Friday, October 28, 2011

Works in Progress

    Here's a post of some of the things I'm "working" on currently. With just a bit of tweaking on most of these, soon I'll be able to give you the recipes for them!

Gluten free and vegan chocolate chip cookies:
    These are aaalmost perfect. They just have a little bit of graininess to them, though I'm not entirely sure a gluten free, vegan cookie can be free of that. I need to experiment a little bit more!

Gluten free and vegan sugar cookies:
   Cute, right?! Unfortunately, these cookies are only decent. They're a bit too sweet for my liking, and too crispy. They do taste great with rosewater lemonade, though :)

Gluten free and vegan sugar "biscuits":
    I say biscuits, but they were really supposed to be donuts... These tasted fine, but texturally they really need some help. Instead of being soft and pliable like any good donut should be, they were very dry and crumbly. Work in progress for sure!  

Gluten free and vegan sticky Greek honey cake:
    Ooooh man, this cake is GOOD. The only help it needs is to reduce gumminess in the center. Flax seed gel tends to be tough to use with cakes. Maybe I should make them into cupcakes?

Gluten free and vegan banana muffins:
    These have the same unfortunate gummy nature as the honey cake, so maybe the cupcake idea wouldn't work there either. If these are still warm when the papers get pulled back, the majority of the muffin comes away with it, as you can see. When I allow them to cool completely in the fridge, though, they come away very nicely.

Gluten free and vegan rosewater cupcakes:
   Ah, sweet, sweet cupcakes... These things went unbelievably wrong! The funny thing is this was the only recipe I didn't convert anything on, it was already vegan and gluten free to begin with. It definitely turned out for the worse! On the four outside cupcakes, I followed the recipe exactly. I knew there was too much liquid, but I just WENT WITH IT, considering my limited experience. The two in the middle I experimented on, simply adding more flour.  
    As they were baking I looked into the oven and saw those monstrosities! They bubbled up like crazy and spilled over (so annoying to clean, by the way). When I removed them from the oven, they completely collapsed in on themselves and all that remained was a gooey film coating the cupcake liners. As for the normal looking ones, they tasted okay but were too dry and crumbly. 

    So, lots of fun stuff! I just made Japanese curry last night, perhaps I'll post pictures of that later!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tofu Salad with a Bacon Garlic Dressing

    Cookingwithdog. Chef knows what's UP. I love her so much. Literally every recipe I've made from them has been seriously soooo good. And this Tofu Salad is OFF THE CHARTS. Rave reviews! AHHH!

    Just had to get that out.

Tofu Salad with Bacon Garlic Dressing
serves 2

salad fixings
    -string beans
1/2-1 block tofu*
2 T olive oil
1 T garlic, minced
1 T bacon, minced
1 T soy sauce
1 t sugar*
2 T young onion*
1-1 1/2 T lemon juice
1 green onion, chopped, for garnish (optional)  

For Salad:
    1. Wrap tofu in paper towel and chill in fridge as you prepare the dressing.
    2. Boil string beans and broccoli lightly (1-3 mins). Shock them in cold water to stop cooking process, or cool by fanning them.
    3. Prepare salad fixings. Arrange lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, etc. in a bowl and chill. When ready, scoop spoonfuls of tofu onto salad and garnish w/ green onions.

For Dressing:
    1. Put olive oil and minced garlic into small pan, stirfry at low heat until aromatic.
    2. Add bacon and continue to fry.
    3. When bacon is colored, add soy sauce and sugar. Stir to combine, then remove from heat.
    4. Grate sweet onion into dressing, then add lemon juice and stir.
    5. Spoon dressing over salad and serve. Enjoy!

    *I deviate from Chef's method with the tofu. I cube it and lightly pan fry in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Squishy, cold, raw tofu? Um, no thanks!
    *Considering I live in a very small town that chews and spits at the very thought of sweet onions, I subbed out the grated one for a wee bit of regular ol' yeller, or sometimes just forgo it entirely (Edit: I just found out this isn't true--they are available here, but I'LL STAND BY MY STATEMENT because it's funny).
    *I just put in the teensiest pinch of sugar; we are very particular about mixing sweet and savory here. Of course, you can do whatever the heck you want.
Now isn't this a sweet little bento? 
Maybe the way I devoured it wasn't quite as pretty,
but who cares!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Garden Edition - Goodbye Sweet Summer!

Picture overload! I'm just putting these up before this rain completely washes away all thought of summer...

Check out that blue, blue California sky...

This basil made a mean pesto!

 Wooo Chard!

 Our cantaloupes were quite literally divine.

Hide and seek...

Lovely lettuce assortment!

We have mint and weeds and spiders and random flowers all mixed together!

The beeeessssttttt.

Haha! Those socks drying there is so perfect... 

Can you see the beans?!

 Kitty spent all summer lounging here under the grapes.

and a little while later...

I have mixed feelings about the colder months... On the one hand, HELLO COMFORT FOOD, but then on the other, I practically freeze to death and don't thaw out again until June. Yet summertime! There's really nothing better than being out in the sunshine with everything so full of life :)