Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Nap Report

Best sleeping friends in the whole world.
Thanksgiving!  Eating too much!  Falling asleep!  Do you have your napping buddy picked out?

I'm planning on making a No Turkey-Turkey from a recipe from Vegetarian Times from like 1990-something.  This is my favorite fancy Thanksgiving recipe of all time: it's basically seitan or baked tofu dipped in gravy and then mounded up in a baking dish, covered with a heap of stuffing, and then topped off with puff pastry and baked until golden.  Serve with extra gravy, of course!  It's delicious, and you can cut out little fiddly decorations of puff pastry to stick around your masterpiece and satisfy your inner Martha Stewart.  I promise I'll take a picture (maybe even with my good camera and not my phone!) to taunt you with later.

Planning ahead for Thanksgiving, I offer you this quick-yet-delicious recipe for soft and yeasty dinner rolls.  This is adapted from a recipe that appeared in our local paper - again, back in the 90's.  Apparently I was paying attention to recipes back then.  In any case, this has become a staple around our house and I'm often expected to bring these babies to school, work and family functions.  And I do, because they are so easy to whomp up.  I hope you enjoy!

adapted from an original recipe by Miss Eugenie Bell

3 Tbsp instant yeast (YES, 3 TABLESPOONS.  You can cut this back to 2 Tablespoons if you want.  The rolls just won't be as yeasty)
2 Tbsp shortening or Earth Balance (coconut oil is nice, too)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 and 1/2 cups your favorite non-dairy milk, warmed in the microwave or on the stovetop until lukewarm
1/4 cup warm water mixed with 1 heaping Tbsp ground flax seeds
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour (for the batch picture above, I used 3 cups unbleached A.P + 1 cup whole wheat.  Whatever floats your boat!)

Mix your flax egg up in a small bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, mix the yeast, sugar, shortening, and milk until well combined.  Try and break the shortening into smallish chunks (some of which might melt.  That's okay!).  Stir in your flax egg.  Use a wooden spoon and stir in the flour and salt.  You may need to get in there with your hands and really mix it up.  This tends to be  sticky dough - that's okay! You can add a little flour if you think it's too sticky, but you want it to be a little soft and sticky.  Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for 15 minutes.  Hopefully if everything goes according to plan, the super yeasty dough should rise up quite a bit during that time.  Take your wooden spoon and push it down as best you can and then cover it and let rise for another 15 minutes.  Start pre-heating your oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease two round 8 or 9 inch metal cake pans.  When the dough is done with its second rising, turn it out onto a well floured board and cut it into 16 pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball and arrange in your greased pans.  Cover and let rise for another 15 minutes.  Put in the oven and bake for, you guessed it, about 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I am what I am

Today's recipe is for Creamed Spinach!  Get yer Popeye on!!  Seriously, this is some good shit.

I'm strong to the finish, yo
I was inspired to make this for lunch after seeing Kathy Patalsky's stuffed sweet potato picture.  It looked so yummy, except I'm not a huge fan of kale.  (I know, that's like vegan blasphemy.)  So I asked myself, what would be a good replacement for kale?  Spinach! Now there's a green I can get behind.  And what's even better than plain spinach?  Why, spinach in a creamy, garlicky sauce, of course!  I also really wanted that sweet potato, so I baked some up (see that little orange niblet in the top of the bowl?), topped them with my luscious spinach, and then some walnuts.  It was soooooo good.  And very autumnal.  And possibly slightly healthy.  Yays all around!


1 big bag of baby spinach (I think mine was around 12 oz)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for about an hour
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 T. nutritional yeast
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Saute spinach in olive oil over medium heat.  Add a few splashes of water if you need to get it steaming.  When the spinach is soft and deep green and shrunk down, add the garlic and saute for another minute. Drain spinach in a colander to get rid of excess liquid.  Set aside.

Put the remaining ingredients in a blender and whiz til smooth.  Pour into a small sauce pan and cook over medium/medium-high heat until thick and hot.  Stir in drained spinach.  Enjoy!

Hello, lunch.  Get in ma belly!

I also wanted to share some pics of our doings over the past week:

Apple Cider Cupcakes from VCTOTW.  Holy crap these were delicious.  Go make them, now! Do it! Do it do it do it!

Nom nom nom. These got made for Caileigh's teachers for conference day.  Did someone say brown-nose?

Caileigh as the Cheshire Cat.  Her dad made this costume.  He is sooooo crafty!

The cousins:  Finn, the Cheshire Cat, the Zombie Twins, and a cute little black cat

Jake dressed as Finn.  This way he's both characters.  wink wink

OMG.  Too cute!