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Archive for November, 2009

Houston Workshop Photos

Well, the first ever workshop was so much fun!!! Here’s some photos of the food and such… I made peanut butter cookies for the attendees to nibble on, handed out copies of the apple-cranberry pocket pie recipe, and gave out a big goodie bag filled with more cookies, a couple brownies, and a handful of my personal favorite recipes – congrats to Rachel for winning that delicious prize! Thank you to all who came, and we missed those who couldn’t make it..

I’m making some yummy refashioned peanut butter cookies

The ingredients are ready and waiting to head down to the Falls at Copper Lake Reception Center…

Now the peanut butter cookies are taunting me…is it almost time to start with the pies???

Nom nom…pie filling before it’s cooked down…

The final mini pies….For the recipe, you’ll just have to make it to the next workshop….bwah, haha..I’m so evil ;)

Happy Baking!

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Curry Spice Blend

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of pre-blended curry powder you get at the grocer – I don’t feel it gives an accurate “curry” flavor. While it suffices for those who have no idea how to throw together your own blend of spices for a curry flavor, those of you who follow the Primate now have no excuse not to have the best homemade curry this side of the Pacific. This recipe makes about 1/4 C – which is just perfect for several recipes worth! Check out Jo’s Chickpea, Cauliflower, and Kale curry or my Indian-spiced String Beans, not to mention a perfect Autumn delight: Coconut Curry Chickpea Soup!

Ingredients:

1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1/2 tsp caraway seed
1/2 tsp fenugreek [optional]
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorn
2 allspice berries
2 whole cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom seed [optional]
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TBSP turmeric powder

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and grind to a fine powder in spice mill or grinder – or if you’re cool for old-school like me, use a mortar and pestle ;) . Use in place of ‘curry powder’ called for in ANY recipe!

You want to keep this covered tightly, and away from light and heat. This will make it last longer, so you can have fresh curry flavor at a moment’s notice!

Happy Grinding!

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Kailo_Hobo_YellowGirl_medThe next installment of your vegan holiday shopping guide is for Kailo Chic.  Kailo Chic is small company that hand makes purses and bags in boldly colored fabrics.  Sara and I both have one of their Hobo Bags ($62).  It has plenty of room to hold what you need, but it manages to not look big, and fits just right under your arm.  Kailo Chic has a variety of shoulder bags, clutches, and wallets to choose from.  They even have a diaper bag ($79.99), because being a parent shouldn’t mean you can’t look good!  My friend Christina has one of their laptop bags ($69.99), and it look greats.  So far, all of the different styles I’ve seen from them are functional and stylish.

They also make a variety of accessories, including earrings, headbands and acrylic flowers for your hair.  Check them out!

This review was not solicited by Kailo Chic, we just like their bags!

On This Day In History: Cornbread Stuffing – perfect for the special day on Thursday!! :D

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Innocent Primate Workshop – Houston

Announcing the first ever, Innocent Primate baking workshop. We’ll be baking up some delicious vegan pastries…then eating them! Learning how to make a successful, flaky vegan pastry is key when showing just how delicious a cruelty-free lifestyle can taste. I’m thinking Apple-Cranberry Pocket Pies….

If you get lost or if you have any questions – you can call/text me. No registration fee, but donations will be greatly appreciated to help pay for the groceries.

Date: Friday, November 27, 2009

Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Location: Falls at Copper Lake – Clubhouse

Street: 9140 Highway 6 N.

City/Town: Houston, TX

If you’re on Facebook, RSVP here! If you’re not on FB, just leave a note in the comments of this post that you (and any guests) are planning on coming! Hope to see (and meet) some Primate fans and followers!

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This dish would make a great breakfast casserole to accompany some fresh fruit on those busy holiday mornings (think of it as a freeing version of hash browns). It would also make a wonderful, new side to those lovely vegan holiday entrees – such as black bean tamales! I can’t stress enough how wonderful and comforting shredded potatoes can be, and that’s exactly the feelings you want to inspire during the holidays…am I right?! ;) So try this out if you’re looking for something different to accompany your holiday feast.. This will serve about 4-6 (depending on how in love your guests are with potatoes, and how many other accompaniments you have).

Ingredients:

2 TBSP canola or olive oil
3 medium gold potatoes, shredded
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 C veggie broth

Directions:

1. Pour oil in the bottom of an 8X8 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Shred potatoes into a bowl. Dice onion, mince garlic, and add to potatoes. Stir to combine. Add in spices, stir to combine. Pour into baking dish, and spread evenly.


3. Pour in 1/4 C broth, cover with foil, and bake in 350°F oven for 45 minutes.
4. Turn heat up to 400°F. Uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes to brown the top of the casserole. Enjoy!

Happy Baking!

On This Day In History: Giving Thanks, Tex-Mex Style

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Primate Makes Top 75 Veg Blogs

Hey there Primate readers! I’ve just been informed that the Innocent Primate has been included in a list consisting of the top 75 Vegan/Vegetarian Blogs on the Pharmacy Technician Certification website. It’s a “site dedicated to serving the prospective distance education student as well as the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.” This website also attempts to “serve the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries more generally by maintaining our Pharmacy Technician Certification Blog, upon which we regularly publish articles which highlight interesting blogs, resources, tips and information.”

Anytime we can get more vegan information out to the healthcare industry, I’m all for it! So check out their list of the Top 75 Blogs for Vegans and Vegetarians. They have broken them down into awesome categories such as Cooking & Recipes, News & Politics, Health & Nutrition, Animal Rights, Lifestyle – under which the Primate falls :) , a favorite subject among these two Primates – Beauty & Fashion, sites for those Thinking of Vegan and Vegetarian, and Family! Thanks Ashley for including the Innocent Primate among your Top 75!

On This Day In History: Apple Streusel Ice Cream

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Paz Senhora270

The holy grail of vegan shopping (for me at least) is a wool-free winter coat, but a very close second is a pair of stylish faux leather driving gloves.  Yeah, we all have some knit or fleece gloves, but sometimes you need to look chic and professional, and the fleece just doesn’t cut it.  Enter Bourgeois Boheme.  They are an English company (those English vegans have it so easy!!), but several vegan shops in the US sell their wares, and they ship worldwide.  They have a variety of shoes, bags and other accessories, but I would like to focus on their gloves.  This season’s styles include the Paz Senhora for her, and the Paz Homem for him.  Both are sumptuous, black, and well designed.  You need to measure your hand around the palm, just under where your fingers join your palm, to get the right size.  If you live somewhere very cold, you may consider ordering a size up, and then wearing a set of glove liners to increase their warmth.  They’re priced at around 30 GBP, or you can get them from Karmavore (him, her) for about $50.

Bourgeois Boheme did not solicit this review, we just like their products!

On This Day In History: Mixed-Grain Autumn ‘Risotto’

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buttnaked2

Whether you are vegan, or shopping for a vegan, gift buying during the Holiday Season can be a little challenging.  Over the next few weeks, the Innocent Primates will try to give you some gift ideas that do not harm animals and are easy on the planet.  To get things started, let me introduce you to Soy Candles by Phebes.  Soy candles are becoming more common, as some evidence indicates that very heavy use of paraffin candles can be harmful to your health.  Of course, for vegans, beeswax candles are not an option.  Although you may see many soy candles, I whole heartedly recommend Phebes as the best candles you will find.  I don’t know Phebes, but wow, she makes one damn fine candle!

hawaiian-holiday-square

The scent list they have developed is exhaustive, from traditional holiday scents, to exotic fruit blends and everything in between.  I’m currently burning Twinkle.  It’s fruity, minty, with a hint of vanilla, and a little bit tart, but somehow, it does evoke a holiday atmosphere.  Over the last couple of years Sara and I have had Wisteria, Honeysuckle, Wine & Roses, Summer Breeze, Vetiver Santal de Jasmin, Butt Naked, Spa Bliss, and others, and we have never been disappointed.  My absolute favorite, though, is Red Currant.  It’s strong, fruity, but not too sweet, and it fills up your whole room.  If you just can’t decide which scent to give, they offer gift certificates as well.  Each candle is $12.98, which includes free shipping within the US.  If you’re ordering from outside the US, an extra $20 will get your candles shipped to you.  If you prefer a burnless scent, they also offer scented tarts in all of the same fragrances.

In addition to smelling delicious, the candles themselves are lovely in their simplicity.  Each 8.5 ounce candle is poured into a heavy glass tumbler.  After the candle has burned completely, the glass is easy to clean and reuse.  The soy wax does not leave any residue after being cleaned like paraffin or beeswax candles, and the glass is just the right size for your morning juice.

This review was not solicited by Soy Candles by Phebes, we just love their candles!

candle-standard-2candle-unboxed-2

On This Day in History:  White Bean Herb Puree.

white bean herb5

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Innocent Primate Workshop – Houston

It’s been suggested on our Facebook page by one of our fans, the lovely Mary Houston, that while I’m in the Houston area to hold a workshop. Jo and I have been thinking about this, and we agree it’s a wonderful idea! Since this would be our first one (Jo wouldn’t actually be here, just me), there are some questions I would like to pose to you, our fans!

1. How many of you would be interested in attending?
2. Would you be willing to chip in a little for groceries – I’m just a poor college student, and $5 or $10 would be helpful in paying for supplies? of which you’d get to eat ;)
3. Would you like to learn a particular dish, a particular technique, etc? What would you want to get out of it?
4. Would you prefer before or after Thanksgiving (i.e. the 20 or 21st, or the 27 or 28th)? And would you prefer a Friday or Saturday afternoon?

Depending on what it is you’re wanting from the workshop will determine how long it’ll be. But I would anticipate average about 2 hours.

Let me know what you think…

Thanks,
Sara

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Potato House Rolls

potato rolls1Potato bread? Dinner rolls? …hmm – you no longer have to decide between the two, why not have both?! It’s no secret I love mashed potatoes in my breads, I mean who doesn’t love potato bread? Seriously, I want to know – you may want to consider seeking professional help. This recipe is based on the one in Isa and Terry’s Veganomicon, with minor changes. I did let the dough rest overnight, just to make things easier on me, and they turned out fine (I made them for Christmas day last year – but they are also great for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday). So if you have the time to make them the night before because you won’t have the time on the actual day you need them…they’ll be perfectly fine! This typically makes about 24 rolls, but I didn’t have a muffin tin, so I turned them into one giant pull-apart loaf!

Ingredients:

1.5 C warm water
1 C hemp or oat milk
2 TBSP EB vegan butter
1 (1/4 oz) packet yeast
5-5.5 C AP flour (I used a blend of AP and oat..maybe 50/50, whatever’s on hand)
2 TBSP brown sugar
2.25 tsp salt
1.25 C moist mashed potatoes
olive oil for brushing rolls with

Directions:

1. Combine 1 C of the warm water with the hemp milk in a medium-sized saucepan, then drop in the vegan butter. Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted and the hemp milk mixture has scalded. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to lukewarm.
2. In a measuring cup, mix together remaining 1/2 C of the warm water and the yeast. Set aside for a few minutes until the yeast is foamy.potato rolls2
3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Using your hands, mix the mashed potatoes into the flour to form a crumbly mixture, as if you were making a pastry dough. Stir in the yeast mixture and the hemp milk mixture to form a soft dough, if the dough is very sticky, add a little flour, a few TBSP at a time, until a firm, potato rolls3smooth dough forms.
4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead until elastic (about 8-10 minutes, 5-8 for freaks like me and Jo). Return the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and let rise for 2 hours (or overnight in the fridge), until doubled. When pressed with a finger, the dough should spring back slowly.
5. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, grease two 12-cup muffin tin (or line a baking sheet with parchment). Punch down the dough, knead briefly on a floured board, and roll into two thick 14-16-inch ropes. Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to slice the ropes into 72 1-2 inch walnut sized balls (if using the 12-cup muffin tin) or 24 balls (if using the baking sheet).potato rolls4
6. If using the muffin tin, place 3 balls into a muffin cup and brush with glaze. If not, place the 24 balls about 1.5-inches apart (close enough to where they’ll grow into each other) and brush with olive oil. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 25-35 minutes, until rolls have doubled in bulk. *Because I made them in a giant loaf, and therefore already touching, I didn’t let them rest the full time..maybe only about 5-10 minutes.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes (if making the giant loaf, it’ll take about 35-40 minutes), until the tops are shiny and browned. When the rolls are cool enough to touch, transfer from the pans to wire racks to cool completely..or indulge immediately.

potato house rolls

Happy Baking!

On This Day In History: Marinated Chickpea Salad

marinated chickpea salad6

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