August, 2012

  1. oatmeal whole wheat quick bread

    August 31, 2012 by Angie

    Week 35’s challenge is bread. I made a popular recipe from AllRecipes.com for oatmeal whole wheat quick bread. It was ridiculously quick. There was no yeast or kneading involved and it baked up fast so all told I spent maybe 25 minutes making this bread.

    It yields a small, incredibly dense loaf of tasty, hearty bread. I skipped the processing the oats step as did many of the commenters on that site and it still held together.

    If I make it again I will definitely lower the temperature and bake for longer. I baked at 430 degrees (instead of 450) and I think the middle could have used a tad bit longer but the top was starting to burn. I would probably throw in some seeds too as many people suggested.

    Pretty great with some Earth Balance margarine!


  2. tofu vegetable pot pie

    August 26, 2012 by Angie

    Sadly, my love for chicken pot pie delayed my entrance into vegetarianism by several years. I’m not particularly proud of that I just want to illustrate how strong my feelings are for pot pie. I’ve been making this version for a few years now and I think it’s way better than the chicken variety. I bring this to Thanksgiving as the main affair for me and Robbie. I couldn’t wait until Thanksgiving so I made it last Thursday for a fancy dinner with a friend.

    I use this recipe with some vegetable additions (celery and green onion this time) and either a store-bought pie crust or puff pastry. I’ve put the filling inside a pie crust and flipped another one out on top before. The advantage of doing it that way is that it holds together better making it more pie-like. Two pie crusts is a little decadent considering there’s already a potato in there so this time I used one sheet of puff pastry to cover the top. I pushed down around the edges to seal it to the glass pie dish then brushed some melted Earth Balance on it.

    The gravy in this recipe is ridiculously good. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. We wiped out 7/8 of the pie (and the leftover filling that wouldn’t fit inside) between the three of us. I had the the last piece for lunch the next day and it might have been even more delicious than the day before.

    Best leftovers ever.


  3. brooklyn vs. boston cream pie cupcakes

    August 25, 2012 by Angie

    For Week 34 of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking Challenge we are supposed to carve a baked good. The moderator elaborated on this for us and cutting out a hole in a cupcake and filling it with cream definitely counts. I made this delicious recipe for Brooklyn vs. Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

    These cupcakes require a monumental amount of effort. I stirred, chilled, whisked, beat, mixed, chilled again, baked, melted, and chilled a third time. It took hours and created a lot of dirty dishes. The cupcakes are pretty phenomenal though.

    Step 1: Baked Cupcakes

    Step 2: Carving out the filling holes

    Step 3: Filling the cupcakes with cream (making the cream counts for at least two steps and also involved two hours of chilling in the refrigerator)

    Step 4: Chocolate Ganache

    Bam! Look at that cupcake. It took so long to make I feel like it’s my biological child.

    Because I’m not vegan, if I was really craving something like this in the future I would probably go to the bakery and buy a single eclair. For vegans, however, cream-filled, chocolate-topped, baked treats are not so easily acquired so going through all this work every once in a while is worth it because these cupcakes are really awesome.

     


  4. black bean & spinach quesadillas

    August 24, 2012 by Angie

    This tasty quesadilla has been a staple in my weekday cooking repertoire, in one incarnation or another, for about six years now. It comes together really quickly with canned beans (we have a very strong allegiance to El Ebro brand) and is pretty healthy packed with vegetables and beans and using reduced fat cheese and just one tortilla per quesadilla.

    Ingredients

    olive oil
    minced garlic
    yellow onion, diced
    bell pepper, diced
    tomato, diced
    2 cans of black beans, drained
    spices: chili powder, garlic powder, salt, freshly ground pepper
    one tortilla per quesadilla (I can usually make 4 or 5 with the black bean filling.)
    reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese
    fresh spinach

    Instructions

    1. Dice the onion, bell pepper, and tomato.

    2. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pot. Add minced garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook for a few minutes while draining the black beans.

    3. Add the black beans and diced tomato to the pot. Cook until everything is hot adding chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.

    4. While the bean mixture is cooking you can begin to assemble the quesadillas. Put one tortilla on a plate for each person. Sprinkle a small handful of shredded cheese on the bottom half of the tortilla so that it covers it with a thin layer. Keep a little room around the bottom edge without cheese so it doesn’t leak out later.

    5. Get your spinach leaves out and break off any obnoxiously long stems.

    6. Once the bean mixture seems ready to go, start heating a shallow pan with some olive oil in it. Spoon the bean mixture over the cheese-covered area of the tortillas. Cover the bean mixture with a layer of fresh spinach leaves followed by a little more cheese (it acts as glue here). Fold the tortilla over and place it in the hot pan. When the cheese is melty and the tortilla is starting to brown, flip it over to do the other side.

    7. Serve immediately with salsa. The bean mixture holds up great in the fridge or a couple days so save any leftovers to make a quesadilla for lunch tomorrow.


  5. Gainesville, FL

    August 20, 2012 by Angie

    Last weekend we took a short trip to Gainesville. Both halves of Robgeleen are Gators and previous residents of Gainesville but it’s been a while since we lived there so we’re almost real tourists again. We did our favorite thing to do when we travel: booked a room near the restaurants and bars and proceeded to walk them. On our drive there we saw several clever, Southern billboards like this one.

    When we got into town we stopped at The Jones Eastside for a late lunch. Robbie got the T(empeh)LT and I got the tempeh reuben sandwich. Both were pretty delicious.

    Robbie’s TLT

    My tempeh reuben

    After lunch we headed to our hotel to check in. We stayed at the relatively new Hampton Inn & Suites in Downtown Gainesville right off of Main Street. It has a great location just a short walking distance to a lot of restaurants and bars, as well as other downtown stuff like the Hippodrome State Theatre and the courthouse. It was quiet and clean and they have free breakfast. The woman at the front desk was really sweet and watched part of the Olympics’ closing ceremonies with us in the lobby when we got in that night.

    Very intimidating Gators mosaic at the Hampton Inn & Suites

    Our first stop was Loosey’s in Downtown Gainesville. Loosey’s is in part of what used to be Market Street Pub. Pretty small but comfortable with a full liquor bar and some better beers on tap. We happened to run into our friend Kevin who sorta recently moved to Gainesville so we hung out and went to a couple more bars.

    Our next stop was the Palomino Pool Hall which is part of a triumvirate of connected bars – the other two being The Back Yard Bar and Boca Fiesta, which also serves food. We pretty much had the pool part of this establishment to ourselves on Sunday afternoon. Our friend Ben, who also recently moved to Gainesville, came by with his friend to have a beer with us.

    Robbie talks to Ben and Will while Kevin is aware that I am taking a photo.

    Obligatory tipsy self-portrait. Robbie looks happy to be involved in this!

    Sup, Ben?

    We made our way to the Boca Fiesta portion of the venue and had another round and some food. I think we ordered poorly because Kevin’s food looked pretty good and the chips and salsa were great but the vegan queso we got seemed more like vegan gravy.

    For our last stop of the night we went to everybody’s old favorite, The Top. We should have eaten there because the food is amazing but we were foolish and just had one more round of drinks. I got a skinny margarita which was awesome and made with agave nectar. It was really dark in there so all I have to offer is this blurry iPhone photo. Sorry!

    Aww, we’re still canoodling newlyweds.

    The other purpose for our trip was to stay close to the Ichetucknee Springs State Park so that we could go tubing in the morning. It’s pretty much impossible to get a camera in there so I have no photos sadly. The highlight of the tubing trip was seeing three totally awesome river otters playing and eating right next to us! They might be the cutest animals in existence.


  6. vegetable and goat cheese tart

    August 15, 2012 by Angie

    Week 33 of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking challenge is vegetables. I’ve been wanting to make some kind of savory tart so this was the perfect excuse. I looked at a ton of recipes for vegetable tarts using puff pastry and borrowed from the better looking ones. Most featured just goat cheese and tomatoes or just goat cheese and asparagus but I wanted to maximize my vegetables for this challenge so I used yellow onion, garlic, tomatoes, and asparagus.

    Ingredients

    1 sheet of puff pastry
    4 oz log of goat cheese, room temperature
    1 vine ripe tomato, thinly sliced
    about 10 asparagus spears, woody ends removed
    quarter of a yellow onion, thinly sliced
    about 2 tsp minced garlic
    1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    2 tsp olive oil
    salt & freshly ground rpepper

    Instructions

    1. About thirty minutes before you plan to start building your tart, take one sheet of puff pastry from the freezer and lay it on the counter to thaw. As it started to thaw I was able to unfold it without breaking it. I made the tart on parchment paper on a baking sheet and slid the whole thing in the oven when it was ready.

    2. While you’re waiting for the puff pastry to thaw you can prepare the vegetables by washing and cutting them. Take the goat cheese out of the refrigerator to get it to room temperature.

    3. When the puff pastry is malleable, use some flour and a rolling pin to roll it out a little larger and flatter. The better recipes I looked at said to score a border around the edge of the puff pastry so that it will become puffier while baking and make more of a crust edge. I did that and also stuck the inside of the border with a fork several times. It seemed to really help with making a crusty edge.

    4. Spread the goat cheese to cover the inside of the scored border.

    5. Dredge the thin tomato slices in a plate of balsamic vinegar then arrange them on the goat cheese part of the tart. Next place the onion slices and then arrange the asparagus spears. Drop small chunks of minced garlic throughout the tart.

    6. Preheat the oven to 385 degrees. Drizzle olive oil then balsamic vinegar over the goat cheese portion of the tart leaving the crust untouched. Grind sea salt and pepper over the same area. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is fluffy and slightly browned and the vegetables look cooked.

    How pretty is that tart?

    Robbie cut it for us with the pizza cutter into quarters. We ate the tart with a big salad and were quite full. I, personally, can eat an unlimited amount of goat cheese, but this is probably better cut into more pieces for an appetizer for 4 or more people. I will definitely be making this and probably similar variations again. Robbie and I thought it was delicious and were impressed with its classy appearance as well. I don’t know why but it just looks so fancy to me!


  7. vegan donut holes

    August 10, 2012 by Angie

    This week’s challenge for Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking is colors. I have been eyeing a few vegan donut recipes but couldn’t really justify buying the special donut pan so I made donut holes in mini muffin tins instead.

    I followed this recipe from Vegan Yum Yum for the donut batter. I got 16 not-totally-round donut holes from this. I baked for ten minutes in the mini muffin tins. Once they cooled I whipped up this recipe for chocolate glaze, dipped the tops of the donut holes in the glaze, then rolled the chocolaty tops in a bowl of store-bought rainbow sprinkles.

    They are pretty awesome! Pretty much anything covered in chocolate is wonderful but I really do think the actual donut part is delicious too.


  8. cashew turtles

    August 3, 2012 by Angie

    The challenge for Week 31 of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking is frozen. I assume that means we should make a recipe which requires both baking and freezing but I really can’t think of anything that calls for all that. A lot of pie recipes have you bake a crust then put the filling in and refrigerate but not freeze. I made vegan cashew turtles which called for a little microwaving (close enough?) then freezing and OMG y’all the results are mind-blowing. There is just something about a chocolate-covered cashew.

    I followed this recipe using cashews instead of pecans and vegan chocolate chips. I did use her agave nectar and salt suggestion rather than buy a jar of caramel sauce. It’s quite good, better than caramel in a jar I think. These turtles took so little time and work and are so amazingly delicious. They definitely win the award for tastiest return on effort.

    A freezey little turtle.

    The underside of a turtle.