Monthly Archives: November 2010

Simple Meal for Busy Times

Today marks my 34th week of Bindu’s pregnancy. She is big and squirmy.

My kids are surprisingly sympathetic, but still–they want to be fed. Here’s a simple, minimal fuss dinner I threw together in shifts throughout the late afternoon/early evening. They didn’t go for the asparagus or tofu, but had a blast with the soup and pooris. My son ate 5. F-I-V-E. I had to fry up another batch for the husband before he got home from work.

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My Boss’s Take: Quality, Value, and Price

Some interesting new posts up over at the  Horton Brasses Blog.

Bossman Orion

 

Interested in the intersection of the economy, personal values and personal consumption?

Read more….

Ever thought  about becoming a blacksmith. This is a great post for the blacksmith-curious as well as homeschooling families.

Read more…


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A Mostly Vegan Thanksgiving

Fresh Cranberry Relish Garnished w/ Lime Zest

Absolutely simple to make, this no-cook prep brings a burst of freshness and color to the holiday table.

I had leftover dough from my won ton experiment. The combination of semolina and rice flour was very pliable but a bit delicate.

I combined the leftover won ton seitan/spinach/ginger mixture with freshly cooked potatoes and spices to create a samosa filling.

Pleating

This unusually smooth samosa was rolled by my daughter using the semolina/rice flour dough (we made a second batch of dough that was all white flour). When you see them all fried up, this one stands out as a smooth beauty!

I lay my samosas out on parchment paper because I have a very terrible track record of having things stick. I really love parchment paper. And yes, I wash and re-use it.

Samosas--traditional Indian food for Thanksgiving. These took the place of mashed potatoes at our holiday table.

Our hostess, Padi, made these ridiculously good vegan sticky buns. She has perfected the art of buns.

Padi's husband Braj is also excellent in the kitchen. He cooked at a Govinda's restaurant in New Zealand and now he makes his friends delicious things, like this vegan pot pie, whenever the occasion merits.

Adi Gopi brought along the roasted carrots (I know they were made by her because they appeared on the buffet in a FiestaWare bowl). Padi made the roasted root veggies--parsnips being her very favorite and very British signature tuber.

The gorgeous auburn haired hostess, Ms. Padi Sutherland, nurse, student and mom extraordinaire, master of no-knead artisan bread recipes and a damn nice person. Here she is holding a platter of green beans, brought by Adi Gopi (notice the FiestaWare!).

Also on the menu that night: Marmite (England version) based gravy,  vegan turkey roast, 3 pumpkin pies, cranberry shortbread bars, peanut butter cookies and  full dairy whipped cream. Did I miss anything?

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Vegan Cranberry Shortbread Bars : Recipe

Thanksgiving Dessert : Cranberry Shortbread Bars

I was so enchanted by yesterday’s post on The Kitchn for Cranberry Curd Bars that I *had to* attempt a veganized version. Check out that post and just try to tell me those pictures are not magical. Makes me want to dance The Nutcracker or something. Great dessert for Thanksgiving, even better for Christmas.

The challenge though would be the 8 eggs in the recipe. When you get into numbers like that, you just have to know that what you come up with is going to be a variation on a theme and not an exact replica.

*I used too much shortbread, so I am halving my recipe here, which is coincidentally super similar to The Kitchn recipe.

*I didn’t do the jelly technique for the cranberry like the original recipe. Too time consuming for an 8 month pregnant mom of 2 and to be honest, I could use the fiber.

*Have you seen the price of walnuts lately? Ridiculous. Used to be one of the cheaper nuts, now it is way high. I don’t know if this is a seasonal hike or what, but I used almonds and my shortbread is no worse for the crunch.

*Coconut oil. I would have used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks but I only buy it for specific projects and I did that this weekend and now it is all gone. This is not the first time I’ve used coconut oil for vegan baking (cookies and pie crusts) and it works just fine in my opinion. And, I think if you buy it in larger quantities, it is most likely cheaper than the Buttery Sticks. But it doesn’t taste buttery, so your call.

*I don’t refrigerate the crust before baking. What’s that about anyway?

Okay. On to the specifics.

9 x 13 baking pan (I love parchment paper but didn’t use any with this recipe)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1 c flour
1 c ground nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.)
1/2 c coconut oil
1 tspn lemon juice
1/2 tspn salt

Combine in food processor (make sure nuts ground first). Press into baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

While the crust is in the oven, make your cranberry topping, which will not be like curd.

3 cups fresh cranberries, minced in food processor
1 cup sugar
2 TBSP lemon juice
pinch salt
1/4 tspn cardamon
1/2 tspn cinnamon
1 can (13.6 oz) coconut milk
1/4 cup arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

Combine ingredients in a wide bottomed pot with tallish sides. Cook over medium heat, whisking more frequently as cooking progresses–approximately 15 minutes total. Cooking is done when cranberry concoction is bubbling, spitting at you and pulling away from bottom of pan.

When shortbread is done baking in oven, gently spread cranberry mixture on top. Return to oven for approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, cool. When cooled, refrigerate and then cut.

Garnish with powdered sugar, which will melt into cranberry, creating sweet glaze.


To be cut...

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Homemade Asian Dumpling Wrapper SOS

Continuing my quest to make a good homemade dumpling wrapper, I tried out a rice flour / semolina flour combo. Meh. The result was kind of heavy. Should I have used AP flour instead of semolina? Is there a difference between regular rice flour and the flour I have read about called “glutinous rice flour”? Can somebody help? There is not much info online about making wrappers from scratch, especially eggless. I have tried all white flour. Half white and half semolina. And now half rice and half semolina. Anyone? Help? Please? I know I will not get the same consistency as store bought since I have no interest in adding all the scary stuff, but please. Someone. Help me get closer to homemade dumpling perfection.

The filling: baked seitan, raw spinach, fresh ginger

 

Have you seen him? The search for Won Ton Animal Chin. Map to the skater's homes. Okay. I have an associative won ton disorder.

 

 

My kids were satisfied. But I wasn't.

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Happy Thanksgiving! Eggless Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving!

Remember my pumpkin pie post? Well, there’s been a recipe request, so here it is.

As for the crust, you can do a regular pie crust, homemade graham or nut crust or some kind of pre-made store bought. My current fave is the laminated crust, which I blogged about here. Super flaky. Like me.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

(This is not the best recipe because the measurements are not exact…but it should work out 😉

1) Slice in half one small baking pumpkin, like kabocha squash. De-seed, place flesh down on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 for about 40 minutes or until you can insert a knife through it. Baking pumpkin can be done a day ahead.
2) Cool and remove flesh. Puree.
3) Mix together pumpkin (food processor works well) with 1/4 cup arrowroot or cornstarch, 1 can evaporated milk, 2 cup sucanat, pinch of salt, 1.5 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tspn nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ginger, pinch cloves, pinch ground cardamom (optional).
4) Pour into your pie crust, bake in oven preheated to 400 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 when pie is in oven. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven, cool.

This recipe will make two tiny 9 inch pies (aluminum tins) or one large 9 inch pie.

I admit, this is not the best recipe in terms of exactness. I really just go off of a recipe, even for baking. You can substitute the evap. milk for sweetened condensed (reduce sugar) or milk or cream. Or coconut milk. About 1-3/4 cup. If you don’t have sucanat, you can use brown sugar or evaporated cane or turbinado or just whatever granulated sugar you normally use.

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Horton Brasses Oval Ring Pull Giveaway Winner

And the winner is….

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