I want to apologize for my long absence. Not only have we been having some web server problems, but the shortened days have made it very difficult for me to take pictures, since my sub-par camera means I need the sunlight. Rest assured, I have been eating well, and on the occasion of my birthday, decided it was time to get back in gear.
I made several dishes for a potluck Thanksgiving dinner I attended, including a pumpkin pie with assorted goodies. Having decided that coconut milk would be just right, I was going to improvise my own recipe when someone posted one from The Savvy Vegetarian that was just like what I had in mind, so I went ahead and used that one. Then I roasted the pumpkin seeds (sweetly this time) with the idea that they might make a good topping. The next day, having chilled the pie sufficiently, I considered how nice a whipped topping would be, so I used the leftover tofu and coconut milk to attempt one, but while it would have likely been perfect out of a whip-it (and was quite delicious), it was too thin on its own. I thickened it a bit with some tapioca before deciding to just call it a sauce. It worked wonderfully on the pie as well as on the apple crisp I’d also made.
Yay for experimentation! Click through for the many recipes.
Continue reading “Pumpkin Pie (with Maple Vanilla Sauce and Maple Spiced Pumpkin Seeds)”
I figured I’d try making ciabatta (ie, Italian slipper bread, as it looks kinda like a man’s slipper) because it’s gotten so trendy in the past few years and there was a recipe in my bread book. The ciabatta process is quite different from other breads. It requires a starter begun the night before and the dough is so wet, it is never actually kneaded. It remains wet and gooey until baking, in fact, but once out of the oven, this was one of the best breads I’ve ever eaten. My roommate and I would have finished both loaves within hours of baking if I hadn’t put my foot down to insist we save some for later.
The important points to keep in mind when making this bread are avoid adding extra flour to the dough and handle it with a very light touch after rising. Extra flour is very tempting because the dough is so hard to work with, but really, don’t do it except for when you need it to shape the loaves. After rising, do not punch down and be very gentle while shaping. Also, you really can’t use too much flour for the shaping process. If you have silicone baking mats (sadly, I do not), this would be a very good time to use them.
Continue reading “Ciabatta”
One day last week, I decided I wanted a sandwich, because I like eating sandwiches sometimes. But I had no bread in the house with which to make it, so I went to the market… to buy flour. I’d run out of whole wheat flour, y’see, and I don’t like to use all-white for my sandwiches. I returned home and got things going. During the rise, I ate some peanut butter out of the jar. That evening, a friend of my roommate’s came over and cooked dinner, so by the time the bread was done, I’d been fed. But I did have a very yummy sandwich the next day, anyway. (The final irony was that after I finished baking, I realized that I did, in fact, already have bread in the freezer.)
This was actually my first time baking bread in a loaf pan, and the lesson learned was to grease more thoroughly next time (or acquire a non-stick or silicone pan). I couldn’t find a recipe that sounded just right, so I mixed some up, based largely on the pain ordinaire (fancy-speak for basic bread) in Ultimate Bread. I think I slightly overbaked, but the long process of getting it out of the dang pan may have been a factor there, too. Although I called this whole wheat, like most whole wheat breads, there is still a fair bit of white flour. After a few days, I did what I always do with my sandwich bread and froze the remainder in slices. It toasts up beautifully from the freezer.
Continue reading “Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread”
Beware these cookies: they can be dangerous! Chewy, and delicious, and so rich, it’s hard to eat more than one or two at a time, but as soon as you’re able, you’ll want more. Another gem from Isa at The Post Punk Kitchen, the original calls for too much sugar (as do many of her recipes, but it’s a minor flaw that is easily corrected), but other than that, these cookies are pretty much perfect.
I have no doubt one of the keys in these in particular being so yummy is the really good Dutch process cocoa that my roomie acquired at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport during a layover. While I’m sure you could get yummy results with regular cocoa, it would throw off the acid balance and who knows what might happen.
Continue reading “Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies”
These corn muffins represent the first recipe ever I tried from the good folks at The Post Punk Kitchen. Isa’s recipe is fabulous, though too sweet for my tastes so I cut down the sugar and make other minor mods like adding whole kernel corn. I like the added texture of the corn and also use it as a garnish. These are always a big hit at potluck events, so for a hot foods party, I made a spicy version with the addition of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce. Then I made a batch of each for a tasting party. The chipotle provides a nice smoky hotness that doesn’t sting, but really builds with each bite. Mini-muffins, which are wonderful in any context, are especially nice for a potluck when a full-sized muffin might be more than one person wants to eat. But everyone can eat a mini!
Continue reading “Mini Corn Muffins”
Last weekend, my friend John gave me some peaches out of the bushel or so he’d picked from a friend’s trees. The were quite delicious, but too many to eat before they turned (especially with more peaches coming in my farm share). Being a traditional Southern gal, my thoughts immediately went to peach cobbler. Okay, that’s a lie, but I do sometimes out a jaunty twang in my voice.
I’d made a delicious (backyard) blackberry cobbler a couple of weeks prior with a recipe I found online, so I modified it a bit for the peaches. It turned out delicious. I’ve made many many pies in my time, but I’ve also become quite a fan of cobblers (and crisps) for their fruity yumminess with much less effort. Watching the batter rise up through the fruit is a lot of fun, too. The result is a very light cake-like concoction spread through with peachy yumminess.
Continue reading “Peach Cobbler”
On a beautiful summer day, I wanted some freshly baked bread so decided it was time to take my first shot at focaccia. I searched many recipes and ended up combining aspects of several of them. The result was not quite the texture I was aiming for, but it was still light, flavorful, and delicious. I incorporated rosemary from my home garden (the top of the plant is visible to the right of the olive oil) in the dough as well as on top and also topped it with onions made from my farm share caramelized with some maple syrup and red wine.
Continue reading “Rosemary & Caramelized Onion Focaccia”
As we take over the world, one cupcake at a time…
Even though I’d recently acquired Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, I didn’t have it handy when I started baking so the body of these is standard “Wacky Cake”. By the time they were in the oven, I was able to ponder my frosting option and chose Peanut Buttercream, but I’d made a double batch of cupcakes and only a single of frosting so I didn’t have enough to pipe. I added the streaks of chocolate syrup and the peanuts for visual interest, since the frosting was a fairly bland color, and I also like when a garnish reflects what’s inside.
The cupcakes were delicious, and the peanut butter and chocolate definitely worked well together (to nobody’s surprise). Next time, I’ll do a lot more frosting and use it to fill the cakes.
Continue reading “Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes”