23 July 2014

Oh. my.

This is the best idea ever and I want these so badly! An ice cream sandwich made from tradional Italian pizzelles waffle cookies. They look amazing!

And so begins my new obsession... hunting down a vegan version of these fabulous cookies. Any leads or ideas?  I guess I could always MAKE them myself since I'm pretty sure that someone in my family has a pizzelle maker!

Has anyone ever tasted pizzelles? Or made them from scratch (vegan or not)?






18 July 2014

Apple Pie Fritters!

I frittered some things today!

I haven't deep fried a single thing in way too long and I figured it was finally time to do something about it. So this morning I went out to buy some apples so that I could whip up a cinnamon infused batter to fry! Verdict? Delicious! Crispy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside! But the real amazing part about these apple pie fritters is that they're really quick and easy to make since there's no yeast involved. Only baking powder! So they're a little caky-er than your typical, run of the mill apple fritter, but I'm totally okay with that! :)

Here's a recipe so that you can go and make these now!

Combine the following ingredients in  a large bowl and mix until just combined.
- 140g organic all purpose flour
- 60g cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup coconut milk beverage, or any non dairy milk
- 1/4 cup plain cultured coconut milk, or use plain soy or almond yogurt 
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 small, peeled and chopped apples
- some kind of light oil like canola or safflower, enough for frying

Directions: Drop spoonfuls of batter into 350F oil and fry for about 5 minutes or until browned! Fry time will depend on the size of your fritters. While fritters are still warm, drench in icing sugar glaze made of icing sugar and coconut milk! Yum!






12 July 2014

Cheez!

I told you that I would post about vegan cheese! So that's finally what I am doing. This here Cheddar and Chive raw vegan nut cheese is approximately my 4th attempt in 4 years at making vegan cheese because every single attempt has just been so disappointing! Until now!

This beauty is made of cashews, nooch, white miso, sea salt, water, probiotic powder, refined coconut oil and chives! It is so close to being perfect! Can't wait to give it another go!







Yumzo!!!


Nutter Butters!



Crispy edges, chewy centers. The perfect cookie, am I right?
These are so peanuty, they're nuts!
I added in some chocolate chunks, but they're not even necessary. But obviously recommended.
Got this recipe from one of my fave books: Ms Cupcake! Can't wait to try their apple fritter recipe! And that's saying a lot since I despite deep frying!!

Here y'all go with the recipe!

In a large, bowl, cream the following ingredients together using an electric mixer. The batter will turn a lighter shade of brown and will be a little fluffy. This should only take 1-2 minutes.
- 270 g crunchy peanut butter (salted)
- 125 g vegan butter (I like the vegan Becel brand)
- 130 g pure maple syrup
- 80 g cane sugar
- 60 g brown sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch baking soda
- pinch of salt only if your PB is unsalted

Put down the mixer and gently fold in about 2 cups (240 g) of all purpose flour in 3 separate batches using a strong spatula. The batter will be a little sticky. Mix in a generous handful of peanuts and chocolate chunks.

Scoop about 15 large balls of dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Lightly flatten each one with the tins of a nice fork, forming a decorative criss-cross pattern.
Bake cookies at 325 degrees F for about ten minutes or until edges or golden brown. Cool before eating or else they will crumble! Or maybe you don't care so much about that- I don't! Hehe Have a nice day and enjoy your cookies!

25 March 2014

Rejuvelac Beginnings.

Check out how to make your very own Rejuvelac. A fermented, probiotic-rich drink made from sprouted grains!

Cover 1/2 cup of wheat berries in filtered water and allow to soak overnight. I chose to use wheat berries, but feel free to try quinoa, buckwheat, rye berries, etc. Just don't use rice.

Sprouting time! To sprout the berries, strain and rinse the wheat berries and add just enough fresh water to keep the berries moist. Rinse and strain the berries a few times a day until they sprout. Sprouting time greatly depends on the grain you choose to use, the season and temperature of your room. My wheat berries sprouted in 3 days. You'll know when they're ready once they sprout a little tail about half the length of the grain.

Strain, rinse and transfer the berries to a very clean 1L Mason jar. Fill the jar to the top with filtered water and cover with a clean towel or a couple layers of cheesecloth. Allow the soon-to-be rejuvelac to ferment at room temperature for about 2-3 days depending on how tangy you want it. Make sure to keep your jar away from any direct sunlight. Give it a good stir with a clean spoon once a day. The water will gradually become cloudy and will taste fresh, lemony and fermented when ready. This water can now be called rejuvelac!

Strain out the wheat berries and keep the liquid! You can reuse the berries for another batch of rejuvelac if you want. It will only need to be fermented for 1-2 days this time around.

The rejuvelac can be refrigerated for up to a week.

I've read about crushing the sprouted berries before fermenting them which sounds really interesting! I think I will try that method next time. Also, instead of using water as the fermenting liquid, try using soy milk, coconut milk or fresh almond milk. The resulting milk will be nice and thick, almost like a cream.

Check out these pics of my process!



Soaked wheat berries.

Sprouting the berries.

Sprouting the berries.

Still sprouting the berries.

These sprouted berries are ready to go!

Day 1 of fermentation.
Day 2 of fermentation.
Day 3 of fermentation. Ready!



Smoothie Life

A new fave smoothie (not Pepto..) : Strawberry Cream & Basil! This was inspired by a cherished NYC falafel shop that I went to way back in 2006 or 2007.



Throw the following into the Vita-Mix or some other kind of blender and blend, blend blend! For about 1-3 minute :
300g strawberries, partially frozen
About 1 cup of homemade almond milk* or however much you need to get the blender going
Coconut cream or butter** (I made my own!)
1 large medjool date
1 Tbsp white chia seeds
5 fresh basil leaves

*How to make homemade almond milk:
-Cover raw almonds with water and allow to sit overnight or at least for a couple of hours.
-Drain, rinse and peel or don't peel the almonds.
-Add almonds to Vita-Mix and add just enough water to achieve a milk-y consistency. Blend until super smooth.
-Pour the liquid through cheese cloth, sieve or a nut milk bag if you have one! Squeeze the pulp to extract as much milk as possible. Store in a jar in the fridge for 5-6 days.
-Once pulp is strained out, you can return the milk to the blender and sweeten it with a date or 2, agave, maple or sugar. You can also add a pinch of salt or a couple drops of vanilla! Or any flavorings for that matter! Go nuts! haha..

**How to make homemade coconut butter:
-Choose the best quality/best tasting untoasted shredded coconut. You"ll need to use at least 1 cup to get the best results..
-Add the coconut to the Vita-Mix with just enough liquid of your choice (water, rice milk, etc) to get the blender going. Try to add as little liquid as possible to end up with a really thick butter.
-Blend for at least 5 minutes or until completely smooth.
-Pour into a jar and refrigerate for up to a week, or maybe longer. Mine hasn't lasted long enough for me know! FYI, once the coconut butter has been chilled for a couple of hours it will firm up significantly.
-You can use this cream in smoothies (obviously), soups, curries, on toast, etc. Yum!

Enjoy your life!

04 March 2014

This and that from back in time. And seitan!


From now on, my rare blog posts will force you to scroll on for ages.  Sarry!

Christmas chestnuts that I ate a Christmas time.

Donut cake. GF.
Moldy lemon juice. ew.
Chlorophyllic H2O

Croissant looking pastries. Apricot and Raspberry.
Recipe here.
Ferrero style somethings.


Annnnnnndddd, a recipe. Just because! I've really been into seitan lately. Wheat meat. Pure, delicious gluten. My body pretty much hates it, but I don't really care.

Here's a basic recipe for simple tasting wheat chunks.

Seitan- 2 ways!
1 cup vital wheat gluten (Bob's Red Mill is available in most health food stores)
5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 cup water
4 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari (full sodium)
1 Tbsp ketchup and or mustard
1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp fennel seeds

The simmering broth :
5 cups water 
Salt, garlic powder, black pepper, Bay leaves, thyme, etc. Basically enough spices to make a yummy, salty tasting broth. Or just use 5 cups of veggie broth.

Directions:
In a covered medium sized pot, bring spices and water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove lid from pot and reduce heat so that the water is at a simmer. This is important because you don't want to boil the seitan, you just want to simmer it so that you don't end up with water logged gluten balls. Now prepare the seitan!

Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Knead the dough with your hands for about 4 minutes or until the gluten turns very elastic and spongy. Divide the dough into 4 or however many portions you desire. Knead each portion a little more and form into semi-falt, smooth disks. Drop them into the simmering water and set a timer for 40 minutes! Keep an eye on the water to make sure it doesn't ever boil. Once it's done, let the seitan cool in the broth and refrigerate once cool enough. It will keep this way for about a week. Or you can use it while it's still hot.

I usually slice up the seitan balls into thin strips and fry them up in a littleuntoasted sesame oil with garlic, allspice, nutritional yeast, green onions and sesame seeds until crispy! e and repeat with left over seitan. If you haven't already cooked it all at this point, just store in the fridge in its broth. It should keep for about a week!

Another option is to bake the seitan instead of simmering it! Baking seitan gives it a firmer texture, kind of like pepperoni. To do this, prepare the seitan as you normally would. But instead of preparing the broth and simmering it, wrap it up in a layer of parchment paper and foil and form it into a log shape. Roll the seitan up in the papers and twist the ends to hold in the dough. Careful not to wrap it up too tightly though, the seitan will expand as it bakes.

Bake the log in a preheated, 350 degrees F oven for about 40 minutes. Remove log from the oven and remove the foil and parchment paper. Slice and enjoy the seitan as is, or slice up and fry up! Check out these pics of my seitan making :







PS: Next post will probably be about cheez.



16 November 2013

Good Saturday morning, all!

I finally received the new Ms. Cupcake (hardcover!) cookbook in the mail all the way from England!




And it's just been sitting on my coffee table for a couple of weeks... Tragic! And unlike me.

I've been following this British, retro, vegan bakery on Instagram for the last while and their photos have been so inspiring! And so far... with one recipe tested... I have not been let down! It just makes me want to visit the actual shop even more than I thought I did!

So, as I was saying... this lovely book has just been lying around for a while now.  I've definitely been thinking and planning on cracking it open to bake up something magical... like their delicious looking lemon curd slices, custard nanaimo bars, jaffa cakes, jammy dodgers, bakewell tart cupcakes, blah blah blah, you get the picture!  But it's just been a little difficult for this baker to bake on her (very limited!) time off! These days, it's pretty much the last thing on my mind. Sore wrists and all...

But turns out this morning was the perfect time! I'm running a little low on exciting ingredients at the moment, so I made basic chocolate chip cookies! They've got a nice crisp exterior and a chewy centre. I like my cookies to be a little on the flatter/crispier side so I flattened them more than was instructed in the book's directions. They also had a great flavor thanks to the abundance of vanilla and use of brown sugar!  Judging by this recipe... the rest of the recipes are sure to be equally outstanding! If you can nail a super basic recipe like classic choc chip cookies, then you can do anything! Good job Ms. Cupcake! :)




Here's the recipe if you want to give it a try for yourself

Ms. Cupcake's Chocolate Chip Cookiesmakes 16 large cookies

1 Tbsp egg replacer powder, I like Ener-G brand
3 Tbsp lukewarm water

150g non dairy butter, room temperature
75g vegetable shortening, room temperature
150g cane sugar, or use white sugar
170g light brown sugar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

300g all purpose flour, I like La Milanaise organic all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
100-150g dark chocolate chips or chunks, I like minimal chocolate chips in my cookies :)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg replacer powder and the water until frothy and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, using electric beaters, to cream the butter, shortening, sugars and vanilla until combined.
To this creamed mixture, add the egg mix to the mixing bowl along with the flour, baking powder, baking soda and chocolate chips.
Stir to combine using either a spatula or a electric beaters.
You should have a nice soft, play dough textured dough! Feel free to taste test since it's egg free! Yummy!
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop 16 balls of cookie dough onto 2 separate cookie sheets. Flatten to half an inch if you want flatter, crisper cookies, or barely flatten at all if you prefer plumper, chewier cookies.
Bake for 12 minutes or until slightly golden. If you bake until they are darker brown, they will be very crispy once cooled.
It's up to you! :)






08 March 2013

Soft Pretzel Making Day is Today!

Hey y'all! Today I made pretzels. Soft, chewy, salty, delicious pretzels! Partly because I had never made them myself before, but mostly because of this guy :


Yep, he's pretty attractive. I took pictures along the way to show you the important steps in pretzel making.
Here ya go!


Steps in Pretzel Making

Melt the butter.



Combine warm water, salt, sugar, yeast, butter and flour to create a beautiful dough. Let it rise for an hour or so.



Punch it down to let out some of the air. It's fun. Check out my fist print!


Cut it into 8 equal (ish) portions using a metal bench scraper.



Roll each portion into a long rope. Like a snake.



 Shape rope into a pretzel shape. Like this :



Drop pretzels into a boiling baking soda water (or beer!!) solution and boil for 40 seconds or so. The alkaline baking soda is what gives pretzels their characteristic flavor. It also helps to give them a head start in puffing up before baking them in the oven and gives them a nice exterior crust.



Place boiled pretzel dough onto a lined baking sheet and paint generously with melted butter (optional), sprinkle with lots of coarse sea salt and sesame seed.



Bake at 450F for about 12 minutes!

The pretzels in the first picture were not brushed with melted butter. They're lighter in colour and had a softer crust. The pretzels in the second photo were brushed with lots of butter and are a much more appealing shade of brown! I love how they are cracked on the surface. So beautiful! So, to conclude, butter is better!





And that's it! So simple and delicious. Don't forget the yellow mustard!
Oh, and they freeze super well!



01 February 2013

Savory Scones!





These are wonderfully flaky and buttery! And so easy to make too. Try adding in some olives or hot peppers. The recipe makes 16 scones. They freeze really well but if you don't feel up to making so many scones, you can easily half the recipe.



Ingredients
800g (~5 cups) organic all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
1.5 tsp sea salt
1 1/3 cup diced, chilled Earth Balance buttery sticks
2 ½ cups original So Delicious coconut milk, very cold
45g (~1 cup packed) fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
160g sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (scissors work great!) 

 
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, scale the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
 Toss in the chilled butter cubes and refrigerate.
Prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Once everything is ready, cut the butter into the flour mix until pea sized using a pastry cutter or a fork.
Pour the chilled milk into the dry mix and combine using your hands, being careful not too overmix batter.
Once all of the flour is close to being incorporated, fold in the basil and tomatoes and form into a large, shaggy ball.
Divide into 2 balls and flatten each one into a disk shape. Fold it over onto itself a few times, this will create flaky layers. Shape into disks once again. 

Cut each disk into 8 triangles and immediately transfer to 2 baking sheets.
Brush lightly with original coconut milk and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until bottoms are browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the scones comes out clean.

Enjoy! :)