Fun With Fungi

Another day of my summer holidays has come and gone. Too bad I waste so much of the day refusing to get out of bed.

After forcing myself out of bed and doing the eye check (only a little pink now – woot!), I wandered on into the kitchen to rustle up some grub. I knew I needed to try out at least one of those super deal Artisana butters. I decided upon pecan. The obvious vehicle for pecan butter delivery? Toast 😀

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Apparently toast with a bunch of other stuff actually.

I toasted up a slice of Silver Hills Squirelly Bread and slathered on that pecan goodness.

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Can you tell I’m trying to eat up those blackberries? They show up everywhere!

I dug into the applesauce I made last night, topped with pecans, and more cinnamon. Because there was obviously not enough cinnamon in it to begin with.

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Instead of my usual morning juice, I stole some of the chocolate milk my sister brought home yesterday. Shhhh – don’t tell!

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Apparently there was a colour theme for breakfast – brown.

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Verdict on the Artisana pecan butter? Awesome. It tastes just like pecans. I noticed that it’s actually blended with cashews as well, which I find interesting. You can’t taste the cashews, so I’m not sure what the ratio of pecan to cashew is – just something to note. I don’t know that I would drop $15+ on it, but it was totally worth my $5.

During my morning newspaper perusal, I came across the movie listings. I figured I’d give it a browse, and what did I see? Food, Inc. is back in one of the theatres here in Vancouver! There was one theatre that was showing it, but stopped the day before I moved home. I figured I’d have to wait for the DVD, but I found it showing as a matinee. I’m considering bussing my lazy self downtown tomorrow to see it. I don’t know anyone else that would want to go, so I have no qualms going by myself. I’m just not sure I want to leave the furballs for that long – they (Sienna and Wilson; Socks could care less) keep trying to kill each other. I might just have to wait until my parents are back to take on referee duties.

After my pleasant discovery, I cleaned myself and the kitchen up, and headed on out to run some errands. I had to go back to Costco to exchange the toothpaste I bought in error, then to the post office to pick up a package, and to the grocery store to buy mushrooms for dinner. Mmm, fungus.

Check out the giant box just for me!

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Too bad it’s from the school bookstore. My textbooks arrived! One for Intro to Psychology, the other for Food, Land, and Community I. Is it totally dorky that I actually want to plow through that Food Wars book before class even starts?

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And my day planner – gotta keep all those deadlines straight.

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Even Sienna was excited.

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But wait…I have 3 classes this semester. And only two textbooks. Hmmm, something doesn’t add up. There’s no way a biochemistry class has no textbook. I check my invoice, and it says they shipped my order in full. I go online, check the book list, and yes, there is a textbook for the course. It says it’s optional, but I asked the bookstore to send me optional materials as well. So I send off an email, asking them WTF, and they respond saying, yes, we messed it up, you should have received that book. They also said I could come into the bookstore and purchase it. Ummm…that defeats the purpose of me getting you to ship me all the books. The $5 I had to spend to have them all delivered to my door was cheaper than me driving/paying for parking or even bussing down there to buy them. So now I still have to make an extra trip, or wait until school starts and stand in line for 5 days to buy the book. I’ve emailed them back asking them if they can’t just ship what they should have. I’m so demanding, eh?

Getting all riled up like that made my hungry. That, and the fact that it was lunch time. I had salad on the brain, since I picked up those two new salad dressings yesterday.

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Of course, when I pulled out the head of green leaf lettuce, I noticed that it was significantly smaller than the last time I used it. Me thinks my sister was eating lettuce in her lunches. The nerve! My plans for a giant salad turned into plans for a medium salad. Oh well, whatcha gonna do?

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It still had lots of good toppings:

  • cucumber
  • shredded carrot
  • celery (including the leaves – I love them)
  • chickpeas (cooked by me)
  • avocado
  • sunflower seeds
  • Brianna’s Homestyle Honey Mustard Dressing

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Isn’t it pretty, basking in that sunshine?

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I also broke into the Kettle Chips – Sweet Onion seemed like the best pairing.

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Too bad it was smoking hot outside, otherwise I would have eaten out there, and not just used our beautiful backyard for photo purposes.

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Things I love – this salad dressing. I’m all over anything honey mustard, but sometimes those products just don’t deliver. This one did. I could probably drink the bottle. Or at least do shots. Talk about classy! The chips were crunchtastically excellent as well.

This handful of chocolate chips just appeared after lunch. I have no clue where it came from, but who was I to say no?

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I then spent some time with the email, and on the phone with the UBC IT Help desk. No, they weren’t fixing my internet (if only – it crapped out again today!). I was getting my user account name changed at the school. It’s stupid, because they only let you have 8 characters for your user name. Well, both my first and last name have 8 characters, so I can’t use my normal first initial + last name deal. Lame. I had put something in, then realized I didn’t really want it for my school email address, so I had to get them to change it. I don’t get the reasoning behind limiting characters like that – people will want to use their names, no? And lots of people would have similar problems to me I would think? Meh, whatever.

I also did some dinner prep – I made polenta for the first time! Yes, you heard that – I made polenta. None of this “buying a tube” of polenta. I’m hard core. And cheap – we have cornmeal in the house, and really, that’s all you need. Why spend the extra cash? I whipped up the Broccoli Polenta recipe from Veganomicon, but added in some shredded aged white cheddar and parmesan at the end, because broccoli cheese polenta sounded even better than just broccoli polenta. And I’m a cheese addict. After setting up in the pan, I cut it into squares rectangles, and broiled it up.

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I got mad polenta skillz, yo!

My polenta needed a topping though. That’s where the mushrooms come in. When my sister said she wasn’t going to be home for dinner, I knew it was the perfect night to cook up some lovely fungi. See, the kid doesn’t like mushrooms. I know, she’s obviously crazy. I had come across a recipe on The Mushroom Channel from Jenna for Polenta with Wild Mushroom Gravy. Hello! That was exactly what I was looking for.

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Hello mushroom goodness.

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I followed the recipe pretty closely. My mushrooms of choice were cremini, oyster, and porcini. I used vermouth instead of white wine, since I didn’t want to open a bottle for 1/4 cup. And I used 1% milk instead of half & half, only because we didn’t have any, and I was too cheap/forgot to buy some. Oh, and I didn’t measure the spices, cuz real cooks don’t measure. Yeah, that’s it.

I think it turned out beautifully, don’t you think?

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Why have I waited so long to try polenta? It’s fantastic, and such a great base for any flavours you want to add. The possibilities are endless. I could eat it just cooked and creamy, or set up and broiled. And definitely give this mushroom gravy recipe a go if you like mushrooms. I would watch how much red pepper flake you put in though – I think the 1/4 tsp is a bit much, since I wasn’t looking to have spicy gravy. I would almost consider adding grainy mustard instead, as I’m a big fan of gravies with grainy mustard.

I thought when I plated it up that it didn’t seem like too much food, but it was rich and filling. Now I have a ton of leftovers – hopefully some other people like polenta. I’m not sure it would freeze well.

I spent the rest of the evening chilling with the tv and cats, doing laundry, and craving chocolate. I knew there was no real chocolate in the house, and couldn’t decide what I wanted instead. I figured I should try out the Artisana Cacao Bliss – it wasn’t the chocolate I was looking for, but I figured it would do. But I needed a vehicle to serve it on, as I’m just too classy to eat straight from the jar…er something. Then I remembered there were frozen bananas upstairs, and I have a food processor again. Hello banana soft serve!

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Look, I even got the curly top like with real soft serve. The Cacao Bliss hardened into a little chocolate coconut shell on the frozen banana. Yum. Also worth picking up, but probably not for $15+.

While I was blending away, my sister came home, and look what she brought me.

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She must have known I was craving chocolate. I totally ate some, then threw the rest in the freezer – they were a little melted.

Holy marathon post. I really need to get back into posting multiple times a day – these are just too damn long. Hopefully I haven’t bored you all with my ramblings & food.

Anyways, time for this gal to get to bed, if not to sleep, at least to read. Night!

PS – I’m totally baking tomorrow. Get excited!

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Categories: Books/Cookbooks, Dessert, Dinner, Lunch, Recipe, Sienna, Snack

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12 Comments on “Fun With Fungi”

  1. August 28, 2009 at 1:46 am #

    Your broccoli polenta looks amazing. You’ve just inspired me to try it with my Veganomicon at home.

  2. August 28, 2009 at 5:45 am #

    mmmmmm polenta is the epitome of comfort food!

  3. August 28, 2009 at 6:13 am #

    Ugh bookstores are the ultimate enemy, so crazy hope you get your books sorted out!

    My cat loves boxes too! We can always find her in empty ones 😉

    That dinner looks incredible, I wish I had your mad skillz…

  4. Lizzy
    August 28, 2009 at 6:16 am #

    i spied reese right bites! yummmy! 🙂

    hopefully your other text book finds its way to your house! 🙂

    http://saladdiva.wordpress.com

  5. August 28, 2009 at 6:49 am #

    POLENTA! Woot! Thrilled that you liked it!

    Sienna-in-a-box. What is it with cats and boxes? My hubby caught my oldest cat trying to pluck feathers out of a baby bird on the deck this a.m. Brat! Thank God he didn’t harm the bird!

    All your eats look fabulous today….can’t wait to see what you bake up! 😉

  6. August 28, 2009 at 7:06 am #

    Hope they ship your biochem book! Do you REALLY want it though?! 😉 I’m kidding!

    That polenta + salad + chips = DELISH! I need to try polenta one of these days. It sounds fantastic!

  7. August 28, 2009 at 7:16 am #

    I was at TJs the other day and I almost bought some polenta, but then got scared!! MAybe I will now, because yours looks amazing.

    So, you’re taking biochemistry?? Ugh. Sorry to hear that. No, actually that was my favorite chemistry class out of each of the chemistry courses I took! It was hard, but mostly it dealt with memorization, which I am pretty good at. Good luck, I hope you get your book soon!

  8. August 28, 2009 at 9:05 am #

    The bookstore is ridiculous that way, first year I had the delivery option to my dorm and 1/3 of the books hadn’t arrived at the store yet so I ended up having to get them anyways. I’d highly reccomend going before school starts to pick it up – the lineup takes hours otherwise!

  9. August 28, 2009 at 9:05 am #

    Or order from amazon.ca – usually the exact same price and free shipping with orders over $39!

  10. August 28, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    LMAO at Sienna in the box! What is it about cats that they always looks so pissed off?!

    Oh honey, polenta is good, especially when all doctored up the way you did it. Yumz.

    I spy too many lovely foods in this post. It’s hard to pic my fav. But I think the pecan butter wins it (cuz it’s SOO good!).

  11. August 29, 2009 at 7:20 am #

    Oh Sienna! I love how cats love boxes. One of these days I’ll do a post that shows Henry’s special box that I just can’t bring myself to throw away 🙂
    Yay for taking intro!

  12. August 29, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    I am SO impressed with your recipes and how you cook all day! How will you ever have time to study biochemistry? Great photos, inspiring recipes.

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