Favorite hot fudge sauce

12 Sep

When I was a kid we always had a jar of hot fudge sauce in the fridge.  I think it might have been Smuckers brand, and whenever we had ice cream we’d heat the jar up in the microwave and ladel huge spoonfuls of fudge on top.

I hadn’t had hot fudge in ages when this memory hit me a while back and I decided I wanted to keep a stash of vegan sauce handy like we had in my childhood.   This recipe is based off the one in Joy of Vegan Baking and is super easy, chocolatey, and adaptable. 

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Hot Fudge Sauce
-1 Tbs corn starch (or your thickener of choice) dissolved in 2 Tbs water
-1 cup sugar (or maple syrup or agave nectar)
-6 Tbs cocoa powder
-pinch of salt
-1 cup non-dairy milk (less if using liquid sweetener)
-1 Tbs Earth Balance (or coconut oil, coconut cream,  or cashew cream)
-1 Tbs vanilla extract

Combine dry ingredients in saucepan.  Add milk and cornstarch. Heat to boiling and simmer a few minutes with constant stirring until thickened.  Remove from heat, stir in margarine and vanilla.  Store in a sealed jar in the fridge.

Favorite chocolate chip cookies (vegan and whole wheat!)

11 Sep

We had a late night hankering for chocolate chip cookies and made my favorite recipe.  As an added bonus it just happens to be whole wheat too!  I use either flax meal or Ener-G in place of egg and Earth Balance or homemade margarine in place of butter. If you use Earth Balance, I’d use 3/4 cup instead of a full cup or it’ll be too greasy.

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Usually I just use plain chocolate chips (Ghirardelli or Guittard semi sweet) but this time I did half white chocolate chips.  So good! I got these from Vegan Haven in Seattle and they’re the best vegan white chips I’ve found.

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Sausage, peppers, and onion sandwich

10 Sep

We got a ton of peppers in our CSA box last week so on Sunday Mr. HVC made this recipe (not vegan, from the food network) for sausage, pepper, and onion sammies. The only thing we changed about the recipe was the amount of oil (from 1/4 cup to 1 Tbs) because the veggie sausages can just warm up in the pan and don’t need to be fried.

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I’d never tried the Tofurkey Italian sausages before and man, they were really good!  I like that they’re made mostly from tofu and vital wheat gluten, and the texture was also really nice. We’re not much in the habit of buying veggie meats (I think it’s because there weren’t a lot of good products around when I went vegan and they were also expensive/hard to find so I just learned to do without?), so I don’t know which products are good. I was super happy to find something quick and easy and meaty enough for Mr. HVC.

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This was also a really quick, partner-friendly recipe — 10 min to prep veggies, 15 min to saute. Easy!

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Midnight snack

9 Sep

Just a quick post today. I’ve got all these tomatoes to use up (what a problem to have, right?) so I started eating them as a late night snack.  Just a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar (I’ve got this bottle of aged balsamic that’s great for drizzling!), salt, pepper, and some ripped up basil leaves. If I were smart I’d have also made some of the mozzarella from Artisan Vegan Cheese for a caprese salad! These tomatoes are so good they can hold their own though, so NBD.

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Roasted acorn squash with chile vinaigrette

8 Sep

In my CSA box this week were two beautiful acorn squash.  Problem is, I don’t really know what to do with acorn squashes, aside from stuffing them.  I did a little searching online and found this amazing recipe from Gourmet magazine for roasted acorn squash in a chile lime vinaigrette.  It’s SO GOOD, guys.  I’m not even the biggest fan of winter squash and I couldn’t get enough of this stuff.  It’s super simple to make and is full of really great flavors, especially if you’re a cilantro lover!
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In the comments people said that they wished they’d made more sauce, so I took that into account and did about 5x for the sauce.  I added a little less oil and made it quite a bit spicier than called for.  I also just did everything in the food processor.  I couldn’t find my gloves and definitely didn’t want to cut all those chiles with bare hands, plus I didn’t feel like mashing garlic.  At the end I threw in most of a bunch of cilantro and just pulsed everything till it was sufficiently chopped up.  That’s how a lazy person does sauce!  I also let the sauce sit for about an hour.  Initially I could really taste the olive oil and that kind of turned me off but after some time all the flavors came together amazingly well.

My modifications:
-7 cloves garlic
-10 Thai chiles
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup lime juice
-1 cup olive oil
-3/4 bunch cilantro

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I served the squash over brown rice with steamed broccolini (more CSA stuff!) on the side.  Caramelized squash, tart and bright sauce, perfect for the end of summer!  This is definitely going into regular rotation in our house.  I’d say it’s even fast enough for a quick weeknight dinner.  The squash only takes 30 minutes to roast and the sauce can be made in about 10 min.

Strawberry-basil smoothie

7 Sep

On a recent episode of the America’s Test Kitchen podcast the host interviewed the author of The Drunken Botanist, a book about all the different ways plants, flowers, fruits, and herbs have been incorporated into alcoholic drinks.  Basil was mentioned in particular, so I started to think about what sorts of interesting drinks I could make from my own overgrown basil plant.

Strawberry and basil is one of those combinations that I saw once in a cookbook (gazpacho shooters in The Inspired Vegan) and then started noticing it popping up all over the place, like in cocktails, lemonade, tarts, and preserves.  I don’t know if it’s trendy right now or if I’m just more alert, but it sounded sounded cool and refreshing, which is perfect since it’s super crazy hot here right now!!  I opted for a smoothie since it was a bit too early to get boozy and I had a lot of soy yogurt in the fridge.

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I don’t really have a recipe, I just kind of threw together yogurt, fresh strawberries, basil, frozen pineapple chunks (for bulk), a few ice cubes, and some maple syrup.  I made separate basil and strawberry smoothies because I didn’t want the end product be be an ugly brown!  They sort of layered ok but the strawberry mix was much denser than the basil mix so it didn’t work out as well as I had hoped.

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I really enjoyed this smoothie but Mr. HVC….not so much!  I relied mostly on the natural sweetness of the strawberries because a super sweet basil smoothie didn’t sound very appealing!  I think the tartness of the yogurt also helped out a lot.  I loved the flavor but I think it’s one of those things that you might not want to try if you’re less adventurous.  It took me a while to get over the expectation that basil is only good in savory applications!  It was super cool and refreshing though, which was exactly what I needed on a 90 °F morning!

Oh, I almost forgot!  I have been trying to expand my basil garden by rooting some cuttings and it worked!  Super happy!  It looks pretty cool so I thought I’d share:

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My new fav breakfast: avocado toast

5 Sep

I looooove avocado, as in I eat them almost every single day.  I feel like I pretty much have to…I grew up next to the “Avocado Capital of the World” so avocado culture was a big part of my life!  My dad even had his own little avocado grove in my childhood home; when my parents moved to Washington state a few years ago he was so sad to leave them behind. After tending them for so many years (they’re very finicky trees!) they’d become a part of the family.  Now I have my own fledgling forest that I’ve started from the pits of my daily avo and a few have grown big enough that they’re ready to be grafted. I’m so excited!

With that in mind, I’m pretty surprised I’d never heard of avocado toast until I saw a recipe for it in Chloe’s KitchenThen I started seeing people talking about it everywhere! While I don’t really think avocado toast warrants its own recipe in a cookbook, I’ve fallen in love with the stuff and have been playing around with variations.

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My favorite way to eat avocado toast is mashed up on Dave’s Killer Bread (best bread evar!) with salt and freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of carrot habanero hot sauce from Tart and Sweet. It’s crunchy, creamy, rich, and spicy — so many flavors going on for such an easy breakfast! On weekends I like to sit out on my balcony with Rhodie and enjoy it with some iced chamomile tea. Oh avocado and toast, you are my favorites.

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