Fall Invades Breakfast

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Tried a new recipe for Whole Grain Corn Muffins by Julieanna Hever, RD, from the Forks Over Knives website.

I really liked these, and will make them again. They are no-added fat, vegan and gluten free, per the original recipe.

Turns out the recipe is a bit flexible!  I didn’t have oat flour (realized later I could have made it from old fashioned rolled oats), so I substituted whole wheat flour.  Also, didn’t have frozen corn, so I cooked a corn on the cob I had and used that. Swoon.

I even left half of the flour out, thanks to my feathery sous chef, Dodger distracting me at a key interval, and they still came out great.

Had them for breakfast with a super-ripe hachiya persimmon.  These are the scoopable type, but I recently discovered that the skin is edible, so I just pulled it open and held it in my hand to eat it. Messy fabulousness.

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Fresh Fruit “Cake” and Fresh Fruity Friends

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I made  my first-ever fresh fruit “cake” today. It was so much fun to build and everyone liked it!

Isn’t this a beautiful group of friends!?

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A close up of the finished product.  I’ve seen these online and wanted to try making one, but needed a good reason.

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My good pal Las Weezas provided the incentive. Hydra and I hosted a Songmakers song circle today and Las Weezas’s  birthday is this week. She is a wonderfully talented, supportive friend and musician. She’s part of The Harmonistas, which have changed my life in so many good ways. She’s always willing and capable of backing me with her guitar and voice when it’s just the two of us, too.

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First step of the fresh fruit “cake” is to cut the ends off of the watermelon and then shape it into a cake-like cylander.

P1020459Next, start decorating with other fruits. I was so thrilled to find that I do indeed own a melon baller!  I dug holes in the sides of the watermelon and filled them with muskmelon (cantaloupe) balls.

(Please excuse my ailing point-and-shoot camera! Weird color and accidental border!)

P1020460Dug holes for the grapes, then skewered them into place with toothpicks and topped them with blueberries. Used more balls on the top. I later added grapes and blueberries to the balls on top with toothpicks and filled in with banana slices and blueberries.

It was really fun to to and I’ll do it again. Great way to celebrate without processed sugar!

My Spice Sage

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My friend Barb told me about My Spice Sage a long time ago, and I finally placed an order with them. Prices are good, shipping is free and the choices are off the charts.

It was hard to choose from the vast array of spices and seasonings, but I narrowed it down. Celery seeds and porcini mushrooms, I’ve had before.  I’ll probably use most of the porcinis to make mushroom powder.

I know, right? Never heard of it till I bought a pressure cooker and  Jill Nussinow’s The New Fast FoodHer recipe for vegan mushroom rissoto is wonderful. I’m thinking I’ll make a verision with artichoke hearts and use the artichoke powder in place of the mushroom powder.

The kaffir lime leaves will be made into hot and cold infusions for drinking pleasure!  (They’re not really teas unless they have Camellia sinensis leaves in them. Oh, yeah. I’m that person some days!)

The Kala Namak salt is recommended in several of the vegan cookbooks I have. They usually say it has an eggy taste, but it’s really a mild sulfur flavor. This was my first experience with it. I love it sprinkled on steamed potatoes. The sulfury-ness of it makes me feel like I’m in touch with the basic elements of the earth.

Yeah, food is romantic!

Proof of Life

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Braaiiins!

Or maybe, “It’s alive!”

I couldn’t begin to guess how long it’s been since I opened that jar of yeast. It says it should be used within six months. It also says that you can proof the yeast by adding it to warm water and sugar and waiting ten minutes to see if it rises.

That’s a 1 1/2 cup bowl filled with just 1/4 cup of water,  2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast and a teaspoon of sugar. I’d say the  yeast passed the test with flying colors.

Yay, I didn’t have to run to the market before making the whole wheat bread.

Is this where I admit that I probably ate a slice’s worth of dough by pinching a little off now and again during the 2 1/2 hours I let it rise?

I love the alchemy of baking. A few hours ago there was just flour, almond milk, yeast, water and agave syrup in my house. Now there’s bread!

Herbalicious!

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One of the first things I did when we bought the house was put in an herb garden. I adore roaming the yard with my kitchen shears and clipping what I need from living plants. Mediterreanean herbs love it here. The basils (Thai and sweet Italian) need the shelter of the front porch in order to survive the hot summers. It took a few years of moving them around to figure this out.

This little bundle went into a fresh batch of Purple Rain Soup. Rosemary, thyme and sage.