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Recreating the Caravan

One of my fond memories from college is sitting on a floor cushion at the Caravan Serai, eating the vegetarian platter while doing homework (and sometimes watching the belly dancer). I could sit there for hours, scooping up the dal with my naan and enjoying the atmosphere.

An Afghani restaurant in an aging building in the early post-911 days spelled some hard times for the restaurant and it is now long gone. But years later I'm left craving the vegetarian platter: yellow lentil dal, subzi paneer (spinach with soft yogurt cheese), bademjan borani (eggplant and tomatoes), aromatic rice, and yogurt.

Tonight I attempted to recreate the recipes- but vegan and lower in fat.

Creamy Subzi, sans Paneer

1 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 tsp. asafoetida
16 oz. of frozen greens (I used 1/2 spinach and 1/2 kale)
1/2 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

Heat canola oil in a medium saute pan. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeƱo, and asafoetida (watch out for those pepper fumes!) and saute until onions are translucent. Add greens and cook until hot throughout. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, cornstarch, lemon juice, salt, and yeast until smooth. Add to spinach and simmer until liquid has thickened considerably and spinach is creamy.

Bademjan Borani

I'm usually a fan of lightly cooked vegetables, to preserve nutrients and texture. But I remember this eggplant dish as being cooked so long it fell apart into a rich, buttery eggplant mash. This version can be fat free, so it is not quite so rich. It is, however, just as delicious. Feel free to drizzle with flax oil after baking to get a more rich texture.

1 medium eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick and quartered
1/2 onion, sliced
1 tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. fennel seed
3/4 tsp. salt
1- 14.5 oz can organic tomatoes
1-2 Tbsp. flax oil, optional

Preheat oven to 375 F. Toss everything together (except flax oil) in a glass baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Then remove foil cover and bake an additional 10-20 minutes, until liquid has evaporated and eggplant is falling apart. Drizzle with flax oil if desired.

Yellow Split Pea Dal

Everytime I make dal I use a different made-up recipe. Here is today's recipe which uses a pressure cooker. It makes enough to pack in your lunches all week. And I know it has kind of a lot of oil in it- but it really carries the spices' flavor.

2 cups split peas
4.5 cups water
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cumin seeds

Combine peas, water, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt, and 1 Tbsp. oil in a pressure cooker. Bring up to pressure and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let pressure release slowly to finish cooking. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and red pepper flakes. Cook until seeds begin to pop and then remove from heat. When you open the pressure cooker, pour the hot oil and spices over the dal. Stir to combine and adjust salt to taste.

Fragrant Brown Rice
I know, I know. Long grain brown rice is not very authentic. But it's what I had in the kitchen and it's so good for you!

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp garam masala
1.5 cups long grain brown rice
3 cups water
1/4 cup raw cashew pieces
2-3 Tbsp. raisins
1-2 Tbsp. cilantro (optional)

In a dry saucepan, toast the cashews until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove the cashews and set aside. Add the oil, rice, and garam masala and heat until rice is coated in oil and smells fragrant. Then add water and cover, brining water to a boil. Then reduce heat to simmer rice for about 40 minutes or until tender. When done, stir in cashews and raisins. Garnish with cilantro.

Here's how beautiful the spices look when you are frying them in oil for the dal:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cutest Kitten Ever!

It's so cute how Trouble/Tinkyada/Tinky loves to sleep on the modem-cable internet thingie. Just a few months ago she could curl her entire body up on it to fall asleep. Now she's probably doubled her size and has to use it for a pillow. It stays nice and warm, so sometimes she'll sleep there all day. Billie cat prefers the larger landing pad of my laptop keyboard, also a warm spot on a winter day.

No new food pictures to show you tonight, as it was crazy rush-rush Tuesday night. We made a super quick gluten-free spaghetti with tomato sauce and some baked tofu from the co-op. Tomorrow I'll cook something a little more creative!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Vegetable Love

I thought long and hard about Susan's Vegetable Love contest. I usually think of springy, fresh vegetables as being romantic, but I can't imagine eating anything but steamy hot soup in this cold February weather. So I decided to feature roasted vegetables in my favorite dal soup recipe.

Squash and Beet Dal

1 cup squash, cut into large chunks
1/2 cup beets, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp whole coriander, crushed
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. brown/black mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup small red lentils
1/2 tsp. asafoetida (if you can't find it, it's okay)
5-6 cups water
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (I just threw in leftover salsa I made last night)
2 tsp. salt
crushed red pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F. If you want heart shaped beats, use a metal cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes. Then toss onions, squash, and beets in 1Tbsp. of the olive oil and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place in a glass baking dish and roast for about 30 minutes, until both are tender and starting to brown. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium saucepan. Add coriander, cumin, fennel, and mustard seeds and stir cook until the begin to pop. Quickly cover with a lid. When popping begins to subside, add garlic and red lentils. Stir to coat lentils with spices and oil. When everything smells really awesome, add the water, tomatoes, salt, and asafoetida. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the lentils are falling apart and the broth has thickened up a bit. Add in the roasted beets, squash, and onion, reserving a couple of heart shaped beets for garnish. Remove from heat and puree if you want a creamy soup or leave as is. Top with beet hearts and crushed red peppers to taste.

Too bad my sweetie hates beets and won't be sharing this romantic meal with me!

Serious Sugar Rush

Don't read this post if you are trying to lose weight, have diabetes, or are trying to eat healthy. This post will do nothing but make you want to eat cupcakes and cheesecake all day long.
Today I hosted a wedding dessert tasting for my friends/clients who are getting married.
Here's what we sampled:

Margarita Cupcakes
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
Orange Pudding Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream, Chocolate Ganache, or both
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Raspberry CupcakesThe inside shot: Filled with Raspberry Cream and topped with Chocolate Ganache

After all those cupcakes, we still had to find room for dessert...

Here are the His and Hers Cheesecakes:Peanut Butter Cheesecake with a Salty Pretzel Crust, Peanut Butter Caramel and White Chocolate Shavings

Turtle Cheesecake with a Chocolate Cookie Crust
It was tough, but they narrowed it down to their favorites! Don't you wish you were invited to this wedding?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I have to post this right now!

I realize that my last post was within the last 30 minutes...but while I was typing the last post I was cooking my lunch. And I had NO IDEA how freaking awesome this soup would turn out to be, so I'd better post it right away so you can make it for dinner.

On the way home from yoga I was struck with an intense craving for a thin dal soup with lots of spices. I had the recipe in my head by the time I pulled into the garage. This is now my new favorite soup!

Liz's Favorite Dal
Serves 2-4, depending on if you like to eat 2 bowls each or not

2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp whole coriander, crushed
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. brown/black mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup small red lentils
1/2 tsp. asafoetida (if you can't find it, it's okay)
5-6 cups water
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (I just threw in leftover salsa I made last night)
2 tsp. salt
crushed red pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add coriander, cumin, fennel, and mustard seeds and stir cook until the begin to pop. Quickly cover with a lid. When popping begins to subside, add garlic and red lentils. Stir to coat lentils with spices and oil. When everything smells really awesome, add the water, tomatoes, salt, and asafoetida. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the lentils are falling apart and the broth has thickened up a bit. Remove from heat and top with crushed red peppers to taste.

Seriously. Go make this soup right now. It's quick, easy, and is an explosion of flavor in your mouth. This would be great with a little rice for a full meal.

I'm not sure how authentically Indian this soup is- But to this white girl, it tastes like India!

Comfort Food

It's cold outside and windy today, with a forecast of getting colder and windier. I think it's fitting that I have pictures to post of really comforting foods.

First up is the grilled cheeze sandwiches and fire roasted tomato soup that we ate on Tuesday night. We usually cook meals from scratch, but Tuesday nights are always super busy. And Vegan Gourmet is on sale his month! A grilled cheese sandwich is always a treat and makes me feel like I'm in the third grade again. The fire roasted tomato soup is by Imagine Organic, so I take no credit for it being good. But I'm impressed that something from a box tasted so rich and flavorful.

The picture's not much to look at, but it makes me remember how yummy it all was for a 15 minute dinner.

I baked batches of cupcakes for 2 events: a game night for friends from work last night and a cupcake tasting for a couple whose wedding desserts I'm baking. The lucky couple narrowed their flavor options down to some really awesome flavors, mostly from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Here they are naked (the cupcakes, not the couple!):

And here they are frosted:
These are the mini cupcakes for the game night festivities. We had:
orange cupcakes with orange frosting
orange cupcakes with orange frosting and ganache
spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Mexican chocolate cupcakes with no frosting (sugar, cocoa, and cinn. instead)
Mexican chocolate cupcakes with ganache

I also baked some gluten-free chocolate raspberry cupcakes, but the dog ate all but 4 mini cupcakes (Yes, she ate an entire dozen full sized cupcakes). The centers of these sank, so I filled the center with raspberry frosting and coated them in ganache. They ended up tasting pretty good.

Now I just need to do a couple more flavors for tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Highlights of last week's food

Last week was really busy! Every weeknight we had something going on and the weekend was full of more commitments, plus I got a stomach flu. I'm back to normal now and have some pictures to post:
This was, according to Mike and the kids, one of the best meals ever. It was roasted potatoes covered in Yogurt-Ranch sauce, baked tofu smothered in barbecue sauce, and garlicky kale. I thought it was pretty good, but not in the top 10. Mike ranked it in the top 5!

When I planned on making roasted beets I didn't plan on doing anything special with them...but Valentine's day is approaching and I thought, "What the hell- Why not make them heart shaped?". A cookie cutter sliced right through the slices of beets and I roasted them with onions, balsamic vinegar, agave nectar, kosher salt, and black pepper. After they were done I slipped a few leaves of fresh sage into the pan and covered it. This infused the beets with a lovely sage aroma. These were perfect on a salad for lunch!

Below is a Shitaake Dashi from a yoga themed mini-cookbook I did a year
or two ago. It is so simple and comforting. Plus it uses a ton of kelp, so I always feel like I'm getting good minerals from this soup. That's Trouble kitten in the background, chewing on my chopsticks.-00000000000 {the O's were her doing as well}Below is just one of the reasons why I love my sweetie. He always brings home a treat when he comes home from work (we both work at a co-op). This night it was ingredients for a strawberry malt!