There isn’t much to report on brunch yesterday. I had some left over butternut squash (they are HUGE), so I decided to try out Vegetarian Times’ Butternut Squash (Potato) Pancakes (I had to veganize these as they called for eggs, but no biggie). But I seem to be having trouble getting potato pancakes right, so no picture this time. Every time I have tried to make potato pancakes, I end up with a fried, blackened mess of a pan and pancakes that fall apart and are not evenly cooked.
Now, as I have stated before I live in a crappy apartment and the burners on the stove are not entirely level, so this may be part of the problem. I also might have had the heat on too high, but needless to say, while they tasted pretty good, they looked nothing like the beauties on the Vegetarian Times’ website. Hopefully I will get them down eventually.
I also experimented with roasting vegetables yesterday. I love roasted veggies, but up until this point have really only been brave enough to roast asparagus or potatoes. It is so easy and roasted veggies rock my world! I prepped a nice mess of veggies (and by prepped I mean washed, removed stems and cut in half), drizzled them all with olive oil, tossed a pinch of salt on, popped them in the oven and let them do their thing – hardly an ounce of effort required on my part, the veggies and the oven do all the work for you. Thanks Vegamonicon!
Thought I'd give you a nice before and after, in case there is anyone out there who isn't roasting their own veggies, this should convince you to do so immedietly.
Before (my pan is very used, can ya tell?)
And after (our apartment smelled so good!)
On to dinner last night. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had found a vegan pizza crust recipe from VeganYumYum, and while that looked good, Bryanna Clark Grogan had what appeared to be a much simpler crust so we went with that.
This was a team effort pizza as Brett actually made the dough, vegan no less! Brett’s interest in cooking extends about as far as things like breads and pasta. He likes making dough. Nonetheless, it was a lot of fun working together in the kitchen (albeit a bit difficult since our kitchen is so small). And trust me, I realize how lucky I am to live with an omni who is not only supportive of my lifestyle and willing to eat my creations, but will also take part in the cooking sometimes and help with the other stuff like the dishes that result.
On a side note, I am lucky on many levels to have found a person like Brett. He never lets a day go by without letting me know that he appreciates me. He helps around the house, he shows interest in my interests, we share the same values and worldview, and he enjoys many of the things that I do. We can (and very often do) talk for hours and hours and have some of the most stimulating conversations that I have ever had. He impresses me with his intelligence, his kindness, his humor, and his heart. He is truly my best friend!
OK, onto something MUCH less sappy, I have to admit, I almost disgusted myself with what I just wrote, but it is the truth. I imagine Brett will probably be more embarrassed by that than me if he reads this though. :-)
Back to the pizza – Brett made the crust, and since it was the first time we had made it, we decided to cut the recipe to only make one crust in case we didn’t like it – we didn’t want to be stuck with a bunch of icky crust. This can be a challenge sometimes as you end up with very odd measurements, and it doesn’t always work out the best. The crust turned out wonderful, it was thin and crispy with excellent flavor. But Brett thought if we followed the full recipe (and he read the whole thing before starting to work with the ingredients :-) - I have that problem too), that the crust would have turned out thicker and chewier like in Bryanna’s pictures.
Regardless, it was good. While Brett was preparing the crust, I made a simple pizza sauce that turned out nice and thick, with a rich tomatoey flavor, but not overpowered with other spices, which is what we look for in a good sauce. I also got out some of the roasted red peppers and shallots I had roasted earlier in the day, as well as sliced and sautéed some button mushrooms, and sliced up some artichokes.
Now, some of you out there might be saying “Well Jennifer, this is great and all, but this sounds awfully similar to the Amy’s pizza you claimed to be getting sick of.” (Though really, probably not.) I know it is very similar, but since this is the first time I made homemade pizza, I wanted to go with a familiar flavor combination. I can now comfortably experiment with sauces and toppings now that Brett and I successfully made our first homemade pizza together.
Basic Pizza Sauce
1 clove garlic, mashed and minced
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 tbs tomato paste
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
dash red pepper, optional
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat until well blended.
I plan on using the rest of the roasted veggies for a nice simple dinner this evening.
I’m off to enjoy a beautiful (though windy) evening in Mid-Missouri with Brett and my lovely kitties Gabby and Nermal. This more than likely entails playing basketball on the Playstation with Brett (which is a bit funny in that I don’t actually like real basketball) - Go Virtual Houston Rockets! Or I might read as John Pilger’s Freedom Next Time and Chris Hedges’ War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning are waiting for me at home – thanks to Brett. But now I have to chose which to start with, which likely means basketball as I’m too damn indecisive!
‘Til next time!