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White Chocolate Oatmeal Bread

Monday, August 31, 2009

I have been cooking for clients a lot this week, you know my real job as a personal chef. So not too much cooking on the home front, at least not too much interesting cooking. Sean cooked one night, so that was a nice treat; we went out with friends one night, another treat. Last night my mother-in-law came for dinner; I wasn't feeling too great when it came time to plan & shop for dinner. I had some pinto beans soaking, so we had simple beans & brown rice last night. However, I did make some quick bread for dessert, white chocolate oatmeal bread.

My original thought was to use chocolate chips, until I realized I didn't have any. My sister was visiting from France back in the spring; when she visits she normally brings everyone small gifts. Mine & Sean's gift was a bag of chocolate bars; nothing fancy, nothing from one of those ridiculously expensive shops in Paris where they place your chocolates in a box & tie it with a ribbon, just chocolate from the local grocery store, I believe. But, they were amazing, all the same! All different types, hazelnut, crème brûlée, and others that I can't recall since we (okay, mostly I) ate (okay, devoured) them months ago! Anyhow, there was one white chocolate bar. I am not a white chocolate fan, so it was still left in the bag on the shelf. Last night, in my search for some sort of chocolate to put in my bread, I found the lone, last bar. I decided to send it home with my mother-in-law for her to give to my sister-in-law. But I thought I should at least taste it before I parted with it. What I had not noticed before is that on the package there was pictures of coconut next to the white chocolate, evidently indicating that it contained coconut. This white chocolate was amazing! It had crunchies in it & was so smooth & coconuty! I decided to ditch my original plan of goodwill--I would hoard my last chocolate bar, keep it all to myself! But first I would use a little in my bread. Thus the creation of white chocolate oatmeal bread.

White Chocolate Oatmeal Bread

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
1 cup sugar (I always use Sugar in the Raw)
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup white chocolate chips or cut into small pieces (as was my case)
1 3/4 cups soy milk
2 T. lemon juice or vinegar
2 T. milled flax seed
1/4 cup melted margarine

In a bowl mix the soy milk with the vinegar & set aside.

In another bowl mix flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nuts & chocolate.

To the soy milk add the milled flax seed & the melted margarine.

Add the wet to the dry & mix well.

Bake in a well greased 9x5 loaf pan at 350º for approximately 50 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Enjoy!

Now, I have no idea if my white chocolate was vegan because I did not go to the trouble of looking up the translation of all the ingredients, being that they were written in French. The bread was moist & delicious! However, I must say, I was not able to taste the white chocolate too much; I probably should have added more white chocolate, but then I would have less to eat later! I think next time I will go back to my original plan make it with Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips instead, in hopes of more flavor. But this loaf will not be wasted. In fact, I think it may be calling my name right now....

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
9:01 AM


Cheezy Potato Squash Soup

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I recently ordered 'The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook' by Joanne Stepaniak from Half.com. I really wanted to try my hand at making "block" cheese; I haven't tried any of her recipes yet, though, because the ones for block cheese all call for agar flakes or powder & I don't have any right now. But this afternoon I decided to try her Philly Potato Chowder. Well, I didn't have enough potatoes, so guess what? I got to use some more of my squash stash! I have modified her recipe enough that I have made it my own, so I am posting it; but for the record Joanne's recipe was my base.

Cheezy Potato Squash Soup

8 cups water
3 cups peeled, diced potatoes
2 cups diced squash
2 large onions, diced
1 cup plain soy milk
3/4 cup cashews (all the cheeze recipes I have ever made call for raw cashews, I actually use regular salted cashews & it always turns out)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 T. salt
1 T. onion powder
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. dill
1 t. white pepper
2 t. lemon juice
3 pinches citric acid
fakin' bacon bits

Combine water, potatoes, squash & onions in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover & simmer until potatoes are fork tender & begin to break down, about 30 minutes.

Remove 2 cups of the soup broth with some vegetables in it, place in a blender with remaining ingredients, except the fakin' bacon. (I tried to pick out most of the squash & add to the blender so that they consistency of the final soup would be more smooth.) Process until completely smooth. Return blended mixture to the soup pot. Cook & stir over meium heat until thickened. Garnish with fakin' bacon bits.

***I am sure I used more garlic powder & onion powder than listed above, probably more salt, too.

As I am typing this my husband went & tasted the soup, from the kitchen I could hear him say (and I quote) "What is this soup?". I was nervous that he didn't like it, so I asked "Do you like it?", Sean said "Yes; what is it? You didn't use real cheese did you?" I have been cooking completely vegan for my husband for over 3 years now & he still asks, "Is this vegan?" I want to say, "No, Sean, I added bacon grease just for kicks & giggles!" Well, at least he likes it! I will finish this post after I have tried it....

It was alright; but what I will do differently next time is this...While the potatoes & squash cook saute' the onion with diced celery & then add some minced fresh garlic. Add this to the blender & puree with other ingredients. I think this would add more flavor.

On a random side note, I had been out running errands one day & came home to find this on my porch...

Yes, that is my goofy husband, Sean, the one who started us on this vegan journey, in a box with his keyboard. I really don't have any words & I certainly didn't on that particular day, either. His explanation was that he thought to sit down on the box, but it didn't really hold him up; he slid into the box & just decided to stay a while...with keyboard in hand, mind you!

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
4:11 PM


The 'Stream

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Well, I suppose it's time to introduce you to my 'stream. Blog, this is my good friend, 1969 Airstream Globetrotter--AKA 'Stream; 'Stream, this is Blog.

Sean & I bought the 'Stream several months ago. We have slowly (thanks to the extreme heat) been remodeling it. By remodeling it I mean we gutted it & are in the process of converting it into a commercial kitchen for me! Sean has replaced the floor in the areas where it needed it. I am hoping to go look at appliances today. The electrician needs me to pick those out so he knows how much electricity the trailer needs--or something technical like that.

What am I going to do with a commercial kitchen in an Airstream, you ask? We feel that it will open me up to more cooking gigs & different venues. And who knows, down the road I may even be able to open a natural foods cafe' from it! For now, we will keep working on the conversion & I will keep cooking for clients in their homes--which I love! I will keep you posted on the progress.

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
9:46 PM


Squash, squash & more squash

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's the age old summer dilemma...what to do with all the zucchini you have grown or been given. I see magazine articles, television segments & blogs about the many uses for zucchini. I recently read where a city declared "leave some zucchini on your neighbors front porch" day! I thought that was clever, but didn't really solve the problem. Sean & I have been splitting a box of local, organic produce with another couple every other week from a local company called Off the Vine. Yes, we have gotten a lot of squash, all different sorts of squash, but being that we split this with another couple, I haven't had too much. However, a few weeks ago a good friend of mine (the wife of the couple that we split the veggies with) & her son picked me a huge bag of yellow squash & cucumbers from the community garden in Calhoun, Georgia. I immediately started slicing the cucumbers & adding to jars of pickle juice that I had saved for just that purpose--what I call lazy "homemade" pickles; they are actually pretty tasty, however, you can only use the leftover juice for so long before it becomes diluted. But what to do with all that squash?

First, I fried some, which is very unusual at our house; even though I cook a lot of southern food, I very rarely fry anything. They were delicious! However, my eyes burned the rest of the day; I am assuming it had something to do with the temperature of the oil--not a good sign. This past week I was thinking of other ways to use some of the squash. I wondered that if I can make zucchini bread, why can't I make squash bread? So, I did & it was yummalicious! This is completely vegan & full of healthy flax seed! The batch in this picture has the nuts on top because I forgot to stir in the walnuts, so I just added them to the top. I also had some grated carrot leftover from making fresh rolls & threw them into the mix, added some nice color & extra nutrients!

Lemon Squash Muffins

1 1/2 cup grated squash
3/4 cup sugar (I use Sugar in the Raw)
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup + 1 T. milled flax seed
3 T. soy milk
1 T. vanilla extract
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. lemon zest, chopped (if you don't have a zester, use a grater)
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I use pastry)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a cupcake pan (or 8x4 loaf pan if you want a loaf).

Mix squash, sugar, oil, flax seed, soy milk, vanilla, lemon juice & zest in a bowl.
In another bowl sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda & cinnamon.

Stir the dry into the wet. Stir in the walnuts.

Bake for 25-30 minutes longer for a loaf. Let cool 10 minutes & the turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


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posted by Jamie the Foodie
1:16 PM