Anger Burger

I Swear This is the Last PB&J Post for a While

Posted by on Apr 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I make Mike the Viking lunch every day (those cross-channel dragon ship crossings work up an appetite), and it’s always the same: a drink, some cookies and a peanut butter & jelly sandwich.  As these things go, some days he either has no time to eat the sandwich or is full from eating the still-beating heart of his enemies, and he brings the sandwich back home.  At which point there’s only one thing to do with it.

Pb&j french toast.  Well, technically first it goes into the fridge overnight, but then the sorcery happens.  The stale bread soaks up the egg and milk mixture, and the peanut butter inside begins to ooze when it’s cooked through.  If I hadn’t put the almost rock-solid sandwich into the pan myself, I would have vehemently denied that this had been a stale, old lunch leftover.

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5 Posted in Food Rant


Posted by on Apr 2, 2011 at 10:02 am

Happy adoptiversary, Tankerstiltskin.  I know we say this at least once a week, but I’m sorry your last family left you at the kennel like that.  But it was for the best.  You’re our Tank-Tank now.  Our little Punchkin.  Supertanker.  Black Beast of Arrrggghhh.  Lady MacTanksalot.  She-Smaug.  Pukerina.

Speaking of puking, ThinkTank is allergic to almost everything found in commercial and even most alternative dog treats.  No eggs, potatoes or oats, no beef, turkey or salmon.  There are a lot of other things too, but those items in particular are found in almost every single product for sale.  Nearly a year ago I started making her treats, in a recipe I’ve since altered slightly and perfected¹.

Last night I wanted to make her a special treat, something just for her.  I didn’t want to overload her on meat since too much protein seems to make her sick, too (see: Ground Lamb Incident of 2010).  I poked around the kitchen and realized what I could make her.  Buckwheat zucchini pancakes.

Since she can’t have egg I used flax-replacer.  At which point I realized I had just made my dog gluten-free, vegan zucchini pancakes.

Oh my god.  Really?  If I’m not careful my dog is going to move to Portland without me.

Still, they turned out pretty good.  Fresh mint and rosemary from the garden worked amazingly with the zucchini, and even though I greatly dislike the texture of pure buckwheat, the pancakes themselves were soft and fluffy.

She, you see, loved the texture.  Somewhat gummy and chewy.  The Viking was lucky to keep his hand.

My Dog is an Insufferable Hipster
Gluten-Free, Vegan Buckwheat Zucchini Pancakes
like i said, i think that pure buckwheat has an unpleasant texture, both gritty and gummy, and if you made these for humans i’d certainly replace at least 1/2 of the buckwheat with something else.  i’m not sure what since i don’t regularly bake gluten-free, but i imagine there are plenty of suggestions out there on the interwebs.  but rest assured: these taste lovely, and are even better at room temperature.  made very small and topped with a piece of smoked salmon, they’d be a charming party snack.
makes six 3-inch pancakes

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt (these tasted undersalted to me)
1 Tbsp. ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tbsp. hot water
1/2 cup soy milk
dash of granulated garlic²
1 heaping tsp. finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 packed, heaping cup finely shredded zucchini
1 tsp. olive oil for cooking

  • First, prepare the flax egg replacer.  Mix the flax and hot water together in a small bowl and stir for 1 minute to combine.  Set aside.  When you return to it in a few minutes it will be thickened and slimy, like the texture of a beaten egg.
  • In a bowl, stir together the buckwheat, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Add the zucchini, herbs, granulated garlic and then the flax slime.  Begin to stir with a spoon, slowly adding the soy milk as you mix.  Set aside while you heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat.
  • Drizzle or spray a very small amount of olive oil into the non-stick pan and begin to dollop on pancake batter.  I used a small ice cream scoop to facilitate both speed and consistency.  The pancakes can be any size, but the smaller they are, the easier they are to handle.  Like a regular pancake, it’s time to flip them when holes form in the surface of the cake that do not disappear after the bubbles pop, about 3 – 4 minutes.  Flip the cake and cook on the other side for about 2 minutes, or until the pancakes feels springy and firm when gently tapped on the middle.
  • Set aside to cool on paper towels and cook the next batch, if there is more batter.

¹ I’ll post a re-do of the recipe sometime, but I replaced the cheese with seaweed and bonito (fish) flakes, both items found at the Asian market. They’re highly nutritious and stink like low-goddamn-tide when you’re baking them. She LOVES them.
² There is some argument that any garlic is bad for dogs, but my belief and the general consensus is that dried garlic, in small quantities, is perfectly safe. Raw fresh garlic and onions are not safe.

11 Posted in Make It So

Round ’em Up!

Posted by on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:52 am


  • I am freely and openly mesmerized by William and Kate’s upcoming wedding.  My friends Marika and Oliver (who are British/American/Kiwis) asked me why and I drew a total blank.  I don’t think William is particularly handsome, though he’s got a sort of rakishly easy-going thing that I imagine comes from wealth and high education.   But still.  Also: his mom was Princess Tragic!  That counts for a lot.   I do think Kate is lovely, and maybe that’s part of it: the pretty non-royal “commoner” who meets and marries a prince.  It’s all so fabulously English, it makes me want tea and scones for every meal.  I was never a Princess girl, but I spend a LOT of energy looking at William and Kate memorabilia online and convincing myself not to buy it.  (For example, this tea towel — the colors!  So cute!  But $22 after shipping?!)
  • Today is ThinkTank‘s adoptiversary!  How apt that our little furbaby should come into our lives on April Fools’ when every day with her is like April Fools’.  I’ll write about it later, but I’m planning on making her a special treat because it’s not like she already isn’t the luckiest goddamn dog in the world who gets her own Aveno baby shampoo in the shower and $30 a bottle fish oil supplements because she’s allergic to the more affordable salmon stuff.
  • This article in the Los Angeles Times about Sarah Gim made me cringe.  She’s one of the people behind the website Tastespotting, a food-blog aggregator.  The author seems delighted to throw around the term “food porn” as though it were just then made up, and the article itself seems slightly off point: the most negative aspect of the site – the subjectivity of who gets approved – is written with a rather dubious tone.  It allows Gim to defend herself without substantiating what is a completely valid point: the site is subjective.  I’ve submitted photos that were refused with a claim “out of focus” but were crystal-clear in focus.  Another was rejected on grounds of “looks unappetizing” – a lovely photo of fresh sage sitting atop uncooked chicken ready for the oven.  (I’ve also had photos rejected that should have been, and I’ve had several photos accepted).  Participating in Tastespotting can be a frustrating and seemingly random process.  I think Gim is probably a nice woman, but the article’s efforts to make her seem guileless and altruistic is just weird.  She’s a businesswoman running a business.
  • The organic lavender my mom sent has arrived, so I’ll be making Grandma River’s lavender shortbread just as soon as the temperature drops a little this weekend.
  • Uh, what else… There was something else.  I’ll add it if I think of it.
15 Posted in Totally Unrelated