Vegan MoFo on the Road – Coming home post Sandy.

We’re finally home, albeit a few days later than planned due to Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy. We arrived in Philadelphia on Saturday morning after a night on the bus. Sleeplessness and trying to navigate an unfamiliar transit system made for an interesting time, but we found our way to our hotel, and JC made it to his gaming conference on time. We weren’t expecting the storm that happened, and the weather outside got progressively worse as time passed by. In preparation for the storm, our bus back to Toronto was cancelled. As were most flights, and eventually highways were closed. The hotel lobby was full of people waiting, some stranded, watching TV, wondering about what was going on back home, wondering what was going on outside. It was pretty scary, because we didn’t quite know what was going to happen, or where the storm would hit us, if at all. I think what may have made it worse at the time, was not knowing what was happening outside where we were, while simultaneously not knowing what was happening back at home. Were the cats going to be okay? Family and friends? Was the storm going to hit Toronto severely? The worst kind of worry is the kind I can’t convince myself is unfounded.

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VeganMoFo – Unofficial Soup Week continues at The Depanneur – French Onion Soup

Foursquare tells me it’s been at least three months since I’ve been to The Depanneur (fondly known as The Dep) but I’m glad we went over there last night. JC and I were trying to figure out what to do for date night on such a grey and rainy evening, and I saw a Dep Facebook post about daiya being an option so were’ with their onion made by Lisa Kates of afoodgypsy (they also sell her soups in Jars to take home at the Depp as well and out of the Culinarium) Every Tuesday Len (the owner) cooks up a pot of something, and occasionally those things are vegan or have a vegan option (more often than you might expect.) So this evening there was a big pot of french onion soup, sliced sour dough bread from Nice Buns, topped with either non-vegan cheese or daiya and baked/broiled for a few minutes before being placed in the soup. The result was delicious. Really. The soup was really quite remarkable (and worked really well with the daiya) and inspired us to start talking about and thinking about making some French Onion Soup sometime this season for ourselves. I started looking for fellow vegans that might have made french onion soup, and of course, there were lots! But one of the more interesting things I came across was the French Onion Soup Sandwich over at The Vegan Adventures of Maggie and Ben. That needs to happen. Here is a not-vegan recipe…

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Vegan MoFo – Challah becomes French Toast.

So last week I made Apple Cinnamon Stuffed Maple Challah, and it was delicious. After we finished the first loaf, I wondered if I could do anything fun with the second loaf – and french toast came to mind. My mom had bought a package of EcoIdeas Cinnamon French Toast mix (it’s vegan and gluten-free) but didn’t like it at all. So, she gave it to me. I figured I could do something with it to make it more appealing, so I took it home with me from Edmonton. I made the French Toast mix as described on the package, but I added an extra tsp of cinnamon, and more than enough brown sugar. Do not eat this stuff raw. I repeat, do not eat this stuff raw. It tastes like powdered mung bean. But once you cook it, and fry it up, it’s actually quite delicious. I really liked the layer of batter that attached itself to the bread. With delicious results! In non food news, we got a pair of kittens from Toronto Cat Rescue today, and they’re currently quarantined in one of our bathrooms.  They need to be socialized, but expect pictures as soon as they decide us humans are alright. 🙂  

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Vegan MoFo – Upping my Tillers Rep in Real Life – Fresh City Farms

This weekend JC and I got our hands dirty at the Fresh City Farms plots at Downsview Park. It takes around an hour to get out there by bus from our house, but it was genuinely rewarding (and not just in the quantity of beets we brought home with us afterwards.) I picked eggplant, hot peppers, and shelled beans. It’s really quite meditative. I filled this basket up quite a bit after picking through a row.

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Vegan MoFo – Friday Night Apple Cinnamon Stuffed Maple Challah and a goodbye to an old (camera) friend.

It’s getting cold outside, which also means it’s getting cold in the house. Emmie cat has gotten snugglier, and so have I, especially in my resistance to turn on the heat until at least the end of October. I don’t think that’s going to happen. It’s also time where I realize I don’t own any long pants, but that’s a whole other thing entirely. As a result of being cold, I spent the day thinking about baking bread or bagels or cake or something, just for the brief wall of heat that results, and because there is something really satisfying about kneading dough. I feel as though after a few years being sort of a decent baker, I’ve really stepped up my game, and gone beyond that to some intuitive level of baking. So I started looking for bagel recipes and instead ended up making apple cinnamon stuffed maple challah. I think that really worked out for the better. It was a little sweet, and full of local Ontario apples. This was inspired by The Shiksa’s Apple Honey Challah (not vegan at all) blended with past challah making experience.

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Vegan MoFo – Things I Love Thursday – Produce, TEDxToronto #TILT

It’s almost hard to believe that another week has gone by so quickly. Time flies when you’re having fun? Or maybe it’s just when you’re busy. It’s nice to reflect on the things I love and am thankful for at least once a week, because it keeps things in perspective. Looking back, I can see what’s important to me, who’s important to me, and what matters. Having a rough day? Read (or write) a TILT. Makes a huge difference in my state of mind. I loved Thanksgiving and it was another opportunity to share what I’m thankful for. I’m thankful for a quiet thanksgiving at home. I’m thankful for an amazing partner, that supports me, and encourages me, and eats my food and always says he likes it. I’m thankful for family. I’m thankful for large plots of land, and small plots of land around the city, province, and country that I get my produce from. I’m thankful I still managed to find Ontario apples for my crumble, despite the terrible growing season. I’m thankful for flaky pastry dough, and beginners luck. I’m thankful for amazing people that make organizations like Marineland Animal Defense, Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary, and Toronto Pig Save happen. I’m thankful for kitchen bravado. I’m thankful for the new World of Warcraft expansion. I’m thankful for my health, my families health, and finally, I’m thankful for love, life, and happiness. All of these things are still true. I’m also thankful to the powerful and inspiring people…

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Vegan Mofo Day 2 – Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Experiment

Today I made a cheesecake. It happened by accident, it happened as many things related to food happen, I look at them and think… hmm. Maybe this will work, or “I wonder what will happen if I combine this.” I realize there are perfectly good recipes for Chocolate Chip Cheesecake with a chocolate chip cookie crust, but did I follow them? No. Did I follow a recipe for chocolate chip cookies? No. But mostly because by now, I know the ratios by heart. I put flour, brown sugar, oatmeal, oil, and chocolate chips in a bowl. Mixed them, splashed some soy milk, and boom. There it was chocolate chip cookie dough. Ready to eat. Did I eat it? No… Okay yes. But just a little bit. The rest I pressed into a pie pan. And baked at 375 degrees C for 20 minutes. But I had a little bit of cookie mix left over, and saw a container of bonus tofutti cream cheese (Metro grocery in Liberty Village in Toronto is having a sale…) and I looked at it, looked at the chocolate chip cookie mixture… and wondered… maybe… just maybe I could mix it all together and turn it into something edible. So into the blender they went. With a dash of soy milk.  And boom, back into the oven for ten minutes or so. End result was tasty, but ugly. I could probably refine this recipe more, but I probably wont. I would however eat it again, so…

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Vegan Mofo 2012 – It Begins!

It’s October, so that means a few things. Autumn is slowly rolling through the country, thanksgiving will be happening this month (in Canada), Halloween is on it’s way…. and it’s time for Vegan Month of Food (aka Vegan MoFo). What is Vegan MoFo? Read all about it on the Vegan Month of Food FAQ What am I doing for Vegan MoFo? I don’t really have a theme, but I do have some challenges for myself: Read and comment on at least 10 new blogs a day. Find recipes via blogs (or zines) and try them out (and talk about them) during the course of Vegan MoFo Keep posting about great vegan food everyday. Always link to one or more vegan MoFo’ers in every post. I would like to do at least one video blog post. Be it demonstration of how to make some of the breads I’ve been working on lately, or just a vegan talk about something going on in Toronto. Who am I? I live and work in Toronto, I live with my fiance (JC) and our cat Emmie. I’m technically inclined and a food enthusiast.  I’m interested in food from a variety of perspectives, beyond making it, baking it, or eating it. The equal accessibility of good healthy food and food distribution, scarcity issues, acknowledgement of the different experiences we’ve had with food, through the lens of ethical veganism, and ultimately, food that is beautiful and delicious. When I’m not thinking about food, sleeping, or working, I’m…

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