Hello All. It has been awhile since I have last posted. Since then we have moved into our apartment in Logan Square, gotten it about 45% organized and straightened out the kitchen to a remarkably usable level with some Ikea love. The square footage of our kitchen here is probably about the same as our old closet in New Orleans. It's a bit of a shock to the system. But we are architects. We overcame. I now have a breakfast nook jammed behind our refrigerator but it is nice and sunny during the day with a view out the window. It is a big enough space for a game of boggle and a place to sit and wait for your cookies to come out of the oven. Plus with a little luck we had a space for our "roll out chopping block" to well, chop, and store pots and pans.
Today I offer up a restaurant review and am going to tell you about the new cookbook(s) we bought. I say (s) in parentheses because only one cookbook is new. The other is from a used bookstore. If that does not make sense too bad.
Amos and I set off down Milwaukee to find Quimbys bookstore where on a previous visit we sighted the book How it all vegan!: Irresistable Recipes for an Animal Free Diet by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard. I had heard an interview with Sarah on a Vegan Freak podcast and am always interested in reading up on more vegan stuff. But instead I was drawn to Vegan with a Vegeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The recipes sound great (seitan-portobello stroganoff anyone?) and I was impressed with the way she urges you to get out there with your veganism. She has a vegan cooking show on NYC public access channels called Post-Punk Kitchen. What really got me is she urges you in the book to start your own weekend brunch joint if you can't stand another weekend of watching other people scarf down eggs while you sit with a bowl of oatmeal. Because brunch seriously sucks if you are vegan! But not as much as eggs suck.
But it was a hard choice. Because Sarah and Tanya rock too. But one thing at a time.
We also picked up The Miso Book by John and Jan Belleme at Myopic Books. (We actually walked in thinking it was Quimby's. "Did they re-arrange or something?" I asked Amos aloud.) There is a bit of fish at the end of this book but maybe I can just tear those pages out and focus on all the recipes that use tempeh, tofu and well, miso. For instance the recipe for creamy dill dip doesn't even have anything remotely related to cream in it. Rock. Walnut -Miso dip? Swoon.
Now gather around - it is time for a restaurant review. After our little book odyssey I really really needed some coffee. But is there a coffee shop anywhere in Chicago? NO. Is there good food anywhere in Chicago? I have not yet been convinced. We stopped in at Earwax, a semi-vegan/veg place, that was sporting a circus theme. Take a second to get over the name. There. After reading reviews upon our arrival home I realize it has a video store in the basement but this is besides the point.
First of all I am SICK and TIRED of paying an extra 3/4 of a dollar for goddam soy milk. Amos wanted pancakes so 7.50$ later we got some pancakes that I thought totally BLEW. I don't care if they are vegan - everything should be vegan anyway and it should taste good! Oooh - look at your fancy-pants vegan pancakes. Well too bad they SUCK! Amos liked the pancakes. (He did however get pissed when my half-eaten pancake launched across the table back at him. It was stuck in the syrup! It was all stuck then it unstuck and just flew at him.) Be your own judge. I might try there again for lunch. They offer a whole section on just veggie burgers. But next time I am bringing my own soy milk.