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I'm sick, meaning my brain is not quite engaged, so today's treat is a recipe I have already typed out for people via email and edited for this post since I've made this a lot more since then.

I love enchiladas, but for a long time I only made them rarely because (a) rolling them is messy and time-consuming and (b) most enchilada sauces are made with chicken stock or wheat (or both). I managed to find a good sauce that's vegan and gluten free, and I started making them layered instead of rolled, and now this is in my usual food rotation. You could probably easily adapt this for carnivores.

Vegan, Gluten Free Black Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas )
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[ profile] lakeeffectgirl found this recipe, which sounded amazing. I tried out adapting it to be vegan and gluten free yesterday, so here's how I made it.

Coconut Bread )
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So far thirty doesn't feel all that different, although I do like the number thirty better than the number twenty-nine.

The biggest thing I'm doing to celebrate this year is taking charge of my birthday. I had one really good birthday a few years ago when [ profile] allegram and [ profile] dedalvs were up visiting, but my birthdays have been not the best for years and years. Not for any real tragedy of a reason; they've just been minorly annoying. I've said for a while that if I could get away with it, I would do away with my birthday celebration all together. See, I don't really want to spend the evening of my birthday spending a lot of time with a lot of people, especially when I've had the repeated experience that people don't want to do what I want to do. A quiet night at home where I can read, write, or watch a movie is my idea of a good time. (I'm not wholly antisocial, just a bit of an introvert.) Last year or the year before I tried doing lunch instead of dinner, but that didn't work out particularly well: one set of cousins was hungover and couldn't make it, and my brother goes to San Francisco to party for New Year's Eve and wasn't back yet. So this year we're doing dinner tomorrow night instead. (Although the cousins who are usually hungover are recovering from the flu and not yet ready to get off the couch and won't be there anyway. My mom says my brother initially said he would be there, but he also said that of her birthday which he then couldn't make, so we'll see.) That means I'm enjoying a quiet day at home today.

Specific things I've done/plan to do today:

Following on [ profile] lakeeffectgirl's New Year's Eve plans, I watched The Bourne Supremacy earlier, and I think I'm going to watch The Bourne Ultimatum later. Jason/Nicky forever! I also bought the newest Michelle Sagara book last week, so I might go read for a while.

While watching the movie, I also wrote thank-you notes and organized some of the stuff that's been lying around on my dining room table for months. That might not seem like a fun birthday activity, but I like organizing and I like the idea of starting out a new year with at least some of that taken care of.

My mom's asked me if I had anything new to go on my wish list about ten times since I got a job. I keep telling her no. (As of about one-thirty yesterday, she said I was so far getting a cake. We'll see if she did something creative or just went for things off the list.) The reality is that my life is pretty pared down to essentials, and eating really good food actually is a treat for me, and something I'd rather have than anything else I could think of as vague wants. (The snack foods I put on my wish list are things I'm slightly less likely to buy for myself because they're either expensive [nuts] or impossible to find [Sunkist Fruit Gems], and gift certificates make me feel like I can splurge a tiny bit.) So now I'm going to talk about food.

I decided I wanted pizza for dinner on my birthday and that I could spend the money on the ingredients for it since I got gift certificates for Hanukkah and Christmas, and then I discovered that S&S no longer carries the vegan, gluten-free pizza crust I was buying. They do carry another kind, so I'll be trying that out for dinner with Passionate Mango coconut milk yogurt (something else I love but is hideously expensive) for dessert. Yum! Tomorrow night is Thai food with raw "cheese"cake for dessert.

I wasn't going to cook for lunch, but then the thing I really wanted was something that had to be cooked: rice, black beans, and sauteed bell pepper and onion. For the black beans, I've been heating them in a pan with a little bit of water, some garlic (I stopped cutting up my own and started just buying jars of chopped garlic), salt, and whatever spices seem good to me at the moment (today it was a little bit of cayenne; I think I liked it with red pepper flakes and a dash of sage better). For the bell pepper and onion, I just sauteed them on medium or so with some salt, pepper, and garlic. I also had some chips, some of which I ate with the main lunch stuff and some of which I ate with what I've been laughingly calling lazy salsa (cut up tomato). I managed to burn the rice on my first try. This is the third or fourth thing I've burned in that particular pan, so maybe I've just ruined it.

The bottom line of all of this is that I'm so far having a very nice, quiet birthday. Thank you to everyone who's been a part of it! I've gotten all kinds of lovely emails, tweets, Facebook comments, and even a v-gift. Some wonderful, anonymous person also gifted me with six months of paid time, which I'm excited about. I was thinking about letting my paid account lapse, but now I don't have to. Thank you so much, wonderful, anonymous person!
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My aunt does holiday dinners for our family, and she cooks very traditional food for them. I do not eat traditional food, so this year I brought food for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is what I took yesterday.

Black Bean Salad )
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If you're looking for one more thing to make for tomorrow, here's a recipe that my aunt makes every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have made it vegetarian, so that version is also below. I did once attempt to make a vegan version of the frosting, but it didn't work out very well. If I were to try it again, I would probably try using a cashew cream "cheese" as a base.

Cranberry Jello Salad )
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This is what I had for dinner tonight. It's now one of my favorite recipes, and it's from Dreena Burton's Eat, Drink & Be Vegan (and, yes, it bugs me every time I get the book out that it has only one comma).

Broccoli Cashew Teriyaki Tofu Stir-Fry )
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It continues to be cold. I don't have a cat, so I'm using my heating pad on my lap to keep me warm. Here's a warm and toasty treat for a cold day. For me, this is extra comforting because my mom used to make it for breakfast sometimes when my brother and I were kids. I think it'll be cosy even without the memory influence.

Recipe: Rice Cereal )
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The treats for the last two days wore me out! Today's treat is one I didn't even have to type because I already had it typed out. I got this recipe from [ profile] lakeeffectgirl, who got it from Vegetarian Times. I have successfully served these to omnivores, but I make them because they're vegan and gluten-free. (Note: they do call for oats and oat flour. Oats do not naturally have gluten, but are often contaminated in processing. Those of you who don't eat gluten probably know what kind of oats you can and can't eat. If you're making these for people who eat gluten-free, you might want to check with them before you purchase ingredients.)

Walnut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies )
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[ profile] norwich36 came over last night so we could watch/mock The Christmas Cottage. (For some reason, IMDb is insisting the proper title is Thomas Kinkade's Home for Christmas, but the DVD itself calls it The Christmas Cottage.) I have only a few things to say about the movie:
  1. Jared Padalecki has a limited acting range, and this role does not fall within it.
  2. This movie has a surprisingly large number of recognizable names in it.
  3. I clearly need more generally fannish people on my friends list because I didn't know Richard Burgi was going to be in it.
  4. If you, for some crazy reason, decide you want to watch the movie, you should definitely watch the special features. The Christmas With the Cast things are mostly entertaining, and some of the deleted scenes are better than what made it into the movie. If you drink alcohol, that may also make the whole experience more bearable.
Since the movie isn't worth saying much about, let me instead tell you about what I made for dinner.

Lentil Soup )

Salad )

Lemon Thyme Biscuits )

Brownies )
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Today I'm thankful for [ profile] allegram's black bean salad. (Have you noticed how many of these are about food? This appears to be what I think about when I don't have a job.) It's a yummy and amazingly easy dish to mix up to take to a party. When she gave me the recipe, she said she's served it as a salad, as a topping for tostadas, and as a dip. Tonight, I ate it as part of a tostada and as a dip. I never did get around to just eating it plain, but I brought some of it home for tomorrow, which I may eat that way unless I get the urge to make it into a taco.

Recipe )
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Today I'm thankful for corn. I know the corn industry can be problematic, but that's not the food's fault. I've been craving chili and cornbread, so that's what I had for dinner. I remembered that I wanted to add corn to the chili, so I tried that out this time. It probably needed about half as much corn as I put in it. Recipes:

Vegetarian Chili )

Cornbread - Yogurt Variation )


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Ruth Sadelle Alderson


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