Monday, June 15, 2009

31

Yesterday, I turned 31. Today, I ate two pieces of cake.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

It's tradition in my family to do pizza, cake, and ice cream on each of our birthdays. Since turning into FartyGirl, I have started cooking my own birthday dinner.

"Nice birthday for you, huh?" say my friends, sarcastically.

Actually, it is. I love cooking for people. Since I cook only healthy food, people rarely want to eat it. Especially my picky family members. But on my birthday, they suck it up!

Last year, I cooked a vegan, no-refined sugar dinner. Everyone loved it. This year, I had to figure out how to achieve the same satiety, sans gluten.

Here's what I did:


The Menu

Vegan Pizza
Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Crust
Trader Joe's Tomato Basil Sauce
Trader Joe's Soy Mozzerella Cheese
EVOO & Oregano


Gluten-Free Non-Dairy Pizza
Glutino Pizza Crusts
Trader Joe's Tomato Basil Sauce
Almond and Gourmet Mozzarella Soy Cheese
EVOO & Oregano


Gluten-Free Non-Dairy Swiss Chard White Pie
Glutino Pizza Crusts
Swiss Chard (locally grown)
Almond and Gourmet Mozzarella Soy Cheese
EVOO, Garlic, Oregano


Salad
Arugula, Spinach and Green Leaf Lettuce
Carrots, Radishes, Cauliflower
(All locally grown)


Vanilla Apple Almond Cake
Corn & Millet Flour
Sweetened with Applesauce & Agave Nectar
Cinnamon, Ginger & Vanilla
Vanilla Tofu & Almond Butter Icing





The Recipes

The pizzas were easy. No real cheffery involved. I flattened out the Trader Joe's wheat dough with some flour and spread it on a foiled cookie sheet. If you click on the pictures, you can see some foil still stuck on!


The rounder pizzas were gluten-free non-dairy pizzas, made with Glutino dough. They came frozen. I frisbeed those little bastards onto a foiled tray as well.

The cheese was a mixture of soy and almond vegan cheese. I brushed EVOO on both, to help the fake cheese melt. I also tossed the swiss chard in EVOO, to help it cook.

Store bought ingredients make it easy to be lazy. Little tricks, like the EVOO, make the pizzas taste more homemade. Sprinkle a little oregano and garlic on top, and the pies taste homemade.


And now... the cake!




Can I talk for a minute about how much I love cake?

I LOVE cake. It's the king of comforting foods. Sweet. Moist. Biting and delectable all at once.

The best thing? The sound. If you've never noticed it before, try eating cake in silence some time. Slowly, slide a fork into the bready crevices. You'll hear the cake sigh. Almost like it's as excited to be eaten, as you are to be eating it.

My 31st birthday cake was complex. Mainly because it was my own recipe.


Vanilla Apple Almond Cake

1 cup corn flour
1 cup millet flour
1-1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2-1 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Sift dry ingredients. Add all wet ingredients, except agave. Start with 1/2 cup of agave. Add 1/4 cup at a time, to taste. Remember that the cake will taste less sweet after baked.

Fill a single 9-inch pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes.


Vanilla Tofu Almond Icing

1 cup almond butter
1/2 package of silken Mori-Nu tofu, firm
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4-1/2 cup agave nectar
1-1/2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Directions:
I started by making some almond butter. I threw half a pound of almonds into a food processor. I processed them until they were ground almond meal. Then I added vegetable oil until it had a nice runny texture.

Next, I drained the tofu. I wrapped it in paper towels and lightly squeezed the water out. Then I chucked that in the processor.

(Note: It's possible to make this without a food processor. Silken tofu breaks up easily. You can buy almond butter at the store. If you don't have a food processor, give it a try. Use a regular mixer. Let me know how it goes!)

After this came trial and error. I added the sweet stuff. I tasted. I added more sweet stuff. I tasted. I ran around the house with spoons and had my family taste it. When the pickiest of my kin nodded approval, I scooped out the icing and spread the cake.

The cake was better than last year, according to my sister. Dense, but moist, said my dad. Nobody noticed the tofu. I didn't tell them either. Heh-heh-heh.
















4 comments:

Suki said...

Belated Happy Birthday, FG :)

I would love to eat what you cook, btw. I usually hate most party food because it's full of fat and salt!

Jenny said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!

Deb Schiff said...

Yum, Yum, Yum! Excellent post. I really enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks!

Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) said...

Happy Way Belated Birthday!!! May I come to your birthday dinner next year? I want to hear a millet cake sigh before I gobble it all up. :)