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Carob powder was on sale last week, and I have come to the conclusion that I am infatuated with it. A few years ago, when I first tried carob, I wrote it off as being cocoa’s sad cousin that tasted a bit like dirty socks. Luckily, I’ve reformed my opinion! This drink is really delicious, and a nice alternative to hot cocoa. I think it would be even better with melted carob, though I’ve yet to get my hands on carob chips.

Hot Carob Drink for One (I feel like you should be able to call this a hot carob, like hot cocoa, but that just sounds strange….)

-1 1/4 c. non-dairy milk

-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

-1 1/2 – 2 tbsp. carob powder

-1/2 – 1 tbsp. maple syrup

-pinch/sprinkle of cinnamon

Blend all ingredients in a blender (this gets all the lumps out, and makes it frothy!), and then heat and serve! Yum! πŸ™‚

-Eve

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So I have a secret. You know all the blog posts that are cropping up about cutting back on sugar/fat/unhealthy foods and increasing exercise/productivity/personal awesomeness and so on? They’re stressing me out! I don’t think I’m ready to give up the relaxed days and delicious food that comes with the holidays, quite yet. I’m sure I’ll get back into the swing of things this week, but it sure seems like a lot of bloggers got ‘back on track’ right after christmas – not really my cup of tea hot chocolate! A few things I’ve been enjoying:

Rumballs! Made gluten free with Nature’s Gate Vanilla cookies, and so delicious.

Eggnog lattes, made with So Nice’s Noel Nog. You’d better believe that I’m stockpiling this stuff. πŸ™‚

Eggnog lattes + Carcasonne = definitely a good time.

Insanely rich Strawberry Almond Coconut bars, adapted from Karina’s Kitchen. These aren’t something I would have picked out myself (hello, no chocolate!!), but Kathleen made a batch to take to a party and gave me a sample, upon which I determined I should really make my own batch.Β  I made fruit-only jam with frozen strawberries, which cut back on the sugar at least a tiny bit. The good news is that I froze most of them right away, but the bad news is that they are probably even better straight out of the freezer! πŸ™‚

It hasn’t been all sweets around here, though! I’ve been using my cookbooks way more than I was just a few months ago (hooray!), so I’m hoping to continue to feature successful recipes on the blog. We enjoyed Appetite for Reduction‘s 40 Clove Chickpeas and Broccoli tonight. It was good, but I didn’t think it was anything special. I’m not sure this would be worth making unless you’re as much of a garlic fiend as I am.

I really liked the Chickpea Zucchini Curry from Eat, Drink, and be Vegan. It was a milder curry, and called for sweet potatoes, which worked really well.

In other news, my boyfriend and I purchased a new camera on an amazing boxing day sale, and I’ve been having so much fun with it! I have so much to learn, but the difference between it and my outdated point and shoot camera is astonishing. Even when I suck….

….it’s still kind of good! πŸ™‚

-Eve

A few days late, but happy holidays to everyone! Whether you celebrate christmas or not, I hope everyone has enjoyed at least a few days off, and perhaps even have a chance to relax this coming week. πŸ™‚

-Eve

I quite enjoy blog posts that are simply about recent meals a blogger may have eaten. I find I often see recipes that I would have sworn up and down weren’t in a certain cookbook, but that definitely sound delicious. So, a few meals I’ve enjoyed recently:
Vegan YumYum’s Broccoli Daal:

Appetite for Reduction’s Butternut Apple Soup

The Uncheese Cookbook’s Broccoli Rice Casserole:

Appetite for Reduction’s Sundried Tomato-Walnut Dressing over salad, quinoa, roasted potatoes, zucchini, and tempeh, and glazed beets. And finally, I made the fortunate (unfortunate?) discovery that it is possible to find mainstream Christmas candy that happens to be vegan. If I eat half my body weight in liquor filled chocolates over the next few days, I can’t be held accountable!

Um, yum. πŸ™‚

-Eve

Without further ado, the winners of our tea giveaway are……..

Congratulations to Elly, aaaand….


Nicole! I hope you both enjoy the tea!

Thanks to everyone who entered! πŸ™‚

(If anyone’s wondering, I only counted ‘real people’ comments on the contest post- ie, no ping backs!)

***Have you checked out our tea giveaway yet? There’s going to be two winners, and the prize is awesome! The contest ends tomorrow, so go enter now! :)***

This past Sunday I made caramels, and took pictures! I also learned a few things along the way:

1) Making candy is exciting! Really exciting!

2) I can’t be around delicious candy without eating too much and slipping into a sugar coma.

3) Therefore, candy is best left un-made or shipped to unsuspecting individuals post-haste.

I used this recipe for salted caramels from CHOW, and made a few alterations. I used Silk coffee creamer for the cream, Earth Balance for the butter, and cut the salt back to only 1 tsp. to compensate for the salt in both those products. If you make them, make sure NOT to freeze the sheet of caramel ‘rock hard’ like the recipe instructs, because it will shatter everywhere if you try and cut it! Now, pictures:

Boiling the cream....

....and getting ready to add various sugars (and eventually butter/vanilla).

Boiling caramel with a desperate/ingenious thermometer grasp, and a wooden spoon/back of a spatula handle. Classy.

Scraping the caramel into a dish to set and harden....

...and form a most unwieldy slab!

The slab was portioned into ~1M. little cubes. The recipe claims it makes 85, but I know better. The hand I used to push the knife through the caramel still hurts!

I attempted (and succeeded?) to temper chocolate in my ghetto double boiler.....

....and make a rather unholy mess of the kitchen, and myself. I had chocolate everywhere from my forehead to my socks. True talent!

If I were a conscientious blogger, this is where there would be an amazing, out-of-the-kitchen photo of the finished caramels, but I can’t say I took any such pictures. 😦 Nevertheless, they were delicious, and I hope that the tin I sent to my family will be thoroughly enjoyed! πŸ™‚

-Eve

***Have you checked out our tea giveaway yet? There’s going to be two winners, and the prize is awesome! Contest ends on the 15th, so go enter now! πŸ™‚ ***

I’d never tried a smooth mushroom soup, and although I don’t mind the texture of mushrooms, a chunky soup just didn’t sound at all good in this particular instance. The smooth soup I came up with turned out very well, despite its admittedly off-putting appearance. (Off-putting? How about swamp muck!) I used a potato to thicken in lieu of making a roux (can you even make a gluten free roux?), which I thought turned out pretty well. The boyfriend deemed it “definitely blog worthy” (hooray!), so here is the recipe!

Smooth Mushroom Soup (Cream of Mushroom Soup?)

-1 onion, diced
-3 cloves garlic, chopped
-2 stalks celery, diced
-2 carrots, peeled and sliced
-1 potato, diced
-10-15 mushrooms (or about 3.5 cups sliced), sliced
-2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
-a few grinds of black pepper, or to taste
-about 4 c. water or vegetable broth
-1 c. or a little more of almond milk (or another non-dairy milk)

In a soup pot, saute the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add the veggies, spices, and broth, and cover and simmer until the carrots and potato are tender and cooked. Use a blender to puree, and then dump back into the pot and thin with non-dairy milk until the consistency is to your liking. Bring back to a simmer before serving. That’s it! πŸ™‚

-Eve

***Have you checked out our tea giveaway yet? There’s going to be two winners, and the prize is awesome!***

My apologies in advance for the lack of colour in this post – I swear I do eat brighter looking foods!

I thought I’d do an ultra-quick recap of two of the fantastic recipes I’ve tried from Vegan YumYum. I’m sure that this cookbook has way more to offer than the handful of recipes I’ve tried from it, but the things I’ve made (including the two things in this post) are so delicious that I come back to them again and again.

This is the hurry-up alfredo sauce, which is a mainstay in my quick lunch or supper repertoire. It’s perhaps not the healthiest thing in the world, but it sure is good. I mix it up a bit by omitting the nutmeg and adding way more nooch, to make it less alfredo and more mac-n-cheese. I toss it with whatever brown rice pasta I’ve got on hand, and serve with a bucket of ketchup and hotsauce. Mmm, sodium.
These slices may not be much to look at, but I’m sure they’d be much more presentable tucked into a sandwich (which is where they appear in Vegan YumYum) or cubed onto a salad. This is the smoky miso tofu recipe, and it is seriously amazing. If you like miso and tasty things, you should probably go make this right now. I would never have thought to put miso on tofu (or to make miso smoky!), but I guess that’s what cookbooks are for! I love to bake the slices on a cookie sheet, so that they get crispy around the edges and chewy in the centre, but make sure you’ve got someone around to coerce into scrubbing clean the burnt sauce after the fact! πŸ™‚

Tomorrow I have big plans to make caramels (and maybe rum balls and truffles? We’ll see!), and I have great intentions of photographing my experiments. It should be fun! I hope everyone else is having a great weekend πŸ™‚
-Eve

***Have you checked out our tea giveaway yet? There’s going to be two winners, and the prize is awesome!***

Sometimes simple soups are best, and this catch-all soup is something I make at least a few times a month. It’s great for using up leftover grains and wilting veggies, and it tastes good, to boot!

The roasted garlic is really good here, and I usually roast mine a day or two in advance (while I have the oven on for something else) so I don’t have to wait for the garlic to roast when I want soup fast! If you’ve never roasted garlic before, here’s a good tutorial, though I would add that you don’t need to have the oven set as high as it recommends – 350 works fine! A couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast in the broth adds a delicious savoury taste and makes the soup less watery, but if nooch isn’t your thing, feel free to leave it out!

Garlicky Greens, Beans, and Veggie Soup

-1 onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 head roasted garlic, minced
-2 stalks celery, sliced
-2 carrots, diced
-1 potato, diced
-2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
-1 tsp. dried basil, or to taste
-1 tsp. dried oregano, or to taste
-a few grinds of black pepper, or to taste
-1 bay leaf
-4 cups vegetable stock
-3/4 c. cooked quinoa
-2 c. pre-cooked cannellini beans
-about 3 c. greens – I used 1/2 bunch of slivered collards, and about 3/4 c. of sliced frozen spinach

In a big pot, saute the onions and garlic until translucent, and then add the carrots, celery, potato, roasted garlic, spices, and broth. Simmer until the veggies are tender, and then add the greens, beans, and grain and cook until the greens are softened. Add more veg. stock/water if desired and serve alone or with hot sauce, if you’re as addicted to the stuff as I am! πŸ™‚ Serves 3-4, maybe?

-Eve

***Have you checked out our tea giveaway yet? There’s going to be two winners, and the prize is awesome!***

For those of you who’ve been reading along for a while, you may have noticed that only K has been updating recently. Although I’ve let her shoulder the weight of MoFo (and um, most of the last 6 months…) of blogging, I’ve decided that I should get back on the blogging train. If you’re a newer reader, there are two people who update this blog! Originally it was our way of talking about vegan eats with each other when we lived in different provinces, but I moved this past summer and we now live in the same city! It’s all very exciting, but unfortunately it ruins our blog premise and we’re not sure how to fix it yet. πŸ™‚

Even if this new-to-me coastal ‘winter’ has been rather balmy so far, I’ve been satisfying my cravings for all varieties of soups, so expect to see lots of them posted here! Recently, I tried the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup from Vegan with a Vengeance, which was a welcome departure from the curry that I usually flavour squash soup with.

I’m not sure if this is a new product, but recently my local health food store started carrying Cocoa Camino almond and peanut butter filled dark chocolate. Of course, I jumped at the chance to try the peanut butter flavour, and it was totally delicious. If a Reese’s peanut butter cup was veganized, had its quality improved, and was made into a bar form, I think that this is what you’d end up with! Next time I’m going to try the almond butter bar!

-Eve