Showing posts with label lasagna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lasagna. Show all posts

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Daring Bakers Challenge: Noodles!! for Lasagna

Time once again for another Daring Bakers Challenge!! Only this month we have a new website, new logos, and a very different kind of challenge: making your own pasta! And not just any pasta, spinach lasagna noodles layered with a country ragu and bechamel sauce. Veganizing this challenge wasn't even an issue. Those eggs that pasta recipes call for? Not needed at all! For the pasta dough I used a recipe from Nonna's Italian Kitchen, but substituted semolina flour for regular flour and added pureed spinach. I made my ragu using a simple marinara sauce recipe and adding some texture in the form of sauteed onions, green pepper, soy crumbles, fresh basil, and plenty of garlic. The bechamel started with a simple roux of Earth Balance and flour, with soymilk, white pepper, and nutmeg added to the mix and thickened. But really the whole process is best illustrated in pictorial format...

Since I am lucky enough to have a husband who is half Italian, we actually own a pasta machine! Not that I've ever used it until now. With John's help we cranked out pasta sheet after pasta sheet...
After cutting the pasta into shapes resembling lasagna noodles, they were spread out to dry. I had quite a bit of pasta leftover!Vegan Noodle holding one long vegan noodle!
Sauces simmering....
One thing about making your own pasta... it makes a mess. Flour everywhere and in every crevice!! It was even all over the floor by the time we finished.
But it was all worth it in the end. I'm not sure I'll ever be quite as happy with dried pasta. The two sauces complimented each other nicely and the noodles were amazing.

The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Living Longer

While channel surfing, I caught a few minutes of the Friends episode where Rachel turns 30 and they flashback to everyone else's 30th birthday (i.e. Monica getting drunk before surprise party, Ross and his fancy car that is trapped via parallel parking). This felt a bit surreal knowing that I am fast approaching (a tad more than 16 months away) the age of the Friends characters that I watched a teen and in my early twenties. And it just so happened that this weekend we also helped a good friend celebrate her impending 30th birthday with a surprise party. I was in charge of the cake, chocolate with chocolate mousse filling and mint frosting. The candle set also came with a red "OH NO" which I chose to leave off. Like my top border? It's one I just learned in my second cake decorating class (which wraps up this weekend), so it still needs lots of work.

In addition to cake, I also brought a salad (my favorite roasted fennel with hazelnuts and creamy shallo dressing from V-con) and a vegan main dish. I tried to recreate the lasagna I had recently at the PPK Texas Gathering, since Crystal posted the recipe on her new blog, Vegan Explosion. I really wanted to leave the olives out, since I usually dislike them, but I stayed true to that part of the recipe and I think they really added a great flavor to the tofu ricotta. The only thing I did change was using fresh sauteed mushrooms instead of canned. If you notice my new twittering updates (sidebar), you'll see that I enjoyed leftovers of this for lunch today.
Now I know I've posted about Mighty O's several times before, but I just had to brag one more time. My mom brought these back for me after spending a week in Seattle helping my sister move to her very own condo. One of them was the special seasonal flavor; chocolate oreo. But I didn't hog them all to myself, I brought them along to an art car decorating party. I can't wait to show everyone the car (less than two weeks till the parade!), it is amazing, but here's a sneak peak at one unfinished part.
And finally, while we were driving to the birthday party, I saw this bumper sticker on a Texas-colored Ford truck "Live Longer, Eat Beef". I scrambled so fast to get a photo of this, I just couldn't believe it. I didn't know whether to laugh or scream. I ended up laughing with the birthday girl (a vegetarian) about it. Laughing and not eating animal products is what really helps you live longer.
Here's hoping that none of you are following this bumper sticker's advice....

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Blog Food

Saturday, we dined purely on blogworld food! After a long morning walk (it's actually getting a bit more bearable outside now), I made Bazu's buckwheat pancakes!! I had bought buckwheat pancake mix ages ago for a vegan fried chicken recipe that failed miserably (not sure why since it had so many great reviews!), and I knew that pancakes could never fail! My only change up was to add some cinnamon (which I'm not sure I tasted in the end) and served the pancakes with a mixture of maple syrup and agave. These were a tasty change up from regular pancakes, and will certainly be added to my breakfast repertoire! (plus I love to make extra to keep in the fridge as snacks, just slather on some pb)

All week I have been trying to find pre-cooked polenta to make Polenta Lasagna. Finally while making a stop at Central Market to get apple cider (John's going to start a batch of hard cider and not many stores carry this quite yet...), I hit the jackpot! So we came home with some basil & garlic polenta as well as sun-dried tomato and garlic. Instead of kale, I used spinach (yay, it's still on the shelves!) and also added in plenty of zucchini. As you can see it came out of the pan a bit of a mess (check out Susan's pic), but we both still scarfed it down just the same.

Okay, I can barely contain my excitement for my early birthday dinner celebration with my family tonight!! Rumor has it there will be cupcakes involved. This is one of those instances where I'm making an exception to my little "diet". Oh, I am just salivating thinking of them!!