Saturday, December 30, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mr. Nick is just too cute. He hangs out at a store all day and lets little kids grab at him. When he gets tired, he'll walk over to you and rest his head on your lap, patiently waiting for pets.
How can NYC Councilman Vallone ban a mug this cute??
My modified pesto recipe is really easy and delicious!
First, toast 1 3ounce bag of pine nuts. Toast them with a bit of cooking spray on medium heat for about 2 minutes:
Add 3/4 tube of Gourmet Garden Basil Herb Blend:
Add 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley. The parsely adds more dark green coloring to the pesto and enhances the flavor:
Add 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil and blend until smooth:
Serve with crackers, over pasta, or with polenta:
Living Vegan Word Cloud
Sarah Kramer just posted a blog entry about Battlestar Galactica, one of my favorite TV shows and it reminded me of this funny music video comparing the new Battlestar with the original series from the 1970s.
It's pretty funny.
New episodes air on SciFi Sunday, January 21st at 10 EST. There's a marathon on SciFi on January 15th so there's no excuse not to watch!
Thursday, December 28, 2006
One More Reason to Go Vegan!
Taken from MSNBC.com:
WASHINGTON - Federal scientists have concluded there is no difference between food from cloned animals and food from conventional livestock, setting the stage for the government to declare Thursday that cloned animals are safe for the human food supply.
The Food and Drug Administration planned to brief industry groups in advance of an announcement. The agency indicated it would approve cloned livestock in a scientific journal article published online earlier this month.
The agency “concludes that meat and milk from clones and their progeny is as safe to eat as corresponding products derived from animals produced using contemporary agricultural practices,” FDA scientists Larisa Rudenko and John C. Matheson wrote in the Jan. 1 issue of Theriogenology.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I made some spring rolls yesterday, I think they came out deliciously.
Cucumber, Carrots, Rice Noodles, Jicama, and Basil
I julienned all of the vegetables and placed a small handful in each roll.
Spring Roll Wrappers:
To use these, you briefly dip them in warm water to soften, fill with your desired vegetables, and wrap up like a burrito!
I realize now that I could have taken better pictures. I placed them on a cookie rack to set, not the most gourmet-looking backdrop, but you get the idea.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
I changed this recipe a bit, but the original Polenta Crispini recipe is from Vegan Italiano.
First, I went to Wegman's to get some fresh basil but they were out. The produce manager told me to come back the next day...I went back the next day and this was the greenest basil they had:
I got it thinking that maybe if I left it in the sun for a few days it would improve...it didn't. I went back and got this basil in a tube - it's surprisingly fresh tasting!
I cheated a bit and instead of making the polenta, I bought Sun-Dried Tomato Polenta in a tube, I sliced it and topped it with my homemade pesto (recipe below).
Then I baked them at 350 for 20 minutes. They were crispy on the ouside and soft in the middle with deliciously rich pesto on top.
3/4 tube Basil
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
5 Tbs toasted pine nuts
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Blend all ingredients in a blender until a paste forms.
UPDATE: The above product now contains dairy, boo!!
I love all of the holiday drinks available this time of year. Here are a few of our favorites:
Vitasoy's Holly Nog is shelf-stable and $1.99 a carton. It's thinner than Silk Nog, but has a very smooth flavor.
I never tire of Silk Nog. It's thick, rich, creamy, and delicious. At $2.50 a carton, it's slightly pricier than than Holly Nog, but well worth it. The biggest draw-back is most cartons have an early February expiration date.
New this year is Vitasoy's Peppermint Chocolate drink. It's shelf-stable and $1.99 a carton. I personally don't care for peppermint flavoring, but this drink is light and definitely festive. Gian mixes it with Silk Chocolate milk, heats it up, and tops with some Soya Too.
Gratuitous Dog Shots
Christmas Eve Festivities
Here are some pictures from our Christmas Eve festivities:
My mother-in-law always makes elaborate centerpieces and wreaths...This is the centerpiece she made this year, it's a mini-tree with silvery-glittery stuff sticking out of it and with a green bird on top. It perfectly matches our tree, I love it!
A close-up of the bird
A more traditional centerpiece that she made, this one was on the coffee table in the living room. The candle is battery-operated so the dogs can't burn down the house. It actually smells like a real candle and flickers like a real candle - crazy!
Gemella & Jim
I got Gian these glasses last year, apparently he still likes them!
I love Family Guy
Gian and Pier
Gian and Hanson
Christmas Eve Menu
We had a decent amount of people come over for Christmas Eve dinner. Here's a shortlist of the food. In my haste to get everything ready I forgot pictures of the appetizers...I'll have to make them again I guess!!
My brother, Zack, enjoying the food.
A slice of lasagna.
Baked Ziti with Meatballs
Puff Pastry Bread - I usually cut out the pastry with a star-shaped cutter, but I couldn't find it anywhere so I used a rabbit-shaped cutter - not quite festive, but still delicous! I topped the pastries with coarse salt and dried basil - they are a light and seemingly fancy alternative to bread. (They're so easy to make, I just buy Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry, thaw it, cut out the shapes, top with seasoning, bake, and serve!)
Here's the trifle, half-eaten. The trifle consists of home-made chocolate and vanilla cake, chopped up and layered with vegan whipped cream, home-made chocolate-mocha syrup, and melted chocolate. The whipped cream is from a restaurant-supply store, not available for regular retail.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Finaly, my own camera!
Expect lots of pictures!!
Gian got me a digital camera for Christmas.
Highlights of the camera:
1. It's PINK!
2. It's really really small
3. It has 7.2 megapixels and a nice zoon
4. It has rechargeable batteries that last 200 minutes when charged
5. I can finally keep a camera in my purse to take pictures wherever I go!
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
Christmas Eve Menu
We went to a really fun dinner party/potluck/gift exchange this weekend at Danielle's house and I scored this awesome vegan cookbook. I looked through it and was inspired to go back to my 'roots' and create an Italian Christmas Eve menu this year.
Bruschetta and Polenta Crispini
Lasagna, Giancarlo's Banging Pasta (pasta with marinara sauce, cream cheese, and burger crumbles), & Meatballs
Understated yet refined. I'll have to post some pics once everything is prepared.