Blueberry Hill

I think I remember a dirty joke from my elementary years that had something to do with blueberry hill…

Moving on.

The point of today’s lesson is not, in fact, vulgar in nature– it is that blueberries can easily turn an already delicious biscuit into something ambrosial. Case in point:

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits with

Warm Blueberry Compote

It even looks like something the gods would eat…

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients:

 

11/2     cup all-purpose flour
2           tsp baking powder
1/2       tsp salt
1/4       tsp baking soda
1 1/2    cups cake flour (or pastry flour)
9           Tbs cold vegetable margarine, cubed (or 1/2 cup + 1 tbs)
1 1/2    cups vegan buttermilk (I made my own by mixing  1 1/3 cup almond milk with 3 tsp of apple cider vinegar)
2           Tbs Earth Balance, melted
.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 450*
.
WHISK together all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
.
PULSE together (in a blender) cake flour (or pastry flour), margarine, and butter. Blend just until the fats are mixed with the flour and form pea-sized flakes. Add the all-purpose flour mixture and blend until barely mixed. DO NOT OVER MIX!
.
ADD the buttermilk to the butter/flour mixture and slowly pulse just until mixed. Again, do NOT over mix.
.
TURN the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until the dough starts to hold together. Pat (don’t roll) the dough into a 1 inch thick circle. Using a SHARP knife or biscuit cutter, cut the dough into ten or twelve pieces. (I cut them into squares and a few triangles…)
.
BAKE the biscuits on a prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes. Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter during the last few minutes of baking.
.
NOTES:
.
Once again, do NOT over mix the dough! This will make the biscuits tough by breaking down the wheat flour and forming gluten strings (what makes dough stretchy). You want light and fluffy! 🙂
.
Make sure you use a SHARP knife or cutter to cut the dough. If not, the dough will be compressed, will not rise properly, and will be too dense. Also, don’t twist the cutter if you’re using a round cutter.

Blueberry Compote

Ingredients:

2         cups frozen blueberries
1/2     cup turbinado sugar
1         Tbs margarine (unsalted, or if salted, omit the rest of the salt)
pinch of salt
.
ON MEDIUM HIGH HEAT, mix together blueberries, sugar, butter, and salt in a small pot. Stir until the blueberries become soft and dark blue. Using a masher, mash the berries into a pulp, leaving a few for texture. Bring to a simmer and continue stirring until the sauce thickens and sticks to the spoon.
.
Serve immediately over fresh, hot biscuits!
Advertisements

14 October 2010. Tags: , , , . Food and Recipes. Leave a comment.

Green is Golden (and Delectable!)

Colorado, the harvest of zucchinis is upon us.

I will be the last to complain. Zucchini is one of my most favorite veggies. You can grill it. You can steam it. You can stuff it and saute it and…

make bread with it!

Today was supposed to be a “come-in-for-a-couple-hours” work day, but it turned in to an almost 7 hour day before I knew it. So cooking a big meal was out of the question for tonight. My fix was to bake my zucchinis and spinach and beet tops into a healthy, happy loaf of sweet bread (and a great way to rid my fridge of wilting greens).

I also got a few tasty muffins from the deal. I hear breakfast calling.

The recipe was adapted from here… but I feel like my version is different enough to post.

Enjoy!

Too-Good-to-Be-Healthy Zucchini Bread

.

5 TBS flax seed plus 1/2 cup water, mixed to a paste

2 medium zucchinis, shredded

1 ripe banana, mashed (very ripe is good)

2 cups shredded spinach or beet tops (or other leafy greens)

1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened

1/2 cup canola oil (or other light oil)

1 1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar

1/s tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

.

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup all purpose unbleached flour

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

2 1/2 tsp baking soda

.

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients together until well mixed. In a separate bowl, sift together flours, salt, baking soda and powder. Add slowly to wet ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Fill two bread pans evenly, or (as I did) fill one bread pan, and plop the remaining dough batter into greased muffin tins.

BAKE the muffins for about 30 minutes, and the loaf pans for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center of the loaf comes out cleanly.

Oh… and you can always add CHOCOLATE! A few handfuls of dark chocolate chips make this healthy bread taste way more sinful than it is. I love when that happens.




16 July 2010. Tags: , , , , . colorado, Food and Recipes. Leave a comment.

A Day Off = Grilled Pizza!

This has been a great week. I am really enjoying work (I pretty much get to talk to people all day), I just spent 2 1/2 fantastic hours at a Whole Foods cooking class (where I met some amazing people… more on that later), and I have been enjoying delicious, healthy meals with the newest roommate in my long history of housemates.

This past Sunday I had the day off, so I felt it was time to make some vegan pizza. But wait! Let us take it a step further: Grilled Vegan Pizza. With homemade vegan sausage. And homemade cheese sauce. And… okay, that’s all.

I first made the dough using a whole wheat crust found here (note: I subbed the white flour for wheat). I lightly grilled it and set it aside. Next it was time for the toppings.

I had made homade veggie sausages a few days prior for a Fourth of July hot dog bonanza (we’re All-America over here!) and used those for one of the toppings. I simply crumbled them up and sauteed them on the stove to give them a nice ‘n’ toasty look and taste.

Next, I (and Caleb… he helped too!) grilled some zucchini and onions and set them aside.

Now for the sauces.

I was lazy and just used the rest of my canned marinara, but I used this recipe from a VegWeb submitter for Cashew “Cheese” Sauce:

Ingredients

2 cup soy milk (I actually used coconut)
4 oz. pimento (I used 2 tsp of Miso paste in favor of these)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3-4 tablespoon yeast flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Pulse the cashews in a food processor until finely grated, then add additional ingredients. Process until completely mixed and smooth in consistency. Pour the mixture into a sauce pot and heat on low/med until it thickens and begins sticking to the spoon.

___________________

To assemble, the entire masterpiece, Caleb and I just took the marinara, coated the crust (while on the grill), and layered on fresh basil, veggie sausage, zucchini, onions, and topped it off with the “cheese” sauce. We let it grill for about 10 minutes or so (it may have been a little crispy, but I kind of like that, so it was okay), and then dug in!  To top it off, we also grilled some fresh peaches. Not bad for a sunny Sunday evening.

8 July 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Food and Recipes. Leave a comment.

FeatherBands and CCO Cookies!

First of all, I started my job today! Woo-hoo! My waistline will most likely thank me for getting out of the kitchen.

Second, I have been participating in lots of boredom busters. One of them was inspired by an Urban Outfitters find on my visit to Bekah in Charleston. I lusted over these adorable feathered headbands for over an hour (Bek and I even wore them around the store for a while), but finally decided that I shouldn’t be spending 30 bucks on something I really didn’t need.

BUT THEN…

I had the stroke of genius to simply make my own! I went to the hobby store, bought my “ingredients”, and went to work. Here is one of my creations. I call it, featherband 2.0 because I designed the feathers to be interchangeable with one another.

Of course, the other boredom buster has been baking and cooking. Today, I stumbled upon the most amazing, mouthwatering, chewy, hardy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. Peanut butter is used as an emulsifier, and while these are not fluffy cookies, they are worth their weight in salt*. I think I might tweak the ingredients just a bit in later endeavors to get just the right high altitude texture. But the original recipe is from Have Cake, Will Travel… and it is delicious as is (especially if you live at sea level). NOTE: you might want to bake them for only 5 or 6 minutes. 7 might be too long. (If they are crunchier then you like, simply put a piece of slightly damp bread in an airtight container with the cookies–but not touching them–and they will soften by the next day.)

Here is my only slightly modified version of the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies


NOTE: Note that these cookies could be dangerously addictive. I cannot repeat the sentiment that one friend (who is not a vegan and was unaware of this cookie’s specialness) expressed toward the cookies, but I can say that these are “meat-eater” friendly and almost too good.


1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour [scooped up and leveled]

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1/4 tsp baking soda

pinch sea salt

1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks

2 heaping  Tbs natural peanut butter (be sure it doesn’t have added sugar!)

1 Tbs vegetable or Canola oil

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 1/2 Tbs soy milk or other milk alternative (I used Coconut Milk)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Set oven to 375 degrees. Prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper or Silpat (or just lightly oil like I did). whisk all wet ingredients together until smooth. Add chocolate chips and mix to coat.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt together. add rest of dry ingredients to flour.
add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mix until well combined.

Divide into 8 equal portions, and place on cookie sheet. flatten a bit as these don’t spread much while baking. Feel free to eat a little dough at this point as well! Yum!

Bake for approximately 5 minutes: you want them to be golden brown on top.
leave on cookie sheet for about 3 minutes, then place on a rack to let cool completely.

Yield: 8 large cookies

*I meant to say salt. You see, salt has a very rich history. Literally. It used to be worth more than gold (hence the saying “He is/isn’t worth his weight in salt”) and was even used as currency for a spell. Today, we greatly over-use and under-appreciate this fine mineral. To read about salt, here is a great book about it.

14 June 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Food and Recipes. Leave a comment.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These delicious little delights are actually not that bad for you. They are high in protein and made with… wait for it…

Silken Tofu!

I know, it sounds weird, but it made them light and fluffy and delicious without use of excess fat. The recipe is not my own, it’s from SusanV. You can find the original, fat-free recipe here.

But I used the higher fat version (the second recipe on the page) because I want to find a really good cookie recipe… not a “health-nut” one. Oh, and I added about a cup of chocolate chips just to up the flavor. These are so good. They didn’t last long. Oops.

.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup unbleached flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup Earth Balance Margarine, softened

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup okara (or 4 ounces firm tofu, blended in a food processor until smooth)

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chocolate chips

.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix the dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar. Beat in the okara, pumpkin, and vanilla extract, until well-blended.

Add the flour mixture a little at a time to the wet ingredients, stirring well after each addition. Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to drop rounded tablespoons of dough at least two inches apart on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Bake for 10-14 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

12 June 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Food and Recipes. 1 comment.

Next Page »