Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Four Seasons

This will be my first official welcome to fall post this year. The Four Seasons isn't exactly a fall movie but I still think of it as one. It takes us through all four seasons with the friendships amongst 3 married couples. For my food pairing I wanted it to be a fall dish, but have all four seasons represented. 

Autumn: Butternut Squash
Winter: Farro, Curry
Spring: Arugula
Summer: Corn, Lemon

The flavors are so well balanced and I can really taste each season in there. It's earthy and bright at the same time, it's a great way to transition into fall cuisine.

I used a small butternut squash and roasted it.
I grilled 2 ears of organic corn.
I cooked farro which ended up being about 3 cups, cooked.

I made a lemon vinaigrette by whisking 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon, 3 Tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tsp. of lemon zest, 1tsp of agave, and a pinch of salt.

I made a lemon-curry aioli by mixing 1 cup of Vegenaise, about 3 tsp. of curry powder, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp. of paprika, 1 tsp. of lemon zest and sea salt to taste. 

I seasoned the farro, squash and corn with sea salt and pepper, then tossed it with the vinaigrette, leaving about a tablespoon of vinaigrette in the bowl, which I used to toss the arugula. 

I poured the farro, squash, corn mixture into a bowl and sprinkled arugula on top. I then dressed the whole dish with the lemon-curry aioli in a zig-zag fashion. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Shining - Redrum Cupcakes featuring "Tony"

Happy Autumn!!! It's that time of year again, officially scary movie watching season!

The Shining is one of the great classic horror movies. A family moves into an isolated hotel in it's off season to be the caretakers. The father is a writer who sees this as a good opportunity to work on his writing, but instead goes mad after being influenced by the spirits of the hotel. The Little boy, Danny, is psychic and can see horrible things that have happened in the past, and things that are to come. The mother basically has to put up with a whole lotta bullshit.

If you haven't seen this movie, "Tony" is a little boy who lives inside of Danny's mouth. Tony is animated through Danny's finger.

Bonus: I saw a cool documentary called Room 237 (currently streaming on Netflix). It's a super analytic journey into the movie, offering up many theories on the meaning of cool hidden stuff in The Shining. Maybe do a double feature!

This is one of my cats, R2D2 in the corner. 

"Redrum! Redrum! Redrum!"

I used The basic vanilla cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. Added 1/4 cup extra flour and 1/2 cup dark rum.

For the bloody fingers, I used Chloe Coscarelli's "witches fingers" recipe.

For the glaze, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup rum, 1/4 cup vegan butter, natural red food coloring. (available at health food stores). Stir and bring to a boil, let thicken (few minutes), then drizzle over the cupcakes.

For the crumbles - 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 6 TB vegan butter, pinch of salt. Bake crumbles separate from cupcakes at 350 for about 10 minutes.

"It's amazing how fast you get used to such a big place. I tell you, when we first came up here, I thought it was kinda scary."

"Come play with us, Danny. Forever... and ever... and ever... "

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bob's Burgers - Sgt. Poblano Pepper Lonely Artichoke Hearts Club Burger

I'm thinking of making Bob's Burgers specials a regular segment on Popcorn and Nooch. If you haven't seen the show, it's really clever, I recommend you do so. Unfortunately Bob isn't vegan, but that doesn't mean I can't bring his daily specials to life, cruelty-free 'n all. I look forward to seeing his daily special on the chalkboard each episode, they are always cute and "punny"

So to get my new segment rolling, I went with Sgt. Poblano Pepper Lonely Artichoke Hearts Club. A lentil burger topped with a roasted poblano stuffed with cheesy artichokes.

I'll give you an idea of what I did here...

I roasted the poblano first until it's black and blistery, let it cool, then removed the skin and sliced it in half removing the seeds and stem.

I stuffed it with a cheesy artichoke mixture- artichokes, sauteed onions and garlic, fresh thyme, vegenaise, sea salt, bit of dry sherry, and my award winning cashew cheese (I really did win a cooking competition with this cheese, for some reason when I say "award winning" people don't think I'm serious, lol).

I stuffed this mixture into my pepper halves, topped it with bread crumbs and popped it back in the oven, Then I just slid it on top of the lentil burger.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Dirty Dancing - Dirty Watermelon Tacos

Baby Houseman- Feminist Icon

Perhaps one of the most underrated movies. Not because it's not adored but because it's too often dismissed as a mainstream, pop teen movie and not appreciated for the politically charged, feminist work of art that it is. Baby Houseman is a pillar of a healthy female narrative in film. She defies the classic female tropes. She is dynamic, ambitious, smart, a humanitarian with aspirations to change the world, fearful yet perpetually exhibits feats of courage, sensitive and nurturing yet never takes shit. Perhaps the most important aspect of her narrative is that her life isn't defined by a man, her life goals don't include a man, and spoiler alert: her life plans don't change to suit the life of the man she falls in love with. Not to mention- SHE comes to HIS rescue. 

Multi layered- the film also deals with the dangers of illegal abortion, how the rich elite abuse the working class and a juxtaposition of a healthy sexual relationship vs. an exploitive demeaning one. Also, one of the most interesting elements is how Baby was an example of how to handle privilege right vs. being an asshole with privilege, e.g. the the despicable Robbie who seems to embody classism. 

Baby Houseman, my hats off to you, you're a fucking badass.

You remember the watermelon scene, right? "I carried a watermelon" Well, this post gave me a great excuse to try something I've wanted to do for quite a long time. Somehow have watermelon be the essence of a taco. I dehydrated the watermelon to give it a chewy toothiness, then I crusted it and pan fried it. Grilled would be even better!

Dirty Watermelon Tacos

*A dehydrator is required for this recipe

1 tsp Chipotle Powder
3 T Pine Nuts
1 T Nutritional Yeast
Red Onion
Light tasting Oil
Cashews Cream (recipe to follow)
Taco Shells or Tortillas
Sea Salt

Dehydrate 1/2" thick chunks of watermelon for about 8 hours and brush with oil.
Grind pine nuts with Nutritional yeast and chipotle powder with 1/8 tsp sea salt.
Coat watermelon with this mixture and pan fry on each side until golden brown.

Make a lime vinaigrette by whisking equal parts lime juice and oil. A pinch of salt and agave to taste.
toss vinaigrette with arugula and red onion.

Roast Jalapenos
at 450 until black and blistering
allow to cool slightly and remove the stem, skin and seeds
(warm back up before serving)

Cashew Cream
soak cashews in water for 4 hours
drain and blend with water until a creamy consistency is achieved
add lemon juice to achieve a sour cream flavor
add sea salt to taste
add nutritional yeast to taste (optional)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Kitties and Doughnuts

We just got back from a mini-break in Portland for my husband's birthday. One of the coolest things was the street that had a string of all vegan businesses. Sweetpea Baking Co., Herbivore and Food Fight were amongst this little vegan sanctuary. Away from this comforting little block, we had the famed Voodoo doughnuts. They were okay. Nothing worth waiting 40 minutes in line for. They had a vegan shelf, we were able to get a dozen that were all different. I really wish we would've supported an all vegan bakery instead, but we had to try it once. The person at the counter was nice and she let us pick the dozen that we wanted because apparently the customer doesn't usually get to choose which doughnuts they want. (vegan or not vegan are the choices). I think if you pay for each individual doughnut, you get to pick which ones you want. They had so many doughnuts with artificial coloring, we told her we didn't want artificial coloring, so she said she'll let us pick them but not to expect this to happen next time we are there because she's not supposed to do that. It's clear their success is do to their branding, not the product or service. A friend told me she was just at the one in Denver and they didn't have the vegan doughnuts labeled and they didn't know which ones were vegan when she asked. 

I did enjoy them, they're just nothing to write home about. I've had better. Much better. The line outside resembled something you would see at Disney World, they had the zig-zag barricade formation to organize the crowd. I thought it was a bit ridiculous how many people were there. It's amazing how far good branding can take a business with an average product. The best thing that came from our Voodoo doughnut experience was this insanely adorable picture of my kitties with the box of dough-doughs.