Good Eats

In the Kitchen with Savannah

When I think back on my childhood, I rarely spent time in the kitchen. Sure, I helped my father read a recipe, measure out the ingredients, but mostly it was a highly-UNdisguised math project. I never liked to cook or bake. Hamburger Helper or a boxed meal worked fine for me. Fast forward to married life where I did zero cooking and only limited baking (from a box) for twelve years.

But guess what happens when you get divorced and after a few months realize chicken broth and microwave dinners won’t cut it? You learn a new set of skills, and that’s just what I did. Fast forward again and even I’m not sure who created this cooking-baking monster I became. Move over Cookie Monster I have newly discovered skills!

I became what I would call a pretty-darn-tooting-great cook-baker after about a year of trial and error. So, at this point, I’ve been “In the Kitchen with Myself” for about six years now. Guess who my teacher was … ME! (Ok, okay, a little Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray). I still mess up brand new recipes, but to be honest, I prefer my meals to dining out. (Right!?! I know, I don’t believe it either, but I leave most restaurants feeling the meal could have tasted better). Two of the best things about learning this new-found hidden skill set is that I’ve created a decent amount of recipes. And second, I’ve created two original recipes (one for Grounded in January and one for another manuscript out on submission).

I’d love to hear from my readers – Is there is something you discovered about yourself that you had no idea you could master?

Good Eats

Magnolia Journal Vegan Modification – Banana + Chocolate

Since I tried the other two breads in the Magnolia Journal, I had to attempt to vegan modify the third one, Banana + Chocolate (Spring issue, 2019). While I loved the first two, this one tasted good, but not my favorite over the others (although my boyfriend gobbled it up like it was the best thing ever). I’m not a big banana fan, so that might be why.

For this one I swapped out the eggs with soaked chia seeds. And I nixed the butter all together which I think made an already dense bread extra heavy. If I make this again I’ll add more pecans!!

Good Eats

Magnolia Journal – Blueberry + Lemon – Vegan Modification

20190306_195402I loved my last vegan modification from the Magnolia Journal (spring issue, 2019) of Cinnamon + Nut bread. So, I decided to try out the second bread recipe on the same page. For this recipe I switched out the eggs, milk, and butter.

Eggs were swapped for chia seeds.

Milk was swapped for soy milk – same ratio.

Butter was swapped out for olive oil – same ratio.

I loved this bread slightly more than the Cinnamon + Nut, simply because I enjoyed the fresh blueberries in it. I did add about 1/4 a cup more blueberries than the recipe called for. The bread disappeared much quicker as well!!!

Good Eats

Magnolia Journal Vegan Modification – Cinnamon + Nut

20190203_133126The latest issue of Magnolia Journal (spring 2019) has several quick bread recipes. And I know I promised a lot more vegan and plant-based modification recipes from Magnolia Table Cookbook. (Writing life has kind of taken over a bit more lately).

So on this rainy day, with the newest issue in hand, I dove in and turned the recipe vegan.

The cinnamon and nut bread recipe called for 1 egg, which I switched out for chia seeds along with 1 cup milk which I substituted with soy milk. The recipe also called for vegetable oil, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I used olive oil. The baking time didn’t change with these modifications. I did add a bit of clove spice, which was not in the recipe.2019

I give this recipe a gold star. Even with the modifications. Not only was it easy to make, but it tasted absolutely delicious. (Even if it doesn’t look anything like the picture in the magazine)

 

Good Eats

Magnolia Table Cookbook Modification Venture – cashew cheese alfredo

First, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing when seasoning tofu. I think it might be a year long process to figure out. And that is why mine failed for my latest plant based flip on Magnolia Table recipe.

But it looks good, so that’s what matters.

On this lastest recipe swap I made cashew alfredo sauce over whole wheat linguine noodles and breaded tofu.

The alfredo portion was good, but the tofu was two thumbs down. Multiple cashew cheese recipes can be located on the internet. I used one from Bettter Homes and Garden’s latest issue.

Good Eats

Magnolia Table Cookbook Modification Venture – chocolate chip cookies

I love all things Hearth and Hand & Magnolia. Having switched to a mostly planted based lifestyle about 8 months ago I was bummed to hear that Joanna Gaines had a cookbook coming out. After having flipped through it, I figured I could at least make a few recipes for cheat days. Then it dawned on me, why not see if I can modify the recipes to fit a more plant based diet?

Even at 8 months into plant based, I’m still learning and trying new recipes. Yet, there are not a great deal to pick from this far into the game. And let me be honest, some of them don’t even look good.

Alas, I decided that I should post about this grand baking adventure of modifying Magnolia Table’s recipes. I know there will be many fails, but that’s okay. I hope ya’ll enjoy this and future posts as I journey forward.

To start off I tried the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I didn’t modify the butter as I’m still working on learning that aspect with baking. I always use the butter in the picture above. I did swap out the 2 eggs for chia seeds. I have done this swap before in cakes and browines, but never cookies.

While cook time remained the same. I did have to add about 1/4 cup of water to the recipe. They came out very flat and didn’t look anything like the picture from Magnolia Table, but they were super soft and chewy. I thought they tasted great.

Good Eats, Life, better known as blah, blah, blah

When You Have a Garden

If someone was to ask a younger me, would I ever garden, I would surely have said yes. But a garden of flowers, most likely.

And flower gardens I did have, even a simple pot on an apartment balcony. A home with hydrangeas, small, and barely blooming when the moving truck came. A new state, homes with nothing but backyard dirt. And a home with failed attempts at all desert plants. Oh flower gardens were in my plans. Yet, a garden of vegetables and fruits, no.

I believed that was something unobtainable. Something that needed skill and planning. Something, that required lots of land and a coffee table full of how to books (okay, so I have two books, no coffee table).

So, how I ever stumbled upon the gardens I now have, and wanting more, remains a mystery.

I have a 4×4 box and a 10×5 box, which I find myself walking around at least five times a day. As though I’m wandering acres on some farm in Texas. Veggies don’t grow that fast, but the way I snoop around the dirt you would think something new has grown every few hours.

Turns out when you have a garden germinating, you can and do lose yourself in it. It’s like watching a baby sleep, just wondering when it will wake.

There is peace among the dirt. Green sprouts appear as though Thomas Kinkade painted them. And when you get to taste what has grown it’s a rainbow of joy.

I just need more boxes now….