Saturday, December 16, 2006

'Tis the season for crafting!

I hope that all of you in Montreal remember that today at tomorrow I'm at the Hot Cakes Craft Fair (formerly known as the Rusty Plum Bazaar) from noon to 8pm. It's at 4324 St-Laurent, just a couple doors down from Marianne on the west side of the street. Come get zines to put in stockings!

And, I know this is a long time coming, but I thought I'd post a colour photo of the Fancy Scarf from Take Back the Knit #1 - the second run of the zine in particular didn't copy well at all, and this is a really beautiful scarf, if I do say so myself. Three different colours of Manos, and a nice amount of width and length. Feather and fan - a great first lace project!

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(Michelle took this pic two years ago, for the record)

Pick up the zine at L'Arterie in Montreal, or at the Toronto Women's Bookstore after my December 22nd delivery.
Friday, December 08, 2006

Pot of warmth

It's about time I posted a soup recipe.
Sorry the picture isn't more attractive - the soup's delicious though - I'm thinking about making some this weekend.

Adzuki Squash Soup with Chipotle and Red Peppers

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Small, red adzuki beans are amongst the easiest legumes to digests (as well as being faster to cook than chickpeas or black beans), but people rarely use 'em. Here's one way how:

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. finely chopped chipotle pepper (or 1/4 tsp. cayenne, but it won't be nearly as good)
2 medium-large onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups peeled and diced squash (I used butternut)
5 cups filtered water (or more to desired thickness)
1 large or 2 medium red peppers, diced
2 tsp. sea salt
4 cups cooked/canned adzuki beans
a few spigs fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Toss in the cinnamon and coriander, and stir for about 2 minutes, until aromatic. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes (you can pour in a touch of water if things start to stick). Add garlic and squash to pot, stir, and then pour in the water. Turn up the heat, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once it reaches boiling temperature, reduce heat to a simmer and add the red pepper, salt and beans, continuing to cook until squash is soft, but not falling apart. Serve hot, with a sprig ro two of cilantro, if you like. Might be nice with cornbread. (And don't forget a salad or some steamed greens if you're making a meal.)

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Friday, December 01, 2006

The Dinner Club

Did I say Saturday? I meant... what did I mean? I apologize for the posting inconsistencies, I'm here now. And before I forget I should mention that if you live in Montreal (or know someone who does and can pass on the word), I'll be giving a talk at Esperanza on warming foods next Monday evening - see the sidebar for details.

So moving right along...

The Dinner Club/Le Souper Social was this idea I had when I first moved into this Montreal apartment with a nice big kitchen, and managed to score a great wooden table that seats eight off of craigslist. The table was just begging me to host dinner parties on it. The idea was that I'd host these monthly (or so) dinner parties as a chance to meet up with others to enjoy good, wholesome, vegetarian food (living alone requires active effort to not eat alone all the time), but also as a fun way to test the recipes for the cookbook I'm currently writing (and keep me motivated to write!).

The event is limited to eight people at a go (because of space and cutlery issues). Everyone makes a dish from my cookbook manuscript and the agreement is that the recipe be followed as it is written, with the proper ingredients and measurements so that we know what's going to be published is correct. It sounds strict, but it's actually fun.

So last Friday was the first one (yeah, it took me two and a half months to get it together) and it was a real hit - filling, fun and I got some good feedback (all F words, huh). We had ginger carrot soup, vege pate, beet and barley salad, fettucini no-fredo, maple roasted roots (which is finally a recipe with measurements), squash au gratin, rice pudding, spice bundt cake and pumpkin pie.

The funny thing about the pie was that Anne-Helene, who made it, had to go before it was time for dessert. We tried it after she'd left and were surprised by its subtle flavour - it seemed the sweetener (maple syrup) and spices had been completely forgotten. It was still good, just different. I haven't had a chance to ask Anne-Helene about it yet, but I'll be sure to do so when I return her pie plate.
Anyhow I offer you this recipe, whether you want to follow it to a T (tea?) or not:

Pumpkin Pie

My mum, the mistress of pumpkin pie (though her recipe isn't vegan - she uses organic eggs), is coming to town this weekend and we have plans to bake one of these babies up - so hopefully I can finally fix my camera and insert a picture here.

2 cups peeled and cooked pumpkin (or other orange fleshed squash)
3/4 cup coconut milk (not lite)
1/2 - 3/4 cup filtered water (see how it is with the lesser amount)
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup silken tofu
1 tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger (or 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger root)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. sea salt

To cook pumpkin, wash outside, slice in half, scoop out seeds, and place flesh-side down on a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven, pre-heated to 375oF for about 45 minutes, or until soft. Allow to cool until you can handle it comfortably, then scoop flesh out from the skin.

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and about 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and whisk until smooth. Combine this mixture, along with the rest of the coconut milk, water, tofu, maple syrup, all the spices, and salt in a blender until smooth. Add pumpkin and blend a bit more - just until there are not large chunks of pumpkin. Be careful not to run the blender too long or the pumpkin will loose all texture and resemble baby food.

Pour into a pie crust or a lightly oiled baking dish and bake at 350oF for 45 minutes or so (it should be somewhat firm in the middle). Serve with organic whipped cream or cashew cream (see below), if desired.

Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour (or 1 1/4 cups light spelt and 1/4 cup oatbran)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup sunflower oil
up to 1 tbsp. maple syrup (optional)
1-2 tbsp. cold non-dairy milk or ice water

In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, and cinnamon if using. Add oil, maple syrup (if desired) and soymilk or water as needed to form a ball of dough.
Roll out onto a clean, floured surface and fit into a 9" pie plate. Trim edges. Bake at 350oF for 10 minutes, until dry in the centre, but not browning at the edges.

Cashew Cream

This living foods recipe is from my dear teacher Caroline Dupont's new book, Enlightened Eating.

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water to cover for 4 hours
3/4 - 1 cup filtered water
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
a pinch sea salt

Drain soaking water off cashews. In a blender, whirl up all ingredients (starting with the smaller amount of water) until smooth. Add extra water if necessary. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes enough for a couple pies, so you may want to freeze half of it, or make more dessert.

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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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