Let It Scone, Let It Scone, Let It Scone!

(All images by Ms. TheVeganAsana Jr.2)

It’s time for another holiday festival of scone making. This is weekend #2 of making these little delicious pastries and there may be one more to go (we’ll see). Scones are delicious, easy, and last well, making good gift treats for friends, family, and coworkers.

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My baking supervisor, Charlie

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 T turbinado sugar (plus more for board)
1/4 C vegan margarine (soften if needed)
2/3-3/4 C soy milk

Add ons:
1/2 C raisins and 3 T cinnamon
1/2 C dried cranberries, 2 T orange zest, 1/2 orange juiced
1/2 C chocolate chips
½ C chopped almonds and 2 t of vanilla extract

Process
Mix dry ingredients.  Use a pastry cutter to cut in margarine until it forms crumbles in the flour.  Add flavorings and stir.  Add soy milk bit by bit until dough forms into a ball.  I use a stand mixer for this with a dough hook.

Cover a cutting board with a thin layer of turbinado sugar. Divide ball into 4-6 even pieces, place on  your sugared board, flatten to about 1/3 inch thick and sprinkle liberally with sugar.

Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut into pie shaped slices.  Bake at 400* until slightly browned on the top.  This will take around 20 minutes.

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Kiss Me Organics – Matcha Green Tea Review

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Kiss Me Organics recently contacted me to see if I wanted to review their organic matcha green tea. The tea is only available at Amazon right now, and I had seen it before there while browsing for matcha, but I hadn’t tried it. So, I readily agreed!

If you haven’t had matcha before, it can be a bit of a surprise. It’s a very “grassy” tasting tea, has a pretty hefty amount of caffeine punch, and is really green. Matcha is pretty much the only tea that I sweeten, because of the strong green flavor.

I generally like matcha best either as a hot latte drink or a frozen latte drink, and I found that this matcha was no exception. Those were my favorite ways to prepare it. I liked it a bit less as an iced latte, but mostly because I heated some water to dissolve the tea, and then when the ice and soy milk were added, it became too watery for me.

For each of the frozen matcha lattes (pictured above), I used two cups of soy milk, 1.5 slightly rounded teaspoons of matcha, ½ scoop of vegan protein powder, and a teaspoon of agave syrup. I blended all of that first until well mixed. Then I added a pinch of xanthum gum (for texture) and ice cubes and blended (using my well-loved Vitamix) to a nice texture. Super tasty.

Matcha powder isn’t inexpensive, and this is no exception. But, a little goes a long way, so this pouch will last through many cups of tea, in whatever form you like. It can also be used for baking. The recipe guide they send to first time customers has a lot of interesting recipes to try matcha in. I haven’t tried them yet, but there is time, however, because I’ll be buying it again.

Fresh Vegan Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomato Gratin

Need to use up some of those summer zucchini and eggplants? Have a big batch of lovely huge tomatoes that need to be in your belly? This gratin recipe might just do the trick, and it’s lovely and filling, as well.IMG_1564

Ingredients

2 medium eggplants, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2-3 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup faux parmesan cheese
1 box panko bread crumbs
1 T dried Italian seasoning or fresh chopped parsley, oregano, and thyme
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth
3 T olive oil

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place panko, garlic, spices, faux parmesan, and salt in food processor or blender and pulse until combined and fairly fine.

Spray bottom of a 13×9 pan (unless nonstick) with cooking spray. Arrange one layer of eggplant on bottom of pan. Place one layer of zucchini on top of eggplant. Arrange 1 layer of tomato on top of zucchini. Spoon ½ of breadcrumb mixture over vegetables. Repeat layers.

Mix broth and olive oil and drizzle over top.

Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender and crumb topping is browned.

Serve with a protein of your choice or a big salad.