Monday, July 28, 2008

Pie And Ice Cream

I have been working feverishly to perfect the marshmallow recipe, and it's just about done. Only a touch more tweaking left to do. I'm so excited! Once the recipes are perfect, I'm going to put them together as a small marshmallow e-book (along with a how-to video clip). Think of it as a modern-day 'zine. Then everyone can make them at home! Don't worry, this marshmallow pie is one of the recipes.

I brought a couple of the pies to a gathering last weekend, and both pies were devoured in under a minute. I kid you not! I wish that I had gotten it on film, because it was truly something to see.

I haven't forgotten about the whipped topping, but did put it on hold while I finish the marshmallow recipes. Who would have thought that the whipped topping could be such a tough nut to crack.

Now, on to some homemade ice cream...

This recipe came about because I needed a quick and easy ice cream recipe for one of my segments on "Better". It's not only creamy and utterly delicious, but extremely easy to make (provided you have a blender and ice cream maker). I am going to try and tape this recipe, along with another new recipe for vegan soft serve, in the next week or so for Everyday Dish.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

So Delicious!

A few of you guessed right. My mystery review is on the new coconut yogurt line from Turtle Mountain, and it's good. The folks at Turtle Mountain are masters at creating delicious flavor combinations, as seen in their ice cream and soy yogurt lines. The So Delicious coconut yogurts are no exception.

Not only did I make sure to taste all of the different flavors (I know, it's a tough job!), but I also tried baking with them, to see how they held up in a recipe. The results were excellent! I used the plain coconut yogurt in butterscotch blondies (from My Sweet Vegan), as well as a couple of other cookie and cake recipes. The yogurt baked up great, providing the baked goods with a moist crumb and great flavor.

Although I am a big fan of the Soy Delicious soy yogurts, it's nice to have options and be able to mix things up, and these coconut yogurts are just the thing. They're perfect to eat straight out of the carton, layered into breakfast parfaits with granola and fresh berries, mixed with fresh fruit and frozen into popsicles, or used as a creamy topping for summer desserts. There are oodles of delicious things you can make with the coconut yogurts, limited only by your imagination. The Passionate Mango was one of my favorites, with the lovely tart taste of passion fruit.

So, if you are in the mood to try something tasty and new or are looking for some soy-free alternatives, you should give these coconut yogurts a try. The fat count is a bit higher on them (about 6 to 7 grams) than most soy yogurts, but that is to be expected from coconut milk. On the other hand, the calorie count is low, they are dairy and lactose free, rich in medium chain fatty acids, are an excellent source of vitamin B12, contain pre- and probiotics (for good intestinal health), are cholesterol free, free of trans fat and certified vegan. Sounds good to me.

As a side note, Turtle Mountain has also come out with a couple of new flavors for their soy yogurt line, and they are fantastic too! I am addicted to the Key Lime, which I am dying to try in a cheesecake or pie. The Lemon Drop flavor is also really good, and is excellent eaten straight with fresh summer berries.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Whoopie Pies, oh my!

I recently had the incredible pleasure of meeting Hannah Kaminsky, author of the book My Sweet Vegan. Hannah is an awesome baker, and if you haven't checked out her book or blog, you should. She is a 19 year old baking whiz, and wrote the book during her senior year of high school.

While Hannah was in town, she filmed a couple of segments for Everyday Dish (thank you Hannah!). She made two awesome recipes, the first being her scrumptious chocolate whoopie pies. Now all you have to do is get into the kitchen and make them! They are so, so good. You really must try them.

Here is a picture of Hannah, with her delectable whoopie pies.

I'll be back soon, to tell you about another fantastic new product that's hitting the market. I'll give you one hint... it's made from coconut.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Strawberry Freezer Jam

I've got the strawberry freezer jam recipe for you. I'm thinking that it will work with any fresh summer fruit. I had planned to pick raspberries today and give it a try, but the berries just aren't quite ready for picking yet. I will probably try it with raspberries, boysenberries and peaches once they're ripe, and let you know how it works.

If enough people are interested in the Instant Clear Jel, let me know and we can start carrying it on our website. It's pretty amazing stuff, and I've used it super-successfully for everything from nacho cashew cheeze to lemon curd to gelato. This is seriously some of the best jam ever, and it tastes like fresh picked strawberries. So good!

Now for the quick Jam recipe:

Julie's Strawberry Freezer Jam

5 cups smashed fresh strawberries
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar (I used organic sugar which I whizzed in a processor to make super-fine)
5 tablespoons plus 1 tsp Instant Clear Jel

1. Place smashed strawberries in a large bowl.

2. In a smaller bowl, mix together sugar and clear jel, whisking until well mixed. Add the sugar mixture to the strawberries, whisking until very well mixed and sugar looks dissolved. If you don't stir it well, the starch will thicken in clumps. This should only take a minute or so.

3. Let strawberry mixture sit for 10 minutes to thicken completely. Scoop into clean jars, seal with a lid and place in freezer.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Arugula Salad

Just a quick post to tell you about a new recipe up on everyday dish. It's a delicious arugula salad with a preserved lemon vinaigrette. Absolutely divine, and is from Chef Derek Hanson at Nutshell restaurant in Portland Oregon.

Preserved lemons are very easy to make (just do a Google search), but it is basically sliced lemons layered in a jar with Kosher salt, and left to sit (refrigerated) for about a month. I regularly have a jar going in my fridge, because they add a fabulous spark of flavor to recipes. You can buy preserved lemons too. You really should give it a try!