Chocolate Truffles Galore

20190602_195553Also for my birthday tea party, I wanted to keep improving my chocolate making skills. Since filling is the only real opening for creativity in chocolate truffles, I developed a number of different recipes. It gave me an opportunity to learn about jam making, which is a whole new world I’m excited to explore more in the future!

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Vegan Lemon Macarons

20190421_141012As I’ve mentioned, my sister is vegan. Back before she became vegan, when she was just a vegetarian, we would make macarons together when we were both home at our parents’ house. If you’ve never made macarons, you should know that they’re more of a project than your usual dessert recipe. I typically set aside ~4 hours to make a batch, and that doesn’t include the overnight steps. While that is undeniably a lot of time to spend on some cookies, it saves a lot of money because macarons do not have expensive ingredients but are extraordinarily expensive to buy in the store. Even better, I get to use that time to catch up with my sister, and we both feel the accomplishment of making a beautiful dessert that can seem very intimidating. Since going vegan, my sister and I had not made macarons. But I learned about using aquafaba (more on that after the break) in place of the eggs in macarons on the Great British Baking Show, so over Easter we decided to give it a try. All I can say is, boy was my sister pleased with the results!

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Vegan Chocolate Truffles

20190421_144740My sister has been a vegetarian for 15 years and within the last year decided to go fully vegan. This has inspired me to eat vegan more often myself, both because it’s better for the environment and my health and so that we can share meals together. There are many things my sister had to give up when going vegan, and other things that are just very hard to find. Chocolate falls into this last category. Chocolate itself is already vegan – it’s just a bean. But a lot of chocolate has milk added to it, even if it’s not what you would consider milk or white chocolate. Even if the chocolate is vegan, the filling of a truffle might have animal products in it. It seemed so silly that my sister would have to give up chocolates, especially because they don’t require non-vegan ingredients. So this year for Easter I enlisted her help in making up a couple recipes so everyone could have a great holiday! To the full post!

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

20190317_135258Tomato soup is as American as apple pie. For me, it is winter days after playing in the snow; a quick lunch on the weekend; the first sign that I was getting over the flu; 30 minutes with my mom in the kitchen, sharing a can on a busy day. As I get older, the canned stuff has started to taste *really* weird to me, but my nostalgia for tomato soup has not changed. Enter: this roasted tomato soup. Bright red with a strong tomato and basil flavor and all the warmth of long roasting in a hot oven. It tastes like what it is, nothing more, and that is plenty.

P.S. Looking for a grilled cheese to go with your soup? Check back on Wednesday!

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Basic Vinaigrette

20190210_205736Sometimes, you just need a salad dressing. I hate buying salad dressing because it’s expensive (for what it is), it comes with way too much dressing for my needs, and it’s usually full of sugar or other weird ingredients. I’ve known for a while that making vinaigrette was really simple. I usually just wing it and it often comes out a bit too sour, so in the spirit of this blog, I decided to do a bit of research on the RATIOS, and came up with a base recipe that can be adapted in a variety of ways to make exactly the dressing you want.

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Matcha Coconut Ice Cream with Kidney Bean Swirl (Vegan)

20190204 matcha ice creamThe origin story of this recipe is super weird, which one of my favorite sources for recipes. Basically, I have a friend who got this gag gift of a can of kidney beans for a Secret Santa exchange. Turns out he doesn’t actually cook or particularly like kidney beans, so he bequeathed the beans to me, with the promise that I will make him something tasty with them. One joke about kidney bean ice cream later, and here we are…

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