Tag Archives: wine

Vegan sausages

Last week I decided that I was going to try to make vegan sausages. I did a bit of internet researching and found this which really comes from here. But seeing as I am incapable of following directions or recipes and I couldn’t stick to measurements I made up my own and went a little nuts on fun spices. Jess really likes fennel and I don’t really cook much with it but I ground some up and put it in the sausage.

While I was grinding the fennel I realized why I don’t cook with much fennel. When I was a kid my dad would let us spice out own hamburgers. He would open up the spice cabinet and tell us we could put anything we would like in them and we would mix in ridiculous spice combination. Well, I think I must have used to much fennel and it caused some sort of aversion. Anyway, looking back it was pretty rad for my dad to let us experiment with spices, but, on with my vegan sausages.

I used pinto and navy beans cooked from scratch. first.

more ingredients. It is sort of funny that I rarely meansure anything yet I really enjoy the cooking show aesthetic of little bowls of things.

Vegan sausage mash

before the wrap up

all wrapped up and ready to steam

Then you put them in the steamer... hey, this reminds me of tamales...mmm tamales. I should make those again.

While the sausages steamed I cooked some beets and parsnips...mmm parsnips. There's some olive oil and thyme was the prime spice.

I have two secret ingredients and one of them in vegenaise. This is a dressing made with a vegenaise base and some spices, primarily thyme and thined out with water. I also really like this bowl.

I also made an onion suace with carmelized onions and some garlic that I roasted in the oven to put over the sausage.

after steaming I grilled the sausages and thought about how I need to make them with the liquid being beer next time. mmm, beer.

So, jess has nailed down not only my palate in relation to wine but also my palette in relation to the spices I use when cooking and what wine would go with it. Damn, it is awesome to have my very own sommelier! She has often paired my foods with wines from the Montsant region of Spain. There has not been a single wine from there that I haven’t liked. Now I need to do more research. Gee, thanks Jess for giving me yet another expensive snobish taste to add to beer, coffee and writing utensils.

Anyway, on with the meal



Yup, my phone was stolen but cooking in my kitchen has been great.

If you call me I more than likely won’t answer my phone. That’s just how it is and it’s not because I see who calls and decide not to pick it up. I just have a tendency to leave it around the house, in the kitchen, in my bag, at the bottle of my panniers, on the coffee table in the livingroom, in the pocket of the pants I wore yesterday, etc. Sometimes I won’t even look for it for a day and lose it in the house only to find it when I make Paul call it so I can listen for the vibration since I hardly even have the ringer up.

Well, this happened Friday night. I went around the house listening for my phone that I can usually find and then I gave up. Yesterday morning I checked my online billing only to find that there were some weird calls that I can’t remember and some data usage and text messages. They were all 1 minute or 2 and nothing was outside my plan. I had to run and errand for my sister and scrambled to find out how to suspend my phone and deal with it later.

I wracked my brain to figure out how they hell my cell phone got stolen when I hadn’t even left the house! My sister came over Thursday and I had it then. The only thing I can think of is that I left it on  my porch and someone swiped it from there. jerks! To make matters worse my PayPal debit card went missing a few days before that. Stupid Mercury retrograde ruining everything!

On the brighter side I have been making kick ass food since redoing my kitchen except I keeping forgetting to take pictures of it. We have been feasting on tamales and zucchini bread for the past few days. The tamales have two fillings both have a base of onions and peppers from the yard mixed with coriander. One has tvp mixed with taco seasoning and the other has black beans, tomatillo salsa, cuban oregano and beet tops. They were both really hot but super tasty!

I also made a really great lentil soup. My lentil soups always seem to taste better the second day. I also made a layered pasta bake with tomato sauce on the bottom, a mixture of crumbled tofu, vegenaise, chopped spinach and bow tie pasta with a vegan nutritional yeast cheese sauce on top. I ate almost half the pan myself! I utilized the abundance of tomatoes in our yard but picking a bunch of romas, chopping them in half and putting a bit of olive oil, salt, peper, parsley and oregano on them and broiling them. Then I made some penne, chopped some kalamata olives and mixed them with pine nuts, a bit of olive oil and spices. When the penne was done I mixed up the olive mixture and the broiled mushy tomatoes and poured it all on top like a sauce.

Jess and I had a vegan food and wine pairing night and on the way home from buying ingredients I decided to pick up fallen fruits to make a crumble. I can’t believe how many people have fruit trees and just let the fruit fall and rot! So much so that there are even organizations that help get people and fruit together like Urban Edibles. There are even maps and tips about ethics. I just grabbed a pears and apples that had fallen on the sidewalk on my way home and mixed them with blackberries from my back yard and a tiny bit of sugar.

While waiting for Jess to get off work Paul and I sliced some olive cibatta , lightly heated some olive oil with garlic in it, dropped it in a bowl, poured some balsamic in it and dipped the bread.

Anyway, Jess and I had been thinking about this meal for awhile: Red and yellow peppers stuffed with quinoa, pine nuts, tomatoes and herbs plus roasted vegetables, marinated tempeh and a tofu cream sauce. There were two bottle of wine but really, they were insignificant compared to how great the meal was.

3 different kinds of potatoes, squash, corn, yams, beets, onions, herbs from the garden and a bit of my secret ingredient that always makes roasted veggies better. This is my perfect fall dish, my comfort food.

3 different kinds of potatoes, squash, corn, yams, beets, onions, herbs from the garden and a bit of my secret ingredient that always makes roasted veggies better. This is my perfect fall dish, my comfort food.

What you can't see is that I also added slices of avacado to the side with cabernet finishing salt.

What you can't see is that I also added slices of avacado to the side with cabernet finishing salt.

The tempeh was marinated in something that I’ll never be able to recreate but it was good. The sauce tied everything together and it can also probably never be recreated. It went something like this: silken tofu in a food processor, olive oil, cayenne pepper, parsley, lemon juice. We all sort of sat around Rhapsodizing about the food that we didn’t pay much attention to the wine. Oh well. I remember I liked the first bottle we drank better than the one we had with the meal.

Lots of good cooking days almost makes up for having my phone stolen. I ordered a new phone but won’t have it until next week. It has always been better to e-mail me anyway. I can also chatted 9or video chatted!) with on Google and Skyped as alexwrekk.

Time to get out of bed and get to work. I have and IPRC shift this evening and the cats seem to be sleeping on their back which usually means rain.

Vegan wine and food pairing #1

Paul and I went to bed listening to Ghost to Ghost AM with Art Bell from 1996 last night. We still haven’t been able to track down the episode from the first night we spent together in 1997, but we are still looking.

I have been feeling a little under the weather last night and today. I bought two fancy 22 oz. beers at Whole Paycheck after my IPRC shift last night but I didn’t think I’d enjoy them so I’m saving them until I feel better. I got up at 7ish and work til 3ish so I think a nice rest in bed and watching some TV on the internets is in order while I drink some tea and hope this headache goes away.

Paul’s band I Am My Kat are practicing in the basement and luckily it is just a dull tone, not even loud enough to hear over the freeway up in my room on the second floor. Their last show is on  March 17 at The Know. Unfortunately that’s also St. Patrick’s Day. Being at a bar on that day never seems like a fun time. Oh well, I’m excited to see them play.

I have been meaning to document my foray into wine with Jess and I have been holding off. I was trying to find my tasting notes but they have disappeared. So, you are just going to get some photos of our meal last week.

My friend Jess is a beer and wine steward at the Arbor Lodge New Seasons. She knows her stuff. I think that when we met i probably knew more about beer and she knew more about wine but over the years she has probably surpassed me in beer knowledge and always has with wine. I like the call her my own private Steward… even down to the fact that she opens and pours for me!

We have been working on making these vegan wine pairings for over a year and I have been meaning to document them. So, I’m starting now. Basically I come up with some things to cook and explain the flavors and ingredients and she picks a wine to pair with my food.  what we have learned, that is a surprise to noone, is that my food tends toward the heavier and earthier flavors. I have also realized that my palate is pretty similar when it comes to wines. All I have really learned about tastings is from beer so I ocassionally get made fun of for my language.

With Jess and I it is a cultural exchange: She teaches me about wine and I educate her in obscure 90’s punk and vegan cooking. I think it is a fair trade! We generally have two bottles of wine. Usually a white and a red and listen to records. Sometimes we share with paul… most of the time we don’t.

Last week



Lemuria- Get better


Menage a Trois: 2007 California White Whine (Chardonnay, Muscato, Chenin Blanc) I lost my notes on this but I remember that I enjoyed it. I’m finding that I dig the Muscato grape.

Owen Roe: 2005 Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley I feel bad for not liking this as much as Jess thought I would. I remember that there was this tanic *thing* that I frequently associate with cheap wine… except that I know this was an expensive one. The mouth feel was just really distracting.  jess loves Cab Francs but they are jsut hit or miss with me.

Food: Since we were making lasagna we thought we would make a nice starter platter to snack on while the lasagna was cooking. We made hummus from scratch, chopped up some veggies and olives, roast a clove of garlic and some dolmas. The white wine tasted so fucking good with the dolmas. yum. we even let Paul have some.

Yummy starters

Yummy starters

we devoured the roasted garlic!

we devoured the roasted garlic!

After we wer ethroughly stuffed from that we got our vegan spinach and tofu lassagna out of the oven and snacked on that with the Cab Franc.

earthy and fruity cab franc... and a fancy numbered bottle

earthy and fruity cab franc... and a fancy numbered bottle

That was last week. I’m not sure when we are going to have a meal this week. I leave Friday afternoon for Seattle with Lilly and marc for the Zine Librarian Un-Conference so it would have to be before then. Anyway, all this talk about food is making me hungry. I had some tofurkey Kielbasa with grilled onions and peppers sandwich for lunch and I know we have some artichokes so maybe I’ll make one of those for dinner, they are always so fun to eat!

Dinner tonight!

It was a beautiful day in Portland this morning! Paul and I rode downtown to the post office and to meet someone to drop of buttons around 11. We were craving the green sauce at El Grillo so we headed there for a burrito and a Negra Modelo… when we got there we foudn a paper sign for the same place with a new name! The menu was a stripped down menu of El Grillo and Paul and I started blankly at the new owners.

They insited that they still had the same recipes and the rice and beans were vegan. They also said that they were going to have vegan black beans too. which is great because I prefer black beans. But it was still sort of weird that this Portland Institution next to Mary’s club was gone. At leas the salsa verde was still there and that’s what we were craving.

lots o taps

lots o taps

The weather was getting a bit sketchy by then and we headed to the pearl to the Deschutes brewery. They always have some fantastic stuff on tap that is only available at the brewery. Paul had a Belgian and I had the Night Rider stout on Nitro… not only was it on Nitro, it was a coffee stout! I guess it is basically the obsidian stout with coffee! It smelled so good and tasted great. Totally smooth and rich. I took a long time to drink it. Paul drank the Belgian and a beer that was 40% spelt and reminded me of a hefe in the time I took to drink my one beer! We had our ass kicked by the Oregonian crossword but we managed to finish the NYT… with a little help from the internets on my phone.

yummy goodness in proper glassware!

yummy goodness in proper glassware!

Then we rode home… up the big hill on Interstate. I realized that this was the first time this year that I rode up that hill. I feel really out of shape.

I got to work making buttons, packing orders, writing e-mails and being stoked that 50 people listened to our zine podcast!

Then it was time for some dinner. I made some brown rice with vegetable stock, roasted some yummy Brussel sprouts and cooked a bit of chard in some red wine vinegar and served them up in these cute little tray type plates that I inherited from my grandmother. We have been on a brussel sprout and asparagus kick lately. We also talked about gettign Oreganics to You again. It was a lot of fun to get randon veggies and then figure out what to do with them. Then again, we have a farmer’s market down the street from us in a few months. maybe we should wait and just start doing that again. Anyway, here’s our meal tonight:

sprouts, chard and brown rice

sprouts, chard and brown rice

I keep meaning to edit down the images from the meal Jess and I made the other night with the vegan wine pairing. It was pretty great. I keep meaning to document our wine adventures. I’m such a novice when it comes to wine but Jess is really helping me figure some stuff out… it also helps that she’s a beer and wine steward!

Marc and I talked about our podcast tonight and some ideas for future episodes and maped out a bit of what we plan to do at thezine librarian un-conference. I’m really stoked because with the people there we could get 3-4 shows out of all the zine talk that will be happenning! I’m looking forward to getting better at editing too.

I also have some more photos of my yard… and some of the squirrels from my yard! Plus, it is March and I have to gush about the multiple anniversaries Paul and I celebrate this month.