I’m still exploring new styles of cooking for Cafe Anna at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, now halfway through its run under my “substitute cook” status. As a brief recap, we’ve gone from the Hel’s Kitchen dinner takeout to reheat at home that explores a different region of the world each week to Cafe Anna’s lunchtime fare, of no particular culinary lineage, for eating cold between classes. And people between classes don’t eat nearly enough cookies or coffeecake, FYI.
While I’m coming up with plenty of my own recipes, I’m also putting out a small volume of many different items with a daily changing menu – which means the evolution from guesstimated amounts in my kitchen to something I can convey precisely enough to post takes longer. In the meantime, I’m sharing recipes from others that are not only tasty in their own right, they also have made a great springboard for experimentation. Here’s the previous post of that nature and below are some more recipes to try:
- Granola-Crusted Nuts: My own recipes have focused more on well-spiced nuts to add to salads and other dishes. These nuts from Smitten Kitchen stand on their own right as an exceptional snack. And adjusting the recipe is easy in the same way adjusting granola is easy – in the end you just blitz your “granola” combo a few times in a food processor, toss with egg-white-coated nuts, then bake.
- Coconut Bacon: Okay, I was skeptical. Super skeptical. Super duper skeptical – not only are you replacing bacon with “bacon” you’re using a bunch of ingredients I don’t particularly like. Yet somehow it works. You mix large flake coconut with a few flavoring and bake it to crispy. I’ve been using coconut bacon to go on top of my avocado-Greek yogurt egg salad and pickled green onions dish . . . which once used real bacon and then (I kid you not) I thought to myself “fake bacon would be better here”. And it was. (P.S. Related to the ingredients here, an Eater.com article on the history of liquid smoke)
- Tahini Glaze: Go ahead and put this on everything. Another Smitten Kitchen recipe, this time for carrot-tahini muffins with a tahini glaze, the muffins are fine but the glaze. .. oh the glaze. So simple and so perfect and I can’t believe I didn’t think of this myself before now. Try taking the vegan scone recipe from First Mess* (which adapts a Babycakes recipe) that I mentioned in the earlier post, replacing the barley flour with whole wheat flour and the roasted plums with chopped dates (keep some vegan milk on hand to add moisture if needed to the dough), then topping the final scones with this tahini glaze.
*In my first mention I said I like the barley flour but wasn’t hot on the idea of vegan scones, yet I seem to be making variations on this recipe all the time so clearly I’m not all that lukewarm.
- Rye, Caraway, Olive Scones: Speaking of using that First Mess base recipe more than I thought I would, you can also adjust the ingredients as follows for a savory scone (bake the same way):
- 1 cup rye flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp caraway seeds
2 Tb maple Syrup
2 Tb olive oil
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup hot water
Scant 3/4 cup halved or quartered (depending on their size) Kalamata olives (adjust this amount depending on the level of your love of olives – it can be scaled back)
As with the other variations, keep some soy milk on hand if you need to dampen the batter in the absence of the plums.
- 1 cup rye flour
- Vegan Jelly Doughnut Muffins: Here’s another vegan recipe I wasn’t in love with and then, suddenly, was very in love with. I had a boyfriend like that once. Anyway. There are so many possibilities with these muffins – I’ve made them with a cinnamon-clove spiced batter and roasted apple butter inside, and I’ve done roasted bananas (leftover from banana bread making) inside with a peanut butter frosting on top, if I can figure out a bake-able, vegan creme Anglaise you know there will be a coffee and cream version. And so on. . . [A note on this recipe: I haven’t gotten a full dozen out of this batter amount, more like 10, although you don’t want to fill the cups too far because the top over the filling is fragile]
- Overnight Bread: This versatile bread recipe has received all the tail ends of bags of specialty flours that contained 1/4 cup or 2 Tbs more than than what my recipes needed, then got forgotten (how many small paper bags of oat flour can you forget in your cupboard? Many). Instead of trying to get this bread to hold together in a free form loaf as the recipes does, I bake it in large (9 x 5) sandwich loaf pans. Tastes good with tahini glazed bananas and cream cheese. Because, like I said, tahini glaze goes on everything.