Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween: The Klaus Nomi Lime Tart

How fitting to end my Vegan Mofo with a subpar food photo. But the inspiration was magnificent.

Halloween has long been my favorite holiday. I love the costumes, the jack-o-lanterns, the freedom (once upon my childhood) of traipsing around to strange doors for candy. It is a strange holiday. I wanted to come up with something fun for my Mofo Halloween but was lacking in ideas. I made the oatmeal cream pie cookies from the Sunny Days in Texas zine for my post over at Vegans on the Move.  But inspiration was failing me here.

In some odd sequence of events I had posted my vinegar pie recipe around the same time I posted  a Klaus Nomi video on my Facebookery page as the soundtrack to some cookie baking. Which led to a discussion with the wonderful Johnp over at I-40 Vegan about Klaus being a pastry chef and making tarts back in the day. And what with my successful vinegar pie, why not attempt to veganize the Klaus Nomi lime tart?

Nomi epitomizes what I love about Halloween, a combination of the strange and beautiful. So I got my lime on and tarted it up.

You will need
1 1/4 c graham crumbs
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c melted margarine

Mix all together and press into a 9 inch pie plate or tart pan. I went with only 2 T of sugar so my crust wouldn't be too sweet.

4 eggs (I used a combo of soy yogurt and clear jel)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (I made my own using this recipe.)
1/2 c lime juice
some lime zest

What with all the egg separating and whipping that went on in this recipe, I decided to just hope for an edible tart like pie. I mixed the condensed milk with 1/2 c vanilla soy yogurt, the lime juice and zest. I then used 2T instant clear jel and sprinkled it in and mixed like mad. Clear jel is usually added to sugar or other dry ingredient to keep it form clumping, so I added it slowly over about 20 minutes.
Then I poured into the crust and refrigerated.

The result? Mostly good. My crust was a bit crumbly but the filling maintained its shape for the most part and was quite tasty.  But the real beauty was simply in the idea to do something ridiculous.
Happy Halloween and Happy Mofo kids!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Vegan Companies I Like

My final vegan company I like is not one company but rather a collection of small etsy shops that I am part of. The Vegan Etsy Team is a group of etsy sellers who are both vegan themselves and also maintain all vegan goods in their shops. Sellers range from paper goods from My Zoetrope to Art by Susmitha jewelry to baked goods from Sweet V Confections and plush toys by yours truly at Panda With Cookie. If you search for Veganetsy Team on etsy you'll get an entire list of shops and items that are vegan, made with love just for you.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I Like Cats

During a recent west coast tour I took a lot of pictures with me with various cats. I just fucking love cats. They are great. So each Saturday I will have a photo of me with a cat. Because I can.
The tiny yet wily Ms. J.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Amazing Savings Find O' the Week

Lemon infused avocado oil! So fancy I don't know what to do with it, but for $2.99 how I can I not buy it?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Panda With Cookie Cats at The Teal Cat Project

Panda With Cookie is excited to have paired up with The Teal Cat Project! They have some of my plush cats adorned with a teal bow tie for sale now.  I'm using all recycled and upcycled fabric for the cats and the money The Teal Cat Project generates goes to help feral cats. They also have t-shirts right now and will have a new ceramic cat campaign coming soon. Check out the site and the good work they are doing.

Little Panda on the Prairie: Vinegar Pie

Vinegar Pie! It is mentioned in Farmer Boy and possibly other books. Almanzo digs into slices of apple and vinegar pie. It seems that vinegar was often used in place of citrus, since those fruits weren't readily available in the US until fairly recently. An orange and a penny in the stocking at Christmas were considered mighty special. I liked the sound of this pie, so I chose it as my last challenge to veganize.

Common Family Paste for Pies
You'll need: 1 1/4 c flour
1/2 t salt, scant
1/3 c lard (I used 1/3 c. shortening)
1/2 t butter (I used Earth Balance)
Chill all ingredients and bowl
Mix flour and salt
Spoon shortening into flour and blend with fingers dipped in cold water. Continue to toss as you add 3 T ice water. Press into a ball and chill whilst preparing the filling. Roll out and lay in pie pan.

Vinegar Pie
You'll need 1/4 c butter (I used Earth Balance)
2 eggs (I used a mixture of agar and Instant Clear Jel. This was the tricky thing to sub here.)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c flour
few grindings of nutmeg
3 T vinegar, cider

-Melt Earth Balance.
-Blend sugars, flour and nutmeg with 4.5 T instant clear jel
-Boil 1 c water with 1/2 t agar
-Stir into the sugar mixture the vinegar, Earth Balance and 1 c water til well mixed. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

As you can see, this held its shape nicely when sliced. The flavour is quite strong and unique but I enjoy it. The amount of filling was less than needed for a 9 inch crust, so you could use 8 or maybe even 7 inches here. I like the ratio of crust to filling in the 9 inch pie plate, though. It isn't too thick and keeps the vinegar flavour from being overpowering.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Panda Raps: Brown Food

Panda raps like Petula Clark, Special Edition.

When you're alone and life is making you lonely
You can always eat - brown food
When you've got worries, all the lentils and the curry
Seems to help, I know - brown food
Just sniff and see the tater tots and biscuits in the gravy
Linger in the kitchen where the hush puppies are pretty
How can you lose?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tasteless Tablescapes

Get all Martha Stewart on that new beau you want to impress. It's fall! Love is surely in the air. Break out that LL Bean flannel blanket to show that you are both sturdy and woodsy. Strew some fallen leaves all over the place. Dead vegetation is so sexy.

For a touch of humour make place cards that tell him how you really feel. Everyone likes being called a dodgy wanker on the first date. Trust me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Brown Food I Eat Monday: Miso Tofu

Yes, it is time for the final Brown Food I Eat! Look at all that brown. As an added bonus I have some no-bake cookie bars in the lower left hand corner, just to up the brown today. At top is a miso baked tofu that is one of my favorite things for sandwiches. Mix up some miso, nooch, soy sauce, liquid smoke, water and maybe anything else you'd like and bake it for 20-30 minutes at 350. I used Twin Oaks tofu this time around and that shit is good.

Undressed sandwich. Just look at the brown!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vegan Companies I Like

Today's vegan company is Herbivore, located in Portland, Oregon. All vegan goods owned and operated by vegans. Check out their newest t-shirt designs! Get yourself a new wallet and replace the one you bought at the mall 10 years ago that is falling apart. They have some with cats on them and you know how I feel about cats.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I Like Cats

During a recent west coast tour I took a lot of pictures with me with various cats. I just fucking love cats. They are great. So each Saturday I will have a photo of me with a cat. Because I can.
The elusive Ms. Z.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Amazing Savings Find O' the Week

The fabulous find for this week is mimicreme for 49 cents. That's amazing!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Little Panda on the Prairie

Ginger water! It may or may not be the most challenging recipe to veganize but I had to make this. Ginger water is mentioned in the beginning of The Long Winter when Carrie brings some down to Laura and Pa while they are cutting hay. The Long Winter was the first Little House book I read when I was in third grade and the concept of this magical water to drink after haying all morning has always stuck in my imagination.

To make your own you'll need
1/2 c brown sugar
1 t powdered ginger
1/2 c cider vinegar
quart water

Dissolve the sugar and ginger in the vinegar and then add one quart of water, preferably cold. Drink before heading out to stack the hay and find an extra large muskrat house.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Panda Raps: Speculoos

You might think it gross.
Sweet cookie spread
feed it to my head.
Belgium! Dutch!
Can't get enough.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tasteless Tablescapes

Fundraisers abound these days. Everyone is raising money for something, so why should you be left out? Maybe you want to take a trip to DisneyVille to get your photo taken with a big furry, too. Toss your themed bedspread on the table and plop a big ol' donation bucket in the center. Tell people if they will follow you on twitter and like your Facebook page they will be entered into a contest to win a postcard from your final destination.
Cash only.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Brown Food I Eat Monday: Poutine

Poutine! Oh my is it good. I was rambling on about making it on facebook and the fabulous Johnp at I-40 Kitchen sent me a link to a french frying method using cold oil to start. Since I'm getting all Mofo this month, I thought I would give it a go.

The fries turned out well and the gravy is from Bryanna Clark Grogan's new book World Vegan Feast and is super simple to whip up. She has a poutine curd recipe, but I had some Daiya to use up and went with that instead.
Here's an extra close up of a pile of brown food.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vegan Companies I Like

Today's vegan company I like is Treewool, a new vegan knitwear company out of San Francisco, California. She started just this past spring with a small collection and has just recently put up her fall collection for this year. I am a fan of the garland scarf pictured above. Many of her fibers are organic and fair trade and the designs are simple and elegant while still being wearable for the everyday. You can follow the Treewool blog for updates and occasional discount codes. The holidays are coming up and panda needs a new ear warmer.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I Like Cats

During a recent west coast tour I took a lot of pictures with me with various cats. I just fucking love cats. They are great. So each Saturday I will have a photo of me with a cat. Because I can.
The mysterious Mr. H sits.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Little Panda on the Prairie

Little House on the Prairie! I loved these books as a kid and I still do. My Thursday theme is veganizing recipes from The Little House Cookbook published in 1979.

Fried cornmeal mush makes an appearance in many of the books and I remember it most from the second book in the series, Little House on the Prairie. According to the cookbook, fried cornmeal mush is "hasty pudding that has been chilled, sliced and fried in fat".

To prepare you will need:
1 t salt
1 c stoneground cornmeal
4 c water.

Bring water to a boil and add salt. Slowly which in the cornmeal while stirring constantly. If you let up on your stir you will end up with lumps. When all has been stirred in, reduce heat and simmer one hour until done, stirring occasionally. This makes the hasty pudding. For friedn cornmeal mush, prepare this at night and pour into a greased loaf pan or mold. In the morning you can slice pieces and heat in drippings until golden brown. I used shortening and a touch of liquid smoke for my drippings.

I didn't have a loaf pan, so mine ended up in a pie plate overnight. The picture is not so exciting, but I tossed a bit of cracked pepper on top and this was quite tasty for a fall morning. If you have some sorghum molasses you are in for a real treat topper.

Now you are ready to hitch up the horses and take the covered wagon back onto the prairie!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Panda Raps: Cats

Cats! I like cats!
They sit on mats
and chase bats.
Sometimes they wear hats
but will be pissed if you try to put one on their head.
Don't fuck with cats.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tasteless Tablescapes

This tablescape can be a bit tricky to pull off, but I bet you can do it. Just make sure that the plate is not filled until after your lucky guest takes the hint and irons your dashiki for the big love in next week.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Brown Food I Eat Monday: Biscuits and Gravy

Brown food, it is delicious. Picturesque? Perhaps not. Homemade biscuits and gravy from the White Lily flour bag recipe with Bryanna Clark Grogan's gravy from her new book World Vegan Feast. I tossed some sage in the gravy so it was a bit more breakfast biscuit-y.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Vegan Companies I Like

Today's vegan company I like is Food For Lovers and their delicious queso. I again had the pleasure of meeting Crystal and Chris at the Vida Vegan Con and all attendees were treated to a jar of their queso in the swag bags. You really can't go wrong with a spicy cheesy sauce that you can dip or spread over everything to your little heart's content. Both Chris and Crystal were delightful in person and I will be happy to purchase more of their goods. If you can't find it in your town, you can order from Vegan Essentials, Food Fight or Cosmo's.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Vegan Mofo Vegan Iron Chef Chickpea Challenge

Katie always does Vegan Iron Chef challenges for Mofo and this year she's posting them at the main Vegan Mofo blog. I've never done one because I am not good at just tossing stuff about and coming up with something edible. But the first challenge ingredient posted was chickpeas and I just happened to have a pound soaking for a cookin' and I had no plans for them.

I am not too up on the hip vegan food trends, so I have never roasted a chickpea before. I decided to dice some onion and toss with the great garbanzos along with some olive oil, corriander, mustard seed, a wee bit of cumin, some pepper, some red pepper flakes and maybe one or two spices I am forgetting. They roasted for a good bit while I prepared cabbage vijita (cabbage sauteed with mustard seed, coriander and pepper) and then I dumped it all in a bowl for dinner.

Quite tasty! Now some of you may not think this is much of a recipe, most likely because it isn't, but I was pleased with the results of something new for me inspired by Vegan Mofo.

I Like Cats

During a recent west coast tour I took a lot of pictures of me with various cats. I just fucking love cats. They are great. So each Saturday I will have a photo of me with a cat. Because I can.
Tiny Mr. P. looks to the side. What is this?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Amazing Savings Find O' the Week

Each Friday I will be featuring my amazing find from Amazing Savings in Asheville, NC. This week, Dandies for $1.19.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Little Panda on the Prairie

Little House on the Prairie! I loved these books as a kid and I still do. My Thursday theme is veganizing recipes from The Little House Cookbook published in 1979.

First up is the rye 'n' injun bread that is mentioned in Farmer Boy and various other books. This is the bread they just toss together and put in the wood stove to cook over night. Ma and Laura were always just tossing stuff into bowls and pans and hours later pulling out some finished product.

To make this you will need:
1 1/2 c cornmeal
1 1/2 c rye flour
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 eggs -- I subbed 2 T flax mixed with about 3-4 T water
1 c cultured buttermilk -- I subbed in 1 c soymilk with 1 t apple cider vinegar mixed in.
3/4 c dark molasses

Heat the oven to 200. On the lower rack place a pan full of water. Grease your loaf pan.
Mix together the cornmeal, rye, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl mix together your flax eggs with the milk and molasses. Combine the two and stir until just moistened. Pour into your loaf pan and cover with a baking sheet. Place in the oven above the pan of water and let bake for 12 hours.

The result is a dense dark rye loaf. 12 hours seems like crazy talk, but it turned out quite fine. The top of mine sank in a bit but the bread wasn't a bit dry and I obviously went ahead and dug in before taking the photo for the blog. I am most excited to make this and have hunks of fresh brown bread with a mug of winter tea. And then I will round up my mending and sew up Pa's suspenders.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Panda Raps: Super Chip

I said, excuse me you're a hell of a chip
I mean my, my, my, my you're like a chocolate trip
I mean, you're so hip and I'm loving your dip
You're like sweeter than the chip with that whey on his lip, oh
Yes I did, yes I did, somebody please tell him who the F I is
I am panda cookie, I mack them chips up, bake shit up, and eat the cookie up

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tasteless Tablescapes

There's some grout that needs grouting in the bathroom and the trim in the living room needs a paint touch up. What did you think this was, a free dinner or something?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Panda With Cookie Giveaway

Check out the Vegan Mofo site for a chance to win my tofu pirate set o' adventure. You get the tofu pirate plush and my newest zine, The Tofu Pirate Comic Adventure Zine of Fun. Ends at midnight tonight and is open to international folks as well!

Brown Food I Eat Monday: The Grit in Athens, GA

Everyone knows that brown food tastes best. And that it doesn't photograph well.
Well friends, I don't take very good food photos anyway, so I am dedicating my MoFo Mondays to brown food I eat with accompanying brown food photos.
Today's brown food is the Golden Bowl from The Grit in Athens, Georgia. It's big pile of sauteed tofu over brown rice with soy sauce and nooch and it is delicious. Side of greens to cut down on the brown a slight bit. Delicious.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vegan Companies I Like

My Sunday MoFo posts are simply going to be brief write ups about some vegan compaines I like to support. I have been following Coconut Bliss on twitter for quite a while and was lucky to meet Kylie at the Vida Vegan Con in late August. They do a lot of giveaways and donations to the vegan community and I happen to be a huge fan of some of their new flavours such at the Ginger Cookie Caramel. I really respect that they have stayed independent and haven't sold to a larger parent company. And if you want to send me some pints of the ginger cookie, just send me an email to get my address. I will not mind.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Greetings, Greetings Fellow MoFoers

Welcome to my MoFo! Panda With Cookie is participating for this our second year. There will be daily themes again this time around; I hope you are prepared for a delightful month. You can look forward to such exciting themes as Little Panda on the Prairie wherein I veganize recipes from the official Little House cookbook. Tasteless Tablescapes makes a comeback and are as tasteless as ever. I will also have some stunning food photos of Brown Foods I Eat.
Please come by each day for the best there is in vegan humour blogging.
I will also be over at Vegans on the Move with Gabrielle dishing up the latest non-celebrity vegan news.
MoFo on!