Friday, September 22, 2006

Minty fresh

I just came up with this recipe this morning! (For all of you who only visit on Fridays, but sure to check out last week(end)'s cake post below if you missed it.)

Mint Cookies

Biscuits a la Menthe

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Don't be scared to use essential oils in your baking (it's more pure than bottled "flavouring"), but keep in mind, a little goes a looong way!

2 cups light spelt flour
3/4 cups organic sugar/evaporated cane juice
1 1/2 tsp. dried crushed peppermint or spearmint leaves (about 1 tea bag's worth)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2/3 cup organic sunflower, canola or non-hydrogenated coconut oil
1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy milk
6 drops peppermint essential oil
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven 350oF. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, mint, baking powder & soda and salt. Add the oil, milk, and essential oil. Mix to form a good uniform dough. Pour in the vinegar and mix dough again just to distribute the vinegar evenly.

Roll dough into small balls (smaller than a walnut in its shell, larger than a cherry), and place on a lightly oiled or parchment paper-lined baking tray. Flatten with a cookie press or the flat bottom of a glass. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on a rack before storing in an air-tight container. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Another kind of Chocolate Cake - what else could you want?

Let's just pretend it's Friday. I'm sorry I'm late, so here's your reward for all your patience.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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It wasn't till I brought this cake over to Stef's potluck last night that I remembered to take a photo of it. The lighting was less-than-ideal, so Kaveh held the cake above his head near the light while I stood on a chair to shoot the darned thing (I'm anti-flash, but you've already noticed that, I'm sure). I'm really into bundt pans these days, because they have a styled (notice I didn't say stylish) look all their own, and they cook through much easier than regular cake pans. The dessert was a big party hit - the zucchini isn't noticeable (is that a good or bad thing? you decide), but it makes the cake real moist.

3 cups spelt flour
1 3/4 cups Sucanat or organic evaporated cane juice
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt
2 cups grated zucchini
1 1/2 cups filtered water or non-dairy milk
3/4 cup non-hydrogenated coconut oil or high oleic sunflower oil
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 375oF. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, Sucanat, cocoa powder, spices, baking soda and salt. Stir in the zucchini until well coated with dry ingredients.
2. Pour in the water, oil and vanilla extract. Mix with a silicone spatula just until all the flour has been absorbed. Once smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly - you'll see pale swirls as it reacts with the baking soda. Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
3. Pour into a lightly oiled bundt pan or 2 9" can pans and bake for 35-50 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness.
4. Remove cake(s) from oven and allow to cool in the pans before removing and icing them.

Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

2-3 squares semi-sweet chocolate
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
two pinches nutmeg (or so)
filtered water or coconut milk for thinning (at least 1/4 cup), at room temperature

Finely chop the chocolate. Fill the bottom pot of a double-boiler with hot water and place it on the stove over medium heat. Put the chopped chocolate and a generous pinch of nutmeg in the top pot of the boiler, and keep a good eye on it while it melts, stirring as needed. This is a tricky proceedure, because chocolate can seize up - take care! Once there are no lumps, add water (or non-dairy milk) to reach desired drizzling consistancy. If you use cold liquid, you'll be messing with the tempermental chocolate temperature. Turn off the heat and immediately drizzle the ganache somewhat evenly over the cake. Sprinkle another generous pinch of nutmeg over top. Allow to set before slicing and serving.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Not edible, not vegan

I'm sorry to disappoint, but for the third week in a row I'm embarrassed to report that I have no fancy food to offer you. I hope you'll forgive me - I had that big exam to write, then a big Going Away/Congratualtions party that night (for which I baked my favourite Chocolate Cake in a bundt pan with a chocolate-coconut milk ganache), and a week later my mum and I loaded up her station wagon to move me to Montreal, where I've spent the past week settling in.

So here's what you get instead. It's still a kitchen activity, and something I needed after bringing home some overripe bananas the other day and taking my time to get them into the freezer.

Fruit Fly Trap

Like I said, this ain't vegan but if you've got fruit flies swarming around, here's a sure way to get rid of them. (I learned this from Cheendana years ago.)

Get a small dish.
Pour about a centimetre of cider vinegar into the bottom of it.
Add a pinch or so of sweetener (this is one of the rare occassions I use sugar in my kitchen. If you don't have any, a dollop of honey works too).
Cover dish with taughly-pulled plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band.
Poke holes in the plastic cover with a fork.
The flies will be attracted to the sweet fermenting smell. They'll be able to crawl in, but not out again. (Am I horrible for doing this to them?)

Mine's working, as you can see:
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"Domestic affair... do you think it's a funny title?" I asked a friend.
"Funny ha-ha?" she responded, "well, no not really."
"But 'domestic affair', it's like what's going on in the nation, but it's also me, being drawn to all these domestic tasks - knitting, cooking, caring for small children..." I tried to explain.
"I like that it has the word affair in it," she concluded.

jae's first book!

Get It Ripe cover Have you seen my award-winning whole foods cookbook Get It Ripe: a fresh take on vegan living (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008)? Keep your eyes peeled for it!
To join the Facebook group for the book, go here.


about the blog:

about the cookbooks:

While I love hearing from you, and read each and every one of your e-mails, please understand that I just cannot respond to all of them due to the rate at which they're coming in these days!

If you have a question, I might have already answered it here.

in the press

live in person!

come see me:
* Vida Vegan Con in Portland, OR, August 26-28, 2011.

...but better yet, check the calendar for details!



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