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Archive for the ‘snacks’ Category

You guys know I’ve been a part of a Vegan Dinner Club basically since I moved to DC, right? We’ve been over this. It’s a pretty good crowd, and it’s a nice reminder that I don’t need SWEET, GLORIOUS MEATS in every meal. It’s also good to step away from my weekends, which, if I’m not passed out on my couch in front of a Chopped marathon, are usually pretty busy affairs. I think we’ve made a pretty solid argument for “food as communal event” on this blog, so I don’t need to bore you with those details.

That’s why I’m so bummed I missed tonight’s VDC. The theme was “Spreads, Schmears, and Dips,” and I had a hankerin’ for veggies and bread with STUFF on them like you wouldn’t believe. I even had a dish already made! Knock-off vegan Nutella. Sorry dudes and ladydudes, I could not share this Tupperware of what looks…. pretty gross actually.

Tragically, I had a boatload of stories that weren’t going to write themselves for work, so I had to stay home and eat this alone. It’s not as good as the real thing, but it’ll do. I modified the recipe from here.

You’ll need:

1 1/2 C hazelnuts (I would toast these if I were you, to get some oils going. I didn’t, and I regret that decision.)

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 C powdered sugar (I used way more than this, because it wasn’t sweet enough for my taste. Maybe I just haven’t had Nutella in a long time?)

1/4 C powdered cocoa (Ditto)

3-4 TBSP veggie oil (a sweet almond oil would work nicely here, I think)

2 TBSP soy milk (again, use more here for your texture of choice)

What you’ll do:

Pour the hazelnuts (which you’ve toasted like a champion) into your food processor, and process the hell out of them. If you have a powerful food processor, ALLEGEDLY they’ll become liquid. Clearly, my food processor is not that good. Add the rest of your ingredients and kind of mess around with it until you’ve got a consistency you’re cool with. Mine was kind of like peanut butter, which is good for sticking your finger into the Tupperware and eating sans other food. It’s legit, OK?

In all seriousness, I wish I could have shared this with the vegans, if only for them to tell me where I went wrong. Until then, I guess my morning smoothies are  getting hazelier.

-Lindsey

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heatwave!

Sorry I haven’t been writing. Turns out I don’t like to bake when the heat index hits about 116 or so.

The only thing I’ve been doing with my time is making these:

Yeeeeah homemade pudding pop.

You’ll need:

Pudding mix

Milk (NOTE: Soy milk will not set! Almond milk doesn’t really either!)

popsicle molds

 

Make the pudding. Pour it into the molds. Freeze. Take out and enjoy while watching House of Cosbys.

You’re welcome.

 

And, in the words of college buddy and smartest dude in the room, Chris: “Vandellas speak louder than words.”

-Lindsey

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For Fourth of July in the nation’s capital, we like to go all out. Sparklers. Fireworks. I personally sing “Rock Flag and Eagle” no less than a half-dozen times. Whatever. It’s America. I also make an American Jell-o poke cake.

This caused a lot of controversy in our group, mostly because I don’t think people understood the phrase “jell-o cake.” This is understandable if you didn’t grow up in a household where most recipes were modified from a) eastern European stink-bombs or b) the back of Kraft food packages. This one is probably the latter, but was also big in my dorm cafeteria. So easy.

You’ll need:

A box of white cake mix (seriously, it’s the Fourth of July; do you really want to be screwing around with a homemade cake? Do this one, and in forty minutes you’re in the pool. Go!)

One small (3 oz.) box of red Jell-o (I like strawberry)

1 C boiling water

1 container Cool Whip

Strawberries, blueberries (I also used white currants)

OK, so make the white cake as directed. This is the easiest part of a very easy recipe. When that thing is done, let it cool completely. When it’s done, use a fork (I used one of these guys) to poke holes in the top of your cake at random intervals. Mix the boiling water with the Jell-o and pour it over the top of your cake. Refrigerate, perhaps overnight.

Now you’re going to decorate. Take out your cake and ice it using the Cool Whip. Then, use your berries to create a stars and stripes pattern. I liked the white currants because they had a little star quality to them.

When you carry it to your barbecue, make sure you use toothpicks to keep the whipped topping and berries from getting messed up. Also, beware that this cake apparently entices older cab drivers to ask if you have a husband and would you like one. Ignore that guy! Get to the cookout and wow people with both the exterior and interior of your cake.

And don’t let youngsters hit you with snaps. No one wins when that happens, especially America.

-Lindsey

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sick snacks

Friends, I have been sick for most of 2011.

This is a sad state.

Many meals have been skipped, dinners gone uncooked, junk food replaced real food, and restaurants, oh the restaurants. My pocketbook weeps.

But when you have a fever of 102, Indian delivery is just too, too easy.

Especially when they bring you a little dish of coconut ice cream.

Today, I woke up sick – again – and spent most of the day trying to figure out if I am starving or nauseous.

So I needed a good sick snack.

Essential #1: A Cold, Tasty Drink

When I was a child, the drink was Snapple Iced Tea in giant glass bottles.

For Michiganders, the drink was, resoundingly, Vernors.

Most people I met in Michigan REQUIRED this sweet, golden-y ginger-ale when sick –

I have a Boston friend who keeps a reserve of Vernors in her apartment, ferried from her hometown of Grosse Pointe –

but cannot stomach it when they are well.

I wasn’t so picky.

Today, I was happy to see that I had a grapefruit Izze in the work fridge.

Essential #2: A Tasteless Cracker

I don’t know what brand of cracker I picked up from Whole Foods,

but it looks and tastes pretty much like drywall.

Eh.

I’m sick.

Essential #3: Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Okay, this is more of an everyday essential.

Delicious cheese heals the soul.

I don’t even want to think about dinner.

Last Monday, I made my boyfriend microwave himself a veggie burger and I ate a bowl of pesto and noodles at 9:30.

Feeding myself fail.

Here’s to hoping that Spring brings me better health!


 

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My Grandma W makes some of the best Christmas cookies in the business. Nary a year went by without the full menu of Christmas cookies: sugar cookies (obviously; my sister and I went nuts trying to help her with these), snow balls, pecan cuplets, pecan sandies, jelly thumbprints, etc., etc., etc., until the whole house was cookie-filled and we stashed boxes and boxes of ’em in the chilly vestibule.

My mom’s favorite when I was growing up was a staple in both Grandmas’ houses: Cat turds. Yeah, we eat cookies called CAT TURDS. This is why: when done right, they’re kind of log-shaped, and then you roll them in coconut, sooooo…… you get the picture. The best part about the name is it grosses out the kiddos, so you can keep these in full view but have adult dibs on them.

You’ll need:

1 C chopped dates

1 C brown sugar

1/2 C butter, melted

1 C chopped nuts (I used walnuts; pecans work really well too)

1 egg, beaten

Combine all these in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Make sure the bottom of your pan is good and buttery otherwise you’re going to scorch it. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in 1 tsp vanilla and 2-3 C Rice Krispies. Take off heat.

Shape this goo into turd-shaped logs (balls also work) and roll in coconut. Let cool on a wire rack.

Now, I might feel like Cookie Monster this year, because my sister and I will both be home, and she’s vegan, so all of the old standards are off-limits. SUCKS TO BE HER. But, I found a vegan cookie recipe in the Washington Post that I’m a big fan of, so I’ll probably try to make these while she’s home so I’m not the only one hoovering treats.

You’ll need:

1 C fake butter, like Earth Balance

3/4 C evaporated cane sugar (don’t beat yourself up if you can’t find this. Straight up sugar works just fine)

1 tsp vanilla extract

A little lemon zest

1/4 almond milk (soy probably works OK, too)

1/3 C roasted, unsalted pistachios, chopped (you’re allowed to go overboard on this)

2 tsp ground cardamom (I found this was too much; it was like putting a tea bag directly in your mouth. I cut it by a teaspoon and added some chopped crystalized ginger)

Combine the fake butter and sugar in a bowl and beat for 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and beat again.

By hand, stir in the almond milk, lemon zest and pistachios. Then add sifted flour and cardamom (and ginger if you threw that in too). You should have a soft dough – but you might need to add a touch more fake milk. Work gently until you have a dough ball, then refrigerate that puppy for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350. Make little balls of dough and flatten them a bit, then cook ’em up for about 13 minutes or until they’re getting golden on the bottom.

Merry Christmas! Hope Santa likes these under your tree tonight.

-Lindsey

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absentee

Dear Food Blog,

I have not forgotten about you! It has been a month since I posted anything here, but it has not been a month since I have eaten anything or cooked anything. And as long as I am eating and cooking and occasionally snapping pictures, I thinking about you!

I promise!

I just have trouble with the “getting pictures off my camera” and “writing about cooking and eating” part.

But I will make amends.

Eventually.

Not right now, thought. All I have to eat right now is

an apple

and

an Odwalla bar

Yum, I know.

I’ll be back, though.

Sincerely yours,

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anyone can cook.

This weekend, I was puttering around my kitchen, avoiding the 115 DEGREE HEAT INDEX outside. The only time I ventured out was to hit the farmers market at the corner – I got some peaches, some collard greens (I love greens) and a bunch of basil.

I was making some sort of simple pasta thingie, no big deal, and I confess that I did not clean up after myself right away. After my lunch, I cut up a peach on the same cutting board I used for the basil. Lo and behold! Basil-peach is a glorious flavor combination! Greatest joy of my afternoon.

When I recounted my little discovery to my mom, she told me, “You sound like Remy!” As in the adorable rat from Ratatouille.

She was right!

The point of Ratatouille, or at least one of them, is the idea that “Anyone can cook.” I’ve got friends who think that’s baloney (bologna?), but I’m 100 percent behind it. If being lazy on my clean-up led to a tasty dessert discovery, who’s to say we can’t all discover something new in our meals every day?

Of course, being adorable and ready to try anything doesn’t hurt, either.

Little dude, big flavors. Art from Pixar.

-Lindsey

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