New Stuff

It seems like I’ve got a lot of new stuff going on lately.  I’ve also received some new stuff and bought some new stuff.  Stuff!

Firstly, I started the Natural Chef program at Bauman College last week.  Although I haven’t actually cooked anything yet, I’ve been enjoying it a lot.  Our sanitation and knife skills classes are this week, and after that we can get into the kitchen.

Yesterday after class I headed into San Francisco to check out Economy Restaurant Fixtures for some supplies.  They have just about everything you could need to start or run a restaurant, right down to salt and pepper shakers or menu covers.  It was kind of funny to see it all lined up on shelves.

Apron, chef’s pants, knife roll, paring knife and knife covers.  I’ll look so official!  I also picked up some small stuff for home cooking – ramekins, a fine wire mesh strainer and large piping tips.

It was recommended to purchase a recipe management program, and I went with Living Cookbook after reading lots of reviews on Amazon.  So far I’m very happy with the software, and am working on importing all of my collected loose recipes.  One of the great features is having nutrition information for each recipe, like you can see at the end of this post.

I found myself with just a bit of extra money last month, so I bought some e-books that were on my wish list for a long time.

Sneak Peak and Pudge-Free Holidays by Lindsay of Happy Herbivore, and Impossible Pies and Lunchbox Bites by Hannah of Bittersweet.  I haven’t made anything from any of them yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

I also ordered Swell zine from A-K of Swell Vegan, and bought The Joy of Vegan Baking as a total splurge at Rainbow Grocery yesterday.  Haven’t even looked through either yet!

I don’t get over to Rainbow very often, but I happened to be in SF yesterday so I made sure to swing by to stock up on Teese and other such specialties.  I wasn’t looking for creamer, but I saw this coconut milk creamer by So Delicious and figured I’d give it a try.  I normally use Silk or Trader Joe’s brand soy creamer, but I’m not in love with either.  I tried the coconut creamer this morning and the verdict isn’t quite in yet, but I think I’m going to like it.  The flavor is pretty natural, with a little hint of coconut, and I only had to use about a Tablespoon, as opposed to the soy creamers which it seems I need to use more than one serving to achieve my preferred creaminess.  I haven’t seen this coconut creamer on my side of the bay yet, so I’m hoping that Berkeley Bowl or Whole Foods will pick it up soon.

A while back, my mom asked if I wanted anything from Pampered Chef because she was going to a Pampered Chef party.  I said there was nothing I needed, but made a few small suggestions.  A few weeks later she sent me a big box full of stuff!  It included a garlic peeler, garlic slicer, bamboo cooking tools, a stoneware baking sheet, chow chow relish, rice chips, glazed pecans and Southern Living magazine.  It also included a cookbook published by my parent’s church, chock-full of good old southern recipes.  My mom is the best!

Ever since hearing about the wonder of Kala Namak (black salt) on the internets and reading about it in Vegan Brunch, I’ve been looking everywhere for it.  For anyone who doesn’t know about black salt, it has a sulfuric aroma and flavor, which helps to simulate egginess.  I finally decided to just order it on the internet, and did so at Salt Works.  This 9.5 oz jar was only $7.95, and they offered free shipping in September, so I think I scored a pretty good deal.  This jar will last me a long time…

…making dishes like this!  This is the tofu omelet from Vegan Brunch.  I made the mushroom filling with white and shiitake mushrooms because the store was out of cremini, and substituted chard for the spinach because it’s what I had.  I also added some shredded cheddar Teese inside and on top, and broiled the omelet for a few minutes at the end to melt the Teese.  In the back is a roasted sweet potato hash with ketchup.  I had high hopes for these omelets after reading rave reviews, and they lived up to them.  It’s not exactly like a real omelet, but I think it’s the best simulation you could make without actual eggs.

This isn’t new, per say, but it’s new for this year.  I caught a glimpse of Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale and had to have it!  It’s my favorite pumpkin beer, although Shipyard Pumpkinhead is really good too.  Gotta get it while it’s available.

And finally, a first for me:  I won a blog contest!  Alisa over at One Frugal Foodie hosted a contest to get rid of some cookbooks she didn’t need, and I won a copy of Nonna’s Italian Kitchen by Bryanna Clark Grogan.  Score!

That’s it for today.  Between going to school and working full time, I’m unfortunately not going to be able to post as often as usual, which wasn’t that often anyway.  I’ll probably have some interesting things to share from school – I have to make some recipes at home and write up reports for homework.  Either way, I’ll try to keep posting at least a few times a month.

Speaking of the upcoming month, it’s time for VeganMoFo!  I won’t be able to participate this year, but for a full list of participants check out Kittee’s post.  I will certainly be perusing the list and hopefully discovering some new blogs.

Bonus Jake pictures!


  1. Please make me one of those omlettes! (And cute kitty pics!!)

  2. VeggieGirl said

    So glad you’re enjoying the classes so far!!

    Congratulations on winning the blog contest!!

    Aww Jake 😀

  3. Nora said

    is that the pumpkin ale from TJs?

    • veganhomemade said

      Nora – I’m not sure. This one is by Buffalo Bills in Hayward, CA. Maybe they rebrand it as TJ’s? Buffalo Bills doesn’t distribute to the East Coast though, so I’m not sure how that would work.

  4. Mom said

    Have fun cooking and learning!

    Gotta love Jake. He has no pride whatsoever.

  5. Glad you started the chef training! I’m so jealous! I really hope to do that someday! Also, I’m gonna look into buying that Living Cookbook program. I think that would be helpful for organizing my cookbook and counting calories.

    Don’t you love the black salt? That omelet is my favorite thing in the world! And I also love the new coconut creamer. I stumbled on some at my Whole Foods about a week ago, and I like it better than the Silk creamer.

  6. angie said

    Jake is so cute! And your vegan omelette is gorgeous! I want to reach right into my screen and grab it and eat it! That black salt is pretty amazing stuff. I found some at the Indian market in my neighborhood. And I am LOVING the new So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer! Like you said, you only need to use a tablespoon to get a real creaminess going, and the French Vanilla flavor is really lovely.

  7. Ricki said

    Congrats on chef school (and all that neat equipment). Your brunch sounds most excellent! 🙂

  8. chow vegan said

    Wow, that’s a lot of cool stuff! Looking forward to reading about your adventures in class. 🙂

  9. jessy said

    jake is the absolute cutest! i just love his little face! awwwwww!

    so awesome on you starting your natural chef program and getting lots of goodies to start your courses off. very cool on the recipe manangement program & all the great goodies from the pampered chef! black salt – i need to get my hands on some as soon as possible. your omelete looks perfect, Erin – and pumpkin ale, too?! hellz yeah! hooray for awesome e-books, the sweel zine (i don’t have it yet, but i hear it rocks), and the joy of vegan baking (the peanut butter cookies are the best – especially if you melt some chocolate to drizzle over them! mmmmmmmmmm!)! so much sweet stuff – i love it all!

  10. twoveganboys said

    The omlette looks so good. Wow.

    The baby peacock was so cute. I wanted to pick it up and hold it. There was a male peacock nearby that would peck the babies in the head if they came to close to him. Big meany!

    By the way, your blog is awesome.

  11. veganappetite said

    Congratulations on school! That is so exciting. I’ll bet the trip to the Economy Restaurant store was a blast.

    That omelet recipe is sooo good!

    And..gorgeous kitty, of course.

  12. Diann said

    I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying school. It must be so much fun.

    Kitty looks so comfy…

  13. melisser said

    Jake! Isn’t Economy crazy? Kamei on Clement St has better prices though.
    I bought that creamer, but it’s just sitting in the fridge. I don’t drink coffee!

  14. Vegetation said

    Awesome goodies!! I’m super jealous of coconut creamer! We don’t even get soy creamer in Australia (not that I could drink it if we did, but still!).

    Aww Jake is lovely!!

  15. john said

    That omlette was really looking fabulous and not just that the whole blog is really fantastic and not to mention the cute cat. Thank you.

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