Yet another vegan blog. Obsessed with cookies. Addicted to peanut butter. Fighting for the vegan revolution!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Post-Christmas Cookin' and a New Gadget

All alone the day after Christmas, with nothing to do and off from work, I decided to make a favorite of mine: tofu omelets from Cozy Inside. One variation of the recipe can be found here. I had some slightly expired tofu in the fridge that I did not want to waste. It was only, like, a week old. I was seriously lacking in vegetables that I could combine into some kind of theme. I did have three different kinds of peppers, though. When I woke up that morning I did not think to myself, 'Gee my colon could use another hole in it. I think I'll burn one into it.' No, this was not my intention. I do have a high threshold for pain and all things hot, so I threw caution to the wind. I chopped up some onions, green peppers, banana peppers and jalepeno peppers and sauteed them.


I had no plain soymilk. Hell, I had no soymilk, period. Instead, I used vanilla oat milk. Thankfully, I could tell no difference in the end product. I blended up the oat milk and tofu in my Magic Bullet and poured it in a big bowl.

This is the blended tofu/oat milk with the soy flour (I never have chickpea flour) and nooch mixed in. Very creamy. After I added the onion and pepper in, I felt bad about not having more of a veggie variety, so I dumped in some salsa. The hot stuff. I also added some red pepper flakes to the mix. It's like I was just asking for it. Maybe I was. Here's the batter in the pan:

I never make them very big. Mostly because I can't flip very well. Also because I like to put them on sandwiches. Mostly the first one.

All flipped over. Obviously not the same one as pictured above it. Regrettably, the first two were not cooperative, and ended up more like a tofu scramble: still good, just not in omelet form. When I make them small I can usually get about 8 out of a batch. Then they end up as my lunch for the next several days. Can't complain.

The book. A most awesome book and a good deal too. I took the cheap route and downloaded and printed it myself, hole-punched it and rigged up a binder for it. I also made pumpkin biscuits (using the Cooking Light recipe for Sweet Potato Biscuits, halving it and using Smart Balance margarine and spelt flour)and "sausage" (the Gimme Lean stuff), but they were more "functional" - meaning they were yummy, but not pretty enough to take a picture of.

Finally, a very exciting find. My mom stumbled across this at Goodwill, and thought of me.

It's an ice cream maker! It makes one half-pint! Which to me is a perfect serving. Well, I would eat a whole pint, but if I only had half a pint at a time around I wouldn't be tempted! How adorable is it?

I am torn between making banana or pumpkin "ice cream" first.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Christmas was awesome. I got everything I wanted. Especially some great cookbooks.

I couldn't possibly be more excited about these books. I just don't know where to begin. Something will be made before the day is out. Mark my words.

There was no baking this weekend, as I would have been stuck in the house with the deliciousness since I have a five day weekend from work. Lazy + cookies = my pants don't fit anymore.

I did finish the "snood" I was working on. It's a scarf/hood hybrid and it is quite cozy. I just haven't taken a pic yet. I'll get around to it. I started work on a fluffy white hat with ear flaps too. 'Tis the season to knit.

Must go. I hear the kitchen calling...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Feeling Christmas

Nothing says Christmas to me more than gingerbread and peppermint. I am in no mood to spend hours making and decorating gingerbread men this year, so to satisfy the gingerbread monster deep within me, I made Gingerbread Biscotti from the recipe over at the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen blog. I've never eaten biscotti. I've never made biscotti. So this was quite an experience for me. I used all unbleached AP flour and ended up having to add about 3 tablespoons of water at the end to make the dough stick together. Here's my logs after round 1 of baking:

Obviously my shaping technique leaves something to be desired. Okay, I suck. The finished product:

I got 16 happy little biscotti, not counting the end pieces. I guess I cut 'em too big. Oh, well. The taste? Subtle and spicy. They are crunchy at first, then become chewy and finally melt in your mouth. Why have I shunned biscotti for so long? I have no reason to dislike the crunchy cookie any longer. Bonus:


On to the next order of bizness: peppermint. The other day one of my co-worker's gave me a mug full of peppermints as a gift. Sadly the only gift from a co-worker that I could actually eat, despite them knowing of my dietary habits. Knowing I should do something special with peppermints this year, I hoarded them until inspiration hit. Inspiration hit me on friday afternoon when I checked the A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise blog. I knew I had to make the Chocolate Candy Cane Ice Cream. Sadly I had no arrowroot, nor have I been able to find any around here. I turned to V-con for help. I used the vanilla ice cream recipe in it, opting for the addition of melted chocolate, and then I obliterated my peppermints (in a baggie with a mallet). So this morning I blended up everything but the peppermints, and stuck it in the fridge to chill. After about 7 hours it had firmed up nicely. It actually looked like mousse. I was tempted to stop here and just eat it all then. I forced myself to push on, knowing it would be even better as a frosty dessert. I poured it into my ice cream maker, which has been sitting under my kitchen counter unused for the past TWO YEARS. Crazy! I put the bowl in the freezer last night as directed. In the ice cream maker:

The peppermints waiting to be added:
I poured them in after about 10 minutes, and continued to crank every two minutes until it had been 20 minutes total. My impatientness got the best of me. I started eating straight out of the freezer bowl. It is very creamy, chocolatey and pepperminty. I spooned the rest of it into a freezer safe tupperware bowl and put it in the freezer to harden more, and to eat later of course. I am currently riding the ice cream sugar high. Weeeeeeeeeeee!

Look! It's ice cream!

Last week I mailed out my last two Christmas packages. After a marathon knitting spree (about 4 hours worth) I cranked out a scarf to fill the small, empty space I had in one of the boxes. It turned out to be a big hit with her, and I'm glad.

It's a very sparkly, fuzzy yarn. It only took one ball, about 50 grams, for the scarf and fringe. For another friend, I knit an ankle bracelet using blue beads with a few charms mixed in. There's a pegasus, a knight on a horse and a dragon. It was supposed to be a bracelet, but came out a wee bit big. Perfect for an anklet though.

I'm tired just thinking about all that. I think I need more ice cream.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Baking Wrap-up

The cookies were a hit, to say the least. Monday morning I marched my goods into work with me, and Tuesday morning I was presented with empty containers and lots of thank yous. Tuesday afternoon I got a phone call from a friend who received her box in the mail. She was overwhelmed by all the goodies. She said she would have to ration them out to her husband or they would end up as his dinner. The damage is as follows:

Many thanks to the post office who keeps coming through with their promise of a "next day delivery."

Before I added the fudge. This bucket went to the maintenance guys at work. A bucket full of cookies and fudge does not last long with 30 dudes around.

Cookies for a department upstairs from me. They are always so good to me. Lesson learned: when you're good to me, I give you food.

I didn't get a pic of the leftovers I took for my office. Obviously I don't like them nearly as much, as I didn't even bother to wrap them up pretty. I threw them in a tupperware container.

This afternoon, I made Zucchini Spice Gumdrop Bread. After reading about adding gumdrops to Zucchini Bread here, I just had to do it. I searched for the perfect bread recipe, and decided on the Zucchini Spice Bread in The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen. I picked this book up used last summer, and I have yet to use it until today. I followed the recipe as is, only subbing safflower oil instead of melted butter, using two flax "eggs," half ww pastry flour/ap flour and a cup of gumdrops instead of nuts and raisins. It was a very low sugar bread, perfect for the gumdrops as they add a good bit of sweetness. I used Dots because they are my favorites. I overdose on them every year at Halloween. They are the only thing in the candy dish I am interested in, and they disappear fast. I quartered each one and sprinkled about 2 tablespoons of sugar over them in a bowl and rolled them around in it, until they were somewhat coated. I was short about a quarter cup of shredded zucchini, but they turned out great. They are moist and spicy.

When cut open, it looks very similar to a fruit cake.

Talk about creative thinking. The woman that thought this up is a genius.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bake-A-Palooza: Day 2

After building my baking stamina up yesterday, I was able to bake with no pain today. I also had no distractions, therefore no ruined goods. First up, I whipped out La Dolce Vegan to make Wolffie's Peanut Butter Cookies. No subs, only I got more cookies than the recipe stated. No surprise, my cookies are either too big or two small.

They're taking up the bottom and half of the second tier. They are crispy and peanut buttery, though I have never been a big fan of crispy, so these are in no danger of being eaten by me before leaving the house tomorrow. I busted out my personal favs, the chocolate chip cookies from here, and used a Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate bar instead of chips. I put it in a lunch baggie and beat the crap out of it. It felt kind of good.

I love how the beat up candy bar makes the cookie look like it imploded. Ha. I realized as I was finishing up this batch that I was running out of EB sticks. I frantically searched for an oil based recipe. I wanted to make oatmeal raisin cookies, and the recipe I wanted to try called for 2 1/2 sticks. No way. I turned to Veganomicon, because I feel it could never steer me wrong. Inside were the Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Only, they called for brown rice syrup. It is impossible to find brown rice syrup within 50 miles of here. I happened to have EXACTLY 1/3 cup of agave nectar in the cupboard. The bottle was literally sputtering out the last drops. Sigh. Anyways, the cookies are dreamy. They are chewy and have an AWESOME flavor.

There's the raw cookie guts taunting me.

Up close, and loaded with raisins. I also ended up with about 37 cookies, rather than the 30 stated. Once, again, my boo-boo. Any boo-boo that results in more cookies is an alright mistake by me.
Finally, I made Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge from Peanut Butter Planet by Robin Robertson. I absolutely love this book. Everything in it uses peanut butter or peanuts. Truly amazing. I've made the Fantasy Brownies before, and they rocked my tiny little world.

Fudge: It's What's For Dinner. I wish. Here it is hardening in the fridge. I licked the wooden spoon until I was in danger of getting splinters in my tongue. It was THAT good. I was willing to risk a splinter.

I am tired. I need a nap.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Bake-A-Palooza: Day 1

Five straight hours of baking. Five hours of sugar and 80's music. This was the beginning of the Christmas baking season. Today I managed to knock out three varieties of cookies and some brownies. I had two pans of brownies, but sadly, the second pan didn't turn out well. I scalded the chocolate, therefore giving them that burnt taste. In my (careless) defense, I was on the phone at the time (multi-tasking!). I started out with a full batch of these pecan sables that I have made previously. I did add some chopped pecans in addition to the ground pecans. Made a big difference flavor-wise. The end result all wrapped up and ready to go in the mail (the picture was an afterthought):

I had my cookie agenda planned out last weekend, but on an impulse last ngiht I decided to try the Rumnog Cookies from V-con. Only I had no rum. So they are more like Rum(less)nog Cookies. I briefly toyed with the names, "Noggies" and "Nookies." Both sound kind of dirty. The cookies are pretty though, and have a nice spice to them. Instead of plain ole s'milk, I used Silk Nog, and also used it in place of the rum.

Preeeeeety. Now, this is the point in which the phone rang, and I was distracted during the entire time I made the Ginger Sparkle Cookies from VWaV and the brownies. Only the brownies suffered. I made the Ginger Sparkle Cookies earlier this year for my co-worker's and they sucked them down. I expect more of the same this time.

Here's another pic of my multi-tiered cooling racks; a must-have when you have no counter space.

I had already started wrapping the cookies up in clear plastic wrap when I remembered that we had colored wrap from the previous year. I know blue and pink aren't Christmas-y, but it will have to do. The "Noggies" waiting to be packed away.
The gang altogether. Ignore my trash can. Please.
Brownies fresh outta the oven, pre-cut. These were the only survivors. They weren't so pretty when I packed them up in foil though. These are the the same as the brownies I posted before. Once I find something I like, I tend to get in a rut. A yummy rut.

Slightly underbaked. Maybe by a few minutes. It just makes them fudgier.
I had planned on making two more types of cookies today, but I went out this afternoon and didn't feel like making anymore today. Tomorrow there will be more. Oh, there will be. There can't be a Day 1, without a Day 2.