Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dinner and Beyond

I've been a lazy poster, but what can you do. I don't really have an excuse.

I'll start of with breakfast on Sunday. I used the Morning Pancakes recipe from The Vegan Family Cookbook. This recipe yields a really large batch. With most recipes we have enough for all of us and 3-4 left over for the freezer. This time I had at least 20 left over. My freezer is stocked.

I used half whole wheat pastry flour and half white. We also made a few blueberry. These were the closest that I have ever come to a pancake that looks like it was made at a restaurant. They were the perfect thickness nice flavor and fluffy texture. I take full credit for the perfect golden color. :)

Next in line is graham crackers. I can't find plain vegan graham crackers in any of my most frequented shops. I came across this recipe in the Post Punk Kitchen message boards. This is one of Isa's recipes.

Gwam Crackers

Makes about 12 crackers

I wanted a graham cracker that was relatively hassle free, most graham cracker recipes call for chilling the dough and that sometimes turns me off from baking. I want graham crackers, NOW. Not in 3 hours. I also wanted them to be relatively healthy for a sweet treat, with a hearty wheaty crunch, so I ultimately went for regular whole wheat flour - pastry flour didn't give me the crunchy crumbs I was wanting. These aren't too sweet so if you would like them sweeter and more cinnamony sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 a teaspoon cinnamon before scoring. To add to the beauty of this recipe, everything gets done with just a large mixing bowl and a fork.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup rice milk (plus maybe an extra tablespoon or so), soy milk or water will work, too

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a light colored baking sheet with parchment paper.In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in oil, molasses and vanilla. Give the liquid ingredients a quick whisk with a fork and then continue mixing until everything is well combined and crumbly.

Drizzle in the milk and combine. Use your hands to knead the dough a few times until it holds together, add an extra tablespoon of rice milk if needed. You should be able to form a pliable ball of dough.

Line a work surface with parchment. Place the dough on the parchment and work into a rectangle. Flatten a bit with the palms of your hand and sprinkle with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangle that is roughly 10 x 14 inches. The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick. If the edges look crumbly, that's okay. Cut the edges off so that you have a relatively even 12 x 8 rectangle. Cut the dough into 8 crackers, to do this evenly use a sharp paring knife to slice the dough in half lengthwise and width wise. Then cut width wise again on either side of the center width wise cut. That probably made it sound confusing, read it slowly.

Use a very thin flexible spatula to transfer the crackers to a baking sheet. It helps if you spray the spatula with cooking spray so that it slips on and off easily. Gather up the scraps of dough and form them into a ball, then roll it out into a 4 by 8 rectangle, or whatever size you can manage. I was able to get 4 more crackers out of the deal, but your mileage may vary. Cut the edges evenly and slice into 4 crackers then transfer to the baking sheet.Score each cookie with a fork 4 times in 2 columns. You don't need to poke all the way through. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. 14 will give you nice crispy crackers, 12 minutes will be better for making ice cream sammiches.Let cool completely on the baking sheet.

Mine didn't turn out near as pretty as the one's Isa posted. I'll live. Honestly these were a pain in the ass. I didn't think that they would turn out to be worth it. Also, I did end up using whole wheat pastry flour instead of plain whole wheat.

I was completely wrong. These are really good and worth the effort. I will make these again. I want to get a system down so that it's easier. They were perfectly crispy and the flavor was amazing. When the kids go to sleep I'm going to bust out the Ricemellow.

Last, but not least, was this lovely pasta dish from The Everyday Vegan. I made the Basic Creamy Garlic Sauce. Obviously the vegetable that I went with was broccoli. The recipe also calls for fresh leafy herbs. I chose parsley.

I was really looking forward to eating this. I wasn't sure if the kids would go for it, since it calls for 3 heads of garlic, but I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone finished off their portions. The garlic flavor was really mild and went wonderfully with the broccoli. Joe has a grudge against spaghetti noddles, as opposed to any other shape, but he had no complaints. Maybe next time I'll choose a penne just for him.

Aside from roasting the garlic, this was a quick dish to prepare. The vegetables and sauce are done in the time it takes you to boil the noodles. I'll have to experiment with freezing roasted garlic. I'll keep you posted.



veganmomma said...

I know what you mean about the graham crackers. I can't understand why they don't have a vegan one out! At least that I can find. Props for making you own. I am not that motivated, but at the next bonfire, I'd love to have these for smores!
I can't believe Joe has a grudge against spaghetti noodles, I mean come on, they are the classic!

lao80 said...

I think that he thinks they are to messy. More so then the smaller noodles. But I've never heard him complain about fettucini or angel hair. What can I say, he's weird.

I'm bringing the graham crackers to park day tomorrow. If you're going there should be some.

I've heard that there is an original flavor graham cracker and not just the honey one. I'll have to google it.

lao80 said...


There. Nabisco Original Graham Crackers. I wonder if any stores carry them.