I feel like a total slacker for doing this, but… the weather has been cold and dreary and too horrible for any decent food photography. To avoid missing another day, I’m going with a quiz I’ve seen pop up on a few blogs during MoFo. Have no fear, the weather isn’t going to be getting any better, and in fact, we have possible SNOW in the forecast! So I’ll be cooking a lot inside to keep me warm and happy, and hopefully whipping up some apple-centric delights with my orchard and farmer’s market haul. On to the questions…
1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Homemade nutmilks are my very favorite because they’re so fresh and tasty! But since I usually don’t have enough foresight to have a continual supply (and I actually don’t use milks very often anyway), my favorite store-bought brand is Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original.
2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
I don’t really know what the parameters are for this, but I’ll tell you that 3 dishes I’ve been wanting to make for a long time and was waiting for fall-like weather to follow through are: a raw Swedish apple crisp with vanilla cream, a portabella wrap, and, I’m totally not kidding about this (because I had some when I was in Scotland and it was super amazing), a soy-free vegan haggis.
3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
To be honest, I’m not a huge popcorn fan (it sticks to my teeth). But on those rare occasions, a little bit of salt works fine for me. I’d really love to try nutritional yeast sometime…
4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
I tried “health-ifying” a recipe for these sweet saffron rolls that are made in Sweden around Christmastime by trying some different flours and using coconut oil and other well-intentioned substitutes. They ended up like dry, crumbly, and brown flavorless bread shapes, instead of moist, soft, and golden yellow rolls of ultimate joy and happiness. I was very very sad.
5. Favorite pickled item?
Cabbage aka sauerkraut! Yum yum yum. Sometimes I eat it out of the jar.
6. How do you organize your recipes?
I have far too many recipes with far too many organizational methods. Notebooks, scrap paper, MacGourmet, printed out from the internet… Chaos, basically, and I’m trying really hard to bring it all to one place so I stop forgetting to make things I’ve discovered.
7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
Trash. I keep a compost bucket in the freezer, but I don’t have a place to compost it, so I put all my wet food scraps in there since we re-use paper bags as trash bags.
8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?
Man, I hate these kinds of questions, but… individually: kale, dates, and black beans.
9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
Not one in particular comes to mind, but I always remember being in the kitchen with my mom. Watching her when I was too young to help, and increasingly squirming my way into shaping cinnamon rolls or making stir-fry until I started making dinners on my own. She never complained about anything, although I’m sure at least a few of the things I made were pretty horrible.
10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
Coconut Bliss Vanilla Island… plain or topped with fresh berries.
11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Vita-mix! I would use that to make every meal if I could (but I like using a fork and knife sometimes).
12. Spice/herb you would die without?
Cardamom. I don’t use it in everything I make by any means, but the smell of cardamom makes me weak in the knees and brings back a flood of memories of baking with my mom. I admit to opening my jar of ground cardamom several times a week just to smell it.
13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
I inherited my mom’s 1972 copy of Vår Kok Bok (trans. Our Cookbook). It’s a hardcover and I’ve retaped the spine and several pages inside on many occasions. But my first vegan cookbook was Vegan With A Vengeance, and it’s in far better shape so far
14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
I go back and forth between apricot (not a crowd-favorite) and strawberry.
15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Indonesian Sweet Potato and Cabbage Soup from Moosewood’s Simple Suppers. It’s so delicious and customizable with all those fresh herb toppings!
16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
Tempeh. Again, not a crowd favorite, but I’m weird like that. Well-prepared tempeh kicks seitan and tofu a$$ anyday in my book.
17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
Dinner, because I can usually spend the most time on it when I’m in the mood.
18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Mixer, cat food, catnip, and a 21-quart tamale steamer.
19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Frozen blueberries, frozen bananas, shredded coconut.
20. What’s on your grocery list?
Greens, frozen fruit, onions, goji berries… Everything else is pretty well stocked!
21. Favorite grocery store?
I work at a natural foods co-op, so that’s my favorite since it’s so convenient, I know where everything is, and I get a discount. Whole Foods makes things look so pretty, but everytime I get through the checkout I can’t believe how much money I’ve just blown.
22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.
As noted above, vegan haggis. It’s much tastier than you would think.
23. Food blog you read the most.
I use Google Reader, so it generally shows me the way. I’m always happy to have an extra gander or two at Have Cake, Will Travel, though. It’s so so pretty and makes me hungry no matter what may or may not be in my belly.
24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
I…don’t…really…like…candy or chocolate? Umm, but that Terra Nostra rice milk chocolate really reminded me of Marabou milk chocolate, and a square every once in a blue moon is pretty alright by me.
25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Living Tree Community’s Coconut Mango Persimmon Butter. It’s not as good as Artisana Amazon Bliss, but it’s damn tasty on bread or apple slices.
26. Ingredients you are scared to work with?
Irish moss (never tried it), silken tofu (it just really creeps me out, I’m sorry), mustard greens (the smell of it blanched at work overwhelms me a bit).