Thursday 11 November 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 11 - Cookbook Challenge Week Part IV

I'm back in the kitchen again & the cookbook challenge continues! First outa the 'hat' today was 500 Vegan Recipes.

The generator picked page 465 - Peanut Butter Blondies. Now I've never had a blondie before and to be totally honest I have no idea what they are meant to be like - I'm assuming they're meant to be like a brownie but not chocolatey right?

These were very peanut butterey & I followed the authors suggestion to serve them with an all-fruit jam. I went with strawberry & it was just like one of my favourite snacks peanut butter & jam on toast. Although now that I think about it doesn't jelly mean jam in the US? If so what does jam mean? Should I have put something completely different onto my blondie?! Mr VeganInBrighton loved these so much that he ate three & then made me hide them from him!

Second pick of the day was another of my awesome looking but never used cookbook's Please Don't Feed The Bears. I picked this up at a vegan fair a couple of years ago because the illustrations & style of the cookbook seemed pretty rad but sadly I think the lack of pictures has meant I haven't been inspired to make anything from it - until now that is.

The generator picked page 61 - Hungarian Potato Paprikash. Wow, as a hater of anything where I can taste the paprika I have to say I was a little scared of this one but I went ahead anyway because this, my friends, is a challenge!

I hate to be rude about recipes because hell, I've never managed to write a cookbook, but this was really disappointing. I was expecting to be challenged by a spicy potato dish but this was incredibly bland even for my tastes - I couldn't taste any spice at all. I think there are also some major flaws in the recipe because I don't think that cooking 1 pound of potatoes in 1/2 cup of water and just letting it simmer for 30 min's was ever going to work. I stirred it quite a bit so that all the potatoes would get a chance to be in the liquid but even after adding an extra 1/2 cup of water & cooking for 45 min's half of the potatoes were still raw. I served the cooked potatoes with some sausage & it was edible but certainly not something I'll be making again.

If anyone has any favourites from Please Don't Feed The Bears please let me know. I don't want to end up writing off a whole cookbook on the strength of one recipe.

After the lunch failure I was hoping for something exciting for dinner & that's exactly what I got. You Won't Believe It's Vegan came up... did page 37 - Tiffany's Pancakes. Awesome, pancakes for dinner! I don't know why I've never made this recipe especially as I now remember that it was the picture of these pancakes in the centre of the book that inspired me to buy it in the first place!

I gathered all my ingredients together & was excited to finally find a use for the Vanilla Soya Drink we'd picked up on our honeymoon travels.

I adapted the recipe slightly and added chopped nuts & chocolate chips rather than the suggested chopped nuts & fruit, because really if there are chocolate chips around why would you use fruit?! My nut of choice was pecan's, of course my favourite nut is the most expensive! Is that the same everywhere or just in the UK?

We ate these topped with Pure sunflower margarine & maple syrup & they were delicious! I think this might be the first time I've ever managed to make a proper fluffy pancake. We'll definitely be making these again but perhaps next time we'll use plain soya milk as they were almost a little on the sweet side for me.

I really can't wait to see what tomorrow throws at me, maybe I'll be having more pancakes...


  1. Don't Feed the Bears is one of my favourite cookbooks! It's great when you don't have access to tons of speciality ingredients, or lots of money. Try the "behead the chard" soup. So yummy!

  2. I totally call jelly jam and vice versa.

    Those blondies! They look soooo good right now.

  3. I'd love a pancake right now!

  4. I love your theme! The blondies look MIGHTY delicious!!

  5. Jelly is more like a fruit gel kind of texture, and jam is what you've got on that luscious blondie up there. I think we call everything jelly though, whether it be jam, jelly, or preserves.

  6. Those PB&J blondies look pretty amazing. I think there are technical differences between jelly & jam - jelly is strained so it's clear & smooth before it sets, whereas jam has chunks of fruit. But most Americans just call it all "jelly".

    Pancakes for dinner! I know what I'm having tonight!

  7. Oh my... those pancakes are killing me. I have soup cooking, but now I want to just chuck it and have pancakes!

  8. Yum...pancakes look soooo good!

  9. Beautiful pancakes and blondies! I'm glad two of the three were delish.

  10. Check out that stack of pancakes! Gorgeous!

    Sorry the paprikash recipe didn't work out, but I have to admit that I chuckled a bit about cooking a pound of potatoes in 1/2 cup of water. :-)

  11. Those blondies look so good (they are delicious!) and I'm sorry about the meh recipe. Happens sometimes, helas.
    We call jam "confiture" and jelly "gelée" in France. Jam is more thick with bits of fruts in it, and jelly is more smooth, sometimes with the bits of fruit strained out. Does that make sense?
    And I love pancakes for dinner!

  12. Now I want to go and get the random generator to select a recipe for me just so I might have pancakes for dinner... They look perfect! And too bad about the potato dish, but at least the other dishes turned out well!

  13. Love your theme for vegan mofo.

  14. Your paprikash has been hunting me for days! I have to give in to my inner voices and cook some tomorrow.
    Btw: it really is possible to cook the potatoes this way, I'm not sure about the 1/2 cup, but if you use a wide pan, about half a cm water will be sufficient. The basic rule is: don' stir!

    Btt: your challenge is great and I'm a bit sad that it will end today. :(

  15. Yummy!

    As far as I know jelly is less fruity and more gelatinous. What we call jam here is more spreadable and has more fruit. Preserves is loaded with fruit. I much prefer jam over jelly.


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