Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dorot Garlic and Herbs

I am a total sucker for garlic and ginger. If I could, I would put those 2 things in everything I eat. I was buying fresh ginger and garlic every week and not using all of it before it went bad. While at Sunflower recently, I discovered Dorot Garlic and Herbs.
How cool are these? You keep them in your freezer and then pop the frozen cubes into any recipe you are making. Tonight, I made general tso gardein with stir-fry vegetables. I just threw a couple garlic and 1 ginger cube with the vegetables and the frozen cubes melted down. I am in love!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vegan glazed lemon hand pies

Every time I mention wanting to make hand pies, people ask, "What are hand pies?" To which I answer, "Have you ever had a Hostess fruit-filled pie?" Those are hand pies...aka handheld pies. I remember hostess lemon pies being absolutely divine and I was determined to find a recipe for vegan lemon hand pies.

I have my first meyer lemons this year and they are huge (tree was just planted in the spring)! I rounded up a bowl of lemons and got to work on this recipe from Vegan Crunk.

Vegan Lemon Curd (recipe by Melisser Elliot)
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from about 10 small lemons)
½ cup water
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
⅛ tsp.sea salt
Zest of 2 lemons, grated with a microplane grater
⅓ cup plain soy creamer
2 Tbsp. soy margarine (I used Earth Balance)

Combine the lemon juice, water, sugar, cornstarch, and sea salt in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and stir in the lemon zest. Heat on medium, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a full boil (about 10 to 15 minutes). Allow to boil for one minute undisturbed. The mixture will be thick and start to turn a little clear. Remove from heat.
Stir in the soy creamer and soy margarine. Whisk until margarine is melted and everything is fully combined. Allow the lemon curd to cool to room temperature in the saucepan. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate.

Fried Pies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp.sea salt
1 tsp.baking powder
⅓ cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. bourbon (I didn't have bourbon, so I used rum)
2 cups canola oil, for frying
2 Tbsp. sugar, for sprinkling over the cooked pies

Pie Glaze
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp powdered soy milk
Enough soy creamer to make a liquid consistency glaze

Combine ingredients in a bowl right before you start frying the pies.
Set aside.

Instructions for the fried pies
Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
Cut in the shortening. Pour the water and bourbon into the dry mixture. Stir to combine. Lightly knead the dough to form a thick dough ball. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Separate the dough into 12 equal-sized balls. Lightly flour a clean surface and roll out one dough ball into a 5-inch circle.
Place one rounded tablespoon of lemon curd in the center of the circle. Lightly spread it around, leaving plenty of room around the edges (I didn't spread the curd around...I wanted a lot of flavor in the middle).
Fold half of the circle over and press edges to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork and transfer the pie to a plate. Repeat with the other 11 dough balls.
Cover the plate with plastic wrap and place the uncooked pies in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill.

To cook, heat 2 cups of canola oil in a large sauté pan (I used a deeped pot because the bubbling oil scared me). Heat for about 10 minutes, or until the oil reaches 375 degrees—you can test the temperature with a metal candy thermometer.
When the oil is hot, place as many pies into the pan as will fit without touching each other. Fry for about 1-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown (could happen in less than a minute, so watch them!).
Remove the pies from the hot oil using a metal slotted spoon. Allow to drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle pies with sugar while they’re hot (or dip entire pie in the glaze) and set on parchment paper or plate to cool. Repeat with the rest of the pies.

My meyer lemons from the backyard
So pretty
Grated lemon peel
The ingredients for the lemon curd and pie crust
Mixing the curd
Lemon curd on the stove
The lemon curd starts to thicken
One of my cathrinholm pots...love it.
Pie crust dough
Dough ball
Rolling out the dough
Filling the pies
Pies ready to be chilled in the refrigerator
Frying up the pies
Pies are done when golden brown
This is the reason to glaze them...so they look purdy.
Ready for the giving....I ate 2...now I must give the others away!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Meatless Meatballs=Rad

I was grocery shopping at Sunflower Market yesterday and came across Nate's Meatless Meatballs in the frozen food section. I am always super excited to scope out new vegan items at the grocery store. I stroll every isle just in case there's something new. My sister hates shopping with me because she thinks I take forever. Whatever.

One thing that Mr. Hibbard LOVES is meatballs. I've never liked meatballs, but I figured if I was going to cook up the vegan meatballs for Matt, I might as well partake. These Nate's meatless meatballs are rad! I mean, like super tasty awesome amazingness! I put them on top of quinoa pasta and Sunflower Market basil and garlic pasta sauce with a side of steamed vegetables. Perfecto!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bungalow 360 Eco-Friendly Canvas Accessories

I got a Bungalow 360 wallet for Christmas, form my friend Christine (Thanks Christine!). 

I love it to pieces and just checked out their website.

They recycle, drive hybrids, use solar energy, love animals, etc. 
They have wallets, bags, hats, scarves and totes. I am obsessed with their whale belt...it's sold out. Boo! I'm gonna look around for it though...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Vegan sandwich thin pizzas

Thank god I was watching TV tonight. I saw a commercial for sandwich thins and they said you could use them for pizzas! Ding! I had some Oroweat whole wheat sandwich thins in the refrigerator, so I decided to try my hand at making mini pizzas. These turned out crisp and absolutely perfect. My new favorite 8 minute dinner!

Vegan Sandwich Thin Pizza
Serving: 1(for 2 servings, double ingredients)
1 Oroweat whole wheat sandwich thin
2 tbsp Fresh and Easy pizza sauce
2 tbsp mozzarella Diaya cheese
2 leaves of fresh basil

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
2. Lightly spritz a cookie sheet with cooking spray or olive oil
3. Separate the top and bottom pieces of the sandwich thin
4. Spread 1 tbsp of pizza sauce on each piece (2 tbsp total)
5. Sprinkle 1 tbsp Diaya mozzarella cheese on each piece (2 tbsp total)
6. Sprinkle fresh basil on top of each piece
7. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes and enjoy!

Your ingredients
 Spreading on the pizza sauce
 Top with cheese and use awesome herb scissors to cut your fresh basil (thanks Allison)
 Before they go in the oven
 All ready for oven
 Fresh out of the oven
 Close-up finished vegan sandwich thin pizza
 Bon appetite!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Flossing...officially a habit

Over thanksgiving, my mom mentioned that a connection exists between oral health and mental health. Poor oral health has been linked to Alzheimer's, with many studies being conducted in the medical field to find out more about the connection. It clicked with me that I need to pay better attention to my teeth. Every time I go to the dentist, he tells me that I need to floss more. I laugh because I just never floss...ever. On December 1st, I committed to flossing every night for 31 days. I am now at day 34 and going strong. Even if I am super tired at night, I just think of my dentist (and my mental health), and I pull out the floss. I hope my dentist notices the difference on my next visit and that my brain notices my new habit, too!

I like Crest Glide floss
 But I adore Reach cleanpaste

Christmas 2010

The holidays seemed to fly by this year. I just took the decorations down and I already miss them. I loved spending time with my family and friends and I also got some very thoughtful and amazing gifts this year. I got a sweet beginner's knitting gift (yard, needles and knitting book), lots of gift cards, 180 ear muffs (go behind your head), a Le Creuset Caribbean Blue iron pan and dutch oven, salad dressing maker, herb scissors, an eco-friendly wallet, some games, a glass fruit bowl, a rad pair of cowboy kickers slippers, etc.

I hung out with my gal pals Kimberly, Christine and Allison right on Christmas eve eve (23rd). We sat outside at AZ88 and it was coooooooold.
 Allison and her family get their nails done together every Christmas eve. I didn't even know nail salons were open on Christmas Eve! We had a blast! I wore my fair isle reindeer sweater and Grinch converse...totally festive attire.
 I got plaid nails, Allison got snowflakes, Christie got gold glitter gel and Christine got red.
 On Christmas eve, my grandma, uncle wayne and aunt Kim, cousin Rachell and sister Christie came over for dinner. They all had food from Boston Market. Matt and I had Gardein 7 grain crispy tenders, rosemary garlic potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce.
 Mr. Hibbard and I in our festive sweaters
 On Christmas morning, we opened our presents. Mr. Hibbard got me 2 Caribbean Blue Le Creusets! A dutch oven one and a skillet one. They are beautiful!
 It's so super fancy....puts my other pans to shame!
 My grandma got us a nice fruit bowl (and fruit)
My sister got me these rad slippers called Cowboy Kickers from Orvis. They are vegan. Love Them.
I had Mr. Hibbard pull down some tangelos for me, so I could make some juice for breakfast (I used like 50 of them for a small jug of juice)
 50 tangelos=this jug
 I made vegan french toast for my sister, Mr. Hibbard and myself. My sister said she couldn't tell it was vegan. That's pretty awesome!
 Here is Mr Hibbard and my sister at Christmas breakfast on the patio