bourgeois gal

the day to day life of me, the bourgeois gal. this blog is a space for me to write about my daily life, including my vegan and vegetarian cooking, baking, and dining experiences, the research I do, the travel I embark upon, and other random things in this little thing we call life.

December 30, 2010

Recipe Thursdays--a New Beginning

Hey there,

I'm thinking Thursdays will be "recipe share day" in the new year. So, I figure why not start the week before, while it's on my mind! I get requests for this particular recipe all.the.time, and I always honor them. This is not a secret recipe, nor is it my own---I got it from my mother, and she got it from someone else. I've made it a million times over, and each time it varies (that is to say, if at first you don't succeed with these, do try again!)!

"Chocolate Drop (a.k.a. "Crack") Cookies"

1 stick of vegan margarine
2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk (I use soy--SILK--but whole milk also works)
1/2 (heaping) cup creamy peanut butter (I really like using natural PB)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2.5-3 cups quick oats (cheaper brands work best in my experience)

In a steel pan (no teflon) melt butter over low heat (be careful to not melt it too fast or over high heat because it will dry out the mixture). When melted add sugar and stir well, then add cocoa and stir well, then add milk and stir well. Turn up heat to "medium" and KEEP stirring---yes, you'll have to stir the whole time. Basically stir until the mixture comes to a full rolling boil, then set timer for 1 minute (stirring still). After 1 minute, remove from heat, stir in vanilla and peanut butter (I recommend a heaping helping of peanut butter because I like the flavor it adds to the cookies, but that's me!). After peanut butter is well-mixed in, add the quick oats 1/2 cup at a time. Don't let it get too thick or dry---look while you're mixing the oats in (the oats tend to dry out the mixture, so I usually only do about 2.5 cups, but the original recipe calls for 3).

Spoon onto wax paper (teaspoon/tablespoon sized) and let cool until hard and ready to serve!


Party Planning Extraordinaire!

If I were planning a party, which I am not, here are a few "vegan" menu items I might include:

  • Fresh fruit & veggie tray
    • I know this one seems simply and perhaps silly, but let's face it: watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, carrots, olives, pickles, celery, and the like are delicious and are always a party hit!
  • Olive tapenade
  • BBQ tofu (maybe on a stick to make it a cleaner finger food)
    • recipe forthcoming
  • Buffalo seitan
    • ok, not finger food but it could be!
    • oh, and I suppose I can post the recipe here soon!
  • Cowboy cookies
    • from my favorite vegan cookie cookbook....I don't know about sharing the recipe--is that illegal?
  • "Crack cookies"
    • not my name, but named by my friends who insist there is crack in them. 
    • They are actually just chocolate drop cookies (or "no bake" cookies), but I make them vegan style!
    • recipe forthcoming
  • Edamame
    • so simple, salty, and tasty!
    • Here's a recipe---add some vegetarian parmesian cheese if that's your style!
  • Fresh spring rolls
    • difficult to make, perfect for the summer time when you can pick fresh mint leaves off the plant, and totally worth it
    • recipe forthcoming, with a spicy thai peanut sauce that is to-die-for!

What "vegetarian" or "vegan" style goodies might you try to have at a party for your guests?

December 28, 2010

Post-Christmas Post

Well hello there,

It's nice to be reconnected. I've had a lovely break--drove to DFW area Texas to see my family and friends, then off to Wichita Kansas to see Dr.Vegan's family and friends, then drove to Kansas City to attend the Chiefs football game (and they won!). We were gone 8 whole days, and it was both lovely and exhausting; we are, needless to say, glad to be home.

Now, I need to get back to writing and blogging!

What did I get for christmas? a couple of books, a necklace, an itunes gift card, a wii fit, a(n ugly) sweater, some socks (I love fancy socks), a beautiful clock, and several other items.  It was a good year!

I should skeee-daddle!! Lots to do!

December 14, 2010

A recipe to try---Winter Greens!

This recipe is from:

Winter Pasta

*substitute whatever pasta you like. 
**spinach can be substituted for the kale. 
***could also be made without the goat cheese, to make it vegan!
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 small shallots, peeled
**1 small bunch of kale - 1/2 lb / 8 oz, stalks removed, washed well
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
***1/3 cup / 2 oz goat cheese, plus more for topping
2 tablespoons + hot pasta water
fine grain sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
fresh lemon juice - optional
*12 oz / 340 g dried penne pasta
fresh thyme - and thyme flowers
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the boiling water generously, and add the garlic and shallots. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stir in the kale and cook for another ten seconds. Don't overcook. Working quickly, use a slotted spoon or strainer to fish the greens, garlic, and shallots from the water.
Use a food processor to puree the ingredients along with the olive oil and goat cheese. Add a couple tablespoons of hot pasta water if needed to thin things out if needed. Then season with a touch of salt and plenty of black pepper. Taste. Depending on your goat cheese, you might need a little extra acidic oomph if your sauce is a bit flat. If so, add fresh lemon juice a bit at a time until you're happy with it the sauce. Set aside.
Reheat the pot of water and boil the pasta per package instructions. Drain and toss immediately with the green sauce. Serve topped with a few pinches of fresh thyme, and more crumbled goat cheese.
Serves 4-6.

December 13, 2010

Some food links--tried and true or informative possibilities!

A few websites for the readers around the world. :)

This website offered me information that both educated and saddened me: the 8 foods I didn't know contain meat:

I love enchiladas--cheesy or not. These are really fantastic and don't require much prep in my opinion. Give them a try--I did, and I loved them!

For your holiday food prep notes...the things to prepare before you cook the T(of)urkey!

I haven't tried this one yet, but one of my colleagues is planning to make it for this year's holiday potluck, and I'm totally looking forward to it:


December 5, 2010

Green, White, and Red Lasagna

*Can be vegetarian or meaty
**Can be gluten free; soysage is not gluten free

This recipe is from one of my friends/co-workers, who is a Pampered Chef consultant. Note that this recipe is not is the property of  (C)The Pampered Chef, Ltd. 2006. It is tasty, tasty, but there is a bit of prep (maybe 30 minutes or so) involved. Additionally note that you can make this without using the Pampered Chef tools noted within the directions---a simply knife and cutting board works as well as the food chopper, for example. :)


Green, White & Red Lasagna
  • 1 1/2  lbs (625 g) bulk hot Italian turkey sausage or sausage links, casings removed *
    • I use “soysage” with a bit of sage seasoning to enhance the taste **
  • 1  medium zucchini
  • 1  medium red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2  cups (375 mL) marinara sauce, divided
  • 6  oz (175 g) cream cheese
    • I use a full 8oz package, and it works just fine
  • 1/2  cup (125 mL) loosely packed fresh basil leaves
    • I love basil, so I use closer to a cup
  • 2  cups (500 mL) shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
    • mozzarella works, too!
  • 2  garlic cloves, pressed
    • I use the bottled stuff (pan-sauteed), and it's delish
  • 1  1-lb (450-g) tube prepared polenta, room temperature
    • you can usually find polenta with your "meat substitutes" at your grocer. It might also be with the "italian" ethnic foods. It does not always have to be, be sure to read the directions
1.  In Classic Batter Bowl, microwave sausage on HIGH 5–6 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles halfway through using Mix 'N Chop. Drain using small Colander and Bowl. Blot sausage well with paper towels; return to batter bowl. Meanwhile, coarsely chop zucchini with Food Chopper. Dice bell pepper using Santoku Knife. Add zucchini, bell pepper and 1 cup (250 mL) of the marinara sauce to sausage; mix well.

2.  In Small Batter Bowl, microwave cream cheese on HIGH 1–2 minutes or until soft. Coarsely chop basil. Add basil, 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) of the cheese blend and garlic pressed with Garlic Press to cream cheese; mix well. Slice polenta crosswise into four even pieces. Slice pieces with Egg Slicer Plus(R) to create rounds.

3.  Pour remaining sauce over bottom of Deep Covered Baker; arrange polenta rounds over sauce (do not overlap). Scoop one-third of the cream cheese mixture over polenta; spread evenly with Small Spreader. Top with one-third of the sausage mixture. Repeat layers two times.

4.  Microwave, covered, on HIGH 14–16 minutes or until center is hot. Carefully remove baker from microwave using Oven Mitts. Sprinkle with remaining cheese blend; cover and let stand 10 minutes.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 370, Total Fat 24 g, Saturated Fat 9 g, Cholesterol 85 mg, Carbohydrate 17 g, Protein 22 g, Sodium 1120 mg, Fiber 2 g
PC Tip: To prepare in oven, preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Cook sausage in (12-in./30-cm) Skillet 4–5 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles. Drain; blot excess moisture and place into Classic Batter Bowl. Proceed as directed through Step 3. Bake, covered, 40–45 minutes or until center is hot.

Recipe compliments of: (C)The Pampered Chef, Ltd. 2006

December 2, 2010

Picture Taking...

Hey folks,

I've been taking pictures this week in the Kleinau Theatre, my academic departments experimental theatre space, where students and faculty perform their art. I thought I'd share some of my favorites from the shows--this was a double-bill weekend.

From the Current Season linked website
December 2-4th, 2010 Double Bill!
Meat My Package Written and Directed by Anna WilcoxenThis solo performance turns the dominant paradigm on its end and soaks the audience with a reality check. Through themes of queer female sexuality, this show will douse your senses. Bring your umbrella, because it's about to get WET. (WARNING: Mature themes.) 

Cutting the Fat
Written and Directed by Brian Healy
Cutting the Fat is a one-person auto-performance dealing with issues of size and identity as read in and against media representations of large men. The performer investigates the relationships between his large body and the societal norms that continue to discipline large bodies. Through this performance, he asks the audience to begin answering the question, how do I fit in?”

Hope you enjoyed the show!


December 1, 2010

Holiday Roast

Last year at christmas, my partner and I found a delicious, local brand of holiday roast (to replace the "turkey" portion of the holiday meal). This year, we went in search of the same product for Thanksgiving, and luckily we found it!

The website for this product is:

Today, though, my partner sent me a new blog to follow, and I've been perusing it this evening, and she (he?) made the holiday roast from scratch. This recipe also looks so very easy that I think this christmas (if we have an opportunity to cook (we're traveling) or next year (if we don't) I'll make it instead!


Be well...