I know this blog needs a real "about me" section, but in the meantime I'm just going to post this random MoFo survey that's been making the rounds...
1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Definitely TJ's unsweetened organic soymilk. Not only is it delicious and coffee-friendly, its only ingredients are water and organic soybeans. As if this weren't enough to recommend it, it's also pretty much the cheapest non-dairy milk out there.
2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Chocolate rum cake, deep-fried dolmades, tempeh chorizo. Wow, those sound really awful together.
3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Either a) za'atar, salt, and olive oil or b) cayenne, oregano, nootch, and salt (pizza popcorn!). (More about popcorn toppings)
4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Papadums from scratch. Nearly unrecognizable.
5. Favorite pickled item?
I'm not a big pickle person (anything briny used to repel me), but Jon's sells some lovely tiny pickled patty pan squashes from Poland.
6. How do you organize your recipes?
My computer desktop is a huge pile of word documents of recipes pulled from the blogosphere. One I make something, it goes into a folder, but the most useful recipe collection I have is this blog itself, especially when I'm away from home and want to look at a recipe I've made before.
7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
This is not an interesting question.
8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?
Almonds, kale, dark chocolate.
9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
My brother and I always requested this one cake for our birthdays: it was a boxed white cake mix with creme de menthe added, topped with chocolate fudge from a can, topped with cool whip that had been mixed with more creme de menthe. I would love to make a vegan version from scratch, but the cool whip part's a bit daunting.
10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
In stores: the only vegan ice cream that's worth the money and the calories is Coconut Bliss; commercial soy and rice ice creams are too processed, and they just taste weird (and give you gas), but Coconut Bliss is the richest, most natural-tasting ice cream, nondairy or otherwise.
In Los Angeles: Scoops. Duh.
11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Uhhh toaster oven? Cast-iron frying pan? I'm not really much of a gadget person.
12. Spice/herb you would die without?
Besides salt and tamari, I probably use cumin more than anything, though I'd probably be lost without cayenne and lemon juice as well. As I've noted before, so much of my culinary formation was in the realm of quasi-Indian-hippie-veg-food, that the spices, flavors, techniques, etc. of more geographically distant parts of the world are actually more familiar and useful to me than traditional "Western" ones. That said, I love love love all things sage and oregano, too.
13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
I didn't need to own cookbooks in college because our co-op house had an unwieldily large collection; however, my senior year my brother gave me 3 Bowls: Vegetarian Recipes from an American Zen Buddhist Monastery. With its macro-yet-comfort-food aesthetic, this book played a large role in developing my own tastes and cooking practices (so did cooking with housemates Arhia and Maddy). The recipes in this book are all vegan or nearly so, so it's strange that I don't hear more about it in the vegan blog world. You should check it out!
14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
Tempeh by a landslide. Although I appreciate that seitan is a minimally-processed, soy-free protein source, I just can't get down with its plasticky-yet-freakishly-meatlike texture. To be sure, though, tofu is amazing in its versatility, but tempeh has several legs up: its naturally more interesting mushroomy taste, its better digestibility, and its texture/fiber content. Moreover, with all the concerns about eating too much soy (some more credible than others), cultured soyfoods like tempeh supposedly evade most of those "concerns."
17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
All of them. I love getting up early and baking, but I also like cooking a big dinner while drinking a beer as the sun sets in my apartment:
18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Blender, coffee grinder, oatmeal, freaky kitten lunchbox, baking sheets, muffin tins. It's not like we have earthquakes here in LA or anything...
19. Name 5 items in your freezer without looking.
Tomato paste, vodka, bread, pesto, mushroom-cashew pies.
20. What’s on your grocery list?
21. Favorite grocery store?
Jon's (duh), followed by Trader Joe's and the Hollywood Farmers Market.
22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.
I feel like you can veganize pretty much anything (and without resorting to weird processed substitute foods), but shakshuka has me scratching my head.
23. Food blog you read the most. Or maybe the top 3?
I read so many, but it seems that I end up actually cooking things from 101cookbooks the most. Oh and the baking recipes from Vegan Thyme. And veganbaking.net. And... and...
24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Good dark chocolate.
25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
I recently bought overpriced agar and kombu at WholeFoods... I definitely need to find another place on the Eastside to buy these things. All the Japanese groceries I know of are way west on Sepulveda or are downtown.