Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mizza Snackers

It's a meatball! It's a pizza! It's a Mizza!

I opened up my fridge today to find that one of the cans of crescent rolls I purchased yesterday from the health food store had burst open. After debating whether to wrap them around vegan hot dogs or to use some leftover pizza sauce, I opted for the pizza sauce. I grabbed some leftover sauce, leftover Daiya mozzarella and opened the freezer for more inspiration where there was a partial bag of leftover frozen vegan meatballs. Light bulb!

I wrapped them up and popped them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees and that's how the Mizza was born. An easy, yummy kid-friendly snack. :)

Stack a cooked meatball, cheese and sauce on a crescent roll dough.

Wrap it up!


Vegan Campbell's

When I stopped eating dairy, the biggest dilemma I faced was dealing was trying to recreate some of my favorite casseroles, which as most of us would agree, consist of Campbell's soups. Cream of Chicken & Cream of Mushroom soup made the deans list in nearly every casserole recipe I had ever made and were the star ingredients in my family's traditional Thanksgiving & Christmas dishes.

 It took about a year to figure it out but the following are the recipes I've been using for 2 years now and so far, no one has made the connection yet to the fact that I am now dairy-free and they are still enjoying the same cherished holiday meals.  This recipe is so freaking easy, anyone can do it.  It requires the ability to make something boil.

First, you make the broth.  Or you skip this step if you have store bought.  This method will yield like, a million cups of broth and the powder only cost me about $8.  The boxed Imagine broth that I buy sometimes is over $4 for 4 freaking cups!  Take that bargain hunters!
Next, (or first if you had broth already), whisk the corn starch into your non-dairy milk.  Make sure to use a full fat 'milk' or creamer.  Not lite versions and not rice milk because it is too runny.  Soy, almond, oat, hemp, coconut...all of those work better to produce a consistency closer to the Campbell's junk we're used to.

Then, if making Cream of MUSHROOM, dice the mushrooms.  Instead of making it a pain in the ass measuring out and converting ounces to cups, just buy an 8oz package and use roughly HALF.  Easy as pie.

.....annnnd saute until soft.
Add broth and seasonings.
Add the 'milk'.  Then whisk, whisk, whisk!


Voila!  Cream of mushroom soup.  Let it cool to room temperature and it will be just as disgustingly gelatinous as the crap that falls out of the can shaped just like a can.

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Makes about 2 cups
For Cream of Chicken soup, omit the mushrooms and start by boiling broth.

4oz white button mushrooms, diced 
1 cup non-dairy milk or creamer
4 Tbsp corn starch
1 cup vegetarian chicken broth
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Saute mushrooms in a skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray over medium-high heat.  In a separate bowl, whisk corn starch into non-dairy milk.  Set aside.  When mushrooms are soft and darkened in color, add broth and seasonings.  Bring to a boil.  Pour in 'milk' mixture and whisk constantly until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to stand at room temperature until ready to use.  Will keep for several days in an airtight container in the fridge.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Kraken Apples

Bear with me folks.  I may cook a mean meal., but a photographer I am not.  After the new year, I plan on taking some classes.  These pictures may not look fantastic, and after being cooked the apples do look kind of like tomatoes, but it's pretty damn good and it may even give you a nice holiday buzz.  It pairs perfectly with a scoop of vanilla non-dairy ice cream.  =)

I use Kraken because of its unique flavor.  It has a taste that doesn't compare to other rums.  It screams 'fall' and is the perfect rum for this time of year.  Add it to your eggnog, apple cider or a splash in a holiday Sangria.

I was going crock-pot happy (more recipes to come!) and wanted to make something that screamed Fall/Winter without an overdose of evergreen being shoved down my throat.  Since I am quite the fan of any dessert made with liquor, and since Kraken rum is one of the perfect holiday liquors, I opened my fridge, grabbed some apples and got to work.

**Warning: This dessert is for 21+ only!!

First, you want to core the apples.  I used a paring knife since I don't have one of those fancy gadgets.  It probably took less time.  Make sure to get the whole core and seeds out.

Then I mixed up some shit.  Walnuts, cinnamon, brown sugar.  I wanted to add raisins but I didn't have any on hand.  But if you do, do it.  ;)

Put the apples in your crock-pot and then you get to packin'.  Hard, huh?  Use a small measuring spoon to shove it into the cores.

Then use your clean finger, because dirty fingers are just gross, and pack it in tighter.  Then shove more in until the filling is peaking out of the top.

Pour the Kraken and water or cider over the apples.

There it is.  My piss poor photo.  Turn crock-pot on low and let it sit there for several hours.  (Insert Jeopardy music here)

My even worse photo.  This is the finished product.  Looks like tomatoes stuffed with cat turds but I swear it smelled like a little piece of heaven floating in rum and tasted better than that.

There you have it.  My seriously lacking photography skills and a fabulous recipe that will fill your belly and get you drunk at the same time.

Kraken Apples

5-6 small Gala Apples, cored
1/2 cup walnuts, shelled
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Kraken rum
1/4 cup water or apple cider

This recipe makes enough for 6 small gala apples but my crock-pot only fit 5.  So 5-6 is fine.  Core apples.  

Put walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon & vanilla in food processor.  Pulse a few times until coarsely ground.  

Place apples in crock-pot   Use a spoon to spoon walnut mixture into apple cores.  Press down firmly using your finger to pack it in, and fill some more.
Pour the Kraken rum & water or cider into the crock-pot and set on LOW for about 8 hours.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Chai Spiced Russian

On the 3rd day of Christmas
My bartender gave to me...
3 Chai Spiced Russians,

2 Pumpkin Eggnogs
and a...
1 Candy Cane Martini

Chai Spiced Russian

1 shot vodka
1 shot Kahlua
1 shot Oregon Chai 'Chai Tea Latte' concentrate
2 shots non-dairy milk

Pout each, in order, into ice filled glass. Bottoms up!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Egglection Day

Is there a better way to end Election Day than with a winter cocktail? I think not. To continue with my 12 Days of Holiday Drinks blogs...

On the 2nd day of Christmas, my bartender gave to me...
Two pumpkin eggnogs...
...and a Candy Cane Martini

Pumpkin Eggnog
prepare vodka first, start a week before!

First, make the vodka. I use organic but use your favorite vodka. In a large mason jar, put about 1/4 cup of pumpkin purée, 1 cinnamon stick, 1/2 vanilla bean that's been split & 1 whole clove. Allow to sit for several days or a week. Store in freezer.

Likewise, for a different flavor, use Kracken rum. It's a spiced rum that just screams Eggnog!

I also use vegan eggnog. While I do consume eggs occasionally, eggnog is insanely disgusting for your bod. I choose the vegan variety.

Mix a pinch of cinnamon, a shot of either pumpkin vodka or Kracken rum with 6-8oz vegan eggnog.

Stir and enjoy!

P.S. I've served this at holiday parties and NO ONE had any idea if was not real eggnog. In fact, most raved about how good it was!

Monday, November 5, 2012

12 Days of Holiday Drinks

Must have cocktails for the holidays! In a non-consecutive order, I will be posting my 12 favorite holiday drinks.

On the 1st day of Christmas, my bartender gave to me...
....a Candy Cane Martini!

Candy Cane Martini
1 shot peppermint schnapps
1 shot white Creme de cocoa
2 shots cranberry juice cocktail

Dip the glass in chocolate syrup (non dairy of course!) or agave nectar. Then into crushed organic candy canes. You can find them at the health food store this time of year.

Shake all over ice and pour into rimmed glass.