Testing season has begun!
Not for me, not yet. But Isa is writing a new brunch book and i’ve been lucky enough to try out some of the new recipes. First, I apologize that some of these photos aren’t particularly appetizing. Winter is the worst time for taking pictures of foods. Daylight is getting longer, but I generally only make one actual meal a day and it’s rarely before six pm.
Blueberry Ginger Spelt Muffins. I’ve never used spelt flour before so I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like them, but honestly I couldn’t tell the difference in this case.
The biscuits and Smoked Almond Gravy are the tester recipes, and I made tempeh crumbles from VWaV to go with it. I wasn’t even aware of smoked almonds before this recipe, and ended up eating quite a few alone. But I wasn’t prepared for how amazing the gravy would be. Seriously the best thing i’ve put in my mouth in a long time. It has a familiar taste, but I can’t put my finger on it. I can put my finger in it though, and then lick it because god damn. Apparently it’s supposed to serve 5-6 people, but I ate all of it in two plates of biscuits and gravy. Not in a row! This one is for dinner and then I had it for breakfast the next day. And I ended up feeding Chester the leftovers because I was stuffed. So i’m only like…90% pig.
I woke up at 8 am to wait for my couch to be delivered (yay!), and I was excited and fidgety so I made a big breakfast. The pesto scramble is another tester for Crack Of Noon, and this was actually my second time making it. But the first photo was taken at night, under a lamp,and looked pretty gross. Tofu scramble usually looks gross, but here it at least looks edible.
The sausages are from Everday Dish, a cooking show by Julie Hasson. They’re seitan, and the unique part is that you steam them and it only takes a half hour. And even though you wrap the sausages in foil, they aren’t quite as…compact as baked seitan. I know a lot of people don’t like how dense baked seitan is. I made a half batch because I don’t own a steamer, and my substitute (a metal colander set into a pot of water with the lid on) isn’t very big. Only one sausage survived until morning. I didn’t add as much red pepper as it called for because I was worried about them being too spicy, but I could’ve put it all in there and would’ve been fine. In fact if you like things really spicy, you should probably add some more and maybe a little cayenne pepper. I think I might make a variation that includes hot sauce, because i’m a sucker for punishment. I like spicy things, but my body doesn’t. But i’m sure it’ll be worth it.
So yeah, they’re quick and easy to make, and way cheaper than Tofurky sausages, and in my case a lot more accessible.
And last but certainly not least…
Garrick and Kelly are two teenage PPKers who are crazy about cookies. Garrick’s the one who gave me the chocolate chip cookie recipe in issue one, and after a few not-so-subtle hints (me saying ‘why aren’t there cookies in my PO Box?!’), Kelly sent me these cookies last week. In the front, nutter butters. In the back, thin mints. I picked up the package, went straight to the comic store and told the owner that I needed his cutting tool, and that he would be very happy that I opened the box. And he was. I spent that afternoon eating cookies and watching Veronica Mars and it was totally fucking awesome.
The nutter butters are amazing, but definitely the ‘only one a day’ kind of cookie because the icing is so rich. The thin mints are hand dipped so the chocolate is obviously thicker, but the cookie is spot on. Crunchy and delicious. So go to their blog and look at more cookies and leave them so comments encouraging them on their venture to turn all of these recipes into a book, because they are two amazingly creative kids.
Bonus pictures! My dogs playing in the first real snow we’ve had all year:
And the couch on which my buttocks doth firmly be planted, now and forever: