ESSENTIAL Biscuits (Vegan MoFo #8)

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5-27-2010-lord-sunday-by-garth-nixSince Lord Sunday (the book which inspired the below recipe), is the last book of seven in the Keys to the Kingdom series, I’ll be reviewing the first book, Mister Monday by Garth Nix, to avoid spoilers.

Keys to the Kingdom is a series about Arthur Penhaligon, a twelve year old boy who through a seemingly random accident is chosen to become the Rightful Heir of the House (the center of the universe). Controlling the House are the corrupt Morrow Days, who are each afflicted by one of the deadly sins. The Morrow Days are: Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, Drowned Wednesday, Sir Thursday, Lady Friday, Superior Saturday, and Lord Sunday.

Arthur soon learns that the Architect (creator of the House and “secondary realms”) left a Will which was unfulfilled. Not long afterwards, a mysterious virus begins sweeping through his town in the secondary realm. Knowing that this is the work of the Morrow Days, Arthur must go into the House to search for a cure. There he learns that to save his town, and the House itself, he must defeat the Morrow Days and release the imprisoned pieces of the Will . Through his journey, Arthur meets Suzy Turquoise Blue, a clever and capable girl who, along with all the other “Piper’s children”, was drawn to the House by the Pied Piper. Suzy holds a current piece of the Will, which has manifested itself as a talking frog. With his two odd allies in tow, Arthur must work to defeat the torpid Mister Monday and stop the spreading virus before it’s too late.

” “Have a biscuit, General,” said one of the children, reaching into the barrel, which was stuffed to the brim with biscuits. Since neither Denizens nor Piper’s children needed to eat, but liked to do so anyway, it was surprising that the barrel was marked ESSENTIAL GOODS FOR EVACUATION.

Suzy took the raisin-filled biscuit with glee and, between mouthfuls, introduced everyone.” – Lord Sunday (hardcover) page 145

I’ve never actually had a sweet biscuit (only savory), but these were amaaaazing.

raisin biscuit

Essential Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits

Based on a recipe from Food.com

Ingredients

1 cup raisins

1 cup water

2 cups soymilk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 cups self rising flour, or 4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons baking powder mixed together

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup shortening

3 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar

3 and 1/2 teaspoons soymilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Set oven to 400 degrees.

Boil water and pour over raisins, then cover and set aside. Mix the 2 cups of soymilk with lemon juice, set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Cut shortening into the flour mixture (either using a fork or pastry blender) until crumbly and fine.

Mix in soymilk and drained raisins, then stir in cinnamon.

With a large greased spoon dollop out the biscuit dough onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes.

While the biscuits cool, mix together the powdered sugar with vanilla and 3 and 1/2 teaspoons of soymilk until a glaze is formed. Drizzle over cooled biscuits and let sit until the glaze hardens.

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Breakfast of Witch Fighting Champions (Vegan MoFo #3)

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The Last Apprentice – Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney is about Tom Ward, a young seventh son of a seventh son who is apprenticed to the local Spook. Spooks are fighters of the dark who battle witches, ghosts, boggarts, demons, and even the Fiend himself. As Tom starts his apprenticeship, he learns about all the things that go bump in the dark. His learning focuses on witches especially since they are quite common in this area. There are blood witches, who like to drain blood for ceremonies and occasionally drink it, and also bone witches, who will cut off the thumbs of enemies for spells. The Spook warns Tom that the easiest way to identify a disguised witch is by her pointy shoes.

One day, during an errand run into town, Tom meets a young girl named Alice. She seems fairly harmless and nice, but there’s one problem. She wears pointy shoes. Despite this, Tom has a hard time believing the girl could be capable of harming anyone. Since he has no friends since moving in with the Spook, he decides to befriend the girl.

Soon the Spook has to travel due to a job in another town. He leaves Tom in charge of the house, and promises to be back within a few days. Almost immediately, things take a turn for the worst. It’s not long before Alice is back, and Tom has a promise to keep to her. Through trying to keep his word and an unfortunate beginner’s mistake, Tom releases one of the most feared witches in the County, Mother Malkin. As she begins to terrorize him and his family, and without the wise guidance of the Spook, Tom must learn to fight the dark on his own.

“Yes,” I said “it was the very best breakfast that I’ve ever tasted. And I’m sorry for coming down too early and I promise that it won’t happen again.”

At that, the Spook grinned so much that I thought his face was going to split in two; then he clapped me on the back and led me out into the garden again.

It was only when we were outside that the grin finally faded. “Well done, lad,” he said. “There are two things that respond well to flattery: boggarts and some women. Gets them every time.” – The Last Apprentice – Revenge of the Witch (hardcover) pages 94-95

In the Spook’s home is a boggart that cooks, cleans, and protects the property. While it is a friendly boggart (most of which in the book are not), it does not like people coming down to breakfast early or insulting its cooking. The result is the offender either getting boxed in the ears or their food being burned. In honor of the boggart’s breakfasts, I’m made breakfast food for lunch today (since waking up early to cook an actual breakfast is over rated).

boggart breakfast

Plated up is some cheesy tofu scramble (this tofu recipe with a handful of Daiya), Gimme Lean sausage patties, and a drop biscuit with strawberry preserves.

Biscuits & Beans

Since gas prices suck nowadays, I am trying to drive less places or at least not as far for things I can find nearby. So that means I am using our local Lucky’s grocery store for most of my ingredients, which forces me to rely on less processed foods (Boca patties, Vegenaise, etc.) and more on regular stuff.

The cookbook Table for Two is helping with this, because most of the recipes use common ingredients, plus the small quantities from the recipes make it where I am not forced to eat leftovers by myself for a week.

One of the recipes I used from the book was for whole wheat biscuits, but I subbed all-purpose flour for the wheat. These lovely little drop biscuits took less than 20 minutes from start to finish, and were delicious. I ate some with Earth Balance and strawberry jam for breakfast this morning.

Although it’s getting really hot outside, I am still eating a lot of hot food. I started swimming twice a week, and after getting out of the pool I am cold and wanting something filling. Chili is the answer! This particular chili had Navy and pinto beans and TVP. I actually ate this with some of the leftover biscuits and it was fantastic. This shall be my lunch for the next few days.

For dinner today I had a marinated bean and corn salad. I took a can of black beans, a can of corn, freshly chopped tomatoes, and let it marinate for a while in the fridge with Kraft mango chipotle dressing. I then put it on a bed of baby spring lettuce with crushed Fritos. The mango chipotle dressing was just okay, the mango taste seemed a bit artificial to me. But to not waste so much food, I just loaded on some salsa and the salad was saved.

Thanksgiving – Pigs, Cards, and Cake!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and survived Black Friday (if you dared to venture out). Now is the time to begin prepping for Christmas, and since I’ve decided every one of my gifts will be homemade, I need to get to work asap. But there is no need to skip Thanksgiving, like many major store chains seem to be fine with doing. It should get just as much air-time as Christmas.

Before I blab about our holiday surrounding thankfulness, food, family, pilgrims, and football, I need to give you a daily-dose of cuteness. Look at the adorable little pot-scrubber Peter gave me for my birthday:

I love this little piggie, and it makes the annoying chore of washing dishes much more pleasant.

On to Thanksgiving though! My mother enjoys sending me cards at school and they’re sweet reminders to not stress too much about classes and enjoy life as much as possible. Here’s the most recent card she sent:

It says “Go stuff yourself!” inside. What a cute and vegan-friendly card.

For our Thanksgiving meal we had Tofurky roast, mashed potatoes topped with “poultry gravy”, green bean casserole, and buttery Bisquick biscuits.

For dessert we had cream-filled gingerbread bundt cake.

This was the first bundt cake I’ve ever made and I was quite pleased with how it came out. I looooved the cake’s cream “cheese” filling and how it coordinated with the spices in the cake. It was a tad dry, but I think I may have just baked it for too long.

Peter’s family also had Thanksgiving celebrations later in the week. I brought another Tofurky roast with some mushroom gravy (which I didn’t bother to photograph) and a lemon-berry cheez cake.

Happy holidays to everyone!

Pizza and Pasta

If you can’t tell by now, I love soy cheese. You could put it on pretty much anything and I’ll most likely eat it. So, when I saw this recipe for pizza rolls from Bittersweet Blog I knew that I needed to make these. Hannah’s pizza rolls look all nice and pretty, while mine look like… Well, I’ll just show you a picture.

Not too pretty, but soooo good. Good enough that my cheese-loving vegetarian sister ate three of them! My sister usually thinks that soy cheese is really gross. So if she says they’re tasty, trust me, they’re tasty. The cheese (I used Follow Your Heart) got all melty inside the soft roll and the pizza sauce just pulled everything together.

Here I served one of the rolls with a side of pinwheel mini pasta mixed with spaghetti sauce and a chopped up Boca chick’n patty.

Seriously people, go make these.

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving

I wanna wish everyone a happy belated Thanksgiving! I know I’m two days late, but I’ve got a head cold and really didn’t feel like dealing with my computer (which has been running super slow lately).

And now, on to the food!

So here I have black olive seitan, a cheezy basil biscuit, colcannon (mashed potatoes + sauted kale) with Campbells mushroom gravy, and lastly green bean casserole.

Man, I love this seitan! Using a recipe from Peace by Pastries, it’s probably one of the first seitan recipes I ever tried, and now it’s a returning favorite.

The biscuits were just Bisquick mixed with plain soy milk, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and basil. Easy, but tasty.

The colcannon is just basic mashed potatos with sauted kale and I took a short cut by using a can of Campbells mushroom gravy, which although canned is delicious.

Oh! How I’ve missed you green bean casserole! But no longer. Using a recipe from VegCooking Blog it replicated the yumminess of the casserole that I fondly remember my mom making for Thanksgiving every year. True, I forgot to get the mushrooms required for the recipe, but I just replaced them with cooked lima beans and it still turned out great.

All in all it was a delicious vegan feast and now I’ve got left-overs for days! Yay!