with a little help from my friends

So my brother could not entirely remedy the downward-spiral situation that is my computer, due not to a lack of knowledge on his part but to the age of my computer. BUT the important thing is that it works occasionally. Like now! So in thanks to my brother, my theme for this entry is food items that wouldn't be here without someone else's help!

First up, a gift from Vegan Noodle over at Walking the Vegan Line! It was sort of a condolence prize for completely losing her Guess-the-Number-of-Chocolate Lentils contest.
She sent me a little copy of her Society of PEACE's Vegan Sweets cookbook, homemage "VEGAN" magnets, and AMAZING homemade chocolate truffles! I ate them immediately after taking this... delicious! THANK YOU! <3 <3 <3

Also, I went to my parents' in upstate NY a couple weeks ago and we made a large, tasty brunch in my honor:
Tofu Scramble with swiss chard and shallots, Blueberry Pancakes, and Mango-Apple-Pear Fruit Salad. WITH local maple syrup, produced by my parents' friends.

Remember how much I hate making pancakes? WELL, my mother made the batter and my father fried them, so I didn't have to deal with the pancakes! I made the scramble and the salad, and watched Dad's technique. And I am proud to say: I HAVE MASTERED PANCAKES.
I did these! They did not burn! yessss
topped with yogurt and fruit. mmm.... SO thanks, Dad, for the training (and mom, for making the batter).

FINALLY, an actual recipe. A friend brought me a bottle of organic vegan wine a while ago, but I don't really drink, so I've been trying to think of things to do with it. My roommate uses the bottle as a rolling pin for pie crusts, but I wanted to do something with the contents.

Dried Fruit Compote
(serves 2-4, depending on what you use it for)
1 C chopped dried fruit (use different kinds! apricot, prune, raisin, and cherry are especially recommended, but use anything you've got. Fig would be awesome, date's probably too sweet)
1/2 C red wine
3/4 C water
1 Tbsp crystalized ginger, chopped small, or 1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp cornstrach or arrowroot powder

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the cornstarch in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally (15-20 minutes). Taste: if it's not sweet enough (sweetness depends on what fruit you use, what kind of ginger, and the wine), add a bit of your favorite sweetener and allow to simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

In a small bowl or glass, mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon or two of water (this way you can stir out any lumps before you mix it in with the rest). Add to mixture, stir until thickened, 3-5 minutes.

Garnish with chopped nuts. You can eat it straight, but it's even more delicious on top of cake, short bread, ice cream or stirred into yogurt or oatmeal. The result is tasty, healthy, and a BEAUTIFUL garnet color.

Thanks, everyone!


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips


Vegan_Noodle said... Best Blogger Tips

So glad you liked the prize!! I was worried the truffles wouldn't make it in one piece!

So glad you have mastered pancakes now! I think it just takes a little practice and patience. I know when I'm really hungry it seems like I often end up with half raw pancakes, but I usually happily eat them anyways!

What a great idea for an unwanted bottle of wine... those don't exist often at my house, my hubby loves wine.

jd said... Best Blogger Tips

Yum - that Fruit Compote looks really great! I just love coming across recipes that I've never had any experience with before...

By the way, congrats on the receiving a gift from Vegan Noodle - I bet the cookbook was great.

Also, good luck with your computer! Sooner or later it'll probably end up fixing itself - I mean, how can it possibly survive without being able to (virtually) eat your delicious vegan food every few days?!? Haha!

Ruby Red Vegan said... Best Blogger Tips

Yes! We're the losing buddies from Vegan Noodle's contest! I believed I guessed there were 5,086 lentils...way, way off, but I'm all for being wrong if a prize is involved!!!

Your brunch looks like something out of my dreams! You've got your fruit, your protein, and your wonderful carbs. Mmm. The pancakes look really great! And hahahahaha for your roommate wanting to use the wine bottle as a rolling pin.

Rural Vegan said... Best Blogger Tips

Mmmm, the compote is a great idea. I think they key to pancakes is patience, something of which I have very little. So I can truly appreciate perfectly cooked, golden pancakes like you turned out!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said... Best Blogger Tips

Haha, no I will not share Ruby Red for breakfast-- I am selfish LOL. But you CAN have visitation rights for sure! Wouldn't it be super-fun to have vegan breakfast parties?

VeggieGirl said... Best Blogger Tips

I too received that prize from Amanda/vegan_noodle - and I didn't win the contest either, haha :0)

wow, look at all that scrumptious brunch fare!! you've DEFINITELY perfected the pancakes - they look sensational!

Ashasarala said... Best Blogger Tips

I got the same prize, aren't the all so cute? :) I completely inhaled the truffles upon opening them.

I love doing things for people (especially cooking) but isn't it so nice when people return the favour?

Awesome that you've mastered pancakes! I got fed up with burning pancakes and bought a griddle. I think that'll make it less likely to stick and turn to charcoal. Here's to hoping!