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[personal profile] em_brett
J came to visit this weekend and I made the world of food for her. First I made Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes (adapted from a couple recipes in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, which seriously people, if you don't own it, you should) as a "congratulations you're employed!" present. They were awesome.

Then on Saturday we went to the Bennington Farmer's Market, where a wonderful baker gave us two baguettes for the price of one, and another farmer gave J two pablano peppers for free because she was admiring them while I was picking out acorn squash. She told him she was happy to pay for them, to which he replied, "sure, you could pay for them, but they're a gift." Farmer's markets and Bennington are some of the best places in the world.

Then we made soup!

So here are the recipes. The acorn squash, along with some beautiful purple carrots and a couple of parsnips, turned into the world of soup (seriously it made like 8 servings).

Acorn squash (and various other root veggies) soup

3 medium-sized acorn squash
4-6 carrots, scrubbed or peeled and cut into 2-3 inch chunks
2 parsnips, peeling and cut into 2-3 inch chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 fist-sized potato, cut into quarters
1 inch ginger, diced finely
3 cloves garlic, diced finely
32 oz vegetable broth (one of the big boxes of it) plus around 2 cups of water
spices to taste: salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, coriander, mustard seed, allspice
olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
2. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place them on a baking sheet along with the carrots, parsnips, and potato. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast for 45-50 minutes, until just fork tender.
3. When the vegetables are done, allow to cool somewhat, then scoop the flesh of the squash out of the peel/shell. Chop the other vegetables into 1-2 inch pieces.
4. In the bottom of a large soup pot, heat 1-2 T of olive oil. When the oil is hot, saute the onion until translucent. When the onion has a minute or two left, add the garlic and ginger and saute as well.
5. Add the vegetables to the pot, then the vegetable broth. You'll then want to add enough water that the vegetables are entirely under liquid. (A couple of veggies breaking the surface isn't a bit deal.) Add the spices.
6. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 25-30 minutes.
7. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, then puree. (I used a cuisinart and pureed 2-3 cups at a time, but an immersion blender would also work wonderfully if you've got one.)
8. Reheat and serve. Enjoy!

J also roasted a pablano pepper with the veggies and put a few pieces in the soup when we served it; if you like some spice in your food, I'd definitely recommend that.

The cupcakes were similarly awesome. Also spicy. Also delicious.

Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes

1 c non-dairy milk (I used almond, but any other variety should work as well)
1 t apple cider vinegar
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/3 c canola oil
1+1/2 t vanilla extract
1 c all purpose flour
1/3 c cocoa powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/8 to 1/2 t cayenne pepper (I used close to 1/2 and these were pretty darn spicy, which I like. If you're more averse to spiciness, you can certainly use less)
1+1/4 t cinnamon

powdered sugar and cinnamon for topping

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the cupcake pan with liners.
2. In a medium-large bowl, whisk together the milk and vinegar until frothy. Set aside
3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
4. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla to the milk/vinegar mixture. Whisk until well-combined.
5. In two batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet ones. Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined (do not overmix!). Stir long enough to get the big lumps out, but some small ones aren't a big deal.
6. Distribute the batter in the cupcake pan. The cups should be filled about 3/4 of the way -- don't overfill them.
7. Bake for 18-20 minutes. (Don't open the oven door until at least 15 minutes, or your cupcakes will fall and be sad.) The cupcakes are done when a toothpick stuck in the middle of one of them comes out clean, or when the tops are firm-ish to the touch.
8. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and let them cool on a rack.
9. When the cupcakes are completely cool, sprinkle them with powdered sugar and cinnamon. You could also use and chocolate or vanilla frosting, or maybe whipped (rice) milk (though you'd want to wait just before serving if you choose that). Enjoy!

Recipes crossposted to [community profile] omnomnom , as usual.


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Emilia Brett

December 2009

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