When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Vegan Day 21, 22, and 23 September 24, 2014

Day 21

We ended up having a Viva Vegan themed night.  Granted, I probably should have made more food but we have been feeling a bit under the weather so we didn’t want to eat too much anyways. I ended up making Arepas with Sexy Avocado Tempeh Filling and Coconut Tres Leches Cake.  Surprisingly, I really liked the Arepas.  I didn’t think I would because I am not that big of a fan of Tempeh but the recipe was actually really good and Mike also liked it.  The Coconut Tres Leches Cake was also a big hit.  I wasn’t too sure about the topping, but tasting everything together, it worked perfectly.  Mike actually liked it too, which is very surprising since he doesn’t like the texture of coconut.  He said that since I used shredded unsweetened that it was okay because the bits were small enough that it wasn’t off putting.  I have also witness him eat a couple of slices, so I know that he was telling me the truth. For the flavorings of the cake and topping, I played it safe and just used vanilla.

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Day 22

…was pretty uneventful.  I worked that night, so I just had leftovers of Stuffed Peppers.  I almost caved and had pizza when I got home, but I battled thru and grabbed an apple and some peanut butter for a snack.

Day 23

I have no witty banter or anything to leave you with today.  I have been sick for a few days and it is taking its toll on me.  I keep thinking I will be able to do my 5k training and then my body betrays me, so I am trying to get better.  Because of the sickness going around the house, I called Mike while he was at work and requested Pho.  The closest place is near Mike’s work which is 30 minutes from the house.  So he agreed to pick me up Vegetarian Pho, Vegetarian Spring Rolls and Eggrolls.  I did check the ingredients in everything and it all listed ingredients that were Vegan, no animal products here.  So that made me very happy.  Everything was very good, and actually helped me battle thru this insane cold.

My French Bread post will have to wait until next Tuesdays since I was unable to post this until Wednesday.

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Tuesdays WIth Dorie: Tropical Napoleons and Scallop and Pesto Purses May 20, 2014

Huh, I just wrote half of my entry and I saw WordPress auto saving and then some thing went wrong when I tried to add a picture and now my original post is nowhere to be seen.  Not very happy that I am spending my time trying to write this again, but I guess it happens.  It is really annoying since this is my only time to write when my youngest is taking a nap and my oldest is actually being quite.

Lets try this again.

This week I am going to be writing about last times recipe, Scallop and Pesto Purses, and this weeks recipe, Tropical Napoleons.  As usual, I made the Scallops on time but life and procrastination got in the way.

Now it is time to play catch-up.

The recipe for the week of May 6th was Scallop and Pesto Purses which is located on page 435 in Baking With Julia.  I almost missed doing this recipe, but I happened to be at the grocery store picking up ingredients so that I could make tea marinated shrimp. I proceeded to call Mike to get him to give me the run down on the recipe so that I could get everything that I needed. The entire time I was repeating the additional items that I needed to pick up, but the frozen food distracted me. Well lets be honest, the frozen desserts and ICE CREAM distracted me and I ended up not picking up the Phyllo and missed the scallions earlier in my trip. 

Opps.

I realized all of this when I got home, so I set out to wing it.  I had some puff pastry and homemade pesto in the freezer.  The initial ideas was the make purses with the puff pastry and fill them with the scallop, pesto and parmesan cheese. Well that idea got slightly changed when I realized how big the scallops were.  They were HUGE, incidentally I only bought 4 because they were expensive. I ended up making pockets instead of purses.  I baked them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes until the pastry puffed and browned. We ended up having this for dinner along with the tea marinated shrimp.  It was the perfect amount of food.  I am pretty sure we had some vegetables too, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was.

ImageThis weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe was Tropical Napoleons, which is located on pages 393-394 in Baking With Julia.  I also made some slight modifications to the recipe so that I didn’t have to make a trip to the grocery store. We use fresh Strawberries that we had picked up at the Farmers Market, instead of a mix. I used shredded sweetened coconut instead of flaked. Finally, I didn’t have any heavy cream in the house, but I did have cans of coconut milk.  I remembered in all of the vegan baking that I have done that I had come across a recipe for Vegan Whipped Cream using chilled coconut milk.  The key to the whipped cream is to make sure you are NOT using lite coconut milk, then you place the can in the refrigerator for 6 hours or more.  You do this so that the milk separates, and you spoon out the solids (coconut cream) that rises to the top.  Take the coconut cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, and just beat it together like you would normally when making whipped cream. It ends up whipping to a medium soft peak, and can be used immediately in a recipe. It does firm up a little more after it is refrigerated, so I placed my in the fridge until I was ready to use it.

For the wafers/meringues in the recipe, I only made 1/3 of a recipe because I was afraid it would take too long to make a whole recipe worth and I didn’t have the time.  Hindsight, I should have made a full recipe because my 3 year old LOVED them and kept trying to steal them as snacks while I was making everything. She was actually looking for them this morning and then asked me if I ate them all. Surprisingly, I didn’t and they were just on top of the fridge where she couldn’t see them.  The Napoleons tasted very good and they are a nice light dessert for the summer.

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Vegan Crockpot Time September 29, 2013

Filed under: Curry,Main Courses,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 11:30 am
Tags:

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A couple of weeks ago, I decided to make a bunch of Vegan meals in my Slowcooker. I have had this cookbook (The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World by Lynn Alley) for awhile and I have wanted to cook a few recipes out of it. I finally felt like the right time to try them out and Mike was willing to cooperate and try the recipes too. I ended up making Butternut Squash in Green Curry Sauce page 53, Potatoes and Peas in Red Curry Sauce page 48, and Lebanese Eggplant Stew page 105.

All of the recipes were very easy to make and the only prep was chopping up the vegetables. I think out of all of the recipes my favorite was the Potatoes and Peas in Red Curry Sauce. It was more substantial than the Butternut Squash in Green Curry Sauce. Don’t get me wrong the Green Curry was great, but it needed more vegetables than just the butternut squash. Next time I think I might add sliced onions and peppers. In reality you could just add your favorite vegetable, but be careful with the cooking time because you don’t want them to be falling apart.

The Lebanese Eggplant Stew is similar to a Ratatouille, but with different spices and more liquidy, hence Stew. I ended up subbing yellow squash for the zucchini because that is what I had on hand. Also, most of the vegetables that I used were from the Farmers Market (eggplant and squash) and our garden (2 types of green peppers). It turned out good, and all of the recipes were served either over rice or with rice.

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Summer Vegetable Tart July 16, 2013

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie’s recipe is the Summer Vegetable Tart which is located on page 436 in Baking With Julia. When I think Summer Vegetables I always think of yellow squash and zucchini, but this tart did not have either of those in it. I thought about adding it, but I decided to go with what the recipe said first.

I was really surprised that essentially you are making a crust out of overlapping Phyllo dough and baking it. Then you just fill it with your sautéed vegetable mixture of onions, garlic, red peppers, and mushrooms that has been tossed with Feta. It was surprisingly very simple and I ate half of the tart for dinner last night, opps 🙂

Mike really liked it and Emma, my two year old, sat there and ate the mushrooms and red peppers. So I would say this recipe was a success and I will more than likely make it again for a quick dinner.

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Savory Brioche Pockets May 21, 2013

For the week of May 21st, Carrie of Loaves and Stitches hosted the recipe for Savory Brioche Pockets, which is located on pages 421-422 in Baking With Julia.

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I actually made these for dinner when my father was here helping us with the girls. I changed up the filling a bit to make them a Main Course. I omitted the asparagus because I had been eating that a lot and wanted a break. In its place I added ham, and then I had to omit the roasted red peppers because I actually didn’t have enough room in the pockets for them since the ham slice was so thick. Everyone actually really enjoyed these, even my 2 year old who ate her pocket without the ham.

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Pizza Rustica April 9, 2012

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As I sit here, writing this entry, relaxing to the quite sounds of a sleeping house, I sip my coffee….

YES, I am drinking coffee at 11:00 pm. The caffeine really does not have any effect on my sleeping habits. I could drink a pot and still roll over and pass out. I have that much talent 🙂

Last weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was hosted by Emily of Capital Region Dining and Raelynn of The Place They Call Home. They had the honor of rocking out with Pizza Rustica, which is located on pages 430-431 in Baking With Julia. I actually made this recipe on time and we ate it for dinner last Monday. I just had a bout of procrastination and now one week later, BOOM, here it is.

This recipe was actually EXTREMELY easy to put together and have for dinner the same night. It came out absolutely perfect. The flavor of the pizza was perfectly balanced. The saltiness of the prosciutto and the Pecorino Romano cheese was the perfect balance to the slightly sweet crust. I served it with a small salad and it was a nice dinner. Mike actually really liked the “quiche,” as he likes to call it. He actually polished it off in less than two days. The pizza was good slightly warm, cold, and at room temperature. The day after we ate it, I cut a slice and walked around the house eating it for breakfast :). It is perfect for any meal.

For Easter I did a catch up Tuesdays With Dorie recipes of Dorie’s Florida Pie (cross between a key lime pie and coconut pie with a meringue on top) and Dorie’s French Pear Tart. I have made the Pear Tart before which is fantastic, but it was my first time to make the Florida Pie. The Florida Pie came together pretty quick and it was fantastic and my father-in-law loved it. Sorry no pictures of the pies.

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Daring Cooks: Savory Edible Container April 14, 2011

Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

The rules for this challenge are as follows:

Mandatory Items: To make a SAVORY edible container and fill it with something appropriate.

Variations allowed:

  • You may want to use one of the ideas provided here as described, or give them your own twists and your own recipes for the content.
  • Or, you can choose to create something totally new, from scratch.
  • As long as it is a container, it is edible, and has a content suitable for it, I want you all to have a lot of fun challenging your creativity!

For this challenge I decided to go with a recipe that I have wanted to bake for awhile now, but just ended up putting it on the back burner, Bacon and Egg Pastries w/Spinach and Roasted Red Peppers.  The edible containers is actually puff pastry, something that is very yummy, and something that I have made for a Daring Bakers’ Challenge.

These pastries were very yummy, and can be eaten anytime of the day.  We actually had them for dinner, and they were fantastic.

Bacon and Egg Pastries

with spinach and roasted red peppers

Source: Cuisine at Home, April 2008, Issue 68, page 32-33

Makes 4 pastries

Total Time: about 1 hour

Fry; Add and Saute:

2 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced

2/3 cup white or red-skinned potatoes

1/2 cup onion, diced

1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced

1/2 t. minced fresh rosemary (I omitted this)

1 1/2 cups fresh spinach

Salt and pepper to taste

Beat; Add:

2 oz cream cheese, sofened

3 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup Gruyere or Swiss Cheese, shredded

1 T. all-purpose flour

1/2 t. zosher salt

1/8 t. cayenne

Roll out; Brush Pastries with:

1 sheet purchased puff pastry, slightly thawed

1 egg beaten with 1 T. water

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Coast four 4″ quiche pans with removable bottoms with nonstick spray and arrange on a baking sheet (I used 4″ round springform pans because I didn’t have quiche pans.  They turned out great, but just not as pretty).

1) FRY bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat until crisp; drain on a paper towel-lined plate.  Pour off all but 1 T. drippings and return pan to burner.  add potatoes, onion, peppers, and rosemary; cook covered, until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes.  Stir in spinach, reserved bacon, salt, and pepper; set filling aside.

2) Beat cream cheese in a bowl with a hand mixer, then blend in eggs.  Add milk, cheese, four, and seasonings; beat to blend.

3) Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 12″ square.  Cut into four 6″ squares, then lightly press 1 square into each prepared pan.  Spoon about 1/3 cup potato mixture into each pan, then pour about 1/3 cup egg mixture on top.

4) Fold corners of sough onto filling, brush with egg wash, and bake until crust is browned and filling is set, 20-25 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before unmolding.