Happy day after Christmas!

December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas, friends!

Here’s our tree this year. I put it up on December 1st and I think I will keep it up until Twelfth Night (or longer because it’s just so pretty!)

Mark and I had to work on Christmas Day, so our plan was to go to my mother’s house for Christmas in the evening. Unfortunately, our car had other plans. A build up of snow and ice on the undercarriage caused some trouble, so we had to turn around and come home. Left to make something for dinner and not really being prepared, I made this:

Vegan croissant pizza, maple “bacon” squash, and Brussels sprouts in brown butter. (Don’t worry: the “bacon” was provided by liquid smoke and Bacon Salt.)

As I was cooking, I realized this is the first Christmas dinner I have ever cooked. Not too bad, considering the short notice, I’d say!

Merry Christmas to you and yours! The next time we meet, I would like to talk to you about winter skin care. It’s a topic on my mind, considering the punishing winter we have had so far this year in the North Country.

Be well, friends!

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And the winner of the EZ Tofu Press is…

December 23, 2013

Nicole! Congratulations, Nicole! You are the winner of the EZ Tofu Press . I will be in touch to get your mailing information.

Thanks to everyone who registered and thanks to Ben Aron, the inventor of the EZ Tofu Press for providing me the opportunity to have this giveaway!

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Tofu scramble and a giveaway!

December 16, 2013

The snow foiled my plans of going to Burlington, VT for a day of shopping and eating with my best friend. So, to compensate, I spent the weekend in my jammies, watching Christmas movies, and cooking. I did a lot of cooking.

The snow started Saturday evening and lasted through Sunday afternoon. Saturday night, I made my first batch of minestrone. No photos, but when I tweak the recipe, maybe I will post it. As you can see, it was perfect weather to stay in the house and cook.

Snowy weekend

On Sunday, I decided to make a huge breakfast for myself and the husband unit. I have been craving pancakes for a while and I also promised that I would put up a recipe for tofu scramble. Since the gentleman who requested the recipe, Ben Aron, is also the inventor of the EZ Tofu Press and he has been kind enough to offer an EZ Tofu Press for giveaway on this blog, I figured it was about time to blog about tofu scramble. In case you missed my review of the EZ Tofu Press after I bought it, you can read it here. I will give you more details on the give away at the end of this post, but first let’s scramble some tofu.

I have been evolving this tofu scramble recipe forever and just when I think I have it the way I want it, I change something. So, you will see that this isn’t one of those measured and precise recipes. This is certainly a thrown together dish that is pretty fast to make, and it’s even easier with a handy tool like the EZ Tofu Press.

Tofu Scramble

olive or coconut oil for frying
a small onion, chopped (I used a red onion, but I also like green onions in this)
1 15 oz package of extra firm tofu, pressed and drained
salt
pepper
garlic (I used powder because my garlic cloves have seen better days)
nutritional yeast
cayenne pepper
turmeric
hot sauce

Optional: salsa, spinach

(The last seven ingredients are to taste, but don’t go overboard with the turmeric. A little goes a long way in this dish.)

I am never with it enough to take photos as I go along, but I did this time!

Press your tofu. While it’s pressing chop your onion.

Tofu scramble

Saute your onion in the oil of your choice. If you are using fresh garlic, throw that in now as well. I also add my salt, pepper, and garlic powder at this stage too.

When the onions are nice and translucent, add your tofu. I crumble mine because it’s easier, but you could also cube the tofu if you prefer. Mix the tofu and onion together and let it cook down for a little bit on medium heat.

Tofu scramble 2

(Note: there is a little nutritional yeast on the tofu in this photo, because I was refilling my jar and there was a little bit left in the bag. I normally add it later in the cooking process.)

Tofu scramble 3

I mix the nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, and turmeric in a small bowl and then I add it to the tofu and onion mixture. The turmeric gives the scramble a nice yellow color and it’s good for you too! The nutritional yeast gives the scramble a crispy coating and a nice nutty flavor. Yum! The spatula belonged to my Gram, complete with the burn marks on the handle. I think I have added a few myself.

Next, splash in some hot sauce. If the scramble is getting a little dry and sticking to the pan, add a splash of oil. Once you’ve mixed everything together, let it cook down on low heat for a few minutes.

This is what it looks like when it’s done, featuring my favorite antique cast iron skillet.

Tofu scramble 4

I like to serve the scramble on a bed of spinach, as seen here. It’s also great wrapped in a tortilla with tomatoes, cheese, and spinach, like a breakfast burrito!

Finished breakfast

On the plate is one vegan pancake with butter and sugar (that’s the way my Gram ate pancakes and I picked it up from her), baked home fries with onions and ketchup, vegetarian sausage patties (I used Gimme-Lean- ), and tofu scramble on a bed of baby spinach and topped with Sriracha, served with my favorite tea, Irish Breakfast.

On to the the giveaway!

I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly fifteen years and one thing I hear over and over again is, “How do you cook tofu? Mine always turns out wrong.” If you have said that phrase before, then you need to enter this giveaway. The EZ Tofu Press is a nice way to help those who might be new to preparing tofu. It’s good for those of you who have been preparing tofu for years without a press, because the EZ Tofu Press will revolutionize your way of cooking tofu. I actually enjoy cooking tofu more now, because there is so much less waste and mess.

Giveaway rules: You must live in the Continental US to be eligible for the giveaway. No exceptions! To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post with a way to contact you (website address or email address) and I will draw one winner at random on Monday, December 23rd.

Please share this with your friends on your blogs, your Facebook page, and Twitter feed. Let’s make this a big deal! Who knows! If this is successful, there might be more giveaways to come!

I am looking forward to hearing from you all!

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Regional goodies!

December 15, 2013

In mid November, I had the opportunity to hangout with my friend Kari at the first of six A Handmade Holiday event. There was so many beautiful things to buy! If you live in the Capital region of New York or are planning to go that way next weekend, I recommend you stop by to do some shopping for the last event they will be having of the season. The event is held in the Frear Building, Fulton Street and 3rd Street, Troy. You can even like Tight Knit’s Facebook page to see photos of the merchandise the vendors have to offer. If I lived closer to Troy, I know I would be there every weekend.

Since I had never been to the Frear Building, I didn’t know there was also a winter’s farmer’s market held at the same time! I took a stroll around The Troy Market located in the Uncle Sam Atrium (49 4th Street, Troy NY). This is an amazing farmer’s market and every single vendor I interacted with was helpful and pleasant. I tasted a lot of delicious regional goodies and bought some things too. My only regret is that I live about 2+ hours away and I can’t shop here more often and I also couldn’t bring home as much as I wanted to.

Here’s what I got left to right. Note Bella the Supervisor:

Regional goodies

Summer cracked corn crackers from Saratoga Crackers.
Spicy maple pepitas from Our Daily Eats (which I plan on adding to my squash soup the next time I make some, per the suggestion from the nice lady at the booth).
Habanero Fire Sour Pickles from Puckers Gourmet. These pickles were some of the best pickles I have ever had! Very spicy and they just taste so fresh! The pickles are long gone now, but I still have the jar in my fridge so I can take a swig of the brine now and again. My only regret is that I didn’t buy more varieties.
Tempeh and Crimson Kraut from Hosta Hill. This was the first time I have ever had such fresh tempeh and I loved it. The Crimson Kraut is good on sandwiches or just a little in a dish. I can’t wait to use it with veggie dogs! Just a note, not all of Hosta Hill fermented products are vegetarian.

I had a great time at the markets that day. I also tried some Brazil nut butter from The Peanut Principle but I didn’t buy any and I wish I would have. Brazil nuts are my favorite and this Brazil nut butter was just delicious. I also regret not buying a gorgeous stalk of Brussels sprouts that I saw.

Thanks for reading! I’ve missed you all so much. A little blog news: I will be posting my long awaited tofu scramble recipie tomorrow as well as telling you all about a giveaway I will be running.

I hope you are all well. I will see you all soon!

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The October Project-October 31st

October 31, 2013

October 31st

WKRP’s Dr. Johnny Fever took over the studios today to play spooky Halloween music. Boooooger!

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