Sunday, January 29, 2012

Everything you love tossed together and covered in cheese

As we all know, winter is the time for much sleeping, with short bursts of wakefulness centred around pureed soups and giant casseroles filled with who-knows-what.

[Image from:]

This bear would be less prone to attacking human-types during the difficult hibernation period if someone had thought to invite it over to partake in the following...

I got this unexpectedly delectable recipe from a great seasonal cookbook created by The Stop Community Food Centre (, a rad Toronto community org that works to promote food security and sovereignty by holding cooking workshops, doing a lot of community gardening, acting as an empowering alternative to more traditional food banks. As the story goes, they got an enormous donation of canned baked beans and were at a loss as to what to do with them until someone came up with this fine thing. You can replace the suggested veggies with whatever you have on hand, as long as they all cook at about the same temperature.

What you'll need:

1/2 large eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into, you guessed it, 1-inch cubes/pieces
1/4 cup veggie/olive oil, plus enough to coat veggies
kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, divided
500g/1 lb firm tofu, drained & cut into 1-inch cubes
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 398 ml/14 oz cans baked beans (I used the maple flavoured kind...)
1 small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
2 cups grated cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, whatever, mix it up!)

What you'll do:

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a mixing bowl, toss eggplant, zucchini and bell pepper with enough veggie/olive oil to coat, and season well with salt & pepper. Spread out on baking sheets, creating an even single layer on each. Roast veggies for about 20 minutes, or until they're nicely browned and pepper is still a bit crisp. Remove from heat and reduce oven temperature to 350F. Place roasted veggies in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

2. In a frying/sauTAY pan, heat 1/4 cup veggie/olive oil on medium heat. Slice 1 clove of garlic in thirds and fry in oil 1 minute, being careful not to brown. Add tofu and fry until golden brown. Remove tofu from oil and drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. Using a slotted spoon, fish out garlic and discard. Return pan to heat. Saute onion until translucent and season with salt & pepper. Finely chop remaining garlic cloves and add to pan; saute for 1 minute more, then add mixture to the bowl of roasted veggies. Add the baked beans, tofu and parsley to mixture and stir well to combine! Spread wondrous mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan or casserole dish and sprinkle LOTS of shredded cheese on top.

3. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is browned and mixture starts to bubble at the sides of the pan.

Serves 4-6. Maybe just 4 because it's so delicious and/or if you're feeding bears.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Blog Strikes Back!

Dearest Friends, Lovers, Bakers, and Saute-ers,

You may have noticed something different about me, and no, it's not my bangs.

I know we've had our rough patches, but we've been so many things to each other over the years. What role have I not played?

Carrier of News and Knowledge
Oasis for the Hungry
Mediator of Romance
Enlarger of the Common Life
Bond of Scattered Friends
Assiduous Archive
Constant Companion
Konstant Kompanion

Change is afoot! I write you in the spirit of the New Year and new beginnings, and also with the spirit of forgiveness: all that is past has been forgotten. But don't think I didn't hear about those nights you just had toast for dinner. 
I know you've been thinking about me.
Let's get back together.

Missing you,

Your Blog.

Friday, January 13, 2012


A long time ago, in a kitchen far, far away, beautiful vampire-intellectuals (VIs) chloroformed Edward Cullen, tore out his heart, and used his tweeny, annoying blood to water their corn crop. The blood teemed and teemed out of his heart, and the VIs watered and watered their corn, and the corn grew and grew. By the light of the moon, VIs from around the land would gather by the crop to practice their jazz flute, attend to their cuticles, and discuss how to better spread their vampirism consciousness-raising strategies. Ah, 'twas a heady, bloody time!

When the blood corn was finally harvested, the VIs summoned Tom, Brad, and Antonio Banderas and made them compete in a nude, Iron Chef cornbread competition as penitence for having made Interview With a Vampire. The men baked tirelessly until Tom tried to convert them, at which time Brad called Angelina to "remove" him. But Antonio, in love with Tom, was so troubled by his loss that he had to go into a corner and have some quiet time. In the end, Brad, as always, was victorious. His recipe lives on in the annals of the VIs till this day.


2 tablespoons butter
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose or whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggies
1/4 cup corn oil or butter, melted
2 to 4 tablespoons honey to taste
1 cup milk

Preheat the OVEN to 425ºF. Put the BUTTER in an 8-inch square baking pan and set in the oven while it's heating. Meanwhile, stir the dry ingredients together and make a well in the center of the bowl. In another BOWL, whisk together the WET INGREDIENTS. As soon as the oven is hot, remove the pan and bake in the middle of the oven until GOLDEN BROWN. Quickly, mix the wet and dry ingredients together, then pour the batter into the pan and BAKE in the middle of the oven until golden brown ON TOP and beginning to PULL AWAY FROM THE EDGES, about 25 minutes. SERVE HOT right from the pan.


Green chile and cheese corn bread: Add 1/2 cup grated Jack or Cheddar CHEESE and 1/4 cup OR MORE diced roasted green CHILES to the batter. (For even more, add some raw scallions!)

Vanilla corn bread: Vanilla sets off the SWEETNESS of the corn and is good when you want a slightly sweeter BREAKFAST BREAD. Add 1 teaspoon VANILLA extract to the wet ingredients and use a larger amount of honey.

Muffins with corn kernels: Stir 1 cup fresh or frozen CORN KERNELS into the batter for a little EXTRA CRUNCH.

Credits: Deboarah Madison Brad Fucking Pitt

Prof. Tata & Rico