Archive for the 'food' Category

The Magic of Pi (a.k.a. My Friends and I Like Puns)

So, if you’ve been paying any attention at all to me or my blog, you know that I’m really great at making conversation at parties…..or not.   Since I usually localize my awkward around some sort of food spread, I have been referring to this for some time as “chatting up the bean dip.”   Usually I’m standing there, eating way too much bean dip, and screaming at myself in my own head, “THINK OF SOMETHING TO SAY TO ANYONE, YOU FUCKING IDIOT!”    I like to go real easy on myself like that.

Anyway, so since yesterday was the 14th of March (3.14), Kayphore put on her second annual Pi Pie Party.   You know, because Π is roughly 3.14.   It’s a math pun.   Get it?  No.  OK, well, just go with me and keep in mind that we’re all nerds.

The annual Pi Pie Party involves two things, making a pie and then eating a whole lot of pie.    It’s a pie baking contest combined with a contest with your own will power to shove as much pie into your pie hole as possible.   I know that eating a bunch of pie just sounds like fun, but trust me when I say that it can be a lot more complicated than that.

But it’s a party.   And that is its own challenge.   So, I decided to sort of combine my awkwardness with the theme to make a joke that only I would really get.   Why?   Because I’m a nerd.   A shy nerd.   A shy nerd who is too easily amused.

I conceived of the perfect pie to sum up (hahaha ….more math puns) my party induced social awkwardness – the Vegan 5-Layer Bean Dip Pie with Fritos Crust.     I chose to go with a vegan pie so that every possible party goer could sample some.   I didn’t want to limit my audience.   And after last years massive sugar crash, I decided that a savory pie was the way to go.    I looked for a recipe for a corn chip crust, and found one that was pretty basic.   Crush up the corn chips and mix with butter, form into a pan, and bake.   However, since I was going to be going for vegan, butter was out.    I opted for olive oil.   I have to say, the crust did not turn out the way I wanted it to.   Other pi party attendees commented that I had not crushed my chips enough.   Next time, I’ll have to try finer chip crumbs, and also some sort of binding unit to add to the mix.

In the pie shell, I layered refried black beans, chopped black olives, salsa, guacamole, and vegan “sour cream”.   If you ever find that you can’t come across vegan “sour cream”, try vegan “cream cheese” mixed with lemon juice.   I topped the whole thing in a sprinkling of green onions and served it with Fritos scoops on the side.

I actually got a few compliments on it, so it wasn’t a complete disaster, or anything.   Of course, once again, I did not win any of the prizes.   But the party did end up being fun, and I did manage to carry on a few conversations with a few actual human beings.   There were many more attendees than last year’s pi, which was equally fun and nerve wracking.  I think I made a fellow nerd giz in his pants when I told him where I work.   That never gets old.

So, now I have two imperfect pie recipes under my belt.   It might help if I started making pies in-between pis, but honestly, I’m not that sort of well prepared type of person.

Just sayin’.

I Survived Pi

So, yesterday being 3.14, Kayphore decided that she would like to have some friends participate in a bit of healthy competition of baking, and have us bake and bring a pie to her place for sampling, conversation, and drinks.

I had never baked a pie in my life.    I decided I wanted to try a caramel apple pie.   And then, because I am an over-achiever, I also decided to make a banana chocolate cream.  Of course, I went the super cheating lazy route and I bought my pie crust.   If you take issue with that, well, all I can say is Suck It.

My Pies

My Pies

I would definitely call this a learning experience.  If I had it to do over again, I would have used about half as much caramel in the caramel apple.   It was just way too gooey.   And I learned that when you’re making a pie with pudding, you only need the small box.   So, you know, good to know.

At any rate, there were a total of 10 different pies at the party, and I sampled them all.   I have to say, that was a bit rough on the system.    We weren’t even taking full slices, but about three slivers in, I was already full.

The Carnage

The Carnage

All in all, it was a very delicious day, but I’m glad that Pi only comes once per year.  I still have a bit of a headache.   I went to the gym this morning to try to help burn off some of those excess calories, too.

Oh, and I didn’t win any prizes, either.   Lame.

The Girls all Sugared Up

The Girls all Sugared Up

Pali Loves Pie

Pali Loves Pie

Kayphore Loves Pie

Kayphore Loves Pie

Zabba Loves Pie

Zabba Loves Pie

Oh, but I did end up taking home a sock monster.  His name is Bob.  He’s my new companion.

Man my head hurts.

Just sayin’.

Yes, it is Awesome!

I finally had myself a piece of the asparagus quiche for dinner last night.   It was pretty damn good.  Honestly, critically, I would probably put more cheese in it next time.   Other than that, though, I think it’s damn fine.

Nom.

For Science!

I have been cooking a lot lately.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed.   It’s actually for science.   

I’m trying to save money.  Stay tuned for the big reveal about what I’m saving for.    So, I’m trying to see if the theory that I will save so much money if I make my own food is true.   I sort of think that maybe that might not work out, since buying for one is a lot more difficult than shopping for a family.   It’s hard to buy just enough, without it going bad, and I can’t buy in bulk.

Also, I’m trying to see if I lose any weight if I eat less “restaurant food”.  I have been about 5-10 pounds heavier than I would like to be, which isn’t that big of a deal, but I’d like to get that back down.   So, we’ll see how this goes.  

It’s hard to say how much money I am or am not saving, however I can say that I’ve lost a couple of pounds already.   

Of course, for other reasons, I also haven’t had any beer in the last week, so that might be responsible, too.

Anyway, with that said, here’s some pictures of a quiche I just made.

Of course, that’s for tomorrow.  I’ll let you know how it tastes.

Atrocities of a Vegetarian Nature

There are certain dishes that I should not be able to make vegetarian versions of.   In some cases, even I must admit that it just seems wrong.   And yet, it is possible, and so I do it.   And I am not ashamed of myself in the least.   Regardless of how I have spit in the face of the lords of meat dishes, I cannot be anything other than fully satisfied with myself.

(Is the Jane Austen voiced narrator in my head showing?)

Anyway, all of this is brought on by the fact that as I am typing this, my room is being filled with the scent of vegetarian shepherd’s pie.   Yeah . . .I know.   A thousand Englishmen just screamed out in abject terror.  

It’s a layer of vegan meatballs.  (I know, right!)  Peas, carrots, and green beans.    Vegetarian brown gravy.  (Eeeeh, gads)  Topped with garlic, cheesy mashed potatoes.

And what’s worse, all those things either came frozen, powdered, or boxed in some manner.  

Go ahead!   Verbally flog me!     

But I probably won’t be able to hear you over the sound of my own chewing.

Just sayin’.

Noms

English Breakfast for dinner.

 

Grilled mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, beans, eggs, and toast.   Yummy!

I could eat that for days.

What’s that Smell?

It’s the enchanting scent of three days until payday and I’ve overshot my budget. A.K.A. a big slow cooker full of beans simmering in the kitchenette. It’s simple economics. If I eat at home for a few nights, and don’t buy any lunch, then it’ll really help me out going into this next weekend. Also, it’s probably better for me, too; it’s vegan and not really full of fat and empty carbs.  It’s not chili, more like a stew with beans.

I went to TJ, and I put a lot of my big Washington road trip on my credit card, so, you know, I’m not destitute, but I could stand to cut a few corners.

So, here’s my recipe for 3 Bean Broke Ass Stew –

  • Saute 2 diced medium yellow onions, 4-6 cloves of garlic minced, and a handful of chopped fresh cilantro in about a table spoon of olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper.
  • While that is going, dice up 2 red bell peppers and 5 Roma tomatoes into the slow cooker.
  • When your onions and garlic are about halfway done, add in a few cups of sliced crimini mushrooms. I used a whole package that I got at Trader Joe’s. Continue to saute until the mushrooms are softened, then add to the slow cooker.
  • Add 1 can each of garbanzo, kidney, and black beans alone with 1/2 of a package of frozen corn.
  • Finally, add a few cups of vegetable stock
  • Then just let the slow cooker do it’s thing.

So, it’s going in the kitchen. I think I’m going to leave it on low over night. Then I’ll have dinner and some lunches for the next few days. By the way, all the ingredients are from Trader Joe’s, too.

I’m gonna get some sleep now, or try.


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