Wednesday, 30 November 2011

'THE' Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes, finally, this is the post a LOT of people I know are waiting for. And we'll get to the cookies in a minute, but first I'd like to talk about the chocolate chip cookie. This is my favourite cookie, and always has been. When I was young, my mom bought the packaged ones, and they where ok. Then there was the President's Choice Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie. This changed my life. It was love at first bite way back in the late 80's. Then I started making my own cookies. They were really good. Really, really good. I'd make them and bring them to my work, and I swear I got a raise at my first job because of them.

 I've made them and brought them in to every job I've had. This is the first time I've worked in such a large office, and also the first time I've had to make a quadruple batch. I've a growing list of separate little packages of cookies I need to make and deliver. I love to bake, and I love to feed people. I wish my company would just pay me to make the cookies for work everyday. It has been suggested. I don't think it will go too far.

Alright, back to the recipe. It comes form our very first vegan cookbook. There are some absolute gems in this cookbook. I just wish you could by them with laminated pages in a coil spine. As you can see, this has been through some wars.

                                                                 'How It All Vegan'

This holiday season, make everyone you know love you more, because food means love. Feed them. ; D

-Melina : D

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Non-Beef Stroganoff - Beating Betty

So, like lots of us, I didn't grow up vegan.  I grew up Betty.  I took over cooking rather young, and the Betty Crocker Cookbook was the only proper cookbook my mom had.  Plus, I liked pictures in my cookbook, as they were my teacher.

We ate a lot of horrible instant-types of food growing up, and Hamburger Helper was a regular dinner. We tried the Beef Stroganoff one once, and it totally grossed me out.  I've disliked the idea of it ever since.  (I actually loved this stuff as a kid but am learning I may have been the only person who did. ~ Denise)

However, Denise really liked this Stroganoff thing, (her mom cooked) and I said I'd make it tonight,  just veganize the Betty recipe.  I used Gardein Beef Tips.  It turned out well, Denise said it was really good. I liked it too so I think we will add this to the rotation.  (I liked real Stroganoff growing up as well, not just the Hamburger Helper kind.  We used to go to a kind of fancy place where I got Stroganoff crepes.  Now the idea of cow crepes is icky but this could be the solution. ~ Denise)

Vegan 'Beef' Stroganoff

1 package Gardien 'Beef' Tips, cut in 1/2
2 tbsp Earth Balance
1 1/2  cups veggie broth
2 tbsp ketchup (weird, but do it)
1 tap salt
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tbsp flour
1 cup vegan sour cream

In a medium or large skillet, add the Earth Balance and 'beef' and saute on medium heat, till browned. Keep about 1/3 cup of the veggie stock, but pour in the rest, as well as the ketchup and salt and garlic. Heat to boiling and reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 10 minutes.

Add mushrooms and onion, cover again and simmer about another 5 minutes, or till onion is tender. Whisk flour and broth together till it forms a sort of thickish paste, then add to 'beef' mixture. heat to boiling, stirring lots. Boil for 1 minute. Then add sour cream and heat till hot. Serve over pasta or rice.

I really enjoyed this, and will make it again. Soon. (YAY! ~ Denise)

- Melina : D

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Bronski Curry

I love curry.  This is definitely the best chickpea curry I have ever eaten, and we have a lovely lady named Bronwyn to thank for it.  There are a few things you should know about Bron.  #1 She's vegan, which makes her cool.  #2 She's British, which makes her cooler.  #3 She has a tendency to pose in an inappropriate manner with statues, and occasionally cannons.  #4 She eats pickled onions, which makes me think she is very brave.  I can't get my head around them myself.

The availability of curry on every corner is one of the many reasons that Melina and I think living in the UK would be heavenly.  Also, the gorgeous scenery, shopping and sexy accents.  But I digress.

Our very favourite restaurant in the city is the Taj Mahal.  Melina has made me promise that when I get a novel published,  I will take her out to dinner there.  She has been planning the menu for ages.  In the meantime, we get by with an assortment of homemade curries, including this one.  It is known in our home as 'Bronski Curry', and I could eat it every day.  YUM!

Melina will explain further.  :)

Thanks, Denise.

Bronski is awesome. I do enjoy a fine curry. We thank her for this recipe. Yay!

Chickpea Curry

1 tbsp olive oil
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp ginger powder
5 tsp curry powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 good pinch cinnamon
1 cup water
1 large tomato, chopped
pinch oregano

Heat oil in medium pot. Add onion and saute till translucent, then add garlic and saute and minute or so more. Add ginger and curry powders, stir and saute for about 1/2 minute more, add chickpeas, water, salt, pepper, cumin and cinnamon. Stir.
Then add the tomato and oregano. Stir.
Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until tomatoes cook down. Stir on occasion.
After tomatoes are cooked, remove lid and continue cooking to remove excess liquid. When you have desired thickness, serve over rice.

It is a good curry. It freezes well too.

- Melina  : D