Today’s theme: Cookbook Challenge
Hey y’all, guess what? I made 3 recipes from 500 Vegan Recipes! I feel a Bon Jovi comin’ on: whoa, whoa, I’m halfway… a quarter… okay fine, .6% of the way there. Yeah, that was pointless.
Anyway, I purchased this cookbook a few months ago when I received a $50 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble for renewing the lease on my apartment. Score, right? I used the book a couple of times during the summer, but it’s been lazing about on my cookbook shelf ever since then. So I decided it was high time to give it another go. I actually made these recipes over the course of two nights, but I’m going to post them all in one shot.
First up – Spicy Frites. Okay, I know, this is sort of a cop-out recipe to make – I make oven fries in my sleep (Literally; I’m a pro at sleep-cooking. Okay I lied.), and they reallllly don’t require a recipe. But sometimes it’s nice to mix things up and use somebody else’s idea for a spice blend or a technique, y’know? These are flavored with garam masala and cayenne and definitely require a Kleenex or two when you eat ‘em. Celine & Joni suggest serving them with a sprinkle of lime juice, but I 1.) didn’t have a lime, and 2.) get a little icked out by putting liquid atop something that has the potential to get mushy. Back in RI, people do the whole malt-vinegar-on-fries thing, which makes me want to vomit – I hate vinegar and I hate mushy fries. Nas-tay. These fries, however, were not nas-tay.
Pretty! Just ignore the little pile of peeing ketchup in the corner. Muir Glen ketchup is tasty but incontinent, apparently. On the subject of liquids, I should note that this recipe calls for peanut oil. I, however, do not keep peanut oil in the house, so I used the oil from the top of my peanut butter jar. I’m either a genius or a cheapskate. Your call.
Moving on! Up next: Chickpea Blondies. Now… I wanted to love these. I’ve been intrigued by bean-based baked goods for a while now, and the ingredient list was simple enough that I had [nearly] everything on hand. I made a half batch and baked ‘em up in a loaf tin, and other than the issue where my roommate’s Magic Bullet didn’t want to blend everything very well (I don’t have a food processor, wahhh!), the recipe came together quite quickly.
They look sort of fudgy and chewy and intriguing, right? Well, they taste… meh. That’s really the best (and perhaps the worst) I can say. They’re not bad, and I don’t mind eating them, but I wouldn’t necessarily serve them to a skeptical omni and I can’t imagine waking up at night with a mad craving for them. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, though, because I didn’t have strawberry jam and ended up using a lackluster apricot variety, and then I didn’t even have enough apricot, so I added a tiny bit of canned pumpkin. Maybe if I made them with a bolder-flavored fruit, they’d have had a little more flavor.
I will tell you, though, that my final recipe was not at all lacking in flavor. No, this was the winner of the bunch, without a doubt. Take a look:
Folks, that is the unlikely but ingenious Butterscotch Pumpkin Pudding, and it is heavenly. Like, I-can’t-stop-eating-this heavenly. Like, how-can-I-work-this-into-my-family’s-holiday-meal-plans heavenly.
I was a tiny bit skeptical before trying this, because I’ve traditionally been fairly ambivalent towards puddings in general, and I’ve always found butterscotch puddings to be wayyy too sweet for me. But this is a true, homemade butterscotch, and it’s sweet in a way that doesn’t give you a tummyache or make you want to go straight to the dentist without passing Go immediately after having a spoonful. What I’m saying is, it has a distinct flavor beyond just SWEET!!!1!!!111! It has just enough pumpkin-y flavor to add a fun twist without being overpowering and it’s wonderfully spiced, with notes of cloves, cinnamon, and a bit of molasses. Plus there’s a spoonful of rum for all you boozers out there. A winner is you, Butterscotch Pumpkin Pudding!
So there you have it, my 3/500. It strikes me that all three photos have a fairly similar color palette, despite their subjects having wildly different ingredients. And that’s only enhanced by the the horrible no-time-to-take-photos-in-natural-light side effect of MoFo being in November. Ah well. Anyway, I can’t wait to tackle some of the more substantial recipes from this cookbook, because Celine and Joni have really put together an outstanding collection. I’m lookin’ at you, Pumpkin Fauxsage!
Do you have a cookbook you know is full of fantastic recipes but that you just don’t use often enough?Alternatively, how do you feel about pudding?