Review: Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking

Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious RecipesMinimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes by Dana Shultz

My rating: ★★★★★

When we visited friends in Scotland in April, they introduced me to a vegan cookbook called Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes. Because I am me, and have difficulty Calming Down and Just Enjoying Things in Small Amounts, I immediately checked it out from the library and have already made six recipes from the cookbook. (And one from the website.)

Carrot, Potato, & Chickpea Red Curry: The end result was so rich and well-seasoned that it belied how easy it was to make.

Thai Baked Sweet Potatoes: What a unique and tasty combination! The ginger-tahini sauce makes this a standout.

Butternut Squash Garlic Mac ‘n’ Cheese: Three things I love that combine perfectly in this quick-to-prepare recipe! I especially loved how fast the cubed butternut squash roasted up. Make sure you choose a solid gluten-free pasta for this one; unfortunately, the one I tried got a bit gummy when cooked.

Smoky BBQ Veggie Burgers: These are easily my favorite non-meat burgers, beating out even Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger. I used gluten-free breadcrumbs and they worked very well.

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Smoky BBQ Veggie Burgers

Pizza-Stuffed Mushrooms: While this is an appetizer recipe, it was a perfect light dinner after a late lunch. The homemade vegan “Parmesan” was especially impressive! Mushroom-averse, be warned: the mushrooms remain very mushroomy.

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Pizza-Stuffed Mushrooms

Creamy Golden Milk Smoothie: I subscribed to the Minimalist Baker website in my RSS reader and this recipe popped up. I’m a smoothie fan, and the turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon combination sounded like something FunkyPlaid and I might enjoy. It was! I added carrot juice for sweetness and chia seeds for fun.

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Creamy Golden Milk Smoothie

Cashew Soba Noodle Salad: I used rice noodles since I can’t eat soba noodles, but the deliciousness did not suffer. I’m glad I made a double batch.

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Cashew Soba Noodle Salad (with rice noodles)

While I do not adhere to a vegan diet, this cookbook has changed my mind on how easy it can be to prepare delicious vegan food that is also gluten-free. I will continue to work my way through this cookbook — quickly, before someone else at my library wants to check it out!

This Week.

This Week was also Birthday Week, which ended up wonderful after a rough start. On Tuesday evening, the snow and ice came back to make things interesting. Our neighborhood saw a few inches of snow, and the roads iced up overnight, so I was back to the bus commute on Wednesday morning.

But the week ended with an extended birthday celebration involving sushi dinner, well-wishes and gifts, two brunches, Star Wars, model trains, and reading books by the fire on a rainy evening. It was just what I wanted.

Occupations

Due to the inclement weather and lots of meetings, I didn’t make much progress on my work projects. I did, however, make lots of progress on fretting over how much progress I wasn’t making on my work projects. I also gave my task list several meaningful glances.

Diversions

On the Page

On the Screen

We are done, so done, with Season 3 of “Outlander” and jumped right into Season 7 of “Homeland”. I find myself wishing that the series had ended with Season 3.

We finally saw “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and I enjoyed that mess quite a bit, especially how it added nuance to most of the main characters. It tried to add nuance to Kylo Ren, it really did, but there isn’t much to do about that pathetic man-child. At least we got Emo Kylo Ren out of it.

On the (Figurative) Turntable

Kimbra’s new single, “Version of Me”, dropped this week. I love it!

In the (Literal) Game Room

Our friend Mike came over and we played “Ex Libris”, a game about being gnomish librarians collecting magical texts, and if that sounds like that game is right up my Diagon Alley, that’s because it absolutely is.

One of my birthday presents from FunkyPlaid was Scrabble Typography, which I am eager to play!

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Related: I no longer attempt to play Scrabble, Words With Friends, or any word-building games online. I’m miserable at keeping up with asynchronous multiplayer games, especially multiple ones at the same time. So if I have ever accepted your invitation to play, made it three rounds, and disappeared … that’s why.

I did start playing a puzzle adventure game on my iPad called “Rusty Lake Paradise” which is unsettling and strange and very good so far.

On the Internet

The best thing I read online this week was “The Problem with the ‘What Else?’ Mindset” by Jocelyn K. Glei because of this quote:

You could witness the most precious moment of someone’s life, or read a news story about a horrifying and terribly sad event, or complete one of the most impressive accomplishments of your creative career… And somehow it’s never enough.

On the Globe

The Portmeirion Village webcams have been taken down. 😢 I will have to find a new magic window to peep through.

Ink o’ the Week

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This Week.

Hey, it’s this week’s This Week! I’m on industrial-grade antibiotics! I don’t have an intro!

Occupations

I do this thing where I let myself get Super! Excited! about something, painfully excited, that excitement that is all shiny sparkling hummingbird buzzing with all of the good possibilities that the something may bring. I convince myself that everyone else involved is also Super! Excited! and it is so cool to share that feeling, you know it is.

And then the next day, I realize that I’m the only person that is Super! Excited! about the thing because everyone else has other stuff going on and I get hugely bummed out.

At the beginning of January, I let myself get Super! Excited! about a potential writing group. Then it didn’t seem to pan out the way I thought it would: huge bummer. But a new writer friend and I are forging ahead with a biweekly meeting date at a local café. If no one else shows up, we’ll at least have a few hours of focused writing time. Or chat. 🙂

I had another Super! Excited! moment at work recently when I became the subject selector for my library’s science fiction and fantasy collection. (Just typing the sentence makes my head explode a little.) But nothing can bum me out about that. Nothing.

Diversions

On the Page

On the Screen

FunkyPlaid and I are almost through Season 3 of “Outlander” which has managed to make high-seas pirating boring. Last season made 18th century Paris boring. Paris! It’s not a good trend.

We recently re-watched “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and it was even better than I remembered. I can’t wait to see “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”. I’m also really looking forward to “Black Panther”!

On the (Figurative) Turntable

I hope I am never blasé about Spotify surprising me with gorgeous music I haven’t heard before. “Butterfly” by Snowpoet appeared in my life today and … yep.

 

In the (Literal) Game Room

We had friends over and played Love Letter and Jungle Speed. One of these games is calm and methodical and the other involves sprained fingers and hysterical laughter. Both are really, really fun. Play them instead of Monopoly or Risk. They are great games that won’t make you hate your friends.

On the Internet

I lost my social media mojo a while back, but I post wee updates and photos to my microblog, Honk. (Thanks to FunkyPlaid for the name!)

On the Globe

We’ve just started planning our trip to Scotland this April! I cannot wait to see everyone and everything and take a million photos and eat proper curry.

Ink o’ the Week

It is snowing right now (WTF, Portland?) so my TWSBI Eco is loaded with Kaweco Summer Purple. Wishful writing!

Homesick.

Over the past two days I’ve had three different conversations about my life in Scotland. By the time I got in my car to drive home, I was deeply homesick for it, mostly the friends and coworkers I miss, but also mundane bits like Christmas Eve in Waitrose, random herds of curious horses, learning how to ride […]