Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Man With Two Brains

Extra Noodle In The Coconut
The title of this movie is a little deceiving. Steve Martin doesn't actually *possess* two brains. The extra brain refers to a brain in a vat that he falls in love and has an affair with. So this movie is ridiculous, some might say stupid, but I love it and it makes me laugh so hard. It's a good zany comedy if that's what you're in the mood for.

Steve Martin plays Dr. Michael Hfuruhurr, a brain surgeon who invented screw top brain surgery. He hits a woman with his car, whom he ends up performing surgery on and marrying. His wife is only after his money and he quickly catches on that she is not the woman he thought she was. While at a medical conference, he meets a mad scientist who keeps a bunch of brains in vats in his laboratory. Dr. Hfuruhurr hits it off with one of the brains (played by Sissy Spacek) and now the only problem... finding her a body.

From 1983, The Man With Two Brains...

"Ladies and gentlemen, I envision a day when the lives of brilliant men can be kept alive in the bodies of dumb people."

"I don't think there's a girl floating in a jar anywhere who is as happy as I am"

Extra Noodle In The Coconut

I liked the recipe I created, but when I was eating this, I was just thinking about how much I'd rather it be a Red Curry with zucchini and eggplant noodles instead. So Instead of giving you this recipe, I'll tell you what I do for my red curry. When I make it at home, I buy red curry paste and mix some with coconut milk :/ it ends up to be much cheaper than buying all the ingredients myself, and there are so many vegan Thai restaurants where I live too. So there's no reason to go through all of the labor.

So no recipe this time, but what I will offer you is the concept and instructions on how to make coconut serving bowls. There are 3 eyes at the end of the coconut, one of them is soft and you can poke all the way through it (I used a metal sweker). Use the hole you just poked to drain the coconut water. Save it in a jar, put in in the fridge and drink it later. Next, bake the coconut at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Take a hammer and firmly, hit the coconut along the equator. (Don't whack it, just hit it firmly). Rotate and hit, and it will eventually crack along the horizon. (It could take a while, be patient).

Then you have your coconut serving bowls!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Harold and Maude


Harold is a young man fascinated with death and finds satisfaction in staging elaborate suicides for his mother to walk in on. Maude is a 79 year old, quintessential eccentric with a passion for healthy living, but is balanced with her healthy attitude toward death. Due to a common interest in attending funerals in their leisure time, the two cross paths, but had not met until one day after a funeral when Maude steals Harold's hearse and offers him a ride in it.

Harold falls for Maude, perhaps because she doesn't find his morbidity appalling or an illness that needs to be cured. It's the most charming love story I think I've ever seen, but I feel it is more of a coming of age story, done not in the standard trite way. I would describe this movie as dark and refreshing. It defines the black comedy genre. From 1971, Harold and Maude...

"You know, at one time, I used to break into pet shops to liberate the canaries. But I decided that was an idea way before it's time. Zoos are full, prisons are overflowing... Oh my, how the world still *dearly* loves a cage."

"I haven't lived. I've died a few times."

Maude: The Earth is my body; my head is in the stars... who said that, Harold?
Harold: I don't know.
Maude: Well, I suppose I did then.


I didn't really use baby artichokes, I used a can :/ but I needed the name for my concept, so let's pretend they are baby chokes.

1 cup cashew loja (recipe will follow)
12-14 oz. firm or xtra firm tofu, drained
1 can of artichoke hearts, drained
2-3 TB (eye ball it) of fresh chopped basil
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
3 TB nutritional yeast
1/4 cup pine nuts
vegan butter to dolop the pie before baking

Cashew Loja

1 lb raw cashews soaked for at least a couple of hours
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
juice of one lemon
2-3 cloves of garlic
1-2 tsp salt to taste

In the food processor- zip up cashew loja ingredients, add a little bit of water at a time until it is able to swirl around smoothly. (little water as possible).

You won't use the entire batch of loja, but I always make a 1 lb of cashew batch because it's never a bad thing to have extra hanging out in your fridge to snack on for the rest of the week. I like to "age" my loja by setting it in the window sill for about an hour and fridging it overnight. This process isn't necessary if you want to go ahead and make it right away.

Put your one cup of loja in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, drain and crumble your tofu and mix it with 3 TB of nutritional yeast, 1 tsp salt and a squeeze of lemon. Chop your basil and stir it in along with onion powder and chopped garlic. Quarter your artichoke hearts and stir them in. Take the loja out of the fridge and rip off little pieces with your fingers and fold them into the mixture. Place mixture in a greased pie pan. (I used a small cake pan, either is fine. I'm really regretting not making a potato crust for this, I went crust-less because I was running out of daylight. It was good without, but I recommend with.

Dolop the top of the pie with little pieces of vegan butter, bake on 350 for about 30 minutes. While this is baking, make your pine nut loja to top the quiche. This will be similar to a parmesan, but better. Lightly oil a pan and lightly toast the pine nuts with 1 tsp of nutritional yeast and a small pinch of salt. Grind the pine nut mixture in a mini food processor or coffee grinder. (blender might work?) When the quiche is done, top it with your pine nut loja.

I topped one of the slices with toffuti sour cream. It didn't need it. It's very rich.

For dessert, I made candied flowers. Have you ever seen that package of edible flowers at the store and wonder what to do with them? Well, this was my first time working with them and I didn't really know what to do, I didn't want to cook them in any way because that would ruin their beauty. So I just made a sugar solution, dipped them and let them dry.

boil about a cup of water and stir in about a cup of sugar, let it cool completely, then dip your flowers in and let them dry. This is ideal to go on cupcakes!

That's Hazey Jane helping mamma :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Breakfast Club

"Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it is we did wrong. What we did *was* wrong. But we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us how you want to see us... In the most simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain... and an athlete... and a basket case... a princess... and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours the Breakfast Club."
Okay, so I kinda phoned it in with this one. I didn't have to make a new menu creation... what better pairing for this movie than breakfast food? I happen to have a whole bunch of photos of the breakfasts that I make, because I think they would take away my vegan card if I didn't take a picture of every single meal that I ate!

I don't think anyone portrays 80's teen angst better than John Hughes, or at least his movies are the most entertaining and the one's I feel most nostalgic for. As teens we felt the prejudice of our authority figures. They put us in boxes, didn't give us much credit and as Brian so precisely put it, they see us how they want to see us. Usually they see us as some sort of amorphous character that fits into one of a few select categories. I'm actually grateful for this, it taught me at a nice ripe age to always question authority. Authority all too often has a hidden agenda, it's our job to find out what it is. I feel The Breakfast Club is such a perfect movie regarding this because it expresses these themes and it's highly entertaining at the same time. So grab a stack of pancakes and hang out with some brat-packers for an evening of nostalgic 80's angst! From 1985, The Breakfast Club...

The Brain...
" ...That's seven including the time when we first came in and you asked Mr. Vernon weather Barry Manilow knew that he raided his closet."
The Athlete...
"I'm not a winner because I want to be one. I'm a winner because I've got strength and speed... kinda like a racehorse. It's about how involved I am in what's happening to me."
The Basket Case...
"I never did it either. I'm not a nymphomaniac, I'm a compulsive liar."
The Princess...
"Were you truly disgusted with what I did with my lipstick?"
The Criminal...
"That's very clever sir. But what if there's a fire? I think violating fire codes and endangering the lives of children would be unwise at this juncture in your career."

Mochi Pancakes

These are nice and gooey in the middle, I just used a standard pancake recipe, but substituted some Mochiko (sweet rice flour) for some white flour.

French Toast w/ a side of Roasted Fennel and Fava Beans

I used Chloe Coscarelli's recipe for french toast, (only I left out the blueberry). For the side I roasted some fennel, then tossed it with some lemon and dill.
Black Bean Peace-Links

Biscuits and Gravy

I used the biscuit recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance then topped it with my very special cashew gravy.

Asian Tofu Scramble

I loved this scramble! carrots, cilantro, bok choy, shitake mushrooms, soy sauce, ginger, garlic. And I cut 2 sheets of nori seaweed up and tossed it in at the end. (cilantro goes in at the end too!)

Breakfast Potatoes

You can find the recipe for this on my old blog, Pj's Peace Kitchen.
Laka ukalele... I made some banana pancakes. Recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Avocado Tofu Scramble

Recipe on my old blog, Pj's Peace Kitchen.