Friday, July 4, 2008

More things to do with your biscuits

More things to do with your biscuits + another Kelly and Garrick tester!

After finding this recipe I mentioned last post, I had a lot of leftover biscuits to experiment with. The first thing I did with them was make a mini McVegan.

Then I remembered this clotted cream recipe I'd been meaning to try out, and slathered some on one. I can't say that I remember what regular clotted cream tastes like, but this one was good.

And here's another Kelly and Garrick tester for ya'.. Chewy Banana Banana cookies! I added chocolate chips to them and they were so good. My dad was convinced I put rum in them for some reason. I told him if I was going to use rum in my cookies I wouldn't be sneaky about it and then offer him one, but he still thought he tasted it. So.. if you like bananas, or you like rum, buy their book!

Then last night I made a cookie sandwich with the banana cookies and Purely Decadent Rocky Road ice cream.. it was love.

I haven't been cooking all that much lately and I wanted to make something elaborate for dinner, but unfortunately my mom wants me to go to Arner's with her. So I feel like baking something instead.. maybe I'll take a look at the recipes I came up with and never got around to so I can get another recipe up here. It depends on how lazy I am. :)

Much love,
Jillian Renee

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cream Cheese Brownies

Before I get to the recipe, here's a picture of another Kelly and Garrick tester--chewy pumpkin spice cookies.

They were delicious. The bigger ones turned out more fluffy than chewy, but the spices were perfect. My sister pressed chocolate chips into the hot-from-the-oven ones, and they melted into them nicely. Next time, I'm definitely adding a handful.

I've been craving cream cheese brownies for a while now; my mom used to make the ones from a recipe of a Betty Crocker brownie box or something and they were one of my favorite desserts ever. I adapted a wonderful, fudgy brownie recipe from RecipeZaar for the base, but you can use whatever brownie recipe you'd like.


Cream Cheese Brownies

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coffee
3/4 cup soymilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Cream Cheese Topping
8 oz vegan cream cheese
2 1/2 - 3 T Earth Balance
1/3 cup + 2 T sugar
3 T flour
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 325F and grease or butter a 13x9 baking pan.

Sift together (or just mix if you're lazy like me) the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the coffee, soy milk, and oil. Add the wet to the dry and mix, then stir in the chocolate chips. Pour batter (it won't be very thick) into the prepared pan. Prepare the cream cheese topping by whipping all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Spread the topping over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake for about 40-50 minutes (check very often, my oven was being sketchy and I'm not sure how long it will take on a different one). Test with a toothpick and let cool completely before slicing.


And here's what I did today!

I've been meaning to try out this recipe that was linked in a biscuit topic on the PPK. I didn't make them as big as the recipe told me to and I also forgot to set the timer, but luckily I caught them before they got too brown and they turned out wonderfully fluffy and delicious.

Then I used some tempeh that was lying around my fridge to make the Vegan With A Vengeance tempeh sausage crumbles.

I'm not a fan of fennel seed, so I subbed in some thyme leaves and cut down the red pepper flakes. I made the VWAV Sausage and White Bean Gravy with them--

Then I took a biscuit..

.. and smothered it in the gravy.

And that was my dinner!

Jillian Renee

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Recipe Reviews

More reviews today!


I've been doing a bunch of testing for Kelly and Garrick lately.. if I had pumpkin or bananas I'd have two more reviews for you, but unfortunately they'll have to wait. Oh, and remember the vanilla fudge? Kelly was wonderful enough to incorporate it in her book as a vanilla fudge base! Sometime this week I'm gonna be coming up with more variations for it.

Caramel Cookies

My favorite tester recipe ever. Gooey on the inside and crispy on the outside, wonderfully sweet and caramel-y with a rich but light frosting.

Peanut Butter Fudge

Slightly grainy, but in a melt-in-your-mouth way. Present but not overpowering peanut butter taste, wonderful when chopped up and used as peanut butter chips.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

Perfect combination of flavors. Chewy peanut butter base, crispy chocolate covered pretzel top.

Chocolate Peppermint Cream Bars

Very rich and fulfilling. The peppermint wasn't too strong, and they weren't too difficult to make either.

Chai Cookies

Tasted like snickerdoodles with a kick. Texture was a bit stiff, but the taste was good.

Sugar Cookies

Classic sugar cookie taste, sweet and traditional.


Next, I have my Isa and Terry reviews. I've been way busy with West Side Rehearsals and vacation and etc etc etc, so I've mostly been making quick meals and sammiches and such, but I have some backlogged photos for your blogging enjoyment.

Diner-style Home Fries
a la Veganomicon

Pictured with tempeh bacon and buttered toast. Okay, for such a simple recipe, this was forkin' delicious. I added garlic salt, but I doubt I even needed to. Sure, you could go to the diner and get your own, but who knows how clean that pan they made them in was? Who knows how often the chef washes his hands after handling raw burgers? Invite your friends over and make these instead. You won't be sorry.

Caramel Apple Spice Cupcakes w/ Caramel Penuche Frosting
a la Veganomicon

Alright.. I have to say this cupcake did not live up to my expectations. (A cupcake I didn't like? I know, I know.) The cupcake itself was good, but the frosting just had a weird texture and an almost too-sweet taste. The caramel pre-penuching was delicious, though. I'd much rather just pour a bunch of it on top next time.

Tempeh Reuben
a la Vegan With A Vengeance

How did it take me so long to notice this recipe? Simply marinated tempeh slathered in creamy thousand island dressing and cheddar soy cheese, all in between two buttery pieces of fried multigrain bread. 'nuff said.

Sunny Blueberry Corn Muffins
a la Vegan With A Vengeance

I'm very much a fan of Isa and Terry's Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes from 'nomicon, but these just didn't do it for me. I added about half a cup of sugar to the recipe and they were good drenched in Earth Balance, but I think I need a sweeter muffin to satisfy myself.

Banana Split Pudding Brownies
a la Vegan With A Vengeance

You know what I just realized? I can never spell vengeance on the first try. Anyway. I took these to my sick grandfather and he adored them. They were good, a bit cakey for my tastes, but the topping was sweet and a nice touch.

Smoky Grilled Tempeh
a la Veganomicon
Cheater Baked Beans
a la Veganomicon

Both are excellent recipes. The tempeh was reminiscent of tempeh bacon, but different. I breaded it later and I highly recommend doing so. The beans were sweet, but not cloyingly, and and just what homestyle baked beans should taste like.

Chickpeas Romesco
a la Veganomicon

Excellent flavor combinations. I liked them so much I sprinkled YRR parmesan on top and made a meal out of it, but it would've made a great pasta or spaghetti sauce as well.


Bonus stuff that doesn't really fit anywhere else!
AKA, stuff I found on the internet.

Chickpea Salad
a la VeganYumYum

A seriously perfect recipe. Blows regular tuna fish sandwiches out of the water.

Easy Macaroni and Cheeze
a la FatFreeVegan

As the title suggests, a very simple recipe with a creamy, noochy sauce. Not exactly like regular mac 'n cheese of course, but good enough for a vegan like me. Especially delicious with barbecue sauce.

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf
a la Love Like A Vegan

I cannot sing the praises of this recipe enough. I make it at least once a week now. Perfect fluffy texture, yummy brown sugar cinnamon swirls. After you've made it once or twice (trust me, you'll come back to it), try it using Silk Chai. One of my favorite things to bake ever.


Bonus #2!

Remember those soy curls I told you about? Yeah, well they're forking delicious, is what they are. I boiled them, tossed 'em in some agave nectar, soy sauce, and spices, then panfried them in barbecue sauce. They made a delicious wrap I later added homemade ranch to, and they got the "tastes like chicken" approval from my stubborn omni dad. Go buy them!


Well, I'm off to make some more chickpea salad. I'll try to get another recipe for ya' up soon.

Jillian Renee

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lower-fat S'more Brownie Bars

This blog is a veritable goldmine of things to do with your ricemellow cream.

Remember this post all the way back in March? Yeah, well I just got back from vacation and I finally had time to get on it.

It's a graham cracker crust, a chocolate chip brownie center, and ricemellow cream spread on top. I experimented with a marshmallow icing, but it was MUCH too sweet.. and I have a pretty significant sweet tooth. I doubled the ingredients for the crust in this, as you can see from the picture it came out very thin but if you follow the directions it should turn out to be more balanced.

I cut the 1/4 cup oil into just 2 Tbs and replaced the other two Tbs with applesauce. They turned out a little bit cakey, which might've been because of this, so try them with full oil and see if the texture changes if you like a fudgy-er brownie.


Lower-fat S'more Brownie Bars

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup canola oil
2 Tbs soy milk

1 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbs cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbs applesauce
2 Tbs canola oil
1/4 cup soymilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp chocolate, almond, or more vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs Ricemellow creme
2 T chocolate chips, melted
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Ricemellow creme

Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8x8" pan.

Drizzle the graham cracker crumbs with oil. Stir with a fork. Drizzle with the soy milk and stir with a fork again until crumbly. Press evenly into the greased pan and set aside.

Combine dry ingredients (down to salt) in a small bowl. Combine wet ingredients (down to melted chocolate) in a large bowl and add the dry to the wet in batches. Stir well but do not overmix. Toss in the chocolate chips and pour over the graham cracker crust.

Bake for about 30 minutes, using the toothpick test. Let the brownies cool completely before spreading as much Ricemellow creme as desired on top. Cut and enjoy.


Jillian Renee

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cookies 'n Cream Fudge

Alright, so here we are in the middle of a freakin' heat wave and I decide it's a good time to finally get down to making some fudge. What can I say, I'm a rebel.

I've been searching for a vanilla fudge recipe for a while now--the only vegan ones I've ever seen are either chocolate or peanut butter. I was browsing through RecipeZaar a while back to look at the non-vegan recipes, and it seemed that every single one had a relatively similar base, and then used either chocolate chips for chocolate fudge or white chocolate chips for vanilla fudge. I could easily order white chocolate chips off of Vegan Essentials, but my parents were less than pleased with the shipping costs when I ordered my Teese/Soy Curls/donuts and I don't have the money to cover it myself. So when I started this topic on the PPK asking if there was any way around these elusive chips, the lovely meghanispie offered to send an extra bag to me.

SO I adapted a few recipes and came up with this one. The reason I'd been searching for a vanilla recipe is because I was craving a cookies 'n cream type fudge, but I tasted it before adding the Newmann-O's and it would make an excellent base for all your vanilla fudge needs. The recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk, and I used a recipe Veghead contributed to our cookbook (which I really need to get back on track with) that is a bit time consuming, but totally worth delicious cookies 'n cream fudge.


Cookies 'n Cream Fudge

Sweetened Condensed Milk

3 cups nondairy milk of choice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
pinch salt

Cook nondairy milk and sugar over medium-low heat until reduced to 1 cup. Stir in vanilla and salt. Refrigerate before using. Makes 1 cup.

Cookies 'n Cream Fudge

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
7 oz Ricemellow cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup vegan butter
2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup Oreo or Oreo-type cookies, finely crushed
1 cup Oreo or Oreo-type cookies, crumbled

Line a 13x9 pan with buttered parchment paper. Combine sugar, butter, and milk in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a full boil while stirring constantly. Let boil and continue stirring for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the chips, cream, cookies, and vanilla, and pour into the prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm (about 45 minutes). Remove, cut as desired, and store in an airtight container (not in the fridge).


Much love,
Jillian Renee

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Teese Review

So, it finally came--the ubiquitous Teese! I literally squealed with excitement when I saw the box from Vegan Essentials. And it's as good as they say!

It didn't melt exactly like normal cheese, but it didn't take on the texture of plastic or burn like other vegan cheeses. It did have a little bit of that vegan cheese aftertaste, but only when eaten by itself. Or maybe I'm so unaccustomed to normal cheese that it tastes the same and I'm just not as much of a fan anymore. Who knows!

The first thing I made was pizza, using VWAV dough and sauce and about 1/4 of the Teese package. Here's the before pic:

And here's the after. Melting shot!

It probably would've melted more if I had left it in past eight minutes, but the crust was already brown and I hate brown/burnt crusts. It tasted EXACTLY like "real" pizza, folks. Even my family said so! I ate about half of the pie by myself.

The next thing I used it for was a grilled Teese. I sprinkled garlic powder over the Teese pre-frying, and it was love.

And finally, I made mozzarella sticks inspired by this post on the PPK. I based the recipe very loosely off of her instructions and three or four recipes I found on RecipeZaar. They didn't get stringy like non-vegan mozzarella sticks, but the inside was warm and gooey and good enough for me. Omni approved!


Mozzarella Sticks
Makes 8 sticks

1/4 package Teese (or 1/4 lb vegan cheese)

1/3 cup flour
2 T cornstarch
1/3 cup non-dairy milk

1/2 cup panko (or regular breadcrumbs)
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon basil
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme

Oil, for frying

If using a new package of Teese, cut in half width-wise, cut that piece in half length-wise, and cut one of those pieces in half width-wise again. Cut each of those two pieces into four final pieces (lengthwise). If using other vegan cheeses, cut into sticks roughly 3/4" thick and the length of your index finger.

Combine the flour, cornstarch, and milk in a small bowl and the other ingredients in a different bowl. Preheat a pan with enough oil to coat the bottom. Dip the sticks in the flour mixture first, then the breadcrumb mixture. Fry for a minute to two minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.

Serve with marinara or pizza sauce.


Bonus Review!

With my Teese came two Nutrilicious donuts--Cinnamon and Pumpkin Pie. Pictured is the pumpkin pie donut.

These were good. Not traditional, but good. They tasted a bit "healthy", and the soy yogurt glaze had a weird texture pre-nuking. These are worth buying if you miss donuts and don't have the materials to make them, but do yourself a favor and microwave them for twenty or thirty seconds before eating. The cinnamon flavor was okay, but I reccomend the pumpkin pie.

I still haven't used the Soy Curls from my Vegan Essentials order, so I'll either update this post with a review of them later or tell you about it in the next post.

Jillian Renee

Friday, April 25, 2008

Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes

Hi there! In this installment of my wondrous blog, we witness the return of the prodigal candy cane cupcake: chocolate edition!

The first attempt at this was a complete flop--they barely rose, the texture was.. well, horrible. I experimented for a while and came up with these. And they're lovely! They would make a great base for a regular chocolate cupcake if you replaced the peppermint extract with chocolate, almond, or more vanilla. I have some leftover unfrosted ones that I'll be experimenting with later..


Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup flour
1/3 cup + 1 T cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup + 3T sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup crushed candy canes (optional)
1 batch Candy Cane Icing
1 batch Chocolate Ganache

Crush the candy canes in a blender or food processor, if using. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Whisk together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside. Sift together the dry ingredients (down to salt) in a small bowl. Mix the rest of the wet ingredients (down to the extracts) in a large bowl and add the soy milk and vinegar, then the dry ingredients. Whisk with a fork or handheld blender until no lumps are left. Add the chocolate chips and crushed candy canes, and fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache

1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 T soy milk
2 T maple syrup

Melt together all ingredients on the stove at medium to medium high heat. Stir with a rubber spatula until completely combined and remove from heat. Store in the fridge until ready to assemble the cupcakes.

To assemble:
Store cupcakes in the fridge until completely cooled. Ice with a spoonful of Candy Cane Icing, add a dollop of Chocolate Ganache, and top with more icing or a piece of a leftover candy cane.


In other news, my Teese came! I made pizza yesterday (which is gone), and I have a half day of school today, so I plan on making me some grilled Teese when I get home. (!)

Jillian Renee