no recipes, but lots of pictures. It's a fair trade.

I've been making lots of stuff from cookbooks these days, so while I don't have any recipes for you today, I DO have some pretty pictures!

In approximate order of healthiness:
Golden Squash Rings from christina pirello's cooking the whole foods way (yum!).

One of my favorite scrambled tofu recipes: Garam Masala Tofu from 101 cookbooks.

Quinoa from eat, drink and be vegan.

Blueberry Carob pancakes from... vive le vegan? One of Dreena Burton's cookbooks.

Cashew butter cupcakes from vegan cupcakes take over the world.

Toasted coconut cupcakes from the same.

Dulce Sin Leche cupcakes, pre-glazing, from -- you guessed it. Nothing will replace the lychee cupcake in my heart, but these came close.

Also, apparently if one leaves a kiwi next to garlic for about a week and then eats said kiwi for breakfast, it will taste a little garlicky and garlicky kiwi will put one a bit off one's breakfast. Just thought I'd let you all know.


filo cups!

I like working with filo. It tends to take a lot of time to make something out of it, but whatever you make ends up in such a cute little package, or crisps nicely when you bite into it - it's worth it. I recently had 4 sheets of filo in my freezer. 4 is not enough to make a pastry of substance. What, then, could I make?

Remember my french toast cups? I have since decided that anything you can bake in a muffin tin is 1000x more fun to eat than something you can't. AND SO:
I was so relieved when these came out of the oven (and then out of the muffin tins!), because I wasn't sure it would work. I've seen them in restaurants, but I always suspect that restaurants use magic in making pastries. You know, like in that scene from Sleeping Beauty, where the fairy godmothers break out their wands to make a birthday cake?

Filo Cups

4 filo sheets
canola/veggie oil for brushing

Preheat the over to 350. Lightly brush the insides of a muffin tin with oil.

Lay one filo sheet on a piece of parchment paper. Lightly brush the top layer with oil, then put another sheet on. Oil that one. New sheet. You get the idea. Oil the top of the 4th sheet, then carefully cut the pile into 12 squares. Place each square into a muffin cup. The edges are floppy, but there's probably a prettier way to arrange them than I did above.

Bake 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven; allow to cool completely before pulling out the cups.

I turned one into a cute little salad cup for lunch:
It reminded me of a cuter, healthier version of those big deep-fried tortilla things some restaurants use for edible salad bowls.

But the other 11 went on to become dessert! Fruit fillings are pretty standard for filo cups, but I had just found a recipe for Vegan Lemon Curd, so I made that!
This is it right off the stove. It's pretty viscous-y; it solidifies a bit further after it's chilled a while. I used arrowroot instead of cornstarch, but it turned out great. So I poured that into the filo cups, added a bunch of chopped strawberries, and voila:
Fruit cups fit for a dinner party!

Warning: Filo cups do not store well; they get stale, or, once filled, they get soggy and lose that fun crispyness. So 1.) make them the day you want to eat them and 2.) once you've made them, EAT THEM ALL.*

*-Enlist friends.


a garden entry (aka a couple ideas for a glut of zucchini)

This is my garden:
It is a basil plant whom I have named Gary Snyder (I name food plants after literary figures). Gary and I have been cooking together for a while now, and I find him to be quite impressive.

But I was lucky to be able to visit my family's homestead in Upstate NY, where my father has raised a much fuller, organic, composte-fed garden:
Parsley, Basil (don't be jealous Gary Snyder), Chard!
Butternut squash!
Buttercup squash!
And oh, wait, what's below all this green stuff...?
Yellow Squash!
And of course, zucchini. That's my father, holding his biggest find yet. His garden makes me wish I had a lawn. Carrying any/all of these things on the train home to boston would've been impossible, but the thought of that zucchini made me decide to work (store-bought) zucchini into every recipe I've made lately, from
a simple chick pea pasta
to (even simpler) veggies covered in peanut sauce (my default "healthy" snack [I make an approximate 2:1 ratio of sauce to veggies])
to Heidi Swanson's Lemon Chick Pea Stir Fry (can you tell I've also had quite a bit of chick peas around lately?).

BUT the [vegan]creme-de-la-creme of zucchini-containing recipes I made lately were my Veggie Gyoza - aka Potstickers!
30-40 dumpling wrappers (thanks, Super 88 Market!)

1 box silken tofu (Mori-Nu, for example)
1 small zucchini, grated
1 small carrot, grated
2-3 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup spinach, chopped or shredded (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1-inch knob ginger, minced
2-3 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar or 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 Cup say sauce/tamari
salt and pepper
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients (except the wrappers) and stir savagely until it is one big mush.
Take a wrapper.
Put on 1-2 Tbsp of the filling.
Wet the edges of the wrapper with a bit of water. Crease one side of the wrapper so it bunches nicely. Repeat until you run out of filling. At this point, you have three options: 1.) freeze the potstickers for later use. 2.) Steam the potstickers for 10 minutes, or 3.) the more-work-but-more-tasty way: lightly oil a pan and fry the postickers, flat side down, no stirring, on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, or until slightly browned. Pour 1/4 cup water into the pan, cover it quickly, and cook for 5 minutes, until all the liquid has turned to steam. Serve with a 2:1 mixture of soy sauce and vinegar, with a touch of mirin/sugar (if you like).

I froze about a bazillion of these when I made them, so I'm sure you'll see them again.

And let's be honest, you are all just reading this far because you were hoping for a chicken update. Fear not! The chickens are doing well. The pullets are now full grown, grumpy hens:
And the rooster and old chickens are doing well, though apparently the rooster may have some chickeny version of pneumonia. Poor fellow!
I'll be visiting NY again sometime this month; I'll try to refrain from too much chicken news, but I'll let you know if Rooster's pneumonia clears up.

ALSO, in good news, this whole "quitting the 9-5 to go back to school" thing means I will probably have a little more time to update this blog! Hopefully we'll be back to once a week starting this month.


A celebratory cupcake.

I quit my job on Friday. I am starting grad school TOMORROW!
Maple Walnut cupcake from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.