Saturday, January 17, 2009

I heart carbs!

(** I updated the FLOG below **)

Yeah, I have a t-shirt that says that. :)

Anyhow, I had a busy day of cooking and baking! FLOG to follow.

I started off my morning by making some applesauce:
I peeled and cut the apples into chunks, simmered them on low with a splash of water and a pinch of salt until they were nice and soft, and pureed the lot with my stick blender. After setting aside 6 tablespoons for a baking project (to follow,) I added a dash of cinnamon, and that was it. (The apples were plenty sweet enough on their own, but I had considered a squirt of agave before I tasted the sauce.)

Next, "Cleaning out the Cupboards" Granola:
Here's the recipe, in case you have a bunch of miscellaneous stuff laying around leftover from holiday baking like I did:
Combine in a medium bowl:
2 cups regular rolled oats
1 cup puffed wholegrain cereal (such as puffed brown rice, puffed millet, puffed kamut, etc.)
1 cup nuts, chopped or sliced (I used a combination of pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Melt together:
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup Earth Balance
Add the agave mixture to the oat mixture, and stir well. Transfer the granola to a parchment-lined roasting pan or cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for fifteen minutes. Stir the granola, and return it to the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Cool.
Stir in:
1 1/2 cups dried fruit (I used golden raisins, apples, and apricots), cut into small pieces if needed (I like to snip up dried fruit with a clean scissors.)

I also got it in my head that I needed to make biscotti today:
Lemon and ginger sounded like a good combination to me, and I discovered this recipe, which looked great! I decided to cut the recipe in half, and still got about 16 cookies from the batch. Unfortunately, I did have some trouble with these guys -- the dough assembly was easy enough, but I had some baking problems. I think my oven rack was in a funny place, which lead to uneven/under baking. (That darn baking stone does get in the way sometimes!) I'll take full blame for my foibles this time -- but if this recipe craps out on me again, I'm going to have to go searching for a different biscotti recipe for sure!

Last, I haven't shown you a finished loaf of Artisan Bread yet:
Rye bread that I made to go with dinner tonight. I'm still in denial about how EASY breads from this book are! If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times . . . BUY THIS BOOK!

So here's what I ate to sustain myself while working on all of those cooking and baking projects:

Dates, the last scone, and a small handfull of roasted, salted cashews. Coffee and vitamin, too.

The last of the harira, with the last of the squash and some sriracha mixed in. I don't think I'll be making this soup again -- it didn't "wow" me at all. In fact, I was feeling really unenthusiastic about eating it for lunch today. So unenthusiastic, in fact, that I couldn't get myself to finish the bowl. Blah.

The heels from the loaf of biscotti, before their second baking.

"Cabbage and Noodles," from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, topped with a dollop of light sour cream, and sides of Earth-Balance spread rye bread and homemade applesauce. This was a major hit with both Dan and I -- eastern-European comfort food at its simplest, and tastiest. (Must be my German and Polish roots coming out?) The cabbage mixture contained a whopping five ingredients, and simmered away practically ignored, getting tastier and tastier as the minutes ticked down on my timer. All I had to do to round out the meal was boil some egg noodles, slice the bread, and serve up the applesauce! This is one of those recipes that makes me think I need to buy this cookbook for this recipe alone! Yum, um, um! Check this cookbook out from your library, borrow it from a friend, or just hit a bookstore with a notebook and piece of paper in hand, because this is not to be missed! (P.S. Easily made vegan, too. Just switch the butter for Earth Balance (which I did) and the sour cream for Tofutti, or your favorite homemade cashew sour cream!)

"Hot Chocolate", from The Joy of Vegan Baking. Delicious, rich, creamy, and decadent -- according to Dan, the best hot chocolate he's ever had. My cup was so rich, I couldn't finish it -- Dan was happy to help out. :) (P.S. I used almond milk and organic, fair-trade, dark chocolate chips from the bulk bin at my co-op. Heavenly.) Would totally meet any chocoholic's craving, any time!

2 1/4 mile walk with Courtney, to and from the library. I was glad she was along, because I would have fallen on my butt at least twice, if I hadn't grabbed on to her arm! (The weather still stinks, although it's warmed up a little bit.) I returned movies and a few books from last weekend, and picked up a bunch of children's books for work. The kidlets will be glad to have some new read-alouds, since we haven't been to the library with them since before Christmas! (It's been WAY TOO COLD for WAY TOO LONG!) But that's Minnesota, so there. :)


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Carbs reign supreme!! :-)

Sharon said...

Oh wow, such a delicious granola creation. And mmmmm, cashews!! I heart cashews, and I heart carbs too! Your bread is amazing! I wish I could have a piece!

Anonymous said...

Ok. fine. I get it. I'm going to buy the Artisan bread book tomorrow! That rye looks awesome. :)

veggievixen said...

i love making my own applesauce :)

and bread! yours looks amazing. i jonesing for some bread-making time.

Anonymous said...

That bread is gorgeous! It looks like something out of a bakery :o) I hope it tastes as good as it looks!

I hope the biscotti at least tasted okay after all of the baking problems...


Hungry Hungry Dancer said...

god i love carbs

that granola looks fabulous!!! so does your applesauce YUMMMM

aTxVegn said...

Wow! So much great food! I love your granola recipe. I think a little EB really adds a lot.

aTxVegn said...

Oh, and I REALLY want to get myself that bread book!