Monday, November 28, 2011

klutz in the kitchen

You would think I didn't know my way around a kitchen.  You'd think I've never cooked before... or measured anything... or stirred a pot.  If you haven't been following this blog for the last couple of years, you might think I was just learning to cook from the way I was dropping things and tossing things around tonight.

You know, it's ridiculous - I took a couple of days off from my kitchen and it's as though I've never handled a measuring spoon or a spatula before.  I spilled water, poured salt all over the counter, knocked rice on the floor, and dropped at least two measuring spoons.  I tossed bits of spinach all over the stovetop and God forbid I transfer the coconut milk from the counter to the pot without dumping some of it on the skillet and pan-frying tofu in the process.

Fortunately, it all came together (after a little swearing and a lot of stooping) to make Sag Paneer from Celebrate Vegan.

I'll be honest, I was not all that impressed, after all my hard work (of spinach-slinging, salt-spilling, and rice-scattering).  It was really rather bland, despite the addition of the maximum amount of salt (plus a little, probably) and the shallot-garlic-ginger base.  I caught Mister trying to be subtle as he snuck more salt onto his second serving and unabashedly doused both servings with a generous amount of hot sauce (at my suggestion).  I did not have an opportunity to test this before the cookbook was published, but I wish I had so I could have suggested a ton more flavor.  One of my favorite parts of Indian food is the almost overwhelming 'spiceyness' and flamboyant flavors - those aspects were disappointingly absent from this recipe, making me glad as heck for the overboard flavors in The 30 Minute Vegan's version of this Southern Asia staple.

Angst still seemed to think he urgently needed to share Mister's dinner...

"This is my Imploring Face"
(note the paw on Mister's knee) 
"Please, Mister, I NEEDS!"
So, Black Friday I came home and ate leftover Spanakopita and leftover Apple Pie.  Saturday I slept most of the day, drank some coffee, got another make-up delivery, and then went out on a belated Anniversary Dinner with my hubby because....

...Vedge finally opened!  Hallelujah, folks.

I took a bunch of pictures, but it's possible that Vedge is even dimmer than Horizons was, so none of them came out.  Here's the synopsis:

I started out with an Apple Cide Car, per the power of suggestion from Dynise's review of the Friends and Family night.  With dinner, I enjoyed a nice glass of Dolcetto.  The server explained that the Chef suggests three plates per person and that the menu lists plates in order from light to heavy.  To share, Mister and I ordered our old favorite from Horizons - Truffled Fingerling Fries, a newsie Crispy Cauliflower with Kimchee Mayo and an order of Roasted Baby Broccoli from their "Dirt" list (today's fresh veggie sides).  I elected to try a new dish, despite many of my favorites from Horizons making a slightly altered appearance on the menu - Steak-Spiced Tofu with squash, chanterelles, and a few other unidentified vegetables.  I can honestly say that this dish marked the very first time I have actually found mushrooms enjoyable.  I will not be seeking them out any time soon, but it was nice to not have to eat around them.  Mister stuck with what he knows, ordering the Grilled Seitan, even though it came on a bed of beluga lentils with some mushrooms surrounding it.  It was so refreshing to be able to order and eat anything on the menu.  The delightful thing about the small plates thing Vedge is doing is that it enabled us to order and enjoy dessert without feeling like total pigs (and since it's much further from home, the walk back helped burn off a few calories).  Mister, as usual, got Fig & Quince Cheesecake and discarded the fruit.  The figs tasted kind of "green" and the quince was middle-sweet.  I would have left them on, myself.  I got the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Pumpkin(-spiced) "ice cream" and loved every warm, melty bite.

As a side note, Angst helped me finish the blog post tonight and Mister took pictures:

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