Friday, December 8, 2006

'Tis The Season To Be Busy!

Not a whole lot of cookin' going on here lately. So I've been eating lots of quick foods, and for the most part sticking to my vegan goal. Here you see 'Creamy Hummus' from Vive le Vegan! pg. 62 -- this might be round 2 or 3... It always starts like this -- pretty, in the bowl with pita bread, celery, & orange peppers to dip. Then, it goes into pita sandwiches or spread on crackers with pickled asparagus or something. I like to keep some in the fridge for a quick, healthy & satisfying meal.

Then, for my sweet-tooth, I just turn to pg. 126 for 'Double Chocolate Almond Explosion Cookies' --- these are my all-time favorite cookie. I'm tickled pink that I can make them at home anytime I want and that my daughters can lick the bowl (yes, they are the girls' favorite too!) I made them BIG this time --- only getting 7 total from the batch (the first cookie off the parchment paper always misses the photo op). If you're reading this, you've probably made these -- if not, you really must get to it.

More cookies! I made these a while back -- they are Vegan Diva's Lime Cookies (
recipe) I think it's so sweet how Emmy always makes cookies for her mom -- so, when the girls and I visited my mom, I made some lime cookies to take. They were a big hit, and my mom was impressed that they are vegan. At 60+, my mom has become interested in becoming vegetarian! If you knew her, you'd be shocked too! It is for health reasons. There are many paths that lead to a veggie lifestyle -- It's hard to deny the truth.

I'm still really loving my Crock Pot. This is a creamy one-pot meal:

Slow Cooker Risotto with Swiss Chard
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups uncooked Arborio rice
2 cups organic vegetable broth
1/2 dry white wine
dash salt (wait until the end)
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, rinsed clean, well dried & coarsely chopped

Heat oil in a small skillet. Add onion and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes. Place in slow cooker. Add rice and toss well to coat. Stir in broth, wine, & Swiss chard. Cover & Cook on high 2 - 2 1/2 hours or until all liquid is absorbed. Season to taste.

One cup of Swiss chard is loaded with vitamin K to promote bone health. It's also an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and E; iron; calcium; potassium; magnesium; manganese; and dietary fiber. You could also add Swiss chard to pasta or lasagna.

Roasted Cauliflower in Lemon-Tahini Sauce' by Tim Miano of Virgina. He won First Place in the "2006 Reader Easy Ethnic Recipe Contest" by Vegetarian Times.

1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
4 tsp. olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. tahini
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

1. Place oven rack in top position -- Preheat to *425
2. Toss cauliflower with 2 tsp. olive oil, season w/salt. Spread on large cookie sheet, bake 12 to 15 minutes until fork-tender.
3. Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in saucepan, saute garlic, stir in tahini, lemon juice, 5 Tbsp. water & salt. Simmer over low 1-2 minutes. Remove.
4. Divide cauliflower among plates. whisk sauce, spoon over cauliflower. Sprinkle with sesame seeds & parsley.

The Boise Community Radio fundraiser I told you about in the previous post was a big success! The PNYE party has earned it's spot as being the most successful fundraiser to date, and will become an annual event. Everybody grooved to the music and dug the quirky party theme. There was a silent auction, and here you see a shirt that I won made by a local artisan. Yeah, for homegrown music!

We are off to Southern California, so I won't be posting for a while. I will have a laptop though, and plan on visiting you here & there as time allows. My food plans include Real Foods Daily & Mother's Market in the LA and Orange County areas. Then, SIPZ and/or Kung Food with Kleo further South. Please let me know if you have other restaurant suggestions for me. Hope you are are doing wonderfully and I look forward to visiting you soon.


laura jesser said...

Oh wow, this is a nice post to say good-bye on! I love the hummus from Vive and yes, I too could never get enough of those cookies!

Thanks for posting those recipes--they look so easy and delicious too. I will probably try the Swiss chard one very soon.

I hope your trip to Southern Cal is just wonderful!

Nikki said...

I heart you Vicki! I am going to make that risotto...probably for this weekend's party.

That shirt is fabulous! I have a friend who lives in Boise, I wonder if she got into the Community Radio bit... She should if she hasn't already.

Have a great trip, and take lotsa pictures. Tell Kleo we miss her and her posts! :)

funwithyourfood said...

You're coming to town huh?!! That's awesome. I hope you enjoy all the food here!

Oh, that shirt it cute. I like when they're soft and feel like they've been worn for 100 years :)

maybepigscanfly said...

Wow Vicki- lots of good looking food and treats! Do you think I could make the risottow with swiss chard, without the slow cooker?

I'm not sure exactly where you are going to be in Southern California, but here are 2 places that I've enjoyed:
-Follow Your Heart Cafe in Canoga Park (San Fernando Valley)
-The Spot in Hermosa Beach

You should check out both their websites!

I hope you have a great trip in So. Cal. I will be heading there myself in less than a week. (It's home for me).


juliehasson said...

Hi Vicki,

You've got a great blog here! Dreena sent me a link to check out your jelly video. Too cool! My son has been begging me to make pepper jelly, so I'm going to try out your recipe.

When you're in LA, you have to go to Native Foods (there's one in Westwood and one in Orange County). It's the BEST vegan/veg restaurant in LA. I've also heard that M Cafe is amazing too. I think that they're on Melrose Avenue in LA.

Have a great trip!


aTxVegn said...

Risotto in the crockpot is such a great idea! And I must make those chocolate cookies!

Have a great time in California and I hope you get to eat at RFD. Do you have the cookbook? I love mine.

Urban Vegan said...

Sure 'tis the season to be busy. But in a nice way.

I love Dreena's Creamy hummus--I made some last week and am just finishing the last of it. Those cookies look great--I'll have to try making them both thanks to your pix.

Have a great time in SoCal.

Vivacious Vegan said...

Definitely go to Native Foods!!! It is incredible. I used to live in Irvine and sometimes really miss the vegan food options. I'm so happy for you that you get to go to So Cal. I'm hoping that I'll make it out that way in the spring or early summer.

Have fun!!

bazu said...

Yup, I second Crystal on being an ex-Irvine inhabitant and missing the restaurants!

Here are some other vegan places to try if you feel inclined:

Au Lac (Vietnamese: Garden Grove, OC)
Wheel of Life (Thai: Irvine, OC)
Veggie Grill (Casual: Irvine, OC-- this one is new and I haven't tried it yet, but looks so good! If you go, I used to live within a 3-minute walk of that place, so think of me!)
The Stand (old fashioned hippie food: right on the PCH in Laguna Beach, OC)
The Bodhi Tree (Asian/health:Huntington Beach, OC, they have an avocado shake that is to DIE for!)
Pain Quotidien (bakery, health food:L.A.)
Urth Cafe (not strictly veg, but many options, great for brunch)

I second Crystal, definitely go to Native Foods! (Costa Mesa, OC)

have a wonderful trip! I can't wait to see photos when you get back!

Eat Peace Please said...

Have a great trip Vicki. All of this food looks wonderful. I can't wait to see photos of the trip (and hear stories!)... And, I've been missing Kleo too.

Johanna3 said...

Have a great trip, i will be missing you tons!

yum i most do some cookies soon!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

That risotto has my attention~

Have a lovely trip - enjoy Real Food Daily for me! That's a great cookbook, too.

Cherie Anderson said...

Those cookies look like heaven!

Gaiaonbeta said...

I loved the cauliflower plate with black sesame seed. So pretty !

But I really wanted to comment on your mom !! How great is that !!
You must be very happy :))
I have a vegan mom and it is so wonderful to have each other's support :)

Emmy said...

Hi Vicki, That's great you tried the lime cookies. I'm glad your mom liked them too! My mom is a big fan of the lime cookies. Those double chocolate almond cookies look crazy good. Definitely a cookie Rob would love!! The slow cooker risotto looks tasty. I love anything with swiss chard. Yum! I hope you have a safe trip and have a blast :) Take care!!! Happy Holidays!!!

tanyakristine said...

yeah, i made those delicous chocolate cookies too. but with peanuts. still wonderful!

Johanna3 said...

Have a great Holidays!

Jenny said...

Happy Holidays!

Tanya Kristine said...


creative kismet said...

I used your habanero recipe and watched your video a hundred times! My jelly turned out perfect! Thanks so much for all of your dedication and inspiration. I hope you had a very merry christmas with your beautiful little family! Happy new year to you Vicki- may it bring you everything that makes you happy!

Carrie™ said...

Vicki! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas. I'm printing out the risotto and swiss chard recipe because it sounds delicious and easy (love the slow cooker) and a great way to get those much needed leafy greens.
I'm anxious to hear about your trip. Enjoy!

Dori said...

I 22nd that the explosion cookies are the finest! I kept forgetting to add this blog to my roll, so I have missed your updates. Wow about your mom, great that she has you to mentor her. :)

Hope your travels and gatherings are safe and satisfying.

Candi said...

Oooh, I never tried those Chocolate Cookies! I know, I have to get right to it! They look great!

Congrats to your mom on a healthier lifestyle! :) That must make you happy to know she is doing better for herself.

Have a great trip and give yourself and Kleo a hug from me! :) Can't wait to see your photos!

Happy New Year!!

elena said...

hello, I am nice to meet you. what happiness to see so much delightful meal, so much life and so much creativity!

a greeting,

(he excuses my horrible English. I am using this: )

bazu said...

Happy New Year to you and your family, Vicki! I hope you guys had/are having a blast traveling. =)

Candi said...

Happy New Year, Vicki!! Hope you are having a great time in the sun!! :)

Jenny said...

I miss your blogs! Come back soon and happy new year.

Urban Vegan said...

Miss you, Vicki. Can you come out to play?

Happy New Year!

Michelle said...

happy new year! been cookin' up anything lately?!

Melissa West said...

Hey Vicks, you coming back to blog land? I miss you! Happy New Year!