Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mom's Sponge Cake

My mom used to make this cake, and serve it with vanilla ice cream and colored sprinkles. It was one of my favorites, and I still love sponge cake. It has a little bit more flavour and color than angel food cake because you use some egg yolks and a touch of lemon extract for a nice light, springy taste. Happy Easter!

Mom's Sponge Cake

4 eggs
1 1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
pinch of salt
3/4 C cold water

1. Mix flour with baking powder.
2. Separate eggs. To whites add a pinch of salt and cream of tarter. Beat until stiff.
3. Beat yolks. Add sugar, lemon extract, and some water. Beat until light. Add the rest of the water, alternating with flour mixture, until all water and flour are added
4. Fold in egg whites.
5. Bake in ungreased pan at 325F for 1 hour.
6. Remove from oven and let cool upside down. I balance my pan on a glass. 
7. Once cool, use a knife to loosen cake from pan, and remove. Enjoy with berries and ice cream or just eat plain.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Listening to Vinyl

This is what I made myself for lunch today. It's just a simple hearty rice pilaf that's not too dry. 

Black-eyed Pea Rice Pilaf
adapted from "Black-eyed Peas and Brown Rice" from The Eat-Clean Diet by Tosca Reno 2007

3 Cups cooked brown rice
1 1/4 C water
2 garlic cloves
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 C cooked black-eyed peas
1 bell pepper, seeded, and chopped
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve (optional)

1. Put rice in large bowl
2. In a large frying pan or wok, bring water, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and pepper to a boil, stiring frequently. 
3. Add the black-eyed peas and return to a boil, stirring frequently. 
4. Reduce to low, cover and simmer until most of water is absorbed ( about 20 minutes).
5. Add the rice, bell pepper, and hot-pepper sauce if using. Heat for 5 minutes. 
6. Serve immediately with olive oil drizzled on top if desired while listening to your favorite music. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Quinoa Salad Variation 1

Quinoa is one my favorite grains, although I guess its not technically a grain. There are a couple of reasons I like it so much. It cooks really fast, and it has a lot of protein, so its perfect for vegetarian meals. I make quinoa salads a lot. I usually just throw together a bunch of vegetables, quinoa, some cheese, nuts, and then maybe olive oil and fresh herbs or a dressing. Voila - supper in 10-15 minutes. I'm going to start sharing some of my favorite combinations that I've had with you. 

This one was inspired by Dreena Burton. It uses frozen peas which have just recently made it back onto my radar. I've always loved raw peas straight out of the pod in summer, but something about cooked peas from frozen just didn't appeal to me. The only reason you'd find frozen peas in our freezer was to be used as an ice pack. However, I've really started to enjoy peas over the past couple of months. This recipe is what got me hooked. 

Quinoa Salad Variation Number 1
inspired by this recipe by Dreena Burton

1⁄2 cup frozen green peas (plus 2 cups boiling water to soak peas)
3 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
3⁄4 - 1 cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped (roughly 2 medium or 11⁄2 large peppers), or raw red bell peppers, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1⁄3 - 1⁄2 cup cucumber, diced (peeling optional)
1⁄3 cup slivered almonds
1⁄4 cup hemp seed nuts 
2 - 4 tbsp parsley, chopped
1⁄4 tsp salt
1/3 C crumbled goat cheese
Vinaigrette or Olive oil of your choice

1. In a bowl, soak the frozen peas in the boiling water. Let sit until the peas have warmed through. Drain. 
2. In a large bowl, combine the peas with the remaining ingredients. Toss to mix well. 
3. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Peanut Butter Cookies

While contemplating being vegan, I was perusing many vegan cooking sites, and came across this peanut butter cookie recipe. I haven't made peanut butter cookies in years, and they're not my favorite, but this recipe is the bomb! Louis even loves them, and he's not a peanut butter fan. The other nice thing, is they don't have any eggs, so I don't have to worry about running to my neighbors to borrow an egg if I don't have any on hand. 

Peanut Butter Cookies
adapted from this recipe by Dreena Burton

1 1/4 C light spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp sugar
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄3 cup natural peanut butter
1⁄2 cup pure maple syrup
1⁄4 tsp blackstrap molasses
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp butter flavoured olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350°F 
2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. 
3. In a separate bowl, combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, molasses, and vanilla, then stir in the oil until well combined. 
4. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and mix together until stiff and uniform.
5. Roll balls of dough in hands, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Press with the tines of a fork to get the classic peanut butter cookie look. 
6. Bake for 11 minutes, then let them sit for no more than 1 minute before placing them on a cooling rack (to prevent drying). 
7. Enjoy with a glass of milk (or eat them right off the cooling rack like I did:)