Tuesday, November 27, 2007
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):
(Tasty. But brown.)
Thursday, November 22, 2007
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!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
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.
My favorite way to eat these is with a sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.
1/2 tsp baking soda
Sunday, November 18, 2007
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
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!
...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.)
Friday, November 16, 2007
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!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
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.
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.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
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!
Monday, November 12, 2007
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! )
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/8th tsp yeast
Mix all ingredients and let them sit at room temperature for 6 hours. The mixture should be bubbly and have expanded somewhat.
approx. 2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
6 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
scant 1 cup lukewarm water
2 tbsp margerine, cut into small pieces
4 oz. 70% chocolate, chopped
optional: 1/2 cup dried cranberries or diced dried apricots
turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top of the bread
Dissolve 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 the bread out of the pan, and put it on a wire rack; let cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic and store up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month
Saturday, November 10, 2007
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.
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'.)
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
When I was younger and people would invite my family over for dinner, it felt like we always had the same thing to eat: spaghetti with marinara sauce (from a jar), green salad with Italian dressing (from a bottle), and garlic bread (with garlic powder and Kraft parmesan cheese). Now, of course it was lovely to be invited over to dinner, and of course we're very lucky to have food at all, so I'm really not complaining about that, but....well, you catch my drift. We've all experienced foods we're not so fond of, right?
Anyway, maybe because of this, I don't make garlic bread very often. I love bread and I like garlic, so this is the only explanation I can thing of.
Now, forget about this horrible excuse for garlic bread. Imagine a tender, homemade white bread, spread with a butter flavored with fresh herbs and garlic. Imagine that the bread is folded around this butter to create flaky, flavorful layers. Now we're talking.
I've been eyeing this recipe for a while, and today I ran out of bread and had all the ingredients to make this garlic bread. And boy am I glad that I did! You should make this right now, it's that good. Thanks, Fanny! (By the way, check out her website...Fanny aspires to be a pastry chef, and you can tell that she's well on her way by the wonderful creations she produces!)
I hardly changed the recipe, but I'll post it here with grams converted into cups since most American kitchens don't have a scale.
Small Garlic and Parsley Breads (makes 4 petite, individually-sized breads)
1 1/4 tsp dry yeast or 7 g fresh yeast
1 cup warm water
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
herbed "butter" (below)
Mix the yeast with the water and the sugar, and let it sit for a few minutes. The top should be foamy. Whisk the flour and salt together in a mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture and knead for 10 minutes, until you have a smooth, firm dough. Cover with a cloth and let rise for 1.5 hours. When the dough has risen, gently deflate it and divide it into 4 portions. Proceed with rolling and folding as outlined here.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Let the breads rise for 45 minutes, then bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.
1 bunch parsley, minced (or a mix of herbs)
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp margerine, softened
Mix all ingredients together.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Ok, boring post, I know. I'll be back tomorrow, though!
Monday, November 5, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Anyway, banana-coconut bread it was. With a hint of rum and a crackly demerara sugar crust. Yum.
Banana-Coconut Bread (makes 1 loaf)
adapted from HomeBaking: the Artful Mix of Flour and Traditions from Around the World
3 large, over-ripe bananas
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
4 ounces margerine, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp vinegar (I used apple cider)
2 tbsp dark rum
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
demerara or other coarse, raw sugar for sprinkling on top
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. and butter a loaf pan. Whisk the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, cream the "butter" and sugar for several minutes. Add the rum and vinegar and mix for another minute. Starting with the banana mixture, add the banana and flour mixtures alternately, about a cup at a time. Do not over mix. When the last cup of flour is barely incorporated, use a spatula to fold the coconut in using several swift strokes. Scrape the thick batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle the top generously and evenly with the demerara sugar.
Bake for 50-65 minutes, until the top is golden and a tooth pick comes out cleanly. A 9x5 loaf pan will take less time to bake than an 8x4 pan.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Every day for a the month of November I'm going to write a post a day about something related to food as part of the Vegan Month of Food project. Ok, I'm starting 3 days late, but do we really have to talk about that?Anyway, for my first post I give you chewy double-chocolate cookies. These were really chewey, really chocolatey, and really, really good. I'm not going to tell you how many I ate tonight. Ok, four. And two at breakfast. But we don't have to talk about that either, do we?
The recipe is from Orangette. I made the obvious substitutions: margerine for butter and plain soy yogurt for the dairy yogurt. And I used 1/2 a cup of white sugar instead of 2/3rds, but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly.