Sunday, October 11, 2009

basic white cake with chocolate mousse icing

Basic white layer cake with chocolate chips and chocolate mousse

Like the little black dress, the basic white is a timeless classic. When you can't think of a dessert to make, or want something that will go with everything, the white cake is the perfect thing to fall back on. What's even more is that it's the perfect blank dessert slate, totally customizable to whatever creative inventions you're feeling in the moment - much like dressing up a LBD with accessories, making for a totally different outfit each and every time, even when starting with the same thing. You can make it a layer cake, add chocolate chips, make it an ice cream sandwich and top it in many different ways.

Serves 4

To make*
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup cashews
1 cup walnuts
1 tsp cardamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup dates

blend all dry ingredients in food processor until finely crumbly.
Add dates and blend until dough sticks together.
Press into 2 small springform pans.
Remove from pans.
Shortly before serving, ice both layers thickly with chocolate mousse. I used this one by Ani Phyo.
Place one layer atop the other.


*ok I'm not going to lie, I have no idea where I wrote the recipe for this. I have no recipe book, so I just scribble recipes and ideas in random notebooks, sometimes without titles or clues as to what they're even for! So, I tend to lose a lot (very annoying). But I'm pretty sure this is right...

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Spiced apple pie

It's thanksgiving weekend. I'm not so happy about it this year as my parents are leaving for a pan-asia tour on tuesday and thus my mom is unable to prepare our usual thanksgiving feast. That means no wild rice salad, lentil-carrot salad, or squash patties for me :( And I will miss having dinner with my side of the family - it's what we do best!

To make up for it, I made a bunch of delicious fall food. Tofu stuffed with brown rice and mushroom gravy from Fat Free Vegan and raw spiced apple pie. I've made the stuffed tofu before and let me tell you, it is aMAZing!! Although, word of warning: it does take like three hours to make. No joke. So make sure you have enough time!

plate on right, clockwise from back: roasted potatoes, honey-maple turnip, tofu stuffed with mushroom brown rice, brown rice stuffing, mushroom gravy, green beans, carrots

The apple pie is made of of sweetly spiced apple slices on a sweet pecan crust. I piled the apples high and left the skin on (which made it easier to prepare, healthier, colourful - especially if using different types of apples!! - and yummy). I went for the sweet gala apples, but really you could use whatever apple you desire, depending on the sweetness and texture you want.

In addition to the extreme deliciousness and incredible healthiness of this meal, it also comes free of the uncomfortable too full and sleepy-ness that usually accompanies thanksgiving.

Spiced apple pie
pecan pie crust (made with an additional 1/2tsp nutmeg)

3 apples (gala, or whichever tickles your fancy), thinly sliced
thinned date paste
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsbp lemon juice (to add a pleasant tartness and to keep the apples from browning)
1 tbsp coconut oil

toss apple slices with remaining ingredients until evenly coated

press base into springform pan
top with coated apple slices
let chill in fridge

serve with almond cream, coconut cream or vanilla ice cream.

Spiced apple pie

AWESOME UPDATE: The boy's mom made delicious oven roasted veggies (carrots, greenbeans, honey-maple turnip - YUM, eggplant, and potatoes). So SO good. And I got leftovers, meaning I've enjoyed two delicious salads of roasted veggies mixed with lettuce greens and dressed in a garlic-y balsamic vinagrette (!!!).

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

paprika-spiced home fries

For all Canadians, there's a sense of fear and anxiety associated with fall. Yes, it's beautiful and lovely with the leaves and whatnot, but it also signifies the end of what's normally a very short summer and the doomed coming of what will be (or at least feel like) 6-8 months of dark and cold, cold, cold. This fall has so far been particularly distressing as in Toronto we didn't really have a summer at all; warm days were few and far between, and what we've seen so far of fall is cold, dark and wet. And of course there's the feeling of foggy inertia that comes with each windy blow of a spray of cold rain in your face; the inevitable feeling of needing to cocoon - and fast - as the cold comes in.

I'm trying to focus on the positives: fall fashion, fall foods. The fall marks the arrival of chunky gray cardigans, wellingtons, root vegetables and soups... It means baked goods and warm drinks and woolen tights... Now, those are things to look forward to!

Today I made some paprika-spiced home fries with the sweet paprika - straight from hungary - Dav's sister brought us when visiting a couple of weeks back.

to make
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large potatoes, chopped
1tsp cayenne
1/2-1tbsp sweet hungarian paprika
1tbsp italian herb mix (blend of rosemary, basil, oregano)
1tsp sea salt
canola oil

in a large pan, saute the onion and garlic in some oil until transparent.
in a large bowl, toss the chopped potatoes with the spices and enough canola oil to coat the potatoes. Add the potato mix to the pan and cover. Cook until soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.
alternatively, toss raw onion and garlic and potatoes with rest of ingredients until coated, and cook in the oven at 425F until cooked on the inside and crispy on the outside.


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anti-pasto pizza party

On Sunday afternoon, my husband and I went for a walk in my old neighbourhood for a little organic oven love. Oh my do I love it there! We had vegan sandwiches on aMAZing gluten free bread, Dav had a vegan black forest cake, and I had a vegan and gluten-free brownie with fudgy icing. Truly, I wanted to buy everything there: they had cookies and muffins and other muffins (!!!). Somewhat luckily, they were out of many of their vegan and GF items, so I had a bit of an easier time deciding. Too late I saw the german chocolate cake - next time!! I also bought two pizza crusts for dinner.

My parents, taking pity on us as we were sick all last week, brought us a container of delicious antipastos!!! Olives (!!!), peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, YUM. So for dinner, I made pizza with red wine tomato sauce, crumbled and panfried tofu and antipasto. Oh my, I wish I was eating this again. right now.

mmmm pizza

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