Monday, September 30, 2013

An E-book for the Vegan Gluten-Free Masses...

Fork and Beans Halloween E-book Cover
(Photo by Cara Reed)

     My regular readers know I have a friend named Cara Reed who runs a gluten-free vegan blog called Fork and Beans.  She graciously converts my recipes every Christmas during my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies for friends and family of my readership with special food requirements.  She is so incredibly creative and fun and Halloween brings it all together in a bubbling cauldron of witchy deliciousness with her vegan candies and super creative meal ideas for kids. (I actually bought a waffle iron to make my kids skull waffles and they still ask for them all the time!)  To celebrate this year, Cara is releasing her very first e-book and she is allowing me to share a recipe with you here!  Without further ado, I give you...

(Photo by Cara Reed)

Coats: 6 apples 
2/3 c. vegan butter 
2/3 c. light corn syrup 
1 1/3 c. sugar 
1/3 c. water  
2/3 c. peanut butter 

Additional Ingredients: 
6 apples 
Wooden sticks 
Chopped nuts for dipping 
Plastic fangs (I bought mine at the Dollar Tree—they came with candy blood) 

     Remove stems from each apple and place the candy apple sticks inside. Measure the size of the plastic fangs and cut out a section in the apple to fit inside. 
In a medium saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water, butter, and corn syrup on medium heat. Bring to a boil.  
     At this point do not stir. Place a candy thermometer inside the saucepan and bring up heat in between soft and hard ball stage. 

     Reduce heat to lowest setting and add the peanut butter in. Mix thoroughly.  

     Dip each apple in the caramel and then the nuts. Before the caramel sets, place the plastic fangs inside the apples. Allow to cool 20 minutes. 

 There now!  Doesn't that look easy and delicious?!  Here's a list of recipes in her book:
(Excerpt from A Fork and Beans Halloween Special ebook)

There's some seriously cute stuff here for your little gluten-free ghouls and a couple for you ghastly grown-ups, too!  I bought the book yesterday and I'm monstrously geeked.  My boys are begging me for the Trick-or-Treat Cookies and I'm excited to make the Spaghetti and Eyeballs.  Her book is only $7!  You can Buy it Here and while you're at it, check out her blog!  Thanks, guys!  And here's wishing beastly amounts of success to you, Cara Reed!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Special Announcement

     A few months ago, I posted my love for a purveyor of sauces at the farmer's market called Uncle Eyal's.  Della, who owns it with her husband, Kyle posted a call for photographs on their facebook page and I submitted a few.  There was a little back and forth and long story short, she asked me to take a few photos for her new website!  Um.  Can you say "Geeked" boys and girls?!  We had a photo shoot last week and Della put them up on her site and now it's live!  Everybody go take a peek!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Summer Party

     Every Summer I like to have a party.  (You can see previous Summer parties here: Summer 2012 and Fourth of July 2011)This Summer was so beautiful, we ended up having three!  But this is the only one I actually planned... =)  We are in the middle of redecorating our house (which is a lot more complicated than I had anticipated, let me just say) so instead of providing the whole spread as I have in years past, I hosted and decorated, and made a couple of things, but relied on my talented friends to bring the majority of the food.  It worked beautifully!  Because this party was much later than parties I've thrown in the past, and because the Summer was so dry and gorgeous, and because my garden was actually not gnawed to bits by slugs and deer, my garden looks the best it ever has.  I realized that my friends all had beautiful gardens, too!  So I asked them to bring a dish that featured something they grew.  It was wonderful to see the variety of foods!

The sign says "Welcome" but the breeze kept blowing!

I found these vintage milk glass cups at Joss and Main.  Just the right size for a little baby's breath and fern frond.

The snack tray featured my two "fancier" recipes:
I made gluten-free, vegan crackers  by Elana of Elana's Pantry for my friends who are of that variety of eaters.  The only thing I did different from Elana's recipe is that I used fresh Rosemary instead of a dried herbs de provence as she recommends.  They blended exceptionally well with a blackberry and strawberry jam I made following the procedure I outlined in my earlier jam post a few weeks ago.  I just subbed out equal parts blackberries and strawberries for the fruits in the recipe and omitted the thyme.  I served it with some Beecher's cheese (a local favorite).

Lemonade made with Sucanat may have a different color than you're used to, but it still tastes fabulous!

     These are the greens and herbs I picked for my salad and chicken legs.  Lettuce, chard, kale, basil, mint, purslane, nasturtiums, and a couple of beet greens for the salad.  Rosemary, sage, and thyme for the chicken legs.  All I did for the legs was dry them off, rub with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and sprinkle with herbs and baked them at 350 until they were nearly done.  I bumped it up to 400 for the last 5 minutes of cooking to brown them a little more.

I found the neat straws and lids (both made in the USA) on sale on Zulily at the beginning of the Summer and got the compostable napkins, plates, and cutlery on Amazon.

Burlap, twine, and sign cards came from Michaels.

Herbed chicken legs, salads, bread with spun honey (one of my friends keeps bees!), macaroons, roasted herbed potatoes, Russian honey cake.  Just after I took this picture, another friend came with some delicious carrot soup!  I need a bigger food table...

     If you want to throw a good Summer party, it's great to have nice decorations and yummy food, but the very best thing is good, interesting friends who are willing to share a lazy afternoon with you!  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a beautiful rest of the Summer!

And go ahead and eat your cake with a knife.  It's Summer!  It's a party!  Anything goes!

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