Thursday, February 8, 2018

This Fukien Week

This has been a fukien shitty week...

the perfect occasion for some Fukien Cooking Wine!

Oh, pardon me, I mean Fuking Cooking Wine. 

Ok, then.

Before giving that party a kick-start, consider these appetizers:

This charming frozen duck, for example.

Surprise! She's Vegetarian, she's meat? lol

Not your style? Then make your own appetizers.

You can never go wrong at the Asian market.

 Want to make some Bao?
 First, find a good recipe! Neo liked this one!

Don't forget the hoisin. You always need hoisin.

And the dried mushrooms! 
I just spin them in a food processor to make...
Magic Mushroom Powder. Make powder and then put it in stuff.

 I made the bao filling from Mary's recipe for Superbowl breakfast, but my back wouldn't hold up to make the bao dough from scratch. 

I had even bought Bao flour! lol Anyway, I used frozen buns from the Asian market:
Oyster Mushroom and Tofu BBQ Bao-co! 

Get it? Bao + taco = Bao-co. 
We had these for breakfast on Superbowl Sunday.

Lastly, don't overlook the produce. My Asian market usually has really good prices on produce like cilantro. Give a bunch or two of washed cilantro (with or without stems, your call) a spin with some olive oil and salt and call it a day. You can make a whole, elaborate pesto if you really want to, but I like it plain like this, just olive oil and salt added, as just a sandwich spread or on the side of Israeli fare as a "cilantro salad.."

A Day (aka Cilantro Salad Spread)

Cover it in a little olive oil and store in the fridge. Lasts a while, but I bet you'll eat it all first.

This was our game day food. I used the Cilantro Salad Spread (above), hubby made my Zu Zu Ghanoush, and then we made the Kafta Kabobs from Joni's Fusion Food book (which I was a tester for!) to make:

an Israeli Superbowl super-platter of tastiest proportions!
Kafta Kabobs with Cilantro Salad and cucumbers, Side of pickles, olives, Zuzu Ghanoush and Sriracha. 

 Poo log-a-rama:
I don't suggest you serve these at a Superbowl party (or any party, lol). Obvious reasons. They are for private consumption only! lololol.

Maybe, though, they were the secret key to the Eagles unbelievable victory!
My son and Neo celebrating the big win.

No idea what I'm going to make this weekend...Kinda want these cupcakes...we'll see how I'm feeling. 

Valentine's Day is in the middle of the week this year so I don't know if I should celebrate it this weekend or next weekend...hmmm....thinking this weekend. 

 I mostly do Valentine's Day *early* check out all my past Valentine's Day posts, lol.

Have to finalize some ideas for the weekend and get shopping. 

See ya'll lata!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Finger Food!

Say whaaaa? We gotta cook again?

Don't feel like cooking but the Superbowl is swooping down on you like Challenger the Eagle?

Image result for eagles logo images

Try you some Veggie Fingers!

They are even good for dinner with mashed potatoes, lol. 

As a finger food, they are really good hot or cold served with dipping sauces of any ilk. And, surprisingly, they are not terribly messy.

Note: You can use any roast-able vegetable here: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, whatever. Cooking time may be a bit longer for carrots/potatoes/root veggies. Just check them at the 20 minute mark and see if they are done, if not, let them go longer.

Veggie Fingers 
(Tofu and Broccoli here, but, feel free to go crazy!):

1 bunch of broccoli (or like 2-3 cups or so of your veggie "fingers" of choice) cut into florets or, um, "fingers"

1 brick of tofu, pressed and sliced into "fingers" 
(or whatever shape you want)

1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (any kind, full fat is better)

3-6 Tablespoons garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour

1 box of Shake'N Bake (several varieties are vegan) OR about 2-3 cups Panko or other breadcrumbs mixed with any seasonings you dig (onion powder, garlic powder, salt, nutritional yeast, herbs/spices, whatevs)

few teaspoons of oil (neutral or olive) to grease pan.

This is really just breading some stuff and baking it in a hot oven, guys. Make anything a "finger!"

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. 

2. Prepare a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with a light coat of oil (I use a Misto sprayer) or just brush some oil on there.

3. Whisk chickpea flour into non-dairy milk until a reasonably thick batter forms. Thinner milks will take the higher amounts of flour, use more if needed. You don't want it too thick or too thin, so add a tablespoon at a time until you get it to coat the back of a spoon, i.e, it needs to stick to your veggies and your tofu but not be super thick :). What I like to do is pour the milk into a jar or tupperware with tight lid, stir in your chickpea flour, close the lid and shake until well combined. Otherwise, use a bowl and whisk in with a fork or whisk. You can season this, too, if you want, but I didn't. 

4. In a medium tupperware with a good lid, put your broccoli florets (all of mine fit in this one, but if yours don't, just do two or more batches) and pour some of the batter over them, I'd say about half the batter, start with less, you can always add more. 

Now, put the lid on and shake and turn gently until all your broccoli is evenly coated.

Like so.

5. Put some Shake'N Bake (or your homemade Panko or breadcrumb mix) in a bowl and coat each bite/finger:

Like so. I'd use a lighter coating than this next time. Shake'N Bake is pretty heavily seasoned!

Arrange the broccoli on the prepared baking sheet.

6. Now, batter and bread the tofu fingers. I battered the tofu individually rather than use the shake-to-coat technique since I thought it might break up if I did that. I just poured the rest of the batter into the same tupperware the broccoli was in and used a fork to turn the tofu fingers in it. Then transfer each finger to the Shake'N Bake or Panko mixture and coat. 
Arrange the tofu on your baking tray. 

I fit everything on one tray.

7. Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes. 
I didn't flip mine, but you can if you want. Mine were done at the 20 minute mark, but if you use other vegetables, they may need a little longer. Keep an eye out to not burn the breading!

I ate mine for dinner, lol, but these are a great appetizer. 
You can serve them with any kind of dipping sauce: Sriracha mayo, mustard, ketchup, dressings, hot sauce, even mushroom gravy or marinara would be good, whatever you dig. Or, just eat them plain. 

They are good at room temperature and don't seem to suffer for it.

Oh! And while your oven is still at 425...if you feel like it, throw in a batch of:

Roasted Chickpeas!
This is just cooked or canned (rinsed and drained of course) chickpeas mixed in a bowl with a little oil and any spices or seasonings you want (tamari, nutritional yeast, onion/garlic powder, spices/herbs, lemon juice, add a little agave, whatever!). Now, stick them in that same oven you just used on a foil lined, lightly oiled baking tray. Roast about 20-25 minutes at 425. Stir halfway through. YUM.

You can also make anything else, really, lol. 

Chips/Dips/Salsa (of course)
Veggie dogs or veggie "pigs in a blanket"
Veggie Burgers (homemade or pre-made)
Veg Onion Dip (vegan sour cream with a packet of Onion soup in it)
Crudites, cheeses, olives, etc.
Pizzas, pasta salads, sandwiches...

You can basically make (or buy) an awesome vegan version of anything the omnis are chowing down on!
 Just give it a look up on the ol' internet.

 Vegan versions for the win! :) 

What are you going to serve at your Superbowl 
(or anti-Superbowl) party??

Image result for eagles logo images
Yeah, uh, Eagles are probably going to get crushed. At least they went to heaven? Lol. 

P.S. The Veggie Fingers make an outstanding burrito!

Yet another incarnation (choice language, lol) of the Veggie Finger. Highly recommend.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Get in my bowl!

I'm already in my bowl, mom. I likes to mess it up, real good. Mmmmmm. Yep.

Don't mess up your bowl. 

Oatmeal Cookies (from VCIYCJ):
These once hailed from a bowl.

Gardein Meatless Balzzz with LoveYoMomma Marinara*:
*bowl required.

And from a bowl also came-eth a Pull Apart Bread from Joni's FFITVK stuffed with VF's Parsley Pesto Ricotta:

*bowl optional.

*bowl required

A bowl filled with ballz.

Bowl, uh, Whole Foods Haul**: 
So many options for your bowl!

Requisite Cat Bomb.

Put Melt in Yo Bowl:
This stuff is awesome!! Find a store that carries it here. I gotta find the Melt Buttery Sticks to bake with because I really don't like EB. Looks like I'm going to ShopRite.

What do you call cheese that's not yours...yet is in your bowl?

You guessed it: NOT-CHO CHEESE. 

(It's a vegan queso. There are tons of recipes out there for it, this was mine.). It helped the Eagles win last weekend! lol

It's not a party without offense to cats.
Bunny Dogs*** were damn good if you ask me. I ran out of yellow mustard so no cool mustard squiggles. Sorry.

Hellman's Vegan Mayo (!?!) fo yo bowl (o yo dogs):
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it at Wegmans. Can't wait to try it. And a re-up on mustard.

You might be ready to graduate to an even bigger bowl now.

I've got recipes for the Bunny Dogs, the Not-Cho Cheese, and the LoveYoMomma Marinara. LMK which one you guys wanna see first. 

If you fill your bowl all the way up, what do you get? 

You guessed it: A SUPERBOWL.

Image result for eagles

**Haul totally rhymes with bowl. Right?

***Bunny Dogs are cat-free. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Testing, testing

Testing, testing! Is there anybody out there? 

Eh? What's this? Asleep at the wheel?

That dragon fellow there is Neo.

This is Neo, too.
Neo likes sleeping. Dude, get up we got work to do!

That's better. Dragon at the ready!

Now, we've got some catching up to do. 

I've got grocery hauls, new recipes, gaming stuff and the hottest carrot hot dogs to share with the anyones or the no ones who are still out there.

Prepare yourselfs to proseedcake!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Infiltrating the Underground Blueberry Market

I'm a planner, and, more often than not, a tedious, painfully deliberate one. Each spring, my various planting and gardening areas become the target of my planning powers, and of my aspirations, hopes, dreams and wishes. I carefully consider each catalog, each variety, each seed--and I wait to see what germinates.

However, this season, my son and I quickly became obsessed with getting blueberry bushes. Once we discussed it, we decided immediately: we MUST have blueberry bushes. This past weekend, I had been researching what I thought might be some good mail order options online when...

Serendipitously, on Sunday, just prior to heading out to do some browsing at the local garden centers, and trying to sufficiently caffeinate myself from the switch to DST, I saw a Facebook post from a local enough blueberry farm with which I was vaguely familiar (in the Blueberry Capitol of the World, Hammonton, NJ!). This farm was selling $10 plants, but not just any plants: 4-foot, 3-year old, organic, non-GMO plants! In fact, they posted that they were open for business from 1-6 p.m. 

So, of course, we drove to DiMeo Farms in Hammonton, NJ to get four of the storied shrubs, hoping the deal wasn't too good to be true.

To be honest, many pieces of the process aroused suspicion. There were a lot of rules, too many steps, conflicting information that seemed...coded. Subterfuge (likely accidental) abounded. 
Thankfully, there were also a lot of blueberry bushes. 

After trying to decode the discrepancies between the open invitation to the farm posted on FB and the very specific directions to call the farm and "make an appointment" detailed on their website, I did call ahead (I tend to be overly conscientious). But, I got no answer. I decided to just leave a message saying that I saw their post on FB and to call me if there was any problem with us just showing up. 

I guess there wasn't a problem...
 We arrived at the farm and pulled in to the driveway, where we saw only a single truck (likely the farmer's own), parked near what is likely the owner's very lovely home, which was surrounded by blueberry plants. Somehow the only farmer working spotted us from across the fields and came hurrying over, and looked like he was making a cell phone call...the eagle has landed?

 This is not the farmer.

They do have a lot of blueberry bushes at DiMeo!

The farmer came over, directed us to park in a very specific space which he practically measured out with his precise gesticulations, and asked us how many plants we'd like. Then he went deep into the fields to choose them (rather than just grabbing four containers from the front) and put them in our car. He then told us "The Boss" was coming so we waited a bit, maybe five minutes. I asked the farmer if we could just pay him and be on our way and he laughed :-) Hmm. He went back to work. "The Boss" eventually came out. He was polite but guarded, and not particularly forthcoming with blueberry bush advice or interesting anecdotes. He gave us a handout on how to take care of the plants. I paid him (cash, of course, and, no receipt) and we (finally) made off with our plants. 

Score? Something...more?

Maybe I've been watching too much True Detective. Or, maybe I'm just thinking about that Bob's Burgers episode where the kids work at the "blueberry farm" for a summer. Hmm.

                                                       Here are our 4 plants, and a rainbow                                                        (No, Cohle, you are not hallucinating the rainbow.)

Apparently, I got a mix of organic Duke and Bluecrop blueberry varieties.

DiMeo has plenty of $10 blueberry plants right now, so if you are interested, give them a call to "schedule an appointment," or hit up their FB page to which they seem very responsive. 
Let me know if you need back up...

After stashing our blueberries, we took a side road to investigate this suspicious lake:


Can't decide where to plant the blueberries...I have two options, both of which have potential blueberry predators. Gonna have to choose between the pee-ers and flyers or the climbers and eaters. 

Once the blueberry issue is settled, I guess I'll have to start catchin' again.

Meantime, check out my spring planning post from last year, which includes links to past gardening adventures. 

Happy Spring!