New apartment, new roommates, new recipes, same love of baking. Last night my roommates and I christened our apartment with baked goods. We have a plethora of baking goods, seriously it’s almost ridiculous. Literally four bags of different kinds of flour, this does not include the oat bran, rice four and barley flour too. Since it was such a joyous occasion we definitely wanted to do cupcakes. Due to the hot weather we wanted to keep them light, but still fun and delicious. I guess we were secretly craving breakfast because we decided to make Strawberry Maple Pancake Cupcakes. We modified a cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Takeover The World, we added maple syrup, a little nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice to the batter. When the batter was poured in the tins I swirled in a little more maple syrup to make a crunchy sweet top.
Not only was I successful this week in actually cooking an entire meal by myself, but I even managed to astound two devoted meat eaters (and by that I mean that they do not eat tofu, seitan, tempeh, or many vegetables) with my tofu veggies couscous. They ate their veggies, and asked for seconds! Stove tops, seasonings, and the burning points of oils usually escape me. I am baker. I use a formula or come up with my own formula that has rules and results that I understand. Cooking on the other hand is far too much guesswork for me, and by that I mean that I am totally not creative enough for all that. On Sunday evening I was at my dear friends T’s house, my usual haunt. We had just walked home from an afternoon spent playing exhausting games of volleyball at the local gay bar, which is how every post brunch sunday should be spent, and we needed food. Stat. Though I often treat the residents of T’s house with some of my baked specialties (stolen-banana Banana Bread, Five-finger discount Apple Crsip, and Sinfully Swirl Cupcakes) I wanted to feed these friends who oblige to have me over every night and never hesitate to share the Three Buck Chuck, so I vowed to cook dinner. T had prepressed and drained tofu in the fridge, baby ‘bellas and canned tomatoes. (we desperately need to make a TJ’s trip). I proved to be both innovative and resourceful. I squeezed the juice from the can of tomtoes and used that to cook couscous. I marinated the tofu in the leftover juice with some tarragon and, of course, cayenne pepper. I panfried the tofu with absolutely delicious sesame oil, and stirred in mushrooms, onions and garlic. When the couscous was light and fluffy and folded in tomatoes and more tarragon ( T’s garden is plentiful with tarragon).
Last night I made my slowly becoming Infamous Eggplant Stacks for my mother’s birthday dinner. It wasn’t my best eggplant stack. I made the sauce from freshly picked tomatoes I bought at the farmer’s market and it was delicious but I quickly ran out. It boiled down so much that I should have used the rest of the tomatoes. That’s one of my biggest problems as a cook, sometimes I overestimate how much food will be made. I’d rather have the opposite problem.