Monday, February 18, 2008

Cracking New Cookbooks

Like many of you who have a serious addiction to cookbooks, I have so many that they tend to get neglected every once in awhile (okay, lots). So last week I made it my goal to actually use two cookbooks that I haven't made a thing out of. The first is Vegan Vittles, which I got for xmas from my sis. I've had several things bookmarked, but hadn't followed through on any. Since I am also trying to get better about using what's already in my pantry, I chose the Moroccan Millet since I had a jar of millet that had been sitting unused for quite awhile. While millet isn'tmy favorite grain, this was a satisfying dish... my favorite part being the pine nuts and chopped dates mixed in, so don't skimp on those!

Next up is the new cookbook Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, which has been getting quite a bit of press lately. I got this book for my mom and sis for xmas and couldn't help but sneak myself a copy as well. Not sure how in the world I landed on the "meatloaf" as my first choice, since I hated it as a child, but I'm glad I did. This was my first time trying the Gimme Lean ground round, and overall I was pleased. This was moist and flavorful, and I found myself saving the hardened edge bits for my final, savored bites. I added some ketchup on the top before I baked it since I had remember seeing others do this as well. Another first for me that night, roasted purple potatoes! We don't often eat potatoes in this household, but these were a treat.
And going back a few weeks, it was my turn to bring breakfast into work for my colleagues. Most of the time we get store bought muffins, or donuts, or breakfast burritos. So I went for homemade treats and made the strawberry love muffind from My Sweet Vegan and the lemon poppyseed muffins from VWAV. I also made a big fruit salad (all seasonal.. apples, pears, oranges, banana) and brought some soy yogurt with hemp granola. I gave the new So Delicious yogurts a try... while I liked the flavor, the texture was a bit off for me. Has anyone else tried them? I try not to eat yogurt that often because of the plastic containers that can't be recycled around here. Anyone know a good craft to use them for? I've got a bunch saved up that I just can't bear to throw away....
This past weekend some friends decided last minute to get together for munchies before going out on the town. Having lots of leftover frosting inthe freezer from my last decorating class, I made cupcakes in a mad rush. Please note these were decorated in 20 minutes.... so please don't judge me!! I did do a special pink ribbon cupcake for a good friend whose sister-in-law is currently battling breast cancer. And finally on Sunday night we had our townhome association yearly meeting (John was elected president! ha ha), which called for some baked treats to make it through the meeting (they bore me to tears). I know I saw someone make these just recently and I'm sorry for not remembering who! These are the jam print cookies from ED&BV made with strawberry jam and whole wheat flour instead of barley flour. I'm usually not too excited over any cookie that doesn't have either peanut butter or chocolate, but these made me happy.


In other news, our local Society of PEACE group hosted a lunch for Jon Camp of Vegan Outreach where he talked with us about leafleting techniques. It was a very informative and motivating talk. He was also featured today on the Go Vegan Texas radio show. That's right.... there is a vegan radio show based here in Houston (aren't you jealous?)!! It airs on Mondays at 10am CST and there are archives online you can listen to. I really encourage everyone to listen in and support vegan radio (they are having their pledge drive the next two weeks)!
Okay, I've got more to share before I leave for a quick ski trip to Colorado on Thursday, but I like to keep my posts short and this is already too long!

30 comments:

Romina said...

Gosh, you got a lot of cookbooks! They're so exciting. There's nothing better than cracking open a new book to reveal new creations.

I really want to try those jam print cookies. I too am a huge fan of cookies involving either chocolate or peanut butter, and rarely venture into new things... but those just look too good to pass up!

To answer your question on my blog, I don't eat soy because I generally don't like the taste of tofu or soy milk, and isolated soy protein is one of the worst things a person can eat. It's highly processed and offers only protein, which most people get far too much of and don't realize how it is damaging their bodies. I don't avoid all soy, I do occasionally use soy sauce (shoyu). But since reading all the negative things about unfermented soy, I don't want to take my chances.

BitterSweet said...

Millet is wonderful! The restaurant that I work/ed at makes the most incredible millet pilaf... Next time I go, I need to memorize that recipe. ;)

As for the yogurt cup, they're great to put into the bottom of a knit cupcake, for one thing! http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/2006/04/12/happy-crafting-to-you/

Leigh said...

I really like the So Delicious yogurts myself. I find the texture to be more custard-like than other soy yogurts. And the cinnamon bun flavor is crazy good.

meg said...

Your cupcakes look awesome! I love the one with the green and brown stripes. Reading the posts about your decorating class really makes me want to take one. My cakes always look like a three year old frosted them!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Woah, a vegan radio show in Texas?! That's almost as crazy as the fact that the Vegnews #1 vegan restaurant is in a Texas town known for its slaughterhouses! Thank goodness Texas is changing for the better!

I love the cupcakes, and the addition of the pink ribbon was really sweet of you.

You've reminded me that I haven't had vegan meatloaf in too long a time. I'll have to make some soon; maybe this weekend.

Enjoy your ski trip! Colorado skiing is awesome (what part are you going to?).

aTxVegn said...

I tried to catch the radio show when I was Galveston, but missed it.

All your treats look so good and the cupcakes are decorated nicely! I can't wait for my copy of MSV to arrive.

The loaf looks good too, but I think I like the bean/rice loaves better. Aren't the purple potatoes fun?!?!

Don't break a leg...

Traci Anne said...

I'd love to hear more about Skinny Bitch in the Kitch! I'm on the fence about it - I don't know anyone else who has it though!

kindkitchen said...

Wow-you've had lots going on lately as far as events go! Your "bad" day of cupcake decorating would be an excellent day for me :)

Have fun in CO and come back with lots of pics!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

I just tried the So Delicious yogurt today in Cinnamon Bun. It was alright, seemed really thick! I don't think I'll buy it again. We have peach in the fridge as well. I use the containers for tiny leftover portions, especially for sauces. I also save them for potlucks, when people want to take small amounts of dishes home!

VeggieGirl said...

wow, great cookbook reviews! "Skinny Bitch in the Kitch" definitely sounds worth it, as does Vegan Vittles - sorry about the soy-yogurt! I definitely recommend the WholeSoy brand.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I so wish I could attend of your potluck events! The food you make/bring is always impeccable-looking!!

Brandie said...

Ohhh I have that problem with my cookbooks too... I look at them sometimes and think, hm.. I should get into those... Like, my mom got me the "Uncheese Cookbook" and "Table for Two" and I've only opened one of them once! I'll try to be better :)0 How do you have so much time to cook and experiment!?! Man I need to take more time to read blogs.. how do you keep up!?! :) Thanks for reading mine by the way.. I'm new at it and it's nice to know people look!! :) Have a great week!!

jason said...

hey, here is the site i was talking about where i made the extra cash, I was making about $900 extra a month...
check it out ..

Anke said...

this is funny, just the other day I had purple potatoes for the first time and I absolutely loved them. their taste is exquisite and their color is just amazing.

nice post with good pictures :-)

vegetalion said...

I make jam print cookies from a post punk kitchen recipe and feel the same way - how is it possible that I love them so much without chocolate or peanut butter? but I DO! They're actually my fave cookies to make!

Anonymous said...

All of that food looks wonderful! I'd especially love to try that meatloaf recipe. May I ask why you don't eat potatoes in the house?

pleasantly plump vegan said...

wow! impressive bunch of food! i finally ordered myself Sweet Vegan, so i cannot wait to crack that baby open. i think yr cupcakes look beautiful!!!

the little one said...

Ah, that Texas. You can't recycle yogurt cups but you have a vegan radio show. I love that things are always more complicated than people assume.

Vegyogini said...

Your co-workers are so lucky to have you looking after their health and their tummies! I, too, am quite guilty of neglecting cookbooks (blush), although I do read them quite a bit even if I'm not actually cooking from them.

julie hasson said...

I know what you mean about needing to cook from books more. I've got a lot and really should be trying more recipes from them. It's fun to see the recipes you've tried. Maybe we should all do a cookbook challenge next month.

Have a great trip!

Mihl said...

I am a cookbook addict as well and what is worse, I am a book addict! But it's a good kind of addiction:)

Everything looks really mouthwatering especially the cookies!

Cakespy said...

Lucky you, lady. I am always so psyched to see Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World--in a strange twist of fate, the photographer for the book is a woman I used to work for! When I got that book as a wedding present I was so surprised to see her name. And those cookies, and the millet...when has millet (usually it reminds me of bird food!) looked so delicious!?

Have fun in Colorado!

Animal-Friendly said...

I completely understand neglecting cookbooks. I fear I do it far too much and have to make a conscious effort to make several recipes a week. Such a shame since there's soooo many great recipes I've been meaning to try.

I'm really interested in what you have to say about "Skinny Bitch in the Kitch" since I just read "Skinny Bitch" last month and have been meaning to get the cookbook now. That meatloaf looks so good I may just have to go get it this weekend!

b36Kitchen said...

i'm guilty of neglecting cookbooks as well. your post inspired me to crack them open and try at least one recipe from each.

Ashasarala said...

My cousin is making meatloaf for a little party of mine this coming weekend (you'll hear all about it soon!) and I wonder if it's the same recipe. It looks really good. I found it online, but it, too, uses Gimme Lean as a main ingredient. So maybe it was copied from 'Bitch in the Kitch'. I really love that title, too. Hehe

The cupcakes look so cute and decorative. Especially for 20 minutes. I don't think I could do that good of a job in 20 hours. Me and tips just don't seem to get along!

Ashasarala said...

I keep leaving things out! I meant to say that the So Delicious yogurts are pretty nasty. They are grainy and weird. I prefer 'Whole Soy & Co'.

jd said...

I'm seriously impressed with that millet dish! I actually LOVE millet, but often have a hard time finding recipes that incorporate it.

Those strawberry jam cookies look so yummy, too! I've been dying to try them ever since I saw the recipe in ED&BV. Now I know I have to whip some up! Maybe this weekend...

springsandwells said...

I made those jam cookies recently & I loved them! I have a special place in my heart for jam cookies. I'm glad you liked them.

Isn't it fun busting into cookbooks? I just got a new one tonight!!!

so many recipes, so little time.

;)

Ruby Red Vegan said...

Yay! I was wanting to hear what you brought to your work breakfast! You picked a great variety, and I bet the homemade muffins went over well. They look delicious! I haven't seen the So Delicious yogurt in stores yet, but I realllllly want to try the Cinnamon Bun flavor.

Your cupcakes are cute. You've been treating so many people lately! Have a fun ski trip - you deserve it!

textual bulldog said...

So many good things in this post... you are inspiring me to get out my own underused cookbooks and make something special. I'm a total cookbook hoarder too, so there's quite a few that would currently qualify as neglected... ;) But first I want to make everything you made in this post. Yum!

Lily Girl said...

I recently saw a suggestion in Real Simple to use empty yogurt containers to jump-start your garden indoors before the last frost.