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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Egg + Bread Casserole

Egg + Bread Casserole

i know i've said it plenty of times, i love eggs. lately my love for this food has been ... unhealthy a bit much. i actually asked dw to make me an egg sandwich twice last week, once for dinner. typically, eggs + toast is a weekend thing. he does his scientific boiled eggs, makes the toast and we share this breakfast treat (with soy sauce for me, cracked black pepper for him) in front of the tube watching foodtv. it's a favorite weekend activity for me.

when this particular dish came along on shannalee's blog, i was on board. i had to have it. it was like the stars aligned eggs were all in the same basket the perfect timing because it had been my goal to have another egg sandwich for dinner that night. instead, we had this. and it was perfect. the original calls for the use of cheese & bacon & butter, which i nixed. this is vegetarian and dairy-free.

adapted from Deliciously Organic, as guest-posted on Food Loves Writing

Egg + Bread Casserole

Friday, October 21, 2011

Crock Pot Apple Sauce

Apple Sauce
Apple Sauce

i understand. it's a texture thing. that's why i get it when my western peers (except for dw, who'll eat anything and everything at least twice) don't order the tripe with their pho, or how i cringed when i tried cow brains for the first time. slimy slash creamy slash subtle crunch slash goo. yeah. apple sauce can be like that. especially the way i made it this week, i kept the skins on (fiber is good for you, people!). and every spoonful has been autumn on my tongue, warm, sticky sweet without the cloy, tart without the pucker.

the night i made this, i was also making a haitian stew that turned out too ugly to photograph and pickling beets. i virtually ignored the crock pot while it stewed the apples, coating the abode with an autumn fog of cinnamon & cloves. at the end of the night (about 4 hours), before bedtime, dw caught me cave girl grunting whispering sweet nothings to it, wanting very much to dive into it face first, but the chompers were brushed and retainers in place. instead, the following day, after the entire pot had time to flavor-meld, we rough vitamix-ed it.

that was that.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

:: october twenty eleven ::

Picnik collage
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already. it's past the halfway mark of october. it's autumn temps, curtains fluttering from open windows and our bed dressed with flannel sheets. i've busted out my knee high socks, poor dw doesn't know what to do with all the extra colorful articles of clothing in our laundry basket. this is his favorite season and because i love him, i have embraced it without a grimace this year.

we completed our first marathon relay this past weekend, spent 14 hours in slumber recovering (!!) and then spent a late morning wandering thru an apple orchard with a friend. this week will hopefully bring forth TWO apple pie recipes, from myself & dw. an apple pie throw down, if you will. in the meantime, i spent sunday evening making cake pops and as it happened, they turned out looking like little apples. enchante.

the cake came from my failed attempt, defrosted from the freezer. the recipe here, the only modifications were that i used almond milk in lieu of regular milk.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Black Beans & Venison Chili

Black Bean & Deer Chili
Black Bean & Deer Chili

dw & i have had issues recently. they're bean related. not what you think. more like, how to prepare them. we've sworn off the canned stuff and now are using organic dried. and they are taking forever to cook. the first time was with chickpeas for falafel. this time was for chili.

it's chili season. dw likes his chili. we crock potted the living shit out of this chili. not because we wanted to but because the black beans we used didn't cook all the way thru the first day. yeah. so we had to cook it the next day.

we soaked the beans for 16hours and then threw them in with the chili ingredients to cook for 6ish hours. the beans were still generously al dente. after a bit of griping on twitter, wandering chopsticks threw this nugget out at me: do not add vinegar or salt, as it prevents the beans from softening. we are thinking the acid in the tomatoes discouraged the beans from softening. so i would say boil the beans separately and add them about an hour before the dish is done. oh the things i learn online!

black Beans & Venison Chili

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting ~ dairy free

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

dw says i'm an impulsive buyer. i like to think that i'm a decisive buyer. i make a decision quickly, stick to it and unless it blows chunks, will say it's the best buy for me. i don't do much research on things, because the internet is a place that will give you the pros & cons for everything and depending on your own needs, you'll always be able to find information to support your viewpoint. i'll do the cursory look thru, viable competition perusal, customer feedback and go from there. on the flip side, dw takes his time when making purchases, big or small, there might even be spreadsheets involved. i wouldn't be surprised if he told me that it takes him days to make a decision (if he makes one) on a major appliance or whether to renew his car insurance. we don't grocery shop together anymore, i plow thru the aisles, grabbing the must haves while he's still barely past the front door, reading labels. i want to be in & out of the store in 30 minutes, he likes to amble & be One among the organics.

this works for him. and i should take note because there is something to be said about being so methodical and prepared.  this past weekend i attempted a cake recipe i had never tried before, from a reputable site. i wanted to try something new, saw the picture and made the snap decision to attempt it.  it came out looking like a big pile of dog shit. it is now in two 1-gallon bags, sectioned off, in the freezer to one day be made into cake pops probably. what i should've done was use a recipe that has never steered me wrong, that is a sure thing as i originally noted, and it never fails that someone would ask me for the recipe. {aunt mymy requested it this time). i did tweak it just a smidge and the peanut butter frosting i made took the cake over the top.

this cake was made for a cousin's 30th birthday and as a few of the party attendants are lactards (especially yours truly), i made it dairy free.

Chocolate Cake {recipe doubled) with Peanut Butter Frosting, topped with Chocolate Ganache

Cake
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup AP flour
1 cup Silk Soy Creamer
3/4 cup cocoa powder + 1 TBL
1/2 cup veggie oil
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup hot water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour a round cake pan (8x3)

In a mixing bowl combine dry ingredients.

Gradually add eggs, soy creamer, and oil. Beat on high speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Remove from mixer; stir in water. (batter will be thin).

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

cool completely.

**note:
i don't have the same sized pans... i used one 8X3" pan and two 9X2" pans. caused a cluster, trimming the cakes was fine, but icing the sides with so many crumbs was a nightmare.

Peanut Butter Frosting
4 sticks of Earth Balance soy margarine
several splashes of soy creamer
1 container of creamy peanut butter, not organic
powdered sugar

***note:
as i learned from my cake decorating instructor, it's all about consistency. i did not measure how much powered sugar i used. i played it by ear. you want to for your off-set spatula to stand on it's own when you stick it straight up in the bowl.

Chocolate Ganache
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup soy creamer

heat up the creamer. take off burner, add the chocolate and stir to mix. you want a thicker consistency. i wanted to pour the ganache over the cake but not have it spill over the sides.

Assemble
i ended up with 3 layers. ice between layers, frost the sides. make it as smooth as possible. pour chocolate ganache over the top of the cake being careful to not spill over the sides. decorate sides with chopped salted peanuts.

serve slivers because this a rich cake.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ Gluten & Dairy Free

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Gluten-free/Dairy-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

it's confession time (again). i made these for ass kissing purposes. last week i had the opportunity to meet Matt Nathanson. it's a Life List item for me, one that is quite easy to fulfill considering the amount of times i've seen this man perform this year and how incredibly accessible he makes himself to his fans. however, when i am in the presence of God of someone i admire or fangirl over, i am rendered mute. i'm not my usual angry bubbly self, i don't have the brain capacity to say something witty. i had a chance over the summer when i saw him ALONE in the parking lot of a cafe in VA where he was doing a super secret show and i shit myself chickened out.

my dear friend Nancy, who is an expert at meeting celebs, won a chance to do a meet/greet, as well as watch him be interviewed by the local radio station. she could bring a friend. she brought me. i, in turn, brought these cookies. because i KNEW i would not say anything remarkable, memorable, or possibly even human. i did manage to tell him that they were gluten & dairy free, and made with completely organic ingredients. he hugged me. he hugged me. i may have peed myself. i spent the rest of the day fighting a headache from the excitement & stress this event gave me. don't judge me.

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ Gluten & Dairy Free

2 1/2 cups quinoa flour
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of baking soda
8 TBL earth balance soy margarine stick, melted & cooled
2 TBL veggie oil
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
chocolate chips, whatever amount. i used soy based ghirardelli mini chips
kosher salt for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven 350F.

put all the dry ingredients in mixing bowl. add in the melted/cooled margarine. i put in 2 tablespoons worth of oil in the 1/2 cup measuring cup before adding to the mix. then i added the honey to the measuring cup, making it much easier to pour the sticky sweetness from the cup since it was greased by the oil. throw in the vanilla. mix thru. add the chips.

form into cookies. these do not spread or rise, so whatever shape you make them into, that's the way they will bake. i made them teaspoon sized, smashed down a smidgen. sprinkle with kosher salt & bake for 8 minutes. *can go longer for another minute or so if you want, but i like my stuff underbaked and i bet you, matt does too.

verdict: i had nancy try them. she & i could not get around the texture of it, it's just different. i left out two for dw to try and he enjoyed it. the initial bite (which is what nancy & i had) is crumbly & soft, but as you eat more, it becomes more appealing. i *almost* didn't give them to matt nathanson for fear they were shitty. but bigK talked sense into me. it's just the texture of a non-gluten baked good (we think), it's not bad, it's just not something we are used to as gluten eaters.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

as of late ...

Pennsylvania Eastern Penitentiary

the first weekend of october starts off 3 months of extensive socializing, travelling and chaos. hold on tight, it's going to be a very busy Autumn.

we spent a decadent 48 hours in philadelphia, walking in the city, the streets narrow and strewn with falling crimson leaves. the air was damp and brisk, seeping deeper than the two layers of clothing i was wearing, giving me chills and forcing me to hug closer to dw -- not that i was complaining. we ate, we were merry, we tired from the blocks upon blocks of walking, we saw sights -- oh the sights we saw! we shopped, i spied little saigon from little italy and we spent a good portion of sunday afternoon walking around there. for more philly pix.

which brings me to why we were in the city of Brotherly Love. it was to see this man perform. saturday night's show marked my fifth time seeing him this year. never mind, i had seen him 4 nights prior with friends + dw at the 9:30 club in DC. never mind, i had met him 3 days prior at a local radio station meet/greet session.

Meeting Matt Nathanson

first photo courtesy of nancy n. dw initially turned nancy turned her into a tree rather than crop her out and then i took it to a whole other level of ridiculousness. see in the corner there, that brown paper bag next to the water bottle? i made him cookies, specifically, gluten & dairy free cookies. recipe coming soon.