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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:19 pm 
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missmuffcake wrote:
For the mocha mix it asks for powdered rice milk...would powdered soy milk work? I know in the hot chocolate recipe it says not to replace the rice with soy...



The only reason I don't call for powdered soy milk in this recipe is the same reason as the cocoa...I have yet to find a powdered soy milk powder that doesn't taste gritty and bean-y vs the soft sweet texture and flavor of the rice milk powder. And since I usually give vegan gifts to non-vegans, I shy away from using "weird" tasting ingredients. That being said, if you have a good tasting soy milk powder...go for it!

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:24 pm 
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PoesiePie wrote:
I got this last week, and I loooove it. It bothers me a bit, though, that the recipes (or most of them?) don't tell you how long the product stays fresh. Also, I've always been intimidated by canning, but I really want to get into it. I can't really go out and buy a whole bunch of jars and things right now, though. What would happen if I would just re-use normal screw-top jars, rather than the 2-piece lid ones or the clip-on lid ones? Wouldn't the hot bath still seal them?


Hope this helps:
The canned recipes will last a long long time, up to a year.
Dry mixes will stay fresh at least a month, probably longer, if sealed in airtight containers.
The boozy stuff (except the Wassail which only lasts about 2 weeks in the fridge) will last indefinitely. I just sipped on some Vegemeister from last Christmas!
Fresh baked goods should be gifted and eaten within a few days.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:22 pm 
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I just bought this book! Paired with the jam/jelly book and the pickling book I have, I should have all of the recipes I'd need to make people some awesome gift baskets for Christmas. We've decided that's what we're doing for everyone and hopefully it'll be appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:44 pm 
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I'm a little concerned by this book. I was looking through the canning/preserving chapter and noticed a number of things that I previously thought were no-nos when it came to canning. Infused olive oil, for example, I always heard was very dangerous because the moisture in the garlic or other ingredients can harbor the C. Botulinum bacteria, so it's only safe for refrigerator storage for short periods of time, like a week. The National Center for Home Food Preservation specifically recommends against canning things like pesto because high fat foods are low acid and therefore conducive to growing the bacteria, in addition to having a high propensity for compromising the seal on the jars.

If anyone can point me to some reliable resources that say otherwise, I'll feel a lot better. I think the recipes for things like fudge sauce are probably okay because of the alcohol/sugar content, but even then I'm not sure. I know lemon curd is safe because of the lemon juice providing lots of acidity, but.... yeah. I don't want anyone to get sick. Call me paranoid!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:25 pm 
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Other than the oils, I have the acidity levels/safety info for the foods you have in question...if you would like specifics I can get them for you...

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:13 am 
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I have the s'more brownies (minus the marshmallows) in the oven now, but I'm a bit worried they may not turn out well. It seemed like an awfully large amount of flax mixture to add, as well as a banana, and then it never mentioned to actually add the flax into the recipe. I wonder if it was supposed to be one or the other? 4T of flax sounds like so much, though. I don't think I've ever added more than 2T in any recipe. I have a feeling they will be too heavy/gummy, but hopefully I'm worrying over nothing! I'll report back.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:39 am 
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Uh oh. I haven't tasted them yet, but they smell like fish! I get that with walnuts sometimes, too. I think that's interesting with the Omega 3 thing and all. Does anyone else think flax and walnuts have some sort of fishy undertone? Anyway, I'm hoping they'll taste better than they smell!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:55 am 
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No, I'm really not a fan of these brownies. I think I'm especially sensitive to the flavor of flax. My partner likes them, though, so if you're still interested, give it a shot. I wonder if there is a typo in the recipe, though?
I do love the rest of the book! The toffee squares made with crackers and chocolate were simple and great.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:01 pm 
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Hey guys, just an FYI...Here is the link to the Typos and Errata page for Vegan Food Gifts.

http://veganfoodgifts.wordpress.com/

The S'more Brownies are included on that list, as the flax mixture should be added at the same time as the other wet ingredients.

ALso, I have never had my flax or walnuts smell like fish! That's crazy. I hope your brownies come out well.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:24 pm 
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Yeah, I think flax and walnuts have a fishy undertone too. Not once they're mixed into food so much though. We're weirdos.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:34 pm 
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Haha, okay, so it's NOT just me. I'm kind of surprised I've never heard anyone else mention that, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:25 pm 
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I'm so excited to start making things from this book! I always spend Christmas eve baking from around 4am to get fresh gifts ready for the family, but as I'm due to give birth just before Christmas this year I doubt I'll have the time or energy for that [whether the baby has come out yet or not!] so I'm stoked to be able to make mixes and longer-lasting food gifts.
And if/when I can find lavender flowers, vegameister is definitely on the menu!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:56 pm 
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joni wrote:
Other than the oils, I have the acidity levels/safety info for the foods you have in question...if you would like specifics I can get them for you...


Oh, I don't need the specifics. I feel a lot better just knowing that they exist! Haha. I'm new to canning and am really paranoid about everything, even though I probably shouldn't be.

When it comes to things like the red wine hot fudge sauce, do you know if the shelf life will be shorter due to the fat content? I'm not sure how quickly fats go rancid in canned things, but I think lemon curd is suggested to last only a few months instead of the usual year for other preserved things (even though I know in actuality things usually are fine for much longer)... but then again, this has quite a bit of alcohol in it so I'm not sure if that would extend things much or not. I just wanted to be able to give people a head's up that they shouldn't just let things sit in the pantry forever before enjoying.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:19 am 
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I so want this book! It had been a long time since I bought vegan cookbooks, so I went ahead and scoured Amazon for the first time in a while and HOLY crepe there are so many good books out! I limited myself to three, which were Vegan Eats World, Artisan Vegan Cheese and Vegan Diner, but this is next on the list. I love making gifts for people and this seems ripe with ideas. I can't wait to see photos of what people make!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:26 pm 
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I got a chance to flip through this the other day and was hooked. It's now on its way from Amazon, can't wait!

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Freetahtah wrote:
joni wrote:
Other than the oils, I have the acidity levels/safety info for the foods you have in question...if you would like specifics I can get them for you...


Oh, I don't need the specifics. I feel a lot better just knowing that they exist! Haha. I'm new to canning and am really paranoid about everything, even though I probably shouldn't be.

When it comes to things like the red wine hot fudge sauce, do you know if the shelf life will be shorter due to the fat content? I'm not sure how quickly fats go rancid in canned things, but I think lemon curd is suggested to last only a few months instead of the usual year for other preserved things (even though I know in actuality things usually are fine for much longer)... but then again, this has quite a bit of alcohol in it so I'm not sure if that would extend things much or not. I just wanted to be able to give people a head's up that they shouldn't just let things sit in the pantry forever before enjoying.


For the Red Wine Hot Fudge Sauce, it should be shelf stable for 2 to 3 months. Once opened it needs to be refrigerated.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:34 pm 
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Oh, how did I miss the Red Wine Hot Fudge Sauce? I'm going to have to take a look at that recipe. I bought this book immediately after I flipped to the S'mores Brownies recipe. The Our Hen House podcast this week gave this book a rave review.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:16 pm 
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I made the sea salt caramels last night and they are So. Good. I forgot how finicky caramel is though, and overshot the target temp on the first try, so if anyone needs a tooth pulled I can send you some of that batch! Tried again and watched it like a hawk, and it came out perfectly. Soft and chewy but still firm enough to cut into pieces.

Other notes:
- The sugar mixture never really turned amber for me until long after pouring in the cream. Didn't affect the end product at all though, I followed the temperature guidelines and had no problems.
- I had the temperature up a bit too high, which caused the caramel to start sticking to the bottom of the pot near the end. I had to stir quite a lot to prevent it from burning. Next time I'll stay closer to the "medium" side of "medium-high heat".
- The sugar mixture came up to temperature much faster than I was anticipating - have your butter and cream mixture ready to go early. It's easier to keep that warm than it is to stop the sugar from cooking!
- The caramel takes about half an hour to go from around 220 to 240, and then the temperature goes up pretty rapidly after that, which is how I overcooked my first batch. Watch out for that!

If you love caramel this recipe is totally worth the time. It would probably also make an awesome sauce or toffee, if you know your candy-cooking temperatures.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:26 pm 
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I made the saltine toffee bars and spicy candied nuts this week. SO GOOD!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:49 pm 
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I made the S'More Brownies for my best friend's birthday cake....

Let's just say, she was very happy. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:07 am 
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Mmmmm, I love the Irish Creme! Just tried some and it's creamy, sweet and boozy just like I remember. I used coconut creamer since I was worried soy would have too strong of a flavor.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:45 pm 
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My copy just arrived. Oh, man. I've been scouring my kitchen for jars and quite a few people on my list will be receiving the peanut butter balls.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:43 pm 
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I just got this book from a friend, as a gift! Haha. So sweet....I helped her with a resume and interview skills, she got a job super fast and got me some cookbooks as a thank you.

I have actually not heard of this book, but it looks AWESOME. been considering doing food gifts for some time now, so this is perfect. I love all the ideas, and the templates and stuff. Great pics too.

Anyone have more success stories? I'm going to a Super Bowl party tomorrow, maybe I can do something outta here.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:27 pm 
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maybe the popcorn and the twigs and berries?

and that was nice. :) re: the resume stuff :)

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Food Gifts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:49 pm 
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Chicki wrote:
Anyone have more success stories? I'm going to a Super Bowl party tomorrow, maybe I can do something outta here.


Maybe the linzer cookies, with some kind of football-related cutout (little footballs, team initials)? I made them with moustache cutouts for a fundraiser and they were super tasty, and pretty cute! I kind of love the idea of making them suitable for all kinds of events by changing the cutout shape.

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