Archive | October, 2007

Apple Butter

21 Oct

It was my goal this fall to make Apple Butter, just like it was my goal to make homemade jam this past summer.  (It never happened.)  Now, I have never even tasted apple butter before but for some reason I knew I had to make it.  So, yesterday, I was nursing a rather bad sinus infection (ewz) and was unable to tackle the many assignments, essays and test preparations I had set aside for this weekend.  So, I decided to accomplish something and made apple butter.

Now, this apple butter was not without its slight mishaps.  As I said, I was in a rather dazed state and when I went to the store for the needed ingredients, I bought figs instead of prunes that the recipe called for.  What was I thinking?!  But I had some dates at home so I decided to use them instead.  And, I forgot the apple cider but no worries I made a very quick, half-assed (I used mostly ground versions of the spices called for) and small batch using this recipe.

I found the original recipe over at the ppk forums.

 

 Apple Butter
yields 2 pints

3 lbs cookin apples
1 c. pitted dates (the original recipe called for prunes)
3 c. apple cider
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
2 tsp ground cloves

1.  Peel, core, and quarter apples.  Place apple slices, dates and apple cider in a large pot and bring to a boil. 
2.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or so, until soft.
3.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
4.  Process apple/date mixture and spices in a food processor and blender until smooth.
5.  Pour and spread the mixture evenly into a 9 x 13 baking dish.
6.  Bake in centre of the oven for about an hour, stirring every so often, making sure to scrape down the sides.
7.  Once done (you can test for doneness by seeing if the butter is thick enough that it will stick to a plate or something upside down), ladle the butter into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace, seal with lids and place in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
8.  Enjoy the fruits of your labour by slathering some apple butter on a piece of toast and savour the wonderful flavours of autumn.

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Blog Action Day! A Personal Reflection on Environmental Friendliness

15 Oct

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Blog Action Day

I have always been concerned about the environment but it wasn’t until the past couple years or so that I’ve really decided to do something about it.  In honour of Blog Action Day, I’ve decided to post some things that I have changed in my lifestyle to be more enviromentally friendly.  A personal reflection of sorts.  Now, a lot of these you’ve probably heard of but maybe you’re a student like me and think it’s too hard and expensive to be environmentally friendly well I’m here to tell you it’s not!  Small changes like these can make a huge difference.

  • I went vegan.  Now, I know a lot of my readers are vegan but if you’re not, don’t think I’m here to lecture or judge you.  I believe that veganism makes a huge contribution to the world around you and you know…World Go Vegan Days are right around the corner on October 26th to October 28th. 
  • I now use reusable bags when shopping, no more plastic for me!  Around here, it’s almost impossible not to use reusable bags as every grocery store now is offering them.  But, even after making the switch to these bags, I found that I was still using those annoying little plastic produce bags, what a waste.  So, I’ve been looking into these. Cute, huh?
  • In the past year I’ve started to really think about the produce I was purchasing, I started to buy mostly local fruits and vegetables.  At first, I thought that I’d be extremely limited but that is so not the case.  Why the other day, I got pumpkin, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, swiss chard, apples and pears!  All local and most of it was organic as well.
  • When the new school year was approaching I was at a loss as to what to use to take notes.  I was able to find environmentally friendly paper in the form of these beautiful notebooks.
  • If you’re in Halifax, check out P’lovers, it’s an environmental store in Park Lane Mall on Spring Garden Road.  They carry a ton of eco-friendly products (including those pretty notebooks above), resources-a huge collection of books and organic clothing.
  • I’ve also been on the prowl for awesome eco-friendly body products.  Last week, I made the discover of Eco Lips in the form of a wonderful, and bee-free, lip balm.  After checking out their website I found that they carry Eco Tints, I hope I can find them here somewhere.  I’ve also been liking Nature’s Gate Organics products, especially their Neroli Orange & Chocolate Mint Lotion w/ Ester-C, most amazing scent ever.

So, that’s a lot of the things I’ve been changing in my life to help the world around me.  But it’s only a start!  I’m always looking for eco-friendly tips, resources, products and I hope to discover more ideas on other blogs today. I also love the following green links…
green daily lj community
TreeHugger

With the holiday season approaching (and it’s approaching fast! Believe me, I work in retail), I am determined to have a green (eco-friendly I mean, I want snow!) Christmas so if you have any suggestions on how to make the holiday season an environmentally friendly one, give them to me!

Thai Chick-un Pizza

13 Oct

This is the Thai Chick-un Pizza from Eat, Drink & be Vegan.  This is so different than your standard pizza, it’s totally fancy.  It was delicious, I adored the Peanut Sauce and the topping combo was outstanding. 

Now, the original recipe called for chickpeas which I discovered half way into the recipe I was out of so I used some of my favourite seitan I happened to have on hand.

I used Cassie’s Spelt & Cornmeal Pizza Crust which was amazing. I always get this pizza slice from around here that I absolutely love the crust of and Cassie’s recipe is a duplicate! Now, I won’t have to dish out the $4.50 for a slice of my favourite pizza, I can make it at home.

Happy Thanksgiving!

9 Oct

Yup, up here in Canada, we celebrate our Thanksgiving early.  Although this past sunday, I wasn’t quite able to cook everything I wished to as I worked that day.  I was able to cook a few things.

So, on the menu was an assortment of my mom’s vegetables that are traditional to any important meal in my family-mashed potatoes, mashed turnip (although on Martha the other day I discovered that what my family calls turnip is actually rutabaga), carrots and my mom’s awesome preserved beets.  While the rest of my family dined on turkey :-(, my sister and I enjoyed the vegetables, especially the mashed potatoes with Dreena’s Think ‘n’ Rich Gravy drizzled over them.  The gravy is in her latest book, Eat, Drink & be Vegan and it was delicious!  Best gravy I’ve ever had.  My sister is all set to make a vegetarian Poutine with it and I must say, I’m interested in attempting a vegan version.  I made this gravy in a rush as soon as I got home from work and managed to get gravy all over my book.  My book does smell rather good now, though.

I’m always (if anyone else tried to take this role from me, I’d probably get very upset) in charge of dessert and this year I made pumpkin pie (my mom’s favourite ever) and my first attempt at an apple pie.  I used Bryanna’s Pumpkin Pie which I always use because it’s like the most perfect pumpkin pie ever. As I said, it has my mom’s approval. I used this pie crust recipe, it’s so easy and turns out wonderfully flaky.

Ok, speaking of pie crusts…I have the worst luck when it comes to pie crusts, particullary the rolling out of the dough.  So, for the apple pie, I decided to try, once again, a new recipe that hopefully would not fail me.  I veganized a Martha Stewart recipe using EB shortening and well…it failed.  It was the most finicky crust ever!  I was so frustrated and my mom eventually had to help me and between the two of us we managed to get into the freaking pie plate.  It seemed to be baking beautifully in the oven, but after I took it out of the oven, it just collapsed!  What the hell?!  Pies can collapse??  Anyway, it ended up tasting delicious but I’m not going through that again.  I need your help!  Recommend me a never fail roll-out pie crust!  I will conquer pies by Christmas.

So that was my Thanksgiving.  Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians!  (And, Americans, I look foward to seeing what you’ll be cooking up this November!)

Cheddar Sheese Scones

8 Oct

My camera was found!  (and yes, my speculation as to its whereabouts was indeed correct)

A few days ago I made Bittersweet’s Cheddar Sheese Scones, these were amazing!  They were so good, especially warm with a dab of earth balance and a spot of tea.

Coming up hopefully later today, I’ll post about my Thanksgiving dinner last night.

i’m still here

5 Oct

I hate not being able to update!  So while I’m waiting for my pumpkin to bake for the Pumpkin seed Encrusted Tofu from Vegan with a Vengeance I’ll write this quick post.

I would have had an update earlier this week, I made the tempeh wings from the don’t eat off the sidewalk zine. They were delicious! Seriously, make these. It was also my first experience ever with tempeh.  But…do I have any evidence of this very fine meal? No.  Nothing.  Nada.  My camera’s missing!  I can’t find it anywhere but I have a feeling that it’s with a certain family member of mine.

I NEED to find my camera like right now because this weekend it’s Thanksgiving here in Canada.  And although I am working the day of which my family traditionally has our meal I will be marking the occasion sometime this weekend by baking very fine pies.  I swear, if these pies go undocumented I will be extremely sad. 

Oh!  And I almost forgot, my copy of Eat Drink and be Vegan yesterday!  I’m so excited, everything looks so good!  I think I’ll be trying some cookies out very soon.