Friday, January 12, 2007

That darn cat!

First, I must post this picture of my cat, Mouse, from last night. As I was about to go upstairs to head to bed, I looked at my cat who was sitting on the couch as always. I did a double-take, because I noticed she was sitting upright. Completely. She was sitting, totally relaxed, hind legs spread out. She wasn't resting against the back of the couch either...just sitting, like someone who has had a few beers while watching a couple hours of football. I couldn't stop laughing at her, with all of her fat belly just flopped in front of her. At one point, while my husband and I were giggling at her, she just sighed a huge sigh and practically rolled her eyes at us....silly humans. I assume I caught her in this position because she had just finished a nice lick-bath, but since I did not witness the cleaning act, I can't be sure. I like to believe that once we go to bed, she struts around the house on her hind legs, opens the fridge and takes out a bottle of beer, cracks it open and turns on some HBO.Now, on to some food.

First, I finally made a Pantry Taco Soup recipe that I have had bookmarked on my computer for many, many months. It got such rave reviews that I felt compelled to make it. I did substitute a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, and used black beans and garbanzo beans. It truly was delicious, since I ate it non-stop for three days, and so easy and quick to make! I topped it with some roasted pepitas, which are my newest snack craze. Next I made some Provencal Spinach Gratin from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, which I happily received from John for Christmas (which I failed to mention in my last post....sorry honey!). This recipe didn't turn out as creamy as I thought it would, but I also halved the recipe, so I don't know if that had anything to do with it. As it was baking, it was getting really dry and crispy, which as far as I know, are not good adjectives for something the should be creamy and moist. I kept taking it out of the oven and adding more liquid (veg broth mixed with some flour). After doing this at least 3 times, it finally started to take on a more gratin-esque appearance. All in all, it was good (and garlicky!), especially smeared on some fresh rustic bread slices. I will tinker with the recipe again soon.
For those of you that shop at Trader Joe's...have you ever tried these?Hmmmm....dried dragon fruit. I had to get some, for more than just the sake of trying new food. Mainly, I just wanted to freak my daughters out by giving them something with the word dragon in it. Talk about some scared faces! These were interesting. I like them, not too sweet, different, very seedy....but oh what a lovely shade of pink they are! I'd love to incorporate them into some recipe of sorts, but haven't a clue how or what. Any ideas?

Next, I made my basic go-to meal of an Amy's California Burger (bunless, please), but for the side item I made some Roasted Green Beans with Slivered Almonds, also from The Mediterranean Kitchen. Dang, these were delicious! Very light, with a simple marinade of lemon juice, veg broth and olive oil. I love the idea of roasting green beans!
And tonight, I made a simple pizza with TJ's pizza dough, some barbeque sauce, browned crumbled tempeh bacon and some FYH mozzarella cheese. Easy and good!
And for dessert, a strawberry watermelon smoothie, made from bananas, frozen strawberries, some passion fruit flavored frozen peaches and watermelon juice. Now I need to go complete a few more squares of Sudoku before I go to bed. Man, I am addicted to Sudoko...but it is the bane of my existence right now.
must. complete. one. sudoku. puzzle. before. sleep.

Mouse looks hysterical! I never noticed the dried dragon fruit before, I'll have to check it out on my next trip!
My cat does that, too! you use a pizza stone for your pizza? I have one and tried using it the other day, and made sure I floured my cutting board (which I was using as a make-shift pizza peel), but alas it was a disaster. I had to turn my pizza into a big calzone.

so, I guess my overall question is, do you use a pizza peel + stone?
jenny-the dragon fruit is definitely unique, and cheap! ($1.69 for a small bag, I think)

okra mary-nope, I don't use either a pizza stone or peel....just a lightly greased baking sheet. But, oh I want a pizza stone badly!!!
I'm going to have to try that dried dragon fruit. I got a fresh one for $7 one time. (I tend to buy expensive/unique fruit when I am sick.) It had the texture of a kiwi but it wasn't as sweet or tart. I wonder what you could do with the dried stuff? Make a tropical trail mix: coconut, pineapple, cashews, mango, papaya..
What I meant to say was - I must make that soup!
webly-good idea for trail mix! and go make that soup, it really is good and so so simple, with just a few ingredients.
Hi! I have been out exploring blog world for interesting vegan creations and happened to follow a link to you. The dragon fruit is very interesting.

I am most impressed with the pizza, looks like a good supper for me tonight.
i haven't tried the dragonfruit yet, but now i'm tempted to, provided our local TJ has it in stock!
Oh and the cat... that is so funny. Our dog lays on her back with all four legs in the air and bites her paw. Animals do the funniest things. :)
I had to laugh at the picture of Mouse! Sometimes, usually late at night, my cats do eerily human things that make me think they are evolving right before my eyes- I can only hope they'll be benevolent overlords when they inevitably take over the earth. =)

I tried the TJ's dragon fruit last month. I really liked it at first (kind of like dried figs) but then I made the mistake of putting them in the fridge which made them inedible. Blech! I don't know what happened!
Oh my goodness, I love your blog! Don't know why I haven't seen it before. :) Your cat is such a cutie! And you've got me craving a smoothie now and we've got huge quantities of snow out here, how funny! :)

Nice to "meet" ya!
hi brooke! i've really enjoyed reading thru your blog. some hightlights for me: the pretzel sticks, kid inside bag, and the plastic tree (brilliant idea, btw), and the smoothie! i'm big time craving what's in that glass. :o)
great food, very cute cat!
Your cat cracks me up..

everything looks so good. I make a soup very similar to that one and it's such a crowd pleaser... and so fast.

your pizza looks really good, as does the smoothie...
That is a CLASSIC shot of Mouse!

The soup looks delicious... Roasted pepitas on top, yum!

The smoothie is so vibrant and special-looking!
Isn't it funny how human our pets look sometimes? I wonder if they ever think the opposite--"Wow. She looks just like a cat doing that. How cute."

Food looks great--gota try some dried dragon fruit, pronto.
Your provencal spinach gratin looks absolutely delicious! And your cat is adorable!

I'm going to link to you from my blog. Can you change your link for me -- my blog's name is now, not outofmyveganmind. Thanks!!!
dragon fruit is good in muffins and oatmeal cookies. Just soak it in warm water after chopping into small pieces and add like you would cranberries or blueberries.
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