Nondairy pumpkin pie!

Hi!

You want to know about making nondairy pumpkin pie? Do I have a story for you!

Today I finally cooked a beautiful little pie pumpkin which I got in Brooklyn (for $1.50!) just before Halloween. It’s been sitting around up here in Harlem, looking festive for long enough!

I baked it in my oven at like 350 for maybe 45 minutes (halved face down on a baking pan with foil over it). I scooped so many seeds out (and cleaned them and let them dry) so i cooked those too, with salt and olive oil, on a baking pan for 20 minutes, stirring them every 5.

You might just have a can of pumpkin – which is awesome and delicious! Put that in a bowl, if you are making pie!

When my little pumpkin was cool enough I just popped the skin right off! And mixed that sweet thing with half a can of coconut milk and at least a tablespoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of powdered ginger, maybe 3/4 cup of brown sugar, a tablespoon of maple syrup, and a little salt. I added 2 eggs. If you’re egg free you could reduce the coconut milk a little or use a 1/2 cup of silken tofu (blended), soaked and blended cashews, or some egg replacer from a box. Also I bought a pie crust from the closest grocery store, Compare, because I am lazy today and am on a planned homework strike. Usually the generic pie crusts are nondairy, though I got Mrs. Smiths, since that was the nondairy version they had. If you are super cool you could make your own pie crust. Mix almond meal and a little coconut oil then press that into your pie tin, this lacks gluten. Whatevs! There are probably youtube tutorials about all of this and if you are specifically looking for some substitution you should check that out.

So anyways I baked that pie at 350 for an hour! No problem! It is so pretty! I put some foil around the bottom and tucked it over the crust sides until like 10 min before I was done, you could do that if you want a good (not so burnt) crust result.

That’s a nondairy pumpkin pie recipe for you, in story format!

Hope you are having a great day!!!

Love, katie

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diy corn dog party!

Hello!

Recently I made corndogs for the first time. It was easy and took about 1/2 hour to make them, then 15 minutes to make them all the same crunchiness in the oven at then end. But you can totally skip that last part if you want.

I don’t post many recipes, only really easy & great ones, so I realized that I should write about this – since it is delicious, really easy, and so easy to modify if you want it to be vegan, gluten free, egg free, or whatever you want (except corn free).

I got the idea to make my own dang corndogs from a vegan cooking blog on youtube (the vegan zombie, it’s a good video, you should watch it), and I easily modified it for my diet (no 1/2 block of tofu for me – too much processed soy for my body to handle), and you can do the same kind of thing for yourself. My sweetheart told me it was the best corn dog he’s ever had, and I have to agree!

Earlier today I sent this recipe to a gluten free friend since it would be very easy to do without gluten. I know that modifying recipes to suit food troubles can often be hard, but this one is totally flexible. If you need to be without gluten, just use some gf flour instead of the wheat flour. It will work. And you can use tofu or eggs or egg replacer. I found recipes on youtube using all of these and they all looked really good.

Eating corndogs makes me feel like I’m in Santa Cruz California (my hometown) at the Boardwalk, or the saturn cafe (a cute vegetarian diner), or the county fair, or at the rose festival in Portland Oregon, or on someones lawn or any part of my youth – which I spent eating thousands of corndogs.

Here is the recipe for The Dogs.

1 c flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
2 T sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
Pepper and salt (1t each?)
Onion and garlic powder (1/2 t-ish each)

Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl… then add to to the dry ones. You know, like baking.

1 1/4 c almond milk (or whatever kind you like, seriously)
1 T agave (you could use honey or maple syrup or sugar instead)
2 eggs (or 2 eggs worth of egg replacer [I like ener-G brand] or 1/2 block smushed up silken tofu)

After you make the batter put it in the fridge for 10 min, then put it in a tall pint type cup/jar so you can dip yr dogs!

While your batter is in the fridge you can prep everything else… like the actual dog part.

You can use whatever you want. How about smart dogs? Field roast sausages? Quorn? Tofurkey? Yves? You name it, it will be AWESOME! You could use turkey dogs (that’s what I did) or beef or pork, or whatever variety you favor. Or how about broccoli? That might work but I dunno so tell me if you try it please.

Blot your dogs with a papertowel or cloth napkin or whatever so they’re dry!

Get some bamboo skewers. Cut off the points so your friends don’t stab themselves in the mouth! I cut mine in 1/2 after I cut off the points, but if you can do whatever you want. (u can totally use regular scissors!)

Cut your dogs in 1/2 if you use a small pan like me (I got some cute little corndogs). Just use whatever pan you have! Jam the skewers in one end of the dogs! Tada! The vegan zombie used cornstarch to get the batter to stick to the dogs. I tried some with and some without. You don’t need it if your batter is thick enough! But you could dust them with the cornstarch if you want. No biggie.

SO, get your cold batter out of the fridge and put it in the tall cup. Then dip your dogs right before you are ready to fry them. Like 5 seconds before and move them one at a time from the batter into the preheated oil.

Preheat whatever kind of oil you like for maybe 2 minutes. Use a less flavory oil than olive. I used canola with a splash of olive oil in it, but there are better-for-you oils if you have them.

I used a saucepan with maybe 2 cups of oil in it, had to tilt the pan a little – so I probably should have used more oil than that (I have a gas stove so tilting was fine, but don’t spill your oil!!! It can catch on fire!! It’s oil!!!! Scary!!), and please dear use an ovenmitt for the handle, it gets hot.

Turn the dog quickly to get the whole thing cooked/set up. Then keep turning them in the oil until they are golden! Put it on a cookie sheet or plate with some paper towel to absorb some of the oil. It might be fried but you don’t need to eat all of the oil if you don’t want!

Also I used 1 zucchini to also make 8 zucdogs! In retrospect I would have cut the zuc in 4ths longways, then all in 1/2 to make thinner pieces for quicker cooking. And u would have had more of them which is fun too.

After I fried each dog, I put it on a baking pan. Then when I was done I put them all in the oven (250 degrees) for like 15 min, all of the dogs were then the same temp/crunchyness, this would be good for more fun group munching (the zuc cooked more then so it was good) and the batter nearest the skewers on the dogs cooked during this more (since it was hard to get the base in enough oil (i didn’t use as much oil as i could have, trying to conserve and all that).

Since I am antisocial I froze my leftover corn dogs, so I can eat them whenever I want! I am so happy. I love corn dogs.

Have fun cooking up summery fun!

XoK

Winter? Are you over yet?

Hey~

I am sad to have not posted for so long. I’ve been having health problems and being distracted by school. I should be writing a paper! HA!

I just wanted to drop a line to say that I just wanted to drop a line. Mostly hello, you world out there.

I’m here in New York and homesick for the other side of the continent. Or some wooded areas even. But school is going well. And I’ve been making so much artwork! And I’ve been reading about and seeing a lot of art too.

Last weekend I went to 3 museums in 2 days, then had a headache for 4 days… the headache part totally derailed my week, but I’m mostly better and have discovered that excedrin and mountain dew can help (thanks Heather and Axel for these suggestions)! I also moved my desk at home around. And am attempting to work at the desk, which is difficult, as I want to sit in a squishy chair and do my homework (not so good for the old posture). The desk used to be my sewing area, but I need to use it for studying too. So I will make it do both. And I’ll get some new glasses pretty soon here… that will help. Especially since I do not like the style of my current glasses. So I will be able to see better and feel better about myself at the same time. Oh the miracle of science and fashion’s collision.

Otherwise I’m just plugging along with grad school and trying to work out how to make some money. I think I’m going to sell my hair, but that’s a one time thing, not so sustainable. I’d like to work on play sets too. Fingers crossed.

I’ve been doing some basic stop motion. It’s very exciting, but I don’t have much yet. The headache took the wind out of me, right after I got started learning the process. And it got me nice and behind on homework, so I’ve been mostly catching up instead of photographing. But I’ve got most of a new set done, and the good part of another. I think I’m going to get some dirt in there. I really miss dirt, so I might as well put it in my work.

I’ll post a link to it on youtube when it’s done.

Ooo I made a nice salt scrub earlier, you might like it! It was just sea salt (2 tsp), rose oil (a drop), coconut oil (1 tsp), and aloe gel (like 1/4 tsp). You could make more if you wanted to scale it up, and if you have a spare jar to store it in for later. I have a tendency to just make stuff up as I go along, but I’d tried recipes before, and they’re all basically similar. Add the salt to the oil and scrub your face and limbs! I’ve read that you should leave the scrub on for a few minutes too, let it do it’s magic, then wash it off gently with warm water and a wash cloth, then splash on some cold water! The salt draws out toxins and scrubs really well, and the oil is moisturizing. Coconut oil is good for sensitive skin like mine too. And it’s been so dry here my skin is not loving me, as well as the fact that I’ve had the major blas lately, so doing some good smelling self care felt really nice and important. I recommend it!!!! It’s good!!!!

Alright, friends, I leave you with a couple of pictures. Then it’s off to feed the cat, vacuum, clean the bathroom and kitchen, make diner, and do my homework. I’m writing a paper about how Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook’s show, at Tyler Rollins, relates to postmodern ideas about simulacra and simulation and stuff! Whooohoo!!!!! You’re excited for me aren’t you.

xoxok

fishy

fly

bone-egg (video still)

Pumpkin Persimmon Cranberry Bread! Mmm!

Pumpkin Bread Recipe!

This was popular in my Studio Art MFA Seminar class, and at my husbands work. Good thing it makes 2 loaves! We got to eat one ourselves and split one up between our cohorts.
Plus it’d be a groovy holiday treat!

Ingredients
3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar (the original recipe said 3 cups, that’s a lot)
4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs (or energ-e egg replacer if yr vegan!)
1 tablespoon grated fresh or dry ginger (could use more if you like it spicy!)
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup persimmon, cubed (I used 1 1/2 persimmons – mmm i ate that other half)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed (you could use a few more maybe)
1 cup chopped walnuts or almonds
optional 1 teaspoon lime juice
(optional: oat mixture for top – i just eyeball this but it’s about:
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 or 1/4 teaspoon oil)

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees! Do it, do it, it’s worth it.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, vanilla and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in cranberries and nuts.

Spoon into two greased and flowered 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans (or whatever you have that’s sort of that shape and size). If you are going to put the oat mixture on top, do it now! Mix the oats, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl or cup and sprinkle over the top as evenly as you can.

Bake at 350° for 60 or 70 minutes or until a toothpick or sharp knife inserted near the center comes out clean (I just did it for an hour, the original recipe said 70-80 min). Cool for 10 or 15 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each – I like bigger slices that are cut in half). You could share that other loaf with your friends, or you could freeze it for later.

I should have taken a photo of it. But it was all gone before I thought of that. Next time I make it I will post a photo. It was pretty.

I hope that works as well for you as it did for me. Let me know if you have questions or anything.

xoxok

country kitchen!

Hi! Hello! Howdy!

Thank you so much for reading my blog, you are wonderful.

Hey! I had my first critique in 6 years today. It was interesting because I wasn’t allowed to say anything. And none of my work was actually done, I’ve just been messing around (a lot) to find the forms and material I want to work with. And there were some good things said, some incredibly awesome constructive things. Most of them were really helpful. But still. WOW! I feel like I got punched in the face, really hard. It’s going to lead to some good things, I know. And I know it is one of the most valuable parts of artistically educational institutions, this peer critique system. And I’m in New York for goddesses sake. I need this shit to be for real. FOR REAL! And when people call it “country kitchen” I need to either mean it to be like that, or to change it so they don’t think that next time. I am so glad to have a great studio-mate. Thank you Heather, you saved my ass. And thank you for being ok with listening to me cry and then listening to me get the hell over it. I am so glad to have been able to process that shit right after it happened. And now I am way damn stronger! YESSS!!!!! (High five!)

And all of that got me thinking. Why am I here? Why?

Yeah, that’s as far as I got. (Ok, I have a lot of reasons. But the main one I can think of – making things hard for myself so I’ll have to get better as an artist – seems like a jerky reason right now.)

So, let’s change the subject. Fall is for more than falling down. Getting back up is it’s main feature. Hell yes!

The artist Faith Ringold went to my school (as did Lee Krasner, and many others, but that’s different story). Today there was an award ceremony for Faith Ringold at my school. So I went to see the show of quilts that went with it, after school. Thank goodness for Faith Ringold. She not only is an inspiration to generations of women and men all over the world, she also speaks and teaches and writes and all of the other good things besides making art. She is so amazing! Here is more information about the thing I went to. I’m not sure if she was there. By the time I got over there I just wanted to go home and go to bed, so I left pretty much right away. No crying in public! But the quilts inspired by her were interesting and various. I will go back to see them.  http://www1.ccny.cuny.edu/advancement/news/Faith-Ringgold-Honored-by-CCNY.cfm

So, more change of subject… It’s October! Already! Time is passing very quickly.

I feel so much better than I did just an hour ago. I made a root vegetable roast, chicken in a clay pot, and an apple pie, all of which is in the oven. It’s cold here already. And my building’s heat is not on yet. So we are swaddled in flannel and my goal is to have the gassy-ass oven all hot as long as I can tonight. Cooking always helps me think and calm down, and I haven’t been baking or cooking much since moving here. New York and my patient wonderful husband are both really eating out centric. And it’s been hot in the evenings. But all of a sudden it’s colder at night – so here I go! I will bake the hell out of this godawful east coast winter! Even though being the one who cooks in my household makes me a housewife (something that would have made my young self punch my current self in the damn teeth), well – I am the only one who will cook. So, I’ve just gone ahead and done it. Whatever. Life is change, right?

Soooo, speaking of change – I know I didn’t post on the equinox, but am thinking about that change a lot. Here are a few poems about equinox, fall or change. They are about both equinoxes, but I think that helps – since we are moving into the sleep/death/cold and in terms of that feeling it’s nice to think about the blooming/movement/fever. Although both are also my favorite times of year, for their individual meanings. It’s interesting to explore that from over here in the east. Wherever you are it is probably also interesting. Unless you are not interested in life things.

Thanks for rocking!

Love Forever, Katie Simpson Spain

Nothing Gold Can Stay

-Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Fall, Leaves, Fall

-Emily Bronte

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.

I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

Equinox

-Joy Harjo

I must keep from breaking into the story by force
for if I do I will find myself with a war club in my hand
and the smoke of grief staggering toward the sun,
your nation dead beside you.

I keep walking away though it has been an eternity
and from each drop of blood
springs up sons and daughters, trees,
a mountain of sorrows, of songs.

I tell you this from the dusk of a small city in the north
not far from the birthplace of cars and industry.
Geese are returning to mate and crocuses have
broken through the frozen earth.

Soon they will come for me and I will make my stand
before the jury of destiny. Yes, I will answer in the clatter
of the new world, I have broken my addiction to war
and desire. Yes, I will reply, I have buried the dead

and made songs of the blood, the marrow.

PS Oh gods! So good! I just saw Blackstar on the Colbert Report. Holy dang! Yay! It was really good! Watch this! It is awesome! The online version has one more song!   http://www.colbertnation.com/full-episodes/wed-october-5-2011-black-star

growing things

Hey friends,

Sooo, I have started working on the salad the farm again! I’m excited. It’s really fun. I love being out in the country and taking care of those plants. I’ve got the growing things itch now too. So I started a small garden in the teeny space of my apartment stoop.

It all started when Renee gave me some culinary herbs in pots for my birthday. That was so nice! I’ve been nibbling them for a couple of weeks now. Deliciousness! Last year I grew tiny basil and chives on my stoop, but being given established herbs started me thinking about growing more! I seeded some basil (it hasn’t started yet… it’s working on it – I hope it hurries, I want to get it in some more soil.)

And I started a tiny succulent garden in a pretty white glass dish I got at a rummage sale. I’ve been walking around the neighborhood a lot lately and I pinched one or two succulents from overgrown medians and sidewalk cracks and such. I did this with some pretty moss too, a gift for someone (top secret).

And today I got strawberry plants, on sale, at a grocery store. I hope they grow!

I hope they all grow! I’m anxious for the basil to sprout. It’s not new seed, so it might not work. It’s been a week, so it should be doing it any time now.

That’s my news. I’m getting over a cold, but haven’t been called in to sub this week anyhow, so it’s cool. I’ve been laying low. And tomorrow I have a small surgery to get an almost-cancer on my arm removed. I’m kind of nervous. And I won’t be able to move my arm enough for a couple of weeks (stitches above my deltoid), which makes me even more nervous. I am sure I’ll be fine. But I like to do things, it’ll be hard for me to sit still.

Yes, updates! For you!

I’m doing a commission, which I will work on in my time off. Heck, I’ll have the use of one arm at least. And I will post photos of my progress on here. I’ve got the surface built and prepped, so I’ll get to do the fun part soon! Painting! Well, I guess I like all of the parts. But I truly like the painting part most.

Ok, I’m going to go eat some strawberries and do some laundry. And in case you wanted to see: here are some photos of my little garden.

snow salad (aka farming in the snow)

Hello there.

Some people have asked me to blog about farming more. I will! It’s fun for me in many ways.

It is a really cool thing, being part of an organic farm (we’re certified naturally grown, a grassroots alternative to certified organic). It warms my heart.

Yes, we get to eat some of the amazing food that we grow. Like I am going to make a soup from a jumbo pink banana squash soon. We grew it! It’s huge and pink, but the inside is bright yellow. I am so excited!

But farming is hard too.

Like today, I harvested greens in the snow. It was really cold. And my fingers didn’t fall off, but they were kind of tingly. It was ok, everyone involved is ok. I thought about the request for farm related blogs, and I had to write about this.

It was beautiful. The snow was wet and came down in those clumpy balls, downy, heavy. I guess it was snow showers. Off and on. Out in Warren. It was maybe 36 degrees, and I had so many layers on! Shirts, pants, gloves (fingerless – ya have to feel the greens to pick them right), a hat, a scarf… So I was ok. But cold! We picked chicories, lovely greens that are alright in the cold. And I realized that I might be suited for the tropics. Except that pesky bright sun part.

People have been farming in the snow forever. We have to farm in whatever weather is happening. I don’t think this is written about too often. People still need food, whatever the weather is like.

Farm work is hard. No one ever said it wasn’t, but I think it gets abstracted sometimes. No, we are not sitting and playing in the dirt. We are working hard for long hours.

I think it is really fun! And I love the hard parts, like rototilling by hand, wheelhoeing paths between beds fast until your head is spinning and then quick quick pitchforking up chunks of rooty sod leftover from wheelhoeing. I love kneeling and hacking at weeds with this nice japanese knife hoe thing, and swearing about whatever issue is bugging me. I love pulling plants that have bolted or bloomed, then throwing them in a wheelbarrow and into a compost pile. It’s kind of like dancing, and also like backwards situps while standing up. I love seeding and planting starts, watching things grow. Magical exercises.

But it is hard, physically. Don’t forget. Farmers get dirt in their eyes and blisters and frostbite and, yes, excellent muscle tone.

I just wanted to say this so, if you have romantic notions about farming, you will know. You’d better like to exercise and you’d better have good work ethic.

I am glad to have put in some good work today, even though it was snowing.

Thanks for supporting farmers by eating!

xoxo,
Katie