I've been busybusybusy; first packing up our household and getting ready to move to our new home and then unpacking on the other end. Sorting through belongings and filling up boxes seemed like a daunting task at first, but I used the opportunity to purge and I gave away/dontated/threw out so much STUFF! I'm working on a secondary round as I'm unpacking.
Moving is listed as one of the top stresses in a person's life, so comfort food is a must.
One of my favourite comforts is pot pie. In this one, I used some left over veggies, cubed veggie burgers, made a "beefy" gravy and topped it with puff pastry. Quick and sooo yummy!
Grill master Jim made this delicious sandwiches for us. He grilled up some peppers, zucchini and red onions, made a garlic mayo and piled eveything, along with some crumbled feta, onto ciabatta buns he toasted on the BBQ.
These were incredible!
Here's something that I've made quite a few times and it always turns out so tasty, it makes me wonder why I don't make it more often. It's Fat Free Vegan Kitchen's ribz done in a sweet and sour orange sauce. It's really easy to do and half of the recipe of sauce is used on the ribs and the other half is used for the vegetables. Genius! If you'd like the recipe, you can find it here.
Even though we've had unseasonably warm weather all winter, there have been a few rainy, drizzling ones thrown in just to remind us that it's spring. Those dull days just scream for a soulful pea soup. I really like Sarah Kramer's version from La Dolce Vegan. It contains just a few ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen already, a bit of simmering time and then into your belly! It warms me up right to my toes.
Bread pudding is very homey, but I find it kind of blech. Jazz it up with panatone and cinnamon syrup and you've got my attention. Sadly, panatones are only ever found at Christmas time, so I'll get a couple of really good quality ones, slice them in half and freeze them. I saw Giada De Laurentiis make French toast with panatone on one of her shows and that enticed me, so we now have that on Boxing Day morning for a little extra special breakfast. After looking through some of Giada's other recipes on The Food Network site, I found one for panatone bread pudding. It uses the same yummy syrup as for the toast and this is bread pudding pushed to the nth degree!
Liqueurs are a nice sweet, warming, flavourful way to finish off a meal. Navan vanilla liqueur is one of my favourites and it was lovely as a nightcap after the bread pudding.
Simon says his new yard is great! He loves to go out and play with Daddy & help him with the BBQ. But he doesn't much care for helping Mommy with unpacking. *sigh* Off to do more.....
Dreena's book is almost ready for release! May 1 is the official date, There is going to be a special 'Buy On' promotion, so keep checking Dreena's blog for more info.
Even though I was honoured just to test recipes for her, Dreena was kind enough to send all of the testers a copy of her book. The cover is great and there are some full-colour photos inside that are truly mouth-watering.
In this post, I'm going to show you some more of the dishes I made while testing. Get ready because there are A LOT of photos.
Tomato Artichoke Pasta
Boulangerie Potatoes with Sautéed Fennel and White Beans
This is how it looks on the inside. Yummy!
"Hello Vegan" Bars
Anise &Coriander-Infused Orange Lentil Soup (this is elegant dinner party fare)
French Lentil Soup with Smoked Paprika
Double Chocolate Chippers
Three Bean Salad
Artichoke and White Bean Dip
Artichoke and White Bean Dip (baked)
Yellow Sweet Potato Chickpea Pie with Basil (this alone is worth getting the book for)
Roasted O & V Potatoes
Oat 'n' Applesauce Muffins
Citrus-Scented Almond Muffins
Pumpkin Chickpea Cauliflower Curry With Fresh Cream Sauce
Oven-Sweetened Beets with Sage
"No-fu Love Loaf"
Creamy Barley Risotto with Thyme and Star Anise
Orange Almond Cranberry Chip Biscotti
Lemony Luscious Almond Cake with Almond Maple Sauce
Duo of Roasted Fennel
Fab Cakes with Smarter Tartar Sauce
BBQ Sunflower Tofu
Terry's Chocolate Orange Cookies
Krispie Chip Cookies
Chickpea and Artichoke "Bliss in a Dish"
Fresh Orange Cake
Fresh Orange Cake
Strawberries 'n' Cream Ice Cream
It all looks good doesn't it? Dreena even has a whole chapter on just ice cream! You should also check out her new website at Plant Powered Kitchen.
Did you know that Gwyneth Paltrow wrote a cookbook? I saw it at the library and decided to check it out. Although there are quite a few meat dishes in it, there are still a lot that are vegetarian or can be converted to "veg."
The first thing I flipped to was a recipe for Spiced Apple Crumb Muffins and as a huge plus, I had all of the ingredients on hand.
There was a glaring omission in the recipe. It tells you to make the crumb mixture, but then never tells you what to do with it. I assumed that the crumbly mix got sprinkled on top before baking, so that's what I did. It seemed to work out OK.
Made with spelt flour, soy milk, no refined sugar and lots of cinnamon, these tasted really good, but were extremely crumbly. When I tried to cut one in half to show the inside, it just fell apart. One also disintegrated when I was taking it out of the pan. These are not the thing of elegant snacking.
I then tried Banana Walnut Muffins also made with spelt flour, barley flour, maple syrup and brown rice syrup.
These were supposed to have raisins in them, but I opted for just the nuts. These seemed a little bit dry, but held together much better than the other ones. These are not a sweet muffin, but perhaps if I'd added the raisins... I've had better, but may try to tweak this to my liking because it is a bit on the healthier side.
I'm willing to try a recipe or two that are not baked goods since the above two didn't impress me a whole lot. Dynise's cornbread is much better than Gwyneth's muffins.
This is a tried and true recipe for oatmeal cookies. It never disappoints. It's from my old Betty Crocker cookbook (copyright 1978). The pictures in it are so '60's, and the recipes may seem a bit dated, but it is hands down, one of my favourite cookbooks. It's full of the kind of comfort dishes I grew up on. The cookie recipe, as written contains no eggs. There is buttermilk, but that is easily substituted. The original doesn't call for chocolate chips, but I just went a little wild and threw some in. The recipe makes a huge batch, but is easily halved.
FARM-STYLE OATMEAL COOKIES
2 cups packed brown sugar 1 cup shortening (1/2 margarine and 1/2 shortening is nice) 1/2 cup buttermilk 1 tsp. vanilla 4 cups quick-cooking oats 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I did part whole wheat) 1 tsp. baking soda 3/4 tsp. salt
Heat oven to 375F. Mix brown sugar, shortening, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten cookies with the bottom of a glass dipped in water. Bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet.