Saturday, December 10, 2011

Late Night Post after a Long Day!

I'll be brief since it's been a very long day!!! I took the time this afternoon to finally help my mom declutter her storage space. What I thought might take weeks ended up only taking three solid hours which was a bonus. I'm glad to be done for sure!

For supper tonight we had Curry Seitan Jamaican Patties which is another test recipe for Terry Hope Romero. They were soooo tasty! I have been strangely craving tourtiere and these, although differently spiced, hit the spot. The pastry is flaky, tender and flavourful. The filling was a bit hot but in the tasty way and it was perfectly spiced with the home made Jamaican Curry Powder (another test recipe). The recipe is great because you can do parts of it ahead of time and then assemble them when you are ready to eat. My pictures are less than stellar but I'm still sharing them anyways. I have yet to manage to capture the filling of a patty like this in a picture, they always seem to come out blurry! Ah well, they tasted fantastic and are definitely something I will make again!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Soy Curl Carnitas with PPK Cashew Queso

I have been a bad blogger and a bad tester lately and I want to apologize. I have been up to my ears with household responsibilities and Christmas to-do's that I have gotten a little behind for sure! I have even been finding it hard to get my butt in gear to make supper lately especially with my self-induced gluten strike for the past two weeks (trying to see if an intolerance was causing my headaches but nope). I really gotta tip my hat to anyone that is gluten free. It is tricky and not eating it for even just 12 3/4 days was really trying. I never knew what to make and while at first it felt like breakfast was the hardest to degluten, it turns out lunch was my sticking point since I usually have a sandwich. I did end up giving into the gluten since I was still having the same headaches during my gluten fast but I will say we had some seriously delicious meals without it so from now on I won't rely so much on the old standards.

One supper we had that really stood out was Soy Curl Carnitas that we topped with PPK's Cashew Queso. It was sooo yummy! I had bought a pouch of Frontera Grill Garlicky Carnita Skillet Sauce a while back at Grace in the Kitchen but hadn't had the chance to use it yet. Please ignore the pork on the package or you could do what my son does and just make everything vegan by simply saying it is.

I was thinking about what it would work on and landed on soy curls. I rehydrated them in some hot water, squeezed them out and put them in a container. I covered them in the skillet sauce and tossed it around so they got all covered. Then I stuck them in the fridge overnight to marinate. The next night at supper time I just tossed them into a lightly oiled, hot skillet with a chopped onion and pan fried them until they were golden and a bit caramelized. I served them on a bed of basmati rice with the queso poured over top and a side of guacamole and it was perfect! I kept saying as we ate "these would make great..." and listed off pretty much anything I could think of like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and then landed on fajitas. They would make good anything really and that queso is the stuff dreams are made of. It is so rich and creamy and just the right amount of spicy and so flavourful. It makes a bunch too which is great because you are going to want a bunch of it. We had it after on nachos and just as a dip. It says serve warm but I was dipping tortilla chips in it cold and it still tasted amazing. I think it might be Ryan's favourite thing I've ever made. He was big into his queso before so he was very happy to be reunited. We both made sure that not a drop was wasted for sure with this one! It will definitely get made again and again especially over the holidays. Now I just have to restock on soy curls and skillet sauce.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Food Network Friday: Bacon Corn Muffins with Savoury Cream Cheese Frosting

This Food Network Friday totally snuck up on me! The break through MoFo might be to blame but once I saw it, I was in! Now usually I do all kinds of crazy impersonations for these Food Network Friday posts but this time I got nothing...sorry! I don't think I've ever seen an episode of What Would Brian Boitano Make? and I'm not sure it airs up here in Canada to be honest. I did try my best to find some clips or something but YouTube failed me big time and only had a few small clips that didn't really give me the feel of the show. Next time, I promise!

The recipe this time was Bacon Corn Muffins with Savoury Cream Cheese Frosting and I will admit to being turned off by the idea of savoury frosting right off the bat. I think it was that it was called frosting more than anything to be honest...ah semantics! Anyways, I dove in head first and went for this one despite my hang ups. I have been trying a gluten free thing for the past week and a bit too so I made them as gluten free as I know how to. I have very little experience with gluten free baking but I really wanted to take part so I put my thinking cap on. The recipe uses a mix of cornmeal and all purpose flour so I decided to use corn flour in place of the all purpose. I added a bit of potato flakes and xantham gum as well for good measure since I've heard good things about both in gluten free baking. These muffins have bacon in them and on top for garnish and I decided to go with crumbled tempeh bacon since it is my new favourite thing (thanks to Tami and Celine's upcoming sandwich cookbook, Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!) and it really did do the trick. The muffins came out pretty good and held up well too. They were slightly acidic but I think that was my fault since I added some apple cider vinegar to my soy milk. I would skip that next time. The frosting was a mix of Tofutti Cream Cheese, Tabasco, minced chives and agave nectar and I wasn't a big fan. It was better on the muffins but still wasn't my thing. I would prefer the muffin straight up and maybe mix the chives into the muffin itself next time. But I will say that they looked pretty impressive with the frosting, tempeh bacon and chives all garnishing the tops.

No recipe this time sorry! I was throwing in dashes of this and pinches of that and totally forgot to write it all down. I can tell you that I subbed the egg in the recipe with 1/4 cup of Tofutti Sour Cream, I used 4 tbsp of olive oil instead of melted butter and bacon fat, I used 2 tbsp potato flakes and 1/2 tsp xantham gum, I subbed the corn flour for the all purpose in equal measure and I added a 1/4 cup of tempeh bacon crumbles to the mix. Anything else in the recipe I used the measurements specified and followed the instructions/temperatures as well.

Check out Tami's blog to see what everyone else did with this recipe and sneak a peek at some of the sandwiches from Tami and Celine's sandwich book since Tami just posted some sneak peek pictures yesterday! And just to note...I tried all three of the sandwiches pictured and they were all fricken fantastic! Also, check out their newest venture, Vegan Muffins on the Move if you love muffins and really, who doesn't?!?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Vegan Muffin Love

Two of my favourite people have come together on a new project that I absolutely love! Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes not only paired up to write the tastiest (upcoming) vegan sandwich cookbook, they also decided to start up a new blogsite dedicated to Vegan Baketavism, called Vegan Muffins On The Move. Now, I can't say I'm sure that's a real word but I'm making it one now. They took this idea and invited Lisa and Gabrielle from Vegans On The Move to join in with them which makes it even better! This new blogsite encourages all of us to get baking, particularly muffins and share them with the world. I love this idea of sharing something vegan but less intimidating and showing everyone that vegan doesn't mean cardboard or tasteless. They are sharing recipes once a month to give you the motivation and hoping you will join in and share the vegan muffin deliciousness. The first recipe posted for Cinnacrunch Muffins is from Tamasin's book, American Vegan Kitchen. I have this book but will admit with testing my cookbooks can get ignored from time to time. I had never made these muffins but in the past month, I've made them twice...they're that good! I sent (most) of my first batch off with Ryan to work to share with his co-workers and everyone loved them. The next batch I made I didn't have the applesauce needed on hand but I did have some pumpkin so I just switcherooed it and they were delicious. The second batch I dropped off at a local charity bake sale/bazaar that was in support of a local animal rescue. Definitely check out this new site and get baking, show the world what vegan baking can taste like and share your experience with vegan living with someone else. And I totally can't wait to see what the next recipe will be!

All packed up, getting ready to shine for Ryan's co-workers!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

More Crafty Treats from Testing for Joni

Here are a few more projects I have made for Joni Marie Newman's upcoming crafty vegan book.

A fold your own Truffle Box

Opened up but no treats yet!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls have found their home!
(These were a big hit and super easy to make!)

Reusable Felt (100% Recycled Plastic bottle felt) Gift Bag 
hanging out with my Candied Citrus Peels
(which are now my making supper snacks)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Food Network Friday: Turkey Pot Pie By Paula Deen

Hey Y'all! It's time for another Food Network Friday Cookalong and this time 'round, we're gonna make the most incredible Turkey Pot Pie but with a little twist. Now Paula Deen has a bit of a reputation for her less than healthy cooking with a little extra butter y'all but this Pot Pie is completely vegan so it has to be healthier even without running the nutritional info! The original recipe is a little crazy and tries to use up leftovers from Thanksgiving but this one you can make anytime. If you clicked to see the recipe you would have seen two cans of condensed Cheddar cheese soup in that list and I gotta tell y'all, I never heard of that before in my life! I used to be a serious cheese eater but I never hit the can for a fix that's for sure. In place of all that cream condensed soup I decided to make a herbed cheezy gravy for my pot pie using good ol' nooch and miso paste to add a little zing y'all (who's tired of y'all by now??). I also went right ahead and skipped the turkey or any sorta vegan substitute and just went straight vegetable on this pie (I was thinking soy curls but I wanted my mom to eat so I skipped them). But then came the top of it y'all and I didn't know what to do. Now I know there are a few supermarket brands of puff pastry that are vegan y'all but they also come with that "may contain milk ingredients" warning which doesn't fly in our house since we have allergies to think about as well. I didn't know what I was going to do so I thought real hard and wondered, "What would Paula Deen do?" and it came to me! A tater tot crust was the answer to all my questions (well at least that one) since Paula always loves a little fried something in her food. I have to say this version is super creamy and rich and I wasn't missin' anything y'all! Next time you have a craving for a little taste of Pot Pie, maybe you'll give this Tater Topped Veggie Pie a try!

Don't forget to check in with Tami to see what everyone else did with this recipe!

That corner bite was the one Ryan and I almost fought for...
Good thing the pan has four corners!

Tater Topped Veggie Pot Pie
Inspired by Paula Deen's Turkey Pot Pie

4 cups soy milk
2 tbps nutritional yeast
2 tbsp yellow miso paste
1 tsp ume plum vinegar
2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp rubbed sage
1/4 tsp poulty seasoning
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2-1 tsp salt, depending on your taste
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder

1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 1/2 onions, finely diced
3/4 cup all purpose flour

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 small head of cauliflower, diced
1 cup frozen peas
1 bag of tater tots (I used McCain's Tasty Taters), you might not need a whole bag but you wanna make sure you have enough

1. Start by prepping all your veggies and set them aside so they are ready when you need them. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Next, mix soy milk, nutritional yeast, miso paste, ume plum vinegar, vegetable bouillon powder and the rest of the seasonings/spices in a blender until well combined. Set aside.

3. In a large, heavy bottomed soup pot, melt the margarine over medium heat. Add the finely diced onion and cook stirring occasionally until they are softened, about 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle the flour into the pot and stir with a wooden spoon. The flour will absorb all of the margarine and it will look like a paste. Stir this around in the pot until it is light golden brown. Switch to a whisk and slowly add the soy milk mixture from the blender into the pot while constantly whisking. I made a mess so you've been warned if you are messy like me it might fly out of the pot! Once all the soy milk mixture is added, just keep whisking until it just nearly comes to a boil and thickens. It is thick enough when it coats the back of a spoon and when you slide your finger down the back of the spoon it leaves a distinct line.

4. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the diced carrots, onion, cauliflower and the frozen peas. Stir to combine and put the lid on the pot. Let it cook like that for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You don't want it to boil, just gently warming the veggies.

5. After 10 minutes, pour the contents of your pot into a 11x13 glass baking dish. Cover the top with rows of tater tots. Carefully place the pan in the preheated oven and you might want to put a baking sheet on the rack below in case of drips (speaking from experience!). Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the tater tots are golden brown on the top and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool/set for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy y'all!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How do you spell yummy?

After trying these....

I spell it Okonomiyaki! Damn! This is another test recipe from Terry Hope Romero and I will flat out say I am in love with these! I had never heard of it before (I need to get out apparently!) or seen an okonomiyaki but this will definitely not be my last. It is a delicious, almost pancake made out of cabbage that has these toppings that are pressed into it and then fried in a cast iron skillet on both sides to make it all browned and scrumptious! I went for baked tofu that is slightly "ham" like, edamame and some shredded carrot to press in. The real yummy part is the Tonkatsu sauce (another test recipe from Terry) that you slather on top of the baked okonomiyaki and the mayo drizzled on top mixes with it and makes magic. Like the kind of magic that makes you crave them again later that night. Like the kind of magic that makes you want to make them once a week and you would never get sick of them. Like the kind of magic that now that I have written about them and looked drooled over these pictures, I want to make them again!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Speculoos Ice Cream

While testing for Carla Kelly I got to try out simply the best ice creams I have ever made or eaten for that matter. I keep begging her to write an all ice cream book it's that good! All ice creams I make now are based on her formula with slight variations. I didn't want to blog about them without asking Carla but she has given her blessing on it so I can share one of the variations I created using her super duper ice cream formula.

Speculoos cookies are definitely addictive. They are like plain and yet not all at the same time. I love them and so does everyone else in my house! I found four packages of them at a specialty shop here in Ottawa (Swiss Pastries in Carlingwood for the locals) and I greedily bought all four. I couldn't wait to experiment with them! I had them for a few days and all I had done with them was eat them straight up with in itself is an excellent way to do it but I wanted to incorporate them into something else. I then tried them as a graham cracker substitute in the crust to my first Vegan Pie in the Sky pie which worked pretty well but was a bit greasy since I didn't compensate for the oiliness of them when I mixed it up. Then I mixed up a batch of Brown Sugar Cinnamon ice cream (which I blogged about the other day) and served it with two cookies which worked really well together and then I realized I need to make the cookies into an ice cream. I thought about the best way to do it that night and went to work at it the next day. I used the basic formula from Carla's ice cream but incorporated broken up cookies right into the mix and made a few changes since the cookies themselves are sweetened and oily (see...lesson learned!). I mixed it in the Vitamix figuring if it could crush whole nuts into cream that the cookies would incorporate into the ice cream base just as well and it worked! I added a few things and gave it a taste and oh man! It tastes just like the cookies except better because it is smooth and rich and creamy! Like Speculoos and (non-dairy) milk. Like if Christmas were edible, it would taste like this.

Now go and find some Speculoos cookies and mix up a won't regret it!

Speculoos Ice Cream (Variation of Carla Kelly's vanilla ice cream recipe)

1 pkg Speculoos cookies (minus two cookies that you will eat while the blender is blending)
1/2 pkg extra firm boxed tofu (like Mori-Nu)
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in blender and mix on highest speed until smooth. This will work best in a Vitamix or other high speed blender. Once it is completely smooth and creamy, place in the fridge until well chilled then process according to your ice cream maker's instructions. If you have a counter top self-chilling ice cream maker (yes I am spoiled!) you can simply pour from the blender into the machine and process immediately. Store in freezer once it's done, enjoy! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chili Cheese Fries Pizza

Yeah you read that right...I said it...Chili Cheese Fries Pizza! I saw one on F*** Yeah, Vegan Pizza during Vegan MoFo and I couldn't stop thinking about it. It really was keeping me up at night since I was thinking about how good it would taste and when I should make it, you know the real hard questions.

Last night even though it was much too late to attempt such a thing I went for it. I slapped together some pizza dough (quite literally I just poured a couple of cups of flour in a bowl, proofed some yeast, added some salt and sugar, a splash of olive oil and kneaded til it looked right to which my mom rolled her eyes but it worked), Ryan quickly peeled some potatoes which I crinkle cut and I luckily had a container of homemade chili in the freezer so all I had to do was defrost it. The pizza I saw had Teese on it but that isn't something we have all the time and is something I really need to think ahead about using since I can only get it by online ordering so I decided just to make a batch of cheese sauce from Hearty Vegan again and drizzle that on top once it had baked and it was fracking amazing! The only thing I would change is that the crust was a little thick for my liking but that was the only thing and totally easy to fix. The chili and the oven fries and the cheese sauce all tasted so delicious together and since I love me some carbs the pizza crust was an excellent addition to an already tasty combination. Plus this way I ate way less fries. It will definitely get made again since both Ryan and I couldn't get enough!

Sorry for the less than stellar photos...this getting dark early thing is killing my food photography! But still don't you just wanna take a bite?!?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Vegan Molecular Egg

During MoFo I posted that I had bought a molecular gastronomy kit and on the weekend I finally got a chance to play with it! It was exciting trying something new and completely unfamiliar to me. I checked out the recipes on the DVD and the Molecular Egg definitely caught my eye. The thing I love most about molecular gastronomy is how it can be so playful and what you see isn't always what you get and this recipe was exactly that. The original recipe has milk and yogurt so I just switched it out for soy milk and So Delicious coconut yogurt (my new favourite thanks to Rainbow Foods).

Basically the "egg white" is milk mixed with agar agar which is then mixed with vanilla yogurt and then spread on the plate to resemble the white. The yolk is mango chunks mixed in a blender with a little sugar and calcium lactate. You then have to put it in a sodium alginate bath, rinse with water and presto! you have a "egg".

I gotta say the "white" was cold which is not what you are expecting obviously but it shared a similar texture that I remember from my pre-vegan egg eating days. The "yolk" was delicious since it was mango. Mac even braved a taste of my creation (muwhahahaha...evil laugh) and thought the yolk was yummy but was a little turned off by the white. He has never had egg in any form since he was diagnosed with a serious allergy to it before we even would have introduced it so it was like his first egg. He's been asking for vegan green eggs and ham since I read about someone else making that a while back so maybe this will be the way I can make it.

I definitely had fun playing around with it and can't wait to try to make the infamous foam (I might be the only one that loved Marcel on Top Chef I know). They do have recipes on the site but unfortunately not the one for the egg. Check it out if you are into this kind of stuff, they also have videos with sexy music to lure you into buying a kit...just warning you!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Oh so yummy dessert

I'll admit it...we are dessert people. There I said it! Every night after supper we have something, just a little something sweet. Sometimes it's fruit but I won't lie, most of the time its not. Popsicles and Smooze (or push pops as Mac calls them) are a favourite of Mac's. Homemade vegan ice cream is also a favourite. This morning I made Baked Oatmeal Squares by Mama Pea for does this relate to dessert you might ask? Well, it uses half a block of silken tofu I answer to that. And what else do you do with half a block of silken tofu but make homemade vegan ice cream?? Exactly (even though I'm sure there are a million other uses for it)! So today I made some Brown Sugar Cinnamon Ice Cream and served it with Speculoos cookies and oh my gosh it was a match made in my mouth. Mac saw the ice cream, picked up a spoon and asked Daddy "Can you get me a bowl for this spoon?" for which he got a bowl and a big laugh which is a big win for him. Here's a picture just so you can dream about it tonight! And yes, it is rich and creamy and sweet and short, it's delicious!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Goldilocks and the Three Phos

           Once upon a time there was a thirtysomething girl with hair of gold (actually it's more silver than gold these days) and a taste for pho. She had made some life changes and became a vegan and didn't know where to go for pho anymore. Since Goldilocks was a girl who knew what she wanted and couldn't find it, she decided to make it herself. There was only one problem, she had no idea how. 

       Then one day, a wonderful thing happened...a test recipe site came along with promises of flavours from around the world, things Goldilocks had never had before and things Goldilocks was waiting to have again. Things like Pho Noodle Soup with Bok Choy. As soon as Goldilocks spotted it she knew she wanted had to make it! She set out at once to the market and brought back all the ingredients she would need and set to work making a flavourful broth full of aromatic spices. She carefully sliced bok choy into thin shreds, picked the perfect basil and cilantro leaves and prepared rice noodles. She decided it would be even nicer to share her pho so she ladled up a bowl for her mother and husband. 

        Now there were three phos...the biggest one for Daddy, the medium sized one for Goldilocks and the smallest one was just right for Nana (who was afraid of a few of the ingredients). They sat and slurped and enjoyed the complex flavours of the broth mixed with tasty bites of baked tofu and a little oomph from a squeeze of fresh lime juice. They even attempted to eat it using chopsticks, only occasionally opting for a spoon. Goldilocks definitely enjoyed her bowl of pho and so did the others and they lived happily ever after from that day on knowing they could have pho now whenever they wanted thanks to Terry Hope Romero!

The End

P.S. I know that was crazy cheezy but how could I resist looking at those bowls, right?!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Supper Tonight - Test Recipes for Terry Hope Romero

Tonight I made three different recipes from Terry Hope Romero's test recipes for her upcoming book full of International recipes. I made a batch of preserved lemons (another test recipe) which required waiting two weeks and today was the day so I couldn't wait to break into them to make Braised Tempeh with Preserved Lemons and Green Olives. I saw that SaraJane over at Vegan Chicks Rock had tested this one already and served it with another of Terry's recipes, Fluffy Spiced Couscous. Her pictures and description convinced me this was the way to go so I made that as well. And apparently I was feeling fancy because I made Kale Salad with Preserved Lemon and Pomegranate as a starter (on a weekday no less!).

All three were so delicious and it was all tied together by the preserved lemons which are my new favourite thing! The salad was tart and crisp and I loved the pomegranate in it with their little bursts of tart juice that paired really well with everything else in the salad. The tempeh and couscous made for a delicious supper. I actually don't usually like green olives but in this dish they really worked and I actually found myself trying to find one for each bite. The tempeh was juicy and the sauce was citrusy and spiced. Again the preserved lemon was in this dish and it really made it something different than anything I've had before. It was all so healthy too but didn't taste like it, if you know what I mean. I am really loving this testing experience because it is definitely taking my palate places it's never been before, places it wants to go again!

Up next for tomorrow is Pho Noodle Soup with Bok Choy! I made the broth this afternoon and it smells out of this world good so I am really looking forward to it! Pre-vegan, I loved a good bowl of Pho and haven't had one since I went vegan so tomorrow we will be reunited!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

More Projects for Joni's New Book

I took a small break from blogging the past few days. I was all blogged out from MoFo and we had to concentrate on eating up that Candy Land. I can't believe how many people have checked it out and commented. It's really amazing to have all that love come at you for something you love to do. Thank you all, you definitely made my month!

This morning I got up and at it early and made myself some of Joni's recipes for her new book that I am testing for. I started off with a batch of Banana Nut Bread and followed with a batch of Candied Nuts. The Banana Nut bread is so quick to make and it looks so cute in the home made loaf pans Joni made for the book. I made these ones out of parchment paper but you can make them out of all kinds of papers depending on your use and preference. They are so easy to make once you learn the technique too! Mac helped me mix up the banana bread and patiently (haha!) waited for it to bake and cool so we could have a taste. He licked the bowl while he waited and assured me that it was going to be good. It is tasty too with raisins and nuts in there and lots of banana flavour too!

The Candied Nuts were so easy to make and seriously took about 20 minutes including the 10 minutes they spent in the oven and the taste is incredible! I can't believe how little effort I had to put in to make them to get such a delicious snack! I made a little square parchment box to put them in using the same technique as the loaf pans above. I think they would make a great home made gift for someone or a hostess gift if you are into that kind of thing. They would be great sprinkled on top of ice cream too!

Monday, October 31, 2011

My First All Edible Candy Land

Over the past month I think I have played Candy Land with Mac about a zillion times. Boy loves his Candy Land. Then awhile back he said "we should make a Candy Land that you can eat" and I said "sure buddy" and then I started thinking...could I actually make an edible Candy Land? I decided I would go for it and try to make it as close as I could to the board game version we have. So over the past three days I have been baking and icing and I'm pretty sure I'm literally candied now. It's hard not to lick your fingers and take a little taste here and there, right?! For the final day of Vegan MoFo, my biggest challenge yet and here's the final product...

Here's a few close up shots...don't want you to miss all that detail I went to so much trouble to put in there. And you will notice, I paid attention during Top Chef Just Desserts and I didn't forget the back so it's a full panorama experience!

At the end of all of that...I made 12 batches of vanilla cake using the cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, I used almost 4 kg of icing sugar, 1 bag of Dandies, 3 packages of Earth Balance Shortening, 3 packages of Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, 21 ice cream cones, 3 bags of jelly beans, 1 bag of Enjoy Life Brand Chocolate Chunks, almost all of my natural food colouring, 1/2 a tube of marzipan, 1 recipe of gingerbread and about all of my patience and creativity! I'm drained but it is so worth it seeing it all finished and seeing how happy Mac is to see it "in real life" as he said. My personal favourites are Chocolate Mountain, which is made of Dandies treats, covered in Chocolate Chunks then I poured melted chocolate over top of those to get some real texture to it to make it look all craggy like the one in the game and I love the Ice Palace (mostly because I had no idea what I was going to do to make it just this morning and some how I pulled it out by custom made gingerbread and icing). Now I'm off to enjoy what's left of Halloween with my family and hopefully we will get a few trick or treaters!

Thanks to everyone who has read my posts over MoFo, I'm so happy somebody is reading this! I hope you stick around, I have lots more to share and now that I have finished this big project, it's back to recipe testing and more!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My First Molecular Gastronomy Kit

I know it's not every one's thing but Molecular Gastronomy is so interesting to me. I always used to ask for science kits and an Easy Bake oven for Christmas as a kid so it all makes sense right? I found this kit from Molecule-R in Montreal online and I immediately added it to my Christmas wish list. But I have it now you say...yeah, I'm crazy impatient and ended up talking my husband into getting it now instead of waiting til Christmas. The kit is so cool, even the packaging had me all geeked out. It comes with Agar-agar, Calcium Lactate (when I ordered I asked if it was non-dairy and they said yes but please check again for yourself before ordering since these things can change), Sodium Alginate, Soy Lecithin, Xantham Gum, a tool kit and an instructional DVD. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet but I did watch the DVD and look through the recipes they included. Good news to vegans, a lot of the recipes are already vegan or easily made so (eg. agave for honey or non-dairy milk for milk) though some are definitely not. I can't wait to get a moment to try this whole thing out. I really want to try making fruit noodles and there is a recipe on the DVD for a molecular egg and it's actually vegan...though it's made as a dessert with coconut milk. I think I might work on a savoury version too though since I have been seeing pictures of a vegan egg sandwich from Homegrown Smoker in Portland. I'll keep you posted! 

Sorry for the cover picture...the salmon is the only thing on there
that I think is not-vegan and it's right on the front. I apologize if anyone
is freaked out by that.

Contents of the tool kit you get with the kit

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My First Picture Post

Totally copping out on this post but I'm up to ears in cake and dinner so hopefully you will forgive me! Here's some pictures from this week in our kitchen. Most are test recipes for Terry Hope Romero's newest book project! (And if anyone can give me some pointers on placing pictures in Blogger...please help me!!!)

Tomatoes Stuffed with Creamy Rice
 - Test Recipe for Terry Hope Romero

Fennel Salad with Oranges and Olives
 - Test Recipe for Terry Hope Romero

Crispy Eggplant and Zucchini with Garlicky Potato Dip
 - Test for Terry Hope Romero
Gyro Roasted Seitan
- Test for Terry Hope Romero
Lemon Garlic Roast Potatoes
- Test for Terry Hope Romero

Crazy popcorn I bought at Rainbow Foods last week
because I just had to know what it would look like popped

Looked the same once it was popped though

Greek Village Salad - Test for Terry Hope Romero

Scramble Tofu Breakfast Bahn Mi
- Test for Terry Hope Romero