Whatever Happened To Sunday Dinners? Twice-Baked Potatoes, how I love thee!

This was one of those dinners that made me feel all down-home and comfort-foody. Love that!

The closest I had ever come to making twice-baked potatoes are the Samosa-Stuffed Potatoes from VCON. Monsieur Fish and Guppy both really like them, they’re quick and easy and they are always a big hit with omnis, so they work well as appies when we have a little soirée. However real, honest-to-goodness born in Betty Crockeresque kitchen in the 1960′s twice-baked taters had never been on my list of things to make. Maybe because I’d never had them before? I have had potato skins – those were considered “party food” when I was little and my mum wanted to make us a special finger-food type meal. But twice-baked potatoes? Nope. Never.

Oh how wrong I was to have neglected such an easy and delightful dish!

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Sunday Dinner: Twice-Baked Potatoes, Basic Seitan Crumbles, Roasted Green Beans with sautéed Mushrooms & Onions, and Orange(r) Carrot Coins

These Twice-Baked Potatoes were dangerously good. I mean, hide the left-overs so there will be some left for tomorrow good. Don’t get me wrong, they are not to be considered low-fat or something I will make every week, but they are now in the canon of “comfort foods”. And those Basic Seitan Crumbles? Outta sight! So versatile, they could be used in a myriad many ways – on pizza, over a salad…we ended up sprinkling them on our potatoes like bacon bits. Heaven. The Carrot Coins also scored high on their “not tasting like health food carrots” according to Monsieur F. We were having trouble not having thirds, and fourths…

With the exception of the roasted beanies, this meal was built by Celine and Joni, the goddesses of vegan recipe creations. You’ll have no choice but to pick up a copy of their 500 Vegan Recipes. Ok, you’ll have a choice, but really, you won’t be able to help yourself from wanting all this goodness! Want to see more? Go check out the 500 Vegan Recipes Flickr Group.

While preparing the potatoes for this dinner, I couldn’t help but thinking about my friend Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs, but I couldn’t figure out why. I mean, this wasn’t one of her recipes – though I do use her recieps often! Then it hit me: last year Ricki wrote a very moving post, one of my favourites, and she therein mentions potato boats. This post touched me for many different personal reasons, and so deeply that well over 6 months later I was brought back to her childhood memories as I prepared my meal. As most of you know, Ricki was recently nominated for a blogging award grâce à her beautiful prose. I just wanted to say that award or not, Ricki’s talent, culinary and literary, is undeniable!

Mini-Cupcakes, Crafty Love & More!

Hola Everyone! First off, a change… Raw Tuesdays will now be…Raw Thursdays! So stay tuned tomorrow for that! My new schedule make a Thursday raw day a little easier, so there you go!

I picked up a mini-cupcake pan when I was in the U.S. and we’ve been enjoying the mini-cupcake love, let me tell you! They are the perfect size, because you feel much less guilty about eating two (or three) when they are tiny! Above are some Lemon Cupcakes with lemon royal icing and below, the Basic Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Ganache icing from VCTOTW.

Friday we had a bunch of friends over for the apéro or cocktails…but it was a well-fed apéro :

Homemade salsa & fresh-baked pita triangles

(I didn’t make the tortilla chips, hélas, but I’ll get that figured out eventually…)

Homemade roasted-garlic hummus

Diann posted about these Samosa Potatoes from VCON recently & I thought they would be a great finger-food – and they were! I doubled the batch, and good thing I did because they disappeared almost right away! I admit to not following the recipe and making my own curry paste… not pictured is the soy yogurt & fresh coriander sauce I made to dunk them in.

The other thing not pictured are the 45 spring rolls I made! Don’t ask me how I forgot to take a picture of them…they took me so long to prepare!

And isn’t this cute?

You already know I’m an Aranzi Aranzo fan, so no surprises here! I aquired their Cute Stuff book this summer, and this felt bag really caught me eye. I added a liner, because it just looks way better with one. I’m really playing with the basic design of this bag and am coming up with some really cute ideas, but need some time to get them together! I really love their style, and find their ideas so inspiring – a great jumping off point for me to make my own things!

Tourte de pommes de terre à la crème de soja – or – Potato Tourte meets Pastie Pie

I’m going to begin with a little hi and thanks to all the wonderful Daring Bakers who have been so encouraging and supportive. My first challenge was, compared to the brillant and fabulous cakes made by my peers, like rose water to Chanel n°5, but everyone has been so sweet, and I have already learned much and am anticipating our next défi!

J’aimerais commencer avec un petit bonjour et un grand merci à tous les Daring Bakers pour leur soutien et pour tous les encouragements. Mon premier défi était loin d’être aussi beau que les gâteaux fait par les autres, le mien faisait genre eau de rose au lieu du Chanel n° 5, mais tout le monde était vraiment super sympa, et j’ai déjà appris beaucoup, donc j’ai hâte pour notre prochain challenge!

Going through some oft looked-over cookbooks gathering dust on the shelf, I began leafing through Tofu, Soja et compagnie, part of the Marabout Chef series of cookbooks. A well-meaning friend gave me this book about four years ago, probably because of seeing the”tofu” and “soja” in the title and thinking it would be something I would use. Well…kinda, because the book is not at all vegetarian or vegan, but rather has all sorts of recipes which do indeed use tofu and soy, but also cow and pig and fish. This would explain why I don’t often look through it.

Je triais mes livres de cuisine – ceux qui sont enrobés avec une bonne petite couche de poussière – et je me suis mis à feuilleter Tofu, Soja et compagnie (qui fait partie des livres “Marabout Chef”). Ce livre m’a été offert par un copain plein de bonnes intentions, qui, après avoir vu le “tofu” et le “soja” écrit en grand a cru bien faire. Et bien, le petit “hic” du livre pour moi et que ce n’est guère un livre de cuisine végétarien, au contraire, il n’y a qu’une petite poignée de recettes sans viande. Et donc voila pourquoi je ne m’en sers pas des masses!

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That being said, there are a few recipes I have tried, and they have yielded some delicious results. The following is a recipe I have adapted quite a bit and it is just delicious (if I do say so myself). This tastes an awful lot like a Pastie, a dish a bit similar in idea to a calazone in shape & size. The flaky outer crust was meant to keep the inside nice and warm (for a pastie this often means meat, potato, carrot, turnip, etc). This was a very typical dish for miners, which is why you often find pasties in areas where there were mines that were exploited at the end of the 19th century – there were often large communites of European immigrants making pasties in hopes of having a warm meal in often sub-zero temps.) You’ll need a pastry crust – I used the Basic Single Pastry Crust recipe from Veganomicon because I love that one for quiches & tourtes, but I can’t make you use it. Well, maybe I could…

Ceci dit, il y a tout de même quelques recettes que j’ai déjà essayé, et je n’étais pas déçue. J’ai beaucoup changé la recette suivante, et je devrais avoué que c’est très, très bon. Il faudrait une pâte feuilletée – j’ai utilisé la Basic Single Pastry Crust de Veganomicon parce que je la trouve parfaite pour des quiches & tourtes, mais je ne peux pas vous forcer de faire la même chose…quoi que…

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POTATO TOURTE (this really tastes a lot like a pastie, without the dead cow)

  • 150 cl soy yogurt
  • 150 cl soy milk
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 6 potatoes (thinly sliced)
  • 2 good handfuls of fresh parsley
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Pre-heat your oven to about 320°F
  • Line your tourte dish with about half of your crust. Add a layer potato slices, cover with salt & pepper and a dusting of parsley. Continue till you can’t any more!
  • Mix the yaourt, milk and nutmeg and gently pour over the potatoes.
  • Cover with the remaining crust and pinch the edges together. Cut a little hole in the middle to let the steam escape and pop it in the oven for about an hour or so.
  • Let this sit about 15 minutes before digging in!

TOURTE DE POMMES DE TERRE À LA CRÈME DE SOJA

  • 150 cl de yaourt de soja
  • 150 cl lait de soja
  • 1 ongion haché
  • 4 gousses d’ail écrasées
  • 6 à 8 pommes de terre à chair ferme
  • une bonne poignée de persil, ciselé
  • 2 à 3 c. à café de noix de muscade râpée
  • sel & poivre
  • Préchauffez le four à 160°C
  • Foncez une tourtière avec la moité de votre pâte. Placez-y les pommes de terre crues, découpées en fines rondelles. Saupoudrez avec un peu d’ongion, sel & poivre, et persil, puis recommencez (une couche, puis un autre…)
  • Mélanger le yaourt, le lait et les c. à café de muscade, verser ce mélange sur les pommes de terre.
  • Recouvrez le tout par la moité restante de votre pâte, et soudez les bords en pinçant avec vos doigts. Percer un petit trou au centre de la tourte.
  • Enfournez, faites cuire 60 minutes environ.
  • Laissez reposer aprox. 15 minutes avant de déguster! Bonne appétit!