Monday, June 4, 2012

Foods and Yummies

I have such a love-hate relationship with food. I’ve been vegetarian for 19 years (almost 20), vegan for 6 of those. I never have any intention of eating meat ever again in my life, though I have no issue cooking it for the meat-eaters in my life.
Being vegetarian for so long I go through phases of foods that I like. I eat things for months and months at a time until I’m sick of them. Then stop. I’ve been going through a major salad phase lately. I crave green, healthy foods but Salad and I have often been at odds. When you’ve been vegetarian for as long as I have been salad quickly, quickly loses it’s appeal. It’s winning favor again apparently. My favorite?
Mixed spring greens/spinach
Fresh cut strawberries
Baby portabella mushrooms
Touch of Gorgonzola
Bit of balsamic dressing (I hate salads drenched in dressing. I just want a hint of flavor.)

If I’m feeling adventurous I’ll toss in some dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, or orange bell pepper. I know, I know, getting crazy there =)

But that’s for me. What I have been making for everyone else has been off the charts ridiculous lately.

Last Memorial Day weekend I had a small gathering and made:

Caramelized Dijon & Honey Chicken
Deviled Eggs (my own recipe – absolutely delightful)
Caprese Skewers (Cherry tomatoes, basil, fresh Mozz)
Grilled Cheese Toasties gourmet style (Gruyere/Parmesan/sautéed Onion/Roasted Garlic on slices of French bread)
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

For the wedding I made:
Fig and Walnut Tapenade with Goat cheese - essentially figs soaked and reduced in Port wine added to my favorite kalamata olive tapenade base, with goat cheese spread on French bread topped with a hint of walnut. This is so yummy.
Then yesterday was Doc’s birthday so his girlfriend and I brainstormed a huge birthday dinner to surprise him with. I cooked:
Chicken in a Spicy Sausage Sauce
Spicy Mac-n-Cheese (Baked, yet another gourmet style mac-n-cheese. I can’t do anything “normal”.)
Roasted Parmesan Green Beans
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookies-n-Cream Frosting

I’ve just been cooking like a mad woman. But mad in a good way. I love to feed people. It can be a little stressful doing so much all by myself but I’m a little OCD when it comes to prep work which helps make things run more smoothly. It gives me an immense amount of satisfaction to make food that the people I care for enjoy.
I obsess about finding recipes, but the recipe card/page/whatever is just the idea. I use pre-done recipes as inspiration but 94% of the time I don’t bother sticking to them at all. This is especially true when it comes to meat dishes. I don’t eat meat so I don’t have a knowledge base of experience to pull from. It helps me to have something I can look at to guide my thought process. However I do have an extensive palate when it comes to seasonings and ingredient incorporation so I can always tell when things will work. I look up recipe inspiration, and then alter, cook, and create til my heart’s content.  Food is so fun.
Edible art.
If you’re interested in any of these recipes let me know and I’ll post the source and how I altered them.

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