24 December 2012

Noggy Tapioca with Spiced Cranberry Compote

I promise not to make any more recipes in a glass for the rest of the year.1 I just want to sneak this "last" one in - I couldn't bear not to share it.

It's like the Holidays in a glass.

It's also lovely and a snap to prepare - with few ingredients - which could be quite a welcome reprieve from a day spent preparing a grand holiday feast.

And... if, in the "excitement" of the holidays a dessert was forgotten or you need a last minute treat to bring to a holiday gathering, you don't necessarily have to revert to store-bought. All you need is about 20 minutes of cooking time and a couple hours of refrigeration, which can conveniently coincide with holiday gift wrapping, last-minute shopping/errands, a decompressing holiday bubble bath2...

If you don't have the 3-4 ingredients handy, it's only the 24th of December3 - the stores are still open.

Noggy Tapioca with Spiced Cranberry Compote
(Serves 4)

For the Tapioca:

  • 20g (6 Tbsp) Small Tapioca Pearls (I used Let's Do... Organic®)
  • 3 Cups Filtered Water*
  • 2 Cups So Delicious® Coconut Nog
For the Cranberry Compote:
  • 7oz () Fresh Cranberries
  • 1/2 Cup Filtered Water
  • 20g (2 Tbsp) Coconut Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice
1) In a medium saucepan, bring the 3 Cups of water and 3/4 Cup of Coconut Nog to a boil.

2) Whisk in the tapioca pearls, to prevent them from sticking together, and let the tapioca cook for 15-17 minutes. The pearls should be less opaque, and the mixture will be thicker.

3) While the tapioca is cooking, in a separate saucepan combine the cranberries, 1/2 cup of water, coconut sugar and allspice. Cook over medium-low heat, until the cranberries soften and the mixture reaches the consistency of fruit preserves. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

4) Once the tapioca has finished the initial cooking, whisk in the remaining Coconut Nog and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5) Remove the tapioca from the heat and allow to cool for approx. 5 minutes.

6) In your desired serving glasses, spoon a layer of the cranberry compote, and fill the rest of the glass with tapioca.

7) Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dollop of cranberry compote and set the glasses in the refrigerator to chill and set for 2 hours or overnight.

8) Serve and ENJOY!

*To add an extra "kick" for the adult set, reduce the cooking water by 1/4 cup, and use 1 cup of the Coconut Nog for cooking; add 1/4 cup of rum to the coconut nog added during the last 5 minutes of cooking. You could also sub out 1/4 cup of rum for 1/4 cup of water, but some of the "kick" will boil away during the initial cooking.

Buone Feste a Tutti

1. I think I can make it seven more days.
2. With wine. 
3. At the time of this post, anyway.

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22 December 2012

Holiday 2012: Recipe Round-Up

The holiday season is well upon us, I thought I would do my very first (mini) recipe roundup - holiday-themed, naturally.

Panettone Muffincakes
The holidays don't seem quite right without Panettone1... or at least a panettone-like-something-or-other. Panettone is a particular and somewhat temperamental recipe, so I've taken to transforming panettone into items that are happy to be vegan and gluten free... you know, like these muffincakes.

Truly Sugar-Free Chestnut Truffles

These chestnut truffles are so ridiculously simple to make, and require absolutely no sweeteners of any kind!

Gingerbread Muffins
I suppose, if you wanted, these gingerbread muffins could probably be used to build a house if you stack them up like bricks. The icing would make a very tasty ginger-ey mortar.

Moisturizing Sugar Scrub
Quick, easy, yet elegant2 gift idea.

Happy Holidays!

1. Or maybe that's just an Italian thing.
2. If I do say so myself.
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09 December 2012

VeggNog Crepes

Historically,1 crepes were the fancy, cosmopolitan cousin of the pancake -  not something we ever prepared at home. I have wonderful memories of my mother taking us to the Oakbrook Mall, during the holidays, and getting strawberry crepes at The Magic Pan.

I haven't been to many malls here, which is odd because L.A. seems to be made of strip malls, but I did somehow end up at an outdoor mall, which vaguely reminded me of Oakbrook. They were even shooting this foam/bubble "snow" up from the top of the building to enhance the holiday season theme. It was weird but cool at the same time. And I can't believe I'm about to say that I sort of like the idea of a peaceful snowfall around the holidays. Of course, I greatly dislike trudging out in the cold, grey, salty sludge into which it transforms...and slipping on the ice underneath it... and scraping off my windshield... but I digress...

The point is that the trip to that outdoor mall conjured up my memories of Oakbrook... and crepes.  When I returned home to find my carton of vegan "nog" staring at me from the fridge, it practically begged me to be incorporated into a crepe. A gluten free, vegan crepe, naturally.

These light, slightly sweet crepes have a delicate flavor that is complemented well by cinnamon and nutmeg flavors and a frugal use of condiments. Of course, you could also slather on some blueberry jam (ala the BF), and be quite happy. I was told these tasted just like the non-vegan crepes his mother used to make, back in France. The last batch I made yielded 10, and he ate all of them.

VeggNog Crepes
(makes 8-10 crepes)
  • 100g (3/4 Cup) Sorghum Flour
  • 30g (1/4 Cup) Tapioca Flour
  • 3/4 Cup So Delicious® Coconut Nog
  • 1/2 Cup Filtered Water
  • 30g (2 Tbsp) Earth Balance® Coconut Spread (melted)
Optional Garnish:
  • 30g (1/4 Cup) Toasted, shelled Pistachios
  • 10g (1 Tbsp) Coconut Palm Sugar (Turbinado, Sucanat, etc... can easily be subbed)
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg

1. Prepare the pistachio garnish by processing all ingredients in a food processor or mini blender, until the pistachios are well-chopped. Set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all crepe ingredients, until batter is smooth.

3. Lightly oil a non-stick (ceramic is best) pan/griddle or a seasoned, cast iron skillet, and heat over medium heat.

4. Using 3 Tbsp of batter per crepe, prepare crepes by adding batter to the pan and quickly swirling the pan to spread the batter into an thin, even disc.

5. Cook each crepe for 4-6 minutes, flipping once midway through cooking. Crepes should not brown.

6. Serve with Pistachio Garnish... OR powdered sugar, coconut whipped cream, spiced cranberries, candied pecans, or any other garnish that strikes your fancy!


1. In our household, anyway.
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