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Archive for July, 2012

With a crispy exterior and fluffy, moist center, these are irresistable – and slightly healthier – sweet treats.  You could certainly use a donut pan, but I find muffin tins far easier and the large centers far fluffier than their flatter donut counterparts.  I am unashamed in saying I reserved the excess cinnamon sugar topping to dip each bite of muffin into….

Note: These do become dense within 2 days, so consume quickly.  Which shouldn’t be a problem!  Also, if you plan to cinnamon-sugar coat them, do so right before serving.  Otherwise the coating will become wet with time.  The easiest thing to do is have a container or bag of the cinnamon sugar on hand.  I won’t tell if you double dip.

Baked Cake Donuts

3/4 cup sugar
1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax seed + 3 tbsp water; let sit for 5 minutes)
1/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
3/4 cup hemp milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (you can replace 1/2 cup with whole wheat pastry or white whole wheat flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons butter, melted (for sugared donuts)
1/2 cup super fine sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup jelly (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat sugar and flax egg together until creamy and light-colored. Add oil, milk, and vanilla and mix well. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Slowly add flour mixture into flax egg mixture until well combined. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. These would also work great in miniature muffin tins with a reduced cooking time of 8-10 minutes. Do not overcook.

For powdered donuts: While donuts are still warm to the touch, remove from tins and immediately roll the crust with powdered sugar, until it is well coated. Dust the tops with sugar as well.

For sugared donuts: Using a pastry brush, coat each donut with a thin layer of melted Earth Balance. Roll each buttered donut in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

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Shrimp Diavolo

For summer’s bounty of tomatoes…. kicked up with a subtle touch of heat. 

Shrimp Diavolo

Ingredients

2 pounds Roma tomatoes (or 28 ounces canned tomatoes with their juices)
1 large onion, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 – 2 pounds shrimp (I used tiger) 
1/2 pound spaghetti or linguine

Directions

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Core the tomatoes and cut a shallow “x” through the skin of the non-core end of each tomato with a sharp knife. Working in batches, gently lower the tomatoes into the boiling water for about 30 seconds, until the skin begins to peel away from the cuts you made. Remove the tomatoes from the water with a slotted spoon and set aside until they are cool enough to touch.
  2. Peel and then roughly chop the tomatoes and set aside. Pour the olive oil in a shallow, heavy saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, until fragrant and softened, but not browned. Add the chili flakes (start with half if you’re not sure about the heat – you can add more later) and cook for another minute or two.
  3. Add the tomatoes and any juices, along with a few generous pinches of salt and stir through. Stir in the onion.  Raise the heat to medium and let the tomatoes come to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and simmer gently for 2 to 3 hours, until the tomatoes have completely broken down, adding water as needed to keep the sauce from drying out. When the sauce is ready, taste for salt and add more necessary. Cover and set aside.
  4. In a large saute pan set over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil.  Season shrimp lighty with salt and pepper. Cook until shrimp just turn pink.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until still quite al dente. Reserving about half a cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta in a large colander and set it aside.
  6. Turn the heat to medium underneath the pan with the sauce. Add the cooked pasta and some of the pasta water, using tongs to toss the pasta in the sauce. When the pasta is well-coated in the sauce and warm, add in the shrimp.  Serve hot. 

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One of my favorite meats as a child was braised five spice beef.  It wasn’t often my mother prepared the dish, but one I always devoured.  Rice Kernel took awhile warming up to to the dish – mostly because the cartilege and connective tissue in the cut of meat are diffucult for little mouths to chew.  Whie this recipe isn’t authentic due to the addition or red wine, the extra ingredient adds a depth and earthiness that I much prefer.  Tonight, the beef is sliced thin and tossed with linguine, sauteed red cabbage, carmelized onions, sliced carrots and a handful of green onion and cilantro.  I’ve seasoned it simply with soy sauce, salt, pepper and seasame oil to taste.

Five Spice Beef, from Ming Tsai

Ingredients

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed peppers
8 thin slices fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 pounds beef shank
1 cup soy sauce
4 cups red wine
1 tablespoon five spice powder
1 tablespoon salt
3 pieces star anise
Dash cinnamon powder
1 large piece rock candy or a few teaspoons of honey (1-inch cube)

Directions

  1. Prepare a large non-stick stock-pot coated with oil over high heat. Add the crushed pepper, ginger, and garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Place the beef in the stock-pot and cook, covered about 4 minutes on each side. Add the soy sauce, red wine, five spice powder, salt, star anise, cinnamon, and rock candy and bring the mixture to a boil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 2 1/2 hours turning the shank every 20 minutes. Remove the shank from the pot and let cool before slicing.

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Surprisingly simple and scrumptious.  I think Rice Kernel and my Dad helped themselves to the entire batch.

Apple Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins

Ingredients

1 cup old fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 grated apple or pear
1 cup all-purpose  or white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
12 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Directions

  1. In a bowl, soak oats in buttermilk for 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in egg, sugar, apple and oil.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices; stir into oat mixture just until moistened.
  4. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F for 16-18 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.  Makes 12 muffins.

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I love potatoes – purple, russet, new potatoes, yams…. There’s no spud I would resist.  Fortunately, Rice Kernel has finally taken to them.  Fresh from a morning spent at the park, he requested this (really) for lunch.  Simple to prepare, we opted for some sweet corn and carrots and a sprinkling of leafy spinach for texture, but you can use any vegetables you have on hand.

Potato Hash

Ingredients

4-5 new potatoes  (about 2 pounds), scrubbed
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup yellow onions, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup fresh spinach, optional
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Cut potatoes into cubes and cook in a saute pan over medium-high heat with some stock or water.  Stir occasionally and cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes. 
  2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 20 seconds. Add the potatoes, carrots, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook without stirring, but shaking the pan occasionally to keep from burning, until the potatoes begin to color and crisp on the underside, about 4 minutes. Turn the potatoes with a spatula being careful not to mash, and continue cooking until uniformly golden. Add in frozen corn.  Cook an additional 2-3 minutes.  Fold in spinach and remove from the pan. Serve hot.

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A festive red, white, and blue dessert that will please everyone.  And it couldn’t be simpler to prepare.  Serve with a nice scoop of cold ice cream and a few peaks of whipped cream.

Vegan Berry Cobbler

Ingredients

1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar + 2 tbsp
1 cup Self-Rising Flour
1 cup light or regular coconut milk
2 cups Blackberries and Raspberries (frozen Or Fresh)

Directions

  1. Pour 3/4 cup sugar and flour into a mixing bowl, whisking in milk. Mix well. Then, pour in oil and whisk it all well together. Grease a baking dish with cooking spray or vegan butter.
  2. Now rinse and pat dry the berries. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle berries over the top of the batter; distributing evenly. Sprinkle 2 tbsp sugar over the top.
  3. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-40, or until golden and bubbly.

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Fudgsicles

Ingredients

1/2 cup stevia or sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
4 cups milk (we used low-fat 2%)
8-10 popsicle molds/sticks

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and cocoa. Gradually stir in milk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool slightly.
  2. Pour into each mold or plastic cup; top with holders or insert Popsicle sticks. Freeze until set.

Rice Kernel asked to make popsicles recently.   I was thinking about making smoothie-like versions, but he insisted on chocolate.  These two recipes are delicious and quick – and even better with some nuts, fruit, or more chocolate mixed in.

Banana Vegan Fudgsicles

Ingredients
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2-3/4 cup coconut milk
1 large, ripe banana
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Stevia, sugar, honey to taste

Directions

  1. Combine all items in a blender and pour into popsicle molds.  Freeze until set.

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