Friday, December 10, 2010


Best Blog Tips

Last night we had dinner at our good friends Yoshi and Susan-Marie's house. Our hosts provided the bulk of the meal, our friends David and Carmen brought a lovely green salad, and I brought a bean dish and a simple dessert. The dinner wasn't Japanese, but was served somewhat in the Japanese style, with a number of small vegetable dishes to complement the rice. Yoshi made a delicious rice dish with yuba (beancurd skin) and mushrooms, and Susan-Marie served it with; a sweet and sour tomato soup with potatoes, steamed winter squash, marinated leeks and crostini. Most of the produce she used was grown in their own garden. The leeks tasted almost like marinated artichokes... so good!

I brought a dish I blogged about before-- Madhur Jaffrey's Black-Eyed Peas with Corn and Dill from her book "World Vegetarian". I've been reading (and owning) Ms. Jaffrey's books for years, but "World Vegetarian" is my favorite. It's not confined to Indian cuisine, with over 600 recipes from five continents with endless flavor combinations for beans, vegetables and grains (and dairy, too-- but you can ignore that chapter or use vegan subs). This encyclopedic volume it is arranged so that you can look up the chapter, say, on "Dried Beans, Dried Peas, Lentils and Nuts" and check for, in my case this time, recipes featuring black-eyed peas, and you will find a few recipes utilizing whatever is the particular item you have in mind and in your pantry. You always find a new surprise because you are always looking at it in a different frame of mind from the last time!

The recipe I made (on p. 19) is one of my favorites. It's made with items that I always have in my cupboard and freezer (corn, dill, chiles, onions, etc.),and it's full of flavor and texture, but very easy to make. Diners are always surprised by the goodness of this homey but spicy dish.

For dessert I brought the pineapple upside-down cake from Tamasin Noyes' recent and very popular book, "American Vegan Kitchen". It was easy to make and turned out beautifully-- as you can see from the photo! The only changes I made were to use half wholewheat pastry flour in the batter, and substitute dried cranberries for the cherries in the topping. Our hostess asked me for the recipe because she, though not a vegan, would prefer to make this without the eggs and so much fat as her normal recipe. We ate the whole thing!

Tamasin's book is well-written, with clear instructions, lots of homemade basics (so you don't have to go buy all your components!), and the kind of recipes most us in North America remember with nostalgia!

Here's a photo of my homemade Almond Creme whipped topping on top of a trifle (UPDATE: recipe from my book "World Vegan Feast", and shared here:


My new Cinnamon Red KitchenAid Wide-Mouth 12-cup food processor!

A few months ago my food processor died and I had to decide on a new one. The KitchenAid got rave reviews, but I couldn't afford the 12-cup one (over $300 in Canada!), so I got the 7-cup one with a small extra bowl for chopping small amounts. It's a great machine, but I missed having more room to do large batches, and my stepson said he'd buy my smaller one. Cook's Illustrated magazine reviewed food processors and gave the 12-cupper a rave review-- even better than the largest Cuisinart! Now they have one with "the largest feed-tube in the business!", called a "wide mouth"-- you can practically put 1/2 a small cabbage in there! I searched and searched for the best prices, locally and online, debating whether to go for the older 12-cupper, or the new wide-mouth. Price WAS an issue, even though I expect to get alot of years out of it.

Well, long story short, I found the wide-mouth (in Cinnamon Red-- not a popular color, I guess!) on eBay, IN CANADA (wonder of wonders), brand-new, in the box, for $179 (which included shipping!). That included all the 3 slicing and shredding discs, an egg whip (have to try it with egg replacer!), and a citrus press.  (You can get this same one in white in the States from for $199 in the States; or in Candy Apple red, with 4 discs for $228. But it was $273.75 Cnd. from and $379 in alot of places in Canada!. So, I'm happy, and my stepson is happy!

It should get a work-out during the holiday season, and looks very Christmasy, too!



Zoa said...

I love cinnamon red, and it will look great in your kitchen! Good work on a great bargain. The two cookbooks you feature are two I own and love as well...

Andrea said...

I love Madhur Jaffrey's cookbooks, too, and was very excited to hear her speak recently at a local bookstore. I haven't looked at American Vegan Kitchen, yet, but your cake is compelling!

My old Cuisnart food processor is still chugging along, so I guess I'll be stuck with a tiny feed tube for a while, but considering that I upgraded my blender to a Vitamix this year, I need it to keep going. Enjoy your new kitchen machine.

ari_1965 said...

Congrats on the new food processor.

Your link to your blog post about the black-eyed pea with corn and dill recipe is broken. I tried to search for the recipe on your site as a whole and couldn't find it there, either.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Fixed it, Ari-- thanks for the heads-up! I didn't post the recipe.

Fanny said...

Cinnamon red is a beautiful colour if you ask me! That cake looks awesome.

Linda said...

Great find. My old kitchen aid is still kickin' so I'm good for now, but like it much more than my old cuisinart and have had the intention of getting a kitchen aid again when I need one.
Bryanna, what kind of slice does the disc with the tons of holes in it produce?! I've never seen one like that? I wonder if it would fit my old model!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Linda, that's a shredding disc. This machine comes with a 2-mm slicing disc, a 4-mm slicing disc, and a 4-mm shredding disc. You can also buy an extra set which includes a French Fry cutting disc, Julienne shreddder, Parmesan/Ice Grating disc, 6 mm Slicing disc, and 6 mm Shredding Disc. You might be able to get them separately, too. Amazon has a good price-- better than the KitchenAid site.

Anonymous said...

Bryanna, I think I have made your trifle before but not sure where I got the recipe from. I think it was from this site - have you by any chance removed some of your recipes or are they somewhere else?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

The trifle recipe will be in my new book coming out in the summer of 2011.

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

Bryanna, thank you so much for including my cookbook in this post. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the cake- and it looks great!

I'm a fan of Madhur Jaffrey, too.

Happy New Cuisinart!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

You deserve the accolades, Tami! I think it's the best-looking upside-down cake I've ever made!

I got to meet Ms. Jaffrey briefly at IACP in Portland earlier this year. She was very nice (and tiny!). I was a bit tongue-tied!

Oh, BTW, it's a KitchenAid! Cook's Illustrated actually rated it higher than the Cuisinart Elite model! So far, I'm loving it!

Linda said...

Thanks,'re new book?! Awesome. Is it the field roast one? What kind of book will it be?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Linda, the new book is coming out in August 2011-- it's on international vegan cooking. The Field Roast book has been held up for some time, but we're hoping to get it going soon! BTW, Sears also carries KitchenAid accessories.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info on Mimicreme, I've been planning to buy some online since we can't get it here. I was sorry to find Soytoo isn't kosher. I can hardly wait for your new book with the topping recipe. In the meantime I made a whipped topping by chilling coconut milk and adding confectioner's sugar and some agar powder. Not stiff peaks, but good enough for the fridge dessert from South Africa I was veganizing.

Amey said...

Oh ho! Now I came down to comment on this post, and I see the scoop on your next book. Very exciting!

That Madhur Jaffrey book is just amazing. Like you, I have a few of her books, but this one is so incredible. I LOVE it. I made so many recipes from it for my "Around the world in 30 days" project last month, and they were all delicious.

Also, congrats on your new kitchen buddy. It's always so great to have a fresh gadget... and a food processor is so useful. I use my funky old one all the time. :)