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 I'll probably make a few posts tonight if I have time, full of food, train revelations and An Cafe wonderfulness. But first, the cooking based one. I've decided I want to start blogging on some of the yummy things I make, mostly as a record for myself so I'll know how I made certain very tasty dishes so yummy, but feel free to steal anything, and if you discover a way to make it even more delicious, do tell me!

 First I'll start off with what I cooked today. My organic veggie box was delivered today, which had some leeks in. I seem to have an endless supply of these at the moment because they are in season, so I decided to try and make something that would use up at least half of my stash. I couldn't think of anything off hand I'd have all the ingredients for, so I went and attacked Google. I stumbled across this www.youtube.com/watch, which looked positively yummy. I did a bit of substitution seeing as I didn't have any fresh vegan parmesan (in fact, I'm not sure I've ever bought fresh vegan cheese...). I had the dried version, so I made a half batch of Cheezly sauce from Veganomicon, and used Parmazano insted of nurtritional yeast. Here's the recipe from Veganomicon:

Cheezy Sauce
From Veganomicon

2 cups vegetable broth or water (I used water)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of dried thyme (crumbled in your fingers)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Several pinches of freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

Combine the broth or water and flour in a measuring cup and whisk with a fork until dissolved (a couple of lumps are okay)
Preheat a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Place the oil and garlic in the pan and gently cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often and being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook for about 15 seconds. Add the broth, turmeric, and nutritional yeast, and raise the heat to medium. Use a whisk to stir constantly. The mixture should start bubbling and thickening in about 3 minutes; if it doesn't, turn the heat a bit higher.
Once the mixture is bubbling and thickening, stir and cook for about 2 more minutes. Add the lemon juice and mustard. The mixture should resemble a thick, melty cheese. Taste for salt, turn off the heat, and cover the pan to keep it warm until ready to use. The top might thicken a bit while it sits, but you can just stir it and it will be fine. Serve warm

 I just added Parmazano to taste. I love this recipe as it has none of the disgusting greasiness of regular cheese sauce, and if you take out the nooch (nutritional yeast to most of the world), you can adapt it tons.

 The only other additions I made to the recipe was I added green olives and fried some mushrooms along with the leeks, as they are two things I think no pasta dish can go without. I thought it would be nice with some vegan rashers (despite my irrational hate for nearly everything bacon flavoured), but the saltiness of the olives seem to fill that gap.

 Spider xxx

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 OK, seeing as they were rather popular, I thought I should post the recipe for my double Carob cookies for you guys. The original recipe was for chocolate chip cookies from the Greenhouse Cook Book vol 5 (Buy it, buy it! It's from the Greenhouse centre on Bethell street, where you can sample these wonderful cookies!). Seeing as I've altered the hell out of it, and given them some advertising, I'm sure they won't mind me posting my version.

 Makes approx 24 - Time 30 Minutes

225g margarine (I use Pure Dairy Free Soya or Vitalite most of the time, Vitalite is probably the nicest, especially on toast and now Vegan, finally...)
250g unrefined demerera sugar (Fairtrade, or I will send out the Spiders to get you!)
1 tablespoon Molasses (I use Meridian organic Blackstrap Molasses from the Greenhouse, what they use in the original cookies)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (Good vanilla extract at that, I use the Fairtrade organic stuff from the Greenhouse, which is £7.49 a bottle, but lasts forever, and unlike the crappy Supercook stuff actually tastes of vanilla, as I often ended up using double quantity of Supercook stuff to taste anything)
480g plain flour (I use half wholemeal, half white)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
20g Carob flour (You can buy it in Rainbow wholefood in a massive bag, which seems a whole lot less massive when you are addicted like me)
125g dairy free carob chips (Rainbow Wholefoods again)
75g of Raisins or chopped dates (I've had to soak my dates recently, I bought an Iranian bag by accident, please don't kill me Min!, and they are disgusting unless soaked, if you're dates are nice and fudge like, don't worry) You can alter the Fruit/Carob ratios to your liking.

1.  Preheat the oven to 108 degress C or Gas mark 4 (Though an oven thermometer is your friend with baking, your oven is lying to you! Do not believe it!).
2. Cream together marg and sugar until fluffy as a cloud! (Granted probably a very yellowy cloud).
3. Add molasses and vanilla, stir.
4. Add flour (sift first preferably, adding any wheat bran left in the sieve if using wholemeal), bicarb and salt, mix very well.
5. Fold in chocolate chips and fruit.
6. Press dough together with hands. Remove a tablespoon at a time and roll into a ball. Place onto greased trays (and a lot of them... I hope you have a big over!) and push down to make disc shapes, leaving 5cm between cookies.
7. Bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
8. Let cool on trays for 5 minutes (allows them to harden) and then place on cooling racks to dry.


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June 2009

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