Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Ayes Have It

Well, what a wonderful weekend we've had! My friends B. and S. left yesterday morning, and we had such a good time! B. was here to play on his tour with his band, The Del Ripleys! While he was gone S. and I hit the town! We saw a busker playing down by the river, had the antique shop owner whose store we visited follow us all around the store as we looked at cast iron pans, old Pyrex and jewelry, and we stopped at a cafe where the owner's tires had been slashed! Good times! Oh, and the day before we hit a going out of business sale 90 percent off and I scored a pair of pants and a shirt (thanks, S.!). Can't beat shopping with a girlfriend, we had lots of fun.

Oh, can't forget the blueberry picking!! We went to the Blueberry Fields of Stillwater, we were nearly the first people there on this, their first day of their first year!! We will definitely return, they were so great with the kids- had special baskets of books for the kids to look at, which really came in handy! We were there early and so it was nice and cool and we had the pick of the patch. A very fun morning and we will be back.

Anyway, on to the food!

I made Easy Macaroni and Cheeze and boy was it! Thanks, Susan! I was a little nervous when I tasted it at first, but when we sat down and served it up, everyone ate up! But I am just a nervous nellie. It was so easy, did I mention that? Plus, low fat! This will be a regular player in our stable of household recipes.

Easy Macaroni and Cheeze

1 lb pasta
1 1/4 C water
1 C soymilk (2)
3/4 C nutritional yeast
3 T cornstarch
1 T lemon juice
1 t salt
1 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t dry mustard
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t turmeric
pinch cayenne
2 T tahini (5)
1 t miso
pepper to taste

Boil up your pasta.
Blend up everything else.
Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 C. (I didn't do this)
Return pasta to pot, pour sauce over and stir until boiling and thick.
Thin with pasta water if needed. (I didn't need to do this)

use less turmeric
used 1 T miso

Next is just a picture of what we used some of our perfect blueberries for- a crisp made by S. She doesn't use a recipe, but I guess it's pretty simple. Didn't use a lot of sugar 'cause the berries were so sweet and just some oats and brown sugar and Earth Balance to top.

Finally was a cake I made for our csa's garlic harvest party!! Woo! It was a success! I don't know what I did differently (than other vegan cakes I've made), or if it was just the recipe, but it turned out so well (I thought).

Our day at the farm was so fun, as usual, and E. got to hold a chick- Lyle (so named for her rockin' hairstyle). Lyle was the smallest and therefore, easiest, chick to catch. Plus, fresh garlic! that I am so excited to use.

Super Moist Chocolate Cake w/ strawberry frosting

1 1/2 C flour (12)
3 T cocoa
1 t baking soda
1 C white or brown sugar (16)
1/2 t salt
1/4 C + 1 T canola oil (20)
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t vanilla
1 C cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 9 x 9" pan.
Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar and salt well with fork or whisk. Do not allow there to be any lumps! If you have a child eager to help, let them help with this part. If you have some inherent drive to mix, mix, mix, do it here, not after you add the wet ingredients. Alternately, use a mesh strainer to sift the dry ingredients- so much more fun!
Add wet ingredients and mix until moistened, DO NOT OVERMIX!, there can be some lumps.
Pour cake batter into pan* and bake 30m or until it tests done.

*if you're not going to frost this, check the top of the cake for any bubbles and if there are any, lightly tap the pan on the counter once to break them before you put it in the oven.

strawberry frosting- modeled after Best Frosting Ever

2 T Earth Balance (6)
1 T soymilk
1 T strawberry jelly (1)
1 C powdered sugar (8)

Nuke the butter (just 11 seconds or so!) in your mixing bowl. Mix in the soymilk and jelly (removing any big pieces of strawberry). Sift in the sugar and mix well. Pour over cake!

All told, if you cut this cake into 16 pieces it's 4 points a piece which is a lot better than most cakes, actually. And it's so, so good!

I used a scant cup of sugar and 2 T brown sugar
you can double this for a 13 x 9" pan but don't double the vinegar
if making cupcakes, bake time is 15m
next time I'll whip the frosting, ooooh, fancy.

Finished "Jewel"- felt like I was hacking through a forest. Must. have. closure. Question: will there be a final reckoning? No. Just namby pamby soft focus stuff. Sometimes I like a good smackdown, but, I guess, like life, things are grey. We do do our best with what life gives us. I guess that is the moral of the story.