Cooking Delights

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Day Celebrations

We had my sister in law and brother in law over for lunch yesterday and a late Christmas gift exchange. I made a couple of great recipes out of my new cook books.

The first recipe is from Nava Atlas' Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons. This is a Brazilian Black Bean Stew.I served it over brown basmati rice. The rice was made with a mixture of tomato juice and water which made for an interesting flavour. This was the first time I made rice without my rice maker and it turned out great.

I served the brazilian black bean stew with Mediterranian Salad Stuffed Bread from Nava Atlas' Vegetarian Family Cookbook.. This recipe was an interesting mix of lettuce, tomatoes, olives, sun dried tomatoes mixed with olive oil and lemon juice. You were supposed to make this bread ahead of time to let the flavour soak into the breat. This made for bread that was a bit mushy. Next time I might heat the whole thing up in the oven and avoid soaking the bread. I didn't mind it but my hubby found it too mushy.

For dessert I whipped up apple blossoms made with puff pastry. The great thing about puff pastry is that it makes everything taste like it comes from an expensive bakery. I used up the apples I had in the fridge. Since I was out of white sugar I mixed the apples with brown sugar. It turned out fine, even though I think white sugar is better.

What did I get for Christmas from my sister in law you ask? I got this wickedly cool cupcake carrier and a cupcake tin to make mini-cupcakes! I'm excited.



  • At Tuesday, 02 January, 2007, Blogger Judy said…

    I have heard so much about Nava Atlas' books, I think it might be time for me to get one. That soup looks amazing.

    The apple turnover things look good too.

  • At Tuesday, 02 January, 2007, Blogger Catherine said…

    That soup looks brilliant!

  • At Wednesday, 03 January, 2007, Blogger Emmy said…

    Happy New Year!!! The black bean stew looks so good. I haven't tried that recipe yet. You got a cupcake carrier? I'm so jealous ;)

  • At Wednesday, 03 January, 2007, Blogger Harmonia said…

    Everything looks great! I've seen the 3-in-1 caddies but don't have one.

    Your first picture looks so fun and colorful...I bet the flavor was out of this world

    I'm back bloggin' - same place

  • At Wednesday, 03 January, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    cup cake carrier...How cool!

    I agree - puff pastry makes everything seem so fancy.

  • At Thursday, 04 January, 2007, Blogger Caty said…

    I'm a love puff pastry too! The apple blossoms look really good and the soup looks so tasty.

  • At Thursday, 04 January, 2007, Blogger fusion boutique said…

    Happy New Year Melissa!
    The present is perfect for you since you have been making so many cupcakes recently! The New Years cupcakes look really good. I hope things are going well and you are enjoying 2007!

  • At Thursday, 04 January, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Melissa,

    Everything from your Navy Atlas books looks so good. You've inspired me to return to a more deliberate vegetarianism. I don't typically eat much meat and very rarely cook it but since I don't like to cook --- is it okay to say that on this blog? --- I do eat just enough that I can't call myself vegetarian in good conscience. The problem is mostly at restaurants where they put meat in things that have no business including meat.

    Today I went to my first vegetarian restaurant in this city. It was so wonderful to feel like the entire menu was made just for me :-) I would've felt happy about ordering anything. I had a war and peas salad (buckwheat noodles, tofu, vegetables and a miso lime dressing) and a vegan rootbeer float with that tofu ice cream. It was really good.

  • At Friday, 05 January, 2007, Blogger Melissa West said…

    Hi Judy - I am really enjoying my new Nava Atlas cook books. I think they are worth getting.

    Thanks catherine... everybody had seconds!

    Hi emmy, you gotta try the black bean recipe, yup, the carrier was on my list - I love the lists... we always do it with my husband's family. I make long lists and I am always surprised with what they choose to get me.

    Hi harmonia... i can't wait to use my new caddy! I had looked all over for one, so it was nice to receive one for Christmas.

    Hi megs- yup, the cupcake carrier totally rocks!

    Hi caty - puff pastry is a must for any hostess, totally simple, totally impressive desserts.

    Hi jewell - hopefully I can bring some cupcakes your way soon!

    Hi sleek! So glad to have you stop by! I *love* vegetarian restaurants. We usually hit one on Saturdays. It is such a thrill to be able to choose absolutely any item off the menu and not just have a choice of 1 or 2 things... and why do they insist on putting meat on salads! Leave the greens alone!


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