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I got a lot of things to share with everyone tonight!  Sorry for not blogging for a while.  Last week I was a bit busy so I didn’t have time to blog.   Luckily I found some time tonight!   

Brocolli Rabe and Spicy Temeph Pasta

Last Monday I made the Spicy Tempeh and Broccoli Rabe Pasta from Veganomicon.  This was my second time making this pasta dish.  The first time it was super bitter from the Broccoli Rabe, I didn’t enjoy it much the first time.  I decided to give it another chance with spaghetti this time because it was all I had.  My mom prepares Broccoli Rabe very well so I decided to ask her about the secrets.  My mom says broccoli rabe has to be blanched for one to two minutes and then dropped into ice cold water.  Just like tempeh where it has to be boiled for a couple of minutes to remove the bitterness, broccoli rabe benefits from the boiling water too.    I decidedto try the blanching and it worked great!  The blanching defiantly removes some of the bitterness of the Broccoli Rabe making it taste pleasant..  I really enjoyed the flavorful spicy tempeh and the slightly bitter broccoli rabe.  I will now make this tasty pasta dish more often.  I hope everyone reading this blog has Veganomicon, if you don’t I highly suggest getting it!  Isa and Terry have taught me so much about cooking!   

Moving along on Wednesday I made and Albanian recipe.  It is called Pita or Burek, in Albanian.

Albanian Pita

My family mostly calls it Pita, I’ll refer it to Burek since it is more popular way to say it.  There are many versions for Burek there is a coil version similar to the picture and a regular square version.  I still havn’t learned how to make the dough fully by myself.  My grandma made the dough for this pita and I made the filling.  My mom is so good at rolling Burek dough, she can make its nice and thin.  My grandma made it a bit thicker which is how she makes it all the time.  It is very rare for Albanians to have recipes, we usually just eyeball everything.  I ask my mom where are your recipes and she says “they are all in my head”.  Next time I want to actually develop a recipe for the dough which should be fun!  You can always take the easy route and just use phyllo dough but then it would be more like a Burek.  I used a mixed mushroom filling for this Burek.  Tradionally the two major fillings are cheese or ground meat and sometimes spinach/cheese.  My mom always develops interesting fillings for Burek.   She came up with this one a while back when we bought a lot of mushrooms.  The first time my mom made it I was suprised with how good it was.  I really love mushrooms and I was so happy my mom invented this new filling!  I don’t have the recipe ready completely.  I want to create an easy to follow recipe for Pita/Burek and will probably have it up soon!

 Eggplant in Tomato Sauce

Another dish I made this week was eggplant in a tomato pepper sauce.  This was very easy to make.  I just cut an eggplant into small triangles and then pan fried them.  I then made a quick tomato pepper sauce with fresh tomatoes and some canned, onions, garlic, and a green pepper.  Seasoned it with some oregano, thyme, and of course salt andharvest-blend.jpg pepper. I threw the fried eggplant into the sauce and simmered it for a few minutes and  Voilá I had an awesome dinner!   I normally don’t like eating summer vegetables in the winter time but sometimes you get that craving for a summer vegetable.  Although this eggplant dish doesn’t look too photogenic it was very tasty!   I served it with a delicous product I just discovered at Trader Joe’s.  It’s called Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend, it basically features Israeli couscous, along with red and green orzo, split dried garbanzo beans, and red quinoa.  I really like it because it cooks up so quick and it has so many different things in it.  Next time your at Trader Joe’s pick this up, you’ll love it!

I’ll leave you with my dog,  Madison.  This is her first appearance on my blog!   I took this picture a while back but I just had to share it with everyone know because she worked so hard on our little “photoshoot”.  In this picture she is in the snow, which it is actually snowing right now as well.  Look how serious she is!  I am so excited for tomorrow because my school has issued a snow day!  My school rarely gives out snowdays!  It’s supposed to snow a whole lot here in New York!

Madison

Madison says Hello to everyone reading!

Hey everyone!  This weekend was really fun in terms of cooking!  So here is what I cooked/baked this past weekend.  After looking at so many blogs especially Sweet Eats and Another One Bites the Crust, I was really craving some cake.  These two amazing foodies are so fun to read, they go to various vegan restaurants and blog about them.  I spent so much time reading these blogs as I am obsessed about going to Candle Cafe.  Hopefully I can go this month!  I really want to go there and Erica of Sweet Eats and Nicole of Another One Bites the Crust both went to Candle and write countless posts about Candle and many more vegan restaurants!  They have posted so much cake that they eaten so I decided to make a cake of my own.  I saw that they had eaten a Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake which looked really good.  I set out to make my own version which sadly I didn’t complete more on that later. 
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
I doubled the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World chocolate cupcake recipe and made two round cakes.  I then also used the recipe from Vegan Cupcakes to make a tasty Peanut  Buttercream Frosting which was really good!  I baked my cakes for about 23 minutes and I took them out when the knife came out clean.  I let them cool and then when I lifted them they were so fragile!  This has never happened to me and I blame myself for not baking them a couple minutes more.  It was slightly under-baked so this stopped me from completing my mission for creating an amazing cake that I had seen on those two amazing blogs!  I just frosted my cake with the Peanut Buttercream and wasn’t in the mood to make the Ganche.  The cake was so fragile in fact one of it fell apart but lucky I was able to fix it with frosting.  The cake was also lacking in the flavor dept.  which I think is because of my cocoa powder.  I bought a big bag of Hershey’s Cocoa powder from Restaurant Depot and it has been living in my freezer for one year and has not been producing quality chocolate desserts.  The flavor does come out strong, I think it has went stale.  The best part of the cake was the frosting!  It was so Peanut Buttery and Awesome!  Hopefully one day I will be able to create that amazing cake from Vegan Treats that was featured on Sweet Eats and Another One Bites the Crust. 

Moving on to Saturday.  On Saturday my dad’s cousin came so I wanted to make some brunch!  I made her some Banana-Nut Waffles from Veganomicon.
Banana Nut Waffles
I have been eating a lot of waffles this best month which I think is awesome because I love them so much!  These waffles were sweet and tasty and very banana tasting, it was like eating dessert because I decided to add some brown sugar along with the recipe’s maple syrup.  I tasted the batter and the first waffle and it didn’t seem sweet so I just added the brown sugar but I think it was two much.  Next time I will add the brown sugar and leave out the maple syrup.  I had these waffles with just some maple syrup, these waffles really didn’t need any syrup since I already made them sweet enough.  I also served them with some blueberries and bananas and put a nice healthy shake of powdered sugar!  These were amazing!

Seitan Picatta
That same day I was craving seitan!  Thanksgiving was the last time I had seitan!  I don’t know how I lived so long without seitan!  I had an extreme craving for seitan where I though about it for about half a period in school!  After looking at so many pictures of seitan on Sweet Eats and Another One Bites the Crust I had to make it again!  Me and Seitan have had a couple of bumpy roads but we are finally learning to accept each other!  Sometimes I make seitan and it comes out rubbery, one time I made it and it was so so so chewy!  I had a couple of nice times with seitan but Saturday was the best experience  that I had with seitan!  I used the Veganiomicon recipe for the Simple Seitan.  My only addition was chickpea flour.  I find that chickpea flour makes seitan nice and tender.  I divided the seitan dough into two equal pieces.  I then set up the broth and put the raw seitan in there.  I made sure to stay right there and make sure it didn’t boil.  As soon as it started to boil I turned the heat to simmer.  I simmered it for one hour and the result was amazing.  The texture and flavor was the best yet.  It was slightly chewy, tender, dense in the middle and very meatlike.  I looked at a lot of Candle Cafe pictures and I really like how they cut their seitan.  It looks really nice to the eye.  So I took the two even pieces and cut them into slightly thin slices.  It was as close as I get to Candle Cafe.  I have been wanting to make Picatta for so long so I made it from the recipe from V’con.  The recipe was really tasty but I though it had a too many shallots.  The only changes I did was use a non alcoholic wine in place of the wine and I finished the sauce with some Earth Balance and lemon slices.  I also made some awesome mashed potatoes with lots of Earth Balance of course and some awesome Kale!  The sauteed kale came out really good better than ever.  I did this my accident but I let my pan get really hot and added the oil.  When I put the kale in it charred slighty at the bottom so I kept turning it so it wouldn’t burn.  The result was some delicious Kale with a nice slightly charred taste. I really felt like I was eating at some fancy restaurant it was so good!  The seitan flavor was the best that I have ever had yet.  I really want to get more experimental with seitan and try to create some interesting recipes!

Lastly after looking at another amazing blog, Vegan Yum Yum I saw the pancakes that she blogged about a while back. 
Pancakes
These pancakes looked so good so I gave the recipe a shot.  I normally use the VWAV recipe which is very similar.  The Vegan Yum Yum just has one teaspoon less baking powder which made flatter pancakes.  These pancakes were really good! I was really bad at making pancakes but now I am getting the hang of them.  I really want to get a griddle so I can get perfect browned pancakes like on the boxes that you see.   Does anyone know if a griddle will get the job done?  What do you use for your pancakes? 

Alright everyone, I guess that’s it.

Hey everyone!  How have you all been?  It’s a bit late to say this but Happy New Year to everyone!  I have been out for so long.  I missed a lot!  I took a whole lot of time off from blogging, I don’t know how it happened.  I took many pictures of food that I cooked I guess to lazy to blog about them.   couldn’t take it any more, I just had to start blogging again!  Hopefully I will not stop blogging again from now on, I really hope I don’t!

I have started testing recipes for Isa and Terry’s upcoming Cookie Book.  So far I have made the Brownies from the new book.   These brownies tasted really really good.   This is just how a brownie is supposed to taste like!  The next following weeks I am going to be testing the last of cookies that are left to test.  I am really excited! 

Brownies Tester
Here are the brownies from the Isa and Terry’s upcoming Cookie Book. This book is going to be amazing!

Earlier this week, for the first time I made burgers!  I made the Veganomicon Black Bean Burgers.  The black bean burgers were really tasty!  I used a fry and bake method for them because I wasn’t sure they would firm up from frying.  I think it was because I put to much water.  Next time I would probably reduce the amount of water for these.  So anyway after I fried them until they were golden about 3 minutes per side, I baked them in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes until they were nice and firm to the touch.  To accompany the burgers I made some sweet potato fries which I spiked up with some chili powder.  The fries were really good…this was my first time I made sweet potato fries so I was really excited about them!  These black-bean burgers have inspired me to make more burgers from now on! 
Blackbean Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries
These burgers are awesome!
Here are some Ginger Pear Waffles from vwav that I made earlier today.   These waffles were really tasty and had nice spice from them which I enjoyed.  I wish there was a little more pear flavor in the waffles but I used apple cider instead of the pear juice as I didn’t have pear juice.  Next time I think I will take Isa’s tip and fold in crystallized ginger in the waffles.  Imagine how good that would be!
Ginger Pear Waffles

Wow..It’s been really fun writing this post!  I am really trilled to be apart of this awesome blogging community once again!

This week I made some really tasty things!!  The inspiration for this week’s dinner came from Isa’s Blog.  For the House of Dreams benefit dinner, Isa made Temeph over Kale, with mushroom ragout, and stuffed acorn squash. I really wish I was in Portland so I could have went to this dinner.  I decided to recreate what Isa made myself based on that photo.   I made the best tempeh I ever tasted!  It was so tasty.  I made a simple marinade to marinade the tempeh in and I boiled it in a soy sauce and water mixture which I think really helped the flavor.  I then panfried it until nice and golden!  I served the tempeh was a mushroom ragout which really complemented the tempeh.  I also had spinach under the tempeh.  Here’s the recipe for the tempeh and mushroom ragout below.

Pan Fried Tempeh, Mushroom Ragout, Stuffed Acorn Squash and Garlicky Spianch

Pan Fried Tempeh, Mushroom Ragout, Stuffed Acorn Squash and Garlicky Spianch

Panfried Tempeh
Serves about 4

Ingredients:
For the marinade
3/4 cup white wine or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce plus 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
half a lemon squeezed
2 garlic cloves
2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil

2 packages of tempeh
Olive Oil for frying

Cut each block of tempeh in to 4 triangles. First cut it across in the middle then cut the two squares diagonally, into triangles.
Bring a pot of water to boil and add some soy sauce to it about 2-3 tablespoons to the water. Add the tempeh and boil on medium for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine all the other ingredients for the marinade.
After 10 minutes add the tempeh to the marinate and marinate for about an hour or more if you want.
After it has marinated, heat a pan over medium high heat with olive oil for pan-frying.
Pan Fry the tempeh until golden about 2-3 minutes per side.

Mushroom Ragout
Ingredients
1 pound of cremini mushrooms thinly sliced
About half a cup of white wine or vegetable broth
1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2-3 medium Shallots minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
A pinch of dried thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Heat a pan with olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for about 5-8 minutes, until they are translucent. Add the herbs and tomato paste. Then add the mushrooms and wine or vegetable broth and saute for about 8-10 minutes until the mushrooms have reduced. If it seems a little dry add more wine/vegetable broth. Season with Salt and Pepper.

For my acorn squash, I used Isa’s recipe for Cornbread Stuffing with Pears and Pecans and just substituted some ingredients based on what I had.  For example I use rosemary instead of thyme, apples instead of pears, and shallots instead of onions.  I also added some carrots and celery and omitted the celery seed.  Oh and I halved the recipe.  I really suggest Isa’s recipe for cornbread stuffing, it was so tasty!  I will defiantly make this stuffing for Thanksgiving!  Now let’s talk about the acorn squash itself.  It was my first time having acorn squash.  I was very surprised with the taste, it tasted so different from the other squashes.  It was good but I think next time I will roast it with earth balance and maple syrup for extra goodness!

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I also made some awesome baked goods this week.  I made a really awesome bundt cake from Veganomicon.  I made the Coconut- Lemon Bundt cake.  This bundt cake was so moist and full of lemony and coconut flavor!  I think it was the most moist cake when I have ever had.  I will defiantly make this again! 

Coconut Lemon Bundt Cake

Coconut Lemon Bundt Cake

 

I made my very first apple pie! It came out really good!   I even made a lattice crust for it.  The only thing I will probaly do next time is reduce the spices I used in the apple filling.  I need to work a bit more on my crust though.  This apple pie went really fast.  I only had a slice and I wanted more!!  I can’t wait to make this again for Thanksgiving. 

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

This fall I made a resolution to try all the winter squashes out there.  Last year I didn’t cook much with squash, so this year I really want to master cooking winter squash!  I already made something with butternut squash for Vegan MoFo.  I made the Butternut Squash Lasagna with Cashew Cream.  When we went to the supermarket we bought 3 butternut squashes, 2 acorn squashes, and one pumpkin.  Last night I used one butternut squash to make a wonderful Rosemary Scented- Butternut Squash Risotto.  The result was amazing.  The Rosemary gave the risotto a complex flavor.  Sage would have also worked in this risotto.  The butternut squash were roasted until tender and then cooked for a bit in the risotto.  I love making risotto!  My favorite thing is stirring it, I think that’s awesome!  My mom was a big fan of this risotto, she had like 3 servings!  I think I am going to make this for Thanksgiving.  This is a great dish to serve in the fall!  Here’s the recipe.  

Rosemary Scented Butternut Squash Risotto

Rosemary Scented Butternut Squash Risotto

 

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash peeled and cut into cubes
5.5 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cups chopped shallots
1 rosemary spring
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine ( I use Ariel Non  Alcoholic Wine, from Trader Joe’s)
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon Earth Balance (Optional)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prep the squash and then place it on a baking pan. Toss it with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, heat the vegetable broth

In a heavy bottomed pot, heat about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and sautee for about 8 minutes, until translucent but not browned. Add the rice and sautee for about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rosemary spring. Now add a ladle or two of vegetable broth and stir. Cook until the risotto starts to become a bit dry. Keep adding a 2 ladles of vegetable broth. Stir every 2 minutes or so. When the rice is 3/4 of the way done add the butternut squash. Cook until the rice is al dente. It should take about 30 minutes. Off the heat you can melt about 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance into the risotto for extra richness.

A couple of days ago I made the Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Veganomicon.  At first I wasn’t crazy about them but the next day they were really good!  I ate like 10 in one sitting.  Next time I would probaly reduce the spices just a bit, I though they slightly overpowered the cookies.  That was the only problem, other than these cookies were good!

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Hey everyone!  Yesterday I made Pecan Crusted Seitan and I served with my leftover Creamy Cashew Mustard Cream Sauce and Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Asparagus in Orange Sauce from the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook.  This month I am sampling some dishes I want to serve on Thanksgiving.  I am post likely going to serve this Pecan Crusted Seitan or a Seitan Roast for thanksgiving.  And I am defiantly serving the mashed sweet potatoes and possibly the asparagus.  This dinner was really good, every thing shined on the plate!  I really liked the texture of the seitan, it has been one of the few successful seitans I have made.  I used the recipe for the seitan cutlets from veganomicon, I just added some nooch and that’s it.  The seitan cutlets had a great texture.  It was so tender, I didn’t even need a knife!  I think I can officially say that I like seitan!  I think the only thing I would change is flavor them a bit more when I baked them probably use some herbs or something.  Anyway,  I then marinaded them in a simple marinade consisting of soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and wine.  I then breaded them in a Pecan Rosemary Panko mixture.  Frying was a bit of a pain because some of the cutlets slighty burned, I don’t know why.  The oil got too hot and the cutlets browned very quickly.  Then, I also made mashed sweet potatoes for the first time but I gave it a little twist!  I used coconut milk instead of soy milk, and wow the coconut and the sweet potatoes were amazing together!  I usually just roast asparagus but I was looking for a little something new so I grabbed my Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook and I saw this great recipe for asparagusin orange sauce.  It was really simple to make just take some fresh orange juice, wine, and vegetable broth and reduce it.  I boiled the asparagus and then poured the sauce over it.  At the end I had an awesome meal! 

Pecan Crusted Seitan with Creamy Mustard Sauce, Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Asparagus in Orange Sauce

Pecan Crusted Seitan with Creamy Mustard Sauce, Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Asparagus in Orange Sauce

Here’s the recipe for the Pecan Crusted Seitan, Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Asparagus in Orange Sauce

Pecan Crusted Seitan
Serves 4-5
These Pecan Crusted Seitan Cutlets are awesome. They are a great main course to serve while entertaining. They would be perfect for a Holiday party! These are great served them with the Cashew Mustard Cream Sauce, but you can serve them with any sauce you wish.

Ingredients:
For the marinade
1/4 Cups Olive Oil
4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1/3 cup white wine or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
half a lemon squeezed
3 garlic cloves minced

For the breading mixture
1 1/4 cup pecans
3 tablespoons panko
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste

5 seitan cutlets (I used the recipe from V’con)
Oil for Pan Frying

Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Place the seitan in a small casserole dish or ziplock bag and pour the marinade over it. Marinade it for about an hour in the fridge.

After one hour, start making the pecan mixture. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Dip a seitan cutlet in the marinade and then bread it with the pecans. Make sure to press the pecans well into the seitan cutlet. Repeat with all of them.

Heat a pan over medium heat with oil. You need just enough oil to pan fry, you are not deep frying. Pan fry the seitan until nice and golden.

Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes
The mashed Sweet Potatoes are perfect to serve anywhere where regular mashed potatoes are served. They would be perfect for Thanksgiving!
Serves 4-5 people

3 medium sized Sweet Potatoes peeled and cubed into large pieces
Half a cup of coconut milk
3 tablespoons Earth Balance
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat a pot of water. Add the sweet potatoes. Then salt them generously with salt. Bring it to a low boil. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender. When the sweet potatoes are done drain them. Add them back to the pot. Add the maple syrup, Earth Balance, and coconut milk. Mash until nice and fluffy.

Asparagus in Orange Sauce
From the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds of pencil thin asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to boil. Boil the asparagus for 3 minutes. Run them through cold water.

Meanwhile, combine the orange juice, wine, and broth and bring it to a boil, reduce to 1/4 cup. Pour over the asparagus, and then season with salt and pepper.

Today I made the Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from V’con.  I will post the pictures hopefully tomorrow.

Hey everyone!  Its been a couple of days since I posted something up.  Well tonight I am going to post some things I have cooked up. 

On Friday I made a lot of things.  My aunt and her family came on Friday and my mom was at work.  It was me, and my grandparents at home so I offered to make some of the food.  I wanted to make some type of cookie but I was a bit low on baking ingredients like the brown sugar and chocolate chips.  I went to Isa’s old blog and saw Vegan Milano cookies.  I had most of the ingredients except for bittersweet chocolate, I had only unsweetened but I fixed that up my putting some sugar in it.  These cookies were good but it took forever to bake them because my oven keeps shuting off!! 
vegan milano cookies

Well anyway I made 3 more things that night.  I made the famous chickpea cutlets baby size!  I wanted to make mini versions of them so my aunt and her family would be more willing to try them.  They went really good as always.  Their were no leftovers. 
chickpea cutlets mini
I also made my favorite broccoli recipe from the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook.  It’s the best broccoli I have ever had, its called Sicilian Style Broccoli.  Basically you simmer it in vegetable broth, garlic, and capers. Its so so good! 
brocoli
Lastly I made some rice pilaf which I adapted from the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook. 
rice pilaf
I also served my mom’s Albanian Beans, which my mom made this time.  My grandpa also had to have meat as he thinks you have to serve people meat.  Oh well at least everything else was vegan!  

Saturday I made some hummus!  I love hummus!  Its seriously my favorite food, I could eat it all day and I have done that a few times!  I am still working on the perfect recipe.  I finally achieved the creamy consitensity.  Today it was super creamy.  It was a bit dense because I added a bit more tahini than normal like 6 tablespoons.  I used the v’con recipe this time and I liked it but I still think it needs more lemon.  I just love lemon and can’t get enough of it.  Overall the hummus was great!  I ate the whole bowl below for dinner!  I ate it was some Ritz crackers!  It was awesome!!  Tonight I found an awesome blog all about hummus!  It’s so cool.  It has very good information about hummus making! 
hummus

Hey everyone!!  Yesterday my grandparents came from Montenegro!  They were on vacation for 2 months.  They brought so many good stuff like pomegranates, clementines, and dried figs!!  Tonight I made some cookies.  I ran out of many baking things like brown sugar, powered sugar, and chocolate chips so I wasn’t sure what to make.  I looked at V’con and say an awesome recipe for Fig Smushed-Anise-Almond Cookies.  I didn’t have the almonds or anise but I did have the figs!  Instead of Almonds I used walnuts and instead of anise I used more vanilla extract.  I call them Fig Smushed Walnut Cookies.  My cookies came out really really good!  As soon as I bit into them they brought so many memories.  They reminded me of the cookies my mom used to make when she would bake.  There a little bit of everything a little bit chewy, a little crispy and so good!  For some reason I always make my cookies big and I never make the exact amount, these were really supposed to be a bit smaller but oh well.  The walnuts really help the fig cookies as walnuts and figs are the perfect couple!  By the way walnuts are awesome to stuff into dried figs!  I won’t post the recipe up since I don’t have much time and anyways its in V’con and everyone has v’con, right??  All I did is use walnuts instead of almonds, used regular sugar and used regular figs.  The recipe is on page 234-235 in Veganomicon.

figs

Homemade dried figs from my grandpa and grandma

Fig Smushed-Walnut Cookies_edited-1

Fig Smushed-Walnut Cookies (Adapted from V’con)

Hey everyone!  Today I was in the mood for some pasta.  Olives and Capers are my favorite combination.  A few years back I taught olives were gross!  I never ate them, until one day I tried them and since then I have loved them.  I often like to use the combination of capers and olives into my dishes.  Today I made a simple pasta dish with capers and olives.  Pasta Puttanesca is really easy to make.  Here’s how I made it today.  I made enough for 2-3 people.  I also put some yellow squash because I had it on hand and it was getting kinda lonely in the fridge.  Here’s a quick recipe on how to make it. 

Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca

Ingredients
1 shallot (Optional)
20 oz can of whole tomatoes
Handful or two of olives
Pinch of thyme and oregano
Couple of tablespoons of capers
Salt And Pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
5 Garlic Cloves
Half Pound Spaghetti

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add some oil. Add the shallots and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Meanwhile add the spaghetti to the water. Cook the sauce for about 15-20 minutes. Add the olives and capers cook for a few minutes more and that’s it for the sauce. Mix in the pasta. Add some chopped fresh basil or parsley on top of the pasta. I also sprinkled it with some Almesan from v’con.

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I was also craving something sweet so I made some chocolate raspberry cookies from v’con.  I lowered the almond extract on them because because if I use the whole teaspoon they taste like almond cookies.  These cookies were really good!  I look forward to eating more of them!!
chocolate raspberry cookies

This is my first year of VeganMofo! I am so exicted. This month I will have a lot for you guys. Today I have a ton of things to share!!   I previouly had a blog on blogspot called Vegan Teen Chef.   Now this is my new home!!

I just got my Canon Rebel DSLR on Saturday! I am loving how my pictures are coming out. So last weekend I made some Ratatouille with Chickpeas. Ratatouille is one of my favorite dishes, its like one of the first things I made. The Ratatouille was really good. I just love vegetable stews. I make them at least once a week. With the leftovers I just cook some pasta and heat up the vegetable stew and mix up and you’ve got yourself a whole different meal!!
Ratatouille with Chickpeas

Ratatouille cooking on the stove!!

ratatouille pasta

Leftover Ratatouille with Whole Wheat Pasta

Next up is Chickpeas Romesco and Saffron Rice from V’con!! I served it with some salad! I enjoyed this but I just wish that I would have cooked the chickpeas just little longer to make them really tender. This is tonight’s dinner and I can’t wait to eat after I finish blogging that is!

Chickpeas Romesco

Chickpeas Romesco

Yesterday, today, and tommoraw Eid.  Eid is a Muslim holiday that I celebrate.  It is so fun! I love making desserts to celebrate Eid!!! And today I will share my awesome recipe for Bakalava which everyone loved!!!! I also made some Chocolate Vanilla Strawberry cake using the VCTOTW recipes. The cake was really good. When I was making the frosting, I doubled it and added the double amount the soymilk. The frosting turned out runny and it was so hard to frost the cake.  The cake is a 4 layer chocolate and vanilla cake with strawberry preserves in the middle.  Topped of with chocolate ganche and strawberries!  It was really good!!

chocolate vanilla strawberry cake

Chocolate Vanilla Strawberry Cake

My Recipe for Baklava

This recipe is so good.  I created it myself after having my mom’s cousin’s baklava.  It was so good.  The secret was coconut which I never though I would add to baklava.  I added it and it worked.  Everyone is so amazed at this baklava!!  Try this recipe and be prepared for rave reviews!!

1 package phylo dough
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup canola oil

For the filling
2.5 cups walnuts
1 1/4 cups almonds
1/4 cups of breadcrumbs
3 cups coconut (The secret ingredient that will have people begging for more)
1/2 t  cinnamon
1/4 t cloves
4T sugar
1/4 cups melted vegan maragine (like Earth balance)

In a food processer grind the walnuts and almonds until they are crumbs with some small bit of walnuts. Melt the 3/4 cups of Earth balance and then set aside. Mix the ingredients together then add 1/4 cup of the melted Earth Balance

Take the 1/2 cups of melted earth balance and mix it with the canola oil.

Now it is time to get into the most fun part!! Forming the triangles. Now Preheat the oven to 375. Brush the baking sheet with rimmed edges with oil. Take two sheets of dough and brush one layer just a bit and then place the layer for the first layer and brush with the melted earth balance and oil mixture. Depending on your sheets of dough you might have to cut the sheets in half. Now take about 2 tablespoons of the nut mixture and put it to the end nearest you. Grab the corner of the dough, fold it so forms a triangle, fold it again and again till you reach the end. Place on the baking pan with rimmed edges and brush with the oil mixture. And now you just repeat it until your dough is done. I got about 34 pieces of Baklava!! Bake it in the oven for about 15 minutes watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn. It should be golden brown.

The syrup
2 cups of sugar
3 cups water
1/4 t vanilla
1 lemon squeezed

Heat up a sauce pan on medium heat. Then put the sugar and melt it just a little. Make sure to keep stirring. Then add the water and vanilla. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for about 20-25 minutes until it is a little bit thick. When its done add the lemon.

When the baklava is baked. Let it cool for about 5 minutes. Drizzle the syrup and cover it like 3/4 of the way up. Don’t worry it will absorb all the syrup. Then let it cool and store it in the fridge. Enjoy. People will be suprised at this Baklava. Everyone that tried it liked it!!!

baklava 3

The Ulimate Baklava!!!

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