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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Spicie Foodie 2010 Roundup (Special Edition)!

Nancy's Round Up

*Tonight is your last chance to send Nancy over at Spicie Foodie what you feel is your best recipe or creation for 2010. Click here to get over to Spicie Foodie and be part of the fun. Instructions and everything you need are all in the post. It's too easy, so don't miss out, Dearies!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars


Oh Dearies! I hope you all had a nice, relaxing holiday weekend.

One highlight of our holiday was an enchanting batch of organic pumpkin cheese bars. They were so delicious that the whole pan was gone in less than 24 hours. Plus, they are almost too easy to make. Your food processor will do most of the work for you;-)

Here is the recipe:

-Pumpkin Cheese Bars-

1 Cup Organic A.P. Flour
1 Cup Raw Pecans
2 Packets Instant Oatmeal*
1/3 Cup Turbinado Sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 Cup Organic, Unsalted Butter (1 Stick)
*I used two individual sized packets of Publix brand organic instant oatmeal.

Pumpkin Cheese Filling:
1 15 oz Can Organic Pumpkin Puree
2/3 of an 8 oz Pack of Neufchatel cheese**
2 Organic Eggs
3/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp. Turbinado Sugar
2 Tbsp. Agave Syrup
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp. Nutmeg
3/4 Tsp. Real Vanilla Extract
**If you are unfamiliar with Neufchatel, it is a lot like cream cheese but with about 30% less fat. It is located right next to the cream cheese in your grocer's cooler!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees & grease an 8 by 8 by 2 1/2 inch square Pyrex baking dish.

For the crust, place the flour, sugar & butter in the food processor and pulse for about 7-10 seconds. Then add the pecans and 1 pack of oatmeal. Pulse till the mixture starts to come together and look moist. Add the other pack of oatmeal-just pulse it in for about 4-5 seconds. Push 2/3 of the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish (put the other 1/3 on a plate in the fridge) and place in the oven. Allow to bake for about 11 minutes. Remove and cool for at least 5 minutes before adding the filling. By the way, do not wash the processor. Just move to the next step below...

For the filling, place all of the filling ingredients in the food processor and spin till smooth. Pour into the crust once it has cooled for at least 5 minutes. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Then pull the dish out and sprinkle with the other 1/3 of the crust. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the top looks shiny and the middle looks about the same as the sides in terms of texture and lift.

Allow to cool for at least 2-3 hours.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Night, My Dearies...

Magic House on Christmas Night...

May your Christmas night be full of magic and all things bright...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Best Ever Vegan Chocolate Cake!

vegan chocolate cake 10

Oh Dearies!

I am exhausted after being with my mother this last week and taking care of her & my Cauldron Boy who seems to be increasingly more demanding lately (smile). He is also very sweet lately though, and was extremely so when he saw that in all my exhaustion I still made him this chocolate cake. Indeed, he was delighted to see it waiting for him through the window of our hollow...

That being said, I have a question for all of you lovelies (especially you omnivores and avid carnivores out there):

Are you delighted at the idea of a Vegan Chocolate Cake?

I'd love to know your true thoughts on this and whether you have had vegan baked goods before. What you think of them or imagine them as & all of that jazz!

Thoughts and ideas aside though, I want all of you to know that this cake is the best chocolate cake I have ever made-hands down! And that is coming from someone who uses organic eggs, cream, and butter somewhat regularly. I have no prejudice against organic dairy products. They are lovely. However, this cake is a vegan masterpiece that I hope all of you will try whether you are a vegan or an avid carnivore, as it is just easy, utterly moist, and delicious.

The cake itself also reminds me of something wonderful from my childhood, but I can't quite figure that one out. Maybe an improved and organic hostess cupcake? Though it might be something more special and delicious than that. Like I said, I can't quite figure out what this nostalgic treat is doing to my taste buds in reference to my memory and years past.

I hope you try it though this holiday season or some time soon while the mystical world of memory taunts me...;-)

-Best Ever Vegan Chocolate Cake-

1 1/4 Cups Arrowhead Mills Organic A.P. Flour
3/4 Cup Turbinado Sugar
1/4 Cup Organic Cocoa Powder
1/8 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 Cup Vegan Yogurt*
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
3/4 Cup Almond Milk
3/4 Tsp. Real Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
*I used Wildwood Organic Vegan Yogurt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a square 8 by 8 inch baking dish with Pam.

In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, & salt thoroughly. Create a well and place the milk, oil, yogurt, vanilla, and vinegar in it. Gently mix till the batter is homogeneous. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 28-32 minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean...

Allow to cool before adding frosting and decorations.

-Quick Chocolate Frosting-

1 Cup of Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp. Organic Cocoa
2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
4 Tbsp. Almond Milk

In a bowl, place the sugar and cocoa and mix thoroughly. Add the milk and oil & stir with a fork till smooth. Pour over cooled cake (I turn the cake upside down and pour it over the side that was not exposed to air, but this is up to you!). Garnish with crushed peppermint, nuts or whatever you like.


See how moist!?

p.s. I have to thank my Bonnie over at Sweet Life for inspiring this post through her lovely chocolate cupcakes with Peppermint cream cheese frosting!
p.s.s. I will climb back up on that no sugar bandwagon after the holidays (smile). Yeah...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Seared Garlic, Artichoke & Sweet Pea Pasta

Artichoke Pasta 100

Oh Dearies, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful! I think the next line of this jingle goes on to talk about having no place to go, however, I have to go to the airport and pick up my mother in a moment. Which I must say is in and of itself quite frightful, as she has been a tyrant lately (smile but seriously) and she is getting off a plane that had to come through the very windy South Florida sky...

Yes, even this powerful witch is scared. I did want to quickly post this simple, yet delicious pasta I made the other day though. The combination of peas and artichokes seared with white wine, broth, and a hefty amount of garlic and parsley is one of my favorite combinations for any season being that this is made with organic frozen peas and canned artichokes. I did have a bit of a problem with doing said recipe this time around due to purchasing the most horrendous bottle of white wine-it was also quite frightful;-)!

My Sweet Artichoke helped me with the wine dilemma though, as I noticed she posted a pasta very similar to the one I love that did not include alcohol of any kind. So I based this sauce on her original recipe. Please note that my photos really don't do justice to this sauce or recipe in the sense that this pasta is luscious and not dry at all. It doesn't look that way my photos. Oh well...it's good. I promise!

-Artichoke, Green Pea & Garlic Pasta-
1/2 lb. pasta cooked al dente or to package instructions
1/2 14 oz. Can of Quartered Artichokes (drained)*
1/2 Cup Frozen, Organic Peas
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley (chopped)
1/2 Bouillon Cube
1/8 Tsp. Onion Powder
Pinch of dry, crushed Rosemary
1/8 Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tbsp. Butter
Squeeze of 1/2 Lemon
1 Cup of Pasta water

Boil your pasta according to package instructions.

In the last 5 minutes of your pasta boiling, place butter in a saute pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and allow to saute for at least 15 seconds. Add onion powder, rosemary, black pepper, and peas. Saute for another 30 seconds while taking 1 cup of the starchy pasta water from the pasta pot. Add the starchy water and the halved bouillon cube to the mix and bring to a high simmer. Allow to simmer for about 1 & 1/2 minutes before adding the artichokes. Your pasta may be ready at about this time, so go ahead and drain it and set it to the side.
Allow the artichokes to simmer for at least a minute before adding the pasta to the pan. Once the pasta is mixed in, squeeze some lemon juice in & allow the water to evaporate off just to where you have a good amount of sauce but not too much liquid. This did not take long for me, and remember you always remove it while still pretty saucy (the pasta will continue to absorb the sauce once removed from the heat).

Remove from heat, add the parsley, and salt to taste-not too much if you are going to use a salty Parmesan. Plate and serve with Parmesan, red pepper flakes, etc.


Oh, and this is my very humble, yet delicious entry into The Quickies Challenge!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vegan Sweet Potato Pie

vegan sweet potato pie2

Dearies, this post is simply an update of deliciousness. Vegan deliciousness in the form of sweet potato pie that is! And the truth is that this pie is so rich and wonderful that it is reminiscent of cheesecake and even rivals my earlier recipe for sweet potato pie that includes eggs and dairy milk. If you are vegan or just trying to lower cholesterol this holiday season, I hope you will give this vegan sweet potato pie recipe a try-it's so easy and worth it!

Here's the recipe:

-Vegan Sweet Potato Pie-
2 Organic Sweet Potatoes (1 1/2 Cups)
3/4 Cup Turbinado Sugar
2 Tbsp. Corn Starch
3/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp. Nutmeg
Pinch of Salt
1 Tsp. Vanilla
3/4-1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk*
1/4 Cup Plain Vegan Yogurt
*Start with 3/4 and move up if needed.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash sweet potatoes and prick them with a fork. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until done. Remove from the oven and lower the heat to 350 degrees. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool and measure out 1 1/2 Cups of sweet potato.

Measure out your sugar and mix it with the corn starch, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. Place the sweet potato in a mixing bowl. Break it down and make it as smooth as possible. Add the sugar mixture and combine. Then add the almond milk, yogurt, and vanilla. Blend till completely smooth. Pour into crust and place on the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Allow to cool on a baking rack for at least 3 hours.

Enjoy with Soyatoo vegan whipped cream or your preferred form of creaminess:-)!

-Gluten Free Pecan & Oat Crust-
1 1/4 Cups Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup Pecans
6 Dates
2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
3 Tbsp. Cold Water

Place pecans in a food processor and break down to a very course meal. Add oats and pulse a few times till they become part of the course meal. Then add the dates, oil, and peanut butter. Pulse till combined (the mix will be dry). Add water and pulse once or twice. Pour mixture into a pie pan and press till even and going up the sides of the pan (start from the middle and move out). Place in the fridge till crust is ready for pie batter.

Enjoy my wonderful lovelies!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Winter Vegetable Soup

Winter Tomato Soup 2

Living in South Florida can often cause for one to feel out of the loop. Well, at least in the world of all things culinary. While the rest of you seem to be enjoying winter squash, hearty soups and hot tea, I'm jumping into a cold shower followed by a large glass of ice tea to alleviate the discomfort of subtropical heat and humidity. Foods are also light, as the heat somehow suppresses even the most voracious of appetites.

Just yesterday though, Dearies, December 1st brought a cool breeze down over the subtropical hollow. Like clockwork, Old Man Winter decided to make himself present in South Florida. And like a good witch, I have honored his presence by pulling out my heavy knit sweater, putting a pot of herbal tea to boil, and I even baked some Christmas cookies. Shoot, Cauldron Boy was so happy he jumped out the door, smelled the crisp winter air, and howled at the moon!

But don't worry, I reminded him that he is a Cauldron Boy, not a werewolf. And then we ate this wonderful winter soup...

Winter Tomato Soup
Olive Oil-3/4-1 Tbsp.
1 Celery Stalk-sliced
2 Organic Carrots-peeled & sliced
3 Large Garlic Cloves-minced
1 1/2 Cups Green Beans-cut
1 Can Organic Garbanzo Beans
1 28 oz. Can Whole Organic Tomatoes
2 Sodium Free Vegetarian Bouillon*
4 Cups Water
1/3 Tsp. Rosemary Sprigs
1/2 Tsp. Onion Powder
1 1/2 Tsp. Fresh Ground Cumin
1/4 Tsp. Black Pepper
3/4 Tsp. Sea Salt

*Rapunzel brand salt free vegan bouillon is excellent. If you do use a bouillon with sodium, refrain from adding salt till you've tried the soup...

Place olive oil in a large soup pot and bring to medium heat. Once hot, place the celery in the pot. Allow to saute for about 45 seconds and then add the carrots and garlic. Saute for another 30 seconds. Pour in the water with the green beans, bouillon, onion powder, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, stir, and put the top on at an angle. Bring the heat to where the soup will be at a strong simmer but not a boil. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes of strong simmering, add the tomatoes and cumin. Break the tomatoes down with a wood spoon, stir, and place the top on at an angle again. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Then add the garbanzos and give them 5-7 more minutes of simmering with the top off this time. Adjust salt & pepper to taste...

Enjoy hot with crackers or grilled cheese!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jingle Bells, Ecolissa, & a Discount!

Ecolissa Welcome

Hello Dearies!

It's December 1st, 2010 and quite a fitting time to offer The Witchy Kitchen readers 20% off of Ecolissa items until the end of this festive month of December. If you are unfamiliar with Ecolissa's line of super stylish items, they are ecologically made out of sustainable and organic materials while being suitable for vegan and vegetarian lifestyles.

Here is a look at some of their enchanting items...

A classic dress

A very witchy cool shoe!

Indi Zip Hoodie-so cute...

And other beautiful tings...

Ecolissa is also offering $5 shipping right now and has gift cards for the unsure shopper. Stop by Ecolissa and if you do end up in checkout, be sure to enter the code 'vegan20' for 20% off you entire purchase!