Friday, August 19, 2011

My new favorite (fasting) cookies

I checked Veganomicon out from the library because I've heard it's a fantastic cookbook. I can't speak for the whole book--this is the first recipe I've tried--but these definitely are fantastic! Rich, dense, chewy, with a lovely hint of flavor from the almond and raspberry. These aren't just good fasting cookies--they're good cookies period! And you don't need a mixer to make them.

Chewy Chocolate-Raspberry Cookies

1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup neutral oil (like canola)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease cookie sheets.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the preserves, sugar, oil, and extracts. In
another bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 3 batches, mixing well with a fork or spoon after each addition. Mix to a smooth, soft, pliable dough. By the last batch, you'll probably need to get your hands in there to help.

Roll the dough into walnut-size balls and flatten into 2 1/2 inch diameter disks. Place closely together on a cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes (they'll be slightly cracked on the tops, but still very soft).

Remove the pans from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Or eat warm and still slightly gooey!

Makes 2 dozen.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tomato Couscous

Tomato Couscous

Total Time: 30 min
Prep Time: 25 min

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), finely chopped
12 ounce green beans, trimmed
1 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 lemon
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained


In small bowl, cover sun-dried tomatoes with hot water. Let stand.
Heat large covered saucepot of water to boiling on high. Fill large bowl with ice and water. Add green beans to boiling water. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender; transfer to ice water. When cool, drain well. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
Cook couscous as label directs. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
Meanwhile, cut grape tomatoes in half and chop olives and parsley.
Into large bowl, from lemon, grate 1 teaspoon peel; squeeze 2 tablespoons juice. Stir in vinegar, oil, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drain sun-dried tomatoes well; stir into mixture. Add beans, couscous, grape tomatoes, olives, parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir until well mixed.

Sweet Potato Bake Recipe

Sweet Potato Bake Recipe

10-12 Servings
Prep: 35 min. Bake: 20 min. + standing

7 large sweet potatoes (about 6 pounds), peeled and cubed
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger

12 oatmeal cookies, crumbled
6 tablespoons butter, softened


Place sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook just for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain
Mash potatoes with butter. Add the marmalade, orange juice, brown sugar, salt and ginger. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Toss cookie crumbs with butter; sprinkle over the top.
Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20 minutes or until browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Yield: 10-12 servings.

Nita's crazy cake

Nita's crazy cake
yield: Makes 8 servings

This cake is good sprinkled with powdered sugar or topped with vanilla frosting.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place first 5 ingredients in 8x8x2-inch nonstick metal pan. Using handle of wooden spoon, poke three holes in dry ingredients. Combine 1 cup cold water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla in large glass measuring cup. Pour liquid ingredients into holes in dry ingredients (there will be some overflow). Using fork, stir until batter is smooth. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.)

Fried rice

Fried rice

Cook the rice.

In fry pan put ¼ cup oil

Optional 1 egg

Optional ¼ shrimp or chicken

¼ cup frozen mix green peas and carrots

Fry together 2 min. Then add rice (2-3 cups). Add ½ cup soy sauce and 1 table spoon sesame oil. Mix well cook 5 min. Salt, pepper to taste.


Receipt Pancet

Receipt Pancet.

Half of 1 bag rice noodles soak in hot water for 10 min.

1 cup cut cabbage

1/2 cup cut carrots

1/2 cup cut onion

Optional mushrooms

1/4 cup oil heated, put all veggies fly for 5 min. add 1/2 cup soy sauce and 1 table s. sesame oil. Drain noodles. Then add noodles, mix together and fry covered for 10-15min. Stir occasionally.

Orzo Salad with Corn, Tomatoes and Basil

I got this recipe from Soulemama's blog a few years ago and it's one of our favorites. It's fresh, easy, colorful, and keeps well. The original recipe doesn't have the feta, and it's delicious (and fasting!) without it, but with the feta it's even better.

Orzo Salad with Corn, Tomatoes and Basil

2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP red wine or red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cup uncooked orzo (half of a box)
2 cups chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 cups fresh yellow corn kernels
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
1 cup crumbled feta (or more!)

Prepare all dressing ingredients and place in a jar. Cover tightly and shake thoroughly. Prepare orzo according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl. Spoon half of the dressing over the orzo; toss to coat. Let cool to room temp. Add the remaining dressing, corn, tomato, onion, feta, and basil to the pasta. Let stand for at least 30 minutes.

Serves 8.

Stone Fruit Tea Cake

This is the peach tart I brought for trapeza. It is so, so good--especially warm from the oven--and very simple to make. It can be made with any type of stone fruit, but I've only ever used peaches and nectarines. This is from Rustic Fruit Desserts, which has a multitude of recipes organized by seasonal availability of fruit, but extremely adaptable and versatile. Everything I've tried from this cookbook has been delicious!

Stone Fruit Tea Cake

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt (or slightly less table salt)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature, for the pan
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped stone fruit, fresh or frozen (any variety, unpeeled is fine)
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar*

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, cream the sugar and butter together on medium-high speen for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each, and then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix just till a smooth, sticky dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten into a disc, and freeze for 30 minutes (it will be too sticky to handle, otherwise).**

Meanwhile, prepare your fruit. When the dough is well-chilled, preheat the oven to 375. Butter a shallow 10-inch round baking pan or tart pan.

Divide the dough into two equal portions and pat one portion evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan (butter your fingers or the spoon so the dough won't stick quite so much). Spread the fruit evenly over the dough, all the way to the edges. Break the rest of the dough into tablespoon-sized pieces and scatter them over the fruit, then sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the top.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

* Turbinado sugar is coarse, raw sugar crystals. Most grocery stores will have it in the baking section, or I buy from Sprouts in bulk. It's a wonderful finishing touch, but I've forgotten them before and nothing bad happened. : )

**You can store the dough in the freezer for longer if needed; just soften slightly before continuing with the recipe.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chess Bars

Ok, I'm finally posting this recipe! I'm sorry, I thought I had long ago... These are embarrassingly easy for something that gets such rave reviews!

Chess Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon

Beat together and spread in a greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan. May be necessary to butter hands to keep the mixture from sticking.

2ND Layer:
1 box confectioners' sugar (about 4 cups)
2 eggs
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon

Beat and spread over cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before cutting.

Chocolate Sorbet

This is so wonderfully rich and chocolatey! Better than chocolate ice cream, in my opinion. Make sure you use a large pot or it will bubble over. And don't skip the blender step--I did, and while it was wonderful, there were little bits of chocolate and I think it would be even better perfectly smooth.

Chocolate Sorbet
from The Perfect Scoop

2 1/4 cups water
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
6 ounces (170 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the water with the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Let it boil, continuing to whisk, for 45 seconds.

Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it’s melted, then stir in the vanilla extract and the remaining 3/4 cup water. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend for 15 seconds. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker. If the mixture has become too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out. After freezing in the ice cream maker, transfer to another (cold) container to continue freezing until it's the right consistency (another hour or so).

You can probably make this without an ice cream maker--just put it in the freezer and stir every half-hour or so until frozen--probably 4 hours?

Makes 1 quart.

Vietmanese Clear Fish Soup

This soup has a very light, delicate flavor and is extremely quick and easy. It's a great way to make a pound of fish go farther. I like to serve this with Cilantro Lime Rice and Asian Carrot Salad.

Vietmanese Clear Fish Soup (ca nau ngot)

6 cups broth or water
1 lb firm-fleshed fish, cut in bite-sized chunks (ie-catfish, tilapia, salmon)
6 plum tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped.
1 TBS fish sauce
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
3 TBS thinly sliced green onion
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh dill, cilantro, or basil
optional: fresh lime or lemon juice

Bring the broth to a rolling boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the fish to the saucepan, lower the heat, and cook the fish in the gently boiling broth until done, 2-5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, fish sauce, salt, pepper, green onion, and herbs, and then quickly remove the soup from the heat. Serve hot. If desired, add a squeeze of lime juice before you eat.

6-8 servings

(adapted from Quick and Easy Vietnamese, Nancie McDermott)

Cilantro Lime Rice

This is a really nice accompaniment to Asian or Mexican main dishes. Not much harder than regular rice, and very tasty.

Cilantro Lime Rice

2 1/2 cups rice
4 1/4 cups water
1-2 cubes bouillon*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup lime juice (or lemon)
1 tablespoon fresh lime zest (or lemon)
2 tablespoons olive (or other) oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin (sometimes I leave this out--just depends which taste you want)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced fine

Combine all ingredients except cilantro in a pot. Stir with a wire whisk to break up big clumps of seasoning. Bring to a boil, stir again, and cook 15 minutes or until rice is done. Add cilantro and serve.

(adapted from owlhaven)

*My favorite vegan bouillon is Edward and Sons' Not-Chick'n and Not-Beef. A bit hard to find--some Krogers have them in their natural foods section--but a wonderful flavor, not pricey, and healthier than many others.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Red Lentil Sloppy Joes

This recipe came from Vegan Dad. The trick here is to cook the lentils until they are soft enough but not too much so they go mushy.

- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups water (more if needed)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- Tabasco sauce to taste

1. Heat oil in a frying pan over med-hi heat. Saute onion, celery, green pepper, and oregano for 5-7 mins, until onion is translucent and pepper has softened.
2. Add lentils and mix well. Add ketchup, 1 1/2 cups water, vinegar, Worcestershire (if using), sugar, salt and pepper, and Tabasco.
3. Bring to bubbling, then reduce heat, and cover. Cook for about 30 mins, stirring regularly, adding more water if needed until lentils are cooked but still hold their shape.
4. Serve on toasted rolls, open-faced if you want.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 cup white, 1/3 cup whole wheat)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk
1 cup full-fat or low-fat cottage cheese
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pure maple syrup or honey, or plain yogurt (optional, for serving)

Lightly butter, oil, or spray your griddle–nonstick works best with these, if you have them–if needed, and preheat it over medium heat. If you are using an electric griddle, preheat it to 350 degrees F. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F if you do not plan to serve the pancakes hot off the griddle.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon or nutmeg and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, cottage cheese, butter, eggs and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk them together, mixing just until combined. The batter will be thick and bubbly – similar to cake batter.

Spoon 1/3 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake, nudging the batter into rounds. These are thick and might take a little longer to cook than most other pancakes. Cook until the top of each pancake is starting to dry around the edges – you will get a few bubbles here and there – then turn and cook until the underside is lightly browned. These will keep in a 200 degrees F oven while you finish making the rest, but they are best served immediately, when they are at their lightest and puffiest.

These are very rich and taste great topped with plain yogurt. Syrup is almost over-kill! We often have these as "breakfast for dinner".

Adapted from

Cheesy Fiesta Pie

Cheesy Fiesta Pie

3 potatoes
2 tbs butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
pinch salt
2 cups shredded colby-jack cheese
about 2 tbs mild green chilies, diced
½ an onion, finely chopped (¼ cup)
1 small red pepper, finely chopped (½ cup)
2 tbs flour
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk

Heat oven to 375. Scrub potatoes (or peel if desired) and grate into a strainer. Rinse potatoes well, then squeeze out as much water as possible. Transfer the potato to a bowl and toss with butter, 1 egg, and pinch salt. Press mixture on bottom and up sides of ungreased 9” pie plate. Bake 20 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350. Toss together cheese, chilies, onion, and red pepper in a bowl. Spread mixture in potato crust. Beat flour, salt, and 2 eggs until blended; stir in milk. Pour over cheese mixture.

Bake about 35 minutes or until center is set and top is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Three Hummus Recipes from Father S.

Hummus - Middle Eastern Garbanzo & Sesame Butter Spread (Vegan)

This is what we do when we need to make a quick bowl of hummus at home. Sometimes we remember to cook up a large pot of garbanzos at the beginning of a fasting period and freeze these in meal-sized packets for easy use. If not, we’re left to using cans.

4 Cans Cooked Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans

3+ Medium Cloves of Garlic (to taste)

3/4 C. Tahini – sesame seed butter (to taste)

1/4 C. Fresh Parsley, tightly packed, Optional

1/4 C. Fresh Scallions or Onion, Chopped

Juice from 2 Med. Lemons

1/4 C. Olive Oil (or eliminate, if fasting)

1 1/2 Tsp. Salt

Put garbanzos/chick peas into food processor. Add Lemon Juice and Olive Oil and blend well. Blend in Tahini. Add Salt, Garlic, Parsley, Onion and/or Scallions and blend again. Taste and adjust ingredients to your liking. Best if allowed to sit for several hours or refrigerated overnight. Serve on Pita Bread, Tortillas, Crackers or Bread. Very good.

Hummus – Moroccan or Algerian Style (Vegan)

Hummus is one of those fasting-legal dishes which have become a staple at our house. Its bean protein really sticks with you throughout the day, and also makes an excellent before Vespers snack. The following is a recipe from Orthodox and birding friend, Leslie Cusick, who is part of the OCA Parish of St. Anne’s, in Oakridge, Tennessee.

2 Cans Garbanzo Beans, drained, liquid reserved

1/2 C. Tahini Pasted (roasted is best if you can find it)

1/3 C. Warm Water (or some of Garbanzo bean liquid)

6 Cloves Fresh Garlic, or to taste

Juice of 2 Lemons

1-1/2 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

3 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1/4 C. Good Olive Oil, optional if fasting

Put first 5 ingredients into food processor and process until smooth. If adding oil, gradually add it next. If not, blend in the remaining ingredients and process until well combined. This recipe is more Moroccan/Algerian Mediterranean than the more Eastern or Northern Mediterranean one. It is delicious! Add more lemon juice for a looser consistency, if so desired.

Spanish Spinach Hummus (Vegan)

Okay, it may seem a bit of a stretch, but we came up with this one during Great Lent one year when, early in the afternoon on a day when Pre-Sanctified Liturgy was going to be held, someone gave us a large case box of fresh spinach. We had been planning to make hummus for the Lenten meal which our Parish traditionally holds after services. Instead, we adapted to suite our revised situation an old recipe from Seville in España, one which was originally strongly influenced by the Moors. Actually much more “Moorish” than Spanish, as the recipe is a good outcome of the “necessity is the mother of invention” quandary, it is also to be considered an example of the concept, “Moor with less"

2 Lbs. or More Fresh Spinach, Washed, Stemmed & Lightly Torn

1 Lg. Onion, Roughly Chopped

6+ Cloves Fresh Garlic, Peeled

¼ C. Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil

¼ C. Fresh Cilantro, Optional

2 Tsp. Cominos (Cumin), Ground

2 Tsp. Paprika

½ Tsp. Oregano

¼ Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes or Red Chile, or to taste, Optional

1 Tsp. Salt, or to taste

1 Tbsp. Tahini (Sesame Butter)

3 Cans Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas), partially drained

2 Tbsps. Fresh Lemon or Lime Juice, Optional

Wash and lightly tear up the fresh spinach. In a heavy pan, heat olive or other oil. Add onion and garlic, stirring frequently until sautéed. Add fresh spinach, optional cilantro, and additional spices. Stir frequently and only lightly “stir-fry” the greens, removing them from the heat while still a bright green color. Place vegetables in a food processor and process until coarsely ground. Add Tahini, garbanzo beans and optional juice of lemon or lime. Process again until well blended and coarsely ground. Serve warm, room temperature or slightly chilled, along with pita bread, crackers or French bread. Or, serve over rice, couscous or yellow split peas.