September 24, 2009

Cooking from the vegan blogs

Lately I've been enjoying making things from other people's blogs and cookbooks. It's satisfying and creative when I devise my own recipes, but with so many intriguing recipes already perfected by others, and begging to be tried, it makes sense to benefit from my fellow-bloggers' hard work. We had a family dinner (minus two) Sunday night and everything we served came from food blogs and cookbooks.

I made a batch of Cheezy Quackers from Have Cake Will Travel to have on hand when our hungry guests arrived. I especially had in mind the mini-guest, aged 19 months, who really likes to eat, and appreciates a good cracker or two. I was right about this - she had a cracker in each little fist both before and after dinner, and even carried a couple home with her. Because I was thinking about Miss E, I reduced the pepper in the recipe by about half. Although the crackers were delicious, they were a bit salty for me so next time I think I'll reduce the salt a little, too. I used white whole wheat flour with a very small amount of baking powder and they turned out great.

My favorites were the ones I thought I had rolled too thin! I didn't have a tiny duck cutter - just a pig and a flower - but I opted to use a pastry cutter, and cut the dough into rectangles because I'm lazy, and it's the easy way out of a lot of cutting. But I made pigs and flowers out of the scraps left over from straightening the dough. I may be lazy, but I like a certain amount of variety. :)

For the main course my husband prepared Sweet Chili Lime Tofu With Wok Steamed Collards, and Quinoa from Vegan Yum Yum. This has become one of our favorite dishes. We used a combination of collards and kale for the vegetable, and a combination of red and regular quinoa for the grain. I've already blogged about this dish in the past so I didn't photograph it. Here's a photo from the old post, just so you can see how attractive it is:

I also made a simple salad of sliced, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and green onions drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

For dessert I baked two selections from Ricki's cookbook, "Sweet Freedom." I'd been eying the butterscotch blondies forever, and finally got all the ingredients together to make a batch. She warned me in the recipe not to over-bake them, and I tried really hard not to, but without a working timer in the kitchen, and so much going on, I probably did over-bake them just a little. (Sorry, Ricki, I'm not used to the oven in this house, yet.) But, they were still fantastic! Everyone loved them, and now I have a really good excuse to make them again.

The blondies probably would have been enough, but I had two over-ripe bananas on the counter, and there was a recipe in "Sweet Freedom" for Banana Oat Bars that called for two very ripe bananas, so I made those, too. I subbed chopped prunes for the raisins or cranberries, and ground almonds for the coconut. I wanted to use coconut but we didn't have any, but they turned out great anyway. Guess I'll have to make these again, too, so I can try them with coconut and cranberries. (I also topped them with chocolate chips because I have a weakness for bananas and chocolate.)

The next day, I used the leftover quinoa and greens (the tofu was all gone, tsk) as the base for a lunch salad. I added tomato, cucumber and avocado, with olive oil and lemon for the dressing.

Now go make all this stuff! You won't be sorry.


  1. I love those crackers so much! Yay for trying out other people's recipes. I am planning to do this for veganmofo as well.

  2. Your crackers are absolutely perfectly uniform!! I can never manage that. And I bookmarked that tofu recipe ages ago as well--can't wait to make it! Glad you enjoyed the blondies and banana bars (which do look rather chocolatey in your pic!). :)

  3. Mihl,
    The crackers are really great! And that's
    an excellent idea for veganmofo. I haven't signed up because blogging every day seems like a lot. But maybe it would be a good excuse to try new dishes.

    not perfectly uniform in person - but thanks. :)

    The banana bars only have a sprinkling of chips on top. It's the gooey prunes that look like chocolate. And thanks for not mentioning the blondies are over-baked. But they DID taste great!

  4. Woah! I love all of your yummy "other-people's-food-blogs" food :)

    Everything looks so good - especially those crackers. However, next time you'll definitely have to include a pic of your "mini-guest" gobbling them up!

    Thanks for inspiring me to start working through the huge backlog of blog recipes that I've been stockpiling over the years... I'm gonna get cooking asap!

  5. Your family is lucky! Everything looks great :-) Aren't Ricki's blondies the best?! Just reading your post makes me want to make them again!


  6. Yum! Some of my favorite recipes have come from blogs. Nice job on the crackers, they're cute!

  7. jd,
    Thanks for the comments! I've posted pics of the mini-guest in the past, and I'm sure there will be more to come. More cooking from the blogs, too.

    Yes to the blondies! Even over-baked they were great.

    I searched all over for a tiny "duck" or "fish" cookie cutter but the only little cutters I found and liked were a pig and a flower. I think they worked out okay, even if they weren't my first choice! I certainly felt like a pig as I gobbled those crackers.

  8. Mmm it all looks fantastic!! I've been meaning to make Celines Quackers for ages and ages, but I always seem to get distracted. I really need to make them!!

    And that blondie!!! LOVE blondies (my newest discovery). Yum!

  9. I sometimes wonder why I've spend so much money on recipe books when there are so many great recipes in blogdom! I must try those crackers! I have lots of shaped cutters left over from when the kids were wee... Though the square ones look nice, too...
    I must make that tofu! We're big tofu fans in this family.
    And my favourite dressing is olive oil and balsamic vinegar!

  10. Vegetation,
    You SHOULD make those crackers. They're really good.

    I highly recommend both the tofu and the crackers. Also the baked things. Now that so many bloggers have published cookbooks, we can get all those great recipes conveniently bound!


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