The Moistest Coffee Cake in the World.

It is a rainy day in good old Plattsburgh, the kind of day I just love. It is the sort of day where you curl up with a good book, a cup of tea, and a slice of coffee cake. I have to work today, so there will be no books for me, but I did enjoy a slice of my delicious coffee cake with a cup of my favorite tea, Irish Breakfast.

Tea and a slice of cake

The Moistest Coffee Cake on the Planet

(Easily veganized by replacing margarine and oil.)

Cake:

1 ½ cup unbleached flour
¾ cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon,
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
Dash of sea salt
¼ cup butter or margarine (this is about 4 and ½ tablespoons)
¼ cup applesauce
½ cup vanilla rice milk

Crumbly topping:

Mix the following together in a small bowl and set aside-
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon of unbleached flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
½ cup broken nuts (optional)

Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix melted butter or margarine, applesauce, rice milk, and vanilla together in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Next, add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing well. Pour the mixture into a well-greased pan and sprinkle with the crumbly topping. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven size. Check the center with a toothpick after 25 minutes to see how well done the center is. If it comes out clean, you are all set.

I have made this cake dozens of times since the original recipe was passed down to me. However, I have tweaked this cake so many times, it hardly looks like the recipe I was given so long ago.

Here are some adjustments you can make for this cake:

-Use organic oatmeal in place of the chopped nuts in the crumbly topping.
-Use the same measure oil instead of butter or margarine while making the cake. Vegetable oil works well and a light olive oil also works. However, you have to use melted margarine while making the crumbly topping.
-Mix a ½ cup of chopped nuts in the batter.
-Halve the batter and sprinkle some of the crumbly topping between the two layers.

Have a great day and keep cooking! The next time we meet, I will show you how to make a quick salad that uses up the massive basil crop from your garden!

Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

These might be the best cookies I have ever made.

Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¾ cup (1 and ½ sticks) softened butter or any vegan
margarine/spread

½ cup sugar (I use Sugar in the Raw)

¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

¼ cup of applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups of organic oatmeal

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt together
in a bowl.

In another bowl, cream the butter, sugars, applesauce, and
vanilla extract together. Next,
gradually mix in the dry mixture.
Finally, mix in the oats, cranberries, and pecans.

Using a tablespoon for measurement, drop the cookie dough on
an ungreased cookie sheet, or in my case, two pizza pans. Bake for about 8-9 minutes and let
completely cool before transferring cookies to the cookie racks. The applesauce makes them appear to be uncooked
or undercooked, but when they cool, they are moist and delicious.

You can easily veganize these cookies by using vegan
margarine. I have just discovered the
beauty of using applesauce as an egg replacer.
I have used bananas and powered egg replacers in the past, but the
applesauce makes a better cookie.

I also bought the individually
sized applesauce containers, because the last time I made these, I opened a
large jar of applesauce and I was unable to finish it. I hate to waste food. I hate that I am using more plastic by using
the individual packages, but there are some battles you can’t win.

On a side note, one of the small containers is just about ¼
of a cup, but be sure to measure the applesauce in a measuring cup to be on the
safe side.

It should also be noted that you could use any combo of
dried fruit and nut to make these cookies.
I would love to make them using walnuts and dried apples. Yum.
Sounds like a perfect autumn cookie to me!

As always, have a great day and keep cooking!

Sloppy Josies

Well, I think I did a good job making a meatless version of the traditional sloppy Joe.

Sloppy Josies

1 package of extra firm tofu, drained (It works best if it has been frozen then thawed.)
1 small can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 whole red pepper, seeded and chopped
½ cup chopped white onion
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon taco sauce or salsa (This can be omitted.)
A few splashed of hot sauce
Spices to taste:
-Garlic powder
-Chili powder
-Paprika
-Salt
-Pepper
-Cayenne pepper

First, I sautéed the onions, garlic, and red pepper in some olive oil. When they were cooked down sufficiently, almost translucent, I crumbled up the package of tofu. I wanted the tofu to cook down and lose some of its water, making it more crumbly. I think I achieved this rather well after cooking it for about 10-12 minutes.

Next, I added all of the spices, taco sauce, ketchup, hot sauce, and tomato paste. I also added a little water when the mixture appeared to dry out. Give it all a good stir to mix well and let the whole pan (I used my largest cast iron pan) simmer down for about 15 minutes.

I didn’t serve these right away, as I made them in the morning to serve for dinner that night. They weren’t as “sloppy” as I hoped they would be, so if you make them early and reheat, don’t be afraid to add a little water and maybe a bit more ketchup.

This photo was taken on day two of the Sloppy Josie’s. The mixture made enough for us to have them for two nights. The first night I served them with crispy fries and last night Mark jazzed up some frozen corn for a side dish. This photo includes a bonus glass of Chardonnay.

Mark’s Jazzy Corn (I will admit that I just came up with that name. It is more like a southwestern dish considering the flavor.)

-Frozen corn
-Butter
-Hot peppers
-Cumin
-Garlic powder
-Salt
-White pepper
-Chili powder
-Cayenne

Tonight, Mark will be taking on strombolis. I promise to write up something about ’em. We have never made strombolis before, so it should be interesting.

Have a great day and keep cooking!

“It’s a Sham” Salad Sandwich!

Even as a meat eater, I was not fond of ham. In fact, I was a bacon devotee more than anything. However, occasionally my mother would make ham salad or potted meat sandwiches from those tiny cans. I would take a bite here and there, but I never asked for a sandwich of my own.

A few winters ago, I got an immense craving for a ham salad sandwich. This is how the “It’s a Sham” salad sandwich was born.

“It’s a Sham” salad sandwich

1 package of
vegetarian ham

¾ cup of
vegan mayo

1 and ½ half teaspoons of Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon of prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons of sweet relish
to taste: salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika

First I chop up the veggie ham into chunks. Since the veggie ham is sliced, be sure you separate the cubes into individual slices. Next, mix the mayo, Dijon mustard, horseradish, sweet relish, and spices together, folding in the pieces of ham.

Now this is where it gets tricky. I take the whole mixture and blend it in my blender. I do not have a small food processor, so I use the blender. If you would like a chunkier salad, you can skip this step. As for me, I think I am going to break down and buy a small counter top food processor this week.

The bread I used is rye from a local
farmer’s market
. I also topped the sandwich with some baby spinach and sliced red onions. So darn good! On the side of course, is a Kool-Aid pickle!

Have a great day and keep cooking!

Tempeh Reubens!

I love tempeh Reuben sandwiches. This is my take on a traditional Reuben, complete with homemade Russian dressing and spicy coleslaw replacing sauerkraut.

I find that marinated tempeh gives the sandwich more flavor. I marinated triangles of tempeh in my special marinade for a few hours. I also use this marinade for portobello mushrooms.

Mandy’s Special Marinade

3 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acid
2 tablespoons Frank’s Hot Sauce
2 teaspoons Pickapeppa sauce
2 generous shakes of Colgin liquid smoke

After the tempeh has marinated for a bit, put the tempeh and the marinade in a frying pan and cook the tempeh on medium heat, just long enough to warm the tempeh and cook the marinade into the tempeh.

Now it is time to toast the bread. I use pumpernickel bread, but you could use whatever kind you like. I also use real butter, but if you choose to veganize this, you can use your choice of vegetable spread.

I melt a little butter in the pan and toast the bread. I think this makes the bread have a better taste and the bread isn’t too soggy from butter.

Place the tempeh on one slice of the toasted bread and cover the tempeh with Swiss cheese (or your soy alternative). This won’t make the cheese all melt-y like you want it, so I pop the sandwich in the oven for a bit to melt the cheese. I suppose you could also microwave it, but I don’t have a microwave and I don’t plan on buying one anytime soon. However, if Mark gets his way we will have one.

When the cheese is nice and melted, place some sliced tomatoes and spicy coleslaw on top. What is spicy coleslaw, you say?

Spicy Coleslaw (Vegan)

2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 cup shredded carrot
3 tablespoons vegan mayo
2 teaspoons spicy Chinese mustard
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar (I use Sugar in the Raw)
A pinch of wasabi powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all up and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours

Now it is time to spread that other slice of bread with the Russian dressing. I don’t really measure when I make this, but I do use the following ingredients:

-vegan mayo
-organic ketchup
-salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika

I served these delights up with a side order of steak fries and an organic dill pickle, both from Hannaford’s supermarket. I highly recommend their pickles. Unfortunately, I didn’t use them to make the Kool-Aid pickles, which should be ready for review on Saturday.

Hurrah for tempeh Reubens! I hope you all have a great day and keep cooking!