Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Daring Bakers April Challenge - Cheesecake

It's Daring Baker time!  The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

I try and stay away from all things dairy and decided to make my cheesecake using this tofu cheesecake recipe.  As my "creative twist", I replaced the lemon juice in the recipe with espresso and added about a quarter cup of cocoa powder.  I used crushed chocolate wafers for the crust.  It didn't turn out tooooo badly, but no matter how much I wish and pray for tofu to magically turn into things it is not (i.e. cream cheese), it just doesn't.  Next time I make cheesecake I think I will splurge on the dairy!

Mocha Cheese(tofu)cake

Thank you to JennyBakes for hosting the April challenge!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My "Spa at Home" Weekend

I took five days off for the Easter weekend.  I didn't have anything special planned, but felt like I needed a "breather" from work.  As a single girl with only a cat for distraction, I find that work plays too heavy of a role in my life.   So, as I do not have the funds for a vacation or trip to the spa, I decided to treat myself right this weekend with lots of sleeping, yoga, walks on the beach and healthy eating. My weekend wasn't quiet as relaxing as I'd hoped (it never is), but I did do lots of sleeping and followed my "cleansing" eating plan.  I am already a vegetarian, but I also omitted flour, sugar, dairy and eggs from my diet over the long weekend and plan to do so for a few more days.  Here is a sampling of what I made (and ate!).

I started off each morning with a bowl of oatmeal and berries, but replaced my usual brown sugar with agave nectar.  Mmmm.

My first new recipe was Vegveeta Cheese Dip.  Despite the name and colour, this dip has a very small resemblance to cheese although it is a nice warm and creamy dip.  

For a treat, I made Peanut Butter Granola Bars.  I replaced the butter this recipe called for with coconut oil and replaced the marshmallows with extra peanut butter and some honey.  They are very dense and much more crumbly than regular granola bars, but still delicious!

Another meal I made was Warm Potato Spinach Salad with Pine Nut Dressing.  I omitted the olives and peppers this recipe called for and added strawberries instead.  This recipe is wonderful and I will be adding it to my repertoire.  

I also made one of my favourites, Creamy Broccoli Soup.  I originally got this recipe from O Magazine, but now just make it from memory (I think!).  All it contains is an onion, a potato, broccoli and vegetable stock.  I sprinkled toasted sesame seeds on top.  

I am most proud of my final recipe for the weekend.  This is my own "recipe" so I will call them "Granola Girl Muffins".  Now, I rarely use a recipe when baking muffins so I will probably never be able to replicate these, but considering that I thought I would end up with sugar-dairy-wheat-egg free rocks, I think they are fantastic.  I used a combination of oat bran and spelt flour for the "flour", honey for "sugar", arrowroot powder and a banana for the "egg" and soy milk as the liquid.  They also contain peanut butter and a cup of crumbles left over from my granola bars (above).  They turned out moist and delicious!

My long weekend of "relaxation" has now come to an end.  I wish I could have another 5 days off, but rather than dwell on that, I am off to take a bubble bath!