Friday, 31 July 2009

Chocolate Icecream Testing.

The long awaited, much postponed followup post. Finally.

Like I did not so long ago for Vanilla I made the chocolate ice creams out of Veganomicon, Vegan Scoop and Lick it, then we all taste tested.In no particular order -
Partially cooked mix this time. Not too time consuming or fiddly really, and the mix ends up thick. I found the chocolate didn't completely melt smooth using this method and there were little particles in the ice cream. Not un-nice just not expected. Straight out of the machine the ice cream tastes quite coconutty, but that flavour goes away when its had time to harden.

This one uses LOTS of chocolate. A little fiddly, with the melting of the chocolate and adding to the blender to get everything smooth, but the result is a very smooth and very very rich ice cream. Quite decadent. You can eat the chilled mix and its like chocolate pudding as it is so smooth and thick.
This is time consuming with the heating over low heat. The mix ends up nice and thick, and not as rich, with a lovely chocolate taste. Smooth eating out of the machine, but after a while (a few days) in the freezer it gets really hard. Before it gets super hard it rolls really nicely.

I must say I prefer (as before) the Veganomicon recipe. It is so super rich and chocolate-y you can only eat a little bit, but that's how chocolate ice cream should be IMHO.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Even to post about Ice Cream.

Its just too hot.
Vancouver's highs have been 31, 32 C the last few days, which is the temperature at the airport. Which is right on the water. We're inland so have to add on about 5 degrees. I've just checked my email and the latina tester forum and my computer is making that "I'm too hot noise" already and my house is like a sauna. This is it for today - I'll do the Chocolate Ice Cream comparison next time, I think I promise.

Monday, 27 July 2009

More Latina Testing

Though apparently the book itself is to be called something other than "Vegan Latina" I still think of it as 'Vegan Latina Testing', or even 'Testing for Terry'. Here's some yummy stuff I've made recently.

Chorizo Spinach Sopes

Stuffed Mini Potatoes (Papacitas Rellenas)

Yellow Chili Grilled Tofu served with Calabacitas (Fresh Squash Saute)
I don't take pictures of everything I made when testing. Sometimes it gets eaten too fast.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

and speaking of Ice Cream....

Over the past week or so I made the Vanilla Ice Cream from the three books I have with recipes in them, and we've done a taste testing, both straight out of the machine, and when hard.

Here's our random thoughts on each. First up
The mix for this one is quite thin. Fast to mix as everything is liquid and no cooking is required. Full of coconut milk so not low fat by nay stretch. Straight out of the machine is smells and tastes very coconutty. When hard, still tastes coconutty but less so. Not that we really care, but its not a pure vanilla taste.

Then we have
The mix has to be cooked which takes a while. Less convenient to make because of this. Soy Creamer is not cheap. At the end of mixing time it still looked very sloppy, hardly firm at all. When hardened texture was very hard. Little aftertaste which was unexpected - maybe the creamer? Still ate it happily and enjoyed it.

Lastly
More ingredients. OK to mix, just need to blend it up. Better than having to cook, but not as convenient as just whisking. Mix is thick due to the tofu. Contains coconut milk, but taste is not strong as there is more soy in it. Texture straight out of the machine and after time was great.


So our favourite - the recipe in Veganomicon. Though we happily ate all with no complaining. Thanks to Amazon for the pictures.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Ice Cream Sandwiches and the Children who eat them.

A photo medley.

First the Ice Cream Sandwich - Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar) and Vanilla Ice Cream (Veganomicon).
Followed by the children eating them. Perfect for the weather we've been having lately.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Early Birthday Present - Part 2.

The remaining three birthday present books all arrived together. YAY. and they are as follows (pictures from Amazon as usual)


I'm going to go into the 2 ice cream books in more detail at some point in the future as I am making this (using my new ice cream maker) a bit at the moment, and I think I may do a basic Vanilla Ice cream recipe taste off, with these 2 and the Veganomicon recipe i have been using to see which one we all prefer. and when I say "we all" I mean the girls.


Thanks again to Mum and Dad!!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Its a little Premature I know.

But, I have got my theme together for this years Vegan Month of Food. You know, where everyone in vegan blog land blogs like mad about food for a whole month and makes you struggle to keep up with all the posts in your reader. Held in October (or November) each year this is great fun. The first year I didn't have a theme and last year I did a month's worth of posts about food related things I love. Anyone a long time reader and remember this????
So, getting all the new cook books in the mail has made me think about how many I have, and sometimes, how little they get used. I have enough books (maybe including ones still in test mode, I haven't figured it exactly) to do a post about each book in the month, and make a new recipe from each book to go along with it. Cool idea or what. So now, I just have to wait until VeganMoFo rolls around!!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Early Birthday Present - Part 1.

The first of my Birthday Present books has arrived - with more to follow, and my birthday isn't until September!

For the last few years in early summer I have put a birthday request list into my Mum and Dad, who are in New Zealand, for cookbooks I'd like them to order from Amazon (where I got the picture from and all) and get shipped to me here in Canada. They are ever so obliging and unless the list is extravagantly long, I pretty much get what I ask for. This year I have 4 books coming - the first to arrive being
Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry.
He has a blog etc here where some of the recipes are posted too. I have had a read through it and would like to make a few things soon. I have more Latina testing to do too so when I get to it is any one's guess!

I'll let you know about the other books as they arrive.

Thanks Mum and Dad.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Unsolicited Product Review. Of Sorts.

I was back at Karmavore the other day. They'd sold out of a bunch of stuff (looks like they are doing well so check their website before you go to make sure they have what you want in stock) but not what I went for.
Last time I was in I had an Original Sweet and Sara S'more, and I went back for the Peanut Butter one so I could see which I liked best.
I liked the Original best, mainly because the Peanut Butter one wasn't Peanut Butter-y enough for me. I was expecting a full on Peanut Butter party in every bite, so maybe it was just a case of too high expectations. Sometimes it tasted Peanut Butter-y, but mostly it just tasted Vanilla (like the Original).

Don't get me wrong, I liked them both, the cookie base was nice and crumbly, the marshmallow firm and textured like marshmallow, and the chocolate topping nice and crisp (until it got all melty in the heat of course), and overall very tasty. I just wasn't super impressed with the amount of Peanut Butter.

My 2c for what its worth. Anyone want to send me products to review, or books even. Happy to help.

Monday, 13 July 2009

More Icecream.

Vanilla Waffles (Vegan Brunch) with Vanilla Bean Vanilla Icecream.

Cherry and Almond.

Pistachio and Rosewater.

(All Icecreams are adapted from the basic recipe in Veganomicon)

Doesn't it make you glad its summertime.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Airmiles Redemption # 3

This one isn't so exciting as it was meant to replace something that stopped working (overuse maybe??) - an IMMERSION BLENDER. Like this one -
I was thinking of all the silky smooth soups and sauces and smoothies and wishing for a full size blender but I didn't have enough points for that. Now strangely enough when my box came from UPS and I opened it I was surprised to find this - instead.
The Airmiles people had run out of the Immersion Blender and had sent the full size super dooper one as a replacement. WOW! The big one is worth, like, 8 times the amount of the little one (I googled) so I am super happy. I still want and immersion blender and am saving my points for it as we speak.

All I've blended so far is the base for the next batch of ice cream. More on that next time.
Pictures borrowed from Amazon.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Ever thought you wouldn't like something, and then do?

I felt that way about Tostones, which are double fried green plantains, but after making them for a test recipe for Terry's Vegan Latina, I can admit that I was wrong. I love them! so much so I made them 2 days in a row!!


Here they are in conjunction with Palm Heart and Avocado Ceviche, delicious in its own right, but makes a perfect pair.

I can't talk this book up enough! Really. I am 1 recipe off being 100% on testing everything that has been put up, and that is only because I am being sent a specific ingredient from another tester in New York - it proved hard to find here. Pre order people!!


Now I just have to learn to like plantains riper and baked. Working on it....

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Airmiles Redemption # 2

ICE CREAM MAKER!!!!

First up request - Chocolate Chip Mint -
up close shot -
followed by Banana -
and with happy child!! -
and to follow????? I'm thinking Vanilla Bean Vanilla.

Right now I'm just using the basic Veganomicon recipe and doing my own add ins. I did try another recipe but it was pretty crap and the girls didn't like it. That one quickly became milkshake ice cream.
I am super lucky and am getting both Lick it and Vegan Scoop for my birthday. Thanks Mum and Dad!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Latina testing update.

Just food photos!

Corn crusted Pumpkin Potato Empanadas with Columbian Green Onion Salsa.




Zesty Orange Mojo Baked Tofu.

Spicy Tortilla Casserole with roasted Poblanos. (or as we call it "Enchiladas, deconstructed").

Friday, 3 July 2009

Karmavore.

I'd like to introduce you to a new store in New Westminster (not too far from us - a long walk, or short bus ride) which opened on Canada Day (July 1)!

Meet Karmavore.

The girls and I were there on the first day, and had a treat each. Pink Lemonade Icy Poles (Popsicles if you prefer) for the girls and one of these for me!

While my interaction with the people who run it was very limited, they appear to be great ambassadors for vegans everywhere - radiating good health, helpful, pleasant and enthusiastic.

They have a blog, on line ordering and stock goodies such as Sweet and Sara S'mores, Dandies Marshmallows, Teese as well as shoes, clothes and pet food. (like I care muchly about that other stuff, but someone else may)

If you're in the area, pop in.

and if you're one of the lovely people from Karmavore and would like to give me a free S'more on my next visit for this nice write up, my email address is on the side panel!!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

What did you do for CANADA DAY?

We went to the water park -
had a treat at a new store (more in my next post!!), then to the party in the mall where I exchanged my children for a dog and a cat -
and we had a big swim in the afternoon and are all exhausted. I made some Vegan Latina testers today too (next again post). H had to work, but we had a great day anyhow.