New Year = New Adventures in Twigfood!

I told you I get pretty excited by food...especially cupcakes...especially vegan cupcakes from the Bearded Lady. Thankfully, my face doesn't do this every time I get excited. Olympia, WA. October, 2010.

Hello dear friends!  I wanted this blog to be new to the world on January 1st, but alas, my Happy New Year turned into [un]Happy Flu Year, and well, I was just too dark weak & without appetite to blog!  Those dreadful times are over, hungry souls.  Twigfood is here!  I get pretty excited about food and I am equally excited to share some food with YOU!

What is “twigfood” you ask?  My dear friend Leroy Thomas, who I met whilst living in Olympia, WA, used to refer to anything I ate, you know, food of the vegan variety, as “twigfood.”  I loved it.  Japanese twig tea, “Kukicha,” is one of my favorite teas, but twigfood sounds like one of the most unappealing things I could nosh on.  Don’t fret, the recipes you find on twigfood are quite the opposite of unappealing.  The recipes you find on twigfood are the recipes I’ve been whipping up for the past several years and have finally started writing down.  These recipes will fill you up and never let you down!  They’ll sometimes burn your tongue with fiery spice!  They’re so flavorful that they’ll make your tastebuds rejoice with the party you’ll be throwing in your mouth each time you take a bite of the food that the recipes here yield!  They’ll take you around the world from Ghana to Germany to Mexico and to the Republic of Texas, and beyond!  They might not always be healthy as they may sometimes have a lot of sweetness or a lot o’ lipids, but everything in moderation, right?  There’s a whole slew of recipes for healthier foods for those of you trying to stay svelt.  Anyway, I’ll stop tooting my own horn here.  I hope to [someday] publish a cookbook now that I have a fancy camera to take food porn wholesome portraits of food.  Maybe I’ll become a professional vegan chef and run a food trailer somewhere if grad school doesn’t pan out.  My future is foggier than San Francisco right now, so I’m just going to blog about the things I’ve been cooking up in my head and on my stove.

Hundreds of people wait to see the flight of over a million Mexican free-tailed bats, the largest urban bat colony in the world, from underneath the Congress Ave. Bridge. Austin, TX. November, 2011.

Let me tell you how I arrived at the recipe I’m about to share with you.  Well, I just moved to Austin, Texas, from the vegan capital of the world, the Pacific Northwest, USA, and I’m trying to embrace Texas and Southern cuisine.  There’s not much to embrace as a vegan, but I’m going to change that!  I’m going to start out with some Biscuits & Gravy.  I made this for real live Texan, (this fella was born knowing how to two-step and he’s got a twang – REAL TEXAN, I said!), and he wholeheartedly approved.  Unless he’s a yellow-bellied liar…Hmm…The first time I made this, it was killer.  Light, fluffy, buttery biscuits and rich gravy.  And, of course, the first time I made this, I didn’t write down what I was doing.  So, the second time I made it, it was still good, but not as good as the first.  So it is likely I will return to this recipe to edit it, but this is what I have so far.  Now let’s get to the recipe right quick! [That’s “Let’s get to this quickly” for all y’all not fluent in Texan.]

Biscuits & Gravy: 

By, Rachel Mockler

Yield:  6 large biscuits & about 3 1/2 c. gravy

Biscuits:

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c + 2 Tbsp Earth Balance, softened

1 cup unsweetened soymilk

2 Tbsp ground flaxseed

1) In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.

2) In a medium bowl, mix soymilk and flaxseed and let sit for a few minutes.

3) In the large bowl with the dry ingredients, add the softened Earth Balance and mix with pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

4)  Add the soymilk mixture to the large bowl and mix until wet and dry ingredients are completely blended.  DO NOT OVERMIX:  This will make your biscuits tougher than hockey pucks.

5)  Divide the biscuits into 6 equal heaps on a greased baking sheet & bake in a pre-heated oven of 400°F for 20 minutes.

Gravy: 

4 white button or cremini mushrooms, sliced (about a cup or cup & a half of mushrooms)

1/2 cup sliced onions

1/2 cup Earth Balance

6 Tbsp flour

3 cups unsweetened soymilk

2 Tbsp soy sauce (I used Bragg’s Liquid Aminos the first time, and I think it was better – I’ll have to get y’all the amount next time I make this)

1 tsp seasoning salt

1/2 tsp parsley

1)  In a large skillet, heat Earth Balance over low heat until melted.

2) Add 3 Tbsp of flour to Earth Balance and whisk rapidly to avoid burning until mixture begins bubbling.  Oh, look at you!  You just made a roux!

3)  Add soymilk and whisk any lumps out.

4)  Add mushrooms, onions, soy sauce, parsley, and seasoning salt.

5) Cover  and simmer over low heat, stirring often, until onions and mushrooms are cooked.

6)  Take the remaining three tablespoons of the flour and mix with a little water, maybe a tablespoon or so, and mix it so it is completely liquid.  Then pour flour and water mixture into skillet and whisk mixture until the gravy has thickened.  Add more flour and water mixture until the gravy meets your thickness needs.

7)  Guten Appetit!

All recipes and photographs are property of the author of this blog, unless otherwise noted.  Please ask permission for posting elsewhere.

 
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