31 March 2013

Yeast Belgian Waffles

Makes about 3 1/2 Belgian waffles

2 cups all purpose flour
3 TB cornstarch
1 cup water, microwaved for 1 minute
3/4 cups soy OR almond OR coconut milk, microwaved for 1 minute
1/2 packet (2 tsp) yeast
3 TB sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp salt

1 TB vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder

In a bowl, combine the water, almond milk, and sugar. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. If the liquid is body heat, whisk in the yeast. If it's too hot, add the canola oil, and then add the yeast. Either way, get the yeast dissolved. Then, add the flour, cornstarch, canola oil, and salt. Let set covered with plastic wrap for 1 hour, in a warm place (or over a bowl of warm water, if you don't have a warm place). The dough will have doubled in size. If the dough is not doubled in size, let it hang out a bit longer, until it is.

Once the dough is doubled in volume, heat your waffle iron. When the iron is hot, spray it with cooking spray, or brush on some oil. Then, dissolve the baking powder in the vanilla extract. Beat the slurry through the dough. Then, ladle on however much waffle batter your waffle iron needs. Mine needs about 3/4 cup. This will rise a lot, so don't overfill.

Bake on medium heat, if your waffle iron lets you set the heat. Serve piping hot.

These are very easy to split in half, and slather generously with jam, peanut butter, melted chocolate, or whatever combination you can come up with. Eat it like a sandwich. This way, the crispy part on the outside remains crispy, while the pillowy fluffy part inside gets soaked in delicious sweetness.

18 March 2013

Quick Guest-Pleasing Pantry Staples

There's a few things that I like to keep on hand at all times, in case of unexpected visitors (or, in some cases, visitors that I forgot we're having). Today's podcast explores that.

14 March 2013

So they want me to speak.

I don't know what prompted it, but apparently, there are people out there that enjoy my food so much that they want me to appear in person to talk about it. In person! So they're flying me out to Madison, Wisconsin for their Mad City Vegan Fest (this is their third year doing the 'fest). They want me to do a cooking demo. I'll get to stay with a local person who doesn't mind having me hang out there (I prefer to stay in a home versus a hotel, because something about a hotel feels so sterile and distant), for which I offered to cook in return. Hopefully my food makes the space I take up worth their while (I'm guessing that it will).

I'm speechless (not for the demo, just in general). Seriously. Being the weird kid at school, who brought smelly food (it smelled amazing to me, because it was redolent with spices, garlic, onion, and ginger, instead of that horrible meat smell that everyone else had from their tuna sandwiches or lunch meat on white bread), and sat alone at lunch will never prepare you for being that guy whose house people want to come visit, because he cooks so well. Puppy said the other day that he had a friend ask him, "So what would it take to wrangle an invite to your house for dinner?" I was pleasantly shocked.

I'm looking forward to going to a new city in a state that I've never visited before. This will be my first time in Wisconsin, and I look forward to it. From what I can see from the emails I've gotten from fans in Wisconsin, as well as the emails from the organisers for Mad City Vegan Fest, the people are really friendly (I guess that's why they call it America's heartland, right Greg Proops?) and welcoming. If anyone's going to be in the area, I'd encourage you to check out the festival. It looks like lots of fun!

Most of all, I'm looking forward to getting the word out there that vegan food can be interesting without fake meats and the like. It relies on fresh produce, whole grains, seeds, nuts, spices, herbs, and lots of lovely colour and taste. Even if I don't get anyone on board completely, I do hope to encourage people to try something a little different.

Now. The most important question. What should I make?