Thursday, January 31, 2008

Simple foods (and my first cheesecake)

It is officially tax season, so I find myself working later and being more tired when I get home. So when I am willing and eager to cook, I take advantage of the ability to make large batches that I can draw from all week long. Like this Smoky Split Pea Soup from ED&BV.

I left out the smoked tofu and just added some liquid smoke instead. Mmm... I love soup, and split pea has always been one of my favorites.

Also from ED&BV, I made the Blueberry Carob Pancakes, with some Celestial Cream to go on top. The pancakes were heavenly--I just love carob--but the cream was so rich and delicious that it was otherworldly. This is one of the first dessert recipes I've made with silken tofu that didn't actually taste like tofu! One of the best parts of this breakfast was when I froze the leftover pancakes--knowing I would be able to enjoy them again soon!

I made this Key Lime "Cheesecake" from Vegan Planet, after many times of flipping past the recipe, eyeing it, knowing I didn't need to consume it, but knowing how fun it would be to make. I finally broke down. It was so easy to make... and so bad, but so good. And it got a seal of approval from one of my co-workers. I especially love the gingersnap crust.

And this salad is just a typical dinner for me... Nothing fancy, but it serves its purpose. I find when I come home from work that I don't really want much to eat, so a salad is usually perfect.

I'll try to do some blog-hopping this weekend... I've gotten out of the loop, but I have been peeking in on your blogs when I could even if I haven't had time to do much commenting.

Take care!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Back to life...

I wanted to thank all of you who have been checking in on me, calling, texting, Facebooking, e-mailing.... It's meant a lot to know that you have thought of me. I've missed blogging, but given the circumstances it was something that I necessarily needed to let fall by the wayside for a while. In the meantime, I hope that each of you had a wonderful holiday season and that 2008 has gotten off to a promising start. I must say that, while this was not the greatest holiday season of my life, I do feel nevertheless like this new year--and all the years to come--hold promise for me that I could never have imagined before.

So... What has been going on in my life?

This is the only time I am ever going to mention this on this blog--and I'm telling you this way only because it's something that has to be told, and this is the only way I know of to tell you. Bob and I are split up right now. More pertinently, he decided that he wanted to move out. And I've been left with a mass of confusion, depression, loneliness, sadness... but most of all, confusion. Why should it have to be this way? I have no idea. But over the past few weeks, I have come to accept the fact that it is this way, now... maybe temporarily, maybe not. And I'm trying to look only forward from here.

If you want to ask me anything or to talk about this situation any at all, please don't hesitate to. Just send me an e-mail. I don't mind talking to any one of you about this. But I don't want to do it here on this blog. Hopefully now I can get back to this blog and what it was meant for--sharing delicious vegan creations!

I haven't cooked very much over the past month or so, but I do have a few things to share with you. For Christmas I received two great new cookbooks: Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson, and Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan by Dreena Burton. I'm just starting to dive into them.

This is the Tuscan Spelt Soup from Vegan Planet--except I replaced the spelt with barley, as I did not have whole spelt on hand. It was hearty and delicious, perfect for a day like this:

Can you believe it? In Atlanta? It may look like a puny dusting to many of you, but this is as much snow as I have ever seen on the ground in my life!

Do snow days scream "comfort food" to you? Well, today screamed that to me. That's why I made myself the Apple Cinnamon French Toast, also from Vegan Planet. The cooked apple topping was the perfect touch... with a cup of coffee and wrapped in a warm blanket, as I sat and watched the snow falling through my dining room window. *Sigh*

I went on a business trip to Winston-Salem, North Carolina a few weeks back, and I stayed at a bed and breakfast. It was my first stay at a bed and breakfast, and I was anxious to see how the food situation would work itself out. Steel-cut oats with walnuts and cranberries, and a side of sautéed squash... I would say it worked out quite well.

I went back to Athens with some friends for New Year's, and after staying out until 5:00 A.M. we slept until noon, and then went to Big City Bread--an Athens classic--for brunch. Their tofu scramble was delicious.

And this is one of the best roasted veggie wraps I have ever had, at Doc Green's here in Atlanta. I really appreciated the fact that they offered a sandwich without cheese on it--I hate having to ask to have the cheese left off. Why are people so addicted to cheese, anyway, that it has to be served on everything?? Anyway, not this time. And the chipotle-spiced veggie chili that I had on the side was equally delicious.

Now that I am back to cooking, I am planning to do it full-force... even though it is busy season at work now and I'm going to be up to my ears in tax returns for the next couple of months!

I'll be back around very very soon. I can't wait to read all your blogs again! Take care!