August 20, 2013

Peaches 'n' Cream Coco-Crunch

It seems August has been an ode to my perpetual summer sweet tooth! Here's one more idea for an effortless seasonal dessert to please your tastebuds. Choose any ice cream or sorbet you like (I've been really digging Ciao Bella's Coconut Sorbet) and top with fresh fruit and toasted coconut! These fuzzy donut peaches are in season and were a delightfully juicy addition. To toast coconut flakes, heat a large frying pan over medium heat for five minutes. Add the sweetened coconut and toast, stirring often, until golden brown. Remove from pan immediately once browned and spoon over ice cream. The crunchy texture of the toasted coconut and sweet tart of the peaches is oh-so-tropical ... it's like an island in your mouth!

Sweetly yours,

August 19, 2013

Lemon Lavender Muffins

A bit of grey sky and dusty windowsill lead me to a quiet Sunday morning spent inside. These are my favorite types of weekend mornings- ones spent robed-and-slippered with a NYT if you have it, a french press, and Jonathan Schwartz on the radio, swinging us through the hours with New York jazz and a voice so smooth and deliberate he'll rope you into listening to any crackly song twice in a row if he thinks you weren't listening. And what goes better with ol' blue eyes than a plateful of baked goods? I was inspired to make these bright, sweet muffins after buying a particularly large bag of lavender in the bulk section of the coop. The herb is new to me and tastes a bit like rosemary in these mild treats. To make the icing, simply squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into 1 cup of confectioners sugar and stir well! Add lemon juice or sugar until consistency is correct.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbs. lavender (plus 1/2 Tbs. for decorating)
1/2 cup coconut yogurt
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lavender. In another bowl mix the yogurt, milk, oil, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well. Add a bit more almond milk if the batter seems to thick as it is hard to be exact since vegan yogurts have such varied consistencies. Spoon into a greased muffin tin and bake for 28 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin.

Drizzle with lemon glaze and sprinkle with lavender buds.

To eating flowers!

The Veganette for Earth Eats: Strawberry Shortcake with Cashew Cream

Nothing says summer quite like strawberry shortcake. Even the sound of the word brings me poolside — Mix 107.7 blaring through the radio, and me dripping with hot feet in front of the ice cream truck. As a kid I loved strawberry shortcake, and in my family, the dish was usually comprised of angel food cake topped with fresh cream and strawberries. I decided to try my hand at real shortcake biscuits and was pleasantly surprised!

The trick is to use a food processor to cut the cold vegan margarine quickly so that some buttery crumbs remain and to add the almond milk gradually while pulsing. The buttery bits will make the biscuits flaky and light, a perfect compliment to the thick layer of cashew cream. Cashew cream is naturally sweet and so easy to prepare! Just be sure to allow a few hours for the nuts to soak.

Serve these shortcakes as a light finish to a evening of kebabs and corn on the cob. Summer has never been so sweet! Swing over to Earth Eats to see the recipe.


August 9, 2013

Dairy-Free Corn Chowder

It's sweet corn season nationwide, and what better to make with all those ears than corn chowder? Maybe corn on the cob, but that aside, here's a recipe for your weekend! For the first time in weeks I finally had the desire to make a nice three course meal, so I walked to the co-op and loaded up my backpack with all things fresh. A few slow miles of walking and a three hours later it was Friday night and I was serving up corn chowder, a hearty pesto linguine, and darling shortcakes (recipe to come) on my new roof. This soup is true comfort food for a long week gone by. Sweet and spicy with a zing lime finish! Top with whatever veggies you have around and a hefty sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.Thanks to PPK for all the tips!

olive oil
1 yellow onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1-2 jalapenos
6 ears of corn
3 carrots (chopped)
4 potatoes (peeled and chopped)
5 cups veggie broth
1 Tbs. arrowroot
1 can coconut milk
1-2 limes

Employ one of your trusty kitchen helpers to shuck the corn and pull those pesky silks out. Use a large chef's knife to remove the kernels from the cob and place in a bowl. Heat the veggie broth in a saucepan. In a large soup pot, heat the oil then saute the onion. Once translucent, add the garlic and jalapeno, stirring often to prevent sticking. Add the carrots and corn and saute for 5 minutes. Next add the potato and four cups of veggie broth. Lower to simmer. Mix the remaining cup of veggie broth with the Tbs. of arrowroot powder (or corn starch) and set aside. Once all vegetables are cooked through, add this mixture and the coconut milk and stir to thicken. Once thickened, add the juice of one or two limes and remove from heat. Use an immersion blender to cream part of the soup, leaving some chunks as desired. Taste for lime, salt, and pepper, and top with cilantro and red pepper.


P.S. This is the view from my new roof! My neighbor has the most lovely green roof with wild onions growing on it! I wonder if he will let me go gather a few for a recipe. Until then, it's so nice to enjoy this view and it's so special that someone has taken such care in our little corner of Brooklyn.