Thursday, September 29, 2011

PreMoFo Doggles

It's almost upon us.  You know what I'm talking about. IT'S ALMOST HEEEERRREE!

In the meantime, a totally non-food-related post, to ineffectively counteract the wave of food content that will soon be overtaking this blog:

You have a beautiful, sunny fall day in Portland.  What to do?  What to do?  Oh yes, soak up some vitamin D with the doggle buds and woohoo!  Doggle bath party!

Gah!  Naked Doggles!
Okay, so they don't actually love the baths so much, but they do love being out in the sun.  Poor timid-of-wet-grass Emerson has a few rough months ahead. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blackberry Cream Crepes

Inspired by the amazingly-dark purple blackberry syrup I made from the berries Matt and I picked last week, I decided to make Blackberry Cream-filled crepes for dinner.

The crepes were crispy around the edges and soft in the middle, textures which paired well with the richness of the blackberry cream cheese filling. The syrup on top gave the dish just a perfect amount of additional sweetness. As I devoured my crepes I was reminded of why they remain a favorite for lazy Sunday mornings. They're easy to make, filling, and really have that 'wow' factor. Just have a look at the color of that dollop of filling I plopped on top.

I usually make these with blueberry jam, which has pretty much the same effect. Here were my steps. (I didn't actually measure the ingredients!)

makes 8 med-large crepes

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp Ener-G egg replacer
1 3/4 cups almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp canola oil

3-4 tbsp vegan cream cheese
2-3 tbsp jam or fruit syrup (your choice!)
2 tbsp vegan yogurt

powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

fruit syrup to drizzle on top

1. In a medium-sized bowl mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and egg replacer. Add almond milk, vanilla, and oil and mix until smooth.
The batter should be thinner than pancake batter. If it's too thick, add more almond milk.

2. Heat up a non-stick pan to med heat. A cast iron pan works beautifully. Use cooking spray each time you pour a crepe into the pan and before flipping it.

3. Pour about 1/3 cup batter onto pan and move the pan around until the bottom is evenly coated in batter. Let cook for a few minutes until it browns on the underside and isn't runny on the top. Spray the top with canola oil. Flip and continue to cook a few minutes. Transfer to a plate when finished and keep warm in the oven while you're making the rest.

4. While your crepes are cooking, mix together the ingredients for the filling. I find stirring it with a spoon, and then using a whisk to fully incorporate the mixture works best.

5. When your crepes are ready, spread about a tbsp of jam along the center of each and roll them up, from one end to the other.

5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and drizzle with fruit syrup.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sauvie Island

Matt and I took advantage of a comp-day he earned by working really late hours the week before, and headed to Sauvie Island on Friday. It was our first trip to the 26,000 acre island, even though it's just north of Portland.

Before leaving the city, we stopped to pick up breakfast goodies at Sweetpea Bakery. Just look at the size of that chocolate chip scone! I was really digging the lemon danish- flaky and moist in all the right places. Mmmm....danish.
Then we picked up falafel wraps from Wolf and Bear's, deciding to eat them at a nice spot on our island walk. I really recommend their wraps, which are all vegetarian, and can be made vegan. Their falafel is great, and with accoutrements like grilled eggplant, kalamata olive tapenade, and full-of-fresh-herb-flavor hot sauce, you really can't be disappointed!
Upon reaching Sauvie Island, we visited Oak Island, a park with grassy fields and, as the name suggests, many oak trees in all stages of life, surrounded by water on three sides.
We did the 2.5 mile loop and then some, picking blackberries all the way. Want to know a secret? The berries in the shade are sweeter than those in the sun! Lucky for us, we had drink containers left over from our lunch to collect the berries in.
It was a lovely walk, but also quite hot...which is why we were thrilled to find a "gourmet" snow cone and Italian soda stand outside a produce market on our way off the island. I decided on a strawberry lemon Italian soda, while Matt went for the blackberry peach.