Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chickpea Tacos

If the saying "you are what you eat" is true, I'd be a chickpea. With a smear of peanut butter for my hair. I add chickpeas to everything possible. When I found this recipe on the Peas and Thank You website, I knew I had to make them! The chickpeas achieved more of a chewy texture than crunchy, but I still devoured them. And my local Whole Foods finally carries Daiya Pepperjack shreds. NOMNOMNOM! Super simple and tasty, these are great for busy week nights!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tofu Ricotta Gnocchi

I'd never made or eaten gnocchi before, but I was excited to try Mama Pea's version. It seemed like a fairly easy task, but I quickly realized I had been fooled.

The ricotta was really moist and sticky and generally difficult to work with, despite my efforts. I managed to wrangle it into something that resembled what I thought it should look like.

The end result was okay. The gnocchi was kind of heavy and dense. I don't know if that's the nature of gnocchi, or if I just failed epically.

I made Mama Pea's homemade tomato sauce, too. It was the bomb!

My faithful crumb catcher says hello!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blueberry Scones

Good morning! Or afternoon, really. I'm happy to report that we survived Hurricane Irene unscathed. It rained for about 15 hours, and the wind is still whipping around outside, but we made it out okay. We didn't lose power, for which I'm incredibly grateful. My basement suffered some flooding, but we were able to keep it under control with a never-ending cycle of rotating towels. I felt like I had a baby or something, waking up around the clock to monitor the situation. And despite my concerns about Dakota peeing inside the house, because she refused to go outside from 8PM until 4AM, her bladder of steel once again amazed me with its incredible strength. To those on the East Coast - I hope you are equally fortunate and stayed/are staying dry, warm, and safe. 

Moving on.

Last winter, I found a fabulous recipe for blueberry scones. One that I thought would make me never look at another scone again. But then I met Peas and Thank You, and it was love at first bite. When I saw a recipe in the book for blueberry scones, I knew I had to give them a try.

Sifting the dry ingredients. I'm a compulsive sifter. I sift everything.

Making the icing!

Ready to go in the oven!

And they were so yummy. So yummy, they may or may not have surpassed my previous recipe in terms of favoritism. Sorry, blueberry scones of last year.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, DJ!

You can thank Irene for your two posts in one day. I've watched more 30 Rock today than I have in the past week. I baked scones, made tacos, cleaned the kitchen. I've entertained my dog. I've napped. I caught up on Jersey Shore. I'm also on damage control, as my basement is flooding. 

Anyway. Last weekend, we had a party for our friend DJ's birthday. I made a batch of vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting. Nothing too fancy, but the icing came out perfectly. PERFECTLY. Party time, excellent.

Birthday Boy!


Our friend's pit/bull dog mix puppy. I'm in love!

Party animal.

Happy Birthday, DJ!

When life hands you a giant watermelon...

Can you tell I went back to work this week? Cue the saddest music you can think of. Let's be honest: this week kicked my ass. Despite taking classes and babysitting part-time, summer was great: I got lots of sleep, I was able to do fun things like read and bake and hang out with friends, I felt energized enough to go to the gym regularly. All of that has dramatically changed in the last week. Womp, womp. And that earthquake? It really rattled my nerves for a few days (I've got issues with natural disasters/things of that magnitude that are out of my control).

Thank god it's the weekend. One week of work has re-established how much I appreciate days of the week that start with "S." The only thing that would improve my weekend is if Irene would step off. I think one natural disaster a week is sufficient?

During my last week of summer, I inherited the world's largest watermelon. Check it out:

It came from my step-mom's dad's (my step-grandfather?) farm. I was visiting my daddy, and he told me I could take the watermelon on the porch. I'm not sure if he was being funny or being nice when he said that, because when I saw the watermelon, my jaw hit the ground. When I tried to get it in my car, my back broke.

Not really. But almost.

When I lugged this bad boy in the house, the obvious question was, "What the hell am I going to do with this 30 pound watermelon?" I spent some time searching Google for easy stuff to do with ginormous watermelons. This is what I ended up with.

watermelon-banana popsicles; cut watermelon for smoothies

These were really yummy and I ended up throwing these
in my green smoothies in the mornings! So good!

Sorbet! Delicious!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Peas and Thank You

So by this point, a blind man could see that I am in love with Peas and Thank You. I cannot say enough good things about the wonderful recipeas Mama Pea has compiled into this book. The recipes are delicious, nutritious, and easy to put together. Even as a single gal without a family to take care of, my time is limited. I'm a busy grad student trying to balance work, school, and play. I don't want to spend hours in the kitchen, laboring over a meal, and with Peas and Thank You, I don't have to. I can eat yummy, wholesome meals (and scrumptious snacks, too!) in 30 minutes or less. I've definitely sampled some recipes from other books that have a quick prep time, but leaves me wanting more in terms of flavor. That is absolutely not the case with Mama Pea's recipeas.

In addition to the wonderful recipes, Mama Pea share funny anecdotes and adorable pictures of her precious peas. Her writing style and sense of humor draw you in from the first page - I pretty much read through the cookbook like you'd read a novel. Have you ever wanted to read a cookbook? I sure as hell haven't. The pictures and stories add a personal touch that engages her readers and endears her to them.

If you haven't bought this book yet, go do it! If you're hesitant (though you shouldn't be - I'd never lead you astray!), you can go here and preview the book and five recipeas. How cool is that?

So get check it out and give peas a chance!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Soft Pretzels

During the spring of and the summer following my senior year, I worked at Camden Yards. As a pretzel maker. It was a decent job. Despite the terrible middle management, the sometimes rude customers (no beer after the seventh inning means no beer after the seventh inning. Damn!), and the weird oompa-loompa looking twins, I got to work with my friends, listen to Ol' Blue Eyes on Sundays, and eat all the soft pretzels I wanted.

When I left that job, I never in a million years imagine I'd ever use my superb pretzel-rolling skills again. Then I fell in love with Peas and Thank You, and what to my wondering eyes should appear?

A recipe for soft pretzels!

This process was considerably more involved than that utilized during my Uncle Teddy's days, but it's undoubtedly for the best. I can't imagine pretzels made from questionable, pre-packaged bags of flour, doused in butter and salt can really be that great for one's health...

Little baby dough...

Rolled out after rising.


Mammoth pretzels. 

These were so good! I'd go so far as to say... a homerun. /end cheesy baseball jokes. Soft pretzels have always been one of my favorite snacks, especially at baseball games, carnivals, amusement parks, wherever you might find them! 

What is your favorite baseball game snack?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Curry in a Hurry

Some nights, I'm in a hurry when it comes to making dinner. I have to squeeze in walking the dog, going to the gym, dinner, clean-up, maybe some errands or housework (or both on my super lucky nights). And if it's a Monday or Tuesday night, everything had better be done by 8PM and 10PM, respectively, so as to not interfere with my ABC Family night or Teen Mom.

I wish I were kidding. 

So when I came across Curry in a Hurry in Peas and Thank You, I'm pretty sure Mama Pea made this with me in mind. 

This, like everything I've tried so far, was so quick to put together, and that's really important to me. Luckily, summer is a bit lazier than September through June, and so I have more time. But school starts next week and I'll be taking two classes - I'm not going to have tons of time to labor over cooking and I'm always looking for recipes to add to my "Quick Meals for My Insanely Busy Week" repertoire. This is my most recent addition, and for that, I thank Mama Pea.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dough Balls

I recently discovered Love Veggies and Yoga and I'm kind of in love with Averie's blog. She shares photos of her adorable daughter and the recipes are great! Averie and I share a love of desserts, and she posts some amazing looking food. She has shared a whole potpourri of dough balls. I've tried two so far, and they're both delicious! I can't wait to try more. And not only are they delicious, but they are ready in literally five minutes. Five minutes of work for all this yummy delectableness? Yes, please!

I first tried the High-Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls. The dough was a bit sticky, so I stuck it in the fridge for a few minutes and that firmed it up.


Last night I made her No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Balls. I used a teaspoon to measure out the balls and that method yielded smaller balls but a larger quantity.

These might be my new, mood-stabilizing medicine every 28 days. Yeah, that's right. I'm looking at you, PMS.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Teriyaki Tofu

Excuse this terrible picture. My train of thought was something like "OMGTAKETHISPICTUREI'MSTARVING!"

For dinner one day this week, I made Teriyaki Tofu from Peas and Thank You. And while eating this meal, I realized tofu and I have come a long way. We've gone from frigid enemies to slightly less Arctic acquaintances to friends. 

Pressing the tofu.

And marinating it! The sauce is so yummy!

This meal, like most everything else from the book, came together so quickly and easily. And it was so yummy, I wanted to lick the bowl.

Would Mama Pea approve?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cheezy Pasta & Veggies

I bring you another recipe developed by Angela at Oh She Glows. This is such a yummy recipe, and it's SO unbelievably easy. Ease of preparation and clean-up plays a huge role in how often I'll make a meal - the quicker the prep and clean-up, the more likely I am to make it. And her cheezy sauce? So. Good. My favorite cheeze sauce so far. Another bonus? It tasted just as good as leftovers.

If you give this a try, let me know how you liked it and what veggies you used!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

Growing up, my brother and I could pick a fight over just about anything - who rode shotgun, who could call the other the most obnoxious name, what we watched on TV. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could incite a riot like who got the middle cinnamon roll. It was as if the middle roll had magical powers, making it softer and sweeter and more cinnamon-y, and hell if we were going to let someone butt-in in the Middle Cinnamon Roll Eater rotation.

Since going vegan, I haven't had a cinnamon roll. And it wasn't until last week that I realized it's been a long, three-and-a-half-year cinnamon roll-less journey. I sought to rectify this situation immediately. The vegan gods were obviously looking out, because I went to Border's on that same day (RIP, you will be missed!) and found Peas and Thank You. I'd actually forgotten I wanted to check out that book, and when I saw it, it was like the heavens opened up, that heavenly glow encircled the book, and the angels sang. And what did I find in the pages of this book?

A recipe for cinnamon rolls. JACKPOT. It was in that instant that I knew Peas and Thank You and I were meant to be. 

It was a little intimidating because I've never baked with yeast before, but I came out unscathed and with a delicious, Omni-Mom approved pan of cinnamon rolls. 

And I didn't have to fight anyone for the middle. 

Scary, rising dough.

All rolled out, a surprisingly easy feat.

Cinnamon filling. The recipe actually calls for blackberries 
in the filling, but I wanted pure, unadulterated cinnamon-y goodness.

My sweet log. No pun intended, and I'm refraining from
making any inappropriate innuendos.

The AMAZING icing, but I won't divulge the secret ingredient.
You'll have to buy the book for that.
But I promise, it's really creamy and yummy without being sickeningly sweet.


My drizzling skills leave something to be desired...

Admittedly, the centers were a bit doughy, despite baking them for a minute more than the recommended time. The cinnamon and whole wheat used make it difficult to tell when the dough is browned (or maybe I'm just an idiot), so this is kind a "live and learn" experience. Lesson learned: bake for another minute or two. And lucky you, this recipe is available on the Peas and Thank You blog!