I made Valentine's Day cupcakes for the boys' party using the vegan orange cake recipe from Joy. Topped with a confectionary sugar glaze and some pink and red sugar, this is an easy recipe and a nice one to have on hand for when you really want cake but don't have eggs or butter in the fridge.
This is the chocolate version, using the Wacky Chocolate Cake recipe from Michele Urvater's book, Chocolate Cake. Good Mary do I hate the recipe title but, again, it's good to have around when the fridge is bare. Same glaze as before and full of yum.
I also made the spinach pie recipe from my Diane Kochilas book using her homemade phyllo dough. It's nothing like what comes in the packages; it's not thin and fragile and flaky. It's very much like a soft, bread-y pie dough, not rich, and I can't think intelligently enough to describe it. Dense is a good enough adjective, but not heavy. You may be able to tell from the picture what I'm talking about. Anyway, it's a lovely pie, made even more interesting with the use of fennel and onion. I'm not at all a big fan of fennel but this pie was like crack to me and I ate it every day until it was gone. On the side I served some eggplant balls I got at Altomonte's, little fried morsels of eggplant goodness, especially good when doused with hot sauce.
In the mug is a really, really nice curried vegetable soup, made with buttersquash, cauliflower, and carrots. Oh, and a can of coconut milk. It's rather similar to my original cauliflower soup but much more adventurous in flavor with the addition of ginger and the coconut. That, too, was cracklicious and went down a treat. Even the bairns ate small amounts.
I've signed up to take a Thai cooking class starting next month. It runs for two four-week sessions and I am most excited. I'm pretty good at putting together the recipe for red curry on the back of the Thai Kitchen jar of red curry paste but need to know more. It's taught by a native Thai (Thailander? Outlander? Outlander!) who either previously owned or still owns his/her own restaurant. Also, I believe it's hands-on, which is very good because sitting in a class simply watching people cook would make me nuts. The second session includes vegetable carving and, as I told Bridget, I think turning vegetables into decorations is lame but I'm in it for the long haul and as long as I can eat the radish duck well, then, okay. But I have serious doubts I'll be doing those at home. Same with those stupid carrot swans. Make me an elephant out of a turnip and then I'll be impressed.
I don't like topiaries, either. Save me from the giraffe trees, please.