• October 5th, 2011quarrygirlappetizers/snacks, recipes, vegan events

    just over a week ago, we joined the hot knives team on the verdugo patio for an afternoon of snacks and beer to celebrate the release of their new vegetarian (and vegan-friendly) cookbook, salad daze.

    we’d been looking forward to this day for ages—we’ve been HK fans for years, and even had an opportunity to test out one of the the salad daze recipes (magic shroom dust, loved it!) several months ago. now that the book has been released into the world and i’ve got it in my hands, i can safely say that it doesn’t disappoint. page after page of meatless recipes, with all the vegan ones clearly marked, each listed with their own thoughtful beer and soundtrack pairing.

    so how was the release party? it was awesome! we always love kickin’ it on the verdugo patio with some good beer, but eating hot knives food at the same time makes it even better. on this day, the dudes prepared a slew of appetizers including some recipes from the book, and played a strictly salad daze playlist of bands we love including the fall, the stooges, and belle & sebastian.

    here’s what we ate…

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  • March 29th, 2011mr meanercookbooks, recipes

    I don’t know about you, but every time I get an inter-Department Delivery in an orange envelope it’s usually something like a boring circular from HR or a “policy update” from the legal department. Imagine, then, how delighted I was to be sent such an envelope from Hot Knives containing not some pointless corporate drivel but a sneak peek at one of the recipes from their very first cookbook, “Salad Daze”.

    Now, Hot Knives (a.k.a. Evan and Alex) are known to us as the genius chefs behind both the Verdugo Bar Patio sessions of summer 2009, as well as the inaugural event at the pre-opening of our local pub, (and favorite bar in all of LA) the Surly Goat early last year. In fact these vegetarian, highly vegan-friendly chefs create such amazing dishes that we have been known to chase around after them like a couple of Grateful Dead fans from the 80s.

    If we had one criticism, though, it’s that there are way too few opportunities to experience their dishes – they don’t cook at enough events! So, the best bit about getting the sneak recipe preview wasn’t so much the preview itself, but the news that Hot Knives are publishing a cook book of some of their best recipes, so we can make their original and inventive dishes in the comfort of our own home. Truth be told, on occasion they will post a recipe or two on their blog, but nothing beats having everything at your fingertips in a good cookbook.

    The recipe they sent to us was called “Magic Shroom Dust”. The description alone blew us away (abbreviated here):

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  • February 10th, 2011quarrygirlvegan events

    remember the vegan twinkies that los angeles was obsessed with a while back? well they aren’t available anymore…but the mastermind behind them, jennshaggy, has recently released a cookbook called veganize this! where she divulges the twinkie secret, along with 199 other amazing recipes from surf and turf to ice cream pie.

    if you are in the bay area, you have the chance to meet jenn and her lovely wife jane this friday, when they’ll both be signing copies of their books. (yep, jane is a published author as well!) here are the details:

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  • November 13th, 2008quarrygirlappetizers/snacks, recipes, salads

    as you may or may not know, native foods in westwood changed their menu, and in doing so eliminated most of my favorite dishes. so after my most recent and somewhat disappointing lunch there, i decided to go home and dust off the old native foods cookbook that i’ve been meaning to put to use. it’s filled with old recipes so i figured surely it could help take me back to my happy native foods place and give me a taste of the dishes i remember.

    since native foods put the kibosh on farrah’s fatoush, my regular order and favorite dish, i decided to whip up a greek-style feast with all the cookbook had to offer. i varied it a little depending on preference and available ingredients, but i pretty much wound up with some quinoa tabouli, harry’s hummus, and a gorgeous greek salad. (btw, the cute names of the recipes make me wanna smash something.)

    quinoa tabouli, harry's hummus and the gorgeous greek with tofu feta. all from the native foods restaurant cookbook

    quinoa tabouli, harry's hummus and the gorgeous greek with tofu feta. all from the native foods restaurant cookbook

    lemme start off by saying the meal i actually wanted to make was the bali surf burger. it’s this crazy-good tempeh concoction and i couldn’t wait to get my grubby little hands on the secret. well here’s what the cookbook said:

    native foods recipe for the bali surf burger

    native foods recipe for the bali surf burger

    ok, now normally i would never post a scanned picture of recipe from a cookbook. it’s unethical. but in this case, as you can see, i’m giving nothing away. there are so many things wrong with this freaking recipe, i don’t know where to start. first off, the recipe is for a burger, but at the top right, the serving size is 2, “because you can’t eat just one!” and then the book goes on to just double all the ingredients in a really simple way. man, if i wanted 2 burgers i could figure it out for myself, trust me.

    next, this isn’t even really a recipe. it’s a list of ingredients and a dummy’s guide on how to assemble a hamburger: “spread each side with 1/2 teaspoon mayonnaise. on bottom bun, place sauteed tempeh…” whaaaaaa? seriously? i dropped 20 bucks + shipping on this cookbook and you are wasting a page telling me how to physically put a hamburger together? stop it.

    they may as well just give a tempeh recipe and be like, “this is awesome. make a burger with it if you so choose.” i don’t need a whole rundown on how to put mayo on a bun. …and not just that, but the tempeh recipe on page 65 is no big shakes either. it just tells you to go out and buy some tempeh, then sautee it. i won’t give away the “secret” or anything, but it feels like kind of a jip. basically everything with fake meat in the cookbook just provides ingredients, and then sends you to a website where you can order the soy meat products. hmmmmm. not cool.

    so i decided to make something with ingredients i could find, that actually required some preparation. bring on the greekness!

    k, lemme tell you what you’re looking at here. there’s harry’s hummus, the book describes it as a lighter hummus which doesn’t include tahini…then there’s quinoa tabouli, a blend of quinoa and parsley on a bed of greens (i omitted the mint because i didn’t have any, and used spinach instead of lettuce)…then there’s the gorgeous greek, a mixture of vegetables and tofu feta (i made it without bell peppers).

    overall, everything tasted great, but i gotta say…there was SO MUCH FREAKING OLIVE OIL. in everything! i couldn’t believe my eyes when i was reading the recipes. i decided to half the oil in everything, and even then, as i was pouring the olive oil into the measuring cup i was like, ok i gotta stop, this is gonna fucking kill me before i finish it. i calculated all the recipes together, and in total, all the dishes would have required 2 CUPS OF OIL! seriously. granted there would have been left-overs and such, so it wouldn’t have all been eaten in one sitting…but i used left than half that amount and my food was still swimmin’ in it. gross.

    my last criticism about the cookbook is that every recipe requires you to prepare something from another page. like to make the salad, i will need x amount of tofu feta, then i have to go to the tofu feta recipe page and not make the entire recipe, but figure out the right proportions to just make x. sometimes 2 or 3 times for one recipe. seriously, i’m no idiot, and scrambling around, flipping through pages and doing calculations got both tiring and mathematically taxing.

    all that aside, the recipe came out great! everything was extremely delicious, albeit pretty heavy on the oil side. the best part was for sure the tofu feta which was lemony and tart, and didn’t taste like feta at all.

    tofu feta from the native foods cookbook

    tofu feta from the native foods cookbook

    although the food was tasty, i’m gonna wait a few months before using the native foods cookbook again. it was hard work, and i think i should give it quite some time before consuming that much fat again. i mean, that’s what eating out is for!

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  • June 29th, 2008quarrygirlrecipes, veganomicon

    i know everyone and their mom has been talking about how great veganomicon’s chickpea cutlets are, so i had to try them out. guess what? everyone was right. they were so easy to make and they tasted delicious.

    at quarrygirl, we like to do things a little differently—so we decided to make a chickpea cutlet sandwich, but with the protein sandwiching the carbs.

    quarrygirl sandwich with mashed potatoes and veganomicon’s chickpea cutlets

    i baked my cutlets in the oven (frying seemed just too decadent) and they turned out just right: crispy but not overly dry. i imagine they would be much better fried, and contain millions more calories. i think i will give a try next time anyways.

    yo vegans: first off, if you haven’t already, go grab a copy of veganomicon asap. i’m not easily pleased, nor am i a very good cook….and everything i’ve made from that cookbook tastes swell. secondly, once you have it, rush home and whip up some chickpea cutlets. the blog hype was right: they totally kick ass.

    no sandwich required. i wonder what i will make with this recipe next time. i’m thinking a chickpea cutlet burrito….? the possibilities are endless.

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