September, 2012

  1. pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

    September 26, 2012 by Angie

    The theme for Week 39 of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking is express an emotion. I went with love. These cookies are an expression of my love of pumpkin, fall, Halloween, and, of course, Robbie who requested that I make him something pumpkiny. Our friend Todd suggested this recipe from Epicurious with chocolate chips instead of raisins. It was very easy and pumpkiny and good. I got quite a few smaller cookies out of this recipe and, with a little help from our friends, we ate most of them the first day.

    It’s officially fall now so I decorated our apartment with our Halloween stuff.  Check out my new Frankenstein candle holder.


  2. beefless stew

    September 22, 2012 by Angie

    If you’ve not yet enjoyed Gardein’s delicious, vegan, fake meat products, I very much encourage you to do so. I’ve tried several of them and they’re all fabulous in my opinion. (The seven grain crispy tenders are my favorite!) For dinner last night I made beefless stew using Gardein Beefless Tips. I mostly followed a recipe on their site but with a few changes/additions of my own. I am really happy with the results. If you liked beef stew as a kid (even if you picked out the beef chunks like I did) or you want to make a hearty stew for a meat and potatoes sort of person, you should make this.

    Ingredients

    olive oil
    vegetable oil
    1 tbs minced garlic
    1 small yellow onion
    3 celery stalks
    4 carrots
    1/2 tsp thyme
    1/2 tsp Poultry Magic
    salt to taste
    pepper to taste
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1/4 tsp celery seed
    3 tbsp all purpose flour
    3 cups vegetable stock
    3/4 cup dry red wine (I used pinot noir cuz that’s what was available.)
    1/4 cup water
    5 small red potatoes
    3 tsp soy sauce
    1 tsp vegan Worcestershire Sauce
    2 drops of Liquid Smoke
    1 cup frozen peas
    1 package of Gardein Beefless Tips

    Steps

    1. Wash, trim, and chop onion, celery, carrots, and red potatoes.

    2. In a big soup pot with a lid, saute the garlic, onion and celery in olive oil for 3-5 minutes.

    3. Stir in the carrots, thyme, Poultry Magic, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and celery seed and cook for 3-5 more minutes.

    4. Stir in the flour then pour in the vegetable broth, red wine, and water while continuing to stir.

    5. Add the red potatoes. Bring to a boil then turn the burner to low. Stir in the soy sauce, vegan Worcestershire sauce, and Liquid Smoke. Put the lid on and let the stew simmer for 30 minutes.

    6. In a separate pan, saute the Gardein Beefless Tips in vegetable oil according to the package directions. Set aside.

    7. Taste the broth and add salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste. Stir in the frozen peas. Simmer for five minutes.

    8. Add the cooked Beefless Tips and simmer for 5 more minutes.

    We drank a new-to-us bottle of Malbec with it. They went really well together.

    If you have leftovers, you might want to take the beefless tips out of the stew and store them separately, as a precaution. The creator of the original recipe seems to be concerned that the fake meat will disintegrate if left in liquid for an extended period. I had leftover stew for lunch today – 5 star leftovers. For real.

  3. zucchini fritters

    September 21, 2012 by Angie

    Zucchini fritters are a serious favorite of mine. This is the third or fourth time I’ve made them and I think I finally found the secret to getting the batter to stick together to form solid fritters. This time I added a flax “egg” and vowed not to mess with them so much during frying. I let them fry on one side until it was abundantly clear that they were browning and becoming a cohesive fritter, then I gently flipped them. Letting them cool on a plate lined with paper towels helped too. It absorbed some of the oil and once they cooled down they were more firm.

    Yield: 12 medium-sized fritters

    Ingredients

    2 large zucchini, grated
    1/4 of a yellow onion, grated
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
    1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal combined with 3 tbsp water)
    salt, pepper, & garlic powder to taste
    olive oil for frying

    Steps

    1. Wash and trim the zucchini then begin grating it using a cheese grater. Place the grated pieces into a colander or squeeze in paper towels to remove some of the water.

    2. Grate about a quarter of an onion.

    3. Make your flax egg in a small bowl by combining 1 tbsp of flax meal with 3 tbsp water. Set aside.

    4. In a large bowl, combine the grated zucchini and onion. Add in the flour, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and mix well.

    5. Stir the flax egg into the zucchini mixture.

    6. Heat a pan coated in olive oil on medium heat.

    7. Make four small fritters and drop them into the hot pan. Use a spatula to flatten the fritters. Once the bottoms/sides of the fritters is starting to look brown, gently flip them over and flatten with the spatula. When the second side is brown, remove the fritters to a plate lined with paper towels to cool for a 3-5 minutes.

    I made Robbie’s current favorite, blackened tofu, to eat with the zucchini fritters for dinner last night. Two thumbs up from both of us! I’m looking forward to eating leftovers for lunch.

     


  4. soy chorizo chili

    September 20, 2012 by Angie

    We got a Trader Joe’s! Well, Sarasota got a Trader Joe’s, but that’s better than nothing! On our way back from Miami a couple of weekends ago we stopped at the brand new, insanely crowded store and filled a cooler with coveted, inexpensive food stuffs. Amongst our loot was the very popular Trader Joe’s brand vegan soy chorizo. It comes in a plastic sausage wrapper sort of thing. When you open that up you get crumbly, slightly spicy, vegan chorizo. I used it in this favorite three-bean chili recipe which I’ve posted in the past. I left out the black beans and added the soy chorizo right into the slow cooker. It was delicious and now I understand the national fervor for this soy chorizo.


  5. vegan chocolate cake with chocolate glaze

    September 19, 2012 by Angie

    Week 38 of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking Challenge is glaze or poured fondant. I made this tasty and ridiculously easy vegan chocolate cake with chocolate glaze from Instructables.com. I’m very discriminating when it comes to cake (which is why I never bothered to bake one before now) and I happily endorse this recipe. Robbie really liked it too. Our friends were over and gave it two thumbs up and I know they weren’t just being polite because they asked for some cake to-go 🙂 Possibly the best thing about this recipe is that you mix the cake batter up right in the pan. No extra bowls to wash and you don’t have to bust out the mixer.

    This is the cake cooling before spreading the glaze on top.

    Here is the cake with glaze after cooling in the fridge for an hour or so.

    A piece of chocolatey cake!


  6. baked brie

    September 13, 2012 by Angie

    The challenge for Week 37 of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking is European. I’ve always wanted to try baking Brie in a puff pastry with jam inside so that’s what I did. Not sure how authentic this recipe is but the Brie at least is undeniably European. I followed Rachel Ray’s recipe for the most part. I used cranberry pepper jelly and skipped the nuts. I baked for ten minutes longer than her instructions suggested but the puff pasty still didn’t brown as much as I would have liked.

     This recipe is really easy, looks pretty, and tastes good but I think I prefer to skip the puff pastry part and just eat hot, melty Brie on crackers or apple slices with jelly.


  7. apple crisp

    September 7, 2012 by Angie

    Week 36 of Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking Challenge is apples. I made this apple crisp from the Post Punk Kitchen. I kinda did a combo of her cinnamon apple crisp and apple crisp recipes from that site. I only had this 8×8 inch glass pan so I adapted things unscientifically to fit in this smaller pan and also skimped on the sugar. Other than the slight bummer of peeling, coring, and cutting six apples, it was easy and required little active time (has to bake for a while but that doesn’t count). As for the taste, I am impressed. Robbie the dessert-snubber had seconds.

    Yummy oat and brown sugar topping.

    You can see the juicy apple slices on the inside.

    It’s a struggle getting it onto the plate in one piece but it’s delicious once it gets there.


  8. Crystal River, FL

    September 6, 2012 by Angie

    Last weekend we took a short trip to Crystal River, FL with my parents for Labor Day weekend. They rented a cute two bedroom house on Kings Bay with a floating dock in the backyard. Here’s a photo of the sunset from the lawn.

    Crystal River is a seafood/boating/fishing kind of a town so Robbie and I were a little worried we would be subsisting on the protein bars we packed. I’m happy to report we were pleasantly surprised by two restaurants. For dinner on the first night we went to Rocco’s Italian Cafe. All four of us loved our entrees and were really impressed with the number of vegetarian options. The eggplant rollatini I had was fantastic. Robbie had the lasagna and my mom got the penne rustiche. It’s a really cute place with fancy desserts and a nice staff. For lunch on the second day we went to Thai Phoon. They offer a lot of vegan and vegetarian dishes with tofu. I got my favorite sweet and sour tofu and it was quite lovely with plenty of tofu.

    Sweet and sour tofu at Thai Phoon

    After dinner on the first night we happened upon a car show. Dad seriously considered buying this old Porsche. Lots of cool old cars there – Dad and Robbie were most excited about the red Triumph TR8 which, thankfully, was not for sale.

    Dad considers a new, old car.

    Our main outing was on the second day to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. We took a twenty minute pontoon boat ride to the main park where there are lots of Florida animals to see.

    Go Gators.

    A regal turkey.

    I was too scared to pet this little guy.

    There was a serious boat party complete with very loud country music happening just past the park area.

    The four manatees the park staff are rehabilitating are definitely the highlight.  We went to the last manatee show of the day where the manatees swam over to the spring to eat their lettuce dinner. The park has a floating, underwater room you can go in to look out at the spring and the manatees. It’s fun to watch them swim around the room checking out all the people inside.