Friday, March 14, 2008

When Life Gets in the Way

Am I the only one on earth who realizes that March is the month of birthdays? Every month of the year (besides March), I either know and/or hear of 0-3 people with birthdays. Not March! It's one birthday after another! I have 7 close friends and family born in this month, not to mention a surplus of other people I know of that have birthdays in March. I bet a ton of you have March birthdays, don't you? You can go ahead and admit it! ;)

Well, this brings me to why I haven't been very blog-active the past couple of weeks. I've been very busy planning and preparing for birthdays (lots of cooking, you see) as well as an Easter meal that's coming up. Oh, and not to mention... we set the recording date!!! This means we've been practicing our butts off. We actually decided against going with Sanctum Sound, as fancy as they are, because they were waaaay too expensive. We checked out a couple more places and ended up sealing the deal with New Alliance Studio in Cambridge. The producer is really cool, laid back and most importantly- his main shtick is metal! They also have a mastering studio next door (he's affiliated with New Alliance) that will lower our price for going with NA. So we're pretty pysched. You can expect some updates on that very soon. We'll be recording on April 19 & 20 as well as the 26th and 27th. That'll get a good chunk done. We'll be booking future dates to finish it up very soon.

Lastly, my work company is moving! This means that I'm going into a different department where I won't have access to the internet quite as much. Normally I update and read all of your blogs at work, so it's going to take some time to transfer all that reading and writing to evenings and weekends. But I will! I promise!

In the meantime, I made two V-Con recipes to tide you over!

First: Baked Pumpkin Ziti


Yet another V-Con recipe that's been making the rounds! I knew this was going to come out delicious. And you know what? I actually accidentally used the recipe for tofu ricotti as opposed to the cashew ricotta it called for. Whoops! It was still excellent. It was very reminiscent of my mother's baked macaroni and cheese, so it brought back a lot of nice memories.

The only complaint I have is that the pumpkin flavour was a little weak. I know it was more for a bit of sweetness than pumpkiny-ness, but it failed on both counts. It didn't really matter, though- the bread crumb topping was simple yet delicious! I know I could have eaten them even without the ziti. Definitely a must-make!

Second: Chocolate Chip Waffles (with a dollop of vanilla yogurt)


Three words: OH MY GOD! These were utterly amazing! I would say they were definitely more dessert than breakfast. I'd eat 'em after dinner anytime. The chocolate ooey-gooey goodness was complete heaven. Alas, I cannot take the credit. I was going to make them, but got distracted by my NEW JUICER! (More on that in a moment.) So Mike, impatient as ever, started preparing measurements. Then he ended up mixing the batter. Which, in turn, caused him to actually make the whole recipe. I didn't mind. He did an amazing job. So make these! They are like brownies in waffle form. Mmmm...

Now, for my juicer! I may have to do a whole entry dedicated to this. It is truly wondrous. I have to admit, I was a little scared when I first turned it on. The sound it makes is like a horror movie (maybe it's just my model?), but that didn't stop me from throwing in a TON of spinach. The green liquid looked like something from Dr. Dreadful. Does anyone remember that game? I was scared at first to try it but when I did... well, it wasn't bad! It tasted, um, like spinach. So the next morning I got to making a new juice from my juice and smoothie book.


I forget the name of the drink, but I DO remember what was in it:

Fresh strawberry puree (courtesy of my food processor)
Apple Juice
Carrot Juice (homemade!)

It was very good, even better than the strawberry juice from a week ago! I am so excited to try all the different combinations- fruit and veggie alike! It's unbelievably healthy for you. In fact, I firmly believe that FRESH fruit and veggie juice is the healthiest thing you can put in your body. There are many organic supplements and herbal teas and, of course, whole grains, nuts, seeds, etc... that are vital to a strong, healthy body, but fresh fruit and veggie juice is vital for... well... EVERYTHING! Not only can they prevent degenerative diseases, they can also get rid of cancer cells, viruses and harmful bacterial infections. Among many, many other things. Consider them a vacuum of all harm for your body. Or a destroyer of harm.

Get a juicer and get juicin'!

I promise I will be back with updates on the band recordings, birthday treats I've made as well as the day-to-day yummies. I am going to do my best to get myself up-to-date with your blogs. The office closes at noon today, so I'll do what I can. I really miss reading your posts! But I'll be back. Sometimes life just... gets in the way, ya know? ;)

Oh, and because I know that many of you can probably appreciate this this month: Happy Birthday!!!!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Just a Wee Post Between Posts

Since the Rocky Horror gala, I haven't been going crazy cooking. Sometimes, with work and all, I need to take a break. Well, I guess it's mainly due to lack of money and the crazy amount of bucks organic and fresh produce costs. In any case, I still had an itchin' to do some home-cookin' that wasn't too time consuming or pocket-emptying.

Saturday night I made my first-ever pesto sauce. I wasn't too sure I would like it, as I had only had pesto once before. I thought the flavour was too strong at the time. But I have this goal where I have to make everything at least once (within my ethics, of course), so out came the fresh basil and parsely!


It may look like green goup, but this pesto sauce was incredibly delicious! I guess that's what happens when something calls for three cloves of garlic (did I ever mention I LOVE garlic?)! The recipe said it yielded 4-6 servings and at first I just couldn't believe it. The pesto filled up a little bowl and no more, no matter how much I scraped at the processor. Well, let's just say I had no idea how very little pesto sauce needs to be spread on one bowl of pasta! The flavour was pretty intense. I actually woke up the next morning with the taste of garlic overwhelming my mouth. It's not very pleasant aftermath, but it was worth it for an amazing and simple dinner.

As a matter of fact, Mike later told me that he woke up in the middle of the night with such a strong flavour of garlic in his mouth that 'forced' him to go down to the kitchen and have a spoonful of ice cream to get the taste off his tongue!

So, yes. I advise just a little dollop of pesto per bowl unless you are man enough and can take the power of garlic! At the very least, garlic is extremely healthy for you- it wards off germs that may plague the immune system AND it wards off vampires. ;)

For Sunday dinner, I whipped up a batch of 'Mocked Clam Chowdah'. I admit, I've never tasted clam chowder a day in my life. Besides the clam part, it always looked so appetizing to me. It's so creamy and smoothe. So luckily I've found a recipe in one of my veggie cook books that makes a pretty damn-good replacement.


It's a lot chunkier than your average chowder, but that was probably my fault because I couldn't bare to puree anymore of the soup. I love chunky potatoes! It didn't matter, though. It was delicious. It contained onions, potatoes, thyme, salt, pepper, carrots, celery and sauteed tofu with tamari sauce and kelp powder all topped with Frontier vegan Bac'uns (bacon-less bacon bits!)!!

The Bac'uns are awesome, by the way. This whole weekend I've been dumping them on just about everything I ate. Buy them. Now. Seriously.

Lastly, I've really been getting into fresh juice. As a matter of fact, my juicer was supposed to come in the mail on Friday. But the stupid company that sent it decided they want me to be there to sign for it directly and I have to have my i.d. proving that I am an adult. I find that irking, purely based on principle: What if I was under 21? In any case, I haven't been home, so I'm going to end up having to drive half an hour to get it on Saturday. So aggravating!

But! When I do get it, I will be quite a happy camper. :)

In the meantime, I've been using my food processor and pre-packaged juices (organic) to tide me over.

First, I present, Apricot Orange Juice.


This had to have been the most delicious juice I've had in a long while! The Apricot Nectar was purchased in the container, but the oranges were freshly squeezed and it really made a difference. The powerful burst of citrus was amazing. I felt like I was drinking liquid candy. I couldn't get enough!

Next, I made a juice called 'Adam's Rib'. Kinda freaky name. But I dig it.


It contained soy milk, apple juice and ten fresh strawberries. At first I thought it was going to be a lot like strawberry milk, but it ended up tasting like strawberry juice. It wasn't a huge disappointment, though. I felt a little healthier about drinking it.

And what's more important than drinking a good cup of health, eh?