Friday, December 28, 2012

Homemade Bread

At Thanksgiving, Jon and I really wantedIMG_7078 some good homemade bread. Certainly, we are able to buy bread in Tanzania, but it is always just white bread and not great for a Thanksgiving dinner. So, the day before everyone came over to our home to celebrate Thanksgiving, we made bread. It turned out great and I want to share the recipe with you.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups flours
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/8 cup room temperature water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Method:

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water and let it sit for about ten minutes. It is ready when the yeast water has become foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast water, milk, sugar, salt, and oil. Add 1.5 cups of flour and start stirring until well blended.
  3. Stir in additional 1.5 cups of flour. The dough will become stiff and sticky.
  4. Knead the dough for about ten minutes. To decrease the stickiness, during kneading, dust the top of it with about 2 tablespoons flour.When the dough becomes sticky again, add another 2 tablespoons flour. You may need to use more flour than the recipe calls for. If your hands become covered with sticky dough, use flour to remove it into your dough ball.
  5. Knead your dough into a ball and brush the top with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Place into a large bowl and cover with a wet towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes. After about 60-75 minutes, your ball should have doubled in size.
  6. After 90 minutes, remove the dough from it’s rising place and back onto your work space. Punch in the risen dough. You are trying to remove all of the air out of the dough with your hands.
  7. Knead again for 5 minutes.
  8. Place it into a greased bread pan. Put a wet towel over the bread again and place it back in a warm spot to rise again. Allow to rise again for 60-90 minutes. Again, the dough will double in size.
  9. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. and bake the bread for 45 minutes. It is finished when the loaf has a golden brown color. You can also test it by tapping on the crust. If it is ready, the bread sounds hollow.
  10. Allow the bread to cool before removing from pan.

Notes: You can add spices or vegetables to this dough. This picture you see above has onions and garlic added into the dough. Simply add to the dough when you knead for the first time. Some options include: minced onion, garlic, dill weed, rosemary, basil, roasted sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cinnamon, raisins, etc.

IMG_7079

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Vegetarian Cookbook!

For Christmas this year, Santa brought me an exciting new cookbook. Not only do the dishes look fantastic, but the book is inspirational for me as well. I am not a full-time blogger nor do I really have realistic access to be a full-time blogger from Tanzania, however, I do have some small pipe dreams of maybe making it as a blogger. Well, the author of this cookbook started out his success as a blogger. I really enjoy that he has also done all the photography for his own book. That is something else I would be interested in doing. In addition to all of this, I love that he has chosen to create vegetarian dishes that come from all over the world. As most people know, I have lived on several continents and indulged in flavorful vegetarian dishes from all over. I love his worldly approach to vegetarian food.

Based on his book, he is admittedly a better chef than I. This is the first time I have ever seen Chiang Mai noodles in another cookbook. His recipe looks far more complicated and far more delicious than my own. My version can be found here:
http://eggyveggiekitchen.blogspot.com/2010/07/chiang-mai-noodles-khao-soy.html

I can't wait to try his. I think the first recipe of his that I will try first will be chickpea fritters. I tried a version of this recipe a few months back and it failed. I am anxious to use his. The other dishes that immediately caught my eye and will be the first to attempt are his Spanish lentil and mushroom stew, asparagus with nori butter, and his kimchi dish.

If you're looking for a good new cookbook that will take your vegetarian taste buds all over the world in your own apartment, might I suggest Herbviracious by Michael Natkin?


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Top Vegetarian Recommendations in Cape Town, South Africa

I thought I would give this blog a bit of a unique twist. One of my passions of being a vegetarian of course is creating mouth-watering, unforgettable vegetarian food. That's why I created this blog; to share easy and delicious recipes of tasteful food. It is, however, also a real pleasure to go out to eat and find restaurants that are not only vegetarian-friendly, but also create vegetarian food that makes you green with envy that you can't make it in your own kitchen! If I am eating out with a large group of people, I am never opinionated on where we go, as long as there is one vegetarian option. Many other vegetarians will agree that the common dishes in these "we offer one dish of vegetarian" places is often spaghetti, salad, or a vegetarian wrap. But, there are so many restaurants these days whose chefs have designed innovative and fantastic vegetarian menus. It gives vegetarians an idea of what it must be like to be omnivorous with a plethora of delicious looking dishes to choose from. When I am going out to eat with my husband alone, I am very picky on the place we eat at. I will not have spaghetti, salad, or a vegetarian wrap. I want a delicious concoction of vegetables, sauces, and a meat-free protein (my favorite? lentils). Recently, my husband and I vacationed in Cape Town, South Africa where we ate at several restaurants. I would like to share my top 8 restaurants that were vegetarian friendly and budget-conscious. If you ever find yourself vacationing in the mother city of South Africa, please keep these restaurants in mind! They are not ranked in any order, simply just listed as great options for vegetarians. Click on the names of the restaurant for a menu, if the restaurant offers it on the internet:

1. Takumi - Japanese food with some Asian fusion. Unique sushi options that cater to the vegetarian lifestyle, especially with their starters. Located in Gardens, Cape Town.

2. Timbuktu Cafe - contrary to what the name suggests, this is a cafe' devoted to Ethiopian food. It offers a vegetarian sampler for only 55 rand and you will not leave hungry. There's cute balcony dining. We ate here twice. They are located at 76 Long Street on the second floor of the Pan African market. Follow the loud music.

3. Galbi - a Korean/South African infusion. Come for authentic Korean food or a South African braii or both! They offer bimbimbap - a Korean vegetarian staple or a vegetarian braii for 2 platter. I was excited to learn they make all of their cocktails out of soju - the great Korean alcohol! Located in an arcade off of Long Street.

4. Saigon - as the name suggests, it offers Vietnamese dishes and a whole section of the menu is vegetarian. It is Asian fusion, however, so you can still get sushi or other Asian dishes. Might I suggest the rainbow noodles? Located in Gardens.

5. Jewel of India - Indian food is an easy answer to all your vegetarian dining woes. Thanks to the beliefs of Buddhism within India, there are always a great variety of vegetarian options at Indian restaurants. The Jewel of India located at the V&A waterfront offered great Indian food for a reasonable price.

Around Cape Town

6. Knead - located in Muizenberg on the Cape Peninsula, this bakery offered a large variety of vegetarian options and great cafe' options for the coffee lover as well. I was pleasantly surprised with the many options available to vegetarians!

7. Cafe Caprice - located at Camp's Bay this hip cafe' offered pricey but tasty vegetarian options. The service was mediocre, but the location was perfect.

8. Empire Cafe - located in Muizenberg on the Cape Peninsula, I passed by this cafe' after looking over and considering their few vegetarian options on their chalkboard menu. At first glance and without a description of each item, the vegetarian options looked overpriced and boring. I really only gave this cafe' a second chance because they offered free wi-fi. I ordered their vegetarian option and it was so flavorful, my omnivorous husband ordered it right after tasting mine even though he wasn't even hungry. 

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