Potatoes and Peaches

Things I Make that Make Me Happy

WIP-tastic Wednesday

Posted by potatoesnpeaches on April 15, 2009

I’m working on this lace Upstairs shawl for my mom, because I either love her a lot and want to be her favorite child (I’m the youngest of 4), or I am crazy. The English version of the pattern is only available in Free Ravelry Download form, so I am unable to link it, but here’s the German version just for funsies.

This is my second lace project, my first was the Lace Ribbons pattern from spring ’08 Knitty. Even an “easy” lace pattern is difficult as it takes so much concentration, but it’s also a lot more rewarding than your basic hat or scarf, so it’s totally worth it, as long as you like the person you’re knitting for. I only knit a few rows per day, because I learned during my first project that it doesn’t take long to tire out and start making mistakes. I also don’t knit when I’m hungry, for the same reason.

So even though I started on Saturday, I only have this little bit done so far:

A little bit of detail is starting to emerge.

A little bit of detail is starting to emerge.

 

And the most, most, most important thing when you’re knitting lace from a chart is to have some method of keeping track of where you are. A friend of mine uses a cribbage board, another has a piece of metal and two long magnets to put above and below the line she’s working. I have started using Pattern Tamers, and they have changed my life! They’re basically two long magnets attached to a long ribbon that folds around your pattern. They make things portable and space-efficient. They hold on tight until you’re ready to move them and they come in such cute patterns! I have the pink paisley. They’re meant for knitting charts, but I can see myself using them on cross-stitch patterns too.

Here’s an action shot of the Pattern Tamer:

Yeah, I know its not actually on the chart yet.

Yeah, I know it's not actually on the chart.

 

Ah, Pattern Tamers, how I love thee.

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Viet Wah!

Posted by potatoesnpeaches on April 8, 2009

I’ve been hearing about the Viet Wah in Rainier Valley for a long time. Around here, and especially if you’re a vegan on a tight food budget, the Asian supermarket is something to know and treasure. But it’s far from my house, so it required a special trip.

sorry about the crappy photo

sorry about the crappy photo

A very special trip, indeed!

treasures!

treasures!

 

Here’s what I got:

*A fancy-schmancy packed of curry powder – $0.49
*Bottle of hot sesame chili oil – $2.09
*Big-ass pack of rice vermichelli (like 18 servings!) – $1.49
*Jar of single-serve mango jelly cup things – $4.89
*Bottle of black vinegar – $1.29
*Almost 1/2 lb of ginger (it’s huge) – $0.54 (!!)
*Fancy Toothpicks – $1.59

All-told, with tax, it came to $12.53. Not too shabby!

I will leave you with this:

Im going to take their word on that

I'm going to take their word on that

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Adventures in Sprouting

Posted by potatoesnpeaches on March 21, 2009

I have always had a somewhat tenuous relationship with sprouts. I love to eat them, I do. When I was little I would make my mom buy me the big fat sprouts, I still don’t know what kind they are, but they’re the kind one is likely to find in your average supermarket. I would eat them plain for a few days, forget about them, and they would go bad, and my mom would be mad, and the cycle would repeat itself, evolving into me being the one buying the sprouts, not eating them, getting mad, and repeating all over. Now it’s at the point where I just feel sad when I see them in the store because I want them, but know I won’t eat them.

Why won’t I eat them? What is wrong with me?

But, then, I was reading about happyveganface‘s sprouting efforts and she seemed so excited (she always seems excited, it is adorbs), and a friend was telling me that lately she was eating the same meal over and over and it included some spicy sprouts. I didn’t even know sprouts came in different flavors, people. Out of curiosity I checked out Sproutpeople. Then I was really overwhelmed and had to look away. Then I looked in very small doses until I was comfortable reading the site for whole minutes at a time. There is just a crazypants amount of information on that site! Fast-forward, I bought the basic jar kit and feel it has changed my life.

I started with the broccoli seeds after using a complex algorithm of irrationality and impatience to get started. And I took pictures.

Day 1. You can see one little seed has popped there in the center of the photo.

Day 1. You can see one little seed has "popped" there in the center of the photo.

Day 3. Theyre alive!

Day 3. They're alive!

Day 4. Sprouting like a hurricane

Day 4. Sprouting like a hurricane

De-Hulled, Rinsed, and Very Happy. Those things in the background are imaginary.

De-Hulled, Rinsed, and Very Happy. Those things in the background are imaginary.

Perched on some Spicy Tofu & Spelt Salad, waiting to fulfill their desting and be eaten.

Perched on some Spicy Tofu & Spelt Salad, waiting to fulfill their desting and be eaten.

The broccoli sprouts were an unqualified success! They’re tasty too, a nice mild flavor good on pretty much everything. I put them on Spicy Tofu & Spelt Salad, a Food Bowl of brown rice, spinach, bell pepper, chickpeas, and lemon tahini sauce, some stir fry, they are delicious. I’ve also given some away to friends because as much as I like them and am actually eating them(!), there are just way too many for just me by my lonesome. But it’s totally worth it. I could never have predicted that I would take so much pleasure in eating something only if I grew it myself. This is probably why I shouldn’t have a baby.

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Sometimes, Happiness is a Squished Loaf of Bread

Posted by potatoesnpeaches on March 21, 2009

I remember when I bought this loaf of cracked wheat sourdough. The checkout guy at Trader Joe’s asked if I wanted a new loaf because the one I got was all squishified and misshapen after getting too friendly with the canned goods in my basket. I told him no, it was going to taste the same either way and this loaf had character now.

I was rewarded with a piece of bread that totally looks like a bunny.

should have sold it for a million dollars

should have sold it for a million dollars

I toasted it and ate it all up with some Earth Balance. It was delicious!

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A Revue of Reviews

Posted by potatoesnpeaches on March 20, 2009

These are just a few random things I’ve buyed and tried recently that are not necessarily new, but they are new to me. Because sometimes I am behind on the new.

 

Road’s End Mac & Chreese Cheddar Style.

I normally just make my own when I want mac’n’cheese, but this was on sale and I was feeling really lazy so I decided to give this a go. I ended up saving it for a weeknight when I was feeling *really* lazy and was not disappointed.

About a year ago, maybe 2, I tried a different style of this and was not impressed, it may have been the Alfredo, and I may have done it wrong. But I’m glad I gave this brand another chance because I just love the weird cheese powder! It’s pink! It’s not pink anymore, it’s freaky orange! I found it delightful. Taste-wise, it’s a lot how I remember Kraft in the blue box tasting, which is a compliment because I used to eat that stuff like every. single. day. 

Verdict: This is excellent if you are deeply lazy.

 

Wildwood Probiotic Raspberry Chipotle Hummus.

I happened upon this while shopping one rainy Sunday afternoon at the vegan store. There are times when I see something and I say to myself, “Self, that is a really freakin’ weird-sounding, you must try it.” That is exaclty what happned when I saw this hummus and I am so glad I listened. The raspberrry chipotle flavor starts off very sweet, almost too sweet, deceptively sweet. Then in the back of your throat this mild but in no way subtle heat starts to build. By the time that happens though you may be on your second bite, and so the cycle happens in a more rapid succession. My favorite way to eat this hummus is a dip for a nice crispy apple like a Braeburn or a Gala. Trust me, it is delicious.

Verdict: Eat it. Eat a lot of it.

 

 

BUILT NY Tortuga Lunch Tote.

This bag is amazing! It looks small but man, can you cram a lot in there. I’ve been able to pack a 3-cup Pyrex container, an apple, a baggie of celery sticks, a small container of dip, and an ice pack in here, no problem. Even without an ice pack, it keeps food nice and cool for several hours (providing you are not picnicking in the desert) and is made of nice, thick Neoprene, which makes it squishy and durable. Also, being made of Neoprene means you can put it over your head and go swimming without worrying about your head getting cold (please let me know if you try this. Send pictures.) It’s a bit pricey at $19.95 over at reusablebags.com, but considering how long this baby should last, it’s a sound investment over my previous cloth lunch bag.

Verdict: You will actually look forward to packing a lunch in this thing.

 

So Delicious Yogurt.

I normally have one soy yogurt brand that I stick to, and that is Trader Joe’s (which is actually Wholesoy). But circumstances being what they were I was not at Trader Joe’s for my weekly grocery shopping, I was at Whole Foods, and I needed yogurt. I ended up with the Cherry Vanilla and Peach flavors of So Delicious, I can’t remember what other flavors were offered but they didn’t seem that appealing. Maybe it’s because I was out of my element. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to grocery shopping. I get nervous when the store I usually shop at switches it’s aisles around. I’ve started shopping at a newer Trader Joe’s and I feel like a stranger in a strange land. Anyway, those are what I got. Flavor-wise, they were okay, a lot sweeter than my usual brand, but also somehow more genuinely fruit-flavored. It was just okay, I could take it or leave it. The texture though, I have to tell you, this is not the texture of yogurt as I know it. It was more like what I imagine it feels like to eat flan. Stirring improved the texture but without stirring it was one homogenous, jelly-like mass. And the weirdest part was when, digging the spoon down just deep enough into the carton, the whole thing would make a – quite frankly- farty noise and sink to the bottom.

Verdict: When it comes to soy yogurt, if it ain’t broken don’t fix it.

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Break-Up Food

Posted by potatoesnpeaches on February 22, 2009

Why yes this blog *is* still alive.

Sort of.

I broke up with a girl I really (Really) liked yesterday. It was unavoidable, and I’m not in the mood to share with the internets all the hairy details about it.* I will say, however, that noone ever warned me how completely and totally crappy it is to be the one doing the breaking. It might feel worse than being dumped.

So I’ve been eating a lot of comfort food this weekend. It looks like this:

*Giant plate of tofu scramble with comfort toast**
*Frozen crinkle-cut french fries
*Non-vegan Lemon Drop cupcake from Cupcake Royale (my neighbor had Salted Caramel, which is delicious as well)
*Soy pudding
*1 Pomegranate smoothie with vitamin boost from Jamba Juice (to make all the junk food acceptable)
*Soy yogurt
*More soy pudding
*1 32oz Very Green Juice Blend from Trader Joe’s (again, to offset the junk foods)
*Pistachios
*Pad Thai noodle box thing from Trader Joe’s
*More pudding
*More French fries
*Lots of comfort toast
*1 bag of Tings

It’s all really serving it’s purpose pretty well.

*ABC’s “Poison Arrow” made me ugly cry. That’s how bad it was.

**Comfort toast is just your basic toast but eaten when you need comforting.

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Vegan’s 100 = Much Better Than Work

Posted by potatoesnpeaches on August 21, 2008

This is the Vegan’s 100 meme from the bittersweet blog, which is a super thing because 1) I can do this instead of pretending to work, 2) C’mon, it makes me think about FOOD, and 3) Wash, rinse, repeat.

Here’s Hannah’s original list

This is the best meme in the whole world right here.

Instructions!
1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.
5) Pass it on!

Foodie Bits!
1. Natto
2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble
4. Haggis (I just…I can’t do it)
5. Mangosteen
6. Creme brulee
7. Fondue
8. Marmite/Vegemite
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Taco from a street cart
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (oh, god, yes)
19. Gyoza
20. Vanilla ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Ceviche
24. Rice and beans
25. Knish (Although, I do call Potato my little Knish sometimes)
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Caviar
29. Baklava
30. Pate
31. Wasabi peas
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Stroopwafle
47. Samosas
48. Vegetable Sushi
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi
57. Piña colada
58. Birch beer
59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Soy curls
63. Chickpea cutlets
64. Curry
65. Durian
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake (all of them, oh yes)
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain
70. Mochi
71. Gazpacho
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies
73. Absinthe
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxstess Cupcake
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
79. Jerky
80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes
83. Tings
84. A meal at Candle 79
85. Moussaka
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese”
88. Flowers
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan
92. Kimchi
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough (x infiniti)

So, I think I’ve got a pretty well-rounded list of things I’ve tried up there, but it also looks like there’s plenty more experimenting to be done. Especially that part about the meal at Candle 79. Must go see how I can get them to move to Seattle…

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Reader Recap

Posted by potatoesnpeaches on August 14, 2008

The last week or so has been a little busy-ish. I’ve been taking a lot of vacation days from work. I had a picnic for my knitting group to organize (Picknit!), I attended the Seattle Mariners Stitch’n Pitch, helped a friend clean her house, went for a really long walk, and drank a lot of coffee at my favorite coffee shop. Reading, hours and hours and hours of reading as well. I also spent two days taking an advanced Excel class for work which was pretty cool. All of this meant that last week I only worked 2 days and since I read my Google Reader almost exclusively at work, I had a lot of catching up to do this week. Oh, how I suffer.

So, since my camera is Officially Dead (craaaaaaaap) and there was so much good reading going on, here’s a few of my favorites from the last week and a bit. There will be seven as that is my lucky number and this post will have to stop somewhere or else I’d just post everything I have starred in Google Reader and there are no words to accurately explain the volume of posts in there.

1. I could eat shortbread until I throw up in order to make room for more shortbread, and this rosewater shortbread just encourages that kind of behavior. (from have cake, will travel!)

2. Don’t know if I’ll get around to making it, but this is the cutest salad I’ve ever seen. (from Show Me Vegan)

3. I made this ridiculously good potato salad and was sad when it was over. It brings new meaning to the word “tangy”. I subbed in fresh rosemary and green onions for the fresh dill and capers, though. But the idea of sour cream instead of mayo is pure genius. (from Vegan.Chicks.Rock)

4. I can’t wait for this book to come out! Queering Animal Liberation. I hope it’s even half as interesting as it sounds.

5. Even though I’m not that experienced with curry or plantains, I think the best course of action is to make Curried Plantains, and very soon. (from Bitchin’ Vegan Kitchen)

6. Happyveganface has been making some really delicious-looking salads like this one with bulghur (which I’ve never tried) and the summertime orzo salad. I just recently found this blog and I’ve really been missing out!

7. Lastly, frozen peaches are just really, really pretty. (again from have cake, will travel!)

So that’s what’s kept me motivated and feeding my love affair with both food and the vegan blogosphere in general. The camera thing is a minor setback, but it’ll get worked out and I kind of like doing these breakdowns, so don’t expect this to be the last one. Later!

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Salads! Word!

Posted by potatoesnpeaches on July 28, 2008

that is some classy servingware

(This one goes out to all the cubicle-dwelling desk-eaters out there)

(That’s not people who eat desks, but rather people who eat at their desks)

I’ve been making lots of salads lately, but can you blame me? It’s summertime and there’s all this great produce to be had and it’s too hot to cook all the time. Much better to cook for a little bit of time and then eat cold things all the rest of your days. All the rest of your days being until you run out of salads and have to make more salads.

Last weekend I made a new salad, Quinoa, Kale and Avocado Salad and it’s so freaking green and good! The recipe came in my last CSA box. They always send along a newsletter thing with some recipes on the back, most of which are vegan, and usually all of them are vegetarian and therefore easily veganized. It was originally posted over at http://www.eatdrinkbetter.com/ and like I said it’s awesome! You can top it with any salad dressing, I chose Trader Joe’s Goddess Dressing (which I am fairly certain is exactly the same as Annie’s Goddess dressing) and added some vegan pate that a friend brought to me from Canada last week. The pate adds some substance, but really this salad is so hearty you don’t need it. I just really like the pate and have to put it in everything. If you keep out the avocado until right before serving and resign yourself to eating a whole avo with each serving (which I am more than okay with), this salad is super as leftovers for work, just cut up the avo and add it along with your pine nuts and dressing right before you eat. Not to mention, if you are a cube-dweller like myself, then knowing this salad is waiting for you at lunchtime makes going to work worth the effort. And don’t we need all the help we can get on a Monday? Yes we do.

What You Need:
1 Cup uncooked quinoa
3 Stalks of kale
1 Sheet of dried nori
1/2 Cucumber
1/2 Cup pine nuts
1 Avocado
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
Salad dressing to taste

What You Do:
In a small pot combine one cup quinoa with 2 cups of salted water and bring to a boil. Cover, and lower heat, simmering for about 15 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed.

While the quinoa cooks, remove the stems from the kale. Discard and chop the leaves finely, adding them to a large bowl. The nori can be difficult to cut, so you may find it easier to just break off very small pieces to add to the salad. You can leave the skin on the cucumber, but remove the seeds and chop into small pieces.

Add the pine nuts and sesame seeds to the kale, nori and cucumbers. Add the avocado last (as you don’t want it to brown). Halve it, remove peel and pit, and chop into small pieces. Add to the salad along with the vinegar and lemon juice. Once the quinoa has cooked, stir it with a fork and transfer to the fridge to cool.

Also making an appearance recently are kittee’s Tempeh Salad That’s Like The Crack of Salads, and the aforementioned Spicy Tofu and Spelt Salad, except that instead of doing the baked tofu thing, I put in a can of garbanzo beans and it was fantastic! A great alternative to dealing with a hot oven in summertime, plus loads of fiber and spelt+beans=complete protein.

Next week the salads continue! The plan is to make Hannah’s Cold Sesame Noodles which I guess are not technically a salad but…they have a vegetable and are cold so therefore I’m calling salad, and if I’m feeling adventurous the Asian Pear & Tempeh Salad with Wasabi Dressing as posted on Vegan. Chicks. Rock and much like her, never noticed in V-con in all the times I’ve gone flipping through it.

Taking a break from salads though, this morning I’m making my first ever solo loaf of bread! When I was little, I spent hundreds (maybe only dozens) of hours helping my mom with her baking projects, but haven’t done that many myself. I remember I made pretzels once, but that seems different. That was in her kitchen with her ingredients and tools, so it was partially her food, this time it’s all my doing, all mine. I’m using the Quick Yeast Bread recipe from the Dirty South half of the Hot Damn & Hell Yeah/The Dirty South Vegan Cookbook. I didn’t realize how soothing kneading dough really is. You just get into this totally relaxed state and the 10 minutes flies by and I was a little sad I had to stop, really. And it was sort of miraculous (to a non-baker like me) that you mix the first ingredients and it’s really wet and messy and you add the last cup of flour and it’s just a crumbly mess and seems it will never come together and then *poof* 10 minutes later it’s a beautiful smooth ball of dough. I love how it feels, smooth and cool like the underside of a forearm or a baby’s cheek. Right now it’s on it’s first rise, then another rise in the loaf pan and then baking and then finally I will get to eat it. In the meantime I off to find a way to distract myself.

—————-
Now playing: Smittens – Nate Is Straight
via FoxyTunes

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Yay Independence!

Posted by potatoesnpeaches on July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July, y’all!

No food today, today is like a bonus lazy day but plans this weekend include Apple & Zucchini muffins, tabouli, spicy tofu and spelt salad, something inside of a tortilla for sure, and popsicles. (Yay popsicles!)

Here’s something fun, this is what my blog looks like after I ran it though Wordle: (Click to see it big-ified)

If you make one yourself I’d really love to see it. I find them mesmerizing.

Happy 4th again, have fun, be safe, and eat well!

Love,
Bea

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