It's so fun being back in the world of blogging! I've had a great time this week catching up on everyone's blogs after such a long absence. It seems there are always a bunch of new, promising vegan blogs popping up too... how exciting!
Have any of you tried these little babies? They are super good! Of course they are a candy treat, but they are organic and have some protein and fiber too. They have a nice nutty filling - either peanut butter or almond butter. I love the shape - like a big thick patty... and very satisfying to bite into. I also love the flavor! They are satisfyingly sweet, but not in a refined-sugar or artificial-crank-up-the-blood-sugar kind of way. Also... I love the filling. It's got something like crunchy rice mixed in with the nut butter, which is great! Anyhow, if you can find them, I really recommend them.
So, with all my busy-ness, I haven't done any proper baking in a LONG time... and everytime I saw something baked on someone else's blogs I would have pangs of baking-angst! So, this morning I woke up and decided to just do it! I wanted to make something tasty enough to feel like a treat, but I didn't really need anything too naughty or decadent. In the end, I decided to make some muffins with the "Spice Cake" recipe from "The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen." I modified it slightly, by adding applesauce for half the oil & adding in 1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts & 1/3 c dried cranberries. Mmm! They turned out perfectly. They are dark & full of molasses & ginger, and just barely sweet. In fact, I brushed on a light glaze of powdered sugar and water to give them a little sweetie kick. I love the way they look... and they were quick and easy. In case you're interested, for cupcakes I baked them for 18 min instead of the 30 min for the cake recommended in the book.
Today Musty had a little drive down toward Gilroy to look at some guitars (he builds guitars, for those of you who don't know), and stopped off at a little market that has a Croatian/Yugoslavian food section. He got us some Duvec (pronounced djuvetch)- which is a lovely veggie combo & some hot ajvar -mmm! Also, a big boxof Turkish Delight - in rose and lemon flavor. I can't wait to try them!
Well... after all of Vicki's raving about the Everyday Dish DVD, I was already quite interested. Then we had breakfast together and she made some of those Chocolate Mint Melties cookies - and then I HAD to have it!
I haven't watched it all, but the Deli Noodle Soup by Julie Hasson caught my eye the other night. Tonight my little nephew came over for dinner, and he is a very finicky not necessarily healthy eater. I knew he would eat noodle soup - so I made some. It doesn't look like much in the photo, but all the veggies and noodles are hiding on the bottom. I used alphabet noodles instead of spag, because CW and I have a fun alphabet noodle soup game. With each spoonful, we find a letter in our spoon and try to think of something we did together that day starting with that letter. It goes like this "we Drank juice!" "we had Fun!" "you Spun around in the office chair" "we Kicked the waves" ... silly things like that. He had already had two muffins, so he didn't exactly polish off his soup, but I think the mere fact that he ate it happily without mentioning that it tasted "different" in anyway is a MAJOR testamony to the tastiness of this recipe.
and THIS calls for a formal introduction. May I introduce you to my latest deep love affair:
The Spice Zee Nectaplum.
I have literally been eating up to 4 a day in the last few weeks. It is eating up about $20 a week - but I can not resist. This joy will not last forever. They are like a white nectarine - but I guess they've got some plum in the mix. They are HUGE, juicy, sweet, a little spicy, and absolutely exquisite. If they are available to you, Please eat one today!
Last night I made some delicious stuffed peppers. It was roughly based on the recipe from "Vegetarian Suppers" by Deborah Madison. That said, I was mostly looking for a clever way to use up the leftover filling stuffs from my manicotti two nights ago. So the filling has chopped up chard, brown rice, the veggie-tofu-ricotta mix I made the other night, a jalepeno, fresh corn, and cilantro. It was great!
Here they are on the plate with some caramelized onions. Something nice about this recipe is that it recommends simmering the peppers for 4-5 minutes before stuffing them and putting them in the oven. It help prevent that situation wherein the peppers are still too crunchy.
Hope you're all doing well - I am seriously in a cooking mood these days!