Monday, February 4, 2008

All that and then some

I've been cooking like mad this week and have the pictures to prove it. Starting the count down with tonights dinner we had Kasha Varnishkes and Braised Cauliflower from Yellow Rose Recipes, one of my newest cookbooks. I don't think I'll ever cook cauliflower another way again. The flavor was excellent and I didn't even need to add Earth Balance. The pasta dish was good also. It was a nice comfort food. I wouldn't call it amazing but I would make it again.
We went to a family party for the Super Bowl. I'm not sure we had any idea who was playing until we got there. Vegan Dad had a recent post about these Pretzel Bites. Inside those little pretzels are little vegan hot dogs. This were wonderful! I didn't tell the party goers that these were vegan until after they were all gobbled up. I suppose I should confess that out of 24 my kids ate about 10 before the other guests made it to the table.

I can't rave enough about these as a snack. The recipe was very easy and I'm betting I could bake them for half the time and then freeze them. Then just pop a few in the toaster oven when the mood strikes. I can't remember what brand vegan hot dogs I picked up but they were the best I've had. I'm pissed at myself for not remembering.

I didn't take a picture but I also made the Brooklyn Deli Macaroni Salad from Vcon for our football party. It was sensational as always.
These little chocolate cups have been sitting in my cupboard for over 2 months. I bought them on a whim because they were vegan and seemed cute. Finally inspiration struck, s'more cups. I put crushed graham crackers in the bottom of the cups. Then I filled the cups with Ricemellow and dusted with a bit more graham cracker. Next time I might try a pastry bag for the ricemellow.

These were a bit messy to make and you had to eat them in one bite if you didn't want them to fall apart. They tasted great, though. They ended up tasting much better then I expected. These were also gobbled up at the party.

To give fair warning, this is #1 of 3 smore comments.
The kids (read: husband) were wanting a treat for breakfast on Saturday and after Vegan Momma's recent post about Vcon's Chocolate Chip Brownie Waffles I knew which book to turn to. I left the chocolate chips out so I wouldn't feel as bad and they still turned out wonderful. We didn't have any sticking problems this time. There's just something about the pumpkin.

I heated up some maple syrup with frozen blueberries for our topping. The fruit made me feel a little better at such a sweet breakfast.
Thursday at our house is Science Day. We homeschool and have homeschooling friends that come over to spend time together. Since I knew we would be home all day I had a bit more time to play with for breakfast. I made French Toast from my newest cookbook, cookbook.

This is the first french toast recipe that I've come across that didn't call for tofu or some other egg substitute. This was mostly soy milk, a bit of flour, and noosh. The results were good. I had to turn down the heat so the middles would set but it turned out well.
For lunch when all the friends were here I made lasagna. I had seen a picture of lasagna rolls somewhere and it seemed like a neat idea. So, I used whole wheat lasagna noodles and rolled up some Cashew Ricotta from Vcon inside. On top is the Marinara recipe from Vcon.

The kids really liked these. Ramsey kept asking for more the rest of the day. Personally, I just did not like whole wheat noodles in my lasagna. I can stand whole wheat some times but I didn't like these. The sauce was good but I would have liked it a touch sweeter. The Cashew Ricotta was good as well. This wasn't my favorite ricotta recipe but I would use it again in the right circumstance.
I had just picked up some Sweet & Sara marshmallows from All Vegan as I was having a major s'more craving. So, we threw together a sweet treat. S'more comment #2
For dinner I made Dirrrty Rice and Beans, also from Yellow Rose Recipes. This was nice and spicy. I loved the flavor. This would be excellent in a burrito, taco, or as a nacho topping. It was a bit to spicy for the kids but Joe and I ate their portions.
I've just been in a baking mood. This is my defense. I also wanted to see how Dreena Burtons Peanut "Better" Cookies stood up to The Joy of Vegan Baking. I have to say that over all I do like JVB Peanut Butter Cookies better. BUT the Vive le Vegan! cookies were still very good and a lot better for you. I would make this recipe again. The amount of maple syrup in these cookies leave a sligtly fruity note but not overwhelming.
I have searched and searched (ok, not more then like 5 minutes) but I can't find where I pulled this S'more Muffin recipe from. Sorry. I made these for breakfast on Wednesday and then took the leftovers to our weekly Park Day. I have to state for the record that while they do have chocolate chips and marshmallows they have very little sugar and are whole wheat. So there. This is the first time I've used the recipe and I probably won't again. This is the type of recipe that I'll save and if someone requests them I've got an ok thing to go to, but they aren't out of this world.

S'more comment #3. Now incase anyone is curious why there is so much s'more talk it's because I came across a hard to find ingredient. I bet you all thought marshmallow, huh? You would be wrong. I've came across vegan graham crackers twice this past week and snatched some up. I love graham cracker but don't always want to make my own.

Edit. The S'mores Muffins are from VeggieGirl.
This is supposed to be a dessert but I'll be honest and admitt to making it for dinner. You are looking at Bazu's Crêpes Susannah with Banana-Mango Foster Filling. This dish is spectacular. The kids were so amazed when I lit the pan on fire and were just as pleased with their servings.

The crepes were wonderful. The recipe includes coconut milk and it gives these thin little pancakes a rich sweetness. I would love them all by themselves. The filling was very sweet. I liked it but a little goes a long way. This recipe would be excellent to wow company with. When I make these for myself again, (when, not if) I'll go with a berry filling.
Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes from Yellow Rose Recipes. Twice baked potatoes have never really wowed me until the Samosa Stuffed Baked Potaotes from Vcon. After that recipe I was willing to take a chance on another. I'm so glad I did. These potatoes might just beat out my love of the Vcon recipe. I didn't even exclude the mushrooms! I did chop them up but still that's a step in the right direction.

Joe and I both loved these. Isaac didn't like the broccoli cooked this way but ate the potato. Ramsey didn't care one way or another.
Last, but not least, is Blackberry Shortcake from little.vegan.mosters. This is the best shortcake recipe I've ever had. I will use it for strawberries when they come in season. This is the first time I've ever had a different berry be part of a shortcake. The blackberries had a nice tart bite that went well with the cakes.

I have to say that I didn't really care for the cream much. I doubled the sugar called for and it was edible but there was to much of a tofu flavor for me. I would prefer a cashew cream or even soy cream. This tofu just had a strong flavor. It probably could have been colder, though.

I'm not sure how much cooking will take place this week as Joe will be in Vegas. I'm used to being home all day with the kids but without adult company come evening I'm not always the most motivated, or pleasant, person. We'll see how it goes.


veganmomma said...

Wowsers! That is some good stuff. How long will Joe be gone? I should have you and the kids over and we can cook while they run wild! Are you game?

bazu said...

Wow- I'm so glad you tried my crepes and you and your family liked them! It means a lot to me to get feedback on a recipe.

All the rest of your food looks wonderful, too! S'mores? Chocolate waffles? Awesome.

Vegyogini said...

The S'mores muffins are a VeggieGirl creation. :) I made them, too, and will blog about them soon. They freeze well, in case you had any left. Looks like you've been in a very S'mores mood!

lao80 said...

Thank you! I couldn't figure it out.