Sunday, February 15, 2009

Vday, testers, and other great stuff

Wow, it's been a busy week.  I can't believe it's been so long since I posted!  This is gonna be a big one, kids.  And before I forget (or you tune out before the end of my post haha...) don't forget to:
a) enter my contest for a $50 gift certificate for Earth Shoes here, and 
b) make sure you come back TOMORROW to see who won!  
I'll need all of you to come check to see if you won and if you are the lucky one, you'll need to send me an email (link on my profile page) with your name and email address so that I can send it to the peeps at and they can get your your gift certificate.

Now that that business is done with, we must talk about food.  I'm gonna start with the big Valentine's day eats.  Ok, so I have to admit that up until a few days ago, I had completely forgotten about chocolate covered potato chips.  Anybody else have these before?  I remember in high school or undergrad having gotten a couple boxes of these and LOVING them.  There's just something about that sweet/salty combo that really does it for me.  So anyway, I was browsing through a Rachey Ray magazine at work the other day and saw a 'recipe' for chocolate covered potato chips.  I mean, seriously, leave it to Rachel frigging Ray to remind me of something so terrible for my health and then encourage me to actually make it myself.  Well, how could I refuse?  That woman.  There's something about her that I really love/hate.  Mostly, though, I really dislike her.  But I also just can't help but like her.  What is wrong with me?!

Regardless of my feelings for her, it planted a seed in my mind, and I made chocolate covered potato chips yesterday for us to munch on.
pure decadence

This is ridiculously easy to do.  Just melt some dark chocolate with some soymilk (or, I used rice milk because we had it for some reason).  Dip in some kettle chips (nonflavored).  Let drip on a rack with wax paper underneath.  When they're done dripping, put 'em in the fridge.  These are pretty good, but the chocolate I used was pretty bitter, so I'd add some sugar next time if I got the same chocolate.  Because, you know, the ones that I remember were, of course, made with milk chocolate.  Which is way different (and honestly way crappier) than the chocolate we eat now.  So what I'm basically saying is that you can't shove these into your mouth like you're popping M&Ms (oh, my old M&M addiction...R.I.P.) because they are richer and more of a....delicacy?  Can I call chocolate covered potato chips a delicacy?  

For dinner we made a chickn parmesan pizza.  This is the ultimate in easy.  Crust it up (I used a different crust recipe than the one from VWAV because I wanted a doughier crust), add garlic, onions, spinach and prebake for about 10 minutes at 450F.  Then add a layer of pizza sauce, lots of chopped basil, some sliced Boca chicken patties, more sauce, then your fake cheese of choice.  We used Teese and somehow, that crap didn't melt.  
non-melty, but still delicious

I think I sliced the Teese too thick, because it was melty on the underside, but still solid on the top.  It was fine to eat though.  Oh, and make sure you use Boca ORIGINAL chicken patties (not the organic ones or whatever) and still check your ingredients because apparently there is some conspiracy out there where some Boca chicken patties have milk in them or eggs or something, and some do not.  Inconsistency.  But you have to use these kind of breaded patties (if you find another brand, use those then) because chickn parmesan needs to be...breaded.  It's part of the deal.  This pizza turned out really good, but there was one weird thing about it.  Apparently our corner market is selling bags of fresh basil that is thai basil, without being labelled as such.  We noticed there was a strange licorice-y taste to our basil (after we put it one the pizza of course) and realized that we were eating some non basic basil.  It wasn't bad, but it was definitely different, haha...  So go for plain old basil if you make this.

We even tried microwaving our slices to melt that stuff, and it was a no-go.  It did, however, make it insanely hot and I burned the crap outta my mouth.  C'est la vie, eh?

And since you can never have enough chocolate, we made Chocolate Covered Cherry Pudding Cakes from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen.  Oh man, were these ever rich.

My mom used to make pudding cake when I was a kid.  And I just couldn't resist trying it out myself.  Worth it!  And really, it was very easy.  I even bought ramekins yesterday so that I could make this.  That's dedication, baby.  Don't they look great?  Very intense (make sure to let these cool so that they can be more pudding-ish and less liquid-y) and the cherries and chocolate go together perfectly, of course.  A lovely end to a lovely day.

Ok, enough Valentine's day mushiness.  Next up?  Some tester recipes for the Cookin' with my Craw-Daddy zine!  This past weekend, Michael was out of town and I made the Swampy Tofu Scramble for dinner.
swamp thang

I was not really expecting a tofu scramble to knock my socks off, but consider my socks completely knocked.  This is honestly the best tofu scramble I've ever eaten in my life (and I've had quite a few).  Something about the flavor combo is just...perfection.  Plus there's a secret trick that makes it nice and creamy and super wonderful.  I liked it so much that I made it for Michael on Monday for dinner again, along with these bad boys:
Yell'er Hush Puppies

The flavor of these was really yummy.  They were a tad greasy, but they are hush puppies after all.  That's kind of how that goes.  Michael made these and we ate them with lots of mustard, and it was good.
ragin' cajun mealtime

Well, I dunno how cajun brussels sprouts are, but we steamed some and they went very nicely with this meal.  Made me feel a tad better about the fried-ness of the hush puppies.  I also think that the hush puppy batter would work really well as a batter for frying other things, like, oh, say...corn dogs?  Mwahahaha...  

Next up is just a meal worth mentioning because it was full of mushrooms and I ate all of them.  Shocker!
could i be changing my ways?

Michael found a mixed container of wild mushrooms while he was out of town and he sauteed them up quite simply with peppers and onions.  They were insanely delicious.  I don't know...but...I may be starting to like mushrooms other than oyster mushrooms.  Wonders never cease.  We made some couscous (that I think just had nutritional yeast in it, honestly) and I sauteed some kale that I had beforehand massaged with lemon juice (kale loves to be massaged with lemon juice, you must try this).  I just sauteed some garlic and one shallot, then added the lemony kale.  I have to say, it was the best kale I've ever eaten.  For such a simple meal, this was crazydelicious.

I also made something with another kind of mushroom for Michael's mom, who came to town this week.  It was the faux clam linguine that I've made before, but it turned out a million times better and I'm kicking myself for not taking photos of it.  

Oh well.

These babies are something you just have to make.  You have to!
relish oat crackers

Celine, of Have Cake, Will Travel, is a genius.  She also tested out some of the Zukay Live Foods, and made these amazing crackers out of the garlic relish.  Since the garlic relish was my favorite out of the whole product-testing-batch, and also since I've never made my own crackers, and also since they seemed so darned easy...I made them.  The day she posted them.  And they.  Are.  Wonderful.  And you don't have to have that specific relish.  I'm sure there is garlic relish out there besides that brand.  GO MAKE THESE!  Immediately!  Recipe here.

To finish, I will leave you with a sign that spring is close.  Don't despair.  I had these for lunch last Saturday, when it was sunny and 70F.  
a little taste of awesomeness

And while that warm streak was a bit of a fluke (it's much colder now), it gave me hope that it will be warm again.  There will be strawberries.  There will be fresh tomatoes and peppers and trips to the farmers market.  I will be able to go outside without a coat and without shivering and without hating life.  I just can't wait.

Now go enter my contest!


saveyrgeneration said...

so, fellow, Huntingtonian, have you ever gotten produce from Julian's makret? If so, was it some quality stuff? And, thirdly, where it be?

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, are those strawberries or am I seeing things?!? We are just too impatient, we want some strawberries...I wish it were spring!

I swear I saw mushrooms on your plate...did you bump your head or something? Ha! That being said, I love 'em, so I think you may come around.

I want me some of that pizza, melted or not, and as for celine's crackers - she is just amazing!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, those pudding cakes look AMAZING! I was going to make that recipe but I didn't have ramikins. I was also going to go buy some but I was too lazy =)

miss v said...

those oat crackers look figgin' awesome. and btw, i love the chicken patty pizza idea. i love those chicken patties with any type of italian food, so yum!

River said...

Chocolate covered potato chips? I am so intrigued!! Wow, that's awesome!

Your pizza looks fab! Darn vegan cheeses don't melt most of the time. I'm thinking about buying me a little pastry torch and torch the hell out of it myself.

Your pudding cakes look fabulously puddingtacular! One can never have too much chocolate.

The tofu scramble and hush puppies are doing things to my salivary glands.

I saw the crackers on Celine's blog, they look so crispy!

Strawberries = YAY!!

Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog! I'm glad you found mine because it brought me to your blog of awesomeness!

Katy said...

All that food looks great! I've never had chocolate covered potato chips, but I don't think I need another reason to like potato chips and chocolate. ;)

michelle said...

Holy mega-whoa post!! Everything looks so good! I'm looking forward to the Cookin' with the Craw-Daddy many good food porn lately from it! Happy sunday!

Jes said...

I've always grated my teese first to make it melt, but your pizza sounds and looks amazing!

And chocolate covered potato chips?!?! My mind is blown!!!

Chelsea said...

This post made me so hungry! It seems like every blog I look at lately has pizza on it! Mmmmmm

Sal said...

Oh my god – I can’t tell you how much chocolate covered crisps appeals to me! And I hear ya on the M&M addiction; I tell ya, if they sold the peanut butter M&Ms here in normal shops (not just mail-order American sweety shops!) I’d have been the size of a house!

I was eyeing that cherry choc pudding cake recipe the other day – I made a chocolate pudding cake a wee while back and it was amazing and the thought of adding cherries is an ace one!

I need to make those crackers!!

Virginia said...

chocolate covered potato chips? never heard of them but YES PLEASE!!!! wow, is that PMS food or what?!?

Erin said...

I have the same love/hate feelings for Rachel Ray. Every time I see her on tv I think she's really annoying, but I can't stop watching. Although I think I'll stay away from the chocolate covered potato chips. That's just bad news for someone trying to watch their calorie intake...

I love your chicken parm pizza idea! I almost bought some chik'n patties at the store just today, but didn't because I couldn't imagine what I'd use them for.

The teese will melt! Slice it really thinly or try to shred it. And if it still doesn't you can pop it under the broiler for a minute or two at the end.

I'm very interested in this Cajun zine you're testing for. I loooove hush puppies. But I'm hesitant to eat anything with "swamp" in the title :)

jessy said...

your post had me at hushpuppies. ooooh my gosh - i need to get that zine as soon as it become available! mmmmmmmmmm! huzzah for some tasty ass scramble, too! niiiice!

thanks for the tip on the chickn patties. never would have thought to double check, but you better believe i'll be now. the chickn parmesan pizza = glorious! i too have a love/hate relationship with ms. ray - but chocolate covered potato chips have me singing her praises today. totally going to have to make some of those. w00t!

pudding cakes -zomg, mmmmmmmm! and superw00t on enjoying the mushrooms! methinks they're becoming your friends! ahahhahahaa! (that's what i call foods i used to hate but now enjoy.) i've got some of that relish, so i'm totally going to make some of the oat crackers. sweet jeebus, yay!

celine said...

I just flew here from the ppk and cannot thank you enough for being brave and taking care of the pup who was being abused. you are my hero.

aTxVegn said...

Can't say I've ever had chocolate covered chips, but they sound great! Have you ever had pb covered chips? Those are good too. Thanks for the link to the crackers recipe. I love that relish so I definitely want to make these. Your pizza and cakes look deeelish!

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