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I cook again...

Monday, July 28, 2008

I finally decided today that I would cook, at home for US that is. I had every intention of getting started this morning, getting my cooking done, then cleaning the house some. Well, needless to say, things didn't go as planned. You might be starting to get to know me a little by now & see a trend here. At around 11 am in the middle of cleaning the kitchen, I decided that I needed to Skype my sister in France. (Skype is where you call another computer using your own computer, like talking on the phone but through the computer instead of the phone--for those who don't know what Skype is.) It was 6pm there & they were home. They moved the beginning of July & this was the first time that I have talked to her. Therefore, our conversation lasted over an hour. Then I was hungry & needed a late breakfast. Thank goodness I still have a few waffles in the refrigerator from the last mega batch I made. As I was finishing my waffles, it occurred to me that I needed to go online & pay Sean's tuition. Then I realized there was some paperwork that needed to be filled out for his college, too. As I sat doing that, I saw some bills that needed to be paid. Then I remembered I still hadn't sent in our Alltel rebate, so I proceeded to fill out all that paperwork & gather needed UPC codes, etc. Needless to say, I didn't get into the kitchen to start cooking until close to 5pm! Yes, I know, I have some time management issues when it comes to me getting things done at my own home! When I am working, it is a different story; but there are so many things to distract me at home.

I had first planned on making pizza for dinner. I got as far as mixing the dough & letting it rise. But in the mean time I decided to make a few other things, so I ended up putting the pizza dough in the refrigerator & will have it for dinner Wednesday night (Sean works tomorrow night, so I don't really cook much on those nights).

I made a batch of tofu burgers, this time I didn't have quite enough sesame seeds, so I threw in some sunflower seeds, too. I will see how we like the extra crunch. I have one packed for my lunch at school tomorrow. I then decided it was time for me to try Vegan Dad's corned beef. I have been thinking about making it & his veggie lunch meat; but seeing how I love reuben sandwiches, I went for the corned beef. I must say I was a bit skeptical; I have not had too much luck with seitan recipes. I had to substitute a couple of things (didn't have any allspice, so I made my own mix & didn't have any dried mustard or smoked paprika--so I substituted). But it turned out really good! I wouldn't want to eat this all by itself, but on a sandwich it was great. I worked in a deli, The Pickle Barrel, in my hometown, when I was younger. I came up with my own variation of the reuben & people started ordering it & calling it "the Jamie". So tonight's dinner was "the vegan Jamie". I slathered whole wheat bread with Earth Balance, put dijon mustard on one side of the bread, put the corned beef next to the mustard, then sauteed onions on top of the "meat" & sauerkraut on the very top, I closed it up with the other piece of bread & put in my George Foreman grill & grilled it. It came out all nice & hot & yummy! Sean added some yellow mustard & said it reminded him of bratwurst. I thought it needed some more moisture; I would have used vegan swiss cheese, but I didn't have any. I would have used regular swiss cheese, but what I found in the freezer was at least 2 years old & funky! Of course, Sean wouldn't have any part of that anyway. To make mine more moist, I ended up soppin' mine in my leftover salad dressing Sean made for our salad. Hey, I'm from Alabama, after all! I sop everything! A good friend of mine, a guy friend, once saw a pretty girl & exclaimed "I'd sop her up with a biscuit!"! I love it!

I have been wanting something sweet around the house & I had some silken tofo in the refrigerator. So I decided to make some chocolate peanut butter pudding. I heated 1/2 cup cocoa & about 4-5 tablespoons soy milk in a boiler. I only heated this enough to make it all mix together smoothly. I added the chocolate & the package of tofu to the blender, I added some vanilla, a little honey, some stevia, a dash of salt & about 1/2 cup or more of all natural chunky peanut butter. I blended this all together & checked for sweetness & adjusted to make it as sweet as I wanted. I then poured it into a dish & refrigerated. We had this for dessert. It was very good, the texture was a little different from normal smooth pudding, due to the fact that I only had chunky peanut butter, smooth would have been better. But, hey, I'm not complaining; I made a healthy, almost sugar-free (in a good way--no artificial sweeteners that will you) dessert & it's got protein! Sean just came back in with his bowl & got a refill! (Sean was on the phone when I wanted a picture of the pudding, so I attempted this myself, bad idea! I must take after my mother when it comes to picture taking! Anyhow, there wasn't much to show, just a bowl of brown yum-a-liciousness!)

Well, the floors still need to be swept & the bathrooms cleaned & the furniture dusted. But as I am trying to teach myself, those things will still need doing tomorrow....just go to bed now & think about that tomorrow.

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
7:21 PM


I finally made it to the....End of the Line

Monday, July 21, 2008

Well, we finally made it over to Pensacola yesterday for lunch at End of the Line cafe. Sean & I drove over & met our friends, Fred & Cynthia, for a late lunch. Cynthia is pregnant & looks adorable! The cafe itself would be better described as a "dive", but the food was great! I have been working a lot lately cooking for other people; it was nice to be waited on & cooked for, even better that it was all completely vegan! On Sundays they have a set menu. Yesterday our meal started with a bowl of corn & potato chowder; this was favorite dish of all.

Then we were brought a plate full of food. There was a bowl of "cheddar cheese" grits topped with red peppers, tempeh bacon & green onions. These didn't really taste very cheddar-y to me, but I suppose cheese made with cashews might not taste exactly like cheese as I know it! There was TVP sausage on a biscuit with white gravy (I must say their TVP sausage did taste much better than my TVP meatlessloaf I made a couple of months ago!), mole beans, a salad with a basil-honey vinaigrette & a wedge of watermelon. Of this, the salad was my favorite. I wish the "main course" would have been tofu; we have been eating a lot of beans at our house lately!

After I was completely stuffed, I managed to polish off a piece of carrot cake with cream & topped with dried cranberries! I was so full! We thoroughly enjoyed our meal & will be making the drive over as often as we can to enjoy this treat. It's a great bargain, as well!

After lunch Sean & I stopped by a co-op natural food store, Everman. I could have bought lots, but I restrained myself & just bought some much needed laundry soap & some vegetable base powder. Then we decided to stop by the flea market on the way home. Flea markets aren't what they used to be. People don't sell their junk anymore, they sell new junk; stuff that you would find at the Dollar Tree. I want your old junk, not "Made in China" new junk. It was close to closing & extremely hot & a lot of vendors were packing up. We didn't find anything we couldn't live without. However, we did see an interesting set-up & had to take a picture. Have you ever see so many VHS tapes in all your life? Much less all in one place?

I haven't been cooking quite as much here at my own house lately since I have been cooking for other people. But if Cinderella gets all her chores done today, she might just have a trick up her sleeve for dinner tonight! But first, I am off to clean the house & hopefully either the boys or the yard after that!

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
8:45 AM


It's been a while, friends; but I've been busy

Friday, July 18, 2008

What good is a blog when you don't blog? Good question. I don't suppose I am one of those people who can do something day after day after day. Take journaling for instance; I think it's a great concept & very therapeutic & can be healing & helpful & insightful. But who has the time for sitting down to write every single day? And what would it say? "Dear Journal, Well, today I woke up & was hungry earlier than usual. Sean didn't seem like he was going to make a move to cook us anything, so I made us some bbq veggie sandwiches. Then I watched TV, since I had appointed today as my veg-out day. Sean & I went to the "ethical" thrift store, where I bought a nice Pampered Chef rubber spatula for a dime (can you believe that deal?!), a pair of pj bottoms & a cute pair of light blue pants. Sean bought more books, of course. Then home we came. I took a 2-hour nap & then woke hungry. I convinced Sean to make me a pita pizza, it was delicious! I ate all of mine & a quarter of his. Then we watched some more TV. Sean went to work, I went for a bike ride & now I am back home & hungry all over again. All in all it was a good day. Good night, Journal." Would that really serve me a purpose later? Oh, I am sure there would be some interesting entries, where I vent & rage on. And I am sure that I really would benefit from it, but I just don't have time.

Exercise, that is another thing. Sean loves to run. He had 2 herniated discs & couldn't run for about 4 or 5 months, but he had surgery in April & is back to running & is actually training for another marathon. Me on the other hand, I hate to exercise. Let me rephrase that, I hate to exercise alone. Before I got married & again when we lived in my parents' rental house, my friend, Donna, lived just down the street & we would walk together in the mornings. That was nice, we talked & caught up on what was going on with each other & the time flew by. However, we only did this the 2 mornings I actually got up early to go to work; the rest of the week, I just found that there was no time. The truth is, I get bored. "Take your iPod", people tell me, "What iPod?", I say. (I actually just had to look up 'iPod' to see how the weird capitalization went...if that tells you anything!). As odd as it sounds, being that I am married to a musician, I am not really into music. Okay, there, I said it! It's not like music would make me any less bored during exercise. I need human interaction. I have attempted to listen to books on cassette while I walk or bike, but I am easily distracted (aka: A.D.D.) & I find myself constantly having to rewind to see what was just said & that slows me down when I am walking & is virtually impossible while riding a bike. I am trying to to start exercising now, though. I can't think of it as a weight-loss tool, I have to think of it as a mental-health tool. It is good for my mind & stress & longevity. But that is just another thing that is hard for me to do every single day.

I only go to my preschool job 2 days a week; I think if I had to go every day, I would get very bored. That is why I love being a personal chef. I don't have a set schedule, I meet different people each time, I am at different houses, I cook different meals. It's great, no monotony.

However, on the flip side of this coin, I am a homebody & don't mind going days (usually over the weekend) without actually leaving the house. That probably seems monotonous. And it is. But I am busy while at home, thus not having time to blog or journal or exercise!

Actually, I have been quite busy with my personal chef business. Plus, I have been working on new recipes for that, too. Not vegan recipes, but yummy recipes, nonetheless. I am sorry I have been absent for over a week. I solemnly promise that I will try to do better.

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
5:43 PM


Mm Mmm Mediterranean Sandwich

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Last night Sean was working, so I didn't "cook" a meal. I found 3 veggie "meatballs" in the freezer, I heated them in the microwave & put them in some tomato sauce that I made from tomato paste, water & seasonings (we are trying to save money). I then toasted a whole wheat bun & melted some veggie mozzarella (left over from something I made months ago. That's the great thing about veggie cheese, it doesn't turn green!) on it & put the meatballs & sauce on it. Man was it good! I just wish it had been a big hoagie bun & that I would have had about 6 more veggie balls! When Sean got home, I was hungry again; I convinced him to make some of his world-famous hummus. We pigged out on with lightly toasted whole wheat pita bread...I love pita bread this way, the edges are slightly crispy & the center is soft. The hummus hadn't been in the refrigerator yet & was room temperature....just the way I like it. Sean has been working to perfect his hummus recipe for a couple of years now. I recently found a recipe for Sabra hummus at www.topsecretrecipes.com (a website where the guy attempts to duplicate recipes from restaurants & popular things you buy at the grocery store) & we found that the ingredient that they use that we don't is citric acid. So now when Sean makes his hummus, he adds some citric acid. Last nights batch was probably the best yet, in my opinion; he made it with roasted red peppers. Boy, can I ramble on about some food!

Today I had a huge load of stuff to take to the local thrift store. Let me go off on a sidebar here, many thrift stores, even "well-known" ones, throw so much of their donations away into their dumpsters. They don't put it out front with a sign "FREE" or sale it for a dime; they throw it in the dumpster! How do I know this? Well, it is because Sean & I have a little-known-about, dirty hobby, dumpster diving! I will save all the glorious details about this for another post. But, the point I am making is that I tell everyone who will listen that they do not need to take their donations to these "other" thrift stores, only take them to the one near my house. The problem is, the "ethical" thrift store is not in Destin, it is out a ways. My solution to those who don't want to drive that far? I volunteer to take everyone's "stuff" to the "ethical" thrift store. My garage ends up looking like Sanford & Son! (Thus the need to clean it out a couple of days ago.) There is, however, an up side to this situation, I get to rummage through everyone's "stuff" before it actually makes it to the "ethical" thrift store & keep what I want. Didn't I mention I was a pack rat? Yes, I love other people's "stuff" almost as much as I love food!

Anyhow, I digress...We took a load to the "ethical" thrift store & of course you can't just drop off, you must shop. They had all their books 1/2 off; Sean came home with a bag full, plus a tripod, a cool bag, a great wooden beach chair & a pair of shoes. Notice, all of this was for Sean (maybe not the chair, but all the rest). Before we checked out, we realized neither of had much cash on us, to be exact, we had $6.82. Our total came to about $6.90, they let us slide. But we felt pathetic standing there counting out our change at a thrift store! But can you believe we got all that for less than $7? What a deal! We then stopped by an antique store to look for a bench to go with an old, old table we have in the garage that we are thinking of using as a dining table. We found a really cool old church pew that I would really like. But first I need to sell the table we have so that I can justify buying the pew.

When we got home I decided it was time to cook an early dinner. I was going to do the BBQ Tofu & Grilled Corn Salad out of Vegetarian Times, but was afraid it wasn't going to be enough food & didn't really feel like making too much more. (I was starving at the time!) So, I opted for the Mediterranean Pressed Picnic Sandwich from that same magazine. However, I couldn't find any healthy ciabatta bread or any healthy hearty bread for that matter; I used my regular whole wheat bread. I also didn't use the fresh mozzarella called for. I made my own pesto & tapenade, instead of using store bought. I put the veggies on my George Forman. I didn't "press" it being that I didn't use the ciabatta bread, nor was I planning on eating it later. We devoured them right after taking the picture! Again, I wish I would have had more of it! They were delicious! A little later, I melted some dark chocolate chips, chopped some peanuts & dipped a banana in the chocolate & then in the peanuts; what a yummy, easy, always-on-hand dessert!

Well, our plans to go to Pensacola for dinner tomorrow night have been changed. I think we may go over on Sunday. I will be sure to take pictures & report back to you with all the details! I am really looking forward to that; I have never been to a vegan restaurant. Can you say "not very progressive/metropolitan"? Yes, Sean & I are living in an area that is not very conducive to our lifestyle. Oh well, grow where you are planted, right? Ha, what a cheesy, cheesy phrase! I actually remember that from my days, long ago, of trying to make friends & got the bright idea to join the Junior League! Don't get me wrong & please don't let me offend, they are a great organization & do many good projects in the community. But I am not quite the type that "fits" into a mold very easy. It's like when my mother insisted I go through "Rush" to be in a sorority in college. It's just not me. On "Squeal Day" night (the day that you "get in"), when they asked you to tell something about yourself, I announced to all the girls that I didn't shave my legs & hadn't in a year & a half! That was 16 years ago & I still haven't shaved my legs! Are you getting where I am coming from? Again, I have nothing against these organizations, they just aren't my thing; I hope I haven't offended anyone. Enough rambling,....Good night!

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
3:11 PM



Monday, July 7, 2008

I love projects! Is it just me? Does it have something to do with one’s personality or birth order or is it genetics? My parents are always working on some sort of project, many of which I think are complete wastes of time…but who am I to judge? My husband, Sean, thinks I am busy, just like my parents. He likes for me to just chill out & hang out with him when I am off from work & he is home. But I feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day after I have completed a project.

Last week, when I was thinking of what I was going to do with my 6 days off from work, I had decided that one day I would clean out the garage. I wanted to do it yesterday, but Sean wouldn’t have it; yesterday was “our” day, so we hung out. But I clarified to him that Monday would be garage day. I woke up this morning ready to go. However, I got a call about some personal chef work & I had to work up a quote, etc & then got into paying bills & the necessary things that have to be done to keep a household running. I didn’t actually get into the garage until about 2pm. It was an absolute mess! We are such pack rats; I must admit, I am more of a hoarder than Sean. Nevertheless, there was much to be done. After I had been out there for about an hour, here comes Sean with his swim trunks on & no shirt. I assumed he was coming out to help me with the mess & was dressed light to combat the sweltering Florida heat. But, that was not the case, I had come to ride the stationary bike that sits in the midst of the wreck of a garage….while I cleaned! (I suppose he didn’t have any running shorts clean, thus the swim trunks.) As he was riding & I was working, it occurred to me how good I felt cleaning out this awful mess. And I told him as much, trying to make him understand this about me, why it is I love projects. He just looked at me & said “That’s good.”. No epiphany there!

My parents got a new couch & are giving us their old couch, that is why I needed to clean out the garage, that & the fact that you couldn’t even walk through it without having to catapult yourself over bags & boxes. Why you might wonder am I putting the new couch in the garage. Well, it isn’t exactly a new couch. They have had it since I can remember, since the 70’s. Are you starting to get the picture? My mother calls the fabric “FLAME”, if that isn’t the 70’s I don’t know what is. It is a flex-steel couch & has a lifetime warranty--I have heard my mother say this countless times over the years at the prospect of getting a new couch. Just because it has a lifetime warranty doesn’t mean you HAVE to keep it your entire life! Anyhow, we are inheriting this couch. Our couch & 2 matching chairs came from a condo that was being remodeled after Hurricane Ivan did so much damage in Destin. They certainly aren’t the prettiest pieces of furniture, but they aren’t “FLAME”. However, the Boys, actually just one, Boone, has some separation anxiety issues & has chewed holes in every cushion on the couch & both chairs. He is alright as long as he is on his Prozac. (Speaking of drugs, the other one, Hurley, had to be on Xanax for a while! Crazy dogs!) So, our furniture is pretty gross. So the “FLAME” couch is going in the garage until we can find a fabric we like for Sean’s mother to make us slip-covers. All of this to say, I love projects! Is it just me? Or are there others who feel the same as me? I am sad that my 6 day break is over (I only work 2 days a week most of the time, I don’t know what I am complaining about!), because I had more projects planned that I didn’t get to, like bathing the Boys, fertilizing the yard, working on my garden & cleaning out the guest room closet. Oh well, I am sure I will get to those soon….

Since Sean wasn’t exactly helping me clean out the garage, he cooked dinner. He made tofu & refried bean burritos with homemade enchilada sauce & brown rice. They were delicious! I was ravished from working all afternoon & scarfed my food like a wild animal! Plus, there was enough left over for my lunch tomorrow at school.

And as promised, I am attaching a photo of the tofu burgers I made for the 4th. I found the recipe at http://www.johnrussell.name/recipes/burgers.htm It's the one that was the "Judge's Choice". I have made the 3 times now, this last time they turned out the best. I was sure to squeeze lots of the juice from the tofu. Also, I processed the potato & onion for a bit before adding the tofu so it didn’t get too smooth. Don’t make the same mistake I did the first time I made them; I added all the other ingredients & processed. These must be added & mixed by hand. I also cook them longer than the recipe says to, I like for them to be a firmer consistency. I took these to the cookout at my parents’ house & my daddy reheated them on the grill. I didn’t have one, but Sean & his mother both enjoyed them. By-the-way, that is a homegrown tomato in the picture, thus the spots. I can’t complain, I love homegrown tomatoes! Sorry I still haven’t figured out how to do that “thing”, highlight a word & make it link to the website that I want it to go to; Sean is on the phone & won‘t show me now, but promises he will soon.

Well, I am nasty from fighting the dust, dirt, grime, spiders & silverfish all afternoon. I will shower & get a good nights rest for work tomorrow.

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
5:29 PM


BBQ Baked Bean Bliss

Saturday, July 5, 2008

We celebrated the 4th of July on the 5th at my parents' home; they live just a few miles from us. They decided to grill hamburgers & called me to consult on what we would eat. I had spent much of Friday in the kitchen cooking, one of the things I made was a veggie burger of sorts. So I was put in charge of bringing our veggie burgers, whole wheat buns & baked beans. I am sure my mother was not excited at the prospect of me bringing the beans...no bacon in them. She is quite picky & the last time I brought homemade baked beans, her serving went uneaten. This time I was determined to make some beans that tasted like what she was used to. (I must admit, my other recipe is a little different, they are white beans & the sauce isn't very dark. Remember we are from the south & are used to sweet, thick, dark baked beans.)

I found a recipe that claimed to be "The Best Baked Bean Recipe Ever". It sounded promising, so I gave it a shot. I only made a few minor changes (what's new!)...I added a green bell pepper, substituted pinto beans for the kidney beans, 2 T. prepared yellow mustard for the 2 t. dried mustard, used sugar in the raw instead of brown sugar & used mostly BBQ sauce with a little ketchup instead of all ketchup. Okay, maybe that was more than just a few changes, but they were all minor! I must say these beans were delicious! The addition of veggie crumbles really made them feel like real southern "meaty" beans. I am attaching the link below of where I found this recipe. (I haven't quite figured out to make a word highlighted & be able to click on it & it take you straight to a different website & Sean is not here to help me--he is definitely the computer-go-to-guy, along with being the eye behind my photos--thanks so much, Bay!)


My parents live on the Choctawhatchee Bay, so our cookout took place on the pier yesterday. My brother, his wife & my 2 nephews (5 & 2) were there, along with my mother-in-law & my aunt. They all had regular burgers, Sean & his mother had my veggie burgers, I just had a bun with melted cheese, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle & onion. My parents had made potato salad, we my beans & my aunt brought a relish tray for the burgers with some delicious homegrown tomatoes.

Sean had to work last night; he is a jazz pianist/vocalist & plays at local restaurants. Some friends of ours from Pensacola, Florida (about an hour & a half away) stayed with us last night. They are both musicians & had a late gig & didn't want to drive back home. They were telling us about a vegan restaurant in Pensacola that they had just discovered call End of the Line (it is by the railroad tracks). They called us today to say there were eating brunch there & how fabulous it is. They have a regular menu with sandwiches & such, but for Sunday brunch & on Thursday nights they have a set menu. The invited us to drive over Thursday to try it out--we are really excited! We don't have any vegan restaurants here in the Santa Rosa Beach/Destin area.

I think Sean did take some pictures of those veggie burgers, I will post them soon. Oh, I made another batch of the banana muffins. This time I had several bananas on the counter about to go completely bad, they were very soft, so I threw them in. The muffins are so moist & delicious! They taste like banana bread! Some nuts would have been delicious. Speaking of which, I think I will go heat one up right now!

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
8:27 PM


Beautiful Bran Muffins

Friday, July 4, 2008

Sean & I went on our first cruise together a little over a year ago. Needless to say, it can be very difficult for a vegan to find things to eat on a cruise. For breakfast Sean would eat these bran muffins & tell me how delicious they were. I am thinking, "Yeah right, they are bran muffins, you just have funny taste buds--anything remotely healthy tastes wonderful to you!". Finally he asked me to just try one, well, no wonder he loved them so much, they were chocolate chip bran muffins! How can you go wrong when you add chocolate chips? When we came home he wanted more of those bran muffins. So, being the loving, devoted wife that I am, I made it my mission to create the perfect vegan bran muffin recipe.

And now I am sharing it with you! My favorite way to make these muffins is with the addition of dark chocolate chips & chopped walnuts. I have also made them using: fresh blueberries, bananas & walnuts, frozen mixed berries, & raisins. The possibilities are endless. What I normally do, like this morning, is quadruple the recipe & make a dozen at a time & store the rest of the batter in the refrigerator until I need to bake some more (which is usually about a day & a half later!). However, I don't add the extras (like chocolate chips, nuts or fruit) until right before I make them.

Today I just made plain bran muffins. Enjoy!

Vegan Bran Muffins:
1 ½ c. wheat bran
¾ c. soymilk (less 1 T.)
1 T. lemon juice or vinegar
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 T. milled flax seed
3 T. water
½ c. honey
½ t. vanilla
2/3 c. whole-wheat flour (I use pastry flour)
1 ¼ t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. salt
1 c. dark chocolate chips (optional)
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°.

Grease muffin tin.

Add the lemon juice to the soymilk.

Add this mixture to the wheat bran & mix well.

Let sit 10 minutes.

Mix the milled flax seed with the water.

Add the oil, honey & vanilla to the flax mixture; mix well.

Add this to the bran mixture. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon & salt.

Stir this into the bran mixture until just blended. Fold in the chocolate chips & nuts, if using.

Spoon the batter into muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (this is hard to tell with the addition of the chocolate chips!). Yield: 12 muffins

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
12:32 PM


Scrum-Didly-Umptious Whole Wheat Waffles

Today is July 4th & while most people are cooking out with family & friends I have been in the kitchen all morning baking & cooking. My family has decided to cookout tomorrow instead of today. So I decided to take advantage of the time & bake up some of our favorite treats to have on hand. I made bran muffins first & then I moved on to whole wheat waffles. My husband named these waffles this morning--funny name--but an accurate description! I quadruple this recipe, too, just like the muffins. However, it used to take me forever to make that many waffles with my waffle iron that makes 2 waffles at a time. Finally I got the bright idea to borrow my mother's waffle iron, so that I could cook 4 waffles at once. That worked much better & really sped things along. Then a couple of weeks ago I was in New Orleans helping my sister & her family pack up to move to France & she offered me her Cuisinart waffle iron that make 4 beautiful, perfect waffles at a time. Now, I can knock out 8 waffles at once! I can cook 40 waffles in about half an hour!

You are probably wondering who am I feeding with all those waffles. It's just me & Sean, we don't have kids. But I put about half of them in containers & put in the refrigerator & layer the other half with wax paper, wrap in aluminum foil, stick in a freezer bag & freeze them. Then when we want one or two or three, we pop them in the toaster oven & have yummy waffles for breakfast. It's great for the mornings that I have to be at work & Sean eats them throughout the day. I love waffles & pancakes, but I can cook waffles so much quicker than I can pancakes, that I cook them much more often.

Once I finished with the waffles I made veggie burgers so that we will have something to eat at the cookout tomorrow. But I will blog about them later. For now, I think I will go relax in front of the TV & read other blogs about what all the rest of you vegan foodies are doing on the the 4th of July. Enjoy!

Vegan Whole Wheat Waffles

1 1/3 c. whole-wheat flour
1 c. soymilk
2 T. milled flax seed
¼ c. + 2 T. water
¼ c. canola oil
2 T. honey
1 t. vanilla
2 t. baking powder
¾ t. salt

Mix together the milled flax seed & water. Add the soymilk, canola oil, honey & vanilla.

Combine the flour & salt.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients & mix well. Sift the baking powder lightly over the mixture & quickly fold in.

Bake according to your waffle maker.

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
9:54 AM


Chickpea cutlets with caramelized onion gravy

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Because tomorrow is the 4th of July, I had today off from work, making me have a 6 day weekend! (I only teach preschool on Tuesdays & Thursdays) I love being at home piddling in the yard & cooking. I push mowed our whole yard today. Sean had back surgery 3 months ago & still can't do things like push mow. We have been looking for a good used riding mower, but haven't found one. So for now, I have the grueling task of push mowing. I said I like piddling in the yard, not slaving in it!

We invited Sean's mother & my parents for dinner. Sue, Sean's mother, was planning on coming, but she was too tired from work. My mother's question was, "What are you cooking?", when I told her, she said they were too busy! My mother is extremely picky & is not into vegan food at all! Since I thought my mother-in-law was coming for dinner, I had planned on a nice big dinner. When she cancelled, my husband was still hoping I would cook the meal, so I did.

And boy am I full! It was delicious! I made the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon for the second time & they were just as delicious tonight. I told Sean that Isa & Terry suggest serving them with mustard sauce & he thought that sounded good & said he thought that would give it an Asian flair (not sure why). I told him I wasn't going for Asian, I was going for Southern & we were having gravy with ours! I also steamed some broccoli & tossed it in Earth Balance butter & lemon zest. I cooked some brown rice so we would have something to really soak up the gravy. I topped it all off with fresh tomatoes from my garden. Yummy! It was delicious! I doubled the recipe for the chickpea cutlets, it made 8; we have 2 1/2 left! Sean kept coming back for more! (Sorry my picture isn't better, my sister-in-law is in Wales & borrowed our camera & we are using hers, the quality isn't what I had hoped for.)

I don't always have dessert, but being as how I thought my mother-in-law was coming, I had decided to make homemade vegan peach ice cream. My timer just went off signaling that it is time to dish it up. I used a can of coconut milk & soy milk, I think the combination of peach & coconut will be tasty. I'll let you know how it turned out.

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
6:45 PM


Let me introduce myself...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My name is Jamie Martin Dietrich & I love food! I live in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, just a few miles east of Destin, in the "Florida Panhandle". However, I was born & raised in Alabama & am a southern girl through & through. I married a fella from Kansas named Sean. We have a cat named Rascal Lovebug Sassy Martin Dietrich (or Rascal for short) & 2 dogs, Boone & Hurley, who we refer to as "the boys". Sean is a jazz pianist & vocalist. I am a personal chef & preschool teacher.

As I said before, I love food! I love to cook food, talk about food, eat food & read about food...which brings me to where I am now. Let me explain...

When I graduated from high school, many years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I wasted a lot of time & a lot of money trying to figure it all out. I knew I loved food & always had; so I finally decided to go to culinary school. After graduating with my degree in culinary arts, I went on to get my bachelor's degree in business management. Then I met my wonderful husband, Sean. He had been into body-building for many years & ate a low-fat diet. This would not do! I love food, we could not live on canned tuna! So he started eating junky with me. When we first got married we lived within a very short walking distance of Chick-fil-A, Shakes, Wendy's, Waffle House & Pizza Hut! Boy, did we gain some weight our first year of marriage!

Then Sean decided it was time to quit eating junky & get fit; so we did, sort of. Then we watched "Diet for a New America" by John Robbins & Sean decided then & there that he was going to be a vegan! Me, Jamie, who loves food so much, married to a VEGAN?! Needless to say, I did not get on board. I agreed that in theory it was a good idea, but giving up my precious meat was harder than it sounded. That was almost 2 years ago & I now eat what I call a 95% vegan diet. Am I a vegan? No, but I cook only vegan food for me & Sean at home.

Sean's decision to be a vegan has greatly challenged my culinary skills. I can remember one of my first attempts at vegan cookies...they were supposed to be pumpkin cookies, they came out more like pumpkin puffs; but Sean ate them & liked them! I had never really liked baking much before, but now I really enjoy baking for him & changing recipes to be healthier & vegan.

As a result of wanting to cook some new dishes & be more adventurous, several months ago I began reading vegan blogs (before that, I don't think I had ever even read a blog!). As a result of my obsession with vegan food blogs, my husband has encouraged me to start blogging myself...so here I am! I am excited to share my experiences & thoughts & recipes & adventures with you. I'm Jamie; it's nice to meet you. Enjoy!

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
4:48 PM