Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sweets to the Sweet!

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm sick of sweets! I made so many sweet things this week, I was almost nauseous. Actually, I was really getting over my stomach bug (not the flu as I had thought!), and I had to eat pretty bland and boring things. But I could still bake up a storm for my friends, right?

I began with Banana-Coconut Bars from Fat Free Vegan's blog. They were a delight to make and to eat! I made these for my friends at work for World Vegetarian Month. They got rave reviews, but I think that they could have been less flat. I wonder if anyone else has tried this recipe in a smaller pan for 'higher' results? At any rate, they were sweet, chewy, and yum! Rating: 3 stars

I also made these Maui Muffins with Orange Glaze, from The Candle Cafe Cookbook. They were a repeat from the summer, and just as good as I remembered! The only difficulty with these is telling when they're done. Because of the moist pineapple in the batter, a testing toothpick stuck into a muffin may still come out wet! However, they are overall easy to make and scrumptious! Great for a brunch, and pretty looking, too. Rating: 4 stars. Overall rating from my co-workers? Well, I think the empty containers at the end of the day spoke for themselves.
Later in the week, I had to make goodies for our monthly Sierra Club meeting. I made two things I had made in the past, so there would be no bad surprises. First, Isa's Raspberry-Chocolate Blondies (top) and then (bottom) Vegetarian Times' Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Bread. Both were devoured. I was disappointed in the blondies, however, because once again I couldn't tell when they were done, due to the jam in middle. They looked completely done on the top, but when I cut into them later, they were underdone in the middle! I couldn't believe it, but I salvaged the edges, tried to re-cook the middle squares, and still they were scarfed down! I was happy that no one realized that they weren't quite perfect. As Isa says herself, "never apologize for your food." Rating for both (on a good day): 4 stars! Soooo addictive.

After that sugar rush, I was in the mood for something a little healthier (actually, with 2 cups of sugar in the blondies, something a LOT healthier). So, here are this week's treats for my co-workers, in celebration of World Vegetarian Month. The first shot is of Carob-Almond Truffles, from Veg News. The lighter ones (here I go apologizing again!) are lacking the proper coating, as I ran out and had to use just carob powder. However, they are pure goodness, with dried fruit and nuts only. I bought a raw food book over the summer, and this inspires me to crack it open again. What decadence with no refined sugar! I love carob fat, no cholesterol, and no caffeine! I'll have to let you know how they are received at work, but I give them- Rating: 3 1/2 stars.

Next, we have Spiced Nuts from La Dolce Vegan, one of Sarah Kramer's books. They were wicked easy to make, and only had two tablespoons of olive oil in the whole 3 cups of nuts. There was an abundance of spice, from cayenne to nutmeg, but it wasn't overpowering at all. In fact, I would probably add more spice next time! Again, I don't know how they will be judged at work, but I give them - Rating: 2 1/2 stars (they aren't very original, but they are still good!).

Finally, we have something all for me. The simplest of suppers. Hubby wouldn't share this with me because he has a thing against cooked fruit in his meals, but then he tasted it and thought it wasn't too bad! It wasn't bad.... it was amazing. This is African Pineapple Peanut Stew from a Moosewood cookbook, which I copied recipes out of over the summer (not my book). This was so easy to make and the spices were spot on! In a West African tone, it was spicy from the Tabasco sauce, sweet from the crushed pineapple, and salty from the crunchy peanut butter! Actually, those are pretty much the ingredients, aside from that beautiful fresh kale, and some onion, garlic, and fresh chopped green onions and raw peanuts. It reminded me of fried rice from a Chinese restaurant, but so much better. In fact, it recommends serving this over couscous, millet, or rice, but I don't do much with carbs so I opted out. I can't wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow night!! Rating: 4 stars, easily. My other meals for the week were simply canned baked beans (vegetarian, of course) with pieces of veggie dogs mixed in, and then some baked beans re-heated with fresh spinach (till it wilted) and canned pineapple. Not bad for no recipe! Still, not worthy of a photo :)


VeggieGirl said...

Since I've only recently developed a sweet-tooth (since becoming vegan/learning how to bake), I definitely am NOT sick of sweets, haha :0)

I haven't tried those Banana-Coconut Bars yet - maybe if you SLIGHTLY increased the amount of baking powder or baking soda, they wouldn't be as flat? who knows. If I try the recipe, I'll let you know.

mmm, those Maui Muffins, rasberry blondies, peanut-butter-chocolate-banana-bread (wow!!), Carob-Almond Truffles (oh my goodness you KNOW how much I loooove carob!! glad to read that you do too!), and Spiced Nuts all look exceptionally decadent and delicious!! Everyone who got to taste the fruits (err, baked goods) of your labor are such lucky individuals!!

And your African Pineapple Peanut Stew is so enticing - I've never had anything like it before. Nice that your husband ended up liking it too!

Anardana said...

Looks delish!

bazu said...

Everything looks good! But I agree with you- there is such a thing as too many sweets. I seem to oscillate- some weeks I'm all about baking, some weeks I'm all about leafy greens, lentils, and salads.

reiskeks said...

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