Friday, November 17, 2006

Cookin' up excitement

I had a wicked exam last night, but now I feel like my semester may as well be over. Hooray! Thanks for all your kind words and thoughts. I guess I probably did alright...

Though I had to stay away from Blogger this week, that didn't stop me from cooking. So I do have some things to share with you. And I can't WAIT to get caught up on reading all your blogs this weekend--I've been peeking at them here and there, and I can see that everyone has been up to some great things.

Here is thing #1 that I made: Fudgy Brownies from Vive! (p. 128). Let me tell you, these things are very fudgy and rich! They didn't last long around here, I'm afraid. I've never had a better brownie in all my life. Honestly. I have a weakness for chocolate, and I swear... This was chocolate heaven.

Speaking of chocolate, have you ever tried this? We've tried several different flavors now, and so far I liked the cookie avalanche one the best. But when I tasted this... wow. I'm amazed. I didn't know something could taste so much like chocolate. This stuff is the best.

On Sunday we went to a friend's house to cook dinner together. She's a vegetarian (well, she still eats fish every now and then, but otherwise...) and very intrigued by vegan cooking and baking. It's nice when your friends are willing and even eager to take a leap like that for you. Anyway, we made a simple stir-fry with green beans and mushrooms and tofu, and it was served on top of soba noodles. It was 100% organic. She made a teriyaki sauce to go with it; I'll provide you the recipe (which she found on, though we all agreed that it was too salty and just not exactly right. Next time we will try a different recipe.

Teriyaki Sauce

2/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sherry
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients and heat until thickened.

I made another variation of my banana ice cream earlier this week (this was before we bought the chocolate obsession), and I liked it particularly so I thought I would share.

It's just one frozen banana, a small spoonful of cocoa powder (maybe 2 teaspoons), about four drops of agave nectar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I processed it all with just enough vanilla soy milk so that it would come together. Yummm...

Finally, we made our usual version of Leslie's sloppy lentils for dinner on Tuesday night. This recipe has become a staple of ours, so I tried to write down our approximate recipe so that we don't have to re-invent it every time. Though I have to give Leslie credit for inspiring me with this and getting me hooked.

Sloppy Lentils (Leslie-style)

1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed & minced
1 14-ounce can tomato sauce
Crushed basil
Crushed red pepper
Tamari, Worcestershire sauce (with no fishies, of course), & liquid smoke, as needed

And then, you know, just throw it all into the same pot and let it cook until the lentils are soft and the kale is tender and until it has enough flavor to make you happy.

We've been lax on making bread lately, but I found a loaf of rosemary focaccia bread in the freezer that I had made recently, so we had that with the lentils. Though it's better with a nice, crusty whole wheat bread. Sadly, after three servings apiece, the lentils were gone. Next time we'll really have to make a double batch; they never last as long as I think they will.

Apart from that, we've been unthawing chili and stuff like that from the freezer to eat this week. And I've been eating a lot of edamame. I really love that stuff.

Today, there's going to be a lot of cooking going on at my little apartment. But I can't tell you about it--not yet. It's a secret. I will show you tomorrow, after it's all over and been a great success, what it is that I'm cooking up around here today. All I can say is, I'm super excited.

And that's that. I hope you all have a great Friday and a marvelous weekend. I'll bee seeing you on your blogs soon, I promise! Peace!


Vivacious Vegan said...

Leslie's Lentils are my favorite! I even bought a 25 pound bag of red lentils from my bulk buying club so I could make this all the time. It's so good. Although I think it's going to take me quite some time to get through that 25 pound bag.

The banana ice cream sounds delicious. Did you make it in an ice cream maker?

laura jesser said...

Hi Crystal! No, I just made the ice cream in a food processor... it works great with a frozen banana. I would love to be the proud owner of an ice cream maker! And wow... 25 pounds of lentils. Amazing!

Johanna3 said...

yum, thanks for the recipes , that brownie looks so so good.
i cant wait to see what will be tomorrow!

Kris said...

It all looks wonderful. I need to make some sloppy lentils soon. I'm such a sucker for foccacia, I can't imagine wanting anything else, ever! I love your ice cream idea, I've been thinking of doing something similar, but with a scoop of peanut butter, too.

Vicki said...

i've been meaning to make leslie's lentils for quite a while - they look so good. and that brownie has my name all over it - maybe i'll make them tonight. thanks for the inspiration & congrats on school winding down.

bazu said...

Hey, I'm glad your exam is over and done with- congrats! Those brownies look so seriously delectable right now. My favorite soy delicious is chocolate almond brownie. It's the first one I tried, and still my fave.

aTxVegn said...

Hey, Laura! I'm glad you fed yourself well while studying. All the food looks great and I'm glad your exam is over and you feel good about it.

I made a huge sacrifice tonight. My son came over hungry and I said "you have to try these lentils!" He loved them! Next thing I hear is, "Sorry, mom, I ate the whole thing!" Oh, well, I have plenty more. Maybe I'll try Leslie's Sloppy Lentils.

Can't wait to find out what the secret recipe is!

- Diann

madeinalaska said...

I made those brownies and man oh man! Emma just moaned and squealed she loved them.. she deemed them the best brownie she has ever eaten in her WHOLE LIFE "mmm mmm chocolaty goodness"
glad to hear you survived your exams!
great cliff hanger by the way..

Urban Vegan said...

It all looks good, but I want to dive right onto those brownies.