Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cooking from VeganMoFo: 2011

While VeganMoFo was a while ago, I continue to be inspired by the recipes and posts from that month. It is a shame to let all those awesome, creative ideas fade into memories of MoFo past. Therefore, I am making it a New Year pledge to make at least one recipe a month from MoFo-land. Here are my top 12!

1. These steamed BBQ seitan buns are high on my list because I have never steamed bread before.
2. As a Saskatchewan-born gal, I really appreciate these Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls.
3. After purchasing some adzuki bean paste, I am definitely inspired to try this alternative Sweet Potato Paste (with accompanying recipe ideas!)
4. VeganMoFo may as well have been the month of vegan tacos! I was particularly inspired by these Bourban Seitan tacos!
5. Bread risen with salt? Sounds like a challenge! I accept!
6. Quick flat breads make me happy. Chickpea flour makes me happier. Mix 'em together and this happy clam can make some socca.
7. Homebrewed Kombucha
8. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies - identical to the ones consumed during my non-vegan childhood.
9. Easy, breezy, homemade coconut milk.
10. Fermentation city with these Daikon n'Mustard Pickles.
11. I always eye the plaintains in the grocery store - but almost never purchase any for want of ideas however this mashed plaintain recipe looks awesome.
12. Homemade Dill Pickle Potato Chips. No more info needed.

Falling under 'Awesome-idea-and-really-want-to-do-but-probably-will-never-actually accomplish is:
a. Fresh Homemade Yuba From Scratch

Honourable Mention:
One of my favorite mo-fo posts is this one about cooking playlists.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordless Wed


Cactus Fruit.
Las Vegas.
Nevada.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Gingerbread House: Inspiration

Christmas is such a hectic time of year. We are actually 'doing Christmas' this year. Usually we are too busy with school and family to set up a tree and make Christmas eve dinner for my husband and I. However, this year is different. We will be getting a tree. I will be cooking Christmas eve dinner. There are various Christmas traditions that have been on my list for a long time. Traditional fruit cake. Mulled wine. Christmas Pud. I know I won't get all those traditions accomplished this year but I will be making a Gingerbread house. 

Building a gingerbread house can be intimidating as they can morph into architectural achievements. I am sure that my humble house will be nowhere as beautiful, accomplishedintricate or beautiful as these houses.

There are two main veins of gingerbread house. The fantastical candy covered house of fairy tale lore and the replica of the realistic modern house. My favorite interpretation of the second category is the 'cabin in the woods' type of house. I have fantasies about creating a version of this type of house this year.  

The details of these houses that I love are the pretzel siding and fence (which I probably won't be using this year), and the use of rock candy (which I hope to use). I also love the shreddie roof, icing icicles and peppermint pillars. I also love how elegant the piped royal icing looks.

In contrast, but also very inspiration is this modern gingerbread interpretation.
My current gingerbread plan is to combine some of the elements from these various houses to make a beautiful gingerbread house. Wish me luck!
What's your top hints regarding Gingerbread House building?



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Food Podcast: The Sporkful

There is a really great podcast called 'The Sporkful' that brings humour and craziness to the discussion of food. The tag line of The Sporkful is that 'It's not for foodies, its for eaters!' Hands down the best episode of The Sporkful was episode 62: Call in Smorgasbord #5 in which they discuss the proper classification of milk when consumed with cereal. Is the milk a beverage? is it a sauce? is it an ingredient? Some fascinating discussion going on there.

The Sporkful put out a call for more debates/rants/innovations regarding food for a new series of call ins. I emailed them the following...

Popcorn is one of man's better inventions. The metamorphosis from tiny yellow kernel to bright, white flaky cloud is pure majesty. However, popcorn's majesty is violated when consumed immediately upon popping. Fresh popcorn includes shrapnel in the form of 'old maids', which can cause grave bodily harm. The seasonings and toppings that popcorn is anointed with merely slide off the hot white surfaces. The holy grail of popcorn is the day-old variety. Seasonings and toppings have a chance to marinate into the crevices of the flaky popcorn giving the consumer a revolutionary experience. Day-old popcorn is safe as there is no danger of a hot 'old maid' sliding down your shirt or landing in your underwear clad lap. As an added bonus, unseasoned day old popcorn makes a lovely breakfast cereal in combination with wholesome milk. The day-old phenomenon is especially pertinent in relation to microwave or movie theatre popcorn.

Maybe I'll be podcast famous soon!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordless Wed: Candied Ginger

Candied Ginger is so easy and has the added bonus of making the house smell amazing. I reccomend making this for the foodies in your life. They will love you for it! I do not think I will be purchasing candied ginger again. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bread Baking Day #44: Round up!

So many delicious loafs of bread this month! It looks like everyone had fun with the autumn theme this month! Lets get right to bread!
Backyana, from German, got in the spirit when she made a delicious looking loaf of pumpkin bread.
Reshmi, also from Germany, got adventurous with her healthy whole wheat banana loaf.

Another adventurous German, Stefanie, entered this awesome three grain bread with cider.
Continuing in the healthy trend, is American Heather with her whole wheat pumpkin rolls.
Cathy, from the USA, thought that pumpkin rolls were the way to go this month as well, thus she baked up some pumpkin yeast rolls.
In a very different and interesting vein is Connie, from Thailand with her Kanelbullar with Cardamon and Cinnamon.
Chaosqueen, from Germany, made this awesome looking loaf with cranberries.
Tristen, living in England, baked an awesome rustic loaf this month.
In contrast to Tristen's rustic loaf, Pamira, from Spain, made a light and elegant pizza.
The theme was interpreted in yet another way when Sravani, from the USA, made this apple bread.

It seems like American Judy, enjoyed this month's theme and enjoyed the Herbed Carrot Clover Leaf Yeast Breads she baked this month.

Priya, from France, made some awesome looking Herbed Whole Wheat Bread.
Cinzia, from Italy, made Grissini.
Manuela, from Brazil got into the theme with Pumpkin and nut swirl buns.

Zorra, the creator of BBD, made an awesome Bread with Walnuts this month.
Of course there is my Autumn bread. Multigrain Sour.
I love the varied interpretations of the theme this month. Creativity rocks! Thanks everyone for participating!
Cinzia from cindystarblog will be hosting next month's BBD. Stay on the lookout for December's theme!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dough: Multigrain Sour

Because the entire month of October was devoted to bread I went on a sort of bread baking hiatus for a month and I totally missed it. This loaf was devoured by yours truly in 1.5 days. It was perfect. A ton of grains and super sour. I even got a pretty nice burst which always makes me happy.

Multigrain Sourdough Bread
Soak overnight:

2 cups starter
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup Bulgar
1/4 cup steel cut oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 T quinoa
2 T sesame seeds
2 T millet
1 cup warm water
1 cup all-purpose flour

Add:
2 T oil
2 t sugar
1 cup all purpose flour

Knead. Rise 2 hours. Shape. Rise 2 hours. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Notes:
I've made a similar version of this before, but it did not have enough grains. This loaf did. The worse thing about this loaf is that it only makes one loaf! :)

This is my entry to BBD #44 (which I am hosting for November! I hope you got your entry in!) additionally I will be submitting it to yeastspotting.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

News for December

Last month I stated some of my November goals. I'll say I was partially successful as I completed the blog tour, the hosting of Bread Baking Day #44, some recipe testing photos, and a wordless wed about a pie I made from Vegan Pie in the Sky. I think I was partially successful in the commercial Kvass taste testing and I have a really logical reason for not doing more. The other two kvass types I have in the fridge are 2L bottles. I'm reluctant to open them because I am not a big soda person and am saving them until Christmas holidays when there are more people around to help consume it! I have no excuse for not making a homemade version though! I did not complete the MoFo round up or the opinion piece on the recipe testing process but I'm okay with that. Real life kind of kicked my butt last month! I'm sure December will be better. Yes - that was sarcasm!

  • Best of MoFo roundup
  • Commercial Kvass taste testing 
  • Opinion piece about the recipe testing process
  • Bread Baking Day round up
  • Edible Christmas gifts
  • Vegas!!!
  • Gingerbread House inspiration
December is gonna be a crazy month around these parts but hopefully I'll get it all done!

I am heading to Vegas for a few days, if anyone has food related tips I'd love to hear them!