#1 Gaia's Chickpea Roll
I first thought it would be a bit fishy. It had a mild sea vegetableflavor and although I haven't cared for this before... it was very mild and I enjoyed this recipe.
Loved the crispy outside and filling innards. I served this with a wonderful vegetable filled tomatoey stew called Manhattan chowder from Bryanna's 20 minutes to dinner cookbook (p. 63).
#2 Martha Stewarts Graham Cracker houses
Melissa's awesome church (took 7 hours) and Matthew's colorful double wide trailer (took 1 hour 15 minutes). Sunspire "m&m's" make a pretty decoration that got picked off and eaten. The Christmas tree's surrounding the cathedral (deformed gumdrops painted with a permanent marker and held together with a cinnamon stick) could not be eaten.
Sorry Martha this one was fun and we're keeping it.
#3 Dreena's Carob Chip Muffins (vlv p 34)
These are made from 100% barley flour. I was absolutely amazed!!! When I first read the recipe I really thought that "moist texture" meant gummy aka unpleasant. I made them as the recipe stated, which the family really liked. But then, I must play .... I made a few changes. I omitted the sugar and syrup and all but one tablespoon of the oil, I added 3/4 tsp KAL stevia extract powder, 1/2 cup unsweet applesauce, and 1/3 cup mini bittersweet vegan chips with 1/3 cup craisins in place of the omissions. WOW! They made an awesome muffin! The "moist texture" only refers to the fact that they are not dry and falling apart ... not the gummy, squishy or otherwise "tender" I have come to find most alternative bakers describe as "moist". This one was a real treat. In place of the chips and craisins I am going to try them with about 1 cup of my favorite raw cranberry relish (in place of applesauce and the extra for flavor) next time.
Okay I confessed and now that this is out of the way
I will go on to share with you some of my gifts...
I have desired to try some wine for several years now and have wanted to visit a "homegrown" style winery for along time. I finally got the chance to and Dave bought me two bottles... although I had several to choose from I picked out the Crimson Cranberry and Red Raspberry flavors. The sales gal told me to try the red raspberry in hot cocoa - I will. Would love some other suggestion for how to use these, other than dry wines for cooking I have never been much of a drinker. I do know that these wines are very sweet.
I'm going to save these to open on Saturday night when my sis comes home from New York again. She along with my aunt and uncle, a couple of cousins, mom and niece will be having an oriental style buffet at my house. I look forward to sharing the food we make for this soon. I also got a nice gift certificate to amazon.com ... I'll be checking other blogs to find out what cookbooks others are enjoying this year before I decide.
Also in the picture I got a tin of Zhena's GYPSY LOVE tea, Mr Artsey key chain, two vegan dark chocolate candy bars, a stone nativity candle holder, a CD called HUGS for the holiday that plays nice instrumental music, and a sterling silver cross necklace. The tea is tasty and the music is relaxing.
CRAFTY REPORT . . .
This is Matthew... remember him? :)
He has been into the renaissance time period and desired a walking stick for his costume. Dave cut one out of oak, I wood burned Matt's name and his favorite bible verse on it, stained it and decorated it for a gift for Mathew. He thinks it is pretty neat.
Now he will go back to the fare in style, although he still hopes to get those ridiculously priced boots ... not this gift time.
And a recipe to share from my breakfast table to yours (restitution of a sort... for my food crimes above ;o) ...
BIG MAPLE NUT AND CINNAMON RAISIN ROLLS
I like to use my oatmeal bread dough for this recipe. It gives a more tender roll and combines a little soy flour and flax meal to offer more nutrition. My bread dough recipe follows:
Dori's Oatmeal Bread (makes 2 loaves)
I triple this recipe when I make it in my BOSCH Universal kitchen appliance.
2 cups hot tap water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup OR 1/3 cup unrefined sugar
3/4 cup quick oatmeal
3/4 cup freshly milled whole white wheat flour
2 Tbsp SAF instant yeast
Step 1: Mix all in mixer bowl until blended, cover and rest for 15 minutes to proof yeast.
Step 2: Add remaining ingredients while mixing on speed 2 (I have a Bosch compact that has 4 speeds which I use when I make a small batch like this. It is similar to a kitchen aid, but I have never used a kitchen aid).
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup soy flour
1/2 tsp ground dried ginger
3 Tbsp flax meal
1 1 /2 C great river milling bread flour (partially refined to remove some bran, but germ is intact)
1 1/2 cup more freshly milled white whole wheat flour
Cover and allow to knead 8 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough in half. Shape into loaf. Roll into extra oatmeal to coat loaf all over. Place into oiled 8 x 4" bread pan. Rise 20 minutes while covered with an oiled plastic wrap to avoid drying out. When doubled in size place in oven and spray oven sides and bottom with water from a water bottle to create a steam. Bake @ 350 (I have a convection oven, so you may need to bake in a non-convection oven for 30 minutes) for 25 minutes. Remove from pan and place loaves on a wire rack to cool.
To make the rolls, I section the dough into portions.
For maple nut I combine 1/3 cup unrefined sugar with 1/8 tsp maple syrup and 1/4 cup coarsely chopped English walnuts. Roll the bread dough into a rectangle onto a Crisco greased counter with a little crisco'd hands. Spread the sugar mix, roll up and cut into 6 pieces. Lay these into a greased 9" round cake pan. Allow to rise 2o minutes, bake for 20 minutes (I use a convection oven lined with stones on the top and bottom rack). Remove from pan onto a cheap paper plate and cool on a rack.
To frost: Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 - 2 drops maple favoring and a little water to make a nice frosting drizzle (not to much, it is better to add more water after creating a to dry "drizzle", but you can always add more sugar if needed to get the consistency right.
For cinnamon: 1/3 cup unrefined sugar with 1/2 tsp high quality cinnamon
Last picture is of Melissa's ornament cookie. We created the red sugar by adding drops of red food coloring to regular sugar granules and stirring it until we got the desired color.