homemade pasta

It’s finally Sunday, and I made it through one week of vegan mofo blogging!  I don’t know what you had for breakfast today, but over here in my little corner of the world we are enjoying fresh fruit from our CSA. The plate has yellow watermelon, nectarine, and plum slices. Along with delicious bread from Fat Boy bakery, purchased at the Ithaca farmers market.breakfast

I would be remiss if I did not make spaetzle (homemade pasta) during my month of making foods from Southern Germany. Spaetzle was one of my favorite childhood comfort foods. Before moving out, and living on my own I decided I needed to have my own spaetzle maker.   Well a relative gave me one a long time ago, but the truth is I rarely use the thing.  It isn’t something I think about making, since I can just buy pre-made pasta, and cook it so much faster. So this weekend while the weather outside was gray and rainy I finally made some.  Once again, I discovered that it really does not take that much time to make, especially if makeryou prepare the dough the night before!

To make the dough I followed the recipe over on the blog, Seitan is My Motor. There is another way to make spaetzle, if you do not own a maker. You can also lay some of the dough on a cutting board, Using the back of a knife push strips of dough into the boiling water. Making the pasta this way will not look perfect, but still works very well.

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The smaller bowl on the left contains handmade pasta, and the bowl on the right holds the pasta made with the spaetzle maker.
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mushroom cakes

chanterellesDuring my pre-vegan days I didn’t like mushrooms at all.  Actually, it was really about the texture, they are so weird and slimy.  I ate them occasionally if I didn’t really notice there presence.  After going vegan I slowly started to accept them into the “things I will eat”, group.  This summer we even joined a shiitake mushroom CSA!  When I first saw the recipe for Pfifferlings-Kuechle (chanterelle) in my cookbook, I thought I would love to try these.  The trouble is where can I get these special mushrooms?  As luck would have it a friend of mine, who discovered a trove of wild mushrooms near her home, happened to stop into the local co-op while I was there.  She was hoping to find someone that could identify, and confirm the mushrooms she found are in fact edible.  Personally, I am of the belief that if they are not in a store, and I am not being charged $9.00 a pound for them, they are probably poisonous.  My friend did find someone who could identify them as non poisonous, totally safe, edible chanterelle mushrooms.  In the past I would have said, no thank you when offered any wild mushrooms, but in the name of blogging I decided to take some home.  In the end I am glad I did, because they were wonderfully delicious!

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on chanterelles you might like to try this recipe for mushroom cakes.  We enjoyed them with fresh salad, and grilled eggplant, and zucchini.  The cakes came out perfectly, held together well, and tasted good.

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The original recipe does calls for 300 grams (about 10.6 ounces) of mushrooms, which I didn’t have.  I considered mixing them with shiitakes, but decided to halve my recipe instead.  This way I could experience the flavor of chanterelles on there own.  If you can’t get chanterelle mushrooms, try these cakes with a different variety, oyster mushrooms maybe?

Recipe

  • 2 cups (5 ounces) chanterelles thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh, chopped parsley
  • 2 cups cubed bread (about 4 slices)
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds mixed with 2 tbsp. of water
  • 1/2 tsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

 Directions

In a large pan saute the mushrooms, and onions with a tablespoon of oil.  Cook until the onions become transparent, and most of the liquid is gone.  Add the parsley, and remove the pan from the heat.  Heat the soy milk in a small saucepan, and pour over the bread.  Cover, and allow to rest for a few minutes.  Next, mix in the cooked mushrooms.  Then add the flax seed mixture, flour, salt, and nutmeg to the bread. Form six patties out of the bread mixture.  Using the same pan heat the oil, and fry the patties on both sides on medium heat, until they become golden brown. Enjoy!

 

winter dinner

This past Sunday started out dark and rainy.  By the end of the day it was snowing making it the perfect day to stay in and enjoy comfort food.  I baked the olive bread from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s new book Isa does it.  It smelled delicious, and resulted in a nice soft bread.  Image

For the curry butternut squash soup I used some leftover squash I had in the freezer.  It was easy to put together.  I sauteed two small onions and three cloves of garlic, then added a chopped apple until everything turned golden brown.  Next I added the squash and veggie broth.  After everything was soft and hot I added a tablespoon of curry powder.  Lastly I pureed the entire thing with my immersion blender.  We enjoyed the bread with a store bought bean dip.

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bread share

What Ithaca lacks in vegan restaurants it gains in a large array of locally made food products.  I could create a long laundry list of all the items available in the finger lakes.  It is one of the few places I know of that you can get locally ground flour, tofu, and seitan. There are also a large number of different CSA’s (community share agriculture) to choose from.  This region even has one of the first if not only you pick berry CSA.  One of my favorite things about living here is our wonderful bread share from Wide Awake Bakery. Every week we get to choose from an array o freshly baked bread.  Sometimes they have homemade pasta as well.  Usually we enjoy our bread on Saturday morning, with nut butter and jam.  I have also been known to make special sandwiches with it, or enjoy with homemade hummus.

Sunflower seed bread