Jam Session

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Here’s an easy recipe for blueberry preserves I found this morning in a sudden rush of inspiration http://www.marthastewart.com/355053/blueberry-jam

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Wash the berries

Warm the sugar in the oven

Bring blueberries and sugar to boil with water

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Cook for about 45 minutes, until thick

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Banana-Chocolate Bread Pudding

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The comfort food trend continues…hey, it’s that time of the year! Never one to eschew tradition…but nowadays my choices are a bit more enlightened.

This is a fantastic recipe that is quite easy to make and takes me back to many a childhood holiday feast. Enjoy!

BANANA-CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING

recipe courtesy Isa Chandra Moskowitz

6 CUPS CUBED STALE BREAD
1 CUP CHOCOLATE CHIPS
3 BANANAS, RIPE, SLICED 1/2 INCH THICK
2 ¼ CUPS NON-DAIRY MILK, UNSWEETENED
3 TBSP. ARROWROOT POWDER
⅔ CUP MAPLE SYRUP, OR AGAVE NECTAR
1 TSP. VANILLA EXTRACT
½ TSP. CINNAMON, GROUND
¼ TSP. NUTMEG

1.PREHEAT OVEN TO 325 CONVECTION/350 CONVENTIONAL AND GREASE 9 X 5 INCH LOAF PAN WITH SOFTENED MARGARINE.:

2.IN A SMALL BOWL, WHISK TOGETHER 1 CUP MILK AND ARROWROOT POWDER UNTIL NO LUMPS REMAIN.:

3.ADD REMAINING MILK, SWEETENER, VANILLA, CINNAMON AND NUTMEG AND WHISK TO COMBINE. :

4.POUR OVER CUBED BREAD AND STIR TO COAT EVERY PIECE. ALLOW TO SIT FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES FOR LIQUID TO SOAK INTO BREAD. ADD MORE MILK IF NEEDED, SO THAT BREAD IS COMPLETELY SOAKED WITH A BIT OF LIQUID LEFT OVER.:

5.MIXTURE SHOULD LOOK MUSHY AND WET. FOLD IN CHOCOLATE AND BANANAS, MASHING THE BANANAS SLIGHTLY THROUGHOUT.:

6.POUR MIXTURE INTO LOAF PANS, PATTING DOWN TO MAKE AN EVEN TOP. BAKE 28-35 MINUTES, UNTIL TOP IS PUFFED, SLIGHTLY BROWN AND FEELS FIRM. ALLOW TO COOL SLIGHTLY BEFORE SLICING AND SERVING OR SCOOPING WITH ICE CREAM SCOOP.:

(Servings: 8)

Vanilla Cake

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Here is a basic vanilla cake recipe that is as suitable for a dressed-down potluck as for a formal wedding.

Vanilla Cake

recipe courtesy Chloe Coscarelli

3 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
2 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 ¾ cups Soy milk
1 cup Canola oil
¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. Vanilla

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9-inch cake pans lightly and line bottoms with parchment.:

2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

3.  Whisk together wet ingredients and add to dry, mixing with a spoon just until well-blended.

Bake 20-25 minutes, until pick inserted in center comes out clean with just a few crumbs adhering. Invert and cool completely on wire rack.

Buttercream Frosting

Recipe courtesy Isa Chandra Moscowitz

½ cup Vegetable Shortening
½ cup Earth Balance Non-Dairy Margarine
3 ½ cups Confectioners Sugar
1 ½ tsp. Vanilla
¼ cup Soy milk

Method:

1. Beat fats together in stand mixer. Add sugar and beat 3 minutes.
2. Add soy milk and vanilla and beat 5-7 minutes until fluffy.

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Key Lime Pie with Mango-Ginger Coulis

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I challenge you to tell the difference between the flavor and texture of conventional key lime pie and this dairy-free, decadent delight! This recipe yields a sweet, tart, creamy filling–exactly what I was looking for to top off my Sunday barbecue. Best of all, the preparation is simple, just blend and bake!

Dressed up with a swirl of sweet mango-ginger coulis, this dessert makes an elegant presentation for a dinner party as well.

Vegan Key Lime Pie

adapted from a recipe by Jolinda Hackett

2- 8 ounce containers Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese (non-dairy cream cheese)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup key lime juice
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 pre-made graham cracker crust, pre-baked and cooled completely

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until very smooth.

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Pour into cooled pie shell and bake 40-45 minutes until set. Cool on a rack, then chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

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Mango Ginger Coulis

1 cup mango puree

1/4 tsp. finely minced ginger

2 tbsp. vanilla soy creamer

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.

 

Hot Fudge in a Hurry

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So we are watching TV the other night and during the commerical break I stand up and announce that I’ll be right back. As I head toward the kitchen, Steve asks, “What are you doing?” “Oh, I’m just gonna make some chocolate sauce.”

Yes, you can just about make this sauce during the commercial break. It’s that quick and easy, provided you use the right ingredients. And that’s what you get, Steve, for marrying a chef. Homemade dark chocolate sauce at 9 p.m. Poor thing.

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Hot Fudge in a Hurry

2/3 cup Sucanat (dried cane juice)

2/3 cup water

2 heaping tablespoons high quality cocoa (the best you can afford)

2 tablespoons almond butter

1-2 tablespoons vegan chocolate chips

Pinch of sea salt

Splash of vanilla extract or other flavoring (optional)

Combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan and stir to dissolve over medium high heat.  Bring to boil and allow to bubble for about 5 minutes. Careful not to let it boil over, whisking occassionally. Reduce heat if necessary, but keep it boiling. This will help reduce the liquid to a nice smooth syrup.

Cook

Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa until well blended. Add almond butter and blend well, returning to low heat if needed to melt thoroughly. Off the heat, add the chocolate chips and stir to melt. Add a pinch of salt.

Apply liberally wherever you need warm, dark chocolate sauce.

Makes about 1/2 cup of fudgy goodness.