So I’m sitting here with my internet connection flicking ON and OFF and trying almost-and-mostly valiantly to resist running to make Vichyssoise at such an hour of the night that I should be working.  But then I remember that brownies (or Ginger-browdnies as they might better be called) require nothing like reliable wi-fi to enjoy at all.  They don’t even require that much to talk about.  So fire up the notepad I do, and here they are. 

*insert yumptuous picture of chocolate-drizzled “I procrastinated so hard with these I had time to make them look ultra-fine” squares*

I think I wrote down the recipe for these, but then I deleted it, so I’ll write this down now with the clear warning that A: this is from memory and based on something I made last Thursday.  and B: I wanted them to be brownies *after* I pulled them out of the oven, so in theory they could be fudgier by a loooong shot to legitimately be called brownies, but they definitely weren’t cake. 

RECIPEE!  for Gingerbrowdnies.

1 1/2 cups flour

3 tbsp cocoa powder

3/4 tsp ginger powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of clove

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup sugar

2 tbsp molasses

1 tbsp Golden Syrup

1/3 cup oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup non-dairy milk

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

1. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl

3. Whisk together the wet and add to the dry, stir just to mix, pour into pan and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Or maybe more.  I did not measure the time and everyone likes their browdnie a lil different.

OKAY UPON CLOSER INSPECTION THEY ARE CAKES.  LITTLE, SPICY CAKES.  Ah well, maybe next time I’ll remember in enough to time double the fat and sugar in the recipe and roll around maniacally in the lushness that ensues.  Until then, these are healthy enough to …. eat them upon waking for a lovely chocolatey zing next to coffee.  And then maybe another square with lunch.  And by that I mean no, they have like, negligible nutritional content but also nothing glaringly obese.  

Oh right, and if you melt some chocolate with a splosh of oil in the microwave and then drizzle it over in neat-o checker patterns they get way prettier and if you put them in the freezer to set the chocolate really quickly be careful about smushing the tops of them in the process and if you do *that* are you brave enough eat the messy ones in a heroic move thus preventing any innocent eyes from even suspecting that non-perfect Browdnies exist?   Wellll??  okay good.

Oh yeah, and in other news, I got a job as the weekend cook at an organic vegan cafe, with free reign of a tiny kitchen and some wild ideas for upcoming brunch specials.  Oh the freedom, oh the power, I’m not to touch the hummous recipe but my boss pretty much asked me to go wild with the rest of the menu.  Can you believe that?  And I get to make a couple baked things every day, too, anything I want.  

Seriously, I woke up in the middle of the night with my heart all a-flutter, realizing while I usually drunkenly lament while roaming the city at night is that there is no good vegan reuben anywhere in Montreal (travesty!) I could actually do something about that if I just remember to order rye bread before the next weekend.   O_O   Amazing.

Not that I’m ever adverse to a little bit of light cooking in the morning – in fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the chance to play with cinnamon and wooden spoons that really rolls me out of those cozy quilted covers, moreso enticing than even the smell of warm oatmeal and just slightly-stewed fruit tucked inside like a juicy wholesome present.  I’ve never exactly been able to shake the oat habit, but it has undergone a little bit of a makeover since my raw experiment this summer.

And you know what I found out?  Raw oats are equally fabulous as the cooked kind.  They’re a different creature to be sure, but if you like your oatmeal on the chewy side you are in gold territory here.  As an added bonus: absolutely no cooking (obviously!).  Also, they apparently have seven times the iron and potassium as cooked oats, and when you’re eating full raw, a big bowl of warming grain is nothing to shake a (leafy green?) stick at.

Raw Oatmeal 

(what I actually like to do is grind up a whole batch of various grains in large quantities and use them for the next few days so I’m not always making a construction-zone-level racket during my supposedly zen breakfast-making experience!  I like to go with 60% oat groats / 30% kamut groats / 10% other grains like brown rice or kasha.

A spice grinder is your best bet here, and you’ll probably want to get some completely pulverized, and some just barely cracked, for the best result)

  • 1/3 cup ground up oat mix
  • 1 cup water (or raw nut milk)

Mix these two together in a bowl and leave to sit overnight, covered.  

In the morning, rise yawning and with clean tummy ready for food!  Leisurely stir in (not too strenuous now)…

  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed

Don’t skip these two!  They’re vital for that subtle “cooked” sweetness and texture.  Keep adding…

  • 1 piece of soft fruit, diced 
  • 1 tbsp each dried fruit & nuts 
  • pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • sea salt

And then stir it all together until it becomes smooth and porridgey, and adjust things to your liking.  To be totally honest I kinda like it as thin as milk, and really salty, and I like to throw in an extra sliced banana because banana is awesome, but this is breakfast and not building robots and it’s so entirely up to you that I feel almost silly suggesting any ratios on it.

Anyone else tried raw oats or would be willing to try it?  Let me know if you like it!  And when berries come into season… there’s the whole purple blueberry phenomenon to get excited about!  Hehe. ;)

Ah, remember the hearts? (now why can I never seem to keep from smiling at the thought of little cookie cutters?)

I made them to adorn a roasted eggplant & chestnut bisque (with blood orange and mint), but the trick is that I made them spicy!  It’s pretty simple to do, and I learned a new method for making polenta thanks to Mark Bittman – instead of boiling the water and then adding the cornmeal, you first whisk the cold water with the grain so there’s no lumps at all.  Granted, I’ve never had huge lump problems with polenta, but I do think this was easier.  It even accommodated my using a hand mixer attachment instead of a real whisk because, uh…. it was closer!  It’s SO almost the same thing.
Spicy Ras-el-Hanout Polenta Croutons

1 cup coarse cornmeal
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Ras el Hanout spice
1 tbsp olive oil
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornmeal, salt, spices and water completely.  Then, jack up the heat to boil and as soon as it does boil, reduce the heat to a very low bubble and stir every minute or so until the grain is completely cooked through and the porridge is thick.  It’ll be about 12-15 minutes.  
- Then, whisk in the oil and spread the polenta on a baking sheet lined with greased plastic wrap and refridgerate for at least 2 hours to firm everything up.
- When it’s firm – cut it up!  Cookie cutterized, or into little crouton-cubes, either way.  
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat and coat the bottom in olive oil.  Fry them up, about 5 minutes a side, until they’re nicely browned and slightly firm when you poke them.  Top onto salads or soups or just snack on them, they’re really nice.
Mmmm, speaking of cornmeal and how utterly delicious it is, I made some mini fluffy cornbreads from the Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas.  I’ve had this book since I was a little girl, or at least my mother always kept it’s dry-bound oft-used pages up on the bookshelf for as long as I can remember.  Granted it’s chock full of dairy and eggs, but what is viable for a vegan is really lovely, and the cornbread is no exception.

I replaced the egg with some flaxseed and added chopped thai chili and diced red onions, and they came out just barely sweet and nutty tasting!  This isn’t a big-ol sopping up chili with a hunk of hefty corncake kinda cornbread, but light and refined kind of puff of mais-muffin that’ got a crisp crust and is pretty low fat too.  Almost alarmingly charming.  ^.^

Chocolate Midget Cake with Tiny Ganache (pg. 24)

Happy birthday to KG!  It’s a 200th poststravaganza of um… well…
… that I finally made that cookzine!  Actually, a while back, I made this in the space of one week, entirely handwritten (legibly) and full of the same recipes I’ve used since high school to absolutely perfect results, plus some extra new concoctions and no shortage of adorable drawings of FOODS all over thar place!  I’m gonna put it up on my Etsy sometime tonight, so if you want a copy, it’ll be real easy.

There’s some from the blog, and some new inventions, as well as some from my friends.  Some are veganized versions of comfort food I grew up with (Coconut Peanut Noodles – although growing up we had it on oh-so N. American tri-coloured rotini).  There’s the Raw Rosewater Cheesecake in all it’s dreamy creamy glory!  My sister added in this amazing Quinoa Salad that relies on copious, copious amount of poppyseeds, and it totally transcends anything I thought it could be.

Hi Satchmo.  =^-^=

(maybe next zine I’ll make-a-up some kitty treats?  Catnip nori bites?)
I could also totally get behind a totally-soup zine.  But anyway, the ones in here are good.
Oh yeah!  Speaking of soup, I made a whole million of polenta croutons in twee shapes for a soup yesterday! 

But that’s next post.  :D

Guess what came in the mail todaaaaayyyyy!

Thusly, a half hour later, my very own, first ever NYC black and whites, with extra lime zest, making me feel better about having no vegan bakery in this city.  Something to remedy someday, but for to-day… I couldn’t be happier!  I’d seriously run out of cookie recipes in the books I had already, which you might believe at the rate that I make them, and that was stumping me all over the place.  
I’m thinking PB blondies and Irish Whiskey Cremes next.  Somebody hide the sugar from me!
Super Closeup Time ::: one of my favourite buttons, it says Fruit Spirit, kawaii kawaii.  :O
These are the best scones in existence.  Or they were, at least, while they still existed.  Seriously, mega delicate fairy eats, full of spices and almond, not sweet but buttery.  I used strawberries and plums and lemon juice instead of blackberries and orange and it was perfection, Emilie is a total genius with this kind of stuff, which I hardly need to say, but it’s true.

I curled up with them listening to Joanna Newsom on vinyl.  My roommate is so smart, she set up her record player behind the fridge, so we can listen to crackling guitars and also 80’s everything while we work!  I like nestling myself against the oven waiting for the timer to go off, and now it’s even better cause I can sing along to Bowie.

That’s her making pizza.  I love this photo. :)

This is one of those I can’t beLIEVE I didn’t write down what was inside these, mostly because I want to share it, not because I can’t probably make them again because I can, but they won’t be exactly the same and gosh knows I can’t recall the exact spices but I think there was cloves in there kind of dishes.  Yummy little nubbins!

Probably…
+ leftover rice
+ tahini
+ tamari
+ chopped apricots
+ ground almonds
+ ras el hanout
+ tomato paste
+ bread crumbs to roll in
but beyond that I haven’t a clue, oh well.  The sauce they’re sitting in is required, too, in this imaginary recipe, but thankfully is probably just your favourite blended roasted yellow pepper sauce with a lot of cracked toasted coriander added into it.

146 recipes down, only 104 left to go…

Yes I’m still on this Veganomicon quest, why do you ask?
Of course I started before that Julie & Julia movie.  Way before!
(psst, the Curried Udon Stir Fry is mouth-crack, couldn’t believe it took me that long to make it)
(pssssst, of course this post was posted on the 8th.  Why… do you ask?  ^_^;)

Really really really short post today.  (One can only ignore essays for so long).

I bought some fresh jujube dates yesterday.  Not like the little shrivelly things that come in the medicinal chinese soup packets (which are awesome, but different), no… more like crisp quince/apple-texture and date-flavour.  With a little olive-stone inside.  PLUS, resemblance to dinosaur eggs!  Neat.
That’s all.
Oh, except that I bought more nut butter.  mmmmmmmmmmmmm nuttery buttery.  It’s gonna be spice cake icing for this weekend, Thanksgiving.

It’s funny how cardboard folded to look like a pirate ship can make an ordinary grilled sandwich turn into a crazy adventure of proportions large enough to convince any red-blooded child that a bit of cajoling to go the White Spot restaurant is a good idea.
This place is not vegan.  We’re in memory lane right now.

See, they had this ship, right?  It had little holes for a drink and an ice cream, and your burger and fries came in the hold.  Perhaps most importantly – your straw was the freaking masthead!  Shiver me timbers, that’s amazing.  When you’re a kid.

They called it a Pirate Pak and I obviously took it home a few times to play with, the same way I kept those little plastic swords that came with the fruit salad when we went out to chinese buffet restaurants with the odd jello desserts and the deep-fried everything.  They changed up the design of this thing a few times.  I remember running across it a few years ago with a sheet of stickers included so you could add characters and windows on top. !

See the bliss?  The feeling of specialhood?  I’m completely serious here, those fries were absolutely epicly delicious, because they came in a boat.

So here’s my thought… I know some of you are in B.C., and have a White Spot nearby.  I’m not advocating you buy anything there, but if anyone wants to go on a Mischievous Mission™ to obtain just the ship itself and then send it to me, I will fill it with my own, painstakingly authentic vegan version of the classic Pirate Pak meal.  
New Vegan Menu:
~ Burger with secret O Sauce and cheese
~ Deep-fried french fries
~ a soft drink (organic root beer!)
~ soft serve vanilla ice cream
and I almost forgot –
~ a chocolate gold dubloon !
(I will also obviously send back your way a special east coast/montreal specialty, if you can think of something specific, or I’ll just send something cool ;)
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