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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Don't Hide Your Elf Under a Bushel

Is it just the Elfin passage of time or does this year already seem to be flying by! AND NOW, with summer looming, all of fresh produce in the world is at our finger tips, so we’d best make the most of it. Here at the Kinky Elfery Kitchen, we often buy in bulk and freeze stuffs to enjoy when all the leaves are gone and the world has turned brown.
Our FatFree Vegan Kitchen recipe for this past week was Pasta Fagiole with Cranberry Beans and Kale.
And just as the first time we made it, it did NOT disappoint. This is a hearty soup that is a standalone meal. One thing we did differently this time was to cook the pasta shells separately and add to the soup at serving. This kept the pasta at that al dente status and also allow portion control on the amount of pasta. A LOT for The Elf and a teeny bit for Big Solid. This time, as well, we added more kale. The first time we made it, we underestimated the AMOUNT of kale that 10 ounces is and only had about half of that to add. This time, howsomever, we had the full meal deal on hand. So, your Elf got all set to display the pictures we took of the preparation, etc. AND THERE WERE NONE!! ZIP! NADA! NOTHING! So, the best we can offer in terms of how this lovely soup is made is to show you the picture from the earlier post
and link you to the initial preparation blog from November 8 2015 titled An Elf for All Seasons.
For our FFVK Elfy Winner this week, we’ll be taking advantage of all the fresh produce and preparing the Skillet Gardener’s Pie
We loved this when we had it before and there’s no reason to doubt we’ll love it again.
All of us can finish this old saying, “DON’T FIX IT.” Well, we have learned this once again by trying to fix something that wasn’t really broken. You all know The Elf bakes the vegan cookies for the Crossroads Cafe’. We love it and have been very pleased at the response. WELLLL…in an elf-fort to respond to some thoughts about the amount of sugar (and keep in mind, we use organic evaporated cane sugar and ditto brown sugar), we tried to revise our recipe to include coconut sugar and sucanat. We tried several batches of all three types of cookies. The taste was different; several folks said they tasted more like gingerbread but still tasty. However, the kickers were the texture  and baking process itself. The texture was extremely fragile; heck, when we would move the cookies to a cooling rack, they would fracture or shatter and no amount of cooling would help.  AND, while they were baking, they did not flatten out, so we wound up with a big mound of a cookie OR used a flat glass to press them into a flatter cookie before putting them in the over. We tried all sorts of modifications to address the ‘crumbly-ness’ but nothing worked. We also noticed that the sales had dropped. So, after talking it over with management, we have gone back to our regular recipe…all is much better. Your Elf was SO EXCITED to see a flat cookie come out of the oven! Sales have picked up as well! Any of you vegan bakers out there with advice, have at it!
This week we had some awesome Rainbow Chard with Mushrooms, with PattyPan Squash along with some vegan cornsticks! One of our favorite meals; simple, delicious and healthy.  We cannot tell you how much fun it is to shop the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and visit the Salad Days booth! 

And we also prepared some zucchini noodles with a little mini-spiralizer and had the noodles sautéed in a bit of toasted sesame oil and added baby bellas, onion and edamame! Wasn’t sure how Big Solid would belly up to the table for that, but he loved it! It didn’t hurt that we sautéed some of our favorite Plant-based meat analog, The Gentle Chef’s Chikun Shreds. 

And tonight we will indulge in the glorious Salad Days heirloom tomatoes, either sliced on our Vegan Burger OR in a cucumber and tomato salad. 

And we leave you with one final picture…our lone Calla Lily. There are others still waiting to unfold but this is definitely the Elf’s FAVORITE FLOWER. We LOVE our peonies because they remind us of carefree days at the home of our grandparents in TN. But the Calla is such a lovely example of clean, simple lines that promises that sometimes the best things in life are those that not complex and require nothing more than a look-see. 

Until then, breathe deep, laugh a lot, eat plants and DO EPIC!

Your Elf


  1. I just need to come live with you and Larry for a week and let you cook for me!!!!

  2. That rainbow chard with mushrooms is making me drool. Thanks for sharing what you're cooking up. Yummmmm