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November 2012

Fig Fuel…flashback

By | Fuel | One Comment

Remember this post on figs…and what on earth can be done with them??

Well, I’ve received another generous gift bag of figs straight off my friend Amanda’s tree–Yippee!
This time, I wanted to try something different…so I peeled them, plopped them in a blender to puree them…and ended up with about 1.5 cups of figgy gunk!!  Maybe not so delicious if we had left it at that…BUT THEN…
The fig puree was transformed before my very eyes into:

dairy free Irish Brown Bread (acting as a butter substitute)


Granola (as a softening and sweetening agent)

Here’s how you can make these in case you ever wind up with figs and don’t know what to do:

Irish Brown Bread (sans dairy)

I forgot to cut an X in mine…so it turned out a bit crackled
You really can’t taste the fig at all…which may or may not be a good thing.

  • preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment
  • make “buttermilk” by stirring together 1/3 c. apple cider or other vinegar and 1+1/3 c. nondairy milk (I used almond milk) and let sit 10 minutes…stir again just before adding to recipe.
  • in a large bowl, whisk 3.5 cups whole wheat flour, 2 t. salt, 1 t. each baking powder and baking soda.
  • stir in 1/4 c. fig puree, plus 1 T oil (I used walnut oil), and 1/2 c whole oats.
  • mixture should be crumbly and coarse.
  • pour in “buttermilk” and stir.  dough should be sticky but holds together.  add more flour/oats if needed.  “knead” gently in bowl 4-5 times, shaping into round loaf.
  • place shaped loaf on baking pan and cut an X into the top (3/4 ” deep) w/ a knife.
  • bake to golden brown about 1 hour, rotating halfway through.  cool and eat.
  • *To make a dairy version: use 4 T. butter in place of fig/oil mix and cut into dough, and use regular dairy milk.


(throwback to this recipe…scroll to the middle-ish, & swap the applesauce for fig goop!)

Another fig success!

WIA on Thanksgiving…and then some

By | Fuel | One Comment

I love traditions.  

…Especially shared traditions with friends and family.  

…And especially food-filled ones!

Some of my favorite things about 4th Thursday of November:

  • Family and Friends
    • Random assortments of people hanging out
    • Pre-Meal holding hands and prayer in a massive circle
    • Skyping cousins/family who can’t make it
  • Food
    • Sweet Potatoes
    • Tangerine Juice/Apple Cider
    • Turkey and Ham
    • Mashed Potatoes
    • Stuffing
    • Wine
    • Leftovers
    • Chorizo and Egg breakfast burritos on “black” Friday
  • The Turkey Trot (5k)
    • Riding my bike to the race
    • Praising and Thanking God for all He’s done in the year while I ride
    • Running (although, I skipped that this year)
    • Seeing friends and family run
  • Southern California Weather

Here’s what my plate looked like this year:
mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, turkey, ham, cranberries, beans, yams, green beans, and salad…and wine

In my stomach!

Do you suffer from post-Thanksgiving-overwhelming-amounts-of-leftovers-traumatic-stress-syndrome???

Me too!  Who shall we blame for this so that we can sue them and take them down??  

But, seriously.  Let’s make the most of our surplus and get back in that kitchen lest those leftovers go to waste.  Heaven Forbid.  I made these pancakes w/ some of our leftover mashed potatoes and the canned pumpkin in our pantry (did we actually intend to use that, or did we just buy it because it seemed logical to buy canned pumpkin before Thanksgiving?)…

Pumpkin-Potato Pancakes (PPP)
(serves 8-10)

Heaping 2 cups canned pumpkin (or canned pumpkin pie filling)
Heaping 2 cups mashed potato (Leftovers!)
1/4 cup (2 oz) butter, plus 1/4 c. for frying (or use oil)
6 spring onions
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. salt 
1/2 t. pepper 

-In food processor, blend potato, pumpkin, and 1/4 c. butter.  Once smooth, add onions and pulse to dice.
-Transfer mix to a large bowl.  Add beaten eggs, and stir.
-Sift in flour, baking powder, and spices.  Stir well to combine.   

-Heat butter/oil in large frying pan.  Cook 2-3 T. full of batter for 2-3 minutes.  Once set/bubbling on the tops, flip pancakes and cook 2-3 more minutes, until golden.  Drain on paper towels.  Repeat.  Keep warm in oven.  Serve plain, or with yogurt, sour cream, or butter.

(*suggestions: add fresh herbs to the mix, like rosemary, basil, or cilantro.)



By | Fuel | No Comments
My mom cooked up 20 lbs of potatoes this Thanksgiving
Though we have made the leftovers into potato pancakes, shepherds’ pie, breakfast burrito filling, etc, we have not seen the last of our starchy side dish!  Leave it to Ed to polish off the spuds for breakfast.

Fearless Potato and Gravy Eater…it’s cuz he’s Irish

Free Muffins

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This morning, a Tupperware of leftover pureed pumpkin was staring at me and screaming “please don’t let me go to waste!!”.  After considering some options, I chose to save this poor puree’s life and transform it into muffins.  Because regular muffins are just not challenging enough to make, I decided that  a twist must be added, and accepted a self-appointed mission to create dairy-free, egg-free, wheat-free, but definitely not delicious-free muffins!  Round 1 was a success…I altered the bran muffin recipe on my flax meal bag to eliminate white flour, milk, and egg ingredients, and added in some pumpkin.  Not bad.  But then…
…what could be done to make even better muffins
I swapped out brown sugar for honey and rice syrup (and cut the total sugar in half)…took out the pumpkin (mostly because I had used it all up in the last batch), added grated apple, fresh nutmeg, less liquid, and voila!  Moist, slightly sweet, nutritious, liberated muffins…

Free Muffins
(dairy-less, wheat-less, egg-less)

These call for:

3/4 c. ground flax meal (plus 2 T. for egg substitute)
2 eggs (or substitute w/ 2 T. flax + 6 T. water…let sit in small bowl for 2 minutes)
1 c. oat bran
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 of a grated nutmeg (or 1-2 t. ground)
2 t. cinnamon
3 T each honey and brown rice syrup (or 6 T of either)…molasses, agave, or syrup will do!
…if you do not have a liquid sweetener, use sugar/brown sugar and add 1/4 cup more liquid*
1.5 c. grated carrot (about 1 medium)
2 grated apples (medium-sized)
1/2 c. raisins (optional)
1 c. crushed nuts (or go nut-free for even freer muffins!)…I used walnuts
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. liquid* (I used almond milk)…juice, milk, or water will do!

Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a muffin tin (makes about 12-15 muffins).

In a small bowl, prepare “egg” w/ 2 T. flax and 6 T. water, and let sit 2 minutes…or beat two eggs.

Add liquid* and vanilla to the egg and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together 3/4 c. flax, oat bran, baking soda and powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, sweeteners, grated carrot and apple, (raisins), and (nuts).

Add small bowl to large bowl with rubber spatula and mix to just combine and moisten evenly.  Spoon batter into muffin tins, and bake for 20 minutes, until knife inserted into muffin comes out clean.  

Serve with nut butter, tea, coffee, juice, jam, or by themselves.

Serving Suggestion