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Archive for January, 2008

If I were asked to name my least favorite breakfast food to make I would, without hesitation, answer “waffles.” It’s quite sad, really. I love the waffle. I love the crunchy exterior and the fluffy soft inside. I like the nooks and crannies that serve as little buckets of goodness that deliver the perfect amount of syrupy deliciousness to your mouth with each bite. Unfortunately, waffles also happen to be traditionally made with dairy and smothered in butter, which makes them verboten on most breakfast menus for a vegan. Most vegans simply compensate for this by whipping up their own bundles of waffle love in their home kitchens. I, however, have been challenged by the waffle. Something always seems to go awry with my waffle attempts – they end up undercooked, overcooked, burned, in pieces, stuck to the waffle iron, bland, tasting like baking powder, or just plain ugly and tasteless.

This morning Dan and I were discussing what to make for breakfast when he offered to make us some pancakes. The silence he was met with conveyed my thoughts, to which he responded, “No, really – I can do this. Just give me a recipe. It’s like a chemistry experiment.” Well, then – “Let’s do this together,” I say, followed by, shockingly, “But instead of pancakes, let’s make waffles!” Perhaps it was the comforting assurance of back up that led to my crazy talk. No matter, waffles it was … it was our mission.

We took stock of our fruit – apples, bananas, mangoes, and blueberries – and decided upon a peanut butter banana waffle, with just a touch of carob for a hint of chocolate undertone. Dan also insisted that no matter what kind of waffle we made we would have to incorporate Tofutti cream cheese, which I though would pair well with the peanut butter to create a rich, creamy, smooth tasting waffle.

I am happy to say that these waffles were the most perfect waffles I have ever been a part of making! I opened the waffle iron upon the first waffle with trepidation, expected to see the usual mess – but instead I was treated to the sight of a perfectly browned, fluffly waffle. This recipe turned out four big, beautiful waffles that all tasted delicious. Already we are planing another batch that will be a dessert waffle, topped with some vanilla soy ice cream.

 

 

Peanut Butter Banana Waffles

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp carob powder (can substitute cocoa)
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 ripe mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp Tofutti cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

 

1. Preheat your waffle iron per the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Sift dry ingredients together into a medium bowl.

3. In a seperate bowl, combine the mashed banana, peanut butter, and cream cheese and mix. Add the oil and vanilla and mix until incorporated, then mix in the soymilk until well combined.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Your batter will be thick.

5. Lightly spray both the top and bottom waffle griddle and add 2/3rds cup of batter to the waffle iron, spreading out the batter slightly before closing the iron. Our waffles took about 4 minutes to cook up into perfect waffles, but be sure to check your manufacturer’s instructions for times. Repeat for each waffle, taking care to spary the iron with oil between each waffle so as to prevent sticking. Keep dine waffles warm by covering them with foil.

6. Serve with sliced bananas and warmed maple syrup.

Update:  These waffles kept us going all day!  PB + nanner waffles = power food.  Who knew?

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I love roasted garlic. I love the texture of garlic cloves after a good roasting: smooth, buttery, sweet, and mellow. Of course, once I start eating roasted garlic I want everyone else the room to do so, as well, lest I be the only one with the pungent breath that alerts the neighbors to what’s on the menu at my house. Eating garlic alone is just anti-social. Eating garlic as a group … well, that’s just bonding.

On New Year’s Eve I went nice and simple with our appetizer. I simply roasted a head of garlic and we ate the cloves smeared on garlic herb crackers. Doing so made me realize that roasted garlic is something that I should make a lot more of it as it really is so simple to do and it packs huge flavor. As I happen to have an abundance of garlic on hand at the moment, as well as a number of sweet potatoes (another food that I would send not-so-secret admirer letters to, if such a thing were possible) I decided to see what I could do with the two as an appetizer for the dinner I was making tonight for some friends who just came back on island after spending the holidays on the mainland. This dish was such a hit that we did the revisit after dinner while waiting for dessert!

Roasted Garlic Sweet Potato Butter

1 head of garlic

1 medium sweet potato

2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
A few dashes of chipotle hot suace
Salt & Pepper to taste
Pine nuts for garnish

1. Peel off the papery outer layes of the head of garlic, and cut off the tops of the cloves with a sharp knife. Place the garlic on asheet of garlic large enough to enclose it. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt on the garlic, then wrap it completely in the foil.

2. Bake the garlic and the sweet potato (the potato should be pierced with a fork to allow stem to escape and just placed on a lightly greased baking sheet) at 400F for 35-35 minutes or until both are tender. The garlic may be done before your potato, depending on its size – be sure to keep an eye on them! Let them cool a bit after removing them from the oven.

3. Scoop the potato out of its flesh and squeeze the roasted garlic out each clove and place it all into a food processor along with the maple syrup, olive oil, chipotle hot sauce, salt, and pepper and puree until smooth. Serve garnished with pine nuts. Spread it on crackers, bread, pita, etc.

Enjoy!

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Neujahrspretzel 2008

Welcome to 2008 … and welcome to the new version of the blog: fresh new look, same great taste!

Please be sure to change the link in your bookmarks and, if you are so kind as to link to me on your blog or site, please be to update that link, as well.

 

If you tuned in yesterday then you already know the story behind my desire to make a New Year’s Pretzel, more properly known as a Neujahrspretzel. The internet, it turns out, is not a great well of knowledge on the subject. I did, however, find a recipe and my version of it is below.

It is tradition to eat the pretzel for breakfast on New Year’s Day, but here at the Outpost we like to turn tradition on its head from time time. We broke our pretzel just after midnight in the hopes that it will bring good luck through the new year. We then, of course, ate pretzel again this morning for breakfast.

The pretzel is delicious – a sweet, chewy, very satisfying type of bread. The recipe below is enough to make two large pretzels, Halve the recipe to make one pretzel, or do as I did and make the whole recipe and freeze half. The half now sitting in our freezer will not be twisted into another pretzel as that is only for New Year’s and I can think of several other delicious uses for the dough.

New Year’s Pretzel with Icing

  • 2 cups vanilla soymilk
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 small container) vanilla soy yogurt
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 7 cups flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp water
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used chopped pecans)

 

1. Heat soymilk and Earth Balance in a saucepan until very warm . In a large bowl, mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and 1 cup flour. Slowly beat the warm soymilk and EB into the dry ingredients and beat for 2 minutes. Add soy yogurt, oil, and 1 cup of flour and beat for an additional 2 minutes.

2. Add enough flour (between 3 and 4 cups) to form a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding the remaining flour throughout to prevent the dough sticking to your kneading surface and your hands. Place dough in a greased bowl. Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.

3. Punch dough down and let rise again for another hour. Divide dough in half. Roll dough into a rope about 30 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter and shape into a pretzel. Repeat with second half of dough or freeze that half for later use.

4. Place pretzel(s) on greased baking sheets. Let rise 15 minutes more. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

5. To make icing: mix confectioners’ sugar, water vanilla, and almond extract. Add more water if you would like an icing with a thinner consistency. Drizzle or spread icing on pretzel(s) and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Also, on this first day of the new year I would like to take moment to look back at the year just passed. Listed below are my favorite recipes posted to the blog in 2007.

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Tops at the Outpost in 2007 were….

Mushroom Lasagna with Creamy Fauxchamel

Very Simple Berry Pie

Hot Buttered Rum Apple Pie

Blueberry-Lemon Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze

The Best Zucchini Bread Ever

Baby Block Sugar Cookies

Pasta with Veggies and Creamy Marinara Sauce

Beer Brats

Pear and Cranberry Tart

Figgy Pudding

Mulled Wine

I wish a very happy, healthy, joyous, prosperous, and delicious new year to all!!!

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