Monthly Archives: March 2013

Pinterest Roundup

Admit it: if you have a Pinterest, you have boards upon boards of recipes pinned. I know I do.

Reality has set in and I’ve quit being so liberal about pinning new recipes to my boards lately, but there are some I’ve actually tried (imagine that!), so here’s a roundup of some of those for you, with my comments – some good, some bad.

Chickpeas with Roasted Cumin and Tomatoes : This was yum. One might argue that I didn’t REALLY make this recipe, because I didn’t use an Actual Clove and Cardamom, subbing ground instead, but whatevs. It was super good. I didn’t add the chilies; I added some cayenne powder afterwards to mine because I have two spicephobes in my house.

Kale-Garlic Waffles : These were fantastic. GooGoo even loved them. I can’t remember now what we ate ON them (if anything), but they were good just buttered and munched.

Hasselback Potatoes : Okay, these tasted really good, but they were way more work than it was worth. It was hard to not quite cut all the way to the bottom of the potato, plus it was very oil-laden. I’d rather just slice the potato all the way through and bake them that way.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Basil Penne : This was very labour intensive, but so, so worth it. Were I to do it again, I’d definitely make a huge batch of the stuff and freeze it, and that would make it a lot less work.

Brasilian Black Bean Soup : This is a staple soup at my house now.

Jellied Cranberry Sauce with Apple : This was a huge success last Thanksgiving. I’ve never made homemade cranberry sauce before, but you can’t get simpler than this and everyone loved it.

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 11.45.51 AM

This is Maggie’s photo, not mine.

Apple-Cranberry Bannock : This is so, so good. It’s like a scone on steroids. This is the one I chose to feature a photo of (because I’m just too lazy to go saving the images off the posts and reupload them here) because it’s amazing, and I think I’m going to make one for supper tonight.

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Happy Birthday to Mr Pine Nut

This week Mr Pine Nut turns 35. As per usual, he requested a cobbler rather than a cake. He wanted peach, but I only had nectarines in the freezer. Close enough.

Three and five make 35, right?

Three and five make 35, right?

Various good things about my husband:

  • He helped me finally get my driver’s license at 28.
  • He caught Lou Who when she was born in our unfinished bathroom minutes before the midwife arrived.
  • He finds pleasure in simple things… like pruning trees.
  • He got me started on the road to plant-based cooking.
  • He introduced me to the world of outdoorsy-ness and hiking.
  • He bought me my first Apple product, an iMac, around the time we got engaged.
  • He gave me two beautiful little girls.
  • He put up with me very lovingly for the 40 weeks of misery and hormonal rage otherwise known as being pregnant with Lou Who.
  • He plays very lovely music on his pennywhistle.
  • He understands me when I say “Fluff fluffs and Fold folds, but sometimes Fluff folds and Fold fluffs.”
  • He is not too macho to change poopy diapers.
  • He likes to Jump Off Things with me.

These are just a few of the many things I could say. But there is too much. Let me sum up. I love you, Mr Pine Nut. 🙂

And so does this little one.

And so does this little one.

And so does this littler one.

And so does this littler one.

Here’s to the next 35 years!

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Road Trippin’ Across the PNW

Every once in a while I get an Urge to Go Somewhere.

Every once in a while I also have No Urge to Go Somewhere but Have to Go Anyway.

A couple weeks ago I had one of the No-Urge sorts of trips. I wasn’t enthused for a whole host of reasons but felt obligated, I guess, so I went.

I have to laugh at this sign every time I see it.

I have to laugh at this sign every time I see it.

You do know, I hope, that Washington is NOT all Rain and Coldness. Only the westernmost and northern parts are green and precipitous; the mountains create a desert everywhere else. Nobody who hasn’t lived in Washington wants to believe this, but it is NONETHELESS TRUE. The same rule applies to Oregon.

I took GooGoo with me on a roadtrip in summer 2011, which entailed 10 days of visiting family and friends, going to a Bible camp, and seeing sights and museums along the way. It went swimmingly well and we had a really good time together despite her general non-interest in long car rides.

This was GooGoo at about 18 months, roadtripping with Mommy. Look at that grumpface.

This was GooGoo at Wild Horse Monument at 18 months, roadtripping with Mommy. Look at that grumpface.

This trip of a few weeks ago is the first time I’ve gone far from home solo with both girls, however, and so I was a little worried about how it would go driving 5-ish hours there and 5-ish hours back. We left after church ended on Sabbath. I packed food we could eat in the car. GooGoo decimated a couple carrots’ worth of carrot sticks, a few pieces of flatbread, and some water. I got myself off on a wrong turn in the depths of urban Portland, but thankfully was able to get myself turned in the right direction. Along the way I had to stop to deal with GooGoo’s screaming and feed Lou Who. A little bit of bouncing about in the car while I was pulled over seemed to solve GooGoo’s problem, and diapers got changed, and we were off again.

I think the thing that surprised me most during the drive was realising that somewhere along the way GooGoo’s vocabulary has increased to a point where I found we were actually having conversations about what she was seeing out the window (Look, Mommy, snow! sheep! water! look! Go home. Where daddy?)

The last 45 minutes of the trip Lou Who was inconsolable. She cried and cried and I felt absolutely horrible, but I knew that if I was to pull over and take her out, she’d continue to cry as soon as I strapped her back in. I was so close that I just wanted to finish the drive, and it was getting dark and I don’t see well driving at night. So I kept reaching back to put her Nukky in her mouth and speaking comforting words to her, but I felt so bad all the same. I was glad to arrive and be able to cuddle and love and feed her back to happiness.

As soon as we arrived, GooGoo wanted the Beanie Babies out and then wanted to see Grandpa's phone.

As soon as we arrived, GooGoo wanted the Beanie Babies out and then wanted to see Grandpa’s phone.

So, the girls got to see Grandma and Grandpa over the weekend and everyone had fun, I think. I had a productive Sunday on Skype with my sister sorting through things she left behind when she moved out. My car was jam-packed full of stuff when I left!

Then I went to see a former coworker I’ve continued to be friends with and her two little boys.

Playing with her new friend

GooGoo had fun playing with her new friend

And then it was off to see other friends, where I was able to kick back and relax for a little bit. The girls were in general very happy.

GooGoo got to help with making sugar cookies

GooGoo got to help with making sugar cookies

Lou Who shows off her tooth

Lou Who shows off her tooth

GooGoo munching strawberries and chick'n seitan

GooGoo munching strawberries and chick’n seitan

I also got to go thrift-storing whilst there as well and scored a few Golden Books for GooGoo and some clothes for her and me.

The end result of the trip I’d rather dreaded? Everything went very smoothly and I actually had a very nice time, and the trip home was really easy. I stopped once to change diapers and feed Lou Who, once at Bob’s Red Mill to purchase Large Bags of Stuff, and then I didn’t have to stop again until I got home. I was so tired, having not slept well in a week, that it took a while to catch up on sleep sufficiently again. But it was also really nice to be back in my own space, on my normal schedule, with Mr Pine Nut and my cute feline furball.

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Categories: Mrs Pine Nut, travel | Tags: | Leave a comment

Literary Post: Homer Price. Doughnuts Made With Minimal Labour-Saving Devices.

I have to admit: I’m rather appalled at how few of my friends, including friends I consider fairly well-read, have the slightest inkling who Homer Price is. I first made my acquaintance with him through an old school reader in which his first adventure involving Aroma the Skunk and some interesting radio robbers was (slightly abridged). Afterwards, the book was on my shelf as much as it was on the library’s. Maybe more.

homerpricecover

At any rate, one of the most iconic stories in the book involves Uncle Ulysses’ newest labour-saving device, a doughnut machine, that has a technical glitch and won’t quit making doughnuts after a rich lady comes along and mixes up a gigantic batch of doughnut batter one night while Homer is alone in charge of Uncle U’s lunchroom. The machine was a new-fangled contraption that dropped the rings of batter into hot fat, flipped them over, and pushed them out a chute into a bin ready to gather up and eat.

In a whole doughnut
There’s a nice whole hole
When you take a big bite,
Hold the whole hole tight,
If a little bit bitten
Or a great bit bitten,
Any whole hole with a hole bitten in it,
Is a holey whole hole,
And it just plain isn’t!

I realise I already featured a Robert McCloskey book in my Literary Food Series, but who can pass up doughnuts?

I have two things to say about doughnuts:

  • I reject the spelling “donut”.
  • Baked doughnuts are da bomb.

So, with those two points in mind, here’s a doughnut recipe for you. This is (rather greatly) adapted from a recipe I first tried during home ec.

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This is a picture of my first test batch of doughnuts. They were exactly like churros. See the end of this post for what to do if you want to recreate the churro doughnuts.

Preheat your oven to 400. Spray your doughnut pan(s).

With a handmixer, beat together:
2/3 c vegan non-hydrogenated margarine
1 c sugar
2 T tapioca flour
1/2 c water

Add, stirring by hand just until blended:
3 C flour
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c non-dairy milk

Put batter in pans, spreading evenly with a spoon. I had the batter come up pretty much to the rim. Put in the oven and bake 18-20 minutes. While they are baking, prepare the coating (described below) if using. Otherwise, just remove them from the pan when they’re done and allow to cool on a rack, or eat them while warm.

Optional coating:
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c melted vegan margarine

While the muffins bake, melt margarine in a small saucepan and mix sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Immediately after taking the muffins out of the oven, dip them in the margarine and then the cinnamon-sugar. This amount is enough for dipping just one side. If you want to dip both sides, just double it.

doughnutoverload

I promise this recipe only makes 12.

doughnutsinmahmouth

Nomming on a sample doughnut from my 3rd and final test batch. Light, fluffy, perfect.

If you want a flavour/texture like churros, make the following changes: reduce water to 1/3 cup, fill doughnut pan slots only 1/2 full, bake at 350 for around 25 minutes, dip in the coating, and eat.

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Categories: book-inspired food, breakfast, dessert, recipes, snacks, vegan | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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