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VEG FEST!

JANUARY 19 & 20, 2019

Linda's Latest Blog Posts

This is a recipe that my friend, Terri, developed many years ago. (You might recall that I wrote about Terri in my July 4, 2017 blog.)

In addition to be a wonderful friend, Terri was an avid vegan activist and excellent cook. She prided herself on her original recipes; and I was blessed enough to have her share this one with me.

I recently shared this recipe in one of my Veganification Boutique Culinary Demonstrations/Tastings, and everyone absolutely raved about it.

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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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For those of us who remember Star Trek, The Trouble With Tribbles provided figurative thorns in Captain Kirk’s side. Not to dissimilar is the predicament with prickly pears, except that they provide literal thorns.

Prickly pear cacti, a member of the opuntia genus, abound here in the Southwest. The cactus itself is a paddle with spines. In the summer, they first burst with beautiful flowers, and by mid-September, they are bearing the most fascinating fruit, aka Indian fig. When ripe, its skin is a vibrantly-rich maroon thick exterior ensconced with even more spines. These spines are hair-like prickles, the smaller ones almost invisible to the naked eye; and the more mature ones looking like barbs ready to strike. Touch one, and those almost invisible spines will not-so-politely remove themselves from the prickly pear and insert themselves into your penetrable skin. And that’s when the fun begins. Ah, but I am getting ahead of myself.

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I absolutely adore entertaining and feeding people. But I also want to enjoy their company when they arrive rather than being held captive in the kitchen, thus missing out on all the lively conversation.

If you’re like me, I have just the answer for you! A vegan charcuterie platter and a make-ahead entrée.

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Looking for a quick and easy dessert? It really doesn’t get much simplier than this one, especially with the wonderful fruits that are in season. A fresh fruit tart with a cookie crumb crust and a custard filling is just the thing to whip up when you need a dessert with only a couple hours notice.

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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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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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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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I absolutely adore Brussel Sprouts, those tiny little cabbages. Historically, I’ve been roasting them in the oven with just a sprinkling of olive oil and fresh garlic. With the advent of the air fryer, that became my new, go-to method…that is, until I came up with this recipe for the InstantPot.

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Besides not seeing my family and Jersey girl(friends) as often as I did when I lived in New Jersey, top on my list of what I miss are the wonderful vegan dining experiences so readily available in Manhattan and Philadelphia. I know what you might be thinking, that living in Sedona I have the Phoenix metropolitan area nearby, which has a plethora of restaurants that cater to the veg community. While, yes, that’s true, I’ve tried all of them. Many times, in fact. However, I sadly have to admit that I am underwhelmed and unimpressed with them. What I wouldn’t do to have a Vedge, or Millenium, or Candle, or the newer kid-on-the-block, Delice and Sarrasin within my local community!

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About Linda Voorhis

I’ve always had a love for cooking and read cookbooks and cooking magazines the way other people read books. They inspire me to create my own recipes and have taught me the ‘science’ of cooking, most especially baking.

Julia Child (definitely nothing veg about her, but probably the greatest skills technician) and my maternal Italian grandmother, Mary, were my first mentors. With the advent of the celebrity chef and abundance of television cooking shows, inspiration continued to be placed before me. Food, its preparation with love, and the creativity it sparks within me, became a passion of mine.

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