Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category
Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
(For a bigger version of the photo, check it out on the new Fridgg! )
I love baking, but since it’s just Son and myself at home, a batch of anything is always too much. There’s only so much you can pawn off on family, so most of what I bake ends up going to my physical therapist’s office (they all love me there) and Son’s work (they do too ).
The only problem with bringing baked goods into Son’s work is that one of his coworkers/friends has recently gone vegan… so she can never eat the butter/egg/dairy-filled baked goods I bring in.
Luckily for her, I love a challenge! I’ve been wanting to make something she can eat for a while, but I didn’t want anything that used weird ingredients like dairy-free margarine, or anything like that. I found this vegan peanut butter cookie recipe on ChooseVeg.com, and although I was a little worried it might not work, I decided to try it.
This last weekend one of his old coworkers had a housewarming party, which was the perfect occasion! The cookies turned out wonderfully – they’re a little more cake-like, and crumblier than non-vegan cookies, but delicious nonetheless. I thought they were reminiscent of the filling of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (which I LOVE), while Son said they reminded them of the Vietnamese mung bean cookies eaten around the Lunar New Year.
Just don’t do what I did with the first batch, and forget to flatten them with a fork (although in my defense, the original recipe left that part out). The cookies come out of the oven in the same shape that they were when they went in… and as you can see, flattening the cooked cookie balls after the fact doesn’t work so well.
(Although one of my twitter followers did have the great idea of using the cookie crumbs for a pie crust… which makes me want to mess up more cookies just so I have an excuse to try that!)
Flatten the cookies BEFORE they go in the oven!
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup oil
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- extra sugar for flattening
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Roll the dough into 1.5-inch balls, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
- Dip a fork in sugar and use it to flatten the balls, creating a cross-hatch pattern on each cookie. Dip the fork in sugar again each time you flatten a cookie.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Let cool on the cookie sheet. These are crumblier than non-vegan cookies.
Sour Candy Grapes
Ah, Pinterest. Now, I’m not really a Pinterest addict – nowhere near it. I can spend maybe 10 minutes on the site at most at one time. But still, it is an excellent place to find new recipes and food ideas.
For example, these grapes. I saw a friend of mine pin a link to these sour patch grapes and had to make them.
Not for me, mind you. I’ve never been much of a sour fan. No, these were for my younger brother. The guy is addicted to sour candies.
Now, I wanted them to be sour, and I wasn’t sure if the melon-flavored jello she used would do that. And since I didn’t have that much time to experiment, I decided to go with something I KNEW would be sour.
So what better than lemonade-flavored Kool-Aid powder?
Verdict? These were a hit. My brother had friends over for the Fourth of July, and they INHALED these grapes. Seriously. They were fighting over them. I’m surprised nobody got hurt.
They taste just like sour candy!
Recipe heavily inspired by the sour patch grapes from Pure Sugar.
- 1 lb green grapes
- 4 packs lemonade-flavored Kool-Aid drink powder
- ~1/2 cup sugar (less sugar if you want them more sour, more sugar if you want them more on the sweet side)
- Wash grapes thoroughly. Do not dry them. (You want them to be damp so the powder will stick.)
- Mix the Kool-Aid powder and sugar.
- Roll the grapes in the Kool-Aid mix. (Or you can lay them out and sprinkle the powder over them. This is much quicker, though it may not turn out quite as pretty.)
- Serve, and watch them magically disappear before your eyes!
Cream of Broccoli Soup
I recently signed up for the Farm Fresh to You delivery service, because I’ve decided I need more produce in my life (and I got a good deal through LivingSocial). Of course, getting a big box of produce also means you have to figure out what to do with everything in the box. The artichokes and strawberries were easy (we ate them right away), carrots went into a big batch of curry, lemon went into honey-lemon “tea” (I spent that week sick as a dog), lettuce turned into salads. But what to do with the broccoli?
Then I saw this recipe for broccoli cheese soup on Brown Eyed Baker, and it sounded really good. So once I got better, I made the soup… with a few alterations. A little more broccoli, throw in the potatoes that I had just because they were there. Add some garlic powder because it needed just that slightest kick of flavor. Cook it a little longer so the vegetables are meltingly soft. And add bacon, because… well, why not? We all know bacon makes everything better.
Of course, the test for whether something is good is never whether Son likes it or not. He’ll eat just about everything, and yet he isn’t much of a fan of cream-based soups. (He ate it anyways.) So instead I brought my dad a bowl of it. The verdict? He loved it.
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 3 heads broccoli, stems removed and discarded, and florets cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 lb potatoes, diced
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 12 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 12 slices of bacon, cooked
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until they begin to soften. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to combine, cooking for about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and half-and-half.
- Add the nutmeg, broccoli, potatoes, a dash of salt, freshly ground black pepper, and garlic powder. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about an hour, or until the broccoli is tender. You can add the cheese now, or add it to taste when you serve the soup. (I like cheese, but Son isn’t as much of a fan so he didn’t add any.)
- Blend with an immersion blender, or carefully transfer to a blender or food processor to blend. Top with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon. (You can also add croutons, if you’d like.)
- This makes a fairly thick soup. I like it that way, but if you prefer a thinner soup you can mix in a cup of vegetable broth to thin it out.
Cookies for Santa?
There are food bloggers, and then there are food bloggers.
There are those of us who are on top of things… who make a whole Thanksgiving dinner a month before Thanksgiving. That way we can write about all our dishes before the holiday, so our readers can make those dishes for Thanksgiving.
Those of us who already know what we’re going to bake long before December, and have already tested the recipes and taken the photos before there’s even a hint of December in the air.
Those people are probably already starting to think about what they’ll be serving for Easter next year.
I… am most certainly not one of those people.
Heh. Yeah. Definitely not.
Holiday baking? Um… haven’t even started.
Right. Gotta get on that.
I’m more the kind of food blogger who cooks for a holiday, like a normal person, and then posts about it after the fact, right about when nobody cares about that holiday any longer. Yeah, I’m timely like that.
I made these cookies, from Joy the Baker way back in June, but at the time I definitely didn’t have Christmas on the mind. (No, these were for my little sister, who was graduating at the time.)
However, these are definitely going to make an appearance for Christmas as well. After all, these flourless cookies made my newly gluten-free grandmother tear up when she realized she could actually eat some! Yes, that totally means I need to make them again…
(Also, as a side note, if you accidentally only put in half the amount of peanut butter, your cookies will turn out very flat. Still delicious, but definitely flatter than they should be… o_0)
Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies
Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 6 slices bacon
- In a frying pan, fry up the bacon until crispy. Let cool on paper towels, and then dice into small (1/4-inch) pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cream the peanut butter and sugars, about 2 minutes. Add in the egg and baking soda and mix for another 2 minutes. Fold in the bacon.
- Roll the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Flatten in a criss-cross pattern using a fork dipped in sugar.
- Bake 10 minutes, then cool on a cooling rack.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
In today’s edition of ‘Foods Allison hated when she was a kid’ (trust me, this could go on for a while)… CAULIFLOWER.
Growing up, my sister loved cauliflower. Me, I was more of a broccoli kind of girl. (Cauliflower for dinner?! Eeewwww… gross.)
(As an amusing aside, the other day I mentioned to my mom that I’m not a huge fan of bell peppers. She responded, “Really? I thought you like everything?!” I looked at her askance and burst out laughing. “You do realize I’m the kid who wouldn’t eat anything when I was younger…” “Yeah,” she mused, “you were so picky when you were little!”)
Look, mom, I’m eating cauliflower!
I actually had no plans to try making anything with cauliflower in it anytime soon… the subconscious memories of my childhood aversion to it meant that it simply never occurred to me to even consider buying any. But a conversation with a friend about roasting vegetables (hi, Joann!) convinced me that maybe it was time to give that squeaky white vegetable a try once more.
So I bought a head of cauliflower.
And proceeded to look at it for two days, never quite going through with my intention to roast it.
But then I saw this recipe for Creamy Cauliflower Soup and thought… “okay, I can do that.”
Despite a few mishaps along the way (I didn’t check my pantry before going grocery shopping, and found out once I started cooking that – oops – I only had chicken stock, no vegetable stock), the soup turned out wonderfully. The potato adds enough creaminess and the caramelized onions enough sweetness to make the soup taste really decedent, even though it’s really just a bowl full of vegetables.
So do I love cauliflower now?
Well… not quite. The “squeakiness” of it still gets to me. However, I did eat up the entire batch of this cauliflower soup… so I will admit it’s starting to grow on me.
Those croutons are to die for.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 6 oz whole grain bread, cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- kosher salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
- 2/3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- To make the croutons: Preheat the oven to 350? F. Place the bread cubes in a medium bowl and toss with the melted butter, olive oil, and 1 tbsp dijon mustard until evenly coated. Spread the bread cubes out in an even layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crunchy.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt, then mix in the potato, garlic and vegetable broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, keep covered, and let cook for about 8 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add the cauliflower and cook about 5-6 minutes more, until the cauliflower is tender. Stir in the cheese and mustard.
- Puree with an immersion blender (or a food processor, vented to allow the steam to escape). Mix in additional water or broth if the soup is too thick. Season with additional salt to taste. Serve warm topped with additional shredded cheese and the croutons.