Monday, May 27, 2013

Last day in Portland - Shopping and good eats!

Of course it started out rainy; it's Portland!  Didn't stop Jodie the Picky Vegan from texting me out of bed to head over to the vegan mini-mall!

We popped into Herbivore first and I choose a bunch of cute recycled purse type things.  I've always wanted a seatbelt purse, so this little wristlet in front is perfect (also comes with a long purse strap.)  I skipped the heavy stuff like books, so I can keep my luggage under 50 lbs!

Then we stepped over to Food Fight Grocery.  Even though I didn't need any actual groceries, it was fun to look around when everything on the shelves is vegan!  I did pick up the cool tote bag and water bottle.

Just down the street a bit is the Hungry Tiger Too cafe.  One side of the menu is all Vegan!

Chicken and Waffles - the chicken is fried tofu and it was surprisingly flavorful with a chewy texture and the waffle was pretty darn perfect, too!

And since I've been enjoying the fake cheese and meats a bit to much over the last few days, I thought it was time I had a salad.  The citrus vinaigrette was fresh and light on a dreary day!

Jodi had one of the fancy burgers that was topped with crispy onions - that she loved, something bacony, and bbq sauce.

And when there's Mac-n-cheese on the menu how can you possibly resist.  Jodi had a good foodie word to describe the sauce at the time, but we can't remember what it was!  In any case, the garlicky cheesy sauce was bright and zippy!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Breakfast of champions - VVC day 2

I'm a sucker for a savory breakfast.  Portland brought out the best this morning with this smorgasbord of goodness.  

Breakfast pizza is da bomb.

Friday, May 24, 2013

It's really just oatmeal, and it's awesome - Viva Vegan Con day 1

So I'm here in Portland, Oregon.  I already checked into the Vida Vegan Con and picked up my awesome swag bag which is wicked heavy and needed to be stashed back at my hotel so I can walk around unencumbered.  Now I have a little time to kill and I'm starving.

I considered digging into my swag bag of treats, but really that should be for late night hotel snacking similar to raiding the mini-bar.

Did I mention I'm in the land of Portlandia?  Sometimes it's overwhelming when you know there should be vegan stuff at every corner, but nothing is popping out at you.

An then it does...

There's a block of semi-permanent looking food carts near my hotel.  Sonny's breakfast bowl is making me a happy camper.

Plus it's got cinnamon on it.  (The ninja is allergic to cinnamon, so I don't normally have it.)  

Super swag bag of awesomeness.  I didn't really dig through it all yet, but Kombucha starter kit.?  How cool is that!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bagels! Who knew they were so easy?

This is my 3rd round of homemade bagels in recent weeks, but I'm just getting to posting this time round.  I made bagels many years ago that turned out more like flagels than bagels.  I'm not entirely sure what possessed me to try again, but I'm really glad I did.  King Arthur Flour makes a high gluten Sir Lancelot flour that has a great recipe on the package.

Last weekend I made these with my mom in Delaware with Bread Flour and they were just as good.  I also got some authentic non-diastic malt powder for this round, but regular sugar works just as well.  I also topped half of them with Everything Bread & Bagel Topping.  

Enjoy with your favorite bagel spread.  I'm having cashew cream cheese from Artisan Vegan Cheese.

Other than using good, high protein/high gluten flour and following a recipe, there are some new tricks I learned.

1.  Unless you love kneading, use a bread machine on dough setting.  Or probably a food processor or kitchen-aid mixer with a dough hook.  The gluten needs to be worked well for this kind of smooth elastic consistency.  I know the bread machine does a better job than me and it's timed at 1.5 hours, so all I do it measure the ingredients and in an hour and a half I have perfect dough.

2.  Use a silpat.  Yes it probably costs more than the pan you're using, but make your life easy and get this non-stick beauty.  

3.  When you form the bagel hole, make it bigger than you think it should be.  It will shrink as they sit, then boil.  Not sure how to describe this, but I rolled it around my fingers through the center and this worked really well.

Here's the bagels being boiled

4.  If you're using a topping, put the bagels in the water right side up first, then flip.  This way the top will be on the bottom and you can slide onto your plate with the topping.  Then flip back on the baking sheet.  If you're not topping, do the opposite and put them in the water top side down, then flip, and slide onto the baking sheet.

After boiling with topping added.  Ready to Bake.

5.  Although you really should let them cool first, if the amazing smell of baking bagels is making your stomach growl so loud it scares the cats, then just go ahead and slice one right from the oven and enjoy.  You don't need to toast it.

Fresh from the oven.  Yum!