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The Village Vegan



Ramblings on food, the city, arts and crafts...



Updated: 2017-08-11T15:05:57.908+02:00

 



164 Comments

2009-05-09T03:43:56.944+02:00

Hello again!

Can you believe that 5-min lunch photo from a year ago was more or less the last food photo I took? Don't know what happened there!

Anyway, I'm graduating next week, and hopefully I'll have more time to spend resuscitating my blog thereafter! I still read all of your lovely blogs, though commenting seems be another thing I've let go by the wayside...



The five-minute lunch

2008-03-06T13:42:39.391+01:00



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This is what I had for lunch today. Leftover brown rice, chopped little gem lettuce, leftover caramelized lemongrass tofu, mandarin orange segments, and sesame-soy dressing.

Pretty good for 5 minutes, right?

Normally I make a big batch of hummus on Sunday, and have that for lunches throughout the week. But I decided to change things up a bit this week, and I made a batch of caramelized lemongrass tofu instead. It keeps beautifully in the fridge-- I actually prefer the toothsome texture of cold tofu to the squishy one of warm tofu-- and I've been putting into pho and rice noodles salads and now this for lunch.

What did you have for lunch? Leave me a comment and let me know!

P.S. Thank you all for your comments on my "why veganism?" post. I'll address that topic again sometime soon!

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100: the best chewy oatmeal raisin cookies ever

2008-02-29T16:41:25.434+01:00

So, I wasn't going to blog today. I'm tired, it's raining, the pictures wouldn't come out right...but then I realized that it's the 29th of February, and I won't have the chance to blog on this day for 4 years. Plus, I made the best, chewiest oatmeal cookies I've ever had, and if that doesn't deserve some sort of mention, then I don't know what does!Oatmeal cookies are my favorite kind of everyday cookie, as long as their chewy. I've tried so many recipes, and none of them have ever really come out right. I spotted this recipe from Nick Malgieri via David Lebovitz's website a while ago, and I knew I wanted to try it. First, because it's David Lebovitz and his blog is totally cool, and oh yeah, his recipes ain't bad either. And he says they're chewy. And the whole batch only has 2tbsp of fat! Most oatmeal cookie recipes call for 1 cup of butter!Well, I was not disappointed. These are as chewy and delicious as any I've ever had. There's no way anyone would ever guess that they're actually (sort of) healthy. The search for the best oatmeal cookie is over!I made these as written, with the substituion of a little flax for the egg. (Sorry, David. It's not like I substituted tofu for the oats or anything!)And oh yeah, this is my 100th post!Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (makes 24)1 cup flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)1 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt2 tablespoons margarine, at room temperature1/2 cup granulated sugar1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugarsubstitute for 1 large egg1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 1/3 cups rolled oats (not instant)1/2 cup dark raisins (or dried cranberries) 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper, foil, or silicone mats 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and set the rack on the lower and upper thirds of the oven. 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Mix in the brown sugar, then the egg, applesauce, and vanilla. 4. Stir in the dry ingredients, then the oats and raisins. 5. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons 2-inches apart on the baking sheets and use a fork to gently flatten the dough. 6. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they "look dull on the surface but are moist and soft". Rotate baking sheets during baking for even heating. Don't bake them until they look golden brown. Really! Resist temptation!! Take them out of the oven as soon as they look slightly blond and are no long wet on the top. Otherwise you'll have crunchy oatmeal cookies. Blech. Storage: Once cool, store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.[...]



Red Pepper Soup with Sumac, Basil, and Lemon Yoghurt

2008-02-27T14:17:51.161+01:00

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Mmm, caramelized peppers and onions. I never used to like bell peppers, but a few weeks ago I realized that cooking them slowly over low heat until they're golden and caramelized and meltingly sweet turns them into something all together wonderful. Since then, my kitchen has been seeing lots of bell peppers.

This lovely, light soup comes from Suzanne Goin's Sunday Suppers at Lucques (highly recommended!). She instructs you to chill the soup, but I didn't. It was delicious hot, but it would also be nice cold as a light starter for a late summer or an autumn meal. The red peppers are a nice change of pace from tomato-based soups. If you'd like to make this a bit heartier, I think that navy beans or those big, white broad beans would be a good choice.

Don't forget to add the sumac and basil-- they really make the soup! I also added a little bit of tahini to the yoghurt, because I don't exactly dig soy yoghurt.

Red Pepper Soup with Sumac, Basil, and Lemon Yoghurt (serves 4 as a starter or light lunch)

Olive oil
1 small sprig rosemary
1 chile de arbol, crumbled (I used crushed red pepper)
2 cups diced onion
1 tbsp thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dry)
1 3/4 lbs red bell peppers
2 tsp ground sumac
1/4 tsp granulated sugar
1 cup (soy) yoghurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp sliced basil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Heat a large pot over high heat for 2 minutes. Add some olive oil, the rosemary, and the chile. Let them sizzle a minute or so, then add the onion, thyme, 1tsp salt, and a good dose of pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is soft, translucent, and starting to color.

While the onion is cooking, cut the peppers in half lengthwise, throught the stems, Use a pring knife to remove the stems, seeds, and membranes. Cut the peppers into rough 1-inch pieces.

Rase the heat back to hight, and add the peppers, 1 tsp sumac, sugar, 1 tbsp salt and more freshly ground black pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the peppers start to caramelize slightly.

Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, and simmer about 30 minutes, until the peppers are cooked through and tender but not mushy.

Puree the soup (I used an imersion blender).

Meanwhile, stir the yoghurt, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp salt together.

Garnish the soup with dollops of yoghurt, a sprinkling of sumac, and the basil.



Stuff.

2008-02-19T20:30:55.030+01:00

I think I'm happier as a vegetarian than as a vegan.

At any rate, I could NEVER even think about eating meat, but it's pretty easy for me to think about eating dairy. (Actually, I've had dairy on several occasions since I started this blog and my vegan diet last year.)

But just writing that made me feel horrible and guilty.

Ugh.

(Edit: I should probably write up a whole post about this, because it's been something I've been thinking about for a while. But the guilty part doesn't have to do with other people or what they think. It's just that I think that veganism is probably better for the environment (which was actually my primary reason for the vegan diet) and, of course, for the animals, which has become more important to me as time goes on. But I still really want to eat cheese from time to time. Not a lot of it, not every day, but sometimes-- yes. I feel like this is a case of "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak". Hence the guilt.)



Swedish Cinnamon Rolls

2008-02-12T13:34:33.012+01:00




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Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite sweet treets. I've been looking for the perfect cinnamon roll for a long time. (These are fantastic, but sometimes you just want a plain cinnamon roll, you know?)

Well, I found it.

These Swedish cinnamon rolls (Kanelbullar) are perfect. Which is to be expected, since cinnamon rolls are somewhat of a national obsession in Sweden-- they've even got a national Cinnamon Roll Day (Oct. 4th.) They're very light, and not as sweet and heavy as typical American cinnamon rolls. There's a hint of cardamom in the dough, and-- very important for their authenticity-- they're baked individually in muffin wrappers and topped with pearl sugar. Think of them as a more elegant version of their American counterparts.

Anyway, here's the recipe. I hope you'll try it! (And yes, the really do only take 10 minutes to bake.)

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Swedish Cinnamon Rolls (makes 12)

18 g fresh yeast (or 2 tsp dry-- but fresh yeast is so much better!)
2/3 cup (soy) milk, warmed
2 tbsp yoghurt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup margarine, in small pieces

Crumble the yeast into a bowl. Mix in the warm milk, and stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the remaining ingredients, and knead for about 10 minutes, until a smooth, soft dough has formed. Cover and let rise for 30 or so minutes, until doubled in size.

Make the filling by mixing together:
2 tbsp margarine, softened
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Put 12 muffin papers on a baking sheet. Roll the dough into a 12x10 in rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough. Roll the dough up starting from the long side, and cut into 12 1'' slices. Place each slice in a muffin paper. Cover and let rise for 60 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Brush the cinnamon rolls with (soy) milk, and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.



hanging in there

2008-02-02T17:26:01.506+01:00

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Hello again! Thank you so much for your suggestions about cooking and such. I finally got sick of a steady diet of pb, toast, and apples. This week many big salads full of whatever vegetables I could lay my hands on were consumed. Not the most creative cuisine ever, but it's much healthier than toast and pb!

Anyway, I made a sort of meal plan for the coming week, so now I HAVE to cook. It's not the healthiest stuff ever, but I have some vegetables to use up, and not much time this week. It's the last week of the semester here in Germany, and I have two exams. Then I have two months of no classes, but I'll have to write two papers (one 15pg, the other 25-- in German!) during this time. But I'll certainly have more time to cook.

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And-- my daffodills!! Aren't they pretty? I bought them exactly two weeks ago for less than 2 Euros. They were about 10 cm tall, and just two weeks later, they're about 30cm and in bloom. Pretty nifty. They live on my windowsill. (That's the view from my window, the street where I live.)

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Ok.

2008-01-20T14:39:19.085+01:00

Ok, guys. Help me out here. Ever since coming back from winter break, I've had no motivation to cook. None. Nada. Zip zap zero. What's going on here? Seriously, I made a huge pot of soup last week, and a stir fry a few days ago, and that's all the cooking I've done. I've been living off of bread and apples, and I'm kind of sick of it. Ok, I'm really sick of it. This is not like me at all-- I usually cook pretty well and semi-fancily-- and it's kind of upsetting to be eating store-bought bread 3x a day.

How do you get your cooking muse back when it's gone? Any cool recipes I should try out?

Thanks!



remembrances and resolution

2008-01-01T03:09:37.270+01:00

(Isn't "remembrance" such an official sounding word?)

In 2007, I...

...really became committed to vegetarianism (though I'd been vegetarian for 5 years)
....discovered food blogging
...became really interested in veganism
....started a vegan blog
...starting thinking about how my choices affect the environment
...got a wonderful internship at a first-teir national magazine and learned quite a lot
....worked 60 hours a week at 3 jobs in the summer
...realized how hard some people really have it
...had a summer with absolutely horrible moments, but some really nice ones too
...moved to Germany for my junior year abroad
....after looking forward to it for years ended up thoroughly hating the first few months
....then decided it wasn't perfect and wasn't exactly what I wanted, but why not enjoy it anyway?
...started learning another language (one that has a different alphabet and is written from right to left and that is totally impractical for me!)
...spent NYE at home sick!

In 2008, I plan to....

...do more for the environment
....travel to a new country in a new continent
...learn to take better pictures
...knit more
...more books, less internet
...listen to more new (for me) music
...eat healthily, insert usual resolutions here
...get another magazine internship
...try more new things that I think I won't like
...think about other people more
...do more things instead of just thinking about them

(I'll probably proptly forget about most of these plans, but oh well. It's 3 am and I'm sick, so I decided I'm allowed to post gratuitous, self-absorbed lists on my blog!)



2008

2008-01-01T02:57:06.245+01:00

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2007. It came and now it's gone.

Happy New Year! Here's to hoping this is a peaceful, happy, healthful year for all of us. I know I'm excited to see what this year has in store.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my little blog over the past year. I've had lots of fun and I can't wait to see where my blog goes in the coming year. "Discovering" food blogs was definately one of the highlights of 2007 for me-- I've loved reading and learning from your blogs.



holiday cookies

2007-12-22T22:09:14.513+01:00

Hi! Remember me? I haven't been posting much, but I've definately been cooking...seven kinds of cookiies, to be precise. I feel like Martha Stewart or something.

Molasses crinkles, cantuccini, x cookies (my favorite!!), cornmeal-cherry cookies, peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate blocks (dark chocolate, cashews, apricots, and cranberries), and chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons.

Whew! (I've linked the the recipes I adapted from)

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I think the tins looked really pretty.

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See? This stuff is xxx, people!

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Pumpkin-Black Bean-Chipotle Soup

2008-04-05T15:48:18.779+02:00

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Ok, so it's not much of a looker, but this soup was good. Really good. If-I-ever-wrote-a-cookbook-this-would-be-in-there kind of good. You should try it!

I saw this post over at smitten kitchen, which made me want to try a pumpkin soup other than the coconut milk and red curry one I usually make. Deb describes her soup as "big, beefy, and bold", with toothsome chunks of ham. Well, obviously my soup isn't beefy or ham-filled, but I think it has a similar feel, though it tastes very different than the recipe that inspired it! It's thick and hearty and packed with flavour-- in this case, chipotle and cilantro, two of my very favourite flavours. I left some of the beans whole to give it a bit more texture.

I hope you'll give this recipe a try!

Pumpkin-Black Bean-Chipotle Soup (serves 4)

4 1/2 cups black beans (about three 15 1/2 ounce cans), rinsed and drained
1 15 1/2 ounce can whole tomatoes, fire roasted if you have them
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tsp good chili powder
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, minced, with 2 tbsp of the adobo sauce
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
16-ounce can pumpkin pureé (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 to 4 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

Coarsly pureé 3 1/2 cups of the beans and the tomatoes tomatoes.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot heat the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and salt, and cook, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Add the chipotle and adobo sauce and cook for another minute. Stir in the bean pureé. Stir in broth, and pumpkin until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Just before serving, add the rest of the beans and vinegar and simmer soup, stirring, until heated through. Season soup with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the chopped cilantro.

Serve soup garnished with cilantro sprigs.



Pumpkin challah

2007-12-06T01:06:20.097+01:00

Hi everyone. Happy December. I didn't mean to disappear for such a long time...so much for nablopomo. Oh well. At least I can say that I posted more in November than in any other month! Anyway, last week I was really busy writing a paper about metaphysics in German. It was really hard-- re-writing it in German was almost as hard as writing it in the first place-- which was kind of discouraging. Though to be fair, I don't use metaphysical German in my daily conversations.Anyway, on to better things: pumpkin. I'm still working on using it up! I only have 3/4 cup or so left, which I think I'll eat for dinner. Thank you for your suggestions. I made pumpkin waffles, a really, really amazingly yummy pumpkin-black bean-chipotle soup (I'm definately posting the recipe for that) and this....pumpkin challah!I'm so pleased with this bread. Pumpkin challah is a Sephardic challah, which I'd never made before. It's really good. It has the same texture as normal challah, but with a hint pumpkin-spice flavour. But it's not too sweet or overpoweringly spicy-- I had some today with baba ghanoush, for example, and it tasted great.When I make challah, I always, always make a 6-strand braid. First of all, it looks much prettier than a 3-strand braid in my opinion, and it's really fun to braid. It also makes a higher loaf than a 3-strand braid does, which I like. I hope you won't be intimidated, and will try to make a 6-strand loaf, too! It's really easy. I know thoughts of having 6-strands tangled in front of you can seem dizzying, but there are only 4 steps, so it's not that hard. Just look at this diagram, print it out and have it in front of you, and you'll be all set. If you google, you can find lots and lots of videos on how to braid 6-strand challahs, too.Anyway, the recipe. It's adapted from Maggie Glazer's A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking from Around the World.Pumpkin Challah (makes 1 large loaf)2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast1/2 tsp ground cardamom1/2 tsp ground ginger3 1/2 cups flour2/3 cup warm water3/4 cup pumpkin puree1/4 cup raw sugar1 1/2 tsp salt1/4 cup vegetable oil1/4 cup soy yoghurtMix the yeast in the warm water along with the spices and 2/3 cup of the flour. Let the mixture stand for 10-20 minutes. Whisk the sugar, salt, oil, yoghurt, and pumpkin in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast sponge. Stir in about 2 cups of the remaining flour, then start incorporating the rest with your hands. You might need a bit more or a bit less. The dough should be soft but not too sticky. Knead for 10 minutes. Dough should be smooth. Place the dough in a clean, oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place until it has tripled (2-3 hours).Punch the dough down. On a lightly floured surface, cut it into 6 equal balls of dough. Roll each one into a rope about 3/4'' in diameter. Try to make the ends of the ropes taper. Braid into a 6-strand braid-- see link above. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and rise until at least doubled in size, about an hour.Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush the loaves with soymilk, and bake then for 40-45 minutes, until they are deep golden brown and hollow when tapped on the bottom. Take them out of the oven and brush them again halfway during baking.Enjoy![...]



Pumpkin.

2007-11-28T13:24:30.198+01:00

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I was planning on making a pumpkin streusel cake for Thanksgiving, but then I ran out of time. Now I have lots and lots of roasted pumpkin to use up. (You can't buy pumpkin puree here.)

I've already make pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, and tonight I'm making a pumpkin-black bean-chipotle soup for dinner. I can't wait. But I still have half the pumpkin left!! Please please please leave me a comment with your favorite recipes using up lots of pumpkin!
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The pumpkin bread, though. So good. I used Celine's recipe. I followed it almost exactly-- the only changes I made were decreasing the sugar to 2 tbsp and I using oil instead of margarine. This bread is great. It's a gorgeous shade of yellow, subtly pumpkin-flavored, and good with both sweet and savory spreads.

(I hate my oven, though. Actually, I don't have a proper oven, just an oversized toaster oven that heats only from the top. See how the top of the loaf is nice and risen, and the bottom is dense and un-risen? I suspect this is due to said oven, because this never happened when I made bread in a proper oven. It still tastes good, but it's annoying.)

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Is this already old news?

2007-11-27T13:28:01.186+01:00

(image) Hi. Have you all recovered from Thanksgiving craziness?

My Thanksgiving wasn't really a "real" Thanksgiving, but the food was pretty good nonetheless. I ended up making (you can assume I made appropriate substitutions if needed):

(image) (Tasty. But brown.)

Radicchio salad with grilled pears (inspired by Sunday Suppers at Lucques)
Tart, spicy cherry chutney
Herbed cranberry-sourdough stuffing
Mashed potatoes with caramelized onion gravy
Apple pie
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It was pretty good.





Happy Thanksgiving!

2007-11-22T18:58:31.561+01:00

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you that celebrate it! I hope you're all having wonderful, food-and-fun filled days. Don't stress out about the food-- it will be delicious even if it isn't exactly like you might have planed. I can't wait to read your blogs and see what you've made.

Today isn't a holiday here, of course, so I'll be celebrating Thanksgiving on Saturday. (That means that I'll get to peek at your menus beforehand, and make last minute changes to mine if the inspiration strikes! Right now my big dillema is, David Lebovitz's amazing, most requested ginger cake, or Lucque's pumpkin streusel cake. Hmmm.)

There are so many things I am thankful for...not the least of which is the very dilema I just mentioned. I know I sometimes forget what a priviledge it is to have the luxury of ample food and, indeed, so many choices I don't know what to make!



waffling around

2007-11-21T16:56:36.867+01:00

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Posting every day for the entire month of November?? What was I thinking? For the last few days I've been eating but not really cooking, and no one wants to hear about endless pieces of bread with hummus or strange salads composed of things I found lurking in the back of the vegetable drawer.

Today, though, I was walking home from class and thinking about breakfast (I have class every day at 8:15 am, and I don't like eating beforehand) and I realized I hadn't told you about my favorite waffles. Since, of course, I need a picture of the waffles, this was a perfect excuse to make and eat said waffles.

Will you believe it when I tell you that, until a month ago, I'd never made waffles and eaten them probably three times in my life? I don't have a waffle maker at home, or funds or space to obtain one, but one of my roomate here does. A few weeks ago my other roomate asked me to make waffles, which, of course, I gladly agreed to. Lolo to the rescue! I made these, minus the blueberries, and my roomates kept gushing on and on about them and wouldn't believe me when I said they didn't have eggs or milk.

Since then I've been making waffles about once a week, and I'm using a variation of lolo's recipe-- it's basically the same, just healthified a bit. I think I'll experiment with pumpkin waffles next!

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My favorite way to eat these is with a sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Waffles (makes approx. 6-- serves 2)

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
7 Tbsp soy yoghurt, any flavour (I use plain)
2/3 cup soy milk
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp oil

Begin preheating your waffle iron. Combine the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients together, then fold them into the dry ingredients, using as few strokes as possible. Grease your waffle iron, and then waffle away!

If you want to make these ahead of time, cook them until they're slightly less brown then you'd like, then freeze them. Reheat them in a toaster for a quick and delicious breakfast.




Thanksgiving

2007-11-18T13:45:56.587+01:00

I love Thanksgiving. I think it's probably one of my favorite holidays. It's not as stressful as Christmas, and I love Thanksgiving food. Stuffing...pumpkins...apple pie. Yum! I know that a turkey is usually the star of the Thanksgiving table, and obviously I wish people wouldn't be eating turkey, but I know most people don't share my opinion and I don't expect people to ditch the turkey just because I of me. I just take more of the yummy side dishes.

Anyway, I've been planning my Thanksgiving menu for far to long. Thanksgiving isn't a holiday in Germany, of course, so it will just be me and one or two friends. And we'll be eating on Sunday, not Thursday, but oh well.

This is what I think I'll make:

Green salad with balsamic vinaigrette and dried cranberries OR beets with roasted chickpeas and a dijon vinaigrette

Roasted garlic mashed potatoes
Stuffing
Stuffed mushrooms
Roasted, balsamic-glazed Brussles sprouts with apples and onions
Cherry relish (can't get cranberries here)
Caramelized onion gravy

Pumpkin Streusel Cake from Sunday Suppers at Lucques
Apple pie, if I can be bothered

Ok, so I need your opinions: which salad do you think I should make? And, I know this is enough food, but do you think it will be "satisfying" since there really isn't a main dish? Let me know! And tell me what you're making for Thanksgiving!



Mrs. Badmouth's Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls...

2007-11-18T13:15:41.372+01:00

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...are really, really, really good. Do yourself a favour and go make them now! I follwed the recipe exactly, except for the glaze: I mixed tofu cream cheese with pumpkin butter and used that instead of a powdered sugar glaze.

(Excuse the bad pictures...it was dark by the time I finished these.)

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Groan.

2007-11-16T01:36:51.597+01:00

Sometimes I really think that professors assign homework for their own amusement. (Bazu, is this true?) For example, in one of my classes today the teacher was giving out the homework assignments. Then he paused, smirked, and said, "And your last assignment is to write a fax to the Wailing Wall, i.e. to G-d" (in Hebrew). Then, when the whole class said, "oh no" all at once he just sort of laughed. How do teachers even think of these things? I guess it's more fun to correct than grammar exercises.

Anyway.

I'm always discovering wonderful new (at least new to me) blogs, and I thought I'd share some of my newest favorites tonight. Check them out if you haven't already. I hope you'll find some new favourites of your own, too! What are your favorite blogs?

Arabic Bites -- a wonderful blog about Arabic/Middle Eastern food, by sisters who live in the Arabic Gulf

My Mom's Recipes and More -- tasty home cooking, all the way from Israel!

Smitten Kitchen -- where to even start? All beautiful, all delicious, all the time. Really. Incredible.

Vegan Visitor -- this is the most beautiful vegan blog I've ever seen. I'm surprised it isn't more well-known, because it totally deserves to be!

Shutterbean -- just too cute. And delicious and crafty, too. Plus, she loves Trader Joe's as much as I do!



simple apple yogurt cake

2007-11-15T12:29:17.474+01:00

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I've never been the kind of person who had to polish off a bag of chips all at once, or who couldn't stop until they'd eaten the whole batch of cookies, but this cake was really, really hard for me to stop eating. It's so simple and so good, and you probably already have everything in your pantry, so it's perfect for cake-necessitating emergencies. Because I know you have these kinds of emergencies all the time, right?

This is a lightly spiced apple cake-- really, the apples are the star-- that was inspired by this post at La Tartine Gourmande.

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Simplest Apple Yogurt Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cups sugar
2/3 cups plain soy yogurt
1/3 cup oil
2 tbsp apple sauce
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp boiling water
1 tbsp rum

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8" or 9" springform pan. Put the raisins in a small bowl, and add the boiling water and rum

Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. In another bowl mix the wet ingredients. Add the we ingredients to the dry and fold with a rubber spatula, until they are almost mixed, about 3 strokes. Add the apples and fold a few times to distribute the apples evenly.

Spread the thick, apple-filled batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the soaked raisins on the top of the cake, and bake for 40 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out without clumps of raw batter on it.

Enjoy!




snack time

2007-11-14T13:54:35.420+01:00

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Snack time! Aren't these apple slices beautiful? To be honest, apples and peanut butter isn't one of my favorite snacks-- I far prefer salty to sweet-- but it's fast and, at the moment, mostly-seasonal.

What are your favorite snacks? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Chocolate Bread

2007-11-12T20:18:28.489+01:00

Finally, a real recipe! This is one I highly recommend. It tastes a lot better than the photos look, really, I promise. I've been having the biggest craving for chocolate bread for quite a while. And not just any chocolate bread. Specifically, a yeasted, not-too-sweet chocolate bread with a tender, fine crumb and a very dark-chocolate taste. I'm not really sure why, because I don't think I'd ever had a bread like this before. But, you know, cravings are your body's way of telling you what it needs (ha!), and they are not to be ignored. Especially not when they are for delicious things like chocolate. So chocolate bread it would be.Of course I couldn't find a recipe for the bread I wanted. I did find one that looked somewhat close, a recipe for Balthazar's chocolate bread. So my recipe is a very loose interpretation of their recipe.And it was really, really good.This is a slow rise bread, which gives it a really great, almost brioche-like texture. But please don't let that scare you! It really isn't any more difficult than an ordinary bread. I promise.Oh, and if the mention of "chocolate" wasn't enough to convince you...this tasted really, really chocolatey, and as far as chocolate goes, it was actually pretty innocent calorie-wise. And you can let it rise in the fridge over night, and just pop in in the oven when you wake up in the morning. Thirty minutes later you'll be enjoying a piece of warm, tender chocolate bread, studded with little pockets of melted chocolate. Yum.Ok, enough with this restaurant-menu description stuff. Get cooking!(Oh, and it really is important to use good quality chocolate, and for the chocolate to be chopped, not in chip form! )Chocolate BreadStarter:1/2 cup + 1 tbsp flour1/2 cup lukewarm water1/8th tsp yeastMix all ingredients and let them sit at room temperature for 6 hours. The mixture should be bubbly and have expanded somewhat.Dough:the starterapprox. 2 cups flour1/2 cup cocoa6 tbsp sugar1 1/2 tsp yeast1 1/4 tsp saltscant 1 cup lukewarm water2 tbsp margerine, cut into small pieces4 oz. 70% chocolate, choppedoptional: 1/2 cup dried cranberries or diced dried apricotsturbinado sugar for sprinkling on top of the breadDissolve the yeast in the water. Put the starter and all dry ingredients through salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast water and begin to knead, either in the bowl if it's large enough or on a board lightly dusted with flour. Sprinkle on the margarine pieces, and knead them in. Knead for 10 minutes. Just before the dough is done, sprinkle on the chocolate chunks (and dried fruit, if using) and knead them into the dough.Cover the dough with a cloth or plastic wrap and let rise for until doubled in size, about 3 hours.Now shape the bread. Line a baking sheet with parchement. Gently punch down the dough and cut it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth, round roll. Place the rolls into the pan. It's fine if they are touching a bit. You could also bake this as a boule, or you could bake it in two small, greased loaf pans.At this point you can either let the dough rise for 2 hours at room temperature, or you can cover it and let it rise in the fridge over night. Just let it sit out at room temperature while the oven preheats the next morning if you do that.Preheat the oven to 375 F. Brush the dough with soy milk and and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Bake until the bread has a slightly hollow sound when you tap tops with your finger, 40-45 minutes. Turn t[...]



six weeks ago

2007-11-11T16:40:36.838+01:00

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Brunch

2007-11-10T23:25:45.320+01:00



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Isn't brunch a wonderful invention? Sure, I know, it was probably invented for commerical reasons, but still. It's so nice that for two days of the week other people finally understand that it's ok to eat "not-breakfast" foods for breakfast! Or that it's ok to have your eggs (in this case, scrambled tofu) at 3pm if that's the way you roll. Every coupe of weeks New York Magazine does 21 question interviews with interesting/semi-famous New Yorkers, and one of the questions is "Brunch: pro or con?". I just don't get the con-sayers.

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Anyway, this is what I had for brunch today: home fries, guacamole, mushrooms, tomotoes, and rolls. Not pictured are the waffles and the chocolate cranberry bread (though I think that last one might be making an appearance here tomorrow...just sayin'.)

Yum.

I hadn't had home fries in forever, and they really hit the spot this morning. And isn't home fries a great word? Home fries. It has such a nice sound. (But what's the difference between home fries and oven fries? Two minutes of googling seemed to reveal that home fries are often not fry shaped and sometimes cooking in a skillet, while oven fries are usually baked. But home fries sounds so much better, so these are definately home fries.)

I'm sure you wanted to read all of that.

Spicy Herbed Home Fries

3 large potatoes
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp hungarian paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/4'' slabs. Cut each slab vertically into 1/4'' slices, so that the potatoes end up looking like, you know, fries. Mix the potato with the remaining ingredients, and spread them in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked and crispy.