Friday, February 12, 2016

...the Amaryllis blooms...

...he's finally done it...he really seems to like it here in front of the big windows...
...this year's Amaryllis has bloomed...so no more waiting...and he's beautiful!

~Wishing you a lovely start to your weekend...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

...What I Ate Yesterday...



Breakfast: Go Veggie Vegan Cheese on Toast, Coffee with Cashew Cream

...then the Man and I met for lunch at our favorite little Chinese restaurant...
...the owner always comes out and chats with us...and she shares her special Jasmine tea with us...it smells so good...and is the perfect drink for a chilly day...

...and miso soup...
...an avocado roll...sorry...I should have taken a picture before I divided up the wasabi and pickled ginger...
...I like to have a little dollop of wasabi and a piece of pickled ginger with each bite...so yummy...

Lunch: Jasmine Tea, Miso Soup, and an Avocado Roll...
Dinner: leftover soft taco bake, salad, corn and beans

...I was just thinking that Wednesday is probably the worst day of the week for me to show you our vegan food...because we have Church on Wednesday night...so we're always rushing around and eating leftovers...so it's not usually a very pretty meal...

~Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

...Vegan Fastnachts...

...when we moved here...the Historical Committee gave us a packet that included a centennial history of the Church...and then a ten year pamphlet for each decade after that...

...pretty interesting reading about a Church founded in 1879...
...and also in the packet was this pamphlet from 1988...
...all about the customs and festivals of the German (Dutch) settlers of this area of North Carolina...

...it reminded me quite a bit of the Norwegian/Scandinavian/Danish settlers of North Dakota and their lefse making tradition...
...at the back of the booklet were these three recipes...the superstitions associated with the cooking of the fastnachts are funny...
...I like that this one is cut in a diamond shape with a slit in the middle...
...this is the recipe that they use here at the Church...and someone has written some adjustments on it...
...so yesterday morning we went over to the Church to make some Fastnachts...and it reminded me so much of those days in North Dakota making lefse in the kitchen at Peace...and it even blew snow flurries around outside...
...it's funny that everyone has their own 'style' of making the fastnachts...
...some were making traditional ring/hole donuts shapes...some pretzels...some braids...
...but my favorite way was this diamond cut with slits that are pulled through each other to form 'tangled britches'...so fun...
...and there were trays upon trays of fastnachts ready for frying later in the afternoon...
...so let's get started on the vegan version...scald some vegan milk...I used almond...and add some mashed potatoes...
...some yeast...
...sugar...
...salt...
...and Earth Balance...
...and enough flour to make a soft dough...
...turn out on a floured board...
...and knead...
...cover and let rise for an hour and a half...
...when it's doubled...
...roll it out pretty thin...
...about 1/8th inch thick...
...and slice into squares/diamonds...
...then make a couple of slits...
...and pull the slits through each other as above...to make tangled britches...
...and let rise again...another hour...mine lost most of their definition...
...then fry in hot oil...
...this part goes really fast...
...when they're golden on one side flip them over...
...they come out all crazy shapes...and mine looked pretty much the same as the ones at the Church...
...light and fluffy...and sprinkled with powdered sugar...at Church they also had cinnamon sugar and pancake syrup...funny...
...so delicious...as only fried bread can be...
...Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras celebrations vary so much from region to region...when we were in Columbia...the Church had a pancake supper on Shrove Tuesday (which comes from the word 'shrive' meaning confess)...and in North Dakota...we had a Walleye fish fry on Mardi Gras (which means 'fat Tuesday' in French and is a celebration of the last day of eating rich foods before Lent) ...so they even called the day by a different name...

...and here they serve chili and Mexican cornbread for supper...followed by Fastnachts for dessert and they call the day Shrove Tuesday...

~Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

...Vegan Greek Baked Beans With Agave and Dill Recipe - NYT Cooking...

..this is a Greek Orthodox Lenten dish...traditionally eaten on Clean Monday (Greek: Καθαρά Δευτέρα), also known as Pure Monday, ...is the first day of Great Lent in the Eastern Orthodox Christian, Saint Thomas Christians of India and Eastern Catholic churches. It is a movable feast that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday....from Wikipedia...

...Great Lent is not until March 14th for the Orthodox Church...but we start Lent this Wednesday with Ash Wednesday...and we have Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday) the day before...so I guess yesterday was our Clean Monday...
...so I started by soaking some large lima beans...
...and I got some of the tomatoes that we put up back during the summer...and some frozen tomato paste...
...and just sorta chopped them up...
...cooked some onion in some olive oil...
...added the beans...
...some oil...
...the tomatoes...
...and a bay leaf...
...some agave nectar...
...olive oil...
...and enough water to cover the beans...
...put it ito the oven and baked it for an hour...
...then added the tomato paste...
...vinegar...
...kosher salt...
...and pepper...
...and then baked it again for half an hour before adding the dill...did you know you are supposed to add dill at the very end...because it quickly loses its flavor and fragrance during cooking, so use it raw or add it to a dish at the very end of preparation...
...just served with some crusty bread...
...and I have to admit that although this dish is not much to look at...it certainly is delicious...in an unexpected fresh sort of way...the sweet and sour aspect and the tangy dill make for an unusual surprise...

...we loved it...

Featured in: Vegetarian Dishes From A Greek Holiday.

...and the actual recipe is here...

Ingredients (I think my only substitution was the Agave for the Honey)

1/2 pound dried large lima beans or white beans, soaked if necessary for six hours or overnight in 2 quarts of water and drained (limas require no soaking)
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, preferably a sweet red onion, finely chopped
1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 sm bay leaf
1 1/2 tablespoons agave
1 tablespoons tomato paste
1/8 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
Salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup, loosely packed, chopped fresh dill

Preparation

Combine the drained beans and water to cover by 3 inches in a large, oven-proof casserole or Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium size, heavy skillet over medium heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender and lightly caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.

After 30 minutes, drain the beans and return them to the pot. Add the remaining olive oil, the tomatoes and the liquid in the can, bay leaf, agave, and 1 cup water or enough to just cover the beans. Stir in the onion, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and place in the oven. Bake one hour, stirring often and adding water if necessary. Add the tomato paste, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 more minutes, until the beans are tender and the mixture is thick.

Stir in the dill, cover and let sit 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with thick slices of country bread.

Tip

Advance preparation: This can be made through step 3 a day or two ahead of time. Add water if the mixture is too thick to bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Bring to a simmer, and proceed with the recipe. Leftovers will be good for three or four days. Martha Rose Shulman can be reached at martha-rose-shulman.com.

~Have a lovely day!