Monthly Archives: March 2010

Birthday Cupcakes

I baked cupcakes for N. because after all how many times does a fella turn 22?  We went out to dinner at Islands and then to see How to Train Your Dragon and then topped it all off with a little sweetie.  He picked out Banana Split cupcakes from VCTOTW.  There were a lot of steps involved but the end result was worth it.  I’ve been nominated to bake cupcakes for the Easter Barbeque, hmmmm, what shall I bake?  Vanilla cupcakes with Blueberry Mousse?  Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream?  Fauxstess Cupcakes?  So many choices.  This will give me a chance to try out my new pan, Debbie Meyer Cupcake Genius.  It has little silicone plugs that create a cavity to fill with luscious things like Blueberry Mousse, or Hazelnut Cream, oh yes!

Just a little after-movie sweetie!

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Filed under Dining Out, Vegan Baking

Shades of Beige

I had a very brown dinner last night.  I really meant to cook up some kale that I had waiting in my fridge but after the marathon session making Lentil Loaf from the Chicago Diner Cookbook, I was as whipped as my potatoes, thus the beige dinner.  First things first, there was definitely something wrong with that recipe…4 cups of lentils to two cups of water???  I have enough cooked lentils for three batches of lentil soup, or enough to feed the Long Beach Marathon.  So that was number one, I ended up adding at least 8 cups of water to the pot as they cooked.  Number two was this recipe was very time-consuming, lots of chopping, soaking, measuring, gathering ingredients, etc.  What a mess…the recipe said it made one 4X7 loaf, I don’t think so.   I made at two loaves and stuck one in the freezer for another day.   It was pretty tasty after all that work, some good seasonings like sage and thyme and a splash of tamari; the walnuts  and sunflower seeds were a nice textural addition.  I served it up with mashed potatoes and Diner Gravy from the same cookbook.  The gravy had some really good flavor, I especially liked the celery seed, that’s not something I usually use in my cooking, I surprised myself with it.  Next on my list of recipes to try from Chicago Diner is Black Bean Burgers.  I’m going to give the recipe a serious once over before I start cooking.  So far I liked the Banana Poppyseed Bread, and I loved the Diner Gravy, the Lentil Loaf was tasty but too much work to be adding it to my rotation of recipes, who am I kidding, I don’t have a recipe rotation so I really don’t know what I’m talking about.

Enjoy my brown dinner!

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Cheri…What???

While at the Farmer’s Market on Sunday morning I was enticed into eating a sample of a cherimoya.  This is the first time I’ve had a piece of that fruit and OH MY it was good…this is dessert!  Very soft, sweet, smooth, and silky.  I bought one because at $2.99 a pound I thought they were a little pricey but then so is a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.   The guy that sold it to me said they’re popular in Brazilian cuisine, and I read that it’s a romantic fruit to eat with your beloved.  Oh well, mine was consumed at my desk at work between conference calls, not very romantic!

It looks kind of like an alien face doesn’t it?

Didn’t taste like one though, sublime!

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Banana Bread – A Week of Chicago Cooking

I thought I would start cooking and baking my way through some of my multitude of cookbooks.  I ‘m starting with the Chicago Diner Cookbook.  I had a couple of bananas that weren’t going to make it through the weekend so they were my first cookbook experiment victims.  The Banana Poppyseed Bread recipe was simple and delicious.. It was dense and not too sweet but with a great banana flavor.  I added the optional walnuts because I had them and I like them.  Next. Lentil Loaf or perhaps the Black Bean Burgers.  I actually made a menu this week, so we’ll see how that goes.

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Cooking with Chard Ain’t Hard

So I tried the Red Chard Tofu Quiche from Veg News April 2010 issue…not overwhelmed.  It was ok, but to me it had kind of a beany, pasty taste and texture.  Not something I’d want to serve at my next brunch, for sure.  Well, my CSA delivery had another bunch of red chard this week so I’m going to have to find something else to do with it.  Vegan Brunch has a Swiss Chard Frittata recipe that has ingredients similar to the quiche recipe but far enough removed that I think I might like it better.  You would think with as many cookbooks as I have I could come up with a recipe to use a little chard in.  Like I said it ain’t that hard.  I should mention that N. ate three slices of the quiche, so maybe it was just me.

It really does look quite pretty, doesn’t it!

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Oatmeal in a Jar – Peanut Butter that is

I finally remembered to save the dregs of my peanut butter to make some oatmeal in a jar.  Kath always make such delicious looking oatmeal and the peanut butter jar idea is genius!  Into my jar went 1/2 cup oatmeal that had been cooked in 1 cup water with a pinch of salt.  I added half a melted banana at the end of cooking I used Katie’s famous melted banana trick.  And if that wasn’t a dandy enough breakfast, I topped the whole thing with Singing Pig Cherry Pie Butter and some ground flax seed.  What a beautiful way to start the day.  I’m usually a steel-cut oats in the crock-pot or overnight oats in soy yogurt kind of gal but this will definitely be in my oatmeal repertoire, I just have to remember to not lick the peanut butter jar clean.  R. came over while I was eating and blurted out, “Are you eating a whole jar of peanut butter?”  He doesn’t always sensor what he asks me even though I am the mother-in-law. 

This stuff is some deliciousness in a jar…it’s excellent on warm scones!

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Pizza to Daiya For

Like those words have never been uttered before…but really, I kid you not, this was one hunky pizza!  Since pizza plans were put aside last night I decided to make it tonight even though the weather was even hotter today and the thought of heating my oven up to 500 degrees nearly melted my mascara.  I used VWAV pizza dough and sauce recipes for the first time.  The sauce was sublime the dough delectable.  Toppings consisted of  organic white mushrooms, black olives, red bell pepper, red onion, and of course two kinds of Daiya, 3 parts Italian to 1 part cheddar.  Baked on my pizza stone which I don’t use nearly enough.  There just doesn’t seem to be enough things to bake on a stone,  I’ll need to look into that.  The pizza was devoured at my new (read hand-me-down) patio table with a cool breeze blowing in from the ocean.  I love daylight savings time, I could do this every night…I think (heeheehee).  This is a reference to the original Iron Chef and you had to be there.

All dressed up and the only place to go is in the oven.  I had some sun-dried tomatoes that I was going to use too but I couldn’t open the jar (see them in the background).

Baked to perfection!

Like I said…Pizza to Daiya for!

Oh and guess what…enough sauce and dough for another pizza packaged and ready to stash in the freezer for a quicky meal one night soon!

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