Monday, November 27, 2006

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemony Buttercream Frosting and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Cookbook * Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World
Recipe * Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemony Buttercream Frosting
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

What to do when Seattle's weather is acting up? Write a duo cupcake review, of course. I added coffee extract to the chocolate buttercream and added an espresso bean on top - its what caffeine dreams are made of! Pipes nicely, tastes good. Now, the lemony buttercream frosting is equally as good and the lemon zest and fresh lemon juice keep it nice and tangy without being too sweet. The gingerbread cupcakes were perfectly spiced, but maybe a bit too sweet. I found the texture to be sticky although this may be my "average oven", not the recipe. The chocolate cupcakes have already been reviewed - they were tasty, too!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Mushroom Phyllo Turnovers

Cookbook * The Angelica Home Kitchen
Recipe * Mushroom Phyllo Turnovers
Yumm/Yuck * Yumm with Help

There was a time when the thought of using phyllo mortified me. Its too temperamental, too vulnerable to drying out or sticking understand. Well, this recipe has cured my phllyo phobia. Instructions are easy to follow and after you do about 12 or so, it kind of becomes fun, in a "get a life" kind of way. The filling is rich with mushrooms, spinach, sage, tofu, garlic, onion, and other good stuff that tastes great and smells like the holidays. While these morsels are flavorful as is, they could be improved dramatically with a little help. Eat your spinach!

Help: Try steaming the spinach separately and then press, squeeze and otherwise ring the hell out of it before adding to the saute. If you follow the cookbook instructions, you will steam the spinach directly with the filling and the water released by the spinach when it cooks will dilute your lovely filling. I know, I should have known better, but I like to give cookbooks the benefit of the doubt as they are usually right.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

Cookbook * Vegan Planet
Recipe * Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
Yumm or Yuck: * Yumm

Permutations of the ever inventive sweet potato and black bean combo are found in just about every cookbook I own and for good reason - it tastes really good! That said, this enchilada recipe is a real standout. Its super good comfort food, its pretty easy to make, and its loaded with all those fab sweet potato nutrients. I use Follow Your Heart Mozzarella and Hatch enchilada sauce to round things out. Variety is good too...I've added chard, used tofu instead of beans, and switched out the sweet potato for yam. Wondering what the difference between a yam and sweet potato might be? This has been a raging debate in my family for years, as if there aren't better things to argue about :)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Classic Vegetable Lasagna

Cookbook * The Angelica Home Kitchen
Recipe * Classic Vegetable Lasagna
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

I just returned from San Francisco where everyone speaks veg and the food tastes so good I almost want to take up residence...but, I would miss Seattle's weather. So, you want to know about lasagna...its loaded with fresh kale or green of choice, olives, mushrooms, and topped with a tofu ricotta. For those who can plan ahead more than a few days, assemble and freeze this baby for up to a month. Overall the flavor combo can't be beat, but the ricotta seemed too watered down and I would probably try a different ricotta recipe next time. I used my own tomato sauce so can't vouch for the suggested No-Mato Sauce. Beyond flavor, this is an eye-catching dish that holds up well for serving and its very healthy lookin'. If you are ever in NYC, give Angelica a try, its down a tiny one-way in a colorful neighborhood.