Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Great Chestnut Experiment

I was so excited to roast our bulging stash of chestnuts tonight. Unfortunately, it turns out that I have no idea how to tell a fresh chestnut from a half rotten one, because these were the only edible survivors.
Instead of the recipe I linked to in an earlier post, I used this one instead (veganized, of course). I thought the cinnamon would give it a nice little kick. I'm sure it would have, except I accidentally sprinkled cayenne on the chestnuts instead! The spice bottles are virtually identical, and I didn't bother to read the label first. Oops. Despite this, the chestnuts turned out to be meaty and exceptionally tasty. Spicy too. J could only eat a couple.

And what goes really nicely with roasted chestnuts? Soy nog, of course. I've tried different brands in the past, but I really like Earth Balance's nog. 
I swung by the comic book store tonight and picked up Batgirl #3 and #4, as well as the trade of Unwritten volume #2, so expect reviews in the near future!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nuts, Comic Books, What Else Do You Need?

Look, it's yummy roasted pecans! Our friends veganized this batch just for us. They're so addictive, I had to stop myself from eating them.
Speaking of nuts, J and I still have half of pound of chestnuts to roast. I'm thinking we might have time to tackle this little project tomorrow night! Eee!

Oh, and I just wanted to note my parting impressions about The Unwritten, volume one. The main arc ended on a super-creepy note, and then there was a bit involving Mark Twain and Kipling that gives you an entirely different perspective on what's going on. Love it! I plan to pick up the second trade at my local comic book store this weekend.

On an entirely different note, I don't generally like mangas. I never have, really. It seems like the sort of thing I should like, but I've never found a series that really called out to me.

Every once in a while, however, I browse through the collections at the library and read one or two. This is how I came across Chi's Sweet Home, volume one.
So okay, this is totally geared towards young children. Chi's Sweet Home is the adventures of a kitten rescued by a well-meaning family. And by "adventures," I don't mean anything remotely super-heroish. I mean potty-training. A first trip to the vet.

Sounds pretty dull, eh? But it's not! It's so damned cute. Chi is drawn with dead-on cat expressions and mannerisms, and the developing friendship between her and the toddler of the family is so charming. I can't wait to read volume two! 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Unwritten #1 and Field Roast

J and I were at the in-laws for Christmas, and just got back a few hours ago, long enough for me to heat up some leftover celebration field roast, stuffing, and roasted asparagus. No pictures of my own, unfortunately (we were too hungry for that), but here is a link to a field roast website in case you're interested.

We also went to the grocery store and came back with a bag of chestnuts. Neither of us have ever had roasted chestnuts before, but it seems like a festive thing to do. I found this recipe, which seems pretty straight forward. Anyway, I will share pictures of the finished result!

In comic book news, I am halfway through the trade of Unwritten Vol 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity, by Mike Carey and illustrated by Peter Gross.
Here, verbatim, is the synopsis on the back of the trade:
                                        Tommy Taylor's the main character in a series of fantasy novels
                                   that have become a cultural phenomenon. Fans gather on websites
                                   and at conventions to celebrate his magical stories and hope that
                                   his missing creator, Wilson Taylor, will someday resurface to write
                                   one last adventure.
                                        But there's one dangling plot thread: the real Tom Taylor, the son
                                   Wilson abandoned. The inspiration for the magical boy wizard, 
                                   Tom is now worshipped worldwide as a literary legend made flesh.
                                        As Tom's life begins to take on eerie and deadly parallels with
                                   Tommy's, he's drawn into a strange literary underworld where the
                                   power of storytelling is a strong as any spell.

So far this is a fun read. Tom has witnessed his first strange event, but is still unable to believe that his father's stories were anything but fiction. It's a great premise for a comic book series. Peter Gross' illustrations are wonderful too. Unless something goes horribly awry plot-wise at the end of this volume, I will definitely be picking up the next trade.

After The Unwritten, I'll be reading One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry. I mentioned my graphic novel obsession to a friend, and she lent me her copy of this book. I can't wait to read it!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Here are some random pictures of cakes and cats:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

So Much to Blog About

Eek! It's been a long time. And there's so much to write about. First off, I'm going to expand this blog beyond vegan food and cooking. I get crazy obsessed about different things, at the moment knitting and comic book/graphic novels. Of course I'm still cooking. I'm always cooking. So don't worry, there will still be lots of food related posts. 

For example -- homemade mushroom burgers! These were my first attempt at making my own veggie burgers, and they were so unbelievably easy. The recipe came from The Happy Herbivore, and the burgers included pinto beans and vital wheat gluten. Here's a picture of the burger, sans condiments.
And one with all the fixings. 
The only thing I would do differently next time is to fry the burgers instead of baking them. They came apart a little on the baking sheet (even with the recommended parchment paper). But these burgers were so good. I'll definitely make them again.

In other news, I am one of the winners of a holiday cookbooklette from Vegan Eat & Treats. I'm so excited! Vegan Eat & Treats' blog is amazing, and I'm sure her cookbooklette will be too. Of course I'll post pictures of the amazing dishes I make.

Here is the comic book I'm reading. 
Yup, it's Batgirl #2 from the DC relaunch (aka the New 52). I still prefer trades to single issue comic books, just because it's a pain in the butt to sort through them all once you've accumulated a few dozen. But I've been listening to a lot of comic book podcasts lately (namely 3 Chicks, Awesomed by Comics, and The Two-Headed Nerd Comicast), and everyone advocates that you buy the singles, because singles are what drives sales and keeps the comics you're reading from getting discontinued.

So. This is my first foray into the world of superhero comics. For years I've been a sporadic comic book/graphic novel reader, but my tastes run towards the literary, the eclectic, and the downright girly. I loved Neil Gaiman's Sandman and am almost all the way through Brian K Vaughan and Pia Guerra's Y the Last Man. I'm plodding along with The Walking Dead as well. The only things I know about Batman, Superman, and the X-men are either from the movies or second-hand knowledge from my younger brother, mostly from when he was a kid and would read Batman/Joker comics. I didn't even know a Batgirl existed. Much less a rich history of Batgirls. And when I found out, the first thought I had was: what a joke! She must be some kind of Batman underling, some stock sidekick figure.

Joke's on me.
I've heard some criticism about this new series, but I've never read any of the old Batgirl stuff, and I like what I'm reading now quite a bit. Batgirl seems like a fully realized young woman traumatized by her past (which includes a grisly run in with the Joker), trying to make her own way in the world of superherodom. It's well written, and the drawing is really, really pretty. 

Two of the comic book podcasts I subscribe to have women hostesses. It's really nice to get a female perspective on what can be an extremely male-dominated pastime. Anyway, it's getting late. I'll post more of what's happening here in the land of Veggie Obsessed soon.