Best laid plans…

Anyone searching for Facebook Notes tips, they’re a few paragraphs down

tardis ornament bokehI woke this morning to a cat nibbling on my fingers. That’s not out of the ordinary, not with Lara in the apartment. She’s a lovely cat, just lacking a bit with social skills (with cats too). I wasn’t in a rush so I stayed in my cosy nightgown while I brushed my teeth and fed the cats and chatted with my Mom and made my breakfast. I’d just settled down at the computer when I decided to open my email and see if there was an update on my Amazon order. It wasn’t due until Tuesday but sometimes they come a bit early… like now when the package was two towns away… clicks refresh… and out for delivery.

This was 10am and I had plans to go shopping with a friend of mine in the late morning to early afternoon (we were kind of winging it). Obviously that needed to be delayed. But how long could it take? And so I waited… and waited… and waited… while my parcel information just sat there doing nothing.

At 3:30pm I’d long since changed my plans to shopping tomorrow instead and cancelled our afternoon walk. But I had three very ripe bananas in my fruit bowl and a good banana bread recipe in my Facebook notes. I got out one bowl and the loaf pan then decided to call up the recipe before going any further. Notes has gotten harder to find recently so I went to my profile page and down to my about section then started scrolling… and it wasn’t there. I checked again and again, still nothing. I searched all over my page on both my tablet and computer and it just. wasn’t. there. A Facebook search called up a group of people who like notes and some notes apps but not my specific notes. And I wanted those notes. My Nana’s buttercream frosting recipe was in there and she died in 2003 so it’s not like I can ask her to rewrite it. My favourite pancake recipe which the long forgotten site removed. My hot and sour soup recipe which was modified from a product recipe. They’re irreplaceable.

Finally I did a Google search and struck paydirt. After a few false starts I found this link which lets you click on “my notes”. I was overjoyed until I realized I could only read the first couple of lines; the “see more” link wasn’t working. There’s a save option but that really only worked two or three times. But if you click on “comment” it will open up the link so you can see the whole post.

My first attempt at saving was to directly copy and paste to OpenOffice. This led to a weirdly formatted document chock full of lines. So I opened WordPress and pasted in there, thus removing the formatting, then copied and pasted into Open Office. I had to add the correct formatting but at least it was legible.

It was over an hour later by the time I got all the recipes copied to my computer and I no longer wanted to bake anything. Actually I no longer wanted to even cook anything, which is why I had half an English muffin for dinner tonight. Mmm… dinner of champions!

And, while I was eating my dinner, I was messaging another friend and telling her that my package wasn’t here yet but they still had another hour left in their estimate. I flipped over to the parcel information just in time to see the page update to “delivered”. And there it was on my doormat, much too late for me to do anything today.

But tomorrow’s another day, the stores will still be there, the trail ready to be walked, the bananas waiting to be smushed. And maybe I’ll have helped someone retrieve their Facebook notes… helped save a memory. As for now, my tardis ornament is safely on the tree, I have a stack of scrapbooking pages waiting and new photo sleeves to place them in, and I’m all ready to relax.

Dave’s Strawberry Gelato…

homemade strawberry gelatoYears ago I went to our Unitarian Universalist end of year potluck and one of the members brought a thermos of strawberry gelato. It was so good that I immediately asked for the recipe, which he sent to me that evening. I made a batch then shared it on my old blog, Positive Steps.

It’s been years since I shared it, seven years to be exact, and I figured it was time to share again. It’s smooth, sweet, and has an intense strawberry taste. I hope you enjoy!

 

1 1/2 cups sugar*
1 cup water
3 cups washed, mashed strawberries

Simmer water and sugar in a saucepan, stirring until sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat, add mashed strawberries, and chill in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.

Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream freezer and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you do not have an ice cream freezer, pour the mixture into a shallow pan. A large glass casserole dish works well. Place the pan into the freezer. Every couple of hours, take the pan out of the freezer and use a fork to scrape through the hardening mixture. The purpose of this is to introduce air as it freezes to keep it from forming a solid block of ice.

If it is hard coming out of the freezer, allow it to sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to soften before serving.

*I only add 1 cup sugar and it turns out quite sweet

 

How to like tofu…

I hated tofu when I became vegetarian. I’d never had it before in my life and those wet, chewy, water logged lumps in the back of the produce department didn’t seem appetizing. Then my parents ordered Chinese food for dinner and I was presented with a dish of fried tofu and veggies. It was so good. Shortly after that I discovered that the yummy scrambled egg I thought was on top of my favourite Thai golden curry was, in fact, tofu. Mind blown.

A few months ago I was reading a thread on Facebook and someone mentioned marinating chicken in pickle juice, explaining it made the chicken juicy and flavourful. I immediately thought of tofu nuggets. And it worked. The nuggets ended up being so juicy and flavourful, they don’t even need a dip. They reheat well too.

I freeze my tofu (except for silken). It lasts longer and thaws with a meatier texture. You don’t have to do this if you don’t want but I strongly recommend it. These nuggets are Colin approved and he’s a picky eater so you know they’re good.

Sharing recipes is not going to be a regular occurrence. These are just so good I had to share. Enjoy.

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

1 package frozen medium firm tofu, thawed and squeezed until the water’s out
Pickle juice, enough to cover the tofu. I use Strubs Full Sour Kosher Dills
1/2 cup white flour
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
Pepper and dried dill to taste

Cut the drained tofu into cubes and place into a bowl or dish with sides. Cover with pickle juice and let sit for at least an hour.

Place flour and spices in a deep bowl and stir. Put one cube of tofu into the flour bowl and stir with a spoon until coated. Place on a plate. Keep doing this until all the tofu is coated in flour.

Pour oil into a frying pan until it’s about a centimetre deep and heat until the oil starts to shimmer. I start with the burner on high then turn it down to medium high at this point. The oil should start sizzling when the nugget is placed in the pan. Keep placing nuggets into the pan until it is full. Chances are you will still have nuggets on your plate.

It doesn’t take long for the nuggets to turn golden brown. Almost as soon as you’ve placed the final nugget in the pan, the first one should be ready to flip. I use pickle tongs to flip mine over but a small metal spatula should work too. Or a fork, you could very likely flip them with a fork. I only fry the nuggets on two sides then place them on a clean plate. Once they’re all cooked, I serve mine with home made fries but you can serve them with anything your little heart desires. Enjoy!

tofu and fries

I’m not a professional plater but you can see them šŸ™‚

Valiant attempts at healthy eating…

Poor Jeremy would be happy if he lived in a house that regularly served macaroni and cheese, spaghetti with meat sauce, ravioli (preferably canned), chicken, beef, and pizza with lots of gooey cheese. Instead he’s got me, his vegan mother. Yesterday I had a craving for kale chips with nutritional yeast and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. We’re not just worlds apart when it comes to food, I’m pretty sure we’re in entirely different galaxies.

But I try, which is why I madeĀ fettuccine alfredo this evening. The description claimed it was rich, creamy, and luxurious. Her husband asked for it for Valentine’s Day andĀ she ate her first batch over the stove, loving it too much to grab a bowl and sit. The ingredients were ones I already had in the pantry (I even found a lemon tucked away in the back of the crisper) and I bought cracked black pepper fettuccine noodles to make our dinner even more decadent.

I boiled the cauliflower whileĀ carefully measuring the rest of the ingredients into the blender. At this point I got a message from my friend Lenny. I told zir what I was making and cheerfully said it smelled good. Then I added the cauliflower and turned on the blender. It made a glorping sound. I was reasonably sure it wasn’t supposed to do that.

The next ten minutes were spent mashing down cauliflower and hoping for the best. After a while the florets disappeared, which was good. Except my sauce had turned into a paste, which wasn’t. It was thick enough to spread as the worst, saddest frosting everĀ and it was gritty. That was my “screw it” moment. I dumped in half a jar of roasted red peppers, most of the liquid from said jar, a whole teaspoon of the hottest hot sauce I’ve found (it laughs at srirachaĀ sauce), and more coconut milk. The sauce finally stopped glorping and started whirring.

That sauce ate a box and a half of noodles before it started looking like a pasta dish instead of a really bizarre soup and it filled three good sized storage containers. I stuffed two of them in the freezer. There’s no way Jeremy would touch it in any galaxy. I’m going to be eating thisĀ for well over a month.

Jeremy called two hours ago to say he’s on his way home and to ask if he could bring home a free kitten. He even held the kitten up to the phone so I could hear its plaintive mews. He’s not getting a kitten. We already have three cats.

I do, however, have chocolate peanut butter pudding cups waiting in the freezer as a surprise. They’re made with tofu, ground flaxseeds, and agave nectar. Just don’t tell him because they are really good and he’ll never know. Meanwhile, I’ve found a recipe for stuffed pasta shells that calls for tofu instead of ricotta cheese. What could go wrong with that?