Wow! It’s so hard to believe this month is over.
I didn’t get any questions from anyone on the blog the other day, but I’m still going to post this wrap-up interview style. I’m just going to carry on both sides of the conversation.
What was your favorite sweet dish?
I liked all of them, and I can’t believe I’m not saying the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pillows, but I think my favorite was the Apple Butter Donut Holes
What was your favorite savory dish?
Easy. The veggie calzone. It had that perfect Italian-y flavor that I miss most not being able to eat pizza, calzones, etc at most restaurants.
What new dishes are most likely to get added to the regular rotation?
The salad rolls are already in the rotation so they aren’t being added, but they’ll stay. New things will probably be the Dragon Rolls (sans the tempura most of the time), the chickpea salad melt, MAT (mushroom, avocado, tomato) Lettuce Cups and Asian Style Jackfruit Lettuce Wraps. Oh, and how could I almost forget the Breakfast Stuffed Apples?!
What did you learn that will be most helpful?
That I don’t always have to re-invent the wheel, or the dough in this case. I made 3 different doughs this month with just little tiny tweeks of my standby pizza crust dough.
What did you learn that you probably didn’t need to know?
Frying isn’t as much trouble as I thought.
What dishes did you want to try that you just didn’t get to?
Eggrolls, stuffed pancakes and waffles, more sushi, more rice paper rolls, raw fajitas, zucchini boats… the list goes on. And for some reason, I really wanted to try plum-rosemary hand pies. Not sure why. I’ve never heard of them. They just sound good.
What kitchen failures did you encounter?
1. I tried to make ravioli 4 times. They looked lovely. They tasted awful. I just couldn’t get the pasta dough right. Even in my gluten filled days, I never made fresh pasta and don’t think I’d ever eaten fresh pasta. So I just didn’t know what I was going for. Sorry I forgot to take a picture. The leftover green pea-kale pesto filling was pretty good, so I mixed it in some polenta and baked it in a cast iron pan.
2. Marshmallow for an attempt at s’more cookies. I realized just as I put it on the stove that my thermometer didn’t go high enough to get the proper measurements and I apparently didn’t cook it quite long enough.
3. Onion Hushpuppy Crusted Hot Dogs. Yep. I attempted a soy-free, gluten-free vegan hot dog. I realized after the fact that I had written the measurement of flours that I wanted to use down wrong and used way more than planned. They looked and smelled fabulous. They tasted…well…like flour.
But, if you already have a hot dog you can eat, the hushpuppy wrapping was great. I used my regular hushpuppy recipe and patted it around the hot dogs. It works better if you wet your hands. 1 hushpuppy recipe was enough for about 4 hot dogs. Fry it up until the batter is golden brown. Onions are built in, so all I would need to do is have a little mustard for dipping.
4. Cannoli. The cream cheese chocolate chip filling tasted perfect, but was too thin. I could have worked with that, but the dough was too heavy and dry. Cannoli are supposed to be light and crispy. I finally got the dough where I could roll and cut them out but then they continued to get drier and after the first 7 or 8, they were too dry to roll around the cannoli molds.
5. Flour tortillas that are light and flexible. Again, great flavor, too heavy a texture. I’ll keep working on this one.
Where do you see your cooking and this blog going from here?
Well, I definitely need to lighten up on the frying and the dough. Stuffed, wrapped and rolled food is good, but after a month it all starts to feel a bit heavy. I’m looking forward to more soups, salads, fruits and vegetables.
I’m not really sure about the blog, but I’m thinking of a name change. I also really want to see myself blog more regularly. I’m thinking of a personal cookbook challenge, either using multiple cookbooks or cooking through a favorite giving gluten/soy subs. Or a series of lighter, healthier dishes.
Any other closing thoughts as yet another Vegan MoFo wraps up?
MoFo was a lot more fun for me not expecting myself to do 7 posts a week. I like the 5 posts a week goal. Also, after having to quit last year with my dad’s cancer diagnosis and extended hospital stay, I had an emotional victory reaching my goal. As always, I’m most thankful for the readers and your encouragement!
I just couldn’t wrap up the month without just one more little treat for Stuff, Wrap & Roll. These Apples in a Blanket are lightly sweet with a little autumnal apple goodness
Apples in a Blanket
- 1/2 cup garfava flour, plus more for working the dough
- 6 Tbsp tapioca flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp gluten-free yeast
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup warm water (around 110F)
- 3/4 tsp canola oil
- 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 small gala apple, washed, cored and thinly sliced
- Soy Free Earth Balance for Brushing
- Sugar and Cinnamon for topping
Lightly oil/flour a cookie sheet/roasting pan (or use parchment paper) and set aside.
Add all dry ingredients (except sugar/cinnamon for topping) in a kitchen stand mixer with a dough hook or food processor with S blade and combine well. Add in liquids and mix until a stiff dough forms. Using your hands, gather all the dough together. (At this point, it will probably be a blob) The dough is sticky so put a very small amount of garfava flour on the outside as you form it into a ball. Let the dough sit on a small piece of parchment or waxed paper for about 25 minutes to let the yeast work a little magic. It will get fluffy, but still be sticky.
Preheat oven to 375.
Prepare a small work surface with waxed paper or parchment paper. This space doesn’t need to be very large, just enough to put one “blanket” down at a time. Keep a little bowl of extra garfava flour handy for working with the sticky dough. You don’t want to work in more flour, just have enough to coat the outside of each little ball of dough.
Core & slice apple. I used one of the corers that cuts an apple into wedges and then sliced each wedge into 4 slices.
Toss a little garfava flour onto the work surface. Tear off a piece of dough and pat it down lightly into the flour, turn it over and pat it down into the flour again. You just want enough to coat the dough so you can work with it. Pat the dough down into a circle about 2½” in diamater and a little less than 1/4″ thick. Put the circle on the workspace, put 2 apple slices in the middle and wrap the dough around it, being careful to push the edges together to form a strong seam. (Otherwise, they’ll open up when they bake. They still taste good, but not quite as pretty). Put on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough and apples.
Melt about 1 Tbsp of soy free Earth Balance. Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer on top of each apple in a blanket (including the apple that’s sticking out the ends).
Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until edges and bottom are golden brown.
In a ziploc bag, add sugar and cinnamon (6 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon). 2-4 at a time depending on the size of your bag. (I did 3 in a quart bag). Shake bag to coat each apple in a blanket. Repeat until all are coated.
And with that, goodbye Vegan MoFo 2013.