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Days 11 and 12 VEGAN!!! September 15, 2014

Day 11

I went ALL out for dinner.

I made Chickpea Cutlets with Sweet Vidalia Onion Sauce (Veganomicon), Caulipots (Appetite for Reduction), and Green Beans with Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions.  For dessert we had…




Boom, mind exploded.

I have made the Chickpea Cutlets before and remembered really liking them.  I decided to do the Sweet Onion Sauce with them because I always have onions on hand.  For the sauce I did think it wasn’t saucy enough so I added Vegetable Stock to it for more liquid and then I thickened it up with a slurry of flour and vegetable stock. When I was making dinner I was trying to have everything ready when Mike got home, so I actually made the sauce all the way thru (except for thickening it) and had the cutlets formed and ready to sauté up.  I also made the Caulipots (Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes) a bit early because I knew they would stay warm.


I also made small plates up for each of the girls, Maureen (1 years old) tried every thing on her plate and seemed to enjoy it. Emma was passed out on the couch because she had a big day with her Grandma. But Emma did wake up to have some Green Pie, and declared that she loved the pie and it was the best pie ever. Mike actually liked everything, and ate it all.  He also suggested that I make the Caulipots for Christmas because he really liked those.

Day 12 

I made the Blueberry Maple Bran Muffins (Isa Does It) for breakfast and the whole family gobbled them up.  I did omit the maple extract because I couldn’t find any.  So I guess I should say, I made Blueberry Bran Muffins.  Both girls loved them and I really couldn’t get enough of them. Someone should have probably slapped my hand a few times when I went over and grabbed another one to eat.  Emma actually had two muffins and Maureen threw a mini fit until we have her bits of her own muffin.  She the proceeded to eat the rest of one of Emma’s muffins.


Eating vegan has been going very well, but as you will see from my posts it has been pie and baking. So it hasn’t been very healthy, but it has been yummy.  I am still keeping up with my 5k training so I haven’t been worrying about it and I haven’t gained weight either.


Days 8-10 Vegan September 11, 2014

Filed under: Breakfast,Dinner,Vegan,Vegan MoFo — pastrybrush @ 3:23 pm
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Not too much has happened in the past few days.  I have made a few items and I am making a good amount of stuff tonight for dinner (Day 11), but I will post about that when it is complete.

Day 8

I made the Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna from Veganomicon and I add the Almasan on top.  It was very good and the husband actually like it.

Do you know how hard it is for me to get him to eat tofu?


I tricked him once in the form of a chocolate pie.  He really liked the pie, but he wasn’t too happy with me when I told him there was tofu in it after the fact.  HAHAHAHAHAHA (evil laugh).

The Almasan was AWESOME!!! I could totally imagine putting that on top of popcorn.

With regard to the lasagna I used a little less spinach because I was having some issues fitting everything into the baking dish.  I thought I was going to have a drip mess in the oven so I baked it on a sheet pan, but surprisingly it didn’t drip at all.  I was EXTREMELY surprised because that lasagna was essentially over the top of the rim of the baking dish.  I did add sautéed onions to the marinara sauce along with some fresh basil.  I think next time I am going to sauté the spinach up with some garlic and season it with salt and pepper.  I would also give that same treatment to the mushrooms (which I had 20 oz instead of 16oz).  Essentially giving everything layers of flavor so that it isn’t too bland.

Oh yeah, and I love garlic so you can never have too much.

Day 9

IMG_4796You know how you have those days where you just NEED some carbs.  You don’t just want it, you NEED it.  Well that was me on Day 9.  I knew that Mike (the husband) wasn’t going to eat Coconut French Toast (Isa Does It).  It has nothing to do with flavor, he is fine with that. He doesn’t like the texture of coconut.  Since the Coconut French Toast is dipped in batter and then unsweetened shredded coconut, I knew it was a no go for him.  I made half the recipe because I knew I couldn’t eat 6 pieces of bread.  I used my leftover Whole Wheat French Bread that I made last week, and it turned out fantastic.  At first I was skeptical because I always put sugar in my French Toast batter and this one doesn’t have any. I decided to go with it just to see what happens.  The French Toast was rich from cooking it in coconut oil, so I didn’t need to put the usual vegan butter on top.  I just drizzled it with a little bit of maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar and the sweetness was perfect.  I threw some frozen berries on the plate for some color.

I some how was able to do this with the girls playing in the other room.  But the peace didn’t last long when I heard Emma say, “Uh-oh” and then come into the kitchen looking for a cloth.  I walked into the living room and she had dropped her drink on the floor and it busted open.  So I had to clean that out of the carpet. Funny thing was my 1 year old came over to the carpet after I had cleaned it and tried to lick the floor like one of the dogs.

Crazy children 🙂

Day 10

Not too much has happened. My knees have been bothering me, and that is just because I am not a runner and I am training for a 5k.  I made it to the gym and I have gradually knocked off a minute from my average mile time in a week.  But trust me it isn’t close to being fast at all, progress is progress so I will take it. I haven’t been keeping up with the 21 day fix workouts this time around, but I have been sticking to my diet (lifestyle eating change).

I started making the Grasshopper Pie in Vegan Pie In The Sky so that we could have it for dessert on day 11 (today).  I am very excited for this pie, and I also thank my husband everyday that he bought me a Vitamix because it really helps with making pies and sauces with nuts (cashews).

Eating Vegan has been going very well, and I am surprised by the variety that I have been able to include in my diet.  My omnivore diet was not as varied.  I decided to step on the scale and just see if anything has happened because it has been hard for me to loose a couple of pounds lately.  I usually gain muscle and don’t lose weight at all or it is just slow going.  I always see results with regard to measurements just not on the scale.  So yeah, I lost 2 lbs in a week just changing to a Vegan diet.


Veggie Side Dish Dinner September 5, 2013

Filed under: Side Dishes,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 4:01 pm
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Being an Omnivore, every once in awhile I have crazy cravings for just vegetables. The plan was to go to the Farmer’s Market to pick up some seasonal veggies and just cook them up. All in all I was shooting for a veggie side dish dinner. Unfortunately, we were not able to make it to the Farmer’s Market because I worked a late shift the night before and needed some sleep. It is next to impossible to sleep in because I have 2 daughters (2 years old and 4 months old). So I am usually tired in general.

Our garden finally produced some vegetables in the form of an insane amount of green beans and peppers. Granted we could have had tomatoes but the squirrels have decided to have parties in our yard and eat all of them, right before harvest (sad face). Mike pickled the jalapeños and I sautéed the green beans up with some mushrooms, garlic, and white wine. I did run to the store to pick up some red cabbage and apples because I was craving the red cabbage we had in Germany.

I made some modifications to the recipe in Joy of Cooking to the Braised Red Cabbage and Apples. Most notably I did not use bacon fat, instead I sautéed everything up with olive oil. I also replaced the honey in the recipe with maple syrup. I am sure you could also replace the honey with agave syrup.
This weekend we are definitely going to the Farmers Market, so I will remember to take pictures of all the lovely produce.



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.


Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Nut Butters July 15, 2010

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

I ended up choosing to make an un-toasted walnut butter because those are the nuts that I had on hand.  Granted, I didn’t blend them all them way because the description that Margie and Natashya gave for the Walnut butter was “Walnuts: form a very soft, oily, pourable butter in 1 or 2 minutes; the skins give walnut butter a slightly tannic and bitter flavor.” But I like my nut butters to be chunky so I was perfectly okay with this. (more…)


My Thanksgiving Feast December 4, 2008

100_1699This year was my first year to make Thanksgiving.  I ended up making so much food that I baked some in smaller dishes so that I could give it to some friends.  I was so behind on figuring out what I wanted to make for Thanksgiving that I planned the meal less than a week before Thanksgiving and the night before I stayed up until 2am writing out a timeline so that I would know when I needed to put everything in the oven.  It doesn’t help that I only have one oven and could only use one shelf in it.  So to make multiples of most of the dishes I had to wake up extra early at 730am to start prepping and start baking at 8am. (more…)


Vegan Adventure #14 September 22, 2008

Filed under: Breakfast,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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Remember awhile back when I posted about vegan biscuits and gravy.  That was adventure 7 if I am not mistaken.  I had mentioned a vegetarian restaurant that I used to frequent back in college that had some vegan offerings on their menu.  One of their offerings that I was always curious about was scrambled tofu.  My friend Stack use to go there and everyone that he was with used to complain when he got the scrambled tofu.  I always wondered what it looked like and tasted like.  I guess one day I should go back and order both of these dishes for breakfast and see how they measure up to Isa’s versions.

My curiousity got the best of me and when I finally go my nutritional yeast in I knew that I had to try my hand at some Scrambled Tofu.  It was very simple to make and it smelled fantastic when it was cooking.  I also made some spicy potatoes to go along with it.  I learned a trick from my Cooks Country Magazine a few years back when it comes to pan frying potatoes.  If you cut them up and microwave them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap it will cook the potatoes and you just brown them up in the skillet.  I used to go through the trouble of steaming them first and then putting them in the pan.  The microwave is A LOT faster.  This also works if you want to make roasted potatoes too.  When you take them out of the microwave toss them with seasoning and throw them in a 350°F oven until brown and toasty.

Everything turned out great and very tasty.  Since I was the only one eating the scramble there was no way that I could eat something that serves four in one day.  I decided to save some for the morning and I heated them up and they just weren’t as good as they were when they were fresh from the skillet.  So I guess next time I will make what I need.  The recipe would be pretty easy to scale down 🙂

Spicy Potatoes

Courtesy of Pastrybrush

2 small Yukon Gold Potatoes, 1/2 dice

1 tbsp olive oil

1-2 tsp cajun seasoning

Put the diced potatoes in a microwave safe dish and place plastic wrap over them.  Cook on high power for 5 minutes.  Heat oil in a medium skillet on medium heat.  Add the potatoes and sprinkle on the seasoning.  Cook until the potatoes begin to brown and crisp up on the outside.  Serves one.