Saturday, November 21, 2009

In the Kitchen with Karla - Fast & Fabulous Holiday Hors d'oeuvres Workshop

Monday Morning Post

Hungry for some new ideas for the holidays?

Come to my Cooking Class Workshop!

Learn the tricks of the trade
Whip up yummy hors d'oeuvres in less time than you think for fabulous (and easy) entertaining.

"Fast & Fabulous Holiday Hors d'oeuvres"
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Noon till 2 PM.
Demo and participation class and tasting.

Hurry - Limited Seating

Click Here To Find Out More

Out of the area?
Can't make the workshop?

Recipes will be available after the class.

Email us @ for details.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Vegetarian Pumpkin Pie

Monday Morning Post

This egg-less, milk-less tofu pumpkin pie recipe is so easy and so surprisingly good, you should volunteer to bring the dessert.
Just call it "Pumpkin Pie" - no need to scare people.


Makes 10 servings
This recipe was tested using a 9 inch round X 1 1/2 inch deep Pyrex pie pan


1 (12 to 14 oz.) package firm tofu
1 (15 to 16 oz.) can pumpkin (2 cups - not pumpkin pie mix)
3/4 cup pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt (or 1/8 teaspoon regular salt)
1 (9 inch) deep dish, unbaked pie shell (purchased or home made)

Position oven rack so pie will bake in the lower third. Preheat to 400 degrees.

Remove tofu from package. Gently rinse under running tepid tap water. Drain.

Put everything (except pie shell) into a food processor. Pulse until combined then blend until very smooth - 2 to 3 minutes. Remove lid of processor. Scrape down the bowl. Replace cover and continue blending until very smooth.

Meanwhile, put empty pie shell onto a cookie sheet (to catch drips) and place into the preheated oven. Bake 20 minutes. (No need to put pie weights on the dough.) Remove partially baked crust from oven and lower temperature to 350 degrees.

Working quickly and carefully, fill crust with the tofu mixture. Filling will not spread during baking so make sure it looks nice before you put it back into the oven.

Return pie to oven. Continue baking an additional 30 to 35 minutes or until center is set to a very light touch and the crust is brown on the bottom. Filling should be slightly puffed 1 inch wide around the perimeter of the pie. Do not over bake.

Remove pie from oven. Let cool 1 hour at room temperature then lightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours before attempting to cut. Overnight is better.

Refrigerate leftovers up to 3 days.

Karla's Tip:
Pumpkin pie spice is not recommended. Ground cloves, typical of this spice blend, makes the tofu taste ash-y. Using the recommended spices in this recipe totally mask the tofu taste. No one will be able to tell!

Got too much filling for your pie shell? Put it into a custard cup or two (spritzed with baking spray) and bake along with the pie.

Don't forget to put your pie on a cookie sheet to catch drips during baking.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Loss Leaders Bring Home The Bacon (well, actually turkey) This Thanksgiving

Monday Morning Post

Serving a traditional Thanksgiving feast at home is the most economical meal of the year.

This year, the average cost for a home cooked dinner of turkey, cranberry sauce, green beans, sweet potatoes, rolls, salad and pie to serve ten comes to about $40.00. That's only $4.00 per person. Surprised?

At Thanksgiving, grocery stores battle each other for your business pricing the most popular foods way below cost. Even turkeys are priced too cheap to believe. This marketing technique is called a loss leader by the industry.

By deliberately pricing certain items ridiculously low, they'll tempt into their store. Once you're in, you're going to buy lots of high profit items to make up the difference.

Beer and wine, artisan breads, ice cream, salad fixings, paper plates, aluminum foil, butter, fancy hors d'oeuvres, center pieces - and you'll probably get a jump on your holiday baking by buying cookie or fruit cake ingredients. That $40.00 meal for ten is dwarfed by the hundreds of dollars of groceries in your cart. It's a very effective sales technique.

If you stick to your list and avoid the temptations of seasonal displays and free samples, you'll win the grocery game this Thanksgiving.

So gather your loved ones around the table for this truly American holiday. With a little planning and by taking advantage of those wonderful loss leaders, you'll spend less money than you think - and that's a good thing in this economy.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Depression Cake

Monday Morning Post

The Thrifty Kitchen
Lots of taste for not much money

Oh, those frugal days of the Depression when folks had to squeeze every penny out of a dollar.

If you're on a tight budget these days (and who isn't) this taste of the past will help you stretch your pennies painlessly.

Depression Cake

Makes 1 (8 inch square) cake

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup dark brown sugar (lightly packed)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cups raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon water

Position oven rack so cake will bake in center. Preheat to 325 degrees. Grease pan or coat an 8 inch square pan with baking spray.

In a medium sauce pan, combine water, sugar, oil and raisins. Cover. Bring to a boil over high. Remove cover. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Dissolve baking soda in water and stir into pot containing the raisin mixture. (Mixture will foam).

In a small bowl, combine spices, baking powder, salt and flour. Stir flour mixture into raisin mixture combining well.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan. Cut into squares for serving.