Category: Food & Recipes, Human

Waffle Wednesday: Chick’ N’ Waffles Party

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

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It’s Wednesday, y’all! You know what that means!

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So Imma change things up this week with a savory waffle treat. Weirdly enough, I don’t think we’ve ever seen Leslie eat a waffle that wasn’t sweet. Usually – arguably – overly so. (Waffle sundaes, anyone?)

Instead of syrup and whipped cream, this one’s got meat and gravy.

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Carbs & Rec: Nacho Momma’s Preferred Source of Energy

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Ron: What are you doing, Andy?
Andy: I’m getting healthier snacks for the shoe shine stand.
Chris is a food genius.
Did you know that the food you eat becomes energy? Yeah.
Boom! That’s spaghetti.
Nachos.
A cookie.
April: That’s my husband.
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Did you know that the food you eat becomes energy? IT’S TRUE! Tasty, tasty energy. And at the rate I’m packing it in, I should have scaled Everest several pizzas ago.

Another fun fact: this is one of my favorite Parks & Rec clips. I mean Andy, right. He is so cute, y’all! I’d just never want to date him, because I’ve seen how he lives, and it is not pretty.

So anyway, I just knew that this clip had to have a meal all to itself this Carbs & Rec. But what to choose?!? Spaghetti, cookies, and nachos are all equally yum. (Okay, so maybe I’m partial to cookies, being part Cookie Monster and all. I promise not to play favorites!)

In the end I went with nachos, because they’ve got the coolest Dwyer moves.

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BOOM! Nachos.

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Carbs & Rec: Peruvian Deja Food Pie

Monday, September 15th, 2014

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Carbs & Rec - Deja Food (0008)

The latest meal on our Parks & Rec menu is, as you’ve no doubt already surmised, another Tom Haverfood! I’m pretty sure this particular phrase is fan-made as opposed to NBC canon, but that’s okay! If we’ve learned anything this month, it’s that our favorite shows are 1000 times better when enjoyed interactively.

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There’s one recipe in particular that seems like it was made just for this Haverfood: namely, the Peruvian Leftovers Pie from The HappyCow Cookbook. Basically you take your favorite leftovers, sandwich them between two layers of mashed potatoes, top it all off with a tofu cheese garnish, and voilà! – dinner is served. Bonus points for cleaning out the fridge.

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Carbs & Rec: You had me at “Meat Tornado.”

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

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“You had me at Meat Tornado.” If there’s a single quote that’s come to define Ron Swanson, food-wise (and what else is there really?), it would have to be this. Second maybe to “Give me ALL the bacon and eggs you have.” Let’s just say the message boards are going nuts.

Just look at all the Meat Tornado merch and fan art available online!

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Carbs & Rec: Sloppy Adam Sandlers

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

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Today’s featured meal may be a Tom Haverfood, but imma break with protocol and stick to non-Tom gifs for a change. Because HOLY HELL are there a ton of Haverfoods on the menu, and I want to give some of my other favorite characters a little face time. Like April and Jeremy Jamm! Just not in the same frame ’cause I adore April and would never play her like that.

So Adam Sandlers are what Tom calls sandwiches (along with sammies and sandoozles) – and what better sammie to represent Mr. Sandler than (*drumroll please*) SLOPPY JOES?!?

SLOPPY JOE, SLOP, SLOPPY JOE!”
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Yeah, that’s right. You knew the Lunchlady Land jams were coming. (AGAIN.) You know me so well, mofos.

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Carbs & Rec: French Fry Pizza-That-Is-Harder-To-Eat With a Side of Ranch Dressing

Friday, September 12th, 2014

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Ben Wyatt and calzones. If there’s one ship I ship harder than Leslie and waffles, this would be it. (I’m totes playing it cool here. BEN + CALZONES 5EVAH!)

Calzones first make a cameo in the episode “Ron & Tammy: Part Two.” In a last-ditch effort to make the Harvest Fest happen, the Parks & Rec crew resort to bribery a la a pizza party in order to convince the police department to provide free security for the event. Ben suggests calzones, thus leading to a running gag about calzones being disgusting and pointless (the worst food ever invented!), much to his chagrin. (Quoth the Police Chief: “What the hell is wrong with this guy?”)

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Carbs & Rec: Sex Bites

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

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Quick! When I say “Parks & Rec,” which foods pop into your head?

Waffles? Check.

Eggs and bacon? You betcha.

Mac & cheese pizza? Hells yeah!

Bananas? Say what now!?!

Believe it or not, the unassuming banana has a long and storied history on Parks & Rec. From that one time Leslie demonstrated safe sex practices for Pawnee’s seniors with the assistance of a ginormous yellow banana,

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to Ron Swanson’s somewhat epic aversion to this healthy fruit,

bananas have made multiple appearances on Parks and Recreation.

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Waffle Wednesday: Banana Split Waffle Sundaes!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

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Leslie Knope likes her waffles like she likes her Ben*: served in a short stack and smothered in whipped cream.

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For this year’s MoFo, I really wanted to recreate the gorgeous tower of whipped cream that always seems to find its way onto Leslie’s waffles. Unfortunately, none of the alternative food stores in my area carry the cans of SoyaToo whipped topping that would help me pull it off. (Or any vegan whipped cream, for that matter. Boo!) Instead I opted for the next best thing – making my own using coconut cream.

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Carbs & Rec: Better-than-Chicky Catch

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

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“Fried chicken is fri-fri chicky-chick. Chicken parm is chicky chicky parm parm. Chicken cacciatore? Chicky catch. I call eggs pre-birds, or future birds.”
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Tom Haverford’s ability to play fast and loose with the English language is legendary. I can only wonder whether Tom knew, way back in season three, that his Haverfoods would one day become a reality with the opening of Tom’s Bistro. Or Tom’s Bi, as the unfinished signage read on opening night.

Since Tom’s Bistro is an upscale Italian joint, you best bet that his Chicky Catch is on the menu. Here I’ve veganized the dish, with a little help from ethnic vegan and gardein meatless chicken strips.

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Mac & Cheese Monday: Five-Cheese Baked Pete-aroni and Cheese

Monday, September 8th, 2014

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This is a VeganMoFo special straight from the kitchen of Pete Oglini (of Pete’s Petezaria fame!), Pawnee’s own 3-star, Yelp-rated chef. The very best in “ethnic dining,” at least according to Leslie Knope’s definite guide, Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America.

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Because the residents of Pawnee love their cheese, this epic mac & cheese dish contains (count ‘em!) one-two-three-four-five (five!) kinds of cheese:

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Carbs & Rec: Epic Breakfast Bowl

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

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When it comes to Ron Swanson, there’s only one way to do breakfast: epically. Preferably with ALL THE BACON AND EGGS you have. (Don’t worry, WE ARE SO DOING THIS! Just not today.)

Waffle Wednesdays may be dedicated to Leslie Knope and her BFF J.J. (don’t cry, Ann; waffles may own Leslie’s stomach, but you will always have her ovaries!), but Sundays are all about Ron and his undying love of meaty, cheesy, eggy breakfast foods. Just don’t call it brunch, else he might pop you one in your smart, fancy, foreign mouth.

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In this vein, this morning I present to you the Hearty Breakfast Bowl from Home-Cooked Vegan Comfort Food – with a few extras, that is. What’s in the ginormous cast iron skillet (Ron Swanson speak for “bowl), you ask?

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Carbs & Rec: Insanely Good Messy Brownie Bites

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

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I would like to be president someday, so no, I’ve not smoked marijuana. I ate a brownie once at a party in college. It was intense. It was kind of indescribable, actually. I felt like I was floating. Turns out there wasn’t any pot in the brownie.
It was just an insanely good brownie.
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I won’t lie: for a second or two (or sixty), I was super-tempted to recycle my not-pot brownies (of VeganMoFo 2012 fame) for this post. I mean, they’re kind of perfect, right? The thyme looks like marijuana, but it totally isn’t! But because I’m not a cheater and (perhaps more to the point) those brownies didn’t photograph particularly well, I decided to make an all-new recipe instead.

I kind of wish I’d went with option A, y’all.

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In theory, the Mini-Rocky Road Brownie Bites from Betty Goes Vegan sound epically awesome: individual, mini-cupcake-shaped brownie bites stuffed with mini Dandies marshmallows, chocolate chips, and roasted peanuts, each with its own crispy round edges and delightful muffin tops.

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Artfully arranged with the least scrappy of the bunch on top.
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In practice? They made me cry. And not in a good way.

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Carbs & Rec: J.J.’s French Toast Dipsticks

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Hay rides. Dunking booths. Corn mazes and concerts under the starlight. Giant pumpkins and even gianter pumpkin pies. The scent of fried foods wafting through the air, mingling with animal poop, and clinging to your hair, your skin, and your clothing…long after the fourth wash. Ahhhh. The Pawnee Harvest Festival. That’s the stuff.

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(Just be glad that computer monitors don’t come with scratch & sniff capabilities. NOT YET.)

Staples of the Pawenee foodie community Sweetums and J.J.’s Diner each have booths at the festival, along with with (much-loathed) Sue’s Salads, (somewhat obscure) Happy Harriet’s House of Heaven, and one-two-twelve different sandwich shops. But wait! There’s more!

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As if J.J.’s breakfast foods aren’t enough to satisfy your yearly quota of saturated fats, there’s a whole boulevard which consists of nothing but deep fried foods. It’s called – wait for it! – Deep Fried Boulevard: “Eight full blocks of Howell Drive (from Racine to Tellenson St.) will feature nothing but fried foods! Fried dough, fried meats and cheeses, fried sandwiches, fried fruit, fried foods that have themselves been fried again – if you want to eat it, we’ll fry it!”

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Though the show itself is light on the details, I like to think that J.J.’s maintains a second booth on Deep Fried Boulevard, where it sells these deep fried French Toast Dipsticks…among other things. (Deep-fried vegan mac & cheese, can I get a holla?!?)

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Carbs & Rec: Happy Cauliflower Day! (Belated, but still.)

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

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Technically Cauliflower Day was yesterday, but I would have had to preempt the very first Waffle Wednesday in order to make it work, and that simply would not do! As much as I love cauliflower, sweet breakfast food trumps it every. single. time.

Also a technicality: Cauliflower Day celebrates the first AND LAST time that Leslie and Ben ate cauliflower together. Leslie did not care for it. So really, this dish should feature broccoli, pizza, ice cream, or some other food that isn’t cauliflower.

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But wait! Stay with me here.

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Waffle Wednesday: Chocolate Beer Waffles with a Sweet Cashew Cream & Chocolate Drizzle

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

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“We have to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, work. But work has to come in third.”
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It’s no secret that Our Lady of Breakfast Food Leslie Knope has an especially ooey, gooey spot for waffles. And why not? Crispy on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside, waffles kinda sorta rock.

Consider the evidence:

- They’re a breakfast food – and why would anyone ever want to eat anything other than a breakfast food? (Idiots.)

- Roll them up, stuff them with your favorite tofu scramble, tempeh bacon, and hash browns, and voila! Breakfast tacos!

- The teeny weeny squares make the perfect tiny traps for your syrup, margarine, whipped cream, and/or icing. Take that, pancakes!

- Who needs bread when you’ve got waffles? Open-faced Tofurky and gravy sammie, anyone?

- Breakfast food for dinner is objectively the best.

- After you’ve finished your waffle dinner, chase it with a waffle sundae. Vanilla ice cream, coconut whipped cream, dried cherries, chopped walnuts, sliced bananas, maybe an insanely good brownie or two – go crazy. Knope you can!

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In honor of the lady who puts the “carbs” in Carbs & Rec, I’m dedicating each and every Wednesday to waffles. Maybe with a bonus day thrown in here and there because WAFFLES! Seriously, I found so many amazing waffle recipes that it was hard to whittle it down to just four. Plus Shane is on waffle duty, so a dinner of waffles means a night off for me. Score!

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Carbs & Rec: Jailbird Scones

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Let’s take a moment to celebrate one of the most epic friendships in sitcom history: Ann Perkins and Leslie Knope.

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Carbs & Rec: Cold Puppies

Monday, September 1st, 2014

“Zerts are what I call desserts. Tray-trays are entrées. I call sandwiches ‘sammies,’ ‘sandoozles,’ or ‘Adam Sandlers.’ Air conditioners are ‘cool blasterz.’ I call cakes ‘big ol’ cookies.’ I call noodles ‘long-ass rice.’ Fried chicken is ‘fry-fry chicky-chick.’ Chicken parm is ‘chicky-chicky-parm-parm.’ Chicken cacciatore? ‘Chicky-cach.’ I call eggs ‘pre-birds,’ or ‘future birds.’ Root beer is ‘super water.’ Tortillas are ‘bean blankets.’ And I call forks ‘food rakes.’” – Episode 3.10, “Soulmates”
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Old-ass grapes. Bear Drool. Brit Bagels.* If you can stuff it in your face, odds are that Tom Haverford has a Tom Haverfood-ism for it. In fact, Tom’s fly food wordplay is such a hit with fans that it’s spawned a website (tomhaverfoods.com), a tumblr (tomhaverfoods.tumblr.com), and a twitter account (@TomHaverfoods), all of which proved instrumental to me meeting my 30-post quota for the month. Chances are, if it’s not a breakfast food, then it’s probably a Tom Haverfood.

To kick of VeganMoFo 2014 – and the week! – I come bearing Chili Dogs. Or Cold Puppies, as Tom would say.

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The chili recipe is an old one from Vegan Dad, which I’ve been meaning to try for forever. You guys, I don’t think I’ve ever had a chili dog before! Sad but true, and as of today, rectified. So the chili is a pretty delicious mix of chocolate, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cumin, and vegan Worcestershire sauce, for a smoky and savory flavor. I also like that it uses TVP instead of beans, because the latter upsets my tummy. (Stomach: Calorie Cannibalizer.)

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You say “tomato,” I say “Red Lentil and Tomahto Soup.”

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

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So I know I said that I wouldn’t have time to cook out of Simple Recipes for Joy until after VeganMoFo. (Just six days, y’all! SIX DAYS!) But as fate would have it, I have a ton of fresh tomatoes from my garden – and Simple Recipes for Joy has a recipe that calls for a whole two pounds of fresh tomatoes. (Count ‘em, TWO.) On the weird side, it’s a hot soup recipe in a week when the temperature has been topping out in the high 90s every. single. day. But hey, air conditioning.

I was concerned that maybe Shane wouldn’t be in the mood for soup after eight hours spent mowing the lawn in what is essentially hot, humid August Missouri soup, but he was actually stoked on the idea: “I need to rehydrate!” Um, okay then.

So the soup is really tasty, though a little on the thin side. I ended up adding an extra cup of lentils and cooked the soup a little longer, just enough so that the lentils were tender, but didn’t dissolve (like the first batch did, and was supposed to). Along with the tomatoes and lentils there’s cumin and curry, which gives the soup a rich, savory taste.

Perfect for dipping bread in! We didn’t have any fresh bread (boo!), so I cooked up some frozen dinner rolls and those were almost as good.

Cookbook Review: Vegan Ice Cream, Jeff Rogers (2014)

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Should be Called “(Mostly) Raw Vegan Ice Cream”

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through the Blogging for Books program.)

I’ve been vegetarian since 1996, and went vegan in the mid-aughts. Along with vegan pizza, vegan ice cream is my absolute favorite – and have tumblogs dedicated to each to prove it. I own one ice cream maker (a Cuisinart Ice-45) and covet a second one (the KitchenAid Stand Mixer & Ice Cream Maker Attachment). No fewer than five vegan ice cream cookbooks line the bookshelves in my pantry. I’ve been allergic to milk my entire life (technically it’s galactose – milk sugar – that’s the problem, but same diff), and have never been able to have “real” ice cream. Growing up as I did in the 1980s, I still remember the Dark Days of vegan processed food: when vegetarianism was fringe and my mom bought my dad’s meatless links in the basement of the local Unitarian Church, and I was ecstatic to have two (TWO!) vegan ice cream options in the mainstream grocer’s freezer: Rice Dream (*shudder*) and Tofutti (which will forever occupy a special place in my heart).

I’m a bit of a vegan ice cream connoisseur, is what I’m saying.

I purchased Jeff Rogers’s Vice Cream way back in 2009, but as of yet haven’t tried a single recipe. For whatever reason (the abundance of cashews? the insistence on juicing everything? the multiple steps and machines required for each recipe?), none of the recipes really appealed to me. So when I spotted a new and revised edition – now called Vegan Ice Cream – on Blogging for Books, I decided to give it a try, in the hope that Rogers had tweaked his formulas. As it turns out, the updated edition contains twenty or so new recipes – along with the seventy originals – but all use the same bases found in Vice Cream. Hopes, dashed.

Just scanning through the book, I had my doubts. From my experience using cashews to make vegan cheeses, I could tell that they alone wouldn’t thicken the batter substantially, and certainly not to the pudding-like consistency needed to make a smooth, dairy-like ice cream. Nevertheless, I did experiment with two recipes prior to writing this review: Chai and Chocolate Pecan.

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Simple is Good!

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

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A hearty shout-out to Avery, which sent me a copy of one of its upcoming vegan titles: Simple Recipes for Joy: More Than 200 Delicious Vegan Recipes by Sharon Gannon, the founder of Jivamukti Yoga and the Jivamuktea Café.

As much as I love the book’s Mad Hatter-styled cover, I positively adore the photo on the back of the dust jacket, which shows the proprietor beaming from the Café’s front counter, standing right in front of a chalk board jam packed with the names of delicious vegan dishes. SO MUCH VEGAN FOOD.

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Burrito Verdura, I want!

This bad boy doesn’t go on sale for more than a month – September 16th, to be exact – but sadly I don’t think I’ll get to do any cooking from it until after then anyway, on account of VeganMoFo, for which I have a theme. A carefully planned, flawlessly executed, hopefully epic theme. (Hint: it involves lots of waffles and all the bacon and eggs you have.)

BUT. I might have to make an exception for the Angel Hair Pasta with Creamy Lemon-Zucchini Sauce, seeing as I have at least ten pounds of zukes sitting on my countertop this very moment. And that’s not counting the half a dozen maturing in the garden. A girl can eat only so many Baked Zucchini Sticks, you know? (By which I mean ALL the zucchini sticks. They’re kind of amazing.)