Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Desserts

Before going to work this morning, I was busy baking. We are going to friends' for Thanksgiving tomorrow and I wanted to bring a cake with us. Our friends just brought home their little girl from Haiti last week and will probably not be able to make a big dessert. Tomorrow, I'll work on the vegetarian/vegan side dishes for dinner. I am also trying to make some food that they can heat and eat for the next few days. Em, if you lived closer, I would do this for you too :)
Also, my brother and his family are getting ready to make a big move in their lives with their 2 month old son and 2 cats... first to New Jersey and then to India. Lucky for us, on their way to NJ (from MN), they are stopping at our home and spending a little time with us. To help them with the move, I want to do what I can do best - cook food and freeze it for them.
Two good reasons to bake!

First, cake. Our hosts said that pumpkin is not their favorite taste and I am not to comfortable with pies - I am not sure why. So, I decided to look for a cake recipe. I really had to search a LOT to find something that I liked. And then I found - Cherry Chocolate Cake.

I used this recipe almost completely. We have not eaten any of the cake yet, but I tasted some while it was baking - I used a rectangular pan, but a round cake pan would have probably been better, so it took a much longer time to bake, requiring many tastes :) I liked the taste, but would have liked more chocolate in the cake. Melting chocolate chips meant that some of the chocolate remained stuck in the skillet, so I should have used more chocolate chips or cocoa powder. I think pouring some chocolate syrup on top will be good!!

The next baking activity was an old recipe that I had forgotten. A few years ago, I made this Peanut Butter Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips regularly! And just like many other meals, it went to the back of my mind and never got made again. As I was browsing for recipe ideas for muffins/bread to bake, I re-discovered this recipe from an old faithful blog - One Hot Stove.
I modified by using Soy Yogurt, Soy Milk and Egg Replacer to make the recipe Vegan. One bite and it reminded me why we loved the recipe and I made it so often. I doubled the recipe to make a loaf and 12 muffins too. I think I may have to bake another loaf soon. Only half a day has gone by and we already have eaten half the bread!!

I hope you all have a very very happy Thanksgiving and have LOTS to be thankful for. Of all the holidays in India and here, I find this one to be most meaningful and special. It will be a quiet Thanksgiving for us (a friend just called and said they would be coming to visit), but I am thankful for everything that life has given me and will take some time tomorrow to treasure it all.
Em, I hope you have a great thanksgiving too - and you get to enjoy the first day of your time off and the little one lets you rest a bit!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Curried Butternut Squash and Bean Stew

Em sent me this recipe during the week and it looked so appetizing, I made it. The photo does not do the dish any justice. I got a another tutorial about how to take photos so they are in-focus. Maybe next time, it'll be better!! In short, the stew was delicious. V had it for 2-3 meals and enjoyed them.

We made our monthly trip to Trader Joe's and found peeled and cubed butternut squash - the hardest part of B.Nut Squash for me is peeling and cutting it. Score!!
Surprisingly, this recipe came from the Hannaford's website. This is a grocery store in the North East, like Krogers, Meijer in the mid-west.
The flavors of the recipe were really good and it is here.

Modifications that I made
1. No Cannelini beans, so I used garbanzo beans instead - it's what I had at home!
2. Added vegan sausages, cubed.
3. Added a touch of agave nectar for a sweet taste.
4. Added roasted peanuts just before eating.

Yummy!! Enjoy!! I'm thinking of making it again for the Thanksgiving meal!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Waffle Duel; Squash soup with coconut milk

My husband woke up wanting waffles this morning so he made his favorite waffles from this Easy, Basic Waffles in the Morning recipe. He just uses 1/4 cup of oil instead of any applesauce so they are crunchy on the outside. I assume with the applesauce they would be softer. They really are quick and yummy. The recipe makes just enough for the three of us in our 4 waffle iron.
I, on the other hand, wanted to make some Pumpkin Waffles so I looked up a recipe that I have used before on the It seems to have a lot of ingredients but it isn't too difficult. I am not sure if the 2TB soy yogurt are really necessary but I added them anyway and then ate the rest of the yogurt.
In the end, my family had completed their breakfast while I was still mixing my pumpkin waffles but I had a nice, quiet breakfast on my own and it was delicious. This recipe made 10-12 waffles so I should have halved it but I read that they freeze well so I guess I have several breakfasts waiting for me in the freezer now!

Ok, I was not so impressed with my last try at butternut squash soup so I thought I would try again since I still have several large squashes hanging out in my kitchen. I used this Squash Soup as the basis for my version and I have already made it twice since I loved it so much. Here is my version:

Squash Soup with coconut milk

-Saute 2 cloves of garlic along with one chopped onion until soft.
-Add shakes of curry powder, garam masala, black pepper, turmeric, salt and ginger.
-Add cubed butternut squash and delicata squash and cooked until soft (20 minutes plus)
-Add2 cups veggie broth until heated
-Whizz it up with immersion blender
-Add 1/2 can of lite coconut milk and warmed

I love this flavor combination and if you have other recipes that have squash, curry and coconut milk let me know!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halloween Party

A little late in the post. Last weekend, we had a little party at home for Halloween, fall, late Deepavali - vegetarian and Vegan dishes were on display. One of our friends made very pretty halloween-based cakes and I feel bad about not getting a photo. There were costumes - creative and fun ones! Ours were easy and funny!

Some dishes I made were the Chaat that most people enjoyed. It had a little 'kick' to it too.

Also, pumpkin cookies adapted from this recipe on I substituted 1/2 cup of applesauce for 1/2 cupe of oil. I did not add nuts and I used craisins and chocolate chips instead. Like all the comments in the recipe, it is slightly more like a 'muffin' or 'cake' than a cookie.

The muffin is from this recipe. I did not change much this time. The last time I made it, it was dense - like a bread. But, this time around - soft, tarty and sweet.

Bean dip adapted from this recipe. I used black beans rather than white because that's what I had. I used 2 cans of beans instead of the one can that the recipe indicates. I also added some chipotle in adobo sauce and vegan sour cream to the recipe. Served it with chips, of course. The leftovers turned into the base for the tortilla pizza for the past 2 days!!

I hope you are doing well and the shoulder get unstuck from your hip, Em.