Thursday, 4 January 2018

New Year

I am not really into celebrating the new year. It is just a moment of time, and nothing really changes between one day and the next. I am certainly not a fan of staying up until midnight just to watch the clock tick over, that is way past my bed time! But over the past couple of years I have adopted a couple of new year food traditions that I quite enjoy.

New Year's Eve is always pizza and pie night. I make a couple of pizzas, and a sweet pie for dessert. This generally leaves enough for cold pizza for lunch the next day, because I love cold leftover pizza. It is almost better than fresh hot pizza!

Plain Jane Pizza from Vegan Pizza by Julie Hasson: This is a simple pizza with tomato sauce, homemade pepperoni crumbles, and FYH mozzarella. The crumbles are a mix of seasoned TVP and quinoa, and come together very fast. Because I am me, I only added the slightest hint of chili to them, giving a nice mild pepperoni (a lot of the vegan pepperoni on the market is a bit too spicy for me). I used Julie's Easy Peasy Pizza Dough, which is the easiest dough ever and what I normally use as my base. This was a good pizza, though was sadly a bit dry the next day if eaten cold.
Rating: Pizza :), Crumbles :)

Plain Jane Pizza

Green Bean Casserole Pizza from Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater: I've never really had green bean casserole, so this was a fun way to try it out. I used a half recipe of 'I Love the Dough', also from this book, to make the base. It is not as easy as Julie's recipe, but was relatively simple enough and worked nicely. The topping is a mix of green beans, mushrooms, french fried onions, yoghurt and others. It makes quite a lot, but all fits on the base. I would recommend baking the base a little bit on its own first, as the topping is quite heavy and the centre of my crust was a little soggy. It is topped with more french fried onions. This was also my first time trying the onions, I bought a packet off a US import store. They are OK, though so salty. I prefer Asian-style fried shallots.
Rating: Pizza :), Dough :)

Green Bean Casserole Pizza

Blackberry Custard Pie from The Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking by Dana Shultz: This pie is filled with a custard mix of cream cheese and silken tofu, that is easy to blend up in the food processor. The crust is simple to make, though softens quickly. I would suggest blind baking the crust a little bit next time, as while the filling set up perfectly the base of the tart was pretty blonde. Even though it is blackberry season here, we couldn't find any at the shops when the time came, so I used frozen blackberries and it was fine. They recommend this pie is best eaten fresh, though can be kept for a couple of days. I would agree, I finished the last piece the following day and it tasted good but structurally was not as pretty.
Rating: :)

Blackberry Custard Pie

After food, I watched a bit of Buffy, then went up to bed with Dim Sim and was asleep by 9.30. I didn't have anywhere to go in the morning (there is no morning yoga class on New Year's Day), so we had a little lie in a snuggle in the morning, before getting up and getting to the serious business of NYD breakfast, which is always pancakes!

Blueberry Chocolate Pancakes and Cashew Maple Butter Cream from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton: I made a few substitutions here. First up, these pancakes were meant to be carob, not chocolate, but I am not a huge carob fan and certainly didn't want to buy a bag of carob powder for a couple of TBS. So I used cocoa powder. The recipe has no sweetener, but does use vanilla soy milk. I only had regular oat milk, so I added a heaping TBS of coconut sugar. I used frozen blueberries in the batter. I found the batter was quite runny, so I might use a bit less liquid last time. I used a 1/4 cup scoop for the pancakes, which worked well. I needed to cover the pan to get them to set through in the middle. These pancakes ended up tasting very nice, they were not particularly sweet but had a deep flavour. Then I made the cream. The cream is a blend of maple butter (I got some just for this), silken tofu, vanilla and nut butter. It was meant to be macadamia butter, but I had cashew. It was delicious. I made a half batch, which was just right for the pancakes. Especially delicious when it was layered between a stack of pancakes, it was quite decadent!
Rating: Pancakes :), Cream :)

Blueberry 'Carob' Pancakes

I have also adopted the southern US tradition of eating black-eyed peas and greens for dinner on NYD. Not because I think it will bless me with any particular prosperity or luck for the year ahead, but mostly because after pizza, pie, and pancakes, eating some beans and greens sounds pretty good! Normally I have to make up a batch of black-eyed peas from scratch, but our supermarkets have FINALLY been blessed with them in tins, so I don't need to plan ahead so much.

Hottie Black-Eyed Peas & Greens with Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Apples from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz: I downsized this recipe a little bit from using two tins of beans to just one. I still used a full bunch of kale, though. Because I reduced the beans, I also reduced the liquid a little bit. Oh yeah, and I left out the hot sauce because nope. So I guess they are Mildy Black-Eyed Peas? I used smoked paprika to get a nice smoky taste to them. They were lovely and savoury, which was nice served with the sweet vegetable mash. This recipe was so easy! I was worried that I would screw up the sweating of the apples and potatoes, either burning them or undercooking them, but it was perfect. I added extra ginger, and didn't add any agave as it was sweet enough.
Rating: Peas & Greens :), Mash :)

Hottie Black-Eyed Peas & Greens; Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Apples

I am not one for making resolutions any more. My main goals for the year are to hug Dim Sim a lot, and to make pizza once a month. I feel they are achievable! What did you get up to for New Years?

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

The face I woke up to on NYD.


  1. The blueberry chocolate pancakes with cream look perfect, and your goals sound great! :) We stayed up until midnight on New Year's Eve and toasted with ginger ale -- the grocery store was sold out of sparkling cider, haha!

    1. Sounds like sparkling cider is the favoured drink! But I think ginger things are nicer. Hope you had a lovely night.

  2. Green bean casserole on a pizza souns very very intriguing.
    The chocolate pancakes look like an amazing way to start the New Year!
    I spent my NYE with my girls.
    I actually made some resolutions this year! For the first time in maybe ever!

    1. NYE with the kitties is the best way to end the old year/start the new year if you ask me!

  3. Yay! I'm glad you got your blackeyed peas and greens in! That's crucial! :-) Love the pizza tradition and the pizza resolution (that is a damn fine 2018 goal!). Also kitty hugs!

    1. I think pizza is an excellent goal! Very achievable as I am easily motivated by pizza. ;)

  4. Happy New Year my dear! I love your NYE tradition of making pizza. We normally have pizza as well (although I can't be bothered to make my own as I'm not great at making gf crust), I had figured we'd skip it this year as we were invited to a friend's and she had made pizza. Yay! I was in bed by 10pm. That's how I roll haha.
    Your pizzas look delicious. The green bean casserole one is very intriguing! I have never actually made the traditional New Years Day collards & black eyed peas, but yours looks good. Love the pancakes too.
    I'm also not into making resolutions... although one of my goals for the year is to finally watch Buffy ;)

    1. Watching Buffy is the best goal ever. I will support you and cheer you on in that goal. Buffy is the best!!!

      I am glad that you got some pizza in after all! Also love that I am not the only one in bed early. Midnight is just soooooo late.

  5. Whoa not sure how I feel about Green Bean Casserole Pizza o___o I guess I shouldn't knock it until I try it.

    I am the same- no need to stay up late. I have a kid I rather be well rested, though I guess when the kids get old enough I might want to go out and party or have friends over for something low-key. Because I will use any excuse to drink champagne.

    1. I believe that you can put anything on a pizza, I am yet to find something that disproves that theory, but I have a lot of experimenting to do still.