Friday, September 18, 2009

New Cookbook!!

I just bought the new Vegan Yum Yum cook book yesterday. I've been following her blog for a while and always look forward to the next recipe post. I have already made her Super Quick Tomato Basil Cream Pasta and it was delicious. The pictures and recipes look amazing! I can't wait to dive in and try these wonderful looking dishes. Thank you so much for the beautiful book Lauren!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I have always wanted to make a sourdough starter but was always so intimidated by them. They sounded hard to start and like they took a long time before you could use it in bread. But I found a really easy step-by-step website and took a shot at making a sourdough starter. I only took a couple of days before it was ready to make bread out of. I didn't let it rise long enough so it didn't turn out as tunnel-y as it should have and it was not as sour as I had hopped. Not bad for a first attempt though. I now have plenty of sandwich bread :) I have another starter growing in the fridge and hopefully I'll do better with this one. I love the taste of the bread but that starter smells terrible! I guess it lives up to it's name in not only tasting sour but also smelling sour.If nothing else, being in my baking class is helping me at home. My bread turns out much prettier and is a lot easier to handle now that I know what to look for and what order to go in even if the directions for the recipe don't tell me. I can't stop playing in the kitchen! At least I know I will not get tired of baking and that this will be a great career choice for me. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Back to work and class tomorrow!
Oh! If you have yet to see Julie & Julia, you HAVE to drag your husbands/boyfriends to go see it! My mom paid for my boyfriend and I to go see it because she thought we needed to see it that much. He wasn't to thrilled about going because we both thought it was going to be a chick flick (which neither of us enjoy) but boy were we wrong! It was far from being a "romantic comedy", it was hilarious and a wonderful, true story. We were both laughing the entire time. I highly recommend it. I know movies are pretty pricey now a days but go to the matinee!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's the Nannerpus!!

*sigh* I miss that commercial... But I have some amazing banana recipes to share! I love making whole wheat pancakes with oat flour and bananas and recently I found a new light and fluffy recipe. I did not have my usual recipe with me so I looked around online and found a vegan blog called Holy Cow!. This is her wonderful recipe for whole wheat pancakes:
Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Mix the dry ingredients well and set aside.

1 1/2 cups soy milk
2 tbsp flax seed powder mixed with 6 tbsp water
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Mix together the wet ingredients and add to the dry. Mix gently until the dry ingredients are just moistened. There should be some lumps remaining in the batter.
Heat a nonstick or cast-iron griddle. Smear lightly with a few drops of canola oil. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter on the griddle and let it cook until bubbles appear at the top of the pancake and the underside is golden-brown. Flip over with a spatula and cook the other side until it is lightly browned.
Serve hot with a pat of vegan spread and maple syrup.
They were wonderful! I enjoy topping mine with some Earth Balance and 1/2 cup of fresh-from-the-yard blueberries. A great way to start your morning.
Last night (instead of studying) I made some banana bread out of my room mate's forgotten bananas. I just can't resist blackening bananas :) I found this recipe on VegWeb and it turned out a lot denser than what I'm use to but forgot all about that once I took a taste. Best banana bread I've ever had! No offense banana bread baking family members. A brown sugar/cinnamon, slightly hardened crust formed on the outside giving it a sweet, slight crunch. I can't wait to make this again for family dinner around the holidays!
Moist and Delicious Banana Bread

Ingredients (use vegan versions):
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 very ripe bananas
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. In a small bowl, mash bananas, and add 1 tablespoon oil, vegan sugar, vegan brown sugar, and vanilla. In a separate small bowl (I use a short drinking glass) mix 2 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon oil, and 2 teaspoon baking powder. This is to substitute using an egg. It gets fizzy, but don't panic, it turns out great. Add this mixture to the first small bowl and mix well. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. I like to sprinkle some extra cinnamon on the top to make a nice crispy cinnamon crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-55 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a wooden toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes, and slice it up!
Serves: 1 loaf
Preparation time: 15 minutes

Sunday, September 6, 2009

More bread

Not only have I been making a ton of bread in my baking class, but I have also been busy kneading away at home. I never get tired of playing in the kitchen ^.^ We braided challah and made knot rolls two weeks ago and then this past Friday we made cinnamon rolls and brioche. I forgot to take a picture of my most recent work :( But I did get a picture of the challah. My friend Rachel recently went to Europe! (so jealous) She was nice enough to think of me and bring me back a beautiful bracelet and a jar of real Italian pesto! It has some Parmesan in it but hardly any so I looked past the fact that it was not vegan and used some to make bread. I got the recipe from one of my favorite blogs have cake, will travel. I made the Spelt Pesto Bread. It turned out fantastic! It made two loaves so I froze one and enjoyed the other. I made some little "mozzarella", tomato, and basil sandwiches with my new bread and they were delicious. Money's been kind of tight here recently due to having to buy everything I need for my culinary classes among other things so I've been trying to bake a lot of my own bread. I can't wait to try out some more of Celine's recipes! They all look so beautiful and delicious. I highly recommend checking her blog out if you love baking, especially bread. I'm going to have to watch my waistline though lol hard to stop eating hot, fresh bread. Mmm... ^.^
Went to the Exotic Animal Show in Raleigh yesterday. There were a lot of corn snakes, ball pythons, and leopard geckos. I was hoping for a bit more variety but it was still a lot of fun. My room mate wanted some more corns so she had a good variety to choose from. It's fun to see all of the different creatures people bring and allows you to meet a lot of breeders that you might not have known about other wise. Hope everyone has a great labor day weekend! Don't forget to stop wearing white by Tuesday :P