Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Before you begin, you'll need to dry your tofu. I usually take it out of the refrigerator an hour or two before cooking, place it between several paper towels and place a heavy plate over top. After it's relatively dry, prepare your tofu marinade/mix. Here is our starting lineup...
Pour egg beater, your choice of milk (I use almond), maple syrup, splash of vanilla extract into a shallow bowl or large plate with lips.
Whisk with a fork and add a little pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.
Next, place thin strips of tofu into the mixture and let marinate for at least 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Once marinated, place the tofu strips on a piece of parchment or wax paper and place in a preheated oven placed on broil.
Broil for 4-5 minutes. Watch tofu carefully for browning. Flip and continue broiling for 3-4 minutes until browned. Remove and plate.
And going in for a bite :)
Om nom nom nom...
French Toast Tofu Recipe (Serves 1)
1/4 block of firm or extra firm tofu (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup egg beater
1/8 cup milk
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Drain tofu block and pat dry thoroughly. Mix egg beater, milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice in shallow bowl or large plate. Place tofu in marinade and let sit for at least 20 minutes, flipping over periodically. When ready to bake, turn oven broiler on. Arrange tofu slices on baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake 4-5 minutes each side, checking often until browned. Serve with a little maple syrup, sifted powdered sugar, and fruit for a heart-warming and heart-healthy dish.
Monday, April 25, 2011
The explosion of the tote bag market has brought some rad city map renderings on canvas. So you can represent where you were, are or want to be. Maptote has an awesome Chicago and Pittsburgh version.
As cool as they are, I wanted to make something more personalized as a gift for my mom. So I sketched a Chicago map of places my parents and I visited on their last visit to Chi-town.
After I was happy with the image, I took the JPEG file to FedEx Kinko's and asked them to make it a transparency.
Then we took the transparency and exposed it to a screen in Rich's printing studio.
This is the almost-final result. I hated the straps on the original canvas bag, so I removed them and sewed something a little more stylish on.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
A favorite scene occurs when Harry and the Weasley's walk into the Weasley's seemingly modest tent at the Quidditch World Cup campground to find a beautiful indoor tented world awaiting them.
So for his birthday, we transformed the kitchen into our own version of the Weasley's tent and baked a yummy blueberry pie.
And the pie...
To keep things authentic, Erica made Kevin a letter of acceptance into Hogwarts, along with Hedwig the white owl, and a Sword of Gryffindor.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
It's so beautiful, incredibly intricate, and just reeking of cool. The same can be said for all his work.
And I'm not alone in adoring this piece. It was snatched up by one lucky soul yesterday before even arriving at the art gallery.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
My pea-pod size budget of the present consists of food and flowers. Sometimes not in that order.
For example, yesterday at work, a shipment of Ranunculus arrived. As I unwrapped each beauty with their antique-looking bulbs, hardy stems and dinosaur-paw leaves, I couldn't help but hide three in a corner to take home with me. Bye bye dinner budget.
Cutting the extravagances out of my former budget has been a lot like cutting refined sugar out my diet. After a few painful days, or weeks, you stop craving the brownies and the cupcakes. They evoke an 'Eh, I could take it or leave it' response instead of a 'OMG OM NOM NOM'.
(Disclaimer: I'll never stop craving York Peppermint patties)
In the same way, ruffled blouses and Shea butter hand lotions evoke an 'Eh' from me lately. I'd rather have these lovely Ranunculus and Creeping Jenny living by my bedside while I breathe their floral air and eat popcorn for dinner.
* A special thanks to Richie Kelly for not murdering me upon discovering I planted flowers in his Cuisinart strainer (you are a saint..a saint I tell you!)
Today is her birthday. And she turned somewhere between 55 and divine perfection.
Happy birthday Mom. I wish we could nibble on Walnut Raisin toast from Whole Foods and sip coffee together this morning. Your birthday package should arrive this afternoon (don't you dare let me down USPS!)
And now, 10 reasons why my mom is just the most amazing...
1. Growing up, she filled our shelves with books and our garden with flowers and showed a green thumb was as precious as a cultivated mind.
2. She is always game for going to see a movie. Even the midnight showing.
3. A 150 lb Newfie named Lulu knows she's the boss.
4. She hates 'the Facebook'.
5. 'She is the Franchise of our family' -My Dad
6. She knows more pop culture references and rap artists than I do.
7. She devours books and recalls characters of fiction years after reading them and speaks of them as she would of old friends.
8. She holds her baked goods to the highest standard and would rather wake up at 5AM to bake a batch of fresh cookies than 'take the easy route' baking the night before.
9. 'She is so interesting because she is so interested' -my best friend Lindsey
10. If you call her and tell her that you really need your mother, she will drive across the state, or country, to be with you.
I love you mom.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Yields: 3 large patties
1 red bell pepper
1 sweet orange pepper
1/2 cup canned chickpeas
1/2 cup dry Quinoa
1/4 sweet onion, diced into small pieces
2 garlic cloves
1 handful Alfalfa Sprouts
1/3 cup Japanese Panko crumbs
Salt, Pepper, Paprika, and/or Crusted Red Pepper Flakes
6 Large Portobello Mushroom Caps
1. Roast the peppers until nice and charred. Place the peppers in a ziplock bag for at least 5 minutes, this will make taking the charred skin off much easier.
2. Clean the charred skin off the peppers and remove the stem and seeds.
3. Throw the red peppers, garlic and chickpeas in a food processor.
Puree the mixture until smooth and it looks like this...
In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, diced onion, garlic, alfalfa sprouts, eggs and season to taste.
Add in the red pepper/chickpea mixture.
Add the panko gradually until the mixture is easy to work with and patties can be formed.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping the patties halfway through. At the same time, bake the portobello mushroom caps, cavity side up, on a separate baking sheet for 20 minutes.
And the final result...
Friday, April 1, 2011
Here is what you'll need...
30 pairs of Bamboo Chopsticks (I got over 60 pairs at our local Asian grocer for around $2)
Drill and small bit (I used a 1/16 bit)
Thin wire (I started with silver and switched to copper after realizing it would show a little)
64 small beads (Any craft store would have these, I got mine from JoAnn Fabrics)
Step 1: Secure a chopstick to a piece of scrap wood (a clamp would come in handy although I used good old fashioned elbow grease). Drill a hole 1/2 inch from the top of the chopstick. Drill a second hole on the same side of the chopstick about a third of the way down the chopstick from the eating end. Repeat this step 59 more times.
Disclaimer: Step 1 is the most painstaking step in the project. I gave myself a break in between Step 1 and the latter steps and it turned into a two-day project.
Step 2: Thread a long piece of your wire through the bottom holes of all 60 chopsticks and secure a bead onto each end. I loosely secured these beads so I could made adjustments later.
Step 3: Thread a second piece of wire through the top holes of EVERY OTHER chopstick, placing a bead between each chopstick you thread. When you reach the last chopstick on one side, put three beads on the wire and then continue threading the wire through the remaining top holes that have not been threaded, continue adding beads after each chopstick.
Step 4: When you reach the end, add three beads to match the opposite end and wrap the ends of the wire around the top of one chopstick to secure before cutting.
Step 5: Mold the bowl into a circle and fill it with any objects you'd like. I think smaller fruit like grapes and cherries look pretty but it's strong enough to hold apples, bananas, etc.