Tag: Vegan

Photos! An update on Knishes and Flowers and V day…


Ok. So photos aren’t entirely impossible in that kitchen. And sometimes there’s enough light to make something out of a photo 🙂

Behold, the knishes from lunch (a success, thank you very much!):

my lovely knish-y lumps, ready for the oven...

Ahhh….see the olive oil gloss? The red smudge of pepper? The brown flecks of linseed/flax seed? Mmmmmmm.. and they do look a bit like pastry-potatoes, don’t they? 🙂

Potato-ey filling

Now, here’s what came out of the oven:

Fresh lovin' from the oven...
Warm, flaky, carby goodness...

Lunch was good.

While I’m putting photos up, I thought I’d include a shout-out to My Man, my Lancelot… I know Valentine’s Day can be touchy, and I respect that. So, I waited to put up flower photos until that day had passed.

Now I’m braggin’. 🙂

First, a quick back-story. A few weeks ago, my man had a crazy week at work. Everyday was pretty much a shitstorm of extra work and bullshit politics. He couldn’t come home for lunch most days (we live about a minute from his office), and he was often late. It sucked. I felt so bad for him—he was working so hard (and I’m not working yet), and no matter how irritating the day was, he was always such a pleasure to have once he did come home. He’s magic. And at the end of the week, he came home a little late (because he picked up our laundry from the cleaners, of course) with flowers for me for being so patient (!)  Unbelievable.

Love token from my awesome Man

Then, of course, came Valentine’s Day. We’re budgeting like good newlyweds (reference back to the house/mortgages rants), so we had a sweet and simple V Day. I cooked, we had sparkling wine and candlelight dinner… and he brought be roses 🙂

The first Valentine's Day roses of our marriage...

Yeah, I’m sappy. Deal with it 😉 Happiness is awesome 🙂

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YAY! Check this out: CHOW Member of the Month: The Blender Girl


I just saw this on Chow, and I’m energized. I like Blender Girl already 🙂

CHOW Member of the Month: The Blender Girl

Published on Monday, February 14, 2011, by Jill Santopietro / Edit Post

After a conversation with The Blender Girl, a.k.a. Tess Masters, the LA-based, Australian-born, worldly cook of mostly gluten-free and vegan foods, Tess’s focus on energy-rich foods was crystal clear. She’s got serious gusto. Tess started her site in July 2009 as a way of sharing recipes with friends. Since then, she’s been posting lots of recipes for allergy-friendly foods, many of which can be made in minutes using a blender. The Blender Girl has shared so many of her recipes with CHOW.com that we’ve decided to spotlight her as the CHOW member of the month. Check out her profile, as well as four of her recipes that we really liked(…)

…Get the whole, delicious article, plus Blender Girl’s seriously mouthwatering recipes at http://www.chow.com/food-news/73181/chow-member-of-the-month-the-blender-girl/

Marzipanification Stage 1


What follows is an adventure in process. Don’t write down any recipes until you get to the end 🙂

—–

My almonds are blanched. I’ve done that much.

Now, though I (conceptually) love Smitten Kitten’s recipe, I’ve been trolling through the web (while my little naked almonds dry out a bit on a baking sheet) to find a recipe that fits. In particular, I’ve been wondering about the types of things you can mix in with marzipan. (i.e., if I throw some Frangelico into the food processor with my almonds and sugar, will that throw some fundamental monkey wrench into the works? Or will it probably be fine…like replacing the liquid in other peoples’ recipes?)

I haven’t stumbled upon anything definitive. However, I’m feeling more confident. And I found another blog and recipe that I like and want to share.

http://allthingssicilianandmore.blogspot.com/2009/10/pasta-di-mandorla-marzipan-traditional.html

Looking at this, I didn’t have to make my own powdered sugar (I didn’t have any, so I blasted granulated sugar in the food processor), because she uses granulated. Ah well. I’ll need icing for sugar cookies tomorrow 😉 Also, looking at her recipe,

which is borrowed from “The most authentic recipe that [she has] found is in the book called Bitter Almonds, Recollections and Recipes from a Sicilian girlhood. The book was researched and written by Mary Taylor Simeti and it contains recollections and recipes of Maria Grammatico, famous for making almond pastries. She has a wonderful pastry shop in Erice and I visited this recently (in September 2009).

I’m guessing I can replace the water with Frangelico. I figure that as long as people can mix booze into the dough at some point, there shouldn’t be anything fundamentally destructive about alcohol to the ability of the dough to stick together. And if there is, well, I’ll let you know.

So, my marzipan food hack will be a combination of All Things Sicilian and More’s (link) recipe and that of Smitten Kitten (link)…and Frangelico.

Here’s what I’m doing

150 g blanched whole almonds

200 g granulated sugar

(to start, I’m halving Sicilian’s recipe lest I screw something up…I assume I’ll have to compensate regarding the sweetness of the Frangelico and and amount of sugar, but I’m not sure how much. I’ll do the almonds and sugar first…)

..too granulated. The sugar doesn’t seem to be breaking down ;( seems like too much sugar. I’m putting 20 more blanched almonds in…

… and now I’m adding 1 tbs Frangelico and 10 more almonds…

…f@ck it. I’m adding all the remaining almonds. So, in total, 300 g blanched whole almonds plus about half a cup of almonds (to compensate, I hope, for the sweetness of Frangelico)…

…food process it….

…still too sugary in consistency. Add remaining Frangelico. So, in total, 1/3 cup (so far, that is)…

..finagle, split up dough because food processor is too small…. Add 2 tbs more of Frangelico…

…put all dough back in processor with 2 more tbs Frangelico

Ok. So here’s where I am at this point (real time, at the end of the post):

The recipe (thus far) is

  • 300 g + ½ cup blanched whole almonds
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup Frangelico

If you have a great blender, throw everything on in and blend the hell out of it until you have marzipan. My food processor went above and beyond the call of duty tonight, though I stopped blending because it was getting hot and seemed on the verge of going on strike.

I have my dough in a big metal bowl now. It is a little moist, but I will use powdered sugar tomorrow when I work with it (for dusting, etc.) and I’ll probably knead more powdered sugar in to get the consistency I want.

In the meantime, I have what I think is an almond-paste/marzipan hybrid that is fully spiked with Frangelico and delicious. Incidentally, this is a vegan recipe (depending on the source and processing of your sugar, of course, and whatever processing is used in making Frangelico…). I only point this out because lots of folks seem to freak out whenever ‘vegan’ or ‘vegetarian’ is mentioned, as though finding a vegan or vegetarian recipe for anything is just way too complicated. The thing is, lots of foods and desserts and delicious things just happen to be vegan and vegetarian. Those two words don’t automatically mean steamed tofu. I’m just sayin’.

But back to the point at hand. I made home-made marzipan. It is delicious. Frangelico does make a happy substitute for water. I’ll be using this batch of marzipan for the remainder of my holiday gifts. The first batch, though store-bought, was great for my friend who doesn’t enjoy alcohol, and perhaps for her son (if he’s very good!). They aren’t spiked, but they are cute as could be and were a labor of love.

This batch has been a labor of love as well, though I don’t think I’ll be making any more teeny fir trees 😛 When you’ve got booze-spiked treats, you don’t really need to sex them up much more than that 😉

To be continued (tomorrow, I’ll be working with this batch and adding powdered sugar)…

The Spirit of Christmas…


Actually, the full title of today’s blog is “The Spirit of Christmas– not just a cheap, high-proof brandy” …Though booze does play a role in boosting this post’s Christmas cheer.

As I was sitting in traffic a couple hours ago, our car being pelted with rain, I remembered the first food hack I ever wrote down for other people. It was back when I was a vegan (which, in all sincerity, was awesome) and I bastardized a number of recipes to come up with a happy, satisfying, decadent, liqueur-infused chocolate chip cookie for Christmas fun. This must have been five years ago, but you can tell my somewhat relaxed approach to cooking hasn’t much changed in that time.

So, while my calzone is in the oven (vegan, incidentally, and almost no fat…let me know if you want the recipe for that one!), I give to you (cheap, high-proof something or other in hand), a tried and true Christmas tradition…

Gradissima’s Vegan Kahlua Chocolate Chip Cookies

(semi-stolen, veganized, and extra-spirited from another recipe)

No Cholesterol, No Trans-Fats, Lots of Yum.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup shortening (I use Spectrum Naturals organic shortening)
  • ½ cup margarine, softened (I used Willow Run sticks. Earth Balance is also good)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar (or just double the white sugar. Whatever.)
  • ¾ cup white sugar (I used Florida Crystals)
  • 2 eggs worth of EnerG Egg Replacer (I substituted the water in this with Amaretto! )
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of Kahlua (plus 3 tablespoons set aside)
  • 1 cup vanilla Silk soymilk (set aside)
  • 1 tablespoon vodka or amaretto (optional –  set aside)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (or whatever you have around – cashews, almonds, etc)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Soften your butter…(just in case you forgot to)
  3. Mix your EggReplacer (1 1/2 teaspoon of Egg Replacer plus 2 tablespoons liquid per egg) with a whisk until frothy. (Remember, I had amaretto around, so I used Kahlua and Amaretto –equal parts—for the liquid in the “eggs” mmmmmm….Christmas cheer.)
  4. Cream together shortening, butter, sugars, and “eggs”
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients (not the soymilk, vodka, and 3 tablespoons Kahlua that are set aside) and mix well. Spoon and ball the dough and place on cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Pour soymilk, vodka, and 3 tablespoons of Kahlua over ice. Stir, drink and enjoy while waiting for your cookies to bake. Mmmmmmmmm.
  8. If your cookies burn, repeat step 7.

Have a Merry Christmas, and think of me when you enjoy this recipe!

Chow, nuts, and rock n’ roll…(Roasted Rosemary Walnuts recipe via Chow.com)


I’m new to Chow, but from what I’ve seen, I like.

The post that drew me into the website was on birthday etiquette regarding an all-carne meal for a birthday girl with vegan friends in the mix. I didn’t necessarily agree with the moderator’s advice, but I loved the vibe of the site. The writing is a bit rock-and-roll without being over-the-top hipster-snob, the recipes are things that I and people I hang with would eat, and it’s full of nerdy goodness to boot.

Now, I get recipes from Chow sent to my email account. Some of them I read, some I discard immediately, some I pass onto girlfriends in hopes that they are more ambitious than I and will eventually feed the completed dish to me.

This morning, they sent a recipe that was so simple yet so perfect for any gathering…one of those things I’d just do on the fly. I love that they think of these little things and send out handy reminders during the holidays. Because, honestly, when you’re shit out of luck and trying to throw a casual-yet-classy snack table together, sometimes you forget about the basics.

Enter Roasted Rosemary Walnuts. Hackable with any nut (and a variety of other edible substances, I’m sure), this is an elegant snack.

Nice, Chow, nice.

Roasted Rosemary Walnuts Recipe

Difficulty: Easy

TIME/SERVINGS

Total: 25 mins

Active: 5 mins

Makes: 8 to 10 servings (5 cups)

Roasted Rosemary WalnutsSee More in the Gallery

By Amy Wisniewski

Nuts and booze are a tried-and-true combination for any happy hour or cocktail party. Here the addition of rosemary and black pepper classes up the combo without getting too fussy.

Game plan: These nuts will last up to 10 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

This recipe was featured as part of both our Academy Awards Cocktail Party menu and our Bar Snacks photo gallery.

…get the rest at http://www.chow.com/recipes/14260-roasted-rosemary-walnuts