Category Archives: Baking

vegan peasant feast

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My vegan peasant feast…

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  • Rustic sundried tomato bread with spelt flour
  • Roasted veggies with balsamic vinegar and chickpeas
  • Herbed polenta
  • Steamed greens (kale and red chard)

I don’t know if this meal is actually what peasants eat, did eat or would eat but it felt like they might. It was very rustic and homey feeling. Just as my son’s play date arrived, I started preparing the meal, about 2 pm. Bread dough was first up, while it was rising I started roasting the veggies and chickpeas. Then when the bread was ready to bake, shortly after I started the polenta. Just before the bread and polenta were ready I slide the veggies and chickpeas back into the oven to warm. By the time we had our fill and I washed up the dishes it was 6:08 pm. I’d say that was time well spent. If I hadn’t made the bread it would’ve been about an hour, actually less because I would roast the veggies for less time.

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Roasted Vegetables with balsamic vinegar and chickpeas

I have a love affair with roasted chickpeas so when I stumbled upon the Roasted vegetables with chickpeas recipe in a new vegan cookbook my husband gave me called Easy Vegan, it was a no brainer. I tweaked the recipe a little to suit my own taste. This is my version.

1 onion, peeled and cut through the core into wedges

8-10 large cremini mushrooms, quartered

12 cherry/grape tomatoes

1 head of garlic, separated and not peeled

1 red/yellow/orange pepper sliced (use 1 or 1 of each)

1 carrot, not peeled and sliced thickly

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

For balsamic glaze:

2-4 tbsp olive oil

1/4-1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (depending how many veggies you use)

1-2 tsp rosemary (fresh or dried)

1 tsp thyme (fresh or dried)

1 tbsp fresh italian parsley

Just so you know, I didn’t actually measure the balsamic ingredients, I just poured them on. Now that I got that out of the way here’s what I did. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a large cookie sheet with oil or parchment paper. In a large bowl combine all veggies (not the chickpeas, yet). Pour on the balsamic ingredients and toss gently, let marinade 30 mins-2hrs or overnight if you have the foresight. FYI, I didn’t marinade mine at all. Spread the veggies and all the marinade (should be a little puddle) on the prepared cookie sheet and put on the middle rack in the oven for 30 mins. Take the veggies out, add the chickpeas and toss with the veggies, turn the oven up to 400 F and put back in the oven for 30 mins, turning at least twice during cooking time.

Herbed polenta

Polenta is such a quick and easy grain dish to prepare. For me, it never seems to take as long as they say it does in the cookbooks. Mine is usually done in about 15 mins, unless I’m going to cool it and cut it into pieces and re-heat it.

1 cup cornmeal

3 cups water or vegetable broth (1/2 cup more if needed)

1 tsp sea salt

1/2-1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp rosemary (optional)

1/2 tsp thyme (optional)

In a large saucepan bring the water or broth to a boil, add herbs, salt and olive oil. Reduce heat to medium and slowly whisk in the cornmeal, adding gradually and stirring constantly, so you don’t get lumps (also builds nice arm muscles, be sure to switch hands to even the arms out lol). Reduce heat to low and continue cooking, stirring frequently until thickened, approx. 15 mins or 30-40 mins according to other chefs. You can serve the polenta at this point or spoon the polenta into a lightly oiled 8 or 10 in baking dish and spread evenly over the bottom. Refridgerate until cooled and firm, approx 30 mins. Slice the polenta into rectangles or triangles and heat in the oven or on stove top.

Rustic sundried tomato bread with spelt flour

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time to bake

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Tonight when my mother called she announced that she is giving up baking. I laughed, the thought of my mom giving up baking is as preposterous as my dad never watching golf again! She told me she’d tried a new recipe and is worried it didn’t turn out. “If it doesn’t turn out, I’m never baking again.” I told her she couldn’t base all her baking experience on a recipe she’s never tried before. My mother taught me how to bake, at the time she called I had just finished icing cookies with the boys and was getting ready to pack them up. I love baking and I have fond memories of helping my mom bake goodies at Christmas and all throughout the year. I don’t know if she’ll quit baking for good or not, but if she does her legacy will carry on, in me and my boys.

Time to bake, I love the science of baking. How you like that meniscus?
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Ready to bake….

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Brody pouring on the icing 🙂

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“Santa?”

“Yes, Stick Gingerbreadman?”

“I fear there are ninja among us?”

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“Never fear Stick Gingerbreadman, it’s only Disco Ninjabreadman and his merry backup dancers!”

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Happy Holidays!

Peace and Love.

happiest new year

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I can’t remember the last New Year’s Eve that we actually went out? For the last 6 years, I’m pretty sure I spent the evening taking down the Christmas decorations. Which suites me fine. It’s not that we don’t have any invites, we have had them in the past and this year too but we don’t mind so much, New Year’s is not a holiday either of us really see any point in. This year I thought it might be fun to have a family New Year’s but that didn’t work out, onto plan B. Bryn picked up some Coronas for himself and got me Mango Cider. I’m hoping to last until midnight. Although I did follow through on one of my New Year’s traditions of packing away all the Christmas decorations. I loved having them out but definitely don’t like dragging out the Christmas season and I don’t mean that in a bah-humbug way.

As I was putting the kids to bed tonight I told them that when they wake up tomorrow it would be 2012, today was the very last day of 2011. They were amazed by this and Brody thought that meant he went to school tomorrow. With the talk of moving into the new year I told the boys that tomorrow we could think about our New Year’s resolutions. Kaden said “oh no, I hate resolutions, last year’s resolutions SUCKED”! haha I guess to an 8 year old giving up candy does suck! On a positive note they did a great job of sticking to the resolution and we were able to cut out a lot of candy and sweets from their diet. Maybe this year we’ll be a little more collaborative about what we choose?

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2012?

In my world this is still the happiest way to spend new year’s eve.

Happy New Year with peace and love all throughout the year.

Mmmmango cider and cinnamon donut holes.

This afternoon I made Cinnamon Donut Holes from Vegan A Go-Go cookbook that Bryn got me for Christmas. It’s a little pocketbook style book that is perfect to tote along when you’re traveling. Looking forward to enjoying them with my mango cider!

Vegan Ninjabread Men

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Yes, you read that right. My oven’s been invaded by Ninja! (apparently even when plural it’s still ninja)

Naked ninjabread men waiting for their gi’s….

I used Isa Chandra Moskowitz‘s recipe from Vegan Cookies invade your cookie jar called gingerbread cut-out cookies. I have enjoyed every recipe I have tried from this book and her companion cupcake cookbook so I was confident with trying it for the first time and knew I’d be able to share them with family and friends. The recipe is very easy and made with common ingredients so no need for a trip to the specialty store. The dough was easy to work with, rolled out perfectly and baked in under 10 minutes. Also this recipe made 35 ninjabread men.

Everybody was Kung-Fu fighting.

Of course the boys need to taste test the cookies, two thumbs up!

Too busy enjoying the cookies to look at the camera.