Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Post of 2011

For my last post of 2011 I have for you another soup recipe. I still haven't had much time to experiment in the kitchen with all the recipes I have running around in my head, so for that reason I have only a boring recipe for you. Sorry. (But next year should be full of tons of new recipes.)

If I was having a New Year's Eve party I would have posted about all the food I would have been serving. But I am going out instead so my little head does not need to worry about a menu and can just enjoy bringing in the new year.

I promise for next year I am going to try my hardest to post at least once a week, hopefully more. And I will be finally experimenting with my donut pans, my dehydrator, and some new savory recipes I have been wanting to try.

I can not wait.

Now let's get to this soup. I made a pepper soup. We had a ton of left over peppers from my dad making crab cakes on Christmas Eve and my mom not using all of the ones from the week for lunches. So I roasted them. My nanny gave me a low sodium vegetable broth so a soup was in order. I also wanted to use this new hot sauce I bought. A chipotle hot sauce!!

I was never into smokey flavors, not until recently. With my bacon chickpeas and now this hot sauce, my taste buds are evolving, strange.

5x Pepper Soup

1/4  each red, yellow, green, and orange peppers, diced
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2-1 teaspoons chipotle hot sauce
salt and pepper
cumin, onion powder, oregano, coriander

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the peppers with seasonings and oil and roast until browned about 30 minutes, depending on size of peppers.

Blend with a food processor of hand blender with the broth and hot sauce, enough for your taste, mine was more towards the 1 teaspoons.
Reheat the soup.

For my toppings:
Roasted mushrooms using the same spices and gucamole. And more hot sauce. Easy and good.

I really hope 2012 will be full of great memories, great relationships, and tons of blessings for everyone! Be safe tonight and God bless!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Time

Has come and gone. The New Year is upon us. And I think it happened way to fast. I was not at all prepared for this Christmas season. I had plans of all these things I was going to make and show all of you, but time was not on my side this year and it seemed to just fly by. Next thing I knew it was Christmas day. Luckily I had just about all my present shopping done. (My dad finally received his gift today =] I felt so bad on Christmas morning, I wrapped a picture of his present, how horrible is that?)

So this year I made (for the fam) peanut butter blossoms, chocolate m&m cookies, sesame cookies, and 7 layer cookies. I tried to make things "healthier" this year by using palm shortening instead of Crisco shortening. I may not so that again. The shortening I used, because it was not hydrogenated (meaning the "fat" was not molecularly changed to keep at room temperature aka trans fats), it contained these small balls of the fat that was not fully melted into the shortening. I did not like that fact about the shortening, so I being the crazy person I am, picked out all of the large balls and left the smaller ones to bake into the cookies. Never again will I try this shortening in my cookies, but I do have another tub of the stuff so biscuits here I come! Oh and pie crust! Haha.

What did I make myself this year for food? Well Christmas day I ate Christmas colors! Roasted beets, beet greens, and roasted cashews. Yum.

Red, green, and white. What I did want to make on Christmas was a cream of mushroom soup and perigoes, but that never happened. And I wanted to make "fruit cake" of my dessert. So I made them the day after Christmas. I wanted to try my hand at my dad's cream of mushroom soup. I can never match it because he uses the real stuff in it like cream and butter, but my version it easy and still equally delicious.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 pint of crimini mushrooms, chopped
4 large white button mushrooms, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
2 teaspoons oil
2 teaspoon flour
1/4 cup milk of choice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Heat two pans, 1 large soup pot and the other a small sauce pot. Place 1 teaspoon of oil in each pan.

Add the onions into the large pan and cook until soft and transparent.

Add the flour into the other pan and start to cook until light brown.

Add the mushrooms to the onions and cook until the let off the water that is inside them and let them start to brown.

Whisk 1/2 cup of broth into the flour mixture.

Once it becomes thick and paste like, add in the milk. Once the bechamel is thickened, add in the nutmeg.

Add the salt and pepper, poultry seasonings, and coriander to the mushrooms. Add 1 cup of broth to the mushrooms.

Mix in the bechamel and them allow it to thicken.

Using either a blender or a hand processor, blend until smooth. Reheat the soup and then serve.

I had my bowl with a side of carrots and my momma had hers with rye bread. It had a nice hearty taste due to the poultry seasonings and the earthiness of the shrooms. Very nice combo.

Now for the dessert, fruit cake, and yes I did say fruit cake. Not your typical fruit cake because I left out the best part, the rum. Why? Because I felt like it. I added my own blend of fruit too. I based my recipe off of (For the Love of) Fruit Cake Bars from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I didn't have golden raisins or the candied fruit or candied ginger. So this is my version:

Fruit Cake

1 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup chopped dried dates
1/4 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup date sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 2/3 cup whole wheat white flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 inch pan and line with parchment paper.

Mix the fruit with the spices, coconut, and other dry ingredients.

Combine the oil, sugar, oj, oj rind, and applesauce.

Mix into the flour and fruit.

Add in the walnuts.

Place in the prepared pan. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until browned and firm to touch.

Allow to cool.
Cut and serve.

The original recipe had a glaze with it using powdered sugar, run and oj. I used applebutter and cinnamon for my glaze. I would also recommend using a different pan. This made it more of a flat bar, like the recipe did say. I just wasn't thinking clearly. Next time I want to use either a bundt pan or an 8x8 inch pan. I think the bundt pan would be more holiday appropriate for next time. And the bars were surprisingly good. The orange was not too overpowering like I thought they would be. And the spice was just right.

So next year expect some raw recipes! I got a dehydrator for Christmas =] I so cannot wait!! Kale chips here I come! Woohoo! And I promise donuts are coming too!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dressing + Lettuce =

A salad silly!

Well in my terms they do, not too sure about yours.

We all I know I really do enjoy a good salad. At the moment I have been eating a lot of roasted veggie salads. They usually contain just fresh greens (mainly baby spinach) and roasted butternut squash and toasted hazelnuts or mix roasted veggies (such as butternut, parsnips, sweet tatos and idaho tatos) and no nuts or maybe nuts (depends on my mood). If I eat one of those salads I don't really add dressing. As of late I have been using salsa as my "dressing" for a salad but that means the salad contains more "taco" like things in it. Such as avocado, beans (my bacon chickpeas usually), roasted corn, black olives, tomatoes and peppers. I do believe I have showed you all one of those salads before. And I have been adding mango to them too.

My talk of salads is due to a few reasons:
1. I haven't really had time to create new recipes to be posting
2. I haven't really been making awesome food blogging food (I really have been eating a lot of the same things over and over like pumpkin falafel, curry roasted parsnips and carrots, roasted veggies, and salads)
3. I really want to start baking and showing those recipes I just haven't had time to yet

So I am sorry for that.

For now all I have for you is a quick salad dressing recipe for you. It contains 3 ingredients! I plan on adding more versions to the mix, I just yet again haven't gotten to it. And I feel horrible that I haven't posted anything in a while. So here:

Tahini Lemon Dressing

1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
black pepper
black sesame seeds (optional)

Mix the tahini and lemon juice together. Add in the black pepper. If you want, add in the sesame seeds.

Top a salad with it or dip veggies in it. It is a "creamy" dressing and I am not usually one to eat a creamy dressing, but this is different it isn't white. I don't like white creamy food things like mayo, sour cream, cream cheese, ranch dressing, dips that use them, yuck.

There you go, easy right. So I had to make my own dressing because I haven't been able to find my favorite one in the store any more and well salad dressing is easy enough to make. I decided to go with a tahini base because I knew it would add a nice nutty flavor. You could also try any other nut butter instead, I would just use less because it is going to be thicker than the tahini. Some versions I want to try are orange ginger, spicy, spiced, and lime version. The orange ginger will contain fresh oj and fresh ginger instead of lemon juice; the spicy may be tried a few times using smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and cumin, oh and you all know some coriander will be in the mix; and the spiced will have cinnamon and nutmeg, perhaps with a few other spices too. For what type of salad, I haven't gotten that far yet, so when we get there we will see. Maybe with sweet potatoes or something. Yeah, some wheels are turning in this little head of mine...


Coming soon!!!!

They most likely will be containing butter, eggs, milk, Hershey products, so in other words they will not be my normal baked good recipes, but I do have a few veganized healthy cookie ideas. Any one know where I can get natural food coloring from? Plant based?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tomatoes Are My Favorite

I do love anything tomato.

Any type of tomato: red, yellow, orange, purple, hybrids, heirloom, sun dried, made into sauce, in a salad, as a salad, in bread, hummus, or as my newest and latest invention- Tomato Bean Balls.

Yes they sound strange, but they ended up being rather good. I found the idea here. So I made them my own way (like always). I might have stated in the past that Mondays at my house are pasta night, well for the rest of the family at least. So I wanted to eat sort of the same meal along with them. I made these little guys.

Tomato Bean Balls

2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, oregano,  coriander, and basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour

Mix spices with tomato paste.

Add in the flour.

Then add in the parsley.

Chill mixture for 15 to 20 minutes, but this is not really necessary but it does make it easier to roll into the balls.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll the mixture into small 1 inch or 1/2 inch balls depending on how big you want them. Place on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size you make them.


I topped some fresh spinach with them and chopped black olives.

Has anyone ever really looked at a chick pea? I was de-skinning some to make my favorite bacon chick peas for dinner today and those little beans look like chickens to me. With out a head and wings. Next time you eat one look at it, tell me what you think.

Guess what next month is...December! So that means COOKIE TIME!! =]
Oh it is the holiday season yet again.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day Of Thanks

This was probably the best Thanksgiving I have had in a very long time. Don't get me wrong, I love my brothers and parents and just having dinner with them, but this year was extra special. My nanny surprised all of us by having my aunt and cousins come up for a visit! An awesome surprise. We haven't seen them in 7 or so years. Aka the Best Thanksgiving ever!

All my prep work really paid off the day of. Except I really should have made the crisp on Wednesday, because the oven ended up being full at my house anyway (we roasted the turkey at my grandmas but we roasted a turkey breast at our house, I guess we really did need it though). So I tried to bake the crisp in our toaster oven, but I did burn it slightly. Opps.

So my version of the crisp went like this:

Grape and Cranberry Crisp

4 cups black and red grapes (about 2 1/2 cups black and 1 1/2 cups of red)
2 cups fresh cranberries
4 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
3 tablespoons arrowroot
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup oats
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flax seeds
3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar 4 tablespoons smart balance (other butter sub)
1 cup walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the filling,

place in a pie plate and start to bake the filling for 15 minutes, while you make the topping.

Mix together the dry ingredients.

Add (cut in) the smart balance until the topping starts to clump up,

add in the walnuts.

Take the filling out of the oven and

top it with the topping. Bake for another 30 minutes or until nice and golden on top.

Serve with some TrueWhip and coffee or tea!

Oh my gosh AMAZING!

Way to go Amy at Fragrant Vanilla Cake.

So my turkey day plate looked like this:

(ok so I had begun eating before I took the picture, but hey I was hungry and we were waiting for my aunt and uncle to come [who I love with all my heart, but they tend to run rather late for functions, love them dearly though! and Hey I am also the queen of being late!] but my belly was calling the food).

Guinnuess Pumpkin Beer Bread, roasted carrots, parsnips, and butternut squash, and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.

The bread was good, had a nice spice to it, but I felt like it was lacking something, not sure what though. (I keep feeling like this with all of my food lately, hum? I really wonder why. Maybe something is wrong with my taste buds?) Everybody absolutely loved the roasted veggies, even people who dislike parsnips. Anything roasted taste good so I blame it on that and the fact that I burned it slightly =].

And dessert the perfect end to one of the greatest Thanksgivings ever.

I just want to thank the Lord for my amazing family and friends and every opportunity he has giving me. I love walking with him everyday and I cherish those that he has put in my life. 

Proof that I did burn the crisp slightly:
I picked off the burntness. It's in a line across the top because I was baking it in the toaster oven and that was where the heat source was.

Not all burnt things are that tasty.