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Smokin’ Tofu: 2012 Retrospect

end of year 1

// Trips // I went on three trips abroad this year:

I nibbled stroopwaffles and scoffed chips with mayonnaise in Amsterdam // munched buttery vegetable couscous and roasted root veg in Marrakech // spent a weekend in Krakow experimenting with 2am Polish street food.

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// Recipes // This blog is still such a baby, I can’t believe how few recipes I’ve posted. Here are a few:

Blueberries 3 Ways // Cajun Spiced Pumpkin Soup // Port & Pomegranate Sauce // Mac & Cheese // Obscene Black Bean Soup

// 2012 in Retrospect // I discovered some amazing cookery books this year and my wishlist for 2013 is as long as a zapiekanka (i.e. really long). Top 5 foodie books I discovered this year:

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// Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes // I love Isa Chandra Moskowitz and I love this book but I hate the title because it sounds like a fad diet book (sorry Isa). This is my most used and food-spattered cookery book to date. Certain recipes – the creamed corn, the jerk asparagus, the eazy breezy cheezy sauce – have become kitchen staples in the Smokin’ Tofu residence and thus far everything I’ve whipped up has been a painless rave.

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// Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar // I’ve had a great time learning to bake cookies this year and look forward to using these recipes as a springboard to create my own crumbly cookie monsters in 2013. The Mexican Snickerdoodles and the Sell Your Soul Pumpkin Cookies have been particular winners, much loved by the menfolk that get high in my flat (on my baking, obvs).

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// Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals // I read this back in March, and it pushed me to adopt a vegan lifestyle. I’m still struggling, occasionally having off-days (and off-weeks), but I’ve reduced my dairy intake dramatically and that’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

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// Niki Segnit’s The Flavour Thesaurus // Okay, confession: I read most of this book during the quiet hours at work (I work in a bookshop, FYI). Even though it covers meat and dairy too, it’s a great tool for developing a mental map of flavour combos beyond the obvious, gives great explanations as to why certain flavours seem to work together so well and offers simple recipes, examples and anecdotes to demonstrate the combos in action. It’s also a gorgeous hardback with a fabric cover and deep pink-edged pages. Serious book-gasm.

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// Jenny Linford’s Writing About Food // I like this series of books. They’re a little old fashioned and most likely to be out of print these days, but they’re concise and well written. This one covers writing about food in every conceivable way, including tips on how to write recipes and how to break into food writing. It came out in the ’90s, so it’s pre-blogging, but what’s the heart of blogging if not writing?

// Goals for 2013 //

// Blog // Learn to bake savoury vegan breads // Start pickling things (thanks to @QuantumVegan who regaled me with tales of curried pickled cauliflower on Twitter the other day) // Cashew dairy a la Addicted to Veggies // Perfect pesto (first batch last night was only so-so) // Improve terrible photography // prepare more raw meals … and perhaps try to collaborate with some fellow bloggers?

// Travel // I’m scheming up a trip to Berlin with my big bro and Amsterdam with my boyfriend (he’s dragging his heels but, come on), as well as a beachy stint somewhere nearby in the late summer/early September with two friends who are based in New Orleans and Dubai. I won’t really be able to afford it but it’s the only way we can all see each other fairly so it’ll have to happen. I’d also like to make it up to Scotland and down to Brighton.

Happy New Year, and sincere thanks to all who’ve been knocking around this blog and making me feel less like I’m standing on an upturned bucket shouting at strangers during rush hour in Camden Town.

love Alice xx
Twitter: @smokintofu
Instagram: smokintofu

PS – what have been your favourite food blogs from the past year? I want to fatten up my blogroll and recommendations are always welcome. Mine would be: 101 Cookbooks // A Beautiful Mess // Addicted to Veggies // but where do you get your protein? // My Boyfriend’s Kitchen // Olives For Dinner // Quantum Vegan //

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7 thoughts on “Smokin’ Tofu: 2012 Retrospect”

  1. I have a great go to for pesto!
    I use Kale or Swiss Chard usually.

    1 bunch of kale or swiss chard leaves removed from the stem
    1 Tablespoon miso
    3 T nutritional yeast
    1 T pine nuts
    dash of salt and pepper and a dash of water

    First boil water and add the torn leaves and cook for a min or so. Remove rinse under cold water and then squeeze dry.
    blend all the ingredients continually wiping down the side of the blender as it will fly up. and taste MMMMM

    1. No oil? Interesting. Sounds MUCH healthier than the one that came with the Magimix – it was something ridiculous like 120mm of oil for 4 servings of pesto, but I only used 80mm and it was still ridiculously oily. I also omitted the parmesan but and had no idea what to replace it and so just added more pinenuts, so that probably didn’t help. And I added lemon juice and coriander instead of basil. And an extra garlic clove. Basically, it was the worst and didn’t resemble the recipe in any way at all. The only ingredients I didn’t meddle with were the salt and pepper. What a goon.

      1. i may have put a dab of oil but you really dont need it! Adding a squeeze of lemon juice is perfect for mine! I am sorry for the inaccurate recipe of mine I just sort of add things when I am cooking and it comes out! haha I would stay away from coriander and use annoying leafy greens like kale and chard! Its healthy and you get to create the flavor…plus they create a very dark green pesto!

      2. I rolled with coriander because I was trying to recreate a dish I had in Krakow, which was a coriander and lemon pesto whizzed with crumbled tofu and rice. It was so delicious, but I think I’ll need to taste it again to recreate it loyally. Next time I’m going to try kale though, they sound divine. In other news, my new Magimix is my new best friend. I’ve had so much fun today whipping up salad and veggie lasagne in five seconds flat. Joy!

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