Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I've been getting my money's worth out of this flour sifter I found at a garage sale.

It's a simple, fun, and helpful task that gets the girls involved.

Following is a look at what's been the result of all that sifting....

'Berry Oat Squares' from La Dolce Vegan!

I used some of my apricot-pineapple jam along with frozen blueberries for the filling, which was a tasty combo.
I guess this looked too healthy for my girls, and they wouldn't even try one, so I ate them all myself! I don't suggest this. Instead, make them when there's others to partake because you just can't stop 'til they're gone.

'Banana Bread' from The Damn tasty Vegan Baking Guide!

I added a handful of chocolate chips because it draws interest from the girls. This was good and we enjoyed it warm from the oven, though it seemed too moist to enjoy later that day. I used a silicone non-stick and perhaps that's the reason? Or maybe it just needed a bit more time to cook? Or, I over-filled the pan? Who knows! :)

'Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins' from The Joy of Vegan Baking.

Can you tell I like this flavor combo? This recipe is perfect for using up ripe bananas, taking four. I had 3 large bananas, and instead of mashing them, I pureed for a consistent texture. These muffins were perfectly delicious, and the whole family enjoyed them. I'll be making these again soon.

'Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Cupcakes' from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World.

These were fun to make, and a bit messy. I'm a competitior, and read the text, "Add both to the cupcake liner at the same time, side by side. Some people may not have the hand-eye coordination to do this (as easy as it sounds)...." to be a challenge! lol! Here is my handywork before clean-up. :)

'Chocolate Mousse Topping' from VCTOTW crowns them.

Silken tofu makes for the most luscious & light topping, along with providing a nice shot of protein from an unsuspected source.
I made them for Art's birthday last month. We both thought they were good enough, but nobody took the last one, and I probably won't make them again unless I need some coordination training. :)

I had a cookie recipe in mind, so first I needed to prepare the cookie sheets.

I like to alternate stacking cookie sheets and parchment paper. The top cookie sheet serves as a guide to trim excess paper, and also weighs down and conforms the papers so they don't slip as easily.

'Oatmeal Raisin Cookies' from The Joy of Vegan Baking are a delectable classic.

I didn't have oat bran, so added more of the rolled oats which worked out well for me. The rest of the recipe was by the book, and I used our favorite golden raisins. It yielded 3 dozen cookies using my medium scoop, and I shared a couple dozen with my neighbors. I enclosed lists of the ingredients, and I wonder if they'll notice there's no dairy?

To tally it up, that's 4 recipes tried, and 4 outstanding successes from this cookbook. With that track record, I feel comfortable trying recipes out on guests! Anybody else experiencing the Joy? :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Apple Picking & German Apple Cake

It's Fall, and we felt the calling to go pick apples, so we headed to Emmett, and followed the signs. At first, we thought we were at the same place as last year, but wound up finding another delightful orchard. Wee King's Orchard (2955 W. South Slope Road 398-8047) is an acronym of their 3 children's names and their last. They saw the property online, and sight unseen moved here from Monterey California. They thought it'd be fun to run an orchard, and found that it is, plus lots of hard work. They love it!

Here's their seasonal line-up:

Cherries in June
Apricots in July
30 varieties of Apples Aug/Oct
Empress Plums in September
Italian Prunes during September

Apple break! Picking apples makes you hungry and we were pleased to be lost in the Fuji section.

We also picked up pie pumpkins and ornamental gourds from their produce stand. Our city girls enjoyed running through the orchards, chasing a cat, and exploring their garden as we exchanged stories with the owners. It was a lovely day.

The apples we didn't eat fresh went into this '
German Apple Cake' from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I had four apple recipes in mind from this book and this was a great choice! Art and I ate the entire thing over the next couple days and didn't feel one bit guilty! :)

Hey, anybody going to the upcoming Vegan Holiday Festival in Portland? You could hear Brendan Brazier, or dish it up with Julie Hasson! Among the exhibitors will be Food Fight!, VegNews Mag, & Herbivore. Sounds like an awesome event!

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Look what I got in the mail yesterday! The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. You've seen her column in VegNews, and ask a vegan, plus all sorts of other great accomplishments.

But let's talk about this cookbook! It's thick (287 pages) with full page photos on about every third page. She offers tips, serving suggestions, food lore, and clears up cooking confusion with clear explanations. This is the closest thing I've seen to a vegan baking "Bible" covering the full range. To help us find our way through the 15 chapters of baking options, she also sorts her recipes by ingredient, seasons, and celebrations & occasions.

I'm becoming somewhat of a vegan cookbook collector, and this one definitely deserves a tiara! I'm impressed.

I decided to make the 'Pumpkin Spice Bread' for the girl's snack since we were painting pumpkins and feeling very Fall-ish.

I appreciate her option of using either Ener-G Replacer or ground flaxseed, and I used the later. I used 1/3 ww flour and 2/3 white, which is the balance I seem to prefer. Being out of ground cloves, I subbed pumpkin pie spice. The rest was straight up, and of course I added the optional chocolate chips.

The verdict? Fit for a princess! Delicious. This recipe makes a lot. For me it yielded a full-sized loaf pan and 12 muffins. She recommends making 4 mini loaves to give as gifts, which would be a great treat to share. The girls are eating some of the left-over loaf for breakfast as I type -- and it's awesome the next day, too! I really can't wait to fully explore this cookbook, and at the moment, the book remains open, either in the kitchen or on the nightstand! :)