Monday, November 26, 2007

first knitting, then food

I'm baa-aack. What a long, busy week this turned out to be. I began the week with high hopes of knitting. After all, the week held 3 dance classes, 3 doctor appointments and 2 meetings. In the end I knit while waiting through one long doctor appointment and that was it.

I did manage to finish Husband's socks on Saturday. No evidence, they are downstairs in the laundry room, and I am too lazy to drag them back up for a photo shoot. Trekking bamboo is not on my list of yarns to knit with again. I know lots of people like it just fine, but it is not for me.

My happy knitting began on Sunday with my handspun being turned into a pair of fingerless mitts.

This is the first time I have spun a fiber with a project in mind. While the Goblin Eyes colors washed away (see previous post), I still like the finished product and plan to wear these all winter. It is so cold at my desk and my fingers will thank me.

I feel a bit of a handspun to fingerless mitt jag coming on. Anyone care to join me?

Now for food talk. I have probably mentioned that I have an MSG intolerance. It is not something I like to talk about, if only because it is such a pain in the ass to deal with. There are a couple of things that I REALLY miss not being able to eat. One of them is flavored potato chips or plain chips and ranch dip. OMG I miss Ranch. Today I stumbled upon a pretty damn good substitute.

Behold Vogue Cuisine Vegetable Base. Because of the MSG thing I have given up stocks of any sort. They all contain Natural Flavors or Carageenan or Soy Protein. All of these things often have MSG as a component. While at the local healthy grocery I spied the Vogue. It is a brand I had not seem before, so I plucked it off the shelf, turned it over, and began to scan the ingredients for evil substances. The scan came up empty so I slowed down and read each ingredient more carefully. Could it be? A quick veggie broth that I can actually eat? I wonder what it tastes like? Into the cart it went.

What does it taste like? It tastes like chicken broth sans chicken. Lots of onion an garlic, no overpowering kale or cabbage. I am so happy. A person should not have to be so happy about finding something without MSG that tastes good. So it got me is a good broth, what else?

On Wednesday I had made a batch of Sour Dressing for the veggie stroganoff and the leftovers were in the fridge. I grabbed the container and added a tablespoon or so of the Vogue, a little more garlic powder and some fresh pepper. A potato chip was poised above the dip as I said an "oh please, oh please." Pretty darn good. Just like the real stuff? No. But a fine substitute and a great starting point for even more yummy delights. Thank you Vogue Cuisine.

Also on the food front is Vegan With A Vengeance. I checked this book out from the library and plan to purchase a copy to have and to hold and to splatter on. Tonight we had Black-Eyed Pea and Quinoa Croquettes with Mushroom Sauce. I swapped out the black eyed peas for black beans, I do not like black eyes peas, and served the whole thing over angel hair pasta. OMG! It was so good! The mushroom sauce was the best I have ever had, vegan or otherwise.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz has more cookbooks and a cool website. Remember back in 1981 when Mollie Katzen wrote The Moosewood cookbook and the nation went crazy? OK, maybe it was just California that filled with vegetarians. Isa may be the new Mollie.

Tonight I am planning to try lasagna. I will be blending a recipe from Vegan With A Vengeance and the Uncheese Cookbook. I am not going to make a big pan, just a loaf pan. I am not sure how we will all like it. I also plan to serve a big salad and garlic bread, just in case the lasagna sucks. Tune in tomorrow to see how it all goes.

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