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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Butternut Squash Tart with Popcorn Crust and Apricot Glaze and Rosemary Butternut Hash Browns

When I saw Isa's basket of ingredients for Vegan MoFo Chopped Brunch I could not resist participating.  Butternut squash.  Popcorn.  Rosemary.  Apricot preserves.  All things good, pretty much.

These ingredients left themselves open to so many options, even with the popcorn.  I settled on a butternut tart with popcorn crust and apricot glaze and a side of butternut hash browns.  Before I could do anything I had to roast my squash.  I set aside one quarter un-roasted for the hash browns.  I also decided I needed rosemary infused butter, so I got my Earth Balance buttery spread simmering with fresh rosemary and when it had simmered long enough I strained it and set it in the fridge to solidify.

While my squash finished roasting I prepared the popcorn crust.  I made approximately three cups of unsalted air popped popcorn and used my immersion blender to grind the popcorn and make a big mess in my kitchen.  I mixed the ground popcorn with rosemary, 5-6 tablespoons of rosemary infused butter, 1-2 tablespoons of tapioca flour and a dash of salt.  I then pressed the mixture into the tart pan and baked it for 10 minutes.

While that was baking, I scooped out my roasted squash and mashed it with maple syrup, rosemary, about a quarter cup of orange juice to make it a bit sunny, a small amount of thyme and marjoram, 2 tablespoons or so of tapioca flour, and a dash of salt.  I then poured this into the baked tart crust and baked it at 350* for 40 minutes.

The next step was the apricot glaze.  I reduced the apricot preserves with 1-2 tablespoons of triple sec for about 10 minutes.  Once the tart was finished, I spread the glaze over it and baked for an additional 5 minutes.  After that I let the tart chill over night.

For the butternut hash browns I grated a quarter of my squash raw and mixed that with 2-3 tablespoons of tapioca flour, rosemary, and 1-2 teaspoons of salt.  About 10 minutes before serving I fried up the hash browns over medium heat in canola oil until crispy and cooked through.

I served the tart cold with hot hash browns and a cup of OJ.  Delicious.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy Chanukah!

Benjamin and I would like to wish everyone a happy Chanukah, however you chose to spell it.  Last night was the first night, and we lit our candles:

Benjamin was very excited, since this was his first experience with a real menorah:
He then tried to eat the fire but as a mean mamma, I did not allow this.  Poor boy.
And would it be a proper Chanukah without dreidel? (if you watch closely, you'll see that Benjamin and I have matching blue nails...similar to those holiday pictures with everyone in matching sweaters)
video
We enjoyed a traditional holiday meal, as well:
Because nothing says Chanukah like potato asparagus soup, obviously.  This weekend there may be latkes, if Benjamin and I can get our paws on some potatoes...

Happy Chanukah, everyone!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Look at Farmer's Markets Past

As winter creeps in, I am finding myself missing more and more the lovely farmer's market I was frequenting.  Over the summer we went for lunch and veggie snacks, and through the fall I was getting all my beautiful veggies there.  Now, I am relegated to grocery store produce and frozen veg.  Woe is me.

Now.  Admire my beautiful haul:
Look at those veggies!  The potatoes!  The apples!  The peppers!  And the pretty Japanese Lantern flowers which are now hanging in my kitchen.  Love.

And with that gorgeous collection, I made a delicious, spicy Eggplant dish:
And now that I've shown off a bit, look at my failure:

It should have been good, really!  I was attempting to modify the Potato-Spinach Squares from Vegan Brunch.  I started with the potato layer, and added pepper strips:

Next came slices of Japanese eggplant (or aubergines, is that more vegan?):
Then I topped it with more potato and the spiced bread crumbs.  What could go wrong?
Well, a lot, apparently.  I also made a tomato sauce to top it.  It should have been amazing.  I blended tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, oregano, and soft tofu.  However, when everything was cooked and served, I ended up with this:
Appealing, no?  It tasted about as good as it looks...which definitely left something to be desired.  Do not do this, please.

From a different market haul, I made an amazing salad:
Fresh cucumbers, lettuce, onions, peppers, and tomatoes with a bit of added food from the store, dressed with sesame dressing...yum.

And now, I will require you to admire my cat:

I would also like to blame him for my lack of blogging...he has taken over the computer!