I'm a twenty-two-year-old pescetarian-mostly-vegetarian home cook who loves good, mostly healthy, always inspired dishes. I'm always looking for new foods and techniques to try.

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  • Location: Western Maryland
  • Favorite foods: Fresh pineapple. Almonds. Eggplant. Yogurt. Apples. Winter Squash. Rosemary. Fresh summer tomatoes. Nuts. Forbidden rice. Maple sugar anything, including maple sugar candy. Hey, I might live in MD now, but I was born in New England . . .
  • Last bite on earth: Hopefully, I have some time to decide.

Vegetarians: would you eat something cooked in a skillet...

No, I would not want to eat out of a pan seasoned with animal fat. In fact, the vegetarian/meat cast iron skillets are the only thing I keep separate at home.

That said, I don't perform inspections at my friends' houses. It's just not something I worry about.

Cook the Book: 'Appetite for Reduction'

My faves from this book are the black-eyed peas and collards with ginger mashed apples and sweet potatoes, and the eggplant curry with cranberry cashew biryani (I don't know the recipe names off the top of my head).

What do vegans eat for breakfast?

Oh, and granola is not always vegan because it can contain honey. So, if you go that route, read the ingredient labels. Silk soy yogurt also isn't vegan, but Whole Soy & Company, So Delicious and Wildwood brands are fine.

What do vegans eat for breakfast?

Just ask. There are tons of breakfast foods that are already vegan/easy to veganize (muffins, pancakes, French toast, waffles, breakfast burrito sans cheese, some cereals, hash browns, roasted potatoes, vegan bacon or sausage, etc. etc.).

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 123: Why Does Making a Salad Seem So Hard Sometimes?

I'm the opposite. When I get home, a salad's just about the only thing I want to make. No cooking! And I only have to wash a cutting board and a knife.

I say chop vegetables when you first buy them so they're ready to go. And eat veggies with salsa or hummus for snacks. Roasted veggie sandwiches can be fantastic, too, and are quick to assemble if you already have the veggies.

Gluten-Free Tuesday: Graham Crackers

I am so making these. I'm vegan, love s'mores and need to avoid wheat as much as possible.

And I can get sweet 'n' sara and dandies vegan marshmallows a few blocks from my house. :-)

shortcake recipe with soy milk

Cake shortcake or biscuit shortcake?

You can use soy milk in recipes that call for dairy milk. 1:1.

Bread Baking: Bella Gluten-Free Multigrain Sandwich Bread Mix

I really hope a local store will carry these. I can't eat very much wheat, but I've yet to make wheat-free things that I like. Well, except for one muffin recipe.

Bizarre Foods: Andrew Zimmern Meets His Match in Thailand

@Kenjii - You are probably right! I should have said that anyone who wasn't raised on it couldn't possibly acquire a taste for it.

Why Ben & Jerry's Relationship with Walmart Is Actually Good For the Future of Food

I think it's great that such a large company is going cage-free, but the truth is, cage-free doesn't always mean too much. But if it's at Wal-mart, my mom will buy it, and I'd rather she didn't drink growth hormones and eat eggs from battery-caged hens. And like it or not, Wal-mart is the grocery store in a lot of towns. I'd rather they all disappeared of course, but that looks unlikely.

Can't say I think much of Ben and Jerry's, which is fine, because I don't eat their products. Anyone going Fair Trade makes me happy, but I'm still not going to support the company, so my vote doesn't count. :-)

Bizarre Foods: Andrew Zimmern Meets His Match in Thailand

Remind me not eat breakfast at my desk again.

Raw liver in calf bile has to be one of those acquired tastes that 99.9 percent of people raised on a Western diet can't possibly acquire.

I'm a vegetarian, he's lactose intolerant...

You can also do a big veggie chili with cornbread, vegetable pot pie, tacos or burritos (he can just leave cheese and sour cream off – that's what guac is for), lots of different soups and bread, nori rolls with avocado and tofu, rice paper rolls with peanut dipping sauce, veggie kabobs, big pans of grilled or roasted veggies ...

You might want to check out some cookbooks from the library? I like Vegan with a Vengeance. It has recipes for some easy, accessible Asian and Indian dishes.

Nutritional Yeast- How do you use it?

@sailordave - I can't say I've any experience with hooker crotch, so I will yield to your expertise on the subject.

Nutritional Yeast- How do you use it?

@sailordave – your apparent experience with hooker crotch aside, nutritional yeast does not taste like cheese, but it does melt in sauce, and it provides a salty, umami flavor that might otherwise be provided by cheese, hence its inclusion in "cheesy" recipes and reputation as a cheese substitute. And for the record, I ate and enjoyed nutritional yeast before I gave up cheese.

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 116: A Bite-by-Bite Rundown of My Calorie Intake

Ha, I gained three pounds last week after biking 150 miles between Monday and Friday and counting calories. It's depressing.

Nutritional Yeast- How do you use it?

I like it on popcorn with hemp oil and hot sauce. I've also used it to make "cheesy" sauces. It's tasty stuff.

As for recipes ... you could try making cashew or tofu ricotta? Not really like cheese, but tasty in its own right in pasta dishes. I think I also made a pretty good sauce once with salsa, tahini and nutritional yeast as part of a vegan chimichanga recipe ... I would have to look it up later.

I make THE worst black beans.

Do you have hard water? A teaspoon of baking soda might help.

Help me learn to like veggies

I would play around with different techniques, like braising and roasting (mmm, there' s not a vegetable that doesn't take good roasted). You could also play around with purees – for example, sneak some pumpkin into a dal or make a dip with cauliflower, thai curry paste and peanut butter. Pureed soups might be a good bet as well.

Does anyone here like Kombucha?

I like the plain, ginger and mango flavors.

I've actually never noticed the vinegar. Guess my taste buds are warped?

Does anyone here like Kombucha?

Love it. Can't afford to drink it very often, and I'm not sure I want to drink enough of it to buy a scobe.

How do you pronounce "vegan"? And why?

It is vee-gan. Vay-gun is what people say when they want to annoy vee-gans.

And vegans do not eat fish, or eggs, or dairy. Some will eat honey and call themselves vegan, though honey is not vegan. Vegans also do not use products containing wool or leather, but most people who eat a vegan diet will call themselves vegan.

If you eat fish, you are not a vegetarian. I say this as someone who was pescetarian for quite awhile. I had a coworker recently say that she was a vegetarian even though she eats fish because "fish aren't animals" and she couldn't have stunned me more with a baseball bat. (What does she think they are? monera?)

As to why the word vegan? Mostly because some dudes liked the sound of it:

Cheap DC vegetarian eats!

Have you looked at the vegdc guide from COK?

Food you thought you hated?

Asparagus and brussels sprouts. The first time I had asparagus, it was so stringy, I almost choked. And brussels sprouts were always boiled. Properly cook the first and roast or sauté the second, and I am in love!

affordable food

Oh, dark greens are also super healthy and very cheap – I can usually find them for 69 cents a pound.

Macadamia Nut Butter

Cashew butter's great! Hazelnut and macadamia nut butters are too pricey for me – no way am I spending $15 for a 16-ounce jar.

And I love stirring peanut butter or almond butter into oatmeal, along with fruit or pumpkin. It becomes nice and creamy, and very filling. Perfect if I'm biking to work!

Two vegans taking on NYC July 4rth ...

A friend and I are going to NYC July 1rst-5th (I'm strict veg, she's vegan). We've already decided we're doing Red Bamboo and those two vegan ice cream places. Possibly Teany? And dim sum (any recs?)?

So what places do we absolutely have to visit? I am hoping to see some sites as well as eat, so I don't want to waste a meal. :-)

Homemade liqueurs

I attempted homemade kahlua last weekend. When I went to the ABC store, I couldn't remember how much vodka I needed, so I bought the biggest bottle of cheap vodka I could find – and I only needed 2 cups.

I don't drink hard alcohol, so I was thinking about making different liqueurs. Tips? Recipes? Has anyone made homemade amaretto or hazelnut liqueur, or something citrus-y? Help me use up this yucky vodka!

A Request ... (For A Veg Liaison)

Dear Serious Eats,

So in the Tofu Way or No Way thread, several posters mentioned that they would be interested in nondairy ice creams/ whipped creams/ cheesecakes, but that they had never heard that there were tasty alternatives to dairy products.

I really think Serious Eats should consider creating a Vegan Liaison. The Liaison would blog about vegetarian/vegan food culture (there are large veg foodie communities in D.C., NYC, and Portland, for example), dining out and grocery shopping, recipes, and product and cookbook reviews. For example, why hasn't speculaas butter (yes, a nutella-like paste made from cookies!) taken off like wildfire?

For one thing, this would answer the occasional complaint that SE isn't veg-friendly. Two, this would help health-minded or intolerant individuals (or those with veg relatives) learn about the wide range of products/ restaurants that can accomodate their needs. Three, it would create a neutral place to celebrate vegan food - many vegans and vegetarians *are* foodies who love cooking, baking, trying new recipes and exploring local restaurant scenes, and it would be nice to see proof on the SE forum.

I would of course throw my hat into the ring if you would like to see some samples of what I have in mind (I write for a living and do freelance recipe testing for fun, and I live in DC, a great place for veg-lovers). But if not, it would be wonderful to see SE tackle this subject matter.

Just a suggestion ... and one that I do hope you will consider.



Does anyone here etsy?

I made some homemade gifts for some family members (hand painted tote and reuseable grocery bags), and have had people tell me that I should open an etsy shop. Does anyone here make food related crafts? What has your experience been? Anything I should know before seriously considering this?

Here are some images from the foodie tote I made:

Blog Event - Vegan Month of Food (VeganMoFo)

So last year, a bunch of vegan food bloggers decided to celebrate vegan food by posting every day through the month of November (to coincide with NaNoWriMo). The event has been moved to October this year, and I have decided to participate. But I am already panicking about trying to write a full month of posts!

Anyway, I had one idea, and I think it's a decent one - I can field questions about vegetarianism/veganism from SeriousEaters! So if anyone is curious about, I dunno, what to cook for their newly-vegetarian niece or what vegan brownies are actually tasty, or where to eat in D.C. or whatever else, I would love to hear from you! Either e-mail me or reply in this post, and I'll answer on my blog through the month of October. I might also get some of the stricter vegans I know to answer some of the questions ...

And if anyone else wants to participate in VeganMoFo, go here: It could be a nice excuse to fiddle a bit with vegan cooking and baking!

Have higher food prices affected food bloggers?

Out of curiosity, I'm wondering if people here have noticed their favorite bloggers going for cheaper ingredients - making more spaghetti and vegetables, for example, and less pastured spring lamb in truffled butter? Is food porn looking cheaper?

Likewise, if you cook from foodblogs, have you found yourself unable to make an interesting recipe because the ingredients were beyond your price range?

Hezbollah Tofu

The conversation went something like this.

Me: It would be really funny to veganize Anthony Bourdain's recipes.

Another person: We should make and sell a zine, then donate the proceeds to a vegan charity.

Then, this:

(I had nothing to do with the site, except that I'm posting the link here because it's hilarious and contains delicious-looking French vegan food. I will just be bragging about it being "my" idea forever).

Silly Things People Believe About Food

My sister and I were talking about the recent tuna-mercury scare. Her question?

"Can't you just cook the tuna to get rid of the mercury?"

Last time I checked, heat can do many wonderful things. Evaporating heavy metal from fish isn't one of them.

I also saw a forum where a poster asked if it was possible to leave the bananas out of a "recipe" for oatmeal, and at work a woman wanted a latte made with half and half but without whipped cream (because of the calories) - whipped heavy whipping cream has less calories per tablespoon than half and half!

What other strange things do you people think about food?

There's a world of pies out there . . . but what are they?

I'm exploring the world of pies for one of my blogs. I'm going with the idea that every culture has a pie (pie= base or top + filling). So far, I've considered pastry pies, tarts, pizza, calzones, pasties, turnovers, knish, and empanadas - can anyone suggest other types of pie (or dishes similar to pie)? Asian, African, Latin American, Eastern Europe, Indian, etc.?

I'll appreciate any help remembering those pies that I'm clearly forgetting!

The Trendiest New Food Ever Invention Thread

If one new food could incorporate every food trend, what would it be (the trends can be anything related to food (agriculture, cooking, packaging, presentation, ingredients, etc.)

I vote for a miniature organic pomegranate and bacon cupcake baked in a hollowed meyer lemon stuffed into a free-range duck baked into a heirloom turkey topped with truffled matcha foam divided into 100 calorie packets banned by schools and sold under Rachel Ray's name.


Goat Farming: A More Ethical, Healthier Dairy?

I was wasting time surfing food blogs, and I found mention that some people who fill uncomfortable with the in-and-outs of bovine dairy farming (separating calves from their mothers, keeping cows continually pregnant) prefer goat dairy products.

How is goat farming different? Does anybody know? I imagine that goat farmers are more likely to be independent, organic, etc., and that they probably operate on a much smaller scale, resulting in less pollution, etc.

I'm very curious. I'll eat my local chevre and crottin regardless, but it would be nice to know the practices behind my delicious salad toppings, pasta mix-ins, and lasagna fillings .

Trader Joe's Torture: What one thing do you have to buy?

Along the lines of the mixed nuts question . . . .

You are at Trader Joe's. You are surrounded by gourmet items at bargain bin prices. And you can only buy one thing. What would it be?

For me? Probably the goat yogurt (I can get affordable Greek yogurt closer to home, if need be. No way on the goat yogurt.)

How about you?

Adzuki beans + mochi. Traditional savory applications?

I have leftover mochi (still!) from New Years. I have adzuki beans simmering on the stove. Can I put them together in a traditional way without added sugar?

Can anyone point me to a traditional recipe for a soup with mochi dumplings?

I can "wing this" if needed, but I'd like to hear about some traditional soups/ meals/ recipes.

I don't deserve your artisan cheese

I'm young, and I look younger than I am (when I tell people I just graduated, they ask me from which high school). Still, I stand straight, I make good eye contact, I don't usually dress like a homeless person, and I happen to like cheese, wine, and loose-leaf tea.

Yet, cheese, wine, and loose-leaf tea sellers tend to treat me with disdain. The last time I went to buy loose-leaf tea, the woman at the counter rolled her eyes - rolled her eyes - when I asked for her recommendation in tisanes.

At artisan cheese shops, I'm often made to feel like I'm wasting the cheesemongers time (especially when I start throwing around phrases like "vegetarian rennet").

Is this considered the right customer service? Am I doing something wrong? Do I just not "fit in" - should I go back to Coke and American Singles?

Anybody else made to feel like crap when all you want is a nice, sheep's milk blue?

How did I not know about this? (I found an Asian Market nearby)

I found an Asian Market! It's small, but packed with reasonably-priced noodles, spices, dried fish, teas, syrups, sauces . . . .

I bought:
panch phoron
fermented black beans
Thai eggplant
jasmine tea

So what do I buy next? Suggestions ? Recipes? I am beyond thrilled about this new development . . . .

Ooh, aah: Holiday gifts

In addition to a very ugly necklace handmade by Indian women, I received some food related gifts:

A bento box (so cute! I'm in love with it)
A Mr. Bento (nice, but I'll never, ever use it. It's too large for me to want to carry it, and I already own a hot-cold thermos)
A loose-leaf tea brewing teapot
Pastry bags and decorating tips
A dessert cookbook (which I will exchange for something I'll use)
A cookbook from my aunt's church (which should be burned. I don't know why Southern Methodists think that Jesus blessed Velvetta)

What did you get for Christmas? (If you say a KitchenAid Mixer, I will track you down, hurt you, and maybe take it).

Gnocchi question

So I want to make gnocci for Christmas Dinner - can I make them ahead of time, or do I have to cook the dough immediately?


Trader Joes = Disneyworld. Only better.

I bought gifts, of course, but after realizing that everything there is cheaper than at my local grocery stores, I also bought:

goat yogurt (two pounds for four dollars! my local co-op sells 6 oz. cups for $2.00!)
0% Greek yogurt
dried mushrooms
white balsamic vinegar
dried persimmons

I would've done more damage, but I simply couldn't carry anymore (I was shopping in Georgetown, D.C. - I live three hours away).

The only thing more mind-boggling than sugar-free caramel . . .

Word on the street is that Starbucks plans to introduce sugar-free Mocha. Some stores now have bottles for partner sampling. The syrup looks like flat rootbeer. I peeked at the ingredient list. Not only is the sugar-free Mocha, well, sugar-free: it also contains no chocolate.

So who wants a sugar-free, chocolate-free triple grande skim Mocha?

The Mini Pie Revolution (The Blog Event). With a prize!

Anne of and myself are jumpstarting The Mini Pie Revolution with a blog event (and there will be a baking-related *prize* for the winner). To find out more, visit:

I'll repost the rules here:

Your Mission

Bake a mini pie from scratch. Mini pies should be baked in a cupcake or muffin tins, but we'll let you get away with other pans (ie. tart pans) if the resulting pies remain miniature. Just how small are mini pies? Aim for mini cupcake or cupcake-sized pies. No mini pie should serve more than one person. Still, we're no size-ests here at The Mini Pie Revolution HQ. We're not going to pull out tape measures.

Create your mini pies. Photograph your mini pies. Write about your mini pies on your blog. Then:

E-mail Ann ( or Karyn (at Kosmicfish27ATaolDOTcom) the following:

1) A 100 X 100 mini pie portrait
2) A brief description of your mini pie (just the name of the recipe is fine)
3) The title of your blog and a link to your blog
4) A link to your mini pie entry
5) Make sure your e-mail's subject head is "The Mini Pie Revolution"

Please send us your entry by Midnight EST on December 25, and we will post the results by January 1, 2008. Let's make 2008 the year of mini pies! The winning mini pie baker will be chosen by Ann and Karyn and will receive a fabulous prize. So get baking!

"Cup Pies" - The New Revolution

Who watches Pushing Daisies? Well, in last night’s episode, the show’s heroine decided to create “cup pies” – mini pies baked in cupcake tins. Which means that
some striking writer in Hollywood can read my mind, because I have been talking about baking mini-pies for weeks.

Here’s the genius reasoning behind mini–pies:

1) Sometimes, you don’t want an entire pie slice. Mini–pies provide the perfect mid-day nibble.

2) Mini–pies have a higher crust-to-filling ration than normal pie. If you love pie crust, min-pies are the way to go.

3) Cupcakes might be taking over the world, but not everyone likes cupcakes. Some people prefer pies to cakes. Mini–pies provide the same cute, one-serving appeal as cupcakes, but they’re *pies.*

Don’t confuse mini–pies with tarts. Tarts are made in tart pans. Mini–pies go in cupcake tins.

I made apple-honey-thyme and heart-shaped pumpkin mini–pies today. I'll put pictures up on my blog soon :

Let's make mini-pies the new cupcake!

Preparing Squash for Pie: Roast or Steam?

My recipes says roast, my mother says dire things happen when you do anything but steam your pumpkin (or cushaw).

What say you SEs? Which method do you use? (Don't say "from a can," unless you want said can chucked at you). :)

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