Wednesday, March 31, 2010

mad casual chocolate cake

Well, I don't recommend making this cake EVERY day. But I love when cookbooks call something an everyday cake, as though grown-ups have people over on weeknights and pull out a chocolate cake with some powdered sugar on top. In my world, of course, this translated to making this cake in the AM on St. Patrick's Day to "celebrate" during last finals period and eating it all day while clacking away like a crazy person and cursing the quarter system. It's next in the installment of you-wouldn't-know-it-but-its-vegan (minus the Baileys) baked goods... which means that its cheap as dirt and made of stuff you have in your house at all times. So you can make one, you know, every day.

Mad casual chocolate cake from Cheap Healthy Good/Where's the Revolution/The Internet

1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or more regular flour)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/3 cup neutral oil
1 cup cold water (or 2/3 cup cold water, 1/3 cup booze. Hello, Baileys)

+ Oven to 350. Prep out a cake pan all grown-up style, as though this is for company and not just going to end up getting ham-fistedly shoveled into your gaping maw.

+ Dry ingredients in a bowl. Then make little wells for the wet ingredients-- a little vanilla volcano, a vinegar volcano, and an oil volcano. Now dump a bunch of water and Baileys on top, mixing with a few swift, decisive strikes.

+ Pour the batter into a pan. Actually I bet you could even mix it IN the pan, if you are really too lazy to do anything but eat cake. Bake for about half an hour.

Monday, March 15, 2010

beer bread

I was going to make Irish Soda Bread to be all theme-party-like for you guys, but I used all my eggs making a savory bread pudding. That I have been eating for three straight days-- do you think bread pudding has protein? Just watched Jamie Oliver's TED talk speech and have so many emotions about nutrition and obesity and America.

Anyway this bread is amazing. I was always curious about non-sweet quick breads and this one is amazing. The texture isn't too biscuity at all, which was my number one fear. It's just delicious and it slices fairly well, too, for fake PBJs or even real sandwiches. AH!

Add beer bread to the long list of things to be thankful for this week. Including sunshine, E Street Cafe in Encinitas, cutoffs, new cheap headphones with way better sound than any other headphones I have ever owned (?), Peets' Assam tea, getting the last charger at said Peets, editors putting queer erotica in a very serious-looking queer theory reader. I got about halfway through before I realized the author wasn't going to start theorizing.

BEER BREAD (variations at A Year in Bread blog sound good, too)

3 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1 T sugar
1 t salt
a 12 oz beer (I used Simpler Times and it tasted banana-y! In a good way)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put all the ingredients in a bowl, mix the beer in slowly until you have a thick dough. Plop it in a loaf pan and bake it in the oven for 45 minutes.

Friday, March 12, 2010

spicy hot chocolate snickerdoodles

Hot damn were these good. They were the first vegan cookie I have ever made, and the first vegan baked good I have ever liked. It just took reading and re-reading vegan cookbooks for school, I guess, to drill the wonders of vegan baking into my thick skull. Or my, uh, allergic mouth? I want to go out and buy whole-grain vegan cookies like the best of them, but the inevitable mouth-hives and fear of impending death just kind of kill that do-gooder buzz for me.

But enough about me! More about these cookies! They are just straight-up delicious, easy to make, presentation-worthy. All the things you would want from a cookie. And vegan, so you can look your cat or other animal friends straight in the eye, if that's your thing.

These cookies can be made with what basically everybody has in the house, if you bake sometimes, which is awesome. No pictures exist since I took them to a potluck and everybody ate them all, but I think that's a good sign. They looked exactly like the PPK version... the first recipe ever where my rendition looked as pretty as the picture. Gah! What are you waiting for! These are so fast and east it makes my head hurt! Maybe I should make another batch right now? Yes? No?

Spicy Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles

1/2 cup canola/ veg oil
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used corn syrup. Nutrition fail!)
3 T non-dairy milk, or water if you are not a hippie. It works out.
2 t vanilla extract (you could sub out chocolate extract, which I am told exists, or maybe even peppermint extract to make a thin-mint version minus the spices! somebody try this!)
1 2/3 c flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t chile powder/cayenne
I also threw about 1 t total of ginger, cloves, and cardamom in there. I am easy for "pumpkin pie spices." I don't know if it made the cookies more interesting, probably not. Also I read in the Cosmo in our bathroom (thanks Missy!) that MEN are easy for pumpkin pie spices. Somebody dissertate that ish.

OK! Are you ready for Formula 1 fast cookies?

+ Preheat the oven to 375
+ Dump all wet or sweet stuff in a bowl (oil, sugar, syrup, vanilla) and beat it up
+ Add everything else and mix it up until it is doughy.
+ Pour some sugar and cinnamon on a plate, pull off little balls of dough and roll them around in the sugar-mix, then press them flattish on the baking sheet. Give them room to spread, like 2 inches on each side.
+ Bake for 8-12 minutes. Mine were done in 10. They should be kind of crackly on top. Let cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before bringing them to a potluck, making everyone eat them, then announcing like a douchebag, "AND THEY'RE VEGAN!" Or before eating them, they are better once cooled.

Monday, March 8, 2010

quinoa porridge

Well, kids, I just wrote 20 pages about vegan cookbooks and performing feminism in everyday life. I think I successfully maxed out the number of times a self-respecting human being can write the word panoptic in one paper (7). I also maxed out the number of cookies you can eat in a day (12). This is a recipe from less frantic times. According to Isa and Terry, if you cook quinoa more than once a week you get to be a stage 7 vegan, which I imagine in video game world allows you to cast really powerful healing spells or something.

This is a pretty good way to start the day, you feel like a million bucks. My friend made this for us when she got back from Bolivia... I have been thinking of making it ever since and finally did.

First make or acquire some applesauce. I made mine because I have been reading Vegan with a Vengeance like its the good book and actually do totally agree that if you can do it yourself, you should do it yourself.

SO take 4 apples, peel and cut them up into chucks. Put them in a pot with about an inch of water and cook. Yeah that's right, just cook it down until its applesauce, crushing the apples when they get mushy and adding more water when you need it. Sprinkle some cinnamon on at the end. The whole process takes about 20 minutes... it seems like the perfect congenial task while you are doing other tasks, making everything seem homey and delightful. Because you are paying the bills BUT ALSO making applesauce! You are farting around watching Cougar Town but you just made applesauce! If cooking can't save me from my degeneracy, I don't know what will. Maybe writing 2 more papers in 5 days.

OK so now cook a cup of RINSED quinoa in 2 cups of water with some more cinnamon and honey. I added like 1/8 cup of honey to the cooking water. You can always add more sweet stuff later if you need it, but I think it's good to add some to the water so that the quinoa, you know, absorbs it. And do rinse the quinoa, otherwise it will taste like gross hippie food because of the saponin and what's the point of that? Hippie food can and should be delicious, that's what I learned in school this week.

Boil then simmer for 20 minutes, when the quinoa is done throw in the applesauce and applaud yourself for eating the kind of breakfast a responsible, mature adult would probably eat.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Compost cookies

Soon I will be back in New York, where I can eat the food I love with the people I love. Is there anything better than that? And I know that I will go to Momofuku Milk Bar and get some cookies, because they are made of magic and whimsy. My previous attempt to recreate the Cornflake Marshmallow cookies was pretty lame. Way too much flour, they turned out puffy. But apparently the compost cookie recipe was on Good Morning America, and I made a hybrid with the leftover marshmallows that have been sitting in my cupboard for 6 months. Disturbing! But not disturbing enough to keep me from eating so much of the dough that I could not bring myself to try one fresh out of the oven because I felt sick. Beware!

These. are. awesome. There are some sneaky things that I didn't figure out on my own, like the fact that you use corn syrup/ glucose syrup to get that undercooked thing going on. And that you cream the butter, sugar, and eggs for a really long time. I don't know what the point of that is, but I do feel like I have earned my hand-mixer-impulse-purchase so that's good. Apparently my resistance to consumer capitalism plummets when kitchen wares are involved.

Compost Cookies

3/4 cup butter (a stick and a half)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 T corn syrup
2 T coffee grounds
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup flour
2 t baking soda
2 t salt
1 t baking powder
3 cups of random crap. Original has oats, pretzels, potato chips, butterscotch and chocolate chips. I used: 1/2 cup marshallows cut into bits, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup crushed cheerios, 1 cup crushed tortilla chips. Obviously, they were super good.

+OK, rev up that slightly overpriced but oh so convenient mixer. Cream together the butter and sugar things.

+Now add the eggs and set a timer for TEN MINUTES while you beat the crap out of your cookie dough. Apparently this does something to the sugar crystals to make these cookies completely irresistible to those who work at home and have no willpower. Hypothetically. Do some sweet squats around your kitchen to prepare your body for the onslaught of sugar that will soon course through your veins.

+Add the flour, coffee grounds and dry stuff. Don't overmix here, otherwise your cookies will NOT BE CHEWY. Heaven forefend!

+Add the junk food/baking ingredients, stirring until just blended. Now cover the bowl and stick it in the fridge for an hour or overnight. They need to rest, just trust the process. Imagine the fat stack of two dollar bills piling up in your pocket that you are not spending on each single one of these cookies. That is worth at least an hour of your patience. OK.

+Preheat the oven to 400. Scoop these out, leaving a couple inches on each side to spread. Bake for about 10 minutes. Count the days until the semester is over (14!)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Kale chips

Oh my dear blog! I am back! I am so sorry I ever left! I guess it's a good thing that there's been pretty much radio silence since November? It means I have been hosting guests of all stripes, vacationing to locales both familiar and exotic, learning to fuse glass in a kiln, reading some books about animals and robots, napping, and eating plenty of beloved favorites. Which meant no blog.

But here is some inspiration to kick off my renewed online presence, since I know you miss me so much (HA!)..... kale chips.

These seriously make me want to start writing really lame Skinny Bitch / women's magazine-like copy. THEY ARE SO GOOD THEY OUGHT TO BE ILLEGAL. THESE LITTLE CHIPPERS ARE YUM O!!!!!!

OK, that's out of my system. These are awesome, they are the his Dudeness of snack food, they are the perfect way to get some green stuff in your gullet and help you steer clear of corporate control over our snack food. More on the post punk kitchen later.

Here's the deal, preheat the oven to 350 while you rinse and dry some kale, rip it into little pieces and rub it on a cookie sheet with olive oil and pepper.

You could be surprised at how little olive oil you can get away with. Less than a tablespoon is fine. Throw some salt on top, but again, these get really salty really quick.

Pop 'em in the oven, even as it's preheating, just keep an eye on them. Set a timer for 10 minutes, depending on how fast your oven preheats and how meticulously you rinsed and dried, they could be done in 10 or might take 5 or so more minutes. The key is that they will be brown at the edges, dark green, and crinkly. Try one, you will know AT FIRST CRUNCH if it has transformed from boring old kale into chippy masterpiece.

A parting gift, thanks to Marissa for providing me with finals week jams.