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Mini cookbook challenge

I'm going to try to work my way through more Isa/Terry recipes. They are all my favorite cookbooks, but I get caught up in other things. I'm going to start mainly with more things from Vcon and VWAV. Anyone else want to participate? I know some of you have already made like everything in them. I never really follow recipes exactly, but I want to make more of these things. I want to try to do..2? recipes a week. Isa and/or Terry books only!
Isa's new book, Appetite for Reduction is coming out around December, I believe. I've tested a lot of the recipes, and it's going to be good!

Last night was two from VWAV.
Baking Powder Biscuits
I am still completely at a loss as to wtf a biscuit is if it's not a scone.  I don't have 'shortening' so just used my olive oil spread for both the margarine and the shortening and I think it worked fine.  I also used wholemeal flour.  And call me lazy or something, but I don't see the point in rolling out dough and cutting shapes when a blob will taste just the same, and we like ugly food in our house so that's what we had : )
My husband really liked these and I thought they were pretty good, standard scones .  Would make again.

Roasted Butternut Soup
I didn't have 2.5kg of butternut lying around the house, but I did have ~1kg of roasted pumpkin I intended to use on the weekend, so I made a half batch of this soup.  While I was preparing it I was a bit sceptical and there didn't seem to be all that much flavour/awesomeness added and I was worried it would be a bit bland.  But the only thing I changed was adding a generous amount of fresh cracked pepper, because my husband's a pepper nut.  I also only blended the pumpkin and the broth, leaving the onion pieces chunky for some texture.  Anyway, I was hugely pleasantly surprised.  A really tasty hearty soup.  My husband even said it was better than my mum's pumpkin soup, and her soup's pretty legendary so that was a big call! ; )

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I am still completely at a loss as to wtf a biscuit is if it's not a scone. 

I think that we think scones are slightly sweeter than biscuits (and possibly have a bigger crumb?).  But we're probably wrong.

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haha, thanks. I get that it seems there are sweet scone recipes where there are only savoury 'biscuits', but the savoury/plain scone recipes to me seem very much the same as the biscuit recipes I've seen.
Also, biscuit = cookie, not scone.
I told my husband those 'scones' we had with our soup last night were actually called 'Baking powder biscuits' and he said that sounded disgusting, even though he thought they were delicious.

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yeah baking powder biscuits sounds rank. I think that's why I never tried them.

Although isn't that what theo made the first time we all met up together?  I liked those.

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no, I think those were the actual scones from VWAV.  Which I have also made a truckload of times and they're good.
But just tell yourself they're scones and try the 'baking powder biscuits', they're not scary, honest!

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  And call me lazy or something, but I don't see the point in rolling out dough and cutting shapes when a blob will taste just the same, and we like ugly food in our house so that's what we had : )

Teehee...this made me laugh. I think that should be a line in a cookbook.

The other night I made French Lentil Soup from VCON and it was delicious! I'm very happy with it and I'm going to make it again soon. It didn't take that much prep time--just chop up a few veggies. The only other lentil soup I've had was a nonveg kind with pork in it and all I could taste was salt but this had a really great flavor, the spices and veggies were very balanced. I can't wait for leftovers tonight. We had it with roasted broccoli and some sourdough bread. Yum! Perfect for a rainy night.

Big thanks to AC for starting this and getting me up and cooking again, I'm having fun! Next I want to try the Cashew-pineapple stir fry with scallion pancakes from VCON.

Question:
If you're attempting to make a dish that has mushrooms in it but you don't want to put mushrooms in it (say, because your adorable boyfriend, for some unfathomable reason will not eat them) do you just leave them out or sub something? And what could you successfully sub for mushrooms?  The recipes were from VCON...can't quite remember them now, but they were mostly stewy beany type recipes I think.

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Teehee...this made me laugh. I think that should be a line in a cookbook.

haha, I think it's mostly because that's how I make scones, and to me, 'biscuits' are still scones, so that's how I made them!

Last night was VWAV Fettucine Alfreda, but with regular pasta, not fettucine.  I also didn't have any pine nuts so I used a mix of sunflower seeds and cashews.  Whatever, it tasted good!  I also halved the recipe because there's no way I could ever use a cup of nooch on one meal! and thinned it out a bit because it was really really thick .
So a good tasty recipe, but I'll probably stick to less nooch-heavy recipes in future, unless I'm cooking for something special.

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  And call me lazy or something, but I don't see the point in rolling out dough and cutting shapes when a blob will taste just the same, and we like ugly food in our house so that's what we had : )

By the way, when we do blobs instead of rolling them out and cutting them, we call them "drop biscuits."

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We had a teeny bit of a cool front today, so I made soup!

Curried split pea soup (VWAV)

A nice, simple, filling soup. It wasn't spectacular (I think P thought it was), because I didn't find it too different from most dahls. It's tasty and hearty, though. I used 2 carrots (not grated at the end), and a zucchini. I think it needs a bit more curry powder. Had it with black rice. Oh, and I added a bit of liquid smoke but I don't think I added enough, because I couldn't detect it.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs361.snc4/44408_10150242890730533_507120532_14517964_1267218_n.jpg

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Question:
If you're attempting to make a dish that has mushrooms in it but you don't want to put mushrooms in it (say, because your adorable boyfriend, for some unfathomable reason will not eat them) do you just leave them out or sub something? And what could you successfully sub for mushrooms?  The recipes were from VCON...can't quite remember them now, but they were mostly stewy beany type recipes I think.

I would just leave them out, unless it is a recipe that is predominately shrooms then I would pick another recipe... Just sub a veggie you think would go nice and your BF likes :)

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AC what the hell is "black rice" I have never seen it at a store... I see black rice pieces as part of wild rice...

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AC what the hell is "black rice" I have never seen it at a store... I see black rice pieces as part of wild rice...

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-black-rice.htm

Wild rice is also blackish, but it's long, and apparently not even rice!

In terms of the mushrooms, I think it depends on the dish!

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Oh, I almost forgot to review.....

Chickpea Cutlets - I've heard so much hype about these, I just had to try them out.  Unfortunately, I did something wrong somewhere because they did not turn out how I was expecting, texture wise - I think I added too much liquid - thought about adding more gluten as I was kneading, but didn't, so they fell apart while I was transporting them to the pan - and while flipping - BUT, they were delicious!  We kinda just piled the pieces on the plate and covered them in bbq sauce - but I think I liked them better plain!  I will definitely try them again, measuring this time!

(no picture due to unappetizing appearance)

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yeaaah I finally made the Braised Cauliflower with Three Seed Sauce
We don't eat a lot of cauliflower, but this recipe might be about to change that! We both really enjoyed the flavour, and my husband commented on how much he liked the texture of the seeds in there.  Simple, extremely flavourful, and would go with a wide variety of meals we enjoy, will definitely make again.

: )

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This challenge has been great so far!

Balsamic glazed portobello mushrooms (VWAV)

Really simple, but a lot better than I was expecting. Nothing too different, but flavorful for so few ingredients. I did a little bit less balsamic, so it would just soak in, and lots of pepper.

Pasta e fagioli (Vcon)

Eh. It's ok. The tomato mixture smelled really flavorful, but it didn't really come through in the complete dish. However, I do think I added too much pasta, and did a different shape. I liked the beans in it, but nothing super. Won't make again.

Macadamia ginger crunch drops (VCIYCJ)

Delicious! I used slivered almonds, and almond extract. The flavor is great, because I love candied ginger. Not too spicy, but a hint of spice and ginger in a buttery cookie. Mine didn't spread at all, so I wish I had pressed them down a bit. Good cookie.

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Peruvian potatoes with spicy cheezy sauce (VV)

I didn't really understand the potato part. You're just supposed to have boiled potatoes? I roasted some wedges to have with the sauce. I used aji panca (from fb), and panko for cracker crumbs (which I processed before adding to the sauce). It's good, but nothing spectacular. It makes a lot. Probably won't make it again, though.

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Anyone still with me? :)

Saturday morning breakfast:

Peanut butter waffles (VB)

I followed the recipe exactly, but had to add a bit more soymilk because the batter was VERY thick. I like a thinner batter. Delicious! I wasn't really sure about these, and P was hesitant, but they came out great. However, 3/4 cup is a lot of peanut butter so I will not be making these often at all! The peanut flavor is pretty mild, but detectable. Good flavor, fluffy texture (a slightly thicker waffle), and no stickage at all. I was thinking these would stick, but they were less sticky than other batters. Good, but decadent.

With some spicy hashbrowns with peppers:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs292.snc4/40921_10150244598100533_507120532_14559493_3329253_n.jpg

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I'm still with you!  My whole next 2 week menu was made specifically for this!!  I even went to my Walmart with the intention of buying a waffle maker - but they didn't have one.....maybe people don't make waffles in the ghetto?

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sorry i have been sticking with my fave cookbook in the whole world VV and posting on the other thread... i guess i'll start looking through VWAV and Vcon and suggestions peoples?

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ooops, I am still with you AC I just forgot to post my review.  My bad.

Black Bean Burgers (VCon)
I liked these ok, but they weren't anything amazing.  They were a little bland and if I hadn't used the fresh coriander (or cilantro to you weirdos) they would have been super duper bland.  I think they needed salt, and I don't normally use salt much.  I tried to cook them in a pan as the recipe stated by they were taking so so long to cook so I ended up finishing them off in the oven.  I don't know that I'd bother making the recipe again, but if I did I'd have to tweak it a bit.
I preferred my normal black bean burger recipe.

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