Tuesday, June 30, 2009
We finally had a day when everyone was free--with no work or choir obligations--to celebrate Aunt's Day with Dakki, the cutest, best aunt ever. Here's what we ate:
A spring salad of endive, radish, fava beans, and tangelo with creamy orange dressing; carrot soup (which I forgot to take a picture of, but which looked just like you'd expect);
Israeli couscous with asparagus and sugar snaps, and charmoula-braised tempeh (Dakki's freshly intrigued whenever I serve her either couscous or tempeh, asking lots of questions about their history and how they're made, so I picked this menu item with her amusement in mind);
and blueberry cake and ice cream. As Annie rudely pointed out, the ice cream turned out grey, but it still tasted nice. I think it would have been more blue if I'd cooked the blueberries instead of just grinding them up raw in the blender.
The cake was an adaptation of the raspberry cake I made for Lillian: I made it bigger, plus added some cornflour (the kind that's finely ground cornmeal, not cornstarch) because I like corn and blueberries together.
1 1/2T each tapioca starch and golden flax meal
75ml + 150ml soy yogurt, divided
200g + 1T sugar, divided
1t vanilla extract
zest and juice of a lemon
150g all-purpose flour
50g corn flour
3/4t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a suitable cake pan (I used a 7.5" tube pan, but an 9" round pan would work too).
Whisk the flax and tapioca together with the 75ml soy yogurt, and let rest and thicken while you beat the margarine and 200g of sugar together till fluffy. Add the flax mixture to the margarine, and beat some more. Add the rest of the yogurt along with the vanilla, zest, and lemon juice. Whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together, then beat in till it's nicely amalgamated. Spread half of the batter into your prepared cake pan, then scatter a third of the berries evenly around. Spread the rest of the batter over the berries, then sprinkle with the remaining berries. Poke them down into the batter till they're halfway submerged, then sprinkle with your remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Bake till the cake's coming away from the sides of the pan and a tester comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.
Friday, June 26, 2009
We had our quarterly work meeting yesterday at the tail end of my eleven-day stretch of work, so I had to make a treat that didn't require much shopping to prepare. Most people were planning to bring savory things (often there's a surfeit of desserts), so I decided to bring some nice flapjacks. These suited everybody's dietary requirements, being vegan and oat, wheat, and legume-free.
This recipe is easily adaptable to your tastes and the contents of your pantry--use oats instead of spelt, if you like (I made the spelt flakes with my flake mill; I don't know if they're available at many stores), or try another flavor of marmalade. Add candied ginger, dried cherries, or toasted pumpkin seeds: whatever you like.
I used greased tin foil to line my pan with, but I'll try parchment paper next time: these were very sticky, and it was hard to peel the tin foil off. I was almost late to work, and ended up leaving a few adhered to the foil to eat for breakfast the next day!
Lemon Apricot Flapjacks
100g dried apricots, chopped into raisin-size pieces
100g golden raisins
200ml fruity olive oil
125g brown sugar
150g lemon marmalade
Finely grated zest of a lemon
2T golden syrup
400g rolled spelt
Heat oven to 350ºF. Line a 10"x10" (or 9"x13" if you don't have one) pan with parchment paper.
Pour boiling water over the raisins and apricots, and leave to soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Warm the oil, sugar, marmalade, zest, ginger, and golden syrup in a large pan until barely boiling, then take off the heat and mix in the spelt and drained fruit. Be sure to strain the soaking water into a cup, so you can drink it! Pack the mixture evenly into your prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, till the edges are turning darker. Let cool thoroughly before cutting into 2" squares.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Lillian graduated from high school and was confirmed this month, so I planned to have a little party à trois for her at my house. Her Auntie Tina invited herself, then moved it to her house, so the party and its menu ended up being outside of my control, but I did make the cake I'd originally planned. It's a veganisation of this cake from this month's Gourmet magazine. Nobody but Rachael said much about it, but she really, really liked it. She cut the cake into eight pieces so there was an extra piece, which she claimed, then she ate Apolinario's piece (he was sick, and didn't want it) and half of mine (I was the mother, so had to give it to her).
1T each tapioca starch, golden flax meal
45ml + 120ml soy yogurt, divided
140g + 1T sugar, divided
1/2t vanilla extract
1C/140g all-purpose flour
1/2t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1/2 pint (6oz/170g) fresh raspberries (blueberries would be good, too)
Heat oven to 400ºF. Grease and flour a suitable cake pan (I used a 7.5" tube pan, but an 8" round pan would work too).
Whisk the flax and tapioca together with the 45ml soy yogurt, and let rest and thicken while you beat the margarine and 140g of sugar together till fluffy. Add the flax mixture to the margarine, and beat some more. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together, then add to the margarine fluff alternately with the yogurt. Spread batter into your prepared cake pan, then scatter the berries over. Poke them down into the batter till they're halfway submerged, then sprinkle with your remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Bake till the cake's coming away from the sides of the pan and a tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Sleepy Rachael came to my house for breakfast before school today. We had peanut butter waffles from Vegan Brunch, a new book full of recipes for vegan pancakes and crabcakes and omelets and waffles.... Everything I've cooked from it so far has been good, and these waffle were no exception. I made the full recipe, enough for four people, because I'm going to freeze the extra to take in upcoming work lunches, to toast and eat with Tozy's Tofu Pâté. I'm about to work a million days in a row, so need to have lots of lunches ready in advance!
You probably already have a good way of fixing strawberries, but it took me a while to come up with my preferred method so I'll show it to you:
1 lb strawberries
1t rose or orange blossom water (optional)
Cut the tops off of and the cores out of your strawberries. Pick out about a third of the least nice ones (too big, too ripe, too under-ripe), cut them into quarters, and mash them with the sugar till you have a nice sauce. I use a miniature potato masher for this, but you could use a full-size one or a fork. Slice the rest of the strawberries into the mush, stir them around, and let them macerate for a while. If you're feeling exotic, and not feeding Rachael, you can add the optional flowery water. This sauce is good for strawberry shortcake or layering with tapioca pudding for parfaits as well as for putting on your waffles.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
It's still asparagus time--I got a nice bunch at the farmer's market on Sunday--but it's getting too hot to fix it my favorite way. The food magazines are all featuring grilled asparagus recipes, so I decided to try cooking it on my stripy pan. It was just about as easy as the oven way, and heated up my kitchen a lot less.
Stripy Pan Spargel
whatever seasonings you like (I used Trader Joe's Lemon Pepper, but salt, pepper, and garlic would be good too)
Heat your stripy pan on medium high. Peel the bottom halves of your asparagi, and cut off their tough ends. Pour a little olive into a shallow dish, then roll the asparagus and seasonings around till everything's mixed up nicely. Lay as many as will fit nicely in a single layer on the stripy pan, and let them cook for about four minutes. Turn them over and cook for another three or four minutes. I did a pound of asparagus in my smallish pan, so I had to do it in two batches. They came out kind of al dente, with pleasingly frizzled tops. If you want them to be more well done, try cooking them on medium heat for a little longer.