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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

End of the year food photo show

Happy Holidays everybody,

I actually have a few entries in the stack, but I haven't done an old fashioned show and tell of the food that I've been cooking over the year. I still take a lot of photos, but I don't always post them. Sometimes, I think that it's too much and maybe people don't need to see every single little thing, but anyway, here's a little show and tell. 

Mediterranean Style Fried rice with chopped Makdous, shredded carrots, spices and garnished with Organic Cilantro

These were a batch of V,GF Banana Bread Muffins
Same batch

A Fresh Mango and Black Bean Salsa that I made.

A V flatbread topped with an herb pesto and sliced green olives

Served with an organic marinara sauce

This was one of many different coconut based fusion curries that I made

At a restaurant: Fresh Vegan Vietnamese Fresh rolls with a peanut sauce
At a restaurant: customized V, Vietnamese rice noodles
I made a batch of V, Spinach pies as a gift to one of my friends

Filling the homemade dough

Pies waiting to be put on the tray

Pies ready to get a golden tan


V, Zucchini Ribbon Pasta 

Veggie Maki

This is homemade Pak tong koh and if you don't know what that is, then you don't know how  crazy it is to be making it at home! We would normally just buy this at the Chinese bakery, but it was amazing to be able to make this special rice cake!

One of the first versions of Vegan Filipino Kaldereta  that I made.  I didn't have any green olives to use; so I ended up using some calamatas. The next batch had real deal and I liked that one a lot better. =)

This is a Organic Baby Kale Salad with Organic shredded carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and red cabbage in a mustard vinaigrette with toasted Organic sunflower seeds

One of the many incarnations of my Jessified Vegan Shawarma

V,GF Date and Organic Sunflower seed Mamouls and V, GF Orange and Fennel Shortbread

V,GF Apple Crisp getting ready for the oven

Delicious Tostones =)

V,GF Filipino Champorado style porridge (without tsokolate!) with sweetned mung bean  and dusted with chia seeds

V, Zatar with black calamata olives on a homemade crust

V,GF Rice noodles with sauteed Chinese greens, King Oyster Mushrooms and Fresh mung sprouts in a  Vegetable soup

At a restaurant: Koshary, an Egyptian specialty. This is one of those dishes that can make or break a relationship.  Pasta, rice, lentils, chickpeas, carmelized onions served with a savory tomato sauce.

I didn't post all the food photos from this past year; otherwise this would be a billion pages long. I also didn't want to re-post photos from previous posts and things that were already posted on FB. I hope that you enjoyed some of them and let me know which ones peaked your interest the most. 

I hope that you all had a good year and that you have another beautiful and health filled 2013.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Join Me for Merienda: V,GF Cranberry Apple Spice Cobbler

Hello again blogosphere,

I recently made this for Thanksgiving not knowing that it would ultimately make somebody very happy. My cousin Desiree flew in from Texas with her husband, friends Maria and Darren. I didn't know it, but Maria had recently switched to a gluten free regimen for about a year. She also had a dairy allergy; so she was happy to know that she could eat a dessert. So, this post is dedicated to Maria. I hope you'll make this for your next gathering. Thank you for appreciating my cooking =)

 I do not have Celiac disease, but I've learned to bake and cook a lot of Gluten Free dishes as a result of making treats and food while my brother Jonathan would visit. I think that even if you don't have Celiac disease it's still not a good idea to overload on gluten or wheat products (generally, you just shouldn't overload on any one thing, anyway). People who have problems with joint pains, arthritis may especially want to consider lessening or possibly eliminating it from their diets as gluten can cause inflammation. There is also a case for those diagnosed with Autism to follow a Gluten Free diet because of few different factors, but if you'd like to learn more about it you can certainly do your own research or read entries from Jonathan's blog The Canary Files

I am one of those home cooks that cooks with my senses and so it's sometimes a bit frustrating when I have to actually put down measurements, but don't get me wrong, it is important to have ratios; especially when you're dealing with liquid,dry and leavening ratios. Generally though, I cook on the fly, but it's only because I've had experience. When I first start making something I try to use a few guidelines and then after that I have fun playing in the 'lab' customizing my food. =)

This is the photo of the original cobbler that I brought to Thanksgiving. Can tell how much it bubbled in the oven?I did some tweaking to the recipe; since I had time to edit it and I hope you'll enjoy the results =)

V,DF- Cranberry Apple Spice Cobbler

Dry Ingredients:

3/4C Besan (Garbanzo) Flour
1C Rice Flour
3/4C Tapioca Starch
1/2-3/4C FT Organic Unrefined Sugar
3-5Tb Organic Ground Flax 
1/2tsp Allspice
Dash of Nutmeg
1tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
Dash of Himalayan Pink Salt or regular sea salt fine ground
*You could also use one of those Gluten Free All Purpose Mixes,
 but I prefer to blend my own.

Wet Ingredients:

1/4C Canola Oil
1/2tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
3/4-1 C Organic Almond or Rice or Coconut Milk (depending on humidity)
1 1/2 C Room Temperature Homemade Spiced Cranberry Sauce
 ( You can use my recipe *see below, The Canary files recipe or your own recipe)
3-5C Peeled and Sliced Organic Apples
*Optional you can toss your apple slices in a bit of lemon juice a tiny bit of sugar and a tiny bit of cinnamon and let them macerate for a few minutes before you mix the apples into the cranberry sauce

Macerating/Marinating the apple slices in Organic Lemon Juice, Organic FT Unrefined sugar and a bit of spice.
*Optional 4-6 Sliced Dried Unsulphured Unsweetened Plums or any other dried fruit perhaps cherries or apricots etc.

Tools needed:

Mixing bowl
Baking sheet
Wooden Spoon
A casserole dish


Sieving the dry ingredients together. No lumps for me!
Batter up!
Preheat your oven to 365F. Sift your flours together with the spices,flax,leavening,sugar making sure that there are no lumps. I like besan flour, but I do not want to get a surprising dry lump of it while eating this cobbler =) Add in your liquid components until just combined and mostly smooth, it should be a bit thicker than pancake batter.Set aside the batter for a few minutes and prepare your casserole dish ( I used a large corning ware casserole dish with lid) using a bit of canola oil, spreading it around to just coat the surface lightly. This will help with the cleanup portion of it later.
Evenly distribute the apples and cranberry sauce in the dish.
Pour the batter on top in 1/2C increments. Don't overflow the dish!
I had about 1C of batter leftover. 
 Make sure that the cranberry sauce and the apples are evenly distributed in the casserole dish (this is also would add in the dried fruit of choice) and then carefully pour your batter on top. If you find that you have more batter than you need (looks like the casserole dish is getting crowded) you can save the extra batter to make other goodies (I had about 1C of batter leftover). Tap the casserole dish to get rid of any extra air bubbles, place it on the baking sheet and then put the lid on the dish and place it into the 365F oven for about 20-30 minutes (it may take longer or lesser time, depending on what type of over you use, for example I use an electric oven where as a gas oven make cook it more quickly). 

My dog Seeley looking sleepy as he perches on a chair waiting for me to finish making the cobbler. Do you think he wants a piece?

We keep the lid on it first to make sure that the batter cooks through evenly and then carefully remove the lid (don't give yourself nasty steam burns, open it away from your person) rotate the casserole dish and put it back into the oven turning down the oven to 350F and cooking it for a further 15-20 minutes (again depending on your oven type). You will see the top brown and a lot of bubbling action. Please be careful when removing it from the oven, wear oven mitts and an apron (if you've got one!) and let it rest on a trivet for about 10-15 minutes before serving. 

This is what it looked like straight out of the oven.

This is what it looks like after you let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

A glorious scoop of freshly made cobbler. No a la mode for me! 
I like it on its own (it's already basically cake and sauce), but some people seem to be really into this thing called a la mode, maybe you've heard of it? Yep, so if that's you then you could top this off with a scoop of V,GF non dairy ice cream.

Oh and here is one of my recipes for homemade cranberry sauce:

One of Jess' versions of Homemade Cranberry Sauces

Some of my friends call me saucy, but others just want to relish my friendship =p

1 package of cranberries preferably Organic washed and drained
2/3C or less FT Organic Unrefined Sugar
1 small cinnamon stick
3 Green Cardamom Pods
2-5 Slices of Fresh Ginger (if you love ginger go for 5)
2-3 Whole Allspice
1 Clove
1 3/4C  Filtered Water
A dash of Himalayan Pink Salt


Place all ingredients into a medium sized sauce pan with a lid on and bring to a boil and then turn it down to medium low and simmer for at least 25 minutes.

Let it cool down to room temperature before using in the cobbler recipe.
If you prefer a smoother sauce you might want to puree 60 percent of it before mixing it all together with the apples.

I'm trying to put up a few more posts before the year is over, but in the meantime I do hope you try this recipe out for your next gathering. 

Wishing you all Happy Holidays and another Healthful New Year!

Jessica <3