The Expanding Circle

…health, the environment, and social justice…

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Advertisements

Archive for December, 2010

New Year’s Eve

Posted by tinako on December 31, 2010

We had a lovely lunch at Zest.  We ordered a nice pot of their Blackberry infusion.  It came with all kinds of lovely leaves and buds floating in the pot, and a strainer to use when pouring.  They have a half sandwich & soup or salad option, so I went with that.  I had their soup of the day: Squash, Turnip, and something else.  That was very good.    And then came a Hummus Du Jour sandwich, which was plenty of tangy orange hummus on nice toasted bread with some peppers and spinach.  It came with a cold rice salad which had a very light dressing and cranberries in it.  Also a cute little pickle, very fresh and mild.  Very good.

There were plenty of vegan options, but no vegan desserts.  My mother-in-law ordered an Almond Joy Pie.  It seemed to be toasted coconut and maybe corn syrup baked into a “pie shell,” then filled with coconut pie filling (thick pudding) and topped with a chocolate glaze and coconut and sliced almonds, and served with a dollop of whipped cream.  It looked good and I could do that.  My daughter and I came back and had leftover brownies to console ourselves.  Yum!

For dinner I made Whole Wheat Rolls and Refrigerator Soup.  The soup was just stuff my hostess and I had on hand, garlic, celery, carrots, potato, kale, turnip, and a veggie bouillon cube.  Then I snuck upstairs to my sister-in-laws and “borrowed” a couple sundried tomatoes, rosemary powder, dill, Italian spices, and a bay leaf.  My grandmother-in-law made my spinach, still terrific after a week, into a nice salad.  We put in sweet pepper, clementine, red onion, and walnuts.  It was all delicious.  For dressing we used some Balsamic Fig Dressing I got at Stonewall Kitchens.   I had been concerned that the second ingredient was sugar, and ideed it was too syrupy, but not bad.

We’ll be polishing off the Brownies soon.


Posted in Menus | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Recipe Copyright

Posted by tinako on December 30, 2010

Over time, several people have asked if I have permission to post the recipes I have here.  The answer is no, I have no permission for a single recipe posted at this site.  I don’t need it.  It is not required by law or even by etiquette.

This is a pretty good explanation based on case law.  And here is the original law for your reference.

In sum, authors cannot copyright a list of ingredients.  I’m not allowed to exactly copy their recipe text or photos without permission, but I do not do that.  In most cases etiquette says I should give credit, and I do.

Here’s what I do.  I use someone’s recipe to make something, taking note of changes I make.  Then I write out what I did, in my own words.  I also take a picture of what I made and use that.  And then as a matter of courtesy and honesty I give credit to their inspiration.  If I didn’t change anything (except write it in my own words), I say the recipe is “from” them.  But I almost always change something, and I don’t even use the “three ingredients” rule they mention in that above posting.  I’m not stingy – their recipe inspired me; unless the recipe bears almost no resemblance to the original, I give credit.

So if you want to see the author’s original ingredients, tested directions, variations, and professional photos, you’ll have to buy or borrow their book or visit their web site.  My web site is about what I made, and that’s what you get.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a Comment »

Christmas Day

Posted by tinako on December 25, 2010

I got to take today off since I cooked yesterday, but my Dad put out a nice spread.  We had a choice of soups for lunch and then later he had chopped veggies and fruit, nuts, and chips and salsa.  I added Hummus and our Gingerbread House.  It was good!

Posted in Menus | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Christmas Eve

Posted by tinako on December 24, 2010

I made lunch and dinner for eight today.  Lunch was Lentil Soup and defrosted Apple Wheat Rolls.  I also put out the Sushi.


Dinner was two loaves of Focaccia, Lasagna Rollups made with one bunch of steamed Swiss chard and stretched to 12 rolls, whole wheat penne with tomato sauce made from garlic, olive oil, crushed tomatoes, red wine, and herbs, and butternut squash.

Raw Fava Beans

I had brought along two lovely bunches of spinach to steam, but they were just so nice I decided a salad would be better.  My brother’s girlfriend is very good at salads, so she added chopped apples, pears, oranges, red peppers, and walnuts, and made a dressing like she did when I visited them last summer: Orange Balsamic.  Because the balsamic here was not as sweet, she added a little sugar.

Over the course of the last two days I made a Fava Bean Appetizer to serve with dinner, but it didn’t come out so well.  The beans didn’t cook evenly but I didn’t notice that until it was too late – so the couple I sampled were pretty mushy, but many were very hard.  I just bought the beans, but maybe they had sat on the shelf a while.  Even so, the end result wasn’t a pretty dish, and didn’t have a strong enough flavor to make you eat them anyway.  They were OK, but I wouldn’t do that again.

Dessert was Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Posted in Menus | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by tinako on December 23, 2010


Dinner was Pizza.  I put summer tomato sauce, fresh basil, olives, portobello mushrooms, Gimme Lean “sausage,” and Hungarian wax peppers on.

I also made some Sushi to use up half a package of tempeh.  I finished up my white rice and so half the rice was short grain brown.  Even this half-and-half mixture was definitely not as sticky, but it was not really a problem.  In addition to the tempeh mix, I also put carrot and black fungus in.  You buy the latter dried in an Asian grocery.

Posted in Menus | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »


Posted by tinako on December 22, 2010

Soup, Porter, Rice, Kale, Curry, and Tofu

For dinner I made Curry with red and sweet potatoes, kale, and pigeon peas, brown rice, leftover Refrigerator Soup, microwaved tofu, leftover kale, and Patak’s mango chutney.

Posted in Menus | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Soup Night

Posted by tinako on December 21, 2010

We had Refrigerator Soup with my son’s requests: carrots, celery, potatoes, frozen collards, whole wheat alphabet pasta, and vegan “chicken” broth powder.  I also put in minced garlic, minced mushroom, and frozen parsley and dill.

With this we had Ginger Lime Edamame and Apple Wheat Rolls from the freezer.

Posted in Menus | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Orzo and Sweet Pea Pilaf

Posted by tinako on December 20, 2010

Orzo Pilaf, Kale, and Tofu

Dinner tonight was simple, Orzo and Sweet Pea Pilaf, Microwaved Tofu, and steamed kale.

Posted in Menus | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Kwanzaa Angel Food Cake

Posted by tinako on December 19, 2010


This cooking video reminded me of Stefon from Saturday Night Live Weekend Update, who gushes over the creepy smorgasbord of weirdness at “New York’s hottest club.  This place has everything!”

Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa Cake

This cake has everything! But as with nightclubs, that might not be a good thing.

I was OK with the store-bought Angel Food cake (though angel food is not vegan), I began to question adding cocoa and cinnamon to canned frosting, and it didn’t look very good, sort of gray.  I became more concerned when canned apple pie filling was dumped in the middle, horrified when pumpkin seeds and corn nuts (she calls them acorns) were sprinkled on, and the laughter began when the enormous candles were jammed into the top.  When the candles are bigger than the cake, it’s time to rethink things.

It was like something my kids would come up with unsupervised!

Here’s an article written by a woman confessing to having invented this cake.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Tomato Thyme Ravioli

Posted by tinako on December 18, 2010

Kale, Ravioli, and Focaccia

Dinner tonight was Tomato Thyme Ravioli from the freezer, tomato sauce I made over the summer, Focaccia with olive oil and Dipping Spices, and I steamed some lovely kale from the farmer’s market.  Can you see its purple ribs?

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Dessert was Vanilla Cake with leftover chocolate icing from the Half Moon Cookies.

Posted in Menus | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »