Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sadly, not brought to you in Smell-o-Vision

I hope my reading audience will forgive the slight blurriness of the picture, in light of the content of said picture. :)

I've wanted to bake up a batch of dairy-free chocolate chip cookies since Monday — which is unsurprisingly when I realized I had no dairy-free desserts in the house. I must have been influenced by the mouth-watering chocolate chip cookies episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Levain Bakery's cookies look just fantastic. Don't take my word for it, see for yourself.

I researched many copycat recipes online and found myself overwhelmed by the choices. In the end, I settled on a non-copycat recipe, referred to simply (and not humbly) as The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie.

I made a double-batch of dough, replacing the butter for my vegan margarine and substituting in half trans-fat-free shortening as well, to prevent the dough from spreading too much while baking. The sugars, eggs and flour I used are organic. I doubled the amount of salt as I find most cookie recipes under-salted. I also omitted the nuts and didn't quite have enough chocolate chips to fully double their quantity — I came closer to having 5-1/2 cups of chocolate chips than 6 cups. The chocolate chips I use are still PC The Decadent Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, a non-dairy semi-sweet chocolate chip.

Rather than follow the recommendation to allow the entire batch of dough balls to "rest" for at least 6 hours, I baked off a half-dozen cookies immediately. The author is right, not allowing the dough to rest results in "just regular chocolate chip cookies". Still, I managed to get my craving out of the way and tomorrow I'm going to have what promises to be a little over four dozen durn good cookies to nibble on.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The latest culinary effort... split pea soup



Monday, February 22, 2010

Another homemade pizza success!

Given the highly satisfying results of my last attempt at making pizza, I decided to make a double batch of pizza dough today, this time going with a one-to-one ratio of unbleached white bread flour and whole wheat bread flour. My first pizza with this dough was topped with: organic, sautéed mushroom; organic, sliced grape tomatoes; nitrate- and nitrite-free bacon; pre-made bruschetta topping; truffle salt, fresh cracked pepper and kewpie (Q.P.) mayonnaise.

I've set aside the extra portions of crust in the fridge for their second proof, to be used over the course of the next day or two. I think I might just have to make a grocery run to find some more inspirational toppings.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Yesterday's brunch

A wilted spinach, sautéed mushroom, crisped prosciutto and sliced grape tomato frittata on whole wheat flax seed toast.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Homemade whole wheat and flaxseed meal bread!

Today, I thought I'd start experimenting with variations on the white bread recipe I worked on a few weeks ago. To that end, I made two loaves of whole wheat bread by halving the amount of unbleached white bread flour in the recipe, and replacing it with whole wheat bread flour. I also added about 5 tablespoons of the flax seed meal I've had in my fridge for some time now (which is great for adding fibre and omega-3 to muffins and brownies, amongst other baked goods).

I have to admit that fresh white bread has a much more satisfying texture, but this is a much more fibre-rich, lower GI alternative that is still far superior to commercially-available loaves. Overall, I'm really pleased with the result!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Beef stew

I appear to have posted previously about a beef stew (and ungraciously ignored a comment from Michelle — sorry, Michelle! There's a response there now).

Beef stew is one of those dishes that tastes fantastic, but tends to look just horrible in pictures, which is probably why I didn't post any photos last time. I can't say this is the most photogenic food picture I've ever taken, but I think it's not a bad photo, and I'm trying to include pictures of all the foods I blog about lately.

Yesterday's trip to the grocery store yielded about 3 lbs. of beef in roast form, at 30% off, so I thought I'd make a helluva lot of beef stew. The ingredients this time were slightly different since the last posted recipe, so I've included a list below:
  • approx. 3 lbs. of beef
  • filtered water
  • dehydrated, minced onion
    (I didn't have any fresh onions around!)
  • granulated, roasted garlic seasoning
  • approx. 2-1/2 lbs. of roughly-chopped yellow potatoes
  • frozen baby carrots
  • frozen peas
  • truffle salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
So it was a good stew yesterday, and I'm very much looking forward to having some for dinner tonight.


Monday, February 08, 2010

OMG. This is awesome.

This is the best thing I've seen so far this year.