Dude, I did it again. I almost went an entire month without posting. I have no excuse, really, except that it's too hot to put the laptop on my lap in my living room. Well, I guess I'm just gonna have another long-ass post.
Cooking this summer has involved a lot more of trying to use up what I've got on hand than it did during summers without a CSA. I also have a tomato and a basil plant for the first time in my life. It's crazy. You open my fridge and there's a damn cornucopia in there -- not to mention bright red home-brewed pomegranate iced tea. Actually, right after my last shopping trip, I took a picture of SOME of my veggies (and fruits).
So, remember I made that BBQ sauce for the BBQ seitan Cheater Mac? Well, I still had a bunch leftover, and, of course, tons of zucchini. So I grilled some pressed tofu and sliced zucchini and served it over rice. I also had a CSA tomato that was starting to get past its due, so I made what I call "Lazy Bruschetta." There's no proper recipe for this simple thing. Toast some bread, wipe a clove of garlic over the top of it, chop up a tomato pretty lazily and put it on top. Spray or drizzle a bit of olive oil, some salt, some pepper, grab a basil leaf from the porch and chop it and put it on top -- viola! Lazy, lazy. But delicious.
I was craving scrambled tofu so I bought some mushrooms, because I really enjoy mushrooms in it. Also included: onions and peppers. Ate it for breakfast along with -- guess what? Zucchini! Yep. I just had them fried and reheated them in the microwave or ate 'em cold.
So, then, I had mushrooms leftover. Not that I ever allow any part of a mushroom go to waste -- I save every stem, every unused bit in my freezer to make mushroom stock later. But still, I had some leftover mushrooms, and the summer had decided to not be too hot a few weekends ago, so I thought I'd make pizza. I made, almost exactly, Isa Pizza from Vegan with a Vengeance. The only thing I didn't make was sauce because I had a jar of sauce I wanted to use. And also, I had mushrooms and CSA tomatoes, so I put them on top. But the crust, the pesto, the tofu ricotta -- all from the book.
Not sure if you guys have heard, but did you know that she who dies with the most extracts wins? That's why I decided to purchase a variety of extracts off Amazon.com. I was already a woman whose pantry you would look into and be like, "Wow, you have a lot of extracts." But now I think I win!
Now, when I say that I love me some cherry, I mean ALL cherry. I love bing cherries, I love cherries on the bottom of my soy yogurt, I love maraschino cherries even though for some reason people say that they're basically poison (don't know why). So I was super-excited to get cherry extract so I could make vanilla bean cherry ice cream with both real cherries and extract. I used a tablespoon for two batches of the Veganomicon-style ice cream (I always make two batches because what is the point of using half a box of silken tofu?), and it was a bit much. The extract is really expensive, and the bottles very tiny, and I'd say that 1/2 a tablespoon in two batches would do the trick next time. However, I am really not complaining. It is sooooo good! It tastes like what, in Philly, they call a "gelato" -- where you put cherry water ice in with vanilla ice cream and it's so good that you freak out. Except the two flavors are already mixed. And vegan. I toasted some coconut to sprinkle on top along with chocolate chips (chocolate cherry, OMG). And, I'm not gonna lie, I used some food coloring in the ice cream.
Unfortunately, you can't really see the chunks of cherry in there. So good. I'm gonna go eat some in a minute, but first I want to just put a question out there. So Rita's, and Petrucci's, and all other water ice places, they all make (or, umm, get shipped) cherry water ice. And it's not overly expensive, either. And the flavoring is exactly like this extract. So, what I want to know is, what are they using? Is it an extract liquid? Where can I get some? This stuff is too expensive!