Archive for September, 2009

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Too Much To Title

September 28, 2009

Dear Caitlin,

I have SOOO much to report from this weekend, and I’m going to cram it all into this post! To begin, let’s jump back a few days to Friday night, when I prepared a wonderful dinner and some food items for the fridge. First, the dinner!

Carrot Fries

Carrot Fries! After Gena’s repeated exhortations, I couldn’t resist! Good thing, too, because these were great. They deserve another pic!

Carrot Fries Close Up

I really recommend these. They are especially good for using up those last few carrots you may have sitting in the fridge, although they’re really delicious enough to buy carrots specifically for this purpose. They do not, however, make for a complete meal. So I rounded off my dinner with some nice and simple noodles.

Noodles

Also on Friday night, I prepared a new salad dressing and a new batch of Vimbits. First, the dressing, a Macadamia Nut Dill Dressing:

Dressing

Unfortunately, this dressing came out much more like a dip; on salads it’s kind of similar to feta cheese. Taste-wise, it’s very much a sum of its parts: macadamia nuts, dill, and apple cider vinegar (there were one or two other things, but I can’t remember them). Now I love those ingredients so I can’t complain too much, but I really would’ve appreciated (a) a smoother dressing and (b) some flavor synergy. Still, this is a decent enough dressing.

Next up: Spicy Banana Chocolate Vimbits:

Vimbits

And the wide angle:

Vimbits 2

The “spicy” in the Spicy Chocolate Banana Vimbits was supposed to come from half a jalapeno pepper, which I decided to replace with a pinch of cayenne pepper. (I don’t think this made them that spicy.) Also, for some reason, these smell very funny, although they taste okay. I don’t like them as much as my previous ones, though. So unfortunately, my two advance cooking ventures did not turn out that well. At least I had those carrot fries…

Moving on, this weekend my parents and two of their friends came up to Toronto for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (and, ostensibly, to see me I guess). The race was on Sunday night, and Saturday night we all went out to dinner together at where else but Vegetarian Haven. This is now my third time there, and I still feel like I haven’t made a dent in their menu, which is a good thing. I got to try several new delectable dishes this time. First, a simple Won Ton Soup (sorry for the low lighting)!

Soup

The won tons in this soup were excellent and I enjoyed the soup very much overall, although I would’ve preferred the stock to be pepper-y (or just to have some pepper to sprinkle on myself). Still, a really solid won ton soup. Next up, the Warm Mushroom Salad!

Salad

This plate included several mushrooms I couldn’t identify, and at least a few I’d never had before, including these very strange bulbous shrooms that squirted out water when you bit into them. Overall, I thought this salad was a lot of fun, although I would’ve preferred some darker, leafier greens underneath (I think they just used green leaf lettuce).

With these two lighter dishes, I was able to make it to dessert with room to spare, something I was very grateful for. The dessert menu just looked so tantalizing the last two times I was there; I knew I couldn’t let a third opportunity pass me by. My dessert of choice was a “Decadent” Shake—spiced carrot cake blended with vanilla almond bark tofu ice cream! Here’s a picture, although it doesn’t come near capturing just how heavenly it tasted:

Shake

Finally, one of the other ordered desserts was just too beautiful to escape my camera’s lens: Red Bean Fritters, clearly made with lots of love:

Red Bean Fritters

And that wraps up our Saturday night. We all had to get to bed pretty early for the big race (although I stayed up translating Greek for a while). I woke up around 6:00 the next morning and slowly got myself ready and pumped for the 7:30 gun time. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the nicest of days on Sunday—overcast and humid—but at least it wasn’t raining or freezing cold. Once the race started, I felt pretty good. Here were several of the things I enjoyed about the race:

  • Super well attended: 20,000 runners total in the marathon, half-marathon, and 5K, with approximately 17,000 in the marathon and half-marathon. It’s great running with lots of people around you the whole time, and even with this number of runners, I really never felt overwhelmed except at the very beginning.
  • Fairly good race support: The course covered mostly expressways, so we weren’t running alongside people’s houses, but there were still a good number of people that came out specifically to cheer the runners on. Good race support also makes a race much more fun.
  • The expressway course reminded me very much of Pittsburgh’s Great Race (which also happened to be on Sunday, I believe). I like getting to run on a highway totally devoid of cars. (My legs, on the other hand, did not appreciate it so most the next day.)
  • The marathon winner came in with the best marathon time ever on Canadian soil: 2:08:31! Congratulations Keneth Mungara!
  • New race sighting: Two runners talking to each other on some sort of wireless communication device. They each had earbuds headphones and some sort of microphone on their person so that they could talk with each other the whole race. Strange, but fun!
  • Ukrainian Brass Band: Passed them for the first time around 8km I think; they were then playing some sort of Ukrainian-sounding march tune—which was of course awesome. But not as awesome as when I passed them again on the back at 14km and…
  • THEY WERE PLAYING THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!! This was probably the biggest energy boost I got all race. It made me want to get home and bust out my Aztec Tomb.

Anyway, I finished at 1:52:50, which is almost exactly in between my last two half-marathon times (1:49 and 1:56). I was pretty happy with my performance, especially since I was able to pace myself pretty well throughout the race and didn’t ever really feel too bad. For me, a race well run is more important than a race run quickly.

After I finished, I needed to quickly grab as much complimentary food as I could and then rush on back to our hotel room to shower and change and then get back in time to see my dad finish. I did have time, however, to get a picture of me with my medal:

Me

Anyway, back at the race, my dad finished his marathon with a great time of 4:01:21! Here are some pictures of him crossing the finish line:

Dad 1

Dad 2

Dad 3

Dad 4

Great job, Dad!

Finally (and this will really be it), I have some quick reviews of the edible treats in our race packs. They provided a pretty interesting mix in my opinion; first up, an Oasis antioxidant-rich fruit drink:

Oasis

This was pomegranate wildberry flavor and it tasted great after my run! However, the juice was made from concentrate and I doubt I would ever buy this for any reason. Yet as an after race drink, this really hit the spot.

Next up, a Brazilian Nut Fiesta bar:

Nut Fiesta

Don’t be led astray—this is not a Brazil Nut Fiesta bar. It is rather a fiesta of Brazilian nuts, some of which may or may not be Brazil nuts, I couldn’t really tell. Also, there were seeds and dried fruit in there. A picture will illustrate:

Nut Fiesta Inside

Tasty, though tiny, I think this was a slight improvement on the traditional chewy granola bar.

Finally, I had a bag of Spicy Chili rice chips:

Chips

These were not bad, but also not far enough from Doritos to really be any good.

I still have one more thing from my race bag that I’m hoping to try out sometime this week! Excited to find out what it is? You’ll have to check back. For tonight, I’m spent. Sorry this blog post was so long. I’ll try not to let this sort of backblogging happen again.

Until we eat again,

Willie

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Ride The Fire Eagle Danger Day (One Day Late)

September 26, 2009

DISCLAIMER: This post has little to nothing to do with food. Proceed with caution.

(Just in case the title of this post sounds like gibberish or the name of some silly hipster band’s new song, check this out: The Show with Ze Frank )

For this weekend’s installment of “Caitlin feels like posting some of the fun stuff she found on the internet during the week,” I present to you a wonderful short story that was featured on Escape Pod a couple of weeks ago. I’m catching up so I’m a little behind the curve on the discovery of this really fun story.

24hr-cover

Mr. Penumbra’s Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store, according to its author Robin Sloan, is “a short story about recession, attraction and data visualization.” I will admit that I can be pretty geeky and a short fiction story that uses data visualization as a prominent plot element may not seem incredibly appealing to the less geeky members of the blogosphere, but, even for the non-geeks, worth a read/listen. Maybe the (short) history of the story will help entice you further. It was inspired by a tweet: “just misread ‘24hr bookdrop’ as ‘24hr bookshop’. the disappointment is beyond words.” Sloan then posted the story as a blog post. Then, rather quickly, Escape Pod picked up the story and posted an audio version. I love the interwebs.

Seriously, check this story out.

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Celebrating Corn Flakes

September 24, 2009

Back in the ‘burgh, we had an annual (sometimes tri-annual) celebration of corn flakes. Really, this meant that my Polish teacher would bring in corn flakes and lots of fixins to add to them in an effort to practice the instrumental case. Now, I sort of doubt that this is an actual Polish holiday, but I think it is a worthwhile celebration of a wonderful treat that was developed by John Harvey Kellogg to become part of a healthy, balanced and VEGETARIAN breakfast! Yes, that’s right, JHK was a big advocate for vegetarianism!

In class, our celebration usually meant eating bowls of cornflakes with beer, jam, milk (sometimes half and half…) and stuff like that. My favorite addition was corn flake cookies. Over the years, I have tried many recipes for cornflake cookies trying to find just the right one. I think I have finally developed my favorite incarnation… though they don’t actually contain corn flakes….

cookies!

“Corn Flake” Carob Chip Cookies!

Ingredients:

  • 1 flax egg
  • 1/3 cup of margarine (I use earth balance)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 TB “milk”
  • 1 tsp ‘nilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • dash of nutmeg (if you are into that sort of thing…)
  • about 1/2 cup of carob chips (you could also use chocolate chips)
  • about a cup of lightly crushed Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes (feeel free to use any flake cereal, I would also recommend Nature’s Path’s corn flakes or mesa sunrise)

To Bake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Soften the margarine by either letting it sit out or nuking it a bit.
  3. Mix flax egg, margarine, sugar, “milk” and ‘nilla extract.
  4. Once well combined, add flour, baking soda and nutmeg.
  5. Add carob chips and Flaky cereal of your choosing
  6. Bake for 9-12 minutes.

makes about 2 dozen Caitlin-style cookies (about a tablespoon of dough for each cookie).

IMG_4096

SMACZNEGO!

IMG_4030

Until We Eat Again,

Caitlin

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Afternoon Smoothie Delight!

September 24, 2009

While I prepare the sweet treat that I promised last night, I thought I would share with you another sweet treat I discovered over at Closet Cooking.

blueberry Maple Smoothie

Blueberry Maple Oat Smoothie

Willie may remember Closet Cooking from the delicious kare pan recipe of his we tried. Seeing as I had all of the ingredients on hand, I decided to give this blueberry maple (overnight) oat smoothie a try. The recipe makes two cups this size. It was fabulous!

Today, I decided to try a little substitution magic…

Mango agave oat smoothie

Mango Agave Oat Smoothie

So, I really just subbed mango for blueberries and agave for maple syrup, but this was also really delicious. I think this recipe lends itself quite well to getting creative with your fruits and sweeteners. Flax seed meal was also a fun addition! I look forward to trying more combos!

IMG_4094

And, for anyone who doesn’t follow Wil Wheaton on twitter, this picture made me “lol,” but in a sort of sad way…

I guess as a former Vampire: Blood and Empire Teaching Assistant, I should be glad about this proliferation of vampire texts…

Until We Eat Again,

Caitlin

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What do you think? Should I apply for a part-time job at pinkberry?

September 24, 2009

Hopefully, this post will offer a little catching up post party since I have been neglectful of my dear blog recently. Be prepared for a barrage of bloggage, Caitlin style.

tofu and broc

I mentioned this Wildwood organic sprouted tofu in my last post, and I would definitely recommend it. It’s really quality tofu!

TJ's wine

Meet my new friend, TJ’s wine. So, I needed white wine for last night’s dinner, which you will see in a bit, and this was the cheapest they had at Trader Joe’s Wine and Spirits. (Under 4 dollars?!??) I don’t like wine. This in addition to the price gave me very little hope that any more than the 1/4 cup of the wine that the recipe called for would actually get drunk (or trinken). To my surprise, I loved it! That bottle is now happily sitting in the recycling bin! 🙂

kamut pilaf

This lovely creation would be the destination of that first quarter cup of vino. On my trip to the UWS WF*last week, I bought some kamut! I had never eaten or cooked kamut before, so I consulted the ever-trustworthy Crescent Dragonwagon. I found a lovely and exciting recipe for the kamut pilaf you see above. I must say, great grain! I don’t think I have a pink enough tab to mark this recipe!**

kamut  pilaf close up

I don’t want to give away any of the recipe’s secrets, but I figured I would throw in a close up so that you could speculate…

dinner on the 23rd

I had some of the leftover pilaf tonight with a massaged kale salad and some balsamic tofu! I just massaged it with some lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and orange zest. I was inspired to add the orange zest after trying something similar at the vegan tasting night at whole foods!

That’s right, WF had a vegan night! I was accompanied by one of my adorable friends*** who I have known for… is it eighteen years now? (This does not mean we are old. This simply means we learned our ABC’s together.) Though I think we were both a little disappointed in the slim pickin’s, some of the products were quite nice. I tried the walnut-orange kale (salad inspiration), vegan rice pudding (liked the rice, wasn’t sure about the pudding…), some granola that was sub-par but the soy milk they topped it with was quite nice (but I don’t remember the brand! oh no!) and some ginger cashews. We unfortunately missed out on the barbeque tempeh because Chef Juan Pablo felt like socializing instead of manning his station… *taps foot irritably*

After WF, I had my first pinkberry experience! There is a pinkberry right around the corner from my school, but I never realized what I was missing by passing it by every day!

pinkberry

I got a small original with mochi and dark chocolate crisps on top! I really liked the yogurty flavor of the froyo, it’s not often that you get the yogurt tanginess in frozen yogurt. It must be the live and active cultures…

Going back to the title of this post… I am looking for a part-time job and noticed while entering pinkberry tonight that they are hiring… What say you oh wise interwebs?

On a completely unrelated note, look at my newly reorganized bookcase! I may have reordered it based on their Dewey classification numbers…

dewey bookshelf

I might have a sweet treat to post tomorrow (with recipe!) So, I hope to see you then!

Until We Eat Again,

Caitlin

*Sorry, I think the Librarianship classes are making me a bit acronym crazy! Upper West Side Whole Foods…

**Willie and Caitlin’s geeky cookbook rating system translation = ridiculously delicious.

***Copyright of this phrase goes to the lovely Erin K.C.

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Equinox Oats!

September 22, 2009

Dear Caitlin,

Some holidays don’t get the sort of attention they deserve, especially with respect to special holiday foods. The autumnal equinox is one such holiday. So in honor of that one of two days in the year when night and day are (approximately) equal, I present to: Equinox Oats!

What are Equinox Oats, you ask? Well, I can show you how they’re made…

First, you bake an apple which has been cored and filled with cinnamon, sugar, and walnuts, or whatever else you prefer. I baked mine for about twenty minutes, and when it came it looked like this:

P1020433

Next, you cook some rolled oats (I did mine with equal parts oats, water, and soymilk) and then cut up your apple and mix it in, so it looks something like this:

P1020441

Finally, you scoop the oat mixture into an empty jar of nut butter, top off with some Canadian pure maple syrup, and enjoy!

P1020445

The flavor combination is absolutely incredible! Also, the baked apple gives it a nice autumnal feel. However, one warning: I found these oats to be quite a strong sedative and I was out cold thirty minutes after I finished them. Not the best thing to happen in the middle of the afternoon when I had work to get done and needed to be on campus by the early evening. Still, the tastiness was definitely worth it.

Merry Equinox, everybody!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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The Daily Rundown

September 22, 2009

Dear Caitlin,

It’s already late, so all I have time for is a quick rundown of my daily eats, in chronological order:

  • Super Salad, as per the usual
  • Cornmeal Wafers (Which I made last night with corn flour instead of cornmeal, so I guess they’re actually corn flour wafers. They’re also all gone now.)
  • A banana
  • A Vimbit
  • A Chocolate Almond Banana Pear ‘n’ Date Smoothie
  • A Polenta ‘n’ Ketchup Sandwich
  • An apple

Sorry there was nothing more special in my day, but I was pretty well occupied with hours and hours of classes. Tomorrow will thankfully be calmer, but still busy, as I have many pages of Greek still to prepare and plenty of other class preparation to do. I still feel like I’m catching up with my work, and I hope I do catch up soon!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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