Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tofu Burgers

I need to be going to bed right now--but the seven hour marathon I just finished in the kitchen warrants, at the very least, a short blog entry. SO! Here it goes:

Dear Heidi,
Thank you for sharing your awesome blog, constantly giving me ideas and inspiration and--of course--delicious dishes.

Tonight, I cooked up a few things--but what I got to enjoy right away were my tofu burgers and homemade hamburger buns; oh, and french fries--made with my handy french-fry-cutter that my mom got me a little while ago.

The burgers? Easiest veggie burger I've attempted to make--and super satisfactory. The consistency was practically delightful to work with.
The buns? I think I've found myself a recipe, finally! Third times a charm, right? I was pretty close to giving up on finding a bun recipe that made me happy. I'm glad I kept on hunting. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, which means they were made with only all-purpose flour; that's not generally my style, but I wanted to make sure the recipe turned out results that I wanted. Next time, I'm going to try and throw in a little whole wheat flour and see what happens.

Anyway--to bask in a bit of cook-therapy was great and my stomach was definitely happy with the results. More on this evening soon!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Chronicles of Baking--pt. 3

I've saved the best for last!

So, my mom had sent me mini tart dishes so that I could make little quiches (which is actually what I plan on doing this weekend--more on that in a couple days, hopefully!) While I love quiche, when I discovered the tart dishes, I instantly thought of dessert. Up until this recipe, I had neither previously attempted to make or even eaten dessert tart. And, you know me, I was definitely up to the challenge.

After doing a little research, I discovered that most tart recipes call for kiwi and strawberries. Well, I don't like strawberries and I've never been able to figure out how to properly shop for a delicious kiwi, so I decided to just kind of wing it. I used this recipe as my starting point. I can't remember exactly, but it wouldn't surprise me if I cut the sugar in the filling to 1/4 cup (I cut back on sugar as much as I can--it really isn't as necessary as some would make you believe). I was definitely happy with the way the crust and the filling turned out! Next--the fruit topping.

I decided to use nectarines--because they looked tasty and ripe sitting in the bin at the grocery store! And instead of worrying about a glaze, I simply cut up the nectarine and drizzled some maple agave nectar over the top. (Maple was what I had on hand, although I'm sure that honey would have sufficed.)  I then placed them on top of my filled tarts and sprinkled a little nutmeg over them for the final touch.

So. Good. 
I've got witnesses if you aren't quite convinced--or you could just give the recipe a try! It's definitely a nice, not-too-heavy way to end a meal.

All right, that's all for tonight! I hope to be back soon!

The Chronicles of Baking--pt. 2

Let's just forget about the fact that I haven't posted anything in what feels like a million years and focus on the fact that I'm not going back on my promise to blog about my weekend of baking!
Truth--I feel a kitchen weekend coming on; you know, one of those weekends where I cook, like, four big things in one or two days and take lots of pictures and then set aside time to blog about them. I'm actually really looking forward to it, because I haven't had a weekend like this in a while--but I thought I should tell you about the treats I made a couple months ago, now, as I said I would.

In part 1 I told you about the zucchini bread that I made. Now I'm going to tell you about the chocolate biscotti that I made. I found the recipe here. Maybe I didn't do something right, but it definitely didn't yield 50-60 cookies--in any case, they were pretty tasty. I would recommend using the best cocoa powder you can find--I didn't but could imagine how much better they would have turned out if I had.

What I really liked about this biscotti was that it was completely legit; I mean, there was no biting into these cookies if you didn't dunk them first. I made them with the intention of giving most of them away, and I warned my friends that coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or even warm water was necessary for the enjoyment of the chocolaty cookie.

Anyway, I enjoyed them--and the next time I'm looking to make biscotti, I won't hesitate to make them again. In fact, as I write this blog, I can think of a good friend who I promised biscotti to. This will be the kind that she gets!

Go ahead--give it a try. I doubt you'll be disappointed.

Part 3 is coming....right now! So stay tuned!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Chronicles of Baking--pt.1

I've been baking. A lot. And I've been thinking about this blog with every splendid  thing that I make. I promise to share everything that I've ventured to create over the last couple of weeks. Starting now.

Welcome to the Chronicles of Baking. Part One: The Adventures of Zucchini Bread.

Remember my search for a banana bread recipe that didn't call for any sugar? Well, I was craving zucchini bread--something I've enjoyed before but have never ventured to make--and was wondering if I could find a recipe that met my somewhat-picky specifications. Bingo! It didn't take long for me to stumble across this recipe. (And it just so happens that this blog is where I found the banana bread recipe, as well!)

When I first made it and gave it a try, I wasn't so sure how I felt about it. I added dark chocolate chips, which definitely added something special, but I wasn't sure that I would love the bread all on it's own. But do you know how sometimes when you try something JUST out of the oven, you lose some of the flavor? Well that must have happened with this bread. Because each day that I had a slice, I liked it more and more. Now I think I have to say that I favor this zucchini bread over the banana. *eek!* Bold statement. Don't hold me to that!

In any case, it turned out beautifully--brown and accented with green--and I will definitely be using this recipe in the future.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any after pictures. (I was baking a few things that same evening...) So--I owe you photos. But try the recipe, really!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Hey guys! It's been such a long time. I'm glad to be back, though--and with recipes to share!

So my freezer load has dwindled down over the past several weeks; it's not completely empty, but I've reached a point where I think I can start making food again--and filling it back up with my stock of leftovers. Now, to be completely honest, I have made a few new and exciting dishes over the past month--butternut squash and baked rice casserole, alfredo and smoked gouda with spinach pizza, tempeh stir-fry, tempeh meatloaf--I think that's where my list ends, I promise! (Whoops. One more...smoked gouda mac-and-cheese....) The reason I haven't blogged about any of these things is because I couldn't make myself; it felt nice to just cook and then eat, not worrying about photographing everything. But--don't worry; I plan on making all of these things again, and I will share with you my experiences, my photos, and the recipes!

In any case, I found myself in the kitchen yesterday afternoon; before I knew it, the sun was long gone and it was way past dinner time. My kitchen was an on-again-off-again disaster as I did my best to clean as I went--but it was so much fun. It's been a while since I spent hour after hour in the kitchen moving from one project to the next, taking photos and squealing with delight when something turns out even better than I expected.

My church is having a potluck this afternoon. Everyone was asked to bring a main-dish and a side-dish or dessert, depending on where your name fell in the alphabet. Now you know me, I wasn't about to show up at a potluck with something simple, innutritious, or store-bought. My goal was to make something light, something with a bit of color, and--of course--delicious.

I decided I would make white bean basil hummus--something I have made in the past and found to be absolutely amazing--and homemade pita bread. It was my first time making pita bread, so I was pretty excited--especially because I was told that the flat bread would turn out really well if I used my baking stone. I doubled the recipe and used three different kinds of flour (because I find that if I try and make bread with half whole wheat and half all-purpose, it doesn't rise as well; so I used 3 cups of unbleached all-purpose, 2 cups of whole wheat, and 1 cup of white whole wheat.) Some of my pitas came out with amazing pockets; some came out with alright pockets that may need a little encouragement with a knife, but I'm very pleased with my results. They tasted great.

For dessert, I knew that I wanted to make a pie. My mom had sent me a pie dish that I have been wanting to use for weeks and I haven't found an occasion that warranted me making one.

This seemed like the perfect opportunity. I wanted to make something different than an apple pie and I wasn't finding recipes that I was crazy about--but then I discovered it. Pear Crumble Pie. After I saw it, I knew it had to be made. Why? Because who eats pear pie? Who has even made a pear pie? Who has even heard of pear pie? And I wondered...why don't people eat pear pie? There was only one way I was going to find out! It called for very few ingredients--one of which was an unbaked crust. I looked for a while for a recipe that didn't call for shortening. I don't like having to buy the stuff--because I don't end up using it for anything else. I wound up using this butter recipe, and it turned out beautifully. It was easy to handle, which is always good. Pie crusts can be such a pain! I haven't cut into the pie yet, because I'm saving it for the potluck, but I hope it tastes as good as it looks.

And--last but not least--my favorite thing about making pie is having leftover pie crust dough; my grandma always makes these little pie-cookie-things with the leftovers and I love them. And since this was a 2 pie crust recipe and I only needed the one, I had plenty of dough to cover in butter, cinnamon, and sugar. I baked it for a few minutes and then proceeded to enjoy way too many while I continued cooking!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you're having a good weekend, and I'll be back again soon.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spaghetti and Tempeh-balls

I don't even know how to begin this post.
Last night, my roommate and I hosted our first dinner party. What can I say, besides the fact that our husbands are in for a treat--I mean, if we treat our friends this well, how much more will we lavish the men who promise us forever?
This Colorado March has been unseasonably warm; I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop--for a huge spring blizzard to ravage our trees and sprouting tulips, but it has yet to happen; in fact, it may not happen at all. Either way, we took advantage of the gorgeous evening and had dinner at dusk with a few friends. There was conversation, laughter, and the tangible potential for friendships to be had, kept, and treasured.

Oh, and food, of course.

 My roommate made meatballs for the first time; I cooked with tempeh for the first time, contributing meat-less-balls to the meal. Both were had and enjoyed by all of our guests, along with homemade spaghetti sauce, whole wheat french bread, and made-from-scratch chocolate cake.

The night was delicious in every way, and I just had to share it with you.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Breakfast Scramble

The vegan breakfast scramble has become a staple for me. I love it because its super easy and fast, plus it allows me to use up some of the random things I sometime have left over from other recipes. I always seem to come up with things like, a hand full of spinach (not enough for a salad) or half a block of tofu, or a quarter of an onion, a ripe tomato, etc.

Today, that is exactly what I had! I also had the nub end of some gimme lean sausage (yum!) So, I threw it all together in a pan, added a little bit of garlic powder, chopped up some fresh fruit, and had brunch.

Honesty, I could eat this meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
 Let me know what you like to put in your breakfast scramble! 

- Megan 

the scratch kitchen Copyright The Scratch Kitchen 2012