Saturday, January 31, 2009

Vegan Doughnuts

Back in November I went to a class put on by CCAT about making vegan doughnuts. David even went with me, which was a big surprise. The story went that Rosie's grandmother and mother would make the kids doughnuts on the day of the first rain of winter every year as a special treat. We made doughnuts and frosting, ate them, and then came home, full and happy, and having every intention to blog about the doughnuts.

And then I lost the recipes. How could I post about delicious doughnuts and not post the recipes? But now I've found them and all is well with the world.

Rosie's Mom's Vegan Doughnuts:
Fluff with a fork:
2 C white wheat or spelt flour (the wheat ones fell apart very easily, but were still delicious)
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. soy powder or flour (we used flour)
1/3 C raw sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

2/3 tbsp. oil
1/2 C soy milk

Knead. Roll into a sheet about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out doughnuts (we used a glass and a bottle cap) and deep fry. Turn when pale brown (about 1-2 minutes). Place on paper bags to drain. Frost, sprinkle with sugar, or just enjoy plain.

Vegan maple icing:
2 tbsp. oil
3/4 C powdered sugar (make sure it's vegan or use raw sugar and grind into a powder)
pinch of salt
enough pure maple syrup to make the right consistency

Beat everything together until smooth.

Vegan Chocolate Icing:
2 tbsp. oil
3/4 C powdered sugar (make sure it's vegan or use raw sugar and grind into a powder)
pinch of salt
1/3 C cocoa powder
enough soy milk to make the right consistency

Beat together until smooth.

These were so good! I keep trying to justify making a batch but there's just not a good enough occasion (not that you need an occasion to eat doughnuts!). I guess I'll just have to wait until the first rain.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Whoa, Nelly!

Well, it's been an eventful two weeks. It kind of seems like the world was just waiting for me to go back to classes to start up again.

Our dog, Boots, died on the 19th. He was old (not quite sure how old since he just showed up on our doorstep one day), blind, deaf, and was having trouble walking around. Several days before he died he pretty much stopped eating, and on Monday he went outside, laid in the sun, and passed away.

On the 20th, classes started again, and there was no "ease into it" period. We were pretty much thrown straight into the deep end. Yikes! I'm taking second semester physics, physical oceanography, library research and writing, field cruise, and working on my independent senior research project. After spring break I'll be taking Lost Arts of Living (basically canning, candle making, darning, that sort of thing) through CCAT. So basically, I have two hard "traditional" classes (midterm, final); a class with a 30-40 page paper due at the end; a class that will span two semesters and summer where the 12 of us design an experiment, write a proposal, reserve the R/V Coral Sea, conduct the experiment, analyze the samples, write a research paper, present the paper at a national conference, and potentially try to get our paper published in a scientific journal; a project that consists of taking water samples every week, analyzing them for the presence of harmful algae bloom species, writing a scientific paper and defending it in front of a panel of my professors; and a class just for fun to help me balance my science self with my domestic homemaker self. Whew. Yeah, I have my work cut out for me alright!

Then there's also tracking down scholarships and filing the FAFSA, taking the GWPE (must pass to graduate), and following up on a lead for a potential internship (thanks Aunt Tami!!!!). Which means I also need to put together a good resume and gather up some letters of recommendation. Not to mention the Ocean Club, which is in need of a treasurer and I am thinking of going for the position (I must hate myself). Oh, and then there's the PG&E Marine Sampling Project that's still going on!

I'll try to post more frequently, but really, I'm not sure I can even promise a post once a week. This weekend I have 7 scientific papers to read and report on, type and post the meeting minutes for Field Cruise (I stupidly volunteered myself to be secretary of the meetings), not to mention make and devour yummy Superbowl snacks (not sure if we'll actually go somewhere to watch the game since we don't have tv, or just stay home and eat food anyway). I'll also write up a post soon about what David and I did for my birthday soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Please Hang On

I am alive, I promise. But it's only halfway through the second week of classes and I'm already drowning in work. I will try my hardest to update this weekend.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Today is the start of my last week off before classes start up again, so in preparation I made a menu of a couple weeks worth of meals/lunches. I also made up a "storage" menu of things I want to get made and put away for quick meals before I'm bogged down with homework, essays, research projects, and deadlines.

To Store:
-Backyard BBQ Sauce from Veganomicon. I'm going to try doubling the recipe and canning it. I expect to get about 4 pints worth.
-Bran Muffins with Raisins from Joy of Vegan Baking.
-Pumpkinberry Muffins from VegNews.
-Carrot Ginger Muffins from Garden of Vegan.
-Lemon projects from this post

From Better than Peanut Butter and Jelly (BPBJ)
-Taco soup
-Sloppy Joes and sweet potato fries
-Southwestern Pasta Casserole
-Tacoless taco salad
-Beans and franks
From Garden of Vegan
-Veggie Rice Balls
-Zucchini and Broccoli Toss
-Veggie Jumble

-Tofu spread from BPBJ
-Roundup Rice Cakes from BPBJ
-good ol' leftovers

Remember to check out Organizing Junkie's Menu Monday for more recipe ideas, and GeekyPoet for all veggie menu ideas. Geez...I think I better get started!

Friday, January 9, 2009


My parents have a lemon bush (really it's like....5 or 6 trees that have grown together and are now trimmed into a hedge, but anyway), and most years the lemons are left to rot on the bush, because really, what can you do with that many lemons? Some years we zest and juice them, but often we end up with more than we use, bags of zest and juice get lost in the freezer, and there are many more lemons left rotting on the bush.

Before leaving to come back to McKinleyville, my dad gathered twenty pounds of lemons (a small fraction of what was out there) for me. So what am I going to do with all these lemons?

-Preserved lemons
-Lemon cordial
-Lemon butter/curd (if I can find a good vegan recipe)
-Zest and juice for future use

Which means I should probably get started clearing off a work space and getting to it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Back From the Holidays

The past two weeks have been very busy. The trip over 299 to my parents house was alright, we ran into some snow and ice, and lots of rain, but David and I both made it over and to Red Bluff just fine.

Christmas was pretty relaxed, and for a Christmas that we had agreed would be no presents, everybody got some really good gifts. I gave baskets of homemade/canned applesauce, blueberry syrup, and bread and butter pickles, as well as some loose leaf tea, candy cane sugar scrub, and a cookbook of my favorite recipes. I also put together a CD of some vegan podcasts for my grammy so that she could see (or hear) that I'm eating a healthy diet. My mom and I made vegan truffles, but they didn't end up in the baskets because I forgot to grab them from the fridge on Christmas day, so I had to eat them all myself. Darn.

For Christmas dinner, I ended up making everything I planned on. We also had stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls, and there was turkey for the rest of the family. Everything turned out really good, and besides from a small incident, everyone got along real well and I for one thought the day was very nice.

We would have taken the next few days to relax, but my little sister has decided that it is time for her to move away from home, so we spent the next several days getting her packed up (and fighting, and bickering, and being upset and pissy....). On the 1st, we set out on a nine hour drive to San Luis Obispo. We unpacked her into her new home (that she's sharing with five other girls), took her to dinner, and then took off. Mom, Dad, and I left first thing yesterday morning for an eight hour drive home. I feel like we left under bad terms, but I think I'm the only one that feels that way, at least at this end of California.

My grades posted the day after Christmas. I earned two A's, two C's, and a credit for a PE class. I'm not exactly happy, but I passed Physics and Chemistry, so they are out of the way and I can focus on next semester, which will be even worse than this one was. I'm already looking forward to summer break.

I had blood drawn at the doctor's while I was home to finally get this diabetes thing put to rest. They did an A1C and a thyroid test, as well as a regular blood work-up. After a little confusion (they lost my blood work), I received a phone call yesterday with the results. I haven't gotten the exact numbers yet, but they said everything was perfect except my iron was a little on the low side of normal. I'm assuming that means that I lowered my cholesterol and lipid levels from what they were in February. The doctor said my iron level was nothing a supplement or two, or a week or so of some iron heavy foods wouldn't fix. So good news; I don't have diabetes or anything wrong with my thyroid. Bad news; there's still no reason I should be this overweight or gain weight so easily. Maybe that's just how my body is, but I'd still like to look for a medical reason before I resign my self to a lifetime of obesity.

Well, I think that brings everyone up to speed. I spent some time thinking about my words for 2009, but I'll do a separate post for that.