Happy 2011 (and a waffle sandwich)

My dearest readers, it is almost 2011. Can you believe it? I certainly can’t.

This year has been crazy. It’s been rough at times and some of the best things ever have happened as well.

I really can’t wait for 2011. I can’t wait for our wedding and all the new experiences we will have.

On the last day of the year we celebrated by rearranging our whole apartment. I’m rather happy about it.

And we made waffle sandwiches.

new waffle iron

We received a fancy little waffle maker for Christmas. It had to get broken in immediately.

makin waffles

So we had waffles for breakfast. We made the Chelsea Waffles from Vegan Brunch and of course there were more than we could eat so we saved a few for later.

After we were hungry from moving all our furniture, I grilled up some apple field roast sausage and some slabs of tofu. Shawn made an amazing cheezy sauce. We piled it all together and devoured it. Definitely amazing. Delicious and amazing.

Tonight I’m looking forward to celebrating with some dear friends. My resolution this year is to be more magical. I think that’s what my life needs.

Happy New Year!


vegan hot wings

Hello my dears. Happy December! With all the holiday advertising I feel like December has been here for weeks. Needless to say, while it’s chilly in Los Angeles, our city doesn’t quite have that winter wonderland feel. I guess I need to get with the program and put up some holiday decorations.

So let’s begin this lovely month with hot wings, shall we? Let’s also pretend I didn’t have these for dinner because they aren’t exactly dinner fare. You know, I was never even interested in hot wings, but ever since we went to Portland and I had some at the Mash Tun, I’ve been secretly dreaming about tempeh hot wings. I was going to make some over the holiday weekend but we were too stuffed to eat them.

vegan hot wings

I used this great recipe from Vegan Dad for the breading and sauce (although I used some bread crumbs as well as the corn flakes since I didn’t have enough). Instead of making seitan, I just coated some pieces of tempeh and tofu. The whole process of double coating the pieces with the “buttermilk” mixture is genius. So many times I have breaded something only to have it get cakey or fall off all together. Of course, with the tofu pieces you have to make sure they’re pressed and there isn’t extra liquid, or the breading still won’t stick.

I whipped up some dill dip to go along with them, with just some tofutti sour cream and a seasoning packet. I think next time I’d rather go with a homemade tofu ranch dip, something a little less flavorful even, just to cut the heat of the sauce, but not overpower the spiciness. Needless to say, these guys were awesome; spicy and flavorful. They definitely fall under the category of “just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy” but pay no attention to that. (On the other hand, you can tell the non-vegan naysayers the tempeh is a great source of protein.) They make a great snack or appetizer and would be perfect for a party.

Ok, now I think I’ll get to my decorating. Where are those darn Christmas lights?

Mushroom & garlic tofu ravioli

It’s official. Making ravioli makes me feel like a real cook. A chef even! I’ve made pies and crepes and hundreds of cupcakes, but this did it. Ok, so I did make one mistake in the process which made the end result not as pretty as I would have liked, but they still tasted amazing.

I started out using this homemade pasta recipe. I got a little excited at the market and got a few different flours so I’m going to try a semolina flour version as well. For the filling, I sauteed some chopped baby bella mushrooms in olive oil and some white wine, with just some salt and pepper and a touch of basil.

I wanted to add some tofu ricotta, but I realized I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients. Then I got a little carried away with the minced garlic (as usual). So it’s more like garlic tofu ricotta. That is not at all a bad thing.

Garlic Tofu Ricotta

7 oz firm tofu (about half a container) drained and crumbled

3 cloves minced garlic

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp tahini

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp basil

1/4 tsp onion powder

Put all ingredients in a bowl and combine using a fork.

After rolling out two sheets of the pasta dough, spoon on a little of both the mushrooms and tofu, trying to stay in a grid pattern as much as possible. Cover with the second sheet and seal in the filling with your fingers, starting in the middle as to not make air pockets. Cut each square with a pie cutter or sharp knife.

Cook in a medium pot of boiling water for approximately three minutes, being careful not to split any holes in them. Definitely don’t put them in a bowl before you put them in a pot and let them get all stuck together. Who would do something like that? Definitely not me! I’m a pro! Oh wait….

Breakfast of champions

Although I’m partial to making desserts, my other specialty is breakfast. This is the a sort of benedict-like tofu dish, but mostly just in looks. English muffins topped with seasoned, grilled tofu and tomatoes. Instead of hollandaise sauce, they’re covered in a creamy polenta cooked with onions and lots of garlic. I’m still going to have to experiment with some vegan hollandaise recipes but this was delicious in a whole different way.