Thursday, January 29, 2009

BBQ Time

Do you have any idea how long it has been since I had any BBQ? Do ya? Well it has been a long time, and that is all you need to know. I have had serious withdrawals not having this stuff. I mean as a vegetarian what do you BBQ? Well I am finding out you can do wonders with BBQ sauce. Teek me a while to realize that and then to find recipes to fit into my new regime. But alas, I found a very do-able. This delicious gem comes from Post Punk Kitchen And let me tell you, this rocks. Now she does suggest to add some water to thin it out. Take her up on that suggestion. It is extremely thick and is not pourable (I made that word up). But add a bit of water and you will be good to go.

2 small cans (12oz total) tomato paste
1/2 cup tamari or Braggs
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
2 Tbs brown sugar
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
a few chipotles in adobo (we skipped this part)
1 tsp liquid smoke
dash of cocoa powder (we used about 1/4 t)

Mix the tomato paste, tamari, molasses, brown sugar, nutritional yeast, chipotles in adobo, liquid smoke, and dash of cocoa powder in the bowl. Stir with fork till completely blended.This tends to make a fairly thick sauce. Thin with water as desired.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Get Your Game Face On

I'm talking Super Bowl ladies and gentlemen. I do have to admit I enjoy football. But due to my husbands lousy Sunday schedule, he has not seen one entire game this season. But he did get an early shift this Sunday for Super Bowl, so Savanah and I are on a mission to get our game menu ready. Yeah we are in-home tailgaters. If that is even possible. We go all out, chips, dip, veggie tray, you name it we have, it is the healthy version to junk food. Well I was scouring, yet again, through How it all Vegan and found this vegan alternative to cheese spread. Whoa!, this is to die for and oh so simple. It has a bit of a tangy twist, but trust me when I say that no one will be scraping this off their chips. So sit back, relax, grab your favorite beverage and enjoy the game.

1/2 cup nutritional yeast
3 T flour
4 t arrowroot powder or corn starch
1/2 t salt
1 cup water
1 T olive oil
2 t Dijon mustard

In a small saucepan, whisk together the yeast, flour, arrowroot or cornstarch, and salt. (No heat at this time) Add the water and oil and continue to whisk thoroughly. Stir over medium heat until sauce becomes thick, then stir in the mustard. Heat for another 30 seconds more and serve. Makes 2-4 servings.

This will definitely be on some chips on Super Bowl Sunday in this house.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

You can shoot me now, cuz your going to shake your head at this one. I am not a big chocolate fan (ducks behind a sofa or anything big to protect her). Yep, you did not misread that last sentence. But I live in a home filled with chocolate obsessed folks. So I have to succeed to those I live with. My daughter usually takes care of all the chocolate recipes, but once in a while I feel super-domestic and get a fire under my hiney and cook like the dickens.

As you all may have read, I bought my daughter the book, How it all Vegan! I have been pulling so much from this book that it is scaring me, but my family is in no way complaining. So I dove in and tried chocolate chip cookies, for the better of the family. So here is a recipe from her book of goodies.

3/4 cup dry sweetener
1/2 cup margarine (we still use regular butter)
1/2 cup oil (we used canola)
3 T water
2 t vanilla extract
2 & 1/4 cups flour (we used a combination of hard white and hard red)
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1-1 &1/2 cups chocolate chips (we had chunks in the house so in they went)

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a small bowl, stir together the sweetener, margarine, oil, and vanilla. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the margarine mixture and the chocolate chips and mix together well. Scoop spoon-sized portions (we used a tablespoon scoop) onto an unoiled cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are browned. Let cool before removing from cookie sheet. Makes 6 large or 12 small cookies. ( we had the small versions)

WOW! There may not be any left for Mr. Cooking Lady when he gets home. Go make!

Order Pizza In

Someone would have to be a fool not to like pizza. OK, you can start calling me a fool. If given a choice, I would prefer not to eat pizza. Yeah, I know how un-American is that. But do not get me wrong, I eat it, it is just not my favorite comfort food. But we do have it in this household about once a week. For if not, I would have a mutiny on my hands.

But for those of prefer to make your own and not order out, you know it can be a real booger if it is a last minute decision. But I found just such a pizza crust that will definitely do in a pinch. I scoured all my veggie blogs to see what I can find (See ladies and gentlemen, this is where labels come in REAL handy), and low an behold, I found a great fast easy doable recipe over at Wing it Vegan and let me tell you this will most definitely do in a pinch. But be ready, this is not your classic style pizza dough. And for those of us who grew up on Bisquick, it will take you down memory lane. As I was making the dough that was the first thought that came to my mind, but let me tell you this is so much better. So if you are ready for more of a biscuity dough then by all means try this puppy. We did.

2 cups of flour (1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup white or whole wheat pastry works great)
1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of soy milk or any milk
4 tbsp of oil

Mix the dry ingredients, add the liquids, mix everything together, spread on a greased baking dish, add toppings and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

We followed this recipe to the T, as I always do on a first time recipe. We had 2 pizzas. One with just cheese for my picky son and thee other one was topped with pineapple, fresh tomatoes, and Morningstar Farms sausage patties, ground up in my mini-chopper. Ooo la la. I love a heavily topped pizza, and this was a wonderful experiment and it came off without a hitch.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Why It's Good To Be A Vegan

Because you can always lick the spoon...whippers...bowl...spatula and anything else that goes on in a vegan kitchen. That just hit me today. I crack myself up!

Corn Tortillas

I am married to a Cuban, who loves Mexican. What's up with that? So, we have always made Mexican food, but we used to use boxed taco mix with packaged taco mix. Yeah, you can stop cringing now. We have since moved on...evolved, if you will. We still purchase flour tortillas, for I have not been that adventurous as to make them on my own. I do however, visit my friend every once in a while and make a batch or two with her. But like every other carb in our home they last for a fleeting few days, more like hours.

But my husband wanted us to try making corn tortillas. And if you have not gone over to Chile Chews may I make a suggestion? You know you have to hear it. Go and make these delicious little devils. Now, she does mention in her post that you cannot eat them or you will have none left for your meal.

She is right!

These things were easy schmeazy to make and oh so delicious, in a simple kind of way. A very rustic type of bread, if you will. Harkens back to the days of pioneers and what they were given to cook with. Makes me glad I am in the 21st century. These corn tortillas will definitely be on our list of new keeper recipes. We have now made 2 out of the 3 of the items in this post. Number 3 will have to wait a bit, for hubby is having to curtail his spicy food. Grrrr.

Make this and hope that you all enjoy it as much as we are.

Bagel Schmagel

I made a dozen 2 days ago and they are gone. Who knew. Suffice it to say I found a great bagel starter recipe (not starter as in sourdough). This was simple enough, a bit time consuming, but not complicated. What you have to remember is that if you want a good New York style bagel, your recipe needs to entail boiling your dough before baking it. I found such a recipe.

I had stumbled on to this site/blog a while back and have been back to check them out. So if you get a chance, go and check out Baking Bites And you will see just how simple making bagels really is. Will I have New Yorkers knocking down my door? I highly doubt it, but all I am concerned over is if my own family will like them. And with a dozen bagels being one in less than 48 hours, I think I have my answer. But here is the recipe and try them, you will not regret it.

1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1& 3/4 cups water, warm (100-110F)
4 cups bread flour (not all purpose)(we used our own ground whole wheat)
1 tbsp salt
1 egg, for egg wash( we declined)

In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) combine yeast, sugar and water. Let stand for 5 minutes, and then stir in flour and salt. Mix dough thoroughly until it comes together in a large ball, pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Add an additional tablespoon of flour or water, if needed.If kneading by hand, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until very smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If using a stand mixer, knead dough with the dough hook until elastic, about 8 minutes on a low speed. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil and preheat the oven to 400F.

When dough has risen, turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces (first quarters, then thirds). Shape each piece into a tight ball as illustrated below, pinching the corners together at the bottom of the piece of dough. When all the balls are shaped, let the dough rest for 30 minutes covered with a clean dish towel.

Once dough balls have rested, the bagel shape can be formed. Using your fingers, poke a hole through the center of each dough ball. Stretch out the dough into a ring with your fingers and be sure to make the hole a little larger than you want the finished bagel to have, as it will shrink slightly while the bagel is expanding during the baking process. Let bagels rest for about 10 minutes.

Working four at a time, drop the bagels carefully into the boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes on the first side, then flip and boil for an additional minute. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, transfer bagels to a clean towel to drain for a moment, and then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining bagels.Brush boiled bagels with lightly beaten egg (a pastry or bbq brush is a good tool for this) and bake for 20-24 minutes, until golden brown.Cool completely on a wire rack.

Slice and toast to serve. Makes 12 bagels.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bean Burger

For those of you who do not know, I bought my daughter How it all Vegan for Christmas. Well, let me tell you, this book is to die for. Very do-able recipes and not tons of weird ingredients. Do not get me wrong. I have no problem with unusual ingredient, but not so many I go bankrupt trying to purchase all of them. So for this recipe I had some cooked adzuki beans that were supposed to be for a soup but did not have many of the ingredients and this recipe jumped out at me and we have more than 75% of the ingredients. So Viola! It gets made.

So thank you to Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer for this lovely dish.

Spicy Black Bean Burger

1/2 cup flour
1 small onion, diced
1/2 t dried oregano
1 small hot or jalapeno pepper minced**
1 T olive oil
1/2 medium red pepper, diced (we used green)
2 cups cooked or canned black beans, mashed
1/2 cup corn niblets (we used frozen and cut them off the cob)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 t cumin
1/2 t salt
2 t chili powder (we used chipotle powder)**
2 T fresh parsley, minced (optional)
On a small plate, set aside flour for coating. In a medium saucepan, saute the the onion, garlic, oregano, and hot pepper in oil on medium heat, until the onions are translucent. Add the peppers and saute 2 minutes until pepper is tender. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mash the black beans with a potato masher or fork. Stir in vegetables (including corn) bread crumbs, cumin, salt, chili powder, and parsley.

Mix well. Divide and shape until 5 or 6 patties. Lay down each patty in flour, coating each side. Cook on a lightly oiled frying pan on medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Or until brown on both sides. Makes 4-6 patties.

**We hat to cut down or eliminate the spice. For my hubby is most more than likely got himself an ulcer. But until he is diagnosed, we have to cut down on or out certain foods. Spice being one of them.

I would also drain the beans of all thier cooking juices to help make them hold together better. We would also up the bread crumbs to help them hold together a bit more. But other than that they were off the hook great!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ginger Sesame Dressing

I love salads. So much so that I could take a slab of lettuce and just douse it with any dressing, until I found out what bottled dressing were laden with. Now that I have let go of all our bottled dressings, I am on a venture to find ones I can make on my own. I now have one of Asian flavor. Hold on to your boots sweethearts, this one is off the charts. And oh so simple. I have no blessed idea where I found this one. I try to give everyone credit where it is due. But I totally forgot to remember where this one came from. Please enjoy all the same.

1/2 rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce (tamari)
2 T sugar
1 T ginger root, grated
1 t minced garlic
1 T sesame seeds toasted
2 T cilantro, chopped
6 ounces vegetable oil (we used olive)
3 T sesame oil
1 pinch salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in blender until thoroughly mixed. Can be refrigerated up to 1 week (But trust me it will not last that long)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Worlds Healthiest Foods

I found an article here describing the worlds healthiest foods. And their basis on coming to this conclusions was pretty darned simple. Here are their parameters:

1) They are most nutritious
2) They are whole foods
3) They are familiar foods
4) They are readily available
5) They are affordable
6) They taste good

I am eliminating the meat portion of these foods, but you can grab thee entire article for your friends who still may be consume meat and would like to see the better options out there for them.

Asparagus, Avocados, Beets, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Collard Greens, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Fennel, Garlic, Green Beans, Green Peas, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms (Crimini, Shiitake), Mustard Greens, Olives, Onions, Potatoes, Romaine Lettuce, Sea Vegetables, Spinach, Squash (Summer, Winter), Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnip Greens, Yams

Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Cranberries, Figs, Grapefruit, Grapes, Kiwi, Lemons/Limes, Oranges, Papaya, Pears, Pineapple, Plums, Prunes, Raisins, Raspberries, Strawberries, Watermelon

Low Fat Dairy:
Cheese-Low fat, Eggs, Milk-2%-Cows, Goats milk, Yogurt (This is debatable in some arenas)

Black Beans, Dried Peas, Garbanzo/Chick Peas, Kidney beans, Lentils, Lima Beans, Miso, Navy Beans, Pinto Beans, Soy beans, Tempeh, Tofu

Nuts and seeds:
Almonds, Cashews, Flax seeds, Olive oil/extra virgin, Peanuts, Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Walnuts

Barley, Brown Rice, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet , Oats, Quinoa, Rye, Spelt, Whole Wheat

Spice and Herbs:
Basil, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Pepper/dried, Cilantro/Coriander seeds, Cinnamon/ground, Cloves, Cumin seeds, Dill, Ginger, Mustard seeds, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Turmeric

Natural Sweeteners:
Blackstrap Molasses, Cane Juice, Honey, Maple Syrup, Agave Nectar (I added this one myself)

Green tea, Soy Sauce (tamari), Water

There are meat options in the entire article, but since I am no longer inclined to believe that any meat product is good for you I left that portion out of this. But if you choose to read thee entire article, you can find it here. Decide for yourself what is right or wrong for your home and your family. Only you can make that decision.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fried Cauliflower

I love cauliflower. In any way shape of form. My fondest memories of raw cauliflower is my mother taking it, cutting up into florets and drizzling it with bottled French dressing. But I have stumbled across this great frien recipe. I know we do not need to be eating a lot of fried foods, but every once and a while I like to treat myself or of a craving comes my way. Nothing like a get set of french fries. Ooo, the list goes on. But I did come across this great Crunchy Cauliflower recipe, but I have no blessed clue how to even begin to veganize it. Any advice would be helpful.

Go visit Chuck and see what he has to offer.

1/2 pound cauliflower
2 eggs
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 parmigiano cheese
salt and pepper
canola oil for frying

1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon shallots
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup parmigiano cheese
1 teaspoon fresh parsley chopped
salt and pepper

Egg Mix:
2 eggs
1 tablespoon parmigiano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Wash and remove core cut cauliflower into small florets. Dip into egg mixture, whisk eggs, parmigiano cheese, salt and pepper, then roll in bread crumbs on all sides. Fry in 350 degree oil till golden brown. This will take approximately 1 1/2 minutes . Place on paper towels and salt while hot. This appetizer is good for two. We however stretched it to three of us and there were no left overs.

We also did not make the dip. But I am in the market for a vegan Ranch style dressing for dipping things. So if anyone has a recipe out there, point me in the right direction.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's Supposed To Be Healthy

OK, so I have been on this rant about eating healthier and how my cupboards are ridding themselves of the garbage that is lined with preservatives and such forth, but pray tell, there is a culprit lurking in the wings. It's peanut butter. Correct me if I am wrong but but peanuts are supposed to be good for you. But thee other day I opened up the cheap-o peanut butter that was in our pantry and I about had a fit. I read the ingredients

1) Peanuts
2) Sugar (but I bet they tout that it is not HFCS)
3) Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (WHA T THE HECK!)(Rapeseed, Cottonseed, Soybean)
4) Dextrose (I know this is some form of sugar)
4) Salt
5) Molasses
6) Monoglycerides (Again, what the heck are these puppies)

Here was the weird part. Savanah and I had gone shopping this last visit and purchased a brand that was more natural, with no HFCS and one that we could read all the ingredients and actually know what they were. There were still sugars in there, but not the highly processed ones you find in everything else.

We used to be huge peanut butter eaters, but like other things since eating healthier, we have cut back on many things. We have went from 2&1/2 dozen eggs per week to under 1 dozen. That's a major improvement. So this will be the last jar of garbage peanut butter in our home and on to bigger and healthier butters.

Stupid peanut butter companies

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sweet Rolls

I love to bake. I am by no means an expert, but I give ti my best. And on the rare occasion I flub something up, my bread is still salvageable. Lots of things to do with bad bread. But today I made cinnamon/sweet rolls. Ooo la la. However, this recipe is not vegan, but I am working on it. I start out with which ever recipe I am following then we either keep it, tweak it or ditch it. This was is a tweaker, only due to us wanting to veganize it. For those vegans out there, you most more than likely know what to do already, but I shall endeavour to add the substitutes whenever I can. And for the record...half of them are gone already. I got my recipe from Sue Gregg. She is the Queen of bread making.

**Dissolve yeast with sweetener in water in a glass bowl or container; let stand for 5-10 minutes until bubbles up**
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/2 t honey (or other sweetener)
1 T active dry yeast at room temperature

Blend in a mixing bowl:
1&1/4 cups hot water (125-130 degrees)
1/4 cup honey (or other sweetener)
2T olive oil or melted unsalted butter (we used canola oil)
1 egg ( no clue what to use as a substitute, but will research)
1&1/4 t salt
2 cups whole wheat flour (we used soft white)

Add yeast (proofed) and remaining flour as needed to handle dough without sticking. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, and resistant.
3&3/4 -4 cups of flour

Place in greased bowl, oil top of dough, cover with towel and let rise in warm place until double in size. (About 1- 1&1/2 hours) Gently punch down and knead lightly. Shape, let rise and bake as desired into sweet rolls or rings (We did not do a second rise, but feel free to give it a whirl)

Shaping of Dough:
Roll out dough with rolling pin into a 9 x 15 rectangle about 1/2 inch thick *This was the most difficult thing in the entire process)

Evenly spread over surface of dough, not quite to the edges:
1/3 cup of sweetener (I would bump it up a wee bit)
Cinnamon, generously--about 1 t
1/2 cup raisins, soaked and drained (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 apple, grated, peeled, or unpeeled (optional)
Roll up dough firmly from the long side , sealing the edge by lifting it up and over the top of the roll, pinching the edge to the roll. Turn the seam downward.

Even up roll with hands. Cut 1" thick rolls by sliding a piece of thread or dental floss under the roll, crossing it over the top and slicing through the dough (we used thread on this one. We took some thread and pulled it away form the spool as long as our arms could go, as if you were showing someone how much you loved them. And then we doubled up the string until it was about 18 inches long. It worked perfectly)

Place rolls, cut side down in greased pan (we used coconut oil). Allow room between them for rising. Let rise until double (we did not do this but will next time)

Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes. (ours needed 30 minutes and they were perfection)

1/4-1/3 cup of powdered sugar (I know I know, but this is sweet rolls. Let this be your indulgence for the week)
1 t of milk of choice (we used almond) you may need to add more. Play it by ear. You may also need to add more sugar. Again, play it by ear. You will find the consistency that works for you. Then drizzle on the hot rolls.

Ooo La La

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Need Some Advice

For those of you who do not know me or why I am called the Cooking Lady, I will give you a condensed version (Yeah Right). Anyhow, I start homeschooling my 2 children in the fall of 2004. At that time Florida was about to be hit by not 1 but 4 hurricanes that year. But we dove in all the same. And in doing so, our group runs a homeschool co-op. Meaning, that parents volunteer to teach things, that know, or are comfortable with. I was happy in the kitchen. I dove in not having a clue what I was going to teach these guys.

Well, on sign up day my youngest class booked 29 children. So there would be no cooking in a kitchen. I had to teach these children about food but not cook. You want to talk about creative. We also learned that semester to put a cap on class count. I knew the kitchen I would be working in and I could be the judge on how many students I would allow in there. My call 100%. I learned quickly how many small fries could fit into a kitchen without burning, stabbing, or chopping one another.

I soon became affectionately called The Cooking Lady. They could not remember my name and it did not bother me in the least. So the Cooking Lady I became. And some children to this day still call me that instead of my real name. Many of thee older children now call me Miss Danette, but if they slip back and call me Cooking Lady, my head still turns.

Last year I went out on a limb and decided not to cook with meat. This was even before I toyed with thee idea of going vegetarian again. I wanted these children to see and realize that it was entirely possible to make and eat food that did not revolve around a hunk of dead flesh. They saw that it was possible and what...even tasty. They saw it and had to admit it was possible.

Now I want to go even further out of my box and show them vegan cooking. If Savanah and I can do it so can they. Would it mean modifications? You darn tootin' right, but here's where I need thee advice.

My homeschool group is a major Christian group. They claim to be secular, but there are maybe 3 of us who do not follow any religion or at least not the organized religion most of them do. With that said, many Christians believe that man was put of this Earth to rule over beast and do with as man sees fit. I of course do not believe that in the least. And if there is a God, I do not think he would approve of how we are treating our animals in the slaughter houses these days anyway.

So how do I explain to them without stepping on their beliefs that I do not think we were put on this Earth to slaughter animals, just for food. There are other options and my dinner table proves it every single night. I want to be able to answer them when they ask, "But what do you eat?" I know what I eat, but how to I put it on their level so they don't run back to Mommy and say, "The Cooking Lady says we are killing animals and we don't need to!" (which of course is the truth.

I want them to see that you can be a healthy non-meat eating person and have variety all the same. We do not have to give up flavor just because we give up meat. In fact I feel just the opposite. I feel I am expanding my palette in spite of leaving meat behind. I am trying things I never thought I would or ever heard of for that matter.

I know I have asked a lot, but think before answering, because I still want to come across as the nice Cooking Lady and not the wacko that is pushing her beliefs on to her students. Thanks for any and all advice.

Monday, January 12, 2009

French Toast

Blah blah blah. How many more recipes can this woman post about? You have no idea. I had said to Savanah that I had wanted to try and make one new recipe a week. Well, we have gone above and beyond the call of duty here. We are on a roll and we ain't slowin' down just yet.

I somehow feel revitalized in the way I cook. We did get 2 vegan books for the holidays and we are diving in with a vengeance. My husband took the left over Stuff Shells to work with him, and he knew they were made with 'tofu' ricotta and he said he was hard pressed to say that it did not taste like the real deal. And he knew it going in and it still won him over. So imagine some poor soul who thinks a whopper is the meal of the century coming over and eating this dish.

But back to this post. My son, who could eat bread 3 meals a day 7 days a week...wait a minute, he does that already, could live on French Toast. Now, we already use our own homemade bread, but we wanted to lose the egg part, for we have already let go of the cow's milk in our home, so the next logical step would be eggs.

You have to remember, we used to buy 2 & 1/2 dozen eggs per week, yep, you read right. Now we barely go through 1 dozen. This was a delicious substitute to what we were already making. I had heard of Nutritional Yeast, but did not ever work with it. Easy Schmeazy, plus it added another small dimension to an already great classic breakfast. Enjoy...we did!

P.S. This was made on my new griddle which my children got me for my Birthday!

This recipe is taken from, "How it all Vegan"

1 & 1/2 cups soy milk (we used rice or almond)
2 T flour
1 T nutritional yeast
1 t sweetener (we used raw sugar)
1 t cinnamon
8-10 bread slices
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, flour, yeast, sweetener, and cinnamon vigorously. Soak 1 slice of bread in batter until bread is gooey. Fry in a non-stick pan or a lightly oiled frying pan on medium heat until golden. Flip and fry other side. Repeat until batter is gone.

We were able to grill all slices at once on the new griddle. Life is good with a griddle!!

Prune Cake


Did I mention Whoa?!

I love this woman's blog. And for may reasons. She is down to Earth, which reminds me of myself, and her pictures are to die for. But that constitutes a good camera. We have Edna (Savanah has named our Camera, Edna Mole, from the old lady clothes designer in The Incredibles) and she cooks for real. Granted, she has a lot of meat recipes and those cannot be vegetized, but some of her other stuff is OMG! We cook her Hot Crash Potatoes at least once a week. I"m not kidding. Her blog is easily surfable (that is a word cuz I made it up). But stop by and try her Prune cake.

We made it last night and it is extremely moist, but I went ahead and made the glaze. Truth be told, this cake does not need the glaze. It is pretty AOK all by itself. Is it something you could dunk? No, it is too moist and would probably fall apart in your hot beverage. So get yourself a fork and a hot beverage or a cold glass of milk, for you are going to need one or thee other, or maybe both.

Grandma Iny’s Prune Cake

1 cup prunes
1 cup sugar ( We used Raw)
3 eggs (I did use eggs this time)
1 cup canola oil
1 ½ cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk (We soured our own Rice milk with a bit of vinegar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Cover prunes with water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft and mashable, about eight minutes.Remove from heat, drain water, and mash on a plate. Set aside. Sift together dry ingredients. Mix together oil, sugar, and eggs. Combine wet and dry ingredients, add buttermilk, and stir gently until just combined.Throw in the mashed pruned and stir gently to combine. DO NOT OVERMIX.

Pour batter into buttered baking dish (9 x 13 or so) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE OR INY WILL PADDLE YOUR BOTTOM.

While cake has five minutes remaining, make the icing:
1 cup sugar
½ cup buttermilk (We did sour our own rice milk with a bit of vinegar)
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white corn syrup
¼ cup butter (I did use real butter this time)
½ teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Boil without stirring for 5 to 7 minutes, or until icing starts to turn dark. Do NOT allow icing to reach soft ball stage; icing should be caramel in color, but not sticky like caramel. Icing should be easily pourable.
Remove cake from oven and pour on icing immediately.

This icing is very rich, but I would not say too rich, but for us the cake stood alone and did not need the icing, but to each his own. Try it and see what you think, you may love it and want more. But know this, the cake is EXTREMELY moist all by itself.

Thank you Pioneer Woman

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stuffed Shells

When I was a kid, thee only type of ethnic food I knew about was Italian, unless you consider Southern Cooking ethnic. Well Savanah made stuffed shells tonight. We used the stuffing from Skinny B*&#% in the Kitch. We used their Tofu Ricotta. And if you have not tried this , then get off your hiney's and do so, you will thank me soon enough.

1 block of extra firm tofu (extra firm necessary)
3 cloves of garlic (but feel free to use more)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T chopped fresh oregano or 1 t dried
3/4 t fine sea salt
In a food processor, combine the tofu, garlic, olive oil, oregano, and salt and pulse to puree. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

We cooked a box of jumbo shells and added the tofu mixture to the cooked shells and laid them in a lasagna pan. She then ladeled her basic marinara sauce over the shells and baked on 350 for about 30 minutes. We had left over shells and sauce. Do with them as you see fit. And feel free to use jarred sauce in a pinch.

What did happen was Savanah asked me to try the tofu mixture and it was good, but as it sat while she stuffed the shells, the flavors married, and WOW! Also, the texture was so close to the real thing, someone would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pineapple Salsa

Well a request has been made, but truth be told I had planned on posting this anyway. I love salsa. Oh heck, let me be perfectly frank...I LOVE FOOD, and lots of it. Plain and simple. I also found this at Jalapeno Cafe

This one is fresh and light, but do not kid yourself, it does have a bite to it, but again, I was dipping chips as fast as I possibly could.

And what is the definition of salsa anyway? Savanah asked me that as she was making these 2 different dishes.

Merriam Websters definition is: A spicy sauce of tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers

I say Bah to tradition and throw caution to the wind. Break the traditional barriers and make and eat what makes you feel good. Make this one and you will not be sorry.

2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped in small chunks
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 or 4 fresh jalapeno peppers, minced
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place pineapple, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper and onion in a bowl. Mix vinegar, sugar and salt together, then pour over pineapple mixture. Mix well. Refrigerate before serving.

Potato Hash

Wow, I am on a roll ain't I. Have I ever said how much I love my starches, which is more commonly known as potatoes. You know Atkins was deranged when he said to stay away from carbohydrates...freak he was. Well I stumbled upon this recipe. And here is where the Karma comes into play. I had purchased some Soyrizo and had it in the drawer in the frig, just waiting for a recipe to drop into our laps (or for me to get searching). Well low and behold, who pops up with one, but Chile Chews

Trust me when I say these potatoes and sausage are to die for. We also plan on trying the corn tortillas tonight and eventually the enchilada sauce. One dish at a time. But do not wait and make this dish for breakfast only, we had it for dinner and Ooo-la-la. A definite keeper. Make it...NOW!

Kick It Up A Notch Salsa

I am a chicken. Yep, I openly admit it. I do not like spicy foods. And that goes for salsa. Keep it simple and keep your hot stuff. But I am about to go against my own doctrine of spice. This salsa rocks. Savanah found it via a friend of hers who made a pineapple salsa, which is to die for, no I mean it. I will post that one later. But on to this one. Thee original recipe called for 3 jalapenos, but we took it down to 1&1/2. But we now know we can bump it up to 2 and I will not have steam coming out of my ears. We got the recipe from Jalapeno Cafe. We have used 2 of their recipes and loved both. So take a look around ad see what you can see.

Incredible Salsa

1 can (28 ounces) stewed tomatoes (we used regular canned tomatoes)
3 large jalapenos (we used 1&1/2, but will use 2 next time)
4 large cloves of garlic peeled
Salt to taste
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t oregano
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
Roast jalapenos ( in oven under the broiler) until skins are blackened. (we did not do this, we used them raw) Do not remove skins, but remove stems.

Blend jalapenos in juice of tomatoes, (no tomatoes at this point) add seasonings and garlic. Add tomatoes and cilantro leaves, chop in blender for 3 seconds.

Ready to serve with your favorite tortilla chips. Keep refrigerated.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fattoush Salad

My husbands long lost family is from Syria. Very long story and I may post it one day. But for now, let me tell you the food they introduced me to, in 1992. We found them quite by accident, but have never looked back. So I have found this Middle Eastern site for dishes, and they are pretty darned close to what I remember eating up in Ohio. Check out the site and see what you can see. If you have any questions I will more than happy to help you guys in any way I can. But for now, here is my rendition of Fattoush salad.

2 or 3 tomatoes, cubed
1 small cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and chopped
5 scallions, chopped
1/2 small lettuce, shredded (my son prefers iceberg, but I have subbed with others)
2 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint or 1 tsp. dried mint ( I have used more)
1 pita bread (or 2-3 slices of bread), toasted and cut into cubes (put this out to dry to get stale, then put it in the recipe)
A dressing made from equal amounts of olive oil and lemon juice and seasoned with salt and black pepper. (Make plenty of dressing and store whatever you do not use in the fridge.) (I make this in the spot. I do not make enough to store, but you can)

Combine the vegetables, herbs, and bread. Make the dressing, pour it over the salad, toss well, and chill for 30-60 minutes before serving. For an authentic Arabic flavor, the dressing should be made of equal parts of oil and lemon juice. However, you may prefer to use more oil - perhaps two to three parts of oil to one of lemon juice. Serves 4 to 6.

In this house there is rarely any left overs, but know if you do keep it, it will be majorly soggy, but we could care less.

Here you go Denise!!!!!

Let There Be Herbs

Well in Florida we do not have to 'technically' worry about our growing season. In fact, while may of you up north are putting your veggies to sleep, we are waking ours up.

I had grown spearmint for years, and then all of a sudden thee entire bunch just up and died. I was devastated. I use that in my Arabic salad. Plus it is thee only way I can get my son to eat salads. Not that I am complaining, for I love our mint salads. (Recipe forth coming) so here are some herbs we have growing in our garden thus far and soon to added, will be our newly sprouted dill.

Here is the basil, and boy do we love this. Freshly chopped on a bagel with cream cheese, Yummo!

And this is our new spearmint. What was special about our old mint was that it was from a family member in Ohio. We had taken some roots from her garden and transplanted them. So sad.

The basil is also used in our spaghetti sauce, Savanah loves basil and our mint can be used for so many things, dehydrated, we put it in our salads, and it can also be used as a tea. That is next on my agenda to try. It is supposed to be great for tummy aches, plus who does not like the taste of mint!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Waffle Time

Savanah prefers waffles to pancakes (freak she is) and we got a hand me down waffle iron We never look a gift horse in the mouth. Oh contraire, we have been blessed by my best friend and getting her older modles of kitchen appliances when she gets upgrades. Well her recently hand-over was her waffle iron. And due to the fact that we had no recipe to pull from she copied off a few for us to try and we finally hit on one that is a good one. That is not to say we will stop experimenting, oh no. There will be more try-outs.

2 eggs
2 cups milk (we used almond)
1&1/2 t vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (we used unbleached)
1/2 cup sugar (we used raw)
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
4 T unsalted butter(we used salted, non-vegan)
Preheat waffle iron and oven to 250 if you are cooking for a group of people. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, sugar and baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and whisk until smooth.

Pour about 1/2 cup of the batter into each well of the waffle maker and close the lid. Cook the waffles until crisp, 4-6 minutes. Transfer the waffles to a wire rack set on a baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven. Repeat to cook the remaining batter.

Makes 4 good-sized waffles. I could not finish the one Savanah made for me.

Your Basic Chocolate Cupcake

Day 2 of our cupcake extravaganza: weight 135 pounds

Here we go again. More cupcakes, how sad is that? NOT! Savanah is my sweet tooth girl, if I have not mentioned that before. She is non-discriminatory. She likes pie, cakes, cookies, muffins, cupcakes. There isn't a sweet yet she has met that she hasn't liked. And her all time favorite is chocolate...of any kind. Let's all say it together. Chocolate is my friend. Support groups are held the third Thursday of every month. Make these and you will not be sorry.

1 cup soy milk (you can use rice or almond)
1 t apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar (we used raw)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract, chocolate, or more vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour (we used unbleached)
1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch processed or regular (we used regular)
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

Whisk together the milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract and other extract, if using, to the milk mixture and beat till foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients. And beat till no large lumps remain. (a few tiny lumps are okay)

Variation: Cookies 'N' Cream Cupcake
Mix into cupcake batter, 1 cup (about 10 cookies; chop first then measure) of coarsely chopped vegan chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies (such as Newman-O's). Bake as directed.

Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

There is no frosting with this recipe, and only due to the fact that Savanah felt it was not needed. Death by chocolate, not this time.

You can find these recipes and so many more here, at Barnes and Noble . We found it right on our store shelf, but if not then you have all thee information you will need. Once again I would like to thank Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero for their lovely book from which we have chosen to cook with.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

First off, this is a recipe that Savanah found in a new cookbook she purchased with her Barnes and Noble gift card. We have been fervently trying to get our baking to where it needs to be, and we are getting there. We had success with a batch of cookies (look at previous post) and now a new cupcake recipe.

This comes from Vegan Cupcakes * Take Over The World. Man at the recipes, and again, they are vegan...who knew. These cupcakes were a bit heavier, but at the same time they were very moist. These are a keeper. When I went to see who I should give credit to, it kind of freaked me out. It is Isa Chandra Moskowitz. That's right folks, from Post Punk Kitchen. And her co-author Terry Hope Romero. this book won Cookbook of the Year from VegNews. How cool is that?

Make these, and let me know how it goes.

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup oil
1 cup granulated sugar (we used raw)
1/4 cup soy milk (we used almond)
1 t vanilla extract
1&1/4 cups all-purpose flour (we used unbleached)
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/2 chocolate chips
Cinnamon Icing:
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
2 T butter melted (we used regular butter, but vegan do your thing)
1 T soy milk (we used almond)
1/2 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, stir together pumpkin, oil, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir together with a fork-don't use a hand mixer, as it will make the batter gummy. Once well combined, fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill liners 2/3 full. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let fully cool before icing.

Icing directions:
Place sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the butter, milk and vanilla and stir with a fork until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use. The mixture should look opaque and honey brown. If it's glistening a lot or looks to liquidy, add a little extra confectioners' sugar.

Makes 12 cupcakes