• Personally speaking….

    Just the thoughts and cookings of a software engineer that likes to make foodstuffs from time to time in the bay area of California.
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    September 2020
    S M T W T F S
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Cookbook Challenge: Tofu Scramble

2009 Cookbook Challenge: Cook a new recipe at least once a month from one of my currently owned cookbooks. Each new recipe I cook and post from a cookbook in my collection “earns” me $5.

Recipe 4: Tofu Scramble from Yellow Rose Recipes (Joanna Vaught)

2009 Cookbook Challenge Total: $20

Tofu Scramble

I made a tofu scramble for the first time last week and, to my surprise, really enjoyed it. I think most of the vegan cookbooks have a recipe for a tofu scramble and I don’t mind giving them a try — now.

I made this in my cast iron pan and thought it went well. Yes, learning still how to cook in cast iron but cleanup was easy with a little salt. I think, though, that I prefer the texture of the other tofu scramble that was crumbled into the pan. Vaught’s (photo above) version called for cubing the tofu, sauteing it for a few minutes, and adding a spice mixture later. There’s not a nutritional yeast flake in sight.

Also, I learned something with the seeding of the tomato before putting it in. Great idea!

I like the options she has listed like Pesto, Savory Mustard,ย  Greek, and Mexican. Now that I have this jar of this spice mixture, I guess I will have to make more tofu scramble. OK! Fine by me!

I served this with a couple slices of toasted wheat bread (no honey in ingredients… checked) and Earth Balance spread on top. Not necessarily a diet meal, but I was surprised when I learned that this was fewer calories than the 2 scrambled eggs in butter I was eating on weekends.

Not vegan yet, but at least I think I have finally found a replacement for scrambled eggs! Didn’t miss them either time I did a tofu scramble like I thought I would.

Other Cookbook Challenge entries ยป

Cookbook Challenge: Cast iron story time

I got distracted by this that and the other thing but I was still doing various whatnots. I know. I’m so specific. School starts this week too. Hey, want to hear a story of a girl’s first use of cast iron?

Gather ’round now.

Once upon a time, a mother used cast iron to cook. Her daughter watched and learned how to clean it after use. This was the same mother who made fried chicken, hamburger helper, tacos, and bacon.

The girl grew up — chronologically, at least.

One day, she stopped her mother from donating the cast iron and kept them. “Ok, now what?” she asked herself. You see, she’d become vegetarian again so wasn’t sure if she wanted to use the pans as is.


She researched and researched but got lazy. She bought a combo pot from Lodge. Well, she figured if she’s going to ‘ruin’ something, she’s going to do it with cheap Lodge pan and not pans that are older than she is.

The new cast iron

In the research, she read that the first few times should be frying things like chicken, hamburger or bacon. Well, that was out but she could do pancakes with a heavy hand on the oil. After finding a recipe in a cookbook — yay for the challenge (see end of post for status) — she set to work.

Cast iron "fun"

The first batch was not a success. Even though the recipe said medium-high, she found that way too hot. The next batch was on medium and still too hot.

Final heat

She then found the right heat (above), just in time.


The pancakes were good. She ended up getting two at the end for her breakfast. But what about eggs? Will they be a mess to clean up? (Lovely progressive shot of burned to not so burned.)

Pancakes and eggs

Nope. They were wonderful and fluffy. So odd how fluffy they were.

She cleaned the pan like her mother did with hot water, brush and then oil when it was dry. She stored the top on the bottom with a folded kitchen towel between, to allow air to circulate.

The End…. (or is it?)

2009 Cookbook Challenge: Cook a new recipe at least once a month from one of my currently owned cookbooks. Each new recipe I cook and post from a cookbook in my collection “earns” me $5.

Recipe 3: Pancakes from Vegan with a Vengeance (Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

2009 Cookbook Challenge Total: $15

The recipe was from Vegan with a Vengeance. My change: I folded in 1 cup of drained, canned corn. I let it rest in the fridge for 10 minutes as she suggested and I think that really did help!

Other Cookbook Challenge entries ยป

Cran-Apple Oatmeal

Cran-Apple Oatmeal

I used to really dislike cranberries but lately I’ve been second guessing my long held beliefs. The smell alone of this dish cooking was worth buying cranberries! I’d post a recipe but it’s a test of Urban Vegan’s new cookbook. Sorry! Oh so good.

Into the light with oatmeal

We know that natural light is the best light for photography, right? But it’s hard to get that at 9 p.m. I do get it during the day on the weekends though! So, I grabbed the camera for the simplest but one of my favorite foods — oatmeal.

Which is better?

Bright sunshine directly falling on the bowl in the dining room

It’s getting hot in here with steam swirls in the non-harsh kitchen sunlight

The action shot in the kitchen

As you can see on the last image, I put the bowl on top of the oatmeal container to get it up higher near the window in the kitchen. This also allowed for some depth of field play. In the dining room, I hand held the bowl against the window. In both places, I hand held the camera. Yes, even when pouring the milk. Yes, I did miss once. No, I didn’t cry.

Oatmeal versus Oatmeal


Instant oatmeal nuked in the microwave. Splenda and milk were added later.

Steel cut oats cooked the night before and stored in the fridge in a class bowl with foil on top. Cut the congealed mess in half inside the glass bowl and pull out the half-mass to a new bowl (above). Nuked for 1.5 minutes with a splash of water. Brummel & Brown, brown sugar, milk. Worth eating at home versus work? Maybe.

By the way, I always use just water to cook my oatmeal and not milk.

I was disappointed yesterday when I saw that I was out of regular oatmeal. That’s not too bad cooked in the microwave for a quick warm breakfast. But I tried the instant anyway. I think I’m done with it. It was like eating a sticky gloppy mess.

Yes, steel cut oatmeal may take longer than instant (or regular oatmeal in the microwave) but steel cut wins in taste and texture!

Breakfast: Sin Sin Sin Sin Sin

“What’s wrong wit this picture?” is a game we all probably played as children. Let’s play it now, shall we?


  • Sausage. That’s an easy one. It’s spicy and nummy but bad for the tummy!
  • Biscuit. They were out of potatoes so I got a freshly made biscuit. Tasted fantastic but still not the healthiest choice in the cafeteria.
  • Plastic utensils. Right to the trash.
  • Paper napkin. Right to the trash.
  • Styrofoam take-away container. Right to the trash.
  • Diet Mountain Dew. At least, I will refill it with water from the fountain to drink today and recycle the bottle afterward. But, have you looked at what’s in Dew? Yeah. Scares me too. I am down to one diet soft drink a day on weekdays. Weekends are much easier because I can nap instead of reach for the caffeine. I vow to continue to lessen my dependence on this evil monster. The headache is less but I had a headache for a few weeks from something else, so it just may be that now there’s just a headache from caffeine withdrawal. I am weening so it could be worse!

Cost: $3ish, I think. I don’t get a receipt.

So. That is the breakfast of shame. Could be worse. Could be better. I brought my oatmeal from home before. I can do it again. That cuts back on fat, calories, cost, and waste. Must. Do. It.

Yet another picture of oatmeal….

I just wanted to show off my new placemat at work.


But, seriously, finally cooked up a bunch of oatmeal on Monday night, put it in a container and took it to work this morning. Now I have breakfast taken care of for the rest of the week! Check marks on my goal calendar incoming! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Friday: Soft taco, spicy cauliflower and sly fruit salad

Got some exercise today in the form of Meals on Wheels. Jumping in and out of the car and running around during the heat of mid-day has to count for something!

Brought my lunch. Yay! Accomplished that part of June’s goal. Next week, let’s get the other part done! Didn’t do my water well at all. Needed caffeine a lot to battle the tiredededs. I stopped by Farm Fresh on the way home to pick up some Vitamuffins but they don’t carry them. The Vitamuffin site lies! Bah.

Tonight was a rush. I had my headset on as I ate while waiting for my online class group members to arrive in the chatroom. It went long but I am glad we ended in time for BSG ๐Ÿ™‚

5 025
Breakfast – 9ish
Oatmeal, cinnamon, Splenda: 3?
Milk, fat-free, 1 pint: 4?
Diet Mountain Dew, can: 0 Continue reading

Failing to plan is planning to fail

Courtesy Redfox Image courtesy Redfox

So true. So true. I meant to cook up some oatmeal last night and put it into containers. Instead, I didn’t get home till around 7:30 p.m. I heated up some dinner (leftover loaf of meat, leftover brown rice, leftover squash bits) and reread my class reading assignment. It was a lot of reading. I then was in class (it’s online but live) till around 10:00 p.m. By the time I finished doing the things I needed to do for school and such, it was “OMG I better get into a bed before I pass out.”

This morning, I had oatmeal from the cafeteria. Sprinkle of Splenda. Heavy handed dashes of cinnamon. It’s pretty good. Again, very easy to make at home and bring in. Or even microwave at work.