The Pink Ticket

A playground of many muses.

The Pink Ticket - A playground of many muses.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 16, Random Miscellany

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There is no other car in the parking lot; just the bench with a thrift store tea cup and container of hippie dish soap. If you listen, you hear the soft summer chirp of the squirrels rummaging in the forest bed and a tractor at the nearby farm as it grinds away the earth for bounty.

Less concern about who would leave these items but rather I wonder who is coming for the cup, and more so the dish soap. There is no running water in this park outside the creek deep back on the trail.

If I had a towel, I would leave it–the pair seems lacking.

 

Project 52: The Recipes Week 16: Almond Joy Overnight Oats

Almond Joy Style Overnight Oatmeal

Almond Joy Style Overnight Oatmeal

Overnight oats are simply one of my favorite things to have for breakfast. They require little to no morning effort, which is probably why I like them so much.  I can throw it together while I’m warming up dinner and just grab and go in the morning.  Admittedly, this week’s recipe has a few morning steps, but they are worth the few moments of extra effort.

 

 

 

Almond Joy Overnight Oats
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup unsweetened non dairy milk (almond is preferable)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
3 Tablespoons plus 1 Tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
1 Tablespoon chocolate chips
1 ounce raw almonds, roughly chopped

  • In a bowl, or jar, with a lid, add the oats, milk, vanilla, sugar, and 3 tablespoons of coconut.  Stir and place lid on securely.  Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • In the morning, remove oats from fridge and give another quick stir.
  • Toast 1 Tablespoon of coconut until brown.  This takes less than a minute.
  • Sprinkle on the chopped almonds, chocolate chips, and toasted coconut.

Serves one.  Enjoy!

Project 52: The Creatives Week 15; Condo Community

There is a quiet feeling in the parking lot as the car shifts into its resting gear and the engine hums to still. Despite the comings and goings, everyone moves in silence. They feel the eyes on them. Few windows are absent a carpet lined throne. Watching, twenty sets of eyes from 20 different angles; harboring a unique blend of suspicion, curiosity, and indifference at once.

All of them, at once, as if by committee decided to keep simultaneous watch though if not for walls and windows there’d be growling and hissing, fights for dominance. There would be hiding in the shadows, the sense of communal guard gone. But for an April Tuesday, with the people returning, the feline liturgy continues.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 15: Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl

sweet potato breakfast bowl

This was supposed to be a video.

After much ado, I had hoped to film this recipe demo as the first for my new food site, The Sarcastic Kitchen (where, *hint* these recipes will live there soon). Instead, I deleted it accidentally so the video I’ll feature later will be about smoothies, and you will just get photography here (which as it turns out, I’m really much better at).

Without further ado, and because my hands are tired from working in the garden and cooking all day… I give you the recipe for week 15.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl
5 cups chopped sweet potato (about 5 medium)
5 cups cooked quinoa (1 2/3 dry)
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (or any other berry)
10-12 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons sunflower seed butter (almond, peanut, or most any other nut butter will also work)

  • Bring 1 cup of water and dates to a boil. Let sit to cool.
  • While the quinoa is cooking (note, 1 2/3 cups of quinoa requires 3 1/3 cups of water for cooking); bring another large pot of water to a boil.
  • Chop sweet potato into bit sized pieces (about 1/2 cubes).
  • Add sweet potato to the bowling water.
  • In a blender add both the water and dates once cooled.  Add cinnamon and sunflower seed butter. Blend until smooth.
  • Add 1 cup of cooked quinoa, 1 cup of cooked sweet potato, 1/2 cup berries and a healthy drizzle of the sunflower seed puree to your bowl and enjoy warm.
  • Serves 5.

This can also be made up in advance for quick morning breakfasts.  Just add a little water or nondairy milk to the bowl (or pan) before rewarming.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 14, Years Ago

from day206

Three years ago the rain did not fall
there were dandelions in bloom.
Remember when we danced?
Ghosts and foreshadows of today
swayed against the sunshine.
Somewhere I heard you laugh
I held it close to me, and smiled
that tears came at dusty memories.
Waiting on the ides of May
when yellow turns toward wishes
woven through tarnished blonde strands.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 14: Rosemary Lemon Cupcakes

Vegan Rosemary Lemon Cupcakes

Rosemary Lemon Cupcakes

I joked this last week with my friends on Facebook after a 100 memes flooded my timeline that I was making gay cupcakes in protest of the Indiana law that had been passed, and then they went and “fixed” things before I had the chance to finalize the recipe.  The joking aside, when Michigan finally recognizes my brother’s marriage, I will be totally making the trek and these cupcakes in celebration. They are sweet, tart, and just a touch of unexpected savory… and I mean the cupcakes. And with 170 calories, less than 1 gram of fat, and 3 grams of protein and fiber per glazed cupcake–you don’t have to feel too guilty about the indulgence.  Enjoy!

Rosemary Lemon Cupcakes

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 – 6 ounce container plain soy yogurt
3/4 cup nondairy milk
2 teaspoons rosemary (I used dried, fresh would be great, too)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest and juice of two lemons*
Fresh or thawed from frozen raspberries for garnish (optional)

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
Zest and juice of one lemon*

*about 1 teaspoon of zest per lemon and about 3 Tablespoons of juice. I used Meyer lemons but any lemons will work.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line cupcake tin with papers and lightly spray with nonstick spray.
  • In a mixing bowl add juice, rosemary, zest, sugar, yogurt, vanilla, and nondairy milk and mix well.
  • Sift together the flour, baking sod, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the dry to the wet slowly and stir until incorporated and most lumps are gone.
  • Pour batter into prepared tins, filling each cup about a quarter inch from the top.
  • Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean.
  • Transfer immediately to wire cooling rack.
  • To prepare the glaze, mix together the powdered sugar, zest, and lemon. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Once cupcakes are completely cooled, dip tops into the glaze and allow excess to drip off for few seconds. Transfer to plate and garnish, if desired, before serving.

Enjoy! Makes 12 cupcakes.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 13; Wild Rice Carrot Muffins

Wild Rice Carrot Muffins

Wild Rice Carrot Muffins

For some reason, I really wanted to call this “Wild Bill’s Rice and Carrot Muffins” but I don’t know who “Bill” is and so gave it a boring name. I’m sure the inclination is directly related to a recent trip to Texas for the first time. The idea came to me for this muffin while menu planning for an upcoming week, and realizing I had bits and pieces of things left over in the fridge. No worries if you don’t have the specific left overs, I’ll provide alternatives.

These muffins are dense and moist. They are subtly sweet. I haven’t tried nixing the oil and think no oil at all would render these a little too chewy.  This version cut it back to a third of what I initially started from.

Wild Rice Carrot Muffins

1 cup cooked wild rice (any rice will work but wild rice is best)
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup oat flour*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup pitted dates (about 10-11) + scant 1/2 cup water
1/3 cup applesauce**
1/3 cup avo-cashew cream***
2 Tablespoon flax seed meal
4 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1/2 cup raw walnuts (optional)

*You can make your own by whizzing oats in a blender or food processor.
**I make my own but if you want to buy, look for one with no added sweeteners.
***This was left over from my fajitas and I wanted to test leftovers out of the freezer (which works well, by the way). You can sub out 1/3 cup plain non dairy yogurt, 1/3 cup silken tofu, or just plain cashew cream.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a muffin pan by lining with papers, or using a nonstick spray.
  • In a small sauce pan add the dates and scant 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil and then remove from stove. Allow to sit until cooled. Alternately you can soak them overnight.
  • To a high speed blender or food processor add the dates (including the water), applesauce, flax seed meal and water, coconut oil, cashew cream, cinnamon, and ginger. Blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides as you need to because dates can be bouncy.
  • In a mixing bowl add shredded carrots, vanilla, and the blended mixture and stir until incorporated.
  • Add oat and pastry flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until just combined.
  • If using, fold in walnuts.
  • Scoop mixture (it will be thick and tasty) into the prepared muffin tin, filling the cups until almost full. These will not rise much at all.
  • Bake in oven for 12-14 minutes until tops are golden and firm to the touch.
  • Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Makes 12-13 standard muffins.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 12, Gnomalypse

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Gnomes. They lurk; waiting their days of domination. They seem strangely independent. But they are well organized. Back in the day, before they got an image consultant, they were grizzly-scary looking blips in a garden…scurrying squirrels.

Then, the subtle shift: tours of their homes, make-overs. Suddenly showing up in elfin GQ-style; as if the burglarizing Christmas fat man were a trustworthy image on which to emulate.  Smiling in their fresh, slick lacquer; shining nefarious–biding their time. Just waiting. Watching.

 

Project 52: The Recipes Week 12, Mushroom Fajita Bowl w/ Avo-Cashew Cream

Mushroom Fajita Bowl

Mushroom Fajita Bowl

The weather has been such that I’m still in a bowl of warm, steamy goodness mode, but really ready for the bounty of spring.  For me, fajitas are a summer fare, to be enjoyed with a frothy margarita while watching the sunset. Dreaming aside, I decided to turn a fajita into a bowl… just like Chipotle does, only much, much better.

MMM mushrooms

Yummm mushrooms

Fajitas are pretty straight forward.  A lot of peppers and onions, and for this veggie fare, a lot of lightly marinaded mushrooms.  What really sets this one apart is the avo-cashew cream.  I nearly cried it was so good… and went back for a second scoop, wondering how it would be on toast, or a veggie wrap, or hiding in the corner with a spoon. The good news is the recipe below makes quite a bit of extra on the avo-cashew cream, so such indulgences can happen.

Mushroom Fajita Bowl with Avo-Cashew Cream
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 medium portabello mushrooms
4 medium cremini mushrooms
8 ounces slices white mushrooms
1 each red, orange, green pepper thinly sliced
1 small sweet onion thinly sliced

For the mushroom marinade:
1 lime, zest and juice
1 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Avo-Cashew Cream:
1 cup raw cashews
1 ripe avocado
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
Pinch sea salt
4-6 Tablespoons water

For the bowl assembly:
Salsa
Chopped cilantro
Avocado slices

  • Soak cashews for 2 hours to overnight.
  • Prepare the marinade by whisking all ingredients together.
  • Clean and slice mushrooms.
  • Gently toss mushrooms in the marinade and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, tossing every 10-15 minutes.
  • Prepare Avo-Cashew cream by draining the cashews very well and adding all ingredients except the water to a food processor or high speed blender.
  • Start with adding 3 tablespoons of water to the blender or processor, and adding more as needed. Remember to stop and scrape down the sides as needed. You want the mixture to be smooth, creamy, and slightly thick.
  • Heat a large wok or grill pan.
  • Add mushrooms and marinade to the pan and allow to sear.
  • Gently flip mushrooms and add peppers and onions.
  • As needed, add a little water or vegetable broth to the pan to prevent sticking.
  • Cook 5-7 minutes until peppers are softened and onions begin to turn translucent.
  • Prepare your bowls by first adding the cooked rice.
  • Top with mushrooms, peppers, and onions.
  • Add avo-cashew cream, salsa, and more avocado slices. if desired.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Serves 2-4

Tips:

  • Make the avo-cashew cream ahead. It stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Pre-chopping all the veggies saves time and allows you to cook in smaller batches through the week.
  • Make the marinade ahead and keep in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Batch cook rice! Cooked rice will keep well in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze individual servings for a quick thaw and reheat during the week.