I’m Baking Tofu and Falling in Love (Or How to Make Baked Tofu Stir Fry with Broccoli and Quinoa)

I made something healthy. Can you believe it?

So, remember how I said I was working on falling in love with the new Yeasayer album? Well, it happened. I’m in love. Now, I’m not saying it’s perfect or anything, but there are three tracks I can’t live without so far. The others may never move me in the same way, or their meaning will hit me at another time. For now I’m all about Longevity, Fingers Never Bleed, and Glass of the Microscope.

And the working on falling in love part? Let me explain. But first, allow me to digress for a moment. Last March I heard Scott Snibbe speak at SXSW. He collaborated with Bjork on her last album, and he was absolutely my favorite speaker at the conference. I have pages of notes from his talk, but there’s one thing I didn’t need to write down because it blew me away with its profundity. It was this:

“We’ve lost the falling in love phase with music and we’ve gone to the hooking up phase.”

Think about that for a moment, ‘cuz it’s totally true. We’re not taking the time to fall in love with music. We’re quickly buying the track we liked on XM, discovered on Pandora, etc. We’re not sitting with the liner notes. We’re not looking at the album art. We’re having this impoverished experience in a way. Because I absolutely can’t shut my head off ever and this blog is mainly meant for making shapes with frosting, I am spinning off and starting another blog here. With that blog I will delve deeper into the intellectual and emotional quagmires that absolutely keep me up at night. Every night.

So anyway…

I’m taking the time to fall in love with the album, but it’s because I dug the band in the first place. See, I don’t think you can make yourself love music or a person if there isn’t some sort of spark there initially. But the falling in love? That probably takes some time. In my 34 years on this earth I HAVE NEVER grown to love someone I didn’t feel a bit drawn towards in the first place. Not really. You just can’t force these things.

It’s probably the same with our polarizing friend, tofu. I happen to have felt a spark for the extra firm variety the first time I tasted it, so I was willing to take the time to play around with it. If you don’t dig tofu, this recipe probably isn’t for you. And don’t worry: I’m not trying to turn you into a tofu convert. I’ll still be your internet friend if you don’t like it. I promise.

Baked Tofu Stir Fry with Broccoli and Quinoa

3T vegetable oil
3T rice vinegar
3T soy sauce
1 tsp red chili pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cornstarch

14 oz extra firm tofu
1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
1 C quinoa

Preheat the oven to 425. Mix together the first five ingredients. Drain the tofu and apply light pressure with your hands to remove excess water.

Slice the tofu in 1 cm (roughly 3/8 inch) slices. Cut each slice into thirds. Submerge the tofu slices in the marinade and then place them on a baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and slightly brown on both sides. You will need to flip the tofu over after roughly 10 minutes, so keep on eye on it.

Prepare the quinoa according to the instructions on the box. While the tofu is baking and the quinoa is cooking, bring water to boil in a separate pot. Add the broccoli florets and cook until al dente.
Add the cornstarch to the remaining marinade. Heat the marinade mixture in a skillet over low heat.

Serve the tofu and broccoli over quinoa, adding sauce to taste. If you prefer a less salty sauce, try using low sodium soy or cutting the sauce with a few tablespoons of water.

My MacBook is Sick But Yeasayer Makes Me Smile (Or I’m Still Slugging)

So today’s post? Is coming to you from a computer that looks like this.

This sad machine is still slugging. Sort of like me.

Why?

Because my shiny new MacBook and I are on a break. And using a computer that looks like this beats the horror of using my iPad for anything more than messages that go something like, “I know, right? Call me.”

So anyway, I may have cried too much on my Mac while watching the JK Rowling speech yesterday or my trackwheel mouse thing was just faulty, ‘cuz the good people at Apple have to keep my Mac for a few days to perform some sort of computer surgery on it.

SO now I’m using my six year old Mac that isn’t fundamentally broken per say, save for the fact that it lacks sufficient hard drive space to hold all of my music (tragedy!), and the screen is only about 40% functional. (See, there was this incident while I was on a conference call last year….)

So, anyway, this has just been one of those weeks. You know the kind where your enormous dog accidentally trips you on a hike, you go flying in the air and rip all of the skin off of your shoulder and forearm?

What “enormous dog?” Surely, I have no idea what you’re talking about, woman.

And bruise your hip and your ribs? Yeah, that kind. The kind where you can no longer sleep on your left side and it hurts to lift your arm? Yeah….

At least the large area on my shoulder missing a lot of skin is the same area where I already had a scar. That scar? Was the result of a car colliding with my person while I was riding a bike in Santa Barbara. (I was 18 and selling books door to door at the time.)

So if you’re wondering why I’m blogging today with only half of a computer screen, I’ll tell you. Because I’m the same girl who went out and sold books on foot with stitches in her head and her arm in a sling after that car destroyed her bike. Because I’m the same girl who worked for some people in Hollywood who make Ari Gold look like a funny little teddy. And Because I’m a fighter.

And I have committed myself to writing. So that is what I will do. Even if I do it with half a screen and an aching arm.

And since this blog is really supposed to be about puppies, and cupcakes and rainbows, instead of sob stories about my flesh wounds, I will tell you that I am working on a recipe for Pina Colada Cupcakes right now.  I hope to have that for you next week.

Until then, I will leave you with some Yeasayer. They just released a new album this week, and I’m working on falling in love with it while writing this post.

Here they are, with their shiny words of wisdom. Enjoy.

Ambling Alp – “Now the world can be an unfair place at times, but your lows will have their compliment of highs. And if anyone should cheat you, take advantage of or beat you, raise your head and wear your wounds with pride. You must stick up for yourself son. Never mind what anybody else done.”

Tightrope– “But then I go again, wishing never solved a problem. If you wanna get it big time, go ahead and get it get it big time.”

Get it big time, y’all. I’m off to bake cupcakes.