November 15th, 2005

unusual fruits and vegetables

For some reason, my local grocery stores carry a few very odd items:

-Yucca root
-Cactus pear
-Persimmon
-Quince

Yes, I'm googling for more information, but I'd also like to know your favorite culinary uses for these things ^_^

Also, since it's close to Thanksgiving, a lot of places are clearing out squash. You know the big ones that look sort of like geese, with a long "neck" and a large oval "body" at one end? They're all labeled as decoration, but sold in bins with the acorn and butternut squash. Can you eat those?

vegan paneer

Tonight we tried to make paneer from soymilk following a recipe posted in vegrecipes. We added lemon juice to a slowly boiling pot of soymilk until the curds separated, then strained them and pressed it on a cutting board. The stuff hasn't dried yet, and the three batches all came out a little differently. We were wondering if anyone else has tried to do this? Vegan paneer masala sounds like the bomb right about now. I checked the memories but don't remember seeing anything like this in there. Thanks.

In Austin this weekend!!

The Very Best Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner Cooking Class
Saturday, November 19th, class 9:00am-12:00pm, lunch 12:00-2:00pm

This time each year we hold a special Thanksgiving Dinner class to demonstrate how to prepare an incredible vegan feast that will please even the staunchest meat-eaters in your clan. Thanksgiving is about sharing time and joy with family and friends, and we all know that good food plays a big role in this celebration. With the knowledge and insight Dawn will share, you learn how to prepare a healthy and even healing spread that will rival any conventional holiday meal in variety, flavor, presentation, and bounty.

Come hungry because we are making a feast! Learn to make all of your favorites without the guilt and upset stomach. These Vegan recipes will fool even the meat eaters in your family. From homemade stuffing to pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole, your whole family will rave and beg for more.

The cost for this delicious and informative class is $55. It includes lunch, and you can bring a friend or family member $40. If you have taken this class before, remember that you can audit the class for just $25. We supply all the ingredients in this lecture/demonstration-style class.

Visit www.naturalepicurean.com for more info on events, and call 512.476.2276 to preregister for class!

'charming chocolate cupcakes' from how it all vegan

the other day, i was craving something sweet and decided to try the 'charming chocolate cupcakes' from how it all vegan.

and whoa, a number of things are wrong with the recipe...

1. the batter barely rose at all. i assume this is because the only rising agent is baking soda, but there is no vinegar in the recipe.

2. any recipe calling for 4 cups of liquid and 2 cups of flour is not going to yield 6 of anything. i actually got 18! if the batter had risen, i would have gotten even more. because it didn't (and i figured it wouldn't) i had to fill up the muffin cups right to the top.

3. they're actually nothing like cupcakes... cupcake-shaped brownies would be a better description.
they're incredibly heavy, rich, moist, dense and fudgey... like the perfect brownie. they taste, feel and look like brownies. (ironically enough, these are much more like brownies than any brownie recipe in HIAV... which all resemble cake.)

4. i used carob instead of chocolate. the recipe says substituting carob is okay - but as someone who bakes with carob all the time, i can tell you that carob is not always a good replacement for chocolate. it tastes completely different than chocolate, and i've had entire batches of things ruined because i used carob. for example, while maple syrup + chocolate results in a flavorful and rich dessert, maple syrup + carob equals... something really quite nasty that tastes like maple and carob. ew. anyway, i don't know if chocolate is stronger than molasses, but carob isn't, so each bite of these 'cupcakes' either tastes of molasses or of carob and molasses, which might be good for someone who likes molasses.. but i am not that person.

i love brownies, though, so i'm still eating these, but wow, stuff like this seems to happen a lot with 'how it all vegan' and 'garden of vegan', especially the desserts. i can't help but wonder if they even bothered to test half these recipes!

I love avocado's too

Ok guys this is a recipe which has been in my family since i was born and before.
This is one of my favorites and thought id share this with you as my first entry.
It may sound disgusting as avocado is seen as something savory. But please trust me on this, it tastes wonderful!

Filipino Avocado

1 Avocado (Ripe and soft to touch)

Sugar to taste

Soy milk (enough to make a consistency of a thick shake)

Mash the avocado with a fork until most of it is broken down into a paste.
Add sugar to taste and soy milk to a consistency of a thick shake or pudding.
Mix it all together really really well. And eat straight away.

This is just really beautiful :)

Hope you like it.

Awesome desserts?

We have decided to hold a Dessert Cookoff for New Years. I will be handling the non-ominvores. I need to cater to: vegetarian, dairy-free, low cholesterol and celiac (and possibly other!) requirements. All the sweets, puddings and desserts here and in vegan_cookoff are obviously vegetarian, dairy and cholesterol free. But can anyone particularly recommend spectacular vegan desserts which work well without wheat, oats, barley or rye?

I will definitely be making a vegan panforte*, for starters :-)

* a traditional Italian mixture of nuts and dried fruits, 'held together' with syrup. I have a medieval recipe somewhere... is there one in the Memories?
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