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1  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Amazing spicy hummus - vegan on: February 01, 2009 05:38:23 PM
My friend through this together and created the most amazing spicy hummus I've ever had.  If you've never made hummus, its REALLY easy, but you do need either a blender or a food processor.  This recipe, like all of my recipes, if made to be adjusted, just remember you can always add more, so start small if you want to play it safe.  If you're not a big fan of garlic, start with 3 cloves and go from there.  You can also use jalapenos if you like or can't find serranos (they look like smaller, skinnier jalapenos).  I prefer them as they are generally spicier. 
Also, if you haven't bought Tahini before - you'll get a lot more than you need, just so you know.  It's also generally located by the peanut butter and such in grocery stores, though I'm not sure why. 

Spicy Hummus
two can chick peas, drained
four to six tablespoons tahini
generous splash of olive oil
shake of cumin
shake of cayenne pepper
six minced fresh garlic cloves or more if you dare
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
2 teaspoon vegan worcestershire sauce
tsp of salt
one or two serrano peppers chopped
four or so slices of roasted red peppers (canned or jarred)

combine in food processor, adjust spices to taste, and eat!

2  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Butternut squash and tofu chili - cold weather food! on: February 01, 2009 05:03:53 PM
This is MY FAVORITE cold weather dish! 
Originally I made this recipe with ground turkey, but I found it also tastes fabulous with ground/scrambled tofu.  Basically it can be easily made to be omnivorous, vegetarian, and vegan, depending what you do with it.  The most difficult part is cutting the damn squash!  I'll warn everyone, its slippery, and for whatever reason its REALLY slippery if you use organic squash.  I also substituted sweet potatoes for the squash once, and it was still good.  I adjusted the spices just slightly, but I recommend everyone do that to meet their specific tastes.  This is a great base recipe that can be altered in all kinds of ways - more/less seasoning, different beans, more/less peppers or spiciness, etc.  It's also not difficult, basically throw stuff in a pot, stir, eat.  Super tasty! 

Butternut Squash Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey breast/tofu
1 butternut squash - peeled, seeded, cubed
3/4 cup veggie broth
2 serrano peppers, chopped
1 can kidney beans
1 can cannelloni beans
1 can corn
1 (8 ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon allspice or cloves
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Salt to taste

2 or 3 Tablespoons Franks Red Hot Sauce (Optional)

1.   Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, pepper, and garlic; cook and stir for 5 minutes, then add the turkey/tofu, and stir until crumbly and browned.
2.   Add the butternut squash, chicken broth, peppers, kidney beans, corn, and tomato paste; season with cayenne powder, allspice, cumin, and garlic salt. Add extra broth or water as needed (everything should be basically submerged).  Adjust all spices to taste.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.  Add salt, hot sauce, and any additional seasonings as needed. 

3  COOKING / Dessert / My lumpy Barbie cake on: January 18, 2009 01:00:43 PM
I decided to make a cake for my friends birthday, so i think BARBIE.  why not. i even found one with pink hair!  but then I gave it a terrible hair cut in an attempt at something.... stylish... oh nevermind.
the cake!

doesn't she look happy?  and lumpy... and oddly wide in the middle... and... a little off.  so yah she's a little funny looking. 

My friend requested carrot cake, and as i had never made such a thing from scratch, I eagerly took on the challenge.  Now i realize there are cake molds out there for such a purpose, and there are also dolls specially made without silly legs to get in the way.  I, however, decided my friend needed a REAL barbie, with real legs, and i was determined to use the many pans I had at home. 
This poor girl's dress was made out of a chrysanthemum bundt pan, with a soccer ball pan supplying the additional 3 inches she needed to get the damn thing past her thighs.  i tried to cut it, shape it, fill in gaps.  then i thought the fondant would smooth over the holes.  no, it did not. 
she still looks nice though!  and with the amount of oil and sugar in the cake, it should be rather tasty regardless. 
here's a close up on the bow.

i colored the fondant myself, which was surprisingly easy.  I haven't tried too much with it yet, but so far my experiences have been positive.  i even made a little flower for her!  its awkwardly placed on her chest to cover some odd green bits she came with.  still, great fun.  much less gory than my last work with fondant...
4  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Gruesome Zombie Cake! Need Ideas? on: October 23, 2008 01:51:53 PM
zombie cake, part 2!   Grin

My friend requested a zombie cake for his halloween party, and it works great with my cannibal housewife costume! 
The top of the head is cake, and the jaw is brownies (easies to mold). I used the "funfetti" cake mix to get colorful bits, and added some red and black food coloring to make it nice and messy.  I hollowed out the eyes, nose, and mouth, and filled em with raspberry goo (raspberries + sugar + heat = goo), then covered everything else with grayish red buttercream.  this was my first time using fondant, and i think it went well.  its not too tasty though.  i mixed it with red and black to get an almost marbled look to it.  covered the cake, cut holes, then smeared more color over it to make it look more... gross.  the eyes, teeth, and nose were white chocolate i molded by hand. 

the eyes are actually raspberry goo i froze, then covered in fondant, and dipped in chocolate.  i wanted them to squish!  i hope to pop em out at the party. then i basically added red goo where needed.
it is so gross, but my friend expects the grossest!  I have a reputation to uphold!
5  COOKING / Dessert / my dessert sushi, and how much i hate fruit rollups. lots of pics, a question. on: May 14, 2008 08:15:46 PM
FINALLY, i made my candy sushi. 

i had been planning on making this for so very long now, so of course i had been planning on making the best candy sushi on all the intervebs.  le sigh.... oh well, it was fun and turned out well enough. 
i started with the following -
angel food cake / rice
fruit rollups / nori
fruit by the foot / nori
marshmallows / rice
kiwi, bananas, strawberries, mangoes, and some left over brownies / fishy bits!
swedish fish / more fishy bits!
cake decors, including odd little colored candies and colored sugar / roe

i quickly realized that fruit rollups were my enemy.  in the store, i could not find just green.  the only fruit rollups available were in a rainbow pack.  i also compromised and bought some fruit by the foot, which did not come in green but only in sickly marbled shades of blue and red, somewhat resembling rancid bacon, in terms of anything sushi like. 
still, i purchased the rainbow pack.  the first i tried to unroll was horribly stuck together, fell apart, total failure.  upon the final full unrolling of the second one, i realized they were covered in tongue "tattoos".  my sushi was now going to covered in cute cartoony images and sayings.  lovely. 
i persevered! 
next i realized that angel food cake was the WORST cake i could have used.  its very fuffy, dense is what i needed.  i smashed and smushed it, made it work.  layered w/ fruit like normal sushi, or as much as possible.
tried to roll up, but no!  the fruit roll up was stuck to the cutting board.  i peeled it up, barely kept it together, then saw that there were seams in it, where it split, and fell apart.  it died. 
next roll.
i learned from my mistakes, got it all together, went to cut it, and it split, shredded, squished, died a horrible neon death. 
attempt three!

i thought, i'll freeze it!  much easier to cut then, yes? 
NO!  the thing SHATTERED! 
i let the remaining few thaw for about 3 minutes, then ever so slowly saw through w/ a sharp bread knife. 
and it worked! eh, basically. 
the sushi bits that actually worked the best were w/ marshmallows. 

the bottom three on that are actually the fruit rollup pieces.  anyway.

i took two marshmallows, damped the ends, smushed em together, put a bit of fruit on top, wrapped w/ fruit by the foot.  voila!  is fabulous.  and actually rather tasty.  i also wrapped single marshmallows and bits of cake, topped w/ roe-esque candy.  these weren't quite as good as the fake fruity flavor was more... potent.  i also noticed the fruit by the foot and roll ups seemed to slowly dissolve over the course of the evening, perhaps from the moisture of the fruit? 
still, quite enjoyable, entertaining for all. 

my question to the world is this - what else can i use for the nori?  there simply must be a better alternative to fruit rollups.  they're too sticky, too flimsy, too disturbingly artificial and simply disgusting. 
any suggestions? 
6  COOKING / Dessert / Re: zombie cake! on: October 15, 2006 09:01:21 AM
i put the oozey bits between the layers of cake, which just made the whole thing kinda squishy, but that worked welll.  i basicly just tried to add the strawberry/raspberry goo wherever i could, in the mouth, nose, behind the eyes, things like that.  if i made it more traditional glaze like, added gelatin or even cornstarch, it would have kept together better and probably not soaked in as much. 
that was my original inspiration, though i knew mine could never be so glorious.  not yet at least.  just a bit more practice.... i need to learn how to use fondant!
7  COOKING / Dessert / Re: zombie cake! on: October 14, 2006 09:03:29 AM
here's the link for the vagina cake
8  COOKING / Dessert / zombie cake! on: October 13, 2006 11:22:01 AM
i love making cakes, particularly strange ones, for instance a red robot cake, or my ever popular vagina cake. 
my roommate and i are having a zombie movie night, so of course i made a zombie cake!  it didn't go as well as i'd planned, and a lot changed over the course of making it.  i still like how it turned out, the brains are my favorite. 

and here's a good view of the brains...

i got lazy and just used two boxes of funfetti cake mix (i wanted colored bits in the brains) and added some black food coloring.  the internal red bits are a rather chunky strawberry and raspberry glaze like substance.  i made the eyes, teeth, and nose like thing out of white chocolate, and everything else if varying shades of red frosting and chunky glaze substance.  i hope it still oozes when i cut into it...

i learned a lot from the process, so my next zombie cake will be even better, most disturbing, and oozier. 
great fun.
9  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Any ideas for Ramen noodles?? on: October 13, 2006 11:21:46 AM
my favorite ramen recipe-
cut up some chicken into small bits, marinate briefly in frank's red hot sauce (i think thats what its called).  cook chicken in skillet. add some frozen broccoli and a package of cooked ramen.  add more hot sauce, toss and such until all is cooked and mixed together.  super nummy. 
10  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Help Making A Nerd Cake on: October 13, 2006 11:10:49 AM
yay nerd cakes! 
i tried to make a ps2  cake a few years ago, didnt turn out so well, i just could not get the frosting dark enough and it ended up tasting funny.  the computer cake sounds good, but i love the pixel ideas people posted!  i'm totally going to do that at some point. 
oh, and thanks TheBon for posting that link, i make crazy cakes a lot and i'm always trying to improve. 
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