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AgentLapis's Profile

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Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Salad

Wow! This looks like a great recipe for camping!

Aug 09, 2012
AgentLapis in Recipes

Cakes in a Jar

I'd imagine you could use one with a clasp provided you remove the lid or at very least the rubber ring from the lid.

Mar 20, 2012
AgentLapis in Recipes

Basic Asian Broiled Tofu

I make this all the time, great on a weekday when I'm running around, I just start the rice before going to the store.

If you end up using up your marinade before whisking in the rest of the sauce, either try shaking out tofu and carrots over the marinade -or- whip up a little more.

Try using broccoli instead of carrots. Delicious!

Feb 06, 2012
AgentLapis in Recipes

Grow a Sack, Bro: Make Cupcakes

That Big Pape recipe sounds pretty good!

Jan 31, 2012
AgentLapis in Features

Crunchy, Cool-Weather Fare

Whatever happened to the 10? I miss it so!

Jan 02, 2012
AgentLapis in Features

Cooking for One: A Widow's Challenge

Plenty of good suggestions for someone cooking alone.

I'm perpetually single and find my inspiration in cooking for others... maybe you have some friends in similar situations that you can cook and share food with? It will help with the loneliness too, a little bit.

MFK Fisher said that you don't have to worry about having each meal being nutritionally sound.... you can go for the day or even for the week.

Also look for small shelf-stable juices or non-dairy milks. You open up a maximum of a pint at a time, so loss will be minimal when it happens.

Find a basic food that you can make in a pinch that tricks you into making a meal. I do it with ramen, bought a box at a time from a local asian market. Sometimes it's a soup, or I stir-fry the noodles or make a salad and top it with crunchy noodles. I always add whatever vegetables I have, sometimes tofu or an egg.

Keep your bread in the fridge or freezer.

Split pea soup freezes well.

My favorite recipe is super easy to adjust. Penne with roasted pear tomatoes and capers.
Get a pint of tomatoes and slice in half as many as you want (minimum 1/2 cup per serving). Toss with olive oil, salt and rosemary (sliced leek is good too) and roast for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, boil some penne until al dente and drain. Mince some garlic and olives if you want them. Toss your garlic in the still hot pain and pour the pasta back in, then your roasted tomatoes. Add a couple spoonfuls of capers and olives & top with cheese and fresh ground black pepper.

Oct 24, 2011
AgentLapis in Home Cooking

Is It Finally Cool to Like the Frugal Gourmet?

I loved watching the Frugal Gourmet as a child but by the time of scandal I was a disillusioned teenager who didn't give a fig for food or cooking. I'll always love hearing about the show.

Oct 24, 2011
AgentLapis in Features

What exactly are collard greens and how do I cook them?

I'm vegetarian, so I never cook them with meat. I have a little patch of collards that I'll pick to fry up for breakfast, roughly sliced (1" strips) in a skillet. Only been eating them for the last couple of years (never heard of them during my first 20 years of life).

Fry half a sliced onion until soft and barely translucent. Add 4-5 sliced mushrooms and some crumbled tempeh, add strips of collards when nearly done and cover for the last couple of minutes. Great with toast, hot sauce & a drizzle of soy.

When I have eggs, I'll do them mexican style: briefly fry a couple of tortillas until they puff up and put them on a plate. Then do your collards with some soyrizo or onion (or both!) and toss over your tortillas. Finally fry a couple of eggs until the whites are barely set, with salt and pepper, perhaps some paprika & vinegar too, to top your collards. More hot sauce is always good.

Apr 26, 2011
AgentLapis in Home Cooking

Am I the only one who lives in a magic house? A lighthearted look at ourselves & food safety

Good reason to eat local/organic if you can! I volunteer filling bulk bins for a discount at my local co-op.

Not a whole lot of illness in the house, but for the most part, there's no animal products except honey stored in the house. Occasionally I'll bring home cheese or ice cream, and there's food for the cats, but that stays put away!

When I'm cooking for myself, I'll eat dropped food. For others, I either rinse or cook it first.

No antibacterial soap.... it's bad for your immune system too! We need exposure to build up resistance to germs!

My parents always leave butter out, but they have it in a dish with cover or in the cupboard, only the stick they're using.

Feb 17, 2011
AgentLapis in Not About Food

Portland: We Have You in Our Sights

Agree with septemberlights. There's a doughnut shop on SE Grand & Burnside that's supposed to be tons better... it's the one all the police go to!

The only doughnut I'll go to Voodoo for is the Mango Tango.

Go to Grilled Cheese Grill (11th & Alberta), The Green Lady (10th & Washington, raw food made by southerners), and Pine State Biscuits!

Feb 10, 2011
AgentLapis in Features

Make Your Own Potato Tots

Oh wow, so easy! Hardest part was waiting for the potatoes to bake!

I'm going to try sweet potatoes next.

Feb 01, 2011
AgentLapis in Features

Looking for the best VEGAN Cookbooks...

Get It Ripe!

I just made the Lime Coconut Cake with Lime Coconut Buttahcreem Icing for my birthday party yesterday... IT. WAS. FABULOUS. I doubled the recipe to make a two-layer and infused the coconut milk of the cake (not the icing) with lime leaf.

Recipes for Mulled Wine and After-Dinner Rooibos Chai are spot on as well, super easy. Another cookbook for my lust list (I found this copy at the library!).

A big thumbs up on How to Cook Everything Vegetarian as well. Mark Bittman is an engaging writer and I love how most recipes have several variations and suggestions on how to adapt a recipe to make it vegan.

Olive Trees and Honey by Gil Marks is another amazing book... it's vegetarian Jewish with geography and history lessons worked in. The Yaprak Dolmasi (Turkish stuffed grape leaves) recipe is to die for.

Jan 24, 2011
AgentLapis in Home Cooking

specialty chocolate in Portland


Jan 24, 2011
AgentLapis in Metro Portland

Do (ovo-lacto) vegetarians eat stone crabs or sea cucumbers?

I think I'd say that a foodstuff that requires an act of violence against an animal even if it doesn't result in a death is not vegetarian. If someone cuts off your arm and eats it, is it cannibalism? Or what about shark's fin, when the shark is thrown back into the water and usually dies if not dead already?

Definitely not vegan though.

And I've plenty of friends who say they are vegetarian and will occasionally eat fish or venison. I'm a vegetarian myself, and when I see one of these people eating fish, I'll ask, "aren't you vegetarian?" and they usually answer yes and keep on eating.

An egg, at least those laid by ducks and chickens, is laid by a hen nearly every day regardless of fertilization or prospect thereof. An unfertilized egg, left to it's own devices, will rot after a time. To eat it is closing that cycle. That says nothing about the huge animal welfare issues surrounding the egg industry, for which reason I do not consume eggs on a regular basis. But oh! To have my own hens again!

Milk and honey do not require an act so violent as shearing off the claw of a crab, but require an act of man to remove from a cow's udder or a hive of bees. Both products are created for survival of the lineage: the cow's calf or bee's hive.

The words used for these products is different than that used for vegetables: when doing a search for harvest, it showed up in reference to fields and orchards. You milk the cow, gather eggs and honey; I suppose one would either bleed or tap their cattle for blood. I'm not sure what to say about catching crabs and removing their claws before they're thrown back into the sea. Definitely not harvest.

I don't eat animals and for the most part try not to consume foods associated with major human or animal rights issues, but make the occasional exception by eating a dubious egg while staying with my parents or having a little bit of cheese produced somewhere in a traditional fashion.

Jan 11, 2011
AgentLapis in General Topics

What do you make for breakfast on Christmas morning?

That sounds fantastic! Fresh or frozen asparagus?

Dec 21, 2010
AgentLapis in Home Cooking

Help with *Fun* Xmas eve menu for a mixed group of 4 kids, 6 adults, 2 vegetarian

You might want to take a look at The Adaptable Feast by Ivy Manning. It has recipes for making dishes that can be divided into vegetarian and meat portions, both with something extra so nobody feels left out.

Also I'd imagine a Buche du Noel would make a fantastic birthday cake!

Dec 06, 2010
AgentLapis in Home Cooking

Dressing vs. Stuffing?

I'm veg, so at Thanksgivings my mom makes sure some is baked as dressing, moistened with vegetable broth. As a kid, we called it all stuffing, regardless of method.

Nov 19, 2010
AgentLapis in General Topics

United Dish of America?

As an Oregonian, I can vouch for that comment. BBQ is used more as a verb than a noun.

The local historical food would probably be planked chinook salmon. Though currently could be anything... the apple cider here is phenomenal.

Nov 16, 2010
AgentLapis in General Topics

What is your favorite CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP kitchen gadget

Don't have a reamer, but I love my little zester. Every time I juice lemons or limes, I zest them as well and either add to recipe or put it in the freezer for later. Yum!

Nov 16, 2010
AgentLapis in Cookware

United Dish of America?

Depends on the region and what you're going for, really....

We have corn-derived substances in nearly every product out there (including virtually all meats) so I'd say corn first of all.

After that, perhaps all the industrialized food products out there.... think jell-o, boxed mac & cheese, kool-aid, condensed canned soup, spam.

Then there's the various ethnic cuisines that undergo major changes here.... pizza, sushi, burritos.

And true new-world foods.

My personal vote would be for a grilled cheese sandwich with cream of tomato soup. Maybe some collards done in a skillet. And molasses cookies, pie or a cupcake for dessert. Maybe some potato salad.

Nov 03, 2010
AgentLapis in General Topics

Where to stay for good food in walking distance?

Though the soaking pool's nice. Not a lot of places to stay in the neighborhood though.

Nov 03, 2010
AgentLapis in Metro Portland

Is Japanese food overrated?

I don't try much Japanese food as I avoid all meat and fish, but there are a few things I love:

* onigiri
* udon
* inari sushi (fried tofu stuffed with sushi rice)
* miso soup
* sesame-cucumber salad (what is it called? fairly standard at sushi places)
* kappa makki

I have a tendency to make my own udon, onigiri and miso soup.... While certain flavors appear often, the overall emphasis seems to be simplicity, fresh ingredients and appreciating the subtle flavors of rice and wheat in the starch-based dishes.

Nov 01, 2010
AgentLapis in General Topics

Your Favorite Pumpkin Recipe

Why am I not seeing anyone mention pumpkin enchiladas? Wonderful stuff. Use corn tortillas and fill them with a mixture of pumpkin, peppers and onions.

It would probably be easy to make pumpkin bread but bake it like cookies, with a couple of pepitas (the seeds) on top.

Any preferenc es on fresh vs canned? I prefer fresh, with its texture. Canned pumpkin isn't even real pumpkin, it's some other squash and there's to texture left.

Oct 11, 2010
AgentLapis in Home Cooking

Best produce selection

Haven't been to Food Front, but People's and Alberta are excellent (though everything else is good, I've had problems with yellow onions from Alberta). There's also Cherry Sprout in North Portland and Sheridan Fruit Market on SE MLK.

There are also several farms with stores on Sauvie Island, but the markets may not be worth the drive (I don't know how much is their own, besides seasonal berries and pumpkins). It is beautiful out there though.

There are several Whole Foods in the area, but New Seasons has them beat around here.

If you're willing to explore a bit, there's Anzen over by the convention center (it's been open for at least 60 years!) and the Lao Vieng market on Killingsworth. There's a Jamaican spice market (can't remember the name) on NE 42nd, somewhere between Killingsworth and Fremont.

Oct 06, 2010
AgentLapis in Metro Portland

Silly Eating Habits

Just about as far as an American can be from Jersey. I've never even crossed the Rockies!

Oct 06, 2010
AgentLapis in Not About Food

Silly Eating Habits

When I eat a burrito or a wrap, I prefer to unroll it on a plate, spread the filling all around, eat the filling with a fork and finally roll up the food-coated tortilla and eat that.

I LOVE eating with tiny forks and spoons. I noticed the playsets at Ikea the first time I went, and made sure to buy them the second time. If I'm at someone else's house and find small spoons I have been known to squeal with glee.

Any time a food is in mixed chunks, I'll have different categories (like chunks of carrot, potato and tofu on pad thai that a cart has on campus, or different colors of a candy) and start eating only the chunks of the largest group, then mixing in bites of others according to number. In my last bites, each category is represented, one each. I used to do this with my Halloween candy too.

Bread for sandwiches is always lined up.

I can't eat soup without dipping something in it.

Any sandwich cookie must be unscrewed. I scrape the filling with my teeth then eat the cookie halves pressed together.

Jam is always spread with the back of a spoon.

If I'm going to put an egg on anything, the yolk has to be runny.

When I was a kid, I used to pump my left arm while eating cereal.

Oct 05, 2010
AgentLapis in Not About Food

gluten-free vegan in Portland

Blossoming Lotus has moved. They're at NE 15th & Broadway now.

Close to Back to Eden is the Vita Cafe (NE 30th & Alberta), which is mostly vegetarian with vegan options and G/F (and potentially G/F) options marked. There's Held (vegan belt shop) next door and Dovetail Bakery (vegan with wheat-free options) on the other side.

Also you might want to check out the vegan mini-mall at SE 12th and Stark. Sweetpea Bakery has G/F options, plus Herbivore Clothing and Food Fight (vegan minimart) are there. The Red & Black Cafe is around the corner on 12th, they're rad and vegan but I'm not sure about g/f options as there's no menu on their website.

If you're planning on doing any grocery shopping while you're here I'd recommend People's Co-op. Good prices, good politics and the store's all-vegetarian.

Vita Cafe
3024 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

Red & Black Cafe
400 SE 12TH AVE, Portland, OR 97202

Dovetail Bakery
3039 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

Jul 13, 2010
AgentLapis in Metro Portland

picnic food to bring on a hike. help!

Hrm.... I'd suggest anything that requires as little packaging as possible. I'm a huge fan of Chow's tofu bahn-mi recipe (in an article with four other recipes for baked tofu lunches), which I regularly bring to school and sits for about 5+ hours unrefrigerated before I eat it. Grapes are tasty and are mostly water, good for re-hydrating. Falafel sandwiches might also be good, with hummus and baba ganoush and tabbouleh. Also you might want to bring something to snack on, I like to mix a trail mix (no chocolate, it melts!) with some wasabi peas for a bit of a kick. Or chex mix could be good. Or what about a vegetarian pain-baigne? There's lots of delicious choices for your lunch!

May 11, 2010
AgentLapis in Home Cooking

Craft Beer Labels Too Macho

Historically, brewing beer and running a pub were among some of the few professions that were acceptable for women to pursue in the Western World.

I think the marketing of brands like Stone brewery (love love love Arrogant Bastard, though could barely drink it the first time I tried) and others in similar veins are more hilarious than anything else.

I wish that there was another brand with less male-centric marketing were thrown in the article for contrast, such as Ninkasi. Some of the names are metal band inspired and others are hilarious, with names including Spring Reign, Total Domination and Tricerahops.

One of the best ways to try new beers outside of a bar (in Portland, anyway) is to hand a friend $5 and ask for a 22oz with a funny name.

But anyhow, I'm female and like strongly-flavored beers. If I'm just wanting to drink for social reasons though, I go for cheap but I try to always start with something good.

Apr 19, 2010
AgentLapis in Features

10 Vegetable Seed Suppliers

My aunt is a huge fan of One Green World here in Oregon.... they test their varieties in their nursery (which you can visit) and even have a small section featuring species native to the NW. All organic and they even have a variety of tea that can survive living ourdoors in almost any Oregon winter.

Apr 19, 2010
AgentLapis in Features