Tag Archives: recipes

Christmas Quilted Pastry

More Quilted Pastry! My son loves these. Filling: organic heavy cream, arrowroot powder, ground walnuts, anise, cinnamon, turbinado sugar, organic cherries. A little pre-Christmas spice to get us in the holiday mood. For a holiday we don't celebrate!

For the original Quilted Pastry post, click here.  For the laminated pie dough recipe used in this cookie, click here.

I have been buying produce from the discount carts at Ward's lately. You can tell I am in Florida because everything is pre-packaged. What is up with that, I have no idea. But it occurs at epidemic proportions. Anyway, these organic cherries were massively reduced. They weren't firm for eating but they weren't squishy rotten either. Just a little imperfect here and there. No matter. Baked fruit is forgiving. Cherries, thank you for accepting my apology.

I had leftover pie dough from when I made the pumpkin pie for The Client*. Organic whole wheat pastry flour and organic butter pretty much sum up the ingredients here. For my own family, I rolled it out using organic white spelt.

*By the way, this blog has been graced by The Client’s own remarks! He loved the pie. Thought you should know.

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Recipe : Eggless Pumpkin Pie

Eggless Pumpkin Pie. For The Client. All organic food rules apply.

 

The Client is back! Not permanently back in my life, but back from some international travel. A few days ago he Facebooked me from India asking if I could have a pumpkin pie ready for him on the 10th, since he missed Thanksgiving. Of course, all The Client’s food rules applied: all organic, whole wheat, sucanat, no soy, no aluminum. As if I would forget!

I am indiscriminately loading pie pics to this post. Since the pie was for sale, there was no slicing it up for the camera. Nevertheless, I will give you whatever I’ve got, including the recipe.

 

RECIPE : EGGLESS PUMPKIN PIE

*Laminated Pie Crust Recipe (click here)

The first thing to do is begin the pie dough. even if you are not laminating your pie dough, it is a good idea to make your dough and stick it in the fridge so it is cold when you are rolling it out. The pie dough can even be made a couple of days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Leftover dough can be frozen for later use.

INGREDIENTS

1 pie pumpkin

1/2 c arrowroot powder

1 cup heavy whipping  cream

2 cups sucanat

big pinch o’ salt

1 tablespoon butter

2 tspn ground cinnamon

1/2 tspn nutmeg

1/2 tspn ground ginger

pinch o’ cloves

1/2 tspn cardamom

 

1) Wash outside of pumpkin, removing any stickers. Slice in half, bake at 400 on a cookie sheet for about an hour or until a knife easily pierces pumpkin.

2) Remove pumpkin from oven, cool, remove seeds and strings. Much easier to do after pumpkin is cooked than before. Baking of pumpkin can be done hours or even as much as a day ahead of time

3) Preheat oven to 400. Combine in bowl or food processor the scooped out pumpkin and all the other ingredients.

4) Roll out pie dough and press into pie plate.

5) Pour mixture into pie plate, evenly spreading.

6) Put pie in oven. Reduce heat to 350. Bake for one hour. Remove from oven to cool.

7) Serve pie once cooled.

Love my Ikea pie plate!

In the past I’ve baked my pies in a 9″ pyrex pie plate, a new skool Jadeite pie plate and in a Fiestaware pie plate. They are all rather deep dishy. But on a recent voyage to the Swedish Embassy, aka Ikea, I purchased the 11″ SMARTA pie plate for seven dollars and seven dollars ONLY (plus tax). It is more quichey and I have no idea how easily the pie scoops out since I left the honor of cutting to The Client, but I love that it is not as deep. Seems like a more even bake. Next time I get my passport stamped at Ikea, I am definitely picking up a few more of these. The simple white design is perfect for food photographing and the priset är rätt! Also, I’m seriously thinking of stockpiling them for thrifty gifts.

Don’t feel like you can’t repeat pumpkin pie for your Christmas dessert table. As long as they are selling fresh pumpkins in the store, the season is right for this pie!

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Recipe : Vegan French Toast

Délicieux petit-déjeuner...

Better than pancakes, easier than waffles, French toast made from fresh bread proved just the perfect breakfast on this freezing Florida morning. I even cut some into sticks for le enfants to take to school today. Ahhh, winter. We will not be defeated by you.

This weeks loaf: braided bread. Turned out well (my kids ate multiple slices, in rapid succession, with butter). But I didn't have bread flour--only King Arthur Unbleached AP. So white! I added a few tablespoons of gluten flour to the mix and it turned out so very...spongey. Like an unbromated Wonder Bread. Very strange. I need some money to restock my bulk supplies. In the meantime, it's KA white flour from Sam's club, $6 for 10 lbs. That's how we suffer.

This morning was freezing cold in Florida! I decided to be a good mom and actually feed my children breakfast! Inspired by the wonder of yesterday's spongey bread, I gave my hand at vegan French toast. Only we are lacto-vegetarians, so I did use butter and cow milk. But the recipe below can go either way.

Recipe : Toast de France

2 cups milk (vanilla nondairy milk, coconut milk or moo milk)
1/4 cup flour
1 TBSPN sugar
1/2 tspn cinnamon
5 slices of bread cut half inch thick
cooking oil, such as coconut, or butter/buttery stick
optionals: pinch of cardamom, fresh grate of nutmeg, splash of vanilla, etc.

1)Combine milk, sugar, cinnamon, flour with whisk in shallow bowl.

2)Let sit a bit to thicken.

3)Warm cast iron skillet or whatever your pan of preference is.

4)Dredge bread through the mixture, coating both sides.

5)Melt/heat butter/oil/buttery stick.

6)Place coated bread in pan, fry over moderate heat. Flip, repeat. Remove from pan.

7) Serve with powdered sugar or maple syrup. Or both.

My son, Grégoire, was loving the cinnamon-y aroma from the get go. Here he is settling down to his breakfast. Okay, he ate it standing up--but he was at the table, which is a good thing.

Here's my little Manon, thoroughly enjoying her French toast breakfast. Notice she is sitting at a separate table from her brother. We Mirels need our personal space.

While my kids were thinking of this:

I couldn’t help remembering this:

Sadly, I had more batter left after making breakfast for the birdies. When I returned home from dropping them at school, I proceeded to cook more.

Looks good, no? Yes. I ate it. All. Now I need to sleep it off, sumo wrestler style. Such will be my Wednesday. I hear this is how French women stay so thin.

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Laminated Pie Dough : Recipe How To

Wow…I’ve really confused some people with my last post. Patting myself on back for being totally unclear! In addition to the comment left by my South African friend Tulasi, I also received a couple of emails asking the same thing….ooops!    Here’s Tulasi’s comment from last nite:

I was just wondering how you get from the rolled out stick of butter to the flaky dough? How do you combine it with the flour and water mixture?

Ummm yeah. Would be good if I explained that. Here’s what I did for two large pie crusts with enough dough left over for a third. Yup, it’s in my freezer.

Laminated Pie Crust Recipe

6 cups flour (I used white spelt because that is what I have on hand but choose your own)

2 pinches of salt

water (did not measure….sorry)

*Combine these ingredients to form a smooth dough. Cover and let rest while you do the following with the butter.

*Take one stick of butter softened at room temp and roll out between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Very thin, but not translucent.  Place on a mobile flat surface, like a cutting board or cookie sheet and stick in fridge for about a half hour (that’s an honest guess) or until hard.

*Roll out dough on top of a sheet of parchment paper. Dough should be at least 1-1/2 times as large as rolled out butter. Peel one sheet of parchment off butter. Flip onto dough, centered.. Remove second sheet of parchment.

*Fold dough overhang onto butter, like a poorly wrapped gift. ROLL! Fold dough in half. Again. Maybe even again. Wrap in parchment and refrigerate for a half hour-ish.

*Remove dough from fridge, roll flat and thin, then fold it up again, wrap, refrigerate. I find it useful to roll it between the parchment to avoid having to flour the dough/work surface/rolling pin.

*Repeat 3 times.

*Divide dough into thirds and roll out as you normally would for a pie crust. Admire those layers!

**Dough can be made a few days ahead of time (or even over the course of a few days) and left in the refrigerator before the final roll out. Or even made ahead and frozen.***

This technique is based on my experience making croissants. For a great *how to* post on croissant making, including a video, visit this post on Sounding My Barbaric Gulp!

I am also contemplating running this dough through my pasta machine to get it ultra-thin, homemade phyllo style. We’ll see if I have time to make this a reality before the baby comes.

Hope this explanation is a little more helpful!

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Cooking for Baby Bindu! (Autumn Soup Recipe Included!)

As mentioned in the previous post, I am trying to prepare for baby number three by cooking and freezing so the family and I are well fed during the transition period.

The goal is to devote one day a week to cooking and freezing until I go into labor. Today’s attempt was a success. In addition to what’s pictured, I made two pumpkin pies. They will be more photogenic once cooled.

This weekend we are celebrating the boy turning 7 with a real life boy party. Baking will happen. I plan to crank out extra for the Sabjimata freezer section–brownies, vegan rice krispie treats, cookies and pizza.

Next week I hope to get some palak paneer, pasta casseroles (lasagna, manicotti, ziti) baked and frozen as well as raviolis and Chinese dumplings. The husband will be responsible for getting fresh fruits and veggies on the table when Bindu comes (yes, her name really will be Bindu…Bindumati to be exact). I know he can handle it. That and pancakes. The man makes an excellent pancake!

My kids' favorite soup. Vegetable barley--with pasta (alpahbets), nutrella (TVP), barley, beans and veggies.

In process: roasted butternut squash soup.

All done and topped with ground dry roasted cumin and a big squeeze of lime.

Lovely lovely soup! I am a fan of blended soups. Prefer them to brothy  soup with stuff in them (unless that stuff is some sort of dumpling).

A few weeks back my talented, beautiful, enchanting friend Mohini brought over a delicious autumny roasted squash soup for a little ladies who lunch date. Me, along with my UPS man who happened to stop by, were floored by this soup. It was a drop dead gorgeous on the tongue tribute to all things beautiful about blended soup. Creamy. Silky. Full of complex flavors blended together yet bursting at different taste bud locales in your mouth. Totally top of the line homemade soup.

Mohini posted the recipe on Facebook and, without her permission, I am posting it here. Hope you don’t mind  Miss Mo!

I don’t have a real recipe for this I’m just guessing on quantities for the most part. I like to roast the squashes and sweet potatoes first but you could use just butternut and/or sweet potatoes and peel and simmer in the broth with the other veggies.

SOUP BASE

3lbs. Winter Squash and sweet potato mix of your choice

1 Med/Lg Onion

1 Apple, peeled

2 Celery stalks

1 in. chunk of ginger

4 C Broth

4 C Water

Salt and Pepper

Olive Oil

Halve, seed, rub with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt your winter squash and taters. Toss in a 425 degree oven for 45-60 min or until done. Let cool and peel off those skins.

Dice up the onion, apple, celery, ginger and sweat in your soup pot in a little olive oil for 8 min or so.

Add water, broth, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then simmer 25min or until everything is nice and soft.

Add your cooked squash and puree with your wand blender or puree in batches in blender or processor.

Now you can season it to your liking. Today I used coconut milk and red curry paste. I also like to use Greek yogurt (or cream, half and half, or milk) and smidge of maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg if you like those seasonings. Or just the dairy and some fresh parm. Oh, a little sage would be good too. There are a lot of ways to take this soup. Enjoy.

I usually fly by the seat of my maternity pants in the kitchen, but I was scheming to make this soup to freeze so I bought a few ingredients–namely butternut squash–and got cooking. My recipe really didn’t follow Mohini’s. I didn’t use apple. Had no ginger. And did not make it over to the Asian market for the red curry.

Jonesing for the quintessential flavors of the soup, I did *roast* my butternut squash. I strayed from my usual cooking repertoire and used some forbidden fruits (vegetables really) for the mirepoix. Carrots, celery and….two others! Anyone want to try and guess?

I added the spices at the end, after the soup was blended. Fresh green curry leaf, hing, black pepper, cinnamon, garam masala, thyme and dry roasted ground cumin. Also, lots and lots of lime. Salt and Braggs as usual. The result was warm and rich and tangy. Not Mohini’s, but definitely a contender. Looking forward to pushing this baby out so I can indulge in some soupness.

Half gallon and quart jars filled--with ample headspace left--and headed to the freezer, to be retrieved when Baby Bindu is born.

Harriet's thumbprint jam cookies (click the recipes section on the top of the page to get the 411 on Harriet) made with my sweet & sour cherry + tangerine persimmon jams.

This cookie plate is gone, save for two remaining cookies that don't have much hope of making it past breakfast time. I made 5 dozen cookies. The rest have been divided into three rations and are now in the freezer.

For the Babu's dinner, I attempted to make a vegan-ish omelette. I wasn't working from a recipe, although I had read a few. Well, I didn't read carefully enough because I way overdid it with the milk. I cooked it on the stove top. I baked it in the oven. It never got crepey. In the end, I put it in a bowl and called it sandwich spread. The flavor was good; it tasted exactly like stuffing--proving fast and loose doesn't always work out.

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Recipe : Banana Lassi

Happy Veteran’s Day! To show my appreciation for the men and women who served this country, I made my children a banana lassi. Sure, there is no direct correlation, but considering my husband works at the VA hospital and is on today (and my kids are off), I think that somehow, this banana lassi is a symbol of…something. We shall call it gratitude for the Vets.

Banana lassi is basically a yogurt/fruit smoothie with an Indian name. Here is the recipe that got my son to chug 24 ounces in one sitting.

Recipe:

3 ripe bananas
3 cups whole fat yogurt
1/2 cup honey
2 cups filtered water

I put everything in a 1/2 gallon mason jar and then stick the immersion blender in there. Whrrrrrr……lassi!

Don’t have a stick blender? Well, why not? Requires much less musculature than lugging out that big bulky traditional blender and is totally easy to clean. I have an el-cheapo Oster from Target that I got for $20. Works just fine. Only had to replace it once in 10 years.

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