Cake, Pie, and a Recipe Redeemed

Kaki!  Thanks so much for the lovely cookbooks you got me for my birthday; Deb’s I’ve been meaning to get forever, and The Food Lab, so far, has made my nerd heart go pitter-pat with all of The Scientific Method that’s going on.  Loooove it.

I’ve made a lot of really good stuff this past month, some of which you could actually also eat!  For example:

Vegan Chocolate Layer Cake

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Guurrlll, this turned out so good, and kept perfectly in the fridge for well over a week.  I will say the filling was a bit odd, as I used peanut butter, not almond butter per the recipe, and the flavor pretty much took over.  Which I dig; give me a chocolate-peanut-butter-combo any day of the week.  But, even so, I think playing around with the filling flavor will probably happen as some point.  Currently thinking maybe adding Nutella?  Or almond extract, maybe?  Espresso powder?  Still brainstorming there.

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Tahiree Vegetable Rice Curry

This was tasty, if not earth-shattering.  I was surprised that you could add all of those whole spices and never fish them out again; turns out the peppercorns and cloves are actually okay to eat!  The cardamom pods, chiles, and bay leaves, not so much.  Interesting lesson, that.

Moroccan Shepherd’s Pie

I so wish we could share this dish, Kaki, because it is easily in the Top Ten of everything I’ve made this year.  Alas, it builds a lot of its flavor from the lamb, so veggifying it would be quite a feat.  I don’t know, maybe lentils and chickpeas?  The flavors of the spices, the olives, the golden raisins and the sweet potato topping are just phenomenal, worth some experimentation for sure.  Meat-eaters reading this should just Pass Go and Collect An Amazing Meal.

Chicken in Coconut Milk with Lemongrass

Five stars!  All of the stars!  I was shocked that this came out so tasty, since it’s a riff on a recipe for chicken braised in milk that I made last year and was thoroughly meh.  This take, however, with the succulence of the coconut milk and the chicken, and the inspired addition of star anise and lemongrass, blew my mind with how good it was.  Next time I’ll make it with just skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts, as the dark meat didn’t turn out as well as the breast meat.  Kaki, it is sooo good, how can we also veggify this so you can experience how good it is?  Let me know if you come up with anything.

How was your Halloween, my dear?  Can’t wait to see you next weekend!

Until then, happy cooking,

Caitlin

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