Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hemp Seed Cookies (Gluten-Free)

This dough is vegan and wheat free, but most decidedly not sugar-free.

Wheat-Free Vegan Dough for Cookies or Tart Shells

2 cups (12 ounces) raw almonds

4 ounces hemp seeds

2 tablesppons golden flax seeds (or regular flax seeds)

¼ cup chickpea flour

1 cup sugar (These were quite sweet. Less sugar would probably be just fine)

½ cup coconut oil

Grind the almonds to a fine meal in a processor or grinder. You will have about 2 ½ cups of almond flour. Toast the hemp seeds to a light golden color and grind them to a fine meal. Grind the flax seeds (or you can buy ground flax meal to start with). Combine the ground nuts and seeds with the chickpea flour in a processor with the sugar and coconut oil, or mix by hand to form a cohesive dough. Chill the dough for an hour or so. This makes a delicious sable-type pastry. It will not hold together quite well enough for homentashn, but you can make wonderful thumbprint cookies (prune filling will be a nice match) or tart shells.

Kalyn provided the original inspiration for this recipe with these adorable almond cookies. See all the Weekend Herb Blogging entries by Ramona at The Houndstooth Gourmet this week.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Prune Filling (Povidl) for Cookies, Tarts, or Homentashn (Hamentashen)

Plum illustration from Knoop's Pomologia, Nuremburg, 1766, reproduced from Pomona's Harvest by H. Frederic Janson, 1996
For this filling, I specifically bought prunes with the pits in, because I recall reading or hearing that you get more flavor if you cook stone fruits with the stones. I can’t really tell if this is true or not without doing two batches of prunes side by side (perhaps this is a good project for peysekh, the joyous holiday currently hurtling towards us like a barn owl who has just spotted a dormouse). In order to give the correct measurement for pitted prunes, I weighed the pits after I removed them. I would only do this for you.
Prune Filling (Povidl)
12 ounces (about 2 cups) prunes with pits (or 10 ½ ounces pitted prunes)
1 bay leaf (optional)
grated orange and lemon zest (optional)
part of a vanilla bean (optional)
1 tablespoon slivovitz (optional, but really nice)
½ to 1 cup honey or agave
put the prunes in a saucepan with 3 cups of water and the bay leaf or vanilla bean or citrus zest if you are using them. Bring to the boil and cook for about ten minutes. Cover and leave the fruit to steep several hours or overnight, adding a bit more water if everything is not quite covered.
When the prunes are cool, they will be very soft and you will be able to remove the stones easily. Remember as well to remove the bay leaf or vanilla bean, if you added them earlier. Pit the prunes, and grind the pitted fruit together with the cooking liquid and some honey or agave in a processor or other grinding-modality. Stir in some plum brandy (slivovitz) if you wish.
Find other herb-scented seasonal sweets at Weekend Herb Blogging, this week in the capable hands of Katie at Thyme for Cooking.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I ♥ Eggplants

I ♥ Eggplants

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Herbed Hemp Seed Balls

These turned out a bit more like falafel balls than that other kind of ball (this makes me think it might be worthwhile to try hemp seed falafel next time), but they are still delicious on their own as finger food, and really just perfect along with pasta and sauce.

Other herbals and herb balls for the weekend are to be rounded up by Kel at Green Olive Tree.

Herbed Hemp Seed Balls

¼ cup (2 ounces) golden flax seeds, or regular flax seeds

1 ½ cups (8 ounces) hemp seeds

olive oil (be liberal)

3 or 4 onions, diced

5-7 cloves garlic, minced

½ bunch parsley (1/2 cup minced leaves)

½ teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled between your fingers

salt, pepper, and paprika

Cover the flax seeds with ½ cup water and allow them to soak several hours or overnight. Grind the soaked flax to a paste. Toast the hemp seeds in an iron skillet until light golden brown. Lightly crush or process the seeds to a rough meal. Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the diced onions until soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and continue cooking until soft and fragrant. Mix together the hemp and flax seeds, cooked onions and garlic, minced and crushed herbs, and seasonings, adding more water as necessary to make the mixture hold together. Form into walnut-sized balls.

Put the hemp balls in an iron skillet or other ovenproof vessel, and drizzle them with olive oil. Bake at 350 for forty minutes or until they are nicely brown. You can also try cooking them on the stovetop, but this did not work quite as well.

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Friday, March 14, 2008


עץ האָט שױן באַמערקט אַז איך האָב לעצטנס װײניק אָנגעבלאָגעװעט. אַ פּאָר פֿון ענק האָבן געפֿרעגט צי דאָס איז אפֿשר אַ גוטע בשׂורה, אַז איך שרײַב מער אין מײַן אַנדערן פּרױעקט, אָבער דער אמת איז צום באַדױערן פּונקט פֿאַרקערט. עס איז פּונקט אין די צײַטן װען איך בין מער פּראָדוקטיװ מיטן אַנדערן פּראָיעקט, װען איך בלאָגעװע אָן אַלץ מער געשמאַקע זאַכן. װאָס מער דיסערטאַציע, אַלץ מער אין מױל אַרײַן.