Friday, October 24, 2014

Cookin’ with Granny

My younger grandchild, Sara Powell, turned 9 a couple of weeks ago…her birthday was on the day celebrated as Columbus Day (Oct. 13). Her Mom asked her what she wanted to do on her day and her request was “to go cook with Kiki” (that’s me). So that’s what we did!! And we had SUCH a GREAT TIME!! We  made two kinds of cookies, two cakes, and pumpernickel bread….all vegan and all fun. What a total JOY she was to have in the kitchen…and yep, we made some mistakes but we didn’t care. In the end, everything turned out just fine; might not have been as pretty as we would have liked, but tasted great.  It was a pleasure to share time, knowledge and experience with her. She asked LOTS of questions about being vegan, which was really cool. I think at 9 she’s not gonna jump into being vegan right away but my suspicion is that when she gets older, she just may give it a go.

See what we did!!

On the left, Sara Powell is doing a great job of lining the pans with sliced apples for the first of two Italian Apple Cakes and on the right is a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  The cakes were ALMOST a disaster as we (meaning forgetful Kiki) forgot a pretty important ingredient (baking soda) while the taste was great, the cakes actually turned out looking more like a pancake than a cake. The chocolate chip cookies were awesome.

Above left were our first effort of the day...two gorgeous loaves of pumpernickel bread.  Sara Powell said, "I'm gonna look at this break tonight when we eat supper and say, 'I MADE this!'" That statement alone made my whole day!! She has such an energy to cook that I know she'll be a great cook. On the right, SP filling the "Little Kiki's" with good stuffs.

Blog Name Change
You can see that we have changed the name of our little blog from “To V or Not To V” to “The Elf in the Kitchen”. It’s easier to say and remember, actually. So spread the word and enjoy. We’ve been away for a couple of weeks but hope to get back into the weekly routine soon.

Stuffs We Tried This Week
I’ve been trying to expand our repertoire of meal selections and weed out those we can live without and those we just went nuts over.

 Two of the BEST dishes we had during the week were these.  On the left is an AWESOME taco recipe from Rhea Parson's The "V" Word--a Portobello Mushroom, Artichoke Heart and Sun-dried Tomato Taco. We used some new cheese we found at Whole Foods but will not use it again. It wasn't that great and way expensive, so we will go back to our standby of Daiya brand cheddar-esque cheese shreds.  The dish on the right is a fabulous Mediterranean tofu scramble, complete with broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, onion and seasoned with tumeric, black salt and a new siracha powder I found. YUMMY!!

ARF Bakin’
Every Wednesday (when I’m not laid up from falling and busting my rear or other catastrophes), I try to go out to the Animal Rescue Fund of MS to walk and commune with some of the over 300 dogs that are at the shelter.  In addition, it’s fun to take some vegan baked goods for folks to sample and occasionally throw in supper for the two folks who have dedicated their lives to saving/rescuing/rehabbing and loving all of the animals there (Elizabeth and Charles Jackson).  As many of you know, ARF/MS is a no kill shelter that grew out of a need to place abandoned/neglected pets following hurricane Katrina. Operating on a shoestring budget, they try to place and adopt out animals to loving and safe homes. The shelter staff works hard to keep the animals fed, watered, cleaned and in a safe/sanitary environment…and believe me, it’s very hard work. So, it just seems right to do something kind back.  This week we took some chocolate chip and some pear/walnut/raisin mini-muffins; and the Mediterranean tofu scramble for supper. 

 Chocolate chip mini-cupcakes ready to cool off and take to the good folks at ARF. 

Last blog, we posted about an all vegan bake sale to be held on October 25....well, we postponed the date until spring. So many of the organizers had so many irons in the fire for the holiday season, we thought it prudent to delay a bit and present middle MS with a KNOCKED-OUT VEGAN BAKE SALE around Easter. Our celebrity chefs are still on board and eager to display their vegan baking expertise.

Today (10/24), we had the honor of being a guest on a SuperTalk MS (97.3 FM) on the Gallo Show, featuring Paul Gallo. We were asked by Dr. Phillip Ley and his wife Linda Allen to participate on the show to discuss the Breast Cancer Walk being held here tomorrow. While the content mostly dealt with the importance of early detection and treatment, yearly mammograms and self-examination, we also got a chance to talk about the impact being vegan has had on my life and health. Now, we want to cook for the kind folks at SuperTalk MS and share with them the delights of vegan cooking. Keep your fingers crossed.

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