Monday, December 19, 2011

Chesnuts roasting on an open fire.....

One thing that I have to have during the Holiday season is roasted chestnuts. So simple, but such a delicious and nutritious Holiday snack or even a great appetizer.
The trick to getting perfectly crispy on the outside and soft and tender in the inside is a technique I perfected this year.
First you have to put cuts into them to allow the steam to escape and the salted water to permeate them (next step). I find the best way and the least likely way to cut yourself- I've figured all the ways NOT to do this, and then figured out a way to do that allows me to indulge in chestnuts with all my fingers still attached.

Step 1.
Wash your chestnuts in a little soapy water or vinegar, then rinse well and pat dry., lay them out on the damp cloth that you just dried the chestnuts off with.

Step 2. Lay the chestnut on the flat side down, take your chefs knife in one hand and keep the other one far away, and just tap the middle part of the knife into the chestnut, just hard enough to break into the shell. Cut all the chestnuts in the same way. I've never been able to cut "x"s into them (like most instructions will tell you) without cutting myself, so I came up with this simpler way.

Step 3.  Put about 2 litres of water in a pot, add 2TBSP both salt and sugar. Bring the water to a boil and add the Chestnuts. Preheat oven to °400.

Step 4. Boil for 15 mins, then drain very well, place on a baking sheet and roast in oven for anywhere approximately 15 mins- they will split open quite a bit when they are ready.

Let cool for a few minutes and peel back the skins and enjoy! My favorite way to eat them is with a glass of Homemade vegan Baileys- Try my recipe here: Vegan Baileys Recipe
Here is what they look like when they are ready to eat:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Vegan Baileys Recipe!

For the past 4 years now, I've tried many different recipes for Vegan Baileys. Some my own creation's, some a combination of my own and other peoples. None of them ever turned out. Something was always missing, or something just wasn't quite right. This year I've nailed it! Granted it's been awhile since I've tasted the real thing, but this is smooth, silky, creamy and absolutely delicious! So who gives a crap as to whether it is a perfect comparison! This is delicious, and it'll make your Christmas magical I promise! You have to make this will make your Holidays feel so much more complete!

On Ice

                                                                       In Coffee
2 cans (400ml can- I used Thai Kitchen) + 3 tbsp coconut milk
2 cans* soymilk
1/4 cup strong coffee
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup white sugar (or 1/8 tsp powdered stevia- which is what I used)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 can* good Whiskey
1/2 can* good white rum

*I used the empty coconut milk cans to measure out everything as it was easier then getting measuring cups dirty!

Combine everything but the booze in a pot on the stove, and whisk over medium heat till everything becomes smooth and thoroughly combined. Once everything is mixed, wait till it cools a bit then stir in the alcohol.

***This makes 2.5L (I'm sure this recipe could be halved or quartered, but why would anyone want less of this goodness??)  and will keep for 2 months or more in the fridge. It will gain a but of a curdled appearance and look spoiled in the fridge after awhile, but a simple shake will make it look normal again. The curdling is normal and doesn't change the taste or quality of it at all.