Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Mandarin Orange Day!

Blogger of the Day: Anya at Golubka
Pubs: The Vibrant Table

Round it up! Legend says you should eat round foods at the midnight strike of the New Year as a sign of renewal and rebirth, and to bring on good luck and prosperity. I like Mandarins because they're naturally in season, they burst with nutritional goodness and they are just so squealingly scrumptious and colorfully cheerful! Plus you get to choose..."Mandarin Orange" actually refers to a citrus family that includes Mandarins, Clementines, Tangerines and Satsumas. They range from sour to sweet so you'll just have to try them all to find your favorite!  ;)

A trip to Golubka (which means "dove" in Russian) is the perfect way to wrap up yumful year! Anya and her photo pro daughter Masha create crazygorgeous and spinningly delicious dishes full of pure fresh flavors in dazzling combinations. The most dreamingly luscious stuff...Anya makes it easy to become a vegan! :)

Need a New Year resolution? Visit Veganuary! A UK based campaign encouraging people across the globe to go vegan for the month of January. They provide all you, tips, resources and boatloads of recipes. Give it a go and challenge your family and friends to do it too!  :)

What's your favorite round fruit? Do you have a lucky food? How are you rolling in the New Year?  :)

That fills up a year of food holidays...thanks for reading along! I've got some personal projects beckoning me and my mom needs extra care now so I won't be posting daily, but I'll still be around. I wish you all good health and prosperity and boatloads of love and laughter! Happy New Year!  :)

Check out the rest of our 2014 Daily Food Holiday and Featured Blogger Series!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy Baking Soda Day!

Blogger of the Day: Kris at nom! nom! nom!
The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes
The Damn Tasty Vegan Baking Guide
Have Your Cake and Vegan Too
The I Heart Trader Joe's Recipe Cards
The I Heart Trader Joe's Vegetarian Cookbook
Vegan Desserts in Jars
Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches

Baking Soda Day? Yep, today you can celebrate the wonders of that humble white magic. You can put it to work or put it to play...make fizzy eggs, fat balloons, lots and lots of rockets and fountains of dayglo lava flows. Crazyfun stuff!  ;)

Or you can make it bake! Baking soda is a leavening agent, which means it helps make dough or batter rise by creating trapped carbon dioxide bubbles...baking powder does the same. So what's the difference?

Baking soda requires an additional acid (like buttermilk, citrus juice, molasses, yogurt or vinegar) to work...
Baking soda + acid + liquid = bubbles --> immediate rise

Baking powder contains baking soda and acid so all it needs is liquid to activate. Double-acting baking powder (what you see in most grocery stores) boosts it up when heat is added...
Double-acting baking powder + liquid = bubbles --> immediate rise + heat = more bubbles --> extended rise

Some recipes require both...balance is the key. Too much soda, powder or acid will result in a bitter taste so follow directions and measure carefully...this is why baking should be considered a science and why you should get school credit for flipping fluffy pancakes!  :)

Kris is a wise and clever baker, supersmart recipe creator...and Harry Potter pastrymaker! She's also a chemistry whiz in the kitchen so watch, listen and learn...then eat!  :)

Baking soda basics and more...
Leavening Agents -- Definitions, Cooking For Engineers
Food Science: Baking Soda and Baking Powder by Brian Geiger, Fine Cooking
Kitchen Chemistry by Professor Angela G. King, Wake Forest Magazine
The Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder by Matt Shipman, NCSU
Leavening, Food Science 101, Oregon State U
Kitchen Chemistry includes (chocolate!), Dr.Patricia Christie, MIT

Does the chemistry of baking interest you? Have you used baking soda in a science project? What's your favorite fluffed up baked treat?  :)

Celebrate some more with our 2014 Daily Food Holiday and Featured Blogger Series!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Slow Cooker Day!

Blogger of the Day: Sally at Of the Kitten Kind

My brother is the Slow Cooker King in my family...he uses a slow cooker at least once every day and will bust out a bunch of them for big family feasts. Slow cookers (also called crock pots) are quiet little miracle workers for busy budgeting folks...pour your ingredients in at night for a warm yumful breakfast or start it up in the morning for a full deal meal at night. My favorites are slowcooked oatmeals and anything fruity...I love the smell of cinnamonysweet fruits filling the house and nothing's better than a warm fruity bowl when I wake up, or a scoop of spiced fruit on my midnight ice cream...spoonlicking deliciousness!  ;)

South Australian Sally is an artist, photographer and adventurously fun vegan blogger with a soft spot for soups, comfort foods and snack bars, apricot bars, pudding bars and power bars! She knows how to whip up walletfriendly hungerstomping recipes that fill you up in the most soulsmiling way. We bought a big box of pears awhile back and used every last one of them in Sally's slowcooked pears recipe. Best way to wake up on a shivery winter morning.  :)

Slow cooker companies...
General Electric
Hamilton Beach
Proctor Silex
Sunbeam Crock-Pots
Sunbeam Rival Slow Cooker
West Bend
Amazon listings
Slow Cooker Reviews
• Read the manual and check the FAQs on the company's website for helpful tips and advice, and always cook your beans (or used canned beans) before adding them to a slow cooker!  :)

Slow cooker cookbooks...
The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester
Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You by Kathy Hester and Kate Lewis
Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson
The Vegan Slow Cooker Cookbook by Martha Drummond
Everyday Vegan Mediterranean Slow Cooker Cookbook by Karen Braden
Vegan Slow Cooker for Beginners by Rockridge Press
Amazon listings
Convert traditional recipes, plus extra slow cooker suggestions!

What's your favorite slow cooker recipe?

Find more feasts in our 2014 Daily Food Holiday and Featured Blogger Series!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy Biscotti Day!

Bloggers of the Day: Allysia and Mike at The Real Meal

By night Allysia and Mike bang out indie rock hits with their day they create deeelish eats, teach cooking classes like Vegan Feasts, Vegan Sushi and Intro to Raw Foods, and curl up with their supercute kitten! They delight in spiked treats and hearty comfort foods including yumfully filling brunches and chunky stacked sammies...crazyamazing stuff when you need to fuel up for a full day or rev up for a rockin' night.  ;)

Biscotti are sliced cookies that are twice baked to give them a slightly chewy, mostly crunchy bite. They're best when dunked in milk, coffee or hot cocoa, or dipped in slightly melty ice cream...yumza!  :)

As of July 2014, Barnivore has declared most of the Kahlua lineup Vegan Friendly! 
See the details here...
But you can still make your own if you like.  :)

Do you dunk your cookies? Have you tried making biscotti? What are your favorite brunchy foods?  :)

Check out the rest of our 2014 Daily Food Holiday and Featured Blogger Series!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Happy National Fruit Cake Day!

Blogger of the Day: Rianne at Art of Dessert

Holiday fruitcakes are munchable fun because you can switch in whatever fruits and nuts you like, but even better are fruitcake cookies! If they come out too hard you can dunk them in milk or crumble them in ice cream and they're still superyumful! Petrified fruitcakes on the other hand just gotta get tossed.  ;)

Rianne is a trained chef specializing in superbeautiful allergenfree desserts and delicious vegan treats! She features favorites from her Philippine childhood like sugarglazed Karioka and oh-so-comforting Ginataang Bilo-Bilo, as well as American classics like chocolate chip cookies and vanilla cupcakes. Her fruitcake cookies are perfect...just enough chew and crunch in those fruits and spices. Check out her flickr page too for more sweet stuff!  :)

Do you have any food allergies? What's your favorite dessert? What do you do with holiday fruitcakes?  ;)

Celebrate some more with our 2014 Daily Food Holiday and Featured Blogger Series!