Vegan baking

Marianne and I have a new obsession. Vegan baking! See, Lent started less than a month after Christmas this year which is far far too early! not enough cheesecake, not enough tiramisu, not enough real chocolate icecream….ehm! sorry! mouth watering there a bit….

So, she made some vegan peanut butter cookies…and I am responding with macaroons, which she might be careful trying because last time I checked, my brother HATED coconut flakes (weirdo!)

So….this is a modified version of this recipe. Yes, I rarely use a recipe as is because life doesn’t work that way 😛

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups of sweetened coconut flakes
2/3 cups of sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 almond slivers
2 tbsp applesauce

Turn up the oven at 350!

First, I toasted the almonds in a little saucepan on low heat then went at them with a knife….a nice semi fine chop


Then, in my mixing bowl, I mixed the coconut with the sugar..cute white flakes!


Vanilla extract (real! not imitation..yesI I listen to Ina!) added to the applesauce first. Because I am all about even distribution.


And it all comes together!!


I’ll spare you the gross details but I went at the mix by hands and that was the end result


Finally, I scooped the mix using my ice cream scooper. And because my scooper is not the lever kind, that was also messy.

Please ignore my cookie sheet’s condition. An empanada incident caused some battle scars.

By now the oven should be nice and warm, I popped the cookie sheet in there and set my timer for 10 minutes. Which was enough time to upload pics and cleanup. Or, if I was already in my new apartment, just enough tine to load the dishwasher….


So…first lesson, I should get parchment paper..that’s probably why I am not gonna have nice pictures of the cookies in a plate.
Second lesson, the cookies need some serious watching….you want them toasted but not burnt on the bottom which is very easy to happen….

But hey! Vegan macaroon with some good soy chai tea? not too bad!

UPDATE!
AFter the 10 minutes the cookies were still too soft. I placed them on a greased foil paper and put that for another 20 minutes in my toaster oven at 350. THAT did the trick. The result was twice baked macaroons that were very crunchy on the outside…yum!

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Catfish casserole

For a person who used to disagree with her mom all the time, I sure cook a lot of her recipes.

This is an oldie that I used to refuse to eat until I cooked it myself (i.e.: made my own twist). I am a very finicky tomato sauce maker. I have to have the right ratio of onions to garlic, the garlic HAS to be freshly chopped (none of that powder stuff for my tomato sauce!) and a little more freshly ground black pepper than most people use. And a bit of red wine wouldn’t hurt it either!

I am especially proud of myself for managing to take all these pics while cooking and cooking while starving. Nothing makes a girl hungry like an hour long Developers’ meeting 😛

So, Here goes. (forgive the shaky pictures. I was THAT hungry)

Ingredients:
1 diced onion
1 diced thin garlic clove
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can tomato sauce
salt, pepper. Spices you like in a tomato sauce
2 fillets of catfish
1-1/2 cup of small grain wheat

Saute the oil, onions, and garlic in a sauce pan for a few minutes till they get tender. Dump on the tomato sauce. once it starts to boil, lower it to a simmer. Add salt, pepper and spices to taste (adding a splash of red wine won’t hurt) and let all simmer for a few minutes.

While the sauce cooks, wash the wheat grains thoroughly and spread in an oven-safe dish. lay the catfish fillets on top and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Once the sauce is cooked, pour that over the fish and wheat. Cover the whole thing with foil and put into a preheated oven at 350 degree.

It should not cook for long. In about 20 minutes, you end up with beautiful cooked grains and nice flaky fish 🙂

Whoever said you have to have white wine with fish is mean and controlling. I used in the sauce a Beujoulais wine which is a french burgundy wine. It’s a little tart but not overly dry at all. Thanks to my dear brother for introducing me to it.

Fish head stew pics!

Yup…many many bits of fish head and marrow…look at that!

Ingredients:
– 1 large fish head. I used cod. Catfish works too
– 1 large onion, diced
– 2 large garlic cloves, diced
– 1 can of diced tomatoes
– 1 can of tomato sauce
– 1/3 cup of flour
– Spices: salt, pepper, all spice, cumin, cumin, cayenne

There are two ways to cook this:
Easy: in the slow cooker. Just dump everything but the flour in and cook on low for 5-7 hours.

Little more complicated: In a large pot, on medium high heat, saute onions for two minutes, then add garlic. After another couple of minutes, add the tomatoes (both kinds) and once all is boiling, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add spices, the fish head and cook for another hour. Finally sprinkle the flour and stir quickly..

Serve with nice crusty bread like this…

This is Pugliese bread that I got fresh from costco. It is yeasty and slightly salty and heats up very nicely in the toaster oven….mmmm

Fish head stew

It is not for the faint of heart. Like my husband who decided to add insane amounts of cayenne and cumin and squeeze lemons. Needless to say his bowl met an unhappy end.

I, on the other hand, was just fine with a bowl of the tomato, fish marrow-filled goodness along with a couple of pugliese bread slices. YUM-E

Will post pics and the recipe tomorrow.