January 29, 2008
I said I was switching to dinners again—and I have—but one of my best friends just came back from El Salvador last night, so of course we had to see each other immediately. And of course brunch had to be involved. As the vegan brunch pickings are pretty slim in my ten mile radius, it looked like cooking was in the cards.
I wanted to test out the Sour Cream Pancakes recipe again to verify the proportions, but it I was also craving something salty. I love a good tofu scramble and I was feeling rather lazy. My friend and I (well, more she than I) made the Scrambled Tofu from Vegan with a Vengeance and ate it in style—with a tablecloth and everything. We both liked it a lot. (And isn’t that some foxy grated carrot?) It’s nice to have a good tofu scramble in my repertoire.
And for the record—the pancakes were just as good this time around.
January 24, 2008
I’d been planning to make the Hazelnut Scones from Vegan with a Vengeance for a while. I finally got it together and settled down to make them when I discovered, mid-recipe, that I didn’t have enough hazelnuts. Horror of horrors! I had my heart set on these particular scones and I’d already started brewing the coffee for them, so I raced to the closest grocery store for more. No dice. Are hazelnuts some kind of specialty item? Why could I find eleven glazes of roasted peanut but not one measly hazelnut?
In any case, I was determined to make scones, and I noticed we had slivered almonds on hand. I decided to adapt the standard scone recipe in VwaV slightly. I made a half recipe and added one tablespoon of sugar, 3/4 cup of almonds, and 1/2 teaspoon each of vanilla and almond extract. I also sprinkled them with a few almonds and turbinado sugar before putting them in the oven.
They were quite tasty. I could have added a little more almond extract, but other than that I wouldn’t change anything. I had reduced the recipe because I thought sixteen scones for three people seemed a little excessive. But the nine scones I made disappeared in a day and a half. So I’ve learned three valuable lessons:
1. Make sure you have enough of everything before you start cooking.
2. If you run out of something, improvise something else yummy.
3. You can never have too many scones. In fact, you should make some more this weekend. With hazelnuts this time.
January 16, 2008
When my mom requested pasta for dinner, I decided to test a nutritional yeast sauce on her and my unsuspecting father. Since I just made Mac and Cheese, I flipped through a couple cookbooks and settled on Fettuccine Alfreda from Vegan with a Vengeance. We didn’t have fettuccine, so it became Linguine Alfreda (yep, those are roasted Brussels sprouts you see on the side). For some reason all the pasta recipes in both VwaV and Veganomicon call for half a pound of pasta for four people, but that’s never enough for us. I made a pound of pasta and a recipe-and-a-half of the sauce, which turned out to be unnecessary.
Like Mac and Cheese, this is a great quick recipe. You can make the sauce in the time it takes to boil water and cook the pasta. The toasted pine nuts make it nice and creamy. (Plus toasted pine nuts are just delicious; I used to eat them plain as a snack or make a spread out of them.) My mom, who is cholesterol conscious, said she’d like to have the recipe as an alternative to Alfredo sauce. Music to my ears!
Our only complaint about this dish is that it’s not the most attractive. It’s kind of tan and gruel-y. My mom thought it looked like something else I won’t repeat—this is dinner, after all. Making it on tan whole wheat pasta didn’t help; next time I’ll use spinach linguine. (Garnishing it with a few spinach leaves improved its aesthetic appeal.) But I don’t really care, anyway. For me it’s taste that counts, and it tasted, well, tasty.