Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy T-Day and B-day!

I hope you all had a very relaxing and blessed Thanksgiving day and weekend. Tim and I were lucky to be able to spend Tofurkey day :) with some new friends from the church we have been attending, Portico Arlington (www.porticoarlington.org). We had quite a spread and I tried a new recipe which turned out pretty tasty. It’s called Pueblo Corn Pie and I have included the recipe below. I have decided to begin posting recipes I think are good enough for you all to make at home. Now that’s saying something!

 From Nava Atlas’ “Vegan Holiday Kitchen”

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 2 1/4 cups canned or cooked pinto beans
  • 2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes or one 14- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, lightly drained
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup grated non-dairy Cheddar-style cheese + more for sprinkling on top (I just used regular Cheddar cheese)
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, and cook over medium heat until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and bell pepper, and continue to cook until the onion is golden brown.
  3. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, and seasonings. Stir well, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Remove from the heat.
  4. Bring 5 cups of water to a rolling boil in a heavy saucepan or round Dutch oven.
  5. Slowly pour the cornmeal into the water in a thin, steady stream, whisking continuously to avoid lumps.
  6. Add the salt, and cook over low heat, covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  8. Oil a shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dish, and line the bottom with half the cooked cornmeal. Pour the skillet mixture in, and gently pat it in evenly. Sprinkle with the cheese (if using). Top with the remaining cornmeal.
  9. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cornmeal is golden brown and crusty. Add a sprinkle of cheese on top for the last 10 minutes of baking. Let stand for 10 minutes, then cut into squares to serve.
We also celebrated Tim’s 28th birthday on the night of Thanksgiving. Since he isn’t a huge “normal birthday cake” person, but loves fruit, I decided to make him a caramel apple cake. Oh yes... it was delish. In case you were wondering, the photos of the food came from the website (mine didn’t look quite this good :)...but almost!)  PS…if you are not on Pinterest (www.pinterest.com), you are totally missing out. That site is the most incredible place to find wonderful recipes and fantastic ideas. I have found pretty much all of my recipes there! I know you want the apple cake recipe, so here it is:

Caramel Apple Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped apples
  • 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
Brown Sugar Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
For the cake: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch pan (round or square) and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir with a whisk to mix everything together.
In a large bowl, mix the eggs with a hand mixer until light in color and foamy. Add the oil and vanilla and beat well.
Stir in the flour mixture with a spoon and continue stirring the batter til the flour disappears. Add the apples and nuts (if using) and stir to mix them into the batter.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Place the hot cake on a wire cake. While it's still hot, prepare the glaze. 

For the glaze: Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
Spoon the hot glaze over the still hot-from-the-oven cake. Let the glazed cake cool completely before serving straight from the pan. 

The day after Thanksgiving, our friend Erik Torrez flew in and stayed until Saturday morning. He is a pilot for Delta and had an overnight in DC, so it worked out well for us! It was so fun to have an old friend to catch up with. We hope to be seeing him more often.

On Saturday afternoon, Tim and I were “tourists” in DC. We visited the Smithsonian castle, then headed through the National Mall to the Jefferson, FDR and George Mason memorials. We ended with the newest attraction in DC (opened October 16, 2011), the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial. We have been fortunate that the weather has been so lovely and not cold at all, so we can comfortably enjoy the sites around us!

Sunday after church, we drove to Ticonderoga Christmas Tree Farm and cut down our Christmas Tree! After much deliberation and after all the trees started to look about the same, we finally decided on this nice white pine. Tim kind of reminds me of a lumberjack in this photo! :)

After the tree adventure, we came home and relaxed...and tried to get ready for the “long” week ahead. I always think the week after a holiday week seems so much longer! I made manicotti, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, as well as these ridiculously easy treats. I cannot believe I have never thought of this myself. Sheesh.

No Bake Energy Bites
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Mix everything above in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls and enjoy!  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
** I did not have coconut or chocolate chips, so I substituted 1 cup dried cranberries (or you could do raisins or dates or something) and 1/2 cup slivered almonds and I left out the vanilla this time. Mmm they are so easy and good and healthy…and quite addicting!

Stay tuned later this week for a sneak peek of our wedding pictures...yep, they are finished...all 945 of them :) I'll sort through and pick some of my favorites to post!

Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. The recipes look mouth-watering yummy, but did you make the corn pie pan a tad too full:)? Tim looks extra pleased with his Christmas tree in hand! LYM