Foodbuzz, Whole Wheat and a new design…

I have become a Featured Publisher for Foodbuzz, a cool site where you can get recipes, read restaurant reviews and connect with other foodies.  Check them out!

While you are out there in the interwebs, check out one of my favorite blogs, Madhuram’s Eggless Cooking.  She has wonderful recipes and beautiful pictures.  She recently did a Whole Wheat Baking Roundup and I was lucky enough to be included.  My first post, Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins is one of the recipes you can find but check out the other eggless recipes too.

Finally, you might have noticed that I redesigned my site, let me know what you think!

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

My daughter came down with the Swine Flu last week so we have been spending a lot of time in the house, trying not to spread it around.  Both David and I got it too, luckily it is pretty mild in adults but it was still a lousy weekend.  I was pretty bored after three days in the house and wanted to bake something when I found out that David’s second favorite cake in the whole world is Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  I have never made Pineapple Upside Down Cake before and I think I have only eaten it once or twice.  I always thought it seemed a little fussy, having to do the topping and then the cake.  I went looking for a recipe that would be pretty easy yet still give David his soft cake topped with caramelized sugar and sweet pineapple.  After looking at a bunch of them I found Emeril’s version on the Food Network website.  He made it in a cast iron skillet so that the topping could be made in the same pan the cake baked in.  I figured that if we were going to be stuck in the house with the Swine Flu we might as well eat cake.

I converted it to an egg-less recipe and left out the rum, pecans and cherries but I think the cake came out perfect, very moist and sweet but not soggy.  I have to say that I am a convert and will definitely be making this cake again.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake in the skillet

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1 can of Pineapple rings (I used 7 rings)

3/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cups light brown sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups milk

1 tsp. vinegar

1/4 cup pineapple juice (from can)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Pre-heat the oven to 350*F.  Mix together the milk, vinegar and pineapple juice, set aside.  In 10 inch cast iron skillet melt four tablespoons of butter and add the brown sugar.  Cook over medium heat until the mixture is bubbly then arrange the pineapple rings on top.  Cook two more minutes and then flip the rings over and turn off the heat.  Set aside to cool while you make the cake batter.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Beat the remaining butter with the sugar until fluffy, add vanilla.  Alternate adding the milk mixture and the flour, beating after each addition.  Pour the batter on top of the pineapple rings and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then invert on to cake plate.  Let cool to room temperature before serving.  Serves 8-10 (or two people with the Swine Flu).

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Blueberry Slump with Vegan Coffee Ice Cream

My parents were cleaning out the freezer last weekend and found a bunch of wild Maine blueberries that we had forgotten were in there.  When I say a bunch I mean it too, there must be 15 quart bags of berries.  I figured I better get baking quick!  So first off I made my grandmother’s Blueberry Slump.  What is a slump?  I checked Wikipedia but couldn’t find it so I went to the Food Dictionary at epicurious and found this definition:

slump An old-fashioned New England dessert of fruit, usually berries, topped with biscuit dough and stewed until the biscuit topping is cooked through. Also called grunt .

It is a very easy dessert, the most time is spent on making the biscuit dough.   You can use fresh or frozen blueberries and serve it with whip cream or ice cream.  The typical thing to serve it with is vanilla ice cream but in my family we love it with coffee ice cream.  I have been wanting to try making some soy ice cream in my new ice cream maker (yes, I finally broke down and bought one on eBay.)  I read a bunch of recipes online and decided to try my hand at it.  Most of them are based on either tofu or soy yogurt and I started mine with the recipe found here.  It came out pretty good, creamy and strong coffee flavor.  I think I will try a yogurt based ice cream next to see if there is a texture difference.

It is supposed to be cold here in New Hampshire the next couple of days so dig out your frozen blueberries and make some nice hot slump!  I promise it tastes better than the name implies.

Blueberry Slump

Blueberry Slump

2 quarts blueberries

2-4 Tbsp. Sweetener of your choice, I used 2 Tbsp of Agave but sugar, maple syrup or even Splenda would work.

Stew blueberries down until they have all popped and are boiling.  If they seems like them might stick you can add a Tbsp or two of water in the bottom of the pan.

2 cups all-purpose or white wheat flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

6 Tbsp. butter or margarine

1 cup milk or soy milk

Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Cut in the butter or margarine until the crumbs are the size of peas.  Quickly mix in the milk until the dough just holds together.  Spoon the dough on top of the boiling berries in large spoonfuls, depending on the size of your pot you might not be able to fit all the dough in, I was left with one spoonful that didn’t fit.  Cover the pan and set the heat to low, cook for 10 minutes.  Uncover the pan and cook for 10 more minutes.  Take off the heat and let cool for a few minutes before serving.  Serves 6-8.

Vegan Coffee Ice Cream

1 box Mori-Nu Firm Silken Tofu

1 cup soy creamer

1/3 cup agave

1 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. instant coffee

Mix all ingredients in a blender.  Freeze according to you ice cream makers directions.  Makes 1 quart.

Nothing says love like homemade Granola

Here on the farm we are in full Fall mode.  The pumpkins are for sale and you can see them peeking through the leaves out in the fields.  The geese are landing across the river and the corn fields have been mowed down to stubble.  I love this time of year where we have warm breezy days and cool nights perfect for sleeping.  I start baking more hearty things now and one of my favorites is granola.  My Mother-in-Law, Cathy gave me her recipe for granola when my husband and I first started going out.  I have made a few changes but the recipe started out so good there wasn’t much that I had to tweak.

Homemade Granola

Granola

1/2 cup Agave (you can substitute either honey or maple syrup but I love the mellow flavor of agave in this recipe)

1/2 cup oil

1 Tbsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup wheat germ

2 cups coconut (either sweetened or unsweetened works)

6 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups mixed nuts (I like half sliced almonds and half walnuts but use what you have)

Pre-heat oven to 350*F.  In a large dutch oven heat the agave, oil and vanilla until thin.  Turn off the heat and add the remaining ingredients in order given, mixing well after each addition.  Put in oven for 15 minutes, stir, return to oven and stir every ten minutes until lightly toasted.  I have the granola in the oven for a total of 35 minutes but leave in longer if you like crunchier granola.  Let cool completely before storing.  Make about 12 cups.

This is one of my entries in Madhuram’s Whole Grain Eggless Baking Event – Oats

Oatmeal Drizzles

I am loving the new cookbook I got, The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes by Kris Holechek over at nom! nom! nom! blog.   I made her Oatmeal Drizzles and they were deliciously moist, chewy and full of flavor.  I almost never put icing on a cookie because I think they are sweet enough as it is but I might be a convert after these cookies.  I couldn’t find just dried cherries so I substituted a bag of mixed dried berries and they were great.

Oatmeal Drizzles Cookies

Oatmeal Drizzles

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp margarine, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup quick oats

1/2 cup dried tart cherries

1 recipe White Icing (see below)

Pre-heat the oven to 350*F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  In a large bowl, cream together margarine, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla.  Add flour mixture to sugar mixture.  Add oatmeal in batches, and then stir in cherries.

Drop heaping tablespoon-sized cookies on baking sheets, about 3 inches apart.  Bake for 11-14 minutes or until cookies are set in the center and the edges are lightly browned.  If you are baking more than one sheet at a time, rotate the sheets halfway through the baking time.  Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.  After the cookies are completely cool, drizzle them with White Icing and let icing set.  Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.  Make 2 dozen cookies.

White Icing

2 Tbsp Milk

1 1/2 -2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

In a small bowl, whisk milk and powdered sugar together to desired thickness.  I had to add about 3 Tbsp more milk to get the right consistency.  I then put the icing in a sandwich bag and cut off the corner to drizzle the icing over the cookies.

This is one of my entries in Madhuram’s Whole Grain Eggless Baking Event – Oats

Brownies + Peanut Butter Cup Bars = Heaven!

Chocolate and peanut butter is my favorite food combination.  I love Peanut Butter Cups, Peanut Butter Fudge Ice Cream and these Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwiches.  So when I had to make a bunch of baked goods for a party recently I knew I wanted to make something with chocolate and peanut butter.  I thought about making the Peanut Butter Cup Bars but wanted to do something a little different so I decided to make them on top of brownies.  So I made a double batch of my Vegan Brownies and then topped them with a double batch of Peanut Butter Cup Bars.  I left out the graham cracker crumbs when making the peanut butter layer but other than that I didn’t change a thing.  These are decadent and soooo good.  I would recommend that you line the pan you are going to make these in with either parchment paper or tin foil so that you can get them out easily.  I had a hard time and ended up with some funny pieces but they were eaten right up anyway.  Make sure you chill these for a couple of hours before you try to cut them and they let them come to room temperature before you serve them.  Makes a lot… but not enough!

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

My Grandmother’s Chocolate Cake

I think everyone has some version of this cake recipe.  I have heard it called Wacky Cake, Three Hole Cake and WWII Cake.  In my family it is No Nothing Cake, because you don’t have to know nothing to make it.  My Grandmother, Margaret, set this cake on the counter and covered with a tea towel so that when the men came in from doing the farm chores they could grab a piece.  I never saw her frost it, just top it with a sprinkle of confectioners sugar.  The recipe card that I use is the same one that she used and my mother remembers baking off of it when she was a child. 

Recipe Card

No Nothing Cake

Pre-heat oven to 350* F.  Sift together:

1 1/2 cups flour

3 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

Add to that:

1 Tbsp. vinegar

6 Tbsp. oil

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup cold water

Mix just until incorporated and then pour in to 8×8 pan or 12 paper lined muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes.  I love to frost it with vanilla or cream cheese frosting and then top with coconut. 

This is my grandmother in the background on the farm steps with some lambs.

Grandmother's Chocolate CupCake