Tuesday, December 28, 2010

ariel's ... eating hella soup

besides piles of xmas cookies, this winter i've been eating nothing but soup. and more soup. it's such an awesome thing to make, because you can use whatever you have ... and leftovers are fab-tab-ulous.

for this last batch -- gug and marie were coming over for dinner with their cutie boys -- so we had a lot of mouths to feed -- so we thought -- let's make some soup!

here's what we made:

saute one chopped organic onion in 2 T. of organic extra virgin olive oil. add 4 chopped organic carrots, 6 chopped organic potatoes, 1 cup organic brown rice, and 1 cup organic split peas. add water to almost the top of the pot.

cook for about 30 minutes -- add some bay leaves. add some chopped kale. cook more -- 'til it's all tender and yummy. turn off heat -- spice with salt, pepper and cayenne (whatever you like!).

we served it with fresh bread -- and my dad's kimchee (i'll post a recipe for that soon), which everyone piled on top of the soup. yum!

happy new years darlings! slurp slurp.



Sunday, December 5, 2010

Karina's TDAY Spicy Apple Carrot Cake

In my last entry I featured my family's incredible Thanksgiving meal and promised I would soon follow up with the dessert I made for it. Its a little late, but here is my spiced apple and carrot cake journey...

First I sliced two or three beautiful pink lady apples and packed them in a baking dish with some olive oil, fresh ginger, chopped hot peppers, cinnamon, powdered ginger, nutmeg, cayenne, agave, and sea salt. I set them in the oven at about 425* and roasted them until fairly soft and juicy (maybe 20 or 30 minutes).

While the apples were roasting I boiled a bag full of organic baby carrots until soft and then drained them. I put them in the food processor with my baked apples, agave, another round of the same spices, and some hemp milk.

I decided it still needed some more depth in flavor and consistency, so I added several scoops of raw crunchy almond butter.

I made my go-to vegan cake batter by combining:

2 cups water
3/4 cups light oil (I used safflower this time)
2 tbl white vinegar
4 tsp vanilla
3-1/2 cups unbleached flour (I used whole wheat instead and recommend it!)
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda

Then I added the majority of my apple/carrot puree and mixed well. I saved about a cup or so of it to add to the frosting....

I added more cinnamon, cayenne, ginger and nutmeg until I was satisfied with the kick and had a delicious batter.

I formed two layers for my family's cake, and then made the rest as minis to sell at the market around the corner. I was afraid they might be a little dry, so to make sure, I punctured little holes over the tops of the finished baked goods and brushed a little maple syrup over them.

For the frosting I took several scoops of Earth Balance, a cup or so of powdered sugar, my cup of left over apple/carrot puree, sea salt, cinnamon and a touch of vanilla. I added more p. sugar and earth balance to get the flavor and thickness perfect, and set it in the fridge to set up a little bit.

I had a few vegan carrot/watermelon gummies leftover that I had made the week before, so I decided to finely slice these to decorate with. (I will soon add an entry on these gummies- for they were awesome!).

I garnished with shaved coconut, the last figs I got for the season (tear), almond slices, my gummy shapes and slices, and toasted carrot shreds I had baked with agave and a little olive oil.

It was a big hit. I personally was far too full from gorging myself at dinner to eat any that night, but I more than made up for it by having it for breakfast..for the next several mornings.

It was my first time substituting the whole wheat flour in my base recipe and I think I am switching over from here on out- not only is it better for you, it may have been even more moist and delicious than ever before. YUM!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

ariel and chef sam make ... yogurt

i can't believe we've never tried making yogurt before. it's sooo easy, tastes better than anything you can get in the store ... and it's really cheap to make a huge pot of it! this is our second batch ... and i have a feeling we'll never be able to go back to the store bought stuff.

all you need is milk and a T. of yogurt as your starter (you might have a buy a small yogurt for the first batch, but then after that, always save a spoon of your last batch to make the next one in the future!).

start by adding milk to a pot (the milk into yogurt ratio is one-to-one -- so pour in as much milk as yogurt you want to end up with). then put the milk over a double boiler and cook it for about 15 minutes.

let it get frothy and boil for a few minutes, then turn it off. let it cool until it's like a warm-ish bath. then stir in the T. of yogurt. cover -- and store in a warm place (we put it in our oven since the pilot light makes it a nice warm spot.) now the hard part ... WAIT!

about 7-10 hours later -- you have yogurt!! once it's done, store it in the fridge.

i just made my fave breakfast with it -- raw oats, yogurt and bobeda farm plum jam. yum!

happy yogurt making!