My daughter's preschool teacher asked me to do a cooking activity with the class. Had to be pumpkin somewhere in the end product. Lily wanted pumpkin muffins but I wanted to try a new recipe. So I cracked open Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Low and behold there was a simple pumpkin chocolate chip cupcake with a cinnamon icing. These are our new favorite cupcakes. We had them without the icing and with, do yourself a big favor and make the icing. Not that they HAVE to have the icing, they are good either way, but the icing is so delicious!!!
Berry Oat Bars from Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
I haven't cooked much from this cookbook but I liked how it was divided up by colors. A reminder to eat a wide variety of colors on our plates to get our vitamins. Maybe my CSA box will encourage me to dive into this cookbook for more than just berry oat bars.
So help me out here folks, what would you do with the celery root? Or how about those beets? I need to find another way to eat the beets besides roasting them.
Asking if anything catches their eye. Usually the sweets grab their attention. No surprise there. But when we got Chloe Coscarelli's book Chloe's Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way, the kids both wanted the garlic knots.
The garlic knots take awhile to make due to the dough. It has to rise, you have to roll it out, and then twist the dough bits into these cute little knots. Brush with olive oil and stick them in the oven. While these are baking, mince a lot of garlic and parsley and put in a bowl with olive oil. Once the knots come out of the oven, dump them into the bowl with the garlic oil. Put on a plate and watch them disappear!
My daughter goes to preschool. There are a total of six teachers in the two classrooms. Every so often, when I find the time, I make extra treats for Lily to take with her to school. One teacher has gotten so comfortable with us, that she is making requests. Which I am totally okay with. I'm glad she enjoys our treats. So the recent request was something with lemon. Lemon is her favorite flavor in desserts. Challenge accepted. Game on!
Two weeks earlier I had bought meyer lemons at Costco. They were just sitting there, daring me to find the right recipe to use them in. Now Teacher Ranie was too. I pulled out Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Opened up the book to an old favorite, Coconut Lemon Bundt Cake recipe. SO moist! I didn't want to make an entire cake for the teachers, I knew I would want some of this yummy goodness for us too, so I made cupcakes.
You could leave them as they are. They taste fantastic on their own. I did whip up a lemon glaze by adding some lemon juice to a cup of powdered sugar. Then just drizzled it across the top. (no photo of that, sorry) You could also gently dip the cupcakes into the lemon glaze bowl. Just covering the top. So yummy.
Teacher Ranie and the rest of the teachers loved these beauties. And I received my next challenge/request.... lemon bars. Once again I'll be pulling out a book by the Moskowitz and Romero to meet that challenge.
Not the prettiest looking plate of food, but mighty tasty and filling! Time for me to go make lunch before picking up the kidlet from preschool. What's on the lunch menu for today you ask?.... Frito Pie!!!! Fritos (Trader Joe style), black beans, green chiles, onions, and vegan sour cream. Pile in that order in a bowl and dive in, baby!
Every Sunday we go to our local library, well I lie, we go to the nicer library in Santa Monica. The kids pick out videos that we can keep for one week and I cruise the cookbook aisles. My daughter really loves the pictures in one bento box book that we have found. She has been on me to check it out again and again to make the lunches for her. The book is called Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches by Maki Ogawa I finally took the hint and checked it out.
My youngest one had Monday off of school so we drove out to Underwood Farms in Moorpark for a little fun. They are having the Fall Harvest Festival right now. Weekends are 12 dollars for each person!!!! Luckily the weekdays are only 3 dollars each. We walked thru the sunflower fields, the pumpkin patch, tomato vines, bell pepper area, and most importantly, the blackberries!!!! Lily decided that we needed to pick blackberries first. Not many to grab but I think we were able to find about thirty berries. Lily loved picking the berries, so that is all that matters. Grabbed a few peppers and tomatoes and headed out. Lily reminded me that we "had" to get some pumpkins...she twisted my arm. Grabbed two of the smallest pumpkins we could find and called it a day. And what a great day it was.
The other day I opened my email to find an update from Celine Steen at have cake will travel. There were gorgeous photos of plums in a gorgeous crust. She had my attention! I opened the link and was so happy to see that she had shared the recipe for these gorgeous treats.
Almond Plum Mini Crostata Pies. I quickly realized that we had plums from our ÇSA box and almond meal in the fridge. These babies were going to become a reality right then and there. As I started to pull out ingredients, my daughter asked what I was doing. I replied it was time to try plum tarts (simplified the name for a four yr old and me, who am i kidding?!?!). She pulled out her step ladder, pushed up her sleeves on her Hello Kitty jammies, and stated "I want to help!" Well okay, the more the merrier.
Sorry for the missing of posts, I was laid off on Friday. I am the sole bread winner of the family, so it really stresses me out, obviously. A few good things about being laid off: more time with my family, more time to cook, and being forced to be frugal in all areas of my life. So I did my menu for the week and I will be cooking my butt off. No choice but to make things myself to save every penny.
So for now I will leave you with a dinner from Thursday. Simple tempeh pan fried with some olive oil and soy sauce, kale (from the CSA box) sauteed with onions in olive oil, and root beer beans from Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites by Joni Marie Newman and Celine Steen. My son and husband love root beer, so I thought I'd give this recipe a go. Let it be known, I really really dislike the taste of root beer. So I was being a really nice person making this for them. I have to admit, if I mixed the beans with greens or tempeh in a bite, it tasted really good. On it's own, I couldn't do it. The root beer taste was just too strong for me. But if you are a root beer lover, you better check it out!
Upcoming adventures: plum tarts(another recipe from Celine Steen) , cinnamon rolls, and lemon coconut muffins! Woah! That's a lot of sweets...I better get some more savory going.
I always have snacks on hand, whether I'm with my kids or alone. I never know when I will have to work a long day or work through lunch, so I try to always have more than necessary as far as food is concerned. Luckily my work has a nice kitchen, everything but a full size stove. So I keep frozen brown rice, fake nuggets from Trader Joe's, coconut milk yogurts, trail mix, and knishes here at all times. Do you notice what is missing? No fresh veggies or fruits. I'm trying to do better at keeping those things here on a week to week basis. This week I brought in persian cucumbers, carrots, and hummus for dipping. Nice and simple, notice how that is a theme of mine?
Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar , we like to make the banana oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips. Delicious and easy. Something that we love in our house. We made a double batch so that we could share with the teachers at preschool. Spreading the vegan love yet again!
Used up more CSA goodies yesterday by making Tofu bacon, lettuce, roma tomato, and avocado sandwiches. Number one, this is my favorite tofu bacon recipe to use. The recipe comes from The New Now and Zen Epicure: Gourmet Vegan Recipes for the Enlightened Palate by Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner. Simple recipe: tofu, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, and liquid smoke. No marinating, just do it all up on the spot. Working parents on the go love that! Once the tofu bacon is ready, slice up the tomatoes, wash the gorgeous red lettuce leaves, get the organic avocado ready, and don't forget the creamy vegenaise. Perfect for our everlasting summer that won't go away. Happy eating!
Ideas are still rolling around in my head for what to do this month. Not quite sure which path to take, so bear with me folks. It might be a themed month, it might not.
(not this weeks goodies. this was my first week)
Yesterday I picked up our CSA box. I'm new to the CSA box thing. Normally I prefer going to a farmer's market and picking out what grabs me at the moment. Lately, with work and life, I have been missing my farmer's market runs. So I thought I would try the CSA route for awhile. So far it has been okay. Sometimes I get something that I won't use (corn or green beans - my husband has Crohn's Disease and those foods don't work in our house), so I share it with extended family or coworkers. Which I like, spreading the organic, fresh love of fruits and veggies. Feed the masses. I love it.
This is my third box: beets, japanese eggplant, cilantro, plums, grapes, nectarines, oranges, pomegranate, cabbage, anaheim chiles, kale, chard, lettuce, roma tomatoes and garlic were the beauties we took home this week.
The beets have already been roasted. I will eat them for lunch today. Normally I would eat them warm from the oven with a little margarine, salt and pepper. Simple and perfect in every way. The beet greens have been saved so that I can saute them with tempeh for tomorrow's dinner. There is a recipe in Vegan Brunch that comes to mind. You can never go wrong with breakfast for dinner!