I have been cooking up a storm recently, which is great because it gives me something to post about. Of course, I haven't written a full post in over a week, which makes one think that maybe it's because I haven't been posting that the cooking frenzy ensued. This conundrum has the makings of a chicken versus egg fiasco, so I shall leave it here and move on to more important things...
...like lemon bars!
This is about Hero Trial #4 in my Quest for the Perfect Lemon Bar. This particular recipe was for Cream Cheese Lemon Bars with KitKat Crust, which I found here, and then mated with the crust from this one (I didn't have KitKats, and besides, that just sounded gross to me). I enjoyed them, but Red said they were way too sweet. This surprised me, because usually there's no such thing as too sweet for Red. Then I noticed that while I was nibbling lady-like little petit four squares (as pictured above), he was trying to consume a man-sized slab at a time. Anyway, there's no reason to make one of Red's favorite desserts if I'm the only one who'll eat them. So the recipe was once again discarded. On to the next version.
I also made strides against my bread phobia last week. I decided that Friday would be amateur stromboli night, so I made a batch of Vegan with a Vengeance pizza dough to get the party started. I've had mixed results with this dough, with results that alternate between crusty perfection and wheat colored Play-Doh. Friday's attempt was good, and I think I've got my formula down now: substitute no more than a third of the AP flour with whole wheat pastry, add a couple of tablespoons of nooch with the dry ingredients, and decrease the overall flour content by about a quarter cup. Delicious. I made half the dough into stromboli rolls (mine was filled with provolone, broccoli, and mushrooms) and the other half into Becks' garlic knots. Very good.
And while we're on the subject of very good - Vegetation's white bean cutlets are outstanding! I made them for dinner one night last week, which I ate smothered in onion gravy, and then had another sliced with honey mustard at lunch the next day. Bean enjoyed them, too.
Since these little legumey gems were inspired by Veganomicon's chickpea cutlets, I'm now inspired to give that recipe another go. I wasn't particularly impressed last time, but now I"m wondering if I didn't miss out. Whatever the case: thanks, Vegetation!
I'm also coming along on my skinflint/pantry cleanout project. So far I'm down:
1 can chickpeas
1 can white beans
1 bag whole wheat hot dog rolls (which were challenging me to no end)
1 small bag frozen broccoli (which had taken up almost permanent residence in our freezer)
The disposal of those hot dog buns were a minor triumph for me, as well as a great leap for both morning nutrition and white trash cuisine. They'd been sitting on my counter ever since our last chili dog night, and I was perplexed about how to use them before they went bad. Then I had an inspired moment and decided to incorporate them into a dish that would also tackle my recent inability to get any vegetables in my face before noon.
And now, behold: soy-free vegan strata!
This is from one of Bryanna Clark Grogan's recipes, which I found here. There's a very kind soy-free substitution in the introduction beneath the title, which I used here along with leftover broccoli, mushrooms, and onions. The result was light and tasty, different from the usually egg-milk-cheese breakfast dish but still quite yummy. I'd make it again even if I didn't need to dump a bag of hot dog buns.
I also did my fair share of not-cooking this weekend. On Saturday, we went to Red's Brazilian place, where much meat was on offer. And then on Sunday - Red's acutal birthday - we had frozen convenience meals. And mini birthday pies:
Pecan ones, to be exact, made from the recipe on the Karo syrup bottle. I made it conventionally, but as I mixed I wondered about egg replacements in the recipe. I only needed one when I cut the recipe by thirds for our wee pies - would I be able to do it with a flax egg next time? We'll wait and see on that one.
Finally, it's Shrove Tuesday - or Mardi Gras, if you happen to be on the Gulf Coast (it's not just in New Orleans, y'all - Mobile, Alabama actually celebrated it first). For those of us who aren't flashing for beads or drinking Hurricanes from novelty cups, this traditionally means pancake suppers. Or in the case of our family, pancake breakfasts. Red doesn't particularly care for breakfast at dinner time (unless it's following a helacious Long Island Iced Tea bender), so Bean and I had them this morning at seven thirty. Once again, VwaV came to the rescue with a pancake recipe, which I made with whole wheat pastry flour. Mine were a little bigger than silver dollar sized, and accompanied were by some strawberry sauce and an Amy's breakfast sausage.
Since Bean and strawberries don't agree with each other, she had quarter-sized plain pancakes.
That's it from our neck of the woods. Have a fun time today, wherever you are :)