Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins

During the fall I bought a few pie pumpkins and prepped them then froze them, so when I wanted delicious pumpkin during the winter months I would have it without having to buy canned pumpkin. Today I decided to make some pumpkin muffins and a loaf of pumpkin bread.
This bread recipe is my basic sweet bread, the recipe originally came from my Mother, I have modified it to be vegan and has a bit less fat in it than my Mothers recipe. Although the base recipe is the same I modify the fruit or vegetable content added.
• 3 cups flour
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 3/4 tsp baking soda
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• the equivalent of 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 1/3 cup nuts ( I usually use walnuts but today I used almonds, and it was delicious)
• 3 cups pureed pumpkin
Preheat the oven to 350. Mix together the dry ingredients well. Add the oil and the egg replacer mix lightly, add the pumpkin and the vanilla mix well, at this point the mixture should have no lumps. Add the raisins and nuts lightly mix. If you are baking muffins it should be about 22 to 25 minutes If you are baking bread it will be about 45 minutes.

Yum and done!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chocolate Buttercream

Last weekend I just wanted a cupcake! So to break from tradition I made a chocolate buttercream, I usually do a vanilla, the results were delicious. I have been working with buttercream for a long time now but it was not until recently that I started to experiment with stiffer frosting. The stiffer it is the more vertical you can take it when decorating! If you would like a frosting that is a bit less dense feel free to reduce the sugar by 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
• 1/2 cup vegan butter at room temperature
• 2 tbsp soy milk
• 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder (dutch processed or regular)
• 3 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar
In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer mix butter and soy milk, then add the cocoa powder 1/4 cup at a time, mix well, add the vanilla and mix again. Add the confectioners sugar about 1/2 cup at a time and mix. By the time you add the last half cup of sugar the frosting should be very stiff, if you need to you can add more at this time.
If you are going to be applying the frosting via a pastry bag, it works best at room temperature.

Yum and done!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Bread Project: Cottage Loaf

This is the next installment in my voyage into bread making from the book The Bread Bible, authored by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter and I plan to bake my way through it this year. This is another english bread called the Cottage Loaf. It is not baked in shops much these days, the book sites room bring the main issue. But it can be ordred on request.
This was a simple ingredient bread consisting of bread flour salt yeast and water, but something tells me I have not perfected the fine art of knowing when needing is done. This loaf tastes good but I think the traditional cottage loaf should be more hollow on the inside and not as dense. This particular bread was proofed twice and on the second rising it was placed under glass pyrex to keep from expanding to much. Before it goes in the oven the whole in the top was pushed in by my thumb I suspect it is to kind of glue the loaves together during baking. Also this recipe does expand in the oven by a sizable amount.

here it is ready to go into the oven!

from the side
more of a top view:
Yum and done!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Bread Project: Poppy-Seeded Bloomer

Bread is such a big part of our lives. And it occurred to me that other than dessert breads my skills in bread making are somewhat vague. So I am staring a new cooking project focused on bread making from around the world. I purchased The Bread Bible, authored by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter and I plan to bake my way through it this year. This is my first attempt at it. It was a relatively simple recipe consisting of bread flour, yeast water salt and some poppy seeds for garnish. The results were pretty good although I think I need to knead more in the future.
my dough post first kneading
I had to knock back the dough twice. If you are not familiar with knocking back it is the process of beating it back and kneading it again after it has risen. After this process I had to shape the bread and I feel this is where my skills could use some improvement. But considering I will be making many more recipes I think I have some time to perfect them.

the bread formed but not garnished

the bread garnished with a salt water mixture and poppy seeds

the finished results tasty but a bit misshaped
Yum and done!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Green Soup

Looking back on my blog posts for the last year I have realized I have posted a lot of sweet stuff. Mainly because I like those recipes they are fun and I am proud of the tasty results. But I realize I am not painting an accurate picture of living a meat free lifestyle. So be prepared to see more green this year starting with this tasty little number. I call it green soup, look at the finished product picture to see why.
For this soup I decided to use seitan for the protein, this batch of seitan I made and froze in December. If you are not familiar with seitan feel free to use beans or even firm tofu.
• 4 scallions diced
• 1 full head garlic minced
• 3 carrots chopped
• 8 to 10 ounces of fresh spinach diced
• 7 to 9 stalks of asparagus chopped
• 4 medium potatoes pealed and diced
• 24 to 30 ounces of veggie stock
• 5 slices of jalapeno pepper diced
• 3 to 4 tbsp flour (for thickening)
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• salt and pepper to taste

All veg prepped and ready to go!
In a soup pot heat the oil and add the garlic, cook the garlic over medium heat for 3 minutes, then add the stock. Bring to a boil then add the veggies.
veg added
Then stir until all the veg has been coated in the stock. Add a bit of salt and pepper and reduce heat to low medium, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Stir and taste if you would like more pepper or salt add, now add your protein, I used seitan for this, but remember beans or tofu would be fine too. Reduce heat to low and cover let cook for another 20 minutes.
The soup ready to be thickened
Next add the flour 1 tbsp at a time and whisk. Add another and whisk again, make sure there are no clumps in the soup. After the flour is incorporated cover and cook for another 5 minutes. After this I cut the heat and kept covered for another 5.
Yum and done!