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Applesauce Yeast Bread

Hey, what do you know? Looks like my photography skills are starting to improve! (Or, maybe it’s because I’m using an actual camera -gasp- as opposed to my iPod?)Image

I started this bread at 4:00 this afternoon, and it came out about a half hour ago. Was it worth the wait?Image

Did this little piggy eat 3 slices?

Oh, yes.

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The recipe can be found here. The one and only thing I added (apart from using unsweetened applesauce, but it shows you how to fix that in the recipe anyway) was a preheated pan and boiling water to create steam in the oven. This produces a thick, chewy crust. I adapted this method from The Cook’s Bible by Christopher Kimball. I actually own several of his books, and for those of you who have read them or any of the articles from Cook’s Illustrated magazine, I bet you know just as well as I do: this guy knows what he’s talking about.Image

Okay, that pic could have used a little work. But I was really anxious to eat it after being surrounded by that intoxicatingly phenomenal aroma all day, so … shaddup!

Oh, also, my yeast was a little old, and my house was cold, and blah blah, so my waiting/proofing times and whatnot were a tad bit longer than those in the article. But give or take 15 minutes, and you’ve got yourself a loaf, baby.

Thanks to Champa over at her food blog Versatile Vegetarian Kitchen for the recipe! Definately check out some of her recipes and her page :)

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 2, 2011 in Baking, Information, Low-Cal, Vegan

 

Slow-Cooker Chicken Stew

I apologize (I do that alot) for not posting for quite a while. I’ve been completely wrapped up in grade 8 homework assignments, and then I had to skip school yesterday because I was really sick. Don’t worry though, I feel much better today :)

When you’re sick, all you really want is chicken soup, right? Unless, of course, you’re vegetarian/vegan, but don’t you still long for the hot, soothing broth, and just-tender veggies? Of course you do, it’s the ultimate comfort food. I threw all my ingredients in my slow-cooker this morning before heading off to school, then when I got home I cooked and added my chicken, but I really don’t think it matters. It’s healthy, hearty and oh-so delicious!

Slow-Cooker Chicken Stew
Serves about 9

  • 1 cup carrots, coarsely chopped (I actually used baby)
  • 1 cup celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tomato, cut up into small-medium chunks
  • 1 cup peas (mine were canned)
  • 8 cups chicken stock (I didn’t have enough stock, so I used 4 cups of stock to 4 cups of water, but I bet it would be alot better this way!)
  • 1 whole red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme, devided into two 1/4 tsp
  • 2-3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I had a half of a leftover breast in the fridge which I heated up, and 2 more which I cooked just prior to throwing into the soup)
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  1. Combine the first 9 ingredients in the Slow-Cooker (only 1 sprig of rosemary and 1/4 tsp thyme) and cook for 8 hours on low (4 hours on high).
  2. When you have only about 30 mins remaining, place chicken in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cover with broth (or water) and the remaining herbs. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes, then turn the heat off and allow the chicken to sit in the hot stock for 15 minutes more.
  4. Puree 2 cups of your soup in a blender, or less if you like a chunky soup. Return to Slow-Cooker.
  5. Chop chicken into bite-size chunks (or however big you’d like) and add to the Slow-Cooker. Enjoy immediately, or wait about an hour, leaving the Slow-Cooker on “warm”.
  6. ENJOY!
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    This is how the soup looked BEFORE being pureed/chicken added.

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    AFTER being pureed, but before the chicken

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    The final result, after puree and chicken! Yummy!

 

Never, ever again

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Yeah… This is what happened when I tried to make pancakes. I ended up eating them half-burnt, half-batter. Great.
I’m not entirely sure where I went wrong… There are a variety of places…

  • I didn’t grease the skillet
  • I had no baking soda, and so subbed extra baking powder
  • I flipped the first ones (or attempted to) much, much too soon
  • I didn’t beat the egg whites to stiff peaks like was called for
  • If anyone has any vegan (I know I’m not, but I just adore vegan recipes!), low-cal, whole wheat pancake recipes for one, they’d be VERY much appreciated :) Thanks!

     
    2 Comments

    Posted by on November 21, 2011 in Breakfast, Information

     

    Layered Autumn Porridge

    Don’t hate me!

    I know… It’s been almost a week since I last posted! I swear I’m not lazy, but I just haven’t found the time to cook at all, not to mention I’ve been working on my food photography abilities (I have none.).
    I finally found the time yesterday, however, to capture the taste of autumn (once again in the form of porridge…) In a delightful breakfast even my dad thought looked and sounded pretty good. Enough to ask me when I got home from school what it was I’d had for breakfast.
    Please don’t be upset at the lack of a picture. I’m away from home right now, and I’ve been using my parents’ digital camera to improve my desperately in need of improvement photography.

    I absolutely adore the way this turned out. I’ve had a love for applesauce since the day I was born (and I constantly substitute it for butter in recipes!), so when my dad casually mentioned he had picked some unsweetened stuff up, I resisted my urge to down the entire jar and spread some on top of my creation. If you wanted, you could play around with the other ingredients, too, and tweak it towards your personal preference. I just love the way cinnamon and vanilla compliment each other, but you could use any fall-spice such as nutmeg, cloves or ginger… But I’m not so sure about replacing the vanilla.

    Layered Autumn Porridge
    Serves 1

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup water, or more, depending on how thick you like your porridge
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, more or less to taste, plus a sprinkle mire for garnish
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, more or less to taste
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • Splash of milk, dairy or non-dairy, optional
  • Method
    1) Combine oats and water in a small bowl or ramekin. Microwave on high for 45 seconds.
    2) Remove from microwave and cover oats with a layer of cinnamon, then drizzle vanilla overtop. Microwave for 10 more seconds on high.
    3) Spread layer of cold applesauce over your porridge. Microwave once again on high for 45-55 seconds. Serve with a splash of cold milk, soy or other, and enjoy.

     
    1 Comment

    Posted by on November 19, 2011 in Breakfast, Low-Cal, Microwave, Vegan

     

    Vegetable Borscht

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    I have officially broken away from cooker’s block! Tonight I made my wonderful family a nice, homemade, low-calorie, Vegetable Borscht. And they thought it wasn’t too bad (not to brag, but neither did I!). Plus, it was pretty cheap. Vegetables. Stock. Tomato paste. And some conventional items most everyone has in their pantries already. Lesson of the day: believe in yourself. And try to cut vegetables faster.

    There are a few comments I’m going to make here. Firstly, the beets. They MUST be peeled and sliced using rubber gloves to hold them, unless you want to look like a murderer for the next two weeks! As for the size they’re cut into, the recipe I used called for 1/2 inch pieces. I think mine were actually bigger, and bigger was better. Go for the one inch, baby.
    The carrots were much fewer than the beets, so I might increase them by 1/2 cup at the most.
    I used garlic-y tomato paste, and I think it had a better effect on the soup than plain Jain paste would’ve. I wanted to eat it straight out of the can. But I do have that mild obsession with garlic (maybe that’s why nobody talks to me anymore… I have a lot of friends…). I also increased the amount from 2tbsp to 2tbsp + 1tsp.
    The vegetable stock was also increased, from 1500mL to 1800mL, as were the mushrooms, from 13oz to 16oz… And I honestly could even have gone higher than that.
    Now that you’ve read the changes I’ve made, and will make in the future (the recipe is that great.) maybe you can even tweak this to your own personal tastes and preferences. Last but not least… I burnt the onions. Don’t do that.

    Vegetable Borscht
    Adapted from Company’s Coming: Soups
    Makes about 10 cups

    Ingredients

  • 1tbsp butter/margarine
  • 680g brown or white mushrooms, chopped
  • Medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 medium beets, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1800mL vegetable stock
  • 1 1/4 cups carrot, grated
  • 2tbsp + 1tsp tomato paste with garlic
  • 1/2tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2tsp pepper
  • 2tbsp lemon juice, bottled
  • 5tbsp sour cream (I used fat-free)
  • Method

    1) Melt butter or margarine in a large saucepan on medium-high until melted.

    2) Add mushrooms and onion. Cook 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and mushroom liquid has evaporated. (I repeat: DO NOT BURN)

    3) Sprinkle vegetables with flour. Increase heat and stir for 1 minute.

    4) Add the vegetable stock, beets, carrot, tomato paste, sugar and pepper; stir and bring to a boil.

    5) Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for about 45-55 minutes, stirring occasionally. By this time the beets should be very tender.

    6) Add lemon juice and stir.

    7) Carefully transfer about 2-3 cups of vegetables to a blender or food processor with a slotted spoon. Process until smooth and return to saucepan. Stir.

    8) Add sour cream, increase heat to medium, and whisk until the cream is gone and borscht is a lighter maroon colour. Serve immediately, or keep on low until you’re ready to serve.

     
     

    In need of ideas…

    It seems cooker’s (chef’s? I’m not that good…) block has finally struck in the frigid days of autumn, when all anybody really wants is to toss some veggies & stock in the slow-cooker and then come home to a drab-tasting meal.
    Or maybe I’m just lazy.
    Either way, it’s been a few days since I’ve had any ideas on what to cook. Whenever I come to the city on the weekends, my aunt always makes fish and veggies. Not that I’m complaining, (because I do love veggies, and I really prefer fish to any other meat) but it’s time for Caitlin to repay her family with a comforting, fall meal to show them how much she appreciates them. And stop speaking in third person, erm.
    But I have no ideas! I’ve been mindlessly browsing through cookbooks, with nothing but the sky-high sodium contents attracting my eye. But once you’ve hit the bottom, is there no where else to go but up? Something will be found, and shared, my friends! So stay by the computer, and if you happen to find any yourself, you know where you can leave a comment! Ciao :)

     
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    Posted by on November 12, 2011 in Information

     

    Baked Eggs with Meat, Basil & Tomatoes


    This is probably… the best thing I have ever eaten, in my life.
    I actually stumbled across a baked eggs recipe online a few weeks ago. Not knowing what it was, I asked my dad (who, if you don’t know, is a phenomenal cook and is always reading about new cooking techniques, ingredients and recipes). Surprisingly, he didn’t know either, but he looked it up in one of his cookbooks (The Cook’s Bible by Christopher Kimball, to be exact) and sure enough, there it was.
    So… I did what any aspiring cook would do and I made it. And it turned out terrific. I can’t put enough emphasis on it. It’s so good. Even my dad liked it, however, the recipe we’d been looking at called for bacon. And since I don’t eat any kind of fatty meats, that was an explicit no-no. Now, what I used to substitute may sound odd or gross, but I fried up some oven-roasted Tofurky slices (in olive oil, of course!), because even though I’m not a vegetarian, I have a love for tofu-based fake meats. Anyways, back to my dad… he didn’t like it. I mean, he didn’t hate it, but he actually had to give it to me, because I am 100% against food-wasting. But, of course, you can substitute my substitute with any reduced-fat or -sodium lunch/deli meat you want, and it. is. delicious.

    Baked Eggs with deli Meat, Basil & Tomatoes
    Serves 2

    Ingredients

    • 4 extra-large eggs
    • 2 slices preferred deli meat
    • 1/2 tsp olive oil
    • 1/2 large, ripe tomato, cut into 1″ squares
    • 4 basil leaves, roughly torn
    • Salt & pepper, to taste
    1. Preheat oven to 250*F. Bring about 6 cups of water (give or take) to a boil. Butter (I used margarine) 2 small ramekins. Fry [meat] in olive oil, 3mins per side.
    2. Fit [meat] in ramekins, then break 2 eggs into each one. Season only slightly with salt and pepper.
    3. Tear 2 basil leaves into each ramekin, then add tomato cubes (even distribution! Sharing is caring!).
    4. Place ramekins in a small roasting pan & pour boiling water around them, creating a water bath. The water level should be about even with the top of the eggs in the ramekins.
    5. Bake for about 45-48 min, or until whites are set but yolks are soft. Serve immediately. I would suggest using a spoon rather than a fork like we did when eating, as you can still break up the meat with your spoon, and it helps when you gather up all the whites at the end of your meal. And they’re the best part!
    Approx. 215 cals per serving
     
    1 Comment

    Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Baking, Dinner, Low-Cal