When your kitchen springs a leak…

I haven’t posted in a few days…I’ve been a little busy in the kitchen but in a way I’d prefer not to be!  The other night my daughter and I were sitting around the kitchen table that has been in my family for 3 generations now.  As she got up to go to bed, I got up to clean up the kitchen.  And then I saw it, the kitchen faucet was steadily leaking!  Oh no!  I crossed my fingers and hoped that it was just above the sink, please let there be no water under the sink.  But no, the cabinet was as wet as could be as well.  Dang!  So, with that I figured out how to turn the water off (and of course no, the valves were not traditional lefty loosey, righty tighty valves) and went to bed for the night.  The next day was spent with several trips to Home Depot and of course, the hoses were not traditional in length that were required.  It has been a three day project to replace the faucet but I have a much nicer faucet that will now accommodate my large pasta pots!  Hopefully I will be back in my kitchen creating recipes again soon!!

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Online Vegan Resource – The Green Plate

Just recently I discovered a fairly new resource on the web, The Green Plate. It’s a comprehensive support system launched by the animal-rights organization Mercy For Animals and its aimed to make vegan and vegetarianism more accessible and sustainable.   The site offers resources such as a meal-planning tool, grocery shopping lists, nutritional advice, recipes such as Quick Red Lentil Chili, Loaded “Cheesy” Pinto Bean Burrito and Chick’n “Parmesan” With Lemony Broccoli and guides for eating at your favorite restaurants. You can also sign up for a free Vegetarian Starter Guide as well as a newsletter. The layout of the site is simple and clean yet comprehensive. Very nice!

Small Business Saturday

Supporting Small Business Saturday has taken on a new meaning this year as it has become much more personal for me. I haven’t ever been a huge fan of fighting the Black Friday crowds to get a deal here and there, or the newer trend of leaving Thanksgiving dinner early to head out shopping for the deal that can’t be beat. These days have always been time to spend with my family and enjoy the couple of days to unwind and reconnect. These days have been time to be thankful for the time I get to spend with my family and enjoy their company as we don’t frequently have this time as our world seems to keep imposing a “hurry up and get it done now” attitude on us. I mean, did you notice how early Christmas decorations were showing up in stores this year?? We seem to be rushed from season to season, from activity to activity.

So, Small Business Saturday is a way of reconnecting with your local merchants, the family businesses. You’ll be supporting the small business owner that is a single mom with two girls at home and one getting ready to go to college. Or the neighbor down the street who has a dad that she supports because he now lives alone for the first time after 57 years. The small business owner is your neighbor, your Facebook friend, your co-workers spouse, your niece, your assistant coach, the blogger you follow trying to reinvent herself!

Support my small business at http://www.pamperedchef.com/pws/bdorrell

Vegan Brenda’s Vegetable Stock Gravy

One of the staples of the holidays is good gravy to go with mashed potatoes! According to my daughter my mother used to make world famous gravy and apparently this recipe ranks right up there with hers! It’s a fairly simple gravy that’s savory and works well with the mashed potatoes but is versatile enough to use with stroganoff noodles.

Ingredients

1 carton low sodium vegetable stock

1 tsp. poultry seasoning

1 garlic bulb

olive oil

1/2-cup cornstarch

1 cup luke warm water

salt

pepper

Tools/Utensils

Garlic press

Whisk

Measuring spoons

Measuring cup

Saucepan

Prep bowl

Directions

Using the garlic press, press one bulb into a saucepan lightly drizzled with olive oil and sauté until aromatic and just golden brown.

Add the vegetable stock into the saucepan and the poultry seasoning. Bring to a boil. While you are waiting for the stock to boil in a prep bowl combine the cornstarch and luke warm water until it is dissolved. Add the mixture to the saucepan and turn the heat down to medium/low. Stir constantly as the mixture thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Taste prior to adding salt as the vegetable stock will have salt even with using a low sodium stock.

Note: If the gravy is too thick, add additional water. If the gravy is too thin, make additional cornstarch mixture to thicken. It is always safer to start on the side of making the gravy too thin, as it is easier to add cornstarch than to take it away. Trying to thin the gravy requires adding more liquid, which will dilute the flavor of the gravy.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Brenda’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was inspired with this recipe by a friend to come up with a vegan Peanut Butter Cookie.  The only thing to change was the egg.  I chose to use chia seeds for this one as I often use them for french toast.  Instead of a traditional peanut butter cookie, this produced a crisp, thin cookie that got rave reviews!  I then added chocolate chips to it to send it over the top!  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 cup creamy natural peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 ¼ tsp. coarse salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ Tbsp. maple syrup

1 full Tbsp. chia seeds

½ tsp. nutmeg

Tools/Utensils

Whisk

Mixing bowl

Cookie sheet

Parchment paper

Cookie scoop

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.

 

Combine the vanilla, maple syrup, chia seeds and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes to let the mixture “activate”. The chia seed mixture should thicken and take on a egg like consistency.

 

While waiting for the chia seed mixture to thicken prepare the cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Measure the peanut butter, sugar, salt and baking soda into a mixing bowl. Add the chia seed mixture and combine with an electric mixer using a paddle attachment if you have one. Once ingredients are combined add chocolate chips to the dough and mix in.

 

Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. There is no need to press the dough as these cookies will spread and thin. Space these out on the sheet as they will spread and run into each other. Bake about 12 minutes until golden brown. These turn out thin and crisp once done. Remove from the oven and let sit until cooled, about 5 minutes. Transfer from baking sheet. If you try to transfer from the baking sheet too soon they will break apart.