Sunday, December 17, 2006

Life intervenes

I know I disappeared for a week there. I had one last push--final exams. I finished on Thursday evening, then spent Friday and Saturday with friends and family, relaxing. I have really needed a break from things, including blogging. As much as I love it, I guess I can get burned out with it sometimes and need to step back. Most of you can probably relate to that too. Anyway, I have been saving up some great pictures to show you!

These mini quiches from Fatfree Vegan have been very popular in the past couple of weeks, and there's a very good reason for that--they are amazing. They have the texture of, and taste so much like, the original thing, only better! I was amazed at how well these held their form--I kind of expected them to fall apart, but they hold together nicely. I modified the original recipe in the following ways: For my veggies, I used sautéed onions and some thawed, drained frozen spinach, and I replaced the onion powder with a dash of nutmeg. They were perfect for a light lunch. I steamed some fresh broccoli to serve with them, and some spicy peanut sauce from The Grit Cookbook to go with the broccoli.

Also, for the first time I tried the Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies from Vive Le Vegan! They were delicious! The texture of them surprised me a little bit--they were a little on the chewy side, and they spread out a lot in the oven so they were a little thinner than I thought they would be. I think maybe I just baked them a minute or so too long--definitely watch the time on these. But they were so, so good. Look at those soft, melty chunks of chocolate...

Just some roasted butternut squash. I love the flavor of roasted squash, with not much more than just a sprinkle of sea salt and olive oil.

One of my very good friends had a graduation party yesterday, and she asked me to help her with the menu so that she could be sure that there would be things for Bob and me to eat. As a nice, animal-friendly dessert that would not be too elaborate, I picked the Raspberry Blackout Cake with Ganache-y Frosting from VWaV (p. 217). It really was a very basic, low fuss recipe, and the result was quite elegant:

This is a very rich, dark cake. I ended up using extra dark Dutch processed cocoa powder, and it was perfect. The cake and the frosting are not extremely sweet on their own, but the layer of raspberry preserves that you spread just under the layer of frosting adds an ideal amount of sweetness. I was more impressed with this cake than I thought I would be, given the ease of preparation. Those who tried it at the party really enjoyed it.

That is all for today. I will try to update this blog regularly this week, as holiday baking gets underway. I've got several things planned that I will be sure to share. I hope you all are having an excellent holiday season! Take care!


aTxVegn said...

To me there is nothing more beautiful than black chocolate cake. I always thought it was dark from adding coffee to it. I'll keep that recipe in mind for the next time we need a celebration cake.

I'm glad you got a chance to make the mini quiches. They are so good!

Enjoy your time off from school!

Urban Vegan said...

I loev that Blackout Cake--isn't it the best? Yours looks like it was a rich, decadent hit.

So do the cookies and the quiches.

Congrats on surviving exams. Now you can relax for awhile.

Freedom said...

SEems like everyone is posting kinda sporadically with christmas time! I hope your exams went well and you have a great holiday!
Your friends are nice, considering your eating habits like that. The food all looks great.

Gaia said...

Happy your exams are finally over !!

I loved the mini quiches too :)
and your variation sounds delish !

Those cookies look wonderful too !
And I won't even mention the cake !! lol

Megan the Vegan said...

hmm...glad you've tried the homestyle cookies...they are so amazing.

raising_kahne said...

So I suppose you are now in the 'I cannot believe how great Dreena's cookies taste!!!' club?? There's a whole army of us now!:) The cake looks amazing!!! I havent had a cake/cupcake in sooooo long. Im planning on getting VWAV for Christmas, so that'll be on my list!

Vivacious Vegan said...

I haven't tried the blackout cake but it looks so decadent. I like the idea of those two flavors so I will definitely try this. So glad to see a review of it.

theONLYtania said...

Wow, I'm so glad for this post! I've been looking for a use for silken tofu, I can definitely make these quiches! I might be having a party this Friday.. I wonder if I can make them in mini muffin cups as a party food...

And did you vary the chocolate chip cookie recipe at all? Because when I made them they didn't spread out much.. they were pretty crunchy too. Strange.. I like yours better haha.

I hope your finals went well.. and that you're having a good holiday break!

Johanna3 said...

great post, i wish you a happy holidays!