Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hipster Ariel Approved

I went into this culinary adventure with the best of intentions. Flavors that I love? New ingredients? PETA friendly? They were all very positive, sunshine-y, and wholesome. I would even venture to say that the Proverbs 31 woman would be proud.

Let me invite you into my thought process. I was perusing my neighborhood Publix, as I often do, mostly looking for things like almond milk -- the necessities. However, in my peripheral vision, I spied with my little eye a box of silken tofu.

I'd seen this mystical ingredient in recipes before. You could magically make so many things that are horrendously bad for you into reasonably good for you without making it taste like shoe polish. (Eww, why did I say that?) And... 2 bucks for a box? Okay, sold. I didn't know what in the world I would make with it, but I am 21 and I try new things. I am not ready to throw in the towel and make the same spaghetti casseroles and peanut butter thumbprint cookies for the rest of my life.

In my (perpetual) food blog wanderings, I realized that silken tofu was part of vegan cheesecake a lot of the time. My heart started beating faster... lemon cheesecake, lemon cheesecake, lemon cheesecake. My favorite kind of dessert, always, without fail, unquestionably, is the lemon option. It's so tangy and bright and beautiful! Lemon bars, lemon meringue pie, lemon poppyseed muffins, they are all food of champions. It was quickly determined: this tofu will be used with lemon, and that is that.

Google did not let me down in my quest. I happened upon this fancy recipe and gasped with joy, a kind of joy that is not common for a college student like me: I have all the ingredients already! So unlikely. Especially if it's a healthy, vegan, or straight up snobby recipe, I often lack the crucial component, maybe some agar agar or coconut milk soy cream cheese. (Made that last one up, btdubs.) But these were things sitting around my super disgusting kitchen!

I made the cheesecakes in my muffin tin because I probably did not have enough tofu for a whole pie, and there's this trend of making things in miniature in the food internet world anyway, so why bother?

Here are those little suckers in the pan. The lighting in the kitchen is horrible, so I thought that maybe tinting the photo all vintage-like would be the trendy thing to do. It kind of reminds me of the easter themes on Picnik.

That's more like it. (I think those are jellybeans?)

Anyways, after baking and chilling those little goobers, it was that special time in a foodie's life -- plating and beautifying the food for a picture. This is where things began to go downhill. Immediately, I ravaged our cabinets, looking for dishes that weren't plastic with hearts all over them from Target, and saw nothing. Nothing classy. Nothing fancy. What will do in a situation like this? I saw my ten cent wine glasses in the corner. Oh, perfect! Lots of people do stuff in glass jars and cups because it's so cute and trendy and hip!

But the little vegan lemon cheesecakes were so plain all alone, and plopping one in a cup was so... anticlimactic. What more could be done to make this more visually appealing? Of course! Strawberries! I microwaved a frozen strawberry and cut it up and put it on top. We'll call the runny juice strawberry coulis.

Yet, this was still not enough! What yawning critic of internet food bloggery would be impressed by just some strawberry on top? I racked my brain to think, what would someone in the know do? I saw some flowers on our dining room table and was so relieved! Leaves! People put mint leaves on stuff to make it pretty! Paula Deen even does that! I yanked some leaves off the flowers and dropped them in, and voila! It was finally complete.

I ventured to my room where there is abundant natural light through the window and set it up all pretty, got my angles going, and all that jazz. And it hit me.


The mouth of this wine glass is way too narrow to get food out! Why would I want to eat something out of this confined little breakable tube instead of a nice, caution-to-the-wind plastic plate or bowl? What's wrong with using normal dishes? Does that make something taste less good?

Why do we put leaves and herbs on things? Are we going to eat them? With my luck, this one is probably poisonous, but even if it were perfectly restaurant-worthy, the heck I'm eating a mint leaf on my dessert! Desserts are infinitely tastier and easier to eat quickly without some relative of grass sprinkled on top.

The least mockable hip part of this dessert turned out to be its vegan-ness. No, it was not the same as a real cheesecake, but if you are an animal rights protector who still likes normal food, you could do a lot, lot worse. Not a raw granola parfait in sight. (Although I love stuff like that! But I digress.)

Anyways, I just had to share my realization: we do weird things to make food look prettier and more delicious, when really, just taste the darn thing. Eat things that taste good!

I'm out of here! Time for something dipped in Duncan Hines canned cream cheese, because your eating habits are not about shame. Peace, homies!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Give your blender some lovin'

Today, we are going to make a PROTEIN BERRIES 'N CREAM SMOOTHIE!! Yum yum yummalumma

Cuz it is superduper hot outside and I bike everywhere. This isn't a very legitimate recipe...

...But who needs complexity???

I like smoothies! And I like pictures(aren't they cool??). So here we go.

Oh gosh I love my blender. He's just a rinky-dink ol' guy but he makes so many delicious foods for me. Dear blender, I love you.

Mmmmm. I remember now... this was good.

You know you've got some high qual stuff when the spoon stays put like that.

Oh yes.

So. There's not really a recipe for this...thus I am going to create an ingredient list made completely out of guesswork. Who knows if it's right? Not me. Oh well!


how about-

1 cup of ice
1 cup of whole milk (GO HARD OR GO HOME) (or use whatever you have)
1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I like whey)
1 banana (chopped, frozen) (frozen bananas make fer the BEST smoothie texture!)
some (1/2 cup?) strawberries (chopped, frozen)
some (1/2 cup?!) blueberries (ditto)
a lil (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract
dash o' salt

You could totally use whatever fruit you want.

Worth it.

I'm a fan of protein. But if you're a frugalista (what a dumb word) like me, then you're probably thinking "Katelyn, how oh how can I afford protein powder??" Unless you are a guy. (I think it costs like $15 for one of those mongo-big containers that will last you until new Jerusalem.) There are two ways to achieve this-

1. Make the sacrifice that week and commit to spending $10 on the rest of your groceries.
2. Bum the protein off of someone who doesn't use it(like my family)!

Since I'm a college student, I'm constantly making use of(stealing) the items in my family's pantry(Sriracha sauce?? That's a big fat yes!). I mean, they don't like curry anyway. And when on earth would they use that bag of dried chick peas? I'm only maximizing the efficiency of everyone's lives here. It's a good practice to implement in your life.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Today, Katelyn is a Flax Muffin.

It is a moment long anticipated...

I know. I know that all followers have waited and groaned for the year of our Lord's favor: the time in which I would join Lara in blessing each of your hungering stomachs with our innate kitchen prowess. Together. United.

Dear pilgrim, wait no longer.

I spent a lot of time in preparation for this day. WHAT WOULD I CONCOCT?? Finally, I was sauteing some swiss chard in cognac the other day when it hit me.

Rainbow cake.

So simple, yet so elegant! How could I resist??

I don't know what life was like before rainbow cake- probably pretty dismal, if I could remember. It's kind of hard to visit that place in my mind.

The recipe is absolutely fool-proof. You would need to leave the dough out too long or mix up the wrong colors to mess it up. But hey! You can always get new dough...

You could eat it. But it's just so darn pretty to look at.

It probably wouldn't be very good for you either.

Especially when you feel like a flax muffin.

The other day, a good friend of mine sent me quite the ominous text: "I have a very important question to ask you." After days and days of tortuous waiting, laboring in prayer, and weeping, she finally relented and asked.

"What kind of muffin are you?"

Wow. I had never even THOUGHT about this!! It opened up a whole new spectrum of ideas. I think it depends on the day, ya know? Some days you're a good ol' banana nut muffin. Other days you're a little spunkier so maybe you've got some blueberry in your stride. Today, I am a flax muffin. Kind of boring, probably healthy, and on the serious side. Mmmmm- FLAX.

The question is worth some serious thought! Give it a try!

So anyways, hello Lara's blog! My name is Katelyn and I like to get excited and make stuff. Most of the time it is actual food, so sorry about this entry. It's finals week for me, so gimme a little grace, ok? And one BIG FAT THANK YOU to the lovely and beautiful Lara Dickerson for allowing me to join her in the quest for food-awesomery via le web!! :) You are numero jedan in my book, lil bona!



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Calling All Stereotypical Policemen!

Attention co-blogger/favorite foodie/fellow ambasador-ess of Christ, Katelyn: the tally is looking a little heavy on my side, woman! ;) Sorry, girl, I just had to try something new today, which was a weird fancy that struck me in the middle of writing a paper.

I was sitting in the library, minding my own business, when a dear friend of mine named Kevin told me he was sorry he didn't answer me, he had to go throw a doughnut off the balcony to his roommate. As awesome as that is, what I got out of that story was: I want some stinking doughnuts. I haven't had one in literally forever; I can't remember my last doughnut. But they are so wonderful and delicious. Unfortunately, I do not have a fryer or other seemingly necessary doughnut supplies.

However, what I did have already were some overripe bananas and a baking sheet. Baked doughnuts! Of course! I know that they are real!

I googled baked banana doughnuts, and sure enough found something promising! I am not sure if I'm surprised to have found a recipe for these or not. Either way, it was on a blog I've already discovered and loved, on Oh She Glows. It's a really super easy recipe to follow!

They aren't the most round, bakery-shop worthy doughnuts that I made, but I like to call them "rustic." And they taste pretty darn good! I think I could have made mine a little bigger just so they'd have more fluff in the middle, but they still taste banana-y and delicious, especially with a little peanut butter smeared on top and a cup of coffee.

That wonderful sugar baked on top! Mmmmm. Yep, this did just fine for a doughnut fix, and a healthy one at that.

Katelynnnnnn, surprise me, girl! I'm on the edge of my seat!