Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer of Juvenile Fiction

Welcome, welcome, so good to see you back...

Oh no, wait, that's me!

Ah well, today I bring you the best of July-August for your viewing pleasure...

A while back I read about caramelizing onions in a slow cooker somewhere on Metafilter and I just had to give it a whirl (see here for more tips)... and yay, it worked! Whee! So I turned them into soup, which you see above and is totally anticlimactic. But I WILL be using them on my next pizza (more on that later).

Here is a blueberry grunt which photographed terribly but was pretty good. It was a little tart, as I recall, but I think that was the berries we used which were from last summer, really late season blueberries (think apple picking time) so they, as a berry, were just tart. I followed the recipe here and veganized it, of course omitting the whipping cream at the end.

And here is my new favorite thing! Whee! I used follow your heart vegan cheeze, mozzarella flavour, and my new favorite pizza dough. Yummy! I made it again recently, and just used 1/3 of the block of cheeze so now I can eek out three pizzas from one block of (fairly expensive) vegan cheeze! Yay! And in all truth, the pizza using the third of a block of cheeze was better anyway, used some fresh veggies from the farmer's market that I sauteed up and nom, nom, nom!

Pizza Dough

1 C warm water
2 T yeast
3 1/2 C flour
1/4 C vital wheat gluten
1 t ginger
1/4 C oil
2 t salt
2 T sugar (or honey if you're a beegan)

Mix water and yeast and let sit 5m until dissolved.
Mix in olive oil, flour, salt and sugar.
Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, approx. 10m.
Place in oil coated bowl and turn and flip dough so it is coated.
Cover with plastic wrap or a wet towel and allow to rise until doubled, around 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down dough, divide in half and let sit 10m (you could freeze one half here if you don't want to make 2 pizzas- that's what I did and I made breadsticks with it for spaghetti another day).
Place pizza stone on rack in lower third of oven. Preheat to 450 degrees for 30m to 1 hour (I scoffed at this initially, but the second time when I made it, I let the oven preheat for more like an hour and the crust came out crisper!).
Flatten dough to 1/2" thick and 10 - 12 " wide. Go easy, if it starts to get wierd, let it rest (and you, too) for 5m. Then start again, patting and stretching.
Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal and put pizza crust on it.
Make dents using your knuckles, then brush with oil and let rest 5m.
Top with toppings and slide pizza onto baking stone (if it doesn't slide, add more cornmeal).
Bake 10 - 15m.

And here is what we had for supper last night-

Chickpea and Broccoli Macaroni

I must have been channeling my winter self or something, because this is a *gasp* casserole (yes, I turned on the oven, I am a masochist) and *gasp* it uses frozen broccoli. I should have gone to the farmer's market and bought fresh broccoli (wears hairshirt).
Anyway, this was good! Yay! I will make it again, fo' sure.

I made it just like the recipe, except I was all like, what's up with the 3/4 t ?!?! So I bumped the salt, garlic powder and paprika up to 1 t. Talk about taking a walk on the wild side, baby! Also, I used pasta water for the sauce, because my husband was not home yet with the soymilk. It turned out fine. Really good, folks. Definitely put this in your 'to make' pile. I can't wait to make it again, this time with soymilk and maybe even frying up the chickpeas with some garlic and onion. Yuuuum!

So, this has been the summer of juvenile fantasy fiction. I read "A Wizard of Earthsea" which was really good, read the next two after that.

I also read Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonsinger" or whichever one is the first in the series. Dragonsinger, dragondrums, dragonmaster, dragonrider... eventually the series will reveal 'Dragonaccountant' or 'Dragonhairdresser'. I have read the 'harper's hall' trilogy. The first was pretty good, then they were okay.

When I've run out of library books, I've been slowly working through LOTR. So good.

Next up, I am thinking about tackling the Harry Potter series. Yes, I am that crazy. Don't you think that would be a good way to end the "Summer of Juvenile Fiction"?


For the Love of Guava said...

mm... so much cheeze everywhere... maybe mother's will let me put a down payment on some blocks... HA!

good to see you around these parts again lady!

Anonymous said...

Hi Elizabeth! I like your writing and the food looks good too.

I live in Minnesota also (Minneapolis) and have only used my oven once or twice since May! I wonder what people from the south do? Maybe they are just more heat-tolerant. I certainly am not!