Category Archives: vegan

Horchata – Mexican Rice and Almond Drink

Mexico has a great tradition of sweet refreshing drinks. My favorites are horchata, tamarindo, and jamaica “ha-mike-ah”. This was my first time making horchata and it turned out well. I’ll probably do it again, but I might cut back on the almonds because they’re hard to get and this recipe takes a lot of them. I also really didn’t enjoy blanching and peeling almonds by hand. Definitely buy blanched almonds if you have the option.

There’s a wide variety of horchata recipes, but you can find the one I used at the Homesick Texan blog. I liked this recipe because it doesn’t use powdered cinnamon or milk. Powdered cinnamon tends to float on top of liquids and adding milk to horchata just doesn’t seem authentic.

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Apple Butter

I made an apple pie for Thanksgiving and had some leftover apples, so I made apple butter. It’s so yummy on toast or pancakes. I based my recipe on this one from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. The main differences are the size of the batch, the way the puree is made, and also I didn’t can my apple butter. You definitely could though. Since I made such a small batch, it wasn’t worth it to me. If you do want to can your apple butter, just follow the instructions on the webpage I linked to above. I didn’t have apple cider or apple cider vinegar, but I imagine using them could only make your apple butter more full of apple flavor!

Apple butter should be thick like this when it's finished cooking.

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Spiced Sweet Potato Oven Fries

I enjoy sweet potatoes in almost any form and here’s another great way to cook them! I love the flavor and texture of these fries. You can get the recipe at the Simple Recipes blog. It’s a flexible recipe where you can choose which spices and what kind of oil you want to use.

I seasoned my oven fries with:

  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 2 T paprika
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T sugar

Yummy! I think I’ll try spicing them with garam masala next time.

Rye Bread

I know that those of you living in Laos probably don’t have rye flour or caraway seeds, but I just have to share this recipe because I love rye bread. If you want to buy rye flour, you can get it in Udon at the Schmidt bakery supply store. I can’t remember where I got my caraway seed. Continue reading

Canning Applesauce

Is it still apple season in America? It is here. Well, apple season isn’t as exciting here as it is in Michigan. Usually we only have one variety of apples and they’re expensive compared to the other fruit, but in apple season we have two kinds! All of you who can get honeycrisp apples should – you’re so lucky!

But you don’t really need special apples for apple sauce, just lots of them. I found the recipe at the National Center for Home Food Preservation. I pretty much just followed the recipe, added some cinnamon, and pureed it at the end with a wand blender. It ended up tasting just like the Mott’s Cinnamon Applesauce that my mom always had when I was little 🙂

Hummus and Pita Bread

Hummus is something I’ve been making since college. It’s so much cheaper (and not much more difficult) to make it yourself instead of buying it. The following hummus recipe is based on one from a roommate’s mom, who is Greek I believe.
I didn’t try making my own pitas until I moved to Laos, where there aren’t any. I found that making pitas takes about as much skill as making any other bread, but the baking part takes longer because they take up a lot of room spread out in the oven. I was amazed that pita bread makes its own pocket if it’s rolled out right and baked at the right temperature. About 1/3 of mine usually end up without a pocket, but that’s okay because they’re mostly for dipping in hummus anyway. Here’s the pita recipe that I use.

Chana Masala – Indian Garbanzo Beans

Now this dish isn’t the most local because the beans come from India, but I really like it anyway. We can’t get garbanzos in town, but if you want them, you can find them at the Indian grocery store in Vientiane. You can also get the spices for this recipe there. I got this Chana Masala recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

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