Friday, April 21, 2006

The fruits of procrastination

So I had to go to campus today to drop off my two Ethnobotany essays (which I wrote yesterday, haha) and to pick up my midterm from the same class. I thought I'd be seeing my TA to do this, but it turns out I had to get it from the actual prof. I didn't think I had done very well on this test, as I completely blanked out for some questions. So he went through it tallying up my mark and asked why I didn't do so about awkward. Like I wanted to tell my prof my excuses! He said I did neither good nor bad then handed it to me...75% That may not be up to my usual standards, but its freakin' awesome considering I thought I did wayyyy worse. I mean I completely forgot everything about vegetable waxes...I'm surprised they gave me any points for that question. The guy is super nice though. Anyhow, I have an exam tomorrow night, so naturally I was cooking all day :P.

For breakfast, I made the basic buckwheat pancakes from How It All Vegan. This was my first time using buckwheat flour. It gave the pancake batter a gray colour, which was cool. These did not cook all the way through! I haven't yet mastered the art of cooking perfect pancakes so I'm not sure if its because of how I cooked them or just the nature of the recipe...the good thing is is that the recipe was good enough to still be eaten, regardless of the fact that it was partially uncooked! I made Vive le Vegan's blueberry maple syrup again, but this time I used raspberries and a touch of lemon juice instead. Titillating! (Oh yes, I plan on using the thesaurus from now on to help me describe my food in more than one way) So all in all, the pancakes were good, and next time I will cook them longer on lower heat and make sure they cook all the way through. I froze the leftovers to eat as snacks in the future. They sure looked fine on the outside! The sight of the syrup is giving me goosebumps all over again, tee hee.

Lunch was leftover taco casserole and a baked potato with a bit of Earth Balance and bacon bits (I'm naughty)...but it was oh so good!

I felt like baking something so I pulled out Vive le Vegan and zeroed in on the Choco-cinna-nut biscotti. What a delight! I have never had biscotti before so I had to google it to see what it looks like and how its described. Here's what I found: "A hard biscuit that has been baked twice and is often served with coffee. Good for dunking.". Sounded good to me, regardless of the fact that I don't drink coffee. This is a marvelous recipe! Its a chocolate batter with toasted almonds, chocolate chips, cinnamon, vanilla and your choice of mocha or almond extract (I only had almond). I love the taste of the almond extract in the finished product. After baking for the first time, the biscotti was cooled and sliced and sprinkled with sugar and baked again. Once it cooled I dipped them in melted chocolate...Mmm pure decadence. All in all, a great recipe that I think I will make again in the future, using different nuts and extracts to vary the flavour. Oh, and my sister, the Starbucks barista, said it was really good :)
Before dipping:

After dipping:

The dip job isn't perfect but after the cream egg ordeal I just didn't care and wanted to get 'er done.

Then for dinner, I made La Dolce Vegan's perfect pesto pizza. If you want to make this make sure you have some time on your hands, or that you prepare in advance. It requires a pizza crust (unless you go with store bought) and the making of pesto. I thought the pesto was going to burn a hole through my pocket because the stores usually only sell basil in little packages with maybe three quarters of a cup in it for 3 bucks. But Smith's had a bunch of basil for 3 dollars, so I snatched that sucker up! Turns out it was the perfect amount. But it was not fun cleaning it! The roots and everything were still there and sand and dirt just kept falling out. A lot of water and many towels fell in battle, but it eventually got clean.
The fairest herb of all:

The pesto is awesome (sorry...grand)I'll be using it for other meals too. Sidenote: the thesaurus gave the word "hairy" as a synonym for "awesome"...right...clearly the guy who wrote this one is very hairy. I made a whole wheat crust to up the nutrition. The pizza has a layer of pesto as its sauce which is then covered with sauteed shallots and baby spinach.

That's followed by a layer of soy cheese (I used Vegan brand mozzarella) and faux feta (I used sunergia brand).

I had hoped to get my hands on the Vegan Gourmet brand of cheese, because it actually melts, but the store was sold out. The Vegan brand worked just fine though. The feta was good but not so great that I'd buy it again. The feta recipes in Garden of Vegan and La Dolce Vegan are better and cheaper. All in all, I really enjoyed this pizza. Its very filling, so I only ate two pieces instead of half the pizza...ha! I had to save room for the biscotti, of course. The pizza wasn't like the one I used to have at the Ex. I think I'll experiment in a few weeks to try and come up with a similar one.

Ugh, is it really Friday night? I hate Saturday exams, they ruin everything! Billy and I had a battle royal (I love this thesaurus) last night, so I'm eager for him to finish work so we can just be together tonight.


Danielle D. said...

Does the Vegan brand of "cheese" melt a little or not at all?

Melissa said...

not at all in the oven. The only time its ever melted at all for me was in mac and cheese.

KleoPatra said...

Looks sooooooo yummy!!

Vicki said...

i just found your blog & so glad i did. those pancakes look awesome...i mean fantastic! i'm vegetarian, & playing around with vegan. just bought la dolce vegan, vive le vegan & everyday vegan & i'm having so much fun with the recipes.

Melissa said...

hi kleo and vicki! I love getting new commenters, it helps me discover new blogs! fantastic is a great word to replace awesome ;) Don't you love getting new cookbooks? I don't have Everyday Vegan. How is it?

yardsale said...

Hey! Who's that sexy chick with all that wavy red hair? Between the pesto and the redhead, I might just faint!

Melissa said...

Oh stop I've got red cheeks too!

Patti said...

Gorgeous and ...titilating! ;-)

Just a suggestion...the best biscotti I've had always had a side (rather than an end) dipped in chocolate. Then you get a nice bit of chocolate in every bite.

I adore the idea of the lemon with raspberry. That's definitely on my must try list!

Melissa said...

patti, you're absolutely right...I'll do that next time. I wasn't sure if the lemon would make the syrup too tart, as raspberries already are on their own, but it was perfect.

KleoPatra said...

i am enjoying your interesting and enlightening blogging banter (and will try some of your batter)!

Dori said...

Nice biscotti. I have always dipped it long ways on the side or drizzled it also. I've never tried pesto, I want to soon though.

Michelle said...

i had that berry syrup on some pancakes this morning.. but i made mine with a frozen berry blend.. it had strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. YUM.