Friday, July 21, 2017

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

My husband and I have switched over to a plant based, vegan diet mainly for health benefits.  If you read my blog, you know we are meat eaters.  My husband being a major meat eater.  But we have always had meatless meals before they started gaining in popularity.  This has helped us a lot.  We were already enjoying great bean burgers.  And please, please, please, if you have never had homemade, it is a completely different experience.  Don't judge all bean burgers like you judge the one in the box from the store.

Since the day after Mothers Day (Mothers Day was the day I made this cake) we have been 95% vegan).  We have not eaten any meat but there may have been some parmegan on our spaghetti a few times.  We have lots of it to use up. If a recipe calls for an egg, I use an egg but we no longer have eggs for breakfast.  Our egg consumption has about 15 every week to less than one.  I am not going to ever be 100% probably, but mostly, yes.

I started a new blog, check it out.  It is called VEEG. My daughter named it.  It's all about my husband and I stepping into a vegan, plant based life.

What will happen to Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness.  Well, I probably will post here when I make things for my kids or for pot lucks, things that will not be appropriate for Veeg.  So Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness will go on, albeit, with fewer postings.



PUMPKIN BUNDT CAKE
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.  You can find the original here on the net.

2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin

*sugar glaze drizzle of confectioners and sugar mixed together about the consistency of a thin pancake batter or heavy cream.

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves; add to egg mixture alternately with pumpkin, beating well after each addition. 
Transfer to a greased bundt pan. Bake 60-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Remove pan and cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 12-16 servings. 

Originally published as Pumpkin Pound Cake in Country Extra November 1999, p49 

Nutritional Facts (Since I reduced the sugar content the carbs and sugar values would be slightly lower)
1 slice: 351 calories, 15g fat (2g saturated fat), 40mg cholesterol, 245mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate (32g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Some Simple Summer Salads

Using that delicious dill dressing, you can add it to your potato salad as a mayonnaise alternative.  It makes for a great salad.  I used the dressing I made from the previous post, found here and added onion.

The night we had the potato salad, I also made some roasted asparagus and tossed it with mini tomatoes, some balsamic, garlic powder, S&P and oil.   It was heavenly! A simple summer salad idea for yah.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Dill Mustard Sauce


Last summer, at Ikea, I picked up a bottle of their delicious mustard dill sauce!  Insert a choir of angels here and the heavens opening with light and joy.  Love this stuff, its a Swedish sauce called,  Hovmästarsås, it is incredible.  I was hooked but with Ikea two hours away and in another country, yes, that's the closest one to me, I had to find another alternative.  Behold, the amazing internet.  After looking at a few recipes, and they are really simple, I came up with my own interpretation.  I have a bit more dill than most recipes.  But I really like the dill. AMAZING stuff. Picture it if you will in a potato salad. I am picturing it and I will be making it tonight!

Dill Mustard Sauce

1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Grainy Mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 generous tablespoons honey
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped finely

Whisk together the Dijon, oil, vinegar and honey.  Drizzle in oil, whisking constantly.  It will emulsify easily because of the honey.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

STRAWBERRY SALAD DRESSING



So many changes here at Lori's.  As you can tell I have been off my 'game', unable to keep up with the demands of this blog as I learn to balance, children, career, home, marriage, friends... Yeah! I am struggling.  As I know many of you are with the same issues.  I know I am not alone in this boat.  Or maybe it is a ship, as the people on board are vast in numbers.  Mostly women.  Not that there are not men who "do it all".  If my husband was reading this, he'd say, what?  Of course I do a lot.  And he does, but ladies, you know, it ain't the same.  We pick up the slack on things like the kids doctors visits to whose cleaning up the dog mess.  Seriously! I don't want to get into the whole gender thing cause this is not what this post is about.

What's it about?  My absence and the changes and hopefully somewhere in this verbiage, what can be done about 'balance'.  I hate to sound all depressing here but balance is an enigma. When you really look at it, it flies in the face of reality.  Before you can ever reach balance, you have to strip away things from your life to simplify.  You can keep 100 balls flying in the air.  Maybe you can manage 5.  Maybe it's 3.  Be fair to yourself.  Don't be hard on yourself.  You can not create balance and 'om' with so much to do.  Sometimes in life, you will need to run from fire to fire.  Managing the flames so they don't scorch anyone.  Goodness.

Be kind to yourself.  There is so much on your plate these days.  We have so many conveniences and opportunities but the list of choices is giant.  Your time needs to be put on a budget.  Let me speak in first person here.  Let's do the calculations here. There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week. That's 168 hours.  Less sleeping time, and I like to get 8 if I can (and really we all should strive for nearly that). That's 56 hours.

168 hours
- 58 sleep time
110
- 35 work hours for me
75
-5 for commute
70
-16+ household chores, cooking, cleaning, gardening, etc. (also very conservative)
54
-3  errands, grocery shopping, banking, oil changes (this is definitely a conservative figure.)
51
-4  personal grooming, showers, blow drying hair, make up, etc
47
-3  exercise (yes, I know, this should be mroe, but right now I am nursing a sore knee)
44
That's a little over 6 hours a day. Most of that time chiming in on the weekend.  Thinking of no other obligations, like children and parents, this is how many hours are left to do whatever.  To balance your hobbies, spending time with the people you love, reading a bool, taking a class, whatever.  It goes real fast so you have to spend it wisely.

Okay so I didn't tackle what to do about balance.  Except maybe have an appreciation for all I do and give myself a break.  I want to keep Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness going.  I am going to do my best.

Here is a way to spend less than five minutes to make yourself a seriously wholesome and tasty salad dressing that will be sure to please you while you are eating your next salad.

STRAWBERRY SALAD DRESSING
It s a decent thickness but if you want to set it up a little add a teaspoon of chia seeds.

¼ cup olive oil
½ cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
5 good size strawberries, stems removed
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
½ teaspoon salt

In a blender combine all ingredients and blend until emulsified.  I didn't even drizzle in oil, didn't need to.  Put it in my Magic Bullet and boom! Done! And it stayed emulsified.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

SKILLET PEAS and POTATOES



This is a quick meal.  Super quick. Not much chopping involved either. It is meatless, in fact, it is Vegan.  But, more importantly, it is delicious.  How can you go wrong with potatoes?  Certainly if you don't care for coconut and you consume milk, you can replace with milk, just be careful about the burn factor.

This recipe is complete with substitutions.

Disclaimer:  The photo above was taken a little but before it was finished.  Once it was finished, it was like a mob scene.  No chance for photo ops.  Shhh.  I did get to steal some away for my lunch the next day before anyone else even had a taste.

SKILLET PEAS and POTATOES

1 pound small potatoes
1 cup peas
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 can or 1 cup of coconut milk
2 teaspoons Garam Masala*

In a large skillet pan or Dutch oven place your small potatoes or chopped potatoes, add about an inch of water and some salt.  Cover and cook until potatoes get fork tender.  If there is a little water in the pan let it cook out by taking off the lid, if there is still quite a bit, drain and return the potatoes to the pan.  Add in chopped onion and vegetable oil along with the garam masala.  Let the onions cook a little.  Add chopped tomato, peas and a half of a can of coconut milk. Make sure you scrape the bottom to incorporate those brown tasty bits.

*If you are not a fan of Indian food you can replace the spice with one of those spike mixes such as Montreal Steak seasoning or Rosemary garlic.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Tea time will be back soon.  I am sconed out at the moment and needed a breather from all that scone baking, In the mean time, I bring you this lovely cheesecake.  Swoon.

Some time ago it was my husbands birthday.  We celebrated with some delicious chocolate peanut butter cheesecake. I made a few mistakes but in the end it was okay.

One of the mistakes I made was that I overfilled the water.  When I make cheesecake, at least in recent times, I put it in a water bath.  I find the cheesecake to be more moist and it bakes better.  You will see this idea in a lot of recipes. It helps with not getting that infamous crack on top.
You need to have a piece of foil large enough to cover the bottom of your cheesecake.  I find that the standard foil here in the US is narrow, not wide enough to get a nice seal on the bottom of a 9" round. Most times I do not have the wider heavy duty foil.  If you want to do the water bath I recommend getting the wider foil.

The other mistake I made was not putting enough of the batter mixed with the peanut butter.  It got too thick and dint go on the cheesecake evenly.  Also the chocolate portion was dulled by too much batter.  Next time, half and half.  This will make the chocolate portion of the cheesecake more chocolatey and the peanut putter portion more pourable and spreadable.

Yes, there will be a next time because it still was good.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

crust
1 cup finely ground chocolate wafer cookies (4 ounces)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

filling
4 ounces semisweet chocolate (55 to 61 percent cacao), finely chopped
4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
Pinch of coarse salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grind chocolate wafer cookies into crumbs, mix with melted butter and sugar. Line bottom and a little up the sides of a 9 inch round cheesecake pan, Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.

In a mixing bowl place cream cheese and sugar and salt.  Blend together for about 3 minutes.  Add in vanilla.  Add in eggs one at a time, mixing after each one. Scrape down sides. Mix just until blended. Divide batter in two.

In the same mixer with half the batter, add peanut butter and blend until combined.  Pour into a bowl and set aside.  Melt chocolate in bain marie or microwave, making sure just to heat it until it melts. In that same mixer combine the reserved half of batter and add in the chocolate.

Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared crust cheesecake pan.  Spoon peanut butter batter over the top. Smooth.  Place in oven on center rack.  Bake for approx. one hour and 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on it.  You want it to be slightly jiggly in center before you take it out.

This following alternate way of baking is not necessary but it will yield a very moist cheese cake.

If you would like to bake it the way I did (ensuring that you cover the bottom better than I did), cover the bottom of cheesecake pan in foil, making sure it is tight around.  Place in in a larger baking pan. Pour in some water to the larger baking pan (under the cheesecake pan) about an inch.  It should not be anywhere near the top of the foil on the cheesecake pan.  Once the cooking time is complete, open the oven door a crack and let the oven cool to room temperature before removing the cheesecake.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tea Time Tuesday: Blueberries






































This week Sandy from Quilting From The Rest Of Us chose blueberries as our theme.  Head on over to her blog and you can learn about some awesome blueberry tea.  I personally love blueberry tea. Pour me a up Sandy!

I feel like I should write an ode to blueberries because they are so much a part of my life.  Every year we cant wait to go picking blueberries.  We have made a picnic out of blueberry picking for at least 11 years.   This weeks "flavor" is extra special to me.

I did not make any scones this week out of blueberries. I just plain ran out of time but I am going to show you three of my favorite blueberry recipes that are from the past.  They have been made more than once in this house.

The first is blueberry tart.  This tart is slammin' jammin' blueberry rich.  It has kind of a blueberry jam beneath and then fresh blueberries on top.  It's SOOOOO good.


Blueberry Tart 
Longbotham, Lori. 'Luscious Berry Desserts'. Chronicle Books. San Francisco: 2006.
Recipe found here at Joy of Baking
Pastry:
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
2 tablespoon (25 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.54 cm) pieces
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 - 2 tablespoons ice water
Filling:
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) all purpose flour
Garnish:
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
Confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar

Pastry: In your food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). In a small bowl, whisk the egg and vanilla. Then gradually pour in a steady stream, with the motor running, through the feed tube until the pastry just holds together when pinched. Add water, if necessary. Do not process more than about 30 seconds.

Transfer the pastry to an 11 inch (28 cm) fluted tart pan, and press evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Cover and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the blueberry topping.

Preheat the oven to 425 degree F (220 degree C).

In a large bowl combine the sugar and flour. Add 2 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries and toss to coat. Remove the chilled pastry from the refrigerator and evenly pour in the blueberries and sugar/flour mixture. Place the tart pan on a large baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and continue to bake until the pastry is golden brown (about 30 - 35 minutes). (Halfway through the baking time, stir the berries if there is any flour on them.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Top with the remaining 2 1/2 cups of blueberries (crown side up), pressing them gently into the hot blueberry jam. I like to make concentric circles with the blueberries, starting at the outside edge. Let the tart cool to room temperature before serving. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with softly whipped cream or ice cream. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator.


Makes one - 11 inch (28 cm) tart.

This one is a huge pain to make but well worth it.

Fruit Squares
My Great Aunt was apparently a caterer. This recipe comes from her.  This recipe is one of the things she use to serve.

3/4 cup lard or vegetable shortening
4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

filling of our choice (you can make your won or buy the canned pie filling)

In a large bowl beat shortening/lard with sugar.  Add eggs, milk and vanilla.  In another bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder.  Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.

After dough chills, roll out half of dough and lay in an ungreased 15-x10-inch baking sheet. Spread pie filling over it.  Roll out remaining half and place over filling or you can make a lattice top by cutting in strips and laying over top of filling, pinching the edges as you go.
Roll out dough between wax paper.  It is very sticky. If you want to make your life a little easier, chill the dough for 20 minutes before pulling the wax paper off.  Place dough on jelly roll pan about 10 x 15. Bake at 350F until golden and pulling away from the sides a little, about 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars or squares.

And finally this one. Can if in the summer and enjoy it all winter long.  We did!  Pour this all over your crumpets...


Blueberry Syrup
Ball Canning Recipe here.

8 cups blueberries, crushed (about 3-1/2 lb)
6 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Place blueberries, 2 cups of the water and lemon zest in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and boil gently for 5 minutes.

Pour into a strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth set over a deep bowl. Let drip, undisturbed, for at least 2 hours.

When ready, heat water canner to boiling. Heat jars in warm water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.

Mix sugar and remaining 4 cups water in a clean large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, and cook until temperature reaches 230°F, adjusting for altitude. Add blueberry juice. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

Using a large measuring cup pour hot blueberry syrup into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.

Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes*, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.


*Please remember to not time your canner until it is boiling.