As the sun sets here in the Sedona area, the crisp air settles in.  Perfect time for a warm bowl of soup.

I love how the fragrant aroma permeates the kitchen when a pot of soup is on the stove.  It’s comforting.  It’s home.  It’s the anticipation of dinner.

I went to the farmer’s market.  The plethora of autumn harvest vegetables had me spellbound. As I perused the bounty, I saw It!  There it was! My inspiration for tonight’s dinner!

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Potato Leek Soup with Pickled Onions, Croutons, & MicroGreens

One of my all-time favorite foods is pizza. And I’m not taking about Pizza Hut or Little Caesar’s, or the like. I’m talkin’ wood-oven New York style pizza.

It starts with the crust, which is admittedly, no easy feat. I finally came upon a recipe that was buried in my pile of cut-out recipes, so unfortunately, I have no source to cite. It’s also not your typical pizza dough in that it starts out with a sponge. Absolutely divine, never fail, recipe…

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Home-Made Pizza Made Easy (While Not Sacrificing Taste or Texture)

Summer’s garden bounty — zucchini, zucchini, zucchini everywhere.

Ciambotta (Italian vegetable stew, pronounced JumBaut), air-fried breaded zucchini frites, zucchini frittata. I could go on and on… But, it wouldn’t be garden zucchini if I didn’t include a zucchini bread, now would it :-)!

My version is a bit atypical, but I think you’ll really like it.

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Zucchini, Zucchini Everywhere! What To do!

As you might remember from other blog posts, my love affair with all things culinary began with the premiere of “The French Chef” in 1963, when I was six years old. Between growing up with Julia and my maternal Grandma Mary, I found inspiration in the kitchen.

So, it is only befitting that in keeping with the name of my blog, Veganification, what better recipe to veganify than the recipe that started it all when Judith Jones, the editor at Alfred A. Knopf, prepared Boeuf Bourguignon following Julia Child’s detailed instructions from the cookbook manuscript. Ms. Jones was immediately convinced that the manuscript in her hands was destined to be a surefire hit in the kitchens of not only American housewives but home cooks throughout the world. The rest is history, as they say…

Unfortunately, I don’t have the first edition, which was printed in 1961. Alas, I have a 2009 edition; however, the recipe remains the same. (Sidenote: If you ever come across a 1961 1st edition, let me know.)

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My Homage to Julia Child – Veganifying Boeuf Bourguignon

My friend, Terri, passed away more than several years ago. Like me, she had a love for vegan cooking and an equitable adoration for kitchen gadgets/equipment/tools. One of the beautiful items she left to me was this 9’x13’ metal cake pan with a green lid, with “Vegan Goodies” and pinecones/leaves etched into the top. It’s beautiful; and whenever I pull it out to bake in it, I am immediately brought back to fond memories of Terry.

As a sidenote, I’ll share one of my favorites with you. In 2010, we took the 7 hour drive up to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York for their July 4 Pignic. It was an idyllic weekend communing with all the beautiful farm animals that have been given a second chance and the ability to live out the remainder of their lives in peace, knowing love and compassion and no terror…a very different life from whence they came, factory farming. The weather was warm with a cooling breeze. We spent two full days on the farm and enjoyed their vegan barbeque and a couple of talks given by their more-than-adept staff.

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Memories of a July 4 Weekend with a Dear Friend, Her Cake Pan, and Dark-Chocolate Black-Bean Fudgy Cake Squares

With summer approaching, I love making quick and delicious wraps. They are so versatile, from what you put in them to what you choose to wrap them. They get in and out of the kitchen quickly, pack well for a hike or picnic, and are very nutritious and satisfying.

So,

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It’s A Wrap

One of my favorite sandwiches EVER is a Reuben. Having been vegetarian since 1983 and before becoming vegan in 2007, the version I would order at the diner (Heck, I’m from Jersey, so you know that I know all about diners and diner food J) would be a meatless Reuben.

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The N’er-to-Forget Obsessive Vegan Open-Faced Reuben

When I bought my home just outside of Sedona, Arizona, I was thrilled that I had rocks instead of grass. Living in the desert, landscaping that required irrigation was of no interest to me, both environmentally and in terms of the time commitment. No grass! WoooHoo!

Ah, but I didn’t

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Weeds! Aargh–no more! All Natural Weed Killer