August 31, 2013

DIY Summer Pizzas!

 Pizza night with Richard is always a delight. There's nothing like making dinner together, with him prepping the vegetable toppings while I shred cheese and pre-bake the crusts. That's not the only reason and you'll see why further down the post, ha ha!

 Two or three nights before pizza making day, I'll make the dough in my handy dandy Kitchen Aid (which he bought for me one Christmas). Good pizza dough needs time. I never use a recipe, but it's basically warm water, yeast, sugar, olive oil, flour and salt. If I'm feeling fancy I'll add herbs or granulated garlic, but it's fantastic on it's own.

I let it slow rise and do its tasty fermentation thing in the refrigerator for up to three nights. In the afternoon of pizza making day, it gets taken out so it come to room temperature, so that it can be used in the evening.

 I like pre-baking my crusts. We use a convection oven at 450F.  I used a different method before, but after experimenting, this is hands down my favourite! The crust comes out so crispy and cracker like. There isn't a soft doughy spot in sight. Here's what I do...
Oven at 450F convection or 475F non-convection
  1. Shape the dough on parchment, the size of your cookie sheet, about 1/4 of an inch thick
  2. Dock the dough all over with a fork to prevent huge bubbles when baking
  3. With the dough on parchment paper and on the cookie sheet, bake until golden
  4. Remove from oven and flip the dough so that the top is now the bottom
  5. Dress with sauce and toppings and return to the oven, middle rack, without the parchment. (Use the cookie sheet as a pizza peel to help you, but we're baking without it as well. Pizza on rack, just like that!)
  6. It's done when the cheese is bubbly, crust is a dark golden colour and the bottom is crisp. (You'll know it's crisp when you go to remove it with the cookie sheet. The pizza won't droop, but rather be a solid pie)
Cut and serve!

It was perfect. The perfect carrier of delicious toppings. I had on mine a base of kale pesto dotted with tomato sauce, leftover chicken fingers and bacon that I found in the freezer, diced onions, a red pepper, zucchini and tomato from the garden, as well as a good helping of cheese. Mozzarella and cheddar!

Rich had the same minus the pesto, the chicken and cheese. Instead he had red sauce, meatless pepperoni and a light sprinkling of quinoa. None of that fake cheese stuff here. 

Then this happened. :)

All natural, 100% vegan.

August 29, 2013

Vegan Raspberry Coconut Muffins

Yummy, perfect for on the go and this time, vegan. With the bowl of raspberries I had picked from the garden, I decided to turn them into delicious muffins! There's not much to it in terms of throwing  wet ingredients into the dry and folding it all together, but I felt like making a bunch of .gifs just 'cause I was feeling...giffy. Ha.

Here's the recipe I used- it makes exactly two dozen mini muffins! Feel free to half the recipe.
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  ¼ teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
  • 1 egg replacer
  • ⅓ cup milk alternative + 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries + 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • Coconut for topping
Preheat oven at 375F convection or 400F non-convection with the oven rack on the second lowest postilion.

Sugar and berries, mash, mash, mash! Set Aside.
Bruised and juicy.
Mix all the dry ingredients together

Whisk it, whisk it gooood.
Fake eggs, milk + vinegar, extract(s) and oil = wet ingredients

Get that bowl of dry stuff.
...and pour in the wet. Gently fold until combined.

See? There's little lumps in the batter but that's okay.
Next, the mashed berries. Fold those in too, juices and all!


Spray the muffin tin with oil (I used Pam) and portion the batter out, filling all the way to the top.

Sprinkle with shredded coconut and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and done!

This is what they look like out of the oven. Yum.

Served with black tea and...

A cute pat of vegan butter on each side.

The muffins are moist, not cloyingly sweet and over all had a nice texture and taste.

The raspberries added a nice tartness while the coconut added a different texture. I imagine a coconut streusel would be fab.

The insides! Soft and fluffy.

I love the size of these mini muffins! 
Eat one if you just want a snack or eat two or three on the go.They keep really well. Just store them in a paper bag  short term or for longer keeping, in an air tight container in the fridge. There's fresh fruit in them, so the fridge is recommended...that is...if they even last that long.
Mouldy muffins aren't yummy!

August 28, 2013

I Spy Candy

I spotted these bugs on my ground cherry plant the other day. Anybody know what they are called? As you can see in the photos, they're brightly coloured and glossy. They remind me of candy. Halloween candy!

Pretty sure they're some kind of beetle and/pest that are feeding on leaves. I saw them this one time and haven't seen them around since. Good thing!

August 27, 2013

Garden Rubies

I'm very much enjoying my raspberry plants. They've been happy and thriving this year! The first crop (above) has since gone, but a second is on it's way. :D

August 22, 2013

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Hi, I'm Janetta from Toronto. I cook, bake and often veganize recipes. I photograph nearly everything and those photos will most likely end up being posted here. I've got a little black cat named Tank, who's really cute and a little bit nosy. You'll see a lot of photos of her too!

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