Cold Months are for Comfort Food

Alas, the middle of January has arrived. The middle of January is the time of the year I always fall into a rut, stop going to the gym, slee...

Alas, the middle of January has arrived. The middle of January is the time of the year I always fall into a rut, stop going to the gym, sleep too much, live in hoodies, rarely venture anywhere I need to walk far to get to, crave the warm sun and long days of summer... We're so far from it. The portion of my life that does not fall apart during this part of the year is my cooking. I always cook the most comforting and warming meals in my repetoire, because that's all I seem to feel like doing. I also never skip dessert, this time of year, at least... Comfort foods are born when you eat something during a time in your life when you needed a pick-me-up. After a bad day at school, after you're soccer team lost in the playoffs, after the Patriots lost the superbowl, when my brother put his foot through my bedroom window and blamed it on me... I also crave a little story-telling, so I hope y'all are up for it :)

When I was a kid, I use to eat chicken noodle soup every day. It's mostly awesome because its so salty. I use to eat it after school with a glass of orange juice. That sounds gross now.. But I loved it. I don't eat chicken anymore, so Campbell's has been out of the picture for quite a few years. What's a vegan girl to do? Chickpea Noodle Soup. Everything I ever loved about chicken noodle soup, and more. I was flipping through Veganomicon and spotted this one and thought of how I should put this on my "to make" list. I didn't actually open the book while I was cooking this soup, but how hard is it to improvise this one? I put some onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a pot with a ton of stock and salt and pepper. Handful of nooch and some chickpeas and we got a stew goin'. I also thought it would fair well with some freshly baked bread. Nothing fancy, just a baguette with olive oil did the trick.

I started becoming interested in cooking when I was sixteen. The first thing I got good at making was spaghetti and tomato sauce. It's a classic place to start, but I'm doing a little better these days. Anyways maybe the second thing I got good at making was these stuffed peppers. I saw Jaime Oliver make these on the food network. It was a specific recipe I followed a few times but now I just kind of play it by what's in my pantry. It always contains sliced chiles, chopped cherry tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil. Sometimes I mix it up and throw in a handful of kalamata olives and shredded zucchini. I bake them for about 45 minutes until the peppers are cooked through and the tops are nice and toasty looking. I serve them on toast. I admit, it's not really a wintery dish, but its spicy as hell, and I dig that in the winter.  Alongside is a baked sweet potato with cheezy-style sauce and broccoli with some chipotle cream. 

Dessert! I haven't made a pie in a while, and by a while I mean two weeks. I was torn between 2 pies in Vegan Pie In The Sky  which were a chocolate-raspberry tart and a chocolate-orange tart. Two pies are obviously better than one, but since I got some mini-tart pans for Christmas, I took this as a perfect opportunity to break them in. I made three mini-tarts of each. The chocolate-raspberry was the clear winner for me, but Alex dug the chocolate-orange better. They were both equally adorable, so we can call it a tie overall.

Grasshopper pie! Any ideas as to why it's called grasshopper pie? Because I got nothing. It should probably be called delicious pie. What it is, is a chocolate cookie crust, with a minty custard and chocolate drizzle. Around the top I piped some whipped cashew cream, for maximum good housekeeping-style cuteness. It does look adorable, you can't deny it. 

Valentines Day Special!!
What kind of Valentines Day would it be without an insanely rich and chocolately brownie? Lackluster, that's what it would be. But this takes it a step further by taking the brownie tradition to a brownie-cupcake. This one is a raspberry chocolate brownie cupcake with chocolate mousse topping. It's pretty rich, but it's pretty delicious. Cut it in half if you can't handle it, but we all know I am punk enough to tackle a whole one. Available through February14th!

Hope everyone is keeping comfortable with comfort food during the long and cold wintery months with a little help from their friend KZ.

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