Wednesday, November 28, 2007


After waiting patiently for Tracy to bring me my copy of Vcon on Saturday (OK, maybe I wasn't that patient), I quickly flipped through the pages to find out what I would make. It had been a very long time since I had a new cookbook to flip through (I think VCTOTW was my last purchase!), and I could barely contain myself.

I set out immediately to make some exciting new recipes. I have been keen on trying new salads lately, and the Corn and Edamame-Sesame Salad sounded perfect. I decided to serve it on spinach, since it's all I had anyways, and I wanted it to be more of a meal. Of course, after making it, I read the 'Tip' bar which said not to use canned corn...too late! Geez, I had the cookbook in my little paws for only a few hours, and I already screwed up! Oh well, I'm not sure why you can't use canned, but it still tasted great. I don't have a recipe scoring system like Tracy, but I definitely noted in my copy to make this again! Next time, I'll try adding some minced red onions or chopped green onions for added flavour and some red pepper to add a little more colour.

About an hour later, I made an executive decision to bake some cookies. I'm trying to reduce my sugar intake, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies called for much less sugar than I was used to seeing in other cookie recipes. I thought it would also be interesting to see how brown rice syrup works in cookies, as I don't have much experience baking with it and this was the first time I'd seen it in a cookie recipe. I found this recipe to be quite similar to the oatmeal cookies that I was used to making, but I was happy to see that it called for oil instead of Earth Balance - especially when I only needed 1/2 cup of oil compared to my usual 1 cup of EB. This time, I read everything around the recipe (to avoid a similar corn incident), and noted that it would be OK to use chocolate chips. I also added in the last of my chopped walnuts. These cookies are awesome! A must bake!

On Sunday morning, I was STILL in a baking mood! I decided to make my sweetie some Banana-Walnut Waffles. Again, I had to make a small substitution of pecans for the walnuts (due to using them all up for cookies...that was poor planning). They were great! I just think that next time, I won't add maple syrup to the batter and use it as a topping only, as I found that the waffles were sticking to my non-stick iron, no matter how thoroughly I sprayed it with oil. It made so many, that I managed to tuck some away in the freezer to enjoy this weekend!

Finally, I ended my spree by making the Vanilla Ice Cream. Over the past few weeks, I tried doing some online hunting for 'ice cream' recipes, but didn't have much luck. I'm too lazy to cook something first to make a custard, I don't like the idea of xanthan gum or soy lecithin, and I found my recent attempts at using cashews left my ice cream too gritty. Yes, I was being fussy. But I have found the perfect recipe in Vcon - I simply pile the ingredients in a blender, whiz them up, and pour into the ice cream maker. I was skeptical about the recipe calling for silken tofu, as a previous attempt with tofu was too icy and not creamy. Despite that, I remained open-minded. I bought a can of coconut milk (once home, I noticed I got the low-fat kind out of habit), and put it in the fridge, as per the instructions, so that I could skim off the 'cream' the next day. Well, when I took it out of the fridge, I wasn't thinking and tipped it so far back that skimming cream would likely not happen - even if the low-fat kind would have even produced it! So I just poured the required amount of coconut milk instead and hoped for the best. I have to say that after mixing for 35-40 minutes in my ice cream maker, it produced the firmest soft serve that I have made to date. Still, I poured it into a shallow container and froze it overnight to firm it up a little more, as per my usual practice. The next day, I tasted the best ice cream ever, and will not be buying anymore Soy Delicious from now on! I still have enough leftover ingredients to make another batch tonight, and can't wait to try the other suggested flavours!

I'm so glad that I now sound like a Vcon salesperson instead of an Yves' Cuisine salesperson.


Keira said...

(I've been lurking long enough that I figured I'd comment!)
Mmm... I've been digging into Veganomicon a lot lately as well... Last night I made "Spaghetti and Beanballs" and today I'm planning on making the pecan rumnog cookies. I've been thinking of getting an ice cream maker. What kind do you have?

Sarah said...

Hi Keira,

I have the Cuisinart 2-qt stainless steel ice cream maker, and I love it! But I think their 1.5-qt version is quite popular too, as I see many of the cooking shows using that one.

I also saw the pecan rumnog cookies, and will be trying that too! They sound so festive!

Anonymous said...

Yum--thanks for your reviews! I cannot wait to try the cookies...I only wish I had an ice cream maker so I could make the ice cream too!