Sunday, April 27, 2008

Procrastination cooking

I have been cooking a lot lately, not just baking like I normally do but actual cooking. It's because I've reduced my work hours so I can work on my thesis. So instead of doing homework I cook, at least it's productive procrastination.

If you have read this blog before you may have picked up on the fact that I love combining fruit/fruit juice with savoury dishes. It's one way that I try to eat more fruit, I don't eat enough by itself. So I decided to try the orange, lentil and carrot soup here. I didn't use fresh coriander or yogurt, and used ground cumin and coriander instead of seeds. It was ok, but I found myself needing more stock and relying too much on my 'beef' stock for too much of the flavour. Perhaps it is because I didn't use the seeds. I might have try it again actually following the recipe before I judge it.

Next, I decided to try the tofu balls thanking to Cindy's post. I really enjoyed them, the peanut butter helps them to stick together, and peanut butter, soy sauce, breadcrumbs (or cornflake crumbs in my case) all together equals yummyness. I didn't use the onion it asks for because I didn't have any, but I don't think it mattered. Sorry for my pic, I ate all of the prettier ones first and then put the uglier ones in my lunch box with pasta. Everyone at work, commented they smelled great. I did however, learn through trial and error that if you don't roll them in flour you can dry fry them instead of having to use lots of oil. I'm going to skip the flour next time.

Next up, I decided to make some choc mint cupcakes from VCTOTW. These taste like mint slices in cupcake form. Mr T helped me out with the icing and decided to be a little creative with it as you can see below. I did however notice that the mint icing part was kind of watery, i'm not sure if that's because I used margarine instead of shortening but taste wise it really doesn't matter. I even made a couple of non mint icing ones for those crazy people who don't like choc mint combinations. My little teenage cousins commented they they can't believe that they are vegan, and I ever so wisely replied 'sugar is vegan, and sugar is yum'.

I've decided I've been eating way too much sugar lately, so I decided to bake a slightly healthier baked good to take to Melbourne vegan strength training session. I wasn't training but just went to support the guys with food and to chat and to eat of course. Mr T recently started going to the gym and attending Melbourne vegan strength sessions and raved about them, so I also wanted to see it for myself. I thought that both bananas and peanut butter make a good workout meal, especially if teamed with choc chips. A Google search revealed a recipe for Peanut Butter Banana muffins with Choc chips at Utopian Kitchen. I had everything except for the egg replacer and according to the recipe it was optional, and considering that banana makes a good egg replacer I decided to give them a shot. I also used all white flour because I didn't have any wholemeal. I had 3 small bananas, but half way through making them I dropped a banana on the floor so I couldn't use it. Taste wise they were great, however it didn't make enough for 12 muffins , only 11 and they were still kind of small. I'm not sure if that is because of the missing banana or the missing egg replacer. Maybe I'll make them for brunch next week. Here's a pic of them with Noah's Cherry cupcakes.

Here are some of the guys in action:

They also have non conventional methods like tire throwing

And circus acts :-)

Meanwhile, I was playing with one very affectionate cat called 'Nothing'

Hope you had a great weekend!


Theresa said...

Super cute kitty! And those muffins look really yummy. My muffins and cupcakes never rise and get big, which is a bit disappointing. I've been told it's due to my silicon pan. The cupcakes look really yum, too. Is that chocolate syrup on top?

Cindy said...

Glad you liked the soy bombs! Another winner from Post Punk Kitchen. I will try your flourless dry-fry technique next time.

Those choc mint cupcakes look delicious! I had a similar runny-ness issue when I replaced shortening with vegan marg in an icing recipe. Do you know anything about getting a hold of shortening? Is copha technically vegan shortening?

kristy said...

Theresa, it's chocolate ganache basically soy milk mixed with melted choc chips. My muffins normally rise and I'm by no means a good baker so I'm guessing it is your silicon pan.

Cindy,I hear that you can get shortening at David Jones but I've haven't searched for it. Copha is vegan but I don't think it would work in the same way as shortening because it becomes quite hard.

kham_ing said...

not sure if it will help,
but if you use an electric mixer to blend the wet and dry ingredients muffins tend not to rise to well,
also your baking powder/self-raising flour might have died.