Veganized! – Kerry’s Pumpkin Sage and Spicy Sausage Pizza

I’m not much of a photographer OR a food blogger, I leave that to Nicole – but when I saw Kerry’s Pumpkin Sage and Spicy Sausage Pizza – I just *had* to veganize the recipe. I even had cooked a pumpkin just last week! Ahoy freezer!

This pizza was very different from my normal meals. Since the beginning I’ve been very weary of “transitional” vegan foods – IE: fake cheeses & meats. One of the main reasons I chose this lifestyle to eat whole, unprocessed foods. In fact, in making this pizza, I bought fake cheese for the first time! Don’t get me wrong, I’ll bring fake burgers to a cookout, vegan cream cheese for office bagel birthdays or other processed vegan foods when grabbing lunch at Whole Foods – but I try to keep it clean 80-90% of the time. (It helps that Gregg doesn’t like them at all.)

I will say I was REALLY impressed with Tofurky’s Italian Sausage – It was spicy & had a great texture. I’ll for sure be bringing it to the next cookout I attend!

This was an amazing dish to welcome Autumn. It tasted savory and thanksgiving-ish. I loved it & Gregg did as well — We looked over to the leftovers :)

Vegan Pumpkin Sage and Spicy Sausage Pizza

Recipe adapted from Yum and Yummer

Pizza dough:

  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • ½ tsp dry yeast
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup warm water between 100-110 degrees F

Sauce:

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp of vegan cream cheese (used this)
  • ¼ cup almond milk (used this)
  • 4-5 leaves of fresh sage, chopped finely
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp salt

Toppings:

  • 1 ½ cup shredded vegan rice cheese (used this)
  • 2 links of cooked vegan Italian sausage (used this)
  • 4-5 sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp melted vegan butter, to brush the pizza crust (used this)
  • Thinly sliced red onions, to taste
  • Garlic salt, to taste

Dough:

  1. Combine yeast, agave, flour and oil and slowly drizzle in water until the dough comes together. Add more water or flour until the dough is neither dry nor sticky.
  2. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the top, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 1 hour to rise – dough should be twice its original size. (Mine didn’t rise — could it be bad yeast?)

Sauce:

  1. Combine ingredients except for the vegan cream cheese and almond milk into a skillet and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in. (It will thicken up once you add the milk/cheese)

Assemble:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Once dough has risen, stretch or roll out into desired shape and place on a oiled pizza pan.
  3. Add sauce, half of the cheese, browned sausage, onions, sage and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Brush crust with melted butter and sprinkle garlic salt over entire pizza.
  4. Place pizza in oven and bake for 18 minutes, or until crust is browned.

this is my money shot

 

Tis the season

I’m normally a total Grinch, but this year I’m trying to be excited about the holidays. It’s my first year in my own place -I wasn’t on planning on getting a tree, I didn’t see the point. After talking to friends who live alone and have their own trees (Hey Nathan! Hi Michael!) I finally decided to lose the humbug attitude and get my own.

Last night after swinging by Starbucks to get *seasonal* peppermint mocha frappuccino with BFF and proclaimed sister, Jen, along with Jason; we went out and looked at trees at this sketchy lot in the neighborhood. We decided on a little tree (3ish feet?) because I heard cats climb Christmas trees and I didn’t want the whole thing to tumble, besides anything “mini” or “baby” sized is cute to the MAX.  They only took cash, so we went to Walgreen’s for cash back and while we were there I got a tree stand, twinkle led lights, red and gold ornaments (GLITTER STARS!), and a little tree skirt. Jason also picked up some woodland themed ornaments, little pine cones and other cute things.

While decorating I thought about Jen’s son, Orson, and how I’d like to help him pick out his own ornament every year, write the year on the bottom, so when he is an adult (*gulp*) and lives on his own, he has an entire box of memories.

Also listened to Christmas carols and didn’t want to bash my head in. THIS IS PROGRESS.

Random Floaty Thought Bits 3

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Eee, so cute. Even though I love Garbage so much my heart feels like it’s bursting, I still daydream about a perfect little Westie. Speaking of Garbage, she’s getting bigger everyday. I got her tapeworm medicine last weekend, & had to trick her into taking it – I tried stuffing it in soft treats, didn’t work -Ended up getting her food a bit wet (she does that anyways, it’s weird) & mixing it up in there. Gobble Gobble, all worms are gone! :) YAY!

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I was reading this blog post about making French Silk Pie & they mentioned taking the pie crust leftovers,  sprinkling them with sugar & cinnamon to make “cookies”. I immediately felt warm & miss my grandmother more than ever, we used to bake a TON together when I was little.  I need to plan a trip to go visit her w/ my mom, like ASAP. Maybe I can convince her to make a pie with me. :)

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The walls at my place are pretty bare since I’m so new there – while trying to hang some mirrors I had on hand,  I  found out that since my place is old it has plaster walls, not drywall – you can chip & crack the entire wall of you do it wrong! So I’ve been looking up some other options, tacking paper flowers, origami crane mobiles, & I have no idea if I’m allowed to paint, but I’d love to cover everything with chalk paint. Do you have any ideas?

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Anna, at Little Reminders of Love is always posting the best stuff. I seriously would have thought this post was written about me. (No rly, these past 3 weeks summed up!) I’d wholeheartedly suggest subscribing to her blog.

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Sense vs. Nonsense, or how to have an idea – delightful play on creative obsessiveness.

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I like this chair. Something about older homes w/ modern accessories & furniture is just wonderful. Polished, mmmm… Industrial yet warm. I must love designer Philippe Starck because this chair is BREATH TAKING. (Each chair takes 24 hours to make!!!)

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Little Bits;

–It’s my Mothers birthday! Happy Birthday Mom!
–Super short commute to work!! I hardly use 1/2 a tank a week! bahaha!
–Lol’ed at bosses for telling me that Yahoo Answers is probably more correct than Wiki.
–Last weekend being AWESOME.
–Looking forward to working the photobooth @ Necronomicon this weekend.

I’m out of here! Share links! I love silly/awesome/cool/rad/bitching links/stuff! Hive mind this up!

The Smashing Pumpkins (The Ritz, Ybor -July 21, 2010)

(All photos by Justin Peterson)

The Smashing Pumpkins are my all time favorite band. If you you’ve met me over the years, the one thing you would know for sure, is I’m “that girl who is obsessed with the Smashing Pumpkins.” I spent most of my formative years talking non-stop in Pumpkin lyrics & generally being a complete Pumpkinhead.

That said, I’ve never seen them play live. Yes! Crazy, I know! Being a bit “young”, I wasn’t able to have seem them in their “mainstream” touring days (Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness was released October 1995- I was nine *gulp*!) – & the year I really got into them (feed me Bsides, I own the boxset, live/breathe SP) was 2000 & the unfortunately the year the original members of the band broke up. The few times they have been to the Tampa area since 2000, I’ve either been out of town, or unable to make it for some reason or another. (Shame!)

I was terribly nervous heading to the concert. I hardly could talk, this was my first time seeing my coveted band! The band that changed everything! Gabi even poked fun at me for how nervous/unable to speak I was. I was worried that they wouldn’t live up to what they are in my mind. I mean, 10 years of build up… doesn’t seem like it’s going to go well.

Once in, Gabi & I got a drink. I know my friend, Justin (all the photos), would be there & actually his girlfriend, Andrea found me! She informed us that Justin was already in, he had been able to score an armband to see warm-up & such. As soon as the doors opened, the three of us rushed to find Justin. He was up front!

I was standing front row middle. of. my. favorite. band. -ever.
I could barley believe it. Shortness of breath.

The stage was a complete over-the-top extravaganza, w/ two giant silver mosaic fans spinning & lighting fixtures that flashed multiple strobe lights. Visual delight!

The current line up features guitarist Jeff Schroeder, bassist Nicole Fiorentino, & drummer Mike Byrne. Make no mistake though, Billy was running the show & at every opportunity he was wailing on his guitar. It was a night of guitar worship, -the altar of The Bald One. ;)

I was excited that they played well known “mainstream success” songs, like “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” & “Today,”. The crowd went nuts w/ energy as they sang along & enjoyed 1995 all over again. To top it off, they played the best version of “Ava Adore” I’ve ever heard, which was full of Billy’s guitar talent & rock-your-face-off rock.

The kinda lame part is, I was moved beyond I ever expected. I cried a few times during the set. Tears of total happiness.

The band left stage, everyone screamed & cheered until the Pumpkins came back out to an even bigger applause to play one last song, the ~18-minute song “Gossamer.” The unreleased track began w/ sexy guitar riffs, melted down into a muddled stew & came back to a shred fest before Billy finally put it to bed. (I have watched this song online, it ranges anywhere from 15 to 35 minutes when played on tour.)

I also scored a drum stick from Mike Byrne! I screamed & screamed for a track list (I collect them, & wanted to be able to post here), but they exited & the Ritz’s security was complete jerks, -made everyone exit asap.

Some of the songs they played:

Astral Planes (new song)
Ava Adore (“Adore”)
Today (“Siamese Dream”)
Stand Inside Your Love (“Machina/The Machines of God”)
Bullet With Butterfly Wings (“Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”)
Perfect (“Adore”)
Cherub Rock (“Siamese Dream”)
Tarantula (“Zeitgeist”)
Tonight (“Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”)
Gossamer (unreleased)

That is the biggest smile of complete awesomeness happening in front of you
& clearly, Gabi is getting her face rocked off.

It’s the day after & my ears are still ringing as I’m writing this. If every show was like this Smashing Pumpkins one, rock and rock would have no problem. This is easily the best concert I’ve ever been to. (Previously, my top concert was Thievery Corporation in Chicago @ the Metro in 2007.)

HUGE thanks to Justin & Andrea for the sweetest spot & also, Justin is an amazing artist & great person -make sure to check out his work!

If you want to see all my photos from the concert, visit my Flickr photo set. & I added the Pumpkin song widget to the right. Make sure to check it out! :)

Update, thanks to Andy:

SETLIST
1. Astral Planes
2. Ava Adore
3. Today
4. Hummer
5. As Rome Burns
6. A Song for a Son
7. Eye
8. Bullet With Butterfly Wings
9. United States
10. Bleeding the Orchid
11. Perfect
12. Cherub Rock
13. That’s the Way (My Love Is)
14. Owata
15. Stand Inside Your Love
16. Tarantula
17. Tonight, Tonight
ENCORE
18. Freak
19. Gossamer

& video!

Restaurant: Ciro’s Speakeasy & Supper Club (Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa)

I’m still freaking out a bit. I don’t even want to write about this place because I want to keep this gem away from everyone but at the same time, I want to tell everyone in the area about it. I’m in love. I couldn’t even sleep when I got home because I was in such awe. (I got home at roughly 2am…)

Okay, I am getting way too excited. Beginning. It’s Oz‘s birthday. We had already been out to dinner @ Jackson’s Bistro. (Another post another day!) One of his friends wanted him to meet up w/ them at a “speakeasy”. As soon as I heard the term, “speakeasy” I was visualizing the Great Gatsby & terribly excited.

We parked on a random side street, & as far as we knew, the directions that were given to us “Find a random wooden door in a garden, & ring the bell”. After walking for a block or two, we found it.

There was no one outside. It was just a door. Us girls asked Oz to ring the bell. Shortly, the little peep hole opened up, someone looked outside, asked us who invited us! & then closed the door & let us in.

Wow! As soon I walked in, I was taken back. I looked at Gabi, & just BEAMED. We have been looking for a swanky place for ages now! A little hole in the wall jazz club. Swoon Swoon Swoon!

We were asked to sign in & read the house rules. I don’t recall all the rules, just to “speakeasy” & “if a man comes up to greet you, gently raise your chin & look away”. Super cute. The host walked us back to our booth, we had a party of 8, so it was a huge booth, we were all seated comfortable. The table in the booth, is actually a series of smaller interlocking tables at different heights. The booth was made out of the silkiest, smoothest leather (or faux leather?) There were privacy curtains. Red lighting. Candles. Are you ready…? Jellyfish tanks!

The setting is completely original, surprisingly intimate, and has a really laid-back vibe. I asked the host when entering how many people they could set, since upon entering it looked like a pretty small place. They said they can seat up to 75 & do rent out the place for private parties, they also have a *huge* booth for parties of 15+.

The food was amazing. We had ordered between this eight of us- 2 orders of truffle popcorn… Omg! It was delicious- popped in truffle oil, w/ garlic & other seasonings sprinkled on top -we all loved it, fries that are fried in duck fat served with garlic something? (compote?) & tamarind ketchup… YUM. Cheese fondue, which I only tried a bit of but was also divine. Dark chocolate fondue… served w/baby churros, fresh mango, kiwi, strawberries, peaches… fresh oysters & scallops… I’m not a seafood fan at all, but everyone who tried it said it was the best they’ve ever experienced.

The drinks were amazing. Everything is made “classically” -They use fresh, muddled fruit to craft customized, gourmet drinks, revived specialty cocktails from the early 20th century, & the bartenders will make you just about anything you ask for. The bartender, George was the most knowledgeable bartender I’ve ever experienced & a genuine conversationalist. (It does help that he was wearing a vest & his sleeves were rolled up & complimented Gabi on her “extraordinarily refined palate!” & said he could make me fall in love w/ my most despised liquor…. gin!) My first drink was named the “lycee love hotel”, I was a bit nervous about it because it had mint in it, but it was amazing & fresh. There were many drinks, I’m not sure I could remember them all, but the other drinks that really stood out was the rum sour (made with real lemon juice & egg whites instead of the run-of-the-mill sweet & sour most bars use!! Cocktail revival!) & a drink that was sweet & milky w/ habanero pepper… a kick but was so nice to sip on.

I have not one negative comment about this place! As soon as Gregg gets home, I’m taking him there…stat! (Oh, & everyone else I know.) Go now!

(All pictures come from another amazing review which you can read here.)