rocket ship go!

March 17, 2008

cooking actual food + “best” oatmeal cookies

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 9:28 pm
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In my house, we call savory, main-course dishes “real food” (and the other category consists basically of desserts), and I made some real food last night. I had over at my house my boyfriend plus two of my really good friends Jordan and Dree, who happen to be dating. And since the four of us are awesome friends and have all known each other for quite a while, it was like the coolest funnest double date EVER. If one member of our party was talking to another, it doesn’t matter who it was, the two remaining people could easily have a conversation with each other. No awkward moments here.

We were all hangin’ at my house, and everybody was hungry, and cooking seemed like a good idea. For the past couple of days I had in my head the makings of cooking a nice meal from scratch (I end up a lot of times just snacking around or eating canned beans with boil-in-a-bag rice). But I’m so glad that me and my dear friends got to cook together. A meal that you make from scratch seems a lot more satisfying in your belly after you eat than just just eating some steamed broccoli and beans. While it takes a long time to prepare, you really enjoy what you’re eating because you know how hard you worked on it.

Crispy crunchy stuffed tofu (this stuff rocks, if you don’t want to make the filling, just slice tofu, marinate it, and use the breading and baking technique), simple roasted brussel sprouts, and some brown rice, with a generous helping of Veganomicon nutritional yeast (cheezy) sauce. The cheeze sauce was soooo good, and everything on that plate later got smothered with it. Like I said, this from-scratch meal was really hearty and satisfying and makes me wish that I had a kitchen of my own in Knoxville. ūüė¶

And now for cookies:

This blog claimed to have the recipe for the “best chewy oatmeal raisin cookies ever.” Having all the ingredients with me, I could not refuse. The verdict? They are pretty amazing and taste a lot like the ones my mom used to make, only quite a bit healthier.

1 c. flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 T. margarine (like Earth Balance), at room temperature
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. (packed) light brown sugar
1 T. finely ground flaxseed mixed with 3 T. hot water
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/3 c. rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 c. raisins

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and set the rack on the lower and upper thirds of the oven. Grease two baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Mix in the brown sugar, then the flax slurry, applesauce, and vanilla.
Stir in the dry ingredients, then the oats and raisins.
Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons 2-inches apart on the baking sheets and use a fork to gently flatten the dough.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they “look dull on the surface but are moist and soft”. Rotate baking sheets during baking for even heating.

Don’t overbake ’em! I got it just right, and they were perfect fresh out of the oven, with crispy outsides and soft insides.

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December 14, 2007

cheezy crackers

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 12:23 pm
Tags: , ,

Whoa! The¬†drudgery of finals is now over. Of course, a lot of people had it worse than me, cramming and studying and staying up into the wee hours of the morning with their Starbucks. Personally, I am not the biggest study-er ever. I’ll do whatever it takes to get a paper in on time, but when it comes to exams, I constantly put off studying for it until the test arrives. But procrastination is its own private hell anyway.

For the few days that I left home to go back up to school and take my exams, I didn’t bring any of my baking accoutrement with me, so there were long hours of putting off studying, instead of putting off studying by baking. But before I went back to school, I made these cheezy crackers from Celine’s blog, and I love them! I might try cutting them a bit thinner next time to make them a little lighter, but they taste so good. I’m going to include them in my baking rotation for gifts that I make this Christmas.

1 c. unbleached flour (I’m gonna use whole wheat pastry next time)
1/3 c. nutritional yeast
1/2 t. black pepper (fresh-ground tastes amazing)
1 t. sea salt
generous 1/4 c. vegan margarine, very cold
water (no more than 1/4 c.)

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a couple of baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir together the flour, nooch, pepper, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add in the margarine and beat with a mixer until the texture of it all resembles coarse flour. As it’s mixing, add water in, little by little, until the mixture holds together.

Turn it out onto a clean surface, and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. (I put the dough on top of a piece of plastic wrap, then put another piece on top as I rolled it out, and there was no sticking that way.) Roll it out pretty thick, about 1/3 inch, for maximum cheezy flavor, or roll it out thinner to make them lighter and crunchier around the edges.

Using your smallest cookie cutter (to get¬†one-inch shapes), cut out pieces of dough and place them on the baking sheets. Bake them 15-17 minutes if you cut them chunky. Subtract a few minutes if you cut them thin. Either way, watch them to be sure they don’t burn. They should be done when they’re set and golden. Place them on racks to cool.

These keep well in the freezer or just in plastic baggies. Also, they’re delicious.

December 6, 2007

mac and cheeze

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Rachel @ 3:28 am
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This was my first experience with making vegan¬†cheeze, as well as my first nutritional yeast (nooch) experience. I wish I dould say it had gone better. This recipe (for Melty White Cheeze) is from Vegan Vittles. All in all, it came out a bit bland. It smelled of nooch when it was cooking, but the flavor of it was completely lost. Part of that is my fault: I added 1/4 t. of turmeric to the sauce to make it an orange color, but the spice ended up overpowering all the other flavors. And turmeric is not a potent spice. I’m actually getting kind of wary of that whole cookbook. I’ve made some good marinated grilled tofu and some good Hungarian mushroom soup out of Vegan Vittles, but the desserts I’ve made from it (chocolate cake, banana bread, oatmeal cookies) have been a little off, either being dry or not sweet enough. While I¬†greatly appreciate¬†that it is a purposefully health-concious cookbook, I want the food to taste great, too!

I guess I’ll be looking elsewhere to satisfy my mac and cheeze cravings… Don’t know where, though.

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