Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Bake Sales.

White Balsamic Berry Tart, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

If you are going to be in greater Vancouver on Saturday April 23rd, head to Karmavore in New Westminster as they are going to be having a bake sale! ETA - link to the FB Event Page and you can sign up to bring stuff here too!

Then the following weekend on 3oth April head to Nice Shoes as they will be having one then! Buy some yummy vegan baked goods and help a good cause at the same time.

Both these bake sales have donated copies of VBS to use as prizes so if you do go along you could even win a book, and be making your own treats in no time.

Unless you eat then first like happened to this poor little Balsamic Berry Tart!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Exciting Announcement #2

Exciting for me anyway. Deep breath.

Book number 2 is on the way!
As you may have seen on Facebook, I have been contracted to write a second book. The announcement is that this will be a vegan Slow Cooker book - still awaiting a tentative title. I will share this once it has been nutted out - lots to consider in making a title for a book, right? ETA; Tentative title and subtitle = Quick and Easy Vegan Slow Cooking: More than 150 Tasty, Nourishing Slow Cooker Recipes that Practically Make Themselves

I am in the throes of mad recipe testing and creation (and thanks to the wonderful testers who are part of this with me) and eating nothing but food from the slow cooker, or so it feels (though this has to be better for me than nothing but baking!). Looking at a release date of January 1st 2012 at the moment, though this of course, may change. There is nothing up on Amazon as of yet as we need to determine a title and subtitle first (obviously) but it should be showing as available for pre-order in a few weeks to a month or so. Never fear, I will link it here when it is showing!

The focus of this book is very much main meals; nutritious, tasty, one pot dishes which will fill you up and keep you satisfied, that use the wonderful appliance which is the slow cooker to get you there. Its going to be awesome!

I am looking for a few more (5?) committed testers to help with recipes for this, so if you have a slow cooker and feel you can commit to testing at least 30 recipes over the next 3 months (roughly 3 per week) then please email me at address in the side bar (not in the comments please). If you have testing experience then note that in your email, just because I am nosy.

In the meantime, don't forget to enter the giveaway to win book #1!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Saturday Teaser....

This might be the last teaser, seeing as the book will be in your kitchens soon enough, if it is not already, so here is a few photos, not just one....

Coconut Cookies (page 121)

Mini Sausage Rolls (page 232)

Chocolate Cereal Squares (page 56)

Princess Cookies (page 136)

and, last for today -
Chocolate Chai Mini Loaves (page 78)

Friday, 25 March 2011

Exciting Announcement Part 1

I am told that has started shipping copies of Vegan Bake Sale to those who pre-ordered them. YAY. If you didn't pre-order you'll have to order in the normal manner (follow this link). I am expecting to see VBS in regular stores very soon, so if you'd rather not order on line you can buy from a proper book store shortly.

To celebrate the appearance of VBS in stores and kitchens everywhere I am giving away one copy of the book! To enter this giveaway, like the Vegan Bake Sale Facebook page (if you don't already), then leave a comment here letting me know you have done that, and what you are most looking forward to in this book.

I will ship (surface only) anywhere in the world, so this giveaway is open to all.

Giveaway closes Saturday 2nd April, I will announce the winner on Sunday 3rd and send the book out on Monday 4th.

Exciting news part 2 coming next week.....

Thursday, 24 March 2011

What I've been making and eating....

A few photos of some yummy food from my kitchen over the last little while....
Squash, Apple, and Parsnip Soup
St Patrick's Day Irish Stew
Southwestern Barley
Magnificent Mushroom Soup
Yellow Tempeh Peanut Curry

More information about these dishes to come later this week, or early next......

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Bonus Teaser....

Seeing as VBS is hitting the stores any day now I thought an extra teaser photo would be a good idea. Here we have the Cinnamon Raisin Bread (for Toast) from the Yeasted Treats Chapter.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Saturday Teaser # 6

Lamingtons, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

Or whatever number it actually is!
This week we have Lamingtons! Super yum. A little messy to make but ever so worth it.
Won't be long now before you are making your own.....

Friday, 18 March 2011

VBS at my house!

VBS, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

4 boxes were delivered this afternoon.
I am beside myself. After waiting so long it is finally here!

Bookstores watch out, VBS is coming! (Tester copies will be shipped from New York soon too!)

It is really pink! I knew it was pink but I didn't think that pink. This is one book which will never be lost on your bookshelves!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Choco-Mint Waffles

Choco-Mint Waffles, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

Who, apart from my fussy children, can resist the combination of chocolate and mint in a waffle! I have added Cocoa Nibs for a crunch and so you can pretend they are good for you, antioxidants, right?? If you want to make these as a dessert waffle, just serve with some Vanilla or Chocolate non dairy Icecream, a drizzle of chocolate ganache, and a sprig of mint as garnish, mmmmm.

Choco-Mint Waffles
Makes Six 8” Waffles @ ⅔ Cup batter each

2 Cups Soy Milk
2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar

¾ Cup Sugar
¼ Cup Oil
1 teaspoon Mint Extract
¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 Cups Plain Flour
¼ Cup Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons Baking Powder

2 Tablespoon Cocoa Nibs, optional

In a large bowl combine the soymilk and vinegar. Stand 5 minutes to curdle.
Add in the sugar through vanilla extract, and whisk to combine.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder into this bowl, and whisk until combined. Stir in the cocoa nibs, if using.
Stand while your waffle machine heats, according to instructions for your machine.
Spray the inside plates of your waffle machine with nonstick spray prior to making each waffle and cook according to the directions for your machine and your preference.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Happy Pi Day!

Raspberry Clafouti Tart, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

As well as your regularly scheduled Saturday Teaser we have an additional Monday Teaser, being that it is the day to celebrate Pi and all things Pie, including the Pies and Tarts Chapter in Quick and Easy Vegan Bake Sale!! This is the delectable and delicious Raspberry Clafouti Tart.

Celia at On Cardamom and Cast Iron has more pictures of pies from the book (which is due to ship to stores in 2 weeks!) up on her blog today too... (thanks for the idea!!)

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Saturday Teaser # 4

Coffee Shop Fruit Swirl, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

I think it's number 4 anyway. This week, from the Yeasted Treats Chapter we have the fruit laden, and extremely delicious, Coffee Shop Fruit Swirl, to tempt you.....

Friday, 11 March 2011

More Chocolate Chip Cookies

Masa Chocolate Chip Cookies, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

Though these are chocolate chip cookies with a twist, as you can guess from the picture, a twist of Masa Harina!

Not just for Tamales, however wonderful your tamales are! Masa Harina adds an interesting texture and flavor hint to these soft and more-ish cookies. Don’t be scared, these are wonderful, I promise.

The paprika isn’t “over the top” or “in your face”, it blends really well with the cinnamon for a spice profile that will have your friends wondering what else is in these to have them tasting so interesting!

Masa Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 14

Preparation time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 10 minutes

⅔ cup granulated Sugar
¼ cup Canola Oil
2 tablespoons all vegetable Shortening
2 tablespoons Agave

2 tablespoons Almond Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

¾ cup All Purpose Flour
½ cup Masa Harina, Maseca brand for example
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Smoked Paprika

½ cup vegan Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350°F, and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
In a large bowl cream together the sugar, oil, shortening, and agave until thick and shiny.
Add the milk, and extract and beat in.
Sift in the flour, masa harina, baking powder, and spices then mix to form a soft dough.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Flatten in your palms to form 2-inch discs, then place on prepared trays 2-inches apart.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until bottoms browned but cookies still soft.
Cool on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to complete cooling.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

South American Sushi!

South American Sushi, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

Just when you thought sushi was just sushi I take it all fusion on you! This tastes pretty much like sushi but the texture is slightly different. Loaded with protein from two super protein containing South American grains this is perfect as a starter at a party, or a light lunch with salad for 4.

Preparation time – 45 minutes
Serves 6 to 8 as a starter

3 cups Vegetable Stock

1 cup Quinoa
½ cup Amaranth

1 ½ tablespoons seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon Agave
1 tablespoon Lime Juice

4 sheets toasted Nori

To fill: Options include but are not limited to -
Slices of Avocado
Strips of Jicama
Strips of Red Pepper
Strips of Cucumber
Strips of Carrot
Sliced Green Beans
Corn Kernels

Soy Sauce to serve, optional

In a medium saucepan bring the stock to the boil, add the quinoa and amaranth, reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and grains are tender, 20 minutes.
Spread cooked grains on a baking sheet or large plate, to cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes.
Once cool transfer back to the saucepan and add the vinegar, agave and lime juice. Mix well to ensure grains are well coated.
Place a sushi mat on your work bench, with the slats horizontal to your position and top with a sheet of nori, shiny side down.
Evenly spread quarter the seasoned grains, roughly ¾ cup over the nori, with a damp rubber spatula, leaving a 1-inch space at the end furthest from you.
About 1-inch from the edge closest to you arrange a row of your choice of filling, in combination or a single item.
Dampen the inch of exposed nori with a little water.
Roll the sushi from the bottom away from you, using the mat to guide and keep everything tight.
Gently press to seal with inch of dampened nori to the roll.
With a serrated knife, rinsed under hot water as required, slice the raggedy ends off (cooks bonus!!) then slice the remaining rolled sushi into 1-inch pieces.
Serve at room temperature with soy sauce, if using, on the side.

Sushi mats are available in the Asian food aisle of well stocked supermarkets, and at Asian supermarkets.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

And here's the winning recipe - who knew Mint Chocolate Chip was so popular. Well, me, as my girls love the whole Mint Chocolate Chip flavor combination, as long as it isn’t too over the top minty. I had a number of early variations of this recipe rejected by them for just that reason. There were other variations they rejected as they weren’t green. In this version, for my kids at least, we have a winner.

I’ve used two types of chocolate chips, for contrast in both color and flavor, but if you don’t have white chocolate just use more of what you do have.

If, unlike my children, you are believer in more is more when it comes to mint flavor then use a full teaspoon of mint extract, and omit the vanilla. You can leave out the food coloring if you don’t insist on mint flavor also being green!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes abut 18

⅓ Cup Rice Milk

1 Mint Herbal Tea Bag

¾ Cup Sugar
¼ Cup + 2 Tablespoons soft Coconut Oil
½ teaspoon Mint Extract
½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 to 4 drops green food coloring, optional

1 ½ Cups Plain Flour
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Salt

¼ Cup White Chocolate Chips, or chopped block chocolate
¼ Cup Dark or Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

In a medium pan over medium heat, bring the milk to the boil, but do not actually boil.
Remove from the heat, add the mint tea bag, cover, and allow to steep while the milk cools to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
Once cool, remove the bag, squeezing out all the flavor, then whisk in the sugar, oil, extracts, and food color until thick and shiny, about 2 minutes.
Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into the pan, and mix until a firm dough forms.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Chill dough in the pan for 15 minutes for ease of handling.
Preheat oven to 375°F, and prepared 2 baking trays by lining with parchment paper.
Scoop dough into heaping Tablespoons and roll into balls with dampened hands as required. Flatten in your palms to form 2” discs, then place on prepared trays 2” apart.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until bottoms lightly browned.
Cool on trays for 5 minutes prior to transferring to cooling rack.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Saturday Teaser #?

This weeks it is something from the pie chapter - the White Balsamic Tart with Jam Glaze, which in the photo is a large tart, but is wonderfully good made as small tarts too!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

It's March so I owe you an update!

That would be the update as to how I am getting on with my year of "eating like Santa".

The answer, pretty good. February had lots of parties and the like which I had to bake for and I managed to get through the month with only eating 2 "test" cookies from new recipes (both of which are in the poll in the sidebar for you to choose to get the recipe so vote if you haven't...) and no cake or anything. Yay me!

We went out for dinner for our wedding anniversary last night, and I managed to eat very nicely with adjustments to the menu and no dessert, so I am safe on the "Santa eating" front there too.
I'm finding I no longer crave sweet stuff and saying no is easier. I have a packet of dates for my sweet tooth emergencies which has been there unopened for over 2 weeks now!

Another good thing, from the "Santa eating" perspective is that all the recipes I am developing right now are savory, and most, due to the nature of them, are high in fibre and low in fat - all good!!!

So my challenge for the year is progressing nicely. How are you making out with yours???

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Cardamom Chocolate Chip Cookies

While you're busy voting for your favorite of the options I gave you earlier in the week here's a recipe to whet your appetite for chocolate chip cookies some more....

Cardamom Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 20

Cardamom is the new Cinnamon. I thought everybody knew that. These cookies are loaded with the flavorful spice, and the flavor is complemented by the chocolate in each bite. The cookies are thin, with crisp edges, and a soft centre.

Preparation time – 20 minutes
Cooking time – 10 minutes

½ cup granulated Sugar
¼ cup light Brown Sugar, packed
¼ cup vegan Margarine
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

¼ cup Soy Milk

1 cup + 2 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1 ¼ teaspoons ground Cardamom
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon

½ cup vegan Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl cream together the sugar, margarine, oil, and extract until light and fluffy.
Add the milk and mix in. The mix will look a little curdled but that is OK.
Sift the flour, cornstarch, salt, ground cardamom, cinnamon, and baking soda into the bowl, and mix until dough forms.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Spray a tablespoon measure with non-stick spray. Scoop dough into heaping Tablespoons and place on prepared trays 2” apart.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes until spread, slightly puffed, with undersides golden. The cookies will flatten as they cool.
Cool on trays for 5 minutes prior to transferring to cooling rack.

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you really, really aren’t a cardamom fan (some people aren’t!) then by all means use cinnamon instead.