Monday, September 24, 2007

And The Winner Is...

Meg Wolff. Congratulations Meg! If you can send me an email at with your address, I will mail it right off to you.

And, for everyone else who entered their name into the mixing bowl, I'm going to do another drawing in the next month or so. So check back often. I love doing giveaways.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Appliances And A Giveaway

I absolutely adore kitchen appliances and gadgets. I'm definitely a junkie. I love the stuff -from the cooking catalogs stuffed in my mailbox to the stores in the mall, I love to see what's new. I know, maybe one day I should check myself into some sort of appliance rehab where they make you do without and cook only with your hands.

One of the things that I love about appliances, is that they really help speed things up in the kitchen. Two appliances that I use all of the time is a rice cooker and a pressure cooker. The rice cooker does a beautiful job of brown and white rice, but also polenta, barley, mixed grains, black rice, wild rice, you name it. It's a no-muss, no-fuss machine. You simply add your grains and water and turn the machine on. What could be simpler than that? This is a great way to incorporate more grains into your diet. Of course you'll notice that my rice cooker is promptly siting next to a crock of white sushi rice (so much for whole grains). I do on occasion make white rice too.

I find that a great ratio for cooking rice in the rice cooker is 2 cups rice to 3 cups water. Although my rice cooker has a brown rice function, I like the way it comes out on the sushi rice setting.

Another appliance that I love is my pressure cooker. It cooks beans in a flash, as well as soups, vegetables, dals, risotto, stews, chili and the like. I mean, who doesn't like garbanzo beans cooked in 16 minutes flat? The only thing I have to remember is to soak the beans the night before. I LOVE LOVE LOVE pressure cookers! Apparently it's great for cooking cheesecakes, bread puddings and other desserts too. I honestly haven't tried any desserts in mine yet.

Pressure cookin' garbanzo beans.

Garbanzo beans, soaking away overnight.

Now, for the giveaway. I've got another copy of the Everyday Dish DVD, so all you have to do is put your name down in the comment section, and I will add your name to the pot. One entry per person. Anonymous comments have to include a first or last name.

I will randomly select a winner by putting all of the names in a big mixing bowl, and will announce the winner here on the blog. Once the winner is announced, they will need to email me within 2 days, or I will have to randomly select another winner. I’m not sure when I will announce the winner, so check back often.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bon Appetit

Magazine articles are such a funny thing. They are often written a good 6 months to a year in advance. Actually, books work the same way. My pie book isn't scheduled to be released until September of 2008. So you're always working on projects that are way off in the future.

This is what happened with an article on Fall desserts that I wrote for Bon Appetit. I think I must have worked on it close to a year ago, so I had completely forgotten that it was coming out in October. Last week the new issue came in the mail, and it wound up sitting on my dining room table for several days. I finally picked it up the other night and started flipping through it. I noticed a picture of a pumpkin cake in the beginning and thought "hmmm, that cake looks familiar. Well duh, it was my recipe! That'll teach me to pay a little more attention.

The magazine did a beautiful job with the photos and layout. It makes me wish I had a food stylist at home when I cook. If I could just train my kids, right?

If you get a chance, check out the magazine. Alas, the recipes in the article aren't vegan though several could be veganized. Now I'll just have to come up with a decadent vegan butterscotch pudding. Yum!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Catching Up

We managed to squeeze in a couple of quick trips right before school started. These first couple of photos are from a camping trip that we took in an area called Bull Of The Woods in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Usually when we camp, we look for camp grounds with amenities. This time, it was a little different. My husband had just bought us a tent trailer off Craig's List and wanted to test it out in a remote spot.

It was in a beautiful area with some gorgeous hiking close by. Everything was absolutely perfect until we went to leave. We couldn't get Jay's car to start. That's when the word "remote" really begins to hit home. Nothing like a little adrenaline rush to jump start your day. But, after about an hour or so, Jay got the car started and we were on to our next destination.

This is a pic of our "remote" camp spot. We kind of resemble the Clampett's, don't you think?

Here we are resting at a forest service lookout. It's tough when you're the shortest one in the family.

Before going home, Jay wanted to head over to a campground (with amenities) near a favorite hot spring of his. We set up the tent trailer and enjoyed our little camp site next to the river. The fun really started though just after we fell asleep, as it began pouring rain (and I mean pouring). This was when we discovered that our tent trailer wasn't water proof. Fortunately we didn't get too wet, and thought it might be a good time to head home (and get a new canvas for the trailer).

The following week we snuck in a quick trip to Boise. Unfortunately we didn't get to meet up with Vicki, but we did have a chance to see some old friends, eat a lot of food and enjoy the very hot weather. One of my food highlights during the trip was Java, where I had an awesome bowl of oatmeal with steamed soymilk, sliced bananas and cinnamon. Oh, and the coffee was great too. I wish I had a picture, but the camera never made it out of the car.

Here's a picture though of Noah entertaining himself at The Flying M, while Jay and I enjoyed our iced tea.
I hope everyone had a great summer and got at least a few quickie trips in too.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back To School

I can't believe that it's back to school time already. But sure enough, my kids were up at 6 this morning, ready to start a new school year. They actually seemed excited too, which is a very good thing.

Back to school also means back to packing lunches. Yes, I know that my kids are old enough to pack their own lunches, and they do for the most part. What is challenging though is having the pantry and the fridge full of easy to pack lunch box food. Although I try to make most of the food from scratch, I still need to fill in with some store bought goodies.

One product that I had that privilege to try recently is Zen Soy puddings and soy milk. This stuff is yum with a capital Y, and is perfect for packing in school lunches. The puddings come in four different flavors -chocolate, chocolate vanilla swirl, banana and vanilla. The chocolate and chocolate vanilla swirl were my favorites. If you're a big banana fan, then you will probably love the banana as it's rich with banana flavor.

Zen Soy also makes small cartons of flavored soy milk, which are absolutely delish and perfect for the lunchbox. My personal favorite is the cappuccino flavor (are you surprised?), although the chocolate and vanilla flavors were very good too. Once my son tasted the soy milk, he quickly finished the rest of my stash. Both the puddings and the individual cartons of soy milk are perfect for school (or office) lunches. I also love the fact that the puddings are low fat (only 1 gram) and run 100 to 130 calories. Now if I could only find a better hiding place for the chocolate puddings, so I could have my own stash of treats.