Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Vegan Chocolate Pudding Cake- Great even for non vegans!

My sister Ann is always sending me awesome recipes. Sometimes I try them, other times I file them away for “some other time” and usually never return to them. When she sent me a fat free, fiber free, Chocolate desert!?! I knew that this one was recipe to try. And pronto! The recipe is from Fat Free Vegan and although most vegan dishes are latent with fiber the desert section of the site is great for someone on a low residue diet (like myself)

I am hard on desserts, I want it to taste great and have a nice texture. I love cakes and cookies, creams and candies but on my fat free diet I cannot have most of those things… Believe me when I say I will be eating this desert even when I can eat everything. REALY it is better than a lot of other deserts I eat all the time. AND its fat free what’s not to love…. Even more to the point it is super easy to prepare and stays great tin fridge, it’s made ahead of time so it would e a good thing to make on the weekend and just munch on all week! Having a yummy snack to munch on all week was the plan when I made the cake… my mom, dad and I ate the whole thing in about 15 hours… it was that good… I am going to try a double recipe next time. Stay tuned!

I also want to try to make it sugar free for my dad who is diabetic, aren’t we a fun bunch to cook for. I diabetic a girl who can’t eat fat fiber or dairy….

Go in to your kitchen and make this recipe right now!

Chocolate Pudding Cake

From: Annice Grinberg Posted to fatfree.com

1 c flour
2 T apple sauce
1/2 c water
1/8 t salt
2/3 c sugar
1 t vanilla
2 T cocoa
2 t baking powder

2/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c cocoa

1 3/4 c hot water

Mix the first eight ingredients together. Pour into a sprayed 8″ square baking pan. Mix the brown sugar and 1/4 c cocoa. Sprinkle over the batter. Pour the hot water over the entire top surface.

(it will look like you did something horribly wrong at this point, fear not!)

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. The topping sinks through the cake to form a pudding layer at the bottom. This cake tastes so rich it’s hard to believe there’s no fat or eggs in it. We prefer it chilled, but it can be served at room temperature, or even warm, if you can’t wait. It will keep for several days (but not in my house!), but DO NOT FREEZE. If you do, the pudding will turn very watery.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Can Crazy

I have discovered a new passion. Canning. Joe and I are always interested in saving money and preserving food. We both share a strong believes that traditional methods and treatments of food are important. I really feel that doing things in traditional ways connects us both to our pasts and to our futures. Making things using traditional methods is usually far more sustainable then buying things from the store. I have a great interested in how my food is produced and want to play as big of a roll in that production as I can… thus my love of cooking right? It has been a fun journey. Recently that journey has led me to canning food. My mother used to can many moons ago. Back when my grandfather had lots of extra fresh vegetables from his back yard. Life, as it always does, got busy and she feel out of practice. (maybe having three young kids at home? Who knows.)

But there the canning equipment sat, for almost 20 years… just waiting (can someone que the beauty and the beast soundtrack?) As many people know I am currently staying with my parents while I recover from this last flare up. While I was exploring the basement I discovered the canning equipment. I have always wanted to “learn” to can and this was my chance… a new hobby was just what I needed! And because I can’t eat canning makes perfect sense. When I can start eating again I will be all ready! That, and it makes great gifts! AND its supper fun!

So I have been canning up a storm. I have used other people’s recipes for the most part but I felt inspired by some leftover vegetables and ingredients that we had on hand. I adapted the following recipes from food.com. I added a lot and took out some so I feel that I can claim this recipe as my own. My person food taster (my dad) gave it high marks so that’s good enough for me. I would suggest eating it on some crackers and cheese… or backing chicken or fish in it. But I think you can bake chicken in everything and anything so maybe I’m off on that one. When I can eat again I will let you know.

I am entering this recipe in this month’s Ott’A iron chef competition: canned tomatoes. I am excited to be a part of a competition. I may or may not be a little competitive. So I am going give it a try!

Winter Fruit Chutney

Original Recipe By Elly in Canada on 2008

Adapted and Changed by Chrissy (me) 2011

  • Prep Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 1 3/4 hrs


    • 3/4 cup quartered dried pitted prunes
    • 3/4 cup quartered dried apricots
    • ½ cup golden raisins, chopped
    • ½ cup dried cranberries, chopped
    • 1 large red onions, chopped
    • ½ cup carrots, peeled and finely chopped
    • ¼ cup celery, cleaned and very finely chopped
    • 1 large tart apple, peeled and finely chopped
    • 1 large sweet apple, peeled and chopped
    • 2 small pears, peeled and chopped
    • 1 cup Red Golden canned tomatoes, chopped drained seeded
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup cider vinegar
    • ¼ cup red wine
    • ½ cup apple juice


  1. Place prunes and apricots in saucepan; add 1/2 cup water, red wine, apple juice, ½ cup cider vinegar and bring to boil.
  2. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in all the remaining ingredients bring to simmer. (including the second ½ cup of cider vinegar)
  4. Cover and simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until thickened to jam like consistency, 50 to 60 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and spoon into hot sterilized canning jars and process in a hot water bath for 10-15 mins. Or store in the fridge and use within 2 weeks (at the most)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pepper Jack Cheese= FAIL

Part of cooking is excepting failure. It is sometimes hard to remember that when you are conducting experiments in the kitchen, sometimes things go wrong… “it’s the law of the land that sometimes the dam just breaks”. This past weekend Joe and I attempted our first pepper jack cheese. Joe is a big fan of spicy things and has been wanting to make some pepper jack for a while. We decided to do a double cheese weekend. We made a large batch of Havarti with our friends Becca and Noah (more on that when its ready) and the pepper jack on Sunday. We decided to try a new recipe, even though we have had good luck with the recipe created by the cheese queen herself… perhaps that’s where we messed up. I want to included the recipe but because I honestly I can't find it online anymore... and don’t know if it was the recipe or us… but the cheese was VERY loose so I expect the pressing time is off and it never did harden and now it has a lot of mold on it… fail. Joe and I are both super worried about food poising. I have Crohn’s diseases and am very susceptible to getting sick and really no one wants to get food poisoning.. right?

Maybe next time...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Backround: Sausage

Go Meat!

As I stated before it all started with that dinner. Joe had always wanted to make sausage and this was his chance. Honestly, it seemed like a lot of work to me. (I get scared easily) But Joe had faith. We searched for an old school table grinder with no luck so we broke down and bought a motorized grinder. After our first sausage experience we realized that the hand cranked grinder would have been a mistake… we don’t have those kinds of mussels! We must have looked pretty ridiculous while making that sausage. I was convinced that the meat was going shoot out of the grinder. Our sausages were un even and had air bubbles… but for a first try they were delicious. We cooked them and added them to our lasagna. Sausage became our new passion. That fall we made a few sausages. We had an awesome “sausage party” that spring and by summer time we were making all kinds of different meats.

My person favorites are.

Cuban Chriso

Italian Wine and Cheese (made with homemade cheese)

Chicken and Apple

I am sure we will post recipes as we make more. If you are a budding sausage maker and want to see our recipes just leave me a comment! (We are happy to share and love to chat)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Backround: Cheese

Our first experience with the dairy delicacy.
As we posted earlier we had a run in with cheese two summers ago. Both Joe and I are avid cheese appreciators but the concept of making cheese seemed FAR beyond our reach. We love to work together in the kitchen and trying new things is always an adventure when we are together. We decided to go for it. Our first cheese was a simple fake ricotta. I say fake because ricotta means re-cook in Italian. Real ricotta as I respect it now is made from whey after making hard aged cheeses.
We were hooked. You can make cheese, CRAZY we used out ricotta with pride in the lasagna and the cannolis. AWESOME results. We then started to research more about what we had actually started. Can we make more cheese? But of course!
That following Christmas Joe got me the Mozzarella and the Hard cheese kit. (from cheesemaking.com). I know that many girls would not think that this was a good Christmas gift form a boyfriend, but I loved it! It was perfect. On New Year ’s Day we made or first cheese. We were so nervous and the whole process took a long time. After all of our careful preparation we forgot to add salt to our little farm house cheddar. Such is life. It turned out to be delicious anyway… there is still some debate about WHEN we opened it last year but the fact remains that our first hard cheese turned out and it was just a matter of time before we tried again.

Our First Post

We hope you enjoy our projects. We are passionate about food. We are starting this blog to catalog our adventures and share them with others. We hope that you learn something and enjoy our journey.

About the bloggers:
Joe: Joe is a mighty sea captain turned IT geek who loves to cook, loves to eat, and loves to learn new ways to do both!

Chrissy: Chrissy is a FACS teacher who is obsessed with all things food. She loves doing things the old way and experimenting with food.

This is not our first flirt with adventure. Our story had a humble beginning. A year ago we set out to make a real Italian feast entirely from scratch. We had both made pasta in the past and felt like taking on a challenge: making the sausage and cheese. We feel in love with the idea of making things from scratch and sharing them with friends. We have since made dozens of different types of sausages and a few cheeses. (most of which are still aging)

We can't wait to share our adventures with you!