Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cozy Weekend: Heart Shaped Casserole & Banana Maple Muffins

Portland. Spring. Overcast. Rain.  I can either hide under the blankets and watch the food network all weekend (not a bad idea!), or I can take advantage of a few more days of perfect baking weather.  Warm oven as a mood lifter? Alright.  Wear a summer dress in the warm kitchen because it's too cold to wear it outside?  Okay.

Sunday morning breakfast: Banana maple muffins with golden raisins, mandarin orange zest, and maple glaze.  I started with the banana chocolate chip muffin recipe from The Joy Of Vegan Baking, replaced the chocolate chips with golden raisins, used maple syrup instead of water, added the zest of one mandarin orange + cinnamon + nutmeg, then glazed  with a mixture of maple syrup + vanilla + powdered sugar.  So yummy, warm and sweet.   They're quick to throw together, too.  Only 45 minutes from open cookbook --> mouth.  To make them just a little bit healthier I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose white. 

Friday (and Saturday) night's dinner was a heart-shaped casserole inspired by the Creamy Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe from Vegan Yum Yum.  Except when I went to make it I didn't have any ingredients from the original recipe and had to wing it with what my pantry had in stock.

The filling was spinach penne, cremini mushroom, kale, and onion with a vegan cheesy sauce.  This was topped with buttery seasoned bread crumbs, then baked for 25 minutes in a 425 degree oven until golden brown and bubbly.

Mmmm, warm and saucy.  Tastes good warmed up the next day, too.  So, home baked meals, hot coffee and quality time indoors will keep me cheery over this dreary, grey weekend.  These two have the right idea:

 Happy long holiday weekend :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Chef Tim's Okonomiyakisoba Calzone

Wow, have I really been away for a month?  My sister was in town and all I wanted to do was hang out with her before she had to leave for the summer.  I forgot about my camera most of the time, but I did manage to snap a few photos of some food.

But first.... before I show you what I've been up to in the kitchen, I want to showcase an amazing creation by Chef Tim.  This is the most exciting thing I've eaten in a long time.
This is a vegan okonomiyakisoba calzone.  Looks dreamy, yes?  Let me break it down for you:
Chef Tim started with vegan okonomiyaki, which I would describe as a Japanese pancake made with rice flour, cabbage and green onion.  This by itself is super tasty.  But of course he didn't stop there....
He wrapped it up in pizza dough with some yakisoba noodles, sweet & savory okonomiyaki sauce, and mushrooms sauteed in sake.  After 20 minutes in the oven we had:
The top is sprinkled with seaweed.  I can not describe in words how yummy this is.  Chef Tim really likes to show me up in the kitchen these days with his creativity and knack for putting things together that I would never think of.  This just means lots of good food for me, and until he makes his own food blog I'll be showing off his creations here.  He tries really hard to stay away from my camera.  Here he's being chased by his pizza that really wants a photo...

So I guess it's time for a few random things I made over the past month. Probably kind of boring compared to Chef Tim's calzone.  

 A veg sushi feast for mother's day.

Two peas curry over red quinoa.

And some late night chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.

Have a great long weekend!