Homemade Tzatziki!

I’m taking a break from veganism in preparation for an upcoming trip to Spain, and one of the things I was most excited to eat again during my hiatus was tzatziki. The classic garlicky yogurt dip is one of my favourite Greek foods, and today I took my first crack at making it at home. Resounding success! Here, have a shitty Photo Booth picture to illustrate!

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Posted in Appetizers, Dips and spreads, Sauces, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

smash smush crush

GARLIC.  I love it.

sometimes  I have cravings – like my recent craving for garlic homefries from Mary’s Place in Halifax.  obviously I can’t hop a plane just to eat some potatoes, so I decided to attempt that wonderful garlic sauce on my own.

you will need!
a head of garlic
some vegetable oil (~1/4 cup)
a splash of lemon juice
a pinch of salt
possibly a bit of mayo
a mortar and pestle – alternatively the internet says that blenders can also work, but ours makes a strange rattling sound and we don’t have an immersion one.

peel all the cloves of garlic and such forth.  smash them up with some salt until they are lovely paste.  (horrible action TV may help with this process if you are smashing by hand like me.)

slowly add oil, a bit at a time, then also add some lemon juice.  I also threw some mayo in for fun.

put it on something.

note: this turned out tasting like an attack by the garlic monster.  which is yummy.  but next time I may try to mellow it out a bit by finding milder garlic, or roasting half of it beforehand.

second note: one of the recipes I looked at recommended not making this on a first date.  I disagree.  make it on a first date, as a test of character/compatibility.*  a shared love of garlic is very important to a relationship.

—–
*dating advice from me should in no way be construed to be a good idea. very few people like raw garlic as much as I do.

Posted in Sauces, Vegan (and vegan-able), Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bageled!

A couple of weeks ago my friend Dave suggested we make bagels. I have to admit, I was scared. My experiences with yeast have all ended in failure unless I was working under the supervision of my lovely sister. But Dave insisted that he had successfully made bagels and I could too, and with such encouragement I was happy to try.

It took a while. We made some mistakes. Ok, we made a lot of mistakes. But soon, we had created a baker’s dozen of beautiful, BIG bagels. Except one ugly, wrinkly, misshaped mistake of a bagel, which we immediately rejected and disowned (never have a I felt so much loathing for a baked good), and which finally found  sanctuary in Elliott’s tummy.

So, slightly adapted from several different recipes, I give you my bagel recipe:

Ingredients:

4 cups flour

1 tbsp sugar

3 tsp salt

1 tbsp oil

30 g/ 1 oz yeast (not instant). This is about 3 packages.

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups warm water

Steps:

Add yeast and sugar to 1/2 cup warm water and allow to dissolve. Put rest of water aside.

Mix together flour and salt in large bowl. Add yeast mixture and olive oil and mix to form dough. If it is too dry, add the rest of the water (but carefully, don’t pour in 3 cups of water right off the bat and then have to add a billion more cups of flour like some people I was baking with).

Once it has the consistency of a nice dough, dump onto floured surface and knead for about 15 minutes. It’s nice to have a buddy for this part as it is tough on the arms (but think: you have to work out before you eat all those bagels). Divide into 8 or so equally sized balls (smaller than you think, they are going to grow!!!). Let lumps of dough rest for 10 to 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 220 C, 425 F.

Meanwhile, listen to some music. Read a book. Do homework. Watch an episode of Community.

When dough has hung out for a bit, roll out lumps individually into snakes and wrap it around your dominant rolling hand, as one of the recipes said. I had no idea I had a dominant rolling hand. Weird. When it is a circle around your hand, squish together the ends. The first ones will look funny, but you’ll get the hang of it. When all your circles are ready, let sit in a warm place (like on top of the preheating oven) for 20 more minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a big pot of water to boil (with salt) and grease a baking sheet. When the pot is boiling and the bagels have grown and look all puffy, throw a couple in the pot. They should float comfortably at the top. Boil them for a minute, turn them over and boil for one more minute on the other side. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to pull them out and lay them on the baking sheet. Add some salt to the top, and if you like sprinkle on some seeds. We added lots and lots of poppy seeds, which was delicious but messy.

When all the bagels are boiled, place them all on the baking sheet and throw them in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for 10 more. But if you have added a topping, you don’t have to flip them and loose all your seeds. You can easily bake them about 20 minutes on the same side, until they look bagel coloured and yummy.

Now is the time to eat them. Go ahead, do it.

Things you could add to these bagels: poppy seeds, sesame seeds, blueberries, cinnamon and raisins, chocolate chips, herbs and spices, garlic, cheese, etc.

Posted in All the time forever, Breads, Breakfast & Brunch, Lunch & Dinner, Snack, Vegan (and vegan-able), Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Ice Coffee

Summer is here! Kind of…I think. Haven’t actually seen the sun recently, but the temperature is rising and I thought it was time to find a new summer drink. So, I searched around until I found this crazy easy recipe for ice coffee. And then I made it. And then I drank it while watching the scary episode of Doctor Who with the cat people (they are so damn creepy), and now I am pretty jittery. So I share it with you!

Mix 1/3 cup coffee grounds with 1 1/2 cups water. (I wasn’t sure whether it should be hot water or not, so I used boiling water and it worked fine, but it might work just as well with cold water.)

Cover and let sit overnight or about 12 hours (I mixed it in a french press cause it seemed appropriate, but a jar or something equally coverable would be good)

Strain through fine meshed sieve 2 or 3 times to eliminate unwanted grains.

Mix equal parts of this coffee concentrate with water and serve over ice, with or without milk.

I’m excited to experiment with this recipe, perhaps make ice mochas or ice chai lattes. Any new way to insert caffeine into my system is welcome.

Posted in Breakfast & Brunch, Drinks, Snack, Vegan (and vegan-able), Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

fiddleheads!

Fiddleheads
not my photo, in case that wasn’t obvious. click for photographer’s flickr page.

spring means time for delicious and fleeting vegetables. (i’m still impatiently excited for pea tendrils.)
fiddleheads literally make me jump and squeak with joy. in public. why my mother takes me shopping, i do not know.
they do well cooked very simply. fannie farmer tiemz!

wash fresh fiddleheads, drain them, and rub off their wooly skins. if you are using frozen fiddleheads, let them defrost partially. [do not effing use frozen ones, that defeats the point imo.] melt a tablespoon or two of butter in 1/2 in of boiling water in a skillet, lay the fiddleheads flat in the pan, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes. season to taste with salt and pepper.

Posted in All the time forever, Side dishes, Vegan (and vegan-able), Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“do you think if i murdered jack in her sleep we could take all the leftover chili?”

Vegan chili good enough to make your roommates contemplate homicide: all it takes is one pot, some veggies and beans, and a simple spice blend. So yummy and filling, and makes enough to feed you for a week. Oh, sweet potatoes, so many ways do I love thee!
yum!

Posted in Lunch & Dinner, Meals, Soups & Stews, Vegan (and vegan-able), Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

scrumptious samosas

If I could only eat one country’s cuisine for the rest of my life, it would probably be India’s (albeit with some weeping and gnashing of teeth for the loss of Greece, Mexico, and Japan). Of course, there are too many regional styles of food to list, and the versions I make myself are certainly bastardized to the max, but I like to think there’s still some smidgen of validity to my use of garam masala, coriander, cumin, and the like. Tonight I decided to try making homemade samosas…come adventuring with me!

so much delicious

Posted in Meals, Side dishes, Uncategorized, Vegan (and vegan-able), Vegetarian | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment