Monday, November 1, 2010

Hardcore Halloween and a Recipe Debut

To say that this was a busy Halloween weekend would be an understatement.  I dressed up on four nights, each time in a different costume. The first one was a southern barmaid, second was a 60's style future-woman a la The Jetsons or Star Trek, third was a cat burglar (I had bags with dollar signs on them & everything), and on the fourth night, exhausted, I just wore a blond wig.  When people asked what I was, I'd say, "Ummm... I'm wearing a blond wig" because I didn't want to say I was "a blond" because I thought people would want me to act stupid for that and *I* think it's stupid to say blonds are stupid, so...

Hey, want to see some non-food related pictures?  No?  Too bad!

Cowgirl/southern barmaid?  Unfortunately, you can't see the flippin' AWESOME dress I'm rocking.
A guy put his wig on top of my wig.  Unfortunately, you can't see the bright green stockings and white moon-boots I'm rocking.
 There are no pictures from the cat burglar night!  It was a super-dark night, all outside by a fire.  But I (ahem) used the same exact costume a few years ago (you can tell this was a while back from my short-ass hair).  So here I am a few years ago, picking a model's nose.

I pose with a cop, some french fries, and Princess Peach.
Ok, that was a lengthy way to get to the point.  Usually, I bake for every party, but there were just too many parties and not enough time!  But I baked for the last one, which was actually on Halloween last night.  I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and, to be extra fancy, put them in Halloween cupcake liners, causing them to have an extra bash of Halloweeny goodness!  I feel like engaging in a little overkill, so here are no fewer than three pictures of them.
A thing of beauty.

My friend Jake looks thrilled to eat one.  Of course, I put a picture of one of maybe five people at the party not in costume.

Elegant li'l guys, aren't they?

Some people spend their Friday nights living it up.  I spend mine cooking.  Well, ok, later on Friday night, I did go to a party, but earlier, I cooked one of only things that I can pretty much call my own.  Usually, I cook from books, but here's a debut for you: my first recipe posted.  It's super-simple and nothing very creative, really.  There are probably many similar recipes.  It's a Moroccan-style stew, which I serve over couscous.  It looks a little something like this:
Well, ok, it looks EXACTLY like this.
Here goes nothin'.

Moroccan-style Stew
--olive oil
--1 onion, chopped
--2 cloves garlic, chopped
--1 bell pepper, whatever kind you like (I used red picked from my friends' garden), cut in strips
--2-3 zucchini, cut in strips
--about a head of cabbage or less, chopped
--14 oz can of chickpeas, drained
--28 oz can of diced tomatoes
--1/2 cup of raisins 
--at least 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
--at least a teaspoon of salt
--pepper, to taste

Cook up that garlic and onion in a great big pan with the olive oil.  After about three minutes, add the bell pepper and zucchini and cook a little longer.  Add in the cabbage and cook it for a while.  I wish I could tell you how long, but just use your instinct, keeping in mind that you'll be cooking it more later.  Add the chickpeas, diced tomatoes, raisins, and cinnamon.  Put at least 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, but I totally support you putting more.  I always put more.  Also, put the salt in.  Cover it and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve over couscous.

By the way, I have some advice about couscous.  When you cook it, of course you should put some olive oil and salt in the water, but after it is done cooking, put more olive oil in each serving and add salt and fresh-ground pepper into it and mix it up.  That makes it super-tasty.  You don't need those stupid things in boxes with spices in it -- all you need it olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I promise!

So, tell me the truth, readers?  Did I do alright on my first recipe?

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