Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Ups and Downs of Spring

I always take a chance when I try a new recipe (which is every week), but when it comes from a reliable source (a good cookbook or awesome blogger), I am usually confident that it will turn out quite well.

Unfortunately, even in good cookbooks (for example, I have made several not-so-great recipes from Everyday Vegan and Candle Cafe Cookbook), there are bound to be recipes that just aren't worth making.

I wouldn't say that this recipe sucks, since that's a pretty strong word, but let's just say I was really, really disappointed. Chocolate and coconut have to be two of the best combinations ever, and when you throw in maple syrup, agave nectar, and oatmeal, what could go wrong? Well, these Choco-Coco-Oat Bars from the Urban Vegan's blog sounded soooo good and soooo easy, I thought I would whip them up to serve at my recent Sierra Club meeting. I don't know if it was the pan that I used (you can see it was a glass pie plate - my regular metal pans were all dirty), because a lot of times the pan can make a huge difference in baking. However, I measured everything very carefully, followed the very easy directions, and made sure my oven thermometer was reading the correct temperature (the gauge that came with the stove is often a little off).
The results? A topping that was sublime and decadent. And a bottom that was crumbly, under baked, and completely ....well, inedible. The top and bottom parts didn't mesh at all - they were two separate and disappointing entities. I ate some of the topping out of guilt (what a waste of ingredients!) but had to throw it out in the end. Did anyone else make this with better results? I really want to make it again, but don't dare until I figure out what went wrong.

Meanwhile, these Maple-Pecan Sticky Blondies from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan, were the complete opposite. Easy, decadent, and they came out completely perfect! One of the best desserts I have made in a loooooong time. Kind of reminded me of Isa's Macadamia Nut Blondies from Vegan with a Vengeance!

Last, but not least, I whipped up some Ethiopian Chickpea Wat from Veg News this week for dinner. It was super, super easy and soooo comforting! A kind of good-bye meal to winter, as we welcome spring....thank god!!! Not that winter was terribly hard for us this year. But as a teacher, I only got about two days off - if that! We usually get several days and enjoy the snow. I think the only major snowfall we had (beyond a dusting) was back in December! For someone who hates winter, I was pretty disappointed in the lack of pretty, white snow! So, at any rate, we're full into spring already here, so here are some non-food photos of what I am feasting my eyes on!


Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

Recipes don't always go as planned, unfortunately. But the maple-pecan bars look great! And so do the pictures of SPRING - thanks for those too, it hasn't reached us up in the north yet!

Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

Hi again! -
Just wanted to pass on this information. Thanks!

Boston Magazine recently published an article all about us this month - here is the link:

Oh So Soy!

If you have a few minutes to spare, could do us a huge favor and read the article and comment at the bottom of the page? We're very excited about getting such great press, especially from a magazine of this caliber. If everyone drops by and leaves a quick comment, soon there will be no doubt in any publisher's mind: YES, readers absolutely do want to know about vegan happenings and developments. Please don't hesitate to repost the article on your blog and spread the world!

Emily @ Wheeler's Frozen Desserts