The combination of a stat holiday and a nasty, blustery weather system made today a doubly great reason to stay in the house and stay warm.  And the chance to warm up the oven?  Ooh, can’t pass that up!

For Valentine’s Day, I got a new cookbook: Betty Goes Vegan by Annie and Dan Shannon.  This might seem a tad unromantic, but a) I had been coveting this book since I first heard about it, and b) it was from my parents, so really, something a little more, um, personal would just have been inappropriate.  And honestly, you can’t go wrong with a cookbook anyway.  The first recipe I saw that really jumped off the page at me was Monte Cristo pockets.  Why?  Not sure.  I was never a huge meat n’ cheese freak in my omnivorous days, but there was something about this recipe…

Get it? "Comte" = "Count". Ah-ha-ha!

Get it? “Comte” = “Count”. Ah-ha-ha!

OMG…I’m so glad I tried this!  I might cut back on either the time or temperature in the oven next time as my bottoms got a little overdone (on the bright side, I didn’t set off the smoke detector), but that’s such a minor little tweak.  And for reasons unclear to me, I had a ton of filling left over – probably enough for another full batch – so I’ll likely get my chance to try that out sooner than I thought.  Blackened bits aside, this pastry is, no joke, the flakiest, most amazing stuff ever!  I’m glad I ate lunch before starting in on these, or I wouldn’t have had a picture to post.

And now, alas, I only have four…four Monte Cristo pockets left…

(Ah-ha-ha!)

 

I <3 you…

February 14, 2013

…oh, and cupcakes, too!

2926

2932

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hut…hut…hike!

February 7, 2013

I hate to use the “S”-word (I’m more of a Grey Cup gal myself), but I’m told [conspiratorial whisper] that there was a big football game on Sunday.  Say what?  I don’t know what it was all about, but it sure must have been super.  In any case, I was thrilled to be able to use my grass tip on something besides assorted Muppets.

2916

There’s not much to explain about these; they’re (of course) the basic chocolate cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, with a green-tinged vanilla buttercream.  The two most interesting things I learned from all of this:

1. Chocolate-covered almonds wobble something fierce when placed on a flat surface to pipe detailing onto them.  And Wilton’s decorating icing-in-a-tube is extremely stiff and awkward to work with, which is my penance for being lazy and not wanting to do two colours of my own icing.  (It – Wilton – doesn’t taste that great, either, and sticks to piping tips like cement even when run under hot water.)  Having a helper hold the last few steady for me was a huge boon to my creative process.  But I’m still using my own icing next time.

2. Speaking of assorted Muppets: I need to use my grass tip for actual grass more often.  A trusted member of my test audience thought at first glance that I had brought him a slightly deformed Oscar the Grouch to try.

But I have 289 days to perfect my technique before the Grey Cup…