Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vegan Oreo Cupcakes

So recently I bought myself the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World book...and I love it. These were my first project from the book and I can't wait to try more. I took a cupcake over to my brother who is deathly afraid of the word vegan and even HE loved it. Just a few days later we made a double batch together (its hard to bake with him because he eats them all before they can get frosted!). So...vegans and non vegans alike will love these and I highly recommend the book and I will keep you posted on further experiments!

Vegan Oreo Cupcakes
Makes 12

1 cup soymilk
1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (I like lemon juice myself)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped oreos

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line your muffin pans (I did big ones the first time and minnie the second time)
2. Whisk together the soy milk and lemon (or vinegar) in a big bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract and beat until the mixture is foamy. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, the cocoa powder and the salt. Add in two batches to the wet ingredients and beat until there are no large lumps. Add the oreos.
3. Fill your liners and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Move the cupcakes to a wire rack and let them cool completely.

Oreo Frosting
1/4 cup non-hydrog shortening
1/4 cup non-hydrog margarine (Earth Balance is a good one and they come in baking sticks!)
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup plain soy milk
1/2 cup crushed oreos

Beat the shortening and margarine together until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and soymilk and beat 5 more minutes. Add the oreos. Spread!

Red Lentil Vegetable Curry

Know what these little guys are?

How about now? Ok so you probably didn't need to guess since the answer is right in the title. That's right! Red lentils!

Missing my Kazu curries while I was in France, I made this dish a couple times and now that I'm a little homesick for said France - Im making it again. This curry can be done with any veggies and Im sure it will still turn out great - it would also be good with brown lentils - but I wouldn't really mix it with green lentils.

Lentil and Veggie Curry

1 soup spoon of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1-2 tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 cup of red lentils
14oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 cups veg stock
1 tsp chili paste (or skip it if you dont like it too spicy)
1 pound potatoes, cubed
1/2 a head of broccoli, cut into florets
garnish: cilantro, plain vegan yogurt

1. In a big sauce pan heat the oil over medium low heat and then add the onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, curry, chili powder and the carrots and cook for 5 minutes or just until the onion is soft.
2. Incorporate the lentils, tomatoes and the vegetable stock. Bring everything to a boil then reduce the heat, cover, and let the curry simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Add the chili sauce (if using), along with the potatoes and broccoli - cook 15 to 20 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender.
4. Serve the curry over rice, quinoa, or cous cous. Top with a bit of fresh cilantro or some vegan yogurt

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pita Pizza with Hummus, Leeks, Spinach and Radish

Like I mentioned in a previous post - I have been getting myself to the Frederick farmers market every saturday in hopes of filling a void left from my French market days. Last week I came across these cute little radishes and thought to myself that perhaps the markets in the US aren't so different after all - oh wait - there are no pigs heads here or chickens with their feet and feathers and heads still attached!....but mostly its the same right?

I got back to the house and went out in the garden right away to snap a few pictures of them and then got to thinking - what should I do with them? In France we ate them raw - with a little butter or salt - but I wanted something a little more exciting for my meal.

Tuesday this week we went to Ocean City for the day with some friends. After swimming we chowed down on some Thrashers and then moved on to pizza. Unfortunately as I have recently cut out dairy from my diet - pizza was kinda a boring choice for me. What it came down to was a fourth of a pizza with a thin layer of tomato sauce and two or three wilted looking broccoli on top. This is no pizza - so I decided to make my radishes a topping for a satisfying "pizza."

I say "pizza" because as you can see - it doesn't look like your typical pizza.

Pita Pizza for 2

2 whole wheat pita rounds
2 leeks, sliced thin
small bunch of radishes, sliced thin
2 cups torn spinach leaves
roasted red pepper hummus
1 avocado, diced
small bunch cilantro
extra virgin olive oil
herbs de provence

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Sautee the leeks and radishes together until the leeks begin to brown and the radishes soften. Add the spinach and sautee, stirring, until the spinach is wilted and soft. Set aside.
2. Place the pitas on a foil lined baking sheet. In a small bowl combine several soup-spoonfuls of hummus, 1 tsp of olive oil and a 1/4 teaspoon or so of herbs de provence. Spread the mixture evenly on the pitas. Top the hummus with the suateed veggies.
3. Bake the pizzas for 7-8 minutes or until the sides of the pita are golden. Top each pizza with avocado and serve with cilantro.

I left this meal totally satisfied and totally shocked that I hadn't even felt the slightest twinge of dairy desire.

Look out for some cooking with kale next week!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Coast to Cote Week 23 plus a few more

Pang: Last week, I took a mini vacation to Philadelphia to visit a friend. We checked out Eastern State Penetentiary and I thought it was a really cool/educational place. I felt like I learned a good bit there, but only came home with photographs and random weird facts. This picture was taken in one of the cells. This whole place was in slow decay and there seemed to be a lot of random things in the cells. Obviously, the one way sign didn't belong there, but when I saw it it gave me an really eerie feeling...some prisoners went in, but never got to come back out.

Me: This week I had the double treat of spending time with Katy (who lives in Seattle, so I dont see her often) and Empress Rainbow (who goes by Bow - pronounces boe) all in the same day!

Plus a few more:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kissing the Lipless - An Exploration in Limoges

Here it is finally! I started this video back in october when I first got to France and then it quickly became rainy and cold and I had to wait until spring to finish it. Makes me a bit homesick for my old room at Donzelot. I had to make it a real small size to get it to upload and the quality suffers a bit but such is life. Enjoy :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lentil Squash Soup and Moxie Bread

This is another soup that comes from Love Soup - and its technically a winter soup - but who cares? Now I know what you are thinking....this looks like carrot baby food right? Yeah it does - but trust me its sooo good (even picky Ryan agrees) and plus, puree is super easy for your body to digest which means good absorption of nutrients and no bloating and burping...eww why are we talking about this?

In any case, this is a hearty vegan meal that will satisfy even the picky eaters in your life.

Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Soup
1 cup red lentils
1 small butternut squash (1.5 pounds)
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 yellow onion, sliced thin
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp tumeric
several generous shakes of cayenne pepper
the juice of one small lemon
4 cups veg stock (if you are using store bought then dilute it with a cup of water)

1. Preheat the oven to 375
2. Rinse the lentils and put them in a soup pot with 4 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and boil gently for 20 minutes, skimming off the foam that forms.
3. Cut the squash in half and clean out the guts and seeds (put the seeds aside in a bowl for later). Put the cut side of the squash down on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes or until you can poke the squash and it gives easily. While this is roasting, saute the onions in the olive oil with a little salt over medium heat, stirring often, until they are soft and golden (20 to 30 minutes). Peel and dice the sweet potato.
4. When the lentils are tender, add the onions, sweet potato, ginger, cumin, tumeric and cayenne, and 4 cups of veg broth. Simmer everything, covered, for 25 minutes. As soon as the squash is ready, scoop it out (you dont want any of the skin) and add it to the soup. Cook until everything is soft.
5. Puree the soup in batches or with an immersion blender. Add the lemon juice.

With the squash seeds
1. Clean the seeds by placing them in a colander and running them under cool water - picking away bits of squash guts that cling.
2. Lay the seeds out in a single layer on a paper towel and let them dry completely (I usually leave them overnight). They may stick to the paper towel a bit so you could use aluminum foil instead if you want but it will take a little longer to dry.
3. When the seeds are dry throw them in a small bowl and toss them with a tsp of olive oil and a few pinches of salt.
4. Lay them flat on a baking sheet and roast them at 400 F for as long as it takes for them to get golden and crispy (10-15 minutes). These will keep for months in a air-tight container.
5. Sprinkle over your soup and enjoy!

The bread you see on the side here is a vegan herbed focaccia bread that I picked up at the farmers market in Frederick. It comes from the new bakery in town called Moxie down on Market between 6th and 7th street. Not only was the bread delicious, but when I read the little blurb on their postcard I was totally sold. They are run by Cakes for Cause and their mission is to "provide job training and support to youth in Frederick who have aged out of foster care or who live in public housing in our community." Pretty cool thing to have in Frederick - plus they are ensuring a healthy group of future bakers for Frederick's future.

Know what else is cool? Every saturday at 10:45 is Yoga Saturday. Instructors from Sol Yoga come over to give a class and then there are smoothies and apricot bars and other treats afterwards. May be checking this out soon!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Coast to Cote Week 22 + pictures from the farm

Pang: This week is my last week with the kiddos until fall. It's the first time we will spend the summer apart in three years, and quite frankly, I am beside myself. Since yesterday was a gorgeous day, we took the opportunity to have a fancy tea party, grab lunch in town, took lots of pictures, and walked to the park (our favorite things to do together). Our last day together is rather gloomy (kind of like how I'm feeling at the moment) so we are watching movies (which we hardly do!), eating popcorn, and having a pizza party. Yay!

Lacey: This weekend I went to visit my grandparents on their little farm out in Poolsville, MD. It was nice to catch up with them and wander around the property with my brother for a bit. My grandfather has a bit of a hoarding "problem." He has piles and piles of old rusted metal scraps and wires and odd objects all over the place. I think it drive my grandmother a little crazy, but it makes for an interesting walk. Every time I would stop to photograph some pile of junk or some old box with a farm logo printed on it Garrett (my brother) would say to himself "I just don't understand you people, you photographers, and I never will."

This is my brother's goat

This little chick had just hatched itself out of its shell and was just hanging out in the incubator while the other chicks thought about getting out too.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lemon and Blueberry Muffins

YAY! Muffins! I am experiencing the simultaneous joy and frustration of finding my kitchen supplies in my Dad's basement. But where is that darn food processor, agh! Sorry...

I stumbled upon my muffin tins while I was looking for a few things and thought - hey, I haven't had a muffin in a long time. Voila - muffins were made. This is a recipe I got from Cooking Light but I altered it a bit to make it dairy free. Also you will notice that I use whole wheat white flour - this will give it that wheaty taste (so don't expect the sugar loaded, starchy tasting muffins we all begged our mom for in the grocery store bakery...no one else wanted those? you all wanted the donuts didn't you?!) But! Because its white wheat (still whole wheat - no worries) it has less of a pronounced taste. If you want to use all-purpose flour of course you can - but these are muffins not cupcakes so why not make them a little healthier and save the all purpose for the cakes?

Lemon Blueberry Muffins
(makes 12)
2 cups whole wheat white flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup vegan butter spread
1 1/4 cups vanilla soy buttermilk (almost 1 1/4 cups vanilla soymilk plus the juice of one small lemon)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed
raw sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F
2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a bowl. Next cut in the vegan butter spread. You can use a pastry blender for this or two knives, or my go to - your hands (its fun and fast!), until you have a mixture that resembles a coarse meal.
3. Combine the buttermilk, lemon rind, and eggs - mix well. Add in the flour mixture a bit at a time until its all mixed in, but be carfeul not to overwork it.
4. Toss the blueberries with a little bit of flour (this will keep them from sinking to the bottom right away) and then gently fold them into the mixture.
5. Spoon the batter into 12 pre-buttered muffin cups. Bak for about 20 minutes or until the muffins are golden and spring back when touched. Remove the muffins from the pans and cool on a rack.

A Few Pictures Since I Have Been Home

Just a few pictures I have taken since being home. Like the title said....

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Château de Châlucet

Several days before my departure and return to the US, Dominique, who lives part time at the school where I was living, offered to take me to Château de Châlucet. The castle, built in the 12th century, is in ruins now and you can't go in it but its well worth the trip out to see it. We got to the castle in the morning on a thursday and had the ruins completely to ourselves. What we both really enjoyed about this castle is that it is completely surrounded by beautiful flowers and vegetation. Here are some pictures, enjoy.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Coast to Cote Week 21

It should be pretty obvious that we are on the same coast now-a-days.

Pang: After spending too much money and not winning a whole lot at the carnival, we decided it was time to make our rounds to take some photographs. I took this photograph of the Farris wheel, and was puzzled as to why it's reflection was showing up on the corner of the photograph, which I think looks like fireworks. Several pictures later I realized the light was bouncing off of the UV filter I had on my lens. An accidental effect that made for an interesting photograph for sure.

Me: Im home! I haven't been super productive since I got back - been too busy seeing friends and family and unpacking and getting settled. Our very own Pang of Coast to Cote invited me to go to the Boonsboro carnival this week to play a little Bingo and I happily agreed. A little country music and greasy food was just what I needed to feel back at home. Admittedly I didn't really miss those things - but I did miss spending time with my friends so it was a night well spent. PS...didn't win at Bingo.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Apple Crumble

I can't say enough good things about Love Soup. Except for this. There are no pictures! Regardless, I love this book and would reccomend it to anyone who loves simple, healthy, delicious food.

I have made this recipe for Farmhouse Apple Crumble several times now and each time it has been met with the happy sounds of people scraping their plates. I've made slight changes to the recipe after trying it her way - but really this recipe is quite a gem.

Farmhouse Apple Crumble

For the Apples
3-4 apples (I use a mix of Granny Smith and Pink Lady)
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup raw or brown sugar

For the crumble
6 tbsp cold vegan butter spread
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup raw or brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats

1. Preheat the oven to 375
2. Cut each apple into thin slices, removing the seeds and peel as you go. I cut each apple in half and then make 4 slices with each half. In a small bowl, combine the sliced apples with the lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Use your hands or a spoon to coat the apples with the other ingredients. Dump the apples into a casserole dish.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, rolled oats and brown sugar and mix well. Cut in the butter. You can use a pastry knife here or your hands (use your hands! its more fun). After the mixture has come together and can form a loose, sticky ball, start taking little handfuls and dropping them over the apples, making sure to cover all holes and gaps for a uniform soon-to-be crunchy top.
4. Pop the crumble in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until its all bubbly and golden. Serve hot or room temperature.

Mes amis français m'ont demandé pour la recette, donc voila! En français maintenant! Ça c'est le crumble de pomme que j'ai fait plusieurs fois pendent que j'étais en France.

Crumble de Pomme

Pour les Pommes
3 ou 4 pommes, enlever les pépins, peler, et couper (j'utilise un mélange de pommes rose et vert)
45 ml jus de citron
50 g cassonade ou sucre
1 cuillère a café de cannelle
1 demi cuillère a café de noix de muscade en poudre

Pour le Crumble
65 g farine (j'utilise de la farine complet)
150 g cassonade
50 g flocons d'avoine
90 g de margarine végétale (ou du beurre, comme vous voulez)

1. Préchauffez le four a 190 C
2. Dans un saladier mélangez la cannelle, le sucre, la muscade et le jus de citron. Ajoutez les pommes, mélangez tous et mettez-le dans une cocotte (c'est ca? en anglais c'est a casserole, mais je sais que ca c'est pas le même chose en français).
3. Dans un deuxième saladier, mélangez les ingrédients pour le crumble jusqu'à vous pouvez le mettre sous forme d'une balle. Mettez le crumble au dessus les pommes.
4. Enfournez pour 45-55 minutes, ou jusqu'à le crumble sois doré. Servez-le chaud ou temp ambiante.