November 2008 Archives

Coconut Amaretto Ice Cream

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This ice cream recipe is dairy-free and completely yummy. Since coconut milk is fatty (like dairy) it makes a tasty ice cream and good general substitute for dairy milk in recipes when the fat content seems important. It will take a little longer than a dairy ice cream to thicken. Regular coconut milk can also be used, but I think it is almost too fatty.

2 cans light coconut milk
4 oz. agave nectar
2 heaping teaspoons cocoa powder
1 T cardamom powder
1.5 oz. amaretto
1/2 c. fine shredded coconut

1. Mix cocoa powder and agave nectar together into paste. Add a splash of hot water if needed to wet the cocoa powder so it will mix well.
2. Whisk into coconut milk, adding cardamom and amaretto.
3. Pour into bowl of ice cream maker (I used a Cuisinart - the type where the bowl lives in your freezer and is always frozen and ready to use) and turn on.
4. When mixture is starting to thicken, add shredded coconut through the top.
5. Let mix until you reach desired thickness. May take 30-40 minutes.
6. Eat right away and freeze any extra. This recipe actually freezes better than the dairy ice cream I've made. No pick-axe necessary the next day.

Flaky Pie Crust

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I can thank my friend James for giving me this family recipe. The secret is to freeze the butter, cheese grater, and mixing bowl ahead of time and to manipulate the dough as little as possible. To make it non-dairy, just substitute vegetable shortening for the butter. I find the Earth Balance shortening sticks work well, and they are non-hydrogenated too. It's never as good as the real thing, but if dairy is problematic you can still eat pie!

Makes 2 crusts - upper and lower, or 2 lowers.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white pastry flour
1.5 cubes butter/veg. shortening - frozen, then grated into bowl
1 egg
1 T apple cider or white vinegar
ice water to form into ball - approx. 1/4 to 1/2 cup? Start small.

1. Put flours into cold mixing bowl.
2. Grate frozen butter into bowl.
3. With two butter knives, cut in the butter to mix into flour. It should look chunky - a bunch of flour-covered butter pieces.
4. Add egg and vinegar. Cut in with knives.
5. With clean hands, mix very gently while adding ice water. Press up against side of bowl to test for cohesion. You want the dough to be sort of chunky, somewhat moist, and still sort of flour-y. Do not knead. Layers of butter and flour is what makes a crust flaky.
6. Transfer dough to a floured board. Cut dough in half and roll out one at a time. If you are only using half the dough for now, wrap the other half tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
7. Fold rolled out dough gently in half to transfer to pie dish. Open up to spread out. Finish off edges by tucking edges under and/or fluting.
8. Add filling and bake! A good temperature guideline is to start the pie at 400F for first 10 minutes and then drop to 350F for rest of bake time.

Delicious Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie

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I played around with some pumpkin pie recipes this thanksgiving, and managed to switch out the dairy for coconut milk and come out with a very classic, delicious pumpkin pie that feels just as rich, creamy, spicy, and artery clogging as the real deal. This thanksgiving it was delicious enough for our friend's dog Stella to eat the remaining quarter of a pie while we weren't looking!

You can use a pre-made crust, or make your own. Pie crust recipe to follow.

2 cups cooked pumpkin (I used fresh steamed pumpkin)
.75 cup sugar
.25 teaspoon salt
1.25 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
.5 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
7 oz coconut milk (about half a can)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. It will be pretty runny, and there shouldn't be any pumpkin chunks.
3. Pour into 9" pie dish with pre-prepared unbaked pie crust.
4. Place in oven on a center rack. It's a good idea to put another baking sheet on the next shelf down to catch drips.
5. Bake for approx. 80 minutes, placing a pie shield or ring of foil over crust to prevent overbrowning of crust.
6. When a knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean, remove from oven and let cool to set.

Space Slug Chinese Delivery

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Another funny-as-hell video from Robot Chicken!

We git'er done, and other signs

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Some creative spelling of the local Colorado dialect, no doubt.
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I guess the proprietors must have been so relaxed that apostrophe slipped in unnoticed.
I enjoyed Valley View Hot Springs enough to overlook it, but I'm still always amazed at how them darn apostrophes just end up everywhere. And chiseled in stone, no less!
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Don't confuse the wildlife

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While hiking Box Canyon in Ouray, Colorado in September we came across this sign.
A reasonable and common request in parks. I think we probably all know by now that feeding wildlife is discouraged.
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But then we saw these feeders....note the proximity to the sign.
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and looked down and saw this pile of birdseed and wildlife. Go figure.
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In Nevada

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Our trip to Utah and Colorado, via Nevada, took us by Baker and its mayor, the pasty mannequin. Maybe a distant relative?
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Shoe Tree of Fallon, Nevada

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Well it may not be exactly Fallon - but it was east of there on I-50 - the loneliest highway in the west. Especially if you are a pair of discarded shoes.

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An Empire to Run

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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