Monday, November 26, 2007

The Playlist, Volume 2

2D2F -- Avenue D
Game Shows Touch Our Lives -- The Mountain Goats
Getting Ready -- Watershed
Hallelujah -- Rufus Wainwright
Innocent -- Our Lady Peace
Back to the Pain -- Tim Easton
Good Life -- Kanye West
Flagpole Sitta -- Harvey Danger
Banditos -- Refreshments
My Neck, My Back -- Khia
Jumper (Cover) -- Bedlight for Blue Eyes
Pepper -- Butthole Surfers
Landslide (Cover) -- Smashing Pumpkins
Old College Try -- The Mountain Goats
I'm a Slut -- Howlin' Maggie
More for Me -- Tegan and Sara
So & So -- Kim Richardson
Present/Infant (Live) -- Ani DiFranco
Colorblind -- Counting Crows
Stronger -- Kanye West
Stone Girl -- Kelly Zullo

And there you have it -- 79.5 minutes of carefully arranged randomness.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Comfort Food

So, it's getting a little colder here. Not yet to the "damn!" stage (I haven't even turned on my heat yet), but sweatshirt-and-slippers weather for sure. And that means comfort food.

Typically I find recipes online and modify them until they barely resemble the original. ("Um, they both have potatoes. That counts, right?") But occasionally I'll find something that's already super-easy and vegan, and where I already have all of the ingredients. In that case, I'll modify them only slightly. Such was the case with this banana pudding. (I did have to go to the grocery store -- I didn't have cornstarch, and I wasn't in the mood for banana soup.) I used vanilla-flavored almond milk, brown sugar in place of white, and a ridiculously ripe banana. (That last point is key -- and when I say ridiculously ripe, I mean it. This banana was ready to eat literally 2 weeks ago.) And instead of following the instructions, I mixed the dry ingredients, slowly added the almond milk, heated until thick, and then blended in the banana and vanilla with my immersion blender. Not very photogenic (almond milk + brown sugar + crazy-ripe banana = beige pudding, although I think it could work with some sliced banana and a little sprinkling of nutmeg and turbinado sugar) but mmmmm.

The second barely counts as a recipe, but I'll post regardless. There is (of course) an inspiration for this recipe. As I implied above, I tend to cook with what I have, rather than buying stuff with the intention of cooking specific things. And I really shouldn't be allowed to shop at the farmers' market unsupervised: I'm a sucker for a bargain, whether or not I actually need what I'm buying. Snow peas were $0.65/lb yesterday, so I bought 3 lb. Great bargain, you say? Indeed, but what will I do with 3 lb of snow peas? (This has 2 connected thoughts. (1) I also bought 4 lb of string beans; they were only $0.50/lb. (2) I am so grateful that I'm a vegetarian -- this could be dangerous when buying meat. "Hamburger? Grade D? Only $0.37/lb? I'll take 5 lbs!") But yeah, back to the snow peas. Easiest soup ever -- take 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, throw in a handful of snow peas (or other really quick-cooking veggies), simmer for 3 minutes, remove from heat, and add thinly sliced green onions, cubed tofu, and some kind of "instant soup". Sometimes I use miso or seasoning packets from the Japanese grocery, but recently I've been using onion soup mix, but diluted (about 1.5 tsp/2 cups water), and it's wonderful. Comfort food extraordinaire.