A couple of weeks ago Mr. Wing-It and I took a few days off from our travels and we went home to "rest" for a while. How was I supposed to rest when I went on a psycho baking and cooking frenzy? As soon as we arrived home I baked a batch of Eureka Brownies. We got there at 3 p.m, and the brownies were done one hour later! This was amazingly fast considering that first we had to unload the car, unpack the cooler, open a couple of boxes of Amazon.com goodies, start our laundry and do other miscellaneous first-day-at-home-after-months-of-travelling things. The brownies were only the beginning of the insanity. I felt like a mostly-indoor dog that goes totally wild when she gets to go to a park to run around. You know, tongue hanging to the side of my mouth, eyes popping out of my face, crazy wide smile, you get the picture! The beast was unleashed! :D
One of the Amazon goodies that was waiting for us at home was Viva Vegan, a fabuloso Latin cuisine cookbook by Terry Hope Romero. There were so many recipes that I wanted to try but there wasn't enough time for all the dishes I had planned to make. As always, this isn't a review (that's too snobby for me) instead it's a spotlight of the awesome recipes that I did get to try.
Let's start with the sweets first! Who wants some Churros?
I loved the churros! They are basically deep fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and they are deliciously fun to eat! Oddly enough they weren't as hard to make as I expected. I am used to baking everything with whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose flour, which the recipe called for, so they weren't as soft as they should have been. This was totally stupid of me because churros are deep fried! Who cares about using a slightly more healthful flour when you're going to deep fry the stuff anyway?! *Sigh* Sometimes my brain doesn't work properly. Next time we go home for a while I will make them with all purpose flour and they will be even more delicioso!
Anyway, I also made the yummy Chocolate para Churros to dunk the yummy sticks of goodness. Muy rico! :D
More sweet stuff straight ahead, capt'n! Hmmm. I don't know why I just started talking like a pirate there. Check out the Alfajores!
Alfajores are Buttery Cookies with Thick Dulce de Leche Filling. The filling is sandwiched between two cookies, and then the sandwich is rolled in shredded coconut (or crushed almonds I think was the other option.) I love them! They are sweet and tasty and so very purrrdy! Here's an inside shot:
I was way too stingy with the Dulce de Leche filling, so I just spread some dulce on the cookies as I ate them for extra awesomeness.
Now it's time for some tamales! I made tamales! I felt pretty badass after accomplishing such a feat. Don't they look like little presents waiting to be unwrapped and devoured?
Devoured they were! Viva Vegan has a few different recipes for tamale fillings, and the one that I chose was the Black Bean-Sweet Potato Tamales. They were muy sabroso! Black beans and sweet potatoes make a great team, and the corn masa was perfect! Inside shot:
Looking back, I don't think it was that much work to make the tamales. It seemed like it at the time because it was my first time making them and I had a lot going on with the filling, and the masa, and the corn husks, but I think it will be easier next time.
Next up - Chimichurri Baked Tofu! Don't you love that word? Chimichurri!
I adore this recipe! The tofu was baked to perfection in this amazingly tasty chimichurri sauce and it was the best tofu splurge ever! I did manage to mess up the sauce a little and it didn't turn out as green as it should have. Here is some extra Chimichurri Sauce with Smoked Paprika atop a perfect bite of tofu:
One of the side dishes I chose for the Chimichurri Baked Tofu was the Quinotto (Quinoa-Oyster Mushroom Risotto)
It was the perfect side dish to compliment the Chimichurri Baked Tofu! Sometimes I get tired of quinoa, but this dish was different and it was like I was rediscovering that yummy old grain.
The other side dish that I had with the Chimichurri Baked Tofu was the Ensalada Chilena (Tomato Salad with Sweet Crisp Onions)
I have a rule: I only make recipes that I am pretty sure I am going to enjoy. Dammit I broke my own rule! This salad was very tasty, but I just cannot eat raw onions without paying for it later with some major heartburn. It doesn't matter how long I soak them in ice water, they always turn into lava when I eat them. If your digestive system can tolerate raw onions, then definitely try this dish because before it set me on fire it tasted great! :D
There were so many recipes that I didn't get to try, like the Steamed Red (and white!) Seitan, Tempeh Asado, Arroz con Gandules, Empanadas Humitas, Coconut Tres Leches Cake, and the Vanilla-Coconut Flan. There's always next time! Check out more Viva Vegan goodies at Mandee's blog, Cupcake Kitteh, and visit Terry Hope Romero's and Viva Vegan's official website for more info about the cookbook. Thank you Mandee for making me drool over all your Viva Vegan goodies and making me want to buy this gem! :)
Definitely check out Viva Vegan if you want to add some wonderful interestingness to your menu. I give it two thumbs arriba!
I'm not sure exactly when we will take our next break, but whenever that happens there sure will be another cooking frenzy. Isn't it funny that we go home to take a vacation from work? :P