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Hey everyone!  This week I was really craving Indian food!  I normally don’t make Indian food that often, in-fact I really only made it a couple of times at home and ate it a couple of times at Indian restaurants. Anyway I saw a Red Lentil Dahl recipe on the The Post Punk Kitchen recipe corner a while ago. I have been meaning to make it for quite sometime and I finally made it this past Monday. This was the first time I made a Dahl. When I was making it I wasn’t sure I was going to like it because I was a bit skeptical of all the spices that were going in it. There were a lot of awesome spices in the Dahl. This dahl made my house smell so nice and fragrant! Now let’s get to the good part! After 40 minutes of cooking my first dahl was done! I made some brown basmati rice which I flavored with some cardamon and I also made some steamed broccoli to accompany my dahl. Now dahl isn’t the most good looking dish in the world but I tried to make it look nice. I plated everything up and started eating.

red lentil dahl

Red Lentil Dahl, Basmati Rice and Steamed Broccoli

I was amazed at the flavor of the dahl! As I was eating it I could almost taste each spice I had put in it. It was so flavorful and delicious! Each day the dahl got better and better until it was all gone! Isa never let’s me down and I am so happy she created this awesome dahl recipe! I will definitely be making more dahl and Indian food frequently! I think I am hooked on Indian food now! I really suggest making this recipe as soon as possible, it’s so good! 

This week I also made some delicous pumpkin cookies which were testers for Isa and Terry’s upcomping cookie cookbook! These cookies are pure goodness! I enjoyed them so much, I ate the whole batch in less than 24 hours with a little help from my mom! The recipe only used half a can of pumpkin so I was left with more pumpkin!

Pumpkin Cookies

                 Pumpkin Cookies

Guess what I made?

I made the Awesome Pumpkin Muffins from Vegan with A Vengeance! I really wanted to take a picture of these but I ate almost all of them. These are my favorite muffins, they are so delicous! I wish I had a picture to show you all!

I do have another picture of my dog Madison in the snow this past Monday. It snowed a whole lot this Monday! We even got a snow day. It was a great chance to take some awesome photos but my brothers kept throwing snow on me in an attempt to ruin my camera so I had to go home! Luckily I got a few, this one really stood out of the few pictures I took of Madison.

madison in the snow 2

Look at her head, it’s covered in snow!  She had a blast in the snow on Monday!  She really loves snow!

Hey everyone!  The past three days I have been eating my Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna that I made! 
Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna
I made it on Tuesday and it’s delicious!  So I started making a tomato sauce for the lasagna but it ended up wrong.  I wanted to make an Italian sauce with onions, carrots and celery.  My dad who owns a pizzeria makes this all the time.  The problem with mine was when I pureed it it turned orange!  I think the problem was because I didn’t puree the carrots and celery in the beginning of the cooking process.  I tried to fix the sauce by putting some jarred tomato sauce that I found in the fridge.  Not reading the ingredients, I poured the jarred tomato sauce to my orange tomato sauce in hopes of making it redder.  Bad idea the jarred tomato sauce had cheese in it!!!!  I was so upset when I did this!  I didn’t know weather to eat it or throw it out.  I hate throwing out food and I almost never do but I didn’t want to feel guilty eating a sauce with dairy in it so sadly I threw it out.  I felt so bad because I had spent about one and a half hours cooking the sauce and it went wrong!  

Luckily I had some vegan jarred tomato sauce in the fridge.  I almost never use jarred tomato sauce for lasagna.  I thought my lasagna turn out bad with the jarred tomato sauce but thankfully it turned out really good!  Now lets talk about the filling I used for it.  I used the awesome Cashew Ricotta from Veganomicon!  This is so so good!  I would have liked it a bit more richer tasting like I made it before but the problem was that I used a bigger amount of tofu and didn’t add more cashews.   When it cooked it firmed up just like dairy ricotta.  It’s amazing!  My filling also consited of spinach and mushrooms.  I made a four layer lasagna and baked it for about an hour.  Now I have been eating lasagna since Tuesday.  After I finish writing this post I am going to freeze it so I can have a quick dinner when I don’t feel like making something. 

I also made some Sweet Potato Blondies from Isa and Terry’s upcoming cookie book!  These were really tasty and really gooey! 
Sweet Potato Blondies

Well that’s about it.

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!  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

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