Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What Kind of Cheesecake Are You?

You Are a Chocolate Mocha and Orange Cheesecake

Enthusiastic and intense, there's so much you love in the world... it's hard to do it all.
You are good at getting things to mix - friends, flavors, hobbies. You're the master of fusion!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Vegan Cookies?

Yes, vegan. And, yes, they are fabulous! Egg-free, dairy- and animal-free and tasty as can be. Jamie and I used to buy these at the co-op in Bellingham across the street from the Y after working out... I asked for the recipe at the Swan Cafe (the cafe in the co-op) and RuthAnne Muller from Member Outreach gave it to me! It was scaled for about 12 dozen cookies, so I divided it (which is why the measurements are a bit strange). If not making it strickly vegan, you can sub butter for soy margarine and regular or brown sugar for the cane crystals.

Swan Cafe Trail Cookies

Whisk together:
1-1/2 T.
EnerG Egg Replacer
1/2 + 1/8 c. water

Beat until creamy:
2 c. soy margarine
2 c. Florida Crystals cane sugar
2 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla

Blend liquids with margarine and sugar mixture.

Mix together:
2 c. organic pastry flour
1/2 + 1/8 heaping T. baking soda
1/2 + 1/8 heaping t. baking powder
1 t. sea salt
1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
4 c. rolled oats
4 c. corn flakes type cereal
1/2 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Combine dry and liquid ingredients and mix well. Using a #10 scoop (about 1/4-1/3 c.) or a generous standard ice cream scoop, place dough on cookie sheet.

Bake at 350-degrees F until cookies develop cracks and are solid in the middle.

This recipe makes about 3-dozen 4-inch diameter cookies.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Best of the Harvest

Took a cooking class "Best of the Harvest" with Margo this afternoon. It was so amazing. The chef was great, and I'm excited to try the recipes in my own kitchen soon! Just need to pick up some ingredients (although not squash, thanks to Peggy and Ken)! And, I learned about a new natural sweeter with a low-glycemic index (even OK for people with diabetes) - blue agave syrup and she used Nutiva coconut oil in the dishes today, and it turns out coconut oil is not bad for you - it lowers cholesterol, is shelf-stable, has a high burn point and helps speed up metabolism (because it's 50% lauric acid - a rare fatty acid found in breastmilk). Also got good pointers on sea salt/Kosher salt and really, really good olive oil, and a tricky fast way to juice a lemon... stay tuned for the dishes!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Wicked Corn!



The most excellent caramel corn ever. Easy and delicious—the quintessential Fall treat!!

Wicked Good Caramel Corn

3 bags popped SmartPop! 97% Fat Free Kettle Corn popcorn
1 cup sliced almonds (or your favorite nut)
1/2 cup light corn syrup

2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (see why you need the fat free popcorn?)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Scoop the popped popcorn off the top of the bags so you get all popcorn and no unpopped kernels (it's a pain to pick them out later and even worse to bite into one!) into your largest baking pan. I use a roasting pan, but you could use two pans as well. Add the nuts to the popped corn, and put the pan(s) into a preheated 300-degree F oven for about 2-3 minutes while you measure out the ingredients to make the caramel. (This toasts the nuts a little and keeps the popcorn crisp). Then remove pan from the oven.

Stir together the syrup, sugar, butter and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and bring to boil. Once boiling, cook and stir constantly for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla then the baking soda. The caramel will go lighter and foa up. Pour over the popcorn in the pan(s), and stir to coat as well as you can (as you bake it you'll be able to cover more of the corn).

Bake for about 45 minutes stirring the corn every 10-15 minutes. Pour out to cool on counter on freezer paper, grocery bags or waxed paper. Store in Ziploc bags to keep corn crisp (otherwise it'll get soggy and sticky!)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

What Dessert Are You Most Like?

You Are Tiramisu

Light and lovely, you pack a punch.
You never overwhelm... but you always leave a lasting impression.


Just for fun... Apparently, I'm tiramisu (excellent, since I love tiramisu)! Got this quiz on Jerrie's site.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Pretty Sweet...

I'll admit that I'm usually fairly snobbish about buy-and-bake cookie dough. Much of it is not worth the money, and tastes fake and chemically (one exception is Tom's Cookie Dough—really good). I'm loving Pillsbury's Sugar Cookie Dough Sheets for Halloween. They are great (I found them in the fridge section by the eggs at QFC). We did some with Aura and Miki on Friday and more today with Grammy and Ukki. No rolling, no mixing, easy with kids, very tasty, and they come with good white and orange icing (in bags that you just snip the corners off of to pipe!). Two sheets to a package—about $3.50 for two (or more) dozen depending on the size of cookie you make. "Scraps" from cut-out cookies can be rolled into balls to bake. You'll have way more time and energy to get into decorating if you don't have to make dough or do the clean up!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Genetic

So, maybe my propensity for "cooking by feel" is genetic. My mom is constantly altering recipes, making them amazingly better, and then having to recall what she changed. And I catch myself doing the same thing all the time. Sometimes because I don't have the "proper" ingredients for a recipe (or more likely, just can't find them in my pantry) and sometimes just because I feel like it. There's a scone recipe in The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook that I have never made exactly according to the recipe... and they're always great. Anyway, Great Gramma Sartor's "recipe" for corn bread reminded me of this particular trait I share with mom...

Corn Bread
Dehlia Sartor

I don't have a regular recipe for cornbread just do it from scratch. This is what I do. Beat 1 egg, add tsp salt & 1 cup milk then sift 1 1/2 cups cornmeal and 1/4 cup white flour and mix all together. I melt about 1/2 cup margarine and bacon fryings in the pan I take it in and pour that in your cornbread mixture. Mix well & bake between 1/2 & 3/4 hr. in a 350 oven. Wish you were close so I could show you don't know if I make it plain in writing. Good Luck. Mom

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