The Pink Ticket

A playground of many muses.

The Pink Ticket - A playground of many muses.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 27, coffee in brooklyn

in brooklyn

At first, I couldn’t remember having been to that neighborhood; but the pieces of a memory–one after another sprinkled the day as coffee was sipped, squirrels flew, and Brooklyn rocked. The Slavic accents echoing off crimson colored doors–a welcoming warning.

It could have been any place. Anywhere, really. A cup of bad coffee always lends itself to hearing your smile, “But, oh, it’s still coffee.”

It could have been the N train, and a large coffee on a Queens to Brooklyn local heading to Coney Island.

It could have been either of you, maybe both. The street art, the people watching, the Americano, the bridge–we weren’t alone.

 

Project 52: The Creatives Week 26, Those and Them

Sometimes I still see his eyes staring back at me… such a clear blue it reminded me of a summer blossom. Ironic to have such a thought for someone so evil.  I wish I remembered more, like his name–or why he did what he did. The alleged, I supposed. Still (un)wanted.  There is no way I’d recognize the face, but the eyes sent chills down the back and into my ankles; cramping, rendering immobile the innate desire to flee. That’s probably what happened. Honestly, I never think of him, except when I am missing you.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 25, 30 Seconds

Glitter never stays, she mused to no one in particular. Just a thought that popped into her head as the frayed ends of something electric burned inside her body–at least, that’s what it felt like. Creeping around the entrails, winding like cords choking off the air from the inside out; suffocating the more she struggled for air. Words and sounds just gathered, laying on her skin–unshakable, smearing the way mud does, messier the faster you brush it off.

Just close your eyes, she told herself. Just stop; imagine the glitter of water, of the stars, of the dancing disco ball. Just breathe one breath, then another.  Try to remember… yourself.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 27: Chunky Chickpea Trail Cookies

Chunky Chickpea Trail Cookies

Chunky Chickpea Trail Cookies

I’m always on the quest for the perfect cookie… and cupcake. But this is a cookie post. More specifically, this is about bar cookies. I never understood the bar cookie–maybe because we just didn’t make them often growing up. A cookie is a cookie, after all. But I’ve found that if I make bar cookies, I don’t eat as many at once.  Perhaps the thickness of them ward off the notion that it’s just one little cookie? Questions for philosophers with more time on their hands than me.

This week, I wanted a bean-based cookie that was jam packed with all kinds of goodies.  To that end, I raided the trail mix bar at Whole Foods… trail mix is another little indulgence I rarely do, so why not add it to a cookie?!  Admittedly, I was skeptical of success when I put them in the oven, but the resulting product turned out to be fantastic. I immediately ate two.  (So much for thickness being a deterrent!)

Chunky Chickpea Trail Cookies
2 cups cooked (or canned) chickpeas
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons brown rice syrup (maple syrup or agave would also work)
1 Tablespoon molasses
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 rolled oats
2 Tablespoons (heaping) flax seed meal
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 – 2 1/2 cups trail mix (almonds, walnuts, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seed, coconut, raisins, cranberries, dried apple, etc)

  • Preheat oven to 350. Line a 6×8 baking pan with parchment paper or use nonstick spray.
  • In a food processor add everything except the trail mix.  Blend until creamy.
  • Remove the blade from the food processor and fold in the trail mix until evenly combined.
  • Spread mixture into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the edges are golden and (carefully) touching the top has a slight firmness.

Let cool completely in pan and cut into 20 bars.  Store covered in refrigerator.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 26: Kick Ass Enchilada Bake

This isn’t quite Thug Kitchen, but I’m not one to shy away from profanity… I spent too much time with my grandmother as a kid to be able to filter that much now. But in writing the title to this post, I was reminded how some use cutesy puns in place of Ass… like Ace or Amp’d, or some other such nonsense.  Kick ass; it’s a totally valid descriptor. And let’s face it, I’ve said much worse.

And before you really notice, there are no pictures of this recipe… yeah sorry about that. I accidentally deleted them before downloading, and well, the thing is, this bake is so damn good, it was gone before I realized and could take more pictures to satisfy your visual taste buds.

This recipe is how I do my enchilada bakes, but it is wide open to add the things you love, or more of something else.  In other words, it isn’t rocket science, and you should feel obliged to play a little with the flavors. Consider this a starting point and adjust where you like.

Kick Ass Enchilada Bake
1 package corn tortillas (~18)
1 recipe Enchilada Sauce
3 cups cooked lentils (or chickpeas)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup chopped green chilies (canned are good)
1/2 cup chopped black olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup Vegan Shreds Mexican blend (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 375. Prepare a large baking dish by spraying a little nonstick cooking spray along the edges.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the lentils, corn, chilies, olives, and onion.
  • Ladle enchilada sauce along the bottom of the dish until thinly covered. Add a layer of corn tortillas, slightly overlapping the edges.
  • Add a layer of the lentil mixture to cover (about half), top with sauce and half the Vegan Shreds (if using).
  • Repeat the layer of tortillas and lentil mixture, top with sauce and another layer of tortillas and sauce.
  • Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook another 5-10 minutes until bubbly.

Allow to cool and set up for about 15 minutes before serving.  Garnish with cilantro or avocado, or both if you want!

Project 52: The Recipes Week 25: Enchilada Sauciness

This has the makings of something spicy

This has the makings of something spicy

When the weather gets hot so, apparently, does my food. Nothing spells pre-summer fair like a plate of spicy enchiladas, tacos, or burritos. I know, it makes no sense but it is a true seasonal pull.  It just tastes better!

This week, I wanted enchiladas and taco salad without the need to have to make a lot of different things. So, I made up a batch of enchilada sauce–enough for both wants. The enchiladas turned into a beautiful baked lentil masterpiece, of which the photographic evidence was accidentally deleted but the recipe will still be posted for week 26, along with some reviews of other recipes I’ve explored on the interwebs (since I will be traveling and have limited kitchen time).

But here is the low down on the sauce, which is so good, I literally ate spoonfuls of it like it was soup. #guilty.

Bring me some spicy sauciness!!!

Enchilada Sauce

1-28 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes, or about 4-5 large beefsteak tomatoes, coursely chopped and roasted
4 ounces tomato paste
1/4 cup whole wheat flour + 1/4 cup water
1/2 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons chili powder (I used 2 Ancho and 2 regular chili powder)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

  • In a large sauce pan over medium high heat, add onions and garlic.  Dry saute for about 1 minute and then add a few sprinkles of water to prevent sticking.  Let cook about another minute until onion starts to get translucent.
  • Add in tomatoes and tomato paste.  Reduce heat to medium.
  • Add in all the spices, cocoa, and sugar and mix to incorporate.
  • Bring to a simmer.  Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Alternately, you can carefully transfer to a regular blender and then return to the pot.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water until mostly smooth.  Use a little more water, if needed.
  • Whisk in the flour mixture to the sauce.
  • Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.  If you desire a thicker sauce, you can simmer longer.

Enjoy in your favorite recipes!

Project 52: The Creatives Week 24, Chasing the Edge

Space-time continuum in colour

There is a song, he told her, that’s just beyond the superficial
extent, harboring the perimeters where the light fades
cold darkness tendrils in flashes of color to the symphony.
It sounds dangerous, she said with breathless excitement.
And they were quiet.
And she knew he would follow the song.
And he knew she would let him.

 

 

(Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/n2artscapes/19556342)

Project 52: The Recipes Week 24: Baked Oatmeal Cups

Baked Oatmeal Cup

Baked Oatmeal Cup

Recently, my parents were visiting and requests for morning oatmeal variations were made.  We did overnight oats and the next day, baked oatmeal.  For the latter, I usually wing it on the recipe. Nonetheless, it turned out quite well, and I wanted it again for this week.  I opted to use a large muffin tin pan to make them a bit more portable… and let’s face it cuter than cutting it into bars.  I found that while it really didn’t take less cook time than a whole pan, I got more edges–which are my favorite and this gives each serving its own full, crunchy edge.  And for those who might be tempted to just eat a whole pan, muffin tins are built in portion control… just sayin’.

Baked Oatmeal Cup

Baked Oatmeal Cup

Baked Oatmeal Cups
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried fruit of choice (I used raisins and cranberries)
1 cup nuts of choice (I am partial to walnuts)
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup pitted dates (add a few more if you prefer a little extra sweetness in the morning)
1/4 cup hemp seeds
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1  teaspoon baking powder

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a large muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Bring water and dates to a boil for 1 minute.
  • Transfer water and dates to a blender with hemp seeds.  Carefully blend until smooth, remembering to vent the lid to prevent exploding and severely burning yourself.
  • In a large bowl, toss together oats, dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon, applesauce, and baking powder.
  • Pour in the blended date syrup mixture and mix until well incorporated.  It should be thick and sticky but not dry.  If it seems dry, add a little more water or a few splashes of almond milk.
  • Scoop mixture into prepared cups.  Should make 6 full large muffin cups or 12 small.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until tops are golden and firm to touch.  (If using smaller muffin cups, check after 25 minutes.)
  • Allow to cool in pan before removing, gently loosening with a knife.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy by warming up, or cold/room temp.

Tip: Use local grocery trail mix bar to get a variety of dried fruits and nuts.  It will allow you to only get what you need and avoid a large spend for multiple packages.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 23, Morning after

...

She needed to score a tab of Aleve. This wasn’t the kind of headache that went away on its own. This was the pain from a night fit with rampant dreams too dark for the light of day.  Wrought with people she hadn’t seen or talked to in years; people inconsequential and yet suddenly taking over her night. Venom personalities and treacherous plots bounced through the night and into the late morning; heads covered in pillows and sheets. The sun, and subconscious, both indifferent parties to the day.

This probably won’t work, she thought as she swallowed down the little blue oval. Only a dulling of the overworked synapses transmitting bright color of tortured images layered with sharp words.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 22, Her

moon-shadow2.jpg

He looked better than she remembered; but age can do that. Not hers, she hadn’t aged; but he wore it like a well tailored tux ever slightly out of vintage. Between them lingered trays of lifeless food and half sipped drinks, women with hair too big, and men calloused by their own egos. She wasn’t sure she belonged; a feeling all too familiar roaming a room full of adults, waiting for them to realize the impostor playing dress up.  Instead she sipped her tea, commented on the latest political gambles rumbling unnoticed through the annals of power, and watched as he maneuvered the other side of the room.  He was beautiful; she’d missed him the last year, or two, or however long it had been. She never could figure out how at ease he always seemed to be, even at parties like this. A smile and a wink was all it ever seemed to take. It worked on her, anyway; it would work again tonight.