Week 4, Vegan with a Vengeance.
I have to admit, my non-vegan (at the time) mother turned me onto this book. When my sister and I went vegan, our mom did what she does best and got really into it. She bought a bunch of vegan cookbooks and during one of my visits home, she made the Raspberry-Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars. They never stood a chance, and I ordered the book right away.
For Week 4, I chose five recipes and made four of them on the same day.
Mocha Chip Muffins
I really like these, but they're more of a chocolate-chocolate chip muffin. The coffee flavor isn't terribly strong, but I think the chocolate flavors are enhanced by the coffee. I do like them a lot though, and they're a wonderful afternoon treat. In the future I'll reduce the number of muffins I make to get bigger muffins.
Curried Split Pea Soup
This soup is great. It's super easy to make, with most of the cooking time being down time. The flavor is lovely, and mellow. It's wonderful comfort food for a cold day and pairs well with toast.
Spicy Indian Rice with Toasted Almonds
This rice is worth the bit of extra effort (and it is such a very little bit it's hardly worth saying). It's flavorful without stealing the show, which makes it perfect as an accompaniment. Next time, I'll make it to go with Aloo Gobi. I will also double the amount of almonds in the future because I really like almonds.
Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto
This is so good that I ate way too much of it the first night, became too full, and didn't want anymore. I tried it with the truffle oil, and hated that. It literally tastes like dirt, which I guess is what Moskowitz meant when she called it "earthy." I can see how some people might like it, and I'll try it again one day, but my dishes will be truffle oil-less and my palate unrefined for now.'
Out of the four dishes I made on that one day, this was the most time-consuming, but it comes together easily. The biggest deal is all the stirring, but since I was multitasking and stuck in the kitchen anyway, it didn't seem like a big deal. It won't be on the emergency dinner list, but it's great if you want something filling and fancy without a huge investment of time an effort. I also think it would be nice during a fall or winter holiday meal.
Orange-Rum Tea Cake
This cake is fabulous. It's so orangey and sweet. My sensitive teeth don't like the cornmeal, but it's actually great. It adds a lot to the very fluffy cake. The almonds on top also add a lot to the texture. Perfect with tea or coffee, I'll be sure to make this when entertaining guests.