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frannieface77's Profile

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What are you baking these days? July, 2012 [old]

Made some rather good chocolate chip cookies (recipe that I found scribbled on an index card in my notebook, probably from somewhere online) to inaugurate my new apartment (ee!), followed up by healthy blondies (Half coconut sugar, half applesauce for oil, half oat fiber for flour) which were suprisingly delicious considering my substitutions, though more crumbly than chewy, and finally a very delicious orange cake. Someone gave us this tangerine orange juice that neither my roommate or I wanted, so i took the basic vanilla cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (at least, I believe that's where I got it) and subbed 3/4 of the soymilk with the juice. I baked it in a 9inch cake pan. I also made a glaze from powdered sugar, juice, fresh lime juice, and a bit of lime zest. I spooned a layer on while the cake was warm so it soaked in, then another layer as it cooled so it got a crisp glazed top. The texture was fantastic, moist and fluffy, and had a light, floral citrus flavor that wasn't over-the top, but pleasant. Tasting the batter made me think of orange creamsicles. :) Would love to make it again as cupcakes for a birthday or such!

Who says vegan baking can't be awesome!

Jul 11, 2012
frannieface77 in Home Cooking

What is your biggest recipe pet peeve?

To be fair, a fair amount of people who make changes on the fly already have some baking experience and know what NOT to do. I'm not experienced in making bread, but I know that you can't leave out the ingredients that feed the yeast, so I would not make that error. If making a cake, cookies, quickbread, etc, I know not to change the baking soda, baking powder, and basic ratio of liquid to dry.

However, I know enough to be able to tell when I can add brown sugar instead of white, applesauce instead of oil, oil instead of butter (I'm vegan), change "mix-ins" like chocolate chips and nuts to my taste. I feel that I can still comment on the recipe because I will still review it in relation to what I expected out of the original (i.e. "I subbed x for y and the texture was spot on, this recipe really has a golden ratio" or "I subbed y for z and this came out terribly gummy, but I'm relatively certain that going with the original would help"). Plus I find such comments useful in case I'm looking for a "healthy" recipe, and often discover new tips! For example, I ended up substituting a half cup of grated cucumber (!!!) for applesauce/oil in a vegan brownie recipe, which actually came out tasting like a classic (almost store bought, haha) springy chocolate cake, except with the crispy top layer of a brownie. I never in a million years would have thought to use cucumber without one commenter's on-the-fly substitution.

I guess this relates to the "recipe as a guideline" concept discussed earlier.

Jul 11, 2012
frannieface77 in Home Cooking

Salting aubergine (eggplant) - obsolete?

My mother grills first (blackened skins), then places them on a slanted cutting board (or some other method of draining) until the excess moisture has run out, then cooks them in my favorite eggplant recipe (with onions and tomatoes, yum).

Jul 09, 2012
frannieface77 in Home Cooking

Faux Meat - Recommendations

I love the Trader Joe's chicken and beef strips, though not everyone is a fan. My best friend has made fantastic sloppy joe's with their ground veggie beef. Another friend is a huge huge HUGE fan of quorn but I haven't had it myself.

May 11, 2012
frannieface77 in Vegetarian & Vegan

How Do You Make Popcorn?

Stovetop, in olive oil, with salt, black pepper, dried dill, and nutritional yeast- it's fantastic!

Apr 28, 2012
frannieface77 in Home Cooking

Foods you eat strangely

That reminds me of when I was little and my mother would cut hot dogs into little bite sized pieces and mix them in our mashed potatoes! no ketchup though...

Mar 28, 2012
frannieface77 in General Topics

The "Bad Food" Joust!

My mother (who grew up in the Soviet Union) likes to tell the story of the first time she tried to make pumpkin pie for my dad. She didn't understand that one "crust" meant a pre-prepared American-pie-crust recipe...and decided it must mean the pumpkin shell. She was utterly confused but he had a good laugh...and now she makes a lovely classic pumpkin pie each year for Thanksgiving. :)

Mar 28, 2012
frannieface77 in General Topics

Family foods I thought was normal

Molasses on popcorn? That sounds delicious! Like a gingerbread-y caramel corn....mm...

Mar 28, 2012
frannieface77 in General Topics

I could just live on ______

I can, and do, eat at least one apple every day. I also don't get tired of almond butter, and really good dark chocolate, mm.

Feb 24, 2012
frannieface77 in General Topics

"With au jus" = with with the juice

I adore Poirot.

Jan 02, 2012
frannieface77 in Not About Food

When you've eaten too much...

what a great rule! I've never thought of something like that but it seems like it would be a concrete way to curb snacking, which i tend to do no matter my hunger level...

Jan 02, 2012
frannieface77 in Not About Food

quirky personal home food combinations....

not gonna lie, grilled cheese french toast with apple butter sounds AMAZING. with some really good white cheddar (or i can think of a host of other great cheese)? yum!

Nov 06, 2011
frannieface77 in General Topics

Have you ever "trained" yourself to eat something?

Artichoke hearts! Now I think they're DELICIOUS! I know there are other things, but none spring to mind at the moment. I can tolerate spicy better than I used to. Oh, guacamole! Wouldn't touch the stuff til a couple years ago (so good now), same with plain avocado.

Nov 05, 2011
frannieface77 in General Topics

Popular flavors that you don't care for

I was eating some arugula straight the other day (i like my bitter greens!) and a friend followed my example. She expected something similar to spinach- she was definitely surprised! She didn't like it too much either, haha. I like rooibos tea a lot, but i can understand how it might taste a little strange to some.

Nov 05, 2011
frannieface77 in General Topics

Popular flavors that you don't care for

+1 on American Cheese! And when people get the animal style fries at In'n'Out...and the cheese isn't even melted all the way and you KNOW it's a kraft single...UGH UGH UGH.

Nov 04, 2011
frannieface77 in General Topics

Best All-Natural, No Sugar Added Peanut Butter Brand

My favorite nut butter so far is TJ's creamy almond butter with sea salt.

Nov 04, 2011
frannieface77 in General Topics

Trick-or-Treating in the Rich Neighborhood

@TheClambelly- yup.

Oct 25, 2011
frannieface77 in Features

What foods feel indulgent but are actually quite healthy?

Just noticed we both brought up squash! I don't even add any cream/dairy at all- just mashing up some roasted butternut squash with flavorings of choice and it's perfect. Gotta agree on the balsamic. Haven't tried white balsamic though, how does to compare to the usual kind?

Oct 24, 2011
frannieface77 in General Topics

What foods feel indulgent but are actually quite healthy?

Have to agree with Greek yogurt! The texture is so amazing that even eating 0% fat I feel like I'm digging into a carton of sour cream! Also, roasted butternut squash- when you roast it long enough it gets so incredibly soft and sweet, just add some cinnamon and savory spices and it feel almost too "rich"! Same with canned pumpkin puree.

Hm, what else...well, I eat at least one apple almost every day, but for some reason a good apple always feels like a treat to me. When I eat a really BIG, sweet-tart, CRISPY apple, slice by thin slice, I love love love it. Mango's smooth texture and super-sweet flavor (plus the color of sunshine!) make it feel indulgent.

Oct 24, 2011
frannieface77 in General Topics

Your mom's weird cooking ... and other stories? (recipes encouraged)

That "protein drink" sounds truly awful. :(

Oct 24, 2011
frannieface77 in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner # 113 [OLD]

I wanted something healthy and fast today. I made a thick soup cobbled together from about 1/2 cup leftover roasted/mashed butternut squash with cinnamon, paprika, a little curry, salt and pepper pureed with a bit of water, veg broth, and canned pumpkin, plus more cinnamon, paprika, curry, and garlic powder, heated on the stove with pinches of additional herbs (next time i'll add more rosemary- yum!).

I wanted some greens, so I microwaved some roughly torn kale and leftover roasted onions. I mixed this with some of the (very thick) soup plus a little extra water/broth, chopped celery, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar. I actually made this twice! Early dinner and a late dinner just now, haha. For the late version I also added some arugula and a little vegan "chicken". SO. GOOD. The sweetness of the butternut squash and cinnamon come through despite there being no sugar! So this was a super-casual bowl of random healthy things that tasted amazing.

Oct 24, 2011
frannieface77 in Home Cooking

What Can I Shave Parmesan Over?!

You don't like it on actual cabbage? I love parmesan on actual cabbage!!! With some balsamic vinegar- mm mm mmmm.

Oct 24, 2011
frannieface77 in Home Cooking

Trader Joe's Holiday Items - 2011

I really like the Vanilla Cinnamon (I believe...) Tea that came out last year.

Oct 24, 2011
frannieface77 in Chains

First time in LA- List in post: Which restaurants would you recommend?

Hey, I go to UCLA and I agree with you perfectly! Not gonna lie, I do like a Diddy Riese cookie, but they aren't worth going out of your way for- overly sweet and commercial, I agree. When they're around, I crave them, otherwise, I can make better myself. So you aren't blaspheming, and I won't murder you. :)

Oct 24, 2011
frannieface77 in Los Angeles Area

I've never eaten cauliflower before...

Personally, I'm a big fan of cauliflower, and love it steamed til rather too soft for most people, doused in balsamic vinegar and black pepper. yum. or some curry powder- that's great too!

Oct 21, 2011
frannieface77 in Home Cooking

What do you eat raw that most people don't?

Interesting how almost everything on this board is about meat. I am currently vegetarian but when I ate meat it actually did look appealing raw, I just never tried it because it's not something anyone around me ever did. And it probably wouldn't have been very safe since we didn't have specially sourced meats. However, I currently enjoy eating a few spoonfuls of raw rolled oats. I probably eat that more than I ever cook the oatmeal, actually, haha. I also enjoy frozen waffles and such, though those are usually already cooked.

Oct 08, 2011
frannieface77 in General Topics

How do you feel about people eating food in the supermarket before they pay for it?

Thew, I am going to HAVE to quote that bit about being a Catholic priest. Too funny!

Sep 30, 2011
frannieface77 in Not About Food

Next Iron Chef! Who do you wish they'd try out?

Second Anthony Bourdain- for all the countless times i've seen that man on TV, i think maybe once have i actually seen him do the cooking. would love to get a sense of him IN the kitchen.

Sep 21, 2011
frannieface77 in Food Media & News

What are you baking these days? September 2011, part 2 [old]

Made Joy the Baker's pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, except with hand chopped dark chocolate and some brown sugar instead of white, SO SO good, though very soft and muffin-like in texture- but delicious. Can't wait to make a billion things with pumpkin. [:

Sep 20, 2011
frannieface77 in Home Cooking

Man V. Food - I don't get it.....

I really, really dislike the premise of this show. For those who want to get a glimpse at funky local places, Diners Drive-ins and Dives does the job without wasting my time how much food he shovel into his face. I think it portrays a TERRIBLE relationship with food that is also extremey wasteful. There is simply NO POINT in eating until you wanna puke it all back up. What a horrible way to ruin what is often quite a delicious meal.

Sep 19, 2011
frannieface77 in Food Media & News