Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Moo-Wah-Ha-Ha-Ha (Evil Sound)

It's coming up on that spooky time of year! Trick or treat...these look like scary, dismembered fingers, but are instead tasty Bloody Finger Cookies courtesy of Yeah, That "Vegan" Sh*t. I meant to make these last year, but I think I only remembered them on November 1st :(

I whipped up the dough while the little one played with a toy - briefly. I stuck the dough in the fridge, as per the instructions and waited for my opportunity to shape them into creepy fingers. The stars must have been aligned, because Ash decided to take a much-needed nap and actually remained sleeping in her crib for a half hour. In that time, I did some creative shaping - I thought they were going to look like crap but they actually came out looking alot like fingers!

I couldn't decide which pics to post so I have a shot right out of the oven, then a few with blood dripping out. I'm taking some to my mom's group Halloween get-together tomorrow, then Kyle is going to take some to work. Nothing like spreading some vegan cheer!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Soup n' Such

So much to blog about, but truly, so little time...

As Tracy mentioned in her post, it's gotten so cold that soup is an ideal meal. I pulled out Nava Atlas' Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons and made a Creamy Golden Potato Squash Soup. It was so silky and smooth! One thing this recipe made me realize is to not use the crumbled bay leaves that came with my spice set - there's a reason why recipes always say to remove the whole bay leaf before serving (obviously not possible with the bits I have)...those things do not soften up and result in little irritating pieces with every bite.

Another delicious soup was courtesy of one of Sarah Kramer's books - Auntie Bonnie's Black Bean Soup. Delicious! The addition of vinegar was genius! It offered the perfect amount of tang! I was also impressed with how easy it was to put this together.

And still on the whole fall theme...time for pumpkin scones! Some pie pumpkins grew on their own in our garden thanks to our compost pile (I guess some of last year`s pie pumpkins' seeds germinated!), so I roasted them up and made Pumpkin Scones!

Fall also means Thanksgiving. I'm so late in posting my feast, and the pic is of my plate of leftovers! I'm terrible! But I was more concerned with eating my meal than taking a pic of it while the little girl was happy! I made Dreena Burton's Rosemary Tofu Balls into cutlets (I thought they were too spicy but everyone seemed to like them!), and served them with maple-ginger winter squash, mashed potatoes, stuffing and veggies.

And finally, it was little Ash's baptism. We had a big shindig at my mom's after the ceremony, which initially had me a little stressed since I wanted to make lots of food (including a dessert) but would have no time. I decided to outsource the dessert and proceeded to try and find somewhere that could make some kind of vegan cake. I searched on the web for places in Ottawa, but had no luck - one bakery told me they could do vegan, but to expect it to taste 'dry and bland' (what???) and to make a small cake for the few vegans at the party and do a non-vegan cake for everyone else. I knew there had to be a better option out there! Thank goodness one of the moms in my mom's group sent me a link to Lil' Cakes. They were able to do all sorts of vegan cupcakes for me!

I was indifferent about the whole ceremony, but super excited for the five dozen cupcakes that were waiting for us! There was vanilla with buttercream, vanilla with raspberry mousse filling, chocolate with chocolate mousse, pumpkin chocolate chip and gingerbread with lemon buttercream. Best of all, they were absolutely beautiful AND delicious! I think I might need to establish a weekly standing order for cupcakes...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Putting it All Together

I had a bunch of random thoughts regarding dinner last night. One - it's fall, I'm craving soup. Two - I want to come home from swimming and have dinner immediately because all of us will be cold and hungry. Three - I have a 4 lb bag of chana dal in the cupboard. Four - It has to be something healthy because I'm trying to lose a couple of pounds to make running easier. After scouring the interwebs to find the perfect recipe, I gave up and morphed some of the better ones into one to suit the ingredients that I had and the level of blandness that was required (after making one rather surprisingly volcanic Tofu Vindaloo this week, I had to redeem myself). The results were tasty, very healthy and made enough for the whole street (or to freeze for future quick Friday night meals).

Pardon the photo, but I was halfway through my bowl before I realized I might want a pic.

Golden Crockpot Split Chickpea Soup

2 tblsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 lb chana dal (split chickpeas), rinsed
4 cups veggie broth (I used a 1L asceptic package that I bought on sale for $1.99)
4 cups water
2/3 cup Thai red rice (could substitute brown rice)
sea salt and pepper to taste

Chop the veggies

Saute the onions in olive oil until soft. Add the other veggies and saute for a few minutes. Add to the crockpot along with the dal. Add the veggie broth and water. Turn on low and cook for around four hours.

Add the rice. Cook for another 2-4 hours. Add more water if it looks thick. I ended up adding more 2 cups.

Stir and serve. Add salt and pepper to taste.