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A Side

A Side

Last night’s dinner was a conglomeration of leftovers and such, but I did make one very simple, yet incredibly delicious side.

Dump a bunch of baby carrots into a pot, drizzle generously with maple syrup (The real kind, from VERMONT…if yours is named after or is in the shape of someone’s Aunt or Madame, throw it out…go back to the grocery store…and get the real stuff) The good stuff has a grade…if yours doesn’t, it isn’t the right stuff.

OK…now that we’re over my little maple syrup rant, on to the meat (excuse the totally irrelevant metaphor). Cover the carrots and syrup with a generous splash of orange juice, and then fill with water until carrots are just covered. Simmer on stove until a fork can be easily inserted into a carrot. Most, although not ALL of the liquid will reduce away.

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Hash Browns

Hash Browns

I’ve been wanting to make these ever since I first saw them at Vegan Yum Yum.

I used the simplest recipe possible…grating 5 potatoes, mincing an onion into them, and giving the entire heap a good grind of salt and pepper. I squeezed as much liquid as possible out of the heap, and set to frying.

For the first serving, I used PAM and the hash was the perfect crispy consistency, but the color wasn’t exactly the golden/brown hue I was going for. The potatoes were pretty pale with brown freckles throughout. After that, I decided to try out olive oil in the skillet instead. This gave me the perfect color, but no matter how long I left the potatoes in there, with the exception of the edges, they never got very crispy. Worse still, when eating, I discovered they were squishy in the middle and a bit greasy tasting.

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A Little Southern Flair

A Little Southern Flair

I was running on a theme yesterday, and I think I did pretty well consider it was all improv. I used the V’con recipe for skillet cornbread since I’ve been wanting to make the jalapeno variation since I bought the book.

As luck would have it (and since making the cornbread at all was a spur of the moment decision) I didn’t have any jalapenos. I did, however, have onion, and some red chili flakes, so I decided to rock that combination instead.

The recipe said to scatter the onions/pepper over the top of the cornbread, which I did, and although it made it very pretty, for optimal taste benefit I think I’ll mix them into the batter next time.

The cornbread on the whole was a little dry, I think mixing some soy yogurt into the batter next time will alleviate that problem…or perhaps simply adding a bit more soy milk than I did this time around.

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