Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mish Mash of Food Attempts

It has been forever since I've posted, and I feel a bit badly about that.  I have taken many, many pictures to share of things I've tried, and then somehow never made it here to share with you.  So here I am, showing several at once.  It's kind of a cheater's method, but it gets me back in the game and saves you from reading long passages on things for which you may not really want to read more than a line or so.

So here goes.

Sometimes I miss iced tea.  I don't drink it anymore and haven't in years, but I remember fun things like placing a pitcher with tea bags out in the sun and then drinking it.  I remember sitting and chatting for hours with iced tea  It is more of a pleasant memory thing.  I do drink herbal tea.  I thought that iced herbal tea might have a similar experience as iced tea-I-don't-drink-anymore.  Here is my attempt to make it, using cranberry tea, which is a joy to my heart all by itself.  Just so you know... this was not the greatest attempt ever.
Next up, vegan cheesecake.  I am not vegan, but since I have family who is I gave it a try.  The two pictures show it plain and covered in fresh strawberries.  These were edible.  They tasted decent.  I used a cookbook intended for children who were vegetarian (as opposed to using a regular recipe and trying to veganify it).  I would rather try a new recipe for the next round.  

I was looking at a store that has all kinds of veggies and grains and vegetarian options.  This always is an adventure for me.  I enjoy discovering new foods, or long lost loves that I thought were not available.  Whilst travelling along gleefully in the produce department, I came across these carrots.  All naturally colored.  Aren't they delightful?  I made a roasted root vegetable dish with them (it included beets as well as sweet potatoes and probably regular potatoes.)  They don't taste much different, but they do make it more interesting.  As to the recipe they were in, I don't know that I'll feel that courageous again for a little while  I really don't care for beets, but I wanted to try with them anyway.

I made sweet potato chocolate chip cookies, from a recipe a friend shared with me.  These didn't sound too different from pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, so I felt relatively sure they would turn out well.  Which they did.  They were a hit!  They've even been requested by name!  That has got to be a good sign.  I have always made my without egg (I use an egg replacer) and with semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies which state they don't have dairy in them.  This works for the health-vegans, but perhaps not for ideological ones or for people with dairy allergies.

Next up, caramel popcorn balls.  I made these for Halloween and passed them out to the kids of my coworkers who came to visit us at work.  (I did check to make sure this would be okay, since it wasn't store-bought.)  This may seem less adventurous to some.  However, I had never made any, so this was a first for me.  I had a lot of fun with it.  They were sticky but set up nicely and had a pretty good flavor.  I'll probably do this again.

Finally, I made frying pan bread.  You can't really tell from the photo, but that bread is about the size of a large dinner plate.  I kid you not, I "baked" it in a frying pan.  Technically, it was an electric skillet, but the same idea.  It is so much faster than in an oven, and works really well.  The flavor is great.  The joy is that the recipe is super duper basic.  If you are trying to figure out a low-ingredient-list bread, this would work.  It is ideal in use-only-food-storage instances.  And for those of you who are vegan, this works for you.  Non-vegans can change their fat, I used olive oil.  This, too, was a great hit which has been made many times over since my first attempt.  LOVE IT.  Special thanks to my Chilean friend for sharing the recipe and walking me through the steps.

 There you have it, several of my cooking adventures from 2012.  Let me know what you think!

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