Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cinnamuffins(Vegan); Vanilla Pudding(Easily Veganized)

Wonderous, glorious, much-needed day off, thank God! Today and tomorrow both are my days of freedom, the two days a week that I live for, honestly. Work hasn't been all that bad this past week, but still, I dearly love my time at home, locked securely into my little cave, with nowhere to go and see! Talk about reclusive, eh? I wonder how I'll be when I go into partial retirement this coming fall? Will I still be this reclusive, or will I get cabin fever, no matter what time of year? Time will tell....

For right now, tho, spring is on the way. I've seen a couple robins in the past few days, and the little tiny yellow jonquils in my front yard are blooming. Such brave and pretty little flowers, that even tho yellow isn't one of my favorite colours, I love those little things. Hmmmm, I think I might just pick a few and bring them in the house...they would look lovely in a cobalt blue vase, I think. And it's time to start changing my tchotkes(did I spell that right?)around, too, to bring out the more springlike ones. And time to start sitting out in the sun for a few minutes a day, combat my depressive tendencies as well as get my daily dose of vitamin D.

This is my favorite time of year, albeit the hardest, for me. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of my 40-day observance of the season by fasting from chocolate and desserts. Groan. It's going to take a lot of prayer, but I'll make it. Only one year did I give up: after 23 days, I just couldn't take it any more!!!

These two recipes come from one of my first, and favorite, vegetarian cookbooks: "The New Laurel's Kitchen," by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Brian Ruppenthal. Actually, the original "Laurel's Kitchen" was my first love, but I've since lost it, and this new one is a wonderful substitute. I'm not sure if it's even in print any more: It was copyrighted in 1976.

The muffin recipe is already vegan, and it's very easy to veganize the pudding recipe: Substitute soy milk for the whole milk. That was an experiment for me, as a friend of mine had told me that soy milk won't thicken like whole milk, but it did just fine with this recipe. So, here we go....


1/4C oil 1/2C dark molasses 1C applesauce

1 1/2C whole wheat flour[I used all-purpose white flour] 1/2tsp. baking soda
1 1/2tsp. baking powder 3/4tsp. cinnamon pinch cloves
1/2tsp. salt 1/2C raisins

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin...use the smallish-sized cups with this recipe.

Mix oil, molasses and applesauce. Sit together the flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Stir together the wet and dry ingredients and raisins. Drop into muffin cups and bake 18-20 minutes.

These are really good, and I will make them again sometime when I feel like baking. I didn't add the raisins as I didn't have any. Wonder how chopped nuts, or chocolate chips, or maybe blueberries would work in this? I also didn't use a muffin pan, because I have a set of 12 silicone cups, which I love. They just sit on a cookie sheet, don't have to be greased, and the muffins don't stick to them like they do to the paper cups or even, sometimes, the muffinpan cups.


2C fresh milk 1/4C brown sugar 1/8tsp.salt 2Tbs. cornstarch or arrowroot
1tsp. vanilla

Gently heat 1/1/2 cups of the milk in a heavy pan. Stir in the sugar and salt.

Combine the cornstarch or arrowroot with the reserved milk. Add to the milk when it is very hot; cook and stir over low heat until thick. If you are using cornstarch, cook and stir over very low heat for a few minutes more. (If you want a richer pudding, you can stir a beaten egg into 1/2 cup of the pudding, then beat that into the whole pudding while it is still very hot.) Cool somewhat and then add the vanilla.

Makes about 2 cups to serve 4-in theory. Sometimes it actually serves two. Good warm or cold.

This pudding only served one, lol, but I manage to make it last for two days. Altho the recipe doesn't say to do this, when I put it in the 'fridge, I put plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding, as most pudding recipes say to do this to keep from forming a skin. This stuff was excellent, I couldn't believe how good it was...and no, I didn't add the eggs. I think it's rich enough without them, and of course, vegans won't use them anyway. It did take quite a long time to thicken up, about 20 minutes, but it was worth it. It would make a great filling for a cake of some kind...sort of like a Boston Cream Pie, with that wonderful chocolate glaze on the top...............

Now, some more about my homemade seitan. I have to sort of apologize for my first very critical and mostly negative review of it. After sitting overnight in the 'fridge, it was much, much better than when I first made it. I still haven't tried to make a sammich with it, even tho it's supposed to be "lunch meat." What I did, tho, was to dice it up into bite-sized pieces, and stir it into the leftover Fettucine with Vegetarian "Ham," to take the place of the ham. Reheated, it was very good that way. There's still some of the first roll of seitan in the 'fridge, wrapped tightly in foil, so possibly it's still good. I have no idea how long it's suppsed to keep. Oh, I almost forgot: The rolls...logs, if you prefer...have a very tough skin on them, almost like sausage, which my dentures couldn't handle, lol, so I peeled it, just like I used to have to peel kielbasa or smoked sausage, back in the day. You may not have a problem with it, but I did.

Until next time, Happy Eating.

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