Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The ELF in the Kitchen

HEY Y'all!! Welcome to the Wednesday, August 13th edition of ToV or NOT ToV!

One of the hallmarks of this little blog is that I do NOT develop recipes or otherwise create much of anything. BUT, I do enjoy trying so many of the differing vegan dishes, both savory and sweet that are available from such great vegan sites as you’ll see highlighted along the way.  Being vegan doesn’t mean that you start from scratch with everything…it means that you get challenged with finding plant based foods and recipes that are appealing, nutritious, healthy (well, most of the time) and not so labor intensive or ingredient laden as to be not worth the effort or a disincentive.

Saturday night (8/9), we went to La Finestra with some good friends. As usual, THE Chef Ramsey had a really lovely vegan entrée for me. The atmosphere was a bit more energetic than when we were there before, so we will take extra caution to schedule our reservations a bit earlier and avoid the crowd/noise.

As presented!

As Eaten!!

What a busy week!! I am taking advantage of Big Solid’s absence for a while to play in the kitchen and not be figurin’ out what to fix for supper. I made up a double recipe of an Ethiopian cabbage dish, threw in some Andouille sausages and will eat on that all week. Had it twice yesterday, as a matter of fact. Still plenty left.  By the way, the original recipe calls for sliced carrots BUT in my last and final summer CSA from Amorphous Gardens, there were butternut squashes…so I substituted. Hey, they are orange, so it worked. The recipe for this lovely and spicy dish can be found at the Vegan Richa site

Ethiopian spices cooking and marrying flavors. Smells SO GOOD!

Finished dish..should last me all week!

So, following our fun weekend in Water Valley last weekend, another big weekend looms ahead! This weekend is our Yoga Mala at the local yoga studio where I practice three times a week. And, I am making the food stuffs for the Après Mala gathering…cookies and other stuffs that I can think of.  AND, I need to take some cookies out to ARF/MS tomorrow(Wednesday)…those folks work so hard to take care of abused, abandoned and neglected animals…it’s just a little somethin’ somethin’.

Sunday 8/10, I made pumpernickel…we were PLUMB out o’ bread. So, to preserve my marriage, I whipped some up. The recipe says it’s for one loaf, but I always get two nice ones out of it.  I have started preparing all the dry ingredients and putting them in a plastic bag so they are ready. All I have to do then is throw together the wet stuff/yeast and go for it. Sure does make things easier. 
Pumpernickel straight from the oven

I have also noticed that I’m going through King Arthur flours (all-purpose, white whole wheat, bread) at a fairly rapid pace. Sunday night we blew the idea of eating at home and went to Kathryn’s Steak House. We’d gone to Whole Foods earlier in the day for some jalapeno cilantro hummus (that stuff is like crack) and found some CHICKEN FRIED TOFU on the hot bar. That’s our favorite and, as you can see, NOT AT ALL like the special order Chicken Fried Tofu I got from them to take to Water Valley (and yes, we have been in touch). Not only that, Jerk Tofu was also on the hot bar, so we loaded up. I used that for my Kathryn’s meal (along with my usual salad). Big Solid had the grilled chicken, primarily so he could bring one breast home for the girls (the girls bein’ our four rescue puplets). 

My special order....

On the Hot Bar

Monday 8/11, Big Solid took off for some work up in the Delta…those of you who are NOT from Miss’ippi don’t know that the Delta refers to a vast region of the state where the MS River dumped a eon’s worth of great silt back a bazillion years ago and that silt (called Dundee silt) turned out to be some of the fertile-est stuff on earth. It is also known as the Land o’ Cotton…so there is beauty and misery all rolled up into the land. It’s like no place on earth.

As soon as Big Solid was out the door, I headed for the grocery—yep, bought lots of flour and yeast and things like that to tide my cooking soul over for a few more days. Even the torrential downpour did not deter…

Got home, wrapped my elf/self in an apron, plugged in my audio book and away we went. Had a couple of cook-tus interruptus with picking some sick pups up from the vet but pretty soon, we were back in action. Made Little Kiki’s dough for bakin’ later. Then we got busy with some savory stuff for eatin’ while Big Solid is gone. We spent a glorious time makin’ cauliflower Alfredo sauce from the Oh She Glows cook book and a fabulous Roasted Eggplant Pesto from Susan Voisin’s Fat Free Vegan,using eggplant and basil from my very own back yard. Then we fixed a nice toddy and plotted recipes to fix for the rest of the week.  Links to Oh She Glow and Fat Free Vegan: 


You can see by all the recipes taped to my cabinets that we have a lot of cookin' planned.
This is just one wall...there is another. Check out that ancient blender!

Tuesday (8/12) I baked the Little Kiki’s to take to ARF/MS on Wednesday and will make the creme fillin’ after yoga.  Baked two small loaves of a really nice white sandwich bread from Vegan Richa’s site. 
Very small sandwich loaf...cuts down on those huge sandwiches!
This bread is easy to make and it toasts beautifully. My pictures certainly don’t look like hers, but I did split the one loaf into two just to see what would happen. Next time, I’ll stick with one loaf and hope it looks as pretty as the pictures on her site. 

For supper Tuesday night (8/12), I tried BOTH the Cauliflower Alfredo AND the Roasted Eggplant Pesto (see above for links).  Absolutely delicious.  Used the spaghetti squash that I’d baked a couple of nights ago and separated into two small portions. I liked both of them equally for sure. It’s so nice to have such a decadent tasting meal that is so low in fat and calories.  My goodness, the REAL Alfredo sauce is so rich in fat as is pesto but these recipes allow you great taste, plant based and very little fat, if any. So, I could eat up and not feel guilty.

SOO—that brings us up to speed and today--Wednesday 8/13/14. Finished preparing the Little Kiki’s (oatmeal creme pies), had some great Peet’s Coffee with So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer and am gearing up for another day of bein’ the ELF in the Kitchen!!

1 comment:


    With reference of your article (for which I thank you), I have the pleasure to tell you the history of my grandfather Alfredo Di Lelio, who is the creator of “fettuccine all’Alfredo” in 1908 in the “trattoria” run by his mother Angelina in Rome, Piazza Rosa (Piazza disappeared in 1910 following the construction of the Galleria Colonna / Sordi). This “trattoria” of Piazza Rosa has become the “birthplace of fettuccine all’Alfredo”.
    More specifically, as is well known to many people who love the “fettuccine all’Alfredo", this famous dish in the world was invented by Alfredo Di Lelio concerned about the lack of appetite of his wife Ines, who was pregnant with my father Armando (born February 26, 1908).
    Alfredo di Lelio opened his restaurant “Alfredo” in 1914 in Rome and in 1943, during the war, he sold the restaurant to others outside his family.
    In 1950 Alfredo Di Lelio decided to reopen with his son Armando his restaurant in Piazza Augusto Imperatore n.30 "Il Vero Alfredo" (“Alfredo di Roma”), whose fame in the world has been strengthened by his nephew Alfredo and that now managed by his nephew Ines, with the famous “gold cutlery” (fork and spoon gold) donated in 1927 by two well-known American actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks (in gratitude for the hospitality).
    See also the website of “Il Vero Alfredo” (with news about franchising).

    I must clarify that other restaurants "Alfredo" in Rome do not belong to the family tradition of "Il Vero Alfredo – Alfredo di Roma" in Rome.
    I inform you that the restaurant “Il Vero Alfredo –Alfredo di Roma” is in the registry of “Historic Shops of Excellence” of the City of Rome Capitale.
    Best regards Ines Di Lelio