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Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

Below is only some of the most incredible authentic homemade Italian ravioli EVER.  We *finally* recently discovered a family ran Italian deli in our neighborhood (Sorriso’s Pork Store).  Drool away boys and girls.  Drool away.

 

INTENSE dense sauces to go with mind-blowing raviolis above.

 

 

Yep, it was as good as it looks.

 

Speaking of supper, “The Last Supper” booth at San Loco Mexican restaurant in Brookyn

 

Spring arrived early in NYC this year.

 

Cheers!

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In lieu of making this post all about how sick and crappy I feel, I thought I would spread some happiness.  This here is my first ever batch of vegan double chocolate chip cookies.

In keeping with promises to myself for the month of January, I am doing at least 1 new vegan recipe a week and at least 1 Artist’s Date.  Given my current health status, going out adventuring unfortunately wasn’t in the books, so Part One of the Artist Date was whipping up these bad boys.  (Part Two, since I know you’re dying to know, was watching The Tree of Life, courtesy of Netflix…I am on the fence on this movie…not what I was expecting, which isn’t necessarily bad, but way over board with the in your face, drive it home symbolism…still, worth watching and good food for mind/body/spirit.)

This recipe comes from Lindsay Nixon’s The Happy Herbivore, page 203 and brilliantly titled “Chocolate Chip Cookies.”  The recipe is below, and the only variations I used were (1) her suggestion option of unsweetened cocoa (to make it double chocolate chip cookies), and (2)instead of the called for 1/2 cup of (vegan) chocolate chips,  I added (quite) a bit more.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (WORTH getting the organic kind here rather than the generic crap)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I use So Delicious organic coconut milk, and the name doesn’t lie)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I suggest Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • a few dashes of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (I used the store brand bittersweet chocolate chips, which uses soy lecithin; I don’t remember where, but some vegan cookbook or website suggested Ghirardelli baking chips for vegans, however it says right on the back of their packages MAY CONTAIN MILK.)

DIRECTIONS: (Again, this is directly from Lindsay Nixon’s The Happy Herbivore, page 203..this is NOT my recipe)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper (I used parchment paper as you can see in the picture).
  • In a large bowl, combine applesauce, sugar, vanilla, and non-dairy milk.
  • IN a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cornstarch, and cinnamon (actually found I needed a big bowl for this).
  • Transfer the dry mixture into the wet mixture in three batches.  Stir until almost combined.
  • Fold in chips.
  • Drop spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes for a soft and light cookie or a few minutes more for a firmer cookie, being careful not to burn.

When you are spooning them, they will be gooey/slightly liquidy–not the consistency of non-vegan cookie dough, so fyi that is normal.  I set the timer for 5 minutes, then put them on the higher oven rack  to bake for about 2 minutes more.  These are very light and fluffy, so not a lot of density and could burn very easily.  If I had cooked mine for 10 minutes, they would have been toast, so keep a close eye on yours and don’t get distracted.

Variation:  Double Chocolate Chip Cookies–Replace 2 tbsp of flour with 2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa (powder).

 

This recipes says it makes 16 cookies.  As you can see, I got  11 medium sized cookies, so for 16 you would have to make them a bit smaller.  They are pretty light and fluffy tasting, almost cake like, and very moist.  The apple sauce  I think is what really makes the difference.  I am thinking you could use coconut extract instead of vanilla for chocolate coconut cookies as well (maybe mix in some coconut flakes, too).

 

I gave them the “Jack Taste Test,” letting him know ahead of time that they’re vegan (which I realize can be a  mistake as it often creates a bias), and he gave me a medium-enthusiastic “they’re good.”  Of course he ate half of the batch, so somehow he managed to get them down.  They were good, not mind blowing, but I will likely make them again.  Super easy and quick to whip up and a heck of lot cheaper than the $2.50 each vegan brownies that I am addicted to at my local health store.

 

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Because I, in general, like to set myself up for the next-to-impossible, I’m beginning 2012 with just that.  2 months from now I will be taking a 5 week “Solo Performance” workshop class at ESPA  (through Primary Stages), of which I fully intend to come out of with a completed first draft of a solo performance piece. And then…of course… the dreaded…the awful… the evil:

AUDITIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

And so, you know, just to make my life an utter living hell (and by hell I of course actually mean  totally freaking awesome), I will be starting out the first month of 2012 in Creative Incubation. This means:

1.DISTRACTION DEPRIVATION: Exactly what it sounds like.  I am the Q-U-E-E-N of distraction procrastination. This was my safety zone, by binkie, my warm and cozy blankie as a child, and sometimes I forget that I don’t actually (always) need it anymore. For me, the biggest culprits are: Facebook, computer/phone games, and news and entertainment websites. Soooo, for the next month, if it isn’t directly related to acting, creative “work” (re:  play), personal connections (emails, letters, phone calls, in-person), bills(gotta be responsible sometimes), and/or work, it ain’t happening. So,  DEAR, lovely black holes of my precious sweet time, I’m sending you on a little va-cay for the wintery month of January. Sayonara.

2.  30+ Minutes DAILY Intentional Movement: Gym, walking, sit-ups, yoga, dancing, whatever. As long as I am purposefully MOVING.

3.  DAILY Morning Pages

4.  Daily Meditation

5.  Alexander Technique’s Constructive Rest Exercise Daily (At least 15 minutes)

6.  30 Minutes Creative Writing Daily (this will be left up to flexible interpretation, but will always mean some sort of 30 minute nonstop writing-just-for-the-sake-of-writing exercise)

7.  Weekly Artist Dates

8. 100% VEGAN!!:  I’ve been riding the edge  on this for a while now, not fully BYALONGSHOT giving up the dairy. This action definitely supports a happier, healthier, more creatively nutritious me.

9.  Making and keeping my appointments with myself (and weekly POW meetings) on my PATH. (I fully give myself permission to have all of the appointments be creative-play-based, as long as they fit within the perimeters of my PATH.)

10. New (VEGAN!) Recipe Each Week!   Jack’s not likely going vegan anytime soon (and by soon I mean NEVER), so I gotta keep things tasty and interesting to keep him happy, as well!  Happy husband=happy wife, and vice versa.

11. DAILY (did I just type that?!) Blog Entry: Yes, folks, you heard it here first. This blog has been sporadic to say the least, but not this month!  It might be a one liner, a simple picture of something inspires me, or it might be a 300 page novel.  Let’s play it by ear.  (And honestly, I’m totally stealing this daily posting idea from Bekah Brunstetter, whose blog I adore:  http://blog.bekahbrunstetter.com/ )

12.

 

 

 

Ok, actually I don’t have a number 12.

 

Ok.  Maybe that’s actually what number 12 is.  Not having one…an end goal,  a specified outcome, or a needed result. Just a daily  re-commitment for the next month to being more fully present with myself and life, caring for and nurturing my creative and spiritual sweet Self.  And then…whatever hatches, hatches.

 

 

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