Wednesday, July 28, 2010

my life in pictures?

Well, things have been pretty awesome lately...lots of food adventures, movie-going, and sunshine followed by wicked storms.

Last time we talked, I had a busy week ahead of me...Pridefest, which was a blast...Laura and I got our picture taken in the free Target photo booth [since we were the last to arrive and the rest of the gang had already taken their pictures...ours were the coolest, obviously, especially since we had our fedoras on].

The next day I got the chance to show my biodad around the museum I work at. The below picture is of him from the roof of the building, with the minneapolis skyline in the background.

We then spent a week at my grandparents' lake home with my uncles, aunt, and grandparents. It was a fun week full of laughter, cards, and sunshine. The following pictures largely encompass our week...

Upon returning, my friends and I wasted no time in getting back to our grilling sessions...Winnie grilled corn[see below], I made some broccoli/grape/wildrice/tofu-"chicken" salad, and Laura made grilled black bean burgers...I topped mine with an avocado/sriracha mash and some veggies [see below] for extra texture and was even more delicious than it looks in the picture!

Other than that the past few weeks have flown by...lots of trips to the farmers market, the newly remodeled library, the movies [I've seen SO MANY movies in the last few months and it's been rather awesome...most recent that I'd recommend: Ramona &!] etc. It's been a lot of fun and I'll be sad to see summer go, although I am getting a little excited for my fall wardrobe to roll back and sweaters and scarves, OH MY!

Here are some foodthings I've indulged in since my last month in food [pictures]?

Still making easy personal-sized pizzas occasionally, but not as often since having the oven on makes my 3rd-floor apartment even HOTTER...this one's on an everything bagel.

Finally found where they keep the nutritional yeast in bulk at the CoOp near my apartment. With it, I made vegan queso as an appetizer for one of the meals I assembled on Top Chef night [since B and I take turns impressing one another with our culinary creations]...served this with a tequila shot [+ lime & salt, naturally] while dinner was simmering...

dinner that night was black beans, spanish rice, cilantro, garlic, onion, and homemade guacamole on a was delicious, nutritious, and extremely filling.

Since I bought a large bag of nutritional yeast [which I'm storing in the refrigerator but not in the best container so it's likely losing many of it's "nutritional" properties], I decided to use it in a few other recipes, including vegan mac & cheese. This turned out quite well, though I think I'd like to experiment more with it in the future...

In between cooking adventures, the ladies and I like to hit up Pizza Luce occasionally and this is my favorite vegan pizza there...The Pizza Athena with rinatta...loaded with veggies and an oil-based "sauce", the rinatta gives the right touch to a very refreshing ensemble.

Brooke's turn for top chef involved grilling corn and vegan JucyLucy's. Tofu and potatoes, among other things, made up the patty - and I stuffed mine with soy-cheddar. She can eat dairy just fine so she used regular cheese, sharp cheddar. They were decent but we agreed that we should use MORE "cheese" next time - and I tried making one with leftover ingredients the next day but after the patty mix sat in the fridge overnight it got too dried out and would not hold together. This may be another recipe that requires a bit of tweaking, but overall was a nice treat.

Last week was my Top Chef night again. For the appetizer I did a spin on traditional bruschetta by adding avocado into the mix. I've been eating these like crazy lately and my roommate, Brooke, and I ate up the appetizer faster than I could plate them! My roommate's already made these twice in the last week on her own, that's how much she liked it...and she was skeptical at first, turning up her nose at the thought of breaking tradition.

Though not paired as nicely with the appetizer, the entree was a real crowd pleaser as well. First I sauteed diced onion and garlic in some olive oil, added some butternut squash [frozen from the grocery store, but REALLY delicious], added tofu that I dried for two hours and crumbled with a fork, added cooked lentils and raw swiss chard, some water and chicken bouillion, a bit of corn starch to thicken it up...covered it and let it simmer until the swisschard was still meaty but nice and soft and the food was all well meshed was PERFECT comfort food and may be a staple in my apartment, particularly this fall.

What was even BETTER about this meal was the fact that I was able to make omelets with the leftovers and soy mozzarella for two days in a row! I had some soy-bacon the first day but the lentils/tofu/swisschard inside of the eggs were SO filling that I skipped the fakebacon on day two. I dipped my omelet in a bit of sriracha and it was absolutely to die for.

Yesterday at the market I found a great combo-peppers deal, some cute tomatoes, a cheap but huge onion, and then added this to my limes and avocados...I'm going to make some AMAZING salsa this week, but in the meantime I am loving the aesthetics of this produce bowl on my newly-cleaned kitchen table...

Last but not least, I visited an old friend last night...that's right, Bun Mi, a vietnamese sandwich shop on the campus of my alma matter that opened up last year. My coworkers and I regularly slipped over there for takeout sandwiches and french fries [and heaping portions of sriracha] before our daily meetings and it had been over 6 months since I'd tasted the delicious mock duck curry sandwich...needless to say, my tastebuds [and belly] went home very satisfied last night.

Tonight is Brooke's turn to cook again...salad and tofu-"chicken" nuggets are on the menu, with pictures to come later...

My friends and I have big plans for my next "weekend" - involving a drive-in movie night Monday [and staying for ALL THREE movies!!!] and a Tuesday afternoon in Uptown where we'll window-shop, maybe actual-shop at some thrift stores, hit up a cheap happy hour somewhere, and then finally see The Kids Are All Right assuming it's still at either Uptown Theater or Lagoon.

Basically, I'm busy as always - and getting busier as a potential move is in the works by the end of the summer...I'll miss this little guy, most of all.

thanks for reading and putting up with my sporadic posts...I'll try and post more often so that these aren't such a bombardment of images!