Double Daring Bakers Challenge 2

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I am on to my second Double Challenge. What was our second back challenge? Biscotti! Can you say YUM! I love biscotti. I have only made it once since becoming vegan and that one was a pistachio cranberry one for christmas. Although, that time I didn’t use the Earth Balance. Needless to say, I was very excited for this challenge. Oh, I forgot to tell what type of biscotti we made: Chocolate, and, as a bonus, cinnamon. They both turned out great, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

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For the Chocolate Biscotti, I made a couple of substitutions. Instead of the espresso powder (I don’t like any form of coffee), I used ground black tea. I used Earth Balance for the butter (I had some leftover from the Danish Braid, I ususally use applesauce). I was also almost out of sugar, so I only used ¾ cup. In place of the eggs, I used ½ cup soy yogurt. They turned out really good. I had some leftover glaze from the Opera Cake Challenge, so I dipped one end of about half of my chocolate biscotti in the glaze. It gave a nice burst of sweet, that wasn’t overpowering. My husband gave them 2 thumbs up.

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Daring Bakers Challenge #2Biscotti (December 2006)

Chocolate Biscotti from the Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours

Participants: Founders Lisa (La Mia Cucina), Ivonne (Cream Puffs in Venice) Alpha Class: Peabody (Culinary Concoctions by Peabody), Brilynn (Jumbo Empanadas), Helen (Tartlette)

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Servings: Approximately 40

Allowed modifications:

1. High altitude modifications are allowed as long as you stay “true” to the recipe.

2. Conversion for certain dietary restrictions like gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan etc. is allowed too.

3. Recipe ingredient exception allowed only if allergy or an ingredient not available or cost prohibitive in your region.

2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 TBS. instant espresso powder

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

3/4 stick (6 TBS.) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 c. sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 c. chopped almonds, blanched or unblanched

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 3/4 c. store-bought mini chocolate chips

Sugar for dusting

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven & preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Making the Dough: Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder & salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter & sugar together on medium speed until pale, about 2 minutes; the mixture may be crumbly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs & vanilla & beat for another 2 minutes; don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low & mix in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until a dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the chopped nuts & chocolate, then turn the dough out onto a work surface & knead in any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

Making the Biscotti – First Baking:

Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough into 12“ long logs. Flatten both logs with the palm of your hand so that they are ½ to 1“ high, about 2“ across & sort of rectangular, then carefully lift the logs onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle each log with a little sugar.

Bake the logs for about 25 minutes, or until they are just slightly firm. The logs will spread & crack – & that’s just fine. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, put it on a cooling rack & cool the logs for about 20 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)

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Making the Biscotti – Cutting the Biscotti/Second Bake:

Working with one log at a time, using a long serrated knife, cut each log into slices between ½ & ¾“ thick. Stand the slices up on the baking sheet – you’ll have an army of biscotti – & bake the cookies again, this time for just 10 minutes.

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Transfer the biscotti to a rack to cool.

img_2484.jpg with a little Purely Decadent soy ice cream

For the Cinnamon Biscotti, I used ¼ cup soy yogurt and 1 TBSP egg replacer mixed with ¼ cup warm water. These totally taste like graham crackers, so good. Biscotti really are easy to make and you probably have all of the ingredients already in your pantry/fridge.

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Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti
Courtesy of Mollie and
All Recipes

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. sugar
6 TBS. butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, beaten
3 TBS. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, baking powder and salt, set aside.In a medium bowl, cream together the 2/3 c. sugar and butter. Beat in 1 egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients. (I used my stand mixer for all of this)

Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time (you’ll need to knead this dough a bit to get the unmixed dry ingredients incorporated thoroughly), roll the dough into 9 inch long 1 1/2 inch wide logs. Flatten both logs with the palm of your hand slightly, then carefully lift the logs onto the baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden and firm to the touch. Cool for 15 minutes.

On a cutting board, slice each log crosswise at a diagional into 1/2 inch slices, using a serrated knife. *Note: see below for notes on slicing. Place back on baking sheet, cut side down and sprinkle with a mixture of the remaining cinnamon and sugar.

Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes, until toasted. Cool on wire racks and store in an airtight container.Makes 20 biscotti.

Storing: By their very nature, biscotti are good keepers. They’ll keep in a cookie jar or an open basket for a week or more. Wrapped airtight, they can be frozen for up to 2 months.

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Recipes To Rival – Challenge 1

I just joined a new group that just got started. I’m really excited about this one. Now, I LOVE to bake, baking of any kind. I really like to cook, but baking is my joy, mainly because, for me, baking is easier for me than cooking. So when Recipes to Rival came into being, I thought this would be great for me to try, it would give me a little more confidence in cooking and the first challenge did not disappoint. Our first challenge for Recipes to Rival is :

Ratatouille
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This challenge combined two of my favorite things: Veggies and Chopping. Well, slicing really, but I love using my knife, its very theraputic. It is so relaxing for me to be in the kitchen and chop, slice, dice, etc. A couple of years ago, my awesome husband bought me a Wustoff Santoku knife to help me enjoy my love of cutting, chopping, slicing, dicing, even more. This is the best knife ever! (imho).

I have never made Ratatouille before, I’m not sure why, it’s basically just roasted vegetables. I’m glad I had this chance to make it. It’s actually really easy (well, okay, if you love slicing paper thin veggies, which I do). On the first night I sliced everything, roasted the bell peppers, assembled it and cooked it. Then it went into the fridge for the next days dinner and the final broil and dressing. The only problem I ran into was that instead of the oil and thyme mixture that it called for, I made the vinaigrette (minus the tablespoon of piperade, which I didn’t see), and poured that on top before cooking it. Oh well, it still tasted great, especially since the only thing different between the two is the addition of balsamic vinegar to the vinaigrette, well, I do love me some balsamic vinegar.

The only substitutions that I made was replacing the oil in the piperade with vegetable broth and the oil in the vinaigrette with 1 tsp ground flax seeds and 1 tablespoon water (too much oil gives us heart burn, so we try to avoid it).

After the final broil, I served it for a snack on its own, and then dinner the next day with some spaghetti and bread. It was really good. I will definitely be making this again.

Check out the recipe here: http://recipestorival.blogspot.com/2008 … yaldi.html

Check out everyone’s efforts here:

http://recipestorival.blogspot.com/
Here are some of my step by step pictures for you. Warning, a couple are a little blurry, sorry about that.

First, the roasted peppers

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Next, the sliced vegetables

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Assembly, pre-cooking

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Out of the oven

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Ready to eat

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Daring Bakers Challenge

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Its the end of the month, and that means a new Daring Bakers challenge! Yeah! This month we are doing a Danish Braid. The dough for this is a lot like puff pastry. Puff pastry, uh oh. That is all butter and flour. Its easy to sub out butter with Earth Balance, but I don’t like using it, way too much fat! Well, there is no real way to take the fat out and still get all of those flaky layers, so I decided I would go ahead and use the earth balance. More about that when I get to the recipe. To start with, our hosts for this month were Kelly of Sass & Veracity, & Ben of What’s Cookin’? Make sure you check out their adventure with the Danish Braid.

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The Technique: Making & working with yeasted laminated dough
The Recipe: “Danish Braid” from Sherry Yard’s The Secrets of Baking

Why Danish Braid?
• Danish dough is in the family of butter-laminated or layered doughs with puff pastry being the ultimate. Danish dough is sweet & is yeast-leavened, however, where as puff pastry is not.
• The process of making Danish dough is less complex than that of puff pastry, but equally as important to achieve best results, & a great starting place to begin to learn about laminated doughs in general.
• Danish dough is extremely versatile, & once made can be used for a variety of baked goods. The possibilities are endless.
• Since our ever-expanding Daring Bakers group lives in 2 different hemispheres, the Danish Braid will allow for fillings that are in season in both hemispheres. Hopefully that will assist with cost factors & availability of product.
• I love pastry & have never made Danish pastry before. When I asked Ben to co-host this month, I suggested several ideas, & the Danish Braid seemed to be the best way for people to have the opportunity to learn, if unfamiliar with laminated doughs, & for those familiar, to be able to maximize choices for ingredients not only in the dough, but the fillings, toppings, & the shape of the braid as well.

Some History:
• According to many sources, “Danish” was born when Danish bakers went on strike, & Viennese bakers were brought in to replace them, creating what is referred to as Vienna Bread.
• Conversely, it is also said that Danish bakers went to Vienna to learn the techniques Viennese bakers employed, & Danish dough was created there.
• In the early 1800’s, C.L. Olsen spent time in Germany, believing in the idea of gaining inspiration from bakers of other countries. He brought knowledge back to Denmark to introduce “foreign” breads to his country, also hiring people of other nationalities to bake in his family bakery.

Why Sherry Yard’s recipe?
The Secrets of Baking is one of the newer books in my collection, but I’ve had time to try many recipes & am more than satisfied with the results.
• The organization of recipes in the book is built upon the philosophy that if we learn basic techniques, many other recipes come from those techniques. This isn’t new information, but it’s the first time I’ve seen the information organized in such an accessible fashion.
• Her Danish dough recipe included both cardamom & orange, & the combination sounded intriguing.

Guidelines for this Challenge:
• Use the recipe as written to make Danish dough & create at least one Danish Braid. The recipe will allow you to make 2 full braids unless you choose to make only half the dough.
• Fill the Danish Braid with the apple filling provided &/or any other filling as long as it is something you make yourself from scratch.

Choices
• Dough ingredients include ground cardamom & orange zest. Cardamom is traditional in Scandinavian breads, but if it is cost prohibitive, or if you have dietary restrictions, by all means, leave it out or replace it with something else. You are welcome to omit the orange zest or choose another type of citrus to flavor your dough.
• The method or style of your braid is your choice. You may vary the width of the dough strips, type of edging, or angle of cuts.
• Often, a glaze, nuts, or sugar are used as toppings. You may choose to use any or all of these, or others you may find interesting.
• Use one or more fillings such as fresh berries, pastry cream, preserves or jams, curds – there are lots of possibilities.
• Once you’ve made a Danish Braid, experiment with Danish pastries with the extra dough.
• If there’s a way to try something savory with the extra dough, then why not?

Terminology:
• Laminated dough – is layered dough created by sandwiching butter between layers of dough
• Detrempe – ball of dough
• Beurrage – butter block
• Turn – each “fold & roll” of the dough produces a single turn in a 3-step process where the dough is folded exactly like a business letter in 3 columns. Each single turn creates 3 layers with this method.

For Your Consideration:
• This recipe calls for a standing mixer with fitted attachments, but it can easily be made without one. Ben says, “Do not fear if you don’t own a standing mixer. I have been making puff pastry by hand for many years & the technique for Danish pastry is very similar & not too difficult.” Look for the alternate directions in the recipe as appropriate.
Yard recommends the following:
• Use well-chilled ingredients. This includes flour if your kitchen temperature is above 70 degrees F (~ 21 degrees C).
• It is recommended that long, continuous strokes be used to roll the dough rather than short, jerky strokes to make sure the butter block is evenly distributed.
• The 30-minute rest/cooling period for the dough between turns is crucial to re-chill the butter & allow the gluten in the dough to relax.
• Excess flour accumulated on the surface of the dough after turns should be brushed off as pockets of flour can interfere with the rise.
• Yard calls for a “controlled 90 degree F environment” for proofing the constructed braid.
• When making cuts in the dough for the braid, make sure they are not too long & provide a solid base for the filling.

DANISH DOUGH
Makes 2 ½ pounds dough

For the dough (Detrempe)
1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 large eggs, chilled
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

For the butter block (Beurrage)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

DOUGH
Combine yeast & milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment & mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, & orange juice. Mix well. Change to the dough hook & add the salt with the flour, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet & cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Without a standing mixer: Combine yeast & milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk. Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, & orange juice & mix well. Sift flour & salt on your working surface & make a fountain. Make sure that the “walls” of your fountain are thick & even. Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain. With your fingertips, mix the liquid & the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges. When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth & easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes. You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky.

BUTTER BLOCK
1. Combine butter & flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment & beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl & the paddle & then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth & lump free. Set aside at room temperature.
2. After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13“ & ¼“ thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the butter evenly over the center & right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky & keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, & refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right & left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18“, ¼” thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
4. Roll out, turn, & refrigerate the dough 2 more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight. The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1“ in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, & freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

APPLE FILLING
Makes enough for 2 braids

4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Toss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 – 8 minutes. Then add the apple mixture & sauté until apples are softened & caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. If you’ve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid. (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, & refrigerate.) They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet. After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Left over filling can be used as an ice cream topping, for muffins, cheesecake, or other pastries.

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DANISH BRAID
Makes enough for 2 large braids

1 recipe Danish Dough (see below)
2 cups apple filling, jam, or preserves (see below)

For the egg wash: 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk

1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20” rectangle, ¼“ thick. If the dough seems elastic & shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
2. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5” long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1“ apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.
3. Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top & bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat & helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough & tuck in the ends.

Egg Wash
Whisk together the whole egg & yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.

Proofing and Baking
1. Spray cooking oil (Pam…) onto a piece of plastic wrap, & place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume & light to the touch.
2. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
3. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, & bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool & serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight & stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.

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What changes did I make? Well, to start with, I used the active dry yeast, soy milk in place of the whole milk, just vanilla extract (my vanilla bean was totally dried up, although not suprisingly, I have had it for over a year), 1 TBSP egg replacer mixed with ¼ cup warm water for the egg, and earth balance for the butter.

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Here is what I did:

Day 1: The Fillings (You can make it all in one day, but I opted to spread it out because I didn’t have enough time all in one day to wait for all of the rest times)

I opted not to make the apple filling that came with the braid. I just don’t like cooked apples. I made all of my fillings. I made an orange rhubarb filling for the braid, cherry preserves, mixed berry filling, and blueberry apricot. They were all good, but nothing amazing, so I am not going to share any of the recipes.

Day 2: The Detrempe & Beurrage

Don’t be scared off by the french names, its really just the dough and the butter block. I made the dough, but had to add about ¼ cup water because it was so dry out and the dough wasn’t coming together. The butter block came together easily. I did my first two turns as instructed, then for my third turn, I did a double book fold which was shown in a video that the hosts linked to. On my fourth turn, I finally remembered to add a little flour when the dough got sticky, which I completely forgot to do on the first three. It would have made it a lot easier if I had remembered that earlier. After all of the turns (I actually did an extra one to add a little more flour in because it was still pretty sticky), I divided the dough in two and put it in the fridge to rest overnight.

Day 3: Assembly

The next day, I assembled the braid, but I used soy milk instead of the egg wash. Proofed the dough, and baked it. The braid baked up nicely. With the remaining half of the dough, I made some different shapes, but I baked two trays at once, rotating them half way through, but they still got a little crispy.

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Verdict: I would really liked it and would love to play around with it more with different fillings and learning from my mistakes, but there is just too much fat in this and my body just can’t handle it. So, I probably would not make this again. I would recommend that if you like baking, you must try this recipe at least once. I am very glad that I made this, and I may try it again for a special occasion, but I would half the recipe. K thought it was good, but he’s not a big fan of fruit fillings (except for pb & j), so he only ate a couple of pieces. I am trying not to eat it all in just a couple of days, so I froze half of the braid and gave some to my parents to try.

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Any changes I would make? Well, I would do just a rhubarb filling, or an almond filling. I would probably drizzle a glaze over the top and sprinkle some almonds over the top.   I didn’t encounter too many problems.  The ones I did encounter were due to lack of focus and I was watching a movie while I had the two trays in baking, so I didn’t check on them like I would have otherwise.  The movie was pretty good, so I think it was worth it, the danish still tasted good. 

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This weeks menu plan

Every week, I sit down and figure out my dinner menu for the next week and write out my grocery list.  I don’t normally plan out a daily breakfast or lunch menu, just dinners.  Breakfasts are always a smoothie and then we add on either cereal, waffles or pancakes, hashbrowns, or steel cut oats.  I switch it up a little if I have a lazy morning, or find a recipe I want to try.  For lunches, we typically have leftovers, peanut butter and jelly, fakin’ BLTA or cucumber sandwiches.  Mainly depends on if I have to take my lunch with me to work or if I’m home.  Here is our dinner plan for the week (I say plan, because it is always subject to change as life happens):

Sunday – Special (check back at the end of the month to see what this was)

Monday – Quick Protein Salad with Bread

Tuesday – Vegan Patties with Corn on the Cob

Wednesday – Cajun-Seared Portobello Fillets with Avocado Cream

Thursday – Salad and Beans with pita chips and hummus

Friday – Leftovers

Saturday – Jamaican Jerk Burgers with Salad

This morning we had waffles with a ZenMatcha Power Shake (adapted from Refresh Cookbook pg. 158).  The shake turned out really good, it has 1 tablespoon of matcha powder in it which makes it a pretty light shade of green. 

ZenMatcha Power Shake 

Prep Time: 5 minutes    Yield: 1 serving

1 cup pineapple, cubed

1/2 cup orange juice

2 cups ice cubes

1 1/2 cups spinach

2/3 cup soymilk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 TBSP matcha green tea powder

1.  Place all of the ingredients in a blender in the order given and blend until smooth.  You may need to stir it a couple of times to make sure it all gets blended together. 

2. Pour into a glass and enjoy. 

Sorry, no picture, there were too many cooks in the kitchen and I was starving!   Everyone loved it though!  The matcha flavor is great!

Turtle Mountain

Turtle Mountain’s Purely Decadent ice cream alternatives has come out with another product.  I can’t wait to try this!!! I haven’t been able to find it here in Prescott yet, but I am hopeful that it will come soon.  They have ditched the soy in 3 of their products and are using coconut milk instead!  So, for all of you who are allergic to soy, or try to avoid it, here is a great alternative.   The flavors are Gluten Free Cookie Dough (I tried the soy version of this one, it is YUMMY!), Vanilla Bean, and Chocolate.  I would love for them to come out with a coconut flavor one, maybe with chocolate chips or even a coconut matcha, ooh, that would be yummy too!  What are your ideas for some coconut milk ice cream flavors? 

Don’t forget to check out the turtle mountain site for other yummy flavors and your stores freezer case to try some (the mint chocolate chip is really good, so is the cookies and cream). 

Millet and Cabbage Salad

Last night we had a great dinner (sorry no pictures, my batteries died and I was too lazy to find some to replace them).  It was really good!  Refreshing for summer, yet still hearty enough for a good dinner.  I adapted the vinaigrette slightly from the original version from Authentic Deliciousness.  If you aren’t feeling adventurous and don’t want to try millet, you could substitute couscous, quinoa, brown rice, or even wild rice (although that is probably more adventurous than millet).  Enjoy!

Millet and Cabbage Salad with a Simple Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time:  20 minutes    Serves: 4

This salad is really good and easy to prepare.  The millet takes the longest to cook, about 20 minutes, but you can get the salad and vinaigrette ready while it cooks. 

For the Millet:
1 c. millet
2 1/2 c. vegetable broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
salt to taste

For the Cabbage Salad:
1 cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced
3 carrots, sliced
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 purple cabbage, chopped
1/4 c. cilantro or parsley, minced

Vinaigrette:
3 TBSP water mixed with 1 tsp ground flaxseed
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP water
1 TBSP agave nectar or honey
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tsp. basil
2 tsp. oregano
corn tortillas, for serving

1. In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil.  Add the millet, garlic, basil and oreganoto the broth and stir to combine.  Cover and lower the heat to a simmer, cooking for about 20 minutes or until all of the broth has been absorbed.
2. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette and toss with the salad.
4. Once the millet is done cooking, season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve the salad on top of the millet with one or two corn tortillas on the side.

Pita Bread

 img_2412.jpg    I made some Pita Bread last week and they turned out great!  I made Lentils and Rice with Carmelized Onions and Spiced Pita Chips on page 177 in Veganomicon, but I didn’t have any pitas, so I made these to go with it.  The pitas were so good, we finished them in 3 days.  I made them again a few days later to take to a BBQ to go with some hummus (which also turned out great).  Here’s the recipe:

Pita Bread Makes 8 pitas

2 ¼ tsp packet yeast (1 packet)

3 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon honey
1 ½ cups water, roughly at room temperature
2 tsp flax seeds, ground

2 tablespoons water

  1. Combine the yeast with the flour salt and honey in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.
  2. Whisk together the ground flax seeds and 2 tablespoons of water, add to the flour mixture with the 1 ½ cups water.
  3. Once the dough has formed a ball, place on a work surface, like a counter or a cutting board, and knead for 10 minutes. Form into a ball and place in a bowl, cover and let rise for 1 ½ hours.
  4. Once the dough has doubled, punch it down and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover with a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
  5. Once the dough has rested, roll the dough into a 6” circle, you can do this with a rolling pin or with your hands. If you have trouble rolling the dough out, let it rest for another 5 to 10 minutes and try again.

  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the pita dough on it, cover and let rise until almost doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F while the dough is rising.

  8. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until puffy, about 3 minutes. If you want cripier pitas, bake for a total of 6 to 10 minutes.
  9. To make apiced pita chips, carefully split the baked pitas in half and sprinkle with garlic, cumin and a little cayenne pepper. Cut each pita half into 8 wedges, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F. for 8 t 10 minutes. You could also just sprinkle with a little salt before baking, or any spices you like.

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Cooking up a storm…

…but no pictures.  Sorry, no pix, just yummy food!  I work at a summer camp, so my summers are filled with paperwork and kids, not much time to do anything else.  Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up without too many absent days. 

On Saturday, we had a little BBQ with friends and I made some hummus, roasted red pepper hummus and and Orange and Blueberry Bundt Cake (nice and lite and yummy).  Last night I made homemade Flax Seed Burger Buns with Chipotle Bean Burgers, they came out great!  Tonight, nothing too interesting, just Spaghetti with Mushroom Balls and Broccoli on the side.  Hopefully I will be able to take some pictures of the leftovers.