Sunday, April 26, 2009

Happy sunny sunday!

Hello! This weekend has been awesome! Good music, movies, food, sunshine, and relaxing! I'm in denial that monday is tomorrow, but it should be a sunny week also. I have good things coming up in May and I kind of just want April to get lost.

I made Bittersweet's Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake this past week, mostly because I've never had a meyer lemon before, was really craving a lemony cake, and I wanted to make something in my new bundt pan. I've had this recipe starred in my Google Reader for awhile now, and it fit the criteria perfect! Cake came out perfectly, and I hesitated before making the frosting, as it looked a little thick and not as citrusy as what I was craving, but I went ahead and made it anyways. This cake definitely benefits from sitting overnight, as it tasted waaaaay better the next day. Meyer lemons are weird! It's like if an orange and a lemon got together and made baby lemon-oranges. Yum!

Sweet potato fries! Tempeh sammich in the background. I steamed some tempeh and then mixed it with some veganaise, sriracha, and salt/pepper.

Used the leftover tempeh and sweet potato fries from my sammich and made sushi the next day! also a pretty radish, carrot, and chive roll.

I had little collard leaves and a leftover meyer lemon so I made some 'lil collard wraps. I blended some cashews with the meyer lemon juice, a bit of olive oil, salt/pepper to make a spread and put some carrot sticks and chives on it. That spread rocked! If you can't find meyer lemons, just try an orange and a lemon. Seriously, yum! It got a little tangy on the tongue after eating six of those mini wraps though.

Giiiiant CSA pickup saturday morning. So many greens! Here is everything drying on my counter. I'm super-excited for all the Arugula I got. It's my fave!

Whole-wheat Foccacia tonight, from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen tonight. It called for white flour, but I'm trying to be a good little whole grainer lately, so I subbed all wheat flour and it came out yummy! Thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil on top. That book is pretty good. I haven't made too many things from it yet, but there are a lot I want to make! I grilled some portobella mushrooms on the grill pan and made some sammiches. Nik and I picked up a whole bunch of nuts and dried fruits in anticipation of all the salads we will eat this week (all those greens!), so I made a yummy side salad with dried cranberries and sunflower seeds.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mister Fox tells a long-winded story about the magical fairy abode

New print in the shop!

Watercolor on gessoed board.

I have another fairytale-like painting I have drawn out, but not painted yet sitting on my desk. My desk is like an assembly line of different projects, I swear. Sometimes I feel like taking a week off of work at my day job, just so I can finish some of my personal projects. But then, I'd probably just go to the park or something instead. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Feed Your Souuuuuuul

Hey friends, I contributed a piece to this month's Feed Your Soul project over at the lovely Jen's site, Indie Fixx. There are all sorts of amazing pieces up from previous months also, available for a free download! Did I mention free? So go forth and download/print away!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Central Park, Sunshine, and perfect grill lines

Nik and I had a little picnic in Central Park yesterday in the beauuuuuutiful sunshine, before embarking on a shopping excursion for the rest of the day. I wanted to sit in the park all day and he wanted to go shopping for new sneaks, so we compromised and did both. We sat on a rock for a little while, until we couldn't take all the little kids climbing to the top of the rock we were on and screaming in our ears. Cute for the first couple times. :) We found a pretty awesome bench right by the bike road and chilled there for a bit. I think I even got a little color on my face!

I started a new project I'm excited about today:

I had a funny craving for dolmas the other day, but I can never find grape leaves in the store when I'm actually looking for them, so I improvised and used swiss chard. I made a chickpea salad, which consisted of chickpeas, chives, red onion, and a light dressing of garlic, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and mint/thyme/salt/pepper. Some rice was added later. I blanched the swiss chard first, and let it dry before filling and rolling. Maybe next time I'll try using kale, since the swiss chard was a bit wimpier than I thought it would be, and ripped pretty easily. Super-tasty though!

Stirfry with those yummy giant TVP-like thingies from the asian market, that were rehydrated with soy sauce, water, spices, rice vinegar and then boiled in liquid until soft and then sauteed until crispy. Check out that pretty radish!

Whole wheat pancakes for brunch this morning (recipe from VWAV, but subbing whole wheat flour)

I used my new cast iron grill pan on some italian-style tofu (from Vcon) tonight and was pretty proud of my first-timer grill marks. So fun! Haha. Can I tell you how juicy it was served with a bit of veganaise in a sammich?? Served with some lightly sauteed swiss chard and a PICKLE.

It's been driving me crazy how much I depend and use the internet, so I've been trying to cut back a ton, which is why posts have been further apart than normal lately. I just am on it all day at work, and then I come home tired, and try to work on my personal work, but end up getting lost in the internet again. Before I know it, it's too late to really start anything and I end up mad at myself. So! I'm trying to cut off distractions. We'll see how far I get in that. There's just too much to see and do in a day! Sun-filled days help a lot. I moved my stuff to the kitchen today, far away from my computer and it worked out pretty well. I think the internet has given me ADD. I go to do/find one thing and end up somewhere completely different. I need to make a giant FOCUS sign, me thinks.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Vegan Cadbury Creme Eggs! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Yeaaahhh! I used Bryanna Clark Grogan's recipe and they were PERFECT! Anyone who knows me well, knows my love for these seasonal sugar-overloads and can understand how upset I am that they aren't vegan. I meant to make these last year, but never got around to it and now that I have made them and know how easy it is, LOOK OUT! Seriously, they're super-easy, just with a lot of waiting time in between steps. No prob. I made the centers saturday morning, chilling them in the fridge for a few hours before forming them into balls (that flattened pretty quickly) and let them sit overnight. I put two coats of chocolate on them, and they are super-deluxe. The easiest way I could figure out, dipping them in the melted chocolate, was to just drop it it in the pot and turn it around with a fork, and scoop it out with a fork. I can see some caramel eggs in my future...

I made a homemade greek platter last night, with VWAV falafel (a dill sauce made with veganaise on top), hummus that turned out a bit thick, whole wheat pitas (they puffed ! ) and a yummy salad with mustard greens, lots of sprouts, and parsnips with a ginger-thyme vinaigrette.

Look! Puffs! I have no idea what the secret is. It just happens sometimes, and I can never get a whole batch to all puff. I think maybe rolling out with the rolling pin helps? Maybe? No clue. I have tried different recipes, and haven't found any sure winners or losers.

Lasaaaaaaagna! I made the Cashew ricotta from VCon, but used walnuts instead.

I've had a fab day off today. I went and renewed my license (oh woo), spent a gift certificate at Macy's (got a new cast iron grill pan and a BUNDT pan!), and painted for a bit in the park. I bought some supplies today for a fun new project that I'm excited for. Hopefully will be able to put together by next weekend. Yaay spring inspiration! Hope everyone's long weekend was rockin'!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Been away; Away so long.

Hello! Well gosh I haven't updated this in awhile. I've been a bit overwhelmed lately with a whole bunch of things going on, and it has just been a week (month?) of just trying to lay low. To minimize the stress or something; I'm not sure. I do that when I'm stressed, just hide out.

I do have some good news though. I was accepted into the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn this year! I was a bit stunned that I got in actually, as competition is notoriously stiff for this craft fair. Anyways, SUPER AWESOME! Plus, it's like five blocks from my apartment, in McCarren Park, so I don't have to go far (or bother with getting a car service or something to lug all my stuff)! I'm a little intimidated, as it is a 2-day outdoor event (June 6 + 7th), which I've never done before. I've seen the masses that have attended though (I'm among them)! Scaaaaary! Haha, no it will be good. Bust Craftacular, a few years ago, was pretty crazy too, and I think I have a better grasp of how much I need to prepare. Woo!

I have FOUR DAYS OFF this weekend! I had today off for Good Friday, and I took Monday off for a mental health day (I really like these). Nik is taking me to Candle 79 for dinner tomorrow! It's a bit of an early b-day celebration for me (I turn 29 on monday, eep!!) I really can't believe I have lived in NYC for five years now and never been. I even have their cookbook! I'm pretty sure I'm required to try the Seitan Piccata, as that is always the first recommendation anyone gives that has been there. Monday, I have to go try my luck at the DMV renewing my license, spend a gift cert. at Macy's, and check out the Jenny Holzer Exhibit at the Whitney.

I did my taxes today and they just about made my head explode.

Two new cookbooks came for me this week, Wild Fermentation, and The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen. Really excited about both of them! Especially the Fermentation one for all the veggies I'll get in my CSA this summer!

Okay, enough babble and more food!

Caesar Salad, from Vcon, with garlic croutons. This was an amazing dressing, and I had the leftovers in a salad wrap the next day. I needed a new dressing too, as I always make either a basic olive oil/apple cider vinegar/thyme/salt/pepper dressing or a creamy ranch. Ohh, I did make another new dressing this week (but no picture). I just mixed some veganaise with yummy salsa for a simple southwestern style salad. Yum! I actually ate salad for most of the week, with various toppings (tofu, tempeh, leftover veggie burger, SPROUTS!) and veggies. It's the springtime. I was excited to see more greens at the farmer's market today. I'm waiting for the asparagus!

I made yummy veggie burgers this week, using the basic chickpea cutlets recipe from Vcon, but with cattle beans, and added veggies and spices. Sauteed swiss chard and a pickle!

I did this cuckoo clock painting earlier this week, but forgot to post it! Nik's dad got him a cuckoo clock for this past x-mas, and it is so great! I thought all the cuckoos would drive me nuts (it goes off every half hour), but I don't even really notice it anyore, and I still get a kick out of the little bird that comes out. It's in our kitchen, so it keeps me company when I'm making dinner, haha. Prints are available in the shop!

And an in-progress Mister Fox to wish you a happy friday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dr. Sketchy, Salad, Potatoes, and SPROUTS

Dr. Sketchy's was last saturday, and I finally dragged my butt over to their new location, in Manhattan. Although the F train did make me waay late and I got a crappy spot to sketch from, I was still glad I ventured over. The beautiful Raquel Reed was modeling in a cupcake theme (!!). They had free cupcakes (not vegan though) that were pretty cute too. Devil Dog and fruit loop flavors, among others. Fun looking!

I totally had cupcakes on my mind after that session, so I made some mini vanilla with chocolate frosting ones of my own. Yummers! I used the recipe from VCTOTW, and I have to say, I can't remember the last time I just made plain vanilla cupcakes with plain chocolate frosting. Ahh yummy basics! :)

Oh oh oh! I sprouted lentils! This was my first attempt at sprouting something and it was so easy! Also, I had no clue you can sprout all sorts of things. Like nuts! I'm gonna try that next. Lentils sprouted in about 3 days and they lasted me about a week. I thought they might taste different than alfalfa sprouts, but they pretty much tasted the same.

I had some potatoes and cabbage and ham tube to use up, so voila! This was way yummier than I anticipated (even though it's not the most appealing looking.) I steamed my yukon potatoes, boiled my cabbage in water and apple cider vinegar and I concocted a cheesy sauce from leftover FYH cheddar, and a nooch/soy milk/dijon/spices/flour mixture. Diced up some ham tube and baked it all in the oven for a half hour or so, until sauce was bubbly. Hello comfort food. And it was even better the next day for lunch! Ham tube was key, me thinks.

Lots of salads this week.

Leftover black beans, sprouts, spinach, red peppers, and a miso dressing. This was a power-up lunch!

I don't buy FYH that often, and I usually struggle with trying to use it up before it turns a funny shade. I had made burritos earlier in the week, and I just stuck with pairing it with potatoes for the rest. Leftover Tofutti sour cream also. Tempeh wingz are hiding in the background.

I made Dan's Tempeh meatless balls finally! They were really yummy and I was surprised how well they held together. They did crumble a little when I got daring and just threw them in the sauce, but in a good way. I liked these waay better than the beanballs that I usually make, with vital wheat gluten.

More salad :)

Tonight I made Tempeh Piccata (using the recipe in Vcon, but with tempeh instead of the Seitan) and some steamed asparagus. Tempeh pairs real well in a piccata sauce and was waay quicker to make! And oh asparagus, how I love thee.

In other news, I had a celeb sighting last night! I stopped in the park, by my apartment, after work last night. It was really nice out and I wanted to enjoy it, so I planted myself on a bench to sketch for a bit. I had noticed there was a movie being filmed at Enids (a restaurant/bar), which is right at the corner of the park, but didn't think much of it. All of a sudden, 15 or so paparazzi ran by me over to this big camper/trailer about 20 ft. behind me and just stood there, poised. An SUV drove up, and a very petite woman got out and rushed into the camper. I didn't catch a glimpse of who it could be, but a bored paparazzi dude told me it was Jennifer Aniston! I sat there until she came out again and I got a better look. The paparazzi have such boring jobs! And they're so rude too. I love celeb sightings though, and I hadn't had one in awhile. In the past, I have seen Julia Stiles, Claire Danes, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bernhard, and Matthew Broderick. Claire Danes was in the same row in the movie theater, while watching The Baxter. It was very very odd to hear her laughter while watching the movie. Very familiar, but from a total stranger? Weird! Leo was in The Whitney with his mom, asking the guard where the bathroom was. The guard looked at him, and made a swimming motion with his hand and said "You jumped off the boat?" I don't even know if there is even a response to that. Anyways, I looked up what movie Jennifer Aniston is filming right now, and it's this one called "The Baster." Yes, as in turkey baster. Ohh funny.