Saturday, December 4, 2010

I've Moved!

After Vegan MoFo, I realized there were enough other things about domestic life I'd like to write about besides cooking, so I started a blog with a new title: The Apartment Girlfriend.

All the posts from this blog will be there as well, but new stuff, too. Come on over!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 30: The End of the Beginning

Thank goodness for Vegan MoFo. Because of this wonderful month-long blogfest, I now cook nearly everything I eat. I am totally vegan, just as I said I'd be by the end of the month.

I have accomplished what I set out to when I started MoFo. I absolutely intend to continue this way. After MoFo, I'd like to get to a place where I can make up my own dishes - nothing seriously fancy, but something. I'd like to know what spices are for what, and what they taste like. I'd like to be better at cutting things. Perhaps that will be part of my New Year's whatever-you-call-it.

Today, I made the Tomato-Rice Soup from Veganomicon, and despite the fact that I didn't have much time to eat it, I really enjoyed it. The only gripe I have with the recipe is that it says that it takes 45 minutes. The time should be at least an hour.

I give myself double the time a recipe says, because I know I take very long to prep. I had to leave the house by 4:30 today, so I started prep between 2:15 and 2:30. It was about 3:00 once I was actually cooking.

The cooking went fine, except that even after cooking and mixing the ingredients together, the instructions said to bring to a boil (that took forever!) and then simmer for 45 minutes. See, so really, you're doing actual cooking for at least an hour.

This really would not have been a big deal, except that I had to leave and I ended up being a little late because I didn't finish dinner on time. Sheesh.

Regardless of all that, it was absolutely delish. I'm so glad there's a lot left over :)

And that my friends, is the last MoFo post. Cheers!

The Complete Opposite of Vegan

I was looking for something kind of mindless to watch in the mid afternoon, and I saw that Bizarre Foods was on, and it was set in LA. So, I decided to check out what kind of weird crap people eat here. Big mistake.

The first thing that I see is the process of making head cheese. I nearly vomited. It's so freaking gross, I seriously can't believe anyone thought to do that.

The next thing I see is a baby pig being boiled. A whole baby pig. In goose or duck fat. And the guys were drooling over this. I changed the channel. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

I honestly can't believe there is baby pig on a menu here. EEEeeeeek. Needless to say, I won't be setting foot in that establishment. Or watching that show again.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 29: "Pantry" Burritos and Cookies!!!

I don't "cook;" I follow recipes. Today, however, I threw together stuff I already had to make dinner! Nothing fancy, just burritos. I had half an onion, some cilantro, a can of refried black beans, Tapatio, lettuce and tortillas. Oh - and I bought the cheddar Daiya. Put them all together, you get burrito!

For dessert, I made something quite reliable. Chocolate Chip Cookies from Vegan With a Vengeance. Now, I've only made them according to recipe once, and truthfully, they didn't turn out so great - the dough was crumbly and didn't really hold together well. I don't think the Earth Balance was room temperature...

What I usually do is use applesauce to make them lower-fat, and half sugar, half Splenda. Tonight, I used applesauce and all sugar. They taste so yummy! The BF LOOOOOOVES them.

That was it. A fairly simple day. Oh, and I finally finished the ridiculously hot chili :) Now to finish the Thanksgiving leftovers...

Vegan MoFo Day 29: Le Grande Grocery Tour

Ah, the penultimate MoFo post. Today was the wonderful grocery tour, only this time, I drove instead of walked to save time -- I had other things to tend to. Honestly, though, driving only saved me about half an hour! Gr.

Let's start with this week's menu:
  • Black bean burritos (own recipe)
  • Tomato-Rice Soup (Veganomicon)
  • Spaghetti and Bean Balls (Veganomicon)
  • Mac Daddy (Veganomicon)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan With a Vengeance)
I realize, it's a lot of pasta, but there's also protein-filled ingredients in each dish. I thought about getting vegetables for sides, but I don't have a steamer, and I'm too lazy to prepare them another way. I did get salad though, so we'll get some veggies in this week :)

All in all, I went to four stores, which seems to be the norm. I either have to get used to it, or cook stuff that has ingredients I can get from just one store. (Ok, I can probably get everything from Whole Foods,  but I am trying to be a bit cost-conscious...)

Though I had to visit four stores, I at least succeeded in having a complete grocery list (I left nothing off!) and finding every single thing on my list :) Now I can't wait to make everything!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 27: Challenge... Accepted?

Yes, I know that it's Day 28, but this post is about yesterday, Day 27 :)

Yesterday was my first true outing for which I had to do research. The BF and I met up with his friend for brunch in a nearby city, and I didn't know vegan-friendly restaurants in that area. I had researched some restaurants in the area, and I found a place that I thought would work.

The reviews I read about the restaurant mentioned vegan options - some sort of tofu scramble. However, the restaurant didn't have a website, so I wasn't able to look at the menu. When I finally did, all the breakfast items were egg-something-or-other, and I saw nothing about tofu mentioned on the menu. It mentioned that things could be made vegetarian, but not vegan. There were a couple of small items -- side salad, bowl of fruit -- that were vegan, but nothing meal-sized. The only thing I saw that might be vegan was the veggie tacos.

I don't like to be "difficult" at restaurants. I have friends that are servers, and I hear their horror stories - I do not want to be one of them! So, I didn't ask a lot of questions. I ordered the tacos. Corn tortillas, soyrizo, lettuce, onions, cheese and sour cream. I asked for no cheese or sour cream, and believed in my heart that they would be vegan.

They came out and looked great. There was a side of pinto beans on the plate, and I didn't touch them. The tacos tasted fine, but man they were greasy! Were they totally vegan? I can't say for sure, especially since I didn't ask, but I'm not going to freak out about it.

I guess that's how I'm going to be. I mean, as a vegetarian, I knew that it was possible that my food would prepared on or near a meat surface. As a vegan, I can ask questions, but I can't freak out about things. You just never really know what's going to happen to your food at a restaurant anyway. I just have to do my best to be prepared ahead of time.

We went to the theater - a matinee - after brunch, so there was quite a long stretch between brunch and my next meal. The theater was right by an In N Out Burger, so I had to get some french fries! At least I know the only thing that goes in the deep fryers there are potatoes...?

What I learned from yesterday's experience -- and reader comments -- is that I should always be prepared with some snack or food, in case there isn't something for me to eat where I happen to be. You can also bet that I will get to know every vegan-friendly establishment within a 50 mile radius of me :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 26: The "Sorry to be so difficult" Factor

This month of being vegan has been pretty easy. I've been cooking most of my meals, and when The BF and I have gone out, we've gone to vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants. Even Thanksgiving was fine because I cooked. Totally easy.

My first real "challenge," however, comes tomorrow. The BF and I are meeting his friend for brunch in a different city, and we have to decide where to go. The friend is a meat-eater, The BF is vegetarian, and then there's me -- the one who doesn't want unsuspecting dairy products to touch her plate.

I looked up breakfast/brunch restaurants in the area that cater to vegetarians/vegans and non-vegetarians alike. I was pleased to find a few. A couple of the well-reviewed restaurants didn't have websites on which I could view their menus -- gr. The reviews mentioned veg-friendly items and tofu scrambles, so that's good I guess.

For a short while, this will be part of veganism that I won't really enjoy. I am not one to impose my beliefs, practices, or opinions on anyone, and I don't feel comfortable making people eat (or do anything, really) only where I want to. I personally get annoyed when people are like that, so I don't want to be annoying. I try to be all-inclusive, and I find that it usually works the other way around, too, with my friends.

I know this will get better over time as I am more aware of restaurants, and as my friends are more aware of my veganism. But yeah, the first few gatherings will just require a bit of research on my part, and that's ok.