Monday, September 17, 2007

In My Kitchen / Recipe Roundup & MeMeMeMeMe!

Please head over to my new blog at, where you'll find this post & more!

I've been cooking like crazy in the kitchen lately, yet I've haven't been taking the time to blog about it! I had a stockpile of photos I'd taken & I finally got around to editing them tonight, so let's go on a photo tour of my culinary adventures, shall we?

Vegan with a Vengeance is an awesome cookbook, but I never took the time to make dishes from it; until now! You don't need to be a vegan to enjoy this cookbook, there's so many awesome dishes using things you already have in your kitchen, plus other recipes to make you branch out from your old standards.

The Black Bean & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers were SO good, I could eat them every day. In fact, I bought more peppers to make them again this week. The original recipe has mushrooms, but since that's not my veggie of choice, I omitted them & it's still amazing! I had extra filling left over & it was a tasty lunch the next day!

Another night, I made the Revolutionary Spanish Omelet with Saffron for dinner. I am lucky enough to have saffron threads from Iran, given to me by a friend's mother. I never had a use for them besides sprinkled in Persian tea, so I was excited to find this recipe! This dish was surprisingly mild & may have been best with the Red Pepper Almond Sauce it suggested, but we still enjoyed it!

Another delicious dish from VWaV is the Maple-Mustard Glazed Potatoes & String Beans! The ingredients & process are simple, but the flavor is undeniably tasty. I served it over red quinoa & it was perfection on a plate!

I don't know what took me so long to get in to this cookbook, but I'm now even more excited for Isa's next book, Veganomicon!

Of course, I have to make dessert! I had some very ripe bananas, so I made ice cream with them & WOW, it was excellent! Here's the recipe, do yourself a favor & MAKE THIS!

Banana Ice Cream
3 very ripe or overripe bananas
1 1/2 cups soy milk (I used very vanilla.)
1/3 cup sugar
a splash of vanilla
In a food processor or blender, puree all your ingredients together.
Put the mixture in the refrigerator until it's cold.
Once cold, add the mixture to your ice cream maker & follow the manufacturers instructions.
woo, you're in HEAVEN now! No need to thank me.

Another fun thing I've been doing is making bread. I was lucky enough to have a member of the PPK send me a sourdough starter that dates back to the Oregon Trail! As soon as it arrived, I got the starter going again & made two loaves of bread. One was consumed with a dinner of Lachesis' Seitan o' Greatness & mixed veggies simmered in tangy BBQ sauce & the other was made in to Sunday late-morning French Toast, which was perfect after a late night of dancing!

Mooks LOVED Orange Glazed Chick*n, but since that's not an option anymore, I made Orange Sesame Tofu, a dish Love Like a Vegan adapted from a Martha recipe. It's safe to say the old favorite won't be missed anymore & the tofu version is here to stay! We served it up with fluffy quinoa, a favorite around here & the sauce was so delicious, we'll putting it on everything in sight soon enough.

I love to cook for others, so when a friend wanted to get together for dinner, I suggested she come here! I used the opportunity to make the Seitan Ribz everyone loves from Fat Free Vegan, but opted for zesty Buffalo Wing Sauce. I served the Buffalo Seitan Ribz with a Corn & Cucumber Salad & homemade Biscuits. Of course, Buffalo wings need Blue Cheese dressing; enter Blue SHEESE!

I was lucky enough to find out Sheese, a hard to come by cheese alternative, was being carried at a local grocery store. It's not an inexpensive product, so I read online reviews before heading out & opted for the oft enjoyed Blue Sheese. The opening of the package revealed the typical blue cheese smell, so with high hopes I took a bite & while the texture initially was a bit lacking, the taste is great, so I don't mind! In addition to the dressing, I've been enjoying blue sheese with apple slices & put them both on a salad today with balsamic vinaigrette; wonderful! I also picked up Strong Cheddar, but have yet to open it.

Blue Sheese Dressing
1/2 cup Vegannaise
1/4 cup Blue Sheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon Soy Milk
1 tablespoon Vinegar
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/8 teaspoon Onion Salt
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/8 teaspoon Dry Mustard

I found the dressing to be a bit on the sweet side, so I would omit the sugar in the future. Also, I used Dijon Mustard, instead of Dry Mustard & Onion Powder instead of Onion Salt since it's what I had on hand. Many recipes I found utilized mayonnaise & sour cream, but since I didn't have both, I was able to find a recipe without the sour cream & went with that. It was good & my husband who eats blue cheese dressing often really enjoyed it!

While I try to keep the subject here to food, I was tagged for multiple memes & thought I'd give it a whirl. Hopefully, the name meme Amey, Lori & Amanda tagged me for will also work for the "8 Things" meme Natalie & Gigi tagged me for ages ago!

M is for Married (to Mook!). I've been with my husband Ryan (also known as Mook) for 9 years, but our 2 year wedding anniversary is upcoming (October 1st). When he met me I was a 17 year old with a shaved head & a bad attitude. We've grown so much together, he's my biggest fan & best friend. Seriously, any man who can deal with me is a champ!

E is for Explorer. I LOVE to travel. I have a serious case of wanderlust & try to take a trip every few months even if it's just to NYC or LA. Some of my favorite cities are London, Tokyo, New York, & Paris. I'd really like to go back to Berlin to explore more, but I also want to check out the cities in Spain, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, China, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, & more more more!

L is for Late Bird. My motto is, "Always late, but worth the wait!". If you want me somewhere at 5pm, tell me to be there at 4:30pm. It's annoying & frustrating, but I can't seem to get anywhere on time, no matter how early I start getting ready! I like to blame it on having a due date of Thanksgiving & my mother going to the hospital to have me removed from her on January 5th. I was BORN late, people!

I is for Inked. I have 7 tattoos, most of which are large pieces. My whole back is pretty much covered & the rest of my work is on my arms. I have everything from flowers to anchors to cupcakes pushed in to my skin & my plan is to have a floral half sleeve & a half sleeve of various things.

S is for Silly. I love to be silly with the Mooks or my friends! It's not odd for me to make funny noises, dance around the house, make faces at people, go to clubs & imitate people's bad dancing, jump on the bed, whatever strikes me, really!

S is for Sweet Tooth. Obviously, I like to bake, but even before I knew my way around a kitchen, I knew my way around a sugary treat! I have been known to consume more sugar than a human ever should- the 1st time I went to a Krispy Kreme, I bought a dozen, then sat down & had 8 of them before I felt the sugar buzz & stopped. These days I don't have that tolerance, but I'm still not opposed to having dessert first!

E is for Emotional. I've always been a very emotional person, a roller coaster, if you will. I can scream or punch you in the face one minute, then start bawling the next! It's really inconvenient, to be honest, but most days I'm glad I get to go through life aware & feeling everything I do, I think it's what makes me a compassionate person.

R is for uhhh.. Rock & Roll? Music is a big part of my life & always has been. Even in my days as a competitive dancer & dance teacher, I was picking rock songs when everyone else picked dance music. I found punk rock at age 13 and it really shaped my world & made me in to the person I am today. These days I've calmed down a bit & spend more time in the kitchen than at shows, but there's still a rock & roll soundtrack to my life & that will never change!

By the way, you can now connect to The Urban Housewife at!! No need to update your links, but for future reference, it's an easy way to get here!


Celine said...

you are so adorable in every possible way, it's killing! <3

Emmie said...

I wouldn't exactly say you're adorable, it just doesn't cut it. You're god damn awesome. Let's be friends and braid each others hair and have sleepovers? Pleeeease? Fine, if you don't want to I can't force you. Let me just go and fetch that chloroform.

Anyway. I love that picture of your tattoo. I want to get a food related tattoo myself sometime soon. I don't have any tattos at all but I've been wanting a full back since I was ten (although probably not a back full of food, or maybe a buffet table would be something.. hmm). I KNOW I will get one, I just don't know when or what yet. I don't want to go get some small sissy one done, it has to be a full back damnit.

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

the maple mustard potatoes and green beans turned out a lot prettier than when i made them. nice!
thanks for writing yr meme. except for the being late thing (i have the opposite problem of being really early), you and i are very similar.
i would like my next tattoo to be food related. my friend just got a bunch of tomatoes on the vine tattooed on her shoulder and they are adorable.

Vegan_Noodle said...

I absolutely adore your cupcake tattoo! Perfect for someone with a sweet tooth :-) I have one small seashell tattoo (not very vegan, but I got it many years ago) on my hip and I'm always thinking about another.
I have a friend that is exactly like you with being on time, can't believe you were born so late!
Enjoyed reading more about you.. you rock!

Candice said...

Vagan with a vengeance. i need to get that one!

gigi said...

Great post! Loved the name game meme!

Pink Theory said...

Ah, I love Vegan with a Vengeance. All your food looks amazing!! I'm new to the vegan blogosphere and I hope that you don't mind I added you to my blogroll :-)

porcalina said...

"It's really inconvenient, to be honest"

Hahaha that made me laugh out loud here at me desk. I'm the same exact way.

tracy said...

l is for lovely! because you are.

springsandwells said...

Fun to learn more about you! That cupcake tattoo is pretty darn cool. It's interesting how many of us vegans are also travel junkies! And they say that vegans have a hard time traveling - it's not stopping us!

I used to have such a crazy sweet tooth, but it has calmed down pretty significantly. When I was growing up, my brother and I each got $1 for allowance. As soon as possible, we would go directly to the 7-11 and buy 5 candy bars each (only $.20 each back then!)... and proceed to immediately scarf them down one by one. Phew. Now I practically feel ill just thinking about that. But, I do still love a little sweetie after a meal, and rarely pass a day without some sort of chocolate nibble or hot cocoa or cookie or something naughty!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Celine- Thank yooou! *blush*

Emmie- Only if we can have a pillow fight in our undies!
Good call on the full back. If I had waited & thought it out, I'd have one large full back piece versus 2 smaller ones.

ppvegan- I thought mine turned out a bit ugly with the shriveled up green beans! hehe. Yay for food tattoos!

miss noodle- Thank you!

Candice- It's true, you should totally get it. At first glance I found the recipes daunting, but once you stock your kitchen with some basics, they're quite easy! You can also sub so many things in them without issue.

gigi- Thanks!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

pink theory- Thanks so much! Of course I don't mind!

porcalina- it's true, right?!

tracy! *blush* xo.

amey- Thank you! I just need to travel, I can survive on fruit & veg, if needed! hehe.
I was the same way with any money I had. My mother still stashes candy bars all over the house for herself, I think she eats 2 a day!

deb said...

i can't remember how i stumbled onto your blog, but man, i'm hooked!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

aw deb, thanks so much!

Doodleyboo said...

I am on a serious mission to make everything on your blog. Really, I am just in awe of everything...

Anonymous said...

I feel like I say this everytime I comment on your blog, but I'm going to say it are awesome!!!

I am impressed and amazed everytime I stop by.

Love the cupcake tattoo. I too have quite the sweet tooth. I don't feel my day is complete if I haven't had a little something (or a lot...).

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Doodleyboo- Thanks SO much! Let me know how things turn out!

VivaciousV- I make sure to include a sweet (or two.. or three) in my daily life as well! Thanks for your sweet comments.

Chicago Vegan said...

The Orange Sesame Tofu adopted from a Martha Stewart Recipe went over well at a recent vegan potluck held here in Logan Square for Veterans day (*gush; I love vegans that support veterans).

The first batch I made a delightful mistake and forgot to add the egg replacer (1 and 1/2 ER and 2 tbls warm water). The Cornstarch, sesame seed, salt and pepper dry mix stuck well to the slightly moist tofu. When added to a med hot skillet with 1/8th cup of veg oil the sesame tofu came out so nice and crisp and the perfect brown with just the right meaty texture. Once I bathed them in the OJ, maple syrup and soy sauce (I substituted Braggs vegan amino acid spray--a perfect soy sauce sub) they got gobbled up and I was adored. :) Thank you!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Chicago Vegan- I'm so glad it worked it! I'd forgotten about this dish, I'll have to make it again! yum yum.

Kyle said...

oh damn oh damn! i'm gonna have to make those VwaV stuffed peppers now.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Kyle- you totally should! They're a favorite around here.

city said...

I just stumbled across a pic of the Orange Sesame Tofu on your flickr and HAD to make it. Thanks for posting a link to the blog you got it off. Yum yum yum (even meat eating hubby loved it)

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

city- SO glad you enjoyed it! I need to get you my cupcake drawing!

Affordable Luxurious Wedding Dress Blog said...

cheap wedding gowns,
discount bridal gowns,
China wedding dresses,
discount designer wedding dresses,
China wedding online store,
plus size wedding dresses,
cheap informal wedding dresses,
junior bridesmaid dresses,
cheap bridesmaid dresses,
maternity bridesmaid dresses,
discount flower girl gowns,
cheap prom dresses,
party dresses,
evening dresses,
mother of the bride dresses,
special occasion dresses,
cheap quinceanera dresses,
hot red wedding dresses