Guru Rabbit

Turn a new leaf (and EAT it)

Showing Off November 27, 2012

Filed under: Random — rabbit @ 6:57 pm

I made sure our guests knew there was no way in hell that I would cook a turkey.

But no one seemed to mind…

Vegetarian shepherd’s pie with sour cream and chive mashed potatoes.

Caramelized onion stuffing.  Recipe courtesy of Baking Bites.

Sweet potato mash done TWO ways!

One side plain with pecans, the other with mashed beets.

With an option of honeyed goat cheese or homemade marshmallow topping.

Hells yes.

Pretty sure this is the best green bean casserole ever.

Because my green beans are roasted, not steamed.

And look at those wonderful, crispy fried onions, people!

Plus:

roasted garlic and champagne gravy

cranberry sauce

biscuits, Smitten Kitchen style

and, of course, pie.

Okay.  I’m done.  Bye.

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Child’s Play November 25, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 10:25 am
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So I was going to post a recap of our Thanksgiving dinner.

But then someone requested demanded threatened my life threatened my cat’s life if I did not show you all how to make vegan banana vanilla ice cream.

I was given three days to make it happen.

When bro-face Steven told me to do this, my first thought was, “Really?  This ain’t my first rodeo, fool.”  (Shhh, I’ve never been to a rodeo…)  In fact, I’ve done this before.  Many moons ago.  And if you Google “one ingredient ice cream”, you’ll find it’s so stupidly simple.  It’s SO simple, I’ve never thought it necessary to post on here, because to me it’s like… duh.  That’s not condescending is it?

Anyway, I think Steven was just fishing for me to do this exact recipe because it’s healthy, but versatile and delicious.

Or maybe he was just looking for the food porn.

All you need is frozen bananas.  Sliced.

Then throw them in the food processor.  Blend. Blend.  Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula.

Blend some more.  Until…

Smooth and creamy.

Store in the freezer.  Obviously…

For this, I added a bit of vanilla bean paste.  You can add whatever you like– peanut butter, chocolate chips, nuts, other frozen fruits, etc.

Is this satisfactory, Steve-O?

Oh, wait.  Hang on…

Let me just get some maple syrup and cocoa…

Yep.  There we go.

 

Pies… November 18, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 10:29 pm
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PEOPLE.

It’s OKAY.

Stay CALM.

I made PIES.

Pies for you and everyone to enjoy.  You can make these pies tonight while you drink Scotch and worry about your Thanksgiving plans.  And those weird relatives.  Then while the pies are cooling you can drink more Scotch and think about how you’re going to get back at those relatives…


More Scotch.

Hemingway-style.

Eat pecans and chocolate.

Because you’re not Hemingway and need to eat something

Okay, here it is.  1) I don’t really drink Scotch.  But I’m not against it…  2) Coconut Rum Pecan Pie.  3) Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin Pie.  4) OMG GO MAKE THESE NOW.

Seriously, these pies…  One is vegan, one is not, both are scrumptious and will earn you brownie points.  Errr, pie points.  The crusts are really up to you, if you have a favorite recipe or want to use pre-made ones.  These are just my suggestions.

Coconut Rum Pecan Pie

Crust:

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

8 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small chunks

ice-cold water

Filling:

1 1/2 cup brown sugar

4 tbsp butter, melted

1/2 cup coconut rum

2 eggs

1/4 tsp salt

optional: a splash of vanilla

1 cup pecan pieces

1/2 cup dried coconut

pecan halves to decorate the top

1) Preheat your oven to 350 °F.  For the crust, mix together the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor.  Then add the butter chunks and pulse until you get a mixture that looks like fine bread crumbs.  Process while adding a bit of cold water until the dough starts to come together.  Turn the dough onto a floured surface and use your hands to bring it together and make sure it’s uniform.  Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate or pan.  Roll the dough to around 11 inches so that it fits well into the pie pan.  Roll the dough around your rolling pin, and release it onto the pan.  You can do the edges however you like.

2) Make the filling– whisk together the brown sugar, rum, melted butter, eggs, salt, and vanilla, if using.  Spread the pecan pieces and coconut into your pie crust and pour the filling over.  Top with pecan halves however you like.  Bake on a tray 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin Pie

Crust:

8 oz Oreo-type cookies (I used the Whole Foods brand, I dunno if you’re a Hydrox person or whatevs…)

a couple Tbsp melted butter, Earth Balance, non-hydrogenated shortening, etc.

Filling:

(I’m not going to lie, this is based on last year’s pumpkin pie… Shut up.)

1/4 cup arrowroot or cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup non-dairy milk

1/2 tsp salt

1 of 15-oz can pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla

optional (but recommended…): a schtickle of whiskey, rum, dessert wine, etc.

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1) Preheat oven to 375°F.  For the crust, grind the cookies finely in a food processor.  Transfer to your pie plate.  Mix gradually with the melted butter just until the crumbs can stick to each other, and use your hands to form the crust.  Bake 10-15 minutes, until firm.  Hint: you can smell the chocolatey goodness when it’s about ready.

2) Make the filling.  Whisk together the arrowroot starch, sugar, and milk.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  In a separate bowl, mix about 1/4 to 1/3 of the pumpkin filling with the melted chocolate.

3) Pour the plain pumpkin filling into your pie crust and smooth it out.  (You probably won’t need all the filling, so save it for minis!)  Dollop the chocolate-pumpkin filling on top and swirl around with a knife.  Bake around 40-45 minutes, or until the edges have puffed up a bit and are set.  The center will still be pudding-like.

Allow these pies to cool completely.  Preferably overnight.  In the refrigerator.

(You can even freeze them until T-Day!)

I know, it’s painful.

Go cry about it.  And punch your relatives.

 

As Time Goes On… November 11, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 4:17 pm
Tags: , , , ,

… we will all start to freak out about how close Thanksgiving is.  Then we will freak out about Black Friday.  (Well, I won’t.)  Then Cyber Monday.  (Well, I won’t.)  Then Hanukkah.  (I kinda will, due to my status as an honorary Jew.)  Then Christmas.  Not Kwanzaa.  ::shrug::

Point is, the year is coming to an end faster than a banana ripens.

(Nice segue, eh?)

But I don’t freak out about bananas.  When they get ignored and too mushy to eat, I store them in the freezer.  Then they are at my immediate disposal for goodies like this.   And this.   And this, of course.

Unfortunately, they’re not pretty.

Save your jokes.

Or what the hell, go ahead in the comments.

I’m getting ready for the holiday insanity.  I’m making doughs and storing them in the freezer.  I’ve ordered my bulk chocolate and cocoa.  I’m making mini test pies (and self-inducing sugar comas).

I’m making Cranberry Orange Banana Bread.

For you?

For youuuuu! <3

Cranberry Orange Banana Bread

6 very ripe bananas (if frozen, allow to thaw)

2 cups sugar

1 cup non-hydrogenated shortening, vegan butter substitute, or butter, softened

zest of two large oranges

1 tsp orange extract

1/2 cup milk or non-dairy milk, mixed with 2 tsp cider vinegar

4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 12-oz bag fresh cranberries

1) Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease two 8×4 loaf pans.  (You can use 9×5 but the loaves won’t be as high.)  In a large bowl, combine the bananas, sugar, shortening, orange zest and extract.  Beat everything together for a few minutes, until bananas are pureed and the mixture is uniform.  Mix in the soured milk.

2) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Fold into the wet mix along with the cranberries.

3) Divide the batter among the loaf pans.  Bake for about an hour, or until a wooden skewer tests clean.


A subtle marriage of banana and orange, studded with tangy cranberries.

You can store these babies in the freezer until you want to serve or give them away as holiday gifts.  The recipe is easily halved if you only want to make one loaf.  A great finishing touch would be an orange glaze.  Just take some juice from the zested oranges and mix with powdered sugar until you having a nice drizzling consistency.

Lets hear it for easy, painless holiday goodies.

  ::tiny bunny applause::

P.S. Happy Veterans Day!

 

Never Too Late November 4, 2012

Filed under: Interestin' Food Info,Recipes — rabbit @ 4:58 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Ideally, I would’ve posted this two or three days ago, when the timing was more appropriate.  But y’know, stuff gets in the way.  I’m sure he won’t mind…

So I realized the cusp of October and November will from now on be particularly special.  Dad’s birthday is October 31st (Halloween!).  And the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) takes place November 1st and 2nd.  (Um, duh, Dad was Mexican.)

Among a bazillion other things (including but not limited to: how to drive, how to get achieve a good credit score, how to give an obviously homeless person something to eat, how to break someone’s nose should they attempt to molest me, etc.), Dad taught me how to make tamales.

It starts with love.  Like the immediate love one feels for a rescue puppy…

Okay, sort of.  And no, that’s not my puppy…  But for reals, it starts with a very finely ground cornmeal known as masa.  And traditionally, it is mixed with some kind of soup broth and… LARD.  Ugh.  Well, I don’t really mean that.  When it comes to old-time standards, one would raise a happy pig, kill it (hopefully as quickly as possible), and use all parts of its body– meat, organs, fat,and bones.  Food chain ethics, y’ know?  That ain’t the case today :(

But I find non-hydrogenated palm shortening works.  Try Spectrum.  Or if you have an ethical source of lard…?  I dunno, I eat lettuce for lunch, I’m not really the person to ask about this…

Anywho.  Then the masa dough gets spread into soaked corn husks, and filled.

I filled the masa dough with roasted butternut squash and Mexican farmer’s cheese.

(In the last couple of years, Dad would frequently buy buy butternut squash for his rabbit girl.)

Then you wrap it up so the dough seals itself around the filling:

And tie it up, and steam it up.

Tequila shot, optional.

Basic Tamale Recipe

3 cups masa harina*

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening

3 cups vegetable broth

25-30 dried corn husks, soaked in water for a couple of hours*

heatproof, food-safe twine or string (or if you want to deal with tying corn husk strings, be my guest)

filling of your choice, but nothing too runny

*You’ll probably have to go to a Latin or Mexican grocery store to find the masa harina and corn husks.  If you want to try tying the tamales with the husk itself, once you’ve soaked them, take a few and just tear them into strips.  It takes a little practice to efficiently tie a corn husk string, which is why I suggest twine.  But whatever floats your boat.

1) In a small bowl, whisk together the masa and baking powder.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, beat the shortening until fluffy.  With a rubber or silicone spatula, start mixing in the masa.  Once it’s getting too dry and difficult to mix, start mixing in the broth.  You want to end up with a soft, kinda pasty dough, so add the broth gradually, until you have a good consistency.

2) Place a steamer basket at the bottom of a large, deep pot.  The higher you can place the basket, the better, so if you want, put some kind of heavy objects that will survive being boiled underneath.  Fill with water to just below the bottom of the basket.

3) Assemble the tamales.  Spread a few tablespoons of dough onto the center of a corn husk.  Your husks might be large enough to put more dough.  Just make sure you stay in the center so the husk can fully wrap around.  Leave enough empty husk at the bottom to be able to fold it up and tie.  Place a bit your filling on the dough, just enough so that the dough will still be able to encase it.  Wrap up the corn husk so the dough covers the filling.  Fold the bottom tail up and tie it securely.  You can leave the top open.  Set aside and repeat until all your tamales are ready for steaming.

4) Place the tamales in the steamer basket, standing on their bottom.  Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and steam for about an hour, adding more water as necessary.  They’re ready when the dough is firm.

Serve with sauces and sides of your choice– salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, guacamole, etc.  For fillings, you can try spinach, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, different types of cheese, etc.  Whatever you use, make sure it’s cooked already.  You don’t want liquid seeping out the dough while the tamales steam.

This recipe makes enough to feed four people, maybe more, depending on appetites.  You can store leftovers in the fridge or freezer, and heat in the oven.  So it makes a good weekend project to be able to have tamales at your disposal.  Awesome?  Yes.

Oh, and Happy Belated Birthday, Dad.

P.S.  These are by far the hottest chipotles I’ve ever tasted:

La Morena indeed…