Saturday, July 26, 2008

Still here...

I'm still here, even though I have sorely neglected to blog recently. The truth is, my life over the past couple of months has been a series of ups and downs--and the overall effect has been to wear me out. It's funny how you can be on cruise control for a while, day in and day out, and then one day you your life just sideswipes you at 100 miles per hour. Has this ever happened to you? I'm sure it has... It happens to all of us once in a while, right?

I've done very little experimental cooking recently. I've been sticking to the basics, for the most part--easy, tried and true recipes that satisfy and require little effort. I got burned out for a while. But now I'm starting to miss cooking the way I used to...

I made this stir-fry weeks and weeks ago, but it was so good that it still deserves a spot on this blog. I made it for a good friend of mine who was willing to try tofu for the first time. In hopes to not turn him off by the texture of the tofu, I diced it extra small and used the twice-cooked method: Stir-fry it once in a little bit of very hot oil, add some tamari, remove the tofu from the pan and place on paper towels, clean the pan, add more oil and heat again until very hot, and then stir-fry the cooled tofu again. It creates a crispy outer coating that I have found even tofu-averse people can appreciate. The rest of the veggies we cooked in a teriyaki sauce that Melody created for her fabulous teriyaki tempeh recipe that I tested for her way, way back in the day. And we served it over udon noodles. We enjoyed this meal immensely, and I was quite pleased to have been able to offer my friend a pleasing first experience with tofu.

Talk about an easy meal... This is a Southwest-style Sunshine Burger topped with a slice of pepperjack flavor Rice Vegan cheese and avocado slices on half a whole wheat bun. Whereas I'm not normally a big fan of frozen veggie burgers, these are actually quite good. They have a kick to them.

It's never the wrong time of year for gingerbread... so that's how I justified making these Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemony Cream Cheese Frosting from VCTOTW. I took them to work where they were well received, as always. Personally, I thought they were fabulous with chunks of crystallized ginger hidden like little gems inside the cake.

But... these are my last cupcakes for a while. I remember a time when I was a health foodie, and I loved being that way. Once you slip out of that habit it can be difficult to get back into it, but I'm making an effort. Especially with a mini busy season coming up at work, I want to be in the routine of doing what is best for myself and feeling great and energetic.

In other news, I got a bike, and I am playing in a softball league, and I have been running again, and I have been going to Jazzercise classes... so I'm staying pretty active. And next weekend I'm going backpacking with one of my good friends--which is super exciting.

I hope you all have been enjoying your summer. As for me, I'm ready for fall again--but I'm making the most of this awful heat. I'll be around again soon. :) Take care.