Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Sushi for the Nonadventurous

For many people, going out for sushi entails an adventurous meal. For me, it is a delicious delight of familiar foods prepared in a different way than I do at home. No eel for me! I love veggie tempura, crab tempura and shrimp tempura., but so yummy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Cheddary UnCheez #Vegan #delicious

This was SO GOOD, the non-vegans were fighting the vegans for it.

It's actually a little yellow-er, but my camera was all redinated that day for some reason.

ANYWAY, here's the recipe, from THE ULTIMATE UNCHEESE COOKBOOK by Jo Stepaniak ($16.76 and well worth the price).

Chick Cheez
  • 2 cups drained cooked or canned chickpeas (one 15- or 16-ounce can)
  • 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame tahini or raw cashew butter
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar, 'coz that's what I had)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons light or chickpea miso (I used whatever miso it is I have)
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Combine all ingredients in a food pr0ocessor fitted with a metal blade. Process into a smooth paste, stopping to scrape down sides of work bowl as necessary. Chill several hours or overnight before service to allow flavors to blend. Keeps 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator.

NOTE: I added a little water to make it smoother. It was great as a spread or with veggies dipped in it. And the book says you can use white beans in place of the chickpeas.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Maple Roasted Squash #vegan

A friend gave us a Butternut Squash and so I cooked it. There are SO many ways to cook squash, most of them delicious! This one, I only half cooked: I cut the neck off and cooked that. I'll cut the other part up and cook it another time.

This one, I glazed.

Glazed Butternut Squash
Butternut squash, peeled and cubed
olive oil
maple syrup
ground cardamom
ground cumin
Drizzle the squash with the oil and syrup -- just a very slight drizzle. Sprinkle with spices and salt. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender and browned.


Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, December 18, 2015


Down South people love to make Christmas candy. One treat that is always a big hit is buckeyes – a delicious combination of peanut butter and chocolate. It's easy to make and packages perfectly for gift giving. Here's a link to an excellent recipe.

Peanut Butter Buckeyes

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Teacher Treats

I love making Christmas cookies and candies to give as gifts. Anything homemade is special! My girls enjoy taking their treats to school in cellophane bags, tied with Christmas ribbon and personalized with a piece of card stock. If you want a little something for teachers, coaches, pastors, neighbors, etc.; get in your kitchen and make some sweet gifts.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Thin Mushroom Soup For Charlie #Vegan #GF

Charlie (my husband) loves thin broths and I love stews, so we generally compromise and make soup and he skims off the juice and I eat the food.

But this time, I decided to make a treat for him. It's a thin mushroom soup, rich with flavor.

Thin Mushroom Soup
  • vegan margarine
  • mushrooms, chopped
  • onions, chopped
  • garlic clove, peeled but whole
  • celery, sliced
  • water
  • vegan vegetarian bouillon
  • parsley and sage, minced
  • mushrooms, thinly sliced 
Melt margarine in a stockpot. Add the garlic, onions, and chopped mushrooms and cook on low until the onions are translucent and tender. This takes maybe 15 minutes on very low heat. You want to render down the mushroom flavor and to tenderize and sweeten the onion without browning anything, and you don't want the garlic to brown and get strong. Add the celery, water, bouillon, and herbs; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. I meant to put some shredded Gruyere on top, but I forgot, and it didn't need it!

Charlie and I both loved it a lot!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, December 11, 2015

White Chocolate Peppermint Oreos

Peppermint – it just screams Christmas, and when you pair it with white chocolate the flavors explode in your mouth. Add Oreos to the mix and it becomes downright decadent. White Chocolate Peppermint Oreos are a quick and easy treat that everyone is sure to love.

4 cups of white baking chips
1 bag of Oreos
¼ cup crushed candy canes or peppermints

Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave.

Submerge the Oreos in the white chocolate, making sure they are completely covered – allow the excess to drip off.

Place on cookie sheets lined with wax paper.

Sprinkle with crushed peppermint and allow the chocolate to harden.

Wrap in decorative boxes or bags for gifting.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I'd Still Eat It

It is Recee's attempt at a Christmas themed candy. Unfortunately, the soft, squishy consistency that makes their peanut butter cups so delectable does not yield itself well to a molded shape. The resulting look has led to many calling it a "Christmas Turd". I saw a new story about it; and the reporter said "turd"! The image is gross, but I'd still eat one. What can I say? I love peanut butter cups!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Rye Bread WIN/FAIL #food

I'm usually game to try recipes off packages, on the principle that it's in their best interest to print recipes that show their products to best advantage.

So I bought some rye flour. Why? There are 750 kinds of rye bread in our local supermarket, all of which have caraway seeds in. To me, this is A Good Thing, but Charlie says that caraway seeds don't "go" with jellies and jams. Fair enough. So I bought some rye flour.

It had a recipe on it for German Dark Rye Bread.


by Hodgson Mill

  • 2 cups warm water, 100-115F
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 packages Hodgson Mill Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 1/2cups Hodgson Mill Rye Flour
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Hodgson Mill Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 1Tbsp. caraway seed (optional)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 50 3 1/2 cups Hodgson Best For Bread Flour
Put water in a large bowl. Add brown sugar and active dry yeast. Let yeast develop for about 5 minutes. Add molasses, rye flour, vital wheat gluten, cocoa and caraway seeds. Beat well, then let sit for ten minutes. Mix in melted butter and salt. Mix in 1 cup of Best For Bread flour. Stir in enough of the remaining Best For Bread flour to make soft dough and knead for 8-10 minutes. Put dough in an oiled bowl, cover with damp cloth, and allow to rise in warm place for one hour or until doubled. Divide the dough into two pieces. Gently knead to work out air bubbles and form into loaves and place in two greased loaf pans. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise another hour or until the dough is nearly doubled. Bake in a 400F preheated oven for 25 to 28 minutes. Immediately remove from pans and cool on a wire rack.

So this happened:
We cut some fresh-baked, still-warm slices, slapped on some vegan margarine, and ate them. They were moist and tender and noticeably sweet. Perfect for jams and jellies, not so much for Swiss cheese and saurkraut.

Later, we sliced some and toasted it, slapped on some vegan margarine, and bit into them. We looked at each other like a couple of big-eyed urchins painted on black velvet, as if to say, "Am I being punished?" Toasted, this bread is rough enough to sand the rough edges off of diamonds.

Warmed in the microwave, it's still moist and tender and delicious.

Tomorrow on my own blog, I'll show you another delicious way to use it.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, December 4, 2015

DIY Peppermint Spoons

peppermint candy spoons - an easy DIY gift and treat

This has to be one of the coolest things in the foodie world for Christmas. If you love peppermint mochas, you're going to love this idea! You could have so much fun with this and it would make a great addition to gift baskets. Try dipping these in white chocolate for a different flavor.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Cauliflower Deliciousness #Vegan

Charlie found another Martha Stewart recipe he likes. I like it, too. It's pretty easy, so I'll probably be making this one again.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Green Herb Sauce
by Martha Stewart

Blah, blah, blah. Let me sum up:

Preheat the oven to 450F. Cut the stem out of the cauliflower, leaving the florets attached to each other. Put the head on a piece of parchment paper. Brush it with 1/4 cup of oil, then salt and pepper to taste. Pull two sides of the paper up and roll them together, then do the same with the other sides, to make a packet. Roast for 40 minutes. open the parchment (CAREFUL! DON'T BURN YOURSELF ON THE STEAM!) and roast another 20 minutes or so. It'll look burny, but it'll taste good.

Green Herb Sauce
by Martha Stewart

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp minsced garlic
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbs sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Mix and let each diner drizzle the sauce over their cauliflower at the table.

We had sauce left over. Tomorrow on my blog, I'll show you what I did with it.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes