4/8/14

Getting Ready...

Image from The Betty Crocker Party Book

...to re-open the Scissors and Spice Etsy shop! I'm going back to vintage. Fun vintage that doesn't take itself too seriously with a focus on handmade, craft & cook books, and decor that brings a smile. Stay tuned! I'll have a bunch of listing live in the next week.

4/2/14

Twice Baked, Lentil Shepherd's Pie Stuffed Potatoes (vegan, GF)


My most pinned recipe is for Lentil Shepherd's pie. (It's also one of my first food photography forays and one of early blog pictures I wish I could redo!) I had an idea to do a different version of the recipe by stuffing baked potatoes with the filling instead of layering all the ingredients in a baking pan. The results were quite good and would make an excellent dish for a vegan potluck or an excellent way to cook for a dinner party beforehand. Just par-bake the stuffed potatoes beforehand, and finish the baking before your guests arrive!

Twice Baked, Lentil & Quinoa Shepherd's Pie Stuffed Potatoes
Serves 6-12; vegan, gluten free

Ingredients 

  • 1 cups of lentils
  • 1.2 cup quinoa  
  • 5 cups of water 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 6 medium potatoes 
  • 1/4 cup +/- vegan margarine 
  • 3/4 cup +/- non-dairy milk 
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1/2 cup of diced celery 
  • 1/2 cup of shredded carrots 
  • 3 TB olive oil 
  • garlic and onions to taste 
  • 1 tsp dried powdered sage 
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary (crush it) 
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme 
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 3 TB soy sauce (use GF tamari if you want to make it gluten free!)
  •  3 TB tomato paste (you can also use ketchup!) 
  • 2 cups frozen corn and/or peas
  • paprika
  • spray oil


Directions

1) Bake potatoes at 425 for 50-60 minutes. Remove form oven and let cool slightly (or are cool enough for your to handle.
2) While the potatoes are baking, bowl water with bay leaf and a dash of olive oil, add lentils, cook for ten minutes, add quinoa, and simmer, covered, for another 20 minutes or until lentils are soft. Set aside when done. You may need to drain any excess water, but if you let the lentils sit, the extra water will be absorbed.
3) Cut potatoes in half and scoop out middle of each section and transfer all extra potato to a flat bottomed, medium-sized bowl.
4) Mash scooped-out potatoes with margarine, milk, salt and pepper. Alternately, you can just use your favorite way of making mashed potatoes. Leave them a little on the wet side, though, or your final product will be too dry.
5) In a large saute pan, add olive oil and garlic and onions (if using), celery, carrots and herbs/spices and cook until the veggies are tender, then add cooked lentil/quinoa mixture stirring until everything is well incorporated. Add salt and pepper, tamari or soy sauce, and tomato paste and mix well. remove from heat.


Assembly

1) Heat oven to 350.
2) In your scooped out potato shells, add about 1/4-1/2 cup of lentils (don't over stuff or it will be a huge mess). Pat down the lentils.
3) Top lentils with a few tablespoons of corn or peas. Pat down.
4) Top potatoes with the mashed potato mixture. (You will have to use your hands!) Sprinkle with paprika. Repeat with the remaining shells.

Option: Mix all the fillings together and just stuff instead of layering.


Second Baking

1) Place stuffed potatoes on a baking pan or dish lined with parchment paper. You can leave room in between them or have them touch.
2) Spray the tops of each potato with spray oil.
3) Bake for about 20-30 minutes. In the last few minutes, stick them under the broiler to brown the stops.
4) Serve with gravy, ketchup,  top with cheese, or whatever you fancy!


3/9/14

Tofu Dogs baked in Cornbread... in a Twinkie Pan!

Baked, easy, corn dogs!

You know, I don't know how I came upon this idea. I saw Wilton Twinkie pan on clearance at Michael's and the idea to bake tofu dogs in cornbread just popped into my head. I don't even think I even ever had a corn dog in my life, actually. The kids love anything hand held and these puppies will certainly make it into our lunch rotation.

I used Trader Joe's cornbread mixture (which is vegan, and you can easily make the appropriate substitutions to bake it vegan) and Lightlife hot dogs. Next time,  however, I will try it with a corn dog batter and see how it turns out.


Even if you don't have a pan with Twinkie molds, you can still make cornbread with veggie dogs baked in. Top with cheese, jalapenos, or even with chili!

2/24/14

Weekend: Fresh Air, Burnt Banana Bread, & General Tao's Seitan


On Friday, we kicked the weekend off with an early morning bike ride by the Delaware River . The fog was so thick and the path still so covered with slushy snow that we had to move the party to a nearby state park. I have to say, the weird pockets of warm air coupled with cool air, mixed with the fog and the advancing thaw made the ride, dare I say, magical. The fresh air and vistas were just what I needed.


I also added some retail therapy into the mix by heading over to the local antique shop where I found these little ladies to add to my matryoshka collection. I love how the little ones are almost completely unadorned.



Continuing on with the need to be in nature, the family and I went for a long bike ride on the Chester Valley Trail, which is conveniently located next to Su Tao Vegan Cafe! Bonus!

The trail at sunset. It was completely beautiful and full of the sounds of birds and water trickling off the mounds of melting snow. No better therapy than nature!


The Mister and I goofing off in silhouette while taking a short break off the bikes.

Rocked the Trader Joe's Cinnabuns for the kids on Sunday morning. You may have seen them on Instagram. And well, if you're not already there with me, let's meet up! Instagram handle: scissorsandspice

You know, sometimes accidents happen. Like this burnt banana bread. I was making it for some friends, had the timer on and everything and, well. It totally burnt. Sorry guys!


The view out of my kitchen window... grass! You see grass! The grass! The two feet of snow in my backyard is finally melting! Hallelujah! I can feel it! Spring is coming.


I was also able to slip in a little girl time and get in a much needed mani with a friend on Sunday. Probably the best manicure I've gotten in a long time!


The weekend ended on a great note, when we returned back to our friends' house after our pampering, her husband had made, seriously, the most incredible General Tao's seitan, fried rice, and steamed veggies for us for dinner. I really hope he opens a restaurant at some point, because his cooking is incredible. I'm getting hungry just looking this picture!

2/22/14

This is Not a Recipe for Vegan Chocolate Mousse Pie

I can't even look at this without wanting more.
I had a recipe brewing in my mind and I had to get it out! Valentine's Day was coming and I had house guests also approaching, so I decided to use those events as a reason to manifest my ideas. It kind of came organically, so I never wrote down a tested recipe, but if you are brave, and you can wing it, then you have to piece together this fabulous chocolate mousse pie. It's like dessert crack.

I used a stencil that I had cut out for a Valentine's project to dust the pie with cocoa powder.

This is Not a Recipe for Vegan Chocolate Mousse Pie
serves about 12-18

Bottom layer: In a spring form pan if you have one, a chocolate cookie layer mixed with nuts. To do that, follow a cookie crust recipe for pies and then cut about 1/4 of the cookies for toasted almonds and walnuts. Let it set in the fridge.

Next layer: Your favorite chocolate ganache recipe. Let it set in fridge before adding the next ingredient. This ganache has to be thick, not runny, so you may want to eliminate a bit of the liquid (soy creamer, almond milk, etc.) from the recipe you are using.

Third layer: Dark cherry preserves. A whole jar, don't be shy. Let it set again.

Second layer: Chocolate tofu mousse with espresso powder. Melt a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips in a double broiler. Let cool somewhat. In a food processor, add a block of silken tofu, 1-2 TB maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener), 2 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp salt, and add 1 TB espresso powder. Blend until smooth, scrape down sides, blend again. Add melted chocolate and blend again until fully combined. Pour into the spring form. Let set for at least 3 hours in fridge.

Serve slices with whipped cream, chocolate sauce/melted ganache, sprinkle with toasted almonds, and/or more cherries.