Thursday, August 30, 2007
Last night I was up in Temecula attending a Lamaze class with my sister, Christy. She is due towards the end of September, though I seriously doubt that she will make it that long. Her husband, Ben, is a Marine and is Virgina until after the new year. So, I'm one of the stand in daddies along with another friend of ours, Deseare. We are all very excited. She is 36 weeks tomorrow and Ben is home visiting from Saturday to Wednesday. We're all hoping she'll pop so that he can be with her.
Anyway, on to the food. This was another recipe pulled from Hot Damn and Hell Yeah. I am seriously loving this book. I don't think I've made one thing from the other side, though. We all liked this. I don't usually like big chunks of tomato but I was ok with this. I added a whole can of kidney beans, instead of just one cup, because I love them. The chili was not overly spicy but it had a lot of flavor. It was defiantly fine for children. The directions forgot to say when to put in the spices but I figured it's best to let them simmer along for the most amount of time.
Another winner. We'll eat it again. I would like it over a baked potato, or on fries, or maybe tortilla chips. There are lots of possibilities.
Oh, and I forgot to take the picture until after we all ate our fill.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Alright, I'm done whining. These cookies were greasy. They didn't really have any flavor above grease and some sugar. Had the dough been good then I would have said that they didn't have enough chocolate chips or pecans. As it is, I'm just glad that I didn't waste any more of my chocolate or pecans on these awful cookies.
I ended up throwing the entire 2 1/2 dozen batch of cookies away. A dessert has to be really awful for me to completely ditch it. I may have picked out some of the pecans to nibble on, while I was throwing the cookies away.
So, I'm a little bit leery now as this was the first recipe that I've tried from The Damn Tasty! We'll see how other things turn out.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
This recipe was so simple. It is a very loose dough. It stirred very easily with a spoon and then it just sat there. When the twelve hours were up I folded it twice and then it sat for another 2 hours. After that was baking. That's it. I didn't have any of the recommended pots in the sizes needed so I split my dough into two and baked in two smaller pyrex dishes.
The crust on this was crispy with a great crumb. It wasn't overly chewy and didn't kill my jaw. The interior was light and had a wonderful flavor. I followed the advice of many others and increased the recipes salt from 1 1/4 tsp. to 2 tsp. Following the same advice, I also lowered my water to 1 1/2 cups. I did not use instant yeast and had to covert that measurement. If you have instant yeast the recipe calls for 1/4 tsp. if you have any of the other more common yeasts then use 1/3 tsp.
This really was wonderful bread. I'm going to try and find a better baking vessel so that I can make a full size loaf.
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.
1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Yields one 1 1/2 pound loaf.
Next in line for the oven was the Cheesy Lasagna. At vegweb this recipe has a queue of amazing reviews a mile long. I was so excited to try it.
This turned amazing! I couldn't believe the flavor. There was the texture and richness of ricotta and all the flavor. I was worried about the nutmeg but it only added to the end results. Everyone loved dinner. We ended up only eating a 1/3 of the pan. I cut another 1/3 into serving sizes and froze them. The last 1/3 will be tomorrow nights dinner.
To start, I used a pound of lasagna noodles and a 9x13 inch pan to fit them in. I ended up using 2 jars of spaghetti sauce and no tomato sauce. I doubled the garlic, tofu, cream cheese and nutritional yeast. I didn't use very much spinach because I couldn't fit it in my pan. Next time I will double the carrots and make room for more spinach. I love seeing the kids gobble up their vegetables and this recipe disguises them very well. The parsley was a nice touch. It would be a very easy thing to leave out but it gave the final product a little bit extra boost.
I'm very impressed with this recipe. It would be perfect to serve to non-vegans. It would be great for potlucks. With my fingers crossed, I'm hoping it will be great frozen and reheated.
Recipe submitted by email@example.com
Ingredients (use vegan versions):
2-3 jars of favorite spaghetti sauce
1-16 oz bag of spinach leaves
2-3 jars of tomato sauce
1/2 lb. carrots
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup canned low-sodium veggie broth
1 lb. herbed tofu
8 oz. vegan cream cheese
2 Tblspns. lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
12 lasagna noodles, cooked
1/4 cup nutritional yeast, optional
Directions:Slice carrots and steam, set aside. Add olive oil to a large skillet, place over medium-high heat until hot. Add parsley and garlic, saute for 1 minute.. Add carrots and veggie broth; simmer uncovered for 5 min. Add herbed tofu, vegan cream cheese, and lemon juice; stir well. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until fake cheesy stuff starts to melt.Stir in nutmeg (possibly you could add some about 1/4 C. nutritional yeast at this step, just to make it a little bit more cheesy!). Remove from heat; keep warm.
Place 3 lasagna noodles in bottom of 11x7 baking dish. spread carrot mixture over top, place 3 noodles on top of that and spread tomato sauce and spinach on top of those, repeat process until all noodles are used up... top with spaghetti sauce. Cover and bake 15 min. at 375 degrees. Uncover and bake an additional 20-30 min. until it is thoroughly heated... use your own judgment. Usually a lasagna takes about 45 minutes to cook thoroughly. this is the best lasagna i have ever made or had, or non-vegan... it is superb... your non-vegan friends will be wowed!!!!!!!
Serves a lot.
Joe was teaching last night and it was finally my chance to satisfy my craving. Both the Country-Style Biscuits recipe and the gravy recipe came from Hot Damn and Hell Yeah. The gravy had faux sausage from Trader Joe's. While it was simmering it didn't really look like much. Actually, it looked just like something you could get from Denny's. I was a bit apprehensive that the gravy would end up a bit sweet because of the soy milk. My worries were unfounded and the gravy was good. It needed more salt and pepper but it tasted just like any other terrible for you breakfast gravy.
The biscuits had a nice flavor with a flakiness to them. I rolled mine a bit to thin but they still stood up well to the gravy. The peas and corn were just last minute additions when I decided the meal looked pretty unhealthy.
Isaac, Teresa and I all liked how everything turned out. Ramsey liked the biscuits with butter and jam better then the sausage gravy, but she still took a few bites.
I would like these again for brunch or dinner, if Joe is out of town. The biscuit recipe will be getting some mileage being as it's very quick and very easy.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
The flavor was just like I thought it would be, fresh. I swear you can literally taste summer when you eat this. Next time I think I will throw some red chili pepper flakes in the blender and a touch more spices but I will definitely make this again.
Recently I had a hankering for some lava cake. I did an online search but couldn't come up with a veganized version of the recipe. So, I decided to take up the challenge and adapt an existing recipe.
For the cake part I used the chocolate cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The cakes themselves were baked in ramekins that were greased with Earth Balance and then dusted with cocoa powder. I baked them at 375' for 15 minutes. NO LONGER or the inside won't be like lava.
For the lava center I created a ganache using
2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
1.5 ounces of soy creamer
and 1 tsp. of Earth Balance.
Heat the cream in a saucepan and add in the chocolate. As soon as the chocolate is half way melted turn off the heat and keep stirring until completely melted. Add in the margarine and stir until melted.
Place the mixture in the fridge to cool. Every 4-5 minutes whisk the mixture until it's about the consistency of frosting. Fill a pastry bag with the ganache and pipe-out mounds a little larger then a cherry on a plate lined with parchment paper. Place the mounds into the freezer until firm.
When the ganache mounds are firm, fill the ramekins 3/4 full with cake batter and push a ball of ganache into the middle. Make sure the ball is covered with batter. After the cakes are baked let them cool in their ramekins for 5 minutes before turning them over to remove and cool.
This recipe yields about 6 lava cakes. They should be served warm, 20 seconds in the microwave is enough to rewarm a cold lava cake.
These really did turn out great. I only had 5 ramekins so I ended up making 6 mini lava cakes in my mini muffin pan. Each had a tiny lava center. Yum.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
These lemon bars are raved about on vegweb and sounded like just the thing for my tang craving. I adjusted the recipe by increasing the crust by 50%. The crust is always my favorite part of everything. Other then that I left the recipe alone. These are just like the ones I grew up having. Looking back, those were probably from a box. Anyway, try them out.
Recipe submitted by firstname.lastname@example.org, 08/08/03
Time-Warp Lemon Squares
Ingredients (use vegan versions):
1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoon margarine
1 cup all purpose flour
Prepared equiv. of 3 eggs- substitute (I use Ener-G Egg Replacer)
3/4 cup granulated sugar zest and juice of two fresh juicy lemons (three if on the dry side)
1 teaspoon real vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon all purpose flour
powdered sugar (optional)
Directions:Preheat oven to 350. Combine crust ingredients and press into 8 X 8 inch pan. Bake for 15 minutes. While baking, beat the egg substitute (follow directions of your brand) until foamy. Add the remainder of the ingredients (through flour) and mix together. Pour over the crust, and bake 20 minutes more, or until set. Cool. Sift powdered sugar on top, if you'd like, and enjoy the trip down memory lane!
Fancier version: Add a layer of vegan cream cheese mixed with a little powdered sugar over the baked crust before you pour in the filling. (You may have to cool the crust a bit before spreading the layer out.)
Serves: Makes 16 squares Preparation time: 40 minutes
I made enchiladas following the directions of the book but also using Hot Damn's recipes for the fillings. The first picture of refried beans are not even beans from a can. The recipe called for no oil and the only seasoning was some salt and dried minced
onion. I ended up adding a few tablespoons of canola oil because I thought it might make the flavor more rich. I didn't really taste test before making that decision so I really have no idea if it made a difference. The beans were good in any case.
The next picture is of the Spanish rice. Again it was very good. It was slightly to spicy, in my opinion, to be eaten by its self but
excellent as a filling. If I were making it as a side dish I would
leave out the cayenne pepper.
I was a little bit leery of the cheese sauce when I was making it. I really thought that it had a ketchup-y smell and taste. Once it was used with the filling and poured on top I changed my tune. I don't believe that I would like it on top of nachos or anything of that sort but it was great on top of the enchiladas.
I included a picture of an enchilada before I rolled it up so
everyone could see all of the lovely fillings together. It's kind of
hard to see once it's rolled up all tight. I made some guacamole as a side and the kids just had some cut up avocado. We also had salsa and orange honey dew melon. I didn't even know it came orange. It was very sweet and juicy.
This was an excellent meal and I will make it again when I know that I have the time. I think that I would like some type of "sour
cream" next time to add a tangy, creamy, coolness. I'm also
interested in trying out the recipe for the Mexican Chili Gravy
listed in Hot Damn. We might try that instead of the cheese sauce next time. It sounds more tomato-y and I do love that tang.
This would be a great meal to serve to guests. I thought it was very impressive. There was also no soy if that is a concern to anyone.
Recipe submitted by aurinia
Mock Tuna Salad
Ingredients (use vegan versions):
1 - 15oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2T. soy vegan mayonnaise or pureed silken tofu
1T. sweet pickle relish
2t. spicy brown mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Directions:In small bowl, mash chickpeas. Add soy mayonnaise or silken tofu, pickle relish, mustard, salt and pepper and mix well. This is wonderful in a whole-wheat pita with sprouts and some chopped tomato!
Obviously, I finally got around to making this. I thought it was pretty good. I don't really think that it taste much like tuna but it's a good sandwich spread. I would not use as much mustard next time as it's not my favorite. I also added about a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to give it a little bit of zing.
It's worth trying out if you have a can of chickpeas sitting around.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Joe said he doesn't really like sloppy joe's, heh, but he went back for seconds
and said that he would take the rest for lunch tomorrow. Isaac really liked it but Ramsey said it was yucky. To be fair, I'm not sure that I saw her even take a bit before declaring that it was yucky. I'm honestly not sure that I even remember what sloppy joe's is supposed to taste like but it seemed right to me.
After dinner we had a hankering for some ice cream so I pulled out Vice Cream to find a cool tasty treat. We settled on chocolate chip. Again, I lowered the maple syrup to 3/4 cup from a full cup. I really wasn't impressed with how it turned out. I mean, we ate it but it wasn't anything special.
I'm guessing that vanilla is probably the hardest flavor to turn out because there isn't anything really strong about the flavors to cover the flavors of cashew or maple. We love all of the chocolate variations from Vice Cream and recently went gaga over the coconut and those are pretty strong flavors. So, that's my uneducated guess.
I'm not actually sure that my punctuation is correct on Sloppy Joe's. I'm not looking it up either.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I was thrilled when the young girl came over and brought my kids a Mr.Potato Head to keep them busy while their food was being put together. Veg N Out is very kid friendly. They had a good time playing and our wait was not long at all.
The kids got the "Kids' Vege Meal with a choice of veggie dog, 1/2 peanut butter honey sandwich or corn dog all served with a cookie, cinnamon sweet potato medallions, fresh veggies, dip and apple juice." Obviously the kids choice the corn dog. We just ordered one extra dog and they shared the veggies and sweet potato medallions. Ramsey loved the sweet potatoes. I had never thought to cook them this way. I'm pretty sure that they were baked but they were coated in a thin layer of cinnamon and sugar. If that's all it takes to get her to eat a sweet potato I'm all over it.
I had the 30th Street Classic made vegan. That means that I got vegan cheddar cheese and vegan thousand island dressing on my already vegan burger. It was wonderful! They toast their bun in margarine and the patty was great. Whatever brand the faux cheese was it was very good tasting. It didn't melt but it did have a cheese like consistency. I had a choice between a side salad or the potato medallions. I choose the salad. They had one vegan dressing and it was some sort of vinaigrette. The salad was good but not overly special.
For the burger, kids meal, extra juice, corn dog and cookie we paid about $18. I consider this pretty reasonable. We were happy with our food, service and the whole atmosphere. We will be going back there again soon.
I settled on Dee-lish Meatless Chili from Vegan Family Favorites. There wasn't a lot of seasoning and I figured it would be mild enough for big sister Elizabeth. I like my chili a little bit more
soupy but the flavor was pretty good for not being spicy. I like spicy.
I also made some cornbread, from Hot Damn and Hell Yeah Recipes for Hunry Banditos, to go with. I won't go as far to say you CAN'T have chili without cornbread, but you have to have some sort of bread. Also, with a bit of jam and margarine if Elizabeth did turn her nose up at the chili at least she might go for the sweet bread. I like my cornbread a little bit more dense with more cornmeal. This cornbread was a little bit to cakey for my taste.
So, congratulations to the new family and I hope the food was ok.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
While standing in line to leave I also came across Rice Milk Chocolate! I'd been wanting to order some to try seeing as I do like the lighter chocolates. I couldn't believe that Windmill Farms carried it. I haven't tried it yet but will report as soon as I do.
Coming up will be a post about my sisters baby shower. I was in charge of desserts! I was also in charge of the camera, which I forgot. Thankfully my mother-in-law had hers in her purse. So, I'm just waiting for the food pictures to be mailed to me.
Have a good evening!
Saturday, August 11, 2007
We bought some frozen acai at Henry's and tried our hand at making our own acai bowls. We used raspberries instead of strawberries and add some thawed blueberries. These were really good and we'll make them again. Still not as good as the ones in Pacific Beach though.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
I also tried out two recipes from La Dolce Vegan. I made Mom's
Chocolate Pudding and Staphine's White Diamond Cookies. The pudding was excellent. While it was cooking it seemed such a light color that I thought the flavor would be very bland. It tasted just like the pudding cups. The recipe was very quick and easy to follow. I ended up with 4 of those little ramekins. I'm pretty sure I spent under ten minutes from start to finish on the pudding. Then it just had to cool in the fridge for a minimum of two hours. I do recommend leaving a gap on whatever you cover the pudding with. There was a bit of water from the condensation around the pudding but it drained off and didn't ruin the flavor or texture.
The cookies were not that great, I'm sad to say. They didn't have
enough chocolate flavor or peanut butter flavor. They had a cakey consistency and the white chocolate chips didn't really do much to jazz up the final product. I suppose the recipe could be tweaked but it doesn't really seem worth it. There are so many great chocolate, peanut butter, or chocolate peanut butter cookie recipes out there that I wouldn't bother wasting my time.
So, we had the old stand by, a new favorite and a dud.
I have no idea what the hell is up with the layout.
2 cups flour
3 Tlb. sugar
3 Tlb. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 Tlb. oil
2 cups soymilk
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the soymilk and oil and mix until well combined. Then add the blueberries and stir.
Drop spoonfuls of batter onto a hot greased griddle and cook approximately 3 minutes on each side.
I'm not sure how these would do as waffles but I'm totally willing to try it out.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Tonight I broke down and made it so that my conscious would be clear. Well, really it was because I have anal retentive quirks and one of those would be having all the ingredients sitting around for this damn dish that I never made. Yes, eventually I would use them all separately in different things but that might take awhile and the tentative grasp that I hold on my sanity would surely have slipped by then.
Anyway, I cracked and made this friggin dish. It was good! After I took a closer look at the seasonings it sounded so damn bland. I did end up adding garlic salt and some Italian seasoning but not that much. I would make this again. It was easy and made of stuff that you keep in you pantry at most times. Peas in tomato sauce sounds a bit odd to me but it tasted good. I liked getting that little burst of sweet pea-ness flavor.
We ended up having a nice dinner that wasn't take out or waffles and I won't go crazy when ever I open the cupboard. Win-win.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
So, tonight I wanted something quick and easy to throw together after work. This stir-fried peas and tofu was really simple. I put some rice in the rice cooker and aside from the seasonings the only major things I needed for this recipe was peas, tofu, and ginger.
The flavors were very mild and kid friendly. It was the most authentic tasting Chinese food I've ever made at home. The ingredients were common things people have on hand and the recipe was very easy to follow.
I can't wait to try out more recipes. Now all I need is a wok to use instead of my cast iron skillet. That could just be because I'm slightly obsessed with kitchen tools/gadgets seeing as the skillet worked fine. Ok, a lot obsessed.
Soooo, what do you think? I really like the short cut but I also can't believe that I chopped all of my hair off. I always wanted super long hair but was to impatient to grow it out in my late teens/very early twenties. Once I even had medium-long hair I wore it in a pony tail all the time. It annoyed me to no end. I think I'm a little bit in mourning for my long hair but also didn't want to be one of those women who have long hair just to have it. Where you don't do anything with it, or it doesn't really look that cute. Know what I mean? I'm a little freaked out!
Saturday, August 4, 2007
It took a lot longer then I initially realised but it was worth it. The total time was about two hours. You bake the potatoes and onions for 35 minutes and then again with the tofu mixed in for another hour. When the omelet is finished baking it has to sit for 20 minutes before you cut it up.
The recipe says that you can bake this a day ahead and then serve it warm or cold. That's great for brunch or weekend guests staying for breakfast. I went easy on the cayenne because I usually tend to think she calls for to much but I think that I might have been a little to easy. I also think that ground black pepper would be good. I plan on making a note on my recipe to add at least a 1/4 teaspoon.
This really was a great recipe. For some reason Isaac snubbed his nose at it but Ramsey ate some. Who knows?
Friday, August 3, 2007
Today we made sugar cookies from Vegan Family Favorites. I did most of the baking work and the kids decorated them. They had a good time with all of the frosting and sprinkles.
Sugar cookies aren't one of my favorites. It's more the experience for the kids and all the decorating possibilities for different occasions that make them appeal to me. These tasted like any other sugar cookie that I've had and I consider that a compliment.
It is defiantly important to chill the dough well and even after rolling it cracked easily. I found it worked better to roll it out and then press it with the palm of my hand. I also rolled on top of parchment paper and was able to bend the paper to get my hand underneath to lift off the formed cookies. Using a spatula to transfer them to the cookie sheets caused a lot of casualties.
These were fun and I'm glad to have the recipe in reserve for holiday cookie making.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Other then that, these were pretty good. They have a stronger mustard seed flavor then many of the samosas that I've had but that was ok. I can always adjust flavorings. The samosas I made from The Vegan Lunchbox were so incredibly bland. The filling was barely off white. The filling from VWAV was a nice yellow with plenty of vegetables. I used green peas and not edamame. 1. I love green peas. 2. I hate edamame. So it really was no contest.
The dough turned out well and was pretty easy to roll out. Obviously nothing is the same baked as it is fried but I would make these again. The dough from The Vegan Lunchbox was so soft that after I rolled it out it kept ripping every time I tried to lift it up. In the end I had to give up on that dough recipe and use one from a different book. Even though the VWAV dough is baked it still is a little bit flaky like the fried ones are.
All in all it was a successful venture. I like that these freeze well as they would be a quick and easy snack.
The kids were thrilled. I like them better the next day. I made a bunch and tomorrow will throw them in the toaster oven. They aren't as greasy then and have better mouth feel in my opinion.
At least I have the camera back now.
Brownie Edge Cookies
1/2 cup white flour
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 tsp. blackstrap molasses
2 Tlb. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 Tlb. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 an egg replacer (3/4 tsp. egg replacer powder + 1 Tlb. water)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 Tlb. soy milk
Preheat your oven to 350'.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
Beat the oil, molasses, maple syrup and vanilla together. Add in sugars and blend until well combined. Beat in separately egg replacer, cocoa powder, and milk. Mix in dry ingredients until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
Bake for 11-12 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to a cooling rack.
Makes 1 dozen. I'm sure you could add nuts if anyone wanted to.