January 24, 2012

A delicious Panini

I recently stumbled upon This. That looks pretty good, doesn't it?

Alas, not vegan, OR gluten free. I felt like this needed to be rectified. However, there's a problem.

I can't make grilled cheese sandwiches. I wish I was kidding about this, but I have never been able to cook grilled cheese. I always either burn them, or the cheese wasn't melted. I was terrible. TERRIBLE.

Until Matthew got me a panini press that is.

Guacamole and 'Cheese' Panini with Garlicy Potato Wedges
1/2 an avocado
1/2 a small tomato
a bit of garlic (to taste)
Lime juice (to taste)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Cheddar or Mozza Daiya (I like to pile it on myself)
2 Slices of gf bread
Some vegan margarine
1-2 potatoes
olive oil
salt & pepper
garlic powder
Dried Parsley
Set your oven to 425. 
Nuke the potatoes until almost cooked. Allow them to cool for a few minutes, and then cut them into wedges. Toss with the oil, and place onto a lined cookie sheet. 
Shake the spices onto the potatoes. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once, until the outsides are crispy. 
Meanwhile, spread the margarine onto the outside of your bread. Cover one slice with guacamole, and cover that with as much  Daiya as you like. Top with the second slice of bread. 
Either grill (if you are competent, which I am not) Or panini it until the cheese is all nice and melty. 
Cut in half, and serve with the potatoes, and some ketchup, if that's your preference. 

January 18, 2012

Some very special Pancake Style Foodstuffs

So I recently became obsessed with Aebelskivers. What are Aebelskivers, you ask? They are round puffy pancake balls, cooked in a special pan. I, of course, did not have that pan, until recently! My wonderful cousin Amelia and her husband Mark got me one for an engagement present, mostly because Mark's family has been making them for years, and he didn't know anyone else who knew what they were!

So I haven't quite gotten the hang of making them perfectly yet, but I keep trying! (I get better every day!) I'm not very good at turning them over, so they aren't quite as spherical as they're supposed to be, but they do taste good.

I have been slightly ill lately (really really bad cold!) and have not had much of an appetite, but I woke up this morning with a huge craving for some aebelskivers. Alas, I did not have much in the way of flours! However, I try not to let that take me down.

So, using my spice mill, I blended up some gluten free oats, and voila, oat flour! I had already had some white rice flour, so we were good to go!)

Oatmeal Style Aebelskivers
1 cup oat flour
1 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup rice bran
3 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 tsp xanthan gum (or guar)
2 tsp baking soda
a dash of salt
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
Enough water to make it the consistancy of pancake batter (I forgot to measure as I was making it, sorry! Just add it a bit at a time until it's pancakey)

Mix together all of dry ingredients (all except the oil and water) Whisk until well combined.
Slowly add in water and the oil, mixing until well combined.
Heat your aebelskiver pan to med-high heat, putting a bit of vegan margarine into each of the wells.
Once the margarine is melted and bubbling, pour in batter to each of the wells, almost to the top.
Cook until the sides look like they're kinda cooked, and then, using a chopstick, turn them over. This is really difficult to do (I sort of suck at it, haha) So feel free to go look for videos on youtube, because I'm not much help on that front!
I dip them in maple syrup, and they're like regular pancakes that way! Nom nom nom!

You can even add fillings like jams, or maraschino cherries like I did! 

January 17, 2012

Heat for the cold Nights

Montreal has been pretty frosty lately. We had a few days of heavy snowfall, and then it got cold. Very cold.

And today it's supposed to snow again! We've really gone into winter mode up here! So I needed to make something warm and filling to keep me from turning into a popsicle!

Super Easy Crock Pot Chili
(Made for a small crockpot)

1 medium sized can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 smallish medium onion, diced
1 small can corn, drained and rinsed
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 cup vegetable broth
2-4 tbsp chili spice (I got mine in a spice packet in the taco section of my grocery store! Check to make sure the spice packets are vegan!)
1 tbsp oil

dump all ingredients into a crock pot. Mix together.
If you want  to eat in a few hours, put your crock pot on high. If you're making this in the morning, put the crock pot on low.
Eat when it's piping hot over some rice!


January 10, 2012

A few simple baked doughnuts

I got bored the other night, and just needed to make some doughnuts.

Often I get into these sort of manic panics where I just bake. I bake and bake and bake, and that is just what happened. It all started when I was reading over "Babycakes Cover the Classics" cookbook, where there is an extensive section about doughnuts. I altered a version of the Spiced Marble Doughnuts, and made those delightful badboys.

Chocolate Marbled Spiced Doughnuts
Altered from the Babycakes Spiced Marble Doughnuts

1 1/2 + 1/3 cup gluten free mix (I used bob's red mill)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
a few shakes of cinnamon
a few shakes of nutmeg
1 tsp maple extract (or vanilla)
3 tbsp cocoa
3 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3/4 cup warm water
Hot water

Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a doughnut tin with non-stick spray, and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients and spices (except cocoa powder)
Divide the dry ingredients in half, and mix the cocoa into one half of the dry ingredients until it's well combined.
In another bowl, mix together the falx seeds, maple extract, and oil. Divide in half and add half to each side of the flour mixture.
Add hot water to each side, until it reaches a batter consistency.
Add the chocolate to the plain batter, and marble it.
Spoon into the doughnut tin, using well oiled fingers to spread it around.
Bake for 15 minutes, until well done!
Top with sugar and cinnamon mixed together if you like! Tastes best the first day!

January 7, 2012

Holiday Roundup- We Stop in NYC for something special...

So on the way to visit my grandmother, we made a stop off in the Big Apple!
And by stopoff I mean we drove around vaguely lost for a few hours gawking at things. New York City is pretty cool! Expensive, but cool!

However, while we were there, I did pick up something for myself! The next day when I woke up in Jersey, I had these to tide me over:
That's right! I went to Babycakes!

Here's my review: The shop is cute, but tiny, however the people working there are super nice! I asked for 6 random gluten free cupcakes, and it came to 28$. This is pretty expensive, but frankly, about what you'd pay for a regular cupcake in a fancy cupcake store. 

I have no idea exactly what flavors I got, but I'll estimate. There was a minty chocolate one that was frankly, delicious in taste. The carrot one was also really good, as was the lemon one. The other ones didn't really stick out for me, but all of the cupcakes tasted pretty good!

The icing was the real winner for me. It was divine! DIVINE! I actually pulled the icing right off the top of the cupcake and ate the cake, and then the icing separately. This was really simple to do as you have to keep them refrigerated. (Since the icing is made with coconut oil, if it's left out in the warm it'll melt!)

The cake itself was a bit dense for my tastes, but still tasted pretty good. It was a bit crumbly, but not as much as I've seen, so probably mid-high in density quality. It tasted really good though!

So the cupcakes were delicious, even my skeptical mother thought so!

So, if you're ever in NYC, I recommend a quick stopoff at Babycakes to pick up one of their cupcakes. I thought they were really good!

January 6, 2012

Holiday Roundup- Part 2! Brunch with the Second Family!

A few days after Christmas, we gathered for the annual meetup with my mother's bestfriend/my second mother's family, this year for brunch!
My mom brewed some coffee, and everyone (except me, as I am not big on coffee) drank copiously. 

Barb looking on to the mass amounts of foods. There were lots of non-me food, but I made some GF chocolate chip waffles, and had some potatoes baked with olive oil, garlic, and oregano. Nom nom!

Barb's dog Lily was a big hit with the little kids! 

My niece enjoys some fresh orange slices! I too embibed in the fresh oranges. They were delicious!

Lily the Dog was also a fan with the adult guests at the brunch!

So there was that brunch.... we left the day after to travel down to the states to visit my grandmother! And we also visited a special place in New York City... More information tomorrow!

January 5, 2012

Holiday Roundup Day 1

It's time for my 

We (this being Myself, Matthew, my sister Shanta, and my mother) began the day at my mother's house in the country, getting up and dragging ourselves into clothes and then into the car, driving to town to open presents at Jolene's (another one of my sisters) house. We were greeted by this:
This is Jolene's youngest boy. (She and her husband Ryan have 2 boys, and a girl in the middle) He was pretty excited to see us!

So we began opening presents, with two helpers to hand them out:

Also, as an aside before I get into my "Great Present Awards" how cute are these pyjamas? 
My sister Shanta (seen here) and I loved the green dinosaur!

So anyway, here's a rundown of some great presents given this year:

I'm proud to say one of my gifts made the list, a mustache keychain that says "Hello there" in a vaguely George Takei style voice when you press a button on the side.

A baseball glove which was quite popular!

My grandmother gave Matthew and I a really super cute kitchen utensil themed clock! (The hour/minute/second hands are a fork knife and spoon!)

My sister Krista got an electric wok from Jolene!
Matthew got Settlers of Catan from Me!
My Neice got a dog robot thing from her parents. While the rest of the adults found it sort of creepy, she loved it! 
After presents we hung out for a little while longer, where my youngest nephew was in love with Matthew (he has been since the first time they met when he was a few months old!)


So we ventured back to my mother's where more family members were coming for Christmas dinner. After we all took a brief nap, it was up and at em for Dinner!

Getting Caught up (My nephew Ryan, Sister Cindy, and sister Trish)
I can see Infinity! (My Brother Pete)
So they all had turkey and such, and as the only vegan I had my special "Vegan Plate"
The Vegan Plate
What did it contain?
Carrots, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Mashed potatoes, Spinach Salad, and Tofu cooked in maple syrup. 
From another angle
After that we all slowly dispersed, bellies full, and Christmas Day was done.

January 2, 2012

Still Away Quick Update!

Hello internets!

Sorry about the absence, I've been visiting family, and my access to internet is INCREDIBLY limited! Despite this, I return to Montreal on thursday, so I will update on friday, saturday, and sunday each with little updates on what i've been up to for the past two weeks!

See you friday!