Friday, August 3, 2012

Ladies and Gents, I'm comin' back!

Whoa, cool! This is from my InstaGram! 
As you may have noticed, my blog has been... on hiatus for about a year. You've most likely suffered a handful of sleepless, teary nights, wondering, "Will she ever post again!?" 

Folks, the answer is yes! Sorry for giving you acute anxiety! Sweet & Sourire is about to make a comeback that's bigger than Britney's, better than Mariah's, and cooler than Janet's. And I won't even have to be a judge on The Voice. You didn't think it was possible... It is. 

So, go ahead and cancel your next therapy appointment. 'Cause before you know it, I'll be posting all sorts of mouth watering vegan treats and goodies. 

I should have mentioned that in the meantime, you can go ahead and check out my InstaGram. Like a few pics, make a few comments, be all hipster and shit. It's taryn_eleanor. And it's kind of a big deal.

OH, and... We're getting a makeover! Not me personally, I'm cool with looking like a weird combination of farmer and diva. But Sweet & Sourire may look a little different when we return, and we may even have a new name (shock!). Don't be nervous! Change is good. Change is good. 

Now you're all excited! I can tell. 

Check back regularly because I like getting page views. Wait, no, because something may be new. I'll just be over here in construction land. WIth my construction hat... and boots. And hammer. 

Wish me luck! 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Stuff it.

You know that feeling when you do something bad, but no one really knows you did something bad? That uneasy feeling that tucks itself down in your gut-- almost ignorable, but ultimately undeniable? The pivotal moment when the mounting guilt of your flub makes you wanna pop like a pregnant woman at yoga?

Okay, okay. Maybe I don't feel that bad. But I do feel a little guilty. Sigh...

This recipe was supposed to go up on Father's Day. Yeah, may-jah fail.

A hundred bucks says you're rolling your eyes at my anti-climatic confession. However, in my vain effort to be consistent, reliable, punctual and legit, I've thrown my little blog to the wayside.

The upside is that being late to the party makes this recipe is no less delicious, just slightly less... festive.

Hopefully, after you (and your dad) make this, you will forgive me for taking so darn long to get it to you. And Dad will absolve you of any faults of Father's Day past. Because although the Scooby-Doo tie you gave him in the fifth grade was funny at the time, he's been waiting for a redeeming gift to wipe your slate clean.
Before baking...

Dad-approved Stuffed Peppers
Makes approximately 2 cups of filling, enough for 6-8 portions

[1] Large bell pepper per serving

[1] package Quinoa & Whole Grain Brown Rice mix (I used Seeds of Change organic brand)
[1/2] cup chopped onion
[1] medium zucchini, quartered and chopped
[2] tsp salt

[3/4] cup textured vegetable protein
[1] tsp olive oil
[2] tbsp teriyaki
[1] tsp dried basil
[1] cup vegetable stock
[1] tsp chili spice
[1] tsp cumin
[4] oz Sam Adam's Summer Ale
[2] ears corn, cut off the cob
[1/4] cup shredded veg. cheese

Preheat oven to 350ºF. 

Over medium heat, sauté olive oil, chopped onion, zucchini, 1 teaspoon of salt and cracked pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender and lightly browned. Set aside. 

In the same skillet, add textured vegetable protein, stock and spices. Allow the TVP to completely absorb the liquid, cooking for about 10 minutes on medium/low heat. 

Once the pan starts to brown, deglaze with beer and stir up any brown bits that formed on the bottom of the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes until the beer has absorbed. 

Make quinoa/rice blend according to package instructions. (Mine only took 90 seconds!) Then add rice, corn, cheese and TVP to the cooked vegetables and stir to combine. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed.

In a small dish, combine ingredients for the topping.

Cut the tops off each pepper, then fill with about 1/4 cup of filling. Top with about 1 tablespoon of the Panko topping and drizzle each pepper with a splash of extra virgin olive oil.

Bake for 20 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

What can I say? Dad loved this one! The subtle flavor of the beer and the spices, plus the downright heartiness of the filling make it a winner for hungryman and vegan appetites alike. It's a healthy meal, and Dad won't look like a sissy enjoying it (heck, he might not even know it's meatless).

A few words of advice: the beer is key in this recipe. Got it? Hm, I'll repeat that for the skeptics. Do -- not -- omit -- beer. And while you're at it, use something with a little character. This should be a no-brainer, we're cookin' for Dad, after all! 

Moreover, the TVP (evidently we're on a nickname basis) doesn't have much flavor to it, which means you have free reign to heavily season. It also has a really similar texture to ground meat, but if you're not ready to take the crunchy plunge, another protein would work fine. Just don't tell PETA that I said that-- I'd like to continue my membership. 

(P.S. Look out for my Fourth of July recipes sometime in August... No, but really.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We're in a little bit of a pickle, Dick.

What's my pickle? Chanticleer forgot to wake up the darn sun, and that's spelling bad news for my activity level.

Needless to say, I'm bored. 

And with summer playing a hilarious game of hide-and-go-seek, my vitals..are...droppingggg...... 

Lucky for this blog, that means I've been cooking non-stop. Oh, which also means eating non-stop. Isn't that what we do when we're bored? Could someone please remind me that, no, that's not what we do?

Not a moment too soon, I snapped out of it and realized that it was time to whip my booty into shape-- the treadmill had to become my new best friend. Scratch that, the treadmill will never be my best friend. Let's say, newest frenemy. It's a complicated love-hate thing, you wouldn't understand.

But, then again, you probably would.

Completely unrepresentative of the week I had (err, ate), I'm posting one of the recipes that did not involve cheese or sugar. Scratch that, there was sugar. But I swear that it's all worth it in the name of a pickle. A homemade pickle. Your homemade pickle.

Homemade Pickles
Lightly adapted from Lottie+Doof
Makes 1 jar

[2] mason jars

[4] baby cukes
[1] tbsp Kosher salt
[1] tbsp raw sugar
[3/4] cup distilled white vinegar
[1] tsp ground coriander
[1] tsp mustard seed
[3-4] garlic cloves, halved
[1/2] cup fresh dill

Thinly slice the baby cukes into rounds. (You could also make a batch of spears!) Pack them into one mason jar.

In the other mason jar, combine salt, sugar, spices, garlic and vinegar. Cover tightly, then shake until the salt and sugar have dissolved.

Pour over the cucumber slices.

Lastly, jam the dill sprigs in between the cukes. If there's room a the top, fill with water until the soon-to-be pickles are completely submerged. Cover and shake again so that the dill, garlic, and spices are completely dispersed.

Refrigerate overnight.

I got a pickle, I got a pickle. I got a pickle, hey, hey, hey, HEY!

The mustard seeds gave some serious spice to these sour little guys! I, personally, am a pickle fanatic [insert joke here]. I loved making my own, and I'm pretty excited that I finally know how! Usually, making your own pickles requires cooking and heating and technical know-how that I have the slightest desire to explore.

So, I'm sending my sincerest thanks to Lottie + Doof for making this easy on us. Your name is silly, but your pickles mean bu'ness.

I'm also going to give a quick shout out to my iPhone 4, who was responsible for taking all of these photos after my Fugi ran out of batteries. That was strike three, Fugi. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Now that is just nuts.

What is it about peanut butter and jelly that makes our hearts melt? Is it the nostalgia of a childhood favorite or that perfectly unctuous balance of salty to sweet?

In lieu of beating around the mulberry bush, I think I'll just come right out and say it:

My name is Taryn, and I am hopelessly addicted to PB&J. Emphasis on the PB.

Whether that better half is crunchy, creamy, chocolate-swirled or even speckled with raisins, I simply cannot satiate the craving.

I suppose there are worse things that I could be addicted to. Like, say, crack.

And albeit harmless (nutterbutter, not crack), this obsession harbors its fair share of consequences.

Namely, that three-letter word that'll send girls around the world running for the hills. I mean, literally, running. And no, it's not m-e-n.

I'm talkin' about f-a-t. Ugh. The horrah.

Whoever deemed that a serving size of anything must be limited to two measly tablespoons should be condemned. But the jokester who said that those tablespoons will have 16 grams of fat? Yeah, they should've been chased out of the village like Shrek.

As with any form of substance abuse, I'm advised to consume in "moderation." Don't you hate that word? Especially when used by stick thin celebs who claim to be downing ice cream and burgers in "moderation." Ya ain't foolin' anyone, LeAnn Rimes.

Frankly, when it comes to peanut butter, moderation can kiss my caboose.

However, in the rare occasion that I'm not standing over the counter alternating between spoonfuls of strawberry jam and peanut butter straight out of the jar, I can be found exercising a little self-restraint with a bowl of these satisfying oats.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Overnight Oats
Makes 2 Servings

[1/2] cup regular oats
[1] medium banana, mashed
[2] tbsp chia seeds
[1/2] tsp vanilla extract
[1/2] cup water
[1/2] cup almond milk
pinch of salt

Top each serving with:
[2] fresh strawberries, sliced
[1] tsp strawberry jam
[1] tbsp peanut butter

Thoroughly combine oats, mashed banana, chia seeds, vanilla and pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Add water and almond milk, and stir well, eliminating any clumps. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, top it off with chopped strawberries, a dollop of your favorite jam, and a tablespoon... screw it... an ice cream scoop of the good stuff. *I melted my peanut butter first for maximum spreadability.

Delight in this little pot of comfort, but no pointing fingers if the sweet memory of Mom's PB&J sandwich musters an unexplainable compulsion to don your old Power Ranger tee shirt... That one is all you.