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Sunday, April 17, 2016

“WELCOME BACK MY FRIENDS TO THE ELF THAT NEVER ENDS”

We are BACK with our second grouping of our top TEN FatFree Vegan Kitchen recipes for 2015…otherwise known as the KINKY ELFIES! We also had some EPIC-NESS in the Elf household this week becoming a member of the C-Spire Fiberhood! Very exciting to be a part of such an endeavor and we have such blazing internet speed that it boggles the elfin mind (not a hard task at all). So, may we have the envelope(s) please….
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The SIXTH KINKY ELFIE goes to the MONTEREY FRITTATA from June 15 2015! Before going totally plant-based, your Elf loved omelets and frittatas, so this recipe was a no-brainer. We were just not quite sure how a frittata using tofu would work. We, BOY HOWDY! We were thrilled, for sure. It’s quite a fabulous meal which makes us realize we need to make this again. It is a bit labor intensive but that end result makes the elf-fort ok.  See! We couldn’t even get a whole picture, we ate it so fast!
http://the-elf-in-the-kitchen.blogspot.com/2015/06/elf-on-hot-tin-roof.html
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KINKY ELFIE number SEVEN is awarded to the FFVK’s SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE PIE from July 5 2015. Looks like June of 2015 was a capital month for FFVK recipes! But we digress. Not only was this a delicious recipe, it also challenged your Elf with the use of phyllo dough. So, not the easiest of recipes (IF you haven’t gotten the hang of working with phyllo) but OH SO WORTH IT! You’ll see we mentioned the trepidation early on that was quickly dismissed once the ‘PIE’ was finished. Plus it was damn pretty!
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Following that recipe, The Expert and The Elf took a brief hiatus to finish out the long hot MS summer. Our Expert/Elf project returned November 8 2015 with our KINKY ELFIE number EIGHT! So, right of the bat, we had another total success. PASTA FAGIOLI WITH CRANBERRY BEANS AND KALE. This has proven to be one of our MOST successful soups ever! And there’s a reason for that…it’s delicious. One thing you do have to remember with this soup is that there is pasta in it…so best to cook your pasta separately (and keep it al dente) and add it as you serve the soup. If you keep it in the soup over time, it cooks way too soft and soaks up so much of the soup liquid, it’s like a stew. It’s a lesson we learned the hard way initially but not anymore. Also, while we are at it, we’ve always tried to obtain all of the same ingredients that Susan Voisin uses rather than substitute. We’d never heard of Cranberry Beans but found them at Kroger. Sometimes, living in the south, we run short of finding some ingredients that may be available in larger venues. In any event, this is a wonderfully filling and warm soup for a fall dinner.
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Thanksgiving finds us celebrating our NINTH KINKY EFLIE, VEGAN BROCCOLI AND RICE CASSEROLE. This and many years, we find ours-elfs having our Thanksgiving feast with our BFFs Jesse and Mary Evelyn Dees. They are not plant-based but go above and beyond to prepare at least one or two vegetable dishes without butter. It seems only fair that The Elf prepare a dish that would stand up to the scrutiny of several non plant-based eating folks. Well, this one found a home in the mouths, stomachs and hearts of everyone. And it is a lovely addition to any table. As we said in the blog, this may just be one of the most popular recipes we’ve made of the top 10. And it’s easy to make. Don’t let the number of ingredients deter you; once you get everything lined up and ready (remember ‘mis en place’), it’s a piece of well, broccoli. This will be a staple at Thanksgiving from now on.

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The TENTH and FINAL KINKY ELFIE is awarded to a December 2015 recipe, and frankly, one we never DREAMED would be as good as it is—SANTA FEE SPAGHETTI SQUASH CASSEROLE. If nothing else, this may be THE recipe that turned Big Solid into a true believer of casseroles. It is excellent and such a healthy recipe! The Elf loves spaghetti squash; Big Solid likes it because it can take the place of pasta (which he likes, except for the calories). Add all the good kinda Tex/Mex flavors with a vegan cornbread topping and you’ve got a definite winner. The added nostalgic touch of cooking it in an iron skillet that belonged to Big Solid’s Mother is also special.
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Our runner-up recipe for this second half of the KINKY ELFIES goes back to June 2015 to find one of those recipes that we selected with some trepidation (brown rice crust and it bein’ a quiche and all)—ASPARAGUS AND MUSHROOM QUICHE! Yes, it is a bit on the labor intensive side but when you’re retired and have time on your hands, it’s a fun and delicious way to while away the hours. Plus it’s really pretty! And it’s as good as it is pretty and offers validation that real men DO eat Quiche.
WHEW! What fun this has been. We look forward to a second annual KINKY ELFIE award presentation this time next year with our 2016 recipes from FFVK! We are sure Susan is already dreaming up and putting together recipes that will titillate our taste buds and be wonderfully healthy as well. One of the things we noticed right off the bat is the lack of ‘sweet stuffs’..very few desserts were prepared over the year, so we will remedy that in the coming weeks. Both Big Solid and Your Elf have a pretty strong sweet tooth so we’ll be looking for a no/low fat dessert recipe to try and continue to throw one in from time to time. OK?
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We have made our yearly pilgrimage to Starkville MS for Super Bulldog Weekend where, once again, the Bulldog Band of Brothers from the early-mid-‘60s gather to share the same stories they share every year but never get old; reminisce about ‘3-a-days’ and late night escapades; remember friends they’ve lost and love the ones that they still have. It’s camaraderie like no other, for sure, and they celebrate their friendship ever so heartily.
So, next week we are back in the FFVK saddle and have selected the following recipe to try the Fruit Medley Cobbler.
http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2006/02/valentines-dessert-1-fruit-medley.html
We KNOW it says Valentine’s Day but what the hell…live a little and be daring.
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So, our KINKY ELFIES have been awarded and we are back in the Kinky Elfery Kitchen this week for more good stuff from Susan and some new things to try from other sources as well. So, til next Sunday, we bid you a fond food farewell and wish you laughter, love and plant-based eating for yet another 7 days. And, oh yes…DO EPIC!
The Elf

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